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AmandaMcD86

At My Witts End!

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Hi everyone. Ive come to the messageboards for years now for advice and reviews and decided to finally make an account.

I have been struggling with acne since I was 14. Im now just a few weeks away from my 26th birthday and im at my witts end. After learning that OTC products dont work, I went to a dermatologist. In the last 12 years I have been on every single product out there except accutane. I have learned that not only is my acne topical, but also internal. So for the last 5 years I have been on an antibiotic called minocycline, along with many topicals (I will get to them). Once a year I get sent for lab work because of the chance of liver damage. I have had abnormal results, but nothing to worry about. This year however, a month and a half before my wedding I found out I had to stop the antibiotic completely and never go back on it due to medical issues.

The topicals I am on are as follows:

-Tazorac 0.1% at night

-Finacea 15% twice a day

-Aczone gel 5% used to spot treat

-MD Forte II Lotion 1-2 times a day

-And last week she added Acanya Gel 1.5% for the more difficult spots

I also use a Bare Minerals cleanser and Eminence organic moisturizer

I honestly feel that with my age, and the amount of stuff I am using I should have baby clear skin. Wrong! While I dont break out nearly as much as I used to, probably half as much. I still break out. And the scarring is awful! I have done everything I know of besides laser treatments for the scarring. I hate having my picture taken, and if I do it had to be with my camera so I can edit the photos.

I just dont know what else to do at this point. I spend hundred of dollars a year on perscriptions, I just want to give up!

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post-187970-0-54216600-1351644713_thumb.

Edited by AmandaMcD86

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5 years of minocycline?! Damn. Well It's obviously hormonal. Talk to your derm about birth control, and consider taking some probiotics to replace all the damage that the antibiotics have done to your gut. Acne is a bitch. It truly is. But you cant give up. Those are my 2 suggestions for you. Good luck.

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Hi Amanda

You must feel really disheartened, I totally sympathise.

It's such a shame that you can't get accutane, I know that is usually the route a dermatologist would go down after so many topicals and antibiotics.

I'm confused, why has your derm kept you on an antibiotic for five years if its shown no results? Perhaps its time to try something new? and, like Murph suggests, consider birth control pills (I take Yasmin, it doesn't break me out at all or have any negative side affects for me) and to stay positive.

Congratulations on your wedding! I bet you're so excited, you'll be a beautiful bride.

I wouldn't recommend this until after your wedding as it took my skin two months to recover from using this but epiduo completely cured my skin. What works for one person may not work for another but perhaps you'd consider trying something new? I've written more about my experiences with epiduo on my blog with photos of before and after: http://abigirlsdressingtable.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/epiduo-review-acne-treatment.html

Good luck! x

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So sorry you are struggling with this right before your wedding. I agree with above though...you'll look fine at your wedding. See if you can get a professional make-up job...that will give you confidence. I am surprised your derm hasn't put you on anything for the hormonal aspect of acne, especially when it appears that topicals aren't working. I'd recommend Spironolactone as a great way to start. It's nice because it is not a hormone but instead works by blocking hormone receptor sites in the skin thus helping prevent acne. Takes awhile to kick in but is effective.

Sounds to me like your derm is still thinking you'll outgrow this and therefore isn't trying other things than the usual topicals. You could also try regular microdermabrasions. They help scars fade away and also open pores so topicals work better. Topicals never worked for me until I did this. I've been doing monthly microdermabrasions for a year and my skin is doing much better!

Another thing to try is Oracea which is low dose doxycycline but only acts as an anti-inflammatory rather than an antibiotic.

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wow abigailwheeler- your results with epiduo are incredible

i started using it for about 2 weeks and with just the first application my skin was NEON red. i personally found that worse than the acne itself. but looks like you persisted and it really paid off.

id say that my skin was very very similar to yours. about 5 actives. cysts. all in the chin/upperlip/jaw area.

i was just prescribed differin .01% (its adapalene) so im thinking i might try using that after xmas season though, acne i can kinda cover at least where that redness and chapped skin i cant.

i have been on dans regimen now for 6 weeks so maybe the epiduo (its called tactuo in canada) might not be as irritating anymore since im more used to the bp. perhaps ill spot treat with it...

lots to think about. but your skin look incredible. how did you deal with the redness stage?

