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snarkygirl

Hi, I've had acne for 20 years

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Hey I'm a new poster I posted my first one yesterday.
So ive had acne since I was 12 and Im 32 .  Its gone back and forth between mild to cystic but its affecting my mental health and ive even lost a job because i was out so much due to embarassment. I'm tired of waking up afraid to look at myself every day. Its been the one thing in life thats holding be back and im ready for it to be gone for good .
Im seeing a specislist in two months for hormonal imbalance and i want to be as informed as possible. Any suggestions on topicals, diet, herbs etc are appreciated. I will not consider accutane because suicide runs in my family and i think its hormone problems anyway. Anything else, go ahead I'd love to hear.
Im sure there are others who feel their acne has stolen opportunities from them. Id love to be able not to care but i havent figured out how yet. 20 years is just too long! 

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As someone who severely suffered while on Accutane, I applaud you for deciding against it. My acne is hormonal and I have finally found that birth control and spironolactone (a prescription drug given by my dermatologist) keeps my skin 85% clear three weeks out of the month. I completely understand not wanting to go out because of acne and just feeling so insecure. I've unfortunately not found any topical to be effective for me, but I know everyone is different. Welcome to the boards :)

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On 4/9/2016 at 4:15 PM, jensweetone said:

As someone who severely suffered while on Accutane, I applaud you for deciding against it. My acne is hormonal and I have finally found that birth control and spironolactone (a prescription drug given by my dermatologist) keeps my skin 85% clear three weeks out of the month. I completely understand not wanting to go out because of acne and just feeling so insecure. I've unfortunately not found any topical to be effective for me, but I know everyone is different. Welcome to the boards :)

thanks! What birth control are you on and what spiro dose?i

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I'm using doxycycline tablets which are antibiotics plus the topical cream tretinoin 0.025%. I knew my acne was caused my hormonal issues so I knew over the counter meds wouldnt work, and they didn't!! Talked to my dermatologist, got a prescription for the aforementioned meds and they have been good so far. One note: I also tried BC as a way to control the hormonal causes of acne and if you do go that route, make sure you talk to your doctor about the suicide risk in your family. I was prescribed Gildess BC and it made me so moody and angry and sad all day every day to the point that I felt darkness was enveloping me and there was no way out. Please speak to your doctor if you do go the BC route, I do believe it can be advantageous in the battle for acne, but the side effects NEED to be considered. It is no joke, I have never felt that way before in my life, and I quit taking them after 3 days. Good luck. I'm sorry you're still dealing with acne, but it will get better with treatment that works for YOUR body. Everyone is different, do not get discouraged. Medications and treatments people swore by never worked for me, until I talked to my derm and experimented. 

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I'm 32 too and I've been struggling in and off since age 16 myself.  Been on accutane 3 times and I think you are brave for not choosing that as a first line of treatment.  I'm currently on 150 mg Spiro and weening of oracea (low dose doxy).  It's doing an ok job and I'm not breaking out as much as I was but I still clearly have acne -it's been almost 7 months.

i highly recommend cutting dairy and gluten out for a few months and going paleo if you haven't tried it.  I would do that before wasting money on supplements. 

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17 hours ago, Ugurl said:

I'm using doxycycline tablets which are antibiotics plus the topical cream tretinoin 0.025%. I knew my acne was caused my hormonal issues so I knew over the counter meds wouldnt work, and they didn't!! Talked to my dermatologist, got a prescription for the aforementioned meds and they have been good so far. One note: I also tried BC as a way to control the hormonal causes of acne and if you do go that route, make sure you talk to your doctor about the suicide risk in your family. I was prescribed Gildess BC and it made me so moody and angry and sad all day every day to the point that I felt darkness was enveloping me and there was no way out. Please speak to your doctor if you do go the BC route, I do believe it can be advantageous in the battle for acne, but the side effects NEED to be considered. It is no joke, I have never felt that way before in my life, and I quit taking them after 3 days. Good luck. I'm sorry you're still dealing with acne, but it will get better with treatment that works for YOUR body. Everyone is different, do not get discouraged. Medications and treatments people swore by never worked for me, until I talked to my derm and experimented. 

hi, thanks for your message!
I have taken yaz and orthocyclen in the past and actually felt better mentally lol. Im one of those people who usually gets the opposite effects if mefs than most people. Good news, i was able to get yaz from my general doctor. I may have PCOS or early menopause ugh. Im still gonna look into topicals like you said.is tretinoin a retinoid?
14 hours ago, leelowe1 said:

I'm 32 too and I've been struggling in and off since age 16 myself.  Been on accutane 3 times and I think you are brave for not choosing that as a first line of treatment.  I'm currently on 150 mg Spiro and weening of oracea (low dose doxy).  It's doing an ok job and I'm not breaking out as much as I was but I still clearly have acne -it's been almost 7 months.

i highly recommend cutting dairy and gluten out for a few months and going paleo if you haven't tried it.  I would do that before wasting money on supplements. 


