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Rose_40

Hi....still getting acne at 40

Hi,

Well I have had teenage acne...but nothing close to what I'm experiencing now. Since my mid 20's it's been getting much worse. I've been on acutane twice....the side effects are just too strong to try a third dose and besides....I'd have no liver left.

I do believe the nodule cysts I'm experiencing now is hormone related....or at least I hope it is because then I know there is something I can do. I've been to a dermatologist five times.....she's run out of what to prescribe. I no longer go thru a phase where my face is completely clear. I'm seriously contemplating having the Blu U therapy as my husband's drug plan will pay for the drug Levulan and the cosmetic surgeon will then put on a blue laser light which purpose is to kill off the oil glands producing the mess. But I do have acne scars and this may help with that also....will let you all know how I fair off with this.

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Hi Rose - I know exactly how you feel! I am a 39 y/o and I've been dealing with the cystic hormonal acne since I was a teenager. It truly sucks. Over the years I have tried literally everything from topicals to antibiotics to injectables to IPL (Intense Light Pulse) microderm and other modalities. The only thing I didn't do is acutane because my Dr's would not allow me to based on all the bad allergic reactions I've had to antibiotics for acne.

As it turns out none of that stuff was a "cure" anyway b/c it doesn't work for hormonal type of acne it just comes back.

Long story short my Derm finally put me on Spironolactone which is a potassium sparing diuretic been around for a long time used to treat high blood pressure. However it also has anti androgen effects which work to block the oil gland receptors that are triggered by testosterone. I've had wonderful success and am on a very low dosage of 50mg for the past 3 months. Right now I am 95% clear and it's supposed to get better by the 4th - 6th month.

I am surprised your derm did not suggest this to you. Many women here on the forum have had great success on Spiro, myself included. You can read some their stories in this thread: http://www.acne.org/spironolactone-reviews/305/page1.html

The only thing is you have to drink a lot of water and watch your potassium intake. I too had exhausted all other options short of actutane and luckily this one is working.

Don't despair, there is still hope for clear skin even at our age - Best of luck to you!

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It's nice to see some of you folks in my age range (I'm 36). So many of the kids on here are in their teens and twenties. And while I empathize with them (my acne was at its worst in college - took Accutane) it's easy to get depressed reading their two year story when I've had acne for 20 years!!

Anyway, glad to see I'm not the only one. My acne seems to be hormonal at this point. My real problems these days are scars (both physical and emotional), acne dysmorphia, mirror checking, and incredibly low self esteem.

I'm happy to have found a place to chat with others who share my pain.

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Toop - I suffer from all of those things as well.

I too am grateful for this board and for the other 35+ out there still dealing with this crap to talk to others who understand!

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yes, I don't see many folks my age suffering with recalcitrant acne problems... Like all of you, I have had acne for most of my life now. I have done accutane twice, and it worked great while I was on it. However, now I suffer from permanent scars. For the last fifteen years my acne has been up and down. Now it is more continuous as I experiment with different therapies or treatments.

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Hi Rose - I know exactly how you feel! I am a 39 y/o and I've been dealing with the cystic hormonal acne since I was a teenager. It truly sucks. Over the years I have tried literally everything from topicals to antibiotics to injectables to IPL (Intense Light Pulse) microderm and other modalities. The only thing I didn't do is acutane because my Dr's would not allow me to based on all the bad allergic reactions I've had to antibiotics for acne.

As it turns out none of that stuff was a "cure" anyway b/c it doesn't work for hormonal type of acne it just comes back.

Long story short my Derm finally put me on Spironolactone which is a potassium sparing diuretic been around for a long time used to treat high blood pressure. However it also has anti androgen effects which work to block the oil gland receptors that are triggered by testosterone. I've had wonderful success and am on a very low dosage of 50mg for the past 3 months. Right now I am 95% clear and it's supposed to get better by the 4th - 6th month.

I am surprised your derm did not suggest this to you. Many women here on the forum have had great success on Spiro, myself included. You can read some their stories in this thread:

The only thing is you have to drink a lot of water and watch your potassium intake. I too had exhausted all other options short of actutane and luckily this one is working.

Don't despair, there is still hope for clear skin even at our age - Best of luck to you!

