It's been about 6 weeks since I stopped taking Bactrm and I'm so happy with how my skin has been. My biggest fear was that after quitting Bactrim my acne would come back and flare up just like the last time I stopped taking my oral meds, but nope! My acne has been pretty under control! Can't say I'm 100% acne free, or that I've had a day like that, but my skin is definitely looking a lot clearer. I still get whiteheads and pimples every few days but they aren't anything that keeps me from leaving the house without makeup on (of course I still use foundation just to even out my complexion a bit). As for the other part of my life, well I've only got about 2 1/2 weeks of school left. This semester just fleeeew by! It's pretty crazy. I'll finally officially be a junior (I was about 3 units short) and be able to take capstones and more classes in my department. I took Audiology this semester and it was probably my toughest class, but really interesting. A few weeks ago I had an interview to get a job at Dunkin' Donuts, and I got it! Last week I signed some documents and sent them over to the hiring manager and he said we would hear back at the beginning of the week, but that didn't happen, so hopefully this week for sure (since he said we would start training either the day before or after Thanksgiving). I'm really excited about this. I've never had a job before, and I've always hated how frugal I've had to be for everything. My friends would invite me out to places and I would either make an excuse not to go, or buy the cheapest thing on the menu just so I wouldn't have to waste so much money. I think it'll be pretty nice to finally be able to buy myself things (The last time I went shopping was about a month ago, and I only bought about $30 worth of stuff. Before that, I think it had been maybe a year or two since I'd bought myself clothes.) And of course I would love to be able to help my parents out. Things haven't been going well monetarily wise so I'd really enjoy if I could help them pay things.
Just finished up week 8 of Ziana. Can't say I've seen any improvements to my skin. I really want to consult my derm to see about starting birth control but unfortunately I've had to keep rescheduling my appt., and so as of now it's not until next month. Looking at my forehead right now I see 1 large papule and 2 pustules.The impacted pores that I said were receding two weeks ago seem to be coming back. Still breaking out around my jawline and cheeks and everywhere else basically,. I'm wondering if my new foundation (LORAC Natural Performance) may be contributing. At least my chin isn't doing as bad. It's still really dry recovering from previous acne, but it seems to be getting better. I'm still using almond milk instead of regular milk and taking 1 2000 IU Vitamin D-3 capsule a day. It's been about 3-4 weeks. I've heard a lot of people say they saw results immediately, or at most after a week, and so it's discouraging that I haven't seen anything. Of course I'm going to keep on this regimen, at least until my next derm appt., but I've got my doubts it'll end up doing anything. To be perfectly honest, I'm pretty sure my health has a lot to do with my acne. It's been so long since I've exercised. I just got a new job, and it's mentally exhausting, so whenever I have free time I want to just stay in my room and watch funny videos or play video games. It's sad, really. That said, I'm going to try to start running again. I really want to see a change.
A week ago I bought some vanilla almond milk (sugar free) and have been using that instead of regular milk (just ran out last night so I'm going to have to go out and buy some more!) I also just yesterday started taking some Vitamin D-3 capsules (2000 IU). I'm no nutritionist so if this doesn't sound perfectly safe for some reason feel free to let me know. Onto the skin - it's still pretty bad. Still using Ziana. Most nights I take off my makeup with coconut oil, and I'll usually end up unintentionally popping some pimples in the process.. But I have noticed that the impacted pores on my forehead are receding. I can remember a few weeks ago washing my face and feeling what seemed like 100 little bumps all over my forehead, but now I can only feel about 8. The other day I was talking to someone about acne, and she asked if I'd ever tried birth control. My derm did suggest it about a year ago, but at the time my blood pressure was too high so she suggested I deal with that first. Thinking about bringing it up again at my next appt, just because for some reason I feel like I won't get my acne under control unless I go back to using an oral antibiotic (which sucks because I feel like it's slowly ruining my system in other ways).
