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Time To Get Clear: Differin + Doxycycline + Holistic Health

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#1 Feelin'SomeRhythm

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 03:14 AM

Hi guys,

My name's Tom and I have acne. I'm 3 weeks into my new regimen of differin + doxycycline 100mg + holistic health and right now I'm slap bang in the middle of the initial breakout... fantastic!

Anyway, before I get to my log, first a little Background Info:

I'm 20 years old, male, British, student. That about sums me up! From when I was about 15, I started to develop blackheads and, after trying various OTC washes, I visited the doctor to get some help getting clear. Bear in mind that at this point I only had blackheads and no inflamed acne. He prescribed me a topical treatment which I can't actually remember the name of, but I do remember it didn't work very well. After that failure I switched back to more OTC treatments and found Australian Body Care Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash - it was natural, smelled great and worked brilliantly! My blackheads got a lot smaller and were only really concentrated on my nose. Unfortunately, this didn't last as they gradually crept back up, brining a fair bit of inflamed acne along with it. At this point (October 2009) I went back to the doctor and got put on Oxytetracycline 500mg 2xday. This worked BRILLIANTLY! Seriously, I look at pictures of myself from this period and, my God, my skin looks fantastic. Unfortunately, it wasn't going to last as come October 2010 (which also timed with me going away to uni), the tablets gradually started to lose their effectiveness. I kept pushing ahead with them in the vain hope that they would start working again but, alas, they didn't and in April 2011 I finally threw in the towel and gave up.

Since April 2011, my acne has gradually come back and has gone from mild to the upper end of moderate (where it is now), despite trying a range of treatments in the meantime. First on the list was Lymecycline 300mg 1xday - this was only a brief acquaintance of mine as the side effects were awful and I was forced to give up after 2 weeks. Secondly, I gave Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Facial Wash, which contains SA, a shot. This did absolutely nothing for me. Following this I had a change of heart over treatment and decided to try a more natural, holistic route. My first year exams were over by now so I started researching the "root causes" of acne and how diet and general wellbeing have an effect on your skin. There's a wealth of information out there, most of it on the web, and I would seriously recommend any acne sufferer giving them a look over. Some of the best, in my opinion, are:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/
http://www.thelovevitamin.com/ (the before and after pics are very revealing)
http://www.highonhealth.org/

I tried this method all Summer and, unfortuantely, as much as I hate to admit it, I simply didn't see many results. Having said that, by the end of Summer my health felt AMAZING and I know a lot of people who have tried this method and had great results. At the very least, I certainly recommend getting healthy at the same time as using topical treatments. You never know, it may just save your life one day.

It was at this point (late November 2011) when I decided to throw the towel in on natural treatments and go back to harsh, tested chemicals: it was back to my GP! I've since been prescribed Differin 0.1 Gel and Doxycycline 100mg 1xday and, with that, you're all up to speed!

My Current Regimen
(Skip to here if you don't want to read all the history stuff)

AM
Aloe Vera Juice 25ml
Multivitamin
Vitamin C 500mg
Zinc 25mg
Cod Liver Oil capsule
Green smoothie
Burt's Bees Deep Cream Cleanser (the gentlest cleanser I've ever come across!)
Cetaphil moisturiser
A read of this...
And a blast of this...

PM
Doxycycline 100mg (after dinner)
Burt's Bees Deep Cream Cleanser (the gentlest cleanser I've ever come across!)
Cetaphil moisturiser
Differin (before bed)

Lots of vegetables, fruit (to a lesser extent) and great superfoods every day. In addition I workout 3-4 times a week doing cardio running and, after Christmas, I intend to start strength training as well. And, of course, surrounding myself with great friends and family who don't care about the size and "clogged-up-ness" of my pores!

My Log

Weeks 1-2 (28th November - 11th December)
I didn't see much improvement, as to be expected, during this period, except a slight amount of clearing towards the back end of week 2. For the first week I only applied the Differin once every two days then, for week 2, I upped it to once every other day.

Week 3, Days 1-4 (12th - 15th December)
​So far this week it's become apparent that the initial breakout is most definitely happening! It's not too major at the moment but I can clearly see increased redness and inflamation around my chin and forehead, plus the blackheads on my nose and cheeks are becoming a lot more pronounced. Amazingly, I haven't experienced any dryness yet which is inredible considering I normally have very sensitive skin - I personally chalk this up to the Burt's Bees Deep Cream Cleanser which is absolutely amazing stuff.

