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atrocious

What to do?

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Okay...so I have a serious problem, maybe some of you can agree?

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I don't know what the hell to do anymore. I was on doxycycline/Retin-A for 5 weeks without any improvement, and I've been on BFG's reg for 3 weeks and it's getting worse. My face hurts so goddamn much and it won't stop cracking and pusing. I'm in the Navy and my ship will not allow me to see a dermatologist at this time, because it will conflict with our out-to-sea schedule. So...any suggestions on what I should do since it seems all hope is lost?

I was thinking of cutting out all chemicals/anti-biotics and just sticking to Purpose Gentle Cleanser twice a day. Does that sound good? I need some serious help/suggestions people because I feel like shit with this shit on my face and you're my only hope right now... Thanks.

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"I'm in the Navy and my ship will not allow me to see a dermatologist at this time, because it will conflict with our out-to-sea schedule."

If you are in the United States Navy you may wish to contact your congressman and inquire why you are being denied medical treatment. On the other hand, did the medical officer who prescribed doxycylene/retinin A treatment give you a time frame for improvement?

You have the right to medical treatment, sometimes exercising that right can be very, very, unpleasant, life can be made very difficult for you. Let me suggest this approach: Go to your leading petty officer and start there, explain that you are really thinking of making the Navy your career, but since so much importance is placed on personal appearance, you feel that the disfiguring effects of acne will seriously affect your chances for promotion in the future. If your superiors scoff at that, respectfully ask them how many Chief Petty Officers and high ranking commissioned naval officers have they seen with acne or acne scars? (not many to not at all you can be sure of that) If they give that old speech about getting treatment later or putting the needs of the ship ahead of the individual, tell them that your present skin condition is seriously affecting your morale and how well you can execute your duties. Don't slack off on your duties or do anything to get yourself in trouble, but be firm in your position, say that all you want is assistance in treating a chronic medical condition. Ask if you can see a dermatologist, and see if the dermatologist can work with your assigned medical officer on your ship to monitor the effects of the dermatologist's treatment while you are at sea.

Be prepared to stand your ground, but always be respectful to your supervisors, absolutely no drama...after all you love the Navy, right? That's the position you want to take even if you can't wait to be discharged.

Document everything, the people you talk to, their replies and then if you are turned down, contact your Representative or Senator (that is to say if you are in the US Navy) and have them inquire as to why you are being denied medical treatment which while not life threatening is nevertheless affecting your ability to serve.

Good luck to you, and by all means, follow the treatment currently prescribed by the medical officer you saw to the letter, otherwise they will use that against you.

Joe Zit

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so are you giving up on the BFG reg? Considering how far you've already gone with it maybe you should try to hold out for another couple of weeks. Sounds like a real shitty situation man.

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"I'm in the Navy and my ship will not allow me to see a dermatologist at this time, because it will conflict with our out-to-sea schedule."

If you are in the United States Navy you may wish to contact your congressman and inquire why you are being denied medical treatment. On the other hand, did the medical officer who prescribed doxycylene/retinin A treatment give you a time frame for improvement?

You have the right to medical treatment, sometimes exercising that right can be very, very, unpleasant, life can be made very difficult for you. Let me suggest this approach: Go to your leading petty officer and start there, explain that you are really thinking of making the Navy your career, but since so much importance is placed on personal appearance, you feel that the disfiguring effects of acne will seriously affect your chances for promotion in the future. If your superiors scoff at that, respectfully ask them how many Chief Petty Officers and high ranking commissioned naval officers have they seen with acne or acne scars? (not many to not at all you can be sure of that) If they give that old speech about getting treatment later or putting the needs of the ship ahead of the individual, tell them that your present skin condition is seriously affecting your morale and how well you can execute your duties. Don't slack off on your duties or do anything to get yourself in trouble, but be firm in your position, say that all you want is assistance in treating a chronic medical condition. Ask if you can see a dermatologist, and see if the dermatologist can work with your assigned medical officer on your ship to monitor the effects of the dermatologist's treatment while you are at sea.

Be prepared to stand your ground, but always be respectful to your supervisors, absolutely no drama...after all you love the Navy, right? That's the position you want to take even if you can't wait to be discharged.

