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99f

CURED!! 10+ years of severe nodular cystic body acne gone in weeks (long post) (extensive) (Serious!)

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Posted (edited)

Update: Read my update on the bottom. Basically, I cured my acne with no medication needed,  simply by not shampooing anymore. Sounds gross, and your hair does get oily for the first few weeks, but I am loving life now.

 

 

I never, ever thought I would be making a thread such as this! I thought I was doomed to have this horrible curse on me for the whole of my life, or until I got old and my sebum levels changed. THE REASON THIS POST IS LONG IS BECAUSE I TRULY BELIEVE DIFFERENT THINGS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE'S ACNE AND I WANT YOU TO JUDGE ON YOUR OWN IF YOU THINK MY STORY COULD HELP YOU.  ALSO, you might think "This guy's acne was horrendous - mine is not that bad.. His post wont apply to me." just please consider what worked for me.. It is effective on a wide range of acne from what I have researched. I am going to outline this post in a way that I think is helpful, and I know anyone as desperate as I was will read through the whole thing, but I will break it down in easy sections for you to browse and  highlight the cure at the bottom for your convenience.
;D
Background of my experience with the disease:

  • 24 year old male
  • Started getting mild pustular acne on back and shoulder blades around age 13 years old. Began browsing these forums. Tried oral doxycycline.
  • By age 14 it had become nodulocystic. Tried topical antibiotic clindamycin+salycylic acid to no effect
    • These lesions would start as deep, nonpainful bumps. They would grow over several days until being large fluid-filled boils or furuncles and then would pop, usually at night or when a shirt rubbed over them. (Heaven forbid if a friend backslapped me playfully!) Staining my shirts, bedsheets, and mattress with blood/pus became a constant routine. Sleeping was difficult. Self-esteem plummetted. My posture deteriorated as I would stand in odd ways to stop my shirt from rubbing against open abscesses and I would hunch my shoulders upwards to hide scars along the nape of my neck. Suicidal ideation became a regular occurrence. The lesions, after healing, left hypertrophic scars which remain to this day and are my next battle. (I am just glad to have a smooth back and butt pain-free :) and a body not being ravaged anymore by this affliction)
  • Ages 14-16 it only got worse, began spreading to my upper arms and upper chest.
    Went on 6 month course of isotretinoin (Accutane). Acne cleared up for ~1.5 years, until I was about 18
    By age 21, it had reached the same severity as it was at age 16. Acne began spreading down to my butt, thighs, and groin.
    At age 23 I began a rigorous trial of various over-the-counter, holistic, and prescription remedies, some helped (list below) but most had no change. 
    By age 24 it had plateaud at its peak severity. I would usually have 5 to 10 large painful nodules and 10+ pustules, but they would come in waves. Sometimes as few as 5 lesions (but this only lasted for about 3-4 days) before flaring back up to 10+.
    I took a new direction in September 2017
    At the time of writing, I have been on this intervention for 2 weeks and my acne has improved by literally 95% with only 2 nodules left, both of which are receding.

    Psychological effects of my acne:
    Low self-esteem leading to long-lasting depressive disorder
    Anxiety attacks at sports games, beaches, sexual encounters, physicians offices when I knew it was expected to take my shirt off (i almost always refused unless comfortable with the girl or had to because of the doctor)
    Sexual difficulties
    Constant tension along shoulders due to hunching shirt up in public to hide neck scarring -> weird posture because of trying to hold my shirt off my lesions
    I remember being so jealous of guys who could take their shirts off at the beach and run around playing catch with a football. They just seemed so limber and carefree

    Physical effects of my acne:
    Disfigurement (obv)
    Pain
    Bleeding and oozing pus (particularly overnight, but also at inopportune times in public)

    Picture:
    This is not of me, but is an accurate representation of what my back looked like. I am attaching as a link because it may be disturbing to some viewers


http://cdn.lifebuzz.com/images/145670/lifebuzz-72e485672960d6893f5fac8fad3cb92c-limit_2000.jpg

Things I tried up until September 2017, which were NOT effective in CURING my acne :

