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Is This Severe Acne? *pics Included* And Do Prescription Topicals Work?

severe acne cyst zinc

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#1 SpongeCake

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:12 AM

I've suffered from acne since my late teens.
I'm now 23 and was clear for a year or so when on yasmin birth control. Since coming off for health reasons I have broken out around "hormonal" area like never before.
I'm thinking that I may have poly cystic ovaries but have never been checked for them before.
I was planning to go to my GP next week and get duac gel as it worked quite well before.

I take evening primrose oil - high strength, zinc and vitamin C everyday.

I also use various topicals on my skin too.

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#2 Member1

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:21 AM

Sorry I can't help with your main question, but i'm commenting as I use Duac and it's really helping my skin and i hope it stays that way, i'm glad it worked for you as well and yes, do go and get it again! Your right jaw line doesn't seem as aggravated as the left i think it is? The way I'm looking at the pictures anyway haha. Best thing to do is to go to your GP and tell them you're not happy, don't let them prescribe you something and say of you go, too many doctors are doing this! Best of luck, i hope it clears up for you :)

#3 Elsewhere

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:24 AM

I would classify this as severe. Lots of members have had good luck with prescription topicals, but as I've only used OTC topicals, I can't give you good advice. But there are lots of people here who can!

The PCOS might have a big impact, too, if that's what you have. The hormonal impact of that particular ailment can really, really cause some big skin problems.

#4 Rawhide

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:19 AM

Looks moderate. How's your diet? Have tried cutting out dairy and grains? They're common triggers.

#5 awesomenesssquared

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

I've suffered from acne since my late teens.
I'm now 23 and was clear for a year or so when on yasmin birth control. Since coming off for health reasons I have broken out around "hormonal" area like never before.
I'm thinking that I may have poly cystic ovaries but have never been checked for them before.
I was planning to go to my GP next week and get duac gel as it worked quite well before.

I take evening primrose oil - high strength, zinc and vitamin C everyday.

I also use various topicals on my skin too.


This is neither severe acne nor is it nodulocystic. At most I would say you have mild-moderate comedonal/pustular acne.You are the perfect candidate for prescription topicals/maybe an antibiotic. Go for that duac again! Also, try not to use too many topicals, keep it simple, dont keep switching cleansers etc.

Edited by awesomenesssquared, 24 November 2012 - 01:32 PM.


#6 Michelle Reece

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

To me it looks moderate, but acne severity depends on the "quality" and quantity of pimples. The photo quality is a bit grainy as are most picutres posted on this forum, so I really can't give you the best assessment. If your acne is resistant to treatment and have a lot of bad acne on your back and chest, a dermatologist may classify it as severe.

#7 armadillo

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

It looks like moderate acne, no cysts or nodules. Because you came off birth control recently, I'm quite sure it's hormonal. Hormones go haywire after you stop birth control. Your skin might settle down in a few months by itself, unless you had acne prior to starting birth control? In that case, you might need to look into starting anti-androgens or another BC with similar effects

#8 SteamRoom

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

Seems moderate with widespread heavy red marks that may make it seem as though it is "severe" acne. I don't think it is severe. I am no expert, either.

#9 ohmygod

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

Anyone tell you that you look like Gillian Anderson?

Anyway, i have about the same amount of acne you do but on my back and shoulders and the Derm said it was severe enough to put me on accutane.

Hope this helps

#10 RNIC2

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

use M2 cream! it does wonders (first bought it after i took suggestion from this website), i also suggest moisterizing with a clinique dramatic difference gel (dosent make your skin oily) - i have VERY oily sensitive skin.

#11 samorales

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:00 AM

Natural supplements like Chaste Berry (Vitex) and Milk Thistle can help regulate hormones. Also look into anti-androgen foods for your diet. If you can, go to an endocrinologist to have your hormones measured, then you can make an educated decision

I've had hormonal acne since going off Yasmin back in 2008. I was on birth control for over 4 years, my skin STILL hasn't bounced back. Worst. Mistake.Ever. Wish I would have stuck to condoms..... hahaha :P

#12 100294

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 06:28 AM

I've suffered from acne since my late teens.
I'm now 23 and was clear for a year or so when on yasmin birth control. Since coming off for health reasons I have broken out around "hormonal" area like never before.
I'm thinking that I may have poly cystic ovaries but have never been checked for them before.
I was planning to go to my GP next week and get duac gel as it worked quite well before.

