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KarenM

Help! I'm so sad about my face.

So, my skin has progressively gotten worse. It started as a rosacea demodex issue then progressed  to hormonal acne.  I am using soolantra and ketoconazole and taking aldactone. I just requested to try orthotryclene as well.  Waiting to get the ok on that. My face hurts. It is warm and irritated. I have constant new pimples all the time. I feel depressed, ugly, and can no longer go outside.  Can anyone offer any support? I also stopped dairy about 2 weeks ago. No chocolate and no added sweets.  

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Hey there, I completely understand how you're feeling. I've actually called in sick to work the past 2 days because I can't stand to put makeup on over the bumps I have, partly because it's painful! And there is no way I am leaving the house with nothing on my face. I'm also trying to clean up my diet which hasn't been so great lately. Started yiznell (generic in the UK for yasmin) and am 1 week into my pills. Skin has gotten worse but I'm hoping it's the initial breakout. Honestly it's a long long journey but what else can we do other than have hope that the next thing we try will be the one that works? Keep your head up. So many people have been through what we're going through and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Let me know if Ortho works for you I've heard some good things about it. Also, if birth control doesn't work for you there are other options e.g. spiro or natural supplements. I might look into spiro if BCP doesn't work for me :) will try keep you updated if you wish. If u need to talk shoot me a private message. 

2 minutes ago, happyeverafter said:

Hey there, I completely understand how you're feeling. I've actually called in sick to work the past 2 days because I can't stand to put makeup on over the bumps I have, partly because it's painful! And there is no way I am leaving the house with nothing on my face. I'm also trying to clean up my diet which hasn't been so great lately. Started yiznell (generic in the UK for yasmin) and am 1 week into my pills. Skin has gotten worse but I'm hoping it's the initial breakout. Honestly it's a long long journey but what else can we do other than have hope that the next thing we try will be the one that works? Keep your head up. So many people have been through what we're going through and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Let me know if Ortho works for you I've heard some good things about it. Also, if birth control doesn't work for you there are other options e.g. spiro or natural supplements. I might look into spiro if BCP doesn't work for me :) will try keep you updated if you wish. If u need to talk shoot me a private message. 

Apologies just realised you are currently on Spiro! How long have you been on it? As it can take a while to kick in ..

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I've only been on it for 2 and a half weeks...I know people say it can take 3 months,  but since I've been in Hell for almost half a year now I was hoping it would miraculously work! My dermatologist told me that many times people need orthotryclene and spiro at the same time but she just wanted to try spiro first. Which would be fine except mentally I can't wait 3 months and then retry something else that could have helped all along. Oh, I also was just given Oracea pills yesterday (40mg pills that are a low dose antibiotic that doesn't mess with gut health and you can stay on an unlimited time). I got it from my dermatologist office from the lady that does lazer procedures.  It is supposed to help irritation and swelling.  I think it may be helping with eye irritation I've been having for years...pretty sure it's connected to ocular rosacea.

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Hi Karen,

I read your post and I can empathize with you so much. That was me! I also tried quitting dairy and sweets, but I couldn’t keep that up. I searched the internet for miraculous cures that could make it go away immediately, but I kept reading that I had to be patient. I suffered for 15 years. I’m 35 now. The two things that cleared me up (after 3 months) are Spironolactone and Ortho Tri Cyclen. It was a gradual process, but well worth it. I began to invest in good cleansers, masks, and didn’t give up food or did anything extreme. 

If you want immediate relief from the cystic acne, I would recommend cortisone shots. I went to a dermatologist who charged me $175 to give me injections on my acne. It was not very painful, but best of all, it helped the inflammation go down right away. She drained them and they started to dry that same night. I did that a few times to deal with the big bumps. I also went to an aesthetician and asked for a facial to calm the inflammation. 

I read somewhere that we have to stop stressing out so much about our skin condition and that I should look in the mirror and tell myself how beautiful I am. I thought it was crazy and ridiculous, but I tried that because I was so desperate. That didn’t clear me up, lol, but it helped my mental state. I took a deep breath every morning and cried in front of the mirror and saw the beauty behind the imperfections. I told myself I was beautiful. When I walked past a mirror, I did not insult myself. I just smiled in hopes that this would add to the cure I longed for.

Thankfully, I am now just working on my acne scars. I can say that there are no breakouts and my skin is glowing. But it does take time. The sooner you start the journey, the sooner you will get there. Don’t give up. There are many of us out there who sympathize with you and would never judge. I never look at someone and focus on their imperfections. I see all the beautiful qualities and I’m sure others do the same with you. 

