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I Have Acne Everywhere

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#1 kittykatty

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 08:39 PM

I have acne everywhere....well, almost.
Upper arms, chest, back, neck, face, butt......Mostly I have little whiteheads that make a pop sound......something I'm totally addicted to. Ugh. I "love" popping pimples and picking at my skin. It's like an OCD nervous habit. I like the sound and the feel of the pop on my fingers. Sometimes my skin is really itchy, too, especially on my upper arms, it feels very tight. On my lower arms I get these little bumps that sometimes itch. They pop with a tiny bit of clear fluid, then usually continue to itch a lot, end up as red scabs. Mostly because I pick at them. From the waist up, the higher you go, the more oily I get. My back and shoulders even leave a residue on my hands.

I'm 32, f, caucasian, height/weight proportionate, have the Mirena IUD (no periods/PMS), take Wellbutrin, weaning myself off Zoloft. No allergies that I know of. Live in Michigan, work in an office. Not really stressed. My skin turns red at the slightest touch; I'm a redhead with gross white skin that never tans; I'm either red or white. I do wear sunscreen and try to wash it off as soon as I can after getting out of the sun. I stick to SPF 50.

I wash my face morning and evening, more if I feel gross. Sometimes use a toner during the day to clean up oil and shine. I wash my hands a lot, too. I shower in the mornings before work, wash my hair daily or it gets too oily. I LOVE using a Buff-Puff or natural sponge to exfoliate. I think it feels so good to scrape off the top layer of gunk on my skin. I do it maybe once a week. It's like scratching an itch and it makes me feel really clean.

I've tried every product, line, manufacturer. Proactiv worked awesome......for the first 2 months or so. Then it stopped working. Proactiv body wash still helps somewhat. Currently my method is: using up all the 1/2 bottles of face products because I hate to be wasteful. None of them work. Spot pimple gel/cream helps, so does Burts Bees Tea Tree Oil roll-on, and wiping with hydrogen peroxide also helps dry up the pimples--something I do only as a last resort, like my most recent breakout because of the super high temps. I just exploded with bumps. If I use a spot acne treatment on my bikini line after shaving, it helps cut down on the after-acne. I think my underware makes it worse though.

Face: tiny whiteheads, bigger pimples that hurt, no cysts or anything severe, terribly oily, pores on nose and chin constantly look and are clogged, even get pimples in my eyebrows and right above the eyelid

Neck: tiny whiteheads, mostly under the ears, sides of neck

Back of neck: sometimes larger pimples, fairly infrequent

Chest: tiny whiteheads, clogged pores, red bumps

Back: tiny whiteheads mostly on shoulderblades/shoulders, some larger pimples

Butt: larger whiteheads--don't really care because no one sees my butt; wish I could "send" all my other pimples to go live on my butt; that would make me happy

I know picking is my biggest problem.....I don't know how to stop it. I know I should just stop when I catch myself doing it, but sometimes I don't realize I'm doing it and I've already popped and scratched.

I want to try the regimen, but I'm skeptical. Especially since the instructions seem to indicate taking a long time, just for the face alone. I don't have even 1 hour to spend each time I clean up. And my whole body needs help.

#2 *Can*I*Live*

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 09:54 PM

I have acne everywhere....well, almost.


Perhaps have you considered seeing a dermatologist? A perscription topical ointment may help you more than the ones you can find at a shop. Antibiotic capsuls may help you aswel. The most drastic thing you can do, that is if nothing else seems to work, is ask a dermatologist for a perscription for a low dosage of accutane. Although there are MANY side affects for women.

I'm a redhead


I love gingers!

butt......


.....*Smack!* :P

#3 kittykatty

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 11:25 AM

I did go to a dermatologist once, he gave me a peroxide body wash that helped. But my Proactiv body wash does about the same.

I really dont want to resort to Accutane....I feel it should be reserved for extreme cases. I just have tiny pimples compared to the huge cysts that deserve Accutane.

Plus, the side effects. I dont plan on ever getting pregnant, so the birth-defect-side-effects dont bother me. But the others do.

My breakouts seem to come and go....I will be a few weeks clear and then a few weeks nasty. But I have not recognized a rhythm. And I dont get my period (thank you, Mirena!!!!! *bows down*), so I dont think its hormone related.

I think stopping the picking is the first step, but Im literally addicted......Ive gone a day or so without picking, then I allow myself to pop only whiteheads, then I allow myself to pick dry skin away.....and I get back to fullblown picking shortly after.

#4 ClearDreaming

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 12:37 PM

The mirena is a progesterone based contraceptive, which will encourage androgens which are sometimes a cause of acne...You may want to think about whether you had acne before this, or whether when it started/ got worse co-insides with it.

As for a dermatologist, they can't force you to take accutane. If you don't want to take it, simply say that and they will spend some time trying out other treatments, after all, that is their job.

