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Hi everyone,

This is the first time I'm posting although I've been reading the blogs here for about 1.5 years now. I am amazed by the strength and generosity of many people here. I am doing this personal log more for myself so I can monitor treatments and progress but if anyone would like to comment on treatment suggestions, please do so -- I would love your input!

Acne history:

32 year old Asian male.

High School: Mild acne -- generally great complexion, a couple papules/pustules per month.

College: Same

Age 22-25: Same

Age 25-31: Acne started to get worse -- I never had lots of tiny zits, my problem was getting bigger ones. Started to develop cystic acne and more papules/pustules, maybe 5 per month. Saw dermatologist for first time at age 27 -- was prescribed oral and topical antibiotic.

Age 31-present: Acne is getting progressively worse. More cystic acne and papules/pustules -- 30 per month.

Treatment history:

The antibiotic treatment I had at age 27 (2002) seemed to work, I don't remember that period that much so it must have worked, otherwise I would have sought more treatment! I was on the antibiotic for one month tops. Anything else, I treated with OTC BP.

In October 2006, I moved to a new city on the east coast from LA and my acne got pretty bad. I wondered what the cause was.

Humidity or other environmental factors? I lived in this new city before during a previous summer and had no problem so I don't think it was the city's environment.

Stress: I was stressed studying for a major professional exam during the summer of 2006 and I had no acne then so I don't think it is stress.

Diet: I enjoy sugars and meats, with lots of candy, soda, fried food although I don't eat much junk food like chips. Didn't seem to cause a problem before (Age 14 to 25) so I'm not sure why it would cause a problem now -- although I leave open the possibility that my body may be reacting differently. I feel like now when I gorge on rich food, like at nice restaurants, I break out.

I saw a dermatologist in November 2006 and she prescribed (1) a type of tretinoin ointment, (2) topical erythromycin, and (3) 10% BP. I tried it for about 3 weeks (I should have been better about sticking with this) and it seemed to help a little.

In January 2007, my acne got a lot worse so I went back to the dermatologist and she suggested that I do a better job of sticking with the treatment. I took matters into my own hands and for 1.5 months (March to April 2007), I went on a health diet. I cut out all soda and candy, dairy and meat (except fish). The results were pretty good, I had little new acne during that period and for maybe a couple weeks afterward -- was feeling good. When I went back to my normal diet, acne started to get worse again.

In August 2007, I went to a new dermatologist to get a different opinion. He prescribed (1) glycolic acid wash, (2) another oral antibiotic, (3) Benzalin, and (4) Retin-A. The Benzaclin made my skin feel really clammy and rubbery and didn't seem to help. I stayed on this treatment for only 2 weeks because my skin just felt really bad. I went back to my health diet because that was the only thing that seemed to work.

I moved to another city temporarily from October to November 2007. To test out the environment theory, I ate whatever I want (i.e., jelly belly, candy, fried wings, etc.) and only used a toner, nothing else. Strangely enough, I got NO cysts or papules but I did have a minor case of minizits that made my complexion look uneven. Still, I'd rather have these tiny zits with no major cysts than the other way around. Also, I could eat whatever I want!

I move back to LA temporarily in December 2007. I ate whatever I want with no treatment except washing my face with St. Ives Apricut Scrub and some ProActiv BP lotion. For about a month, I have a clear face.

Starting Jan. 15, 2008, I start breaking out big time again. I see a dermatologist in LA and he prescribes (1) topical Cleocin, (2) oral antibiotic Doxycycline, and (3) Sodium sulfacetamide. I was excited about the sulfacetamide because I had read good reviews about it on this site. After nearly two weeks, my acne has not gotten better. This is frustrating.

Currently, March 10, 2008, I am back on the east coast and still breaking out.

Intense Holistic Approach

I want to try everything I can before I go for Accutane so I am going to make a sincere effort at doing a (1) Supplement, (2) Diet, and (3) Cleanse Treatment.

(1) Supplements -- For the last 2 weeks, I have been taking Zinc, Fish Oil, and Vitamin A. Yesterday, I added Psyllium Husks and Taurine. I bought DIM but will wait to try this after I do some cleanses.

(2) Diet -- For the last 2 weeks, I have not had soda, dairy, meat (except fish) or MSG/sugar/fructose/etc. I have ONLY been eating Supergreen drinks, oatmeal, brown rice, tofu, fish, mixed greens, fruits, and raw nuts (I'm a little iffy on the nuts, I've read about some allergic reactions). BTW, on this health diet for the last two weeks, my acne has not gotten better (or worse).

(3) Cleanse -- Yesterday, I started a Parasite and Body cleanse with (a) Dr. Clark's Parasite cleanse and (2) 4 Total Cleanse. After one month of this, I will try the Kidney/Liver/Colon Cleanse.

(4) Facial wash -- Still using 3 items in a rotation -- Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Soap, a glycolic wash, or Cetaphil.

My current acne situation

Forehead -- Two dying zits that are crusty after having naturally popped and pussed. I'm not worried about these.

Temples by eyes -- One small zit ®, two papules/nodules (L). The small one should disappear soon. For the two on the left, one has been there for about a week, the other formed about 3 days ago.

Cheeks (under eyes) -- One small zit. I rarely get acne on cheeks. Not worried here.

