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Need help!

Hi everyone. I'm looking for some advice, please. I'm 30 years old, female, and in the past few months started breaking out really bad with comedonal acne. PRETTY sure this is what it is. I've been reading EVERYTHING on this site to figure this all out. I don't think it's fungal or SD, I've seen pics and it looks nothing like that. I had acne as a teenager and was put on tetracyclin for 3 weeks and then birth control which kept it under control for the most part. I went off the pill 5 years ago as a personal choice. I didn't break out at that point. Later, maybe 6 months I tried the oil cleansing method, just to be more natural I guess (?) My skin has never been perfect and I hoped I could get it that way. So OCM made me break out with the comedones like crazy, except I had no idea what they were back then (this was 4 years ago). They just felt and looked awful! I kept OCM for 4 months, hoping the "purge" would end but it never did. Eventually I was feeling SO horrible about myself, I stopped, and after much research, started taking Vitamin A 25,000iu a day and that cleared me up. For the first time in my life, I had clear skin (sometimes). I've never had perfect skin - I always get cystic zits during my menstrual cycle (I don't think I got these when on BC pill). I get them on my chin, and used to be only 1 per cycle. However past few months has gotten worse and the hypger-pigmentation lasts foreverrr!!

Sorry I'll try to finish this up - long story short I am used to the cysts - they suck but it's hormonal and I'm working on that. The problem is 2-3 months ago, I started OCM AGAIN. WHY???? I read all new stuff on it, all of this information has come up to make the OCM work for "you" and I did ALL my research. I have used jojoba oil as a moisturizer off/on (when extra dry) for like 2 years with no problems and works great. So I used jojoba oil, and other oils here and there (like hemp seed or argan a few times). The first 2 weeks, my face was great. I told myself if I start to get bumps on my cheeks (where I got them last time) I would STOP. But around week 3 I got 3 bumps next to my eye. I noticed and oil cleansed extra there (UH!). The following weeks it just got worse on both sides of eyes/eyebrows (not milia, I have some of that too always have) - toward cheeks, but not as bad there, and really bad on forehead. Cysts kept coming on chin! So I stopped OCM after 1.5 months and went back to my normal routine - cetaphil gentle cleanser and moisturizing lotion. Nothing got better for 2-3 weeks. Then I tried BP and some days I thought it was helping but in the right lighting, the bumps were still there. The bumps on my forehead are less but still a lot. The right side of face was worse, now it's a little better and left side is worse (wasn't that bad). WTH. I have tried to keep hands off but I have squeezed them. Most of the time they are like a rice grain, or sometimes a thin white substance that swirls as it comes out. I have TONS of bumps on my chin too, except they are a little different - they are smaller, and have like a black/gray shadow almost - not a blackhead because they come out white but they're weird. And tons of them. I squeezed all those out about 2 weeks ago and they have come back right after I used a clay mask. I go to a health kinesiologist after this who told me it was indeed a reaction to the oil and to wash only with water and washcloth for 2 weeks, and no moisturizer, which I tried but pretty much failed because my skin would get really flaky especially on my chin (where the cysts are healing) and between my eyebrows. So I would exfoliate - first I got C&C SA scrub (which I've now read is useless) and I felt like that made the bumps look worse. Then I tried yogurt for the lactic acid - and that made my skin feel smooth except where the bumps are and get rid of the dry skin but very irritated / felt itchy and painful the entire next day (did use moisturizer after). So basically every few days, I think OMG I have to try something - this isn't working. Also when I use anything with "acid" on it, where the bumps are is very red and irritated. BP is ok if I moisturize after and use every other night or so, but it doesn't seem to help the bumps. In the past, I have never used these products - SA or BP.

I have taken the Acne quiz and I already take zinc, I have been for a while to keep clear complexion, along with the vitamin A which doesn't seem to be cutting it this time. It's been like 6 weeks since I stopped OCM.