I take evening primrose oil - high strength, zinc and vitamin C everyday.

I also use various topicals on my skin too.

Why take even primose oil if your diet is probably garbage and if you're using harmful chemicals on your skin which just end up messing it up and the rest of your body as a large amount is going to be absorbed.I assume that the kind of zinc you're taking is zinc oxide which is a very low quality and poorly absorbed kind.The vitamin C is likely to be ascorbic acid extracted from GM corn and is just going to cause more problems for your body.The reason you're getting acne is from hormonal fluctuation,toxins,irritants,etc and can be diminished from not exposing yourself to those things by having low stress levels,going to bed early,not consuming processed garbage,GMOs,animal products or atleast not from diseased on tortured animals,drinking filtered water,not using cosmetics with harmful chemicals,and not bathing in unfiltered water.

#13 WishClean

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

I have similar acne with more flare ups than you do. I would stop the evening primrose oil and take less vitamin C if you are taking more than 100% of the recommended daily intake (your vitamin should state what % it is). Zinc broke me out when I was taking it, so that might also be doing more harm than good if you are taking too much of it. Get your hormones checked before taking herbs to make sure you are balancing the right hormones.

#14 hopeful26

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:34 PM

What makes you think you have PCOS? Typically women with PCOS are overweight (you don't seem to be), have facial hair ( you don't appear to have any :) and irregular cycles. If tracking ovulation, women with PCOS often don't ovulate. That being said, PCOS can come in all shapes and sizes! It would be well worth asking your physician for some hormonal blood tests (and possibly an ultrasound to confirm) if you think you might be polycystic. I know Metformin, the medication used, can work wonders for skin and overall health for women with the issue. Good luck!

Edited by hopeful26, 13 January 2013 - 02:36 PM.


#15 WishClean

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

I discovered that Europe and the US have different ways of diagnosing PCOS. Some diagnoses go by symptoms (which is an unreliable method), while others do ultrasound checking (more common in Europe) to actually see the cysts on the ovaries. In addition to hormonal tests, I would recommend doing an ultrasound with a trustworthy doctor to see if indeed you have PCOS, and how severe it is (depending on the number of ovarian cysts).

#16 Green Gables

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:57 AM

Based on the Acne After Birth Control thread, your skin probably won't get much better with time. You will have to actively use hormonal treatment to get clear skin. Based on my experience, topicals do not work. Antibiotics do, work but you can't stay on them long term like you can with hormonal birth control.

#17 hopeful26

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:08 PM


I've suffered from acne since my late teens.
I'm now 23 and was clear for a year or so when on yasmin birth control. Since coming off for health reasons I have broken out around "hormonal" area like never before.
I'm thinking that I may have poly cystic ovaries but have never been checked for them before.
I was planning to go to my GP next week and get duac gel as it worked quite well before.

I take evening primrose oil - high strength, zinc and vitamin C everyday.

I also use various topicals on my skin too.

Why take even primose oil if your diet is probably garbage and if you're using harmful chemicals on your skin which just end up messing it up and the rest of your body as a large amount is going to be absorbed.I assume that the kind of zinc you're taking is zinc oxide which is a very low quality and poorly absorbed kind.The vitamin C is likely to be ascorbic acid extracted from GM corn and is just going to cause more problems for your body.The reason you're getting acne is from hormonal fluctuation,toxins,irritants,etc and can be diminished from not exposing yourself to those things by having low stress levels,going to bed early,not consuming processed garbage,GMOs,animal products or atleast not from diseased on tortured animals,drinking filtered water,not using cosmetics with harmful chemicals,and not bathing in unfiltered water.


I just saw this comment and wanted to say how rude and unnecessary it was. Who are you to assume that her diet is garbage and that her use of chemicals is causing the acne???? That's absolutely ridiculous. There are many people who eat immaculate diets and still suffer from acne. There are all sorts of causes, many unknown or genetic, so to speak so cruelly is way out of turn. As for using chemicals, that nay not be *your* personal preference, but a lot if people (on these boards ) have had great success. In addition, such products obviously do have benefits that outweigh the harm (for *most* people) which is why doctors continue to suggest them.

