Thought I'd update again as it's been awhile. It's been 15 months (next week) since I finished my last course of lymecycline. I have been keeping my skin clear with nightly use of benzoyl peroxide (Benzac AC 2.5% which I have to buy from either eBay or Amazon since it's not available in UK shops for some reason).
I still don't eat much dairy, I use almond milk on my cereal instead (but I still eat some dairy, I love cheese too much to never eat it!) but no longer take any supplements or ACV.
Whether my skin has remained clear due to the BP, or maybe the fact that I will be 50 next year and it's bloody well time my skin started behaving itself, who knows? But I don't plan to stop using the BP anytime soon as it really seems to have been the one thing that has kept my skin clear.
I actually came back here to read through my past posts to find out how long it took to get clear the very first time (5 weeks) because I gave a friend a small tube of BP to try as she's started to have the same problem (she just turned 36) - cystic acne is definitely not just a young person's problem!
I have nothing to report....well, that is actually what this post is about. It's been 8 months since I finished my last course of antibiotics and with nightly use of Benzac benzoyl peroxide (only on my mouth & chin area) my skin has remained clear. I have had the occasional spot over the last 8 months but nothing big or distressing. The longest I've been able to go without antibiotics (in recent years) is just 4 months, so having doubled it is a big milestone. I *think* that the continued nightly use of benzoyl peroxide is what the key is. I know a few women who seem to get the same big chin spots that I was getting and I'm tempted to tell them what has worked for me...but I don't want to give advice when it hasn't been asked for.
Here's to hopefully another 8 months of clear skin!
Last Monday I took my last antibiotic tablet. I'm still using bp every night on my problem area and I haven't had any new spots since I started doing this. From past experience, the earliest my skin has started breaking out post-antibiotic treatment has been about 10 days, so the fact that I'm 6 days in without incident is not surprising. I have gone 3-4 weeks before it started and even as long as 4 months, however, I have never been using bp when I stopped the treatment, so I am really, really hoping that this will be the difference and that this time my skin will stay clear for good.
Quick update here....On week 6 I began to get yet another spot in the same damn area so I started using BP again. I started using it very lightly to begin with because I wanted to avoid my skin getting red and flaky. It seemed to work and my skin has now adjusted to the daily use and not becoming overly dry and I haven't had another spot since. It's only been two weeks, but my skin doesn't really feel like it's "on the verge" of a breakout, like it has since I started the antibiotics. I've just started week 8, so I've got 5 more weeks to go. I'm nervous about stopping but maybe the BP will be my saviour.
So...I haven't updated in awhile. To be honest, there's not been much to tell. For the past 4 weeks, my skin has been healing from the terrible breakout I had before Christmas. I've just started my 5th week of lymecycline and this has been the treatment I've had on several occasions. My last treatment lasted 12 months (!) and my skin stayed clear for 4 months afterwards before beginning to breakout again. In the past, as soon as I started the medication, my skin stopped breaking out. This time, although it's 'mostly' stopped breaking out, I am still getting occasional spots erupting, although they do not seem to fully develop. Yesterday, I had the beginnings of three (!) tiny spots in the same area that is still red from the last breakout, just below my nose. They are small, but this area is still recovering and these have made it more red again. It's so frustrating! I used some BP on it yesterday and I think I am going to try to use it more, but gradually, so that my skin has a chance to get used to it and doesn't get completely flaky.
Just a quick update here. Still not a whole lot to say - no new spots which probably means the antibiotics are starting to work. However, those two big spots between my mouth and nose are actually four. Four! WTF
My skin is really dry though I am trying to keep it moisturised. I am no longer using BP all over my problem area because I know the antibiotics should take care of that. I still need to make an appointment for the New Year to get a dermatologist referral...
So...yes, slightly better but still not great. I have not left the house in nearly a week (and only went out then because it was my son's birthday. He is 19, btw, and has lovely skin.) Hoping to see enough improvement so that I can leave my cave sometime during the holidays!
There's not much to say today, my skin is not much better than a few days ago, it could even be a bit worse since there was another new spot on it's way by the time I started taking the antibiotics. From past experiences, I know that the antibiotics do not stop what has already started. I now have two big lumps between my mouth and nose; one of them has come to a head and is now healing, but I think there could be yet another one right next to it, which is probably why it got so huge so quickly. The other one doesn't seem to be growing anymore, but it's big enough to be painful and obvious. All the other spots (of which there are many) are smaller and some appear to finally be healing.
My biggest concern other than the appearance of my skin is that it hurts. The BP is making my skin burn so badly. I've used a lot of moisturiser along with it, and it doesn't feel dry to touch it and it's not too scaly after my shower but it burns...and continues to burn. I might even have to skip the BP tonight.
