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LionQueen

Member Since 04 Nov 2005
Offline Last Active Aug 12 2011 10:30 AM

#2629652 The seborrheic dermatitis thread

Posted by LionQueen on 28 May 2009 - 07:19 AM

Best treatment I've found so far is a leave-on coal tar gel called Psoriasin. You can get it at drugstore.com ... it's an OTC product.

It cleared a really bad flare-up for me, and has been keeping me clear since then. *crosses fingers*

Also, it's quite gentle on the skin. I hated Nizoral.


#2614427 Suicide threads

Posted by LionQueen on 10 May 2009 - 07:59 PM

In the last few days, the mods have had to close several threads in which the OP was threatening suicide. This has caused some resentment and hard feelings, which was not our intention at all. So we'd like to explain a bit more about the way we handle suicide threats -- which is to close the thread and direct the poster to other, more appropriate, resources.

Yes, Acne.org is a support board. But it's an acne support board. We simply aren't able to offer suicidal people the sort of help and attention they need in a time of crisis.

The mods on this board aren't trained in suicide intervention. Also, we can't always be around when such threads are posted ....... and while most members here are warm, kind and encouraging in their responses, there always seems to be that special someone ready to flame you when you're down. doubt.gif

When we close these threads, it's not because we don't care. It's because we want people who are truly suicidal to get help from the experts.

And if someone is threatening suicide primarily to get attention (which does happen!), we really don't think that's fair to the other members of the board. Suicide threats are deeply distressing, and we do not feel that Acne.org is an appropriate forum in which to deal with them.

Thank you for your understanding.


#2494363 Tips for using topical retinoids

Posted by LionQueen on 06 January 2009 - 10:04 AM

Topical retinoids are very effective anti-acne AND anti-aging products. They transform your skin cells over time, speeding up the rate at which skin cells form and making them less "sticky". Retinoids also increase collagen production. Long-term retinoid use results in smoother, more even and glowing skin. Topical retinoids are not effective spot treatments, but are meant to be used all over your face, and on a regular basis.

A lot of people get started with retinoids but give up quickly -- usually because they have not been properly taught about how retinoids work, and what to expect in the early weeks.

Here are some key things to remember:

1) IRRITATION

Topical retinoids are irritating to the skin, and you MUST ease into them gradually. Here is a general schedule that I suggest people follow when first starting out:

Week 1: once every 3 days
Week 2: once every 2 days
Week 3: 2 out of 3 days
Week 4: daily

Pay attention to your skin! Red, sore, "sunburned"-looking skin and excessive peeling are signs of irritation. If you experience either, STOP using the retinoid until your skin has gone back to normal. Then pick up the schedule where you left off.

Moisturizing with emu oil (or just adding it to your favorite moisturizer or sunscreen) will help to reduce redness, dryness and inflammation.

2) INITIAL BREAKOUT

Retinoids work by forcing the comedones that are clogging your pores to come to the surface. It takes about 3 months for your pores to clear, and during this time, you will probably see some breakouts. Blackheads may appear larger and more noticeable as they surface; small hard bumps may form; and if you are prone to inflammatory acne, you will probably get pimples. (A short course of antibiotics can help people with inflammatory acne get through this initial breakout, but I do not recommend taking antibiotics for more than 2-3 weeks.)

3) SKIN FRAGILITY

Retinoids make your epidermis thinner and more fragile (don't worry, though, because they actually thicken and strengthen the underlying dermis). DO NOT PICK AT YOUR SKIN! Trying to squeeze out a blackhead can leave you with a red mark for weeks. Be patient.

Be sure to use a very mild cleanser with no other active ingredients while you are getting accustomed to the retinoid, and cleanse your face with lukewarm water no more than twice a day. Once is probably better. Retinoids compromise your skin's barrier function, and excessive washing is going to result in dehydrated skin. You can reinforce your epidermal barrier and reduce dehydration by supplementing your diet with fish oil and moisturizing with emu oil.

4) PEELING SKIN

Some peeling is normal. Not only are your skin cells regenerating very quickly, but they are not sticking together as cohesively, and you will see surface peeling. Gentle exfoliation can help get rid of the shedding layer of skin; you can use a soft facial brush or a silica microbead scrub. BE GENTLE! You can do a lot of damage if you aren't.

5) SUN SENSITIVITY

Retinoids increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Wear sunscreen during daylight hours. If you are getting laser or light treatments, be sure to tell them you are using topical retinoids; you may need to avoid product use for a week or so before a treatment.

