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  1. I am desperately seeking out success stories from people who have dealt with acne after stopping birth control! I'm 22 and was on Yasmin for about 5 years. I went off it 7 months ago due to the risk of stroke. I immediately started breaking out although I have never in my life had issues with acne. It has gotten worse in the past 3 months & I seem to get new pimples every day. I'm starting to lose hope & going back on birth control is not an option for me. I really would like to hear stories from people who have had a similar experience! Especially those who feel their acne is clearing or cleared. thank you!
  2. Zinc Blog 1 (WEEKS 1 & 2)

    Hello there, this is my first blog where I report my improvements using Zinc to treat my persistent, painful acne. Lets get the basics out of the way real quick: - I'm 25, female - currently taking Zinc (as Zinc methionine) 30 mg (OptiZinc by Source Naturals) which also contains Copper (as Copper Sebacate) 288 mcg - also currently taking a women's multivitamin that also contains 15mg of Zinc (as Zinc Oxide) (2+ years) and Yaz birth control pill (8+ years) - I avoid dairy (not lactose intolerant, just prefer to not ingest it) and don't eat much red meat - acne is primarily found around my lips/mouth/chin area and more recently right under my chin near my neck (inflamed, itchy, whiteheads, cysts, sore/painful) - been taking the OptiZinc for 2 weeks and a day now WEEK 1: - after a week, there is much less acne overall and less inflammed acne - all inflammed pre-existing acne has gone down - a few new pimples have formed (whiteheads) but not too many WEEK 2: - heavily increased hormonal acne around mouth/chin area - very inflammed, very painful and itchy - most spots are coming to a white head or are a cyst - feeling a little discouraged but I will continue taking these pills for AT LEAST 12 weeks since I hear that is usually a good amount of time to see whether or not things are actually improving or not (I wonder if this is an "initial breakout" like on Accutane.. I hope so **I added a photo from week 1, and later tonight I'll add a photo from today for week 2, sorry for the "deer in the headlights" look I have going on
  3. Hello, to my fellow victims of this terrible plague called acne. I’m not new to as I have stumbled across these forums on many occasions in the past, but this will be my first ever post. I am a 22 year old guy who suffers from moderate to severe acne specifically and almost exclusively on the chin. Picture someone drawing a triangle from the corners of your mouth down to the sides of your chin. I do occasionally get 1 or 2 above my mouth as well (maybe once or twice a month) but they heal well and don’t leave red scars. I also every now and again get some between my eyebrows, although this is a hideous location I don’t get them that often nor do they stay long which makes them the least of my worries. But other than that the rest of my skin, forehead, nose, cheeks, even body are flawless. I literally NEVER get pimples on my cheeks. I’m pretty sure I could smear motor oil on them leave it for a week and it would be as clear as printer paper. To give you a little background I went through school without any acne. We’re talking nothing, nada, should have been on a skin commercial. I don’t think I ever even got my first pimple until my senior year. Oddly enough, after that I began getting acne pretty frequently. Still exclusively on my chin of course but back in those days they were more scattered and I got more in the center of my chin. Still though they were typically small white heads with just the occasional cyst or two. With this being the first time I had ever suffered from acne I went and made the first rookie mistake. I went and bought every commercial product (Facial wash and topical) on the market, and tried them all with no success. Proactive seemed to dry my skin out the most and ultimately make my breakouts much worse, but they all had similar affects. The battery powered Clarisonic scub brush was the worst….. Oh my god, It was so harsh on my skin it literally turned my chin into WWIII. This would be what ultimately led to me completely destroying the skin on my chin. Going into that winter of 2013 (Winter Is by far the worst time for my breakouts) my skin was so dry I could literally run my finger nail down my chin and watch the dead skin cells fall of like a heavy snow fall. It’s like when somebody has bad dandruff and they aggressively itch their scalp. This led to me finally breaking down and going to my first dermatologist. She prescribed me more topical treatments but this time they were “fancy prescribed topicals”. But… yep you guessed it they did nothing. Fast forward some time somewhere near the end of 2014. My third dirma….. Yes you heard me correctly my THIRD DIRMATOLOGIST. Who pretty much in every way was the worst of the three prescribed me an oral medication called Solodyn (Minocin), which to this day is the only thing that has ever cleared me up. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s an anti-inflammation pill that’s quite commonly prescribed for all sorts of acne. It did come with a couple side effects; Severe dehydration, profuse sweating under the arms which no antiperspirant could stop (had to get a prescription one haha), and it has permanently caused my urine to be a golden yellow no matter how hydrated I am. But never the less it did what it was supposed to do, completely cleared my acne. I was on it for almost a year and was told even if it cleared me early to continue using it until I was out. I did so and was clear for nearly 6 months after. There seems to be a common theme of people on these forums who appear to have this thing licked but then it comes back with vengeance like Maximus in the Gladiator. There seems to be an even larger group of people who find something that works….. Works the first time that is. Only to try the same thing later and it has no affect. This seems to be the case for most every treatment/remedy for our specific kind of acne, from home remedies to the supposed “acne cure” itself Accutane. To get back on topic I’m sure you’re wondering what happened between the large gap from when the effects of the Solodyn wore off somewhere late-2015 to now. The best way for me to answer that would be to say….. Nothing. Literally “nothing”, not only in the way of not finding a cure but nothing in the way of my life. Like so many others who suffer from this terrible thing, I too have almost stopped living life all together. I know for someone on the outside looking in it that can sound extremely over dramatic or just down right foolish. But I can assure you it’s not, as bad as it looks on the face, or as physically painful as it may be. Nothing compares to the absolutely detrimental affect it has on your self-esteem. When I’m having a bad breakout I literally won’t leave the house. This has led to me dropping out of college, quitting a good paying job with co-workers I actually liked, and losing many friends from cancelling plans so much to the point where they think I no longer like them. You become obsessed, my skin and the pursuit of me trying to put a stop to my acne has completely consumed my life. It is literally all I think about every day. I look in the mirror countless times a day to check the current status. Is my current break out healing? Is the monstrous pimple on the left between the 3 smaller ones that’s been on my face for two weeks finally going