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Coping With The Pain Of Severe Acne

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#1 Brownilocks

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:59 PM

Dealing with very severe acne is difficult. I am experiencing more than pschological tramua from the way that my face looks. The physical pain that the cysts, nodules, and pustules cause is also taking its toll. I can't wait until this all goes away, but am having a difficult time with it while I am in the early stages of treatment (accutane). In my case, my acne throbs, burns/stings, and itches severely. Since my acne is mostly located around my mouth, eating and laughing are particularly painful, lowering the quality of life that I have and making it hard to forget about my condition.

I started this thread for others going through the emotional and physical pain of acne to have a place to vent and offer and seek encouragment while dealing with this traumatizing disease.

Hoping that others can offer some suggestions to ease the pain and itching that this type of acne causes and offer their personal experiences with pain and coping as a result of their severe acne. Thanks!!

#2 BMarieWantsNoAcne

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:22 PM

I'm in a similar boat. Just started Accutane a little over two weeks ago to treat my severe acne. It is on my cheeks, painful and itchy, and bleeds every night. Hopefully the Accutane will work for us!!

#3 xJoyDivisionx

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:38 AM

Hello, I'm new to this site and I hope I'm doing this right, but I've had acne for over 11 years now. You know when you hear someone say "I've tried everything" and you scoff because how on earth could they have tried everything there is? Well that's me. I've tried everything to get rid of my acne and nothing works. I've been seeing a dermatalogist for the past 5 years on and off, have tried medications, topicals, washes, and changed my diet and started working out. All to little or no effect. I have severe cystic and nodular acne and it has worn my confidence down dramatically to where I don't even date and have never had a boyfriend. I turned down Accutane the first time it was offered because the side effects scared me and I was told horror stories. However I have become desperate enough to give it a try, given that I've basically become a hermit. Hopefully this works because I don't know what to do if it doesnt . I'm on week 2 of Claravis, 40 mg and my nose, chin, and lips are severly dry and flaky but as long as this works I don't care.
In trying a myriad of different products I did come across one that helped with inflammation and pain. You could try Niacinamide B pads. They sell them on amazon.com and while it wasn't a cure I found that applying wet patches to problem areas and allowing them to dry helped the pain. I hope everything goes well for you and feel free to message back if you want.
Joy

#4 samorales

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:28 AM

Thanks for the chance to post about this, considering it's a very uncomfortable subject. So many people on this site talk about their acne and how bad it looks, but I've rarely come across a post like this that has to do with how the pimples actually FEEL on your face. And like you guys, my face HURTS! This is my first time posting on Acne.org and I just had to after reading how the quality of your life has been degraded because how the areas around your mouth feel. I AM TOTALLY WITH YOU ON THAT! You can't laugh, you can't talk, you can't smile, you can't even kiss! The cysts swell and the redness spreads, it's as if your face is misshapened, like freakin Elephant Man! I feel so embarrassed when I look and talk with people, I feel as though they're trying to figure out what horrible accident I went through that made my face look like this. I've even had the cashier at the gas station gasp and ask what was wrong with me when I walked in without makeup on one night. As if the flawless skinned bitch never heard of acne before(???)

I've had acne for almost 4 years now and I'm 27. Most days, I feel like a leper, not wanting to leave the house, avoiding social situations, staring at my acne in the mirror, crying about it. But it helps to have support online like this. My acne started when I changed birth control pills and then got worse when I quit BC all together. I was on Yasmin for about 3 years straight. If I ever have a daughter, I don't think I would let her take that garbage. Doctors swear that BC is safe and can make your period more healthy, but what it did to my face is anything but healthy. After realizing my acne was hormone-related, since there were cysts growing around my mouth, I decided to ditch all the fancy medications/washes/spot treatments and hit the problem at its source. I've tried a ton of different things to re-regulate my hormones naturally.I began supplementing with Chaste Berry, Zinc, B5, Milk Thistle, Vit D, and changed my diet to include more Paleo nutrition. I cut out milk, caffeine, and most breads/sugars. I'm not gonna lie, I cheat a lot on my diet, but when I'm consistent, my skin reflects that. I also threw out Bare Minerals because it contained Bismuth Oxychloride, an awful, awful chemical that is so microscopic it can burrough beneath acne-prone skin/lesions and make acne worse and cause itchiness. If you don't believe me, Google it. I switched to http://www.faerieorganic.com/ Their makeup is comprised of truly natural elements and never with any irritating preservatives or chemicals. I also included a probiotic drink in the morning as well as a liver and kidney support/detox tea in the evening. I also try not to hydrate while eating solid food. I drink water at least 30 min-2hours before I eat, to avoid flushing out digestive enzymes in my stomach, which I've read can help your acne as well.

