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Going to the derm today

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Actually, I'll be leaving in about 3 hours. This just might be the first time in 4 years that I'm actually making it a point to go to the dermatologist and looking forward to it. Usually, it's just make an appointment, wait half an hour, have him look at my face and say it's doing ok, and hear are your new prescriptions, bud. That'll be $30 and see you in about anywhere from 6 months to a year.

Last couple of days have been interesting. I really miss the days when I used to be so naive about my skin and actually thought it looked great. I guess that's what happens when you look in bathroom mirrors from about 5 feet away....I guess anybody would look great.

Anyway, I gave my face a good hard look today. I've been prompted to do this the last few days since my face has been highly irritated and feeling so warm that it was to the point where I couldn't even fall asleep or sit still without it bothering me. Therefore, I've decided to stop using the Skin Bio products today, not sure where to pinpoint my troubles since I started a new cleanser from Skin Bio which is supposed to aid even the most hyper-sensitive skin (was made for cancer patients at first), and was using the copper peptides and Exfol serum all over my face. Stopped the Exfol serum, figuring it was exfoliation overload with Retin-A.

Funny thing is, my scars don't really bother me all that much right now. They're shallow and look like enlarged pores for the most part anyway. It's the rest of my face that has prompted me to want to seriously sit down and talk with the dermatologist today. I really have a thick beard, the type that has a shadow even after I shave. The one side of my face looks fine, always seems to; the other side; good Lord, is just discolored and full of ingrown hairs which are red and look like acne, and hurt and become redder after I shave.

All in all, my face is looking shitty, IMO. Looks good in my bathroom mirror, but outside from there with a true mirror and not my trusty CD player, it looks, well very unique. I honestly can say I have never seen anybody else's face run the gamut of skin maladies: sensitive, acne-prone, acne scars, ingrown hairs, colorless bumps, probably some eczema or rosacea thrown in for good measure.

Therefore, I need this man to help me. No bullshit. No "be careful when you shave". No, "just keep plugging at it". No "well, you won't really be able to fix that". If I need new medications: DO IT. I'm just going to tell him everything, probably even bring my moisturizers and Skin Bio products along, probably telling me he has no idea what copper peptides are. But we'll see.

You know, you just get to that point where you almost don't even care anymore. I mean, I'm trying to resign myself to the fact that I'll never have great skin, never be a Hollywood leading man or a rock star. Every new product I try irritates my skin to the point where it's just back to old Retin-A, tetracyline, Olay moisturizer, and Olay bar soap. Everything I try never improves anything. That's why I was so psyched about copper peptides to the point where I figured "I've got nothing to lose, so I'll just put it all over my face." Well, welcome to Irritation Central, Population: Me. Not that I'm giving up, but I'm to the point where my skin looks like crap no matter what I do, which in turn leaves me less enthused to continue looking for a job, even less enthused to go out with friends, and pretty much realizing that I'll never meet a girl because I'm too wrapped up in myself and why bother making her wallow in my own pity?

So, I'll let you know how the derm visit goes. Njacobs, you mentioned that you had some rare form of folliculitis. Well, I hope I can add to the number of people with this just so I can feel some relief. Oh, for the one side of my cheek to actually look like the other!!

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Hi BBQLover,

Are you planning to stop the CP Serum too or just the Exfo Serum. I agree that the Exfo and Retin A might be to much, but the CP Serum should be OK (I would think anyway).

I wanted to tell you not to get so down and out. Although I'm the same way (to hard on myself), so it's easier said than done.

I picture you as a cute guy like a cute cuddly teddy bear. Everytime I read one of your post or see your name it makes me hungry (I love BarBQue too!) lol.

BTW, that is a great idea taking your things with you to the derms office. Hopefully you and he/she will be able to figure something out that will help you.

Best Wishes to You BarBQLover!

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Ah, thanks Tif, always cheering me up! I used to think I was pretty "cute" guy back in my earlier days, before my acne and all the wonderful after affects came into full force! But I guess I am more manly now, whatever the hell that means!

You know, despite my screen name, I never really BBQ that much! :roll: I do love BBQ foods though, but it is so damn hard to find the right sauce, so I usually am a sell-out and just buy some good old grill food from somebody else!

Well, my visit with the derm was a mixed bag, IMO; on the one hand, it was good because the derm felt my scars are very minimal and I'm exaggerating the problem. He said my face was pretty good overall, but me being me, I wouldn't be totally satisfied unless he said my face was the most disgusting thing he's ever seen, to just take these damn new medications, and never come back and never leave your house!

