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Hormonal Or Bacterial Acne? Bp Withdrawal?

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#1 elliew8

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:25 AM

So I'm wondering how you can tell whether or not your acne is hormonal or bacterial? I understand when I get a cystic pimple on my chin once a month that it's generally hormone associated and that the blackheads along my jawline are probably bacterial due to leaning on my arm at my desk every day.

Just for some background I used to use benzoyl peroxide (brevoxyl 4%) but when they stopped manufacturing it I slowly weened myself off because frankly I'd been on it for so long (8 years) that I couldn't remember what my skin looked like before and now I'm almost 22 thought it would be nice not to bleach every towel and bedsheet! I still got acne whilst using it and was only using a small amount every night on my forehead and cheeks anyway so I figured I didn't have much to lose.

However...whilst the first month seemed fine, after a while my forehead got increasingly more 'bumpy' (when I get a chance I'll upload a pic if it helps) and now 3 months on I still have the sandpaper texture but only on my forehead (not my cheeks). I figured that since bp is supposed to help bacterial acne that by introducing using tea tree oil it would effectively replace the bp and get rid of the problem. Whilst I do think that the tea tree oil has 'calmed' my skin (bumps aren't as regularly inflamed and tend to dry out quicker) I thought it would be more effective.

Also my routine in the morning is dove beauty bar (doctor recommended) and in the evening dove again, followed by (LIGHTLY) using st ives apricot scrub and then 100% tea tree oil as an astringent on a damp cotton wool pad. This has been the same for about 8 years except for the tea tree so don't THINK the other products are causing the problem but maybe the bp was just reducing the problems caused by the dove or apricot scrub?

So although this may seem painfully obvious that it's a bacterial problem, perhaps it's not, or I'm just using the wrong alternative to bp? Any suggestions would be great :) Especially if anyone else has had the same problem when removing bp from their routine.

Thanks!

p.s. if this question has been asked before I'm sorry I've only just joined!

#2 doodleme123

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:43 AM

'' I understand when I get a cystic pimple on my chin once a month that it's generally hormone associated and that the blackheads along my jawline are probably bacterial due to leaning on my arm at my desk every day.''

Then don't lean on your arm at your desk everyday. Chances are, you'll still have acne.

(Sorry if that sounds harsh)

''I'm not clever, but I figure if I ask all the questions, somebody else might have all the answers'' - Quote, Me!


#3 elliew8

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:52 AM

No that's ok thanks for the reply...what I was trying to say was I know I shouldn't lean on my arm but I understand why I'm getting acne in that case - what I can't understand is the spots on my forehead, if removing bp was the simple answer to that then surely I would be getting them on my cheeks too?

I don't know, just trying to work out whether they are due to bp withdrawal and if so if anyone could recommend a good substitute product and if they aren't then maybe I should change my contraceptive pill or something along those lines...

#4 doodleme123

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

Hmmm, if the acne is on your forehead, it could be your hair covering that part of your face and/or the products you are washing your hair with, causing irritation.

''I'm not clever, but I figure if I ask all the questions, somebody else might have all the answers'' - Quote, Me!


#5 elliew8

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

It's probably not my hair because it's normally tied back (always when I sleep) and when it is down it stays off my face because I don't have a fringe...could be the shampoo (head and shoulders) but I've stuck with the same one for years so it's unlikely...thanks anyway :)

#6 doodleme123

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

''This has been the same for about 8 years except for the tea tree so don't THINK the other products are causing the problem''

I can't help but think that!

''I'm not clever, but I figure if I ask all the questions, somebody else might have all the answers'' - Quote, Me!


#7 Flaxen

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

Acne can be both hormonal and bacterial. As I understand it hormones change the skin environment - make it more oily etc. which makes it easier for the bacteria to grow. Benzoyl peroxide works against 'hormonal' acne as well as other acne because it kills the bacteria but if the cause of your acne is hormonal then it might be that you don't need bp once you treat the underlying cause.

Your story actually sounds similar to mine. I had been on bp for 6 years and was sick of the bleaching/wanted to see if I had grown out of it. Came off bp and was fine for a few months (but more oily) then boom acne exploded over my face! I'm fairly sure my acne is hormonal, partly because dianette worked wonders for my sister but there are other tell tale signs to look out for like irregular periods, or oiliness being a particular problem. I think the distribution of hormonal acne is quite a classic pattern over the chin and sides of the face too but I'm not sure about that one.

I think it is quite common for acne to be hormonal in women especially when we get into our twenties so it might be worth seeing your Dr about trying some hormonal treatments. My sister doesn't need anything topical at all now, she just takes one tiny pill a night and her skin is completely clear! (And her's was severe) It takes 3-6 months to work. I think it is starting to work for me now but I'm a bit scared to try coming off the bp again!

Hope that helps :)

Post (Ro)accutane Regimen:          

 

Morning

Cleanse: Olay Essentials Refreshing Face Wash

Exfoliate: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Treat red marks: Superfacialist Vitamin C Glow Boost Serum

Moisturise: Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Moisture Cream SPF 30

Lips: Nivea Lip Care Sun Protect SPF 30

Makeup base: Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer, Yves Saint Laurent Teint Touche Eclat - BR10, Clinique Blended Face Powder - Invisible

 

Evening

Cleanse: Olay Essentials Refreshing Face Wash, Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Shower Gel

Exfoliate: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant

Treat red marks: Differin (0.1% Adapalene)

Moisturise: Simple Kind to Skin Replenising Rich Moisturiser

Lips: Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm

 

100% acne free and stubborn red marks disappearing!


#8 elliew8

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

Thank you so much for the reply was a big help :) it makes a bit more sense now! I've been on Yasmin contraceptive pill for about 6 years so can't comment on irregular periods but my skin has always been excessively oily (I didn't even experience the extreme dryness from bp!). I think the acne I'm getting now is definitely due to the bp withdrawal since it's the only thing that has changed but I will speak to my doc and see if they can suggest any alternatives to bp and maybe get tested for any hormone imbalances or vitamin deficiencies.
Thanks again! :)