Okay, I've tried everything and I'm getting really discouraged. Here's my current regimen: Wash my face in the morning using Purpose liquid cleanser, followed by Neutrogena's sensitive skin moisturizer, and then Epiduo as a spot treatment. I've been washing my face with this regimen for years. I just stopped using birth control and Spironolactone because they made my skin actually worse, not better. Before that, I've tried antibiotics, Differin, retin-a, clyndamiacin, many different washes, Proactive, Acne-free system, and a million trips to the dermatologist later here I am with the worst skin I've had in a long while. Nothing has even begun to make a difference with my skin. I have very sensitive skin that I wouldn't describe as oily OR dry OR combination, but with the amount it breaks out I don't think I can call it normal either. I tend to have whiteheads, papules, pustules and cysts. I've experimented with changing up my diet to clear it up, and that hasn't affected it. I've tried changing make ups and that usually makes it worse. I feel like I'm out of options. I can't try accutane because I have anxiety disorders. I'm doing everything I can to clear my skin, but my skin is unresponsive. What is wrong with my face?!
Posted 26 September 2013 - 05:39 AM
I was in the same boat, I actually tried accutane but had to stop due to side effects after 7 months- I got no where near the full 'dose'.
So without the miracle drug on our side, the path is harder for sure. I didn't dabble in diet changes, I stopped dairy, completely for a MONTH and then the same with wheat- for a month, completely. Those were big triggers for me, but you have to stop one at a time for a month, completely.
I take it the acne.org regimine is out? that would be too much for your sensitive skin?
maybe try the moistureizer on the acne.org site, yours may be breaking you out...I don't use one at all but my skin is oily
so many things to try, don't give up - keep a food journal and track when you get your cysts....make small changes to your topicals, search on this site, perhaps something like witch hazel/thyme would be tolerated by your skin, there is a great thread going on now..BP out Thyme in, or something like that
you have options, but this is war, you need to be organized, keep track of what you are doing and don't give up...you will make small cumulative improvements
for those of us who can't take accutane, this is the way we have to fight - good luck!
Posted 26 September 2013 - 09:02 AM
Try low dose accutane and see how you feel. Yoga/juicing also helps with acne/anxiety. Also look into zinc / zinc sunscreen and niacinamide moisturizer.
Posted 26 September 2013 - 03:06 PM
Spironolactone takes 6 months or more to see changes, and it may get worse before it gets better. It took me 8 months to get clear, and the first 4 months my skin was either the same or worse than when I started. Accutane also usually gets worse before it gets better, and also takes several months.
If you are unwilling to try either of those two things in a consistent and controlled regimen, which have cleared people with the most resistant skin, then really all I can suggest to you is to get used to it.
I should also mention, that depending on what birth control you were on, your birth control may have actually made your acne worse and ruined any chances for spiro to work for you. Only a small few birth controls help acne, and sometimes you have to try all of those small few to find the right one for you. Some people can't tolerate Ortho Tri Cyclen but do well on Ortho Cyclen. Some hate Yaz but love Yasmin. Some do better on Belara, etc.
Edited by Green Gables, 26 September 2013 - 03:09 PM.
Posted 27 September 2013 - 04:38 AM
with all due respect to Green Gables, I disagree - you don't have to use either spiro or accutane to get clear, and you don't have to get used to it
I'm female, had cystic acne and accutane didn't work and I've never tried sprio...and I'm clear, and I did NOT have to get used to it
it's harder for sure, but you can make improvements RealEmilyRuth...you can indeed! Please keep us posted, but jump in there and start the fight!
Posted 27 September 2013 - 05:43 AM
Your situation sounds extremely similar to mine. I have struggled with acne for many years (I am now 26), and I have tried literally everything:
-multiple types of oral antibiotics
-changing up birth control methods
-eating clean, no dairy, tons of water
-every topic medication:
I have very sensitive skin which makes it difficult to use topical creams (epiduo worked great for my back but absolutely destroyed my face).
The only thing that has actually worked for me is Accutane. I'm not sure if your dermatologist steered you away from Accutane because of your anxiety, but I will say that it did not affect my anxiety at all. Believe it or not, despite all the medications I have tried, I am actually anti-medications. I guess I shouldn't say I am totally anti, but let's just say that I steer clear of meds whenever possible because I am a very "natural" person. But what I like about Accutane is it's more of a "cure" and is more temporary than other meds. For example: if a doctor prescribes antibiotics, your skin is supposed to get clear while you are on it, but what about once you stop? And what about the long term effects of being on antibiotics for long periods of time (it's not good!). Well with Accutane, you are only supposed to be on it for 3-6 months (maybe more or less depending on the situation), and then it keeps your skin clear for a year or two, or maybe even indefinitely!
I was very nervous about starting Accutane because of all the crazy things I read about it on the internet. But I decided to give it a try as my "last resort" because nothing else helped and my frustrations were increasing with my acne. After completing Accutane, my expectations were blown out of the water. First of all, the side effects weren't as bad as I thought they would be. My lips got dry and peeled a little, my eyes were a little dry and sensitive, and my face was a little dry (but not red and peely like I thought it would be). But the end result was amazing. Absolutely no acne! No more painful, frustrating cystic acne! It was a miracle. My confidence increased and I am so much happier now! I highly recommend Accutane. Don't let people scare you away. It is a great drug and I think you sound like a great candidate for it.
Other things I recommend:
-Bare Minerals or any mineral make-up is good for acne prone skin
-No liquid make-ups (at least for me, that always makes my acne way worse)
-eating clean, no processed food (can significantly help some peope... give it a try for at least 1-3 months)
-Washing with salicylic acid wash (versus benzyl peroxide) if you have sensitive skin (If you can tolerate benzyl per. then do it, I've heard it's great, but it's too harsh for my sensitive skin)
-I LOVE epiCream, great moisturizing cream that doesn't clog pores (you should definitely try it if you have dry skin-- it's amazing!)
Hope this helps you! Good luck. I truly know how frustrating acne is, and I hope that you find a solution that works for you!
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