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Member Since 15 Apr 2013
Offline Last Active May 24 2013 04:39 AM

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Spiro Week 1

16 April 2013 - 12:33 PM

I am creating this log (also created as a blog entry) in hopes that it helps others. I was blessed with nearly-perfect skin my entire life, until the age of 23. I began having occassional breakouts, mostly on my chin around my mouth, and visited my first dermatologist. These minor breakouts seemed like a big deal to me at the time, since I had never experienced this before. I was prescribed Duac. Within 1 month, my face was crystal clear once again. Using duac as needed kept me clear for almost 3 years. Starting around the time I turned 26, the breakouts returned. In addition to chin/mouth area breakouts, I began experiencing blemishes on my cheeks for the first time ever. It was devastating, especially being a professional 26 year old who never experienced this level of breakouts. I saw another derm who prescribed Duac, since it worked for me in the past. It did not work this time around. For the past year and a half, I have been dealing with this breakout. I have had almost-clear periods (where I will only have 1 active blemish), but for the most part I have not been clear. This is very abnormal for me, and was causing much concern. I just was not healing, or if I thought that a blemish healed, it would reappear a couple weeks later in the same spot.
14 weeks ago I went to a new derm. He prescribed Solodyn (minocycline- 55 mg/1xday), and 2 topicals: Finacea at night, and Klaron during the day. I used these products religiously for 6 weeks, and was still not clearing. At the 6 week mark I had a follow up, and the derm added Ziana to my regimen to "spot treat". He also gave me a couple injections (I think cortisone?) on active blemishes. [side bar: Does anyone else seem to experience this after injections? The blemish he targeted went down, but a day or two later, one right next to it appears out of nowhere and is painful. Could this be a reaction to injection?]. I felt as though the Klaron may have been causing breakouts, so I used more sparingly. I am also on Ortho-tri-cyclen Lo, and have been for 1.5 years. I feel like this cause some melasma and also may be contributing to the acne, since it got worse around the same time.
I have become increasingly concerned about this regimen, because my breakouts and red marks after breakouts have gotten significantly worse. I used to have clear skin after a blemish. I now have dark red marks and discoloration, even though I do not "pick".
After adding in the Ziana, I still wasn't clear. Let me specify that at any given time I probably have 4 active blemishes, mostly on my chin. There were a few stubborn marks on my cheeks, but nothing that can't be covered easily with makeup.
At my 13 week mark, I went for a follow-up (couldn't get in at 12 weeks). I described my frustration, and my doctor prescribed Spironolactone (generic of Aldactone). He said the area where I usually breakout makes him believe this is hormonal. He said he would keep my on Solodyn for now (in case of inital breakout), but wean me off slowly if the Spiro works. I questioned my derm about going off birth control, but he suggested staying on for now.
I created this log to track my progress, and hopefully create a dialogue about what works/ doesn't.
After a couple days on Spiro, I thought I felt a difference. I began on a Tuesday, and by Friday I had a painful blemish under the skin. Monday I could feel 1 more developing under the skin. It is now exactly 1 week on Spiro. I have 3 active, large and painful blemishes on my chin. 1 blemish underneath the skin (has been there for a month or so, am wondering when it will surface), and a couple of tiny spots that I am not worried about. This may seem like small potatoes to others, but to me it has been an emotionally and physically painful journey. To make matters worse, I went to the derm 14 weeks ago because I wanted "perfect" skin for my wedding. I now feel that things are worse than they were 3 months ago, and now have only 6 months left until the wedding.
Fingers crossed that Spiro is magic. I will update in a few days. In the meantime, feel free to share any stories/advice!