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Moderate/intense Acne

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#1 Twosteps

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:03 PM

I've been using this forum for years to try and come up with ideas to combat acne.  Wanted to keep a record of what I've tried and how much I think it worked.  I'm a 23 year old male.  This first part is going to be a informal “patient” history.  My current theories are in the second part.

 

I got my first zit at the end of 5th grade.  I thought I had a bug bite on my nose and one of my friends told me it was a pimple.  I asked my mom if it was a bug bite and over ten years later here I am.  Currently, I have persistent mild/moderate acne and 1-2 a month I get intense breakouts that take 6+ weeks to heal.

 

ProActiv (Fail) - Middle School

A male cousin a few years older than me had great success with proactiv and that's the first treatment I remember trying but I'm not sure how long I took it for.  I remember hating having to wash my face twice a day and my parents had to keep reminding me to do it.  I did this throughout middle school without satisfactory results.

 

Spectrum AntiBiotics (Fail) - High School

I tried 2-3 different types of antibiotics under the supervision of my derm.  None of them worked particularly well but I did learn that I am allergic to sulfa based drugs.  

 

Accutane (Fail) - Sophomore Year HS

I eventually changed derms because my first one refused to write prescriptions for accutane.  Obvious side effects included bloody noses, dry face and chapped lips.  I took 20mg twice a day for 3 months.  I think it helped a little bit but I experienced some really bad side effects so I will not take it again and I would not recommend it to anyone.  

 

An older cousin of mine (female) took accutane at about the same age and one thing I have noticed is that we are both way more introverted than the rest of our VERY outgoing irish family.  It could be coincidence, similar psychological response to having acne or the accutane itself.  I can never really know but I always thought it was interesting that we are the quietest and tend to miss the most family gatherings.  She is now clear so good for her smile.png

 

Doxycycline (Worked) - Junior Year HS

Apparently I was not pleased with the results of my accutane because within 6 months I started taking doxycycline.  Doxy was a miracle drug for me in so many ways.  It cleared up my acne unlike any other drug I took.  I was a three sport athlete at this point and was running 40+ miles a week (just in planned runs) for the next two years and I now I think that played an immense role in my overall health.  I was still working out my freshman year of college but by my sophomore year I stopped completely.  I would recommend antibiotics to somebody ONLY if they took probiotics during the end of their cycle.

 

Skin ID (Fail) - Sophomore Year Uni

In the spring of my sophomore year one of my friends called me out for taking antibiotics so much.  She basically told me I was ruining my immune system and it was going to hurt me more long term.  She convinced me to stop filling my doxy and I switched off my miracle pill to Skin ID.  Over the next year my skin had ups and downs.  When it was clear it was just as good as with the doxy but when it was bad it was horrible.  Spring of my junior year I had some terrible breakouts and I think that was the start of a trend that has continued to today.

 

Fish Oil (Worked) – Junior Year Uni

I became pretty religious about fish oil at this point.  It seems to really help me but it made me bruise SO easily I had to stop.  I also had some very bad problems with fainting due to blood pressure drops probably because of the fish oil.  One time I fell head first down a flight of stairs because I fainted (suffered a pretty bad concussion).  I love the theory behind omega 3s but do not recommend going all out with these mostly due to my specific medical problems. 

 

No Dairy/Sugar (Helps) - Senior Year Uni

Around the spring of my senior year I realized that my skin seemed to get particularly bad a few days after eating ice cream.  First I cut all dairy from my diet.  If something has cheese mixed into it I will eat a little bit of it but I will never eat it intentionally.  I also came to the conclusion that baked goods, in particular the sugar in them seems to break me out.  I still eat sugar but I make sure that I eat lots of psyllium if I do.  

 

Around this time my therapist (going back to the ‘tane days) got me started on liquid vitamin D3.  I probably do about 4000/day but I plan on switching to pills because of an ingredient in the liquid that causes chemical seeping (no ty).

