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#1 ben100604

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 07:33 AM

Yeah I'm Ben 23 from the UK. This log is gonna show how I face life with acne etc. A very brief history of my acne is below:

My acne started when I was about 14/15 and it was pretty annoying. I didn't really do anything about it til I was 16 and my parents more or less kept shouting at me til I went to the doctors. The dr gave me benzamycin gel and for a few weeks my acne, which was moderate at this point, seemed to subside, but it was only a mild improvement. I kept on using the benzamycin though, but although acne pissed me off at this point, it didn't ruin my life. When I was 17 I went back to the Dr's because my acne was still pretty bad. He added 100mg of doxycycline per day to my prescription. This made little difference. Round about june 2000 I stopped the Benzamycin and the doxycycline as they didn't seem to be doing anything for me. Over the next coupla months my acne went very quiet and I got barely any outbreaks which made me feel a bit more confident. Then after the summer my acne came back and really exploded. I was getting huge papules, pustules and possibly nodules. I was not a pretty sight. In early 2001 I went back on benzamycin and doxycycline, but again it didnt do much. In about may 2001 my doxycycline got increased to 200mg per day. After a week I looked in the mirror and a helluva lot of my acne had just gone. I was pretty shocked at the improvement and my acne gradually disappeared. After about 6 weeks I was more or less 100% clear. My life turned fucking great! Girls were suddenly interested in me and lots of other things in my life just seemed to come into place! I got a GF and for the next year or so, things were great. I would get maybe 1 whitehead a month and the occasional papule. Every 3 or 4 months I would have a breakout of 5 or 6 spots, but they cleared up pretty quick. I must add that my skin has been oily all throughout this story. After about 15 months, production of benzamycin stopped in the uk. I got put on to zineryt and it broke me out like crazy. I was really upset that I had finally got clear and then my skin fucked up again overnight. I went back to the doctors and they put me on isotrexin which gave no improvement. Then followed about 6 months of hell with my skin. I suffered a few scars in that time, nothing major, but noticeable. My personality also changed. No longer did I wanna go out about 3x a week. I avoided my friends as well. It certainly affected my relationship with my GF, I just wasn't the person she'd met when we first started going out. But I was too embarrased to tell her what was making me feel like this. around xmas 2002 I went on 5%BP and erythromycin. It got a little bit better, but nothing major. In spring 2003 benzamycin was available again, I went back on it but it didnt seem to work as well as it had previously, maybe it was because I was on erythromycin tablets now instead of doxycycline. Then a new dr at my surgery whose speciality was dermatology took me off the erythromycin tablets as I'd been on them for several months. My acne got worse again! I went back on the erythromycin and over the next 6 months, i got fairly clear and got a lot of confidence back. Then after 6 months I again got taken off the oral antibiotics and just had benzamycin to play with. I thought that my skin would fuck up again, but I actually stayed pretty damn clear for about 3 1/2 months, but then one day my skin started breaking out again. I saw a derm a couple of times but didnt get on roaccutane. I got put on differin and some oral antibiotics which did little good. I felt really shit in this time. I was exceptionally close to getting on roaccutane in the past summer, but high liver enzymes meant I never got to go on it. I did get put on differin and benzamycin though, which I'm still on 5 months later and its got me pretty clear. I still get 3-5 spots a week, but no more pustules and only 1 or two whiteheads a month. I dont look great though, no matter how much mild acne I have, it still looks bad. My oily skin makes it all look worse too

Well thats a not so brief history of my acne hell! I thought the new year was a good time to start a blog up, so here it is! At the minute I'm on differin in the morning and benzamycin at night. I've also just changed my cleanser from clean and clear oil free to cetaphil cleanser, hopefully this will help with the redness that my face seems to have. I'm also using lukewarm water to wash my face with instead of cold water, I read that cold water can help to irritate your face and that makes sense to me.

#2 ben100604

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 06:04 AM

AGGGGGH! Woke up this morning with the end of my nose bright red and painful, no lump there, but I think theres gonna be a whitehead forming before long, also on the side of my nose is a little red spot. This is annoying because only yesterday I was saying to myself "wow, my nose hasn't broke out in aaaaaaaaaages". At the minute then I've got 2 active spots, 4 healing spots and about 6 noticeable red marks. A year ago I had 3x this, but acne is acne and It makes me feel like complete shit. I'm going to try and see my doctor in the next couple of days to see if I can be referred back to see a derm, because I think roaccutane is going to be the only thing that can really clear me up. The thing is though, I think a lot of derms would say no to putting me on roaccutane as my acne is still fairly mild. I may see if my doctor will put me on duac instead of benzamycin as well. Duacs pretty similar to benzamycin, the only difference being that duac contains clindamycin instead of erythromycin. The change could do some good, but I'll have to wait and see if the doctor will let me try that.

