So I've never kept my own log on here but having read some other people's and found them really helpful for investigating different treatments I decided it was time I started my own in case it might help someone else in the same way! Unfortunately this initial post is going to end up being quite long but after that I will just be doing short updates on my progress. Wish me luck!
I'm a 21-year-old female university student. I've had moderate acne constantly since the age of 13 without a single clear day in 8 years. In the past 4-5 months I've developed severe cystic acne which has been incredibly painful and made my face look an absolute state. I'm now on a mission to clear it. I have a dermatology appointment on 20th September after my doctor referred me because she said I'd be eligible for treatment with Isotretinoin (Roaccutane/Accutane). However, because of the side effects I am keen to avoid this treatment if at all possible.
Treatments I've Previously Tried
Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%
Differin (Adapalene 0.1%)
Duac (Benzoyl Peroxide 5%, Clindamycin Phosphate 1%)
Freederm Treatment Gel (Nicotinamide 4%)
Tea Tree Oil
Various Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Current Treatment Plan
Lymecycline tablets (408mg daily)
Epiduo (Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%, Adapalene 0.1%)
State of Skin Prior to Treatment
Severe cystic acne. We're talking at least 10 cysts buried really deep in the skin plus masses of whiteheads. My chin, forehead and nose had become totally misshapen. My lips had swollen up and my eyes had gone puffy. My glands were severely swollen and painful. Whole face red, inflamed, covered in deep solid lumps, and throbbing with pain to the extent that it was preventing me from sleeping.
Dianette: End of week 3
Lymecycline: End of week 2
Epiduo: Day 4
Well I've been really pleased with my skin's progress so far. I had 10 days of Fluxloxacillin to try to kick the infection before getting started on the treatments above and for the first time in weeks I can confidently say that I have no deep cysts!!! I still have some lumps under the skin but they're not painful like they were so I'm hoping they will either drain away or come up as whiteheads. My skin still looks absolutely horrific (mainly from all the hyperpigmentation) but things are definitely improving very slowly! I do keep getting new whiteheads but I think that must be the Epiduo bringing all the underneath stuff to the surface. My face doesn't hurt all over any more which has got to be a good sign! It's responding surprisingly well to the Epiduo which I thought would make it red and irritated like the straight benzoyl peroxide I've used before but at the moment it's just a little dry but not sore at all. No stinging or burning sensation on application either. Slight itching which I'm hoping is a sign of healing processes. My main concern now is that I've just begun my 7 day break from Dianette and am dreading another major breakout. I've also heard that Epiduo can cause initial breakouts so am anticipating a double wammie! Here's praying it won't be too bad and won't bring back any of those painful horrible cysts. I'll keep you updated!