An exhaustive, but not 100% complete, list of things I tried, with approx. length of treatment in [brackets] and my subjective rating of their efficacy in {curly brackets}, broken down by category. On my quest to cure my acne it was really helpful to read other people's things they had tried. 
  1. Topical
    1. Benzoyl peroxide in strengths up to 10% [2007-2017 on and off daily for months at a time] {Barely helped}
    2.  Clindamycin + Salicylic Acid prescription cream [2007 - 2017 on and off daily for days at a time on particularly large or painful lesions] {Definitely helps as a spot treatment}
    3. Salicylic Acid 2% [2007 - 2010 on and off daily for months at a time] {Less effective than BP for me}
    4. ZZ cream from Demodexsolutions [2017 daily for months] {Definite reduction in severity but did not cure me. WIll write more about this below}
    5. Sulfur ointment 10% [2017 daily for weeks] {Didn't help, i really hated this one because it would get greasy and wet on top of my painful lesions, causing any fabric to stick even harder and then rip off later}
    6. Turmeric (applied powder in shower and left on for 10+ minutes) [daily for weeks] {helped with inflammation/severity but was not curative}
    7. Head and shoulders (zinc pyrithione) [daily for weeks] {didn't help}
    8. Selsun blue (selenium sulfide) [daily for weeks] {didn't help}
    9. Ketoconazole 1% shampoo [daily for weeks] {didn't help}
    10. Black cumin seed oil [daily for weeks] {helped a little?}
    11. Bio-oil [daily for weeks] {didn't help but didn't expect it to, its more for scars}
    12. Potato peels [less than a week] {didn't help}
    13. Tea tree oil - either straight, watered down, or mixed with 91% isopropyl alcohol [twice daily, several weeks] {didn't help}
    14. Urine [less than a week] {helped}
    15. Apple cider vinegar
  2. Oral RX:
    1. Doxycycline antibiotic [1 trial in 2007, 1 trial in 2014] {didn't do anything}
    2. Accutane (isotretinoin) [6 months daily in 2010] {competely cleared up my acne for 1.5 years}
      1. Side effects included dry lips (went away after stopping), sensitivity to sunlight (still to this day), and - in my opinion - exacerbation of depression and suicidal ideation
  3. Oral non-prescription agents:
    1. I tried these in various combinations (for example, a thread on here recommends B5 + Cysteine + Vit C) daily for months. No improvement.
      1. Niacin
      2. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
      3. L Cysteine
      4. NAC (N Acetyl Cysteine)
      5. B Complex (B12, B6, others)
      6. Milk thistle + Fennel
      7. Acidophilus probiotic + fiber
      8. Vitamin E
      9. Vitamin A 
      10. Vitamin C
      11. Magnesium
      12. Zinc
      13. Krill oil
      14. Borage oil
      15. diatomaceous earth
      16. Candidagone 
      17. Wormwood+Black walnut+clove antiparasite drops
      18. Apple cider vinegar
      19. Urine (yes, I was this desperate. It works for some people apparently)
  4. Diets tried, for approx 1 - 2 months at a time:
    1. Gluten free
    2. Dairy free
    3. Low fat
    4. High fat
    5. No alcohol
  5. "Other" remedies:
    1. Daily sea salt baths [weeks] {helped a little}
    2. Daily diluted bleach baths [weeks] {made a huge difference - I think this is the closest runner-up to being curative of this whole list}
    3. Tanning {helped!}
    4. Extensive exfoliation with gloves [daily for weeks] {helped a little}
    5. No showers
    6. Lots of showers
    7. Cold showers
    8. Burning hot showers
    9. Changing pillow cases and towels regularly


False leads:
As you can tell by my list of things I tried, at some point I tried attributing my acne to a systemic Candida infection or parasite infection. I was skeptical, however, because I had no other findings indicative of Candida such as thrush, carb cravings, or fatigue and no other findings indicating parasites such as caloric malabsorption, GI distress, and general malaise.

The breakthrough:
I am a medical student, so I would like to think I know a little bit about the inflammatory process and disease pathogenesis.  As my education progressed I learned that the boils and furuncles that my nodules would eventually become almost always cultured Staph aureus. Well, this is no surprise, it is a major part of our skin's flora and an opportunistic pathogen. So, I wondered, WHY do I have these eruptions while other people who also have bacteria in their skin flora do not? The age-old explanation for why we get acne is a buildup of bacteria in and around the hair follicle / sebaceous glands due to a sebum blockage. 