Normally when I breakout, I breakout all over my jaw, around my cheekbones, and quite a bit around my mouth. But for the past 2 weeks, I'd say 60% of my breakouts are on my chin/around my mouth. To add, my lips have been feeling really dry lately. I still get acne all over my face (the impacted pores on my forehead are starting to settled down though) but I'd say it's been primarily centered on my chin. I saw my derm on Monday and she asked me if I wanted to get back on oral antibiotics because although Ziana would help me, it won't completely get rid of my acne. I told her I wanted to stay with just Ziana for the next few weeks before going back to that. I'm just kinda tired of antibiotics is all. After that first antibiotic I was on for almost a year sent me to the hospital, I've been really wary of them. I just want to see if a good cleansing routine can do enough. I've actually been considering trying out the Regimen. If I don't get any improvement with Ziana in the next 3 months, that's my next step. I'll admit one factor to my breakouts may just be my diet. I still live with my parents and am still finding a job (actually I found one, I'm just in training right now) so I'm not the one going out and buying the groceries to make healthy meals - I just eat whatever I can find here, and my family isn't the healthiest. I'm sure there are healthy meals I can make for myself here, I just don't know what (i.e. I'm not a good cook). Let's not forget that because of California's drought, water's been getting expensive, so I only take a water bottle from our stack if I really need it. Also, I'm just getting over a cold I caught during finals (around the 14th). And I just started my period last night too. I'm just a great mess right now lol I'm also wondering if quitting dairy will do any good. The issue with that is that I LOVE MILK. I have milk in some way every morning, whether it's in my cereal, or with my waffles, or in my coffee. I just don't know how I could give it up :'(
While my skin doesn't look like it's getting all that better, I can feel it noticeably smoother! I've got only about 8 small active pimples on my face (excluding all the subsurface bumps on my neck. They just won't go away) and a few that are healing and thus a little crusty. Still lots of hyperpigmentation and scarring, but overall I think we're heading in a good direction! This Wednesday I've got my appt so we'll see if there's anything that we should start changing up. I was supposed to be taking Ery-Tab twice a day, but I noticed it was messing up my stomach. I was getting bad pains and was going to the bathroom a lot... so I stopped taking that second one in evening one for a bit, and then I just forgot to start it up again. What usually happens is I don't remember until after I've had dinner, and since I'm supposed to take it on an empty stomach, I have to wait about 2-4 hours for my meal to digest, so by that time I've usually already forgotten about it. I guess I'll start setting an alarm.
Quick update - I think I'm finally in the purging phase. My breakouts are getting pretty bad. Not to mention they're leaving me with a bunch of dry spots all over my jawline, cheeks, and around the mouth. It's making it hard to put on makeup without it looking all crusty :[ Another possible trigger may be stress - finals next week! Actually I had my first one yesterday, and it totally kicked my butt. Now I'm studying for 2 more, as well as preparing for 2 papers, so I'm def feelin it. Also: I'm no longer putting up photos on my gallery. I don't know how I did it when I had my severe breakout last year, but I tried putting one up the other day and I ended up taking it down. I keep the photos on my computer so I can keep up with my progress myself, but because of that I don't feel the need to put them on here anymore.
Last week I developed a pimple on the corner of my mouth, and when it scabbed over holy crap it was absolutely painful to eat or talk!! A few days later it got better, but then another appeared on the other corner! Luckily this one didn't cause nearly as painful an experience. But wow it was the worst! Last week I had about five or six bumps on my forehead. As of this moment, it's relatively smooth, with probably one or two bumps. Acne on my cheeks and jawline is the same as usual, but acne on my neck has just exploded. Bumps all over. I'd say I only make it worse because it's so itchy, I keep scratching. I'm wondering if the way I apply my topicals is having any affect on their effectiveness. I apply Tazorac at night - the website says to apply it after my moisturizer, so I normally cleanse, moisturize, and then apply it after an hour. In the morning it's Benzamycin, and that one's difficult to work with. It's really thick and leaves a lot of chunks of the product on my face. I first thought to apply it straight after cleansing, so I could feel like it's being soaked directly into the skin, with no moisturizer to block it. But on the few times I've used a moisturizer, and then waited an hour to apply Taz, I've found it spreads a lot easier, and melts into my skin better.
