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steve s69

is it ever going to stop

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hi to one and all,i,ve had acne since i was 14 am now 37,would love to sort myself out before i,m 40,have tried a canny bit of stuff at the moment just useing benzoyl peroxide which is great at drying up the skin when the spots are there but they still come back for more,my spots are big and hard at first then get a puss head after a few days but are extremly painful and usually occur on the lower face,shoulders,chest and back,i,ve always been self concious and very subdued because of this and i,m more than likely depressed,i do,nt socialize at all,work is a daily struggle so really need good advive as doctor just says to take antibiotics,tried them for about 3-4 yrs then gave up,had accutane when i was 23 no success,why is this problem taken so lightly by gp's?

anyone have any ideas?would be very gratefull,all the best to everyone here,,,steve

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Young Living

hi to one and all,i,ve had acne since i was 14 am now 37,would love to sort myself out before i,m 40,have tried a canny bit of stuff at the moment just useing benzoyl peroxide which is great at drying up the skin when the spots are there but they still come back for more,my spots are big and hard at first then get a puss head after a few days but are extremly painful and usually occur on the lower face,shoulders,chest and back,i,ve always been self concious and very subdued because of this and i,m more than likely depressed,i do,nt socialize at all,work is a daily struggle so really need good advive as doctor just says to take antibiotics,tried them for about 3-4 yrs then gave up,had accutane when i was 23 no success,why is this problem taken so lightly by gp's?

anyone have any ideas?would be very gratefull,all the best to everyone here,,,steve

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Steve, research and consider these things:

- Diet: eliminate dairy or wheat (gluten) or something else. Eat your fruits and veg, cut out a suspect food item for a few weeks and keep a food/skin diary to recognize a pattern.

- Harsh soaps cause more problems than they address for most people. Wash with a basic soap once a day, rinse with hot water the other times and keep skin moisturized.

- Change your pillow case or put a clean tshirt over the pillow every day.

- Consider (try it for a week or so) abstaining from sex (ejaculation). This is not an issue for most people, but it is for some.

The medical system isn't set up to have a doctor take the time to diagnose a problem like yours. Doctors whip out prescriptions and get you out of the office as quick as possible. It's up to you to experiment.

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Do you have any other prolonged symptoms besides acne?

Laroque has some great advice. You need to start looking internally rather than slathering layers of topicals on hoping for a solution.

Start an elimination diet. Eliminate one of the following food items one at a time for at least a month and take close not of your skin: gluten, dairy, soy, nuts

Also consider using the steam room at your local gym; great for sweating out toxins and improving your skin.

My guess is you have a deeper issue and one of the symptoms is acne, especially since its been with you for a while.

I'd also see a naturopath doc and explain all of your symptoms; you'll be surprised how he might be able to clear you up very quickly.

PANIC

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hi to one and all,i,ve had acne since i was 14 am now 37,would love to sort myself out before i,m 40,have tried a canny bit of stuff at the moment just useing benzoyl peroxide which is great at drying up the skin when the spots are there but they still come back for more,my spots are big and hard at first then get a puss head after a few days but are extremly painful and usually occur on the lower face,shoulders,chest and back,i,ve always been self concious and very subdued because of this and i,m more than likely depressed,i do,nt socialize at all,work is a daily struggle so really need good advive as doctor just says to take antibiotics,tried them for about 3-4 yrs then gave up,had accutane when i was 23 no success,why is this problem taken so lightly by gp's?

anyone have any ideas?would be very gratefull,all the best to everyone here,,,steve

Would you consider another course of Accutane? I am over 40, used every topical system there is and spent thousands of dollars over the years. In January I finally went on Accutane and am thrilled! I am only halfway thorugh my course, but am pleased to say, this is the first time in my entrie teen/adult life where I've been acne free. Obviously I have no idea if my acne will return after, but I can't imagine it coming back full force, and at this point in my life, I'm happy with any improvement. I have a totally scarred face due to all those years of acne. I am also SICK of the time it takes to use a topical regimen. Plus the fact that as we age our skin becomes so much drier and all the topicals that truly work are harsh and make that worse.

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I'd recommend Niacin. Look at my previous posts for more information about it.

Obliviously everyone is different, as are the causes of acne, but it works for me.

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Hi Steve

I had acne like yours and tried everything including Accutane twice. Try Accutane again. I found that by doing it twice, second time in my mid-thirties, that it stopped the big deep painful red puss-filled cysts.