I had surgery 10 weeks ago (started OCM after that) and have been on oral steroid for that, as well as pain meds right after surgery (don't think that would affect it?) and steroid SHOTS (don't think that would affect either?). Just FYI. The bumps started before the oral steroid, probably 6 weeks before.

I had a journal of all this, but it was on my computer and the hard drive died so it's all lost. lol. I wish I could look back to see exactly how this all happened.

So IDK what to do. The bumps get inflamed of course when I squeeze or use acid. I'm so frustrated. I'm also thinking I should just go back to exfoliating 3-4x a week with Apricot scrub (non SA) because that is what I used along with the cetaphil before all this OCM mess. I hate feeling the bumps, I hate seeing them, and I can't stop thinking about it - I try and do okay for 3-4 days and then I research like crazy.

Here's my question - I have read a few things online about others OCM nightmares and that people say to run to the dr and get an antibiotic for like 6 weeks. I don't think I've EVER been on antibiotic for that long. It's not good for you, I know that. I already take probiotic every day, but if it will work then I'lll try it. I haven't been on any in a very long time, and I go on them maybe once a year IF that. So maybe I'll be ok to try it out? I already called a dermatologist and tried to get an appt but they can't get me in until January and I'm hoping it's all gone by then! So I'm thinking of just going to my regular dr. But I keep going back and forth. OH and also although I went on the tetracyclin as a teen and it worked, I asked for it a couple years later and it did nothing. I was also given a topical which irritated me too much to use. I have very sensitive skin. The only time I've really considered myself to have pretty clear skin is taking the Vitamin A after OCM the first time.

I have tons of hyperpigmentation which FINALLY seems to be calming - like 4-5 spots all on my chin, and of course my period is due in like a week. So yay I'll be getting MORE cysts. :(

I also take Vitamin D 5000 every day per dr's orders.

CAN comedones be bacterial? Would an anbx help?

or could it be fungal? Should I get a SA cream or something ? I'm scared to get the purge with that too. How to I know the pH of a product?? Like from the drug store. I actually considered going back on BC but I get severe migraines with it (and still) so it's a bad idea. 

I slso bought a product with zinc and sulphur - topical for "problem skin" it says it's for blemishes, acne etc and that it can be drying. Haven't used it yet. 

I I wonder if the cleanse with water no moisturizer for 3 days - until my skin starts to flake then exfoliate?? Is that a bad idea? I don't flake where most of the bumps are (my chin flakes but the cysts mainly). So although I always thought I've had dry skin (oily as a teen) I think it's fine once I got used to the no moisturizer thing. 

Sorry im trying to be through. At this point none of the bumps on forehead, and sides of eyes will pop when squeezed but I used the c&c SA scrub and left it on for a few minutes. 

Edited by star22

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Well maybe I shouldn't have made my post so long lol. 
Last night I tried a SA gel on most of the areas with the bumps. The left temple area was really red for a few days (maybe from BP?) and wouldn't go down and now it's got less bumps, I think they are just smaller and it's kind of like a scab but not red - dry skin maybe. However after the SA the redness has gone down.

so my forehead, and both temples have less bumps overnight. 

On my chin I used SA on half abd zinc/sulphur cream on other half. I bought that after reading on this forum about diaper rash cream. This cream is better because it's tinted to cover spots or wear under makeup or whatever. It's not white. And it's meant for the face;) anyhow I think my chin overall looks better and not sure which worked better. I'm thinking SA- I have some red spots from cysts on the side I used the zinc so I think I'll use SA tonight on everything. Also didn't use noisturizer. All these years I thought my skin was dry but when I use chemical exfoliants now, the new skin gets greasy when I putt moisturizer on. Not sure, I'll have to keep experimenting. 

Sooooooooo freakin happy. Part of me wonder if it was just time and it would've corrected itself with time because it seems like it's too easy. And I did spot treat with the zinc before but didn't leave it on long because I was nervous. Who knows. Maybe the C&C scrub with SA that I let sit started to get it going. 

SA for the win who know. I never thought I'd use acid on my face. Lol 

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