Week 3, Day 5 (Today!)
When I woke up and saw my skin this morning I realised I had to create a Acne.Org log to be able to get through this: the IB is horrible. I have a row of about 7-8 freshly formed pimples, which have already come to a head, down my forehead. There's also loads more which look angry and ready to form. My chin is looking a lot worse with several fully formed pimples and increased redness around the existing ones. I'm meeting up with some old schoolfriends on Thursday (i.e. Week 4, Day 4) and, even though it is incredibly unlikely, I really wish this would calm down a bit. Unfortunately the irritation also seems to be setting in now as well - ahhhh! I thought I read somewhere that the antibiotics are supposed to calm the IB of the Differin?

I will continue to update as time goes on but I could really use some words of encouragment to help me out: I'm not going to give up on treatment but, for people who have used Differin before, how long does it take for this bit to be over? Right now, hands down, my skin is the worst it has EVER been. And, at 20 years old, that's quite depressing Posted Image

I'll try and muster up the courage to get some photos up later as well.

Thanks for reading, hope to get to know some of you soon!

Tom.

Edited by Feelin'SomeRhythm, 01 April 2012 - 02:17 PM.


#2 Chestercool

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 11:44 AM

Hey, if you check out my log i was on doxy and differin aswell, then i made some research and found out antibiotics are shit and actually makes acne worst.
can you describe your diet a little bit more? i mean more details so your progress can be followed :)
Also, i see you had already taken antibiotics, these not only kill P.acnes, it kills good bacteria too, the gut flora, then chances to develop candida are higher, you might want to try candida diet which helps acne anyways. Good luck!!!

#3 legato

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 01:09 PM

I was on the same stuff (Differin / Doxy) early this year. I started to see improvement after 1 month. At 12 weeks (just like they always say) I was 100% clear.
My acne remained under control up until 6 months after quitting the doxy. I think for most people it takes some time before it really kicks in.
I'm sure it'll work for you man, just keep going strong.

#4 Feelin'SomeRhythm

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 04:23 AM

Hey, if you check out my log i was on doxy and differin aswell, then i made some research and found out antibiotics are shit and actually makes acne worst.
can you describe your diet a little bit more? i mean more details so your progress can be followed Posted Image
Also, i see you had already taken antibiotics, these not only kill P.acnes, it kills good bacteria too, the gut flora, then chances to develop candida are higher, you might want to try candida diet which helps acne anyways. Good luck!!!


Hey Chestercool!

Thanks for responding. I've just checked out your log - your skin looks great man and it looks like we're following a very similar path to get completely clear skin! With regards to diet, over the Summer and through my time with the Elaine Mummery Acne Clinic I tried all sorts of elimination diets and nothing helped in the slightest. I honestly believe that holistic methods and a healthy diet will work for a lot of people, but unfortunately I'm just not one of the them. I try to limit the amount of gluten and dairy I eat for general wellbeing and I'm presently settled on this sort-of variation of the paleo diet:

Breakfast

- Green smoothie, consisting of spinach, kale, banana, pear and milk (I use regular milk as soya milk made no difference for me)
- Satsuma and apple
- Eat Natural cereal bar
- Coffee (thankfully, giving up caffeine did nothing for me!)
- Actimel probiotic drink

Lunch

- Salad with a lot of protein

Dinner

- Something simple, which usually consists of protein and massive amounts of vegetables.

Throughout the day, I snack on nuts, dried fruit, green tea and dark chocolate. I also get a Graze box delivered once a week which is great for combating the 3:00 slump!

As for the antibiotics, I'm only planning on taking them for the 12-16 week course then letting the Differin continue to work its magic. I did a Candida cleanse a few months ago (again, no difference), and I'm planning on another one at Easter when my antibiotics course is finished.




I was on the same stuff (Differin / Doxy) early this year. I started to see improvement after 1 month. At 12 weeks (just like they always say) I was 100% clear.
My acne remained under control up until 6 months after quitting the doxy. I think for most people it takes some time before it really kicks in.
I'm sure it'll work for you man, just keep going strong.


Thanks legato! I'm really hoping this kicks in before long...

