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Mild to Moderate Acne

Dermatologists Can't Help Me

acne dermatitis rosacea eczema sensitive skin dry skin clogged pores redness

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#1 mikehold555

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 06:51 PM

Basically, as the title says, I have not found any help among the many dermatologists I have seen in the past several years. The main problem is that my skin problems seem to be all over the map and can differ at different times and show different symptoms and even clear up for a short (and I mean SHORT) period of time and then come back and get me depressed.

 

I only wash my face with cleansers/facial soaps meant for dry/sensitive skin. I have also used a lot of different moisturizers, all claiming to be oil-free and noncomodogenic. I have tried washing only once a day, twice a day, once a day with moisturizer, twice a day with moisturizer and other combinations. I have even tried not using ANY product on my face (curiously, my skin tone and state was the best it has been in a while in the month or so I did this...but I go to the gym a lot, so it didn't seem right not washing at all...and started noticing some clogged pores happening around my nose and upper cheek area and one inflamed into a HUGE nasty zit by my nose that lasted so long and I still have a very noticeable red mark from it a couple months later).

 

I have had problems not irritating my skin with facial products. I get red and blotchy really easily and my skin gets dried out with pretty much anything I use..including just washing with only water. I don't get a ton of actual pimples most of the time but when I do, they are typically huge and last forever and leave big red marks after they finally deflate (they don't usually get to a pus-like whitehead and go away...just big nasty red bump that takes weeks into months to get flatter and then leaves a red mark for months). I also get a lot of small bumps/clogged pores all around my cheeks, particularly my upper cheeks and by my nose/mouth. Most of these stay skin colored and hard to detect but I also get blotchiness in the areas (which lately is all over) they mainly are (cheeks/under my eyes/by nose). I also deal with some fleeting itchiness in these areas (particularly by my nose and under my eye). So, as you can tell, my condition is all over the map. At the present, my skin looks terrible and has a lot of clogged pores all around and red marks by my upper cheeks, both sides of nose (not actually on nose) and under one of my eyes. This is after trying some treatments from my dermatologist...which leads me to what I have tried, topically and orally:

 

-Retinoids (differn, epiduo and a couple others)- First docs initially said it was mild acne (face wasn't nearly as bad as now) and tried these but they made almost no difference except keeping me mostly clear of clogged pores but would still break out in big pimples with the same frequency as when I didn't use them and my skin was constantly dry/irritated and red all over..even after backing off and using it for a few months

 

-Benzaclin (used it years ago for a minor breakout and it worked pretty well...my face wasn't sensitive back then and was simple to deal with)- This just kept irritating me and I stopped using very quickly.

 

-Tetracycline/Doxy/Mino- along with the above treatments. Not sure how effective because eventually just stopped all of them together after not seeing desired results

 

-Noritate (recently another doc said it could be mild case of rosacea/dermatitis)- It just dried me out and didn't really help much with the already red and dried areas of skin..even caused some postures to come up..which really shouldn't have caused if it was going to help..so stopped after a week at doctor's directions

 

-Prascion topical sulphur cleanser (5%sulfur & 10%sodiuma...forget it)- Was directed after noritate to use this once at night to cleanse face and just use water in the morning-Tried for a week and ordered to stop (just stopped today)- at first, it just caused some dryness..no biggie but also seemed to help some clogged pores a little..then rest of the week I began getting more dryness, irritation, red/blotchy areas became redder and blotchier and more clogged pores seemed to come up (particularly by nose/upper cheeks) and I was breaking out a bit in an area I previously have had no issues with (my chin) and things were just looking rashy/bumby/red and spotty all over the place. I even used moisturizer after and it just dried right away and didn't help. 

 

Spoke to my doc today because i looked at myself in the mirror and my face looked horrible (don't remember it looking this terrible ever really) and he told me to stop using the cleanser and just wash face for next couple days with water and put on 1% hydrocortisone cream to help calm down the irritation and see him again in a few days to reassess. 

 

I don't know what to do. I am sorry this is long but, as you can see, this is a very complicated case that I haven't been able to figure out and treat. Its like anything that touches my face makes it worse, whether for acne, rosacea, dermatitis, or just cleaning/moisturizing. My face was never problematic until i started to have some very minor breakouts and then maybe ruined my skin with the harsh acne topicals. Ever since then, I can't deal with my skin no matter what I do. It has shattered my confidence and caused me to miss work on many occasions during badd periods (I am a 24 y.o guy, btw), isolate myself completely from any friends I have and even family. I am also dealing with depression, so this obviously is devastating to deal with and hinders my progression from that. 

