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#1 Cellardoor9

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 01:48 AM

Hey theree! So, it's that time of year again where my face goes to shit! So, finally decided to make an account on this site since I've been browsing it for years to find the acne cure miracle.. After years of being stuck with cystic acne, I've decided to try a more hormonal based approach since in the last few months, my skin has fluctuated from 'not too bad' to 'please peel my skin off' levels of intensity. My doctor put me on 25mg of Spiro last week but I've just been 50mg. I'm also using erythromycin gel which I might change next time I go back to the dermatologist. It's kind of funny, I've been going there so long and have tried almost everything (except accutane thank god), he usually asks me what meds I want. So, If any of you know of a good topical i can switch to that will help these painful cysts go down, please feel free to shout it out because I can't wait for the spiro to go into effect.

 

Background: I'm a 22yr old female with moderately severe cystic acne mainly along my neck and jawline (and acne on shoulders and back). I've had cystic acne since I was in high school but in the last year, it has been more intense around my jaw when I used to get it more on my checks. Pretty sure its hormone related because I've always been irregular and hardly ever get my period. I've always thought I had high testosterone.. just a lot of little things such as excessive body hair and just being tom-boyish.  I've always been thin and don't really gain weight. I'm 115-120lb and 5'7. 

Hoping Spiro will help help me with my acne and maybe some added effects of making me more womanly. I feel like such a guy, I got no curves or boob.  o.e  


Edited by Cellardoor9, 17 March 2014 - 04:15 PM.


#2 CarpeMomentum

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 10:37 AM

Welcome to the 1st time Spiro club.  These boards have helped me immensely to find this treatment and so thankful that I did.  I am on Day 38 of my treatment and hope to follow along with your positive results.  No matter what hang in there.  As I'm sure you've read it takes patience and lots of strength.  But we are all here to support!  :)  How are you feeling so far first week +?



#3 Cellardoor9

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 12:37 PM

Thanks CarpeMomentum! I'm at the two week mark tomorrow and  so far, I haven't really had any reactions to the medication yet except for noticing a slightly increased appetite. I have been getting a few new cysts/ breakouts but I'm hoping it's the initial breakout and it will slow down soon. On friday, I also started taking doxy 100mg 1x a day as well that I kind of independently prescribed to myself because I had some left over from a previous prescription. I've seen other people have taken the two medications together and It seemed to work well. I just felt like I needed something to go with the Spiro while I was waiting for it to kick in. I have my dermatologist appointment on Wednesday and I'm going to see what he thinks of my self- diagnosis. 



#4 CarpeMomentum

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:53 AM

Glad to hear no side effects!  I experienced the worst initial breakouts week 2 1/2-4 and the bumps that came in the 3-4th week are still clearing out.  Hopefully yours is calmed by the Doxy.  It definitely has helped the inflammation and any further horrible breakout so far.   It's a long journey, but as I am sure you've read it is welllll worth it!  Despite time feeling like it's so slow waiting for it to work.  It will fly by before you know it.



#5 Cellardoor9

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:41 PM

3 Weeks today. Skin still bad... but I suppose that is to be expected. Dermatologist wouldn't refill my doxy because he didn't want me mixing so I just have the few pills I have left. :( He also didn't like that I upped my dose to 50mg even tho I gave him the sob speech that I'm dying with these cyst so I'm doing 25mg one day, 50mg the next.  Also stuck with this crappy erythromycin 3% /benzoyl peroxide 5% gel because my prescription copays are ridiculously high. I'm going to have to shell over the $60- 70 and get myself a tube of tazorac next time I go back. *Goes back under my rock for another few months*



#6 CarpeMomentum

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 09:59 AM

Hang in there, that was definitely the worst week for me 3-4 and then dealing with all of the clearing after it.  I hated looking in the mirror and was obsessed with it, a catch22.  Deep breathes girl and just know you are trying something at least.  Talk about it with friends if you feel like you can and let some of the anxiety out.  I still feel like hiding away and if you looked at me now you wouldn't even notice anything.  I've got all these clogged pores to contend with and wish it was a month from now and clearing.  I know your pain and wanting to hide, but keep sharing and keep updating and you will soon hopefully start to see some changes.  Anything you can do to your diet to try and help during this time?



