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searchingforhelp

Please help me (adult acne)

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Hi,

Five months ago, I had completely clear skin. Then I started to break out. I am 23 years old, and I never had anything more than the occasional pimple. My face got all red and started breaking out. It is very sore/burning, it itches, it's swollen, it's dry, and it's very uncomfortable and unsightly. I've tried everything--changed shampoo, detergent, started drinking 4 liters of water a day, changed face wash, makeup, etc... I'm assuming it's acne, but since I've never had an acne problem, I thought maybe it is rosacea. I have an appointment with a doctor in a month to look at it, so I'm not looking for a diagnosis. But I've heard that the treatment for acne can actually make rosacea worse, so I want to know whether I should stop my acne treatment regimen. I've attached a photograph of the most harshly affected area. Does anyone know if this looks more like rosacea or acne? Also, whether it's acne or rosacea, does anyone know natural remedies that will make it hurt less/be less unsightly?post-139756-1287802185_thumb.png

Thanks for any responses.

post-139756-1287802185_thumb.png

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it seems like youre making it worse by irritating your skin. i would try not doing anything to your face for a week or two. it may get worse before it gets better but your face needs a break. i would just use a GENTLE facial cleanser and a moisturizer. i suggest dan's cleanser and moisturizer. the cleanser may be a bit too dryer as i have tried and heard but the moisturizer is money.

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Well i would say it definetly looks like acne just judging from the picture... but it seems strange you could go from being totally clear to that in only 5 months... but i would def agree that Gentle is key and i reccomend cetaphil wash and mosturizer untill you can go to the Dr.

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Thanks for the responses. Initially (about 4 and a half months ago) I used very abrasive acne wash. I realized it was too irritating, so I changed to cream face wash meant for sensitive skin. I try to moisturize, but all of the "oil free" moisturizers burn my skin a lot. I've found that lavender oil helps sooth things, but it doesn't stop the breakouts.

I work in a professional environment, I'm the youngest person in my office, and I've had people make comments that I look like I'm still a teenager with my face this way. For that reason, I don't want to go completely makeup-free, but I've changed to a foundation made for people with acne (that doesn't cover things nearly as well as the stuff that's bad for you). I'm new to this forum, can you give me a link to "dan's cleanser and moisturizer"?

Thanks for the help again.

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Look into the LOW GI, Low fat, low carb diet strategies. They do help.

Perhaps you could answer this for me? Did you start (by any chance) consuming caffeine around the point you began to break out? I am wondering if that is what might be inhibiting my own progress, because of the androgen / stress stimulating effects...

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Hi there.

First of all, good job going to see your dermatologist. You will get a wide range of advice on this website and most of it (in my opinion) is crap.

<Below is where I say my opinion, which is probably also crap.>

I am going to make the assumption that what you have is indeed acne and not rosacea. I have had acne for around 4 years, and although it has probably never been as inflamed as your skin is currently, I have a decent idea of what works and what doesn't.

1) I tried a 'water only washing', holistic approach with healthy food, exercise, fresh air, vitamins, etc., and it didn't work very well. I came to the conclusion - the same conclusion most people on this board come to - that my regimen was not enough.

2) Accutane works. Period. You will always have fringe users (the vocal minority on websites such as acne.org) who criticize accutane and point to its harsher side effects, but the fact of the matter is that for 95% of users the only side effects are dry skin and lips and some redness. I have had several friends who have taken accutane (having worse acne than mine, of the cystic variety) who have completely cleared up. Consider this option when you go to the dermatologist: remember that you MUST say that your acne is DETRIMENTAL to your mental health, or they might not prescribe it out of fear of the (overhyped) suicide correlation.

3) The best system I have used has been Dan's regimen. However, this must be followed very closely and requires a fairly large time (1 hour per day minimum) and money commitment. Overall I would recommend using a gentle cleanser twice a day, a liberal amount of BP 2.5%, and a good moisturizer (everyone likes a different one), as well as 6 months minimum to try it.

Again, my advice should be taken with a grain of salt; I don't have as bad acne as you appear to have, and I am a sample size of 1. However, I think that either accutane or Dan's regimen is your best choice.

Cheers!

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@ Buggle... The really strange thing is I thought caffeine consumption was making me have acne, so I quit, and it got much, much worse. Before my acne flared up, I didn't exercise at all. I've started exercising twice or three times a week (being careful to wash my face immediately after). I have heard that caffeine can be very bad for acne though, so I'd suggest going without it and seeing if that helps you. I think my acne is mainly due to stress. It started when I graduated from college, moved away from home, started my first full time job and had my relationship with my boyfriend turn into long-distance. Overall, a lot of stress added to my life all at once, and I think my skin is protesting. Unfortunately, none of these stressors are things I can change... at least not right now.

