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Hello All

I have been a reader of this site for awhile but I thought I would post as I have yet to see anything with my condition. I wouldn't say I have severe acne all over my face, but I get deep acne in the same places (upper cheeks, forehead, and jaw line) right before my period...every month without fail. They usually don't have any head and are below the skin. I have extremely regular periods to the day. I am very active and eat a healthy diet. But this acne just comes without fail every month. I use a tea tree based cleansing and moisturizing routine. I got a blood test about a year and a half ago and she said my hormone levels are normal. Does anyone have any tips on how to tackle this type of reoccurring acne?

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go to a derm asap and see if bc is an option. if you don't stop ur acne u will end up with scarring which is permanent.

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I'm on BC and it does nothing for my cystic acne because i have to be off it one week of the month. I don't know how you might react or if one that does not require a period would be a better option for you, though if you aren't trying to prevent pregnancy and you don't have a hormonal imbalance (I have PCOS which causes other problems) I wouldn't recommend it. It can really screw some people up after they go off of it, or make their skin even worse. There are other treatments for cystic acne, especially occasional cystic acne. A dermatologist would be able to help, but if you don't wish to go to one or don't have the funds, here's what I do. This does not clear my acne but it sounds like I have much worse acne than you and it improves mine greatly.

I used to get really severe super deep acne and still do very occasionally. When I get a deep one I can usually make it disappear in a day or two by using my Tanda ZAP light treatment on it two or three times per day and putting calimine lotion w/ some tea tree oil in it on the large cyst for two hours a day for two days (dont leave it on too long or it will clog pores). I reduce the swelling with a spoon I've got put in the freezer, once or twice per day. Also, did you know that stuff with Tea Tree Oil in it in concentrations less that 10% can cause the bacteria on your face to become resistant to it? So I highly suggest that if your skin responds well to it you apply a home made toner of 9 parts water or a carrier oil you aren't sensitive to or a plain astringent like sea breeze and 1 part tea tree oil. Here is the rest of my regimen that has really helped my severe hormonal cystic acne, and may help you (though we're all different). You may take the whole of it or be interested in only part, but for what it´s worth:

morning:

1. Walgreens generic Hibiclens cleanser, left on for two minutes before I wash it off. This is an antibacterial used for cleaning wounds and pre-surgical skin preparation, and also a post-surgical handwash. It can be dangerous if you get it in your eyes and don't immediately wash it out, but it's pretty safe and I find it to be non-drying but just enough to reduce the oil. I use the knock-off antibacterial cleanser from walgreens because it's actually better and cheaper--the red dye in the original Hibiclens can break people out. It smells nice and lathers a little, and an added bonus is that it's great for body acne and if you use it under your arms it kills the bacteria so you almost never need deodorant. I resorted to this because I made my face resistant to tea tree oil and this is much stronger. You may wish to just use a non-irritating cleanser with enough tea tree oil put in it by you to make up 10%. If it separates adding glycerin can help.

2. Salicylic acid toner--I use Burt's Bees because it doesn't irritate me, but you can use another highly rated product. Also great for body acne if you put it in a spray bottle. During the winter I add a couple drops of glycerin and it wont dry me out at all.

3. Derma-E spot treatment as moisturizer because you need so little for calming redness and moisturizing. I seriously recommend this stuff. Main ingredients are glycerin, tea tree oil, willow bark extract, and chamomile extract.

evening:

1. take off makeup with gentle makeup removal towelette. I use Giovanni D:Tox towelettes because they don't irritate me.

2. apply Giovanni D:Tox mask on face and leave on for twenty minutes while I do other things (main ingredients volcanic ash, charcoal, and clay. If you can't find this one you might be able to find another highly rated one with similar ingredients. Make sure it has no comedogenic ingredients since you're leaving it on your face so long and using it every day. This really helps a lot with the GIANT, deep ones)

3. wash mask off--I find that putting aloe vera on it will make it come off easier and doesn't reduce effects.

4. shower and wash face with Hibiclens, again leaving it on for two minutes before rinsing.

5. let face dry and apply toner

6. apply derma-e spot treatment as moisturizer

7. use light treatment if necessary on large ones.

For some reason I find that the combination of the mask to draw it out, the cleanser to kill the bacteria, the salicylic acid to prevent further clogged pores, and the spot treatment to treat dryness and redness is really the only thing that will prevent me from getting giant cystic acne and really large papules. If you're wondering, I stay away from ANYTHING with BP or SLS in it because I am allergic to both. So, sadly, Dan's regimen is out of the question for me.

Edited by xpaperbackwriterx

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My two cents: I would stay away from the harsh topicals (BP, sal acid). I used to have some zits appear but for the most part good skin. I used some of those topicals to treat something minor and it has left my skin in the worst condition of my life, fighting an uphill battle. Im not sure it's possible to get my skin back the way it was.

Just my experience though...

Obviously, if you have used those and they work, then nevermind! Everyone reacts differently.

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