#7 Cellardoor9

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:38 AM

I've been slightly changing my diet but I kind of gave up... I just did a before spiro- current picture comparison and realized my cyst got ALOT worse and more inflamed. I guess I didnt really notice because my face has been fluctuating a lot in the past few years. Everyone is probably sick of me complaining to them. That's why I came here to complain to people who complain about the same things lol. If I ever survive this battle, I'm going to have some pretty awesome before and after pictures



#8 CarpeMomentum

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 12:13 PM


Complain all you need, I feel like it's good to get it out at least then bottling it all in.  Hard when friends and family can't relate to what we are going through.  How far into Spiro are you now?  I'm 2 months this weekend and still not out of the woods yet. 

I've been slightly changing my diet but I kind of gave up... I just did a before spiro- current picture comparison and realized my cyst got ALOT worse and more inflamed. I guess I didnt really notice because my face has been fluctuating a lot in the past few years. Everyone is probably sick of me complaining to them. That's why I came here to complain to people who complain about the same things lol. If I ever survive this battle, I'm going to have some pretty awesome before and after pictures



#9 Cellardoor9

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:50 PM

I'm only on Day 24. Its been a long 24 days tho. Started a gallery log... its pretty bad right now. I'm in the Dark ages.

What's your dose right now? And how bad was your acne before you started? I feel like mine its much worse than most people who start Spiro so it would probably take longer for me to clear than most ... that is, hoping that this works and I don't have to resort to accutane. My dermotologist is already seeming like he wants to push me in that direction and I'm afraid to go there.



#10 CarpeMomentum

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 11:32 AM

Girl I feel you!! These last two months of hell have felt like an eternity.  I along with many others have been there.  I am just thankful it's winter and hiding away is a little bit more acceptable, snow storms, cold days, etc.  Mine was honestly very mild but persistent and started last fall to become more inflammed and a few small cysts.   Since being on Spiro the purge has been worse than any breakout that I've had in years.  So with that being said it's been mentally draining and physically exhausting to think and worry about this every day.  I get hope every day I come on here and talk to someone that is going through or has gone through it before.  Reading the reviews as well helped me a tone.  I have heard some people on here went on both spiro and accutance together, lower dose accutane to try a two pronged approach.  I am trying 50mg Spiro, Yasmin and on doxy 200 mg right now to calm the initial breakout that started 3-4 weeks.  I've actually had two small cysts or what might be considered inflammed with no head this week for the first time in 5 weeks.  Discouraging but think it might be due to my Yasmin, just started 2nd pack this week and many woman have said they had breakouts the 2nd month.  So here's to 2 months and moving into my 3rd.  My PIH has faded a bit from the first breakout and these are less red at least for now I think due to doxy.  Are antibiotics an option while you get through this rough time?  It helped with inflammation and redness for me which in the end helps on potential scarring.  Sending you lots of positive thoughts and support today.  God knows we all need it!

I'm only on Day 24. Its been a long 24 days tho. Started a gallery log... its pretty bad right now. I'm in the Dark ages.

What's your dose right now? And how bad was your acne before you started? I feel like mine its much worse than most people who start Spiro so it would probably take longer for me to clear than most ... that is, hoping that this works and I don't have to resort to accutane. My dermotologist is already seeming like he wants to push me in that direction and I'm afraid to go there.



#11 Cellardoor9

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 10:24 PM

1 month today. I was bumped up to 50mg/ day and after I get my blood test done, he said he would push me to 75mg. My derm. is realizing that this is the worst breakout I've ever had and he mentioned Accutane again to me because he's worried that my skin is so bad that I'll be stuck with permanent scarring. :'( I'm still too afraid to go on accutane. I don't want the risk of liver damage or diabetes (especially since diabetes runs in my family). I'm holding out and hoping Spiro kicks in. I feel like Accutane is a temporary solution to my long term acne, where the spiro can possibly be something I stay on for long term with few risks



#12 CarpeMomentum

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 06:45 AM

Hi there!  I know how you feel, my breakout month 1 was definitely the worst I had experienced before.  A total purging of my pores, but the antibiotic helped the inflammation and it became all closed comedones that came up.  Is that a potential option in th meantime?  I have heard others on this board take Accutane along with Spiro.  Accutane to clear up the current acne and spiro to support the long term.  It sounds like you are obviously in it for the long haul and going to do what it takes to see the treatment out.  Stick with Spiro as long as you and your derm think is right, even if you go on accutane so you don't have it come back.  My heart feels for you and is sending you lots of positive thoughts today!  The increase is conservative but perhaps that will do the trick!