6) PRODUCT APPLICATION*

You should apply retinoids to clean, dry skin and wait at least 10-15 minutes before applying moisturizer. Many retinoids degrade in sunlight (Differin is an exception, as it's not a true retinoid), so it's best to use them at night.

If you are also using benzoyl peroxide as part of your regimen, do not apply it and the retinoid at the same time, as BP oxidizes retinoids. Usually, you'll want to use BP in the mornings, retinoids at night. Differin (adapalene) is an exception to these rules.

Salicylic acid and retinoids work very well together. (SA loosens comedones; retinoids push them out.) You can use SA in the AMs, retinoids at night, or you can layer the products at night. If you are layering, the general rule is to cleanse; apply SA liquid or gel; wait 30 minutes; apply retinoid.

*A pea sized portion should be used for the ENTIRE face, not a pea sized portion for each section. More product will not make skin cell turnover happen faster or better. Overapplication of product will irritate the skin.


#2494360 About OTC topical retinoids

Posted by LionQueen on 06 January 2009 - 09:52 AM

OTC topical retinoids are a great alternative to prescription retinoids (Retin A, Tazorac, Differin) for people with mild/moderate acne who find the prescription products too irritating to their skin.

Topical retinoids are very effective anti-acne AND anti-aging products. They transform your skin cells over time, speeding up the rate at which skin cells form and making them less "sticky". Retinoids also increase collagen production. Long-term retinoid use results in smoother, more even and glowing skin. Topical retinoids are not effective spot treatments, but are meant to be used all over your face, and on a regular basis.

A lot of people get started with retinoids but give up quickly -- usually because they have not been properly taught about how retinoids work, and what to expect in the early weeks.

Here are some key things to remember:

1) IRRITATION

Topical retinoids are irritating to the skin, even the OTC formulations, and you MUST ease into them gradually. Here is a general schedule that I suggest people follow when first starting out:

Week 1: once every 3 days
Week 2: once every 2 days
Week 3: 2 out of 3 days
Week 4: daily

Pay attention to your skin! Red, sore, "sunburned"-looking skin and excessive peeling are signs of irritation. If you experience either, STOP using the retinoid until your skin has gone back to normal. Then pick up the schedule where you left off.

2) INITIAL BREAKOUT

Retinoids work against acne by forcing the comedones that are clogging your pores to come to the surface. It takes about 3 months for your pores to clear, and during this time, you will probably see some breakouts. Blackheads may appear larger and more noticeable as they surface; small hard bumps may form; and if you are prone to inflammatory acne, you will probably get pimples. (A short course of antibiotics can help people with inflammatory acne get through this initial breakout, but I do not recommend taking antibiotics for more than 2-3 weeks.)

3) SKIN FRAGILITY

Retinoids make your epidermis thinner and more fragile (don't worry, though, because they actually thicken and strengthen the underlying dermis). DO NOT PICK AT YOUR SKIN! Trying to squeeze out a single blackhead can leave you with an ugly red mark for weeks. Be patient.

Be sure to use a very mild cleanser with no other active ingredients while you are getting accustomed to the retinoid, and cleanse your face with lukewarm water no more than twice a day. Once is probably better. Retinoids compromise your skin's barrier function, and excessive washing is going to result in dehydrated skin. You can reinforce your epidermal barrier and reduce dehydration by supplementing your diet with fish oil.

4) PEELING SKIN

Some peeling is normal. Not only are your skin cells regenerating very quickly, but they are not sticking together as cohesively, and you will see the surface layers peeling off. Gentle exfoliation can help get rid of the shedding layer of skin; you can use a soft facial brush or a silica microbead scrub each morning to prepare your skin for the day. BE GENTLE! You can do a lot of damage if you aren't.

5) SUN SENSITIVITY

Retinoids increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. Wear sunscreen during daylight hours. If you are getting laser or light treatments, be sure to tell your consultant you are using topical retinoids; you may need to avoid product use for a week or so before a treatment.

6) PRODUCT APPLICATION

Most OTC retinoids need time to absorb into your skin and do their work. You should apply them to clean, dry skin and wait at least 30-45 minutes before applying moisturizer. Many retinoids degrade in sunlight, so it's best to use them at night.

7) USING RETINOIDS WITH ACIDS

Retinoids can work really, really well in tandem with AHAs or BHAs, but I don't recommend trying to introduce both at the same time. Your best bet is to start with the AHA or BHA product, and when your skin is fully accustomed to it (in other words, you can use it daily with no drying or irritation!), then start gradually introducing the retinoid. I would recommend using the AHA or BHA product in the AM and the retinoid at night.