On the other hand, I'm not sure what to think. He said my ingrown hairs were not bad and presribed me a hydrocortisone cream to apply every day on the beard area. However, he did say there were 3 solutions to this problem: grow a beard (no thanks), just deal with it (ok, last 4 years of my life), laser removal of the hairs. I actually had mentioned this last one to him some years ago and he kind of laughed; kind of weird if I were to be totally beardless, but I honestly would not shed a tear since I hate shaving with a passion. He said this probably isn't too realistic since I would have so much hair to remove, but this does intrigue me.....

Still using Retin-A and tetracycline, even though I kind of hinted that I might be in the market for something less harsh than Retin-A. Doctor suggested that to remove some perpetual redness in my upper cheekbone area to stop using Retin-A, but I countered with "my acne comes back". Seemed like we were playing a chess game here, now that I think about it.

The funniest part is when I brought out the Exfol serum and copper peptides. Doc had never heard of copper peptides and I tried to explain it to him, but he seemed more amused than educated. I think I might use the Exfol serum in limited areas of my face, as in just my scars (strange, but the forehead seems to be the one part of the face totally free of any irritation, doesn't it?). Copper peptides will be used at night over Retin-A, but not all over my face for now. Not sure why, but my face has been so damn irritated the last few days; maybe it was cold, windy Chicago weather, maybe overdose on products, maybe cleansers, maybe moisturizer, I don't know, but it was highly uncomfortable.

So, it seems like I'm left with more questions not answered than actually answered, and I wonder about seeing another dermatologist or maybe an aesthitician, but money is tight, and I'm not sure what would be any different than what I got today. Yep, I'm my own worst enemy, but I've got to keep at it!

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You are in Chicago. Who is your derm? I see a derm at 30 N. Michigan Avenue. His name is Dr. Ronald Wise. Folliculitus is not that rare. There are several different forms of it. The trouble is, if you are treating it as acne you will never get rid of it. It's worth asking your derm about. For what it's worth, my folliculitis was cleared rapidly with 750 mg of Cipro twice daily, topical erythromycin and Nizoral shampoo. Cipro is an extremely powerful drug, but I tolerated it better than any other antibiotic I have tried. I had no nausea or other side effects. It is very expensive though. If you don't have insurance, forget about it.

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I go to a dermatologist by the name of Cheuk Yung on 7100 West Archer Ave, or pretty much the complete opposite direction of your derm :)

Damn it! I knew I wanted to ask my derm about folliculitis and about the Spiro antibiotic, but had so many things I was concerned about that I didn't zero in on this possibility. I remeber reading up on your one thread about going to the derm about a month ago and was extremely interested in this. However, my derm pretty much wrote off the problem as ingrown hairs and gave me an anti-inflammatory for it. My case really isn't like yours where, if I remember correctly, you got these nasty bumps around your chin......I hate where I have to bring up every possibility and the derm just can't diagose it himself without me telling him "Hey, this is a problem." I mean, he's a good guy and a good doctor who won't B.S. you, but wish he could find something wrong next time, without me needing to point out every possibility.

I'm tempted to see another derm, but gosh, the way the economy is going, it's just tough. Plus, I feel like I'm going to get the same response, anyway. It was interesting to see that my derm didn't know what copper peptides were; this leaves the possibility that A) it's crap and should be disregarded or B) my derm doesn't keep up with the latest news. I'm leaning a whole lot farther to choice B since copper peptides are not new or rare, and the doctor from dermatology.com (or whatever the web-site is called), recommends them.

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In other news, I went back to copper peptide usage last night in just my scar areas. I guess I've done a complete 360 in my skin regimen, though. Back to Oil of Olay Oil Free moisturizer after using the Total Effects, on njacobs' recommendation. Don't get me wrong, this is a good moisturizer, though rather pricey, but it wasn't really preventing break-outs like I had hoped and since my skin has been so irritated, I've had to zero in on the problem. So back to using my Oil of Olay sensitive skin bar soap, though I'm tempted to go back to the facial wash they sell and which I thought was pretty good some years back. That's a couple of cleansers I've went through now, and always back to Oil of Olay...hmmm. Using the Exfol serum in scarred areas and copper peptides in same spots at night, maybe see if my whole face can deal with it eventually. Glycolic peels are out for now. Still, I would like to attribute my extreme dryness and itchy, irritated skin of late to bad weather outside and dry conditions in my house.

So, here's a breakdown of things I have used in the last 6 months to cleanse, moisturize, or help my skin in general. I am writing this, hopefully to provide some insight for others, but to at least keep me busy with something:

Neutrogena Deep Pore Cleanser=Dries out the skin considerably (yeah, that helps acne). Lead to dry, flaky skin and not recommended at all if using topical medications.

Oil of Olay Bar Soap=I hear lots of people say not to use bar soaps, Oil of Olay is bad, this or that cleanser is far superior. Gets the job done for me and most importantly, feels good and little irritation.

