Jump to content
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

I am 24 years old (female) and have been dealing with adult hormonal acne on my chin/jawline on and off since I was 19.

I want to share my story and everything I tried so that I may help someone else who has the same type of acne as me. Reading forums on other people’s acne experience was a huge help for my mental health, it was comforting to know I wasn’t alone (not that I would wish this upon anyone) and it was helpful to learn about  the failures and success stories of different acne treatments which helped me make important decisions. 

When my acne came back this time, I was almost 24, I had just started a new relationship and a new job, and my acne was seriously affecting my self confidence. My acne was only mild-moderate (picture attached) but extremely persistent (always had multiple breakouts at any one time). 

Below is a summary of everything I tried and how it affected me. 

1️⃣ Topical treatments:

Benzyl peroxide: not a cure for hormonal acne, didn’t help at all, seriously irritating to my skin, would not recommend.

Topical antibiotic: not a cure for hormonal acne, didn’t help at all,also irritating for my skin, would not recommend.

Topical vitamin A: I saw no change in my acne, and it dried out my skin. This didn’t work for me, but I have heard many good things about vitamin A for skin in general , it just wasn’t a solution for my persistent hormonal acne.

2️⃣ Contraceptive pill (Yaz)

I was really hoping this would work, and I think I think does for a good percentage of girls with hormonal jawline/chin acne, but after waiting 7 months with no change, I gave up on this as a solution. I also experience mood swings on this pill ( well, one mood, a crying emotional mess). 

3️⃣ SGA

I went to clear skin clinics for SGA treatment (sebatious gland ablation)https://clearskincareclinics.com.au/sga/.
I spent around $1000 on 12 SGA treatments, and saw no improvement ( according to clear skin clincs most people only need 6-10). The staff were lovely and I have heard that it has a decent success rate, but it didn’t work for me.

Note:  I also tried all the clear skin clinics products for around 6 months ( cleanser, serums, moisturiser etc). Personally, I find that a gentle face wash like cetaphil is better for me, and the products didn’t help my acne, but I do love their moisturiser and will continue to buy it. It’s the first moisturiser I feel comfortable putting on my acne because it’s lightweight and doesn’t seem to make my acne worse.
4️⃣ Roaccutane 

After 9-10 months of mild-moderate persistent acne and feeling completely hopeless, I did what I should have have done months earlier and went to a professional dermatologist. I highly advise going to a dermatologist! I was prescribed roaccutane 10mg/day (with potential for 20mg/day after the first month). I am currently 20 days into treatment and will post a roaccutane journal once I am further into treatment .

❗️Update:  I am now on week 18 of treatment. My roaccutane journal now posted and results so far are very positive! Also I remained on 10mg/day to prevent increased side effects ( my skin and mainly my lips were getting dry)
Note: I was scared to try roaccutane after what I read on forums, but after talking to my dermatologist she answered all my questions in detail and replaced my nerves with excitement. It is worth at least seeing a dermatologist and getting their medical opinion if you suffering from any type of acne.

5️⃣ Diet 

For me, diet can have a big impact on skin, but did not stop/cure my hormonal acne. By drinking lots of water, cutting out sugar and alcohol, increasing exercise and eating skin friendly foods (below) I could improve skin appearance and reduce but not eliminate my acne. It’s not easy and I do still have my bad food moments, but it is worth trying to maintain a good diet in conjunction with other treatments.

sweet potato
green tea
pumpkin seeds

People who have never experienced acne will probably never understand the crippling effect it can have on self esteem and overall mental health. Persistent acne (even mild/moderate) over a long period of time can be distressing. I am hoping that there is a solution that works for every person who is affected by acne. I’m hopeful that after many failed attempts, roaccutane will be that solution for me.

❗️Update :   I am now on week 18 of roaccutane 10mg/day and my skin is clear!  I only started seeing improvement around week 10, and had my first week without a pimple by week 13. I do still have a small amount of congestion but haven’t had a breakout  since week 13! I have also posted a detailed roaccutane diary for anyone who is interested. 

  Edited by Bluejay1234
Update about progress with roaccutane
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cant thank you enough for your post. Im new here and have been learning so much so far. Its a bit overwhelming I'm not going to lie. And I honestly dont know where to start but I'd love to follow you on your journey and keep hearing what works for you. 

I want to try some of the things you mentioned as well. I'm 26 and recently lost my health insurance. I was seeing a dermatologist for about 2 years but have struggled with acne since I was 12. At age 22 I started getting cystic acne. And now I'm still dealing with it as well as scaring. 

You are right though, my self esteem has been terribly low for years. My mental health is also declining due to it which i believe is making my acne worse. For the last 3 years I barely left my house. Online college classes and all my old friends moved on since I kept saying I couldn't go out. I desperately want my life back. I start physical classes in August for my Bachelors and hope my skin can get at least a little better. Or at least my self esteem and mental health. Right now I cry every day and i try not to look in the mirror.