@ Sprintz... Thanks for the input. I have a friend who had great results with accutane, but I have also heard a lot bad things. Since I haven't tried any oral medications, I think I'm going to try the traditional ones first (especially since they're cheaper, from what I understand). Is Dan's regimen really that good? I feel like since this site is run by him, the people who are on this site might be biased toward that as something that works. I feel like my acne is bad enough at this point (and I've tried many, many things) that topical things probably aren't going to work for me. But after I talk to my doctor, I'll see what he thinks about it.

Side note to everyone, three days ago I started drinking 1 tbs. of apple cider vinegar with each meal. I have noticed a difference in my skin tone. It is less oily, and the breakouts I have don't hurt as much (they were much more sensitive). Since I'm doing so many other things at the moment (new face wash, new moisturizer, new diet), I can't attribute it directly to the ACV, but I'm pleased with the improvement. As you can see from the photo, I have so much acne, that it's kind of hard to tell if there's improvement because it still looks pretty bad. But it's a cheap, natural thing, and if I keep improving like I have been, I will be very happy (though probably will go to my doctor still and get some acne meds). As with everything on this site, this might not work for everyone.

Also, has anyone out there been unsatisfied with Dan's regimen and asked for money back for it (after the trial period)? I've heard people have tried to do that with Proactiv (one of their big selling points is you can return the bottles even if they are empty and get money back) and it was a huge pain. If anyone has returned Dan's regimen without a hassle, I'd be much more likely to try it.

Edited by searchingforhelp

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post-139756-1287992926_thumb.pngOh yeah, if anyone is interested in my improvement (in three days), here is an updated picture of the worst side of my face. Yes, still looks like a war zone, but I think it's getting better... At least it's a lot less raw and sore. I'm not sure if it's the ACV or not, but I'm kind of thinking it is...

post-139756-1287992926_thumb.png

Edited by searchingforhelp

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Guest beccaboo00

get mario badescu products they are amazing. my skin wasnt as bad as your but i had the huge painful ones everywhere and mario badescus buffering lotion killed off all the nasty stuff in 2 nights and the drying cream cleared some of my small ones in a few days.

This stuff is much better than anything ive ever tried.

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First off, your skin looks much better between the two pictures; seems the inflammation has really gone down. Are you being more gentle with your regimen? This is often a cause. If it all goes away quickly ignore the following remarks.

Most people come to acne.org through searching for 'fixing acne', 'acne', or something similar on Google. The reason they stay is primarily the message boards. Thus, there isn't a huge tie between users and Dan's regimen itself, although many users (probably around 15%) use Dan's regimen. His regimen isn't vastly different from most other regimen's except that he advises the use of a larger quantity of 2.5% BP. That's really the only major difference between DKR and ProActiv and so on.

Obviously you can't really trust me, but I have no affiliation to Dan or care much about his success, and yet I do endorse his regimen to my friends as a proven system for most mild to moderate acne. For cystic, I would recommend accutane to prevent scarring. You don't have cystic acne, so the regimen would probably work. However, as stated earlier, it requires a time and money commitment. Hopefully whatever this was clears up and you won't have to worry about it!

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I haven't really changed anything about my skincare, but I have been regularly taking the apple cider vinegar. I don't know how to describe it other than to say that it's drying up the oiliness of my skin from the inside out. Before, my skin was very dry, but in an unhealthy and painful way. I can tell a huge difference (thought it definitely isn't gone). I've started taking photos of my face every night after I wash off my makeup so I can tell if there is improvement and if things I eat or things I put on my face have an effect.

What is the difference between cystic acne and what I have? Is there a specific name for what I have?

I think I'm going to wait and see what my doctor says and go from there.

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Things seem to be getting better still. I've been continuing the ACV. It's disgusting, but if it's the reason my skin seems to be improving then it's totally worth it. Here's an updated pic.post-139756-1288238577_thumb.png

post-139756-1288238577_thumb.png

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welcome to having cystic acne the worst possible kind....topical antibiotic with benzyle peroxide and retin-a micro worked for me in the past(trying em again now)-good luck! u r not alone!

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Guest i luv elizabeth taylor

I would very strongly recommend researching on this site, and others, what various foods have been the cause of outbreaks. I know that soy can reek havoc on a lot of women, but there are numerous other foods that can be just as harmful. One of my favorite posts on here explained how acne, especially cystic, is the way your body is telling you something is wrong internally. The idea that food and acne aren't related is now a myth. The evidence lies within all the personal studies that people have done and shared on websites such as this one. Granted what may effect one person might not have the same effect on another, so it's very individual. But again, i would take a look at your diet and research what could potentially be causing this. Best of luck to you!

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Thanks for the tip about soy products. Since I'm lactose intolerant, I drink soy milk when I have cereal, so that might be something...

Went to the doctor today, and he prescribed minocycline and tretinoin. I'm really hoping these can kick my acne in the butt so I can have clear skin again (like I did just five months ago!).