I hit a BIG problem when I got obssessed with the oil cleansing method. FOR ANYONE SUFFERING FROM HORMONAL ACNE, DO NOT FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR POTENTIALLY BEAUTIFUL SKIN, TRY THE OIL CLEANSING METHOD. It haulted the healing of my skin for the whole two months I tried it. I thought it was a God-send, all natural, spa-like, soothing. I read countless blogs/posts that claimed OCM changed the look of their skin, one even swore it cured their acne! But it wrecked havoc on me, and soon I was getting acne in places I never had it before, like my cheeks and forehead. I am still trying to heal from that experience and have tons of brown acne marks to prove it.

I could go on and on and though I think I'm finally seeing a hint of light at the end of the acne tunnel, my face still hurts as I'm typing this. It's going to be a LOOOOOONG struggle to heal. But, I want everyone else to know that they are not alone in the physical pain they feel with cystic/hormonal acne. I am right there with you. And if you need support or a listening ear, you could always message me!

Edited by samorales, 14 December 2012 - 01:37 AM.


#5 Brownilocks

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

Yes, acne pain sucks!!! Let me add one more thing that sucks for the mouth/chin region acne, yawning! Such a simple, automatic thing that those of us with severe acne have to THINK about! We have to try and relearn simple functions, like getting food into our mouths in a way that won't hurt or crack open the lesions... Its not fair! I got ticked the other night and yelled at a family member for making me laugh... Apologized after but she didn't get how it causes more bad than good. I'm happy and all but I don't want to laugh uncontrollably at anything now cause I'd rather not add insult to injury, ya know?

Glad you mentioned the makeup. I can't wear any now but had considered Bare Minerals in the future. I usually check ingredients before I buy most stuff, by now I don't have to since you've done it for me with this one! ;) I've had good success with Clinique at the times I've been clear (which I just was for 5 1/2 years before this painful, severe stuff can back to bite me!). I will look into the brand you mentioned as well, though! Thanks!!

One postive (yes, I said positive) thing I will say about this crap is that I'm much stronger now than I've ever been in my life! I used to fret about such dumb stuff! I laugh at people who do that now. I've lost all the old anxiety issues I used to have. Not much can phase me like before. So stupid to melt down over the dumb stuff that no one will even remember worrying about in a year or so. I'm battling a physical AND mental demon all at once and I'm going to win! I feel pretty good about myself too! Gonna be gorgeous again one day soon whether my pores like it or not! You will too samorales! I just keep telling myself, its hurting me cause it knows I'm gonna kill it. I'm gonna destroy it and wipe it off the face of the...well, the face, lol! Gotta get some humor out of it too I guess! Thank you for offering support! Glad to know that I am not alone in this struggle!

Oh, by the way, keep us updated on your progress. Nothing has worked for me so far except Rx meds. I'm on accutane now and I've got my fingers crossed. Posted Image If you ever need advice about Rx meds or accutane just PM me. I've tried most stuff and doing good on the accutane thus far, though very minimal aesthetic progress as of yet.. Good luck to ya!!

#6 samorales

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:28 AM

Yes, I love your attitude! On another post one member talked about giving love to your skin, as in sending positive emotional feelings towards it. I really do feel as if our attitudes make a difference! We are ALREADY gorgeous Brownilocks! and thanks for being YOU! ;)

#7 Binga

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:36 AM

Look around and see how lot of people have cleared their acne through diet, supplements, yoga, topicals etc. It's not impossible.

