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Addie

Dwindling treatment options

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Okay, I'm fishing for ideas here. My pharmacist told me I don't really have any options, and my doctor is now strangely silent. I'm currently on 100 mg minocycline, which is controlling my acne to the point of being in the moderate-to-severe range. I've seen a few different doctors, and they either say I need something to cut my oil production or something to make me peel or, preferably, both.

The caveats (please just trust me on these):

~I can't take Accutane.

~I can't take hormonal contraceptives.

~I can't take spironolactone.

~I can't take topical retinoids.

~The pharmacist just informed me I'm allergic to benzoyl peroxide.

~My skin leans towards sensitive, so I've had a rough time with things involving baby hair brushes, wash clothes, alcohol, fragrances, and most any other irritants, too.

~My diet/fluid/nutrient intake is somewhat restricted in range for medical reasons, so my holistic options are limited. The only change I could make in my masturbation habits is to masturbate more, and I really don't need another leisure activity to waste time with. I'm a girl, and we don't seem to count, anyways. I could exercise more, which I'm ready and willing to do, but I doubt that will completely address the acne issue.

~The pharmacist says she doesn't think finacea would be appropriate, but I haven't heard from the doctor on that yet.

~I was on a sulfur-based medication a few years ago. It was irritating, bordering on causing a mild allergic reaction, but I was going to a crappy dermatologist and stayed on it for around 8 years. (I'm allergic to eggs and have had respiratory issues when I've inhaled compounds containing sulfur in chem labs, if that helps any.) I'd be willing to try it again just to see, though, because it did help. Although, I don't think that acne was as recalcitrant as the acne I have now.

~I've tried mandelic acid, but it was irritating and drying. I got really greasy on it, too. I did use Vivant, which has alcohol in it, but the others have seaweed (possibly comedogenic), which makes me nervous. There's another possible option, though.

~I've had limited success with glycolic and lactic acids, but they've eventually gotten too irritating each time I've given them a shot. (Yes, even my beloved Lac Hydrin Five.) They really only helped comedonal acne anyway.

~ACV was similar to glycolic and lactic acid, except it was more irritating and showed less results.

BHA has never worked for me before, but I've got some on the way from Paula's Choice, which hopefully is better formulated and more effective. How effective will BHA really be for cystic acne, though? Could I be lucky enough that it unplugs all the pores before the cysts even have a chance to develop?

I haven't tried tea tree oil, because it sounds kinda irritating and not so effective for cystic acne, which is really what I'd like to do away with.

Lights? Lasers? Are those actually covered by insurance? I've heard their efficacy is only so-so.

That leaves a bunch of antibiotics, but nobody seems to think that's going to be the answer . . .

Suggestions?

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one possibility for you...... The Acne Practice..... you may want to look it up.....

the doctor there saved my life after I failed accutane, oral antibiotics, and every topical known to man....

I'm finally free..... and can put my energy into more meaningful projects....

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I had a round of aramis/v-beam lasers, and at least for me, the lasers did absolutely nothing to help my acne. I have no idea what the lasers did to my skin for the long term, I am totally obsessed with every scarred pore on my face and whether or not it was there before the laser :( The worst part is that the doctor kept telling me that after another treatment I would respond when I clearly wasn't! It's very expensive too...I suppose if it's a last ditch effort, but I would try everything else first!

You mentioned some sort of sulfur drug...maybe you could try MSM natural sulfur (I'm trying it at the moment)...it's supposed to be a lot more use friendly than other sulfur drugs since it is naturally found in the body. Most people don't have any problems with it (aside from the detox which could take a few weeks as you slowly increase your dosage)...anyway, MSM is supposed to help to detox the body, and toxins can cause acne..also just out of curiosity, do you have other symptoms that can;t really be tied in with any particular medical problem? I now believe that a lot of adult acne is caused by candida (yeast overgrowth)...If you feel tired/sluggish often, have congestion, dizziness, brain fog, yeast issues, eczema, etc. your acne could be a symptom of candida. MSM can also help with candida but it might not be enough if that's what you've got. Well good luck to you!

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Thanks guys!

In retrospect, I guess "medically restricted" is kind of a funny descriptor for what I mean:

1) I take lithium, which can make it dangerous (vomiting, seizures, death . . . ) to screw with my sodium levels Increased sodium lowers lithium blood levels. Decreased sodium raises lithium. Ironically for my skin, since lithium causes a large portion of my acne, if the sodium in my diet drops for even a week (say, I'm visiting my parents with high blood pressure), my breakouts increase in severity. (Oh yeah, I know the major cause of my acne and have to work around it.)

2) Once an eating disordered person, always an eating disordered person, I guess. :( I no longer engage in any eating disordered behaviors or have body image issues, but if I restrict my diet in almost any fashion, it's like somebody flicked a switch and turned the eating disorder back on. As in, I eat what I want, when I want, and however much I want. (And have actually lost weight in this manner.) Luckily, I'm a fan of fresh fruits and vegetables. I sometimes might not get enough protein, because I don't like meat very much, but don't actively supplement my intake with vegetable sources. The main foods I consume that aren't fruits and vegetables are pastas, cereals, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so a low-carb diet would require a dangerous amount of restriction for me. I also drink a grande (medium) nonfat, no whip (cream), 2-pumps hazelnut, 2-pumps white mocha from Starbucks on a daily basis, so there's some extra sugar (but cut in half from the original drink, not even counting whip cream) and dairy in there.