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Guest i luv elizabeth taylor

The only other thing i will say is in regards to antibiotics. They will only help while you are taking them, and since you can't take them for the rest of your life, it will only be a temporary fix. I know that seems very appealing right now, and i can't blame you because i know how detrimental acne can be, but you won't have figured out what the cause of your acne is. I was reading an account of someone's minocycline experience on here and it was pretty heart breaking. While on it they were totally clear, i think it was around two years (could have been one, not really sure). But after he had to stop taking it the acne came back and it was even more severe than it was before taking the antibiotic. There are many other stories like this one on this site and on the web, and it is painful to read them. If you are only looking for an oasis from the acne, then antibiotics can help. But if you are trying to find your own personal cure, i would advise against taking them. I think it would be a horrible feeling to go from having acne to no acne, only to have it come back even worse. I think you should continue studying the effect soy milk may have been having, as well as other foods, before you resort to something like antibiotics. There are also many natural hormone regulaters such as evening primrose oil, green tea (decaf), and plenty of others i can't think of right now, but there is also loads of info on these. I wish you the best of luck in this, and it goes without saying it is completely up to you concerning the antibiotics.

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The only other thing i will say is in regards to antibiotics. They will only help while you are taking them, and since you can't take them for the rest of your life, it will only be a temporary fix. I know that seems very appealing right now, and i can't blame you because i know how detrimental acne can be, but you won't have figured out what the cause of your acne is. I was reading an account of someone's minocycline experience on here and it was pretty heart breaking. While on it they were totally clear, i think it was around two years (could have been one, not really sure). But after he had to stop taking it the acne came back and it was even more severe than it was before taking the antibiotic. There are many other stories like this one on this site and on the web, and it is painful to read them. If you are only looking for an oasis from the acne, then antibiotics can help. But if you are trying to find your own personal cure, i would advise against taking them. I think it would be a horrible feeling to go from having acne to no acne, only to have it come back even worse. I think you should continue studying the effect soy milk may have been having, as well as other foods, before you resort to something like antibiotics. There are also many natural hormone regulaters such as evening primrose oil, green tea (decaf), and plenty of others i can't think of right now, but there is also loads of info on these. I wish you the best of luck in this, and it goes without saying it is completely up to you concerning the antibiotics.

i totally agree with the above...i refuse to take oral ABs and i am only using topical form for a few months to allow the acne to get under control and then start up with Dans BP and the retin-a at night; evening primrose oil amongst other supplementation are awesome for adult acne-and i take a whole gamete of vitamins/supplements now & no more caffeine, trying hard to break my sugar addiction as well; i am also going to an endocrinologist for a thorough checkup on my hormones

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I may be wrong, but sudden outbreaks on the jawline/chin/cheeks are usually considered hormonal acne. It's possible that your hormones may have been altered and this is the result. This can happen at anytime in anyones life. If nothing else works for you, many see amazing results from birth control, myself included.

If you are already on a birth control, you may want to ask about switching as well.

Just a suggestion. Hope everything works out!

Edited by BeadyB

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hi.. i completely understand what you are going through. i went from having absolutely clear skin at when i first started work (im 24) and working in a professional environment as well to a horrid horrid cystic breakout over christmas (when i was under enormous stress and working very long hours, not eating well). i also noticed my skin getting progressively worse ever since i left home to study and work overseas.

the last time i had a back break out was my last year of uni and im just so devastated im breaking out again just when i got over all the red scars! im currently taking a month of work and have gone back to my home country and have just started accutane to get rid of my cystic acne (hopefully once and for all!). also good on u for taking the natural way but be mindful that if the underlying problem is not addressed (hormonal imbalance/stress/bad diet etc), the acne will come back even after clearing like me! :((

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Thanks everyone for the support and ideas. I finally broke down and went to a dermatologist (not just a regular md like before) even though my insurance doesn't cover it, and it was the best thing. She was really understanding of my insurance situation and gave me tons of free samples and rebate cards so I didn't have to pay much for my prescriptions. She put me on Doryx for a few months and also birth control. She also gave me Epiduo cream that I apply every night. I am not acne free, but I'm getting there, and I'm so happy. I just wish I would've gone to her sooner so I would have less scarring. I'm not taking the Doryx anymore, and it seems that the birth control (generic form of Yaz) and the cream are keeping the acne at bay. And I'm not having any side effects with the birth control, which is something I was scared of. My advice to people suffering with acne: Go to a dermatologist. It may be expensive, but when you compare the results to home remedies or special face washes and creams, there is no comparison.

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I only saw this thread for the first time today, but I'm glad you're doing much better. If you have scarring (red or brown marks) from your break-out, I'd recommend AHA lotion and possibly some over-the-counter lactic acid peels. I hope your derm's meds heal you completely!

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