Looking forward to posting with a positive update.
My prescription just arrived and I couldn't have ripped open the packaging any faster. I don't know if this is the worst breakout I've ever had - but it definitely feels like it. It feels like my body has attacked my face. There also seems to be slow improvement; maybe because the spots have all been so big. If this drug starts working as quickly as it has in the past, I reckon I'll be lucky to have relatively clear skin (as in not much hyperpigmentation left) in 6-8 weeks. Even once these spots heal, I think the redness will be there for quite some time.
No new spots yesterday, but today there's definitely something going on just above the huge spot between my mouth and nose. I just hope the antibiotics can stop it in its tracks.
Sigh...my prescription did not come on Saturday, and I don't know if it will come today or tomorrow. Feeling pretty pissed off about it all. My skin is sooo awful right now. I've temporarily stopped with the BP as it's so drying; my clear skin is almost as red as the spotty skin. I've been re-reading my blog and have come to the conclusion that BP was probably the solution to getting my skin clear after I came off the first round of antibiotics. And it worked fairly quickly - 5 weeks is all it took before I stopped getting new spots. The problem I've had since then is that I've not gone back to it quick enough when I've started breaking out. If I had started back in October, when I got that first cyst, I'd probably be clear by now, but instead, I hoped it was a one-off and carried on with the lower strength creams (I've been using La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Breakout Corrector) as well as salycilic acid on the spots themselves. I am now wondering if the salycilic acid just made things worse as one tiny spot on my lip eventually turned into a huge blemish....but maybe that would have happened anyway. So, for now, I've gone back to the AltaCleanse as I know it works to a certain extent. Not as good as BP for getting really bad skin cleared, but really good for keeping clear skin clear and obliterating small blemishes overnight.
I just hope that prescription shows up very soon!
I didn't follow up from my last blog post, but basically, I was put on a 12 month (!!) course of lymecycline. The doctor felt that I needed to take a year's worth to get this out of my system. So... I finished taking them in June 2016, and I was scared shitless that it was all going to start again. And it did....but not for 4 months. in October of this year I got quite a big cyst/spot (or 3 --hard to tell, but i think there was more than one going on) on my chin (right side this time!) just in time to go on a family cruise! Yay! Lucky me! I also got a small spot just above my lip. Over the next two months, the chin spot eventually healed (still a bit discoloured though) and that spot on my lip got worse and multiplied. The last two weeks have been particularly bad and this week truly awful with multiple red spots from old blemishes as well as 4 active spots - all on or around my mouth. Because my skin had been so good (from the antibiotics), I've forgotten what I did to get it clear in the first place. This week I started using Benzac again. Although I've carried on using other anti blemish creams as a preventative over the years, it seems that the BP took my skin out of the breakout cycle to enable me to use the other (less drying) ointments as a preventative whilst my skin was relatively clear. However, my skin is super dry and flaky now and it has not stopped the emergence of new spots. Two days ago I noticed a tiny swelling above my lip but no redness nor pain, but I slathered the BP on anyway. Yesterday it was bigger, and grew bigger throughout the day....this morning I woke up to find that due to this new one and another very close to it, but ON my lip line, my lip is actually swollen!!
Yesterday, I tried to book an appointment online to see a doctor, but the next appointment is in January!! It says I can ring the surgery if it's an emergency, and though it feels like an emergency to ME - is it? I decided to try phamacy2u online doctor instead and I've been given another prescription for lymecycline. It's not ideal, but I'm desperate...and it's nearly Christmas. I'm going to book that January appointment though, this time to get a referral to a dermatologist. I've really got to get this under control once and for all....I'm going to be 48 in a few months! Way too old to still be struggling with acne! For any young readers out there....don't worry that you'll still be here in 20 or 30 years - I didn't have bad skin as a teenager! I had perioral dermatitis for a short time in my 20s, but the acne didn't start until my 40s!
And speaking of readers, I honestly thought no one read this blog, but I see that it's had over 10k hits in 4 years - I'm amazed! I only write here so that I can come back and remind myself what happened and when! That's what happens when you get old - you forget stuff!
So, I am anxiously waiting for my prescription to arrive. I paid extra to have it delivered today but I don't even know if it's been dispatched. And the spot above my lip continues to grow....
So...I started breaking out again about a week and half ago, so approximately 6 weeks after finishing the course of antibiotics. Urgh! What gives?
I had a small cluster of cystic-type acne on the left side of my chin (always the left side!) and one under my left nostril. The cluster is healing now (but still red and lumpy) and the one under my nose is smaller than it was, but still a visible lump. I am more than a little worried that another lump is forming in the cluster area. It is not too painful though - that seems to be the best indication of how bad something is going to turn out to be - if it's sore even before you can see it - you're in trouble.
