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Wont Differin Just Make Me Keep Purging?


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#1 chelslaw

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 03:38 PM

So my Dr. prescribed me Differin .01% gel for my acne. Its hormonal. All on my chin/jawline. Mostly large inflamed bumps that hang around for a while.

I dont eat gluten, very limited dairy, caffeine, alcohol.

I also take b complex, d, probiotics and saw palmetto.

I have been doing Dans Regimen and it kind of helps but it just seems at times that my chin area is almost infected and every single bump I get is really red and inflamed.

I believe that Differin will help my skin cycle speed up and shed faster (which I think means clearer pores) however, if the problem is hormones wont that mean that I will just keep purging over and over again?

Any females with hormonal nodular acne have success with this?

Dr also prescribed 8 weeks of Bactrim/Septra (antibiotics) to help with the initial breakout.

I'm thinking of trying this out but maybe wanting to wait til after xmas (holiday parties, family gatherings etc) before giving it a go- I'm scared!

#2 SendMeAngels

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 07:40 PM

Hey there! You and I are in similar situations. I have had acne since the age of 12 (I am 25 now) and there is still no sign of it going away. My dermatologist continues to throw topicals my way (the last one being Retin A Micro) and I will be the first to say that if your acne is hormonal, a topical won't do much good because the problem is very internal. The Differin may heal pimples faster, but it won't resolve the underlying problem.

I have been on Retin A for 14 weeks, and I still have acne just like I did before I started it. In fact, I woke up with two new chin pimples this morning, and I am sure there will be more tomorrow. My advice to you is this: get on a birth control pill or an anti-androgen. Preferably the latter. Your wonky hormones will keep producing pimples until they are regulated, and the Differin won't prevent the hormonal pimples from coming.

#3 chelslaw

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 09:32 PM

Thanks! Sounds like we are in the same boat.

My dr wont prescribe me spiro, maybe I'll go back to my derm and talk about it

I have been taking Saw Palmetto, natural anti androgen (320mg daily) for just over 2 weeks now, so based on advice on here, I want to give that a fair shot first since an herbal vitamin is much safer for long term use vs a sythentic anti androgen. I am told at least 3 months before I evaluate it. So I guess I'll wait and see!

Are you taking spiro? I've been taking Ortho Tri Cyclen for about 14 years now and when I was a teen it made my acne much better. But then my skin just went to hell (my chin/jaw specifically) since 2010 (so 2 years now) and is slowly getting worse I think...

So frustrating. Even if I got prescribed spiro and took that, its not a solution forever, only works when you take it and I dont think any meds are safe to take for the rest of your life right.. I was hoping no gluten and low dairy/alcohol/caffeine would help too, but nothing too noticable!

#4 annieee

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:42 PM

I have the same problem both of you girls have! I have 2 questions for both of you. First, have you tried going on the pill? I'm considering it. Ironic I tried other birth control methods only to avoid it and having to end up taking it cause of th adult acne. Anyway! I'd like to know what's your experience with it.
Second question: do you girls follow this 'regime' this site's recommnding? I only found out about it watching a youtube video where a girl was describing her acne problem and getting rid of it following this regime for about 6 months. She seemed to be still on it. And hr problem was just like mine. When I was in HS I had rarely if ever any breakout. Maybe 3 pimples per year. It started getting bad after I turned 20 more or less. I couldn't pinpoint it exactly, but it's been years with it and I'm so desperate I might start taking the pill.

#5 SendMeAngels

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:33 PM

Chelslaw:

I had to go to my OBGYN to get the Spironolactone. My dermatologist refused to give it to me, despite evidence that my acne would respond best to hormonal treatments. So it did take some fighting on my part to get it. And studies have shown that it's an effective, safe medication for long term use. But if you can get by with a holistic approach, even better!

I personally did not like taking oral contraceptives, and I won't ever use them again (I'm looking into getting the ParaGard). Nothing specific happened to make me not like them, I just felt different, and I had a hard time with that. And they didn't help at all with my acne. I was taking 100mg of Spiro, and I increased the dosage to 150mg, because the 100 wasn't clearing me completely. But this medication is a godsend and has helped tremendously (even with my former bacne).