#5 kittykatty

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 02:33 PM

My acne has not changed no matter which birth control type I use. I was hoping the Pill would help clear it up, but no change no matter what I use.

The only thing I have noticed is that I was really clear for like the last 2 months. This last month Ive been broken out terribly, partly because of the 90 degree weather, sweat, excess oil, etc.. The only things that changed were: I got a new job and started eating lunch out and drinking more soda. (No fridge at work, so no way to keep food/juices. Fridge arriving soon. Only change I anticipate is dropping a few pounds.)

#6 Green Gables

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 03:48 PM

My acne has not changed no matter which birth control type I use. I was hoping the Pill would help clear it up, but no change no matter what I use.

The only thing I have noticed is that I was really clear for like the last 2 months. This last month Ive been broken out terribly, partly because of the 90 degree weather, sweat, excess oil, etc.. The only things that changed were: I got a new job and started eating lunch out and drinking more soda. (No fridge at work, so no way to keep food/juices. Fridge arriving soon. Only change I anticipate is dropping a few pounds.)


Don't take this the wrong way, but hormones are tricky. I'm sure you haven't tried EVERY type of birth control pill. Each brand has slightly different mixes of hormones. The tiniest difference in hormone proportion can affect your acne greatly. Since MOST females find the best clearance through hormonal treatment, you're selling yourself short if you make some blase statement like "no change no matter what I use." We don't have some magic cure, so I'm not sure what you want. If you're simply UNWILLING to change your birth control and explore hormonal options, just say so, and we can tell you what your topical treatment options are. But don't make some silly, blatantly untrue statement that you've tried every type of hormonal birth control.

This is partially directed at you, and partially directed at the sheer number of people who come on here with "blah blah blah I TRIED EVERYTHING I NEED A MAGIC CURE" attitude Posted Image

Here are my suggestions:

1) Take a serious look at your acne before and after the Mirena. High progesterone is known through numerous studies to cause acne. Anecdotally, I have a friend who had acne and weight gain from the Mirena. She really didn't want to change because she loved no periods. But 40 pounds later, she finally had it removed and is able to lose weight and control her acne.
2) Which pill were you on? Only moderate/high estrogen pills are shown to consistently clear acne.
3) How do you eat? Dairy naturally has a lot of growth hormones, that in adults who don't need to grow, cause growth in other places...such as lesions on your face. Sugar and refined carbs stimulate an excessive insulin response, which stimulates acne.
4) Vitamins? Deficiencies in certain vitamins can contribute (D-3, B-5, Zinc, Magnesium, are a few) to skin problems

Edited by Green Gables, 20 July 2012 - 03:59 PM.


#7 lneller

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 12:17 PM

I got the Mirena last fall and caused me to break out in cysts. I had it removed in 2 months. I would highly suggest you think about removing it and get on ortho tri Cyclen or another similar birth control pill. Skin has cleared up tremendously!!!!!

#8 Ivy.

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 12:07 PM

Your situation sounds similar to mine. I didn't normally get whiteheads but I quit smoking 6 weeks ago and ever since then I'v been getting whiteheads on my face. Plus the hot / humid weather is NOT helping me at all. I am also on zoloft (I have body dysmorphic disorder).

My backs broken out alot this summer, alot of tiny little clogged pores and bumps, whiteheads, and I get quite afew painful large acne bumps.

I also had / have a picking problem. I quit picking for 6 months, but recently started up again due to breaking out on my face alot, and the whiteheads....I cannot walk around with whiteheads on my face.

What are you using to cleanse your face? and what type of sunscreen are you using?


also, try and change your bedding frequently...I find I break out alot if I sweat during the night.

I just recently started to try some new things, as I was using Benzamycin (a topical antibiotic with benzoyl peroxide), but I believe it has stopped working...

I'v been using neutrogena's 3 in 1 stress control hydrating treatment (a very liquidy gel with 2% SA), and I can't tell if it's doing much yet, as it's only been a week, but it hasn't been breaking me out either, so i'm going to keep using it. And I also just got a oil cleanser from shiseido which I am hoping will prove to be effective at getting excess oil from my pores / remove my shiseido 50 spf sunscreen.

also, to help with the picking...it helps to not go SO close to the mirror (like 3 inches away)...and try and look at yourself as a whole instead of each individual blemish. I have made alot of scars on my face the last month or so from picking...I know it's hard to quit because it's reinforcing to get the crap out of the pore >.<

#9 kittykatty

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:20 AM

I got the Mirena last fall and caused me to break out in cysts. I had it removed in 2 months. I would highly suggest you think about removing it and get on ortho tri Cyclen or another similar birth control pill. Skin has cleared up tremendously!!!!!


In the months/years before getting the Mirena, I was on a BCPill. I don't even know what kind/name anymore. After being on at least 5-8 different BCP's (some were Ortho-Tri Cyclen and its off-shoots), I can't remember the names anymore. Some are also discontinued.