Hi, thanks for your advice! I never thought id still have acne at this age. Im going to cut out dairy and msg and try gluten...also bananas and avocados seem to give me hives on my chest. I hope you find somethi g that works well for you. Ill let you guys know if i have any changes.

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On 4/12/2016 at 7:42 PM, leelowe1 said:



i highly recommend cutting dairy and gluten out for a few months and going paleo if you haven't tried it.  I would do that before wasting money on supplements. 

 I agree with this approach.

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I've had acne for 18 years. Long enough that I hardly remember NOT having it. I've done all of the topicals, peels, antibiotics, and hormonal methods. I've even done special diets and changed all of my grooming products, hoping something would help. But it seems that I just have stubborn acne. Which is why I'm now on Accutane. I can say with full confidence, that nothing but Accutane will work. I have major depressive disorder, but I haven't experienced any psychological side-effects while on the drug. I wish I'd gone on this medication 15 years ago and saved myself a lot of grief.

But I appreciate that Accutane isn't right for everyone. I hope you find your cure very soon!

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On April 13, 2016 at 10:14 AM, snarkygirl said:
hi, thanks for your message!
I have taken yaz and orthocyclen in the past and actually felt better mentally lol. Im one of those people who usually gets the opposite effects if mefs than most people. Good news, i was able to get yaz from my general doctor. I may have PCOS or early menopause ugh. Im still gonna look into topicals like you said.is tretinoin a retinoid?
Yes it is. And it's available in varying strengths. 0.025% 0.05% and 0.01%. Your derm will prescribe you the one he thinks will be most effective for you. It does take about 2-3 months to work though so don't get discouraged! My doctor did not explain the side effects to me, and it was a nightmare in the first few weeks. Tretinoin basically pushes up all of your underlying acne pimples to the surface because its job is to increase cell turn over. You will have a 'purging' around week 2 or 3 of using tretinoin regularly, just bear with it and keep using it. The good thing about it is that it will also make all of those pimples disappear faster. So you may go to sleep with a huge pimple and wake up and its gone. That was something I had never experienced with any OTC medication before so that was pretty amazing. Right now, I just have little brown spots where the pimples were and even they seem to be fading. Make sure you apply sunscreen liberally before you go out because tretinoin + sun do not mix well. Hit up the other acne forums and see what people have to say about tretinoin. That was what helped me the most. Just seeing other people going through what I was going through and then having successfully controlled their acne. It also helped me to not freak out when I went through the purging stage! lol because I had like 5-6 pimples on one cheek, it was so distressing but reading other peoples comments really helped me get through it. Just fyi, I also drink a glass of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every other day, use a derm prescribed sodium sulfacetamide and sulphur cleanser every day and take doxycycline tablets twice a day. I believe applying tretinoin has been the MOST effective treatment so far. With health insurance, My script was $10 for tretinoin, which I think is reasonable. The derm appointment was $100 and not covered by my insurer. I think this is a good path and it's been proven to work, it's worth a shot! Again, Good luck!!

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You are making a mistake by not considering isotretinoin.

Depression also runs in my family but I had no mental health problems whilst on the drug, and I took 12,000mg. Like you I had long term acne and I decided enough was enough. I paid out of my own pocket and went private. It has worked wonders, to the point where I count myself as cured.

Seriously, get on accutane and get on with your life.

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fedup2016, do you always think everything that works for you is guaranteed to work for everyone else? this board is filled with accutane horror stories, it is not a miracle drug. and she mentioned suicide (not depression) runs in her family.

