My log/blog/epitath

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Another day and that spot to the right of my nose has gone down a little bit more, but still seems like it's gonna be a few days yet until I can say it's flat.

Been getting on okay with that new Garnier moisturiser. Doesn't seem too greasy, so I'm happy with it for now. It doesn't keep me matte, however, so don't go thinking it's going to solve all your oily skin worries! In fact, I don't think that any matte moisturisers can reduce the sebum production in skin. I've used many over the years of varying prices and I've always started getting oily again after 20 - 30 minutes.

I was watching a video by Dr Pimple Popper (some famous-ish derm on YouTube) who puts up a lot of videos of blackhead extraction procedures. It's got me thinking whether the things on my nose are true blackheads. My nose is covered in brown little heads in most of the pores, but if I wash my face most of them disappear straight away. A few remain but many of these I can squeeze out (although some seem to remain or just stay brown). However, it's never like the pus filled monsters I see in YouTube videos - I mostly produce exceptionally thin white strands which spiral out.

They probably are blackheads, but maybe just a really mild kind. The only 'pus filled' blackheads I can ever remember getting was on my chest about 12-13 years ago. They'd look quite innocent, but if you squeezed on them then a piece of pus the size of a grain of rice would slowly ooze out. It sounds disgusting, but it was strangely relaxing. Only ever had a few of these come up and certainly haven't had one in the last decade.

Anyway, going back to my mild nose blackheads, the only time I've ever been completely clear of these was way back in 2002 and it was kinda by accident. I was using Isotrexin at the time (which was doing very little), so my doctor advised me to use BP as well. He probably meant use one in the morning and one in the evening, but I used both in the evening. And, you know what, my skin actually looked a little better. Spots seemed to die quicker and there were less coming up. The most interesting thing, though, was that it completely eradicated my nose of blackheads.

This is the only period in my acnelife that I've genuinely had no blackheads on my nose. Unfortunately, the close applications of Isotrexin and BP obviously weren't ideal for my skin. After a week or so I applied the two products and my skin felt like it was on fire. It was incredibly painful and I had to wash it all off. My skin was then really flaky for several days afterwards. I did try recreating something similar a few years back by applying Differin and then Duac to my nose, but I didn't notice any difference and gave up.

So, for blackheads, I really don't know what to do! Mine aren't that severe, but I would like to be clear of them again. Maybe one day I'll find something.


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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After a quick bit of research it turns out that I don't have blackheads, but something called 'sebaceous filaments' on my nose. They're mostly made up from dead skin/sebum and are flat as opposed to raised blackheads.

Seems like they're quite a common occurrence in the skin and appear worst in oily skin - hence why mine seem to be noticeable. Not much you can do to clear them apart from the usual recommendations e.g BP, Salicyclic acid, AHAs etc. I wouldn't mind getting some type of mild salicyclic acid face peel, so maybe this could help.

Anyway, I guess that even after 18/19 years of acne I'm still learning new stuff!


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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Ended up feeling a bit down about my skin last night. Not sure why as nothing dramatic happened. I guess I'm not happy about my skin and all the worry gets to me sometimes.

Anyway, I woke up today and found that the spot to the right of my nose had flattened out quite a bit overnight. Still not completely flat, but nearly there. I have found a little spot above one of my eyebrows, but it's pretty small. No pain, no severe redness. Will probably disappear in a day or two, so I'm not worrying about it.

Things are still fairly quiet, but, as ever, the area to the right of my nose has loads of red marks. There's probably 3 medium sized ones and then 3 or 4 really tiny ones which are several weeks old. Pretty much everywhere else is clear. Forehead has no marks and neither does my entire beard area.

It really does get me down as this concentration of red marks just looks dirty and messy. Despite things being quiet on the skin front there's still lots of healing required to see off the hyperpigmentation. And it's this fact which makes me think I'm not coming out of this 'bad phase' of my skin. Usually, if I'm heading into a clear period then everything just stops - no little bumps, no papules, no whiteheads and no red marks. All I'm in at the minute is a reduced activity phase of acne, so I still get the occasional spot and, as a result, I add another red mark to my face.

When I got clear at the end of August it all just stopped and within a week or two I started to feel really good. At the moment I feel a bit crappy. I've got my acne medication review next week with my doctor, but I know they're just going to say my skin looks fine. I can argue that it's looked a lot better in the past, but they won't take any notice. My skin is ridiculously clear compared to most photos I see on Acne.org, so how can any doctor or derm really take me seriously?

I probably do need some type of mental help, but I refuse to believe that cognitive behaviour therapy would ever be potent enough for me to look in the mirror and not realise I look a mess. My skin simply doesn't look like normal people's skin. Normal people get the occasional spot, but they aren't plagued by lesions which last for a week or leave red marks lasting months. And then there's my oily skin too!

Still, I've gone 16 days now and only two bad spots (one of which was gone without a trace in a couple of days), but can't help but think 2016 is not going to be an easy year for me.

