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#3478605 Is Anyone Else's Acne Crushing Their Confidence And Self Esteem?

Posted by leelowe1 on 22 April 2015 - 02:22 AM

Adam, I so sympathize with what you're going through.  Worse than having bad skin as a teen, is having bad skin as an adult which is the situation I find myself at at the age of 31.  

My only advice to you is to just put one foot in front of the other and keep on going.  I have tried the 'I'll wait till my skin clears up' approach but I have learned, life doesn't work like that.  Sometimes it's just about faking it till you make it.  Look people in the eye even when you don't want to, smile as often as you can (good teeth or not) and avoid looking at mirrors as at this stage of the game, it'll only make you feel worse.  I wish I could tell you it will get better soon but after dealing with this for 16 years, there's no definite timeline.  Your best bet is to spend time building your confidence.

Good luck Hun

#3478368 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by leelowe1 on 19 April 2015 - 07:12 PM

Acne wise, feeling fed up, frustrated and lonely.  I am doing everything humanly possible to treat it and it makes no difference.  Thanking God for the many gifts in life he has given me and praying for the ability to see the positive in this ongoing battle.

#3478131 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by leelowe1 on 16 April 2015 - 07:47 PM

Reading through these, I can so relate.  May of  last year I started using Paula's Choice. I started the regular strength toner 2x a day and it was rough at first, but then my skin did start to improve. I actually had some clear days. And every day my skin was clear, I thought, wow is this how other people feel (not having to constantly think about their skin, or cry in front of mirrors, or feel ugly/embarrassed/depressed??). I really thought I found something. I knew salycycilc acid worked fairly well for me as I had some succes with stridex years back. But I think my conclusion is:
My skin is just stupid.
After a year----I'm still getting painful cysts. No, my spots are not coming up smaller and resolving faster like I thought. I'm back to wincing when I look in the mirror and feeling like I'm NEVER going to get where I want to be.
My initial response to everyone above is to hang in there and keep going, but then I think about myself and really I'm just tired. I'm tired of trying. It's not really hopelessness but more acceptance. It just is what it is. After 15 years of dealing with this in one way or another (various degrees of severity), I'm of the mind that my skin just sucks. I don't know why. It doesn't shed right, it makes too much oil.. who knows. I know I always get little clog seeds that come out of every bump..so my lining is inefficient or something. But, I tried stuff to address that and while many of my pores look good, I still obviously have problem areas. Should I bump up to the 2% gel and just purge everything out and deal with the aftermath? Should I try this or that??  *shrug*
UGH I'm just tired of having to think of a strategy and constantly try to battle my skin. It's exhausting and honestly I devote way too many hours of every day focusing on my skin. A sad thought is.. if I met someone that I knew from 10 years ago, or even 5, and haven't seen since then, I would STILL have the SAME skin and they would probably think, wow even after all this time they are still dealing with that. :( That's a pretty sad realization...

Calendula, I feel you on everything you said.  I am at that point where I just want to say to hell with it and pretend that I don't have acne.  No one in my family struggles like I do and can't understand how I feel.  My relationship with God and my friend and family is what makes dealing with this bearable.  I think if I quit having all these expectations, I would be a much content person.  It's just like a person with a birthmark - they live with it but after a while, it becomes a natural part of them.

#3477909 Spiro...my Last Hope

Posted by leelowe1 on 14 April 2015 - 04:12 PM

Hi Shady Lee. I've been a silent follower of your log for a while and I feel you on the ups and downs of acne treatment.  I am 4 months into my topical regimen and in the midst of some nasty inflamed and painful acne.  You are definitely not alone and In spite of what the mirror is saying, you're a beautiful person!  Definitely stick it through to the one year mark then revisit the drawing board if things are not as consistent.  

I think for many of us, it's about finding something that gives us more good days than bad versus finding our holy grail.  In the interim, be kind to yourself, keep busy, stay in touch with friends and remember that you are more.....

