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First Post! 25/yr Female Dealing With Sudden Acne

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Hi everyone, This is my first post on the message boards, although I've been reading for the past couple of months. Alot of your stories are inspriational, and I enjoy the posts alot.

I just turned 25 and have been dealing with persistent breakouts the past 7 months, ever since my dad passed away. He was sick with cancer for a year and we saw him through right to the end. I am just starting to pick up the pieces and feel better, but my skin is a mess. I am attributing it to stress? Not sure...

I used to have nearly perfect skin due to a 6 month Accutane course when I was 15/16--literally I would get compliments and never wear makeup out it was just clear! I would get the seldom pimple, but it would go away quickly and I could hide it well with concealer. However, since my Dad's passing my skin seemed to have completely changed. I have small bumps that I never had before on my forehead and I get large whiteheads and pustules that sometimes hurt around my mouth/nose area and are hard to conceal. I have tried every OTC medicine and switched BC pills to one that combats acne, to no avail. I finally went to see a derm in my new neighborhood, but he told me I had rosacea, which I DO NOT have, and gave me an Rx for Doxycycline and Finacea.

It seemed to clear for a week or so, just in time for a friend's wedding (thank god!) but now it's back and worse than it was before. I've been on this regimen for about 2 months and its not working. I know that when I took Accutane, I had fabulous results and minimal side-effects except dry skin and chapped lips. My acne is not nearly as bad as it was back in 2002, but nothing has worked and its really bothering me socially and self-confidence wise. I don't need the extra stress of acne in addition to everything else.

I am going to see a new derm next week and I am thinking of asking to be put on a 2nd course of low-dose of Accutane. She's young and seems to have been reviewed well, so I am wondering if anyone has any experience with asking for a second course of Accutane for mild, persistent adult-acne? I really don't want to try more antibiotics, and anything topical won't be strong enough.

I have done a bunch of medical research and found numerous studies advocating and proving the efficacy of low-dose Accutane for mild-moderate adult acne.

Can anyone give me any advice? Anyone in the same boat as me? I would love to start the new year off with clear skin :)

Edited by lja08
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My condolences to you and your family.

Stress is one of the main causes of acne... I realize I always breakout when I'm under alot of stress. I think going on another course of low-dose accutane would be a good idea, since it worked so well for you the first time. Your case is mild-moderate acne so Accutane will work it's magic surprised.gif

I just got prescribed accutane 2 weeks ago, I gotta say it's much better than all the other products I've tried in the past.

I hope it works out for you! Good luck! rolleyes.gif

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Firstly Im sorry to hear about your loss.

I am also a 24 year old female and i sufffer from mild/moderate acne. i tend to get large pimples which take along time to go away and are impossible to cover on my cheeks!! I tried everything before finding this website and the reguimen. everyone here has been majorly helpful and Im not sure how i would have gone through this journey without the advice i have been given in the past.

I hope all goes well with the derm and you get your skin back to clear again ASAP!

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thank you for your kind words. stress is literally toxic...skin, sleep, social life. i think the biggest challenge is finding ways to relieve stress!!! i have yet to figure this out...

i really understand what an emotional toll adult acne takes on you...worrying that people are looking at your skin instead of focusing on you SUCKS! i hate sitting in meetings at work and feeling gross compared to my coworkers.

MultiColours--how is your accutane course going? are you starting to see good results quickly??

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Hi lja08,

I am so sorry about your loss.

I'm sure that the stress has definitely affected it. I find that my skin always gets much worse at times that I'm emotionally drained or stressed/burnt out. It's like some kind of really cruel but well-intentioned reminder to take some time for myself. I'd say, in addition to whatever course of acne treatment you choose, make sure to be really kind to yourself and give yourself a break wherever possible.

I've never taken or done much research about Accutane, but it seems quite popular on these boards. Is a second round common? If it worked really well for you in the past and a second course is relatively low risk, I think it's definitely worth asking your derm about.