 

Does any of what I am saying click in anyone else's mind? Similar stories/reactions skin wise? It seems as though the past few years I have spent as much time recovering from treatments that messed things up more as I have trying to fix the original problem. Please help, I am so desperate. 



#2 Michelle Reece

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 07:18 PM

Basically, as the title says, I have not found any help among the many dermatologists I have seen in the past several years. The main problem is that my skin problems seem to be all over the map and can differ at different times and show different symptoms and even clear up for a short (and I mean SHORT) period of time and then come back and get me depressed.

 

I only wash my face with cleansers/facial soaps meant for dry/sensitive skin. I have also used a lot of different moisturizers, all claiming to be oil-free and noncomodogenic. I have tried washing only once a day, twice a day, once a day with moisturizer, twice a day with moisturizer and other combinations. I have even tried not using ANY product on my face (curiously, my skin tone and state was the best it has been in a while in the month or so I did this...but I go to the gym a lot, so it didn't seem right not washing at all...and started noticing some clogged pores happening around my nose and upper cheek area and one inflamed into a HUGE nasty zit by my nose that lasted so long and I still have a very noticeable red mark from it a couple months later).

 

I have had problems not irritating my skin with facial products. I get red and blotchy really easily and my skin gets dried out with pretty much anything I use..including just washing with only water. I don't get a ton of actual pimples most of the time but when I do, they are typically huge and last forever and leave big red marks after they finally deflate (they don't usually get to a pus-like whitehead and go away...just big nasty red bump that takes weeks into months to get flatter and then leaves a red mark for months). I also get a lot of small bumps/clogged pores all around my cheeks, particularly my upper cheeks and by my nose/mouth. Most of these stay skin colored and hard to detect but I also get blotchiness in the areas (which lately is all over) they mainly are (cheeks/under my eyes/by nose). I also deal with some fleeting itchiness in these areas (particularly by my nose and under my eye). So, as you can tell, my condition is all over the map. At the present, my skin looks terrible and has a lot of clogged pores all around and red marks by my upper cheeks, both sides of nose (not actually on nose) and under one of my eyes. This is after trying some treatments from my dermatologist...which leads me to what I have tried, topically and orally:

 

-Retinoids (differn, epiduo and a couple others)- First docs initially said it was mild acne (face wasn't nearly as bad as now) and tried these but they made almost no difference except keeping me mostly clear of clogged pores but would still break out in big pimples with the same frequency as when I didn't use them and my skin was constantly dry/irritated and red all over..even after backing off and using it for a few months

 

-Benzaclin (used it years ago for a minor breakout and it worked pretty well...my face wasn't sensitive back then and was simple to deal with)- This just kept irritating me and I stopped using very quickly.

 

-Tetracycline/Doxy/Mino- along with the above treatments. Not sure how effective because eventually just stopped all of them together after not seeing desired results

 

-Noritate (recently another doc said it could be mild case of rosacea/dermatitis)- It just dried me out and didn't really help much with the already red and dried areas of skin..even caused some postures to come up..which really shouldn't have caused if it was going to help..so stopped after a week at doctor's directions

 

-Prascion topical sulphur cleanser (5%sulfur & 10%sodiuma...forget it)- Was directed after noritate to use this once at night to cleanse face and just use water in the morning-Tried for a week and ordered to stop (just stopped today)- at first, it just caused some dryness..no biggie but also seemed to help some clogged pores a little..then rest of the week I began getting more dryness, irritation, red/blotchy areas became redder and blotchier and more clogged pores seemed to come up (particularly by nose/upper cheeks) and I was breaking out a bit in an area I previously have had no issues with (my chin) and things were just looking rashy/bumby/red and spotty all over the place. I even used moisturizer after and it just dried right away and didn't help. 

 

Spoke to my doc today because i looked at myself in the mirror and my face looked horrible (don't remember it looking this terrible ever really) and he told me to stop using the cleanser and just wash face for next couple days with water and put on 1% hydrocortisone cream to help calm down the irritation and see him again in a few days to reassess. 

 

I don't know what to do. I am sorry this is long but, as you can see, this is a very complicated case that I haven't been able to figure out and treat. Its like anything that touches my face makes it worse, whether for acne, rosacea, dermatitis, or just cleaning/moisturizing. My face was never problematic until i started to have some very minor breakouts and then maybe ruined my skin with the harsh acne topicals. Ever since then, I can't deal with my skin no matter what I do. It has shattered my confidence and caused me to miss work on many occasions during badd periods (I am a 24 y.o guy, btw), isolate myself completely from any friends I have and even family. I am also dealing with depression, so this obviously is devastating to deal with and hinders my progression from that. 