We’re here to support you, just reach out if you have other questions. 

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Thank you so much! Your post brought me to tears... but in a good way. I keep trying to tell myself to hang in there but it really helps to talk to others who have or are going through this. I am so glad to have found this community. I just got my prescription for ortho today so fingers crossed that this combo works.

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5 minutes ago, KarenM said:

Thank you so much! Your post brought me to tears... but in a good way. I keep trying to tell myself to hang in there but it really helps to talk to others who have or are going through this. I am so glad to have found this community. I just got my prescription for ortho today so fingers crossed that this combo works.

You know, I just stumbled upon this post because Kaiser called to tell me Ortho Tri Cyclen has been discontinued and I have to choose something else. I went on the forums searching for alternative bc recommendations and saw your post and felt compelled to share my story with you! I’m so glad it helped somewhat even if it’s just to remind you that you deserve to be patient with yourself because your body has to fight this from the inside. Sending you a big hug. Looking forward to reading your story when you’re on the “cured” side. Take care and keep us updated!

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Hey dude,

Haven't been on the website for years, but wanted to purchase some AHA and noticed your post on the homepage. I've never done one of these so I'm sorry if I'm not being very clear. 
I went through the best part of 8 years facing what you've described. My skin is now clear but I still get the occasional. Hopefully this helps a little:

Psychological advice: It may feel like you're the only person in the world that has such bad acne, but it just isn't true. It will also feel like people will judge and pity you because of it, and they might... but who cares. I guarantee that you will solve your acne problem at some point... and you will forget about all those spots that you had. Treat this stage of your life as character building. If you can leave the house with a face full of shit and still do the things you love, while smiling and not caring about it then people will have no choice but to respect you. Accept that right now your skin is a work in progress that will take time, most likely months and focus your attention on doing other things that will build you as a person. Don't let acne take that from you.

Dietary advice: Think about what you eat every single day, then try to remove something that you suspect one by one. Allowing at the very least 4 weeks to see improvement. Dairy is a killer for me, and I now have to remove it completely. It's in a lot of products that you may not expect, so be careful and check everything you put inside your body. Try 3 months dairy free (or whatever else you think it may be), if you see improvements you will know that it is a possible cause.

Treatment advice: With creams and peroxides start off small and try to stay small. Heavy usage is just unnecessary, you don't want to end up putting a finger full of BP on twice a day everyday for the next 5 years and then experiencing all kinds of dry/oily skin issues for the years to follow. Extreme use is never good with products, don't underestimate their strength just because they didn't work in the first 7 days. Salicylic acid seems to help me in the form of a cleanser, followed by a small amount of bp dabbed in my problem zones. I don't see the point in a moisturiser, haven't used one in over a year and my skin is pretty decent. Start small, give it time and then build if you really need to. Your routine SHOULD NOT TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE. Miss a night? who cares. Stress will cause acne, so relax. Don't try to get it perfect, just try to be as consistent as you can. If something comes up then skip it. Also, listen to your skin. Don't follow a routine to the letter. They are such vague guidelines, only you know how much you need. Be smart. If your skin starts getting dry and flaky, then take a day or two off from treatments and then ease your way back on with a lower dose.

Spot popping advice: Before we get into it, make sure you consider if you want to squeeze it. Timing is so important with squeezing. Your goal is to extract all of what's in there without breaking the skin too much or applying too much pressure. If it's cystic, it needs a few days to build up before you go near it. Don't scratch, touch or poke during this time. It will only swell more and lead to a longer recovery time that looks worse than what it needs to. If your spot is ready and brewed, you'll know when this is through trial and error (yes, you will make mistakes) then jump in the shower and heat it up. If you've really allowed it to brew for a few days this alone might be enough to pop it. If so, then great news. If not, follow these steps directly after drying from shower (quicker the better)

  1. Wash hands (antibacterial soap)
  2. Get clean tissue (loo roll is fine, just make sure it's a clean piece)
  3. Squeeze it gently, it should release. If you need to squeeze hard for long periods of time then the spot needed to be left alone for longer.
  4. You need to get to the root of the spot, the root is that hard white thing that comes just before the blood. When you've reached this you've won. and you need to leave it.
  5. If you get some white out from gently squeezing but no root and no blood, then stop. Wait 2/3 min and then gently squeeze again. Don't underestimate this, the pressure will build and it really works to get the spot out cleanly.
  6. Remember, your goal is to get to the blood with as little pressure as possible. The more you've got to squeeze, then the uglier of a scab you'll end up having for the next few weeks. In terms of waiting for the spot to form... I know it's really horrible but just think; it's better to have a bump for a few days that comes out clean than an angry scab that's red and inflamed that'll last even longer and will have the risk of scarring.