#3 ben100604

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 10:54 AM

After calming down a bit, I realised that my acne doesn't really warrant accutane. I was just going a bit mad because of that spot that came up on the end of my nose! I am gonna go see my doctor in the next few days though to see if I can try duac. Hopefully the shock of a previously unused antibiotic, may do some good

#4 ben100604

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 09:41 AM

I decided not to go see the doc and change to duac. I think I can stay with the benzamycin for now. Next time I go to see my doctor, I'll mention it and see what they think.

The redness and pain is still there on the end of my nose, its not as bad as yesterday though, I think I'll probably get a whitehead form either today or tomorrow, which will then be popped and will disappear within a few hours. Spots on the end of my nose always look so bad though. The area that becomes inflamed is huge compared to the actual lesion I get there, but oh well.

I may be imagining things, but the texture of my skin around my nose has looked a little better the last two days. The only thing I've changed is from using lukewarm water to wash with instead of cold water. hmmmmmm, I'll have to wait and see if it is getting better.

I dropped the cetaphil and went back to the clean and clear cream wash. This is because when I was using cetaphil in the summer for a few months I was still getting this red tinge to my skin. I think its probably down to the benzamycin if anything. Clean and clear leaves my skin looking a bit better too, so I'll stick with that for now

#5 ben100604

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 01:21 PM

Well the spot on my nose seems to have got slightly less red and painful, although I think there may be a little lump forming there now. Yesterday I had a damn spot come up to the right of my nose. Its not really that painful, but its pretty big and red. Will probably last a few days.

I've noticed over the last coupla days that my foreheads starting to look pretty damn good. All I've got there now are 4-5 red marks, lets hope it carries on getting better

I'm starting to think that the spots I get mostly to the right of my nose are down to blackheads. Before I was on the differin and benzamycin combo, I used to get pustules and papules in this area. I've noticed just recently though, that I'll have a couple of blackheads in this area and usually one of them will swell up for a few days and go down. If I could stop these motherfucker blackheads before they formed, I'd be laughing. I might add, I've only noticed balckheads here in the last year or so, the only other place I get them is on my nose and they dont usually swell up

#6 ben100604

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:25 PM

Here again! The good news is that the spot on the end of my nose is no longer painful and I think the redness is going as well now, the other spot I had to the right of my nose is going down as well. My forehead is starting to look really clear now and the left hand side of my face is still staying acne-free. But theres always bad news for ben and his skin sad.gif I've had a fairly largish 'lump' come up on the side panel of my nose and I've had a spot come up on my chin, the only hope I have with these is that the recent acne I've had in these two areas never lasts very long. Also, I seem to have a little bit of razor rash which has a formed a little pus filled spot, I can probably get rid of that with mupirocin cream though. I feel a bit shit about these 3 new bits of crap that have come to blight me, but they probably will be gone in a coupla days. I just wish so much that I would stop breaking out to the right hand side of my nose. Its probably the most acitive area for acne....

#7 ben100604

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 11:22 AM

Most of the acne I had come up in the week has now gone. My acne lesions seem to be pretty short lived these days! The spot on the side of my nose though is still there and feels really solid, although it hasn't got any worse. The left hand side of my forehead has got a little pinhead sized bump come up, nothing to worry about though. Theres a little odd spot on my left hand cheekbones. Its been there for nearly 2 days and doesnt seem to have made up its mind what its doing!

I realised yesterday that I've now been off oral antibiotics for 6 months! I havent had that much time off them since 2000!

Does anyone else feel that the thought of being on acne medication possibly for the next 30 years pretty daunting? I certainly do

#8 ben100604

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 06:09 AM

acne acne acne........
The spot on the side of my nose seems to have gone down quite a bit overnight. The thing on my right hand cheekbone seems to have come up a little bit more though, I think its probably going to get a head on it at some point. Thats all the active acne I have at the minute. Theres red marks obviously and 1/2 healing lesions. I dont feel as terrible today as I did last week when I seemed to start erupting, but any acne is bad. No doubt, I'll stay clearish for a few days and then BAM the acne will be back again.