#8 Brownilocks

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

Yeah I tried ALL of that first!! I didn't want to take accutane and have resisted in now for almost a decade! With the diet and exercise I lost weight and got in great shape but my acne is worse now than when I ate bad... Was on topicals for 7 years and now my acne is WAY worse than it was before! Maybe that works for people with mild to moderate acne.. Mine was so severe this time around that at one point I was in the hospital for 3 days with systemic symptoms associated with the acne.. Accutane is a last resort for people like me who are in pain and risk being disfigured by scars if it gets any worse in certain spots... Wish there was another answer but unfortunately for some of us there isn't.

#9 Michelle Reece

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

On the bright side, researchers are looking into lower doses of Accutane and how to increase it's bioavailability/effectiveness.

It appears so far that those taking Accutane aren't eating enough fat in their meals to increase bioavailability and reduce the need for additional courses: http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/23198008

#10 allysaurus

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:26 PM

One postive (yes, I said positive) thing I will say about this crap is that I'm much stronger now than I've ever been in my life! I used to fret about such dumb stuff! I laugh at people who do that now. I've lost all the old anxiety issues I used to have. Not much can phase me like before. So stupid to melt down over the dumb stuff that no one will even remember worrying about in a year or so. I'm battling a physical AND mental demon all at once and I'm going to win! I feel pretty good about myself too! Gonna be gorgeous again one day soon whether my pores like it or not! You will too samorales! I just keep telling myself, its hurting me cause it knows I'm gonna kill it. I'm gonna destroy it and wipe it off the face of the...well, the face, lol! Gotta get some humor out of it too I guess! Thank you for offering support! Glad to know that I am not alone in this struggle!


You made me laugh by describing how people with acne have to eat differently because it's so true! I get a lot of breakouts around my mouth area, and the differin makes that whole area flaky. Which means eating a burger and stretching my mouth open wide...wow not a pretty sight. It activates the flakes! People with clear skin probably think we're crazy analyzing what we should eat for lunch so as to not crack any lesions. Posted Image Not going to lie, it makes kissing a significant other pretty difficult too. Posted Image

I haven't posted in a while - I kept my cystic acne at bay the past few years with topical antibiotics, but I always knew that was a temporary solution. The past year all hell broke loose and it all came flooding back. It's tough being in my 20s and dealing with the worst acne of my life, and as helpful as this message board is, it can be a little overwhelming the number of different possible methods/regimens out there that have cleared other people's skin. I get so hopeful when trying something new, and when it doesn't work out and you're back at square one (usually with a handful more cysts/scars from the previous attempt), it can be pretty discouraging. But your post was very inspiring and my new years resolution is to have the same mentality as you! It's so easy to hide out at home during my worst acne flare-ups, and sit in front of the mirror analyzing every pore and wishing for a new face...but you make me want to turn this into something positive! Acne sucks and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but hopefully it'll help me grow as a person and appreciate things in life that other people take for granted.

Good luck with your journey!!! Keep up that positive attitude.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live...

#11 Brownilocks

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:59 PM

Yes it sucks! Who wants to be reminded of acne while eating a burger? Serious loss of appetite! And kissing... my husband has a goatee and everything's fine unless he shaves it too short and it gets all pokey, lol. Then he can't understand why i don't want to be affectionate.. He's the sweetest and calls me gorgeous all the time despite the fact that my face looks totally different from anything he's ever seen before. For the last 5 years we've been married my skin's been 90-99% clear at all times so this is hard and I'm lucky to have someone so understanding, but it hard to get in the mood when a whisker just stabbed one of my lovely zits and I'm brought back to the reality of what I must look like to him... I swear, acne in and of itself is a very effective means of birth control lol! But all joking aside, as ironic as it sounds, I'm gonna gain massive confidence from this if I ever get over it! Learning a lot of life's lessons and appreciating stuff so much more that I used to take for granted! I'm pretty sure I'm done obsessing over minor imperections in the future and my stress level overall is gonna drop cause life's far too short to fret about the dumb stuff! Good luck to you and keep pushing! It's an uphill battle but we'll get to the top eventually and look back at how far we've come! ;)