Edited by ben100604

When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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Well, my skin's not changed much over the last 6 days. The spot to the right of my nose suddenly flattened overnight, but obviously left a red mark. That little spot above my eyebrow got a head on it, but I popped that out and it scabbed up and disappeared after a few days.

I found a slight bump to the right of my nose on Saturday, but it felt pretty harmless. Then, just before I went to bed, it started to really itch and had suddenly swelled up. However, the next morning it seemed to have completely gone. Unfortunately, it then resurfaced during the day. It's still there now. Doesn't feel like it will explode into anything nasty, but it's slightly red and just adds to the general ugliness of my skin in that area.

Also found a new spot just above my top lip yesterday evening. It had a small head on it this morning which I popped, but it's reformed. Not huge and spots in this area always heal really quick, but it's added to my fairly downbeat outlook on skin matters.

The area to the right of my nose gets me down so much. It just builds up all these red marks which last for weeks. I wish it would stay clear like pretty much everywhere else on my face. Sure, I get the odd isolated spot here and there, but each area of my face only really suffers that every couple of months. To the right of my nose, though, it's weekly.

Feeling bad again after a day or two of feeling positive. No idea what to do. Got the Doctors on Friday morning, but I just know I'm going to be told it's nothing. And, besides, what can they do? There's nothing else for me to try, no new medications, no nothing. I need to stress to the doctor about the psychological impact it has on me, but I've never been very good at conveying this.

Just wanna feel normal again and have that confidence running through my veins.


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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Not updated for a while!

I went to see my doctor back on 15th January and said my acne was getting me down. She said it didn't look too bad and, to be honest, it wasn't looking that bad - maybe 2 active spots and a couple of red marks. I mentioned that the spots to the right of my nose were quite resistant and she suggested swapping out Differin for Epiduo - basically Differin with BP.

I didn't have anything to lose, so said I'd give it a go. After two days I had a big spot come up to the right of my nose, but I felt it was a bit early on in life with Epiduo to blame it on that. Things weren't that bad after that. I think I had another spot come up in the right week to the right of my nose, but it was only a slight bump and very little redness. A similar thing came up the week after to the left of my nose, but was even less noticeable.

Things were looking pretty damn good and I had two good weeks in a row, but now I've had a little stumble.

Found a red spot on my chin on Saturday. Not painful, but noticeable. I also found a similar spot on the side of my nose last night. Neither are likely to turn nasty and have probably peaked, but it's taken the wind out of my sails a bit. Hopefully they'll go down in the next day or two.


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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The spot on my chin has gone down quite a lot and seems to be turning a normal skin colour. The one of the right hand side of my nose appears to have started going down in the last 24 hours, but it's slow progress so far.

Found a painful-ish lump on the left hand side of my nose yesterday afternoon, but I think that's going down too.

Not sure what's happening with my skin. It certainly looks better than it did a month ago, but still quite a few red marks as well as these three spots this week. None have been major spots and they haven't been in my 'danger' areas e.g. to the right of my nose or along my right cheekbone.

Just as a precaution I've booked an appointment with my doctor for about 4 weeks time. If my skins still crappy then I'll go, but I'm really hoping I'll have to cancel it and put this week down simply to a bad week.


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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Not updated for a few weeks, but you'll be pleased to hear that things aren't going too bad.

Only had one spot last week - it was a nasty one, just above the gap in my eyebrows. It's dead now and completely flat, but it's still got a deep shade of red to it. Stands out, but I don't think it should leave me branded for too long.

Had a couple of spots the week before on my nose which was depressing, but they went down fairly quite. One was a case of "pop it and it's pretty much disappeared", so that's always a nice payoff!

Still quite a few redmarks on my face and some of them are going back to just before I upgraded from Differin to Epiduo in the mornings. All the red marks have faded quite a bit, but it still makes for an annoying collection of blemishes!

However, I'm a lot happier than I was. I can't complain too much. Around mid December to mid January I felt bloody awful all the time and my thoughts were consumed by acne. God knows I'll probably end up in that state again one day, but for now I can relax a little.


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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Last week was a really good week, but then on Sunday I found a spot on the top of my right hand cheekbone. Started off quite small but got bigger over the course of the day. It's still there now and a bit depressing. It's kinda medium sized which is annoying, but it's not severely red. There was a little bit of pain to it at the start of the week, but it's pain free now. Maybe it's going down.

And then...

Another spot started coming up Tuesday night to the left of my nose. Medium sized again, but hardly any pain and not much redness. Hopefully it'll disappear fairly sharpish, but for now it's a bit annoying.

Not a terrible state of affairs compared to my skin issues over the last 3 - 4 months, but it's got me down a little bit. However, I've made a lot of progress during the 7 weeks I've added Epiduo to my regimen, so hopefully this is just a little blip. Nothing new in two days, so I guess that's progress!


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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Been a while since I posted and that's because I've mostly been clear!