My only qualms with it are: irregular menstrual cycles. It has made my cycles go from 28-30 days to 48-52 days. My doctor told me I should take it with birth control to correct it, but I never filled the prescription. I was tested for hormone problems, and everything came back normal except my LH and FSH levels which were not high, but were at an uneven ratio. What this means is that I'm not ovulating. She speculates that the Spironolactone has something to do with this, since there were no problems with this prior.

Have you tried taking Zinc supplements? It didn't work for me, but it may help you.

Annieee:

I'm sorry you're struggling with acne, it's awful isn't it? There are so many treatments, and it takes such a long time going through each one of them. But to answer your question, I have not tried the regimen. Benzoyl Peroxide (unless I am spot treating) is too strong for my skin. I tend to get a lot of irritation when I use it, and I end up breaking out even more. But if your skin is less sensitive, you could try it!

But from what you are telling me, your acne sounds hormonal. If you are comfortable going the birth control route, you may want to try that and see if it works. But give it three months before you call it quits. I know ortho tri and Yaz (though I think this has been recalled) have been approved for treating acne.

I'm a huge advocate for the hormonal treatments, simply because I've had hormone troubles myself, and I've seen women have acne that is persistent and resistant to conventional treatments. If you have any suspicion that you are having hormone related troubles, your best bet is to get those sorted out, and as you do that, your acne should resolve.

#6 chelslaw

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:05 PM

ive taken zinc for a long time and just recently stopped because of some research i came across that suggests that zinc elevated testosterone in women.

im pretty sure i have adrenal fatigue (not sure if that means treating acne any differently)

i just dont think i want to take spiro. i get anxious just taking antibiotics when/if i need them. i get anxious when i had to take lorazepan lol which is for anxiety. i dont like taking stuff- and based on a ton of comments on this forum, many women experience depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, liver issues etc. i know its a godsend and im jealous that i just cant take it and not feel bad or anxious about it, but i have a history of anxiety and i just dont think im willing to risk my living for my skin. to put it into perspective for me, skin is cosmetic, liver is necessary...

if that makes any sense. so im trying out any other options that i can. giving saw palmetto a good chance though. at least 90 days. and im not even 3 weeks in yet.

#7 annieee

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:02 PM

Chelslaw:

I had to go to my OBGYN to get the Spironolactone. My dermatologist refused to give it to me, despite evidence that my acne would respond best to hormonal treatments. So it did take some fighting on my part to get it. And studies have shown that it's an effective, safe medication for long term use. But if you can get by with a holistic approach, even better!

I personally did not like taking oral contraceptives, and I won't ever use them again (I'm looking into getting the ParaGard). Nothing specific happened to make me not like them, I just felt different, and I had a hard time with that. And they didn't help at all with my acne. I was taking 100mg of Spiro, and I increased the dosage to 150mg, because the 100 wasn't clearing me completely. But this medication is a godsend and has helped tremendously (even with my former bacne).

My only qualms with it are: irregular menstrual cycles. It has made my cycles go from 28-30 days to 48-52 days. My doctor told me I should take it with birth control to correct it, but I never filled the prescription. I was tested for hormone problems, and everything came back normal except my LH and FSH levels which were not high, but were at an uneven ratio. What this means is that I'm not ovulating. She speculates that the Spironolactone has something to do with this, since there were no problems with this prior.

Have you tried taking Zinc supplements? It didn't work for me, but it may help you.

Annieee:

I'm sorry you're struggling with acne, it's awful isn't it? There are so many treatments, and it takes such a long time going through each one of them. But to answer your question, I have not tried the regimen. Benzoyl Peroxide (unless I am spot treating) is too strong for my skin. I tend to get a lot of irritation when I use it, and I end up breaking out even more. But if your skin is less sensitive, you could try it!