I've finished 10 weeks of Ziana, and unfortunately, absolutely NOTHING has changed. I'm still going to use it until I've done 4 months, but the fact that I haven't seen any changes at all is really disappointing. At the moment I'm having a bad breakout since I just started my period, but honestly it's not all that different than what I normally experience. I've been getting a lot of acne on my neck, which is usually how I know my acne is bad. It's also been a month since I gave up milk, reduced my dairy consumption, and started taking vitamin D-3, and unfortunately just like with the Ziana I haven't seen any changes at all. I'd been thinking about getting the Clarisonic for a while now, but my family and I are having a lot of financial issues at the moment (I just found out I'm not going to be getting the Cal Grant, so I'm going to have to borrow about $4500 in loans). Even so, my dad's been begging me to see a "better" dermatologist, saying that he doesn't care how much it costs. All this said, I'm most likely going to instead be getting the Sirius Skinsonic. If anyone has any experience and thoughts on whether it's worth it or not please let me know!
It's been a month that I've been using a turmeric face mask almost every other night (1 part turmeric, 2 parts yogurt). Originally I was interested in using it to see some facial hair reduction, and then I heard it was used to treat acne too, so I decided to give it a go. Well, comparing my face from a month ago to now, my acne's gotten pretty bad. I've had some cysts on my jawline for days, and I'm getting several on my cheeks too ( ). I'm also getting a bunch of subsurface bumps on my forehead, which I haven't experienced since my severe flare up last year. I just can't tell if it's my acne coming back with a vengeance since I've been off of Bactrim for 5 months now, or if it's the mask breaking me out. Or if I'm just purging, which I think I remember reading about on a thread about turmeric face masks. I really don't want to think it's the mask, since turmeric and yogurt are supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties, but I guess I can't totally rule it out. I scheduled an appointment with my derm two weeks ago, and the earliest I could get was March 28. I'm not okay with it, but I'm not making a huge fuss. Unlike my dad - he's soo mad. He thinks my derm isn't good enough and that I need a new one (which I don't think is the case. Maybe if I'd made an appointment earlier they would've given me a new prescription). He tried getting me to schedule with a clinic in Beverley Hills, but I looked them up and read incidents of them not fully accepting people's insurance. So I just scheduled with my usual clinic, but this time not with a PA, but with the head derm (which I've only seen once, and tbh he kinda creeped me out lol). Oh, should also mention that I ran out of Epiduo a week ago. I don't want to think that's contributing to the flare up too, since it wasn't doing anything for me the last few weeks I was using it, but I guess it wouldn't be so smart to exclude it completely. 3/19 Edit: Holy crap so I stayed away from the turmeric mask for like 2 days and I tried it again yesterday evening just to use up the last of the leftovers I'd made and just before bed I felt like I was growing some new 'friends' on my face and of course this morning I woke up with like 4 really painful, awfully large bumps (( Gonna stay away from that mask for the next few weeks and see if my skin gets better.
Its been about 15 weeks since I went off of Ery-Tab, and 30 weeks since going on Tazorac and Benzamycin. My current facial status? Not too sure. I can recall my last post saying that my skin was doing really well. That was the last week of October. Since then my skin's status has been fluctuating. It got pretty bad the last week of December when I was on my time of the month. Currently I've only got about 3 or 4 active pimples along with 4 or 5 cysts along my jawline. Overall my skin looks clear, but the cysts are pretty painful. Still, I've got so many questions popping up in my head. Are the topicals not working for me anymore? Am I not using them as often as I should be? Is it my eating habits? Did my Benzamycin go bad since my derm told me I didn't need to keep it in the fridge even though thats what everyone else and their mother said to do? Or is it simply because I'm not taking an antibiotic anymore and thats the only thing that will ever help me? In the 4 years Ive been seeing a derm, that's what I've learned, that taking antibiotics will always clear me up, but anywhere between 3-6 months after giving it up, my acne will come back. At this point in time I'm planning on tossing out the Benzamycin and ordering the Paula's Choice Acne Kit. I've heard some really good things about it.
Current Skincare items: Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion The Body Shop Vitamin E Night Cream BENZAMYCIN (morning) TAZORAC (every other evening)
Not sure whether I've got an abundance of acne and subsurface bumps because of a purge, or because I was on my period. My forehead isn't as prone to acne as other areas of my face, but I've got three pimples there right now. On the bright side, those clogged pores I've had for the past few weeks are receding. Left and right sides of my face aren't looking all that different. Still got like 1-2 cysts and lots of little pimples, with lots of hyperpigmentation and scaring. And of course as usual I've got a bunch of stuff going on just below my jawline. I'd say the biggest thing this week is all the pimples on my chin. I've got like 6, and they're in that state where I accidentally keep scratching them and making myself bleed :/ Should also mention that I'm starting my last week of school next week, and then it's finals, so yes I'm pretty stressed. Gotta just push through now!