I began to wonder why bacteria was piling up in my pores to such a severe extent. Other people with normal skin also had bacteria all over them, but for some reason mine was getting brought deeper into my skin, where it could set up shop (the microenvironment within the follicle is different and must offer pathogenic bacteria an opportunity to thrive, which in turn produces inflammation). I didn't get it - I wasn't immunosuppressed (a.k.a. my immune system is good, it should be able to fight the bacteria properly before it reached unmanageable level and created this horrible painful pimple). I wasn't picking at my skin and therefore destroying the protective barrier of my keratinized epidermis.  

I put together every associated symptom I had that I could possibly think of:

  • Optometrist commented on eyelash dandruff when I got vision checked at age 10
  • Acne began mildly in a small patch before progressing to severe, then began spreading to different areas over the course of a few months/years
  • Number of lesions varied in a 2-3 week cycle
  • Hairline and scalp acne
  • At random times in the day but particularly at night, I felt a prickling, crawling sensation under my skin in areas that were affected by acne. Googling this symptom led me to posts on this forum and elsewhere that brushed this sensation off as "just feeling the acne growing" or "this is a sign of a Candida infection"


I looked at all the remedies I had tried to find a pattern..

  • Over-the-counter anti inflammatories (SA, BP, vit E, others) didn't work, as expected.. These can help lower overall inflammation but if bacteria is still getting in your pores and causing problems, your skins gonna have a bad time.
  • Various diet modifications (to the extreme extent of eating ONLY boiled chicken and raw greens for a week) did not resolve it, indicating this was not an autoimmune reaction to an ingested allergen (such as herpes dermatiform, the cutaneous presentation of Celiac's disease and can strongly resemble what we know as acne)
  • A blood test to measure my AST + ALT (measures of liver functioning) plus assisting my liver with NAC / milk thistle, diatomaceous earth, and anti-parasite medication did not help, which seemed to rule out toxin buildup (either primary or secondary to parasite metabolism / liver dysfunction)
  • The exfoliation in the shower with purpose-made gloves (in the few areas where I could reach without painfully blowing open a cyst) did help, but it wasn't curative. This just confirmed my suspicion that this had to have something more than a simple "Your pores just make soo much sebum and sucks for you, you get acne from it!"


After looking at my attempted treatments, symptoms, and various reading throughout the recesses of this forum, I finally put it all together..........

THE CAUSE:
An overabundance of Demodex falciparum mites. 

NOTE: Those unaware of "Demodex", and those who are deeply suffering, desperate for a cure, will keep reading. BUT, I know that many on this forum are skeptics of any mention of these mites... It is my firm belief that some of you simply have acne due to some other reason, while many of you do infect have acne due to these mites. Chinese medicine widely regards them as the cause of 90+% of post-pubertal (adult) acne. I used to scoff at the Demodex explanation 10 years ago, and I regret ever doing so. Some of you will simply parrot what you have read already on here even though you have good intentions. Others have a vested interest - financially, or otherwise - in promoting other approaches. All I know is I wish I had pursued this lead in the posts I read mentioning DEMODEX from back in 2005 - 2009; I would surely be a different (more confident, less scarred, more optimistic) person today.

The explanation is quite simple.  Demodex live on most everyone's skin and generally don't cause much trouble. For various reasons, their population increases too much in certain individuals. These mites travel to various depths within your skin and lead to the deposition of their waste, corpses, and eggs in and within hair follicles. They also carry S. aureus and other opportunistic organisms deeper into the skin with them. The body responds with white blood cell extravasation + inflammation. Depending on the extent of your infestation + hormonal influences, you'll get anything from simple pustules, all the way to widespread furuncles (connected boils) that ulcerate and leave painful abscesses that scab over to form deeply disfiguring scars.

The variation in efficacy of my treatments finally made sense!

Of course anti-inflammatories (such as benzoyl peroxide or SA regimens and vitamins) won't cure this acne - the root cause is still present. They may improve it.. 

Of course topical clindamycin helped.. It kills off the bacteria that the mites brought down into your pore, resulting in markedly decreased inflammation. But it has no effect on STOPPING the acne from forming.

Of course bleach baths + UV (tanning) helped. Bleach baths are recommended by dermatologists for reducing # of Staph auereus (specifically in the treatment of eczema). Not only are you killing the bacteria on your skin, its likely to have a detrimental effect on the mites.

Of course my acne was cyclic… The life cycle of Demodex is a few weeks.. As one generation dies off, it takes a while for new eggs to hatch and mature.