1 month today. I was bumped up to 50mg/ day and after I get my blood test done, he said he would push me to 75mg. My derm. is realizing that this is the worst breakout I've ever had and he mentioned Accutane again to me because he's worried that my skin is so bad that I'll be stuck with permanent scarring. :'( I'm still too afraid to go on accutane. I don't want the risk of liver damage or diabetes (especially since diabetes runs in my family). I'm holding out and hoping Spiro kicks in. I feel like Accutane is a temporary solution to my long term acne, where the spiro can possibly be something I stay on for long term with few risk



#13 Cellardoor9

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:23 PM

Day 39. Still breaking out, got two huge cysts on either sides of my cheek right under my eyes. I guess my hormones wanted to make my face symmetrical. Old stuff seems a little less inflamed but still pretty red. Hurts a little less when I wash my face. Waiting on my potassium levels to come in to see if I can continue to higher dosage. I've been having a little bit of side effects from the medication but nothing too extreme: some light-headedness and feel a pulsation in my right eye. Also more frequent periods, which is probably good for me. I haven't had a full period (not spotting) since early November and just had one a few days ago.

Went to another dermatologist to ask for a second opinion. She doesn't think the spiro is for more and wants to put me on accutane... go figure. Part of me doesn't want to give up on the Spiro because I still haven't gotten to the higher doses, so I feel like I can't really determine if its not working. And whose to say accutane will work/ will prevent acne from coming back? My dermatologist will definitely NOT give me accutane with spiro. He doesn't even want to give me a regular antibiotic with it. I'm going to try convincing him next time I go, hoping my K test is alright. I heard a lot of good things about Bactrim, but I'm afraid of being allergic to sulfur and being hospitalized.

Thanks for the support CarpeMomentum!



#14 Cellardoor9

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:33 PM

side note to anyone reading: cystic acne runs in my family. My grandfather, Aunt and cousin all have/ had pretty severe acne on their face and back/ shoulders. I got stuck with the bad genes =[ I'm pretty sure my skin is VERY hormonally sensitive, so I had some expectation that I was definitely going to be breaking our more at the beginning of this treatment. Then again, my hormones are kind of all over the place to start, which was the reason I was breaking out to start with. I'm just hoping the lower androgen levels will calm my overactive sebaceous glands.  Oh the day I can wash my face without bleeding will be a lovely one. That's all I ask for...



#15 tracy521

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 03:17 PM

if your skin is that bad why not beg the derm for keflex to take for 4-8 weeks? that stuff worked so well i stopped breaking out in 5 days after taking it. it saved my life and my skin from anymore scarring so it was totally worth it. i was supposed to start accutane around the time i asked for keflex so that was like my last shot. so glad that it worked i never had to go on accutane. i am on 100mg spiro a day and have been so for over a year. i will say every single time my dose was upped i got a bad breakout it was awful.  ugh!

its fine to take spiro and accutane together because like my derm said the accutane would have cleared me up but that i would most likely start breaking out after i got off of it unless i stayed on the spiro since my acne was hormonal. anyway keep on the spiro and ask for the keflex. i tried bactrim about 6 years ago and had a bad allergic reaction from it. took 2 weeks for the reaction to really set in and when it did i had a 103 degree temperature and had to take steroids for 6 days. no fun there but you wont know if you are allergic until you try it. good luck to you - keep your chin up!

one more note if your skin is bad enough the derm can give you prednisone to calm everything down.


Edited by tracy521, 06 March 2014 - 03:21 PM.


#16 Cellardoor9

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 02:45 AM

Thanks for the advice! I just looked up Keflex and was excited about trying it but found out its in the penicillin family of drugs and I got a reaction to amoxicillin when I took it when I was younger, so i might be allergic x-x I definitely need to ask for an antibiotic tho because I have one of my cysts spread to a 2 inch long mass and he just injected my face and gave me nothing to help it... Terrible derm wants to make me suffer. I have some free sample solodyn pills that I'm so close to just taking even tho i dont think they are strong enough to help me



#17 CarpeMomentum

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:06 AM

That is frustating your derm is not open to helping with an antibiotic.  I would maybe stress to them how much this is deeply affecting you and you are really afraid of the scarring leftover by cysts.  The antibiotic doxy 200mg a day has helped with inflammation and keeping the big buggers away.  I've had some inflammed ones over the course especially in the first two months, but honestly not many and I can attribute that to the anti.  I take Turmeric and ginger religiusly to help with inflammation, I don't know how much is in my head but I do think it helps with overall inflammation in the body and skin.  Keep your head up girl.  These very troubled times will be over one day and you will be a stronger person.  Sending you lots of positive thoughts for some additional assistance in your journey!