And I have no changes to my skin before/during/after usage of the Pill. I believe after trying multiple pills over the course of 10 years, I can safely say that. Unfortunately I cannot be without some form of BC because of my wacky periods. I am pretty unwilling to quit Mirena for many personal/medical reasons. I asked my ob-gyn about it a couple weeks ago, she advised me NOT to remove the Mirena, even to switch to the copper IUD.

I'm glad you found a solution for your skin!

Edited by kittykatty, 25 July 2012 - 09:31 AM.


#10 kittykatty

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:23 AM

Your situation sounds similar to mine. I didn't normally get whiteheads but I quit smoking 6 weeks ago and ever since then I'v been getting whiteheads on my face. Plus the hot / humid weather is NOT helping me at all. I am also on zoloft (I have body dysmorphic disorder).

My backs broken out alot this summer, alot of tiny little clogged pores and bumps, whiteheads, and I get quite afew painful large acne bumps.

I also had / have a picking problem. I quit picking for 6 months, but recently started up again due to breaking out on my face alot, and the whiteheads....I cannot walk around with whiteheads on my face.

What are you using to cleanse your face? and what type of sunscreen are you using?


also, try and change your bedding frequently...I find I break out alot if I sweat during the night.

I just recently started to try some new things, as I was using Benzamycin (a topical antibiotic with benzoyl peroxide), but I believe it has stopped working...

I'v been using neutrogena's 3 in 1 stress control hydrating treatment (a very liquidy gel with 2% SA), and I can't tell if it's doing much yet, as it's only been a week, but it hasn't been breaking me out either, so i'm going to keep using it. And I also just got a oil cleanser from shiseido which I am hoping will prove to be effective at getting excess oil from my pores / remove my shiseido 50 spf sunscreen.

also, to help with the picking...it helps to not go SO close to the mirror (like 3 inches away)...and try and look at yourself as a whole instead of each individual blemish. I have made alot of scars on my face the last month or so from picking...I know it's hard to quit because it's reinforcing to get the crap out of the pore >.<


We definitely sound alike, right down to the body dismorphic disorder. Posted Image
I don't smoke, but congratulations on quitting!!!! My husband quit after 20+ years, so I know how much of a challenge and accomplishment that is!!!

To cleanse, right now I use whatever's in my cabinets. I've tried so many brands without consistent results, I'm just using up the 1/2-empty bottles I have left because I don't want to be wasteful. I DID have awesome results with Proactiv for 2-3 months, but then it seemed to quit working. I am considering giving it another try. I liked the products themselves a lot, they are very gentle and soothing, imo.

I have tried the following brands: Neutrogena, Estee Lauder, Acne Free, Proactiv, Origins, Clean & Clear, Boots No. 7, Burts Bees acne system, Biore, St. Ives, Clearasil, Oxy, Noxema, Mario Badescu (which is really gentle, btw), homemade (organic) products.....those are the ones I can remember.

I suppose I could try Yes To, Zapzyt, Clinique, Aveeno, Olay, Alba, Murad, olive oil, Acne.org Regimen........

I only use sunscreen when I am at the beach or can't find shade, which is not often. And as soon as I don't need the sunscreen, I wash it off. I burn in about 15 minutes in the sun, so I tend to use SPF 50 and higher. I am indoors the majority of each day, so I don't need sunscreen in a moisturizer or anything.

I also don't wear makeup except for eyeliner, mascara, and concealer. Foundation looks good for the first 30 mins and then starts to disappear. I have yet to find a foundation that works with all the oil on my face. But, if I have clear skin, I don't find a need for foundation......I tried Bare Escentuals once, the colors would change on my face (powder was purple--turned orange once applied, etc.) and made me majorly break out. Good thing they had cheap trial sizes and I didn't waste much money on it.

I do stand super close to the mirror, which I know I have to quit doing. I'm just terribly self-critical. Posted Image

I am actually working on a tattoo design for my shoulders and upper back because I figure that's the most reliable way of hiding my bacne I've found so far. Posted Image But I have to get my skin healed up because there's no way a tattoo artist will put his needles on scabs or pimples.

Edited by kittykatty, 25 July 2012 - 10:24 AM.


#11 ClearDreaming

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 02:42 PM

I honestly think if you have wacky periods you could have hormonal imbalances that could be causing the acne. it might be wise to work out what these are and correct them individually instead of masking them with BC.

#12 kittykatty

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 05:07 PM

I have briefly considered a hystorectomy, which would get rid of the stupid periods AND the need for BC. Havent thought a lot about it....not sure if my ob would even consider an elective one.

My ob told me to stay ON BC. So thats what Im going with. Obviously, after all the tests she put me through, she knows better than I.

#13 helpfulheart

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 06:35 PM

Have you tried adjusting your diet (seeing how you respond to dairy, sugar, etc)? I know my chest and back cleared up when I stopped eating so much sugar.