I believe I have hormonal acne since at 23 doctors found I have a hormonal imbalance. They thought PCOS at first however they started thinking it may be something else since, my doctor was running tests on my hormones and infertility. Hopefully soon I can get health insurance again so I can get some more answers. For now I'm trying to learn what I can do. 

Thank you again for this post!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey! @PoeticKarate

I’m really glad that this could be helpful!

I am now on week 5 of roaccutane 10mg/day and still breaking out same as usual, I have been told by my derm that on this low dose I should see results after 12 weeks so fingers crossed. As for side effects my lips are a little dry but that’s it. 

When you were seeing your derm did she ever prescribe roaccutane or other drugs/topicals? I would be curious to hear what she recommended and what you have tried so far? 

As for mental health I totally get it. On my really bad skin days I’ve skipped classes at uni, declined nights out with friends (or if I did go out avoiding photos at all costs), I cancelled plans with my boyfriend after spending ages trying to cover up blemishes, failing terribly, wiping all my make up off and then lying in bed in a crying heap. I’m now in a place where I want to be confident acne or not, I don’t want to let my self esteem issues damage my relationships. It’s easier said than done, and I’m still a work in progress, the best thing I ever did was be open about it. I told my boyfriend how i felt and now he sees me without make up all the time (I still die a little inside when he sees me on a really bad skin day but he never makes me feel ugly, only I can do that to myself). I am also booked into my first ever therapy session next week which I’m hoping will be helpful. 

If you are ever having an awful day and you need to talk to someone who gets it I am here to listen! Acne isn’t a small thing like some people think and even the most positive of people will have their bad days. 

I will update after a while longer on roaccutane. I would love to hear updates from you as well!

Edited by Bluejay1234
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was prescribed a antibiotic Doxycycline Hyclate 100 MG to take twice a day. She also gave me Clindamycin Phosphate Gel USP 1% in the morning and Tretinoin Cream USP 0.05% gel at night. She said to wash with Panoxyl (10% on my body and 4% on my face.)

 I kept up with it for about a month but the medication was causing me stomach issues which i was hospitalized and the gels made my face so extremely painful, it was raw, and felt so swollen. It was the worst my skin ever felt and took 4 days to get back to not being painful and somewhat normale. The only thing I use everyday now is the washes, and the gels I put on every few days but so scared. I honestly don't know much on these products, I'm trying to learn. I'm not sure how much my dermatologist is without insurance so may be a while before i can go back to her and my other doctors.
I feel so lucky to have the support of my boyfriend. We've lived together for almost 3 years now, but even he is getting over my low self esteem. He thinks and sees me as beautiful and wants me to view myself the same way and it's just too hard for me to do so. Part of it was the years of bullying, even in college with people thinking my acne was contagious and now it doesnt help when people ask if something is on my face, or the children I volunteer with to ask about the holes (ice pick scars) and where i got them. 
Therapy is something I'm considering going back to. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was very helpful for me in the past and I'm thinking of going for the same with my anxiety, self esteem and skin picking I'm noticing. I see its gotten worse since my anxiety has gotten worse and I quit smoking cigarettes. Many times i don't even know I'm doing it. It definitely hard to stay positive! I'd love to keep hearing your updates. I'm going to try food diets next and see if that helps! Ill keep you updated. Thank you so much for your reply! I'm here for you as well and rooting for ya!! 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In high school my skin was great, barely even washed washed my face and only had the occasional zit. Then when I reached my mid 20’s, everything changed. My chin, jawline, and cheeks started breaking out constantly. My face was taken over by cystic acne that lingered for months, regular pimples that turned into scars and clusters of red bumps all over. I completely agree with y’all about how acne can have a negative effect on one’s self esteem and metal health. I turned into a different person. Never left home. If I did I tried not to look anyone in the face. My whole life began to revolve around my face. I would not allow anyone or anything near my face unless I new it was clean. I would cry when looking in the mirror. I hated who I was becoming. I envied every clear complexion I saw which just drove me to become more disgusted with my own. After almost two years I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist.. best decision ever.
I was put on Spironolactone, which is often prescribed to women suffering from adult acne. (Mid-20’s, chin, jaw, and cheek cystic acne). The medication lowers androgen levels in women. In a few months I started noticing the larger pumps decreasing in size. Eventually my cheeks and jaw cleared up, and have stayed that way. My chin still breaks out but not like before. High androgen levels can also cause more dark hairs to grow on you chin, I’ve noticed less which is great because those suckers were annoying. The medication took months before  I noticed a changed, but I stuck with it as advised by my doctor. Lowering my dairy intake helps control breakouts on my chin. I read about it a lot, it’s still a theory, but I’ve found avoiding dairy as much as possible has lowered the amount of breakouts. 

Reading entries like y’alls reminds me I’m not the only one experiencing the physical and mental pain caused by acne. It encourages me to focus on the really important things in life: family and friends. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes