I have been blown away by all of the accutane miracles lately. Very hopeful for some of my friends on here that accutane will be their answer too. I am using the hormonal regimen and it is working quite well.
300mg doxy (weird)
One of my favorite songs::
2,500 mg cephalexin
benzaclin twice a day
tretinoin once at night
Cetaphil oil control moisturizer
I literally have zero zits right now! And, the scars are fading rapidly. My skin is so beautiful and I am losing weight. I may start looking for a husband lol.
above see before
above see before
above see today
above see today
above see today
I am trying so hard to be good. I am taking only the prescribed doses of all medications. That means three lousy amoxicillin pills per day. Thats down from 15 by the way. omg omg!! I have like a total of 5 zits right now! I am freaking out because I am no longer accustomed to breakouts. I have been pretty much clear for 3 years and then boom. My antibiotics stop working so I switch to spiro. Ok spiro at 100mg per day. I just feel like bacteria are over taking my face again. I feel like resorting to my old technique of taking as many amoxicillin as I can swallow; but it probably won't do any good anyway since the bacteria seem immune now. I have an appointment on Thursday to get some Birth control pills. Hopefully that goes well and I can push farther into hormonal treatments.
Also, my using of chlorhexidine gluconate seems to be a massive failure. My skin is so dry I look like I am 100yrs old. I am using copious amounts of moisturizer which will probably backfire on me! Life just sucks right now. I need a new regimen that works. I'll figure it out. It is like a survivor puzzle (you know like on the American show "Survivor" hosted by Jeff Probst)
I am going to keep trying to maintain clearer skin by using the prescribed amounts of all my medications and continue to use an oil-free acne prone skin oil control Cetaphil moisturizer with SPF 30.
I am slowly phasing out antibiotics and switching to a hormonal treatment model. I am now on spironolactone and hoping to add birth control estrogen pills. I have to lose weight first though. I plan to go to the gym 12 days a month starting April 1st. doesn't sound like much but with my depression it really is a lot. I am still taking amoxicillin and cephalexin. My breakout of tiny whiteheads is gone, Weird. They just like dissolved overnight. Must be the tretinoin. I now have small red spots (not bumps) where they once were. For those who are new to my blog I used to call myself Amoxilworx, because it did. Now that amoxil is not working I am using my real name Leanna.
Anywho, I said I would add a moisturizer and I did. I am bracing myself for a possible initial breakout but I am hoping that the cetaphil oil control moisturizer will live up to it's promise. I read on the Cetaphil.com website that it should not interfere with acne medications and should have a matte finish. So far that seems to be true.
Cetaphil oil control moisturizer
I got blood drawn yesterday. The phlebotomist was nearly incompetent. She jabbed with the butterfly needle right into my flesh and starts moving it around. Excruciating! She also suggested that I may be running low on blood. Ridiculous. I offered her my other arm and she still couldn't find a vein. Finally she poked around and pierced one and took my blood. The test is for my potassium levels to see if my dose of spironolactone can be increased. Fingers crossed! I really want to switch to a more hormonally based treatment because I take so much antibiotics to stay clear. I really need to try some other options. My skin is still clear though constantly red. I live with the red face as long as I have no acne. Anyways my regimen is still the same:
amoxicillin & cephalexin
topical clindamycin lotion
I got my test results: Component/ Standard Range/ Your Value
POTASSIUM/ 3.5 - 5.3 mmol/L /3.6
My dermatologist e-mailed me after I asked her to increase my dose. She agreed. She will send it directly to my pharmacy!! YEAH!!
It may be unclear from how I posted the results since the formatting was dropped when I cut and pasted it from my health insurance website account. But normal potassium level is between 3.5-5.3. My potassium level is 3.6, which is normal.
I am now on 50mg a day. I hope to get to 200mg a day. Fingers crossed!
I have been on spironolactone for three days. lol Prolly too early to look for results considering it takes six months to work for most people. Now my regimen is as follows:
1. Tretinoin plus topical clindamycin once per day
2. benzaclin twice a day
3. Amoxicillin or cephalexin 3000 mg per day
4. 25mg of spironolactone at bedtime
Before my regimen
Before my regimen
I finally got my blood lab work for spironolactone done. They stuck me with a huge needle and drained out two vials of rich and robust red blood. OUCH! The tests were done at the lab and then I and my dermatologist were able to access the results via my health records in my online account for my health insurance. She started me off at 25mg of spironolactone a day. I started last night. My dermatologist's assistant called me and told me that I have to get blood work at the lab again in one month to make sure my blood potassium levels are not extremely high. If my lab is normal, she, my dermatologist, will increase the dose. I have a great working relationship with my dermatologist. She allows me to ask for new drugs that I have heard good things about and she always examines my face closely to make sure I have no breakouts. She is highly sophisticated.
