1. Forums General acne discussion   (edited )

    It's been a long time since I've posted anything on here, and trust me, that's a good thing. I find that this place has a wealth of good information, but with that, comes a great amount of disinformation. Factless claims based on little scientific evidence, and a lot of inflated paranoia when it comes to the dangers of certain acne treatments. But I guess that comes with the territory, and it's certainly outweighed by the DIY attitude and at home experimentation that has brought about many valuable remedies to our condition.

    Like my massive thread on Niacin -

    To this day I still get emails from people thanking me for clearing them up, and that warms my heart. As for myself, Niacin was only a temporary fix and did not completely clear my acne. Two cycles of Accutane haven't even gotten me to that point, but I will say Accutane has put a large dent on my overeactive sebaceous glands. I'd recommend it to anyone with not just acne, but problems with oily skin. And I'm not talking about the oily skin you hear repeated in cosmetic commercials, if you notice that members of your family have had terrible breakouts and problems with too much oil, then you should shrink your oil glands by going on Accutane. No questions asked.

    But there are things you can try before hopping on the tane train, and these treatments that are keeping me clear after getting stubborn breakouts even post-Accutane. Most of these have been talked about on the forum, some even discovered on here, but I think I may be one of the only people to use them all in combination with each other which is why I'm writing this for everyone today. Below I've sorted and outlined what they are and why I use them.

    __

    Oil

    Head & Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo - that's right. I wash my face with shampoo. It's become common knowledge around here that H&S is great for back and body acne, but people have largely avoided applying it on their face. I wash my face with this stuff at least twice if not three times a day. It dries my skin up a lot, but not to the point where it hurts and cracks like slathering on a finger length of BP (now THAT's crazy). H&S makes my skin feel tight, and you'll definitely get dry spots when you start using it, but that fades away over time. I wash my hair with it so I just let the suds sit over my face when I shower, it's super easy and convenient, and I'd say it's the best cleanser for acne prone skin.

    I also have to note here that I largely avoid moisturizers. To me, oil is oil, and the notion that your face has some oil regulation system that goes into overdrive if you wash your skin too much is just another disproven myth.

    Natrol Cholesterol Balance Beta Sitosterol - take 1-2 a day. I'd be willing to put money on high-doses of Beta Sitosterol being able to completely clear most cases of acne. The problem is that it really messes with your sex drive because it works on DHT-testosterone conversion which will make you less horny, but also much less oily and prone to breakouts. I prefer to keep the sex and stay on the low-end while treating my acne through other avenues, if anything it just makes me last longer. Out of all the vitamins/supplements known for treating acne, this one is the most serious, and the most effective. This is not something you should take if your acne is mild and isn't hereditary.

    Exfoliating

    Dan's AHA+ - by far the best product on the site. The 10% concentration of glycolic acid (AHA) let's you use it everyday, so you can repeatedly exfoliate your skin. It's also a great moisturizer without being an actual moisturizer, in conjunction with H&S it takes care of the dry spots and greatly improves the quality of your skin. I highly recommend using these two together, they compliment each other perfectly, and you might get limited results by choosing one or the other.

    AHA Peel - peels are mostly intended for red marks and scarring, but they also treat acne as well by effectively turning over your skin. Clogged pores and acne are caused by an abnormal shedding of skin cells. You need to keep up with your skins shedding by exfoliating the crap out of it. I do a 30% AHA peel once a week and AHA+ daily (skipping on the day of the peel of course).

    Shaving - a lot of people are afraid of shaving, but if you do it right, it's another great way of exfoliating. I shave every day with a two blade disposable going WITH the grain. Sometimes if I pop a pimple I might even go over it with a razor to prep the wound and slough off the dead skin around it. Shaving is a great way of smoothing out and cleaning the top layer of your skin so your pores won't clog and break out.

    __

    My approach to treating acne is based on the assumption that EVERYONE has a face filled with bacteria. The only difference between a person like me and someone who has never broken out in their life is that I have overeactive sebaceous glands that are very sensitive to hormone levels. That's why treatments centered around killing bacteria never work, it will always come back because it's natural for bacteria to be on your face. So the focus is on reducing oil and exfoliating the skin to stop it before it even begins to start. I find that doing all the above tackles all of these issues, and if they don't keep you reasonably clear, I'd highly consider pulling the trigger and going on Accutane.