But from what you are telling me, your acne sounds hormonal. If you are comfortable going the birth control route, you may want to try that and see if it works. But give it three months before you call it quits. I know ortho tri and Yaz (though I think this has been recalled) have been approved for treating acne.

I'm a huge advocate for the hormonal treatments, simply because I've had hormone troubles myself, and I've seen women have acne that is persistent and resistant to conventional treatments. If you have any suspicion that you are having hormone related troubles, your best bet is to get those sorted out, and as you do that, your acne should resolve.


Oh I hate it! I barely remember how my skin looks when it's completely clear. Mine's definitely hormonal and my skin is quite sensitive. My cycles aren't regular either. Rarely I get it after 28 days exactly. It's always around 30 days more or less. Maybe a week later, but rarely. I'm just panicking a bit about going on the pill cause if I'm lucky and get rid of it I'd be unable to stop cause if I did my acne would be back with a vengeance. The idea of depending on a med for years and years to come makes me anxious :s Have you ever experienced getting acne back or smply never stopped taking the pill to prevent it from happening?

@ chelslaw
I so get what you mean about taking meds. I'd be anxious too even if it's only 3 weeks having started it. Wish you success with it ♥

#8 SendMeAngels

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:43 PM

Acne is the bane of our existence, that's for sure. And I don't think people who don't have it realize how much it depletes our self-esteem. We present our faces to the world, and it's embarrassing having a face full of bumps. Especially as adults.

For me, the birth control medications didn't have an impact on my acne at all, so when I was on it, my skin did not clear, and when I stopped taking it, I did not break out because it never worked in the first place. The last birth control pill I took I stopped taking in March, and I was acne free at that point, but that was because of the Spironolactone. If the birth control pill DOES work for you, it is highly likely that once you stop taking the pill, your acne will come back soon after.

Also, your cycles don't sound particularly irregular to me. 30 days isn't abnormal. Now if you had said you were going 60 days between periods or were having one every few days, then I would be concerned. But you sound fairly normal to me. But that doesn't mean your acne isn't hormone related and you could very well be sensitive to androgens, and that may be what is breaking you out.

If you really are against taking hormonal medications, start by cutting dairy products completely out of your diet. There are hormones in milk products (most come from pregnant cows after all) and see if that helps. Give it a month or two though, as it will take some time for you to see results if it is going to work for you.


Because you are apprehensive about taking the hormonal pill route, so I would suggest that you cut the dairy out of your diet and start taking the Differin. But be forewarned that you will likely break out for the first 3-4 months that you are on it. I am on 14 weeks of Retin A Micro, and my face is a mess. I have only two active pimples, but the medication left me with severe PiH that takes months to fade.

#9 annieee

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:36 PM

I have never taken the pill. Always tried to avoid it, even when I was in high school and my periods were pretty irregular. Stress related most likely, I didn't have it for months, and as vacations time was approaching, it'd come back lol. The doctor suggested them but I didn't want it. I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic so the idea of adding another med to be hooked up for life wasn't attractive, to say the least! Another reason why I'm checking online for alternatives to get rid of or control the acne. My dermatholigist basically said that if acne was the worst consequence of being diabetic I should be grateful lol. She prescribed antibiotics and a few other things (can't recall the medication name) but to treat it for a month. It made no difference whatsoever.
Although I've read insulin and sugar levels could cause acne, in my case it didn't start til many years after I was diagnosed with diabetes. Even when most kids get their acne, I was acne free completely and was already diabetic. My sugar levels are more in control now than they ever been before.

Because you are apprehensive about taking the hormonal pill route, so I would suggest that you cut the dairy out of your diet and start taking the Differin. But be forewarned that you will likely break out for the first 3-4 months that you are on it. I am on 14 weeks of Retin A Micro, and my face is a mess. I have only two active pimples, but the medication left me with severe PiH that takes months to fade.


I wouldn't mind having bad brekouts if it means it eventually will be under control, even though my acne seems to be mild for what 've read in the forum so far. Cutting diary sounds like the hardest part, still it's worth a shot!