Cheers all. I am a soon to be 29 year old caucasian, somewhat fair skinned male who has been struggling with acne for 16 years. I would greatly welcome any advice\suggestions you may have related to my experience. Below I will list the numerous treatments I've experimented with and my opinion on said treatments. Before i give a brief summary I really appreciate any input and empathize with fellow sufferers. Hopefully karma will come back around for those struggling and I hope my experience can shed some light if you're considering a certain treatment.
Currently I have cystic back acne. Very oily skin but cystic acne is stationed on my entire back with a little bit on my chest and shoulders.
Developed severe acne on my face, chest, shoulders and back.
Various sulfur based dermatologist prescribed cleansers
Salicylic Acid based
Retin - A
various over the counter treatments
Nothing worked with the exception of Accutane. I used Accutane for a few months but stopped due to severe joint pain and general discomfort. I really was turned off with the side effects despite actually getting results. That says a lot because I was and am willing to try anything to get results. Accutane also upset the my skin on my face with redness, dryness, irritation. The acne returned everywhere in about a month of discontinuing. The damage Accutane can due makes it something i won't try again.
Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin B Supplements
Head & Shoulders Classic Clean
Sodium Sulfacetamide Cleanser
Paleo Diet (No Dairy, Grains)
Sephora Murad Cleanser
Milk of Magnesia
Burts Bees Natural Acne Solution Purifying Gel Cleanser, Deep Pore Cleanser
Grapefruit Body Wash
Nutritional Supplement Therapy 8-10 months ( Standard Proceses, Systemic Formulas)
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
zinc- based dandruff shampoo
Air Drying post shower
Blood Testing for general abnormalities
Smooth-Beam laser was very expensive and my physician promised me it would work... Negative. It was painful however not unbearable at all. I had 3 or 4 sessions on my face, chest, and entire back. Months to a year following the laser my face began to clear up. However I do not attribute it to the laser. Prior to the laser my face was slowly improving. My entire back and chest remained inflamed. However I've been told that the smooth beam was not for waste because it did help some scarring. Very upsetting though back acne remained due to the price and promise.
Minnicin Capsules- After being on these for a few months I was amazed they worked. If your dermatologist is a moron they will most likely prescribe the pill\tablet form as mine did years previously. The capsule form apparently is much better for absorption so i recommend that. However, i started to feel strange (mentally\physically) while on this for a few months and chose to stop it. It is also an antibiotic (as you probably know) so you can not safely stay on it for too long. About a month after stopping my acne came back stronger than before.
Nutritional Therapy - I went to a wellness center that focused on diet and supplemental health. I was recommended various products from Standard Processes and Systemic Formulas that were designed to improve digestion and make you less susceptible to allergens. This was not very helpful although my seasonal allergies did improve
Paleo Diet- I worked for a wilderness therapy program and there we ate all organic vegetables and meat. We grew all our own veggies and fruits and was on an extremely healthy diet for 1 to 2 years. The program was on a sunny island location and my skin improved slightly but I attribute the minor improvement to the constant sunlight.
Head and Shoulders Classic Clean- good for drying up acne but does not prevent new breakouts
Vit D - Zinc - thought skin was improving but after 2 weeks had no effect. I took about 1000 Iu\day of D3 and 50 mg of Zinc
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Sulfate Free Burts Bees Shampoo
Head and Shoulders Classic Clean
I plan on taking colder showers (although I believe I've done this in the past). I'm awaiting a Blue Light Treatment from my dermatologist but beyond that I am at a loss on what to try next. If you've made it this far on my post (excuse my lack of humor, I've read other posts and I've chose to keep it task oriented) I thank you for reading and would really appreciate any advice on what to try next. The emotional impact of years of acne is very draining and as I transition into my 30's some positivity would be nice.
I plan on visiting an endocrinologist... A few other things I was pondering are listed below.
hormone treatment? who analyzes results\further treatment, effective?
increased supplement values? different supplement?
Thanks again for reading,