Thanks for the advice! I just looked up Keflex and was excited about trying it but found out its in the penicillin family of drugs and I got a reaction to amoxicillin when I took it when I was younger, so i might be allergic x-x I definitely need to ask for an antibiotic tho because I have one of my cysts spread to a 2 inch long mass and he just injected my face and gave me nothing to help it... Terrible derm wants to make me suffer. I have some free sample solodyn pills that I'm so close to just taking even tho i dont think they are strong enough to help me



#18 tracy521

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 09:42 AM

Thanks for the advice! I just looked up Keflex and was excited about trying it but found out its in the penicillin family of drugs and I got a reaction to amoxicillin when I took it when I was younger, so i might be allergic x-x I definitely need to ask for an antibiotic tho because I have one of my cysts spread to a 2 inch long mass and he just injected my face and gave me nothing to help it... Terrible derm wants to make me suffer. I have some free sample solodyn pills that I'm so close to just taking even tho i dont think they are strong enough to help me

 you are welcome and that sucks about the keflex! you could try asking for minocycline or there is eyrthroymycin, azithromycin, tetracycline etc. you said doxycycline didnt work for you right? if the derm is not willing to help you then i would look for another derm. call around and see if there are any that can get you in right away. explain what is going on and see if they can fit you in quicker. i saw a few derms before i found one that was really willing to help me and knew how much it was all affecting me. i find that women are so much more empathetic. 


Edited by tracy521, 07 March 2014 - 09:46 AM.


#19 Cellardoor9

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:33 PM

Week 6: I got some solodyn from another dermatologist but she didn't want me to continue the Spiro. I've been taking the solodyn with the Spiro for the meantime until I see my regular dermotologist on wednesday. Things seems to be progressively worsening on the bottom half of my face. Both sides are forming crazy cystic masses rather than just individual cysts... The 2 cysts on my upper cheeks seem to be going down which is probably the only good thing happening to my face. I'm still only on 50mg but i think ill be up to 75mg by wednesday. I'm a little afraid how my skin will react to it considering how bad I broke out when I started. I don't think I can handle worse than what I have... but I want to make it to at least a 100mg for 3 months before I can say spiro isnt working for me. 

I've been on doxy many times before, but never long term to see if it had helped. My face was never this bad so I always tried to avoid oral meds in the past, even when i was getting cysts. Now im popping 3 pills a day.

Also right now, I'm using Benzefoam and Epiduo in the morning and sodium sulfacetamide lotion 10% at night. Trying two different approaches... anything to dry my skin out... i feel like the more my skin flakes, the more the cysts can drain and less oils on my face. Some days, i cant even moisturize



#20 tracy521

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:30 AM

yeah that was how it was for me the bottom half of my face just got worse and worse and when i would get cysts another one would form right next to it and then right next to that. it was like they kept multiplying and as soon as i would get one area injected another one would pop up. it was an endless cycle until i took the keflex because the doxy didnt touch it at all. if the solodyn isnt stopping any of the cystic acne then i would look to get another antibiotic or to stop completely. no reason to be on them if they arent helping at all. i will predict if you are like how i was that you will breakout every single time you up the dose which is why i always recommend to people to just jump right up to the 100mg. for me i got a bad breakout every single time my dose was upped it was so awful. i can totally feel for you pain because i was in the same place last year.

i also think you are using too many products on your face which is going to irritate it even more and make it way too dry. my derm told me once that when the skin is dry it causes cracks in the skin that cause bacteria to enter which is why you want to keep your skin not too oily and not too dry. try using less products. your skin will thank you! i would keep with the epiduo and a gentle face wash and a good moisturizer and that is it. if the epiduo is too drying then just switch to using something with AHA/BHA that will help you out a lot.


Edited by tracy521, 11 March 2014 - 07:32 AM.





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