I'll be praying for you girl

#3477709 Need Help! Have Pics

Posted by leelowe1 on 12 April 2015 - 05:25 PM

If epiduo is your primary acne fighter, it is extremely important to only use non medicated cleansers and moisturizers.  Cetaphil and Cerave are the standard as well as Neutrogenia.  Do not incorporate salicylic acid or other BP products without consulting your derm as it will only irritate your skin.  Also do not use Epiduo alongside a retinoids such as retin-a.  Choose one or the other.  Keep in mind that results may not be seen until 3-6 months so give it time and expect that acne will worsen.  Also, for many people, diet and lifestyle affect thing so it may be worth looking into a paleo, gluten and or dairy free lifestyle.

Good Luck

#3477420 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by leelowe1 on 09 April 2015 - 08:10 AM

Not good at all.  I think my eczema is flaring on my inner cheeks as the area is bright red and somewhat dry but thankfully no itching.  I want to cry and start panicking but that will not help any.  I think i will skip Differin tonight and moisturizer BEFORE and AFTER aczone to combat dryness.  If I am still the same or worse off tomorrow, I will skip topicals for a few days but hoping it doesn't come to that

ive got the flu, and all the sweating cause of the fever is driving my skin crazy. the eczema looks disgusting, bright red and peeling, and i got a couple new cysts on the cheeks and one on the forehead which hurts like a motherfckr.
the only positive thing is that my parents let me stay at home until my breakout clears up a little. i would love to go back to college but i look ridiculous all broken out at almost 21 years old.

I sympathize with what you are going through.  I recently developed eczema in the past year and combined with acne, it's the worst!  Take it one day at a time, be kind to yourself, start a routine for both, don't feel less then and above all else, don't allow these physical ailments stop you from getting an education.  Schooling will take you places.

If you ever need to talk, feel free to reach out to the community or PM me

#3475451 Cystic Acne Back 3 Weeks After Accutane Course Ended

Posted by leelowe1 on 21 March 2015 - 07:02 AM

As a four time user of accurate, I would tell you not to waste your time or the health of your body for a second round.  With truly hormonal acne, a cutaneous only a bandaid.  You could try spirt but as you said, having children is your next step so.......  What about diet changes?  It's not what people want to hear but if nothing has helped, it's at least worth a shot.  You could also try seeing a naturopath who can help guide you on the right path.

It's a frustrating process but never give up.  Any man who is worth it will love you no matter what.  Talk to him about how you're feeling.

Good Luck

#3475180 Accutane Failure

Posted by leelowe1 on 18 March 2015 - 06:20 PM

Lotty, I am a four time accurate failure so you are definitely not alone.  Like the previous poster said, you just have to keep on moving forward and take each day one step at a time. I have tried almost everything including lifestyle changes, pills, topical and of course the holy grail of accurate and I still struggle. Though some days are better than others.  

Just acknowledge that you have a skin disorder, do what you can to help things alone and still go live your life.   It's much easier said than done but the more you practice it, the easier it gets.

#3474870 Suffering From Severe Acne? Try Estroblock!

Posted by leelowe1 on 16 March 2015 - 07:12 PM

Congrats on finding a winner for you.  You are so right that supplements can take forever to work for some.  I have been on a holistic regimen for about 3 months and still not clear but keeping positive.  This may be something to mention to my naturopath as an addition. 

#3473761 Acne Is Getting Worse... What Shall I Do? :(

Posted by leelowe1 on 05 March 2015 - 06:26 PM

I would say your acne is moderate.  If you can, definitely go see a derm if the over counter products are not helping.  Jlopez is right in terms of mentioning diet.  While diet is not the end all and be all of acne (i know as i've tried to clear my acne via diet for YEARS), for many people, it does make a difference.


If a derm is out of the picture, try the regimen from this site as it does work.  You can also look into natural supplementation for hormones if you suspect that it is what is driving your acne.


Stay strong and don't beat up on yourself as acne is a disease and has to be systematically treated as such.

#3471965 Desperate For Help

Posted by leelowe1 on 17 February 2015 - 10:22 AM

I really need some advice regarding my acne problems - if anyone can offer me some tips or help it would be super appreciated!


Im at the end of my tether with my acne and I'm not sure what to do now - Im 25, female, I have very oily skin - I'd say my acne is moderate to severe with the bulk of my acne being present on my cheeks, chin and jawline - my spots are always huge and I sometimes get really bad cystic acne - I currently have two the size of africa on my jawline and chin which I attempting to ice as i write this.