The spot to the left of my nose in my last post ended up going down after a few days, but then suddenly erupted bigger than ever! Squeezed a head on it and it made no difference. The next day I squeezed another head on it and it started going down. However, I'd managed to get a couple of insults from co-workers about it. The first ones in about 2 years :(

Anyway, it had gone without a trace within about 2 weeks, so not that bad. However, I woke up this morning and immediately felt some pain in between my left cheekbone and nose. Looked in the mirror and found a little red lump which I suspect is planning on forming a head.

Depressing, but it's the first bad spot I've had in a month, so I can just about cope with this. For now.


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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The spot from my last post has started going down now. Didn't get a head on it, but got very red. I guess there's a chance it could re-erupt all of a sudden, but fingers crossed it won't.

Just counted up and it's been 15 weeks or so since I started using Epiduo and my acne has generally calmed down again as a result. Maybe one or two spots every fortnight now, but they're never really depressing spots. And 15 weeks trumps the 10 week 'calm' period I had last year between September - November, so that's a big plus for my sense of happiness!

Every day I stay clear is another day I get closer to one of these exciting new drugs such as topical minocycline gel or the SB204 nitric oxide gel. A long way off, no doubt, but if I can minimize the hell on the way then that's cool by me!


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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Had a bad week!

About 8/9 days ago I found a little lump in the centre of my nose and, after a day, it started to get painful. Two days later, though, and the pain had disappeared, so I assumed it was going down. Round about this time, I found a little to the far left of my nose (around where my moustache area starts/ends) but didn't think it was too bad as it was small.

However, both have turned nasty!

The one on my nose just didn't seem to go down. It looked as though there were a couple of heads under the surface and they've gradually come to the top. I squeezed them last night, but one had reformed over night - a sort of big pus filled sack. Squeezed that again this morning and it looks like it's scabbing up rather than reforming, but only time will tell on that.

The one to the left of my nose got bigger over a couple of days, but then I noticed a little head on it. Looked like the type of head which would easily pop, so gave it a squeeze. Only a tiny bit of pus came out, but it looked as though something had burst under the skin as the sides of the spot were now blood red. Went to bed and, the next morning, found it was covered in dried 'goo'. Skin has peeled off it a couple of times since then, but I think it's starting to flatten out and die now.

Yeah, so it's been a pretty shitty week. I know its only two spots, but they're both eyesores and its the worse week I've had since March. And that only revolved around 1 bad spot! Multiple spots popping up for me is often a bad sign as it can signal a new phase of acne hell. A few whiteheads aside, though, I haven't had anything else erupt. Probably going to take another week to heal/get over this outbreak though, so hopefully nothing else will pop up.


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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The thing on my nose did form another pus filled sac on my nose over the course of yesterday. I've resisted popping it as it'll just reform. I'm hoping it's going to dry up over the next 24 hours. I might be able to peel it off then. If not, I'll have to pop all the goo out as I can't go to work with that on my nose.

And that other spot above my moustache area is being weird! It went quite flat yesterday morning, but then it seemed to swell up again. When I washed my face yesterday evening, I must have knocked something on it because all this yellow, watery pus leaked out really easily. The spot then lost most of it's size. Got bigger again overnight overnight and same thing happened when washing it this morning. Don't know what's going to happen with it.

Nothing else new, though, so it's been six days without any new lesions. A good sign, but not very comforting when I've got a load of pus sitting on the centre of my nose!

And I just realised that today is my 12th anniversary of joining Acne.org! What a way to celebrate!


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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The thing on my nose actually peeled off really easily last night and there wasn't any pus underneath! Just some dried pus which was stuck to the top of the dry skin which peeled off! I felt so happy that I almost ended up leaving the house, but then I remembered that I still had this huge red thing in the centre of my nose. As a result, I didn't go out the house this weekend. Which is a depressing fact.

And, sadly, that little bag of pus has reformed throughout today. Not as bad as before and all the pus came out quite easily. There was a little bit of blood towards the end of it, but not overly bloody. Still a red lump there, though, and it's a nasty, blood red coloured lump, so not much progress. It was quite painful yesterday evening, whereas today it hasn't been painful, but that's about the only positive thing.

The thing to the left of my nose hasn't changed either. It filled up with 'whatever' again, so doesn't feel as flat. No watery pus has been leaking out of it today, so it remains fairly big. Again, this is depressing news!

So, these spots have now both lasted about a week with no sign of disappearing. Nothing else has popped up, though, so it's really difficult to determine if my skin is going to descend into shit. If the thing on my nose started going down then I'd feel a lot more positive, but it just keeps respawning.

Feeling really down at the moment even if it is just two spots. Think I'm going to go to bed early tonight and just hope things look better in the morning.


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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No pus formed overnight on my nose, just a light scab which fell off earlier. Doesn't feel quite as swollen now, either, so I think it may finally be dying. It's still a nasty shade of red though and there's lots of flaking skin.

And the one to the far left of my nose feels a little smaller today, so that's a step in the right direction as well. Still looks horrible though!

Maybe things are starting to look up! No new acne either!


When I'm clear, I'm on top of the world. When I have acne, I'm lost.


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