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Out Of Step

Member Since 30 Jun 2013
Offline Last Active Jul 14 2013 10:36 AM

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In Topic: My (Loooong) Story And Azelaic Acid For Severe Oily Skin

14 July 2013 - 10:37 AM

Sorry guys for taking so long to reply!  It's been a very busy week as I've been working toward an important deadline at work, having to work late hours, etc.


Oilygirl1980 -- I will post the topic tonight -- a week later than I said I would :/  Thanks for encouraging me to use a spf lotion.  Considering all the products I use on my face that cause UV sensitivity, I should be careful with the sun.  I'm always hesitant to apply sunscreen because it makes my skin feel much greasier, but Neutrogena Dry Touch sunblock is not that terrible.  Best of luck with the vitamin A and keep us posted on your progress.  When I start an essential oil I plan to use it with ordinary witch hazel, not the Thayers brand, which supposedly isn't "true" witch hazel as it lacks alcohol -- pretty sure witch hazel with rose water is Thayers.  It took 6 months for Jofo to notice any difference from using peppermint oil, whereas you said you saw an immediate improvement when using lemon oil.  On the basis of that alone, I'll try the lemon oil first.


Wellsmall -- it's encouraging to hear that Accutane kept your oil at bay while you took it, and it's really such a shame that most dermatologists don't make low-dose isotretinoin an option.  The only dermatologists I've seen have always told me that they only prescribe accutane for patients with severe acne, not merely oily skin (apparently our problems aren't considered important enough).  If you read around on these boards you'll see similar success stories with low-dose isotretinoin.  In many European and Asian countries doctors seem willing to make this drug available for long-term use, whereas dermatologists in the U.S. typically will avoid doing so presumably to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits.  I'm very sorry that it sounds like it has been so difficult for you lately.  I wouldn't know how to deal with an oily scalp on top of my oily face.  All I can say is that you're not alone and we're in this together.


lifeinfaith -- how long did you take Spiro?  Don't quote me on this, but I recall hearing that Spiro may take more than a few months to stop the oiliness.  I find that AHA/BHA makes my skin greasy, and it really works hard on the skin -- you're already taking Differin, which is supposed to increase the rate at which you exfoliate.  As you probably know, some dermatologists believe that taking a retinoid with AHA/BHA will reduce the effectiveness of the retinoid.  Please see: http://www.futurederm.com/2009/06/19/how-do-i-use-a-retinoid-and-aha-together/  I'm not sure if benzoyl peroxide could hurt or help you with your oiliness, since opinions appear to be divided on that issue, but have you tried it with your differin?  It's kept me clear for years.  Let us know how your fish oil experiment goes.  Did you move to Colorado from a state with very hot and humid weather?


Oily skin update -- can't tell if the azelaic acid is having much of an effect on my oiliness.  I'm still as greasy as ever, but hey, no breakouts!  I will keep trying the Finacea until I run out.  I decided to wait before starting the essential oils.  The main issue for me with these topical medications is that I sweat like crazy every day at work.  As stated earlier my boss insists on having no A/C in a city with very hot and humid summers, so I'm afraid my constant sweating could be preventing the topicals from absorbing properly.  I notice that I am less oily during the cooler, drier months here -- October through early May -- so much so that I rarely have to blot, whereas these summer days I blot nearly every hour.  Could this only be attributed to the effects the heat and humidity have on my skin (heat apparently reduces the viscosity of sebum, causing it to rise to the surface of the skin more readily), or is the excessive sweating an equally important factor?  


Also went to my GP and got my blood checked because he thinks I may be hyperthyroid, which would explain the heat intolerance, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, anxiety, inability to gain weight, and potentially oily skin and some of my hair loss (still have some thin spots in areas of my scalp that pattern baldness doesn't typically affect, and it's definitely not alopecia areata).  I'm supposed to review my test results with my GP in five weeks, so we'll see.  If anyone here experiences the symptoms I listed and hasn't gotten tested already, get your thyroid checked.  Thyroid issues are apparently much more common in females than in males and can potentially lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

In Topic: My (Loooong) Story And Azelaic Acid For Severe Oily Skin

06 July 2013 - 12:01 AM

So lemon essential oil, eh?  Thanks for the suggestion.  I read Jofo's excellent topic where he proved that applying peppermint essential oil daily over a six-month period significantly reduced how much sebum his nose produced.  I did quick google searches for peppermint oil and lemon oil and found roughly the same number of (unfortunately non-scientific) articles for each claiming that it can control oily skin when applied topically.  Any idea which essential oil would be more effective in this regard?  If I were to try one but avoid using moisturizer, could I mix it with a toner such as witch hazel?