 

Does any of what I am saying click in anyone else's mind? Similar stories/reactions skin wise? It seems as though the past few years I have spent as much time recovering from treatments that messed things up more as I have trying to fix the original problem. Please help, I am so desperate. 

 

Get a confirmation if you have rosacea and/or seborrhoeic dermatitis. That can limit your treatments, and aggravate whatever conditions you have.

 

15% to 20% azelaic acid works for acne and rosacea. I don't know if your insurance will cover this.

 

Maybe try a low-concentration sulfur lotion (I think it's available in the US.) Your dermatologist could also put you on topical salicylic acid or other antibiotics.

 

It's best to go to another dermatologist. Look here for rated ones. You can also rate them yourself if they happen to be here. realself.com/find  <--also a good idea to look at the Q&A section there.

 

Accutane may be an option if all else fails.



#3 Avada Kedavra Acne

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 07:46 PM

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.


 

"Pass the marmalade"          - Hermione Granger


#4 Michelle Reece

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 07:51 PM

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.

 

Is azelaic acid definitely out of the question for you?



#5 Avada Kedavra Acne

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 09:41 PM

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.

 

Is azelaic acid definitely out of the question for you?

anything that is applied to my skin will make more harm than good im afraid. My parents and 2 brothers are the same. 


 

"Pass the marmalade"          - Hermione Granger


#6 Michelle Reece

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 11:43 PM

 

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.

 

Is azelaic acid definitely out of the question for you?

anything that is applied to my skin will make more harm than good im afraid. My parents and 2 brothers are the same. 

 

Grrr. It sucks "being stuck" and you really don't know what to do about it. :(



#7 Avada Kedavra Acne

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 08:47 AM

 

 

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.

 

Is azelaic acid definitely out of the question for you?

anything that is applied to my skin will make more harm than good im afraid. My parents and 2 brothers are the same. 

 

Grrr. It sucks "being stuck" and you really don't know what to do about it. sad.png

Well i do, its not to not use anything (which i do) Its just sometimes i will decide i want to wear makeup or fix a dry patch and BAM breakouts and rosacea. So i guess just i shouldnt do anything im afraid.


 

"Pass the marmalade"          - Hermione Granger


#8 goodz19

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 06:43 AM

PLease dont use the hydrocortisone on your face too long.  It can cause thinning of skin and a serious rebound effect when you stop.  Use short term only


Morning: Cetaphil cleanser, apply Sodium sulfacetamide

Evening: Cetaphil cleanser, apply differin, wait 1/2 hr, apply aczone as spot treatment.

 

Not overally exciting w/ the results

 

Also Has Seb Derm and been using Oxistat in beard area in the mornings.  Same, nothing special about the results


#9 tranceaddict

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:01 AM

While you find the right mix of products to help treat your acne have you tried improving your lifestyle as it pertains to your overall skin health? Ie. No dairy, exercising, eating lots of fruits/veggies, drinking lots of water, no picking or touching your skin, etc..?



#10 Kiyanna

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:38 PM

I have/had very similar problems to you. My skin doesn't like topicals anymore. It responded very, very well to BP initially and I was clear for a few months. After that I started getting flesh coloured bumps all over my cheeks that would not go away no matter what topicals I used. I used everything, prescription and non prescription. Even peels didn't help all that much. It seemed as though every now and again something would get rid of a bump or two very temporarily, but it would be back by the next day. These bumps were soft and weren't really full of anything. I also started getting the occasional painful red pimple that would inflame a good inch of my skin around it.

 

I've been on accutane for two weeks now. It's my last resort, so fingers crossed. Some of the smaller surface fleshy bumps seem to have been reduced. I don't think it's sebaceous hyperplasia - the derm at the hospital said it didn't look that way and I'm kind of young anyway -- 22. Maybe you could look into getting the same thing done?



#11 Michelle Reece

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 06:31 PM

 

 

 

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.

 

Is azelaic acid definitely out of the question for you?

anything that is applied to my skin will make more harm than good im afraid. My parents and 2 brothers are the same. 

 

Grrr. It sucks "being stuck" and you really don't know what to do about it. :(

Well i do, its not to not use anything (which i do) Its just sometimes i will decide i want to wear makeup or fix a dry patch and BAM breakouts and rosacea. So i guess just i shouldnt do anything im afraid.

 

Do you have acne rosacea or just the redness and dryness? Do you have a mix?



#12 Avada Kedavra Acne

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 07:44 PM

 

 

 

 

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.

