First of all I'd like to apologize in advance for any language errors I am surely going to unwillingly commit in this post - english is not my mother language and sometimes I still find it hard to express myself in a correct way. I can only hope my lack of abilities won't distort the message itself and you still will be able to understand me just fine.
Secondly I find some uneasiness in myself writing all of this. Maybe because I am still, somewhere deep inside, afraid that the solution that worked so well for me suddenly, one day, will cease to give me all its benefits? Maybe because I still cannot believe that, after 10 years, I can be acne-free? Whatever the source of my eneasiness may be, I decided to share with you all my history and my regimen, which brought me from severe acne to clear skin - because I think i owe you - acne.org community and every acne-sufferer - this.
Before I start, word of advice; you can find the regimen itself and overall sumarize down at the bottom of this post - if you wish to skip whole background story and just get straight to the point. I also attached some of the online sources for your own research.
I'm a male and I recently became old enough to write in this section. My acne started around age of 15 and to say it was an erruption would not be an exaggeration. I literally exploded in whiteheads, blemishes, zits and all kinds of skin-issues. I still find it funny when I see posts on acne.org like: "horrible acne, please help!" and inside I see a photo of three zits and one bump on otherwise clean and healthy skin. They do not know what horrible acne is; let me put it like this - in my case I was able to count clean little patches of my skin with one hand only. Rest was just a total mess.
My journey to the realm of clear skin started at the dermatologist, who proposed some sort of topical treatment - as far as I remember it was Zinerit. It quickly appeared my skin is very reactive and doesn't like chemical stuff - I cannot count how many acids, topical creams, sprays and other stuff I was ordered to put on myself by plethora of doctors, all in vain. Nothing worked, my skin got only worse, irritated by all of those harsh components and month after month I was just circling between different specialists and pharmacies, without any result whatsoever.
After that "topical era" of mine, somewhere around 17-18 of age, one doctor proposed some sort of pills - if I looked hard enough through some of the names in that forum, I would probably be able to recognize it now, but it doesn't matter. What matter is I reacted to them even worse than to the topical treatment - all the time I felt terrible fatigue, back pains, headaches, dry lips and all sort of unpleasant issues. I would endure it, but that was the time where I got myself hard into sports - martial art and combat sports - and my performance was greatly hindered. Plus, the effects still weren't that great - after some time I developed resistance to those antibiotics and everything came back to the starting point.
At that time I gave up all professional medical treatment, in fact - all treatment at all. I just let acne be and until 20-21, I did absolutely nothing about the subject. I would countinue to not give a damn about it even further, but around that age, my acne changed. It migrated from my forehead and cheeks to my jawline, neck and T-zone. It also changed the appearance - I developed, what I later found out to be, cysts and nodules. Quickly they became a real scourge - huge, extremely painful, they even wouldn't let me sleep. I was covering all my shirts with blood and puss on the daily basis. My neck was full of them, I had to desperetly grow a beard, because it was just too much. It was a nightmare, which I decided to fight.
But this time, richer by my previous experience with "professional" treatment, I picked up different approach. I started my ongoing research for "over-the-counter", "home" remedies. And boy, I did tons of them.
First there was again a "topical era". I was covering myself with apple vinegar, tumeric powder, baking soda, sulfur soaps, salt from Dead Sea, salicylic acid, tomatos and God knows what else. I dedicated each regimen two months for try-out; after not seeing any results, I would move to another. Almost two years have passed, still without any major improvement. Then the enlightement arrived - I realized the stubborn nature of my skin issues is not a coincidence and what I was trying to do all the time was just to cover the symptoms, not the issue itself, which has to lie within my own body.
Here comes "internal era" of my own research history. This time I was stuffing myself with vitamin D, zinc, vitamin C, fish oil, vitamin A, beta-caroten, herbs, coal pills, psyllium husks for colon cleaning and tons of other stuff; once again, I gave each solution around two months, then I'd switch to another. I was trying overdosing, combining the components of different regimens and many other - not exactly safe - experiments. But its not important, since the bottom line is: I still reached nothing in the subject of my problem.
Then, around year ago, I found out the Niacin treatment. I gave it a usual two months of tryout, dosing myself daily with 500mg and suffering some major temporary blemishes and erruptions of redness. And... all my cystic acne was gone! I couldn't believe it, but it was true - my neck was clear, no bumps filled with puss, no pain, just some ugly scars, but that's a detail. I was happy, but I decided I need to follow this and finish the battle I started - because still I got other types of acne.
