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Okay, I've been lurking around here for a long time now, but have never posted. I'm just at my wit's end here and wanna bawl when I look in the mirror most days.

I'm 35 years old and for the past few years, I've gotten cystic acne spots. Normally a couple a year, which might not seem like a big deal, but they would get HUGE and sore and take weeks or even months to go away. But they always have. Until now.

Back in December I started getting one and figured it would be like usual, might take a little while, but it would eventually clear up. Well, it's April now and the right side of my face looks like a war zone. Most days I don't even want to leave the house, not to take my son to and from the bus stop, not for anything. Of course I do, but it causes me to be extremely anti-social because I'm so self-conscious, especially outside in the light. I try not to let people see the right side of my face, I turn away while talking, and generally act like a weirdo. :confused:

Over the years I've been prescribed different antibiotics which would help at first, but then would leave me with side effects that would make me quit. I've started and stopped doxycycline so many times that I've lost count, and I think that because of that it's not working anymore. I truly don't want to go back to the derm right now because we don't have insurance right now, but I'm about to lose it with this crap.

As soon as this spot (well, started as a spot, now it's slowly taking over the whole side of my face) starts to clear up the least bit it breaks out again. And now I can see that I have a ton of red/purple discoloration on the spots that are clearing up. It looks awful, even with makeup. Since December I've tried ACV, peroxide, tea tree oil, lavender oil, turmeric, you name it. Now I'm taking the doxy again and not really sure where to go from here. Other than crazy, that is.

I want to attach a pic that I just took, but I don't know if I can. Just looking for any advice that could help. Thanks for listening to my whining, if anyone actually did get this far. ;)

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i totally relate to everything you said. have you tried sulfur products? sulfur and a low dairy diet cleared me up. best of luck to you!

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Hi Nellie. I'm a 31... going on 32 year old man and I'm amazed by how similar my acne problems are to what you're describing. It's something that I've lived with since about jr high. I've got my scars. My acne has been moderate, even mild for about four or five years. And then out of no where, I have have deep red spots on my back and shoulders and pimples around my mouth. I'm on Acutane again, but they took me off of it for two weeks because I had very high Triglyceride levels. Even before I stopped it I had some deep cysts on my back and neck that are worse now. I would suggest looking into Acutane. However I'm guessing that you know about it and without health insurance it is very, very expensive. Every tax paying American should have basic health care. Acutane is also a pretty heavy duty drug and can do more harm than good for a minority of people.

Anyways, I'm starting to feel real bad about my image as well. I feel unattractive, and basically have a fear of rejection that keeps me from meeting anyone. I truly do know how you feel.

One thing I'm really working on is simply living with my acne. Acceptance - a tough word when you feel as though it should just finally go away for good. I'm definitely not there yet and I'm still going to fight to treat it of course. I may try modifying my diet with advice from a dermatologist and/or nutritionist. I think that everyone's body is different, so there is no "end all be all" for acne treatment.

I recently found this site as well. Simply by sharing our suffering we can feel happier. You are not alone, hang in there. Remember to smile at the good things... they're everywhere.

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Any chance of going on Accutane?

Well, I kinda don't wanna go that route yet, just because it's not my whole face, ya know? And from some of the stuff I've read about it, I just don't think it would be worth it at this point for me.

i totally relate to everything you said. have you tried sulfur products? sulfur and a low dairy diet cleared me up. best of luck to you!

The only sulfur product I've tried is the Proactiv mask, which didn't really help all that much. I've also recently (8 weeks ago yesterday) become vegan, so have eliminated all animal products and dairy.

Matt, I agree about the insurance. It's ridiculous. It's offered to my husband through his job, but it's insanely expensive so we just pay everything out of pocket right now.

I'm getting so tired of scouring the internet, looking for new cures. I just want to wave a magic wand over my face and have it be clear. ;) My husband says I'm trying way too much stuff and am making it worse. Who knows?!!

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