The left hand side of my face hasn't broken out all week! The week before I had just one spot there. The LH side has always been the worst side and now it seems to have swapped that role with the RH side. Why oh why does my skin do this!

I've come to think that my acne just needs one final thing to give it the boot, but I can't think what. Another course of oral antibiotics would probably help reduce what I currently get, but I doubt my doctor would put me on them, benzamycin and differin. I'd like to stay off them if possible anyway, they're only temporary fixes. Laser therapy? Nah, I dont think I've ever read on these boards of anyone having any hint of success with them.

About 6 weeks ago I put my name down on the 'research study" list for the dermatology department at Leeds University. I can maybe help with the future of acne treatments and maybe help my own acne. I don't know how often studies come up though. When I signed up they were just starting a study into blue and red light lasers, but I couldn't get the time off work to go to it as I had no holidays left! Some studies though I would perhaps be not so willing to take part in though. Ones that involved me dropping the topicals that I currently use and replacing them with a new topical, wouldnt seem so appealing to me as I dont want my skin to fuck up. But you dont always have to do this, in the info for the laser treatment I got sent, it said you could stay on whatever topicals you were using. I'll have to wait and see if they have any more studies come up

#9 ben100604

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:26 AM

So I woke up this morning and was looking in the mirror thinking that most of the acne I had yesterday had gone down a bit overnight. Then I notice a little bit of red to the right of my nose, I touched it and it hurt like hell. I had another damn blackhead swelling up. A bad start to the week. I've got like 2 bits of acne, other healing spots and some red marks. I think this is the level I am gonna have now. I can't see much more improvement from the differin/benzamycin regime. I sit about thinking I look terrible but then I go look in the mirror and see that my forehead is the clearest its been in years and the left hand side of my face is also really good, but then that bit to the right of my nose just seems to break out still.

#10 ben100604

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 02:52 PM

grrrrrrr. Had a spot start coming up on the left hand side of my nose. I'm really starting to think that I need to go see a derm again. I've been breaking out for the last couple of weeks, no huge breakouts, but fairly regular new spots popping up. I've still got a bad spot to the right of my nose and then this thing coming up on the left side of my nose. Then I've got about 4/5 red marks to the right of my nose. My foreheads got a few mild red marks, but its looking so so clear. The left hand side is looking pretty clear as well. Oh god I just dont know what to do. The main thing is that my acne is still making me feel like shit and it needs sorting out. I also keep thinking about going on to duac instead of benzamycin, but will that undo all the improvements I've seen over the last 5 months? eusa_think.gif think i'll go see my doctor tomorrow if I can get an appointment.

#11 north

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 03:04 PM

My only advice is don't put things off...sometimes if you do this you can end up with scaring. I have never been on antibiotics for my acne so I can't really comment about that..just keep doing what you're doing and paying attention like you are and then you can figure out what is working/not working for you. Give things a fair chance to work but if it doesn't then try and find something new to try. Best of luck to you I hope everything works out for you!

#12 ben100604

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 11:30 AM

Thanks for the advice north!

I went to the doctors today and asked If I could try duac for a while. It will be pretty interesting to see what happens. I've never used clindamycin topically or orally before, so that will probably be a shock for my acne bacteria and it will help reduce imflammation as well. I dont know though whether it will get worse at first as my skin gets used to the duac, but we'll have to wait and see. I'm gonna try it for a month and if things start getting worse, my doctor said I can go back on the benzamycin. The pharmacy didn't have any duac in, they had to order it and shall be in tomorrow

I brought up Roaccutane as well, the doc said that its probably best if I have a liver/lipids test beforehand to see if there is any point in my going to the derms. This is due to the high liver enzymes I had last summer when I was due to go on the tane. The oral antibiotics I was taking were suspected to be the cause of it. I've been off them for about 6 months now, so hopefully it should be ok. My blood test is due next tuesday

Not had any new acne come up today which is good, but got about 3 active lesions still, two of which are pretty nasty even though one of them is going down now.........

#13 ben100604

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 01:19 PM

Got hold of my duac today! Its more viscous than I thought it would be. Theres no fragrance to it either as there was with Benzamycin which was a fairly sharp lemon scent, which wasn't that nice really. Its a lot more consistent than Benzamycin which has been pretty bad over the last 2 years. When it was made by Bioglan in the UK up to late 2002, it was a consistent gel. Then when Dermik/Schwarz Pharma started making it here, it looked a bit different and then they started using 70%alcohol to dissolve the erythromycin instead of 90%. You were left with a pretty lumpy gel. I dont know if it was any less effective because of this, I mean it did help me over the last few months, but I always thought that there was maybe something up with it as it didn't look mixed very well. One final good thing with duac is that it doesnt have to be kept in the fridge. I don't like having to get up and go downstairs last thing at night to smear that all over my face, especially if theres people about. Now I have to wait and see what happens when I put the duac on my face!

