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JMTM18017

Member Since 10 Aug 2008
Offline Last Active Jul 19 2014 07:37 PM

Topics I've Started

Types Of Acne That Develop As One Ages...share Experiences, Please!

06 July 2014 - 12:57 PM

I'm wondering if as adults, anyone else here has noticed major differences in *types* of acne they get as they aged. I thought I'd share my acne's "evolution" as time has progressed. I'm a female, so be forewarned that I might mention some woman issues here... Any males are free to share their experiences, though...

 

In my teens (12-20) my acne was mostly inflamed, filled with pus. Lucky me, I hit puberty early, and had acne about two years before most other people my age. I could sometimes get large, deep cysts. If I happened to have a "successful" extraction, the lesion would heal quickly and disappear. 

My most common methods of treatment were antibiotics from the dermatologist, topical Azelex and Erygel. I was on amoxicillin, tetracycline, cephalexin, erythromycin-- if my dermatologist stopped an antibiotic, my acne would come back. I would get the worst acne around my nose, chin, forehead (T-zone) with breakouts on my back and chest as well. My skin was generally oily despite the weather, but it would heal relatively quickly. I rarely had allergic reactions, although I would occasionally get peeling from the topicals. 

From ages 20-26, my skin was in a weird flux. I had lost a lot of weight around age 21 (too much) and my acne was better.. I had stopped having my period. Eventually I gained some weight back, and my period restarted. My skin went from the pus-filled, quickly healing acne to hard, numerous, deep tiny cysts that would not pop nor heal. They became more likely to grow on my neck, my jaw line. Antibiotics stopped working altogether. Topicals seemed to do nothing. Popping acne seemed to cause a vicious cycle, and the lesions would grow back after I thought I had "drained" them. 

26-27, I had a brief vacation from acne while nursing my son. Note that I don't recommend getting pregnant to curb acne!

The bad skin came back shortly after I stopped nursing and resumed menstruating, and the tiny, hard, non-healing cysts returned. I did have the Mirena IUD put in, so I'm not sure if it aggravated my acne. My skin was drier and I had to be more careful about causing reactions with harsh cleansers. I had occasional scalp breakouts. My back became horrendous with numerous tiny pimples. My skin was oily during the summers, but still needed moisturizer at times. 

Age 29, I had Accutane (with a different dermatologist, in a different state), and the acne disappeared until a month after I stopped. Still, the hard, numerous pimples. Fast forward two-three years. They were back in full force, deep, and one dermatologist described them as "tiny cysts". They became horrible around my jawline, my neck, and close to my ears. My current dermatologist (back in PA, where I live now) was puzzled after various other treatments and prescribed Accutane again. I had the Mirena taken out shortly after stopping the second round of Accutane. 

Knock on wood, my acne hasn't been as bad as it was prior to my second round of Accutane, although it is far from perfect. As an adult, antibiotics seem to have no effect. The only useful treatments seem to be somehow linked to exfoliation (Tazorac, for example). It's as if my adult skin doesn't want to shed, my hair follicles constantly get plugged up, and this results in tiny hard lesions that never heal. I rarely (knocks on wood) get really huge painful cysts anymore-- just many small persistent, treatment-resistant ones. 

I have to be judicious about what treatment I use when I break out. As a teen, I would repeat the same routine every day. As an adult, I can't be a robot when caring for my skin. Sometimes my skin requires milder cleansers like Mustela and Cetaphil-- other times I need more foamy cleansers to cut down on the oil. Sometimes I have to skip my topicals because my skin feels too raw or dry. Popping certain zits can be futile, since they inevitably grow back. 

Any thoughts on acne differences as one gets older?  


Double Edged Razor Blade

29 June 2014 - 01:36 PM

I know this is a random comment... and I'm a female, so it's not as if I shave my face... however...

I did purchase a double edged safety razor a year ago, and have found it to greatly reduce skin problems on areas I shave. I'd get acne type lesions, ingrown hair, etc., with the regular store bought razors.

I think the beauty of the double edged safety razor is that you can replace the blades cheaply and frequently, there aren't as many blades to catch bacteria and dead skin cells, the razor itself can be cleaned in scrubbing bubbles and really hot water. There's no "moisture strip" that could turn gooey and potentially cause your skin to break out. Basically, the razor is more sanitary than the regular store bought variety or the electric razor. It also paid for itself very quickly.