#12 SteamRoom

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:15 AM

Hello, I'm new to this site and I hope I'm doing this right, but I've had acne for over 11 years now. You know when you hear someone say "I've tried everything" and you scoff because how on earth could they have tried everything there is? Well that's me. I've tried everything to get rid of my acne and nothing works. I've been seeing a dermatalogist for the past 5 years on and off, have tried medications, topicals, washes, and changed my diet and started working out. All to little or no effect. I have severe cystic and nodular acne and it has worn my confidence down dramatically to where I don't even date and have never had a boyfriend. I turned down Accutane the first time it was offered because the side effects scared me and I was told horror stories. However I have become desperate enough to give it a try, given that I've basically become a hermit. Hopefully this works because I don't know what to do if it doesnt . I'm on week 2 of Claravis, 40 mg and my nose, chin, and lips are severly dry and flaky but as long as this works I don't care.
In trying a myriad of different products I did come across one that helped with inflammation and pain. You could try Niacinamide B pads. They sell them on amazon.com and while it wasn't a cure I found that applying wet patches to problem areas and allowing them to dry helped the pain. I hope everything goes well for you and feel free to message back if you want.
Joy


Have you went to an aesthetician to have chemical peels and extractions performed? Yes it is expensive, but that is probably one of the only proven ways to treat and contain (not cure, bc there is no cure to acne) most, if not all forms of acne. The downside - it can be very expensive. The beauty of it is that it always works, and it has no long term side effects aside 5 minutes of burning which is worth it.

Dermatologists sometimes do not perform these, but offices of plastic surgeons do. Your dermatologist usually won't recommend you to get peels done - why? Because you won't be needing to see them again since your skin will be under full control. Just saying, look into it bc it is underrated due to monetary outlooks and self interest by dermatologist.

Edited by SteamRoom, 30 December 2012 - 10:16 AM.


#13 Brownilocks

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

Yeah, my acne blew up pretty quickly. When it started it was small blackheads getting inflammed and I did the extractions. Got worse and worse til it became this. I tried it all. All cosmetic procedures, antibiotics, and topicals before going on accutane. Its the only thing that has provided some relief. I still look bad and am still breaking out now at week 7, but at least I'm no longer in pain. I can eat, talk, laugh, and lay my head on a pillow now without pain. Posted Image Ahhh, the little things in life... Those who never experience severe acne will never understand just how lucky they are... Sadly through the worst of my pain I came up with nothing to help with the pain to suggest now to others going through something similar. All I can say is that if your acne is as bad as mine and is interfereing with your life that bad, do not resist accutane out of fear like I did for a month too long. I let it get worse and more painful as a result and put my face through more suffering than it was worth after reading all the fearmongering claims people make about accutane before I actually started asking friends if they'd ever taken it and getting real facts about it. Some of the people in my derm's office had been on it too and were honest about the side effects they got and the reality about how long it takes to work. Being on the drug for 1 1/2 months now, I can say that it does make you much happier to gain back the ability to do the simple things in life rather than to continue to both look AND feel bad. In the meantime, just try to eat things that are bite size and easy to get into your mouth, try to control your yawning and laughing and learn how not to sleep on it or touch it with anything (clothes, towels). That's sadly all I know that keeps it from hurting more... Posted Image

Edited by Brownilocks, 19 January 2013 - 02:29 PM.