Of course I had scalp issues and hairline acne..  I had a serious infestation of Demodex up there. This is why treatments of demodex (such as demodexsolution's Zhongzhou cream) are not effective in severe infestations.. You have a steady supply of mites up there and any patch you don't cover, they'll find.

The itching, crawling sensation at night / occasionally during the day? Our touch receptors are not sensitive enough to feel something the size of this mite crawling.. Thats why I dismissed this theory initially. But as I learned in medical school, a type IV hypersensitivity reaction is DEFINITELY something that can be felt.. And that's what is occurring here, as your immune system marches out WBC's to battle.

 

So, with my theory that mites were the cause of my past 10+ years of misery, it was time to CONFIRM it by doing an anti-mite therapy…

 


TOPICAL ATTEMPTS:
Thanks to a doctor in the family I was able to procure 5% permethrin, the gold standard for scabies treatment. Now, I knew I did not have scabies (thank heavens), but numerous posts on here and on the internet testified to its efficacy against Demodex. I began a daily treatment for 2 weeks, hoping and waiting…. 

Nothing. No improvement. I was devastated. It seemed I had run out of possibilities and leads, and was facing "idiopathic" acne.. a.k.a. "don't know why you've got this."

I had heard a lot about demodexsolutions but was highly skeptical of them. Their site was archaic, and they were halfway across the world. With desperation mounting, I ordered 2 vials of ZZ cream.

They arrived about a week later and I began applying it twice daily on my spots. Now, let me tell you, within minutes of applying this cream I began feeling a soothing relief on my lesions. I'm not saying it was a magic cure - maybe it was just the mint tingling - but having tried dozens and dozens of different things, ZZ cream just felt different. It felt soothing. Every morning I woke up and my painful pimples would have shrunk by a little. My Demodex theory began to gain traction!

Until, trouble struck. I woke up one day and had 3 new nasty nodules in my torso :'(

The tubs of ZZ cream were extremely expensive for the amount I received (I would run out of a tub after a week and that was only with spreading it on active lesions, each one cost around $35-40) and I didn't find this to be a sustainable solution. I also had a feeling that, while effective, it wasn't enough to eradicate an infestation as widespread as mine.. I was heart broken.

That's when I came across this thread:

 

 

And on this thread, I was led to this article:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S120197121201315X
 

 

tl;dr of the article:

 

Ivermectin and metronidazole are commonly used for various bacterial and parasitic infections. Ivermectin acts on invertebrate-specific ion channels, while metronidazole inhibits DNA synthesis primarily in anaerobic cells. (a.k.a., they have an extremely safe clinical profile on humans. In fact, Ivermectin is one of the pharmaceutical pinnacles when looking at efficacy to minimal side effect ratio if dosed correctly)


The most interesting result in that study to me was the figure showing the reduction in Demodex over the course of 4 weeks.
1-s2.0-S120197121201315X-gr3.jpg

 

It shows that a combined metronidazole+ivermectin therapy was more effective than ivermectin alone. By 2 weeks in, the mite density had approximately halved, and 4 weeks in was reduced by 90%.

 

So, I got ivermectin and metronidazole and began the next chapter in my life.

So, I proceeded to obtain ivermectin and metronidazole and followed the dosing regimen in the study.

THE CURE

  • .2mg/kg ivermectin on Day 0 and Day 14 (for me this came out to 18 mg each time. Up to 30mg on humans has been shown to be safe, and doses 10x that [as in, 2mg/kg] in rodents have been safe).
  • 250mg metronidazole 3x a day for 4 weeks


Within a week, my acne had gotten better by about 50%. Now, at 2 weeks, I'd say its close to 75% cured. I have never seen results this fast and consistently. 

I expect that I (and anyone else with a demodex infestation causing acne) will still need prophylactic measures upon completing this regimen. I am unsure of whether that will be a once or twice-a-month dose of ivermectin, or if perhaps a topical application of tea tree oil + 91% isopropyl alcohol (shown to be effective against demodex) will be sufficient. I will keep you posted on that. 

 

I am thankful beyond words to have found this treatment. I plan to check this thread at least weekly for the next several years in order to give back to this community that finally helped me cure this dreadful, painful, ugly affiliation. Once my back is completely cured I will begin applying biooil to fade the hyperpigmented scars.