In my blood work, all my nutrients, hormone levels, waste products, and all that jazz are comfortably within normal ranges. CO2 is actually low, but I don't know what's up with that.

I don't know of any allergies besides eggs (possibly due to the sulfur content), but eggs are in a whole lot of products at minute levels that I don't avoid, but maybe that would help some. Whew, I just looked up pasta, and it looks like only egg noodles have eggs in them. :)

I was taking a multi-vitamin pre-retinoids and stopped because of the vitamin A content. I haven't gotten back in the habit, yet. But, now I hear about the iodine in them could suck . . . And I take too many pills already, so I'm not all that thrilled about taking things separately . . . If somebody could point out a specific vitamin that has some good literature backing its efficacy that has a pretty much nil chance of touching my neurotransmitters, I'd try it.

I was looking at the candida overgrowth thing, and I just have the symptoms of skin rashes and all the mood issues . . . but non-candida eliminating drugs pretty much resolve the mood issues . . .

I think finacea is a brand-name, or something, of azelaic acid. Actually, I forgot my doctor went on vacation, so maybe when she gets back, she'll have more suggestions.

When I googled it, Nicomide's website says it's rx only? Does it have a non-rx little sister? It looks like a really good idea, though. It's actually kinda encouraging that it's rx or rx-like; there must some proof of efficacy then. I'm in with my pharmacist, so I'll ask. :)

That sucks bran. Lasers sound pretty last resort to me, too. Especially since I have some scarring, but am not too concerned about correcting it.

*mod edit*

^Sorry this reply is so jumbled up.

Oh, right now I'm trying mandelic acid again, but 2x per day and without any moisturizer (was attempting to counteract any irritation and dryness), and it's working a bit better. :) It's helping a lot with the inflammation.

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I eat what I want, when I want, and however much I want. (And have actually lost weight in this manner.) Luckily, I'm a fan of fresh fruits and vegetables. I sometimes might not get enough protein, because I don't like meat very much, but don't actively supplement my intake with vegetable sources. The main foods I consume that aren't fruits and vegetables are pastas, cereals, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so a low-carb diet would require a dangerous amount of restriction for me. I also drink a grande (medium) nonfat, no whip (cream), 2-pumps hazelnut, 2-pumps white mocha from Starbucks on a daily basis, so there's some extra sugar (but cut in half from the original drink, not even counting whip cream) and dairy in there.

In my blood work, all my nutrients, hormone levels, waste products, and all that jazz are comfortably within normal ranges. CO2 is actually low, but I don't know what's up with that.

I don't know of any allergies besides eggs (possibly due to the sulfur content), but eggs are in a whole lot of products at minute levels that I don't avoid, but maybe that would help some. Whew, I just looked up pasta, and it looks like only egg noodles have eggs in them. :)

I was taking a multi-vitamin pre-retinoids and stopped because of the vitamin A content. I haven't gotten back in the habit, yet. But, now I hear about the iodine in them could suck . . . And I take too many pills already, so I'm not all that thrilled about taking things separately . . . If somebody could point out a specific vitamin that has some good literature backing its efficacy that has a pretty much nil chance of touching my neurotransmitters, I'd try it.

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Yeah, I've seen the citrus allergy in your sig. That's crazy. Just a really random severe allergy can cause all that crap. :( I'm not really into all of the holistic stuff, but I totally buy that an allergy could do that kind of thing to you.

How long did it take to notice the sugary drink thing helping? I was off of caffeine and sugar for 3 months last summer, but didn't see a huge difference. Although, I was also generally consuming less salt, which would make my acne flare, so who knows . . . I can try to push Starbucks closer to meals easily, though.

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I had a round of aramis/v-beam lasers, and at least for me, the lasers did absolutely nothing to help my acne. I have no idea what the lasers did to my skin for the long term, I am totally obsessed with every scarred pore on my face and whether or not it was there before the laser :( The worst part is that the doctor kept telling me that after another treatment I would respond when I clearly wasn't! It's very expensive too...I suppose if it's a last ditch effort, but I would try everything else first!

You mentioned some sort of sulfur drug...maybe you could try MSM natural sulfur (I'm trying it at the moment)...it's supposed to be a lot more use friendly than other sulfur drugs since it is naturally found in the body. Most people don't have any problems with it (aside from the detox which could take a few weeks as you slowly increase your dosage)...anyway, MSM is supposed to help to detox the body, and toxins can cause acne..also just out of curiosity, do you have other symptoms that can;t really be tied in with any particular medical problem? I now believe that a lot of adult acne is caused by candida (yeast overgrowth)...If you feel tired/sluggish often, have congestion, dizziness, brain fog, yeast issues, eczema, etc. your acne could be a symptom of candida. MSM can also help with candida but it might not be enough if that's what you've got. Well good luck to you!

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What about honey masks and aspirin masks? Aloe vera gel? Keep searching, how's the rest of your life? Exercise? Meditation? Balance? Sleep? Diet? Water intake?

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Balance? Do you mean balancing work and fun and all that? I'm thinking you don't mean the balance that depends on your inner ear? (Not the middle ear, right?)

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