I have looked to this site for comfort and answers many times on and off throughout the years. I know that if anyone does take the time to read this post, it may just sound all too familiar - the same way that crappy radio station overplays the latest Justin Bieber song, yet you're forced to listen to because you forgot the aux/usb cable to plug in your ipod. Well, I'm just really looking for a channel to vent my stress and frustrations, so I thank you in advance if you're going to read any further.. here goes. I also apologize in advance for all of the cliches I will use in my post as I will definitely try to exhaust them all .. I'll try to keep this as short/long as possible, which I further apologize once again for. (I hope you're still reading... )
I'm an Asian male, aged 28, and I have been suffering from acne for about 17 years. I have a fair complexion (the kind that allows those friggen' red lumps to become all the more visible) and it's of the combination skin type (one moment dry, then a few hours later distgustingly oily.. not super drippy oil.. but a nice glaze that's nice and shiny for everyone to see.. kind of like a krispy kreme donut, just not nearly as tasty). My skin on the other parts of my body is pretty soft and smooth, so I often wished that there was a way to extract skin cells from my forearms or buttocks to graft them onto my face/neck as a replacement then surely my problem would be solved!
My current condition is bad, but I totally understand that it is not the worst that is out there. For everyone that has a more severe case of acne, my heart goes out to you and I truly hope you can find your answer sooner than I. I currently get gigantuan cystic acne on my jawlines and neck. I have tons of whiteheads, and also get pimples randomly across my face. The active lesions seem to migrate everytime I suffer breakout periods. When I was a kid I used to get pimples in the T zone. In my early 20s I had deadly cysts on my chin and mouth area. Underneath/behind the ear was a mother f*#$! episode, albeit a short one (those cysts left some scars for sure since the skin is so damn soft in that area). The most persistent area has been the jawline and back of my neck/hairline area though. My back had some dangerous breakouts as well, but lately has cleared up quite a bit.
Similar to the countless other threads I have browsed through, I believe I have attempted MANY "solutions" to rid my wretched skin of this awful disease. I refrain from claiming that I've tried everything, because I really haven't. To be honest, I feel that there are an unlimited combination of regimens that are out there that can be customized for individuals that can probably work. That's why I feel it's easy to get lost in this mess of information that is known as the Internet. Here's a list of treatments/products I have tried (to the best of my memory) - some worked (temporarily), others had 0 effect:
Over the counter stuff:
- Lots of acne cleansers and spot treatments like neutrogena, clearisil, etc.
- Murad acne treatment
- Obagi Clenziderm
- Stievamycin gel
- Differin gel
- Antibiotics: tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline
- Cortisone shots on huge cysts
- Apple Cider Vinegar pills and applied to the face
- Food allergy test
I probably missed some things, but those are the main things I've tried. Accutane worked the best of all treatments, but the effects are shortlived. (2 courses - one in high school which cleared me up for a year or two, and once again at 26 which cleared me up for 6 months). I felt amazing when I had clear skin off of accutane though. I even forgot all about the suffering I went through with acne.. oh that sweet feeling, how I miss thee... Through it all, I think all of the perscribed medication probably fucked up my skin even more in the long run by mutating my acne into the monster that it is now. I have no evidence of this though..
I'm currently trying to eat better, based on my food allergy test, I pretty much have a slight allergy to all these weird kinds of foods (lima beans wtf? I don't even eat that.. green beans and bananas??? black pepper??!). I have tried avoiding most of those foods, although I haven't avoided them all since they're a) not all severe allergies b) just because the result was listed as a potential allergy does not mean it is related to my acne. The main things I stay away from these days are dairy and junk foods, although I have a few chips every now and then. Diet seems to help a little bit, as I did reach a point where I was clear for a few weeks (without medication too! what?! no way!! was I dreaming?.... yea.. probably..) I was a fool though... as I thought I was starting to reach the clearness state, and started eating horribly again (pizzas, cheeseburgers, nachos, wings, etc etc etc.. sooo yum) Anyways, about a month later I started breaking out horribly again and for the past two months I have not been able to reach a state where I was prett happy (beginning 2 months of this year to be exact about when I was "pretty clear").
Sh*T!! Sorry this is getting really long but if anyone is still with me, I'm really thankful, since typing this has actually alleviated my stress a little bit. As I sit here typing this, I still feel upset/frustrated/hopeless in finding a cure. I've always turned to this website during my worst times yet I never posted anything so I hope you all don't mind me unleashing this wall of text upon you (provided you haven't escaped back to your facebook tab). It gives me comfort in knowing that there ARE others out there with the exact same problems and feelings as me. The one thing this site always successfully does is recharge me with hope. I was seriously considering taking accutane again for a third time, but I'm starting to release that feeling now (that's the smart choice right?.. if it didn't work the first two times, why would it work the third time.... or... will .. it..?)... Needless to say, my confidence is at an all time low once again, which is why I turn to this site for some solitude. I often look at everyone with clear skin full of envy (and hate.. j/k ).. and I yearn for the day to be able share a success story with all of you.
I think I might try taking some probiotics and other supplements (vitamin B? zinc? omega fish oil?.. I need to research a bit more I guess). I currently take Vitamin D and A droplets. If anyone spent the past 5 hours trying to read this broken record story and has suggestions for me, please let me know! I'm dying to hear from you. I hope that I could find a person who matches my same journey and has found success so that he/she could share their method with me.. Until then, I'll keep dreaming.
Thank you all once again. Cheers.