 

For obtaining ivermectin and metronidazole (which are available by prescription, and should definitely NOT be obtained from local or online aquarium/veterinary supply shops and measured out in a milligram scale and dissolving the ivermectin in a oil or pure 160+ proof vodka since it does not dissolve in water like its friend metronidazole :):)) the recommended practice would be to take the study to your physician along with an easily searchable pharmaceutical fact sheet about the safety of these drugs (Physicians are trained in med school to throw antibiotics, topical retinoids, and consults to derm at anything resembling acne and many will consider a psychiatric evaluation if you start mentioning demodex without bringing this information in hand) and ask plainly and simply for what you want.


My experience with this forum is that there are people who will be quick to point out flaws in my approach, and provide criticism. I have nothing to benefit from this post besides the pleasure of helping other people accomplish something more quickly and painlessly then I had to battle 10+ years for.Many of you have been conditioned to roll your eyes at the very mention of the word "demodex." I hope you can find a cure, but please do consider the information in this post.

Good luck to all. You do not have to resign yourself to decades of suffering. Derms told me my only hope was Accutane (which I already did, and it has a proven 75+% reoccurrence rate a.k.a. the acne comes back but not before causing potentially irreversible side effects in youor waiting till I am 40+ years old. I look forward to hearing from you.

Edited by 99f
clarification

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Posted (edited)

so youve been on these meds for less than a month?

could u post pic of what ur face acne looked like? 

  Edited by pimple pimp

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I didn't have much facial acne after the usual puberty cheek acne.

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This is really interesting to me. I've wondered about this for a while but I'm not sure. My acne is mild, and only on my face (primarily cheeks, hairline, under the skin bumps on forehead). The spots I get them in seem to flare back up, though. I had suspected it might be a hormonal imbalance because of the fact that I've had other issues indicating such.

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On 12/28/2017 at 11:44 PM, Fcntcsy said:

This is really interesting to me. I've wondered about this for a while but I'm not sure. My acne is mild, and only on my face (primarily cheeks, hairline, under the skin bumps on forehead). The spots I get them in seem to flare back up, though. I had suspected it might be a hormonal imbalance because of the fact that I've had other issues indicating such.


Factors such as diet, stress, hormonal fluctuations, affect sebum production.. Mites eat sebum up like crack

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I said I'd keep an update on maintainance therapy to keep the acne under control. I'm finding that I need a weekly dose of ivermectin to keep my acne under control.. Probably will be able to decrease the frequency over time.

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I have found the easiest way to take ivermectin (which I am buying in crystalline form) is to dissolve it in heated coconut oil and drink that, since it does not dissolve in water.

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Posted (edited)

So it's basically demodex mites --> S. aureus --> acne?


It would be really helpful to hear any ideas about prescription-free alternatives to ivermectin+metronidazole for those of us who will have a real hard time procuring it

Edited by Hmmm87

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Posted (edited)

I feel your pain!   The same thing happened to me, but for a  whole lot longer.  As long as the mites have oil to eat the problems continue.  Eventually they can get into your eyelashes causing painfully severe dry eyes and a condition known as blepharitis demodex (aka ocular rosacea).  That is what finally happened to me. 

The last  4 board certified dermatologists misdiagnosed my Demodicosis as bacterial acne.  A board certified opthalmologist diagnosed my dry red eyes as "allergic conjunctivitis".  The dermatologists played Russian Roulette with antibiotics, Retin A, MicroRetin A, benzoyl peroxide etc.  Nothing ever cleared up the issue.  The last dermatologist was puzzled as to why nothing worked for me and said "Maybe its hormonal acne".  It wasn't. 

I found the same paper with the oral Ivermectin and oral metronizadole.treatment originally published in the International Journal of Infectious Disease in 2013.    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S120197121201315X

I did the 2  week combined treatment described in the paper.  2 doses of oral Ivermectin one week apart dose based on body weight at 200 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.  That was 12 mg for me per dose. And took  250 mg Oral Metronidazole 3 times a day for 2 weeks.   I continued to use the Cliradex wipes (tea tree oil extract) twice a day on eyes and face for the 2 week oral treatment and for 2 more weeks after the oral treatment. I just wanted to make sure anything still crawling was obliterated as much as possible.

My family doctor was very helpful and wrote the prescriptions after I explained the treatment I found in the paper.   Both drugs are old and available as inexpensive generic prescription drugs.  The cost with insurance copay for both was just $13.03 USD.  The full retail price was $52.00 if you don't have insurance.  The total price of one box of Cliradex wipes is $42 and lasts just 12 days.  The price of the oral drugs is pretty cheap by comparison.  And hopefully it goes into remission and requires no further special treatment.  If it comes back, at least I know what it is now.  And how to treat it.