I started this post on March 11 but published it the 15th so yeah March 15 is the correct date I've been on Zithromax for 3 months now. From what I can tell, it stopped working about 2 months ago. My face is just a total mess. It hasn't been this bad since before I started seeing my derm. I had an appointment with her yesterday, but before I get into that, here are the notes I took last week (tl;dr below). Routine - Cleanse with Cetaphil foam wash; apply Clindamycin in the mornings (on bumps), and Epiduo at night. Friday - Face feels pretty sensitive, and I've got a few zits and bumps on my jawline. Still wondering if this is all happening from stress, or my medication just isn't working anymore. I'm still taking Acetazolamide for my IIH, so I'm not sure if maybe there's some interactions going on between them. Saturday - I think I may have what is called cystic acne.. Not exactly sure, but I'll call it that. It just hurts so much. So many painful bumps and pimples all around my jaw and cheeks. Decided to try out an aspirin & honey face mask. Sunday - Bumps on my forehead, wow, haven't seen that in a while. Cysts still all along my jawline. I just hate how I can't wash my face without accidentally busting a pimple. Monday - I've got about 4 maybe 5 cysts on each side of my face. Bumps on forehead showing up. Noticed 2 new cysts, each on my cheekbone. Face has gotten super sentive, burning a bit even when I wash with the Cetaphil foam wash. I made myself a banana, honey, and milk face mask. Tuesday - Like I said, my face has gotten really sensitive. My chin looks as if it's been burned. Have 2 cysts and 2 pimples on my forehead. Cysts along jaw still there, but they seem to be healing, just a bit. Still painful, though. Decided to try out the aspirin & honey mask again. Didn't really notice anything last time, but I'm just getting desperate. Wednesday: Noticed a few new pimples. Cysts still here and are not improving at all. Like I said before, I keep accidentally busting them, whether from washing my face too roughly, exfoliating, or just trying to scratch an itch. For that reason they keep coming back in the same spots. I just want it to be Saturday already. Who knows what my derm is going to suggest. Thursday: I haven't mentioned it but I've got a lot of scabs and I'm guilty of picking at them. I just hate how noticeable they are when I apply my BB cream. Also, embarassing moment when I was hanging out with my friend and I scratch a pimple/scab on my cheek and started bleeding badly -_- Friday: Cysts seem to be going down, but I've still got some pimples hanging around. Oh, and two of the small bumps on my forehead got bigger and make it look like I'm growing horns. Anyways, I had my Ophthalmologist appt. and they told me my optic nerve is practically back to normal, so we've cut me down to one Acetazolamide tablet a day. I still don't think that'll have any effect on how the Zithromax is working, so we'll just have to see what my derm recommends tomorrow. Also, running out of Cetaphil foam wash. It was a sample my derm gave me, and it was too expensive to get myself (even with the coupon) so I got myself the antibacterial soap bar, BUT FIRST I'm going back to my Sulfur soap for a while tl;dr: I had a really bad flare-up, filled with painful bumps you could probably say were cysts. I couldn't smile because my face hurt so much. My confidence was lost. Alright, so! Here's what happened at my appointment: We came to the conclusion that Zithromax is not helping anymore. I'm still taking Diamox for hypertension, so maybe that's kept it from working? Anyways, she wanted to move me onto BC and Bactrim. But, because I'm still taking Diamox she said I shouldn't get on BC just yet. Got some cortisone injections (she told me that my cysts were healing, so that's good), a 40% chemical peel, and I was done. What left me tearing up a bit was when I told her that I use BB cream. She told me that was most likely contributing to how bad my acne had gotten, so she wanted me to stop. Of course - when you get told that you need to start going out without makeup, letting people see how bad your acne is, it hurts. Luckily I asked if there was anything I could try and of course she said it just had to be something non-comedogenic like Bare Minerals (tried that a couple years ago. I enjoyed it but it's too expensive for me right now), so I went out and got the Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder (I know it's a powder and it won't cover as much but I tried it on yesterday when I went out to dinner and it wasn't too bad). Also, as I mentioned on my note for Friday, I ran out of Cetaphil Foam Wash so will go back to using the Sulfur Soap with Lanolin. Hopefully my skin doesn't react too badly to all these changes. And that's that. Here's the photo update. I've heard some good things about Bactrim, but I'm worried that it'll interact badly with Diamox..