I use a brush to make foamy soap (with bar soap) and the shaves I get from it (it's a Muhle) last twice as long as the really expensive multi-blade razors I get in the drug store. 

I imagine a male shaving his face could use any non-comedogenic soap and make a lather with a shaving brush. The type I purchased was specifically for men, yet I had no difficulty using it without slashing myself. Just thought I'd put this comment out there, since I'm fairly certain the design of the double-edged safety razors would be beneficial to a guy with skin problems. 

If you google "Blade and Badger", there is a whole forum specifically devoted to double edged safety razors. 


Does Anybody Else Here *not* Believe In Skin Purging With Effective Treatments?

03 March 2013 - 10:50 AM

This is an odd question, but I wondered if anyone else agrees with me on this... 

I've had acne since at least age 11, and I've never used any treatment that made my skin "purge" or get worse before it got better. If my skin became worse (as in having a lot more acne), or didn't improve almost immediately, the treatment never worked in the long run. I was always very fastidious about following the doctor's treatment protocol, so it wasn't as if I didn't "wait long enough" for the medication/treatment to work. 

I've been on Accutane twice, and neither time then did I have a "worse" period before my skin improved. The acne that was already existing on my skin became slightly more red and tender, but my skin didn't break out before it improved. 

After being off Accutane for a couple months recently, the doctor put me on Acanya gel and Tazorac since I was having a very slight relapse. The Acanya gel didn't work when I used it on my skin prior to my second round of Accutane, but this time it seems to help-- again, though, I didn't have to endure any "skin purging" before my skin cleared up. 

I can't think of any other medical problem, aside from treatment for cancer, where a person is expected to deal with worse symptoms before improvement! It's not as if you go to see the doctor for an ear infection, he/she gives you antibiotics, and you're told "Your ear is going to hurt a lot more for a while, and THEN it will get better!" It seems almost like a cop-out, since acne (at least for me) seems to go in cycles. Sometimes it will get better on it's own. If I wait six weeks for my skin to "purge", it will almost always go through a week or two where it's better, and then will get worse. 

 

 


Doctor Ok'd Accutane? Prepare To Wait...

01 November 2011 - 10:51 AM

I wanted to post this topic because I wanted to save frustration for people (especially females) who have been "cleared" by their doctors to take Accutane... Prepare yourself to wait....
My first round of Accutane was in 2008. I wasn't prepared for what was in store for me when the doctor said "Let's try Accutane!". I always figured it was one of those things where you drop the script off at the pharmacy and get the pills. Wrong.
First (being female) I had to take a pregnancy test and confirm my types of birth control.  Then I had to wait a month for my next follow up appointment. In the meantime, I had to register on the ipledge website after getting my id number in them mail. Then I had to get a full fasting blood test. Then my doctor had to post my lab results to the ipledge program and OK me to answer the questions. Then I had to answer a bunch of questions on the ipledge site. NEXT I had to fill the prescription at the pharmacy, only to find out that I needed a pre-authorization with my medical insurance.. and I was extremely anxious because there was a short seven day window where I could pick up the Accutane script. I was ready to rip my hair out.
Yesterday I started my second round of Accutane. I was prepared to wait, but had issues on the website while tyring to confirm my two forms of birth control. If you haven't taken Accutane before (especially if you're a female), you have to answer some questions correctly regarding Accutane and birth control before you are able to fill your prescription. Apparently, someone at the dermatologist's office registered me incorrectly into the ipledge website, saying I was using birth control pills instead of an IUD. Since my answers on the ipledge website didn't mirror what the dermatologist's office said, the website kept telling me I had to "call the provider". I must have called the office four times to get the issue straightened out-- luckily they were patient with me-- I think this is because I was being nice on the phone with them despite their error. PS, be nice to the office people and nurses at your dermatologist's office. Trust me. If your insurance changes or you get a new card, make sure they get a copy! If you need a new referral, get one! If any medication your derm wants you to try need a prior-authorization, they'll need the phone numbers and ID number on your card!
Anyhow, as I mentioned before, I wanted to post this warning. I believe if I had known more about how long the process would be the first time around, I wouldn't have been so anxious and irritated.