I have fairly clear skin right now. My regimen is as follows:
6:30 AM- wash face with cetaphil antibacterial bar soap. Pat dry. Apply mixture of tretinoin 0.1% and clindamycin lotion 1%.
11:30 AM- wash face with purpose non-soap cleanser. Pat dry. Apply slight amount of benzaclin (clindamycin phosphate/benzoyl peroxide gel).
4:00PM wash face with cetaphil antibacterial bar soap. Pat dry. Apply mixture of tretinoin and clindamycin lotion.
8:30PM wash face with purpose gentle non-soap cleanser. Pat dry. Apply benzaclin. Bedtime-have clean pillow cases each night.
1000mg of amoxicillin three times a day.
I went one day taking my amoxil as prescribed and I got three pimples. When I o.d. on amoxil I have clear skin. My derm told me she wont increase my dose. I know she is trying to protect my health overall, but I have zero side effects when I take thousands of mg of amoxil daily and zero pimples. I don't know what to do. My pharmacy is starting to turn against me.
I decided, momentarily, to take a mere 1,500mg of amoxicillin daily as prescribed. Huge mistake! I broke out all over. It was traumatic. Thank god I had an extra refill of cephalexin. I took almost a whole 90 pills of amoxicillin in the past 7 days but I am finally all clear again. I contacted my dermatologist and asked her if she would increase my dose so I can have the dose that is effective and she reluctantly stated that she would not. Sadly I have to keep getting double refills, paying cash, a mere $8.00 every ten days. . Good luck to everyone!
I put before and after pics. My regimen is the same except that I abandoned my "take as prescribed" experiment. Long story even longer: I began, 3 years ago, after experimenting and measuring effectiveness...I learned that if I take more than 1500mg of cephalexin or amoxicillin, the break outs would cease. A few months ago I decided to take my antibiotics as prescribed. One 500mg pill 3x per day. I did that for about three weeks and the cysts began to return. I quickly upped the dose to previous levels. Skin smooth again. I am so disheartened that I will always have too take the higher doses, Its hard to do because I have two open prescriptions; 1 for Amoxicillin and one for Cephalexin.
Other than that my regimen is still as follows:
1. 6,000mg of amoxicillin daily for two weeks, then drop back to 3,000mg a day. (I had to spike my usage after taking just three 500mg pills a day for three weeks).
2. Wash with 0.46% Triclosan soap for antibacterial effectiveness
3. apply thin layer of tretinoin, on top of that mix in thin layer of benzaclin. Repeat.
I also on occasion use HIbiclens on my face and throat or Walgreens antiseptic skin cleanser.
I have suffered from cystic acne for 20 years. Sadly, it has been only the past three years that it has been properly treated by a dermatologist. As a result of years of avoiding antibiotics; fearing they would harm me in some way (ridiculous). Long story even longer...I have finally settled into a regimen that keeps my skin clear. Tretinoin, Amoxicillin, Cephalexin, Benzaclin and Topical clindamycin lotion and solution, and stand alone benzoyl peroxide 5%.
I'll explain why I use so many medications: 1st-My benzaclin prescription can only be refilled 1x per month. It only lasts two weeks however when I use it as directed; which is apply twice daily, AM and PM. When I run out, I apply the stand alone benzoyl peroxide 5% gel and the topical clindamycin lotion mixed together.
As for the antibiotics, I use slightly more than prescribed which is why I need two prescriptions. 1 for amoxicillin and 1 for cephalexin. I average six per day each dosed at 500mg. That puts me at 3,000mg of antibiotic per day instead of the prescribed 1,500mg. I know it sounds drastic but it works. I never have pimples anymore. During the past six months I have had two tiny pimples for that entire six month period. My daughter tells me I no longer have acne.
The tretinoin is a very important player in this game. I view this as a game or a war game more aptly put. Me versus the acne. Tretinoin helps dead skin cells slough off and keep my pores clean. Hence, less acne. It also smoothes out my skins' surface. I have seen some deep scars disappear over the past three years.
For those of you struggling to find a regimen that works, more is more. By that I mean more medications is better than few medications if you truly want clear skin.
<------fine as hell! Gifted Giselle!
OK, I am year two with having clear skin. I will add pics later but right now I have benzaclin on my face so it has a white film and you can't really see my skin. When I wash my face again and apply tea tree oil toner I will take new pics and edit my post to add the photos. Anyway, I hope someone will be inspired by my regimen because I seriously had major cystic acne and now I have none. The best advice I can give is keep treating your face even after you stop breaking out. I know the acne will return anytime I stop my regimen.
Things that have helped me: Amoxicillin, Cephalexin, Tretinoin, Topical Clindamycin, Benzaclin aka Clindamycin+Benzoyl Peroxide.