SOME OTC RETINOIDS I LIKE .....

Green Cream (my personal favorite) is a retinol gel that comes in three concentrations: Levels 3, 6 and 9. Level 3 is quite mild, and is intended for people with highly sensitive skin. Most people with normal skin can start out with Level 6. Level 9 is quite strong and probably not the best one to start with. I didn't start using Level 9 until I could tolerate Level 6 twice a day. GC is pretty expensive, about $45 - $55 for a one ounce bottle (this will last a month or so, depending on how often you use it). I have bought from www.lindasy.com, www.dianayvonne.com, and www.amazon.com. More information and a message board are available on the product website, www.greencream.com.

Diacneal is made by Avene. It's retinaldehyde-based, which some people prefer to retinol, and contains 6% glycolic acid as well. More readily available in Europe and Canada than Green Cream is.

The Vivant Vitamin A products are also very highly regarded. Check them out at www.betterhealthyskin.com.


#2440113 Clinical Studies on the Diet-Acne Connection

Posted by LionQueen on 28 October 2008 - 07:32 AM

Here are some links to clinical studies on the diet - hormones - acne connection.

Many thanks to Rubbish for passing these along, complete with descriptions, and for suggesting that we create a pinned topic.


http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/18496812 Low GL diet increased SHBG and increased IGF-1 and reduced free androgens and thus acne and sebum.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/17448569  Similar to above.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/17616769 Low GL diet and markers.

(Mann's studies are cited by Cordain in his interview with Dan. These studies have resulted in dermatologists re-evaluating diet's role in acne.)

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/14527633 A non-Mann study on Insulin Resistance showing important hormonal markers with acne.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/15202836 Importance of binding proteins yet again in acne.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/11334899 Again.



NOTE: I am closing this thread to keep it clutter-free. If you would like to pin more links to other clinical studies relating to the diet-acne connection, please PM one of the moderators to have a new post added to this topic.


#1552808 Clearing pores, getting rid of tiny bumps

Posted by LionQueen on 12 December 2006 - 01:03 PM

UPDATE:  This thread kind of wandered off course over time, so I've decided to close it. I have also rewritten this initial post to update and revise it based on current information and experience. If you have questions about the products I recommend, please feel free to PM me.


For those of you who don't know me: I have had acne since I was 12 or so, and I'm now in my mid-40s. Information I came across on this board has enabled me to clear up my mild/moderate acne to the point where no one ever realizes I have acne at all. And after spending a lot of time and money trying out various products, I'm finally down to a pretty simple regimen that is working well for me.

So ...... if you have primarily comedonal acne (clogged pores, whiteheads & blackheads), here is what I have found to work:


PAULA'S CHOICE BHAs (available at www.cosmeticscop.com)

Great product, at a very reasonable price. On the whole, I think this should be your first line of defense. I never thought salicylic acid would work on my face -- I've had horrid reactions to other SA products -- but this stuff is awesome!

I used the 2% BHA gel. The 1% wasn't strong enough for me; I think it's probably for people with highly sensitive skin. There's also a 2% liquid and a 2% lotion.

I recommend trying this product first because it is CHEAP -- about $15 for a 4 oz bottle, which will last you for months. You can get sample packets extremely cheaply if you want to try out the different formulations before placing a full order.


GREEN CREAM/DIACNEAL/Other mild OTC retinoids, such as Jan Marini and Vivant products

If the BHAs aren't quite enough to purge your pores, or if you want to improve the overall quality and radiance of your skin, I recommend these products. They are not cheap. GC goes for $40-50 per bottle, and a bottle lasts 4-6 weeks .... but it is one of the best products I have ever run across. It really works. There's a long GC thread in the OTC forum, and there's also a product website & message board: www.greencream.com

I buy my GC on amazon.com, but there are plenty of online sellers. Look for a list on the product website. Most people with normal skin can start with Level 6; if you have very sensitive skin, you may want to start with Level 3.

You can layer GC on top of BHAs. After cleansing, apply a thin layer of BHAs all over your face, wait 30 minutes, then apply Green Cream.

I did use Diacneal for awhile, and found it effective as well ... but GC just made my skin look prettier. If you live in Canada or Europe, Diacneal may be easier for you to get your hands on. It is made by Avene. And of course, there are other OTC retinoids as well: Vivant Vitamin A products, Jan Marini, Skinceuticals, etc.

