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.