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How About Using Nothing At All?

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I've had acne as long as I can remember and I've always been on some kind of topical. Benzoylperoxide for a long time and now differin for a year. I was doing pretty good but not anymore - I'm back at breaking out regularly with spots that heal incredibly slowly, even nodules and all that fun stuff coming back. I have been on a short (2 weeks) doxycycline course to calm things down but it seems it has only made things worse. (doxy worked great last year when I used it for 5 months)

I was thinking the next step I could take is either a) try and get accutane b) quit everything and just rely on my body to heal itself, live healthily and only use a gentle cleanser. I'm 29 and nobody in my family has acne, and the rest of my body is perfectly clear. Maybe the topicals I use are too irritating (makes sense that would predominantly show in the harsh winter) and I'm keeping my acne alive with this vicious circle. Maybe I have already grown out of the worst of it and I'm just re-irritating my skin over and over.

I don't have a lot of evidence to back up this theory, other then that the only place I NEVER apply anything (moustache area) is 99% clear during the year (and I used to have a lot of acne there 5 years ago; I recently saw it on pictures and wondered about it).

Would anyone think it's a good idea to try this out? And how long would I typically have to try? Would it be insane to try this out on just 1 side of my face first?

I'm just looking for a little incentive to actually go and do this.

Any support would be appreciated.

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Yes --- you many want to try doing nothing. My derm wanted me to try that years ago...especially while I was using BP and then Salicylic Acid topicals. My skin was a red, scaly, bumpy mess. Getting off those topicals and instead using Metrogel (very calming and usually used for rosacea) calmed down my skin overall. It was by doing this that she decided to try tretinoin cream instead. My skin has done great with that. She said that too much irritation can cause acne, especially in adults. At the very least you will discover if indeed you've outgrown it. You will know in several months if that is the case or not. If not, then you may need another form of retin-a like Retin-A Micro...something less irritating for your specific skin. It may take some experimenting to get the right form of retin-a. But overall retin-a is good for the skin...heals, restructures the pores, and rebuilds the skin...all good things.

At least for me, while on metrogel, it was obvious that I still needed something to keep my pores clear --- I just get too plugged up which then leads to flare-ups. Metrogel was a nice alternative while in essence "doing nothing" since all it does is act as a mild surface antibiotic to calm the skin. If you have something else going on beneath the skin it'll still keep happening. This is a good way to figure out if the adult acne is indeed acne or rosacea or something else.

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Thanks for your reply!

I'm just very paranoid to give up Differin because I believed in it for so long, and especially the retinoid idea. It also didn't seem to give me any irritation, at least not visibly.

Now that I've been breaking out more I have picked/touched a little, too, out of desperation, and applied tea tree oil that may also have irritated my skin further. It's this vicious circle. I can now see that the skin is visibly dry, and I guess that can't be good. New nodules appear right next to healing ones. ("Healing", because they will remain noticeably red for 6 months - in about 1 week my whole OK-looking clear skin has gone back to a big mess of redmarks, amazing how it can screw up so fast!) It's all happening at 1 side so far, too, although from experience I know the other side will follow sooner or later.

I think I will try and stop applying anything to the affected side for some time and see what happens. In the meanwhile I'll get on the waitinglist for a derm, (because I've never been able to see one because my acne was never severe enough and there were still GP-style medical options to exhaust.)

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I've had acne as long as I can remember and I've always been on some kind of topical. Benzoylperoxide for a long time and now differin for a year. I was doing pretty good but not anymore - I'm back at breaking out regularly with spots that heal incredibly slowly, even nodules and all that fun stuff coming back. I have been on a short (2 weeks) doxycycline course to calm things down but it seems it has only made things worse. (doxy worked great last year when I used it for 5 months)

I was thinking the next step I could take is either a) try and get accutane b) quit everything and just rely on my body to heal itself, live healthily and only use a gentle cleanser. I'm 29 and nobody in my family has acne, and the rest of my body is perfectly clear. Maybe the topicals I use are too irritating (makes sense that would predominantly show in the harsh winter) and I'm keeping my acne alive with this vicious circle. Maybe I have already grown out of the worst of it and I'm just re-irritating my skin over and over.

I don't have a lot of evidence to back up this theory, other then that the only place I NEVER apply anything (moustache area) is 99% clear during the year (and I used to have a lot of acne there 5 years ago; I recently saw it on pictures and wondered about it).

Would anyone think it's a good idea to try this out? And how long would I typically have to try? Would it be insane to try this out on just 1 side of my face first?

I'm just looking for a little incentive to actually go and do this.

Any support would be appreciated.

Yes --- you many want to try doing nothing. My derm wanted me to try that years ago...especially while I was using BP and then Salicylic Acid topicals. My skin was a red, scaly, bumpy mess. Getting off those topicals and instead using Metrogel (very calming and usually used for rosacea) calmed down my skin overall. It was by doing this that she decided to try tretinoin cream instead. My skin has done great with that. She said that too much irritation can cause acne, especially in adults. At the very least you will discover if indeed you've outgrown it. You will know in several months if that is the case or not. If not, then you may need another form of retin-a like Retin-A Micro...something less irritating for your specific skin. It may take some experimenting to get the right form of retin-a. But overall retin-a is good for the skin...heals, restructures the pores, and rebuilds the skin...all good things.

At least for me, while on metrogel, it was obvious that I still needed something to keep my pores clear --- I just get too plugged up which then leads to flare-ups. Metrogel was a nice alternative while in essence "doing nothing" since all it does is act as a mild surface antibiotic to calm the skin. If you have something else going on beneath the skin it'll still keep happening. This is a good way to figure out if the adult acne is indeed acne or rosacea or something else.

I started giving this a try about 3 months ago, it took me a while to finally get into it, but after reading a number of posts/threads on this site and other's, I decided that it would be the best approach.

Like cvd says, it could take several months (or possibly even a year according to some) to notice a drastic change, depending on the state of your skin.

My skin's condition is extremely oily, but dry and dehydrated underneath (a thick layer of oil just sits on top of clogged pores, and irritated skin). My face isn't pretty right now.

By next summer I feel things will have sorted out for me regarding my face; I hope you give it a try, the sooner the better.

It takes a while to get into it, but after the first little while just not having to worry about a regimen is well worth it, along with money saved - even though you may find yourself with a clogged and oily face.

Try not to touch your face, if you have an itch - use a tissue. If you have a zit (which many of will appear over the course of this long stretch), leave it alone unless it's popped itself (which you can then gently soak up with a cleanex).

You might want to get a cheap humidifier for your room, and perhaps practice sleeping on your back (so your face doesn't rub off on your pillows, it's uncomfortable for a few weeks, but you'll get used to it, and it's apparently better for you).

Finally, consider getting flax oil and omega oils (I use the bottled kind).

It's kind of strict for now, but once your skin has recovered, you'll be able to be more free of these things.

Again, it might take as long as several months to a year, but stick with it.

Edited by awakeodin

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