away or is it swelling up for a round two? Maybe even a round three. The worst of all is when your current break out is almost completely healed and then BAM! You feel a new breakout coming. People who don’t suffer from acne don’t understand that having breakouts literally makes it impossible to even run to the grocery store, or go through the drive through at the bank, the risk of someone seeing it is too great. Being assertive with people which you took for granted for all those years now sounds like a dream. I know this all sounds a little extreme, like maybe I need to see somebody. But the truth is I don’t I’m perfectly sane. Like anybody else I know how crazy and cynical this all sounds but there is nothing I can do about it. I know that at the end of the day a person’s appearance is probably the least important thing about them, I know that any girl who genuinely wouldn’t be with me because I have acne is a girl that I wouldn’t want anyway. I know that any dude that sees me with a bad break out couldn’t care less. Most importantly I know that having acne on my face isn’t actually stopping me from doing anything, I can still travel, interact, and frankly pursue anything I please. But….. Knowing and being able to do are two completely different things. All though I know these things are true I can’t convince myself to ignore my breakouts, it’s like I’m trapped in a mental cage. I just want my face back. I don’t want exceptional skin, not even good skin, just average. I want my life back. As far as advice I have for other people dealing with the same kind of acne I don’t have much. In the 4 years that I have suffered I have learned some do’s and don’ts. But not much that hasn’t already been mention in the forums. I used to take extremely hot 30 minute long showers which I learned is a down right TERRIBLE thing to do and dries your skin out like you wouldn’t believe. I also learned that for me and other people suffering from the same kind of acne as me in the same locations would benefit immensely from sleeping on their back instead of their face on the pillow. I just learned that at the start of this year and had actually cleared me up completely for most of January. Unfortunately though all of this time I have only ever found one for sure trigger. This seems to sometimes be a controversial subject in these forums…. But masturbation is a 100% trigger for my breakouts. Please before you chime in and tell me about an article you read online by DR. Smitty Werben Man Jensen that says it’s not a trigger or that you yourself masturbate 10 times a day and have no acne. Just know that if there is one thing I’ve learned about factual information in the acne world it’s that long time sufferers of acne are more informed than the so called specialists in the field. And that just because it’s not a trigger for you doesn’t mean it can’t be one for me. I won’t go into any more detail on this subject as I plan on making a separate post specifically on this later on, I just wanted to touch base now. Ultimately I feel that the root cause is something internal, whether its hormones, diet, or both. And I plan to find out. Also I feel that my acne somewhat comes in cycles. For some reason I have really bad appetite swings where I will go for about a week or so being extremely hungry and eating everything in sight, followed by a week of having no appetite at all. Obviously I still eat it’s just considerably less. I’ve always noticed that at the very end of my big appetite week is when I tend to break out, and then I have no appetite at all during the bad breakout. This also causes my weight to fluctuate somewhat badly, I’m pretty underweight as it is and this seems to be a big culprit. My diet for pretty much my entire life has been fairly bad, not necessarily in the sweets department but as far as fried foods go I’m an addict. I drank sodas and stuff as a kid and into my early teens but I can say truthfully that I haven’t drank a soda since sometime before my sophomore or junior year in High School. Also I don’t drink alcohol, in fact I’ve never even tasted it, it’s just not my thing. Now there are plenty of people like me who indulge in more fried foods than they should, but my problem lies in the lack of good foods that I eat for counter balancing. I’m embarrassed to say that I literally hate every vegetable, other than carrots, potatoes, and corn. There isn’t another single vegetable I will eat…. And that’s a problem. The last year or so is really the first time I have every truly started to try to improve my diet. I’ve done and okay job still slipping up here and there, and occasionally getting discouraged and quitting all together for a bit. Obviously though my problem is eating less junky food really does nothing when you’re still not consuming enough good ones either. However I have just recently started putting large amounts of spinach in my daily fruit smoothies and also plan on getting the juice plus supplements within the next week. The last thing I really wanted to touch on as far as concerns would be a Thyroid condition. I literally suffer from every symptom in the book. Then to top it off I have four close family members who suffer from conditions themselves. I Have an uncle and a Grandma with celiac, (grandma actually went into a thyroid storm) a mother with Hypo, and an uncle on my dad’s side with Hyper. But despite all of this I went and got a blood test 2 months ago and they came back good. Although I heard that you can’t always find it in the test and that part of the problem is that having the condition means that levels are constantly fluctuating which means sometimes the levels are okay. The only thing that came back low was my Vitamin D which I know can play a big role on the skins health as well. Unfortunately though my levels are good again and it hasn’t made a difference in my breakouts other than the first week or two. For anyone who didn’t know the reason I brought this up is because if you have a thyroid problem it can play a HUGE role in causing acne. It controls many things from hormones to vitamins specifically correlated with skin to much more than that. If you’re suffering from a similar kind of acne as me, I definitely recommend getting tested. Very sorry for this book that I have just written, in case you can’t tell I easily get carried away with my rambling, especially on subjects I’m really passionate about. I really just wanted to get the basis of everything that is important to me on this issue in my first post. I fully plan on making many more posts on this journey and plan on sharing all of my results positive and negative. My first plan is definitely going on a strict diet with important supplements added as well. I’m really trying to stray away from any sort of topical treatments or remedies. Topicals may help with existing (emphasis on the may) but they don’t help with the source/cause, and that’s what I’m after. Ultimately I feel that I’m suffering from a more rare type of acne breakout, as I’ve only found a few other threads of people with the same type and location. Also this particular type seems to be much more common in woman. Any and all advice is welcome, please keep the comments as positive as possible. There is already enough negativity going around in the world of acne. I plan on being pretty active on this site and should have more posts up later this weekend. Feel free to contact me about anything at all, my name is Matt as my username suggest’s. Thanks again for reading this 2000+ word ramble.
