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Finally Found Something That Works

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I have had acne problems since I was in high school and I'm 32 now. Like most folks here I tried many dermatologist prescription solutions and for years benzaclin worked wonders. However, my skin eventually adapted to it in my early 20's and the cystic acne came back.

I went on a relentless search for a solution trying lasers, juicing, herbs, large vitamin doses, oil cleansing, facial probiotics, internal probiotics, facials, acids, red and blue light therapy, sulfur soaps, triclosan, gluten free diet, acne.org BP, cutting out dairy, silver serum, and many other things. I kept track of everything I tried in an excel spreadsheet (product/approach, ingredients if any, start date, end date, effects) and always tried each product/approach for 30-40 days (my full skin cycle) before ruling anything out. This allowed me to zero in on particular products that helped and find common ingredients until I located the ones that were most beneficial. I don't see many people taking this approach and it may prove useful.

Anyway, I started using sulfur soap a few months ago and, as many people do, had a horrible initial breakout, but for three weeks. Regardless I stuck with my plan and in the end the soap helped clear about 15-20%. I'd put it on for 10 mins and wash it off. So, I figured the sulfur needed to stay on longer for a more pronounced effect. I ended up buying a sulfur cream from amazon that you put on twice a day and leave it, two weeks later I'm 95% clear.... And I hope this stuff keeps working... !!!

Interesting how the sulfur cream worked, but the sulfur soap did not.

Probably wouldn't have made that leap if I wasn't tracking everything and committing to iterative product/approach testing/tracking.

If anyone is interested the product is called 'sulfur butter' cream and ointment, although I'm sure any of the sulfur based products will have a similar effect.

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I wanted to come back and update this post as after about 1 month the sulfur treatment stopped working. I was quickly tossed back into the throws of full on cystic acne and didn't even want to go outside unless I had to.

It had been about 3 years since I had seen a dermotologist. So, I figured I would concede defeat and go ask for another round of accutane and deal with the side effects, which have already been bad from my last two rounds.

After about 2 minutes of looking at my skin under a bright light this particular dermotologist looked at me and said "It's not acne, I see this all the time, it's demodex mites". I was a bit taken aback as this was a new twist I had not considered before. He said most people have them, but some people for whatever reason, develop infestations of them and suffer with acne and rosacea. The mites borrow into the pore and feed off of dead skin, die (which produce a pimple), but before that they lay eggs and the cycle continues. They have about a 3 week lifecycle and can be the reason behind flare ups depending on how many eggs hatch. It's gross to think about, but hey... if you understand biology our bodies are full of bacteria and parasites.

Anyway, he put me on a regime of oral stromectol and topical metronidazole for these little nasties and once again my acne is fading again after 6 days. He said sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and other acne medications can supress them, which give you false feedack that the problem is p.acnes and adult acne. I noticed itching and squirming in the evening as the mites die off, it's really strange, but seems to be working. I have read quite a bit about demodex mites in the last few days and they can produce a wide range of symptoms from nothing at all, to acne, itching, redness... and everything in-between.

If you're at your wits end go talk to your dermotologist about them!

I will report back at the 30 day mark to provide an update.

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Guys, try a simple yogurt and/or honey mask (with CLEAN honey /yogurt) first, and avoid more harsh treatments like sulfur.

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