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wow abigailwheeler- your results with epiduo are incredible

i started using it for about 2 weeks and with just the first application my skin was NEON red. i personally found that worse than the acne itself. but looks like you persisted and it really paid off.

id say that my skin was very very similar to yours. about 5 actives. cysts. all in the chin/upperlip/jaw area.

i was just prescribed differin .01% (its adapalene) so im thinking i might try using that after xmas season though, acne i can kinda cover at least where that redness and chapped skin i cant.

i have been on dans regimen now for 6 weeks so maybe the epiduo (its called tactuo in canada) might not be as irritating anymore since im more used to the bp. perhaps ill spot treat with it...

lots to think about. but your skin look incredible. how did you deal with the redness stage?

I don't think I found the bright redness aesthetically better or worse than having lots of spots, but I found the resulting soreness much much worse, it hurt to smile... and I felt like my smile was a saving grace in my spot ridden appearance!

The redness doesn't last though: for me, I found that even after my skin was relatively back to normal I had redness around the areas I'd applied the topical but now that's pretty much subsided. The perseverance I put in with this really paid off for me and I'm SURE that it will for you as well!

How did I deal with the redness... I looked at it as proof that the topical was working. Nothing else had made a difference so the fact that this was changing my skin was reassuring, if a little visibly unattractive... I found it even harder to wear make up since my skin was so so dry, after six weeks I was over the worst of it; only four more weeks for you then!

How are you feeling about it? You seem really positive. xx

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I was originally on Doryx before she switched me to Minocycline because it seemed like my body adjusted to the Doryx and it wasnt making a difference after a while. I should have been more specific in my post. I got married in June of this year. Had to go off the antibiotics in April. They did work, but my skin was never 100%, even with them. The pics are what I look like now with no antibiotic. The birth control im on is orthotricycline and is supposed to be the best because it has the highest estrogen out of all of them. Besides birth control is there anything else for the hormonal aspect of it?

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hi abigailwheeler- i havent used the epiduo or differin yet, i want to wait until after the holidays, id rather cover up red bumps than have a full red chin throughout the holidays...

so far my skin is doing not too bad with no gluten and saw palmetto, tea tree oil as a spot treatment and dans regimen

how is your skin now? fully clear?

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Amanda: If you're not tackling your acne from the inside with hormonal controls, treating it from the outside isn't going to be ineffective by any means. I guess trying different topicals until you get your jackpot remedy...?

Chelslaw: My skin wasn't bright red for the whole six weeks, it just took that long for it to fade away and to stop getting new spots... It was just discolouration towards the end rather than the offensive red 'stain' that I got initially. Wouldn't it be great if you had clear skin for Christmas! I was always wanting to put treatments off, there always seemed to be something that was coming up that I didn't want to have a skin purge for... Why not seize the day?! Carpe the shit out of this diem!

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my concern is that at the moment (for the past 3 weeks) my acne has been fairly under control (for the most part) and when i did use the epiduo twice my face was immediately NEON red. i have pretty sensitive skin.

are you completely clear now- like did epiduo solve your acne battle? how long did you have acne for?

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If you've got it under control then that's awesome!

I'm completely clear now it really was my cure. I had acne for a little over two years at varying severities. I've written all about it on my blog with photos if you're interested...? http://abi-girl.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/epiduo-review-acne-treatment.html

What have you done to get yourself clear - the gluten thing?!

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yeah complete gluten removal. and been doing dans regimen for 6 weeks now (but i swap out the morning BP with clindisol a topical prescription antibiotic cream)

fingers crossed!

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Welcome aboard the gluten-free train!

If you're going that route, you might as well cut out wheat altogether.

I firmly believe that if one has acne at an adult age (21+), post puberty, it is most definitely diet related.

Here's what I'd recommend :

- Less than 200g carbs a day (this will help you regulate your blood sugar levels)

- More good saturated fats

- Less sugar intake overall

- More vegetables. For you I'd recommend a bunch of kale.

- No dairy

- FISH (salmon, tilapia)

Get on a basic diet. It takes a ton of discipline, but this fixed the problem for me. 100% clear, and my lymph node regions and cysts have all but drained and disappeared. Fluid retention occurs in adults and we need to purge ourselves.

