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Lumpy D

Axious, Fed up and Depressed with it all

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Oh boy. So fed up of this. 37 and still I get lumps, bumps, spots and leftover marks. Used to just be my face but now my back too! Had a couple of large nodules / cysts start up just before New Year. Still got the buggers now. One on my chin and one side of my nose. Nice huh! Albeit smaller than they were it is still ebarrasing and you just can't cover them! Trying yet more new products and am already taking medication from the doctor although he doesn't seem to see my problem as very serious... Easy for him to say. It is really getting me down. I feel rubbish, useless and worthless. I know looks aren't everything; a few pimples I could handle but not large lumps that nothing can be done with. I had one of those start Oct 09 and it lasted till about Feb 10. From it I have a nice icepick mark that is reddish / brown that will no doubt be there forever more and I am petrified the same things happens with the two I have now. I've tried to see a reputable dermatologist but apparently in the UK you can't go to one unless you get referred by your doctor, which he won't do. I'm 37 and I don't know anybody else like this. Help? Any advice would be much appreciated. I just can't keep looking in the mirror thinking, shit, I can see the start of another spot coming up. How long is long enough to keep this up. I've been on medication now for over four years. First diannte, then oxytetracycline and now and for over the past year, erythromycin. I've tried numerous different cleansers / soaps / scrubs / moisturisers / spot treatments. Goodness only knows how much money I've spent. I thought things were getting a bit better with the new moisturiser I've been uing but hey ho. That didn't last. Few new ones beginning to protrude through on my chin. Anybody else feel a bit let down by their doc and at their wits end? I don't think they realise just how down I am. My poor hubby. Don't know how he puts up with it / me!? Don't want him to touch me or look at me because of it. It's embarrasing. Enough rambling. Sorry folks. :cry:

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Hi there

Sounds kind of similar to my skin history! I am 38 and still getting acne - in my mid 30s it started up with the painful cystic lumps.

My GP referred me to an NHS dermatologist and I started accutane 2 weeks ago. I have been on everything else, but my acne is very persistent (it's not all over my face, but persistent and I started getting bad lumps on my neck and upper back too).

I was quite surprised, but the derm recommended Accutane...I thought they would just fob me off with more antibiotics.

If your GP is not taking it seriously, can you go to a different GP who will refer you to a derm? You could also go private - in my area there is a private hospital who have the same derms as work in the NHS hospital - but the cost would be quite a lot, I think over £100 just for consultation and no idea how much ongoing cost would be.

I think you should see a different GP in your practice, or move to a new practice so you can get a referral for free help on the NHS.

Edited by UKLady

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Hi there UKLady

Thanks for answering my cry for help! LOL

I tried to go to a private hospital nearby and they were the ones who told me I would need a referral by my GP. There are so many outfits out there that aren't genuine. I remember when I was quite a bit younger going somewhere that was going to cost a fortune. I cancelled the next day and got my deposit back, something just didn't feel right. Glad I went with my gut though as I read about them later saying they were frauds and had no experience with skin issues.

Some of them apparently came from B & Q! Not quite what I had in mind.

Any how I just don't know where to go or try next that is part of my problem. I am going back yet again to my GP in a few wks time but worried I am just going to hear the same old, same old. I know my acne isn't extreme as in some cases but I do get on average about 4 nodules per year that take ages to go away and sometimes leave their mark behind! Aswell as that I get quite a lot of pimples and hard lumps on my back and the odd spot on my face.

In all honestly do you think I am being unreasonable? I just think that at the age I am it would be nice not to have to say, oh I can't wear that dress because of my back, or don't hug me my back is sore to my hubby and the biggest issue... my face. You just can't hide that can you. My confidence just goes when things are bad and I haven't got that much in the first place.

Thanks again UKLady. Hope things go well with you x

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Hi

I totally understand how upsetting and painful! those nodules are. If what the doc is giving you isn't helping, then you need to try something else...but not at B&Q LOL!

I'm surprised you need a referral to see a private derm at the hospital, I did look into it briefly last year, but decided to wait for NHS referral so can't really remember.

Is it possible to change to another GP?

I tried to get Spiro (an androgen suppressor) for my hormonal acne but the GPs refused point blank to prescribe it, because it's use for acne is 'off label' and they would be held personally liable if I had some drastic side effect. I asked again when I went to the derm and his view was that UK derms don't really use Spiro, so he couldn't say for sure whethet it would clear me...and also that if it did, it would only work whilst I was taking it, so I would be on it for life. Hence I ended up on Accutane.

