I'm a 43 y/o male and I've suffered with acne since age 13. Fortunately, I don't scar, but I'm in trade show sales and am constantly depressed about my appearance. Stress and DNA are the most likely root causes of my acne problems. I eat a fairly balanced diet, no food allergies, and exercise at least 3x/week. Given that I can't do much about stress or DNA, I need your help ASAP!
Blackheads (mostly nose and forehead)
Whiteheads (under eyes, chin)
Cystic acne (honkers)
Occasional back and body acne
Tazorac Cream 1x/day (started 2x/day this week just to see if will make a difference)
Anthony Oil-fix (from Ulta) - used occasionally when really oily.
Clinique spot cover
Was on omoxocillin and minocycline for years, but no longer effective
Tried topical antibiotics, but no effect
Tried over-the-counter products (pads, creams) but haven't found a great one
Tried Proactive (damn infomercials!)
Deep exfoliator 2 - 3x/week (was using a rotary brush, but have gone back to hand application to lessen irritation)
Toner 1 - 2x/day (limited effect, but deep-cleans)
I've tried pretty much everything but Accutane and the light therapies and am at wits end! I even stopped shaving to avoid ingrown hair cysts (foliculitis).
Most of my acne has a hard pip inside, which I guess causes an infection that produces pus. When I pop, there's usually a 2-stage burst, first with pus and then the pip. I really know the site is clear when blood comes out. Of course, I know that popping is bad, but it's the only small victory I can claim against the "bastards". Blackheads tend to be pips or long strings of semi-hard pus.
I'm open to suggestions from folks in my age bracket who may have had a similar experience and found a lasting solution!