Oil of Olay Beauty Fluid/Oil Free=I had been using it for years, but never stopped to think that it might lead to breakouts. Well, here I am, using it again.

Oil of Olay Total Effects=Expensive, but seemed to be a nice moisturizer. Still, seemed to irritate my skin more than the Beauty Fluid does and didn't prevent breakouts. Can't be spending $20 for something that gives me the same results as $7 product.

Syprex Gentle Milky Cleanser Lotion=Actually, this stuff is the most luxurious stuff my face has ever felt. However, $19 for 4 oz. which might last about 2 weeks if you're lucky, and I'm not sure how effective of a cleanser it was, but man, did it feel good!

Syprex French Herbal Toner=Not bad actually. Didn't have any irritation from it, though toners seem to do very little for me.

Syprex Moisturizer and Sunscreen=Both sucked remarkably. The sunscreen was so greasy that it looked I bathed in the deep fryer at McDonald's and even though it claimed to be maximum stregth, I went outside one hot day and felt every ray of the sun! Moisturizer smelled so strong that I didn't even bother using it, I was that afraid.

Syprex Vitamin C cream=Supposed to feel like liquid silk on your face. Can somebody explain what liquid silk is supposed to feel like? Never absorbed into my face, stained my pillow cases reddish/pink and did absolutely nothing.

Sycream=Ah, the classic. Absolute waste of time and money, though it did lead to no irritation, and I did get a full refund.

Purpse Gentle Cleanser=Supposed to be very mild, but after using this is when I started to have my dry skin. Not a fan of soap whose color resembles yellow in any way since I nearly ruined my face with Dial soap some years back.

Skin Biology Gentle Cleanser=Again, just too damn irritating no matter how much for sensitive skin they claim it is. Strong smell worried me from the get go, and I can just feel the irritation when I washed with it.

Not counting the Exfol serum, CP serum right now. Confused, I am, to say the least. Skin still feels extremely dry and somewhat itchy right now. I've been considering using emu oil and venturing into Cetaphil as a cleanser, but the latter concerns me since you rub it on like thicker water....

Any comments on Cetaphil or emu oil?

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Hey BBQLover.

Thanks for giving us a break down of the procucts you have used. That will probably save me some money down the road.

I agree with you on the Oil of Olay "Oil Free" moisturizer. I have used it for years, I quit often and try something fancy, but usually end up going back. It has never broke me out.

About the soap; Personally I don't like the Cetaphil at all. It leaves a residue on your face like it doesn't rinse good. I think it had something to do with me getting more blackheads too. There was a thread about blackheads on another board and several people claimed it gave them blackheads and or clogged their pores. Of Course, their were others on other threads that seem pleased with it, but I don't know how long they have been using the Cetaphil.

My favorite cleanser (I think maybe I told you or someone before), is Neutrogena original transparent facial bar. It cleans great, rinses wonderfully, and doesn't dry my face out. They have an acne formula (to drying), and a dry skin formula. I have never tried the dry skin formula but my Mom has used it for years. It costs under $3.00 a box.

When I'm not concerned about my face, or doing any kind of peels, I use the SkinCeuticals Simply Clean (expensive). It has AHA's in it and doesn't break me out.

Purpose facial bar is good but I found it more drying and it doesn't rinse nearly as good as the Neutrogena.

I have went through a lot of cleansers and moisturizers and I always go back to the Neutrogena Transparent facial bar and the Oil of Olay 'Oil Free' moisturizer. It just so happens that both of these products are the least expensive too. This is the best way to go if you are on a budget.

I even asked my doctor about Oil of Olay after I heal and he said, "I really like Oil of Olay." He also said it would be just fine. I know my Mom used it for years and years and she has beautiful skin. She now uses the SkinCeuticals line (which I plan to start back on in 2 or 3 weeks).

The SkinCeuticals line is wonderful, but you will drop some bucks with them.

Well, I have talked and wrote enough for now.

Good Luck to You in Whatever Cleanser You Choose BarBQLover!!!!!!! :wink:

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Thanks for the info, Tif.

I like Oil of Olay. Today and yesterday, having gone back to my old "Oil Free" moisturizer and sensitive skin bar soap, my face feels so much better. That's what I used to do in college and it worked for me for the most part; I actually was happy in college and this had more than a little to do with it! :roll:

I'm really starting to think most of these skin care products are really crap. Some people say grocery store products are crap; who has the time and money to try all these "higher end" products? What do they really do for your skin that a simple regimen can't? Less is more is the general rule that I've been ignoring the last few months. Having tried all these other cleansers and trying to do too much with my skin the last few weeks, my skin was so irritated to the point where I couldn't think of anything else!

