Its been three weeks, I can definitely say that this is the best topical acne treatment I have used, across both prescription and over the counter products. This is the clearest my skin has been in years - am actually getting compliments on how healthy and glowy my skin looks! I literally can't stop looking at my skin in the mirror - my pores are smaller, scars and red marks have faded considerably. I was told to keep using as long as I am continuing to see an improvement - so am continuing to apply twice a day after cleansing. It's a very lightweight gel ointment, slight warming effect when it's applied, but it absorbs right away. I then moisturize and apply makeup as usual. I'm maybe halfway through my first 15mL bottle, so it goes a long way!
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Well, this is the clearest I've been in a long time! Vitastem ointment has been fading my red marks, and I have no new cysts on the treatment areas! (I did get a new cyst in my back, which was not somewhere I was treating with Vitastem - so there is obviously something systemic going on that I still need to address. I'm spot treating that cyst with Vitastem ointment to make it go away faster). If you've got stubborn acne I'd definitely recommend giving this product a try! This is a prescription grade product available over the counter for under $100 (use code ACNE20 for 20% off if you order on the BiogenX Vitastem website). Also - a little goes a long way, I'm only maybe half way through the 15mL bottle.
I'm going to continue to treat twice a day while I'm still seeing results like red marks fading, but then hoping to reduce that to once a day or less and seeing what happens.
Day 12 pic - no new cysts on the treatment areas, red marks are still fading. One new cyst on the back of my neck at hairline, pic not shown - using Vitastem as a spot treatment and it has already flattened.
Well, I can say this product is healing my active acne faster than anything else I've tried! Cyst from Day 5 is on its way out, and older red marks seem to be fading. Still hoping to get completely clear, so hoping nothing new appears...
will continue to apply Vitastem twice a day and post a pic every other day.
I've been continuing the regimen described in my first post, applying Vitastem topical ointment twice daily after washing with Cerave. Had a setback on day 5, a new painful cyst on my neck and another on my cheek - they were previously microcomedones. This is pretty standard for me and how my skin usually looks, even with the Spironolactone and doxycycline.
I'm slightly encouraged by Day 7, as the they seem to be healing up faster than usual (my cysts often hang around for 2 weeks or more). There's a new pustule (not usually what I get) on my chin that you can't quite see in pics - but I'd prefer that over the cysts. Haven't noticed any new microcomedones/whiteheads, and my skin seems a bit less oily. I'm sticking with it, still hoping to see better results. Will continue to update!
Here's a pic from three days into treatment. The active blemish from Day 1 by the corner of my mouth has healed quite a bit, and I think faster than usual. On day 2 I picked at a whitehead on my cheek, which is why you see that new red mark - I know, I know. Do as I say and not as I do - don't pick! Subjectively, the red marks look lighter all over, but I don't think it's that obvious in pics. No new cysts, but still some closed comedones lurking on cheeks, jaw and neck. I will continue to update - fingers crossed!
I'm writing this blog to document my own experiences with a topical product called Vitastem. It was recommended to by a physician friend who was seeing amazing results in psoriasis and eczema patients, and said I should give it a try for my persistent, cystic acne.
I'm mid-30s and a lifelong acne sufferer. First cystic breakouts were in high school, on my back - I still have scarring. At that time tried benzoyl peroxide then oral antibiotics but in the end the only thing that actually worked was Accutane (in Australia at that time I think it was called Roaccutane). For most of my 20s my acne was controlled by oral contraceptives (best one for me was Diane35, also called Juliet - one is generic), had a few pimples here and there but that's it. Then at age 31 I went off the oral contraceptives and really messed with my hormones by freezing my eggs (involves hormone injections, is basically like half an IVF cycle). Great decision, but worst breakouts of my life and have been dealing with cystic acne on my neck, checks and jawline ever since. At it's worst, I counted 32 separate cysts. My face hurt, I didn't want to leave the house, my Derm recommended Accutane and OC again, but I wanted to avoid poisoning my body any more and blamed the contraceptives for messing with my hormones so much in the first place - initially tried every home remedy on here (lemon juice, lavender oil, ACV etc), then every topical you can think of (BP, Epiduo, Clindamycin, Differin) but as it got worse and worse and my skin for angrier and angrier I finally gave in and went on a serious regimen of oral doxycycline, spironolactone, topical Acanya am, topical Retin-A pm, Cloderm for faster healing. I was able to ease off the initial high dosages, and had been maintaining with few cysts here and there (still a lot of red marks & minor scarring, never completely clear) with:
* Washing morning & night with Cerave; Cerave PM moisturiser
* monthly facials
* Acanya am
* Retin A micro pm
* Dairy free, gluten free diet, lots of fresh veggies, organic when possible, red meat only once per week
* multivitamin & probiotics daily
* 25mg Spironolactone
But as so often happens, things have been getting worse again, and what was working before doesn't seem to be working anymore - so as of 2 months ago I'm back on the doxy. Ugh!
Made by a company called Biogenx, it's a topical ointment that comes in a 15ml/0.5 Oz bottle (see pic). Active ingredient is Tetracycline Hydrochloride.
My doctor friend said what makes it different to other topicals is a delivery mechanism that quickly penetrates the skin and kills bacteria.
Directions from the label:
"Clean the affected area. Apply a small amount of this product (an amount equal to the surface area of the tip of the finger) on the area 1 to three times daily"
Inactive ingredients from the label:
Acetic acid, Absorbic acid, Chlorhexidine Gluconate, Cholecalciferol, Dimethyl Sulfoxide, Dipropylene Glycol, Glucono Delta Lactone, Glycerin, Histidine, Hydroxethyl-cellulose, Magnesium Stearate, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbic Acid, Stearic Acid, Water.
Ps. Its available online without a prescription. The doc gave me a discount code to order Vitastem online - it's ACNE20, 20% off. I don't think I can put links on here, but can probably Google it.
To make this as scientific as possible, I have stayed with the same diet, and oral acne treatments (doxy, spironolactone 25mg) - but I have stopped the Acanya and Retin A topicals and replaced with Vitastem. I wash with Cerave and a washcloth morning and night, then apply Vitastem all over - 2 drops for each cheek/jawline, one for forehead, two for neck. It has a bit of a warming sensation when first applied - hoping that's a good thing. It's yellowish serum out of the bottle, but rubs in and fully absorbs once applied. After about a minute, I apply my usual eye cream and moisturiser.