The turning point for me was finding out info about panthotenic acid (B5) - the testimonies looked very promising and I was ready to give it a try, but the dosages were just insane! Typical regime contained around 10G (yes, G, not MG) of B5 daily! This appeared far too extreme to me; in fact, even if I would like to try it, I would quickly went bankrupt buying all the pills (maximum dosage per pill I found was 500mg). But after doing more and more researching, I found out that there is a way out of it, much safer and much more available.
L-Cysteine is suppose to greatly enhance the effectiveness of B5, thus lowering its dosage to the managable, absolutely safety point, at the same time sustaining all its beneficial power of combating acne. By better internal fat-managament and shrinking size of oil-pores in the skin, the envoirnment for acne bacteria to grow is falling apart. It was also adviced to pick up some topical treatment, just as an aid, to attack acne from both sides. That was the theory. How it went in the practice?
After first 2 weeks I realized my skin is getting smoother and smoother. For topical treatment, I picked up old good tea tree oil. 4th week was a great acne erruption - I prayed to all gods of heaven and hell for this to be a inital breakout, due to bacteria rapid reproduction, as a response to their dying envoirnment. And after two more weeks I realized gods were merciful indeed - I realized that, for the first time in almost 10 years, I have no active acne and all red spots are just reminescence of the previous acne activity.
I don't like to get myself hyped, so I waited. Another week. One, two little bumps. Another week. One zit. Skin is healing at rapid pace. Old wounds are healing. Scars are fading. Another week. Nothing new is forming. Redness is in full retreat.
Nothing new is forming.
That was like a revelation. I still, even now, read these words and do not believe: "nothing new is forming". It's been a few months right now and I feel like I am in the new skin. I have no active acne. Zit or two per week is the most I get, but they are small and unnoticable. For the guy like me, who arrived from the land of 10 cysts on his neck - this is a miracle. I didn't develope any "resistance", regimen still works like a charm, keeping everything in check.
Here it is, in a nutshell, daily:
- 500mg L-Cysteine
- ~1000mg B5
- 500mg niacin
- tea tree oil spray
* you want to take your L-Cysteine at the empty stomach, I take mine right after I wake up.
* as every vitamins, you want to spread their intake through day as much as you can. You also want to take them with meals.
* as for tea tree oil spray, I dilute ~10 drops of it into 35ml of water and spray such a mixture all over my acne area. I do it right after I wake up, after every shower and right before the bedtime. It smells nice and it doesn't stain anything.
* you may want to add some B-complex pill into it, since B vitamins tend to work together well and one being at higher level may "drain" the levels of other, thus leading to deficiency
* NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) suppose to be better, more stable form of Cysteine. In my experience though, it doesn't "do the trick" of "normal" L-Cysteine.
* one research claimed it's good to double the mg of amount of L-Cysteine you take and take such a dosage of vitamin C. So it would be 1000mg of vitamin C daily - I do it, it cannot hurt and you cannot overdose it. Vitamin C also helps to regenerate skin
* B5 I use is in a form of calcium panthothenicum; there are others, but I never tried them
* B5 and Niacin are both B-vitamins, which are water-soluble, non-toxic and unlikely to be overdosed, since your body flush them out with urine
* 1000mg of B5 is the LOWEST recommended daily dosage you may find. Some medical sources claim even 4000mg to be suitable for adult person. Point is: you DO NOT overdose anything. That's why I put "~" sign before; you may try out some higher dosage, if you wish, without putting anything at risk.
* after few months, I found out I can lower the dosage of B5 to 500mg and put niacin aside completely; it seems to "sustain" the already done by higher doses effect. Again, you must check it for yourself, experiment.
* as usual, results may vary, working "from inside" is very individual case for each one of us. In some reported cases I found out, effects took place after 6 months. My theory is it depends of metabolism - I am very active person and I have very healthy diet, so it "got me" relatively quickly. But I strongly believe you should be able to tell the difference (even the slightest) after 5-6 weeks of following this regimen.
* you want to keep your diet clean as well, especially by reducing your daily fat intake. Exercising wouldn't hurt either.
So, 6 pills daily may be everything that stands between you and clear skin. I found this to be extremely effective for me and I cannot be such a unique individual, so I believe it may also work for many of you. I HOPE it will. If not, you have absolutely nothing to loose, and everything to gain. And please, give it AT LEAST 5-6 weeks of religiously followed try-out routine, before you claim its ineffectiveness.
I wish you all best! I may lay down my weapons after 10 years of combat. Now as I look back, I must admit, it was quite tiring and exhausting experience. But... nothing tastes better than the victory! Remember, there is ALWAYS a way. Even if what I propose turn out to be ineffective for you, SOMETHING ONE DAY will work. Just keep on searching, never give up. Greatness awaits for those who try!
Sources (some of them):
Edited by JJohn, 21 January 2012 - 11:54 AM.