Even though I'm generally pretty risk-averse when it comes to medications, I think many of us know the emotional impact of adult acne. Life is full of enough challenges as it is, so eliminating the social anxiety around acne seems like an easy way to improve quality of life.

Hang in there and best of luck with it!

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I am sorry for your loss. I am sorry for the suffering of your loss and your acne. I know exactly what it feels like.

I'm 29, female - also had a sudden onset of acne. It happened in July - about month after losing both my Grandma and my Uncle. I suppose it's impossible to know if the acne would have come about without the loss - but time heals ... broken hearts ... skin ... and 3 months later I'm pretty much just left with scars on all accounts.

It's been about 3 weeks since I was prescribed sulfur wash, differin at night, and aczone in the morning (I specifically went to a female doctor who specializes in female skin) - and every day my skin gets better. I saw a huge difference after a week. The differin keeps bringing about new zits because of the nature of the medicine - but the aczone keeps them calm and they go away in a few days if I don't pick at them. I recommend all of those products.

BTW - I was also told I have rosacea and thus prescribed the sulfur wash. I had done plenty of research on acne and rosacea and didn't believe I had it ... however - I noticed an immediate improvement in the feeling and tone of my skin after one wash. Less redness - less inflammation. It's expensive if you don't have prescription insurance (I paid $75 - you can get it for around $50 if you look hard) - but totally, totally worth it.

GOOD LUCK and well wishes :)

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had perfect skin as a teen but once I turned 20, BOOM. Docs and Derms were no help, but I figured out that the problem all started when something changed in my tap water. They replaced the chlorine with chloramine (combination of chlorine and ammonia) which irritated the heck out of my sensitive skin. The problem went misdiagnosed as acne for years before I figured out it was Folliculitis, a overgrowth of yeast in the skin which has symptoms very similar to acne . My suspicion is that the chloramine dried out my skin so bad that it had to work overtime to self moisturize by increasing sebum production, thus allowing the yeast overgrowth. Washing my face with bottled water helps, but if the problem is advanced, you need to try anti-fungal topicals or oral medications (ask a derm) ZNP soap bar and tea tree oils should work if it is a fungal problem.

good luck :)

For tips got to a thread titled"Pityrosporum Folliculitis"

There are a lot of people on there with similar symptoms that appear to be acne that arise suddenly out of nowhere.

Hope this helps anyone that is suffering needlessly.

Chin up guys :)

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thanks for everyone's condolences. i too am so sorry for anyone's losses--losing irreplaceable people is the hardest thing in this world.

so, i talked to my mom and sister about how my skin issues are affecting me, and they

a) told me it didnt look as bad as i thought (ha)

b) i should tell my new derm EVERYTHING. all about stress, work, life, confidence issues, past treatments...really just lay it all out on the table. that way, when i ask for accutane, she'll be more apt to prescribing it.

i have a bunch of medical studies i found advocating accutane usage for mild acne, so i am wondering if i should bring them along...i dont want to step on my derm's toes or make her think i am trying to seem smarter than her...but i do want to show her i know what i'm talking about and have educated myself on it.

my appointment is tomorrow at 1:30pm, and I'm nervous. My skin looks pretty good now with makeup on, but i am going to force myself NOT to wear makeup to the appointment, so she can really see what's going on.

wish me luck. i will update everyone. say a prayer for me that i get the green light for accutane!

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well, i didnt get accutane, but i got spiro instead...because apparently i have hormonal acne! my new derm is AWESOME...young, pretty and super sweet...and she actually didnt have 100% perfect skin either...i had an old-school derm in middle school whose skin looked like wax (so weird). I digress. So yes, apparently the symptoms I've been having are all hormones...i am assuming the issues of severe stress and all that knocked them out of whack and they've been spiraling out of control. i am looking forward to seeing if this works, and hopefully it does. if not, then i'll have tried doxy, finacea, proactiv, BP, salyclic acid, sulfur masks, BCP and spiro. Thus accutane would be the next course of action.