#14 Sarsar123

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:49 PM

My face feels awful. As I don't often have open pimples most of the time, I have deep lumps that swell and decrease, I can cover with make up reasonably (takes layering and expensive products) so ppl often say oh it doesn't even look bad! But it hurts. It itches like hell. It's sore and painful to move my mouth. It's tight and dry and I'm forever worrying if I've touched it, if its bleeding randomly so constantly rushing to look in mirrors. Whatever I put on to zap a lump just dries the skin out and by the end of a day I have a flaking peeling itching face

I'm also single and won't ever go swimming or on holiday as it means I can't wear make up. I would not let a man sleep over as it would mean he might see me without make up. I'm setting a terrible example to my kids, that women need a ton of make up every day even to get some milk

#15 ZitMonster3000

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

I think mines horrible. Every night when I sleep I wake up with blood and swelling. I have deep nodules on my chin, jawline, forehead, temples, cheeks and all around my mouth. It's horrible. I starte the b5 mega dosing method. Hopefully this wil cure me. Because I don't know how much longer I can do this.

#16 Brownilocks

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

I feel for you, mine is nodulo-cystic too and its horrible. Mostly around the chin and mouth also. The looks of it is just the icing on the cake, the pain is terrible. I wish you luck! I've been on accutane 2 1/2 months now. Have seen some good progress with my original spots, but still getting new cysts elsewhere now that will NOT go away (1 is huge and been there a month and a half now). Let us know how the B5 works for you!



#17 whoartthou1

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:59 AM

On the bright side, researchers are looking into lower doses of Accutane and how to increase it's bioavailability/effectiveness.

It appears so far that those taking Accutane aren't eating enough fat in their meals to increase bioavailability and reduce the need for additional courses: http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/23198008

 

anyway we can read that WHOLE article?



#18 aspirin

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 02:20 AM

This past month my skin has gone f***ing crazy, this is the most severe acne I've ever had, and I'm 26. I thought I had it bad when I was younger...I'm getting them all over my lower face, even places I've never had it before like on my neck. I just took a shower and my face is throbbing and itchy as hell. Trying not to touch, but I bet I'll be scratching that sh*t in my sleep.

 

I'm wondering if it has something to do with contact dermatitis as I started cleaning my clothes with natural products starting in January. WTF nature! Gonna wash all my towels, bedding, and tops this week and going back to using good old artificial chemicals :/

 

In any case, I've started Accutane and birth control again. Nothing to do but just wait it out, I guess :/



#19 Brownilocks

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:01 PM

You poor thing. :( I'm 29, mine was the same when it came up and so out of the blue... Glad you are getting started on the accutane. I thought mine was related to a contact derm issue too, but nope, just very severe acne.... I can't believe this after being clear for so long! I'm 3 months in and getting better, but so slowly... Can't wait to be completely clear! It took 5 days to come up and I've been looking like this for 5 months now (albeit a lot better now than it did and no longer in severe pain). Hope all goes well with your course! Keep us updated with your progress!



#20 Michelle Reece

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:16 PM

On the bright side, researchers are looking into lower doses of Accutane and how to increase it's bioavailability/effectiveness.

It appears so far that those taking Accutane aren't eating enough fat in their meals to increase bioavailability and reduce the need for additional courses: http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/23198008

 

anyway we can read that WHOLE article?

 

Yes, it's a free article: http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3509883/

The paragraph of interest is titled: How might concomitant ingestion of oral isotretinoin with food influence therapeutic outcomes, and is co-ingestion with food a clinically relevant concern?, particularly:

 

Based on the pharmacokinetic profile of oral isotretinoin, it is a realistic clinical concern that the likelihood of prolonged remission after use of oral isotretinoin is compromised if optimal GI absorption is not achieved because the drug was not co-ingested with food. The Guidance for Industry on Food-Effect Bioavailability and Fed Bioequivalence Studies document published by the FDA and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) suggests that meal studies to evaluate bioavailability and bioequivalence utilize a high-fat (50% of total caloric intake) and high-calorie (800–1000 calories) meal, with 150, 250, and 500 to 600 calories derived from protein, carbohydrate, and fat, respectively.36 As such, it is recommended that oral isotretinoin be ingested with food, especially a meal high in fat content.2,3 However, consistent daily ingestion of oral isotretinoin with a high-fat, high-calorie meal by all patients treated with this drug is not realistic. To add, as oral isotretinoin may be associated with elevated serum triglycerides in some patients, a reduction in dietary fat intake is often recommended.






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