Sounds like you continue to struggle with what's called "resistant" cystic acne --- most likely because you have other conditions that help to keep it inflamed. These things are in addition to the hormones (androgens) that cause the cysts. They can include faulty skin turnover, food intolerances, and skin that is by nature easily inflamed.

After I did Accutane the second time I used BP for many years and it worked pretty well...only got smaller less inflamed pimples...until I became sensitive to BP and then the pimples became redder and more painful again.

Now I pay attention to food sensitivites, treat my skin better, and follow through with my derm's regime and my skin is healing. Now I only get a few whiteheads at a time. Sometimes they inflame a little and I freak out but they go away in a day or two. I'd say my skin is almost normal...not perfect but so much better that what I lived with for years! Now I'm working on healing how I think about my skin...too many years of worrying and fretting...but I'm making progress on that.

With resistant cystic acne it is essential to keep doing your derm's regime because it takes a long long time (years) for our type of skin to begin to work properly and to expel all of the deep plugs that cause the cysts.

Here's my suggestions for relief from resistant cystic acne:

Remember that cystic acne is a tough one to tackle but it can be done if you're prepared to attack it on several fronts at the same time. Don't confuse how other people treat their acne with how you have to treat cystic acne. The more surface kinds of acne respond quicker to treatments and you can use over the counter, non-perscription topicals etc. Doesn't work with cystic acne!

Find a derm who understands resistant cystic acne and one who will see you when you're feeling your worst. Having trust in your derm is essential.

Do accutane - again.

Be prepared to try lots of different antibiotics until you find one that works. For me that was Bactrim. Worked wonders. I took it for 4 years.

Realize that you must take an antibiotic while you are also using a topical. This is because the antibiotic helps to keep inflammation under control while the topical is helping the skin to function better...the deep plugs will be expelled easier, with less inflammation.

Using the right topical makes your skin shed dead cells like it should rather than leaving those dead cells to clump up, form deep plugs and get inflamed. For cystic acne a retinoid is the best.

Remember that unlike some other kinds of acne, cystic acne takes a very long time to get under control and you will keep on breaking out while the topical and antibiotic are doing their jobs...at least for 7-8 months! This is the time to do everything in your power to take care of yourself...massage, support, etc.

The best topical I have found (...and I've tried them all...) is perscription Retin-A. Your derm will determine what brand of retin-a is best for your skin type. Mine is very oily but because my skin is so sensitive she put me on a cream retin-a so my skin would not get as irritated. Some folks swear by micro retin-a or differin. There's tons out there and some have a topical antibiotic in them as well.

Come to grips with the understanding that due to your skin type (...faulty skin shedding, sticky sebum, etc.) that you will be using a retinol or something similar for the rest of your life.

Realize that you most likely have some food sensitivies that are causing your skin to inflame more that it would normally. Usual culprits are dairy, wheat, sugary foods, alcohol and caffeine. For years I danced around this issue...hey, I eat well and they say foods don't cause acne - right? Wrong...for some people, especially those of us who have adult acne, food sensitivies can be a very central piece of the puzzle. When I cut out dairy (cheese, milk, all of it), wheat (bread, pasta, etc.), sugary foods (anything that tastes sweet and is manufactured), alcohol (that was the hardest --- hey can't I have a glass of wine? No - it causes the skin to inflame), and caffeine (same reason as alcohol).

Treat your skin as gently as you can. Use a very gentle non-soap cleanser...one for sensitive skin. Do not use soap. Wash it by hardly swirling the cleanser on your skin. Rinse really well. Pat dry - do not rub. Wait for 20 minutes before applying any topicals.

Do not rub the skin, or pick or squeeze the cysts. Try everything in your power to keep your skin from getting inflamed. Harder said than done. If you absolutely must pick a cyst, then use a sterilized pin to prick open the whitehead and then let it drain without pressure. Apply a warm wash cloth and hold against the cyst for several minutes. Then leave it alone.

Take tylenol or ibprofen to reduce inflammation and pain.

Do things that reduce stress. I do yoga, meditation, get massages, talk openly with my husband about it, go to a counselor if I'm really stressed, walk in nature, etc. Read self-help books about overcoming worries and anxieties. They have lots of good ideas!

Cystic acne sucks. It looks so awful but it can be controlled. Trust me on this. But again, unlike some other kinds of acne you must seek the help of a dermatologist so that you can avoid scarring and serious infection.

Keep in touch with how it goes.

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