Also, change your pillowcase every few days (and wash them on 60+ degrees along with the rest of your bedding/towels) and don't scratch or play with your skin during the day.

I hope this helps even a little.

 

Aaron

Edited by azwz

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Try a low sugar, low dairy diet for a few weeks and see how your skin responds. Can also try replacing coffee with green tea, and drinking more water. Try to also have more leafy greens and blueberries. 

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Thank you all for your help. I really feel like I'm at the verge of a breakdown.  I have been dairy free and no added sugar for 3 weeks now. Here is a list if everything I eat:  carrots,  spinach,  turkey, turkey sticks, ham, chicken, grapes, blueberries,  green beans, almond milk, eggs, cheerios (but I'm cutting that now just in case). No more chocolate no dairy. 

And I change my pillowcase every single day.

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So today is another awful day. So much acne and soreness it is another debilitating day. I told my kids that I was sequestering myself to the house for 1 month.  No friends over, can't make any plans to go out. They understand because they see how upset I am and how sore my face is. I have the best kids. I said if after 1 month I am not better, than I will force myself to go outside in public because that may be the new "me".  So I order nonperishable items online and my daughter,  son, and husband (who can't handle this right now) get stuff from grocery stores. I make breakfast,  lunch and dinner for everyone and walk on the elliptical, watch TV, and listen to audiobooks. This is my life for the next month...hopefully it goes well.

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Karen, it's okay to have these days where you feel down about it. You're allowed to feel that way and don't let anyone tell you different. I'm sitting here typing this with my face slathered in aloe because guess what! I woke up with 3 new cysts down my right side.. they're so incredibly itchy and red and sore but I'm trying my hardest not to touch. So don't worry I'll be joining you in hiding from the public for the next few weeks. It will get better .. try get onto Ortho and see if that helps. This is just a stage of your life right now and it is going to be hard but think of those days to come where you'll be completely zit free! Because it will come I promise :) 

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12 hours ago, KarenM said:

Thank you all for your help. I really feel like I'm at the verge of a breakdown.  I have been dairy free and no added sugar for 3 weeks now. Here is a list if everything I eat:  carrots,  spinach,  turkey, turkey sticks, ham, chicken, grapes, blueberries,  green beans, almond milk, eggs, cheerios (but I'm cutting that now just in case). No more chocolate no dairy. 

And I change my pillowcase every single day.

@KarenM

Try washing your face with just water for a week and see what happens!!!

trust me!!!

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13 hours ago, KarenM said:

Thank you all for your help. I really feel like I'm at the verge of a breakdown.  I have been dairy free and no added sugar for 3 weeks now. Here is a list if everything I eat:  carrots,  spinach,  turkey, turkey sticks, ham, chicken, grapes, blueberries,  green beans, almond milk, eggs, cheerios (but I'm cutting that now just in case). No more chocolate no dairy. 

And I change my pillowcase every single day.

Definitely cut out the cheerios. Try other types of milk like rice milk. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin e and zinc. Drink water and green tea. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Also, try intermittent fasting (nothing crazy, just a few hours here and there without food) to reduce inflammation. 

Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. You only live once, and believe it or not this acne flare up will get better. Go outside and have social interactions as much as possible no matter the state of your skin... it will help you feel better.

Also don't use too many products during this time and make redness worse if that is one of your issues.

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Another day. Another new spot (or 2).... all the spots and discoloration on my face is so discouraging.  I am so pale so look like a leopard....oh well. I keep praying and trudging on. I also have been putting micro surgical paper tape on my worst area to keep myself from unconsciousnessly touching it. Since it's supposed to allow airflow, I'm hoping it's ok.

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I start every morning by waking up with so much hope. I guess I'm unrealistic.  I have gone through some tough stuff in my life (brain tumor, brain surgery, permanent vision damage) and this is by far the worst and hardest. Hard to believe,  but 100% true. I pray and pray and pray. I know there are people out there with bigger problems than me, but dear God, I need help!

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