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I wasn't sure which board to put this on, but I'm hoping someone can help, or at least relatewiggle.gif

I started getting acne when I was about 16. I'm 22 now. When it first started, my skin was extremely oily and it was horrible, cystic, painful huge zits covering my entire face, new ones every single day, and red marks from previous ones. It was bad. Here are all of the things I tried:

-Multiple antibiotics (the only one that helped was doxycycline, but I had a reaction to it and can't take it. Go figure)

-Spironolactone

-Prescription and OTC topicals (Retin-A, duac, differin...I don't remember all of them)

-Photodynamic light therapy

-Zinc, B12, and fish oils

-Saw palmetto

-Wild yam root and fenugreek

-Flaxseed oil

I was on spiro for about a year and a half, and I thought it was helping; however, I stopped taking it about a year ago and my skin is exactly how it was while I was on it. So now I'm thinking maybe my acne just mutated (since I'm no longer a teenager, maybe my hormones balanced out or something) I ONLY break out when I'm ovulating. I can predict it to the day. And then again right before my period starts. It is still cystic break outs, on my cheeks and jaw.

I wouldn't describe my skin as oily. It's actually pretty dry. Even when I break out, I'm not oily.

I have a dermatologist, but I haven't gone in a while because I feel so hopeless. Everything we have tried hasn't worked and it's just money down the drain. So I'm pretty much flying solo. I use a face wash with salicylic acid and acne pads with the same thing, and moisturizer my derm gave me with vitamin C in it. It helps shorten the lifespan of my break outs.

I eat a fairly healthy diet, not really into junk food/fast food/etc. I don't eat much dairy, either, mostly because it gives me horrible stomach aches, but I've heard it can add to break outs.

Obviously it is hormonal. I'm just wondering if anyone else has had this particular pattern of breaking out, and what has helped. Would birth control help? I've read mixed reviews.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by nursling

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Have you tried Dianette or Yasmin OC. They block the male hormone. Clinique anti-blemish foam cleanser is really good and so is their make-up. Try to cut down on cows milk, try goats instead.

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If you've noticed a pattern every 28 days or so, then it certainly does sound like it's hormonal. However, if it continues to get stronger and "mutated" then it's probably strongly genetic as well, which is difficult to treat. Please don't feel helpless, thousands of people have this problem even all the way into their 40's. It's probably hereditary, so please ask your parents and family what they have death with in the past.

I'll be 24 soon and my acne was a lot worse then it was when I was 14. I don't think it's a mutation in any way, it's probably just the skin's scars being exhausted or something. Ever get acne again on either the exact same red spot or scar and actually deepen it more? It's not fun and hurts like hell.

Yes, I would recommend a birth control pill, but only if your certain that it's hormonal. The genetic side could just be coincidental and/or coming up whenever it feels like it. My advice is to research as much as you can and keep a diary (or personal photo album) of your progress for as long as you can, especially during your time of the month and especially before and after. It may be useful information to your doctor/dermatologist in the future, especially if you claimed that it's "mutated", that just shows that you may just be beginning to get different kinds of acne.

Everyone is talking about different treatments and approaches here, so I hope you find your answer soon. Yes, this is a very expensive problem but not your fault. There are inexpensive approaches to this that are quite popular, such as lemons as a toner, honey as a mask, and cheap gel cleaners like the one I use (Basis, which also comes in a bar if your on a tight budget). Definitely keep a photo diary to yourself and saved onto a computer in a private file if you don't want anyone else to see it. Birth Control usually does help, but if your acne has gone on this long there is still a chance it can continue, so after paying for the pills you might STILL have to deal with this. Ask your family/parents and make sure your not touching or aggravating your face. Best of luck to what you decide.

Edited by TreatAcne

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I symphathize with what you say here but as for me my dear they rotate. They'd appear on one side of the face for a week and I'll treat them. When that side subsides, they start on the forehead, then on the other side and so on it goes. As for me, I've had this problem since I can remember and it really breaks my morale. I've tried washing my face with dishwashing liquid, which actually helps for a day and then dries up my face like a sun burn. I received some advice that I should fight oil with oil and used raw Bio oil on my face, it helped with the scars but the break outs were severe again. I trie so many but to no avail. I need advise on products that at least contain natural elements.....

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