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..