Maybe a topical retinoid would help you, I don't know? Cysts are a nightmare to deal with.

I hope that you mange to sort something out and get a more sympathetic doctor!

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Hey again

I just looked up the private hospital up here and it seems that BMI Healthcare is UK wide. They only employ NHS consultants in their hospitals.

There is a phone number you can call to find out if you need GP referral, check out this link

http://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/usebmi

I've read a lot on this board about people going to a derm to have their cysts injected with a hydrocortisone shot, which gets rid of it. If you are only getting 4 really bad cysts a year, maybe that would be an option to manage them? However, I doubt that would be offered on NHS derm, as you can't just get an appointment whenever a cyst pops up but maybe a private derm in the UK would do it (I don't know if that method is widely practiced in UK, or not).

Perhaps a retinoid topical would clear up your other stuff?

Hope you manage to get to see a derm soon.

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I have had a similar experience, and it is SO frustrating. It seems ridiculous to me that doctors don't see the damage something like acne does to a person's mind, and how they live their life. Like you said, it's pretty easy for them to write it off when they're standing there with clear skin. :confused:

Several years ago, in my early 20s, my acne started getting worse. I live in a small town where there is only one derm, so I went to him. He gave me several creams, but my acne still got worse, and when I went back to see him I was really frustrated. He just gave me this smug, condescending look and said, "Look, your case isn't really that bad. You should be glad it's not like some of the people I see. I don't know what to tell you." He went on to tell me that my acne was getting worse and there was nothing more he could do--basically, that I needed to get over it. Some doctor, right?

I just wanted to offer a suggestion--and maybe you've tried this already, but it's worth mentioning at least. What finally cleared me is using a 7.5% BP mixed with moisturizer (I use cetaphil). It took it several months to work, but I am about 98% clear now. I also use a gentle cleanser (Cetaphil again) and a toner (Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner). I would follow this regimen morning and night, applying the BP/moisturizer mixture over my whole face. Whenever a pimple would form, I would spot-treat it with an additional thick layer of the BP/moisturizer combo over the first layer twice a day, and sometimes just the BP, depending on how my skin reacted to it. The good thing about the mixture is that it has totally prevented dryness for me--no flaking or tightness whatsoever, and very little redness. I never had any really large cysts, so I don't know if this would work for you, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Good luck in your doctor search--and best of luck getting clear!

Edited by Smooth Criminal

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Hi Smooth Criminal

Thanks for this. I'll give it a go. I've read a lot about this cetaphil so perhaps worth a try. I started using a new moisturiser a couple of wks ago so i guess it is only fair to use it for a while to see what happens. If this doesn't work then cetaphil next on list.

My doc sounds similar to yours. 'Mild to moderate acne other people are worse!' I'm not saying they aren't and I hope they cope better than I but that doesn't make it any less painful or embarrasing for me.

I'll write up how things go. Like I say I can handle a few spots here and there although I'd rather not have to, but cysts or large nodules - no way. I want this sorted.

Thanks for again for responding and your advice.

Take Care

x

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Hiya

Well would you believe my GP said he was more than happy to refer me to a dermatologist. Surprisingly didn't even have to ask. Happy about this but for some strange reason depressed too.

Have another massive lump come up that is redder than red and as big as a golf ball and extremely painful.

Can't stop bubbling today. Should be happy now I have referral and I am but at the same time for some strange reason it is now an acknowledgement that I do have a skin problem and it is very very real. I think I have been after this so long that I can't believe it is actually happening. I've wanted it since about the age of 17. 20 years later... Just wished I had been sent before now and then perhaps I wouldn't be still having this problem now. It is worrying it has taken so long to agree to send me to a derm.

God, I need to give myself a big kick in the butt. Anybody else feel guilty for feeling the way they do about their skin where there are people with terminal illnesses etc?

:boohoo:

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Happy about this but for some strange reason depressed too.

IMHO (and the opinion of a few researchers), the biological chain of acne includes failure to digest nutrients that are needed to prevent depression, not just prevent acne.

Notice how you don't want to go outside even though it's a "gorgeous" day? This is part of the vicious cycle of acne. The bright light of the sun in the eyes (if you're not wearing hats/sunglasses/etc.) both stimulates digestion (making you more likely to digest the relevant nutrients: tryptophan, Vitamin B, zinc, etc.) and deepens sleep (amplifies the melatonin cycle). Acne, by making people hide indoors, helps exacerbate its own symptoms; melatonin slows cell division, is anti-androgenic, and is directly and indirectly anti-oxidant which makes it able to shut down the inflammatory response to acne right at the trigger point.