Update:  Now at 7.5 weeks post oral treatment.  Skin and Eyes are still clear.  I was able to stop using the Cliradex wipes.  As a precaution to discourage future re-infestations, I am washing nightly with the Tranquil Eyes 1% Tea Tree Foaming Facial and Eye lid cleanser by eye eco.  Followed by spraying the eye lids and face with Hypochlorous Acid Eyelid and Eyelash Cleanser by Heyedrate.  Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer and Eye cream are both helpful at re-moisturizing the skin.  Taking a Lutein (10mg) + Zeanxathin (2 mg) supplement along with Omega 3s to combat lid inflammation.  One person on the Rosacea forum reports that this supplement also helped his skin issues with acne like rosacea Type 2. 

The mites have a life cycle of 14-24 days making the problem appear to be tied to a hormonal cycle.  Demodex skin mites eat oil along with the cells in the pores.  Any drug or diet change that reduces oil production can control the mite population at least temporarily by reducing their food source.    Drugs like Accutane can drastically reduce the oil produced.  But if demodex skin mites are the real problem, the mites may rebound once the drug is stopped.   Doctors seriously need to test for demodex skin mites before prescribing drugs.  If you doctor has not  tested you for the mites, ask them to do so.

Edited by ElaineA

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One treatment for body demodex mite issues is soaking in a warm (not hot) bath with 20 Mule Team Borax and Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts - Super Moisturizing Avocado oil.   Demodex mites can make your skin and scalp itch.  Borax kills them.  But don't drink Borax, it could be toxic if ingested internally!   You can take an oral Boron Amino Acid Supplement made by Nature's Way (about $7.99 at stores like Sprouts).

If you have any serious health issues, like kidney problems this would not be a recommended treatment!   The magnesium in the Epsom Salts may be a problem for some health conditions.   As long as you are healthy, this soak should be OK.  Talk to your physician if you are not sure if this is safe for you.

For a standard 5 foot bath tub:
1.  Fill tub with pleasantly warm water.  If the water is too hot, you may pass out or get over heated.  Its not the heat its the borax that will kill the mites.
2.  Add 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax (available at Kroger for about $3).
3.  Add 1 cup of Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts with Moisturizing Avocado Oil (about $5 at Kroger) . This ingredient will make your skin moist but the borax is more important.
4.  Swirl the water in the tub and break up any lumps in the borax.
5.  Get in tub, use the water to shampoo your hair and scalp too.  Borax is a good and simple DIY shampoo.  It is also a good water softener.
6.  Soak in tub for 30 minutes.

You can take a shower after you are done if you like.  Some people say that leaving the borax on is better.  I've never tried it that way.
 

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On 2/14/2018 at 7:41 PM, ElaineA said:
One treatment for body demodex mite issues is soaking in a warm (not hot) bath with 20 Mule Team Borax and Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts - Super Moisturizing Avocado oil.   Demodex mites can make your skin and scalp itch.  Borax kills them.  But don't drink Borax, it could be toxic if ingested internally!   You can take an oral Boron Amino Acid Supplement made by Nature's Way (about $7.99 at stores like Sprouts).

If you have any serious health issues, like kidney problems this would not be a recommended treatment!   The magnesium in the Epsom Salts may be a problem for some health conditions.   As long as you are healthy, this soak should be OK.  Talk to your physician if you are not sure if this is safe for you.

For a standard 5 foot bath tub:
1.  Fill tub with pleasantly warm water.  If the water is too hot, you may pass out or get over heated.  Its not the heat its the borax that will kill the mites.
2.  Add 1 cup of 20 Mule Team Borax (available at Kroger for about $3).
3.  Add 1 cup of Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts with Moisturizing Avocado Oil (about $5 at Kroger) . This ingredient will make your skin moist but the borax is more important.
4.  Swirl the water in the tub and break up any lumps in the borax.
5.  Get in tub, use the water to shampoo your hair and scalp too.  Borax is a good and simple DIY shampoo.  It is also a good water softener.
6.  Soak in tub for 30 minutes.

You can take a shower after you are done if you like.  Some people say that leaving the borax on is better.  I've never tried it that way.
 