100294, these boards are place for support, not criticism without a cause. Give your head a shake!
SpongeCake, please ignore that post!

#18 100294

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:22 PM



I've suffered from acne since my late teens.
I'm now 23 and was clear for a year or so when on yasmin birth control. Since coming off for health reasons I have broken out around "hormonal" area like never before.
I'm thinking that I may have poly cystic ovaries but have never been checked for them before.
I was planning to go to my GP next week and get duac gel as it worked quite well before.

I take evening primrose oil - high strength, zinc and vitamin C everyday.

I also use various topicals on my skin too.

Why take even primose oil if your diet is probably garbage and if you're using harmful chemicals on your skin which just end up messing it up and the rest of your body as a large amount is going to be absorbed.I assume that the kind of zinc you're taking is zinc oxide which is a very low quality and poorly absorbed kind.The vitamin C is likely to be ascorbic acid extracted from GM corn and is just going to cause more problems for your body.The reason you're getting acne is from hormonal fluctuation,toxins,irritants,etc and can be diminished from not exposing yourself to those things by having low stress levels,going to bed early,not consuming processed garbage,GMOs,animal products or atleast not from diseased on tortured animals,drinking filtered water,not using cosmetics with harmful chemicals,and not bathing in unfiltered water.


I just saw this comment and wanted to say how rude and unnecessary it was. Who are you to assume that her diet is garbage and that her use of chemicals is causing the acne???? That's absolutely ridiculous. There are many people who eat immaculate diets and still suffer from acne. There are all sorts of causes, many unknown or genetic, so to speak so cruelly is way out of turn. As for using chemicals, that nay not be *your* personal preference, but a lot if people (on these boards ) have had great success. In addition, such products obviously do have benefits that outweigh the harm (for *most* people) which is why doctors continue to suggest them.

100294, these boards are place for support, not criticism without a cause. Give your head a shake!
SpongeCake, please ignore that post!


"rude" When I wasn't being rude,but just stating that their diet is *probably* garbage and rather than try to suppress the effects,to get to the cause."unecessary" How so when she wants to get rid of her acne and taking pills and continuing to consume a diet consisting of mostly junk isn't going to help her acne at all and she'll end up feeling like she's done it all and there's no hope."immaculate diets" That consist of what? And you obviously didn't think to much about my initial post(since you likely have were caught up in that emotional response) as I put in other factors that will cause acne as well.And yes stress can cause acne,but that doesn't mean one should be blind to the significance of the food you're consuming causing acne."many unknown" Sure,but only because you haven't looked for the cause just as consuming garbage causing acne would be "unknown" to some and it being their cause of their skin problems would render them not knowing what caused it."genetic" Genes can be altered by the food you eat and what things you expose yourself to.I'm not "speaking cruelly",but that's just your perception of what I state."personal preference" And why do I not prefer using it? Because it's not getting down to the root cause of your acne and those chemcials are just going to cause you health problems and irritate your skin even more."have had great success" As in temporary relief and end up breaking out soon after they got "clear".That still is not getting to the root cause of your acne and you're going to be on that garbage diet and you're going to be faced with other problems other than acne in the future if you continue to be on that path.Yes because having skin irritation,more breakouts,liver issues,birth defects,etc is outweighed by the *possibility* to treat acne.And considering your body will isolate(with pus) toxins and send them to regions of the body like the skin so that they don't cause harm to rest of the body and by using something like accutane you're inhibiting the body's natural function to protect itself and pretty much changing the way the body functions and this is the reason as to why you risk having offspring with birth defects and liver damage."for support" I am supporting her and that's why I am giving her information on about going to the root cause of her skin problems and not just trying to treat it by the effects and using something at ends up causing more harm.She's the person that adopts a way of doing something and not the way of doing it itself and I wasn't going against her."criticism without a cause" Again,it wasn't against her,but what she was doing and I stated as to why.You clearly show signs of cognitive dissonance and are most likely using her as a means to cover up that you don't like what I have to say,but use the defensive that you don't like what I have to say because somehow I'm being "rude" and "ridiculous"(even though I'm not).