So, while you feel you're depressed because you have acne, my view is your depression and acne both arise from the same sources.

However, I'm just a random nut on the Internet. :D

God, I need to give myself a big kick in the butt.

Not shown to be much of a treatment for depression. However, explicitly questioning your extreme self-talk ("I'm a horrible person." "Really? Compared to Hitler? Compared to the local child molestor? So awful no one actually is willing to be in the same room?") can shove you a bit more in the direction of a reasonable self-view instead of an absurdly negative view of yourself (e.g., as someone who needs a "kick"). Give yourself the sympathy you would give someone else in your same situation.

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Glad to hear you got a referral! I spoke with my doctor yesterday about a couple of things and he told me - of his own accord - that he would never consider referring my to a dermatologist.

Not that I wanted that, especially, but there's something about the general dismissive attitude of GP's that bothers me. I guess they have seen it all before and maybe don't have personal experience of it which helps them to be able to relate, but I'm sure they could be more emotionally supportive than they sometimes are.

Still, at least you're on the right track now. I can see why it might leave you feeling a little down. As strange as that may sound, given that you've got what you wanted, but it could be the realisation of what's ahead. There aren't any quick fixes and, as I understand it, dermatologists sometimes have to try several different things before they find what works best for a particular patient.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, you might have bad days ahead of you, as well as good. Ride it out though because each step could bring you closer to having skin you can learn to be happy with. In the mean time, do try and give yourself a break and try not to put so much negative thought into your skin.

With regards to anxiety and depression, perhaps it could be worth considering counselling. It's good to talk these things over. I know I certainly appreciate some of the things I read on these boards, and find it helpful to share my thoughts and feelings too. To have that going on, on a professional level with someone who is there to help you work things out, if you're open to the idea, could be really good for you.

You're in the right place too as far as support is concerned. You may feel alone sometimes. but I bet there are many here who can relate to what you've experienced in the past, and what's ahead of you. This is the right place to be for support and advice - something we all need along the way.

Good luck! :)

Edited by PaulH85

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Hey LumpyD!

So glad you got your referral, that is great (and you won't have to pay £££ going to a private derm).

Know what you mean about it being a bit scary and worrying going to a derm, I really hate going to any doctor/dentist at the best of times, but your skin is so, kind of, personal. But if you're getting cysts that big on a regular basis, then you do really need to have expert help. How long will you have to wait to see the derm?

I feel like a right pain in the backside with my sebaceous cyst asking for emergency appointments at the GP and stuff but honestly, my GP's surgery has got ridiculously difficult to get a normal appointment (you have to wait over a week to see any doctor!) that I don't care any more, they're being paid by my taxes and national insurance so we have every right to get healthcare as much as anyone else.

Databased -I love your posts! I think there is a lot of truth in what you say and as an aside when I was on a plane to Helsinki a month ago I swear it was incredible the amount of middle aged men on the plane who had severe acne scarring, I mean you don't generally see that many people all in one place with bad acne scars. Do you think it could be the lack of sunlight and long winters? Aren't Scandinavians famous for those really depressing plays by Ibsen too??

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You lucky UK people with your NHS. :P

Here in the states we often have to pay through the nose no matter what. So you can be thankful for the NHS at least.

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You lucky UK people with your NHS. :P

Here in the states we often have to pay through the nose no matter what. So you can be thankful for the NHS at least.

Yah, I know! But the thing is - we pay between 27% and 40% of our income in tax (depending on income thresh-hold) PLUS compulsory 'National Insurance' contributions of about 10%. Every month. So I'm thinking that taking out private health insurance would be a lot cheaper than that!

We also have to wait ages to get to see an ordinary doctor and months to see a specialist (and if you have cancer, you can't really afford to wait months).

So whilst it's great that the service is 'free' at the point of receiving healthcare, it doesn't run terribly very efficiently and also, doctors tend to want to fob you off and get rid of you, because they have budgets to stick to.

Anyway, sorry for hijacking your thread Lumpy, but the NHS is not all it's cracked up to be!