Side cheeks -- Right side, one dying nodule, one small zit, both on the decline. Left side, 5 brown pigmentation spots from former nodule/cysts. One new nodule.

Jawline -- Right side, 4 medium cysts that are midway through their course. They don't hurt and they aren't red, more skin color. Left side, 3 medium cysts that are midway through their course, two new medium papules.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 9

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 12

New throbbers -- 4

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Day 2

(I'm only discussing new acne formation. Otherwise, the existing ones have no change or are in decline -- which is a good thing!)

Forehead --

Temples by eyes --

Cheeks (under eyes)

Side cheeks -- Right side -- One new medium zit forming.

Jawline --

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 8

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 11

Active (red) -- 3

Something I'm taking -- maybe the parasite cleanse -- is causing some slight stomach queasiness

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Day 3

(I'm only discussing new acne formation. Otherwise, the existing ones have no change or are in decline -- which is a good thing!)

No change since Day 2, which is good. The new zit on the right cheek is growing stronger but I'll just have to let this play out -- hopefully it is just a papule and not a cyst. Some dead zits/hyperpigmentation is disappearing.

I'm looking forward to finishing the body cleanse so I can start the kidney/colon/liver cleanse.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 7

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 11

Active (red) -- 4

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Day 4

The good news is that many of the cysts I had on my jawlines are in decline, meaning that they are basically skin-colored and barely noticeable.

The bad news is that I noticed two new small blemishes on my right cheek and around the right side of my lip. My experience suggests that these zits will be minor (not cysts, but minor papules) so I'm taking these as just a sign of purging.

Overall, I'd have to say that the few new zits I've gotten over the last couple days have been smaller and less intense than others.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 6

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 10

Active (red) -- 6

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Your diet includes potatoes? I'm not sure if potatoes are the best thing to eat. They are incredibly high in carbohydrates and pretty much like bread.

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Day 5

Nothing new -- always good. But I really would love some fried chicken or a steak sandwich about now.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 6

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 10

Active (red) -- 6

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Day 6

Bad news -- Two new papules on neck

Good news -- Other zits are still in decline

Week in review coming tomorrow.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 6

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 8

Active (red) -- 7

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Day 7 -- Week 1 Review!

Here's the good and bad from the last week:

Good -- Several forming zits have popped or run their course. The new zits I've received in the last week are smaller and less intense on the jawline.

Bad -- Despite less intense acne, I thought the diet would mean little or NO new zits (this is how it was the last time I went on the diet) -- but I'm still getting small ones. I think monitoring my progress is like watching the pot boil and makes my progress (though real) seem less significant. It's only been ONE WEEK, BE PATIENT!

Finally, I'm still doing the parasite cleanse and body cleanse and after 3 more weeks, I will attempt the kidney and liver cleanse.

The status last week is in italics.

Forehead -- Two dying zits that are crusty after having naturally popped and pussed. I'm not worried about these. The two former zits are just brown spots now, everything else clear.

Temples by eyes -- One small zit ®, two papules/nodules (L). The small one should disappear soon. For the two on the left, one has been there for about a week, the other formed about 3 days ago. Right side is clear. Left side -- The one that has been there for two weeks now is still there but it's small, I wish it would just pop and drain. The newly formed one popped today. Otherwise, no new formations.

Cheeks (under eyes) -- One small zit. I rarely get acne on cheeks. Not worried here. This one, on left side is gone. But there is big one on right side, which is strange since I never get zits here.

Side cheeks -- Right side, one dying nodule, one small zit, both on the decline. Left side, 5 brown pigmentation spots from former nodule/cysts. One new nodule. Right side, a new zit formed but it's already pretty dead. Left side, a new one formed and died during this last week. The brown spots still exist.

Jawline -- Right side, 4 medium cysts that are midway through their course. They don't hurt and they aren't red, more skin color. Left side, 3 medium cysts that are midway through their course, two new medium papules. Right side, still have 4 cysts that are inactive but I can still feel them. Also, two new papules that seem small. Left side, there are still the 3 medium cysts that are inactive, and two new small papules.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- One week ago 9; Today 13

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- One week ago 12; Today 6

Active -- One week ago 4; Today 6

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Day 8

Still slow progress. The old cysts are drying up. But for some reason, I'm still getting cysts on my jawline and neck.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 14

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 7

Active -- 5

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Day 9

Damn. Three new zits are forming. One on my left temple, one on my right jaw and one on my left side jaw.

I'm seriously considering Accutane -- I'm tired of having acne control my life.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 14

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 7

Active -- 8

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Day 10

I'm a little disappointed with this diet so far. The last time I did it, it was pretty successful but this time, it doesn't seem to make a difference. I've made an appointment with the dermatologist to inquire about Accutane.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 14

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 9

Active -- 7

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Day 11

Interestingly enough, I started using some leftover Retin-A yesterday and the zit on my right jaw has stopped forming and the one on my left jaw seems to be running its course very quickly. I don't know if it was the Retin-A or if these zits were just minor ones. Anyways, still seeing dermatologist today.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 14

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 9

Active -- 6

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Day 14

The Retin-A seems to have stopped my cysts for right now, although it has also brought up some minizits on my forehead. I'll give this a try for a few weeks before I go for the nuclear option.

Total

Dead zits/brown spots -- 14

Zits/Papules/Cysts that are past their peak/in decline -- 9

Active -- 2

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