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  1. If you've ever thought about taking antibiotics for your acne, consider this a sign (or a warning), to stay away from the dangers of antibiotics. This is coming from someone who stayed on it for almost two years for her acne. Trust me, it's not worth it. In fact, I regret taking antibiotics for my cystic acne. A lot of people don't know the negative side-effects frequent antibiotic use can have on our gut health, skin and immune system. Antibiotics can actually change our microbiome (the essential bacteria that mainly live in our digestive system), which can then cause an imbalance. It can lead to leaky gut, inflammation, skin issues and other autoimmune disorders. Antibiotics made my skin breakout even worse after treatment. To learn more and see before and after photos of how my skin looked after the antibiotics treatment, watch the video below.
  2. Exactly 1 year ago I finally went to a dermatologist for acne that had suddenly onset 6 months ago on my cheeks- painful, "pustule" like, and AHA's and Clarisonic were not working. I tried Adapalene, antibiotics, retin-a, and birth control (in that order). At one point I was on antibiotics and retin-a, and my acne did not clear completely till I started birth control. Now, about 3 months after stopping birth control, my acne is starting to come back. I am still using retin-a and keeping up with the same skin-care routine. It is not as bad as it once was, however, I don't think i should accept the situation considering I had perfectly clear skin for months. Should I go back to my dermatologist? Has anyone else had a similar experience?- if so, what did your dermatologist recommend?
  3. Hey. I was recently diagnosed with acne conglobata, which I'm told is a severely inflammatory type of cystic acne. couldn't find much personal logs of this hellish thing and navigating healthcare has been challenging to say the least so I decided to talk about it online in the hope of connecting with people also familiar with it, (which is equally terrifying as it is liberating.) currently waiting to start roaccutane treatment -and learning how to access dermatology healthcare in the UK. Having a miserable time emotionally and physically, trying to stay hopeful, and aiming to document the process. Here is some acne chat for anyone who may find it useful
  4. (Skip to the middle where it says "importnat part" if you don't care to find out if we've tried similar things or have similar types skin, etc. and you just know you have hormonal stuff going on.)Hello, so I have been using acne.org products for a couple years, loved them, the do help, but it's expensive and time consuming, don't want to buy regular and travel size etc. My mom had deep, deep acne as a kid and still has scars at 53 as we know cystic acne can be genetic My acne is mostly on my chin, cheeks, near mouth, on neck, and back indicating a HORMONAL link. I get deep ones on my neck and cheeks especially I tried to balance my hormones to combat it and eat little dairy to help that as well. I exercise and carry a massive 64 oz water bottle that i go through 2-3 times a day every day. I get 6-10 hours of sleep every night usually around 7. Never sleep with makeup on, always go through my elaborate skin care regimen (mostly acne.org stuff besides cleanser, and also use glossier aha+ solution.) And have little stress in my life that's unman aged, I meditate, have a good attitude, and rarely have to face anything too terrible so that's not it. So I'm doing all the things you're supposed to...... I tried Skin care exposed acne.org many generic drug store products (cetophyl, nutragena, Clearasil, etc.) ACNE LASERS (do not recomend, it actually got worse, and I'm not sure why. I did over 10 treatments I believe because my boyfriend wanted to help me conquer this he paid for it so I'm not certain, but it was very painful, expensive, and ineffeftic sadly.) Trtroin cream and gel Many cycles of antibiotics (doxy) Llysiene DIM (did help a lot but didn't fully clear, best thing I've found besides spironolactone though, but more expensive.) Etc. (We've all tried lots of things, you get it, but I thought it might be relevant for people trying to figure out what they should try first or what might work for them based on our possible similarities) IMPORTANT PART: My roommate had really bad, scattered, cystic acne and one day it really started clearing up I asked what she had been doing and she said her doctor prescribed spironolactone. I asked my doctor to do the same, she was all for it. I take 50 mg The first month was really bad, I broke out REALLY hard. But I had seen all the positive reviews and photos that said this would happen and to stick it out, so I did. Month 2.5 I was so happy with my skin, it's SO SOFT and clear. It's incredible to be able to touch my neck and face without tons of textures. My skin did peel really badly around month 1.5-3 so be prepared. It was annoying, but worth it. MONTH 3 I HAVE ZERO active pimples and some red spots that are still healing (I did kind of keep picking throughout the months but I think I will break that as I have nothing left to pick) My makeup goes on incredibly, I am so, so, so grateful. I was so close to trying accutane but have been putting it off as a last resort because of the side effects. Now I'm free. I sent my doc a thank you card I'm so happy. Please, if you know anyone with hormonal ance, tell them about it, or try it yourself. With my very basic, terrible insurance it's FREE I don't pay a dime for it which is just yet another amazing perk. I want other people to be able to find their solution too.