My acne always takes a very very long time to go away and sometimes once they do go away new ones appear almost immediately in their place. After that there is always red marks (whether i pick or not this always happens).


Up until yesterday I was using the organic moreish cream cleanser, TN Dickinson witch hazel as a toner, tea tree oil applied to any spots and the moreish empathy moisturiser. 


I have found the tea tree oil to be way too drying and has created scab like crap on my spots and really bad itching so I have stopped using this, because my skin is now super dry where the tea tree oil has been applied I've started using just the moreish cleanser followed by hydrolyron moisure jelly as i don't want to irritate my skin any further. 


My skin is still producing acne -every day i wake up with new spots and my old spots are still there, just chillin away on my face, it seems like every single thing i try doesn't do jack shit.




Here is my acne story:


Started developing acne about 14 - would have a few spots here and there and the red marks would take AGES to go away.


When i was about 16 my acne got quite bad and my doctor gave me some topicals and then put me on some antibiotics

Didn't help - went on another stronger dose of antibiotics


Still didn't work - referred to dermatologist who prescribed me roaccutane - I was on this for 6 months and started with one 10mg pill, then after a few months doubled and then tripled the dose. I have never been so bloody dry, I remember my lips literally peeling and i was picking them and bleeding all over the place (gross i know) everything was SO DRY I hated it. But it was worth it because RESULT - no more acne. I was over the moon.


Had no issues until I was about 20 - I started getting acne again and it was getting worse - I thought f**k not this again - went and got on to the clinique 3 step acne system and this worked SO WELL. I was totally clear for about a year and repurchased this a few times..


Then for whatever reason it stopped working... so over the course of the next few years I tried-


Proactiv, did nothing, except for staining my towels. 


Clean and clear products and spot treatment from the chemist - did nothing.


Went to the doctor - got some topical cream and he suggested using cetaphil products. Did nothing aaaand did nothing.


Back to the doctor - got prescribed epi duo * this didn't work for me but I know many people this has worked wonders for.


Back to the doctor - got prescribed antibiotics (by now i knew where this was leading) 


Back to the doctor - yep, another antibiotic. didn't work.


Back to the doctor - referral to the dermatologist.


Because it took me so long to get seen by the dermatologist (1 month) I tried out the dermalogica clear skin kit. did nothing.


In this period my acne had never ever been so bad, I was crying my eyes out so upset every time i looked in the mirror. I was so embarrassed to be seen by my housemates at home without makeup id pretty much come home from wherever I've been, shower and hide in my room. My self esteem was rock bottom, even with makeup it was bad the lumps were massive and I felt terrible about myself. I will never forget the feeling of waking up in the morning with hope that my skin had miraculously decided to chill out and then seeing all the new spots that appeared over night, cystic acne was terrible at this stage and was causing me a lot of pain - acne is so damaging physically and emotionally and this was my biggest low point.


Finally got to see the dermatologist who put me on an antibiotic and roaccutane. I was advised to be on a 10mg dose for one year with a 4 week break over the summer. 


I knew about the side effects but wow this time round was terrible - my muscles were giving me so much pain, i felt stiff and sick a lot, i had to see a physio because of my back pain, it was not a nice time.


Eventually though I finished my course and didn't have any acne issues - I was using Origins products which i loved - it was so nice not having to use the "acne" option in skincare and could focus on getting my pigmentation sorted and my skin in a nice condition.. I was happy as larry.


For about 6 months.


And then.


Hey acne.


This time round, it wasn't too bad- mostly my chin copped it and it would get pretty bad around my time of the month but in comparison to the last time it was OK. 


Then it started to get worse.. so I started trying-


I tried the Laroche Posay acne skincare with the highly popular Efflecar Duo (both versions did sweet F.A)

I tried Nivea skincare as I used some of my housemates in the shower and seemed to work ok for a few months.

Then nup. stopped working

Tried MILK skincare - didn't work. Smells nice though.

Glam glow mud mask got a go - didn't do much.

Lush cosmetics skincare - didn't work

Bioderma - didn't work.