I started a spiro log to track my progress!!!!

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so its been awhile since i posted on this thread, but things were going really well on spiro for the past 3 weeks...until yesterday. i broke out on my chin, near my lips and nose, and have like 3 weird bumps on my forehead. YUCK!!!! on saturday and sunday everything was CLEAR and SMOOTH, now my chin hurts from the zit that i popped because i turned it into a scab. i just cant leave those suckers that hurt alone...stupid me.

i am just so frustrated. i have great skin for 3 weeks, then BAM a week before my period...zits zits zits. now it'll take until next week for this crap to go away/stop hurting, and i'll be living in fear of the next breakout that'll come in another 3 weeks. i'd really like to get to the point where i dont have to deal with this.

has anyone on spiro had the same experience? if so, how long were you on it before you didnt breakout before your period?


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Hey hun, how are things going? From what i've heard - it sometimes gets better before it gets worse and then the cycle repeats. Give it a few months (3 at a minimum) before deciding to switch. Acne sucks hard but we're in this together. I am a week into treatment (see my signature for details) and already it is sucking big time. My pimples are the under the skin type that don't grow a head and those bad boys are red :-(. But i realize that giving up is NOT an option for me. I just have to wait and see.

Good luck!

Hoping everything with you and the family is going good.

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hi there,

sorry i didnt respond earlier, my account somehow got deactivated and i had to created a new one!

thanks for the well wishes! you had a great outlook...very positive.

spiro was working well for the first month, the second, it was alright. had more breakouts than i'd of liked to. seems like i just cant kick them! they arent as frequent or as bad, but still persisting despite all the meds im on.

i went to go see my derm this morning and shes awesome. shes definitely committed to getting my skin clear for long periods of time...she suggested i bump up to 100mg/day instead of 50mg b/c she said that was a "baby dose" and if im not having side effects and tolerating it well, i should take more. she said its about finding the "magic dosage" that works for you. my dad always used to say i have the constitution of a horse haha so i can usually take A LOT of medication before i feel anything happen. case in point: i took 2 vicodin on an 8 hour plane ride and didnt even completely fall asleep.

so yeah, hoping 100mg of spiro will do the trick. my derm also said that if it doesnt work, i can increase to up to 200mg. if 200mg doesnt work, then i'd probably have to go on accutane.

why did you end your course of claravis??

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Hang in there with the Spiro!! I had breakouts for probably about 5 or 6 months until my skin really changed. It was easy to get discouraged with the breakouts, I can totally understand that, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I NEVER get the huge, deep and painful zits under the skin anymore. Before, I got them all the time and have the scars to prove it. So my only advice is to be patient. I read Spiro logs on here when I first started taking it and some girls didn't see results until around 8 months, but again, so worth it. Goodluck my friend!

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Hang in there with the Spiro!! I had breakouts for probably about 5 or 6 months until my skin really changed. It was easy to get discouraged with the breakouts, I can totally understand that, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I NEVER get the huge, deep and painful zits under the skin anymore. Before, I got them all the time and have the scars to prove it. So my only advice is to be patient. I read Spiro logs on here when I first started taking it and some girls didn't see results until around 8 months, but again, so worth it. Goodluck my friend!

thank you!!!! i've been on 100mg for about a week now and its been great. this will be my 2nd month on it at all, so far its been pretty good. i just REALLY want to get off the antibiotics...my derm said february i can start cutting down and then stop taking it.

the 100mg dose seemed to really smooth things out on my forehead. i started using a sulfur face wash and its great! i am liking the combination of both. i am one day away from my period so we'll see how this goes. i am also traveling all this week, so i am a bit worried about getting a breakout, but i have packed my arsenal of products and pills and am going to stay positive.

thanks for the advice!!!!

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