This is my first time posting on here but I thought I would finally share my story after lurking on these message boards for so many years looking for help with my acne.
I started the birth control pill when I was 15 and had fairly good skin before that. I stayed on the pill for the next 12 years with a few break outs here and there but nothing too crazy. When I went off the pill my skin went crazy with not just a pimple here and there but acne covering my whole face. It started with a couple on my chin but then spread everywhere. There were times when I would make excuses on why I couldn't go to social events because I looked so bad. At this point I tried a few different remedies including going to a naturapath, blue light therapy (which cost me $1200 and sooooo was not worth it!!), facials, proactive, etc. My skin just got worse so after 9 horrible months I went back on the pill.
A couple of years later I decided again that I did not want to be on the pill anymore so again went off the pill again. This time I did a bunch of research on the boards here to try to find some ideas to help if the acne came back again. I found that this time going off the pill my acne was not as bad as the last but I still had consistent breakouts. I always would have pimples somewhere on my face (just not covering my whole face). They were mostly concentrated on my cheeks and jaw line but around my period I would also get them on my forehead. My complexion also was very very oily. Since going off the pill the 2nd time my lifestyle is healthier than the last time in that I do yoga almost every day, sleep 8 hours per night, I cut out most sugar, gluten, wine (for the most part), and try to eat tons of fruits and veggies. But I still found my skin to be really sensitive and prone to break outs. The difference was this time I wasn't getting the cystic acne.
Besides healthy lifestyle this time I tried chinese herbs and accupuncture. I didn't notice that it helped a ton and after 9 months of being off again I was considering going back on the pill. I was talking to a friend about my issue and she said that she had cleared her acne by taking minocycline. At this point was so frustrated that even though I always had said that I didn't want to take antibiotics I decided to give it a shot. It had worked for her and she had had bad cycstic acne before and her acne had not returned after 1 year after taking the minocycline. I took it for 3 months because my doctor said that if you take it longer there is evidence that it can cause lupus and after 3 months on it my acne cleared almost completely. My complexion looks bright and healthy. I didn't have any side effect except for the first 4 days I felt kind of like I had vertigo. I get 1 small pimple before my period but nothing compared to before. I hope this lasts for awhile!! It has been around 3 months now since my last day of the minocycline.
Also just to note for products I am using Paula's Choice. I started these around the same time as the minocycline. Products usually don't help me one way or another but I feel like the paula's choice stuff at least doesn't make my acne worse. I use the regular face wash and salicylic acid 2.5 as toner. I use Jane Irydale mineral makeup only. Anything creamy makes my skin worse so no foundation or moisturizer for me.
I hope this post helps someone because when I was feeling bad about my skin I felt like the message boards on here gave me some hope and ideas to try.