 

Is azelaic acid definitely out of the question for you?

anything that is applied to my skin will make more harm than good im afraid. My parents and 2 brothers are the same. 

 

Grrr. It sucks "being stuck" and you really don't know what to do about it. sad.png

Well i do, its not to not use anything (which i do) Its just sometimes i will decide i want to wear makeup or fix a dry patch and BAM breakouts and rosacea. So i guess just i shouldnt do anything im afraid.

 

Do you have acne rosacea or just the redness and dryness? Do you have a mix?

mhhh i only get acne if i add moisturizer i made a post about it last week or whenever about it. I decided to use mouisturizer for the first time in months and errr broke out in 2 pimples and a bunch of tiny bump things above my mouth... turns out the dang thing was folliculitis! And the rosacea comes and goes- like right now i dont have any redness because ive been so strict to my diet. If i spike my sugar thats when things go sour- and also i have alot of intolerances/allergies that i have to stay away from. Also i dont have any dairy. The only fluids are i drink 4000ML of water per day sometimes more and that makes up for me not having to add topical hydration. and the dryness only comes if i decide i want to wear powder on my face (which i Rarely ever do) which was once this month so far- and i have to use my fingers to cleanse it off harder- also aggravating my rosacea.....

 

So what i do is just basically nothing. I take my cerave foaming cleanser a quarter of a pump (pea size basically) rub it between my fingers and cup my hands and fill it up with water and let it dilute a lot- so im cleansing with just water with an extra something without really touching my face. And my skin is happy for it!  


 

"Pass the marmalade"          - Hermione Granger


#13 Michelle Reece

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 07:57 PM

 

 

 

 

 

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.

 

Is azelaic acid definitely out of the question for you?

anything that is applied to my skin will make more harm than good im afraid. My parents and 2 brothers are the same. 

 

Grrr. It sucks "being stuck" and you really don't know what to do about it.

Well i do, its not to not use anything (which i do) Its just sometimes i will decide i want to wear makeup or fix a dry patch and BAM breakouts and rosacea. So i guess just i shouldnt do anything im afraid.

 

Do you have acne rosacea or just the redness and dryness? Do you have a mix?

mhhh i only get acne if i add moisturizer i made a post about it last week or whenever about it. I decided to use mouisturizer for the first time in months and errr broke out in 2 pimples and a bunch of tiny bump things above my mouth... turns out the dang thing was folliculitis! And the rosacea comes and goes- like right now i dont have any redness because ive been so strict to my diet. If i spike my sugar thats when things go sour- and also i have alot of intolerances/allergies that i have to stay away from. Also i dont have any dairy. The only fluids are i drink 4000ML of water per day sometimes more and that makes up for me not having to add topical hydration. and the dryness only comes if i decide i want to wear powder on my face (which i Rarely ever do) which was once this month so far- and i have to use my fingers to cleanse it off harder- also aggravating my rosacea.....

 

So what i do is just basically nothing. I take my cerave foaming cleanser a quarter of a pump (pea size basically) rub it between my fingers and cup my hands and fill it up with water and let it dilute a lot- so im cleansing with just water with an extra something without really touching my face. And my skin is happy for it!  

 

Yay for happy skin! :D

 

Have you been to a dermatologist with lots of experience in treating rosacea?



#14 Avada Kedavra Acne

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 08:25 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have rosacea! Cant use any hydrating products, makeup, or anything on my face. wohoo so fun.

 

Is azelaic acid definitely out of the question for you?

anything that is applied to my skin will make more harm than good im afraid. My parents and 2 brothers are the same. 

 

Grrr. It sucks "being stuck" and you really don't know what to do about it.

Well i do, its not to not use anything (which i do) Its just sometimes i will decide i want to wear makeup or fix a dry patch and BAM breakouts and rosacea. So i guess just i shouldnt do anything im afraid.

 

Do you have acne rosacea or just the redness and dryness? Do you have a mix?

mhhh i only get acne if i add moisturizer i made a post about it last week or whenever about it. I decided to use mouisturizer for the first time in months and errr broke out in 2 pimples and a bunch of tiny bump things above my mouth... turns out the dang thing was folliculitis! And the rosacea comes and goes- like right now i dont have any redness because ive been so strict to my diet. If i spike my sugar thats when things go sour- and also i have alot of intolerances/allergies that i have to stay away from. Also i dont have any dairy. The only fluids are i drink 4000ML of water per day sometimes more and that makes up for me not having to add topical hydration. and the dryness only comes if i decide i want to wear powder on my face (which i Rarely ever do) which was once this month so far- and i have to use my fingers to cleanse it off harder- also aggravating my rosacea.....

