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Member Since 15 May 2007
Offline Last Active Jul 25 2015 11:26 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Week 5. Acne Getting Worse Each Week

25 July 2015 - 11:25 AM

So sorry you are having such a rough time but I used to have this kind of acne so I know what you are going through.  You have cystic acne...a deeper kind of acne...and probably some rosacea as well.  What this means is that topical BP may be too irritating for your skin and irritation makes cystic acne worse rather than better.  In other words, the benefits of BP are lost due to the increase in irritation.  If you really want to get clear you need to see a dermatologist or at least your family physician if they know how to treat cystic acne.  Personally I think a dermatologist would be better in your situation because you want to avoid scarring.  Here is the regimen that finally got me clear after DECADES of your kind of cystic acne.  Getting rid of inflammed cystic acne and controlling rosacea is a life-long battle and takes patience and a multi-prong approach.

1. Stop eating all dairy, wheat, caffeine, sugary foods, oils (no dressings, or added oils in cooking, butter, margarine, or fried foods).  Eat fresh natural foods, not fast foods.  This is the best diet for inflammatory diseases (acne, rosacea, etc.) as it controls inflammation and helps the skin to heal.

2. Use a BP cleanser such as the one listed in my signature.  It will kill the acne bacteria without irritating your skin like a topical BP.  Use tepid water and GENTLY swirl the cleanser on to the count of 60 and then rinse.  Dab dry - do not rub.  Avoid irritating your sensitive skin!

3. Apply a topical antibiotic (this is where you need a derm or doc to prescribe something for you).  I like Cleocin-T.  It soothes the skin, kills acne bacteria, and helps prevent future breakouts.  When I started using Cleocin-T all my cystic acne stopped but to have totally clear skin I had to do the rest of this regimen.

4. Apply lotion to help protect and heal the skin.  DML lotion is the one my derm recommends as it was specifically developed for sensitive acne prone skin.  I LOVE it...goes on lightly and dries quickly.

5. Use a little powder to help cover.  I like Physician's Choice airbrush powder...so soothing and it has a bit of SPF.  Personally my skin will not tolerate any lotion SPF...always breakout but the powder is okay.

6. Take about 30 mg of zinc a day.

7. Drink tons of water every day.

8. I take Spironolactone which blocks androgens --- they are what causes cystic acne.  I only take 50 mg a day and there are no side effects other than I have to pee about an hour after taking it.

9. Do a monthly professional microderm.  This helps open pores so that the rest of the regimen can work better.

The regimen I'm on is in my signature below.  Print if off and take it to your doc or derm.  It was developed by my derm who is specialist in adult acne, especially chronic cystic acne.  And on it I am now 99% clear.

Hope this helps you!

In Topic: Don't Know Where To Go Next

29 May 2015 - 09:13 AM

I'm so sorry you're having such a terrible time!  I too have struggled with cystic acne and whiteheads my whole adult life and am much older than you.  I also had a hysterectomy in my early 40's which messes up hormones even if tests come back okay.  The thing is your tests are "okay" for a post menopausal woman...meaning you have less estrogen.  This lack of estrogen causes an imbalance so the testosterone in your body becomes more dominant (still "normal" but dominant) and this causes more oily skin and particularly cystic acne.  The excess oil is also causing the additional whiteheads, inflammation, etc.

In addition it sounds like you have sensitive skin.  I do too so many topicals are too harsh for me.  Personally, full strength antibiotics keep me clear but cause terrible gut problems so I could not do that.  It was my current derm who devised a regime that has kept me almost clear.  It involves taking something to suppress testosterone or androgens (Spironolactone), something gentle to kill acne bacteria (Panoxyl 10% cleanser which has benzoyl peroxide). a topical to reduce inflammation and kill acne bacteria (Cleocin-T), and monthly microdermabrasions to open pores, allow the medicine in, and heal scarring.  In addition I am on a rosacea-acne diet that my derm endorses which avoids dairy, sugary foods, processed oils, spicy foods, nuts, and flour products.

I hope this helps.  Please feel free to message me.  I know what it is like to struggle with this kind of chronic acne and to finally find something that works.  

In Topic: Eliminating Dairy + Daily Green Tea - When Will I Notice A Change?

25 May 2015 - 08:11 AM

It can take several months to see a difference when making food changes...unless you are really allergic to something - then avoiding it may result in a quicker turnaround.  Avoiding dairy is a key thing to help acne and is very documented in research.  You can try using another kind of "milk" in your coffee like soymilk or almond milk.  I love soymilk in my tea.  I drink roasted dandelion root tea which tastes great...like hot chocolate...and is especially good with the soymilk.

For me personally, green tea upsets my stomach and I think made my acne worse.  This may be because my "acne" is also partially rosacea which has its own triggers.  When people on this forum talk about how much food affects their acne I sometimes wonder if many of them may have an underlying case of rosacea which can manifest more like acne than the usual flushed cheeks.  And many things in the typical western diet inflame rosacea such as spicy foods, caffeine, sugary foods, etc.

In Topic: Need Support And Help

25 May 2015 - 07:59 AM

Thanks - skin is clear again!  Avoiding brazil nuts did the trick.  It's just crazy to me how food can cause a flare-up.  For me, flare-ups from food are different than how I used to get acne.  Food reactions look like acne but more inflamed, come up suddenly and itch!!!  Hormonal acne was a slower process and deeper in the skin.  The flare-up I got recently was very superficial but with large red spots, some of which had whiteheads.  It went away within a couple of days of stopping the brazil nuts.  I should have paid more attention when I first started eating the brazil nuts and got one or two of these breakouts...I thought it was just stress or something and ignored it.  But within a few days I was getting 5-6 of these bright red spots on my cheeks each day.

In Topic: Need Support And Help

20 May 2015 - 08:41 AM

Thanks!  Yes, I have a derm appt this week and am discussing this with him.  Still recovering from flare-up.  Everything is fading which is good.  I'm following a strict rosacea and acne diet which is definitely helping.  The other thing I'd been eating too much of was avocado.  A little is okay but I was eating almost a whole avocado everyday.  The rosacea diet recommends avoiding avocado.  My best diet is a combo rosacea-acne diet.