#19 hopeful26

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:35 AM




I've suffered from acne since my late teens.
I'm now 23 and was clear for a year or so when on yasmin birth control. Since coming off for health reasons I have broken out around "hormonal" area like never before.
I'm thinking that I may have poly cystic ovaries but have never been checked for them before.
I was planning to go to my GP next week and get duac gel as it worked quite well before.

I take evening primrose oil - high strength, zinc and vitamin C everyday.

I also use various topicals on my skin too.

Why take even primose oil if your diet is probably garbage and if you're using harmful chemicals on your skin which just end up messing it up and the rest of your body as a large amount is going to be absorbed.I assume that the kind of zinc you're taking is zinc oxide which is a very low quality and poorly absorbed kind.The vitamin C is likely to be ascorbic acid extracted from GM corn and is just going to cause more problems for your body.The reason you're getting acne is from hormonal fluctuation,toxins,irritants,etc and can be diminished from not exposing yourself to those things by having low stress levels,going to bed early,not consuming processed garbage,GMOs,animal products or atleast not from diseased on tortured animals,drinking filtered water,not using cosmetics with harmful chemicals,and not bathing in unfiltered water.


I just saw this comment and wanted to say how rude and unnecessary it was. Who are you to assume that her diet is garbage and that her use of chemicals is causing the acne???? That's absolutely ridiculous. There are many people who eat immaculate diets and still suffer from acne. There are all sorts of causes, many unknown or genetic, so to speak so cruelly is way out of turn. As for using chemicals, that nay not be *your* personal preference, but a lot if people (on these boards ) have had great success. In addition, such products obviously do have benefits that outweigh the harm (for *most* people) which is why doctors continue to suggest them.

100294, these boards are place for support, not criticism without a cause. Give your head a shake!
SpongeCake, please ignore that post!


"rude" When I wasn't being rude,but just stating that their diet is *probably* garbage and rather than try to suppress the effects,to get to the cause."unecessary" How so when she wants to get rid of her acne and taking pills and continuing to consume a diet consisting of mostly junk isn't going to help her acne at all and she'll end up feeling like she's done it all and there's no hope."immaculate diets" That consist of what? And you obviously didn't think to much about my initial post(since you likely have were caught up in that emotional response) as I put in other factors that will cause acne as well.And yes stress can cause acne,but that doesn't mean one should be blind to the significance of the food you're consuming causing acne."many unknown" Sure,but only because you haven't looked for the cause just as consuming garbage causing acne would be "unknown" to some and it being their cause of their skin problems would render them not knowing what caused it."genetic" Genes can be altered by the food you eat and what things you expose yourself to.I'm not "speaking cruelly",but that's just your perception of what I state."personal preference" And why do I not prefer using it? Because it's not getting down to the root cause of your acne and those chemcials are just going to cause you health problems and irritate your skin even more."have had great success" As in temporary relief and end up breaking out soon after they got "clear".That still is not getting to the root cause of your acne and you're going to be on that garbage diet and you're going to be faced with other problems other than acne in the future if you continue to be on that path.Yes because having skin irritation,more breakouts,liver issues,birth defects,etc is outweighed by the *possibility* to treat acne.And considering your body will isolate(with pus) toxins and send them to regions of the body like the skin so that they don't cause harm to rest of the body and by using something like accutane you're inhibiting the body's natural function to protect itself and pretty much changing the way the body functions and this is the reason as to why you risk having offspring with birth defects and liver damage."for support" I am supporting her and that's why I am giving her information on about going to the root cause of her skin problems and not just trying to treat it by the effects and using something at ends up causing more harm.She's the person that adopts a way of doing something and not the way of doing it itself and I wasn't going against her."criticism without a cause" Again,it wasn't against her,but what she was doing and I stated as to why.You clearly show signs of cognitive dissonance and are most likely using her as a means to cover up that you don't like what I have to say,but use the defensive that you don't like what I have to say because somehow I'm being "rude" and "ridiculous"(even though I'm not).


Thanks for the psychological assessment. Maybe work on your writing and grammar if you want to be viewed as a reliable source of information. Cheers!



Sponge cake, good luck to you, Hun! :)

#20 100294

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:17 PM





I've suffered from acne since my late teens.
I'm now 23 and was clear for a year or so when on yasmin birth control. Since coming off for health reasons I have broken out around "hormonal" area like never before.
I'm thinking that I may have poly cystic ovaries but have never been checked for them before.
I was planning to go to my GP next week and get duac gel as it worked quite well before.