 

So what i do is just basically nothing. I take my cerave foaming cleanser a quarter of a pump (pea size basically) rub it between my fingers and cup my hands and fill it up with water and let it dilute a lot- so im cleansing with just water with an extra something without really touching my face. And my skin is happy for it!  

 

Yay for happy skin! biggrin.png

 

Have you been to a dermatologist with lots of experience in treating rosacea?

ive been to a derm for errrrr 5 or 6 years give or take. Ive had mild acne- but had sensitive skin and rosacea which no one ever took note of and gave me topical meds that was like acid.... Anyways i took accutane for my mild acne because i couldnt treat it with sensitive skin so i just ended that being the best solution. It did change my skin i wont deny that. I had oily skin- not i have dry to normal. But im just careful so yeah i guesss im happy now. 


 

"Pass the marmalade"          - Hermione Granger


#15 mikehold555

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:01 PM

I stopped the hydrocortisone after using for 2 days and just washing with water. It didn't really do much as my redness wasn't so much a sunburn kind of redness but like spots where i had some clogged pores that maybe were irritated and dry spots...so much very small areas of redness. From now until Friday (4-5 days) I am to just rinse my face in the shower with water and nothing else. Hopefully this helps calm things down a bit and prevents any further drying out. It just makes me worried because I Have some very small/hardish clogged pores, especially by my nose, that I am worried will get inflamed if I don't use a cleanser. Even more so because I work out every day and run 5 miles each day and so I sweat a good amount. Doc said that sweat is water soluble, however, so it should be okay as long as I rinse my face relatively soon after sweating. I guess 4-5 days shouldn't cause too many problems. Interesting to note that my face gets pretty damn dry even after just rinsing with water. However, maybe it is because I am always very thorough when I rinse my face off whether I used cleanser first or not. So maybe I am letting the water run from the shower onto my face for too long?

 

Anyway, I am not sure what else my doctor could do. I mean, I am not even sure if this is any kind of rosacea, as the redness only occurs because of clogged pores, around where I had a past breakout or where I have a patch of very dry skin (like currently under one of my eyes). I feel like I find problems with every single wash and topical because my face just doesn't have any defenses as it is constantly so dried out. Then again, I haven't had much success with any moisturizer and have ended up with clogged pores or breakouts. 

 

It's just so weird to me. I have small-medium sized red blotches and spots all over but no raised pimples or breakouts to speak of. I understand why a big zit would leave one but for most of the splotches, it's literally just a red mark where nothing was before. If I look at my face in a mirror at an angle, I may be able to see a clogged pores/or maybe a couple but they are so small and generally not very large and you can;t even feel most of them. So why would there be redness from it? It's like my main issue is pores get clogged, and right now mostly by my nose and upper cheek and then they get dried out and irritated or just irritated for no reason. No clue. Maybe there is something wrong internally? Because I don't look like someone with active acne..rather someone recovering from having pimples scattered about my face even though most of the red spots and areas are not from old pimples. 

 

I don't see how accutane would work or would even be necessary for me. Drastic step to take for someone who's main issue isn't even active breakouts. I rarely get actual big zits. Also, it dries your skin out and it seems like I am already always dried out and my skin seems incapable of creating and sustaining its own natural oiles. My clogged pores are more likely to be because of my dryness than because of excess oils. 

 

This is all just such a mystery to me. Have tried every topical out there and my face is not able to tolerate anything. Moisturizer does me very little good. Even just water dries me out and I get red splotches all over where I seem to have rough dry skin or clogged pores that aren't even noticeable at all.

 

Cannot wait to see what my doc wants to try next because the irritation and red areas didn't even respond much to hydrocortisone. 

 

In terms of being healthy, I am honestly the most healthy and in shape person I know. I lift weights and run 5 miles on the treadmill (in 35 minutes) 6 days a week plus do a lot of core work..I eat EXTREMELY healthy (lots of chicken, veggies, fruits, lean meats, barely eat carbs except with sandwiches, barely any sugar and the only dairy I have is lactaid milk with cereal in the morning and try to drink a normal amount of water which admittedly I don't always but am not thirsty frequently throughout the day and I also don't have much caffeine.). The only questionable thing I put in my body is adderall IR for my ADD but I take it as directed and there really isn't anything connecting it to skin problems anyway. 

 

Again...this is all just a mystery. NO idea whatsoever why my skin has become so unhealthy all of a sudden and am having problems no matter what I do. 






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