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.