I just went to the derm on an emergency appointment, i feel defeated. All this crap I've been taking for half my life and still i have crappy blotchy oily skin, cysts on my neck and chin and woke up today with tons of tiny red bumps on my forehead and nose. I'm waving the white flag, I start Accutane (Clarivis or whatever) on Wednesday. At 32 this shouldn't be happening. Diets, supplements and all the other garbage I've tried has sort of tamed the acne but its only tamer, not corrected. This is round two of accutane (15 years later), and it is really not what I want to do, but I also just want to be able to wake up and not dread looking in the mirror, or feeling completely out of control of my face.
Can someone pass the cheese to go with that whine?
Dear Saint Nick -
Thank you so very much for the unexpected gift you implanted in my forhead last night. You shouldn't have, it's way too much. Boy, you really pulled that out of nowhere. And I got you nothing, now I feel like a real grinch. Like rudolph I'll be able to light the way to all my christmas parties tonight. All my friends and family will be SO jealous when they see what you brought me, can't wait to show it off!
At 31 you would think that what other people think about you wouldn't and shouldn't really matter all that much.
One last look in the rear view, a small whimpy sigh and i was headed into the danger zone, work. I had done some damage to a smallish bump next to my nose this morning (why i think attempting to pop a zit will make one of these bad boys more appealing is beyond me) and I felt like i was walking through the cubicle village with a bullseye on my face. Avoiding eye contact, slithering into my ergonomically correct blue swivel chair, and cranking my ipod, i felt safe, but in constant danger of being found out. "No, i don't wanna get a coffee with you, can't you see I have a pimple?"... "what do you mean I have to go to that meeting, have you seen my face?".."can't you all stop talking to me, i just wanna be left in my cube so i can obsess over my debilitating condition alone" ....then it hit me..."dude, stop being a whiney pathetic little bitch and get on with it". I don't know where it came from, but I'm glad it came and it was time it came. I've always been fairly confident, social, happy etc., but for a couple of months my acne has become more of a daily mental struggle. Something clicked today, finally. So I avoided mirrors until I got home from work, took a look and you know what...it ain't that bad. I got three "activities" taking up some real estate on my face and it ain't that big of a deal.
Yeah, I know my little mental victory seems trivial, but its my blog and i'll whine if i want to.
Now onto some chinese takeout and ridiculous television.
Ugh, been lurking on these boards for years trying to find that magic solution to my ongoing struggle with acne. I've come up with nothing, obviously.
A little about myself, i'm a 31 year old male, just moved to a new city a few months back for a job. I have had some form of acne since I was 15, so more than half my life. I was on accutane when I was 18 and it worked somewhat, but I still broke out after I finished. Prior to accutane I tried antibiotics and topicals prescribed by a derm. I don't remember exactly what I was on and I honestly don't think I was ever consistent with using it, b/c I would always look at someone who had it worse than me and think that mine wasn't that bad. I don't think I've ever had "severe" acne, meaning, I do get cysts and under the skin type of acne, but at worst its only 3 or 4 at a time. I've never been completely covered. I would consider my acne persistent moderate.
Through my 20s I tried proactive, the regimen from this site, benzaclin, duac, tretinoin and cephlexin. I really, really do not want to go back on accutane. I noticed that for about 4 months (while I was laid off), my skin was pretty much clear. I was working out daily, following the body for life diet, drinking tons of water and taking only a multi vitamin and fish oil. I think I was clear, because I definitely was not obsessing about it like I am now (could have something to do with not having to see people everyday because I wasn't working and I wasn't as paranoid?). Anways, after I got a job and moved, my lifestyle changed so that I was eating out more and not exercising. Breakouts started creeping up again and I have become so self conscious lately that I am started to feel very defeated to the point that I'm becoming more of a recluse ( i wanted to skip thanksgiving because of my skin...i didn't). The only other time I got comments that my skin looked good was when I had quit smoking and was using benzaclin.
So, a few months ago I decided to really make a valiant effort with the leftover tretinoin cream I had. I washed morning and night with cetaphil, applied the pea sized amount every night after 30 minutes. Used oil free moisturizer with SPF every morning. Two weeks in and I was as red as a tomato, no peeling. Two months in and my skin was breaking out in giant red cysts in places I've never had acne before (forehead, sides of my nose, middle of my cheeks). And when I say giant, I mean like the size of a dime. Fine, I can deal with the initial breakout, but my skin was oily to the point that it was dripping off my nose. People at work asked me why i was sweating. My face was blotchy and disgusting, worse than ever. I decided I had to see yet another derm in my new city. Of course it was a 4 month wait to see the actual derm, so I saw the physician's assistant the next week. He saw me on a "good skin" day, and talked with me for maybe 2 minutes while someone else was writing down notes. He told me that the tretinoin "cream" would be the cause for my oily skin....that my acne wasn't that bad and to try the Aczone and buy Panoxyl 4 creamy wash. I couldn't find that freaking face wash anywhere so I had to order it online. I had a really bad day at work a few days before thanksgiving and drove to 4 drug stores until I found the Panoxyl. I've been using it morning and night since. It has definitely dried up my skin, but in a good way, it has sort of balanced the oil. While the soap has definitely brought the cystic acne to a head, it has really left me with severe red marks after the existing acne had cleared. So, in the middle of yet another skin meltdown, I called the derms office and told them what was going on and asked for some antibiotics and was prescribed doxy 100 mgs twice a day. I've been on that for a week today. I've noticed some changes, but nothing remarkable. The aczone is okay because it doesn't burn or flake, but I don't really know how effective it is yet.
Whew, i feel like i had to get all that out because I've been so frustrated about it and its starting to negatively impact my life. So, today I start this log to track my progress. Away we go.
4 very minor red pustules, 3 on right side of face, 1 on left, 1 healing cyst on chin....sexy.