 

My acne strayed from moderate to intense at this point and I started doing some serious research into a solution to my problem.

 

 

 

EDIT: Lunch break over =D gotta get back to work will finish another day.


Edited by Twosteps, 20 December 2013 - 01:05 PM.


#2 Twosteps

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 04:59 PM

Doxy Round Two w/ Clindamycin (Meh)

After graduating Uni I started working in a competitive accounting firm and one of the first things I noticed was that everyone hired in my class had clear skin!  Frustrating to say the least so I decided to go back to my derm and start a second regimen of doxycycline.  She was very hesitant because I had used it for so long years before and was worried about my tolerance to antibiotics.  As a "compromise" she gave me a three month supply of doxy 100mg twice daily and started me on clindamycin gel.  The idea was that the doxy would help mute my initial breakout from the clinda.  The doxy wasn't nearly as good as in the past =( and the clinda made my face look soooo oily.  Really frustrating.  I took the Doxy from Jan-March 2013 and so no real improvement.  Around May I started having a really bad breakout just about every 4 weeks (I'm a male).  

 

Tomatoes! (For a Time)

Around June of 2013 I read that tomatoes were really helpful so I was eating at least 2 massive uncooked tomatoes a day.  I pretty much don't like the taste of tomatoes but I had a 2 week business trip in europe and I wanted to try and look my best for our clients.  I think they helped for a month or two but I no longer swear by them.  

 

Candida (The Battle Rages!)

Around August of 2013 I started believing that I have some type of Candida infection.  All my life I have been a HUGE consumer of sugar and I ate massive amounts of carbs.  I think this combined with the intermittent and cycling of antibiotics has resulted in a resilient candida infection.  A big part of me believes I caught it from a girl I met during a road trip in Uni because a few months after our one night stand I started having my worst breakouts.  This could be just coincidence and most people seem to think candida can't be transmitted this way but it is my hunch.  

 

Some of the reasons I think I have candida are as follows: past antibiotic and heavy drug use, sugar/dairy sensitivity, white tongue coating and exhaustion.

 

Going to take a break.  When I come back I will detail my attempts to kill candida.



#3 Twosteps

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 05:56 PM

Helpful Candida Related Topics!

 

http://www.acne.org/...-4#entry2903440 post #65


Edited by Twosteps, 02 January 2014 - 05:57 PM.


#4 Twosteps

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:49 AM

Candida (Battle Recap)

Last August the first thing I did was stop eating the sugar and carbs like is recommended for candida cleanses.

 

Antifungals (Not for Me)

In september I started eating turmeric daily and ordered some oil of oregano from Greece.  I also procured some water kefir grains and started fermenting my own kefir water.  I started with about two weeks of a turmeric and garlic laden diet and then started drinking kefir water in the morning.  Later in the day I would eat my antifungals.  This made me break out terribly.  Lol looking back it was pretty much laughable how terrible my breakouts were.  Once my oil of oregano came I started drinking it.  It would burn the s**t out of my throat unless heavily diluted (1 drop per 16oz of water was still painful.)  Everything oil of oregano touches gives it a musty smell of oregano.

 

I did this through until mid January.  Ultimately, I think candida is pretty much a sham.  Some people may have it but most people are self-diagnosing and as a result oversimplifying their condition.  The white coating on my tongue is a pretty big mystery to me and frustrating but less of a concern than my acne.

 

Turmeric Masks (Not Worth It)

I did turmeric masks for about a month from mid december to mid january 2014.  Lol now everything in my bathroom is stained to some extent.  Overall, I think I saw a little improvement but not enough to justify staining all my janx.

 

Doing Too Much (Obsession)

Mid Jan 2014 I reflected on how many bats**t crazy ideas I have tried to fix my acne in the last year or two.  I decided to gradually cut back my regimen to the point where I was showering when I smelled bad instead of obsessively washing my face every 12 hours and rubbing 3-4 different things into my face.  That just can't be natural and becomes me waging a war on my face.