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Boy can i relate to how you are feeling.Im 52 and still battling acne,ive had it since my early 20s.Took Accutane when i was younger,cleared me up for years.As i got older it started to creep back up on me.Im no longer a candidate for Accutane ,because of cholesterol problems.So im just stuck with topicals and antibiotics.I was so hoping i would grow out of this skin problem.I get really frustrated sometimes,because my face still acts like its in its teenage years.Its so embarassing.I really feel for some of the younger people on this board,who think that they will grow out of it.Most will but not all,as i can attest to that fact.Here's hoping that on our travels on this board,we find something that will work for us older people.Take care. :pray:

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Suzyshop have you talked to your Dr about Spironolactone? It works very well on hormonal acne.

I am taking it and it has cleared me.

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I no longer go thru a phase where my face is completely clear.

Hey, that was me! On the plus side, having relentlessly reliable acne makes it easier to test things with confidence. Just curious if you tested abstaining from dairy amongst the many things you no doubt have tried? For me, dairy (well, ice cream at least) seemed to correlate strongly with cystic acne. Giving it up still left me with all the other kinds of acne, but still it was useful to have control over one of the nastier (and more likely to scar) aspects.

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I just want you to all know , I truely understand how you all feel. I am 47 and STILL battle acne , (alot of it cystic )I do believe it is hormonal as well. I hate the fact that we are all dealing w/ acne, but it is nice to be able to relate to others especially in the late 30's and beyond age range. Do any of you have any suggestions on different products you are using to treat your acne?

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Unfortunately no product in the world would help my hormonal cystic acne, and believe me when I say I tried them all OTC and prescription.

The only thing that helped as noted above is the medication Spironolactone. It's a miracle drug.

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It's quite refreshing to read this thread and something of a comfort to know I am not the only one out there still experiencing skin problems at the ripe old age of 36. While I mean no dis-respect to younger readers because I realise your teens and 20's are an impressionable time, the majority of acne suffers of this age seem to grow out of it at some point, while there are those selected few of us that struggle with it throughout our adult lives.

I have lost track of all the different treatments and medications I have tried over the years and nothing seems to offer anything more than a temporary improvement or false hope. My dermatologist keeps trying to sell me the benefits of Accutane but I have read little to encourage me on this forum and am really concerned about the side effects, as there seems to be no shortage of patients who regret ever taking it. It's difficult to understand how 21st century medical science in all it's wisdom has not come up with a more effective treatment for this debilitating condition, that doesn't come with so many potential risks.

I wish I could overcome the way that Acne makes me feel, as it seems to dictate my mood on a daily basis depending on the condition of my skin and hope I could still be one of the majority of people who takes clear skin for granted.

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I had acne until I was 40 which is when I changed my diet and my skin and hair became less oily and I was clear for the first time since I was 10. Cutting out sugars and other processed foods in favor of real, nutrient dense foods is also anti-aging. A consideration at our age.

Also, the cysts I used to get turned out to be an allergic reaction to citrus. You might consider allergies or other food intolerances which can start at any time.

I do agree that spiro is worth trying. I tried for hirsutism and it did immediately reduce oil production. I could go for a week without washing my hair, when otherwise I need to wash it every 3 days. And prior to my diet changes, daily. Of course, acne isn't just about sebum. Oily skinned people don't always have acne and dry skinned people do also have acne.

You might also try some supplements like zinc, b-complex, omega 3, etc.

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Suzyshop have you talked to your Dr about Spironolactone? It works very well on hormonal acne.

I am taking it and it has cleared me.

Greeneyes44,i heard about spiro ,but didnt know if i would be a candidate for it.I recently had a problem with low potassium levels.I'd heard something to the effect that it effects your potassium levels,so i thought maybe it wouldn't be right for me.Thanks for the info tho. ;)

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I also agree with alternativista about spiro. I've been battling acne for almost 20 years and have been on accutane four times and every BCP and antibiotic as well. I thought spiro would be my miracle, but quit after 16 months. It did nothing to improve my acne, in fact it worsened it, and I also had two periods a month for a year, decreased sex drive, constant fatigue and it made me crave ENORMOUS amounts of salt.