  5. Hello! I haven't been on here in quite a while. I first posted on here about two years ago after getting off Ortho Tri Cyclen which caused an extremely bad breakout after I discontinued it. For the most part before birth control, (which I was only on for a year and a half), I had mild but manageable and controllable acne. After birth control, which I got off due to weight gain, horrible constant migraines that caused vomiting, and just overall not feeling like myself, I had a terrible initial breakout that I struggled with clearing. After different topical and using cefadroxil orally on and off for about a year my acne seemed for the most part gone. Then a few months ago I started having health problems, muscles aches, headaches, feeling tired all the time. So I completely stopped using my antibiotic. I did find out that almost all of my blood test, and vitamin levels were normal except ana. I am ana positive (a bloodtest used to detect antibodies) my only other test, which I basically had to repeatedly ask for, that came back indicating anything was my thyroglobulin antibodies which is a bit higher than normal, (only other one they ever did was TSH and that was always low but within normal range) . What I find odd is for the last few years since getting off bc, I've been asking for them to test my thyroid since my periods have been messed up, I'm super cold all the time, I bruise easily, get headaches, and have a family history of thyroid issues. Since I've been off my antibiotic I've been breaking out and now that I know my thyroid antibodies are high I'm wondering if this is why I've had such a problem for the last couple years with acne? Has anyone else experianced something similar or noticed a thyroid issue after discontinuing the pill? Sidenote, since I know its mentioned a lot. I'm aware antibiotics are bad long term, I was only taking them when I absolutely needed them, and they weren't the first thing I went to when trying to get clear. I was already taking, and continued to do so on the antibiotic, probiotics along with vitamins. I also eat relatively healthy, drink lots of water and I'm currently trying a gluten free diet since I hear it can help with thyroid issues.
  6. I’ve been on 0.05% tretinoin cream and 100-mg minocycline for almost four weeks now and my skin hasn’t improved and I think it actually got worse. I use the tretinoin at night and the minocycline twice daily. I know purging is to be expected but shouldn’t I have seen an improvement by now? Should I stick with this or just give up? Thanks!
  7. So I've suffered with really bad acne for a long time, it was bad to the point where you could barely see any clear skin. I went to a dermatologist and she put me on 30mg accutane everyday for almost 6 months, it did wonders and completely cleared my skin (I still have a lot of scarring and get the smallest zits every now and then, but I'm just grateful most of the acne went way). My dermatologist was surprised by how fast the medicine started working on me, the side effects started on my 8th day, and my really oily skin started becoming really dry. By my second month I was doing pretty good, I'd still get around 4 new zits every week, but it was way better compared to the big cystic acne I used to get every single day. When it got to the fourth month I was completely clear, I continued taking accutane for another two months because I was afraid it would come back. Before accutane I used to have really bad seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp, it's really itchy, makes your hair oily and your scalp flaky and gross feeling. During my accutane course the seborrheic dermatitis disappeared in like the first 8 days, my hair was never oily. Now that I came off of accutane my skin is still clear but the dermatitis came back, I don't know what to do! I've tried a lot of products before and none of them work (or they do but it comes back really fast). I just wish I could be on accutane forever, I was never afraid of getting pimples or having an annoying itchy scalp while I was on the antibiotics. I'm constantly afraid that it will spread to my face and bring the acne back! It doesn't matter if I wash my hair every single day or only once a week, it is always there, I'm pretty sure it doesn't have to do with any of my hair products cause I'm constantly changing them. Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance and I'm sorry for any writing mistakes.
  8. Hey guys, I’d really appreciate your help on this since I’ve tried everything I could. For the past 2 years I’ve been getting tons of little white heads pretty much all over my skin, but mainly around mouth and on the forehead. They are very small and pop very easily. My skin always burns during this time and is very sensitive. I get them for 2 weeks every month (in various cycles) and then they disappear and my skin goes back to a normal state. They don’t look bad on the pictures but without makeup (sorry, I’m not confident enough to share those pictures) my skin is super red and irritated. I’ve been to 5 different dermatologists about this but none of them helped. One of them suggested going on antibiotics but I am quite scared as people often say their acne came back even worse. My blood results are fine, I’ve been avoiding dairy but I don’t find that food affects it in any form. I would really appreciate any suggestion. Thank you!
  9. A quick overview of the last few months: prescribed Lymecycline for worsening moderate acne beginning of Feb. Ever since then I've had awful cystic acne.(never had this before) Doctor told me to stick with it for 3 months. I wish I hadn't. Finally off those god awful tablets but have 4 very inflamed, very painful, very red and very LARGE cysts on my face. They have been active for weeks, two of them over a month. Nothing I do seems to help. They are most probably infected- doc prescribed flucloxacillin which did nothing. Been referred to a dermatologist and left to deal with it solo for now. I have a good skin routine but have had to only use gentle products for a while due to the pain and broken skin. (i.e no BP/sulfur.) I have a clean diet with nothing that could aggravate acne. Taking a lot of supplements and superfoods to try and boost immunity/help fight the infections. Losing my mind a little. My skin has never behaved like this and the pain and swelling are constant. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  10. Hi everyone, one month ago I started a cycle of two months with tetralysal (an antibiotic) but after two weeks I had a really bad breakout so my dermatologist told me to take Minocin for 15 days, then go back to Tetralysal. I’m taking Minocin and I still have breakouts and idk if it’s normal, maybe my skin just need to get used to these antibiotics?
  11. about a year ago i had super bad severe acne. i started taking antibiotic pills (minocycline) and some topicals and it cleared up pretty fast. fast forward to now, i did some research on the effects of long term antibiotic usage and there's a lot of bad side effects. so a little over a month ago i started take one pill a day instead of 2, then stopped taking them completely. there weren't any changes at first, but now my skin is breaking out the worst it has ever since it cleared up. i'm a lot of pimples on my chin and cheeks, which where the two places that have always been relatively clear. i really do not want to start taking he antibiotics again, but i also don't want to develop severe acne again. please give me some advice
  12. The question has been circling in my mind for a while now... is the fact I’m having more sex the reason I’m getting acne? Ill give you some background info on my situation. I’ve never had any huge breakouts for most of my life. Always had clear skin. Until I went on the implant/met my man. i hated the implant and had it removed pretty fast. They say the hormones leave your body, but I’m not sure if they have? (Could be a factor) I have been vegan for over a year, but recently gluten free and unfortunately I wasn’t watching what I was eating for a few months. Gluten free products are processed, packed with tonnes of sugar and unhealthy fats which cause candida overgrowth which can eventually lead to leaky gut syndrome thus leading to acne because leaky gut is where what you eat goes into the blood stream and passes through the blood brain barrier... check can cause an immune response. I had been eating grains and dairy for years so the damage to my gut wall was already pretty bad. I meditate a lot and raise my vibration so my body physically cannot eat low vibrational foods. So, with my boyfriend, we were staying up late sometimes 1-3 am sometimes 4-5am. We were eating Red Thai curry with rice (GRAINS GRR) without realising the damage was and doing. It’s also very sugary and fatty. So there arenthose factors. I hadn’t been exfoliating or using any products consistently - but I am now. My routine is working and my skin is starting to clear slightly. I keep food diary. Ive sarted working out 5 times a week.