Document everything, the people you talk to, their replies and then if you are turned down, contact your Representative or Senator (that is to say if you are in the US Navy) and have them inquire as to why you are being denied medical treatment which while not life threatening is nevertheless affecting your ability to serve.

Good luck to you, and by all means, follow the treatment currently prescribed by the medical officer you saw to the letter, otherwise they will use that against you.

Joe Zit

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I can't see the pics yet but from the way you describe it, must be really bad. I think the problem could be the Retin-A that may have overpeeled your skin too much so maybe you should stop applying it for a while or reduce the usage to maybe 2-3 times a week instead. Retin-A does have the ability to break out people or make the skin feel sensitive and red at first because it peels skin. When this happens, reduce usage till your skin gets use to it. I wouldn't stop the doxycyline, it will help acne because it is an antibiotic and it can reduce inflammation as well so it will definetely help your condition and you do need time for it to see results.

As for the pain, it might be helpful to ice your face for a couple of minutes to reduce the inflammation. For those pimples or skin that has broken, wash it gentlely and thoroughly, ice it, apply neosporin or aloe vera gel on it then apply band aid to prevent infection.

I hope this helps!

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[ u]I pretty much exhausted all of my options. I've already gone through my chain of command and specifically told them how this is destroying my morale and they can see it everyday I come in...yet I get blown off everytime like it's not a big deal. It's only acne to them...not an emergency. Plus, the reason why I can't see a dermatologist is because we're underway for over a month next week and I can't stay behind because it's not a life-threatening disease. It's only acne to them...nothing more.

Doxycycline/Retin-A was given to me by my ship's Chief Coreman and told to take for two weeks. I took the antiobiotics and applied the cream as directed for two weeks, it showed no improvement so he decided to give me a higher dose of Retin-A and more Doxy for three more weeks. Again, I went through three more weeks as directed with no improvement. At that point he was going to refer me to a dermatologist but because of my ship's schedule...I wouldn't be able to see a derm for over 2 months! - 30 days for the appointment to actually go through the system, plus the underay. It's not they're denying me treatment, it's just not that important so it could wait. 'Ship, shipmate, self' as the saying goes.

Well, could you go back to the Chief Corpsman explain about the pain and the bleeding and pus. Living in close quarters do they really want someone walking around exuding pus and blood all of the time? I wouldn't want to share a berth with you, if you have to "hot cot" It's not very hygienic, to say the least, and hygiene is very important aboard ship. Could the Chief Corpsman contact a dermatologist and do directed treatment under the guidance of a derm via radio or email. Navy medical corpsman are pretty amazing people, and they have even been known to perform major surgery aboard submarines when there has been no medical officer on board, they also are the combat medics for the Marine Corps, and have done some medical procedures successfully under combat conditions which would challenge even the most experienced ER physicians. Maybe you could take a different approach with the Chief.

As far as the old "ship, shipmate, self" slogan goes, well you are yourself but you are also a shipmate, and it seems to me that you could have the possibility of being permanently scarred if you don't receive effective treatment soon, that might count for something. If all else fails, try the chaplain and explain your fear of being permanently disfigured.

I don't think your captain's son or daughter would go without being treated for two months.

BTW, thank you for your service on this Veteran's Day. I am really sorry that you have to endure this.

Joe Zit

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You might ask for a different antibiotic - tetracyline or minocycline are sometimes more effective than doxy. Also, it usually takes longer than a few weeks to get results from antbiotics - it may take as long as 2-3 months before you start really seeing a difference. I don't think that antibiotics alone are going to be the best long-term answer for the level of acne that you have, but it may help keep things in check for awhile, (or keep it from getting worse) until you can see a dermatologist.

Also, with retin-A, many people see an initial worsening of their acne in the first couple of months. It can take 3-4 months before you start to see improvement on these types of medications.

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I can't thank you all enough for the replies.

I guess I'm pretty much stuck with what I have until I see a derm. I've already approached my chief coreman one-too many times, he's given me the only resources he has(doxy+retin-a), and I can tell he's about to blow a fuse. All in all, this is my life and I personally don't want to be scarred for the rest of it. I just might have to take this to the chaplin if worst comes to worst - and it's getting there really fast.