I use a soap on my face that contains chlorhexidine gluconate (hibiclens or generic walgreens antiseptic skin cleanser) (highly antibacterial) and another soap that conatins 0.46% Triclosan (another antibacterial agent).
I don't have a lot to say...my blog, unless I abandon it, is like a broken record...Use benzaclin, tretinoin, amoxicillin and cephalexin. Still no zits...I guess its over...the nightmare has ended...all meds still deliver as promised...whats next?
Ok. I know I said it was so sad, "I'm gonna breakout"...blah blah blah...and then it happened. I received a text from Target pharmacy that an order was ready for pick up. I had no idea what it was. Turns out it was CEPHALEXIN!!!MY DOCTOR DID IT!!! SHE ORDERED ME CEPHALEXIN!!! Which means that I will be able to recklessly consume massive amounts of antibiotics again. Heres how it works. I see my dermatologist and she prescribes me six months of amoxicillin. Then I send a message through the scheduling line for my HMO to my primary care doctor stating that I need Cephalexin. Its a 50/50 crapshoot. Sometimes she'll send it and sometimes she wont. So now I can take double the amount of amoxicillin, When that runs out I switch to Cephalexin. CLEAR SKIN...I know this whole situation is tenuous...but for now I am ecstatic!
okok, I am worried about the future...antibiotic resistance could happen, I could get sick with colitis etc..etc...I hope my topical regimen is strong enough to ward off the acne I used to have. The nodular, scarring cystic nightmare. My face was like a bumpy gravel road...pustules scabs redness huge bumps...AAWWWWW!!!!!
<-----my face today...
<----double trouble lol
To get everybody up to speed, I have been taking extremely high doses of amoxicillin and cephalexin. Up to 6,500 mg a day. I had clear perfect skin for two years. Finally, last week, my dermatologist failed to renew my prescription for cephalexin. Because of that, I can only take the prescribed dose of 1500mg per day of only amoxicillin. Also new to my regimen is tea tree oil toner from The Body Shop.
My complete regimen is as follows:
Wash face with Cetaphil antibacterial soap. Use slow circular motions to exfoliate. Then apply tea tree oil toner with cotton round.
Wash face with dial antibacterial soap. Apply thin film of benzaclin.
Wash face with Cetaphil antibacterial bar soap. Apply tea tree oil toner.
Wash face with Cetaphil antibacterial soap. Wait 20 minutes, apply tretinoin. On top of that, apply thin layer of benzaclin and lights out on skin care.
Prognosis: Now that I am taking the reduced dose of amoxicillin exclusively, I have had two pimples over the past two weeks. I guess I'll just have to live with it. My doctor is no longer endorsing my strategy of take no prisoners war on acne. I am broken. I now have to accept getting a few zits now and then. Bury me!
JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON!
It has been a week. I have reduced my applications of tretinoin from 2 to 1. In the morning I wash my face with cetaphil antibacterial bar soap for dry sensitive skin. Next, I apply the tea tree oil toner with two fresh cotton pads. One for the left side of my face and one for the right side of my face.
I now have smaller pores. My face appears smoother. I believe that my previous overuse of tretinoin caused my pores to become enlarged and pink. Now my face is taking on a bronzed tone. My tan is more even on my face-way less red. On the downside, I now have dry skin peeling on my face. That never happened when I was piling on the tretinoin because it creates a peel so smoothly. Regardless of the peeling, I am sticking with it. My dermatologist warned about using too much tretinoin. She said that was the reason my face had taken on a pinkish tone. AAAHHHH! So now I use my tretinoin only at night right before sleep. I apply a thin layer of benzaclin over that and zzzzzzzzzzzzz
all of these pics are from this morning.The camera on my laptop does not have a very graphic detail so it is hard to see the peeling dry skin around my mouth. I will be posting after pics in 30 days to see if a ramped down regimen can keep me clear. I had a voracious and vicious form of cystic acne. It was relentess!! So in reaction to that fact, I became relentless. I kept my face bathed in antibiotics,tretinoin and benzaclin and took so many internal antibiotics. I was as pushy and aggressive as the bacteria. My dermatologist let me do it for three years. the war is over. Time to surrender to convention....time will telll *sigh*
<-----cotton discs for applying tea tree oil toner
<-----Tea tree oil toner
<------freshly mixed jar of creamy effective benzaclin
Emergency update!!! I have developed a pimple in my chin. It's reminiscent of those that have tortured me in the past. Apparently I can't make it without more antibiotics. I don't know what to do!!!
