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I'm new here - looking for feedback on derm's advice

Hi everyone! I have been reading these boards for ages, but this is my first time joining and posting :)

I''ve had acne since I was 13, and I'm 29 now, so that's way too long :(

for the past 5-6 years it was pretty mild, things had definitely calmed down, and I generally had small breakouts, generally around my period. I always did though, have a layer of small pimples all over my forehead, really visible in light.

HOWEVER, the past 2-3 months my face has turned on me. I am, suddenly, out of no where, getting huge, very red, and very very inflamed breakout clusters, mainly on my cheeks/chin. These will come in groups of 5-6 and be very painful and sore for days. I never had acne like this before, and I'm really upset about it. It's been hard to deal with, since I really thought as I got older things would get slowly better, until I'd eventually have clear skin. Emotionally I feel like I'm in 8th grade again with these breakouts :(

for background info - I used proactiv for years with some success, then switched to clinique acne solutions about a year ago, again with some success. I have been on tri-cyclen birth control for ages.

Today I went to the Toronto Acne Clinic, to see if they could offer me some advice/help. I got a really great feeling from the dr there, and I'm hopeful she can help me clear things up.

I'm looking for some feedback on what she told me, and adviced me to use. It's been years since I was at a derm, and I'm out of date on the products and theories.

She suggested that since my breakouts are mainly on my chin, they're hormonally-related, and will come with stress and my period.

What she wants me to do:

-switch to Diane birth control pills

-start washing with Sepctro Gel

-moisturize with spectro moisturizer

-use benzamycin every 2nd night

-after 2 weeks, introduce Neostrata 8% glycolic solution, to be used the other night

I'm going back in 4 weeks

I'm going to try all of this, but was wondering what you all thought. Also - wondering if anyone else here is having the same experience as I am - acne returning as an adult, in a whole new awful way :(

my pimples were never this painful as a teen, and never this red!!

This just seems to unfair :( but I'm sure you can all relate.

Anyways, thanks for all your help!

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Have you thought of your diet?

Have you started eating something different or increased the amount of something that you eat?

I'm 26 and recently cut out dairy and had a great result from that because that meant cutting out coffee as well. I recently started drinking coffee again with soy milk and have begun breaking out again on my chin (where hormonal acne appears) so I am going to cut out coffee completely as well as the dairy to see if that calms things down again.

Try to think back and see if food is affecting you.

Also increase your intake of zinc and cod liver oil supplements.

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I've been trying to figure out if diet is the cause!

I really haven't changed anything at all.

I have had the same amount of coffee/dairy pretty consistently for years! I really don't consume much of either. Thanks for the suggestion though, it's something I've been thinking over.

I did try going dairy free for 2 months, but I didn't see any change :(

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Diane 35 isn't actually approved as a birth control medication in Canada. It's approved for acne, and in the US it's approved for birth control. You might want to ask your doctor about that before you rely on it as a birth control method.

It's also associated with a higher risk of liver cancer and blood clots that other forms of birth control.


I'm not saying you shouldn't go on it. I have newly acquired adult acne, and I know I'd try just about anything. I just think you should be informed before you say yes.

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oh - thanks for letting me know that!

I have been on tricyclen for years, with no side effects at all, so I have a feeling my dr. will be hesitant to change it. I just told my derm I'd talk to my dr. about it, as I have my yearly appointment soon anyway. I have heard bad things about Diane also, but I read about it online, and saw that in the past few years Canadian gynecological boards have seemed to deicde it has the same risks as other pills.

I'm really not sure - it's so tempting if it will make a difference!!

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The Toronto Acne Clinic is a very reputable. Even dermatologists from other specialties recommend them. Her advice sounds good to me. Your acne sounds a lot like mine, except that mine has finally calmed down.

The meds she prescribed to you are almost exactly what I've been using. I've been using Diane-35 with no problems, and I've been using it as a birth control method. No problems there. I also used Tri-Cyclen for 2 years from 2003-2004. Acne-wise it was the same as Diane, but it gave me hot flashes. So... I like Diane much better. I use Cetaphil instead of Spectro products as a face wash. I find the Spectro products are too strong for my sensitive skin.

Also... I recently changed my makeup products, and it has GREATLY improved my breakouts (which do occur around my period). I'm not using BareMinerals (you can buy it at Sephora). You have to buy the MATTE formula, NOT the original. Apparently people have complained that the original breaks them out.

Good luck!!!

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Hi florious, same here I am 34 now and been cleared for how many years from acne and now I get breakouts around my chin and its real real bad, I went to see my dermatologist 3 weeks ago she gave me bactrim and it works really good after taking it for 2 days I see some improvements but I was allergic to it so I need to stop it and she gave me ampicillin and wash my face with benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin topical lotion 1% but now I still breakout more and my chin looks real bad while in this medication I dont have any idea why it gets too bad and nevr had an acne like this before. Do you think it will get worse first before it gets better?

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women need to stop buying into the whole hormonal only theory of their acne. derms even as early as 1939 have made the diet-hormone connection. read through this


For some of us who HAVE hormonal acne, birth control is the only thing that helps. People need to stop buying into the whole diet helped me thus it will help everyone theory. For me personally, altering my diet didn't help my acne. Not that it isn't important to be healthier...

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Diane will definately clear your hormonal acne, it tok abot 3 months for me to see the difference. However, it really messed with my head, I became really depressed on it and my libido totally disapeared. By all means try it, it was the only thing to clear my skin totally. I am also a big fan of Glycolic acid. Good luck!

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