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Member Since 25 Oct 2012
Offline Last Active Feb 18 2014 08:31 PM

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Acne Success Story - Part 2

08 December 2013 - 10:50 PM

Hi everyone,

Almost a year ago, I posted about my "acne success story" because I had seemingly defeated my acne. Unfortunately now I have a "Part 2" because my acne came back :(


It all started when I stopped taking birth control pills. I had been on doxycycline for a few months, but decided to stop taking it because a) it got expensive and b) I wasn't comfortable being on antibiotics long term. I didn't have any adverse side effects after stopping, so I am glad I did because it must not have been helping that much.


When I stopped taking birth control though, all hell broke loose. I didn't even stop taking it on purpose, really - I just ran out and hadn't been back to the doctor to get more prescribed. I read some pretty negative things about BC pills, so I just decided not to bother getting another prescription. Unfortunately in less than two weeks, I went from having clear skin to waking up every day with new pimples (cystic, of course) on my lower cheeks and forehead. At first I thought it was just my body adjusting to not being on BC, but over the next month or so it gradually got worse and worse until finally my acne was back, full blown, even worse than it had been last year.


This obviously told me that my acne was hormonal, so I tried some natural remedies for hormonal acne to avoid getting back on the pill. Nothing worked - I tried Vitex, milk thistle, drinking dandelion root tea several times a day (ew), no dairy, and many other things. I continued this for a couple of months because where acne is concerned, everything seems to take a long time before it starts working.


To make a long story short, I ended up getting back on birth control and also started spironolactone at 50 mgs per day. I am up to 100 mgs per day now and it has been AMAZING. It took a couple of months before I noticed any real improvement, but now I've been on it for about 4 months and my skin looks wonderful. I also switched up my products a bit - I'm using Paula's Choice products pretty much exclusively and I have nothing but great things to say about these products. And since spironolactone isn't an antibiotic and has no negative effects if taken long term, I have no intention of ever NOT taking it. And with my insurance, I don't have to pay anything for it.


Anyway - this may have been a boring anti-climatic story, but I know there are a lot of women with hormonal acne so someone may find it helpful or interesting.

Acne Success Story

12 February 2013 - 10:06 PM

Hey everyone!

I have never posted on this forum before, only looked at others' posts when I needed encouragement. My skin is finally clear for the most part and I thought I'd share my success story in case it would benefit someone else the way reading these posts benefitted me.


I had pretty mild acne in high school and early college, but never anything to "write home" about. But in my early twenties (21, 22) I started to notice that I could never seem to go a day without a new pimple, and I was lucky if it was only one or two. I washed my face every morning and every night, didn't wear a ton of makeup, and generally took care of my skin, so I thought it would clear up on its own.


By the beginning of 2012, I realized it wasn't clearing up on its own - in fact, it was just getting worse. I started going to the tanning bed hoping it would "dry up" my acne - HORRIBLE IDEA. Stay out of the tanning bed! By the summer of 2012, I was getting a new cystic pimple every other day. I hated my skin and felt ugly and embarrassed to go out in public and would cry when I got home at the end of the day. It was humiliating, not to mention painful. The cystic bumps were red, swollen, and took at least a week or two to go away.


After consulting with a dermatologist, I started using Differin cream every night, Aczone under my makeup in the morning, and taking doxycycline every day at lunchtime. I started taking a multivitamin every day and drinking a lot more water. I also got cortisone shots in my cystic pimples as soon as I felt one coming on. On a couple of occasions, I used apple cider vinegar topically if I didn't have the cash for a cortisone shot and it worked really well too. For the first several weeks, my acne continued in the same manner as before and I considered giving up on this routine.


I'M SO GLAD I DIDN'T! After about 14 long weeks, my acne finally started clearing up and the doxycycline gradually put an end to my cystic pimples. I was left with a lot of hyperpigmention, but thankfully no deep scars (probably because I didn't pick at my skin.) I continued this regimen for a total of about 6 months and my skin continued to improve.


Recently my dermatologist prescribed Retin-A for me because I wanted a stronger retinoid than the Differin, and my skin is improving even more. The Retin-A is extremely drying though, so I only use it a couple nights a week and I use a thick non-comedogenic moisturizer called DML Forte every night. I also use a Clarisonic Mia facial brush every day with Cetaphil face wash (morning and night) and try to exfoliate once or twice a week to remove the dead skin that the Retin-A has turned over.


So that is my success story! I no longer cringe when I see my reflection - in fact, I'm pleasantly surprised because it has been years since my skin has actually looked healthy. After hating my skin for the better part of a year, I would never wish acne on my worst enemy - it was a nightmare - and I really hope someone gets encouragement knowing that your acne WILL get better!