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Pyrat Dame

Looking for some advise ... please help.

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I am new to this message board but have poked around the site very lightly before. The reason I am here today is that I am asking for any and all advise and I'm hoping that maybe this message reaches people out there who may be experiencing the same problems I am.

For starters, let me give you a little back story. Warning, this post may be a bit long, but if you are willing to read it to the end, you have no idea how grateful I will be.

So, I am a 23-year-old young lady. My acne started probably a little after pueberty which was sort of delayed and severally messed up due to PCOS - Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. If you are unfamiliar with this disorder, it basically means that my hormones are ALL kind of messed up. Some of the most common symptoms of this disorder are: ACNE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, irregular periods, excessive hair growth (and really NOT in the places a woman would enjoy), weight gain, difficulty losing weight, and the list goes on. Thankfully, I do not experience ALL these symptoms, however, acne has been one of the biggest ones. I have tried SEVERAL different products in the past, we'll say 10 years. For a while, benzol peroxide was working great. I used it in bar soap form. After about 3 years of using this product, I switched to Proactiv based on a friend's recommendation. This product was A GOD SEND for probably about 4 years? Also, I started birth control and that mixed with the proactiv ... I swear, I had the skin of a Disney princess. For the first time in my life, I felt that I looked pretty.

Two years ago, this all went DOWN HILL. Proactiv stopped working completely. My face was getting red and acne filled every day and I was becoming very discouraged. I switched to a tea tree natural soap based on another friend's recommendation and alternated between that and just a very mild glycerin soap. This, mixed with a light moisturizer, seemed to work "ok" but I would still get certain pimples that were just ... well, if I looked in a mirror my first thought was "YELCH."

Somehow, I began to think that perhaps my sudden re-onset of acne was birth control related. I went to my GYN and she perscribed me a different BC because she said the one I was currently on was not very good anyway for someone who had PCOS. This switch thus began a very painful year of my life. Painful mentally and physically. Since that switch a year ago, I have been on at least 6 different types of BC. Each one has done absolutely NOTHING to improve my acne and while BC is supposed to regulate your periods, mine are all kinds of messed up.

Anyway, since BC was obviously not helping AT ALL, I thought maybe since I had taken a break from Proactiv, it might start to work again. All it did was dry out my skin. Badly, and I was STILL having breakouts. Especially around the jawline and neck area (underneath the ear).

On a whim, I bought some Aveeno products for acne shortly after this and these seemed to work pretty well ... for the first month or so. My acne still wasn't as managed as it had been those 2 perfect years, but it seemed to be getting better ... and then suddenly, I was back to square one again. Aveeno just wasn't doing the trick anymore.

After aveeno, I went back to using the tea tree soap. Again, my skin started to even out again ... and then got worse again. I recently tried Bert's Bees and have now been on that for ... oh probably about a month? Again, it started to work GREAT at first. I was actually starting to get some of my confidence back and I thought things were going really well ... but now, it isn't working ... AGAIN. I am having breakouts on a daily basis, ugly horrible white heads that I either pick at or pop (yes, I know this is NOT a good thing but I do not have a great self image to begin with and having these horrible white heads all over my face makes me want to cry on a daily basis). I use the bert's bees once in the morning and once at night. About 3 hours into my day, my face becomes SO oily that I literally have to take a wet paper towel to it just to feel ... somewhat normal?

There are many things in my life that I can't control right now (all health related) but I am really hoping that if I can get SOME KIND of handle on this acne thing .... that I can at least begin to improve my self image again.

Right now, it seems like the biggest problem areas on my face are: upper cheeks towards the ears (I get random large red pimples here that never really seem to become full white heads), my forehead (COVERED in little red and white dots), and my jawline/neck. My chin and the area around my nostrils has also started to become a problem as of late.

So ... if you're still reading this ... I am asking for any advice. Any help you can offer. Products that have worked for you. At this point, I'm afraid I have probably scarred my face from the picking and popping but ... I need something that will work. I'm planning on going to my GYN in the next few weeks to talk about switching BC AGAIN (or possibly coming off it all together) but at this point I just can't rely on that to help or fix whatever is going on with my face.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you in advance to anyone who replies.

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hey. i read everything that you wrote at least twice, and i just wanted to say that i'm really sorry that you're going through such a tough time. i have acne as well, but it sounds like a really tight spot that you're in. :/

i was wondering if you've tried accutane? it's a prescription acne medication that you can get from a dermatologist, though i dunno how it would work out with your birth control pills that you're currently on. and it sounds like you've got the kind of skin that needs a sort of mixed-up 'personalized' regimen that's a combination of different products to work. with break outs for me, i found that the best thing is not to touch or pop them unless they really are ready and i absolutely can't stand them, and to keep my face clean with a non-irritating cleanser. after that, i apply an even, slightly thick layer of clinique moisture surge. so, for me, moisturizing is really a key.

but yeah - have you recently tried using BP again? i read about you and proactive, and if that didn't work, then it seems like switching back to the right amount of it might work. but i think that accutane would also be a very good idea for you if it will be able to work out with the birth control.

i hope this helps you. and the best thing that always works is: always have hope and be positive. being down on yourself won't solve anything.

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Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

I actually did try BP (I think you mean Benzyol Peroxide?) again. After the fiasco with the wrong percentage, I dropped down to a 2.5 and I can't believe how much it has actually helped. My fiance was saying goodbye to me one morning and he actually mentioned how much better my skin looks.

I'm seeing the GYN in early Feb to try a different BC. I'm thinking of that Ortho-one that was designed to actually help with acne. Maybe between that and the BP, things will improve all around.

Thank you again for taking the time to read that whole post. It really means a lot.

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