I know everyone is different. It's worth a try if you've tried everything else. I just had another hormone panel done and everything came back normal, with the exception of low estrogen (could be a result of my low fat diet - vegan women also have low estrogen levels due to not getting enough fats into their diets), so now I'm more confused than ever. I'm now supplementing with flax seed oil and investigating possible food allergies.

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I also agree with alternativista about spiro. I've been battling acne for almost 20 years and have been on accutane four times and every BCP and antibiotic as well. I thought spiro would be my miracle, but quit after 16 months. It did nothing to improve my acne, in fact it worsened it, and I also had two periods a month for a year, decreased sex drive, constant fatigue and it made me crave ENORMOUS amounts of salt.

I know everyone is different. It's worth a try if you've tried everything else. I just had another hormone panel done and everything came back normal, with the exception of low estrogen (could be a result of my low fat diet - vegan women also have low estrogen levels due to not getting enough fats into their diets), so now I'm more confused than ever. I'm now supplementing with flax seed oil and investigating possible food allergies.

Yeah, I couldn't deal with the dehydration. I was told the diuretic effect was supposed to go away, but I just couldn't do it.

Flax seed is high in phyto-estrogens. With oil, it depends on the oil. Is that why you are trying it? Do you eat a lot of soy, the other really high phytoestrogen plant? If you are low estrogen plant estrogens can help by boosting estrogen levels. But they can also hurt, because they are weaker and if they bind to receptors, the receptors are blocked so your stronger human estrogens can't.

Have you tried taking up Peppermint tea? It has an estrogenic effect. How I'm not sure. I just know that mint tea helps with hirsutism as it blocks the kind of DHT involved in hair follicles. And in the studies on that I've seen, they say something like they chose spearmint tea because it had less of an estrogenic effect than peppermint. I use them interchangeably and they both have had a dramatic effect on my hirsutism.

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An overwhelming thankyou to you all.....I am just flabbergasted at your kindness and just knowing that I"m not the only woman suffering thru this mess.

Well I did visit with the plastic surgeon's nurse and apparently I would require more than one treatment of the blu-U therapy and the drug Levulan would have to be applied each time as well. What makes this kinda crappy is that it HAS to be done in 2 week intervals which is quite expensive. Although my husband's drug plan will cover the cost of the drug...which is approx. 150.00 the procedure itself is 300.00 and a one time deal is doable......but not every 2weeks. I can't go into this with an uncertain response like....."oh you would need 3 maybe 4 treatments".

So I went back to my family dr. and he suggested another try with Accutane. I don't know why but I always assumed that a person could never try it more than three times...I was on it twice already but that was back in my 20's. So I said, "What the heck"......can't hurt if my blood work (which just had done) is A-ok.

I did look into the Spironolactone myself before I approached my family dr. I wasn't comfortable with the fact that tumors have been found growing in rats when used in the trial runs. My friend is a pharmacist and she said it's an older drug and not to worry about the that. But since it is an older drug and newer medication has been discovered to treat blood pressure without those problems than there wouldn't be a higher average of problems reported from those taking Spironolactone. Well as you can see I am more than a little nervous about that...heheheh

So the pharmacist has given me the generic version of accutane called Claravis 10mg to be taken once a day. I prefer to be on the lowest does first as I am not sure how I will react since it's been 15 yrs give or take a few since I have been on it and it was accutane not the generic version. But I do remember the dried out mucous membranes in my nose...it was gross..lol.

I was told to expect more redness in the next few days.....let's hope it's not worse than the nodules now have on my skin. He also said no facials during the time I'm on it and for six months afterwards. That's a bummer as I have not been able to experience any micro facials yet as the esthetician said I have to have a clear face first which is impossible since my face is never clear.

Good grief.....just look at the length of this..hehehe......give me a topic and I can surely run with it...my family always joke about my gift to gab.....

Thanks again to everyone.....what a help you all are to my confidence.

Rose

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I'm with the rest of you on this adult acne problem. It's the pits!! Moderate acne since my teens. For cryin' out loud, I'm 59 now!! Wish I knew how much longer I'll have to "put up".

