I am a 19 year old male and my acne is just getting worse and worse. I've had acne for about 7 years but this is definitely the worst I can remember it ever being and so I'd like to know what type it is and how I can stop this because it's severely killing my confidence day in, day out.
Here are a couple of photos:
This is how most dermatologists work:
- They give you an antibiotic pill and a topical cream of benzoyl peroxide mixed with an topical antibiotic
- If that doesn't work, they give you a retinoid cream
- If that doesn't work, they put you on birth control if you're female
- If that doesn't work, they put you on Accutane
I have never heard of anyone clearing permanently on antibiotics (since you can only take them for a short period of time), and very few clear on retinoids unless their acne is very mild.
While Accutane has its risks, if you want to see a dermatologist, I would just straight up ask them for Accutane if you're male, or birth control if you're female. Don't waste time like the rest of here using antibiotics and creams that don't work.
Green Gables you have helped so many people.. my derm proposed accutane (instead of spiro+antibiotics till spiro starts working again) but i know that if the problem is hormonal it will more likely come back after accutane is over.. i would like the idea of getting rid of acne forever as he said but since spiro cleared me up so nicely the first time i don't really have hope with non hormonal treatments do i? I use contact lenses and do laser treatment for facial and body hair.. he said that i won't have a problem but the directions state that i should avoid laser for 6 months after the end of the treatment and also that it can increase body hair..
I'm not completely against Accutane.
Two main components to acne:
- Too much oil production (this can happen even if your skin feels dry. Moisture is not the same as oiliness.)
- Sticky quality to the oil
Both of these add up to clogged pores, the pores get inflamed, you get zits, the trapped oil feeds bacteria (the bacteria normally doesn't cause a problem...until you give it a lot of food), yadda yadda yadda.
Your endocrine system (hormones) control the rate of oil production and the stickiness of the oil. They tell your sebaceous glands when to produce oil and how sticky it is.
However, your sebaceous glands also play a role. Many people with acne have sebaceous glands that are "huge" and "overactive." When your hormones have been stimulating them non-stop, it's easy to see why.
Accutane temporarily decreases testosterone and temporarily shrinks your sebaceous glands. This usually isn't a permanent cure because
- The hormones bounce back
- The sebaceous glands actually grow back over time
But...the HOPE is if you just aren't clearing on hormonal treatment, you can take Accutane, shrink your sebaceous glands down to a more reasonable size, and then when you continue hormonal treatment the glands won't grow back as big as they were before.
So if you think Accutane will help you, I say go for it, but I would COUNT on starting hormonal treatment RIGHT after your course. Most people enjoy a few months of clear on Accutane, so don't let it lull you into complacence. Just take the spiro or birth control or whatever as soon as you're done, and prevent it from ever coming back.
And you know, keep in mind the side effects. Accutane can be a really scary drug. You need to be following up with your doctor and getting everything tested regularly.
Edited by Green Gables, 01 November 2013 - 12:47 PM.