  2. Forums Personal logs

    call me crazy but i wash my face with head & shoulders and then apply epiduo and i still dont get any burns or irritation like everyone here talks about. there was an initial breakout but its minimal considering head & shoulders dries your face quite a bit so the acne you do get is very small and dried up. my advice to people starting out would be to wash with h&s shampoo, then apply a PEA size of epiduo before bed. i stress PEA because you only need a smidgen of this stuff for it to work. also try to spread it as thinly as possible and do not use any moisturizer unless your skin starts to crack from h&s. like bp, your skin should get used to it though.

  3. Forums Prescription acne medications

    i think after the 2nd course you should have got the message that accutane won't help with your acne condition. and i think the fact that you blame every single health problem you have on the drug is becoming more destructive to not only your physical, but mental health. maybe accutane did cause all of those problems, but saying that with no evidence and just using it as a scapegoat is perpetuating and giving you a reason to be "stupid" or in your words "not think clearly".

  4. Forums Diet & holistic health

    green tea would give me breaksout all along my chin. i dont know if its the caffeine exactly since drinking a pepsi or coke wouldn't break me out that bad. for tea, start drinking rooibos, it's herbal non-caffeinated and it's got a lot of good things for your skin. helps with swelling and inflammation.

  5. Forums Prescription acne medications

    I still get the pimple here and there and I'm on my 5th. I had a breakout on my ear today! But anyways, just take the extra month. How's the oiliness, is your face really dry? I'd keep taking it until you are clear, and by clear meaning you haven't had a real breakout in weeks. The pimple here and there is fine.

  6. Forums Prescription acne medications   (edited )

    It's definitely your derm. You made a huge mistake giving away your anxiety though, she doesn't want to give accutane to someone that already has anxiety. Anyways I live in Canada too and I just got a referrel from my family doctor, walked into the derm office said accutane and boom I walked out with a prescription 15 minutes later. It actually worried me how easy it was to get a prescription for such a serious drug, but 100% covered by health care, so I love my country. They offered me antibiotics, but I just made some BS story about me having stomach issues with them. You have to learn how to talk to your doctor and get what you want from them.

  7. Forums Prescription acne medications

    Accutane brings all of your black heads to the surface since it dries everything up. Honestly, I've been popping a lot on accutane. I just do it VERY carefully. Make sure you use a needle, and put some kleenex on your finger tips. You have to know if it's the right time for it to pop too. When you stick your needle in you'll notice that it'll get to a point where it sinks in with little resistance. Thats when you know you've hit the jack pot, hahaha. When it's all out make sure the puss is gone, and put no or very little alcohol (hydrogen peroxide is better) on. With cysts and even with any whitehead you should grab some ice and ice it down for a bit. It helps a lot with swelling and even makes less of a red mark in the end.

    I suggest you buy some Emu or Jojoba oil to put on your healing wounds so that they heal up faster, fade, and prevent scaring. I like emu better because it doesn't break me out and it's antibacterial too so it disinfects everything. Accutane sucks all the oil out of your skin, and without oil the healing process really suffers. So make sure you add oil where it's needed.

  8. Forums Prescription acne medications

    i wish i started off at a bigger dosage. the side effects may seem bad but just keep hydrating yourself and they eventually plateau so you can deal with it. a higher dosage is just going to speed up the results so just keep up with the dosage.

  9. Forums Prescription acne medications

    if theres anything i regret, it's popping and picking at my face during my course. maybe its because i never really noticed the previous red marks, but now that i'm clear i still have to deal with a few marks that probably won't go away for a couple of months or maybe a year. the healing process is really slow, but hopefully it picks up when i'm done my course.

  10. Forums Prescription acne medications

    For me the second month was worse than the first, and the third month was worse than the first and second combined. It's different for everybody. Some people stop breaking out completely and are clear by the 3rd month. I'm on my 4th and I still get a pimple here and there but its a BIG improvement since before I started. I can't really give you a date, but on average, from the third month on everything gets better.

    I think it relates to dosage though. If you take a high dose right from the start you might skip the breakout because it stores up quicker in the body. The people that are on low dose courses have been breaking out almost right up to their last month. So maybe up the dosage if you can.

  11. Forums Prescription acne medications

    i'd say its completely a coincidence. ive never had any sharp pains like that and i've drank a lot more than you did and i was on double your dosage (80mg). there are a lot of people on here that didn't even know you weren't suppose to drink while on accutane and continued to party and leave their lifestyle unchanged, and they were fine too. as for accutane causing your kidney stones. thats very hard to tell and very unlikely since you're on your 4th day.

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