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I’ve always had mild-moderate acne on my face, chest, and upper arms, and moderate acne on my back. I realize that, compared to many people on this board, I am lucky as far as the severity of my breakouts are concerned. Especially now, since my body is starting to clear up thanks to my current regimen (see below). However, getting to a point where I am comfortable with my skin is the result of a two year struggle with doctor/dermatologist antibiotics and topicals.

After a few months of unsuccessfully using Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash use, I finally went to my family doctor about my acne problem in the fall of 2003. He wrote me prescriptions for the antibiotic Minocycline (100mg, once daily) as well as for Benzaclin topical gel, which is basically1% clindamycin and 5% benzyol peroxide.

More than a year went by, and I realized that this regimen simply wasn’t working for me. In the fall of 2004, I went back to my doctor. He put me on Retin-a Micro gel, and changed my antibiotic to Doxycycline (100mg, twice daily). My doctor also told me that if I didn’t experience results with this, he would refer me to a dermatologist.

Three months later I found myself in a dermatologist’s office. I still find this a bizarre experience because I never once saw any of the three dermatologists who ran this particular practice, but a physician’s assistant. One time I even had a medical student conduct my appointment. I found that this was a very impersonal process, and based on the things I was prescribed at this office, I have a feeling all the dermatologists wanted was money, not treated patients.

I was prescribed a laundry list of medications, all to be used at once:

1. Tetracycline (500mg, TWICE DAILY)

2. Nicomide (a multivitamin that’s supposed to help skin complexion, twice daily)

3. Brevoxyl-4 Wash (4% benzoyl peroxide, once daily).

4. ClindaMax Lotion (10mg/mL clindamycin, once every morning)

5. Tazorac Gel (tazarotene 0.1%).

*All of the above medications would have cost hundreds upon hundreds of dollars had it not been for insurance

My body didn’t react well to the topicals or the antibiotic (see below). The Tazorac gel would make my skin temporarily irritated, inflamed, and hot (so much so that moisturizer only stung my skin, forcing me to wash it off and start all over). The 4% benzoyl peroxide wash irritated my skin so much that it looked like my upper body had a severe sunburn, even though I was using it during the winter. My skin would peel and look horribly red, providing only slight acne relief. The derm subsequently put me on a sulfur-based wash, which I threw out after using it once when I began smelling like rotten eggs.

Eventually the doctor took me off the topicals when I stumbled upon a little site known as www.acne.org (perhaps you’ve heard of it? wink.gif), and began following Dan’s regimen. Even though I previously had little success with benzoly peroxide, I was amazed that my skin was clearing up. I even showed my dermatologist Dan’s product in April of 2005, whereupon he changed my Tetracycline dose to once a day.

That was my last visit to a doctor regarding my skin. I stopped taking all antibiotics a week later.

Looking back, I now see just how damaging all those medications were to my body. While on antibiotics, my skin was ridiculously sensitive – if I bumped into something or gave someone a hug, there would be distinct red marks for hours. My immune system was also weakened. I am just beginning to overcome what was a two year battle with oral thrush, which is caused when antibiotics kill friendly bacteria on the tongue that prevents a naturally occurring yeast infection. One time, my weakened immune system prevented me from going on a trip to Washington DC for school. The night before, I was throwing up like crazy, had a high fever, and a massive headache. It took over four days to go away, and I RARELY get sick. Now, I actually take probiotics (and yogurt), to replace the amount of good bacteria in my body and return to a state of biological normality.

In total, I took approximately 170 grams of raw antibiotics over a period of two years. All of these medications, plus the costs of doctor/dermatologist visits and travel expenses are easily worth over $1,000 USD (remember, I had to get monthly refills of almost everything). Even the Nicomide vitamins cost about $40 USD for a month’s worth.

I now follow the regimen exactly as on www.acne.org. I use 2.5% BP + Cetaphil moisturizer twice a day, and, if I remember, take the leftover nicomides, because they haven’t expired yet and they couldn’t hurt.

So why am I writing this? I want people to know that if I had only discovered Dan’s product two years ago BEFORE I relied on the doctors for help, I would have been much better off. Case in point: if you have mild acne on your face, arms, and chest, and moderate acne on your back, you are a fool if you pump grams upon grams of antibiotics into your body without at least trying Dan’s bp gel regimen (that is, of course, if it is accessible to you). Antibiotics made my acne worse, and damaged my body so much that I wish I never took them in the first place. Even though other bp products failed, Dan’s is unique because it has just the right consistency and amount of medicine in it. When it came to my skin, I did more for it than the doctors ever could.

This is not to say if you have moderate-severe and/or cystic acne that you should rely on Dan’s product alone. In these cases, antibiotics can and do help, but if you have acne like mine, then Dan’s bp gel is generally all you need. Remember: it is the doctor’s job to prescribe medicine, so sometimes it may be necessary to take your health into your own hands (as long as you do so responsibly – overdosing on pills with the idea that it’ll help your skin, for example, is far from responsible behavior).

Bottom line: be smart! You know your body better than anyone else.

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The only thing I find odd is how the antibiotics made your skin "worse"...

Well, in any case, glad things are working out for you.

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I have never used antibiotics except benzaclin, which was only topical. I ASKED for an antibiotic today for my new wonderful skin disorder, rosacea, but instead she said to stick with the nicomide tablets (which I took like a few months earlier for only 1 month and didn't do much of anything). Plus I feel like it is ridiculously expensive (I pay 50 dollars a month for zinc oxide, cupric acid, and 2 B vitamins...that is nicomide) Not to mention Finacea, retin a micro gel, not to mention the vitamin c serum and rosula wash she just prescribed me today -_-) Accutane only cost me 20 dollars...

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geez i wish i would of known this 2 days earlier..my skin has been breaking out pretty bad lately so my dad took me to visit a dermatologist and he just put me on antibiotics again. he prescribed retin-A micro, clenia wash, and dinacin. before that i was on duac and doxicline. all last year my face was really clear because i was getting laser treatments but a couple months after i started breaking out again. should i stop using the retin A micro? or follow the regim..i dunno what to do :(

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