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Hello all,

I have been suffering with acne since I was about 15 years old, it's mostly been mild/moderate but does get quite bad sometimes. I'm now coming up to 26 and still have problem skin, which upsets me so much. Years ago, I decided to go and see a dermatologist who told me about Accutane, which I hadn't head of before. I decided to go for it and did indeed experienced the initial BAD break out, with some irritating side effects including very dry/flaky skin and lips. The medication did eventually work though, I was spot free and it was fantastic! A few months after I stopped the medication though, it came back, a little worse than before, much do my extreme disappointment. Over the next few years I just dealt with it, until I decided to go and see another dermatologist. This derm gave me two topical creams, 'Duac' for the morning and 'Differin' for night. After a couple of months they really did the trick, I was so happy. I stayed (mostly) spot free for 2 years until last year, when I came home from a holiday in the sunshine to have a small break out - I immediately was worried, but hoped it was just a 'blip'. Unfortunately, it wasn't a blip and my skin just seems to be getting worse and worse. I even went through a stage of getting painful cystic acne around my jawline/lower face, which was awful. I even went to ANOTHER dermatologist who told me it could be 'just a blip' and 'if I wanted to, could try a low dose of Accutane', which I didn't want to - I eventually came out of that appointment none the wiser but £180 down - so infuriating. I feel like I have tried everything; expensive facial products, the birth control pill (which made me feel so horribly sick I had to stop taking it), drinking gallons of Rooibus tea daily, eating fish & nuts (which I hate!), vitamins, honey masks. I even read that taking very high doses of Beta Carotene & Vitamin D3 daily, so now I do that, too. I have noticed that my skin is very oily/shiny - so I'm looking for products to help that. I hardly ever wear make up and have a job that regularly requires me to have my photo taken, which is really annoying as my skin is most definitely not photo ready! I literally dream of perfect skin! If anybody has any advice/tips for me I would hugely appreciate them. I am considering to go to yet another dermatologist, but I just don't even know what they could suggest anymore? I do have a sweet tooth but I have tried to go as sugar free as I can in the past and it hasn't really seemed to make much of a difference - maybe I haven't stuck with it long enough.

Anyways, my apologies for going on a bit, but like I said - tips/advice are wanted!

I will say that supposedly suffering from acne makes you age better and eventually keeps your skin younger & healthier looking for much longer - I like to think of this every now and then, so I hope any fellow acne suffers also take comfort in this!

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So sorry to hear about your ongoing problems! I too suffered with chronic acne for a very long time, did many tx regimes but usually only one or two things at the same time (accutane twice, antibiotics, topicals, BP, BC, etc. etc.). And acne always returned...very discouraging.

But good news...I was finally put on a tx regime that incorporated more than one or two things at a time and this was key to getting clear!

I started keeping a journal which was instrumental in figuring out what my sensitive skin could not tolerate --- I really recommend keeping one because it will help your derm get a better idea of your particular kind of acne (everyone is a bit different). I found a derm who specializes in adult acne...versus regular derms who treat acne with only one or two meds at a time.

FYI --- I repeatedly tried all natural methods but that never worked. It took a long time to admit I needed mainstream meds if I wanted to stay clear. Changes to diet were very helpful in reducing facial oiliness and cysts...but did not keep me clear on their own.

What finally worked is the multi-pronged approach (meds + skin care + diet --- see signature below) my derm put me on. My skin has been clear for several years now! It is a lot to do but well worth it. This regime is designed for longterm use on sensitive skin.

BP cleanser - opens pores and kills acne bacteria (very gentle because not topical which is too harsh for sensitive skin)

Topical antibiotic - kills acne bacteria (I use Cleocin-T...amazing stuff --- much better than oral antibiotics)

Spironolactone - blocks androgen receptors (is not a hormone, mild to the body, can be used forever - great if you're intolerant to birth control)

Low dose Doxy - anti-inflammatory for rosacea (it is not an antibiotic at this low dose 40gm/day)

Monthly Microdermabrasion - to open pores and allow meds to get in to treat acne at deeper level

DML Lotion - formulated for sensitive acne skin...only lotion I can use

Diet - must avoid sugary foods, dairy, nuts, alcohol, and all oils (processed oils, butter, marg, salad dressings, etc.). Eat whole fresh foods, free-range meats and wild fish. One of the most amazing changes in my skin happened when I started avoiding all oils --- my skin really cleared up! It is really worth doing...wish I had started earlier. I always ate healthy but cheated a lot and it wasn't until I committed to the above diet that I started to see results...but it takes a lot of discipline.

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Thanks so much for your advice, really appreciate it. I will definitely take those things into consideration.

Keep in mind that you might be allergic to something you cannot practically avoid. All the special diets, etc. may not actually even help and may stress you out causing more problems. I have some more detailed advice in my victory over acne thread I made today. If you have more specific questions feel free to email me, our situations might be a little different, but I have been able to keep chronic, horrific acne at bay without an expensive prescription or a damaging peroxide.

Edited by BumpsBeGone
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I use DML Lotion. It was recommended by my derm as being one of the best for sensitive oily acne prone skin. It isn't natural (natural ones break me out) but it's very light, stops flaking and dries quickly. It also provides a nice surface for my makeup and seems to actually keep my skin from getting oily.

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BumpsBeGone - thanks so much, I actually did read through your thread earlier. I have been thinking about getting an allergy test done, but to be honest I'm not even entirely sure where to begin/where I have to go. Thanks for the tip on DML lotion, that sounds great, might give it a try...

HateMost - I was using The Body Shop's day Aloe Vera moisturiser for years (including my glorious clear skin phase), but then decided to try something else and I read a few good things about Astral moisturiser for acne, so I decided to purchase - although have used a few times now and it seems to make my skin much more oily, not to mention I looked at the ingredients list the other day and noticed there were a few comedogenic ingredients in there, so I have stopped using. I also purchased Vichy's Normaderm moisturiser recently, seems to be quite light and ok so far, but it burns my eyes like crazy. Am currently researching other moisturisers that do not clog pores/are specifically for oily skin, but yet still hydrating.

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