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Gotta Vent..Living In Folliculitis Hell!

Let me apologize up front for being longwinded...I REALLY need to vent somehow, somewhere.

I am 39, and I've lived with moderate cystic acne since I was 12. For the past 5 years, my skin has been the best ever, yet I have never seen myself without some sort of scar, scab, or blemish. I had accepted that acne is God's way of keeping me humble, and was finally looking into some laser treatments to diminish my scarring. Forget that. Two months ago, I woke up with a pimply rash all over my neck and chest. I thought I had some kind of allergic reaction to my medication or possibly a food. I went to the derm. and she said the stuff on my neck was a rash, but on my chest was acne. (I did not believe that because I know acne, and this was not acne like I've ever had.) She gave me a steroid cream and some clindamyacin gel. I tried that for 2 weeks, and saw no improvement, in fact, the rash was now spreading up behind my ears, into my scalp, and on my upper back & shoulders. I went to the allergist. He said go back to the derm and get a skin biopsy. Did that, and the derm put me on doxycycline. Took that for 10 days and saw no improvement. Went back to the derm and he said the biopsy confirmed folliculitis. I knew it wasn't acne. He changed my antibiotic and is having me use an antibaterial wash. I've been on that for another 5 days, and still no improvement. In fact, the folliculitis is spreading. Now I am covered with hundreds of tiny inflamed, whitehead pustules on my face, neck, behind the ears, shoulders, back - upper and middle, and chest - almost to my belly button. God, I am praying every day it will stop. I am awaiting the results on a culture to see if the infection is bacterial, fungal, viral, whatever. I sure hope to find out soon, cuz I am losing my f'ing mind! The pustules are the worst because I want to pop every one of them. Some seem to be oozing they are so ready to pop! Gross. I am totally grossed out at myself. I have stopped touching it, and try not to pick, but sometimes I just can't help it. I haven't had sex with my husband in 2 months because of this (that's when it started) and I am so angry I am starting not to act like myself anymore. I am very short tempered and irritable. I am not overly depressed, but I also take Wellbutrin, so maybe that is doing the job. I would give anything for clear skin. THis is a terrible curse. You would think at my age I could get over the vanity of my skin condition, but no. Seriously, I am plagued by skin problems. I still get cystic acne, I have sebaceous hyperplasia on my face (that looks like little warts that I have to get burned off), I live with genital herpes, and now folliculitis. My God, what else will I get?? What sucks the most is that I used to be very beautiful. Now, I can barely stand to look at myself. I am at the end of my rope. I am so worried the folliculitis will end up being methcillin resistant, or chronic. I absolutely cannot live with folliculits. I am now a germophobe trying to sanitize everything in my home so that my family doesn't get it. I feel absolutely disgusting. I know there are those out there who are worse than me, but that doesn't make me feel better. Well, getting this all out has helped a bit. Prayers for all of you who know what I'm talking about.

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Follow up: Well, I just got the results from my culture and it came back negative for fungus or bacteria. WTF! I don't understand it. How can I have folliculitis without some infectious organism??

Could it be viral? That is very rare from my understanding. The derm said to give the antibiotics more time because it is "acneiform" folliculitis. I am not so happy to hear this. I guess it's really "good" news, but what is not good is that nothing I am doing is helping!!! Arghhh...If this crap doesn't go away, I'm going to damand Accutane. Should have had that back when I was a teenager anyway. :cry:

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