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Thanks all. Picked myself up a bit for now. Made myself go to work today and prrobbly the initial going in was the worst bit. Made myself go and speak to people and look them in the eye instead of hiding in my office all day and covering my face with my hair. Yes, there was still a bit of that but not as much as in the past. I'm sure that my level of confidence will fluctuate again but all I can say is today wasn't as bad as expected so that is a positive. Still think some people found it hrd not to talk to the bump though!

Thanks for the nudge.

Take Care. ;)

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Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better and got into work OK. Did your doc give you anything for the lumps in the meantime?

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Hi there

Well today was my first visit to the dermatologist.

He said that this type of acne is very rare? He also said that it'd be unlikely any medication would work with it and said the best option would be a treatment of steroid injection, which I got. Bloody sore. He gave me an injection for anasthetic but nowt happened and I am yet to feel that! Anyhow, the colour seems to have died down a bit but not sure I see any movement in size yet. He did say it could take a few days. I've to go back in two wks to see how I got on with the injection and if it made a difference.

Got mixed messages about continuing with the oxytetracycline. He said the rest of my face was fine and since the tablets wouldn't help this type of acne that it was up to me if I continued with them. Scared to come off them though so I think I'll leave that for the moment. One step at a time!! I am trying to be optimistic.

To be continued... ;)

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Hi there

Well today was my first visit to the dermatologist.

He said that this type of acne is very rare? He also said that it'd be unlikely any medication would work with it and said the best option would be a treatment of steroid injection, which I got. Bloody sore. He gave me an injection for anasthetic but nowt happened and I am yet to feel that! Anyhow, the colour seems to have died down a bit but not sure I see any movement in size yet. He did say it could take a few days. I've to go back in two wks to see how I got on with the injection and if it made a difference.

Got mixed messages about continuing with the oxytetracycline. He said the rest of my face was fine and since the tablets wouldn't help this type of acne that it was up to me if I continued with them. Scared to come off them though so I think I'll leave that for the moment. One step at a time!! I am trying to be optimistic.

To be continued... ;)

Wow that was amazing that you got your derm appt so quickly!

Good to hear that the NHS derm is willing to treat your cysts with steroid injections...hopefully if you only get a few a year, then that will keep things under control.

I hope your lump responds well and dies down soon.

Edited by UKLady

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Hey there UK Lady

It would have been amazing you're right. It was a two month waiting list for NHS so I went private. Luckily I have private medical through work which I forgot about. As long as I'm referred by my gp I'm covered.

Lump is down a little. Other people noticed more than me oddly enough but perhaps that is because I can still feel what is underneath where as they can only see. Or perhaps I expected too much, after all I only got it done yesterday and I must admit the first thing I did when I woke up was feel to see if it was gone! Yeah, I know, gone was going a bi too far. Anyhow, I guess I'll know better in a couple of days. He did say at least two-three days. My fingers are crossed.

How are you doing? Hopefully no more lumps or bumps?

Lets hope things pick up for us both now and all the others in the same vote.

Take Care

Will keep you posted.

Lumpy x

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Hey, how's it going now? Did the cyst go down yet?

I've still got big bandage on my ear from the sebaceous cyst abscess, but no more big lumps, just had a few small whiteheads this week, I hope this accutane is beginning to work.

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Hi again

Good to hear from you. Glad to hear you have no more bumps on route. How long are you going to need to wear your bandage? Are you still in pain or has that eased completely now?

My lump is gone and amazingly flat. I honestly can't believe it. It started to die down within a day or so but I still felt it under the skin but now I can't. I am just amazed and excited that something can work that quick. I still have a kind of red / brownish mark but who cares. No pain and no unsightly big red golf ball. I'll just have to hope that I get no more than three per year or that rules out my injections. Hopefully I won't have any more and that would be even better but I think that is unlikely.

Can't believe all this time I've been going through all that crap with the doctor and trying different medications and the doc saying it was mild acne when the dermatologist said it is rare and no antibiotics or lotions would work on something so deep routed as this type of acne. He could be wrong of course but you'd think he would know best. Glad I've been seen just wish it hadn't taken so long.

Let me know how you get on. Why can't we all have amazingly clear skin, or at least manageable!? Let's keep hoping.

Take Care

Lumpy x

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Wow, I'm so glad your lump has gone down, that's amazing!

Ear all better now thanks - bandage off and not too much scarring (well, there is, but it's on the back of my earlobe and you'd need to examine it closely to find it LOL).

Otherwise the accutane is going good...I'm going to update my log.

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