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bizz

Need To Hear From Other Hormonal Acne Sufferers; Can I Use Topicals Like Epiduo For Active Cystic Breakouts?

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Currently I have a breakout of deep cystic acne all over my forehead and jaw due to my cycle. I am on Doxy now; I've been on it a year and its stopped working.

I've tried both Retin-A for at least one year and Benzaclin for six months. Without medication, the purging never stops and it's out of control.

As far as meds go, I tried aldactone for four years and hated it. Accutane helped four years ago, but it made me purge horribly for at least three months once I stopped having regular teenage acne and was in serious adolescent hormonal acne territory.

Is it possible to treat cystic hormonal breakouts with Epiduo? Should I bother--is there light at the end of the tunnel of purging?

Should I put it on current cysts when benzaclin and OTC benzoyl peroxide has usually only made my hormonal cysts more painful and nothing but cortisone injections will get rid of them?

How is Epiduo supposed to prevent or treat breakouts when it causes purging for four months? Does it eventually start clearing the pimples instead of causing them to erupt?

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Epiduo is just Differin .01 and Benzoyl Peroxide together. It is a weak retinoid compared to Retin-A. Using benzaclin and Retin-A is basically the same as Epiduo just stronger so if thats not working for you I wouldnt think Epiduo would either unless its too harsh for your skin.

I would look into hormonal treatment such as birth control or sprio if I were you.


Absorica Aug 2013 -Feb2014

Claravis March 211 - July 2011


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I'm curious as to why you hated Aldactone. Could you not make it through the initial breakout? My TCM derm just told me to stop taking as it can cause acne. I've been on it for 6 years and have only broken through a few times, during major stressful events.

If your issue is hormonal, you've got to address the hormone issue. Get a Thyroid panel and see what's out of whack.

Re BCP, I've had luck with Ortho Tri Cyclen for acne in the past, and Yas to some degree.

Stress increases cortisol and stimulates androgen- Is anything besides cystic acne causing your stress? Are you getting enough sleep? (sleep regulated hormones) St. John's Wort, I've read, can control androgens like Aldactone.

Have you tried eliminating beef/milk from your diet? They are hormone rich. If you are estrogen dominant, soy could also be a problem. Excess protein, sugar, caffeine, alcohol all stimulate androgen activity and stress hormones.

I know the rx retinoids and especially the topical antibiotics caused more drying than the oil deep under my skin was ready for, too. The purge cycle doesn't really end unless your stress/hormone imbalance ends.

The problem with cortisone injections is that they can leave dents. Again, you're only addressing the surface issues with any topical.

I could control my hormones through my teens and most of my twenties, but the effects of long-term hormone use are not good, and as your hormonal clock shifts in life, there are adverse effects on long-term hormonal balance (not just androgens.)


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@SqurrelMonkey: do you mean the Epiduo made you purge? Did it help or make your skin worse? It it help with blackheads and those pussy little whiteheads/clogged follicles?

I would like smooth, clean skin; what I have now is scars and big, gunk-filled pores that always refill, no matter how often I get extractions or take care to gently wash my face. I am using oil-controlling products like salicylic acid; it just does no good.

Hey bizz,

Epiduo worked quite well for my pustular acne, but it did nothing when I developed the huge, deep, painful chin pimples.

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@SqurrelMonkey: do you mean the Epiduo made you purge? Did it help or make your skin worse? It it help with blackheads and those pussy little whiteheads/clogged follicles?

I would like smooth, clean skin; what I have now is scars and big, gunk-filled pores that always refill, no matter how often I get extractions or take care to gently wash my face. I am using oil-controlling products like salicylic acid; it just does no good.

Hey bizz,

Epiduo worked quite well for my pustular acne, but it did nothing when I developed the huge, deep, painful chin pimples.

I didn't notice a purge when I used it, definitely not the peeling, red, initial breakout thing like most members. I used it because I got those small yet inflamed pus-filled ones all over my mouth area after taking antibiotics. It took a few months for it to smooth out my face from the pustules and inflammation, so yes, it did work for that kind of acne for me.

I can't say for sure if it would help your pores and blackheads though! In my experience I still had those things with Epiduo. However, my skin, like yours, just doesn't want to get rid of them no matter what I do. I think a lot is up to genetics unfortunately, as my father has large pores and blackheads, etc. What's comforting at least is that usually the clogged pores and blackheads on my cheeks and nose don't develop into pimples. It's my chin that gives me hell even though it isn't oily and I can't see the pores there!?!

I can understand your frustration with the congestion though. I used to use oil-controlling cleansers too, but they just made me more oily. And everyday you can squeeze those waxy sebum plugs out of every single pore but they just come back the next day!

I'm sorry I can't help you out more, I'm still dealing with getting those nasty pimples under control! (I stopped Epiduo for another health-related issue.) My ND is planning to lower my testosterone to try and help with the oil, so I could see how that goes and let you know if you like!

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