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Back acne mostly gone now

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I've never posted here, but have read the forum now and then over the years.  I'm posting now in the hopes of helping other people and gaining more information.  

I am a 35 yo male.  In my teens, I had moderate face acne.  By my mid to late twenties it subsided to light acne (1 to 3 lesions per month).  At this point, it's manageable and not a big concern of mine.

My back acne is different.  I can't remember when my back acne started, but it's been steady throughout my twenties up until today in my mid thirties.  I usually get 5 to 15 lessions per month anywhere from my lower back to upper back and shoulders (none on chest and rarely on upper arms), and many of them large cystic ones that take a few weeks sometimes to go away, and then leave hyperpigmentation scars (I have Indian skin). My back simply looks gross when I have that many lesions and countless pigmentation scars from prior legions that takes months or years sometimes to fade, so a cure was pretty important to me. No treatment seemed to significantly reduce this. I've tried differin, benzoyl peroxide 2.5% wash, benzoyl peroxide 10% wash, both small and large amounts, leaving it on in the shower for 3 to 5 minutes before washing off, antibiotics, sodium sulfacetamide, and Retin A).  The most effective of those was I believe sodium sulfacetamide foam, that I would apply over my entire back and leave on, but this (Clarifoam brand) has since been discontinued a few years ago.  Sodium sulfacetamide cream is still available but expensive ($70 without insurance for a 3oz bottle that would probably only last a week or two with generous daily application all over the back.  Plus sodium sulfacetamide smells bad due to its sulfur content and who wants to walk around all day with large amounts all over your body.)  Anyway that is mostly moot now because I seem to have stumbled upon a cure, or almost cure.

Long story short, for a non acne reason, I began a year or so ago taking 100mg of DIM (Diindolylmethane) and 1 tablet of Nature Made Stress B-Complex with Vitamin C & Zinc.  A few month later, I noticed, hmm, I really haven’t been getting as much acne on my face and back.  I wasn’t sure if it was because of the DIM and Stress B Complex though, because I was also changing some other meds, and entering my mid thirties, so maybe it was just a hormonal change.  Also, during the same time, I began using much more benzoyl peroxide 10% wash on my back and leaving it on for 3 to 5 minutes in the shower.  So there were a bunch of possible variables and it was hard to say which one led to the acne reduction.

Reading online though, I saw that DIM was often reported by people to help with reducing acne.  So I assumed of all the variables, DIM was the likely cause.  So a few months ago when my Stress B Complex ran out, I figured I hear all the time that vitamins are useless, and I’ve never noticed any real health change from taking this, so I stopped taking it.  Well, surprisingly, not immediately, but in 2 to 3 weeks, my back acne started coming back strong.  In the month, following the 3 weeks after I stopped taking the Stress B Complex, I got somewhere around 10 lesions on my back, whereas in all of the few months before I had just a few.  So seeing the correlation, I restarted the 1 tablet of Stress B Complex on 7/15/18 and while I continued to get 7 lesions (I know because I kept a log lol) until 8/17/18, since that date I have had 0 lesions on my back.  Also during this period, because I’m currently traveling in a place that doesn’t sell benzoyl peroxide, I’ve had to ration what I have with me, so I’ve been using 1/3 of the usual amount of the benzoyl wash.  Despite this, I still haven’t had lesions since 8/17/18.  One important note.  I noticed to have full effectiveness, it seems to be CRITICAL that you take the DIM and Stress B Complex with food.   Every time, every day, without fail.  And this makes sense, as studies have shown that way less of supplements seem to be absorbed if taken without food.

So in summary, I feel fairly confident today that either the Stress B complex alone, or that in combination with DIM are what has solved the back acne problem for me.  Note that I specify above that I’m not taking just any B complex, but Stress B Complex which includes Vitamin C and Zinc.  Zinc I’ve read has been reported as helping with acne, so at this point, I’m not sure what exactly in the Stress B Complex is doing the trick, so I figured I’d write this post to see if other people want to try it and see if it helps, and also to see if anyone has also had success with DIM and the Stress B Complex, and has tried to experiment with isolating which ingredients might be the essential ones for the cure.  For example, if it’s just zinc that’s doing the trick then I can stop DIM and the rest of the B and C vitamins because why spend money on taking useless supplements?  So to be clear, the regimen that I’m currently on that has resulted in significant if not complete reduction in back acne is: 

-1x per day apply 10% benzoyl peroxide wash to back in shower, let sit for 3 to 5 min, then wash off

-1x per day with meal take 100mg DIM

-1x per day with meal take 1 tablet Nature Made Stress B Complex with vitamin C and Zinc




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