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jbcl91

Redness Won't Go Away

I'm 17/male and have struggled through what I would say is moderate/mild acne over the years. It's almost always been there, but not to a point where you'd say its really bad. I've gone to the dermatologist a few times and have used antibiotics (doxy/tetra/mino cycline), Benzoyl Peroxide 10% and Differin gel in the past.

Around March/April, I started using BP 10% and Differin (stopped the antibiotic pills about a year ago) very consistently, and looking back, I used too much. I'd only use the differin (.3%) once a day at night but probably too big a dose, and same with the benzoyl peroxide (too much, usually once, sometimes twice a day). I would apply it to my skin, rub it around, leave it for a minute or two, rinse off. Later I would apply differin, usually mixing it with a moisturizer as instructed by my dermatologist.

In terms of acne, my skin was looking fine, not completely clear but too a point where I was happy with it; however, my face has gotten red to a point where it's just not right. Its really red, and redness has never been a problem for me in the past, not ever. It's been like this since early June, and I've tried to let it go away and it won't. Its particularly red in my upper cheeks, and kind of looks like a sunburn but clearly thats not what it is.

I went to my dermatologist and he gave hydrocortisone valerate which he said would clear it up easily, but it didn't have any effect at all. Then he gave mometasone furoate, which again had no effect. At this point I'd completely stopped using both BP and Differin.

He then put me on doxycycline, saying that it should help get rid of the redness as well as treat acne. He also gave me this cream called noritate, saying that should help as well. So far though it's been about 2 weeks on those and theres still no difference. Only thing is, my acne's gotten worse because of the lack of BP/differin anymore, but right now thats the least of my worries. The redness is really bothering me and I can't seem to get rid of it. My dermatologist said the doxycycline/noritate should help it go away and that it should take about 4 weeks, but I've lost some respect for him and don't want to soloey trust what he has to say.

Basically what I want to know is -- how did this happen, more importantly how can I fix it, and also how I can go about treating acne in the future once I get this redness controlled. I know BP is like the ideal thing, and for someone like me whose white with kinda sensitive skin, big doses of BP 10% probably weren't the best idea. My doc also said this could be a form of rosacea but I don't know why that would suddenly pop up. I should also mention that I can actually notice my face feeling hot. It comes on quickly, even if I just walk into a room that a couple degrees warmer. Not pleasent... Any help/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

John

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Your skin has atrophied from too much BP and adaplene. The steriods may have made the skin worse. Steriods are commonly prescribe for irritated skin, so don't hate your derm for that.

At this point, I would follow your derms advice. Your skin is probably too atrophied to apply anything other that Noritate to it.

The doxy will reduce the redness as well as the acne, but you must be patient it could take 3 months to see the total results. The Noritate is an antibiotic in an emollient base, the emollient base is moisturizing and gentle. It will help with both the pimples and the redness. It takes time.

All of this takes time and you need to be patient.

BP is not the ideal treatment for everyone. For many people it is great, but there are also many who cannot tolerate it.

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Alright, thanks for the reply. I'll continue taking the doxycycline (2 a day) and applying the noritate cream (twice a day).

Is there anything else I can do in the interim? My derm said that those 2 things will probably take around 4 weeks or so to really start working. Aloe Vera (I don't know much about it)? Biafine emulsion cream?

Also, I should note that I am very fair skinned and in the sun every day since Summer began. Of course, my facial redness began way before this and I always use sun screen so I know the redness isn’t do to that – but just to ask about proper sunscreens, I’ve been using various SPF 45+ sun screens on my body and Cetaphil’s SPF 50 on my face (http://cetaphil.com/Products/DefenseSPF50.aspx). Does this seem like a suitable sun protection treatment?

Currently, I use that sunscreen as well as Cetaphil cleansers (I own the Daily Facial Cleanser and also the Gentle Skin Cleanser but don’t which one is more ideal for my situation…). Other than those though, I’m pretty much using doxycycline and noritate as my only treatments. I also noticed on this site that iodine intake is bad for acne; my centrum multivitamin I always take has 100% of daily value iodine. Should I shy away from that? And one final thing for now: how about fish oil pills and ACV (apple cidar vinegar)? Any possible good effects on the skin with those?