Thanks again.

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hey yo if u can get access to Dove sensitive skin soap than i would defly get that for sure. Just rub that on ur hands and use that ONLY! It works great for me and I don't even have to use acne products. I've tried topical creams/gels for acne for a couple years and it doesn't do shit except clog pores and make ur face redder. Definitely take what i say in consideration. that soap dries the pimples out fast!

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hey yo if u can get access to Dove sensitive skin soap than i would defly get that for sure. Just rub that on ur hands and use that ONLY! It works great for me and I don't even have to use acne products. I've tried topical creams/gels for acne for a couple years and it doesn't do shit except clog pores and make ur face redder. Definitely take what i say in consideration. that soap dries the pimples out fast!

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Hey Dman20, what kind of acne did you have before Dove soap cleared you? I use Dove sensitive skin soap every morning and night in conjunction with retin-a and RA lotion and I have cystic acne that keeps persisting.

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Thats what my mouth area looked like when I had a bad encounter with spray paint..Was basically a bad inflamed facial rash with a cluster fuck of oozy pimples(it hurt to smile)..

I would try minocycline and stay on Retin-A. Could try finacea as well, the duo with Retin-A I find works very well... Just don't pick at it.. I would also put ice on it as well..

How long have you had this?

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Thats what my mouth area looked like when I had a bad encounter with spray paint..Was basically a bad inflamed facial rash with a cluster fuck of oozy pimples(it hurt to smile)..

I would try minocycline and stay on Retin-A. Could try finacea as well, the duo with Retin-A I find works very well... Just don't pick at it.. I would also put ice on it as well..

How long have you had this?

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Try icing it as well if you have time... Sucks that's all the derm can prescribe you.. I had a bad breakout messing with anabolic drugs, but it was more around my mouth(cold sores, etc)... GL mayne..

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WOW!My acne's even worse now! It's starting to spread down my neck and I still haven't seen a derm! WOW...never before I have felt so miserable in my life....it's remarkable. I mean, I would at least like to actually SEE a dermatologist, y'know...especially since my acne is far beyond fucking moderate, y'know? I mean come on...I can't see a specialist? Is it really not that important. I mean, I can definitely see something wrong, can't you? WOW, WOW, WOW...it's just way too much to ask.

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dude, I feel your pain. You're going through the worst right now, as I did this summer when my face and neck on both sides looked like that picture. I know of the pain you're talking about. When I started accutane and used prednisone (anti-inflammatory), the bumpiness and swelling almost immediately went down. Keep your head up if you can. As soon as you get a chance, talk to your derm about accutane, and then you'll be on the strongest, most effective drug out there.

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WOW!My acne's even worse now! It's starting to spread down my neck and I still haven't seen a derm! WOW...never before I have felt so miserable in my life....it's remarkable. I mean, I would at least like to actually SEE a dermatologist, y'know...especially since my acne is far beyond fucking moderate, y'know? I mean come on...I can't see a specialist? Is it really not that important. I mean, I can definitely see something wrong, can't you? WOW, WOW, WOW...it's just way too much to ask.

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Try to get approved to stop shaving around the acne. Sure looks similar to razor burn, bumps to me. My friend got this approved and had a close trimmed goatee for 5 years in the navy. Shaving is making this worse for sure. Alot of that might be razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

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Atrocious,

I feel for you. I suffered the same condition 21 years ago during my first year in college. I can tell you that my condition has greatly improved since then. I only get a single cystic acne once in a great while. Yet it is annoying nonetheless at 40 years old!

Back then, I tried the regimen of antibiotics, Retin-A, etc....but the only thing that worked is Accutane. Not sure if it is still prescribed or not.

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thanks guys. accutane is held with such high regard around here - glad i can finally have a taste. :)

it's day four and i haven't felt any neg side effects yet. the prednisone is definitely doing it's job though...all of my cysts have flattened out completely but i'm sure accutane will flare them back up so i'm not going to keep my hopes up too soon(i know what happens when i do).

i really hope accutane works out - i'm certain it will. :)

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