Day 49 on Bactrim. It's been a month since my last update, and I've got some things to say! First off, the reason I haven't posted in a month is because I've been really busy with school, and so my face was the least of my worries. However, I can still say that my acne has improved quite a bit. I remember mentioning on a previous post that I wasn't sure if Bactrim was working, and that I wanted to change things up, but a few of you users told me to just keep at it. Well, about 2 weeks after I made that post, my skin started showing signs of clearing up! I'd wash my face and it didn't feel as rough and bumpy as before. My cysts weren't randomly stinging during the day. I didn't have to apply as much makeup to cover acne (or so, I didn't feel the need to cover as much). Overall, I just felt a lot better. Yesterday I saw my derm. She asked how the acne was, and I told her that I actually felt my face had improved since the last time I'd seen her. She agreed, saying most of what I had on my face was just hyperpigmentation, and yeah still a few cysts, but overall it wasn't as bad as last time. The nurse came in, gave me some cortisone injections, a 50% peel, and sent me on my way. Oh yeah, I'm still cleansing with the Cetaphil antibacterial soap and applying Clindamycin and Epiduo. Alrighty, time to get back to my paper. Just one more week of classes left, and then, finals!
I'm at the end of my 8th week post-Bactrim, and, well, I'm getting a lot of white heads around my nose and even some pimples on my cheeks and jawline again :/ I was scheduled to see my derm last week, but I had to cancel and say I would call to reschedule later because I finally got a job (hurray!) and had to go to orientation. Haven't rescheduled because I'm not sure what hours they'll have me working. Not to mention I still have two more finals next week. So, despite waking up to a super dry throat every morning because of the cold air of the coming winter, my skin is still super oily. A week ago I thought that it may be my cleanser (the Cetaphil antibacterial soap) that's made my skin this oily, so I immediately went online and ordered the Lush Coalface cleanser, since I hear that helps control oil pretty well. While I've been waiting for that to get here, I've been cleansing at night with coconut oil. I just rub some onto my face for a couple of minutes and then either wash it off with warm water, or dampen a washcloth with warm water and leave that on my face for a minute before I wash it off. I heard this would help control oil, and I think it may be working, but only a bit, for my cheeks. And like I said, I've been getting whiteheads around my nose and cheeks, so I'm wondering if it's causing that too. Also, I haven't been using Epiduo that much, just because once again I'm testing it to see if it really has been making a difference in my skin. Or maybe even just this winter is messing my skin up. Ahhhhhh---
Day 63 on Bactrim... and I might have to go back to Day 1 all over again.. So my skin's doing pretty well. Every now and then I'll get a cyst and a few pimples but it's nothing too bad. I finally finished finals so hopefully my skin can recuperate haha Alright so what's really making me freak out is that last week I noticed that I only had about a week's worth of Bactrim left, so I called my pharmacy to get a refill and they said that they would need my doctor's approval, and that they could do that themselves. So, I let them. Finally ran out today, and I'd been getting calls saying that my prescription was ready so I said "alright time to go pick them up!" Well I pick up the medication, head home, and realize it's my other prescription, Diamox! [Now, I'm going to see my ophthalmologist on the 30th, and judging by the fact that I've gone from 6 pills a day to just 1, he might end up telling me that I don't have to take it anymore... so that sucks...] Anyways, I head back to the pharmacy and I tell the pharmacist that I meant to pick up another prescription, and what do you know?? They're still waiting for approval from the doctor!! I call my derm, and guess what it's Sunday so they're not open!! And so, by the looks of it I'll be skipping Bactrim for a few days, and I'm just freaking out that my acne's going to come back and really bad, because I think that's what happened with Ziamox - I ask for a refill and they tell me they're going to ask for my doctor's approval, my prescription runs out before my refill's come in, I go about a week without taking anything, they tell me the doctor still hasn't approved my refill, and after I finally get my refill and have taken it for about 2 months it does nothing.. (P.S. Is it just me or are a bunch of images and emoticons on these posts suddenly really huge???)