Might as well throw out a simple list of food while I'm at it (foods that I started with on the new diet, and gradually incorporated other items) :

- Kale (this is basically the rock-star of this diet. I flavored it with natural honey and lemon. Tons of dressing recipes out there for kale. Make sure it's gluten free)

- Tilapia / Salmon / Chicken

- Garlic + salt + pepper

- Mushrooms (humans have been eating this since the beginning of time)

- Zucchini

- Eggs

- Bell peppers

- Probiotics (the drinkable yogurt kind you find at asian food markets)

This isn't the most "balanced" diet, but it sure as heck is better than most diets out there. In fact, it's actually kind of healthy.

The first few days were hell. Chewing up actual plant fiber with my teeth? No way! Eating meat that isn't chock full of seasoning? Whoa...

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Really interesting post! Can I throw in the suggestion of tomatoes as well please?! Full of antioxidants.

Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and petter with fresh basil makes a good salad dressing aimed at acne. Problem is, it's really really acidic so 1. the sourness will give you an attractive raised eyebrow squinted eyes look and 2. Drink some water afterwards to protect your teeth.

That is all.

No it's not. If you're cutting gluten out of your diet, you might find that you're losing weight. To help keep my weight maintained I ate avocados and upped my portion sizes (image below, I was literally eating my food out of a cake mixing bowl!)

lunch.jpg

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ive been gluten free since march of this year. no wheat. no gluten.

i think my diet is fantastic, so not a ton more there i can do besides completely removing sugar and i have to be honest, if i cant indulge in some sweets, then i dont know what i would do.

life is all about balance right :)

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Wow you must have the most amazing commitment! My sister is wheat intolerant and I always find it quite difficult to cook for her... She's rake thin and has amazing skin so she must be doing something right!

Do you feel like your diet affects your energy levels? I heard that cutting gluten gives you more energy and I'm very interested in this as my coffee intake is through the roof and I need an alternative!

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i feel amazing without gluten! its gotten rid of my keritosis pilaris on my arms too- which is wicked

havent had a cyst since i completely cut it out

im losing weight too, but dont want too lol i still eat some treats just not gluten ones!

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Here is the short version that cleared my cystic acne of 14 years (I’m 30) and _in order_ of how effective each one was in helping me get rid of it. I’ll let you do the research. I'm about 95% clear right now and it took about 4 months to get here with most of the results appearing towards the end of the 4th month. Keep in mind that it takes a long time for your body to change or adapt to something new and if you don't give something new a chance for at least 3 months you'll never know if it would have helped you. The biggest challenge is fighting that American need for instant gratification and toughing it out through the acne.

1. 2000mg of Vitamin B5 in the form of a 1000mg time release twice a day, once in the morning and once at 5-6 for dinner along with 500mg of L-carnitine. I have no idea why this works, but it does and very well as reported by people on this forums in many threads. Interestingly, regular b5 pills didn't work, I had to get the time release version and this reduced the oil on my face dramatically after 2-3 weeks. Mega dosing vitamins can be harmful long term and I'm trying to scale this back as much as possible until I'm at a beneficial balance.

2. Removed gluten from my diet. This was another big one that helped. Our bodies don't process gluten well, or at all, and you can have reactions to it that are subtle. In my case it contributed to my acne quite a bit. This seems hard to do, but do the research... there are tons of foods without gluten and you have have an aswesome diet without it.

3. Juicing tomatoes, sweet potato, carrots, spinnach, cucumbers, kale, and gree peppers evern morning, about 26oz worth. This juice contains a broad spectrum of just about every single low level celluar nutrient, protein, phytonutreint, vitamin, and mineral your body could want to maintain healthy organs and skin.

4. Stopped eating so much food that is high in sugar. Having cookies once in a while it ok (gluten free), but eating them once every few weeks opposed to 4-5 days a week helped a lot.

5. I took minocycline for a long time, but what the doctors don't tell you is that antibiotics it kill beneficial gut bacteria that may never grow back and your health starts in your gut. That is where all the essential nutrients from the food you eat get broken down and absorbed. A healthy gut has over 1 trillion bacteria in it and you need them all. To rebuild a healthy gut I take an 85million broad spectrum probiotic once a day. This has helped me with other issues I've had with digestion like upset stomach and so on as well, I never have upset stomach or bowel issues anymore.

Good luck.

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