Week 4, Day 2

Time for an update, thanks to everyone who's read my log so far! Ugh, my skins SUCKS right now. The pimples that I mentioned on my last update all went down quite quickly, but I've got loads more coming in their place and my chin looks awful. I have huge red marks and new pimples coming all over the place. On top of that, the blackheads on my nose are protruding a lot more than usual.

I really hope this is just the IB as at the moment this medication has made my acne WORSE. And not just a little worse, a LOT WORSE! In fact, right now, my skin is the worst it has ever been. I really hope it gets better before long - how long did you guys notice it took for the Differin to start to work? Also, I thought the antibiotics were supposed to calm the IB?

Thanks guys!

#5 legato

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:23 AM

I really hope this is just the IB as at the moment this medication has made my acne WORSE. And not just a little worse, a LOT WORSE! In fact, right now, my skin is the worst it has ever been. I really hope it gets better before long - how long did you guys notice it took for the Differin to start to work? Also, I thought the antibiotics were supposed to calm the IB?


i think it's just always going to be different for everyone. but 4 weeks is not enough to draw conclusions, just try to stick with it and in the meanwhile try to not obsess over your outbreak and avoid mirrors as much as you can. there's nothing you can do now anyway. i know it's super hard and i know how acne can be on your mind 24/7.
also red marks is just part of the deal.. but they will fade if you get your acne under control. i do hate redmarks and i suffer a lot from them (every single, even small, pimple leaves a few month's worth of redmark for me) but as long as i have no active acne i can definitely live with them. they will go away.

its wise that you are determined to stick with this for 12-16 weeks. i think that's a safe margin to see if this is going to be effective. it kind of saved the year 2011 for me. unfortunately differin appeared to have stopped working for me now, but who knows it'll be enough for you.

#6 Chestercool

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 11:28 AM

thanks for the comment :)

I believe acne is actually a dietary disease, Kitivan and Aches culture dont have it, that's enough evidence. I know diet doesnt work for all people, something has to be wrong, make a full blood exam, gallbladder, liver, gut,etc. You might not be absorbing all the nutrients, have a parasite, something...have you tried detoxifying? Try to change the diet and adjust it for yourself, since every body is different. In my own case i recently realized fats even healthy ones such as avocados.nuts and coconuts break me out, food allergies/intolerance aswell such as bananas and too much fructuose. Soya could be the problem, since its not good as people think, same as coffe and that natural cereal bar, have you read its ingredients? it might contain sugar, high fructuose corn syruo,etc.

#7 Feelin'SomeRhythm

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:57 AM

Week 5, Day 3

Sorry for not updating in a while, but I didn't have much to update on. Thanks to everyone who keeps viewing this log as well!

My skin still sucks - in fact, I didn't think it was possible, but it's now even worse than before. I have huge pimples all over my chin and my forehead is covered in massive red spots. To top it all off my normally clear cheeks are also now starting to break out as well.

I really cannot believe how bad this has become, it's taking a massive massive dent on my self-esteem - I just really want this to be over, or at least to get back to how it looked pre-differin/doxycycline.

I'm genuinely starting to believe that this stuff is doing nothing for me but making me worse even though I know it's supposed to work this way. Roll on week 12! And doxycycline, PLEASE start to kick in already!!

I'll check back in in a few days again (probably around the start of the 6th week) to let you guys know how much better (or, more realistically, how much worse) my skin gets.

#8 leelowe1

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:52 AM

Feelin, i am 5 weeks into my regimen too and my acne has definitely gotten worse since then. I plan on giving it a good 12 weeks since my follow up derm appointment is at the end of month 3 anyway. I am on Ziana, Aczone and Finacea and this routine is a real pain in the @$$. I am also trying to eat better with green smoothies every morning, organic meats, complex carbs and cutting out gluten, sugar (except for those in fruits and naturally occurring in foods such as almonds) and dairy. So far, no difference. Good luck with your regimen and keep on posting!

#9 Feelin'SomeRhythm

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 03:57 AM

Hey guys, sorry for taking ages to update this log: I got busy and, unfortunately, things don't seem to have changed much.

Week 8, Day 7

Well, as of tomorrow I will have been on this regimen for 8 full weeks. As it stands at the moment, I have seen no improvement whatsoever, if anything my skin has got worse. This is incredibly depressing that I'm this far into treatment and I'm still not seeing results. I'm back to see my GP tomorrow for a refill of the prescription so I'll what they have to say. I'm still going to stick with it for the full course, it's just really depressing that at 20 years old my skin is at the worst it has ever been and doesn't show any signs of letting up.