Last week I mentioned that my acne was coming back and it was likely because of how unhealthy I've been since I started working at Dunkin' Donuts. Well I won't have to worry about that much anymore because I got laid off!! :'D Yes, that's sarcasm. I'm actually really bummed out. Only worked there for 2 months but, damn, I made a lot of good friends. And I was finally making money. But it is what it is. I was laid off because my hours of availability weren't fitting with that they needed, and that's because I'm back in school and taking 5 classes. Now instead of just finding another job, I'm looking into volunteering at clinic like most of the other people in my major. Back to acne talk: Now that I'm off acne meds, I actually break out whenever I'm on my period. I mean yeah I'm broken out practically all the time nowadays, but I've noticed my acne is much more aggravated when I'm on that time. And I've also noticed that it's always my left side that's broken out more, so yea, I do indeed now have a "good side" when I take photos. I'd also like to mention that I'm kinda done with Epiduo. I really REALLY don't see it doing anything anymore. Some months ago I said I didn't see it helping my acne, but because I was told it may still help hyperpigmentation I kept using it. But now I really don't see any improvements in my skin, so I'm pretty sure that once I'm done with this bottle, I'm DONE. Lastly, I mentioned back in December that I'd ordered the LUSH coalface cleanser and that I was super excited to try it out because I heard it was great at controlling oil. Welp I've been using it for weeks now and it hasn't done anything for me. :'( I still have an insanely oily face in the mornings, and when I put on foundation it only last about 2 hours before my face is a greaseball. But at the same time there are some foundations I try targeted towards oily skin that leave a bunch of dry patches on my cheeks and chin! :'(( Whhaahh.. when will this end...
5 days ago my tube of Ziana came in. For the days preceding it I was super worried about this stuff. I heard a lot of negative reviews of how the purging phase lasted forever and that overall a lot of people were unsatisfied with the results. But there were quite a few that said you just need to know how to use it right, so I guess I'm willing to give it a shot. I was supposed to take a photo of my skin today but I totally forgot and put makeup on, so I'll just post that tomorrow and link it here (Edit: here and here). Anyway, it looks like I'm heading toward that phase already. My chin especially. It's getting painful; yesterday I had a bagel for breakfast and 2 of the blemishes are on the corners of my lips so it hurt so bad every time I tried to take a bite. Hoping things don't get too awful!
I was heading to my dermatologist appt. on Thursday when this car on the lane to the right of me, just a couple cars ahead, merged into my lane, going at a really slow speed in order to decide whether he should pass the gore zone to get back on the freeway. With me going 65 mph and my breaks not being as great as they could be, I wasn't able to stop in time and slammed into the corner of his bumper. We're both doing okay thankfully, but it looks like our insurance isn't going to help pay for my repairs. And I already owe my dad $400 as it is so this all really sucks.. While waiting for the tow truck to pick me up I called my derms office since they have a $50 cancellation fee, and I wasn't about to have to deal with that. My skin's looking really good, and I was so looking forward to seeing what my derm was going to say and suggest next. :/
Day 17 of Zithromax. Still dealing with bad hormonal acne. Also, my skin has been dealing with a lot of dryness lately. There are several things that could be the reason for this, but who knows which is the real factor. 1) A week ago I started using Epiduo again, after having been off of it for more than a month. I'm thinking that my skin has to adjust to it again? 2) I've been using Clindamycin for maybe 10 days now, and at first I was saying "Yeah! My skin seems to be clearing up! Sure, it's a little red, and a little dry too, but my skin will adjust!" WELP. You know, my hands have also been affected by this dryness. I actually have a small scab on one of my knuckles from my skin having cracked and bled from being so dry. So, maybe the weather could be contributing to this too. When I wake up in the morning and have a look at my face, the sides of my nose are so dry I can see skin peeling off. When I wash with my Neutrogena Cream Cleanser, it BURNS. So, who knows. I guess I should stop applying Epiduo and Clindamycin to my nose, but I have dry spots everywhere, really. Ahh, it's been about 12 days since I last updated on my acne. On another note, I've started school again! I mentioned on my previous post that I was looking to get a BB cream. Well, I got one, and I'm not too thrilled. It's Rimmel London's BB Cream, and it does offer some decent coverage for $6, but since my skin is so dry, it emphasizes the dry spots and looks pretty cakey on me. Not to mention, I think it may be another reason I started breaking out pretty badly again..
