Hello, everyone-- I'm new here. I am hoping that someone can help me as I am going through a very, very tough time right now.
I've had acne cysts here and there since I was about 15 years old. Usually just one or two at a time, every few months. It was annoying, but not debilitating. During my teens and early 20s, I tried things like Retin-A and antibiotics, but the cysts were always coming back here and there. Again, though, not so much that it wasn't manageable.
After a particularly bad breakout last fall, I decided to see a dermatologist. I have PCOS and hypothyroid (Hashimoto's), so she quickly recognized the hormonal acne pattern (along my chin, behind my ears and on my upper neck). Starting in September 2013, I was put on 100mg of Spironolactone (50mg to start, but I was up to 100mg by just two weeks later) daily. I was also put on Doryx (extended release doxycycline) and Aczone topical gel.
I initially decided I didn't want to take the Doryx, both because I hate long term antibiotics and because it was like $450 a month (before my deductible was met). My skin was improving just using the Spiro and Aczone. In fact, over three months, I had about one cyst and that was it. At my two month dermo follow up, I told the doc I wasn't taking the Doryx, so she prescribed me another topical antibiotic-- Acanya-- to use as needed. I had a bad reaction to the Acanya initially, so I didn't use it much. Also, I had ZERO breakouts for the next 4 months.
Forward to five days ago. One cyst popped up. No biggie-- I just figured I was due for one. Then another. Then another. Within a matter of 24 hours, I had cysts EVERYWHERE. On my forehead, in my eyebrows, eyelids, around my mouth, all over my neck, on my nose and on my cheeks. At last count I had 51 of them on my face and neck. 51. I have NEVER had more than 5 or 6 on a bad breakout. This is, hands down, the WORST breakout I have EVER had in my life. I am absolutely broken. I refuse to leave the house. It's so bad I look like I have chicken pox.
I saw my dermo after the breakout began on Tuesday morning. She told me to just continue what I was doing, but to go ahead and start taking the Doryx (antibiotic) again. I have been taking that since Monday (I actually took one before I went in in the hopes I would nip it off at the bud). Today the breakout is still flaring, I still have new cysts forming, and my entire. Face. Hurts.
I have spent several hours just crying and sobbing because I went from being 100% clear to looking like a case for Accutane in about 24 hours flat. What in the sam heck happened?! Is the Spiro CAUSING the breakout?!
I should add that I am also on birth control (Apri-- which I have been taking forever and it has never been a problem).
Could this be a Spiro "initial breakout" even though it has been 5.5 months since I started Spiro? Or is it something else? And how the heck do I make it go away? Thank god I work from home, because if I didn't, I would have lost my job. I refuse to even run to the supermarket looking like i do.
Please, please help me.