I attempted to see the nurse again today, but couldn't get an appointment. I might see if I can get in tomorrow.
I hate this soooo much.
So, it's been about 2 years since I last blogged here. Unfortunately, I am back again! Earlier this year (January/February) I started breaking out again with cystic acne. I really don't know what caused it, but I had recently switched from eating Special K every morning to oatmeal - hoping that oatmeal would help keep me fuller as I was trying to lose some post-holiday weight gain. Anyway, I started getting about 2 per week over the course of about 4-5 weeks so I hauled myself into the doctor, knowing I'd been down this road before and I didn't want my skin to get as bad as it was by the time I saw the doctor last time. I'd quit eating the porridge but the spots continued. I was given an 8 week prescription of lymecycline as before and I finished the course 5 days ago. I checked out this old blog to remind myself how long before I started breaking out after the first time I was in antibiotics and it was 10 days....so I've got 5 more days. :-/ The nurse who prescribed the abx did say that I might need another course, but hopefully not.
I'm hoping that the fact I still don't eat much dairy will help to control the spots, and I still use Altacleanse (formerly Ultra Clear) faithfully everyday, however, I haven't taken any supplements for a long time, so maybe I'll start taking vit D3 again, seeing as though I've still got some in the cupboard.
I'm obviously hoping I won't have anything to blog about, but I am going out for a family birthday in about 10 days so I really hope my skin will still be clear!
Just a quick update but there really is nothing to tell. Still no new spots in 3 weeks... carrying on with using UltraClear (have not been using BP), plus vitamin D3 supplement and (what I think is the main reason I am staying clear)...very little dairy. Also, I am loving the AHA lotion, it makes my skin feel so smooth!
Despite no new spots, I am still working on clearing the left side of my chin of hyperpigmentation and the last two spots I had are still a tiny bit inflamed, but thankfully, only noticeable to me.
From here on in, I am hoping to have very little to report as it's been 2 weeks since I've had a new spot and my skin appears to be getting clearer by the day. I have to admit that I am still living in a little bit of fear that that could change any day now.... but for the moment, all is good.
12 days and no new spots - amazing! The last two spots are no longer visible under makeup; they're almost completely flat, but there is still some redness and I've also got redness from the spot that started on what, Day 9? No matter, I am feeling pretty good about my skin, so a bit of redness that can be concealed isn't going to bother me.
I made French Toast for breakfast today....milk, cinnamon sugar AND maple syrup - damn they were good; must make them more often... or perhaps not! Anyway... will I regret eating them? Only time will tell!
9 days and still no new spots. The cyst from 9 days ago is nearly flattened as is the one from 2.5 weeks ago (which was much bigger). I did actually wake up with a teeny tiny whitehead this morning, but it was so small, not even worth mentioning, really. Apart from a bit of redness from previous spots, my skin is now nearly clear.
However, it could all change in the next day or two - I made corn chowder for dinner tonight - with milk!! Not tons, mind you. Will keep my fingers crossed that there aren't any new developments!
I'm starting to suspect that milk/dairy was the culprit. I have eaten very little dairy in the past 35 days, just a little bit of milk to wet my small bowl of cereal at breakfast. When I had my horrendous breakout in December & January, I was eating a lot of yogurt. And though I has no breakouts whilst taking antibiotics through February and March and was regularly eating yogurt, I starting breaking out soon after the antibiotics finished. Since I replaced the milk with almond milk last week, I haven't had even one new spot. Interesting.
Well...no new spots in 6 days and only 1 new spot in over 2 weeks (and it wasn't very big), so something's working. A few weeks ago I started taking vitamin D3. I'm only taking 25ug per day, not a huge amount but I have noticed a slight decrease in the oiliness of my forehead (though this is not usually a problem area for me). If it is the reason for the reduction of oil, has it also helped with my chin cysts? I don't really know. Last week I started using unsweetened almond milk with my morning cereal. I stopped eating yogurt about a month ago; I had been eating it every day, and I barely eat any cheese now, although I love it. So, with the slight changes to my diet, the added supplement, plus continuing use of ACV as a toner, Ultra clear on my chin and BP on my clear areas....I *think* I am finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, that could all change tomorrow with the emergence of a new lump!
Damn - I knew it was too good to be true! Eight days without a new spot seems to be my limit; yesterday I discovered a new one. It's in the usual place, the left side of my chin - perhaps I should be grateful that my breakouts are limited to an inch square of skin! This one doesn't seem to be all that painful, so with some luck it'll go away a little bit quicker than usual. A spot I reported on my first blog entry (10 days into regimen) is finally flat enough to not be noticeable with makeup on but it is still a bit red and if I push it out with my tongue, you can see that there is still a small amount of inflammation. So, that's a life span of 20 days and counting.