Edited by hopeless87

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My daughter has had acne for 16 years.  I had it too and suffered horribly.  She is completely controlled with generic Yasmin and 50 mg spironolactone.   If she goes off the meds she breaks out.  She took one course of accutane that did not go well. I was so disappointed for her.  My dread now is when she goes off of her meds preparing for pregnancy. Then I'll need to post in the emotional threads!   I'm hoping pregnancy is kind to her skin.   It went both ways for me.  

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On 4/21/2016 at 9:19 AM, fedup2016 said:

You are making a mistake by not considering isotretinoin.

Depression also runs in my family but I had no mental health problems whilst on the drug, and I took 12,000mg. Like you I had long term acne and I decided enough was enough. I paid out of my own pocket and went private. It has worked wonders, to the point where I count myself as cured.

Seriously, get on accutane and get on with your life.
No thanks.
 

On 4/21/2016 at 9:19 AM, fedup2016 said:

You are making a mistake by not considering isotretinoin.

Depression also runs in my family but I had no mental health problems whilst on the drug, and I took 12,000mg. Like you I had long term acne and I decided enough was enough. I paid out of my own pocket and went private. It has worked wonders, to the point where I count myself as cured.

Seriously, get on accutane and get on with your life.

No thanks!

On 4/19/2016 at 10:51 PM, SendMeAngels said:

I've had acne for 18 years. Long enough that I hardly remember NOT having it. I've done all of the topicals, peels, antibiotics, and hormonal methods. I've even done special diets and changed all of my grooming products, hoping something would help. But it seems that I just have stubborn acne. Which is why I'm now on Accutane. I can say with full confidence, that nothing but Accutane will work. I have major depressive disorder, but I haven't experienced any psychological side-effects while on the drug. I wish I'd gone on this medication 15 years ago and saved myself a lot of grief.

But I appreciate that Accutane isn't right for everyone. I hope you find your cure very soon!

thats OK I'm glad its working for you☺
18 hours ago, Boston50 said:

My daughter has had acne for 16 years.  I had it too and suffered horribly.  She is completely controlled with generic Yasmin and 50 mg spironolactone.   If she goes off the meds she breaks out.  She took one course of accutane that did not go well. I was so disappointed for her.  My dread now is when she goes off of her meds preparing for pregnancy. Then I'll need to post in the emotional threads!   I'm hoping pregnancy is kind to her skin.   It went both ways for me.  

hi, good luck to her. I had nice skin while pregnant. 
20 hours ago, hopeless87 said:

fedup2016, do you always think everything that works for you is guaranteed to work for everyone else? this board is filled with accutane horror stories, it is not a miracle drug. and she mentioned suicide (not depression) runs in her family.

i know some people are desperate enough to try anything but if I have to choose between suicide or long term health problems and acne, I'll chose acne. I'm getting better with BC though.

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I think I probably first started getting acne towards the end of 1996, so I know how depressing it is to carry this condition for so long.

As a male, I can't do much about hormonal acne. I know a lot of girls on here have had success with BCP and Spiro, so there are well documented alternatives for you.

Personally, if you've had acne for this long then I think it's probably ingrained in your DNA, so herbs and dietary changes probably won't make much different. Everyone's unique, though, so there could be some weird trigger for your acne.

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8 hours ago, ben100604 said:

I think I probably first started getting acne towards the end of 1996, so I know how depressing it is to carry this condition for so long.

As a male, I can't do much about hormonal acne. I know a lot of girls on here have had success with BCP and Spiro, so there are well documented alternatives for you.

Personally, if you've had acne for this long then I think it's probably ingrained in your DNA, so herbs and dietary changes probably won't make much different. Everyone's unique, though, so there could be some weird trigger for your acne.

I agree. My mom had acne too and my gran. Not her brothers though. 
What's the best thing for males with acne, since they don't take hormones?

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I've had acne for 22 years.  I only get moderate break outs every so often, so it's not as bad as it used to be.  My bigger issue now is my scarring. Like another poster said I don't know what it's like to not have it.  There has been no bigger source of misery in my life than this condition.   

Edited by azstl25

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11 hours ago, azstl25 said:

I've had acne for 22 years.  I only get moderate break outs every so often, so it's not as bad as it used to be.  My bigger issue now is my scarring. Like another poster said I don't know what it's like to not have it.  There has been no bigger source of misery in my life than this condition.   

I feel ya. Most of the time I may only have 1-3 spots but it's rare that I'm totally clear. I get so excited then....it comes back. I don't scar thank God...have you tried any scar treatments? Not everyone can afford them though.

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