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I am at my wits end with my acne. I am a 26 year old female, and have had acne for 13 years

I do not have particularly cystic acne the way I would describe my skin is:

  • Lots of blackheads and little bumps all over face (particularly forehead), upper back and chest

  • A consistent handful of bigger, juicy spots - upper back, chin (only really during my time of the month), cheeks if I eat particularly greasy food (which isn't really too regularly), temples sometimes... basically there's always a few going on but their location varies

  • A LOT of those blackheads that are whiteheads... you know the small under the skin white spots that squeeze like blackheads but are white rather than the usual sebum from blackheads

  • My skin feels very rough and dry (from trying to use acne products I guess), but also oily on my nose, lots of blackheads here

What I have tried and my findings in no particular order -

  1. Roaccutane - I've been on a course of Roaccutane twice now, once when I was 17 and again when I was 23. Both times my skin was AMAZING. The depression was intense. But the acne has come back and I doubt there's any point going back on it

  2. Antibiotics - did a few courses before Roaccutane, nothing happened. Did a course AFTER 2nd Roaccutane course and my skin REALLY cleared up but then the acne came back. Tried the same antibiotics AGAIN, nothing happened

  3. Cut out high sugar foods (cakes, desserts, fizzy drinks, chocolate) for a good month or so and massively cut down for a further few months + 3 months of drinking 1 pint homemade vegetable juice everyday + vitamin B5 & L Cartnitine supps - no change

  4. Took some sort of oil vitamins for dry eyes that were meant to help. High dose vitamin A - nothing

  5. Cut out caffeine for a while, it did help a little I suppose but not enough to continue

  6. Cut out dairy for 6 weeks (so far... still going) - no improvement

  7. Topicals – Benzoyl/salicylic/retinol A – helps a bit but stronger % dries skin out too much and doesn’t clear acne completely. Lower % does work a little so I use that before bedtime

  8. Contraceptive pills specifically for acne, no significant change

  9. Head & Shoulders Clinically Proven with Selenium Sulfide – I use with an exfoliation sponge around shoulders and chest once a day, most days. This actually REALLY helped to smooth out the skin so I’ve carried on using it. I tried it with a Benzoyl wash to see if maybe it was just the sponge doing the work but it was nowhere near as effective. I’ve started doing this on my face to try and smooth the bumps and I think it’s working a bit, not sure yet


Other things I’ve noticed -

·         Variations in my diet don’t seem to affect my skin EXCEPT, if I have REAL butter I will always get a BIG cystic spot on my cheek the next day

·         Stress potentially contributing, can’t avoid stress completely though

·         Haven’t found much in the way of miracle products EXCEPT Clinique Anti Blemish Mask is really good but it’s results are limited and not really good ENOUGH


I try not to squeeze my spots as this DEFINITELY makes them worse but it is really hard not to when I see really big ones

My diet is generally very good but if I eat badly my skin doesn't worsen and if I eat really clean it doesn't improve

Sorry for the long post I just feel desperate, fed up of going to and from the doctors when I'm not getting a permanent solution 

Does anyone have any suggestions based on their experiences with acne?

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