  4. 2 Week Update

    So it's been 2 weeks and 1 day since I started roaccutane and, I'm not going to lie, it has been really really hard. The last 2 weeks my skin broke out to the worst it has ever been. My confidence was rock bottom and I felt no amount of make up could help the situation as the texture of my skin was awful due to the dry skin caused by the accutane. I kept thinking, "nothing is going to work, I'm going to have this acne forever". As much as I'd like to post a photo to share, I'd be way too nervous to, it was THAT bad this week! But I, along with all my family and friends, have been reassuring myself that it has to get worse to get better as it works from the inside out so I'm really trying to see that positive side of things. Wen my skin got to the worst, I stayed at home all day and applied some benzoyl peroxide which i don't really find helps all that much. What I really do find that helps is the Witch Hazel & Tea Tree Night Treatment Gel from Boots. I bought it ages ago when I had a mild breakout and haven't used it since. But the other night I found it in my drawer and said I'd give it another bash! Oh. My. God. LIFE SAVER. I applied it at night and again after I moisturised the next morning before putting on my make up... It totally killed any active spots I had and dried them up completely in the space of about 48 hours. Even ones that had not surfaced yet and were really inflamed, it totally soothed them and it didn't dry out my skin, only the spots. HIGHLY RECOMMEND TRYING. I'm going to continue using it, even when my skin is pretty much almost clear as it doesn't irritate my skin and it also prevents new spots. Lets hope this is the last of my initial breakout! Side effects: Other than that, side effects are just dry skin and lips. Scalp is starting to get dry too and the palms of my hands (weirdly). Hello week 3
  5. Hi guys. I have officially completed 2 months of 100 MG of Spiro. I am still looking just as bad. I notice a lot of ups and downs. One week I swear it looks much better and the next week I have a bunch of new pimples. I am sick of feeling the acne on my face and not wanting to look in the mirror. I am sick of plastering my skin with drying gel. It is exhausting. I also have started to take Anti Depressants. My mental state keeps worsening as my acne doesn't improve. I have tons of small pimples on my forehead, despite my Clindamycin use. It helps, but not enough. I have like 3 or 4 big pimples on both sides of my cheeks. -I had to switch from the Nuva Ring to Ortho Tri Cyclen. It is generic but it says right on it that it also treats moderate acne. I have taken this in the past when I was on Accutane and it kept me clear for awhile I feel like. I am hopeful this combination will be good. I really liked the Nuvaring, but the combo with Spiro was making me extremely emotional and I had a severe panic attack that I believe was from the Nuvaring. I used it in the past and it worked super good but now that I have acne again, the second time around hasn't been so great. I know it isn't supposed to help acne, so I think it am making the right move going back to my original Ortho Tri Cyclen. I haven't felt any emotional affects like I did on the NuvaRing. I really hope this isn't going to cause an initial breakout switching, because it already looks bad. I felt cloudy in the head until I switched to Ortho Tri Cyclen. It wasn't fun. I have been on the pill for 5 days now. It caused me to get my period a full week early, and that might be why my skin looks especially bad today. -I am hopeful this medication will work. I just keep missing out on social events because I am so insecure. I just want this to be done with. I am so frustrated. My appointment with my dermatologist is near the end of October. I remember her saying I might not be clear by then. It will be the 3 month check up. I haven't been there since I got prescribed it. It is frustrating seeing people say it cleared them up in 1 month because I have had my initial breakout well over 2 months. I saw a few Youtube success stories, from girls with worse acne than me, getting clear at 6 months. It is so hard to wait that long. I don't have severe acne, it is more moderate. I feel like mine should clear up faster than that. Will someone comment and tell me how long it took them? I was hoping I would be back with a positive update. I am still going to keep moving forward and give it the full 6 months before I think about quitting. I hope I will get my dose raised at the appointment, or it will be clear by then? My birthday is November 29th and I will be devastated to not have clear skin by then...It is possible but also could very well not happen. Please comment! Support is always welcome!
  6. Hi, okay so I need desperate help from all the acne solvers out there in the universe. I am a 17 year old girl, and have had relatively clear skin my whole teenage life- even when I hit puberty. Except for the past year my face (chin especially) has been HORRENDOUS. In the pictures attached you can see what it looks like. It is incredibly painful as you can probably imagine and had been consistently like that for a year (as I mentioned before). I've been forced to wear tonnes of makeup just to cover the redness, and even when one pimple fades, a red mark is left over and a new one pops up. I've slowly became depressed over it and I am incredibly self conscious- to the point where I won't even let my family see me without makeup on anymore. PLEASE if anyone knows how to help ( without going on medication) I'm begging you to, I can't deal with it anymore. I've been cleansing with Liz Earle cleanse and polish- which I've been using for my whole life, then using their toner and moisturiser. I've not used many acne treatments because they never even to make it better- only worse. Thank so much, your help is much appreciated!
  7. 1 Week Update

    Hello ello ello, So today marks my 1 week of being on Roaccutane. So far, I haven't had many side effects apart from the dry skin which is mainly around my nose and mouth. My skin is a little red but nothing major, kinda just looks I've a bit of a tan on my face so I can't complain! The last few days I've been getting white heads in places I wouldn't usually get them like higher on my cheeks and 2 on my forehead where I NEVER get spots. I find some of them go and come back in the same place 2 or 3 times before they finally leave. Obviously the accutane is just pushing everything out so it's working! As my skin was really bad a few days ago, I was freaking out and couldn't resist trying to help the little buggers move along quicker, so I started putting Benzoyl Peroxide 5% gel on the spots that needed a push. I've read mixed opinions on using other products while on accutane and realistically I should have just let them pass themselves but the benzoyl peroxide just dried them out a little quicker and flattened them loads. The cysts have totally gone on my jawline on my right side ( just still a little bumpy) and theres only 2 cysts on the left side but they're passing! Skin is just still bumpy in places but it will all pass eventually. I took these photos just after my moisturising session so the redness of old spots makes my skin look way worse than it actually is! All in all though, my skin is definitely clearing up and I'm feeling very positive. I'm hoping the breakout I had over the last few days were the worst to come and things will hopefully just get better from here, but I'm still expecting the worst, just incase! Products I've been using: Cleanser: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purrifying Foaming Gel Toner: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Toner Moisturiser: La Roche-Posay Effaclar H (amazing) Lip balm: La Roche-Posay Nutritic Lips Spot cream: Acnecide 5% gel (benzoyl peroxide) (yes, I'm a bit of a La Roche-Posay freak) Looking forward to seeing what week 2 has to bring
  8. I'm in need of any type of advice or any tips you can give me on how I can treat my acne. My acne obviously flared up when I hit puberty (about six years ago) and it's been a long battle ever since. I usually get it on my jawline, chin, forehead, and sides of my cheeks although it only happens on my cheeks occasionally and it's usually just a few pimples at a time. I know that acne on the chin and jawline is hormonal and that acne on the forehead typically points to digestive issues. I also get acne pretty bad on my back. About a year ago I went to the dermatologist for the first time and they prescribed me minocycline. It worked for most of the winter time, but gradually it stopped and my acne was coming back. I haven't gone back, mainly because I'm trying to find natural and organic ways to fix my problem. I made the decision to go dairy and wheat free a few months ago; however, it proves to be pretty difficult for me and I occasionally slip up. Ever since I started taking minocycline, my skin has been pretty dry now which is very unusual considering I always dealt with incredibly oily skin before I took it. For a while, I was drinking coconut milk like crazy and using the Everyday Coconut facial cleanser along with the moisturizer. My skin was getting so dry that it was red and painful and I was getting a bunch of tiny bumps on my forehead that resembled folliculitis. I stopped using the cleanser and consuming anything coconut for a few weeks now and my skin is definitely not as dry as it was, but it is still pretty dry nonetheless. The bumps on my forehead are still there, I'm getting acne on my temples which is a very unusual spot for me, little bumps and whiteheads along my jaw and chin, now down my neck, and I'm also just starting to get acne on my lower back which, again, is a place I've never gotten it before until now. I really have no idea what's going on or how to fix this. I can't really afford to see a bunch of doctors about it or get tests done. I'm not willing to go on birth control either. I have been taking zinc and l-lysine supplements and I just ordered the Daily Cleanse pills by Hum Nutrition to see if they can help out at all. If anyone else has anything they can share or new supplements or really just anything that would be great. I'm starting to get a little desperate here.
  9. I developed a HUGE cyst on the side of my nostril which I stupidly picked at. It has misshapen my nose and is so painful it's making my teeth hurt and gland below has swollen and painful. I dont have insurance so can't get a cortisone injection. I've tried mario badescu buffering lotion, zapzyt, tea tree oil cortisone cream, antibiotic ointment with zinc. Icing, warming...Nothing is helping! Also had another one on the other side which popped and now the skin is cracked at the nose along with various chin acne. All of this because I switched to Proactiv MD moisturizer for oily skin!!!!
  10. And so it begins!

    Howdy! So let me fill you in really quickly on my acne journey, a real journey of trial and error! I started getting acne when I was about 12/13. It was never too bad but as I got a little older it started getting worse and began to bother me. When I was 16, I went to my GP about it and he prescribed me Dianette (contraceptive pill). This surprisingly worked so well but I think I took it for granted looking back now. I always had the odd spot or 3 but my skin became the least of my worries and was totally bearable compared to now. In may 2015 when I was 21, I came off the pill and got the Mirena Coil fitted. A few months down the line, my acne gradually got worse and worse so I began taking Tetracycline (oral tablet antibiotic) and using Duac cream (antibiotic cream). They worked temporarily, but when I stopped taking them, the breakouts became more frequent and more inflamed. So I then decided to try IPL laser treatment. It hurt like a bitch and it cleared my skin for no more than 3 weeks, and then the acne came back but way more angry and a type of cystic acne, which I had never had before. I'm now 23 and my acne is the worst it has ever been causing my self esteem to plummet to nothing! I know for a fact it is hormonal acne and I get really bad breakouts around my jawline and cheeks. The ones on my jawline are cystic and really under the skin - a real pain in the arse!!! Basically, I have tried everything. It has taken me 11 years or so (and god knows how much money spent on products), to finally realise that nothing will work unless I go to a dermatologist. I met my dermatologist today and I have been prescribed 6 months of Roaccutane. I'm starting on 20mg dose and see how I get on from there. Below is a photo of the first day! I'm honestly scared and dreading the side effects, but at this stage, I KNOW it will be worth it! I'll post a weekly update, for both others looking for advice and for my own motivation and peace of mind.
  11. Pleasssse help!

    Been facing the same acne troubled area for the passed 2 years. Nothing has really worked for me. Been to several derms and they all give me a retinoid w/ spot treated and say the same damn thing "3 months for best results" well 3 months goes by and I'm still miserable. With barley any improvements. I'm 19, I hit the gym 4-5x a week, shower everyday if not twice a day, eat very healthy (fruits veggies etc) and drinking water nonstop. Idk what the cause is other then hormonal stress related. But honestly what the hell can you do about that. Please help! Any advice, tips, encouraging related stories will be greatly appreciated!
  12. Hello! I'm finally speaking out and being honest about my acne and I couldn't have done it without the help and inspiration from some of you on! Here is my latest blog post admitting everything. I'd love it if some of you followed me. [Link removed] Mxxx
  13. Please excuse me for this post, but I am so frustrated with my body acne. I am such a freak that I get acne even in weird places like my forearms, hands, and stomach. And yes, I do think that it's actual acne for reasons that I will explain later in this post. MY RANT Having weird body acne is so frustrating because I'm such a freak. Virtually nobody else gets acne in such weird places. It's at least somewhat socially acceptable to have acne on the face, back, or chest. It's frustrating because, even on this forum, it seems that there are so many naysayers that doubt that acne on forearms and hands is possible. I have managed to find a few people on this forum that have had acne in such weird places, but there are so many naysayers. People have often responded by saying, "Are you sure it's acne?" and "It's probably not acne - but keratosis pilaris [or some other skin condition]." Nobody seems to accept that, as rare as it is, acne on the forearms and hands IS possible. It seems almost as if the few inflicted with acne in such rare cases are looked down upon, not taken seriously, and treated like freaks. It seems as if there's nowhere for them to turn. Worst of all, unlike acne in other places, it's harder to hide forearm and hand acne. Wearing a shirt can cover back, chest, and stomach acne, and makeup can cover acne on the face, but those aren't as good options for places like the forearms and hands. Anyone that wore gloves on a regular basis, especially if it wasn't winter, would be looked at strangely, and in some cases, wearing gloves might not even be possible. Also, unless waterproof makeup was worn on the hands, it would just wash right off when washing the hands. Plus, even if that weren't a problem, think about how weird that is. How many people have to put makeup on their ARMS and HANDS for crying out loud? MY STORY I'm 28 years old, and I've had severe cystic acne since I was 14 (August 2003). Despite being well beyond my teen years, my acne has never been worse (with the exception of my forehead). I first got it on my face and back - common places to get acne. For my face, I tried a number of different things - like washing more frequently, a soap for sensitive skin, pads to remove excess oil, Clearasil pads, and various other creams and cleansers. Nothing made any noticeable improvement on my acne. Over two years after I first got acne, in early 2006, I was finally put on doxycycline and Accutane (though obviously, I didn't take them at the same time). Both worked wonders, and in the case of Accutane, I had no severe side effects except for chapped lips. However, almost immediately after my course of Accutane was over, my acne slowly started coming back over the course of several months. Five months after I quit Accutane, in January 2007, there was no denying it: my acne had come back in full force. My acne returned to everywhere I had acne prior to Accutane. There seemed to have been no improvement whatsoever. Several months later, in September 2007, I went back to the doctor, and I was put back on doxycycline temporarily, and as was the case more than a year earlier, it worked like a charm. But a few months later, as a result of not getting a refill in time and having to skip it for a few days, the doxycycline was much less effective. Up to this point, I have never since returned to the doctor for acne treatment due to a number of factors - including lacking health insurance - and having other priorities. Also, sometime in early 2008, I started getting cystic acne on my neck - just under my ears. I'd say that sometime in 2010, the acne on my forehead virtually disappeared. To date, my forehead is the ONLY part of my body with acne that got better on its own in the long term. I should also note that it got better completely on its own. I took no medicines and had no cleansing rituals. From 2010-2015, my acne was pretty stable, and I became less concerned about it. But around March 2015, I started to get more acne more regularly on my chest and cheeks. A year later, in 2016, I started getting some very small, minor pimples on my arms, but it was very rare. In regards to my chest, I had tried a number of things - including toothpaste, supposedly a drying agent, but that had no clear effect. Finally, this year, I started getting acne much more frequently on my arms and hands. My acne has also slowly been working its way from my chest to my stomach, as well. Keep in mind, this is at age 28 - when I've already had acne for 14 years. Getting acne on my forearms and hands is practically my worst nightmare because those areas seem harder to cover up, and they are also among the few, last places where I've had clear skin. It's like my body won't let me have an inch of clear skin. My acne is eating me alive. Also, those areas are such unusual places to get acne, so I'm essentially a freak. As it stands now, my forearm and hand acne isn't too severe, but that is no comfort because I've feared that it will just get worse. At first, my chest and shoulders had relatively mild acne, but it got worse over the years. WHY I THINK IT'S ACNE Many will probably say, "It's probably not acne," but I doubt that it is anything other than acne. I say this because the pimples on my arms are not itchy like keratosis pilaris, and also, they've been appearing in tandem with the pimples spreading to my stomach. Also, from what I've read, acne is possible everywhere on the skin except for the palms of the hands, and to date, I haven't had any pimples on my palms - but have had pimples on the tops of my hands and fingers. The pimples on my arms also have been following the same patterns as the acne elsewhere on my body. Any cleansing or non-cleansing methods have virtually no effect - whether good or bad. Like elsewhere on my body, the pimples just come and go whenever they want. It doesn't matter what I put or don't put on my body. Also, I first got relatively mild, rarely-occurring pimples on my forearms and hands. However, with time, they became bigger and more frequent. The same exact thing has been happening with my forearms and hands. CONCLUSION I feel so frustrated that I've been getting acne on my forearms and hands since I haven't been able to treat my acne elsewhere, and the forearms and hands are far worse places to get acne since it's seemingly harder to hide, and there could be hygenic issues. Worst of all, of the few people that I've found online - including this forum, not many seem to believe that acne on the forearms and hands is possible. In my case, it's even worse because my body is already messed up. I'm short at only 5'3," don't look my age, and have even started losing some hair. My body is so freakish. I'm such a lemon. I wish that I could get a new body because this one seems beyond repair. Since topical treatments seem to have no effect on my acne, I've thought for some time that I might have some kind of internal and/or hormonal problem. I've thought that might explain why I don't look my age - although I've already been to an endocrinologist, who didn't seem to think there was any correlation between my acne and appearance. Also, I've hated that most of what I can find online about hormonal acne pertains to females, but it seems that guys can get hormonal acne, too. Anyway, I'm sorry if I offended anyone with this post, but I just wanted to vent my frustration, and I hope that I can find some way to effectively treat my acne.
  14. I have always had clean skin until April of this year that I started getting cystic acne. I don't know what's causing it I just know that I have tried so many things and none of them work. I went to the dermatologists who's injected me with about 8 cortisone shots this year alone and the cystic acne keeps coming back in the same places. I have to pay out of pocket at the dermatologist office and its getting so expensive. He gave me tretinoin cream, veltin, and a spray that smells like chlorine but none of them have helped. He recommended differin I have been using it for about 2 weeks and it doesn't seem to be helping. I also got on birth control about 5 months ago (ortho tri cyclen) and doesn't seem to be helping at all. I don't eat dairy its rare when I do. I just don't understand what's going on. I went on amazon and ordered this face wash called humane for cystic acne and I just started that today. my regimen consists of washing my face with cetaphil, toning with clean and clear non alcoholic toner, and putting differen on at night, Sometimes my cysts come to the surface after week and I pop them but most don't their so deep in my skin I don't know what to do anymore. I'm getting married and all I can think of is my skin. PLEASE HELP.
  15. I have always had clean skin until April of this year that I started getting cystic acne. I don't know what's causing it I just know that I have tried so many things and none of them work. I went to the dermatologists who's injected me with about 8 cortisone shots this year alone and the cystic acne keeps coming back in the same places. I have to pay out of pocket at the dermatologist office and its getting so expensive. He gave me tretinoin cream, veltin, and a spray that smells like chlorine but none of them have helped. He recommended differin I have been using it for about 2 weeks and it doesn't seem to be helping. I also got on birth control about 5 months ago (ortho tri cyclen) and doesn't seem to be helping at all. I don't eat dairy its rare when I do. I just don't understand what's going on. I went on amazon and ordered this face wash called humane for cystic acne and I just started that today. my regimen consists of washing my face with cetaphil, toning with clean and clear non alcoholic toner, and putting differen on at night, Sometimes my cysts come to the surface after week and I pop them but most don't their so deep in my skin I don't know what to do anymore. I'm getting married and all I can think of is my skin. PLEASE HELP.
  16. Hi guys... I feel a little bit stupid honestly for making my 1 month update sound so great. I truly felt like It looked alot better. I went to my parents house 2 days later after making this post and I ended up crying a ton to my mom about how much worse I felt like it looked. The lighting at my parents house is much brighter & every acne mark and pimple stuck out so much and was so red. Before I started Spiro I went there with no makeup & it looked better than now. It looks worse than the start. I know this is so common. I just thought my initial breakout was over, but my cheeks are continuing to purge AND my forehead has TONS of tiny pimples all over it. I feel like I did in middle school & it feels traumatic. I dread foundation. I can see the acne more when I wear it, but I still look better to other people and feel like I would not look professional without it because of all the red marks. I accepted a Nanny gig the rest of this week and it is all day Tuesday-Friday. I hate feeling like I have to wear makeup. I love wearing it when my skin is all clear and I feel like I am using it for fun & to enhance my natural beauty. When I have acne, I feel like all it looks like is a failed attempt at covering up a bunch of gross bumps. I can't get over the fact it was flawless 2 months ago. I have been dealing with grief and depression severely & initial breakouts really really make that worse. I have thoughts like...I should've never started it because It just looks worse than the start and I have to wait months for it to maybe go back to normal. Acne causes so much negativity in my thoughts. I am a completely different woman when I had clear skin. I swear it affects every aspect of my life. I can't stop looking in mirrors and observing every imperfection. I am trying to be positive but I am so impatient. I am amazed it has already been 1 month though. It did fly by. I hope the next two months fly by and I start seeing a big difference. I hope my 3 month appointment is not me crying and upset but positive and seeing clear skin in my near future. When I said my skin had no active serious breakouts a few days ago...I swear they were just preparing to erupt or something. I just want to see some real improvement that isn't going a step forward and two steps back. I hope by month 2 I will have clear cheeks or a clear forehead. I just want one part of my face clear. I am almost out of my Clindamycin gel and I used it super fast. I over did it. I was thinking about replacing it with my Retina A cream but I stopped using it after I got bad cheek breakouts the day after using it last.I can't bare for it to get worse. I start my period this coming Sunday. 5 days. Maybe it is worse because it is a week before my period? I take out my birth control ring for a week for my period. I like the ring and don't want to switch to a pill. I stayed clear with the ring for a long time. I want to ask about Ortho Tri Cyclen or Tri Sprintec if my acne isn't making big improvements in 4 months max. I know I should have maybe waited for this update at the 1 month and 2 week mark, but I'm keeping it real with you guys. It felt better then it felt way worse.
  17. Hi everyone, Firstly let me say thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm seeing a really expensive derm in the hope of curing long standing adult acne. Recently, I sent this email to her and thought I would copy it in here to see if any of you could offer any insight. I understand how painful adult acne can be and wondered if any of you had had a similar experience or could offer any advice. Hello, That's fine thank you. I understand this a really long query but obviously you understand it is a risky medication and I would be grateful if you could help me with my concerns. I'm going to leave off taking the tablet for today until I hear back from you. So, I've been taking roaccutane for about 1-2 weeks. My skin has suffered an initial breakout. This hasn't happened before on roaccutane but that's fine, I had known this would happen. However, additionally, I've had an increase in anxiety and some headaches. Yesterday, I went to bed early as my head did feel quite heavy but when I woke up I was fine. I've had a feeling of what can only be described as pressure in my head for the last several days. I also experience a tightness in my chest and panicked feelings but normally only when I start to worry about taking the medication. I think this is because this is my third time taking the medication and I'm starting to worry about encountering long-term serious side effects. I did some of my own research online and read that headaches and "pressure" in the head, akin to what I've been experiencing, could be indicative of pressure in the brain which would lead to long term damage to sight. I had read an account of a girl whose retina (or attachments in the back of her eye, it was something like this) had detached and she had gone blind in that eye. I've also experienced some joint pain but I've taking calcium osteoporosis supplements as well and they seem to relieve the pain. In this respect, I am worried about osteoporosis as I am quite an active person. I sometimes cycle over an hour and a half around London & go to fitness classes at the gym. I did explain to the Professor that this was my third time taking it but I've provided some details below about the previous times I've taken the medication. Does taking it a third time increase my risk of long-term side effects and is the fact that I've had to take it a third time indicative of how it's not working long-term for me and I should try other medication? (2014- 15: 5mg building up to 20mg for 6-12 months with an odd couple of months after treatment when the acne came back.) (2016- 2-4 months on 40mg building up to 60mg where I did experience some anxiety in the beginning but this soon went away within the first week.) I should have explained this to the professor but basically my acne isn't random, it does have some triggers but they seem to be the majority of things; -makeup -sun -alcohol -excess of sugar -excess of carbs or unhealthy food -excess of dairy -any hormonal changes big or small (except just after a period where the acne improves) -stress If I avoid all of the above, I'd have mild acne as opposed to moderate but it would be embarrassing as I wouldn't be able to cover it up with makeup as that would cause it to worsen. Hormones in particular appear to be a massive trigger as stress causes it to get very bad and the first time I went on roaccutane was due to having come of the birth control pill. The reaction to the withdrawal of hormones made the acne become "severe" with scarring. However, I tried to go back on birth control a couple years later (Yasmin) as an alternative to accutane but within 1 week my face was covered with moderate pustular, comodonous (sorry I'm spelling that wrong), and some cystic acne. It was very painful to touch it. I had been having a mild breakout so I don't know if it had a roaccutane like effect, suppressing the oil and therefore causing everything to come to the service. I wonder if this would be a potential option again or it would be worsening the problem. The pic of my face after yasmin 2 weeks. The professor said she didn't think the acne was hormonal and I just wanted to know why she thought that was? I'm really sorry for the length of the email but I thought I'd let you know all of the facts. Hope you understand and please let me know what you think. Best, Jess ----- If anyone can offer any advice this would be really helpful as I've been waiting several days for my derm to reply so I doubt she thinks it's that serious or is perhaps too busy.
  18. A couple of weeks ago a rash started to appear on my chest, neck, back and few on my face. They're really small pimples with whiteheads and tend to not itch. They tend to easily burst with a scratch. I went to the doctors and they told me it was acne but I don't think it is. I've been on birth control for 8 months now and I've noticed that the pimples only appear during the three weeks I am on the pill and the week on my period they seem to clear and this cycle is consistent. I'm just wondering if anyone else has gone through this and would suggest anything to prevent this from occcuring. I have stopped taking the pill and it's been two weeks but there isn't much of an improvement. Please help! It is effecting my confidence a lot
  19. I've made quite a few posts in this forum and it seems my skin is getting progressively worse. I was convinced it was from the stress of school, but now that I'm graduated my skin is actually the worse it's ever been. I took the week off to just chill, wear no makeup, excersize & do yoga (de-stress) and eat really well and I swear to god everyday it gets worse. I'm not eating dairy. I'm taking Omega-3, Multi-Vitamin, and a Probiotic everyday. I wash my face with Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic face wash and follow up with the moisturizer, then topically apply tea tree oil. I think it's hormonal, but it's not in the usual places for hormonal acne. I actually rarely see acne in the cheeks like I have. I'm not sure if it's related but my mom suffered from really bad acne throughout middle school and highschool, although I'm 19 and never had ANY acne prior to this (started last September) I have never been to a dermatologist and would prefer to deal with the root of the issue rather than taking a pill to fix things. Although I am considering birth control, so if anybody has experience with that I'd love to hear. This is my skin on August 4, the day I graduated August 10 August 11 August 12, today
  20. Spironolactone- 1 Month Update

    I have been reading reviews that after 1-2 weeks, this pill made peoples acne magically go away. This hasn't been my case. I never had super severe acne this time around, but it was mild closer to moderate. It would not go away for weeks. This week, I have noticed a big difference, just from Monday to Friday. My acne on my cheeks, is almost all gone. The second and third week of the month my cheeks and chin were breaking out alot. The pimples are significantly smaller. It looks like they are almost completely gone. The whiteheads on my lip, have went down a ton. It honestly looks like there is not a single "super severe" breakout going on today. When I started, I felt like there were small pimples on almost every part of my face & bigger ones. I think starting my Nuva Ring has helped alot. I stopped birth control for two months for the first time since Accutane. It was the biggest mistake ever. I believe that is what made my skin explode. Before I stopped, my acne still was starting to pop up alot more often than usual, but not as severely. My skin is very red and sensitive still. My acne scars from the past look more prominent & I did notice my initial breakout has really made my acne scars on my cheeks even worse and left more. It looks like acne still, but it is much smoother. I for sure see improvement. I am so happy. Week two compared to the 1 month mark, is so much better. I know I had an initial breakout on the second & third week. My Retin A cream made my cheeks break out worse too. My Clindamycin gel has helped shrink my pimples so much. I use that daily. I still have acne & for sure don't feel clear. I still have whiteheads going on, but it is better than deep bumps on my cheeks that aren't close to shrinking. I am so excited to see my skin on Month 2. I feel like the medicine is now finally starting to work the magic. I don't want to jinx myself, but I see improvement. I still would not feel confident without makeup & still am not ready to even take on College on campus this semester because of my insecurities. I am hoping by the new year, I will be clear & confident & ready to go back on campus again. For now, I am taking online classes, avoiding mirrors, doing my makeup, even though I dread seeing my face when I take it off at night. I am going to stay positive! I have a new job & I am proud I went to the interview and aced it, even though I felt insecure. One last comment, when I take off my makeup & wash my face, the redness often makes my acne scars stick out so much more, & make the acne look more severe than it is. I still feel insecure looking at the mirror until about 15 minutes later, when the redness comes down. I would love comments or questions or some support down below!
  21. Hello, I am a 19 year old female. On July 21st 2017, I was put on Spiro, at 100 MG a day. I take Nuva Ring Birth Control with it. I have struggled with moderate to severe acne since age twelve. A very brief history on my acne, I tried every OTC product that exists and three step system. I tried Bactum antibiotic and a topical prescription in High School. I had persistent and moderate acne for four or five years. It really destroyed my social life, self esteem, and put me into a deep depression for a long time. I was bullied a lot for my acne as well. I was put on Accutane in my Sophmore year or Junior year, I don't remember. It cleared me of acne completely, something I didn't even remember the feeling of. I never saw myself with clear skin since I was a child. It only took 1-2 months for it to clear. I was on it for I think 4-5 months. I had side affects of IBS, back pain, super dry skin, and very chapped lips. The cons didn't bother me compared to the pros. It kept me clear for 3 years. I am now entering my second year of College in a week. I switched my Birth Control Method to the Nuva Ring about a year ago, with no acne problems. I was originally on Ortho Tri Cyclen. I was just sick of taking pills. I went a year or two feeling confident with zero makeup in public and strangers would tell me they would've never known I struggled with acne for years. I liked going natural. In May 2017,three months before today, I thought why not quit taking my Nuva Ring too. I thought I grew out of acne and was cured from Accutane. I got my first apartment in April with my boyfriend who never even saw me with acne for the three years we have been dating. Two months later, It was July and my face exploded in acne like I haven't seen for years. It was all over my forehead like Middle School. Looking back, since March of 2017, I was noticing more frequent acne, It just never got bad enough to bother me till Summer 2017. It spread badly on my cheeks as well. I also have tons of white heads. I was so devastated and thought my boyfriend would leave me and be disgusted by me. I usually wouldn't even wear makeup around him. Acne scars didn't bother me. I have been a hermit, crying, rarely leaving my apartment. I feel so insecure in public without makeup. I have come to hating applying foundation after years of needing it. I feel depressed putting on makeup and seeing the acne still. I can't believe it came back so heavily. I started taking the Nuva Ring again in July when it got so bad. A few days later, I was prescribed what I stated at the beginning, 100 MG of Spiro a day. I was also prescribed Retin A Cream, 0.025. I was told to continue my Clindamyacin Gel as a spot treatment, which worked amazing after Accutane with small breakouts. It has been a few days more than 3 weeks on Spiro. I haven't seen much progress. My forehead acne is almost gone from the Clindamyacin gel. I still have bad acne on my cheeks, temples, and white heads on my chin. I personally think it's almost gotten worse since I started, on my cheeks. The Retin A is awful and I don't want to use it, it is so drying and it worsened my cheeks. I just wash with Cera Ve cleanser, Clindamyacin gel, and Burts Bees moisturizer. I feel pretty sad and anti social. I decided on taking all online classes for my first semester of College in a week. I truly don't want to be seen in class this way. It's sucks struggling for four years, being clear for about three, just for it to explode nearly as badly again. I'm trying to stay positive because it's not a quick fix. It's so hard though. I'll be back when I hit the one month mark, and probably post weekly or bi weekly my journey from there. I hope this goes well and people will support me or I can help someone else.
  22. So my acne consists of small, flesh colored bumps around my mouth and mostly my chin area. It's been like this for almost or just about a year now and has increasingly gotten worse. The area where I do have acne is slightly red JUST IN THAT AREA, which is around my mouth. Not cute. I'm almost positive this is hormonal. I started getting it around the time I had developed anxiety. Now that my anxiety has been gone for months, I want my acne to be gone! I started taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo about a month ago. I am not seeing much improvement but I know this is too soon to even tell. I've been told by my gynecologist that it will take three months for my body to adjust to the pills. I'm only 18 and having acne is the worst--especially from having flawless skin to this. It takes a toll on my self-esteem. If anyone has birth control stories DEALING WITH HORMONAL ACNE ONLY--please share! I also know that hormonal acne is usually either cystic or small comedones around the chin area. Also I have a pretty good diet. I take Vitamins E, C, Fish Oil, and Biotin everyday. I drink PLENTY of water--about five bottles daily. Drink at least a cup of green tea a day. And I eat healthy, with occasional sugar to satisfy my sweet tooth! I hardly ever drink milk. I heard that Zinc and Magnesium is good for your skin also. I'm thinking about buying them tomorrow. For skin care, I wash my face in the morning and at night only and I use a facial scrub once a week. Please people share your stories and help me out! I'm desperate.
  23. I feel like my body is working against me. I have migraines. Bad ones. Often accompanied by significant aura's. Because of this, I was taken off the only birth control that keeps my acne at bay (it increases stroke risk). My face has been a disaster ever since. I cry every morning I look in the mirror and have a hard time falling asleep because my face is so inflamed. I've tried everything short of accutane (I have a history of depression so I can't get a prescription) and I'm at a point where I'm willing to endure the increased stroke risk just so that I can love myself again. My hormonal acne is really taking a toll on my self-esteem and my over mental health. I could go on for hours about all of the ways my acne is negatively impacting my life but won't for the sake of being concise in my post. I simply can't deal with this anymore. My birth control was the ONLY thing that helped. What do you think? Would you risk it?
  24. I have small bumps covering my forehead that are mostly colorless, small clusters on my cheeks, under skin, painful pimples next to my nose, forehead, cheeks and jawline. I'm currently using the cetaphil daily cleanser along with a turmeric oil cleanser which I use before cetaphil every night, a tea tree oil toner from the body shop, and a tea tree oil moisturizing serum. Nothing is working for me and my acne is constantly getting worse, especially around my period. Any suggestions? Sorry about these nasty photos
  25. Hello all, I'm about 1 month in to my 2nd course of roaccutane, my first was 9 years ago. I took it for moderate to severe cystic acne which was all over my face, the course lasted 7 months and I enjoyed clear skin for the past 7 1/2 years. Ive done a lot in that time and not least had 2 children, and even then my skin was great throughout. I developed BP related complications with my last pregnancy and my Dr wasn't keen for me to be on go back onto the pill I had been on so switched me to the mini pill, cerelle. This was when the problems began, it just didn't suit me and I wanted to come off it but my Dr said it would settle but it never did. I took myself off it after 5 months and my skin was in a sorry state, very very oily, hormonal, cystic spots along jawline/neck, enlarged pores and many blackheads and whiteheads, on forehead and temple. I thought stopping the pill would halt the spots but taking the pill seemed to kickstart my skin producing spots again. I waited 3 months to see if skin would improve but it didn't and opted to go onto antibiotics for a time, i tried Lymecycline, while these quelled the bigger spots and certainly stopped my spots from becoming infected, it didn't so anything to the blackheads and whiteheads and the overall texture of skin was bumpy, you could feel the underlying spots just waiting to come out. I mentioned after 2 months to the Dr I didnt think it was working and would they consider me for a dermatologist referral, they did but I had to wait 5 months to see one. By the time I saw the Derm my skin was better but the spots weren't going and my skin was hiding a lot of spots underneath, I expressed concern that I felt i had not other option other than to take roaccutane again given that i had taking all the drug and alternative therapies to avoid them. He agreed I was a mild case on this occasion but I had jumped through enough hoops and he was satisfied I could have it. Obviously there will be no future babies for myself and my husband therefore the pregnancy risks are null (he has opted for a more permanent solution!) and i was prescribed isotretinoin that day and began taking it that evening. I rushed out to buy lots of lip balm and moisturiser, however I don't seem to get on with Carmex and have reverted to a product I used before; blistex Intensive moisturiser, which is a cream based lip balm and now comes in cherry flavour. I also bought a product which was my holy grail for roaccutane last time for my face which is avene skin recovery cream. I'm using neutrogena body moisturiser and some mild dermalogica face washes although may revert to Simple products like last time also. Ive been on it approximately a month, 2 weeks at 40mg now the rest of the time at 60mg. Doing ok aside from the lips and dry skin/hair/eyes and the red hot flushes! Have some skin smoothness where I didn't before and skin is drying up and pores closing. Still some active spots around but going quickly and none are of the cystic variety. Due to get another prescription next week so had bloods taken this week, hoping all is well and I can continue. With my first course I wrote a blog on the website reclaim your skin, I've looked but it doesn't appear to be around anymore, I found write the diary help process the changes and its a good comparison at the end, and importantly its good to get support from people who know what your going through. Thanks for reading. Andrea