I've been on Solodyn (Minocycline) for a little more than a year, taking 115 mg once every morning. As I mentioned in my previous post, based on my weight, I should have been prescribed 80 mg, but I figured my derma knew what was best. I was pretty satisfied with the medication. I never had an entirely acne-free face, but it was definitely much better than it had used to be. Well, here's where it went downhill. 5 months ago, during a trip to Yosemite, I began getting headaches. I had one one day, and then another the next day. Strange, considering I don't get headaches often. I associated it with the high altitude we were camping in, as well as motion sickness from winding mountain roads. Once we returned home, I started my second year of college, and those first few weeks were hell. My headache wasn't going away. I couldn't pay attention to lectures. I started seeing blurried spots in my vision. My parents said maybe I needed new glasses, but I knew that wouldn't fix it. One Friday, I couldn't even drive myself to school. My mom drove me to the optometrist. She gave me an intense eye exam and found that my optic nerve was severely swollen. She said I needed to have a CT scan or MRI done, stat. Had a CT scan - no noticeable tumors shown. Spinal tap - he told me the fluid looked good but that I'd receive further results later. I had an MRI done a week later, and again, they found nothing abnormal. My doctor finally diagnosed me with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH). What that means is that I've got increased cerebrospinal fluid around my brain, but there is no tumor causing it. Doctor said he had no idea how this could have happened because it normally occurs in severely overweight women. Because this condition may cause vision loss, my doctor recommended I see an ophthalmologist, who then prescribed me the medication Acetazolamide. Weeks later, right after coming home from picking up my prescription of Solodyn (in which my insurance no longer covered, so I had to pay $75), I found out Minocycline has been known to cause IIH. I couldn't believe that after numerous times of being asked what medications I was on, no one ever told me that my acne medication was the cause of this :'( I was just in shock - I'd been taking Acetazolamide, the treatment for IIH, along with Solodyn, what caused my IIH, for so long. As soon as I had my next dermatologist appointment, I informed my derma (my usual derma was on maternity leave so I had someone else) about my condition. She said she we needed to take me off of Solodyn, and she then prescribed Zithromax (250 mg). If I hadn't read myself that tetracyclines cause IIH, who knows if my doctor would have ever brought it up to me. But I've still no idea if what caused the IIH was my high dosage of Minocycline, or just having taken it for so long. Or probably both?
Saw my derm yesterday, and one of the first things she said was "Wow your skin has gotten so much better!!" Last week I was reading on some ways to help control oily skin, and I heard about using a clay mask, so I went out to CVS and bought the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Avocado and Oatmeal Facial Clay mask. I used it every day for 3 days, for just 5 minutes, and the evening of that 3rd day, as I was washing my face, I realized my skin was super soft! It's been 3 days since then, and it amazing - I don't have any pimples! (At least not any noticeable ones!). Back to the appointment! Despite my skin being very red from a slight sunburn, and still lots of hyperpigmentation and scarring, my derm said my acne looks really under control, and said that I can go down to just one Bactrim pill a day. She also mentioned that if in 2 weeks my acne doesn't come back, I can go down to one pill every other day, and then in another 2 weeks, if I'm showing no signs of a flare up, I can finally stop! Hoping things will work out! I'm still cleansing with the Cetaphil antibacterial gentle cleansing bar and using Epiduo, but I'm wondering if Epiduo even does anything for me anymore. I'm supposed to stay off of Epiduo for about 3 days before until 2 days after my appointments since I get chemical peels. What I've noticed is my skin doesn't really get any worse while I'm off it. Not sure if it's just not that long of a break, but I'm contemplating whether I should give it up for a few days to see. I mean, last time my insurance didn't cover, so I got it at $50, but if it's not doing anything for me then what's the point? My derm said that Epiduo can help scars fade but I can't find any sources about that online.
