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Amelie Mac

Adult Female mid 30's acne cysts on chin

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Hi - just wanted to share my acne experience with any women who suddenly have found they have big cysts appearing on their face suddenly in their thirties.

As a 32 year old it was absolutely awful to suddenly get pea sized spots appearing - largely on my chin but sometimes on my nose. With celtic colouring it was difficult to cover them with makeup - cover wouldn't stay on the red lumps and if I used powder it caked. I hated getting out of bed - don't listen to anybody telling you otherwise - it's difficult and there are no ifs and buts about it.

After a 2 year quest to solve my acne dilemma I discovered inadvertantly that I had PCOS (polycystic ovaries). My doctor had dismissed my questions saying it was probably simply a hormone imbalance.

Anyway, after an internal scan (which wasn't an acne related referral) and after 2 years of angst and trauma I discovered that I have PCOS. Frustrating given that I have private healthcare and could've been diagnosed much earlier. Like two years earlier!

Anyway, I've since learnt by researching PCOS that *******90% of adult women suffering from adult acne have PCOS!!!******** (yes, stop, read it and read it again) - you'd think a good GP would start with this in mind wouldn't you and eliminate this first.

Anyway I went onto a high dose pill (Diannette) and that knocked all of the spots on the head - I think probably 3 months for my skin to clear and then it was just redness where the spots had been. (For a fair skinned person using light coloured concealer these aren't easily covered).

Anyway I should mention that I tried n-lite treatments when my skin was bad - 3 sessions in Harley St in London. They seemed to improve my skin tone on the whole but didn't make any difference to the spots. At the time doing this also gave me a sense of hope...

While on Dianette I gained a bit of weight 52 to I think 64kg and lost a lot of my muscle tone but didn't really care as I felt much more confident than when I had my spots. (I am lucky and have always been on the thin side which may be why I wasn't seen as a typical PCOS candidate).

Anyway I came off Diannette a year ago as I didn't want to be on it too long as not keen on the risks of this.

So I had a recent flair up (over Xmas) and tried an n-lite treatment again (what can I say I was desperate and now the wrinkles are overlapping with the acne so I thought what the hell!)

Anyway, think the spots have cleared (probably naturally)but still some redness.

When I was back at the clinic they showed me the three photos from when my skin was really really bad. I remembered how horrible life can be when spots are really bad and wanted to share my experience with anyone else facing the same.

So if you're a femaile in your thirties and cysts have suddenly appeared (similiar to peas under your skin) my suggestion would be...

1. Try to get private healthcare in place before well before you see a GP (this should cut down on referral time)

2. Read up on Polycystic Ovaries symptoms and discuss with your GP armed with knowledge (there's a little purple and white covered book on amazon that is basic but good)

3. Don't believe everything your GP says (or doesn't say) - be polite but persistent

4. Get a referral to a specialist - eg someone to do an internal scan and a dermotologist if necessary - go private and don't let the GP fob you off - find out what you're dealing with asap

5. Consider taking a high dose pill to get your hormones back in kilter - don't suffer trying to find 'natural solutions' - working from the outside in is illogical if you've got PCOS - I spent 2 years doing this and it did zip

6. Go to the gym if you go witih Dianette

7. Take a multivitamin and a separated chelated zinc and magnesium supplement

8. Stop drowning your face in chemicals - we're exposed to enough carcinogens in our lives!

9. Stop faffing about with complex routines

10. Beware formaldehyde (from holding newspapers) then touching your face

11. Beware anti frizzing/smoothing products (in fact any leave-in hair chemicals)

Keep your spirits up. I'm now down to an occassional spot - I now wash my face in the shower with whatever and only moisturise around my eyes before putting on foundation (alas I'm still fair).

So, sorry about the essay but hopefully this should help provide information to any 30 something females going through the same thing.

Take Care


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Hi Amelie,

Like you, I all of a sudden got a heap of cystic acne, this was last year (I was 27). One of the first things I did was get tested for PCOS because my sister has it so I figured maybe it ran in my family.

So, turns out I didn't have it, which was good yet kind of annoying because I could have blamed the spots on something! It turns out my cystic acne was stress related, the result of a breakup I had with my long term boyfriend. I think my body was just producing a heap of stress hormones which tend to stay in your body for a lot longer the older you get.

I think treatment for adult acne (esp for women) if you have PCOS or not is very similar, with or without the pill. Low GI diet, good skin care routine, lots of relaxation, a bit of exercise and supplements to help balance hormones and make sure there's plenty of nutrients in your body. Oh, and patience which I have none of so that was the hardest bit!

That's great you found a solution :)

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What a shame :( Amelie I'm sure Tsunami didn't mean it in the context you have taken it. In your post, point 9 you yourself use the word 'faffing' - I think Tsunami just meant that she liked that word :) I'm guessing you're a fellow Brit, maybe others overseas aren't so familiar with that word....

I hope you'll consider coming back, you seem like a nice person. Thank you for the advice, I particularly agree with point 3 about GPs!

9. Stop faffing about with complex routines

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