 

No More BP (Tough Decision)

Mid Jan: I have been using BP for over 4 years and it really is damn effective.  The stuff stains my clothes and sheets and the photosensitivity makes my face look weird if I've been out in the sun too much.  I started using it once a day then every other day until I wasn't using it anymore.

 

Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser

Last week in January: I stopped using a 2% Salicylic Acid foaming cleanser and instead switched to Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser.  I wanted something non hypo/comedogenic and without SA and this is a company I trust so I went for it.  I'm not totally committed to it though and probably should be doing more research into what I should be using for a minimalist routine.

 

Juicing

March 10, 2014 I got my juicer and started juicing.  I'm juicing a thumb sized piece of ginger, 1 lemon, 1pound of carrots, 1 bunch of kale, 1 tomato, 1 beet and 1 green apple every morning.  I'll also throw in either a crown of broccoli, 1 bunch of chard, 1/2 of a cucumber or some asparagus (in a pinch, gives almost no juice).  

 

Washing Face Once a Day (SO hard)

April 3rd:  The combination of no BP, no SA and juicing has me breaking out pretty bad.  No cysts just lots of active acne.  It's been over two months since I started simplifying my regimen and I decided to take it one more step.   April 3rd for the first time in years I only washed my face once.  I've decided to only wash my face with a cleanser at night (around 8pm) and wash it off with just water after I'm done shaving/trimming in the morning.  Even eliminating BP and SA my face was still getting very dry and I had to use moisturizer to keep it from peeling.  It seems silly to rub all the oils my body made off my face and replace it with something made in a plastic bottle.  After 24 hours I developed 1-2 more pimples but my redness seems to be fading (probably just because my skin isn't as dry).  Still is way too early to tell but I'm hopeful.  


Edited by Twosteps, 04 April 2014 - 01:01 PM.


#5 Twosteps

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 06:29 PM

No More Cleanser

4/20:  I stopped using cleansers completely a few days ago.  I also haven't had a drink of alcohol in about 40 days (very hard).  So far my skin is doing awesome.  I only wash it off with water.  I try to only do it every 12 hours or so but I'm not too picky about it.  My skin is healing hella fast now which is a huge bonus.  I have so much more free time and just think about my face way less so it has been more enjoyable.  I'm a little worried about summer humidity but meh deal with that when the time comes.



#6 Twosteps

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 08:09 PM

5/3- the white shit on my tongue cleared up on a spot about the size of a quarter, much bigger than dime sizes I've seen in the past = encouraging

I'm taking chelated magnesium (25% dv) in the morning and chelated zinc (120% dv = half a pill) later in the day.  Both with meals.  The zinc seemed to break me out at first but I think that is subsiding.  Around this time I also started drinking TURMERIC again.  GOD DAMN I love this stuff.  It always seems to clear up my face for a bit and maybe helped my tongue out???? Who knows.

 

5/11- Still not using cleanser.  Face looks better and my forehead is starting to calm down (broke out like crazy when I first started).  Using just water 2x a day seems to dry out my skin so I've been trying to limit it to once per day for the last week or so. 

 

Ingrown hair on my upper lip (shittiest place= looks likes herps but isn't).  I plucked it out with tweezers on morning of 5/10 (also most painful place to get ingrown hair) and now the area is red as shit and looks like it's bonna scab.  Les shittay esp going into the work week.

 

in two different places I heard mention of striving to live in the moment.  It sounds cliche but I think it's also refreshing to hear people talk about it.  It's almost like it was so overused nobody mentions it anymore.  Think I'm going to hunt for some meditation books or something as silly as it sounds.

 

PS: I'm eating CARBS again.  There doesn't seem to be a relation between carbs and my acne.  I juice M/W/F and everything seems better.

 

edit: fixed dates cuz they were off by a month


Edited by Twosteps, 17 May 2014 - 04:27 PM.


#7 Twosteps

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 04:34 PM

5/17-  My skin looks better and is infinitely easier to maintain now that I am not washing it like a psychopath.  The ingrown hair on my lip came back with a vengeance last night and now I'm worried it's not what I thought it was.  (Fuck).  Still don't think it is herps but need to come up with a plan of attack.  

 

I came down with the flu on 5/14 but should be better by tomorrow.  This might have had something to do with the resurgence of my lip zit/ingrown.

 

I got a scar on my chin just on/below my jawline about a month ago.  The scar healed but now it seems there are some hairs trapped behind the skin.  I can feel the pressure starting to build up just above the scar which is odd.  If it is ingrown hairs they are gonna be big. Not a good.  My forehead seems to be doing a little bit better.  



#8 Twosteps

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 01:35 PM

5/31- holy shit….. eating carbs again was a terrible idea. lol. My forehead has broken out sooo terribly.  On one side there are about 10 active cysts/big hyper pigmentation marks.  It started around 5/17 and has just gotten so much worse in the weeks since.  Huge blow to my ego and self esteem.  

 

It started off really bad right above my eyebrow (around 5/10) and slowly moved its way towards my hairline.  Now theres some really bad inflammation (4-5) just below my hairline but the scarring on the way up there is really bad.  Just when I thought it was going to start fading on Thursday night (5/29) I discovered a new cyst on the other side of my forehead.  This guy is big now and looks like it is just going to keep on growing.  Fucking blows.  My self esteem is rock bottom right now and going to work is becoming stressful (probably made the huge fucker on the other side of my forehead).  My cheeks are both decent.  The lip thing has gone away.  I don't know what I'm going to do about my forehead.  

 

Stopped juicing and now starting to think avocados may be causing my breakouts.  The list just keeps on getting longer…..



#9 Twosteps

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:32 PM

6/9

Tea tree oil totally saved me last week.  It evaporated the massive pimple on the other side of my forehead.  It was a big guy and it is now gone.  I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the left side of my forehead though.  It's got pretty bad red scars that are going to take like two months to fade which is super annoying.  They are close enough to my hairline that when I switch my part it covers it pretty well.  

 

My biggest problem right now is I jammed my right knee on the 5th and haven't been able to do cardio in almost 5 days.   Frustrating to say the least.  My workload has been intense the last week and it is going to stay that way for another week or two.  Long days usually means more stress but hopefully I'll be OK. I bailed on a family reunion last week 80% because half of my fam are models/UFC fighters or some shit and 20% because I had lots of work to get done.  I think if I can get working out again things will start looking up.  My damn knees have always been "sensitive."  I might try and run like ten minutes tonight to test 'em out.

 

edit: date was wrong


Edited by Twosteps, 09 June 2014 - 01:32 PM.


#10 Twosteps

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 01:38 PM

9/10

 

Been a while since I've posted.  My face is not clear and I have not washed it with anything but water for almost 5 months (140days-ish).  I do not regret making this lifestyle change as my face is no worse than it was when I washed religiously, breakouts are just concentrated on my forehead now.

 

My cheeks;/nose are pretty much perfect right now but my forehead is still being a pita.  Washing my face with water I feel that the skin on my forehead feels different than the skin on my cheeks.  The easiest word to describe my forehead is "bumpy" but not really.  It's like there are super tiny yellow hardened sebum that block my pores (but don't cause acne) and I can scrap them off with my nail.  Gross and weird as shit.

 

My forehead is so weird.  Whenever I start to think it is clearing up a big pimple just appears out of nowhere.  My forehead acne seems to be concentrated around my temples (left one is worse) but I still have some hyper pigmentation above my eyes as well.  Weird stuff.

 

edit: clarity


Edited by Twosteps, 10 September 2014 - 01:39 PM.





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