Elaine, thanks so much for your input. You can see in my original post that I did try soaks (bleach, salt, and epsom [seperately]) but mine was not responding to it, although a lot of other people have had success - maybe milder cases
 
On 2/14/2018 at 5:45 PM, Hmmm87 said:

So it's basically demodex mites --> S. aureus --> acne?


It would be really helpful to hear any ideas about prescription-free alternatives to ivermectin+metronidazole for those of us who will have a real hard time procuring it


These drugs are available in veterinary grade 99.9% purity online and in stores

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Posted (edited)

So what's the status of your acne today? I have been struggling with back acne for 6 months, starting a few weeks after ending a 12 week testosterone replacement therapy. Derms keep feeding me doxy and topical clindamycin, neither of which really seem to help. I also use a bunch of different topicals; salicyclic acid wash followed by benzoyl peroxide wash twice a day, tea tree oil spread over it on a cottonball after each wash, etc. The only thing that shows a really noticeable difference is tanning (especially when I burn and get red). In the photos youll see the firsy one before tanning, the second pic right after tanning looking noticeably better, and then the 3rd with the tan faded and reverting back. I definitely feel that itch you refer to at times. I am absolutely at my wits end.

20180218_130029.jpg

20180223_005038.jpg

20180314_010216.jpg

Edited by zebum88

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Do you have any updates?  I’m trying your method.

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On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 11:08 AM, Gemmy7 said:

Do you have any updates?  I’m trying your method.

On ‎3‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 1:11 AM, zebum88 said:

So what's the status of your acne today? I have been struggling with back acne for 6 months, starting a few weeks after ending a 12 week testosterone replacement therapy. Derms keep feeding me doxy and topical clindamycin, neither of which really seem to help. I also use a bunch of different topicals; salicyclic acid wash followed by benzoyl peroxide wash twice a day, tea tree oil spread over it on a cottonball after each wash, etc. The only thing that shows a really noticeable difference is tanning (especially when I burn and get red). In the photos youll see the firsy one before tanning, the second pic right after tanning looking noticeably better, and then the 3rd with the tan faded and reverting back. I definitely feel that itch you refer to at times. I am absolutely at my wits end.

 


Guys

Sorry for the late reply - I stopped checking this forum after this horrible site redesign.

My acne is pretty much 99% gone as long as I take maintainance doses of ivermectin every few weeks.

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99f, thank you and congratulations!

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Hi 99f, last year I tried the combined oral ivermectin and metronidazole treatment (veterinary grade because it would take me 6 months to get an appointment with a dermatologist where I live, and I knew that no doctor in France would have given me a script), and had clear skin for a few weeks. Unfortunately, even though I kept on using the zz cream every day, the mites came back. I think ultimately because of my oily skin, they will always find a way to return. I stopped using ivermectin because not only has it become ineffective (likely due to drug resistance) but also because I no longer see pesticides is a safe option (I was desperate when I tried this combo). By eradicating the demodex, we are simply treating the symptoms but not the cause. People need a lifelong maintenance treatment and sometimes get infested because no one knows what causes the mites to proliferate in the first place. Anyway, I am glad you are getting better. 

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Update -

I got tired of taking the ivermectin every few weeks, even though it was effective. After much research and thought I have realized that Big Pharma's explanation for why we get acne is true: it is a combination of clogged pores and bacteria. Most approaches try to either promote skin exfoliation and thereby minimize clogged pores (loofahs, salt rubs) , are antibacterial (antibiotics, antiseptics such as tea tree oil) , or both (aspirin rubs). Severe acne is treated via accutane which decreases sebum production.

 

Ivermectin was an antibacterial, because the demodex mites carry Staph into your follicles.

 

I stopped shampooing my hair because I realized that my body was sensing the hair oil being stripped away and was ramping up sebum production. For the first 3 weeks my hair was quite oily and I did daily water rinses and brushed my hair to redistribute the hair oil. After those 3 weeks my sebum production levels had normalized and my hair always looks great. In addition, my dandruff (scalp and eyebrow) is completely gone. And, my acne is 99.9% gone. I can't believe it but I am so happy to have cured it. This has been 11 years of suffering now, with the last year much better due to ivermectin.

 

Read about the benefits of no shampoo. It sounds gross but the media and Johnson&Johnson want you to think you need to constantly use their products. And if you are asking, why do other people with clear skin still use shampoo and not need to stop shampooing, well the answer is everybody's skin is different. Just try it.

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