#14 ben100604

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 11:50 AM

Thankfully didn't have any bad reaction to the clindamycin! One other good thing i've found with duac is that its all absorbed into your skin, where benzamycin always left a dry white powdery layer on my face. Only really had two spots come up this week, I've got the tiniest whitehead imaginable on my lip but thats the only other thing.

#15 ben100604

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 06:45 AM

Skin hasn't really changed much since yesterday. I'm a bit concerned though. I went to the toilet this morning and my 'bowel movements' weren't particularly pleasant. I've read that you can get this with duac due to the clindamycin. It wasn't severely painful and I don't have frequent diarrhoea, but my stomach does seem to ache a bit. I'm gonna have to keep a very careful eye on this and if it continues, I'll have to go see my doctor on monday and see what she thinks. It could be down to a number of things aside from the duac, but its making me think

#16 ben100604

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 06:36 AM

My stomach seems a little better this morning, its not particularly uncomfortable but I can definitely feel something. I went to the toilet this morning ok, so my stomach isn't fucked up or anything. Yet.
So far the duac seems to be going ok. Its not as drying as the benzamycin so hopefully that will reduce a bit of the redness on my face. I had a spot come up on the side of my nose on friday afternoon but thats all so far. Just one active spot at the moment. I think i'll have to give myself about 2 weeks to see if duac is gonna be any better than benzamycin

#17 ben100604

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 02:39 PM

The duac looks to be going ok so far. I've been using it for 4 days now and the only new spot i've had came on day 1. Hopefully I'll stay clear for a few more days at least! The only thing is I still have about 3/4 noticeable red marks from the spots I got over the last 2 weeks. I know it could be worse but eh.

Got my blood test tomorrow to see if there is any point in me going to see a derm about roaccutane, this is due to the liver enzyme problems I had last summer when it looked as though I would start taneing

#18 ben100604

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:09 PM

Day 5:

Woke up this morning and found 2 little spots, they're tiny about 1mm big each, one was on my chin and one was on my left cheek. They havent grown at all throughout the day, but I spent most of the day worrying that they were gonna swell up and be followed by other acne, but thankfully they haven't. Its made me a bit paranoid though, but I seem to be getting on ok
Had my blood test at the doctors today, my results will be ready on thursday afternoon.

#19 ben100604

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 11:58 AM

Day 7:

Still no bad breakout! Skin starting to look better! The only thing I've had int he last six days was the spot thing on my chin. I keep thinking I've got acne coming up though, agggggghhhhhhhhhh! I've been convinced that I've had 2 coming up on my nose this week and to the right of my nose, but nothings materialised! If it keeps staying clear, then I can relax, but so far so good.
I got a new sponge the other day and I've noticed that the duac isn't bleaching it like all the other BP products that I've used in the past. I think this is because I am only using a fingertips worth of duac instead of shovelling loads on like I have in the past

#20 ben100604

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 06:33 AM

Day 8:

So I've gone a whole week now. It looks as though I'm gonna get on well with duac! This has been the most acne-free week I've had in the last 18 months. My skins looking good and my red marks are fading. I have found a little tender lump where the top of my nose meets my left eyebrow, I'm not sure what will happen with that. But i'm still feeling upbeat because I've had good results in the first week with duac, so things are potentially gonna get better still!

The blackheads on my nose haven't reduced any further unfortunately. I thought at first they were, but I was just imagining it. The only thing that ever got rid of my nose blackheads was when my doctor added 5% BP to isotrexin/oral erythromycin regimen. I thought I had to put both topicals on fairly close to each other, I left half an hour gap. MY blackheads just vanished after a couple of days. But I think my doctor had wanted me to use the BP in the morning and the Isotrexin at night. I found this out after about a week when my face started burning and stinging like crazy when I put the Isotrexin on! I just stuck to BP for a few months after that and the blackheads came back almost straight away.

I'm going to get an appointment with my doctor next week to look over my blood tests and see If theres any change with my liver enzymes from last year.

I'm out this weekend and thankfully will be feeling much happier than I thought I would. The first week of duac/differin has gone pretty smooth




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