As you can see, I’m pretty frustrated with this sudden redness / hot face I’ve been dealing with over the past couple months and am looking for anything that can help.

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My advice to you is to stick with your derm's plan and stay away from any sort of additional topical face treatment PERIOD. The only thing that may help is Vaseline or Aquaphor - which will protect your skin from further irriritation.

The reason that so many people end up on this section of forum is because they cannot leave well enough alone. What I mean by that - is that they are convinced there is a topical that will make their skin better. Even when their skin is in a state of atrophy - they feel this overwhelming need to use some sort of topical to help their skin get better. They will try different products which will often further irritate their skin and they will blame it on their derm, on having some odd skin disease - when the truth is they are the source of their own problems by being overzealous with products.

Please don't put Apple Cider Vinegar on your face! As for fish oils, I have no experience with supplements. While Aloe Vera can soothe irritated skin, most Aloe Vera products contain very little of actual aloe vera and a lot of alchohol and hence cause more irritation.

As for skin care products - you should look for fragrance free, non-comedogenic products that are "safe for sensitive skin".

AND YOU SHOULD BE PATIENT, which is what I already told you. You should see signs of improvement in 4 weeks, but it will take several months before your skin is back to normal. In the meantime, I suggest you google skin atrophy and learn about it.

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hi, im having the same problem, i never had acne all my life, and one year ago, i got very red skin on both my upper cheeks with small whiteheads underneath, and they were very noticable, i went to a derm who prescribed me a 3 month course of doxyline- Granudoxy here in France, and differin, bp gel, applied one each night and after all this it didnt help me, only some whiteheads came to the surface, but my skin is still very red. I dont know what to do, and i just want the redness to go away, i am currently taking 30mg of zinc gluconate that my derm prescribed me after doxy, and i take a acerola tablet and b5 a day, but i dont see much improvement, my diet is also very clean consisting of flax seeds, oatmeal, organic pumpernickel bread, avocados etc and im loosing patience...i wish i could offer you some kind of advice, but my prob is also the redness. I really do not know what else to do... Can anybody help??

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Just coming back to update a little bit:

first of all to the poster above, that situation is not quite like mine since you got redness before taking those medications, not after.

So I've gone since June now without using any BP or differin, just Cetaphil cleansers/moisterizers along with the Noritate cream and Doxycycline my derm presribed me... really at this point, 4 weeks after taking those medications everyday, I can't say I've really noticed any significant improvement.

My face overall is still too red, particularly in the upper cheek area... if I press down on an area hard for a second or two, it gives that burn-like result where its white for a sec and goes back to being red. Starting to get impatient here, as it's been 2 months nearly off of BP/differin, and 1 one full month on doxy and noritate... the acne is the least of my concerns right now (it's there but not bad), i just need this redness to go away!

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I have had the same problem with my face. I used differin and solodyn for awhile and then swtiched to Benzaclin for about 6 months which really helped with acne just made my face red! I have stopped using Benzaclin all over and just put it on the bigger ones. I then used honey and cinnamon for about two weeks and slept with it and it really helped!! I used raw honey and ground cinnamon (3 tbps honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon). Redness went away in about 4 days and skin also cleared--just those little bumps

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My face overall is still too red, particularly in the upper cheek area... if I press down on an area hard for a second or two, it gives that burn-like result where its white for a sec and goes back to being red. Starting to get impatient here, as it's been 2 months nearly off of BP/differin, and 1 one full month on doxy and noritate... the acne is the least of my concerns right now (it's there but not bad), i just need this redness to go away!

I mentioned to you TWICE that it can take up to 3 months for the doxycycline to clear the skin. If you read the reviews of doxycycline on this board you will see that many, many people mention that it works but it takes a long time (meaning several months). I have been on high dose doxy twice, I did not see results until month 3 - 3 1/2.