Avene - didnt work

Aesop - i spent a good $400 here, and my skin HATED this - I have never seen my skin react so badly to a product - I had the amazing face cleanser, B&T Toner, Spot treatment and serum - i was so sad because i love Aesop hand cream and lip balm and their whole line smells incredible and so many people rave about them but my lord my skin was horrendous. I had tiny rash like pimples all over my face. My forehead (which never gets pimples) was just this cluster fuck of zits.

I then did a bit of research and checked ingredients that could potentially cause a reaction and Aesop products were filled with perfumes and lanalool and whatnot which is known to be a massive irritant - so then i thought hmm lets try the organic route...


So then I got on board the Moreish skincare and whatnot (as above) which at first did an amazing job and soothing my skin and the little bumps and whatnot slowly went away and my skin was OK. 


And now its back. and its bad. and i want to cry. I really don't want to go on roaccutane again. But i feel like that may be my only option. I just don't know if my body can take another course, the pain was just terrible and I cannot afford to see a physio all the time. 


I would be SO grateful for any help and advice here. Im at breaking point. I feel so helpless and as stupid as it sounds my skin is controlling my life, i feel very self conscious and avoid doing things if my acne is bad as i am embarrassed. I am usually a very bubbly happy person and my quality of life is turning to shit.


Thanks in advance and sorry for the novel / word vomit.

I am so sorry that you're going through this.  I've been struggling since I was 15 and here at 31, still struggling.


Have you tried hormonal means?  I'm not just talking about birth control but also spiro, supplements such as EPO, borage oil, vitex or anything that helps a woman's hormonal system.


What about diet changes?  I have not seen a huge link for me in regards to diet and foods I eat but for many, there are triggers (dairy, gluten, etc)


Topicals never worked for me but i'm hoping that the combo of differin and aczone as well as hormonal supplements prescribed by my naturopath will at least make a dent.


Good Luck

#3470245 Differin Week 11

Posted by leelowe1 on 02 February 2015 - 07:30 PM

My acne before I started differin was not that bad probably quite mild. But as soon as I started using differin my acne flared up - I know that's it working and that but it's now week 11 and I'm still getting spots especially cysts!

I don't know what's wrong with my face what have I been doing wrong? I thought it would get better by this time but I'm losing hope. It's now quite severe and in the light I just see lots of bumps on my face sad.png I use non comedogenic moisturiser and simple moisturising facial wash. I use differin before bed!

Should I keep going? What are other people's experiences?

I am now 6 weeks into differin and I too continue to breakout.  Some weeks/days are definitely better than others.  If at 12 weeks you are not seeing some steady improvement, you may need a stronger retinoid or an antiicrobial such as BP.  Don't give up.  Acne treatments are a trial and error process.

#3470244 Is My Acne Mild Or Severe?

Posted by leelowe1 on 02 February 2015 - 07:23 PM

It's defnitely mild.  I know to us, our acne is the worse but it's all a matter of perspective.  Time to do one of two things:


try the natural way or see a derm.  The easiest and cheapest way to go is to give diet changed a few months.  No Dairy, No Gluten , More veggies and fruits.  With acne, it's really a matter of trial and error.  Keep your head up and never give up.

#3469588 On 5Th Week And No Improvement

Posted by leelowe1 on 27 January 2015 - 10:19 AM

You will break out and it is to be expected.  Let 3-4 months be the guideline before expecting ANY type of improvement.  I was about to give up in my third month and then two weeks later i noticed that i wasn't really breaking out that much.  You are still relatively new to the process so be patient.

#3469546 I Dont Know What To Do Anymore

Posted by leelowe1 on 26 January 2015 - 07:29 PM

Hugs from NY hun.  Your acne looks moderate and borderline severe and should be treated as such.  I am so sorry you are gong through this.  Definitely have an open and honest conversation with your mom about your acne and how it makes you feel.  You definitely look like a candidate for accutane but before you take the plunge, you can also try:


a paleo type diet

seeing a naturopath.


You're still in that hormonal phase so acne may come back after accutane but it could be worth a shot.


You are beautiful regardless (gorgeous eyes) and should know you are loved.


good luck on your journey and we'll be here to offer support.