Well guess I better do some research on this "Spiro" stuff. I've been on Dans regimen for about 2 months now and while I've been seeing some improvement, I'm starting to break out again. I may have to cut out dairy of any kind, I only allow myself a few oz of cheese a week. I watch what I eat, lots of veggies and some fruit, small amounts of meat usually chicken or fish. Exercise at least 4 to 5 times a week for an hour. My skin was starting to get a little leathery so cut back on the BP application. Maybe that was a mistake. Just don't know. My skin just felt too dry. Don't know which is worse.....to itch or worry about too much oil. I alternate between jojoba and dan's moisturizer or sometimes mixed together after cleansing. I don't wash more than 2 times a day as people said that wasn't good. Any and all suggestions are welcome! Bet I'm the oldest one here battling this stuff! Thanks!

Kathy

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I am now getting worse acne at 49 than I did in my teens. It is always around my mouth, chin, and nose. It comes and goes but not on a monthly basis. I no longer have my period, but I guess my hormones are still running in cycles, that is if the acne is related. They are painful and bright red. I have tried all over the counter and one rx that my family doctor gave me. It was a lotion that was mixed by the pharmacist. I can't remember what it was called but it didn't work. I do notice that the pimples come back in the same exact place, many where I have stray hairs growing. YUCK, it's wonderful being menopausal.

My biggest problem is keeping my hands away from them. I cannot keep my fingers off of them.

I am taking notes of the above posts and will try to copy their success.

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Oh man, I am also 36 and still battling acne. What really sucks is the fact that I don't have any health insurance. The last time I had insurance I had a good dermatologist, but had to give that up when I left the job. My Mom and Aunt keep telling me they had bad acne, but even they had cleared up by their 20's! I try to eat only whole foods, stuff that doesn't come in boxes with all sorts of chemicals. But I am not perfect, I drink diet soda(talk about chemicals)!

I keep getting told that since I have oily skin I won't wrinkle as much as others. Yeah but I will have a giant red cyst instead! If the regimen doesn't clear me up maybe I can star in zit commercials for the senior set!

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Like i said im 52,i have cystic acne, but i dont get as many of them anymore.As summer gets closer i start to sweat more which causes me to breakout .Right now im on 100mgs of Doxy and .1% Retin A Micro,for bout 2 yrs it was like being reborn again.Had the most fun ,doing things i couldn't do before.I even woked as a manager at a community pool.I was thrilled that i finally found something.Than a funny thing happened,after my face being so clear.On each side of my chin it started to turn red and peel.It got so bad i just had to give up.So i switched over to Differin for a few months,it was less harsh on my skin.It worked for awhile but not as well as the Retin-A Micro had.So iv'e come full circle again ,and im back on Retin-A Micro Iv'e only been on it for alittle over 2wks,im waiting too see if im going to have an initial breakout period.I had a few tiny pimples that just disappeared the next day.But still i have this terrible dryness on both sides of my chin.No matter how much i moisturize,it doesn't stop the dryness.Im hoping that my face doesn't start staying red again,and i'll have to stop it again.On top of that the Retin-A Micro is sooo darn expensive,my health insurance doesn't cover it.So i have to use it sparingly.It's really nice to talk with people who know how it feels to have this crummy condition.I hope we all survive this crappy problem till we each find our own cure.Take care everyone.Have a good weekend. ;)

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Well, I am 37 and in the same boat. I have tried everything under the sun. I cannot handle ANY of the OTC zit remedies because they cause an allergic reaction and lots and lots of little whitehead type bumps. My skin is too sensitive. I also tried Spiro until I read a little more and worried that it was affecting my already pooped out adrenals. It also made me sooo tired I thought I had mono. I KNOW this is all hormone related for me because I have autoimmune thyroid disease, and that usually runs hand in hand with adrenal and female hormone imbalance. I have done several glycolic, lactic and TCA peels, which look great weeks down the road (as far as wrinkles go), but they make me break out TERRIBLY after the first week. I am currently using an otc estriol (estrogen) cream. I am certain I am on the low end of normal there. I never had problems with zits when I was on BC pills; however, now that I am older and wiser, as much as i'd like to get rid of these zits, I am not going to use synthetic hormones.

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Hi,

well my family dr. wants me to give Accutane another try......so I'm on the generic brand Claravis...but seems after only taking it for two days I developed some tingling in my left arm and neck. I phoned the pharmacist and they recommended I stop taking it...just my luck.

So now what???

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