I'm thinking about giving my skin a rest from Tazorac for a few weeks. I've been back on it for I'm guessing about 3 months now. Although my forehead has gotten relatively clear, the cysts and spots around my jawline and neck haven't lessened at all. The reason I want to stop is because I'm so tired of the skin around my mouth and nose peeling all the time!! I can only get about 1 hour of makeup wear, and then the foundation starts to flake off. And even when I don't wear makeup, by midday I'll notice the skin around my mouth and tip of my nose flaking off. UGH! I recall having this experience during my first round of Tazorac over a year ago, but I could swear it only lasted about 2 weeks. This has been going on for over a month and I'm so tired of it. Before totally abandoning it though I'm going to avoid application onto those areas for a few days and see if that helps. I made an appt. with my derm, but unfortunately it's not going to be until Sept. 1st. Hopefully my skin doesn't start getting too bad; I just got my order of the Botanics Facial Oil. I've read a ton of great reviews about it balancing oily skin while also providing hydration, so hopefully I have that luck without breaking out too much.
I finally saw a dermatologist for the first time in 2 months. It's a clinic I haven't been to before, but making an appointment there meant being seen 3 weeks earlier than if I had made one at my usual place (but the drive there SUCKS..) So, this derm seemed a lot more thorough than my usual PA. She had this little app where she took all her notes and had this little model she could mark on to show where I had my acne. She even took a pic of my face to compare to in the future. Unfortunately, after telling her about all the topicals and oral antibiotics I've taken and my experiences with them she goes "Well, that really limits our options here". She wanted to put me on Accutane because at that moment my skin was insanely oily like holy crap I looked like I'd just run a marathon, but after looking it up and finding out that it may possibly make my intercranial hypertension come back, she decided not to. I was trying so hard to remember the topical that leelowe1 recommended (Atralin) but I couldn't She prescribed three things: Benzamycin in the morning Tazorac in the evening Erythromycin (twice a day) I know I said that I wanted to stay off of antibiotics, but I just feel like my acne is so bad at the moment, they're the only thing that will help, at least for now. Since my last post I've developed several cysts along my jawline, and lots of pimples all over the place. The plan is that once Erythromycin clears up my face (assuming it does) I can just continue with the topicals. If the acne comes back, I'm going to start on the Regimen. I've been putting it off for soooooooo long.
One week since I started taking Ery-Tab and using Tazorac & Benzamycin. Skin is looking the same in terms of acne production. I've got some pimples on my cheeks, a couple on my forehead, and some cysts along my jawline. I could say I've developed a lot of whiteheads and some papules on my nose too, instead of the usual blackheads. A noticeable change since last week is the redness - makes my skin looks super irritated. I bought the Mario Badescu Healing and Soothing Mask yesterday after reading reviews about how it helps with skin irritated from topicals treating acne. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm really hoping it helps. One thing that bothers me is the application of Benzamycin. After I first picked it up I read a review saying to make sure that the pharmacist mixes it well, because if not then it'll be super chunky and hard to apply. Well I look at what I've got and sure enough it's chunky. I tried mixing it as best I could but it doesn't help. When I apply it I feel like I'm not getting all that much product on my face because most of it pills (I can feel some of the product, I just mean what feels like a lot of it pills off). I keep it in the fridge like the directions say, but my derm said I don't need to do that (can't remember exactly why, I guess something about that hindering it's performance). So, last night I left it out to have it melt a little in the hopes that it'll be easier to mix and apply smoothly (Update: It did apply nicer, but still lots of pilling). Next time I see my derm, if she still wants me to use it, I'll ask if we can do the paks instead of the premixed version.
My skin is looking pretty clear! I've been using Tretinoin for 7 weeks and on Doryx for 9. I had a derm visit last Thursday and she agreed that my skin is looking much better than before, but did note the cysts and acne scars around my cheeks and neck. About 2 weeks ago I started breaking out pretty bad, but I blame it on being super stressed with school and work, being on my period, and not being consistent with Doryx (I'm supposed to take it every night, but sometimes I get home so tired and just fall asleep). She prescribed me a new topical, Onexton, and said to use that as a spot treatment. It came in the mail today and I just applied some about 15 minutes ago. My skin has been dry/peeling lately so hopefully it doesn't make it too much worse. The best thing though is that my self-confidence really is coming back And just a bonus: my foundation is applying so much better On a relatively similar note, a few weeks ago I began looking into the oil cleansing method. I read so many good reviews on it so I'm considering giving it a go when I'm done with these medications; I mean, I don't plan on using them forever! If the OCM really does keep my skin clear, that's much better for my bank account.