I take evening primrose oil - high strength, zinc and vitamin C everyday.

I also use various topicals on my skin too.

Why take even primose oil if your diet is probably garbage and if you're using harmful chemicals on your skin which just end up messing it up and the rest of your body as a large amount is going to be absorbed.I assume that the kind of zinc you're taking is zinc oxide which is a very low quality and poorly absorbed kind.The vitamin C is likely to be ascorbic acid extracted from GM corn and is just going to cause more problems for your body.The reason you're getting acne is from hormonal fluctuation,toxins,irritants,etc and can be diminished from not exposing yourself to those things by having low stress levels,going to bed early,not consuming processed garbage,GMOs,animal products or atleast not from diseased on tortured animals,drinking filtered water,not using cosmetics with harmful chemicals,and not bathing in unfiltered water.


I just saw this comment and wanted to say how rude and unnecessary it was. Who are you to assume that her diet is garbage and that her use of chemicals is causing the acne???? That's absolutely ridiculous. There are many people who eat immaculate diets and still suffer from acne. There are all sorts of causes, many unknown or genetic, so to speak so cruelly is way out of turn. As for using chemicals, that nay not be *your* personal preference, but a lot if people (on these boards ) have had great success. In addition, such products obviously do have benefits that outweigh the harm (for *most* people) which is why doctors continue to suggest them.

100294, these boards are place for support, not criticism without a cause. Give your head a shake!
SpongeCake, please ignore that post!


"rude" When I wasn't being rude,but just stating that their diet is *probably* garbage and rather than try to suppress the effects,to get to the cause."unecessary" How so when she wants to get rid of her acne and taking pills and continuing to consume a diet consisting of mostly junk isn't going to help her acne at all and she'll end up feeling like she's done it all and there's no hope."immaculate diets" That consist of what? And you obviously didn't think to much about my initial post(since you likely have were caught up in that emotional response) as I put in other factors that will cause acne as well.And yes stress can cause acne,but that doesn't mean one should be blind to the significance of the food you're consuming causing acne."many unknown" Sure,but only because you haven't looked for the cause just as consuming garbage causing acne would be "unknown" to some and it being their cause of their skin problems would render them not knowing what caused it."genetic" Genes can be altered by the food you eat and what things you expose yourself to.I'm not "speaking cruelly",but that's just your perception of what I state."personal preference" And why do I not prefer using it? Because it's not getting down to the root cause of your acne and those chemcials are just going to cause you health problems and irritate your skin even more."have had great success" As in temporary relief and end up breaking out soon after they got "clear".That still is not getting to the root cause of your acne and you're going to be on that garbage diet and you're going to be faced with other problems other than acne in the future if you continue to be on that path.Yes because having skin irritation,more breakouts,liver issues,birth defects,etc is outweighed by the *possibility* to treat acne.And considering your body will isolate(with pus) toxins and send them to regions of the body like the skin so that they don't cause harm to rest of the body and by using something like accutane you're inhibiting the body's natural function to protect itself and pretty much changing the way the body functions and this is the reason as to why you risk having offspring with birth defects and liver damage."for support" I am supporting her and that's why I am giving her information on about going to the root cause of her skin problems and not just trying to treat it by the effects and using something at ends up causing more harm.She's the person that adopts a way of doing something and not the way of doing it itself and I wasn't going against her."criticism without a cause" Again,it wasn't against her,but what she was doing and I stated as to why.You clearly show signs of cognitive dissonance and are most likely using her as a means to cover up that you don't like what I have to say,but use the defensive that you don't like what I have to say because somehow I'm being "rude" and "ridiculous"(even though I'm not).


Thanks for the psychological assessment. Maybe work on your writing and grammar if you want to be viewed as a reliable source of information. Cheers!



Sponge cake, good luck to you, Hun! Posted Image


When there's nothing wrong with my writing and is a poor way to discredit someone based on minor problems they may have with grammar.If you want to mess up your body based on ignorance and refusal to try something else then go ahead,but don't try to play it as if you're trying to be "helpful" to make the other person look like the aggresor.