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Member Since 15 May 2007
Offline Last Active Jul 28 2014 03:40 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: 27 Year Old Female Cystic Acne

28 July 2014 - 03:37 PM

Don't be afraid of accutane.  I had terrible cystic acne and did it twice in my late 20's.  Only side effect was chapped lips.  While on it I was clear (...a wonderful respite from cysts...) and afterwards my cystic acne returned but milder.  Meds that never worked before began to work better.  The regime I'm on now is the one that finally got me clear and has kept me clear now for several years.  FYI --- full strength antibiotics did too but you can't take those forever.  Also harsh acne topicals like BP and salicylic acid were too much for my sensitive skin.  Here is the regime that got me clear.  Using these things individually did not work...it is using them together that works.



BP cleanser (Panoxyl 4%) --- in the morning gently swoosh on for one minute and rinse with lukewarm water. Pat dry.

Topical antibiotic (Cleocin-T) --- apply in morning all over face and spot treat as needed at night.

Lotion for acne skin (DML) --- apply evenly with gentle strokes of fingertips, let dry naturally, don't rub.

Anti-androgen (Spironolactone 100mg) --- take one in the morning.


Mild cleanser (Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar) --- in the evening gently swoosh on briefly and rinse with lukewarm water. Pat dry.

DML lotion

Anti-inflammatory Diet --- this diet is for oily cystic inflamed skin --- avoid all dairy, sugary foods, processed oils (salad dressings, fried foods, etc.), nuts, caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods.  Eat fresh whole foods.  

Monthly microderms help keep more pores clear and help the topical meds to penetrate.

I really like a zinc supplement called "Opti L-Zinc".  Studies have shown that most people with chronic acne have a zinc deficiency.

Hope this helps!

In Topic: Help! Is This A Nodule Or A Cyst On My Right Cheek? Sad And Depressed. Pi...

25 July 2014 - 03:37 PM

My acne looked like yours and my derms diagnosed it as cystic acne.  Nodules typically are so deep they don't come to a head but cysts can come to a head...although it can take a long time.  Although I had cysts that were so inflamed that mine could come to a head within a couple of days.  Size and degree of inflammation and infection determines whether it is a typical pimple or a cyst.


I too have extremely sensitive skin and topical BP was always too harsh.  I was very surprised when my derm had me do a BP cleanser (Panoxyl 4%)...in fact he had to actively talk me into trying it.  It's great for sensitive skin, formulated to kill acne bacteria eventhough it's only a cleanser and rinsed off before irritating skin.  Panoxyl 4% can be bought over the counter now.  What really makes it effective is when it is paired with Cleocin-T, a topical antibiotic.  There have been studies on the pairing of BP cleansers with topical antibiotics for being gentle but really good at controlling acne.  You have to see a derm for topical antibiotics.


On your diet you should also avoid nuts, including peanut butter.  Chinese and holistic medicine both recommend it.  I avoided this advice until several years ago but wish I hadn't.  When I finally avoided nuts the degree of facial oil went down.  Nuts are great for non-acne prone people but if you get acne nuts can cause oily skin and clog pores.  Same with processed oils (olive, canola, etc.).  I know the arguments for oils but at least for me avoiding them did the trick as far as reducing facial oil and unclogging pores.  


Stress can also be a cause due to an increase in stress hormones (cortisol) and then androgens which cause acne.  However if stress is the cause you can still do things topically that will help keep the pores open, kill acne bacteria and stop the breakouts.  Breaking out from stress just means that you are prone to clogged up pores and the extra oil and inflammation caused by an increase in hormones makes it a perfect environment for serious acne.  I'd say that if you are breaking out like this because of stress that you most likely will continue to break out when the major stress is over...although less.  You'll want to develop a regime to help your skin cope...one you can do regularly when under stress and not.  Keeping up a good regime keeps the pores open so that you are ahead of the curve next time you are under lots of stress.

In Topic: After 1 Year On Regimen Not Working Going To The Derm For The First Time. Wha...

25 July 2014 - 03:14 PM

I never got an initial breakout when using doxy.  All I got was a continuation of my usual acne, although less, as the pores finally cleaned out.  This process took months.  But as each month went by my acne was less.  And a change in diet finally got me totally clear.  You'll be fine as long as you continue with all aspects of your tx regime.  And then when you get clear continue the regime until your derm decides it is time to wean off some things.  If you have chronic acne then you'll always have to use something but it will be more streamlined...and you won't mind because you'll be clear!

In Topic: Help! Is This A Nodule Or A Cyst On My Right Cheek? Sad And Depressed. Pi...

21 July 2014 - 02:50 PM

Yes --- this is a nodule or a very inflamed cyst.  I used to get cysts like this.  It looks like you have other cysts happening, as well as common acne, and oily skin.  You should see a derm to properly treat your acne before it causes too much damage to your skin.  It will be well worth your money to do this.  If for some reason you don't want to see a derm then you need to use some serious acne medication and diet changes to get clear.  


Nicam only reduces redness.  It does nothing to open pores nor does it kill acne bacteria --- both of which you must do to stop cystic acne.  Have you tried Dan's regime?  His regime will lessen surface oil, unclog pores and kill acne bacteria.  These are the 3 things you have to do.  You can try your own version of his regime by applying 5% benzoyl peroxide morning and night, washing with a mild noncomedogenic cleanser (no rubbing) and applying a lotion made for sensitive acne skin (like DML lotion).  Some people like to use a salicylic acid cleanser to help open pores.  However this may be too much for sensitive skin.  With this regime you may have more breaking out to start but this is because all the deep plugs and infection are coming to the surface.  Stick with it.


The other thing to do is to avoid all dairy products (cheese, milk, etc.).  Dairy has hormones that make acne worse.  Also eat fresh whole foods...no junk...no fried foods.  Become a natural foods person.  You skin will look sooooo much better.  Also avoiding all added oils (salad dressings, oily foods, fried foods, etc.) will dry up your oily skin.


Please try the above.  It will help.  You can send me a message if you want.  I have dealt with acne for a very long time, tried everything and have a pretty good grasp of what works and what doesn't for various acne types.

In Topic: After 1 Year On Regimen Not Working Going To The Derm For The First Time. Wha...

18 July 2014 - 05:18 PM

I agree --- this is a pretty normal approach to treating acne.  Here's an important thing to remember though.  Your derm has determined your skin type and what could work for you.  It is essential to follow through.  Do NOT decide on your own to wean off any of the treatment or change how you do it.  First discuss with your derm!  Also keep a log of what you are doing and how your skin looks each day.  Take this with you to your appointments.  It will help your derm immensely in figuring out if something is working right or not.  I finally started to do this and together my derm and I figured out a treatment approach that works.  Don't be afraid to express you concerns...even dry skin, etc.  I really like DML lotion.  It was developed specifically for sensitive acne prone skin.  It goes on light, absorbs quickly and is a great base for powder makeup.    Good luck!