Well this is something new for me-my first blog. Not sure if I'm doing this right, or if anyone will be interested, but I do feel somewhat compelled to share my experiences in controlling and coping with my acne.
A bit of a history...I've been struggling with moderate-severe acne since the age of 12 (I'm 31 and still suprised that I continue to struggle) and have tried most topical treatments available (in Canada) such as: Differin, BP in varying strengths, clindoxyl, benzamycin, and aczone, as well as non rx's ie) Proactive, Murad, Clinique, Jessner Peel, Mandelic Acid, oxy, etc.
End result was some improvement and some worsening depending on the product. Nothing has ever "cured" my acne and I've nevr been unrealistic enough to expect that, however; one treatment did control my acne, and with the help of antibiotic topicals (clindoxyl and benzamycin used intermittantly) I did have a significant reduction in severity and can honestly say that it was manageable.
I was put on Diane 35 (Dinette I believe in the U.S.) at age 16. It cleared my back and chest acne amazingly. Again, my face was controlled along with topical products. Looking back it was 15year reprieve, however, the Diane carries with it significant risks for dvt's/blood clots and stroke, and is not indicated for long-term use (only 3 menstrual cycles I believe). I made the tough but necessary decision to discontinue the Diane and here I am-5 months later. Breaking out all over, feeling like a 16 year old girl again!
I must stress, that I was realistic prior to discontinuing the Diane, understanding that I was quite likely have the acne return and possibly worse. I read many of the reviews and blogs posted here, and although I was terrified (just read the reviews and you'll know what I mean) I felt that I had to be proactive and as preventative as possible.
I researched my options and met with 2 different Dermatologists, my G.P., an MD who specialized in acne, and a Naturopath who is also an MD.
I was basically told that I would not have many options in Western medicine, as I have tried most topicals, blue light therapy, and was refusing spiro, birth controls, antibiotics and accutane.
I have since been working with the Naturopathic doctor who has given me some hope, as it appears there are several treatments to try. I cannot say I have found anything effective yet of the 5 courses of treatments (thank God I have paramedical coverage for benefits) but I will continue to try.
I also have started Retin-A, as it was the only thing suggested that I have yet to try. This was a difficult decision to make as the reviews here were discouraging in terms of horrific sounding initial breakouts that can last up to 3months. I am trying to maintain a positive outlook!
So I guess the purpose in my sharing is that hopefully someone can identify with the difficulty and frustration with what seems to be a lifelong struggle for normalcy. Thanks for reading