My antibiotic binge is officially over. I am seriously for the first time, in two and half years, taking my amoxicillin only as prescribed. 3x a day. I am also not getting cephalexin anymore. My derm reigned me in. *snort*
My new pics which used to be "after pics" are now officially the new "before pics". My regimen has been changed drastically. I can no longer pop antibiotics all day long without care. I am restricted to what she, my dermatologist has prescribed. But, however, I have uncovered a potent secret for those suffering severe cystic acne. If you hit it with a high dose of antibiotics for a year or two, you can kill enough of the busy bacteria to stop the cycle of frequent even constant breakouts. That's what I did for over 2 years; I took two 500mg amoxicillin pills every half-hour all day long for months.I would cash out the prescription (a mere $8.00-$12.00) since insurance only covers 1-30day supply each month. I would use three months worth of amoxicillin in one month. My, face, smooth- zero breakouts, no pimples. I can't even remember what its like to have severe acne. I honestly don't know how I survived it. I am still on benzaclin twice a day and tretinoin once in the evening. New in the morning is The Body Shop skin clearing tea tree oil toner for blemished skin. My biggest fear is that the cysts will return. Now that my regimen is strict I will post "after" pics within a month so you can see if I am still clear and happy.
<-----Tretinoin aka Retin-A generic
<-----Tea tree oil toner from The Body Shop
I know I said that I had written my last blog entry because nothing is happening. I have clear skin and use the same regimen:
1. Amoxicilllin antibiotic
2. Benzaclin topical treatment for acne
But, I have added something new to my regimen and adjusted my treatments based on my July 3rd, visit with my brilliant dermatologist. Turns out I was using tretinoin too much, hence the red face. Someone asked me on my blog if it is ok to wash my face 3-4 times a day and it turns out that I was overusing tretinoin. My doctor told me to apply it only once at night. I have done that and I am already seeing improvements. However, back to the whole purpose of my post: (drum roll) I have added tea tree oil toner from The Body Shop to my regimen. I know what you're thinking, shes gone natural. Not true. Its just the toner and so far it has soothed my face and I like it. I hope it is killing P.Acnes like it purports to. Peace!
This may be my last ever post. I have shared my regimen many times and I have proven that my medications work by showing before and after pics. How long can I keep this up. I just never breakout anymore and i continue to use the same medications every day.
My regimen is as follows:
Wake up with oil dripping in the corners of my nose...yikes!! Wash face with dial antibacterial soap (killin' those P.Acnes).
Wait 20 minutes-apply a mixture of tretinoin and clindagel. Wait 3.5 hours.
Wash face again with hibiclens or cetaphil antibacterial bar soap (depends on what I have in stock).
Apply benzaclin to my entire face, let dry. Apply moisturizer, Cetaphil oil control spf30 moisturizer if going cycling, which I always do when its warm out.
Wait 4 hours. Wash face again with cetaphil oil control foaming face wash for acne prone skin. Re apply my homemade Ziana (Retin-A mixed with clindagel.) Wait 3.5 hours and wash face again with cetaphil antibacterial soap.
Apply benzaclin at bedtime and sleep with it on.
Other points: I take 4-6 500mg pills of either Keflex or Amoxil each day as I go about my business. Now for the final display of my pics. <------me today
<------left side today
<---front view complete with genuine smile*<-----dreaded before pics
<-----dreaded before pics
This has been a great experience and I will continue as a lurker and post messages on other folk's blogs. *tear* *smile* My last ever post....
Still all clear! Same regimen!
1. WASH WITH HIBICLENS, FACE CHEST AND BACK
2. APPLY MIX OF TRETINOIN .1% AND TOPICAL CLINDAMYCIN LOTION OR GEL (HAVE BOTH)
3. SWALLOW TWO 500MG PILLS OF AMOXICILLIN TWICE A DAY
4. WASH WITH DIAL ANTIBACTERIAL SOAP
5. APPLY BENZACLIN
6. IF GOING OUT IN THE SUN, APPLY CETAPHIL OIL CONTROL SPF30 MOISTURIZER
7. WASH FACE WITH DIAL ANTIBACTERIAL
8. APPLY BENZACLIN AT BEDTIME...SLEEP
9. DO IT ALL AGAIN!
Before I begin I want to tell you that I have clear skin right now due to my strict and comprehensive regimen. I use benzaclin and tretinoin. I take amoxil antibiotic and keflex antibiotic. Every minute of the day, my face has an acne fighter on it. I only use moisturizer from Cetaphil that controls oil and is specially prepared for acne prone skin. Ok now that I got my intro out of the way I can start my story.
Last night, at my daughter's (15yo) track meet I saw a girl with large cysts all over her face. She also wore heavy make-up on her cheeks and chin. I wanted to say something. I wanted to tell her that there are effective medications she can use. I did strike up a conversation with her but she walked away before I could figure out a way to work acne into the conversation. So my question to everyone is this:
Is it ok to tell strangers with obviously severe acne about effective acne treatments?
Be honest with me, I want your true opinions.