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New Plan Of Attack - Comments? Suggestions?

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Hey all

I've just changed my acne treatment plan, and was hoping some of you might like to comment and give me some suggestions for anything else I should be doing, or anything I shouldn't be doing.

My acne is pretty awful. It's a mix of cysts and large white heads around my jaw, chin, cheeks and a few along my brow. It's extremely painful, to the point where I've been having trouble sleeping from the pain of it, and it's very dry. It looks so awful that, in all seriousness, at the start of this week a colleague recommended a doctor based on the fact that he specialises in leprosy. I kid you not - LEPROSY.

So as you might understand, I'm quite keen to be rid of it.

I've been doing the cleanse, exfoliate, spot treatment type thing for a while with specialised products containing plenty of salcylic acid, hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, and all the other acids, and my skin has gone from bad to worse. This week I said enough it enough, and I'm trying something new.

My plan is rather than treat the acne like something to be scrubbed off, I'm going to treat it like an inflammation, and do all sorts of kind things to my skin to help mend it. I put away all my harsh cleansers and exfoliators and acids and went out and bought the mildest looking cleanser I could find, which was Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser. I also put away my light acne fighting moisturisers and pulled out my serious moisturisers, the ones that people say will clog your pores and are really heavily moisturising. I doubled up on my supplement doses, changed my diet, and put myself on antibiotics.

My regime now looks like this:

Morning: Wash face gently with super mild cleanser and water. Put on light moisturiser, extra on most severely affected areas. Take 2 pantothen, 2 DIM, 1 100mg doxycyline, 3 B6 with zinc and magnesium. No make-up.

During the day: Take two more pantothen, try not to touch my face. Don't eat wheat, dairy or refined sugar (I'm still eating fruit and dried fruit for the sweet).

After work (as soon as I get home): Wash face gently with super mild cleanser and water. Put on light moisturiser, extra on most severely affected areas. Can put on make-up now if I have a date or something.

Night: Wash face again with super mild cleanser and water IF I've been out or worn make-up. Put on very heavy moisturiser, extra on most severely affected areas. Take two more pantothen and two more DIM.

I've been doing this for about 5 days now, and I've noticed some positive changes. My skin is much less red, I have fewer white heads, and the pimples on my brow seem to be shrinking. My acne is still painful, but less so, and the last two nights I have slept all the way through without pain on my face, which is awesome.

Any thoughts on my regime? What do you think? I know it's not conventional, which stresses drying out the acne, but that just wasn't working for me (if anything it was making things worse), so I thought it would be better to try the opposite.

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I like it, treat the cause not the symptoms....it's so anti Western medicine!!

Love the diet changes, those will help....

I've never used moisturizer, I know crazy right? my skin is pretty oily, so I take it yours is dry dry dry...because wow you are really loading it on there- if it's working okay, but do you really need it all? and the heavy one with pore clogging ingriedients is a no-no, why do something that may add to the problem? I would say either morning or night add a treatment, be it 2.5% BP or a very mild salicylic acid and then if you need it, light moisturizer over that.

and the problem with making so many changes is that you don't know which ones were the good ones and which were bad....I changed things one at a time for a 30 day period, like a controlled science experiment- takes longer but you learn what works...for me wheat and dairy ALONE took care of most of my cysts

good luck to you and good for you for fighting back!

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You could try some vitamin D and fish oil. Both have anti-inflammatory effects. If you are deficient in D, it will take several months of 10,000iu+ every day to bring you back up to normal levels.

What is DIM? And what is pantothen? Just B5 or pantethine?

For cleansing, I would actually recommend a 2% salicylic acid wash. I like the grapefruit one. The reason I suggest this is because salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory (just because it's an acid, doesn't mean it burns) - it's part of what makes aspirin. For moisturizing, I would recommend CeraVe cream. I recommend this because it contains things like cholesterol, ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which are all parts of the natural skin barrier.

It is definitely important, though, to wash gently, and dry your face gently as well.

As for diet, are these changes recent? It could take some time to see the effects of diet changes. In my experience, cysts are associated with food intolerances or flora imbalances, so I think you're on the right track. You might want to investigate some other common triggers though, such as citrus, soy, and peanuts.

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Thanks for the comments guys!

When I say pore-clogging moisturisers, what I mean is moisturisers that other people have told me are pore clogging, but I've never actually noticed any bad effects from. Specifically in this instance, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Night Renewal Cream, which I was told to never put on my face again as cocoa butter causes acne. I believed this even though I've never broken out from it. Having started using it again, my face just feels so much better.

I've never really had very oily skin, which I think is unusual for an acne sufferer. It was quite oily a few months ago for the first time ever, I really don't know why. But it's stopped again now. The moisturisers I'm using are the Palmers one, Pure Fiji night cream, day moisturiser, and serum, and D-Tox moisturiser. These are just the ones I had in my drawer, they're all pretty gentle. They all feel a bit different, so I just use whatever feels right at that moment, concentrating on the most painful parts of my face.

I'm really hesitant to go back to BP and salicyclic acid, as I've been using those with dedication for a few months and seen my face just get worse and worse. I just have to think that while they work for many people, they're not for me - my skin is just too sensitive.

I know my skin doesn't respond to the same things that work for others though. I recently talked my way into a refund on some anti-acne products - the company owner told me that of 3000 sales this year, only 6 people hadn't seen results. I'm one of those 6.

I know it will be tricky to see what works and what doesn't work with doing so much, but I think that maybe it's the combination that's working, rather than the individual products. My plan is to ween myself off things one by one and see if acne comes back, that way I know what I have to stick with and what I can let go of.

I hate taking fish oil, it gives me reflux. I'm trying to eat more fish though. I'll look into vitamin D - I've always assumed that if I spend time in the sun, that's enough? I walk to and from work so get at least an hour of sun exposure a day.

DIM is diindolylmethane, it's an extract from green veggies. It's touted as an estrogen metaboloiser and an androgen antagonist, one study I saw called it the most powerful plant-based androgen antagonist yet discovered. I'm on implanon and my acne returned when I started it, so I was looking at the effect it could have. Implanon is progestin, and apparently progestin can block androgen receptors, so my theory is I could have excess androgen in my system giving me pimples. Other people have seen really good stuff from it, others have seen nothing - it only works for hormonal acne anyway. There's some old threads on this message board about it, apparently it was a big thing a few years ago.

Pantothen is a brand name pill I bought online - I don't want to post the link and advertise for them, but if you google it, you'll find it. The techno-babble on their website seemed to make some sense to me - breaking down the oil before it gets to the surface - so I bought it.

I'm not really sure I actually could cut out soy at the moment, since where I live the most common oil for cooking is soy bean oil and well I have to eat something. What's the idea behind cutting out citrus and peanuts? Just allergy or do they have another nasty in them?

Thanks again!!

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