Wish I could chime in about vitamin A (retinol, not beta-carotene) -- as written in my first post, though, my only experiences with it involved megadosing.  I've never tried acupuncture, but for what it's worth one of my coworkers used it for her chronic back problems and successfully treated her issues after a few sessions.  I have no idea if the disorders acupuncture treats are merely psychosomatic or if this method is beyond placebo and actually produces real physiological changes in patients.  As far as alternative options go, I just dug up an interesting article discussing yet another treatment that could potentially help us oily folks and will be writing about it in a new topic.  I haven't seen much discussion on this particular treatment on acne.org's forums, so it should be interesting.


Still continuing the Finacea with little results, but it's only been a week since I first applied it.  I don't know if Azelaic Acid is supposed to kick in immediately or gradually if it works as many say it does.

In Topic: My (Loooong) Story And Azelaic Acid For Severe Oily Skin

03 July 2013 - 07:08 PM

Hello again!  Thanks for the informative and supportive replies, CBIOT13 and Oilygirl1980.


CBIOT13 -- I understand that Azelaic Acid is sold at a 20% concentration, but because the gel versions that are supposed to be better suited for oily skin are only of the 15% variety, I don't plan to change the concentration of what I'm taking just yet.  I wasn't aware that Finacea or any other 5-alpha reductase inhibitors could have an effect on beard hair.  Not to get too descriptive but my beard is very thick, coarse, curly, and especially prone to razor bumps.  I shave with a DE safety razor, sharp blades, nice quality shaving soap, and proper technique yet still have trouble getting a very close shave without irritation, so losing some beard hair wouldn't be such a terrible side effect to me!  I've been taking finasteride for 7 months with excellent results and haven't lost any beard hair since, but my eyelashes definitely got much longer.  Sorry to hear that you haven't found much success in treating your oily skin issues so far.  As far as future treatments go for oily skin, I'm looking forward to hearing more about CB-03-01, a topical acne and hair loss treatment.  The Cosmo Pharmaceuticals site lists the following information about this drug:

CB-03-01, a molecule patented by Cosmo, is a steroidal ester, androgen antagonist derived from 11-deoxycortisone, which tightly mimics the profile of an ideal anti-androgen for topical use.
The objective is to create a product for topical application to treat acne, male pattern baldness, and seborrhoea that does not have the side effects of products currently being taken in tablet form.

An IND was granted in the US for CB-03-01 for acne in Q1 2012. Phase II dose escalating clinical trials were initiated in the US in H2 2012 and are scheduled to be completed in H1 2014. 

We may be waiting a few years for this to come to market, but who knows -- with the correct vehicle, dosage, etc. CB-03-01 could be more effective at curbing oil production via DHT inhibition than something like Azelaic Acid.


Oilygirl1980, sorry to hear that you are feeling hopeless.  I completely understand where you're coming from -- I would never want anyone to have to experience this crap beyond their teenage years.  But I am happy to hear that you've found solutions for your acne and at least some success with the stuff you're taking for your oily skin.  Which of the things you listed have you found most useful for oiliness?  As for BP potentially increasing sebum production, I can't say that every person will react to medication in the same way, and different peer-reviewed articles can of course yield conflicting results.  For example, since finding the study I cited above I've done some additional research and located some articles concluding that Azelaic Acid did not modify sebum excretion rates in any substantial way.  


...this leads me to my quick update for everyone: unfortunately, it appears that my evaluation of this medication's efficacy was premature.  A day after my success, my oiliness seemed to return to its normal state (a miniature oil spill on my face by 11:30AM), but it may be a little bit drier than usual.  Things have been especially bad skin-wise since the area where I live has been consistently hot and humid for a while and my boss is too cheap to purchase an air conditioning unit for our office.  I plan to continue to take Azelaic Acid for a few weeks until my next derm appointment in mid July and hope things will improve.

In Topic: My (Loooong) Story And Azelaic Acid For Severe Oily Skin

30 June 2013 - 02:53 PM

Thanks for the reply, Jofo.  I have two tubes of Finacea in my medicine cabinet, so I should be set for a few months.  


Because I'm usually very busy with work during the week I might only have time to post here on weekends, but I'll try my best to keep everyone updated.  I figure that it might be best to post once a week anyway because you know how results can fluctuate when starting a new treatment -- one day everything will be great and then the next it will be terrible before improving again.  Without getting too obsessive, I wish I could find a reliable way to measure oil secretion to chart my progress -- assuming there will be progress, of course. eusa_think.gif   By the way, I am basing my decision to try this medication on anecdotes I've read online as well as this abstract from a peer reviewed article, if you haven't already seen it: http://www.skinthera...s/2007.6/8.html  Interestingly enough, the results section of this abstract indicates that on average Benzoyl Peroxide actually increased sebum production substantially.  Maybe I'll eventually try removing BP from my regimen.


Has anyone on this section of the board tried Finacea or any other topical containing Azelaic Acid?  If so, could you tell me about your experiences with this medication?  Thanks!