Also, pressing your skin and having it turn white and then red again - well duh, that is going to happen to everyone - and it is not indicative of a skin disorder.

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OK, sorry to sound annoying with the questioning, I'm just extremely frustrated by all of this. I've remained pretty consistent with the Cetaphil, Noritate (twice a day), and doxycycline (twice a day/100 mg).

A couple legitimate questions I have:

1) Would this redness on my skin have been caused based on direct placement of the BP/Differin? By that I mean are the places that are red the most indicative of the most intense usage of BP/Diff, or is it possible for the redness/inflammation to spread?

2) How critical is it that doxycycline be taken without any food? The bottle says to take it 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating, but it's funny because my derm told me to take it with "a lot of food" to avoid getting bad stomach aches...

3) My acne is starting to get worse (not horrible but getting pretty deep into the moderate range). I know noritate isn't really an acne treatment, so that means doxy is really the only thing I'm taking that targets acne (of course I'm taking it mostly to get rid of the redness which is my top concern). I know you've stated it can take a couple months for the doxy to bring down the redness, does this apply to acne as well? Is it possible that the doxy is causing me to break out a bit, with the likelihood that it will improve with time?

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I'm going on my summer vacation tomorrow, and I'll be at the beach and in the sun a lot this week. I plan on using strong sunscreens (I use Cetaphil Defense on my face SPF 50). This got me thinking though: My facial redness is most heavily concentrated on the upper cheeks, a bit below the eyes. people ask me about it thinking its a sunburn and say "wow your gonna start peeling pretty badly soon". Of course, this never happens, as I don't peel because I am not suffering a sunburn. So what I'm wondering is, what would happen if my face was to get sunburned? Would this just be a burned layer above what I currently am suffering from, or would peeled skin from a sunburn include the part of the skin that is currently quite red?

Anyways, I'm just going to continue using Noritate and doxy, as well as fish oil supplements and cetaphil. No real improvement, nearly 2 months into this, but I will try my best to remain patient. Also, I have switched to a new derm and will see them early September, so it will be good to get a second doctor opinion.

Any comments, questions, advice, etc from you guys would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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I just got some blood work done at the hospital and it appears that I have dangerously elevated liver enzymes, and the doxycycline is the only thing I am aware of that could be responsible for this. As a result, I have to stop taking the medication...

Hopefully that straightens out. Back on topic, this leaves me without a real treatment for my acne or facial redness, which still hasn't gone away. I would guess I was taking doxy for about 2 full months, without any noticeable improvement in either acne or redness... I'm kind of at a standstill as to wht to do now, as I'm afraid to go back to any topicals to help me face after whats happened.

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I just got some blood work done at the hospital and it appears that I have dangerously elevated liver enzymes, and the doxycycline is the only thing I am aware of that could be responsible for this. As a result, I have to stop taking the medication...

Hopefully that straightens out. Back on topic, this leaves me without a real treatment for my acne or facial redness, which still hasn't gone away. I would guess I was taking doxy for about 2 full months, without any noticeable improvement in either acne or redness... I'm kind of at a standstill as to wht to do now, as I'm afraid to go back to any topicals to help me face after whats happened.

Drop the meds asap, and change your diet. My skin has been looking much better since doing this.

No sugar, no wheat, no dairy. Trust me, I know how hard it is to live like that, so change things around before it gets even worse. Docs dont know how to treat this, only a good diet does. Im sure he didnt mention that to you... why would he want you better when he can have you in his office each month? Dont be fooled by them

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^

Sorry but I don't think I can change my whole diet around...

Update: I went to see a new derm who was written up as one of Bostons best doctors and now I've changed my routine. After seeing no improvement after 2 months on Noritate top and doxycycline, I've dropped both.

Now I am on Aczone gel (dapsone 5%), sodium sulfacetamide 10% and Sulfur 5% wash, and Elidel cream, all to be used once a day...

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