EDIT: Just wanted to add that for people with mild acne, these OTC retinoids can actually be more effective than the stronger prescription products because the irritation factor is so much lower. I used Retin A for awhile, and although it cleared my pimples, it made my skin look horrible .... red, oily, and irritated. It's great for moderate/severe acne but I think it may be overkill for mild.


MANDELIC ACID

If your skin doesn't like BHAs ... try mandelic acid. It is awesome against blackheads especially, and there's a long mandelic thread in the Blackheads forum if you want more information.

If you have oily skin, the best mandelic product is probably the 15% Vivant mandelic serum, available at www.dianayvonne.com (I think she sells samples). If you have dry or sensitive skin, or are using topical retinoids, you are better off using the 10% or 15% alcohol-free serums from www.gardenofwisdom.com. Another wonderful formulation is made by Face Reality, but I think you have to be under their care to buy their products. You might check out their website: www.facereality.com

It's possible to combine mandelic with retinoids, but the peeling can be quite annoying. Best bet is to start with mandelic for a few months and ease into the retinoid after your skin is fully adjusted to mandelic.


#1136588 Clogged pores! How do i extract them?

Posted by LionQueen on 18 May 2006 - 03:00 PM

QUOTE(Ariventa @ May 17 2006, 02:53 PM) View Post

Don't extract or use the biore strips...they don't do anything. The pore will just fill back up again. Best chances in getting rid of them is using a retinoid, some salycylic acid, AHA or manual exfoliation to clean the pore and keep it unplugged.


Ditto that.

A mild retinoid should do the trick. Your derm might prescribe Differin or Retin A Micro in a low concentration. There are also some good OTC products available: Green Cream, Diacneal, and the Vivant Vitamin A products.

Mandelic acid is also extremely effective against clogged and enlarged pores.


#1093208 Mandelic acid is amazing against blackheads and acne ...

Posted by LionQueen on 19 April 2006 - 10:38 PM

Wow ... this stuff is really, truly, honestly amazing. I just had to let you all know about it.

After 4 months on retinoids (Green Cream, Diacneal, Retin A), I have managed to get rid of all of my old bumps and inflamed acne ... but the pores in my T-zone were still getting badly congested every couple of weeks, resulting in blackheads and microzits. Since I'm a habitual picker, and my skin is currently very fragile from the retinoids, these clogged pores were creating a real problem for me.

As soon as I started reading about mandelic acid, I knew I had to try it. The trouble was, the first MA product I tried really does not work well with Green Cream -- and I LOVE Green Cream and will not give it up! I could see that the MA was zapping the blackheads and tightening my pores, but unfortunately it was also burning my skin -- which is not supposed to happen. Mandelic is a very mild AHA.

Anyway, I finally found a new MA product that I can use with retinoids, and I am just loving it. My pores are tighter and clearer than I ever thought possible and my blackheads are almost entirely extinct.

So here are my product recommendations:

If you have oily skin and are NOT using retinoids, you should be able to use the Vivant mandelic acid serum sold on the Diana Yvonne site. I suggest buying a sample first to try it out. This is probably the purest, most powerful and effective mandelic product out there.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, are using retinoids or other anti-acne products, or just find that you can't tolerate the Vivant mandelic, you are probably better off going with the alcohol-free mandelic acid serum made and sold by Garden of Wisdom. They make a 10% version and a 15% version. Sample sizes are available. I use the 10% if I'm layering it under retinoids and 15% if I'm using it by itself.

Mandelic acid needs about 30 minutes to absorb into the skin and "do its thing" -- so you should apply it to clean dry skin, and not apply anything else for at least 30 minutes.

A little more info about mandelic acid: here's a quote from Deb, the Forum Host at the Diana Yvonne SkinCare Board:

It works in the same manner as salicylic acid, except it cannot penetrate as deep into the pore as salicylic acid. Thus, it increases cell turnover within the pore, causing the release of comedones. As soon as you stop using it faithfully, just like salicylic acid, back they come!  

I think the reason people rave about mandelic acid is that it is an AHA with some BHA properties. As well as being antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and lipid permeable (thus the pore exfoliation), it is a gentle 15% AHA at a low pH. AHAs exfoliate the epidermis much better than with salicylic acid, which cannot penetrate very deeply into the epidermal layers. So, the skin is smoother, tighter and more even in tone. Thus, the AHA activity combined with the lipid permeability aids in the appearance of smaller pores.


CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!


#970979 Your age bracket

Posted by LionQueen on 11 February 2006 - 12:01 PM


41. How nice, I have my own private bracket.

Q