I'm still using ultraclear on my chin - as there are active and healing spots here, I want to avoid using BP as I think it prolongs the redness. I am still using BP on my clear areas, though I thought I should point out that I am not using a whole lot of it, quite a thin layer to be honest, but this seems to be all I need.
It's been 8 days since I had a new spot....from tomorrow I will be on uncharted territory, well, in a long while anyway. I've been using Ultra Clear on my chin (my worst breakout area) and BP above my mouth and along the sides of my nose (previous breakout prone areas but more or less clear now since January). Apart from three marks on the left side of my chin, my skin looks better than its looked in ages. One thing I've noticed about the BP I've been using (Benzac Ac 2.5%) is that it makes my face sweat a little bit! Odd.
Still not a lot to tell - which is a good thing! It's been a week since I had a new spot, and that one is still a lump which has not come to a head. I don't think it's going to either. The two spots from before are more or less flat now, but still in the process of healing, but with make-up, there are hidden fairly well. I am still using UltraClear on the spotty side of my chin and BP on the clear (but blemish prone) areas. I think the U/C is the best to use on the spots themselves. Not only does it reduce them without over-drying the skin, it doesn't prolong the redness that BP does. Post-hyperpigmentation has been such a big problem for me and I'm convinced that the BP is responsible. I thought it was my age, as in it was getting worse as I got older, but I think it's just because I use BP now.
Keeping fingers firmly crossed that I can clear this one spot before another one emerges!
Not much to tell today. The two spots are still (!!) healing and I have one bump that I believe would have turned into a big ugly zit had it not been for the UltraClear. The reason I think this is because it hurts just like the big ones always do. But it's quite small now and getting smaller every day. It has not come to the surface yet, but what I think is going to happen it that it will continue to shrink until its just a blackhead. That has happened in the past, but for the last 6 months or so, all my blemishes have been turning into inflamed spots. There were two similar bumps that were trying to emerge on Saturday, but they are completely gone now, apart from some redness.
So the good news: no new spots/blemishes
And the bad: currently healing 3 small bumps, and wondering how long until my chin is smooth!
I found a couple of websites selling discounted bareMinerals products; yesterday I received 'Pure Transformation Night Treatment' and 'Firming Eye Treatment' and I am still waiting for the 'Blemish Remedy' and the starter Makeup Kit. Hoping that I'll at least be able to disguise the blemishes better while I wait for them to disappear!
Not much to report, my UltraClear experiment is going pretty good. I am STILL in the healing process of the two big spots (day 12 for one of them!) And though there have been a few small lumps that have tried to form, the U/C seems to be getting rid of them before they turn into anything. Last night I noticed about 4 tiny blemishes - not the type to turn into a fully fledged zit, but a small, raised, pinkish spot. I put the U/C on them and I am not exaggerating when I say that they had already shrunk within half an hour! This is some good stuff! I also noticed I had a reddish blemish on my leg (yes, my leg!!) and I also put some U/C on that and this morning it has really faded and shrunk. I think I'm going to have to take some photos the next time this happens. I really don't know how well it'll work against the big ones that try cropping up - only time will tell...... or not, if I am really lucky!
I am still using BP on my clear areas and remaining clear. It is now over a month since my first initial breakout after finishing the antibiotics, so I've definitely gone a full "cycle". I am on the mini pill, so do not actually have a menstrual cycle, but I think that my skin reactions are possibly cyclical, which is the reason behind this blog.
Two nights ago I went a bit overboard with the BP and aha in an attempt to obliterate the two spots. I kinda knew I was going to pay for it though because my chin was quite red and stinging a little bit. By yesterday morning it was still bit red, the spots had gone down a bit but my skin was super dry.
Last night I decided to lay off the BP but decided to use Ultra clear instead. I am starting to wonder if I should ditch the BP in favour of UltraClear. This morning both spots have shrunken quite a lot and the redness is going down too, but that could also be due to Origins Mega Mushroom Serum which I also used last night. I have been using it for the past few months on super dry skin caused by BP. It doesn't break me out and it seems to help moisturise and soothe the really dry skin. The ultra clear doesn't seem to over dry my skin either and I haven't really given it much of a chance since I got it as I've mostly been using BP. Hmmm...
On the plus side of things, no new spots in 2 days and no new breakouts above the mouth (except for that small one) since I started using BP twice per day. On the negative side of things, one of the two spots I am trying to heal is the same one from Day 9! It's been 9 days since it first started to show it's ugly self and its still not gone. I'm thinking it might be another week or even longer until it's nothing but a red mark.