I'm still seriously pondering going and getting the Olay sensitive skin facial cleanser, but I remember switching to the bar soap in college and feeling ecstatic since breakouts were minimal and it was cheap!

I think I've heard of SkinCeuticals, but don't really know their products; I'm not going to bother experimenting anymore.....I now look at a cleanser as nothing more that should clean your face with minimal irritation. I don't like the idea of Cetaphil's "wash with thick water" consistency since I'm used to lathering foams first and foremost, and I've seen plenty of testimonials which back my opinion. Purpose was just too damn drying, and I was also putting the Exfol serum on my whole face at the same time as using Purpose, so this could have something to do with, but no thanks.

Anyway, I'm more concerned with fixing my scars anyway, and cleansers and moisturizers are not going to help. I've been able to put the copper peptides over Retin-A with no problem, so I might venture to putting back over my whole face at night. I've been also considering doing the glycolic peels again, but I'm not sure where I can fit it in.

Anyway, Tif, I've learned my lesson again: Stick with what works for you and appreciate what you've got rather than looking for more that you want!

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Just wanted to say thanks for the informative and entertaining posts. I either learn something new or get a chuckle after reading yours. :cry:

BTW Cetaphil seems to make my skin break out. As far as Emu oil goes, I've been using as I've heard Tamanu oil it works better then the Emu oil.

I've just about finished a bottle of the Tamanu oil, haven't quite given up on it 'cause I know progress takes time and it faded a burn scar really well. The product does seem to soften the appearance of the scar and help somewhat with this red mark I got from laser.

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Hey thanks Laet! I figure if you have to read my babbling, you might as well try to learn something or be entertained in the process :wink:

Yeah, I've pretty much stopped considering the emu oil. I'll just stick with what has gotten me through the last few years; change is good except when it comes with skincare regimens and when your favorite family sitcoms decide to add a baby in the 5th season because they ran out of story lines! Thanks for the info......

Plus, I think the emu(did you know that the male emus actually care for the young? Used to work at a zoo and wanted to be a zoologist for awhile.....there I go educating again!) would appreciate his oil still on him.....

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Okay, I just re -read what I wrote and I think I better make sure I check for typos next time! I meant to say that I heard Tamanu oil is more effective then the Emu oil and so I've been using that. I have never personally used the Emu oil. I really think it's improving my skin, but still a little too soon to tell for sure.

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Hi there,

I read some of your postings and I just wanted to say I know how you feel. I have tried for YEARS to get rid of my scars and I've decided that it is not possible - well not totally possible. I recently got a photo facial and it removed most of the redness, brown spots and even facial hair (although I am a woman so it wasn't that much hair) and boy did it make a difference! My scars look a ton better and I don't even think about them now when I go outside in the sunlight or go to work under the flourescent lights. Honestly I'm at the point where I just want to look like I once had acne and now it's all better and who cares about shallow scars because so many people have them and its no big deal. I will go for a few more photo facials to get rid of all the redness, broken caps from laser surgery, etc and thats it for me. I have dark eyes and hair and fair skin and having even skin tone makes my face look "normal". Why stress over achieving perfect skin? I'm so at peace with my face right now. Really. Take care.


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It is really nice to hear you are at peace with your skin now. I really hope to feel that way one day too.

I dont think people will ever appreciate how distressing acne is if you have never had it, after 9 years of suffering i am beginning to give up on my hope of growing out of it! I think exceptance is probably the key to overcoming the problem.

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Exactly Sami. I won't say that I think my skin looks wonderful but maybe this is the best I can hope for. At least its not so red and is a natural looking color. Yes most people without acne scars cannot appreciate how socially isolating and painful it is. But I have dealt with acne since I was 10 and am now 36 and it is just a part of me now. I have to accept the scars when I look in bright lights etc. as part of my and love all of me. Maybe one day something wonderful will come along and change all of that but until then I will try to enjoy my life because I deserve everything an non-acne type person gets Right?

Take care

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I think you have a good attitude there. I thought by my 20s i wouldnt have the worry but they havent calmed down much from being 13 so im going to take them as being a permanennt fixture and if one day i do have the skin i dream of, then that will be a very special day for me. Once you stop worrying, half the problem is beaten i think. Stress also brings on bad skin afterall. Im glad you are happy. We have to think of our acne as something we have had problems with and has probably made us the person we are today and so hopefully a better person in some way? Atleast i know if i ever have children and they suffered i would be the best person to help. Life is still enjoyable with acne but ill never give up hope of that miraculorous cure either. I hate my scars but i see many famous people who have scars and i dont think i would notice so much, if i wasn't looking out for it e.g dj Pete Tong who is still pretty sexy with/without scars.

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