#10 leelowe1

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 06:43 AM

Feelin, don't feel too bad. I am week 9 of my regimen and just had an outbreak of 7 inflammed bumps overnight. Give it 3 to 4 mmonths before you decided to chuck it. I don't think it's the norm to see results before then, for the majority.

#11 envill

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:42 PM

Good luck! I'm also taking Doxycycline for a month and apply Differin with Basiron.

How much are you prescribed to take this antibiotics? I heard it should be taken from 6 to 12 weeks

Edited by envill, 25 January 2012 - 12:42 PM.


#12 Feelin'SomeRhythm

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:49 AM

Wow, I haven't updated this log in quite a while, so here goes:

Week 17, Day 4

I know, I know, this is an incredibly overdue update, but it's only right to come back and update any readers on how my skin is now doing, almost 10 weeks since I last updated. I've now being on the Differin for just over 3 full calendar months and the Doxy for just over 3 and half month calendar months.

Let's get right to it: my skin does look a lot better than it did 10 weeks ago. Now, I'm honestly not sure whether this is down to the Differin/Doxy on one of the many other things I've been doing to help combat this thing, but more on that in a moment.

The pustules and papules on my chin have really calmed down and now all that is left is red marks (scars?) from the original acne. They don't appear to be active and, while they are still noticeable, my skin is very smooth over them.

The cheeks are still just about clear (they always have been), with the exception of quite a few icepick scars which have developed on the sides closest to my nose. They used to be blackheads there and something has got rid of them!

My forehead is still looking a bit angry but, like my chin, it's smoothed out quite a bit and the number of actives has significantly decreased.

The key is, something I've been doing has been working! (again, more on that in a moment)

Unfortunately, skin being on this regimen, my skin tone has become completely messed up and uneven. While before I had a face covered in active acne, the good skin which surrounded it looked very healthy, now it doesn't. What's more, shaving actually seems to be more irritating now than it ever has!

So, what have I been doing that could have possibly helped? Here's a list and my thoughts, one by one, on each:

Differin

It's very possible this has, at least, had something to do with it - the way my skin has "cleared" (and I use that word lightly) is reminiscent of how Differin apparently works. I just can't understand how some areas of my face are still breaking out and others aren't, despite using it all over my face.

Doxycycline

I'm very sceptical that this has helped. I was on Oxytetracycline for so long and became immune to it so I'll be surprised if this has worked. However, I can remember when I did start taking Oxy, it took from October 2009 until March 2010 until I saw any results at all, so I do perhaps just need to give it more time. If I go by this timetable, it should kick in around May 2012!

Fibre + Probiotics

A thread in the severe acne forum inspired me to try this. While I don't think it's particularly helped my skin, it's sorted my digestion right out and the probiotics are brilliant at sorting out the damage caused by the antibiotics.

NOW Foods Candida Clear / Candida diet

Tried these for a few weeks along with the candida challenge hosted at the Love Vitamin. Stopped after 4 weeks as they were expensive and the diet was extremely restrictive and saw no difference at all.

Gluten free diet

Ditto as above!

Lemon juice

Now, this is surprising, but I really do think lemon juice has something to do with this! A couple of weeks before I started to get "clear" (again, I use that word lightly) I started drinking pure, unconcentrated lemon juice in the morning and evening - flash forward a few weeks later and my skin is looking good! My university term finished on Friday and I didn't bother bringing any lemon juice home with me as I didn't think it was doing anything as it seems so bizarre - well, since coming home last Saturday, I have started to break out slightly more with a number of new pimples on my chin, forehead (especially) and cheeks. I'm heading to the store later today to pick some more up as it all seems to add up - here's hoping!

Manuka Honey

Like the lemon juice I've being applying a topical manuka honey mask for a few weeks now, every other day. I can't say whether it's helped or not as I haven't stopped it yet, however if it has helped it doesn't explain why I've had a couple of recent breakouts. I'll keep it going until I've finished the jar (I've probably got another 4-6 weeks worth) and then see what happens.

And there you have it, you're all up to date! I will no doubt check in again at some point over the next 1-2 weeks to let you all know are things are going. I'd love to hear your thoughts! Right, now I really have to crack on with this paper I'm supposed to be writing...

Edited by Feelin'SomeRhythm, 22 March 2012 - 07:51 AM.