(cardio, yoga, walks) I stick to time-restricted eating. Which is where you eat in a 8-12 hour gap. Your liver had a circadian rhythm too. I do not eat anything processed, I eat fresh leafy green vegetables. Around 5-7 a day. I try to eat a small amount of fruit (because fructose is still inflammatory) lots of herbsand spices. Maca, hemp, linseed etc. I drink lots of water. Now to talk about the other factor that’s playing on my mind. My partner and I have a age gap relationship which makes me think his gut bacteria, which can be found in his saliva is being spread to me through kissing. When we do oral I get a yeast infection. We also sometimes have sex 2-4 times a day. We have sex lots during the week we are quite horny for each other. However, it can be so overwhelming and stressful because it feels like I’ve tried everything and how am I supposed to heal if my boyfriend is the one with an overgrowth so ever time we get intimate I’m at risk of an acne break out?! ...and he also has stubble (which is irritating to my skin and stimulates oil production, clogging the pores. ) is being respectful and not kissing me too roughly any more. But sometimes I still feel sore around my chin after a long session of making out and love making. He understands and listens to me and has been cooking us healthy food when I stay over (which is 3-4 times week) he is making an effort. He has athletes foot which is a sign of Candida over growth- he really wants to heal it too! my main question is: Are my hormones going crazy because of all the sex? Should I take a break from sexand see if my acne goes away? Has anyone else experienced this? please help! Who has usedClindamycin Phosphate? Does it work?
  13. Looking for a bit of reassurance. Long term sufferer of mild/moderate acne (22y/o.) I was put on Lymecycline standard dose two months ago after my skin became slightly worse. (hadn't been prescribed anything but topical treatments for a number of years before this.) It has been terrible ever since. I've read a few hopeful posts about an initial breakout that eventually subsides but my face seems to be getting worse and I've just finished month 2. I would typically only have a handful of cysts over a year previous to lymecycline but since starting, I haven't had less than 3-5 active cysts on the go at any one time. Some days it feels as though it may be getting better and then some more painful, angry, huge ones pop up. It's very painful and my self-esteem is at an all time low and I'm having a hard time convincing myself to stick with the antibiotics. Wondering if anyone has had similar experience/words of reassurance? Thanks in advance!
  14. Hi all, this might be long but plz bare with me and I am looking for any type of advice I have been on this site and it has been a gift and a curse to be honest. Ever since i found this site, i have looked for hours (almost every day now) to try and find something that seems to help everyone no matter the severity of their acne, but it seems as though there isnt something like that. I am 31 and have dealt with acne since I was 15 years old. I have had low-severe, moderate and mild acne from 21 years of age thru now. Acne has plagued me all my life basically but i never started going to a derm until about 2 years ago. That was when i was initially prescribed doxy and epiduo. It took me a year to clear and good lord that was the most confident time of my life when I was clear. But then i went cold turkey and stopped taking doxy/epiduo and boom, my acne came back and came back worse after about a month. So i went to a new derm and he prescribed me mino with retin a micro. I have been taking mino for going on 10 months (100mg twice a day) now and i recently stopped applying the retin A micro because it gave me a skin wrinkle (about 1 and a half weeks ago). I also broke out after going on a chinese food binge for 4 days straight (pepper steak with pork fried rice) and it caused me to go to walmart and I picked up Panoxyl 10% acne foaming wash and i have been using that day and night for a week and a half now and so far it has lessened my acne and no new break outs have occured (fingers crossed it keeps working). A couple months ago I read the negative reviews of minocycline and I tried weening myself off of it by taking only 1 pill a day instead of 2 and within 1 week I had a breakout with inflamed pimples and I panicked and have been on two pills a day every since and honestly it crushes me mentally and now I feel like acne is taking a control on my life more than it ever has...even when I had severe acne back in my high school/military days. I think about this shit every single second and It has even affected the time i spend with my kids as I find myself always looking for things to keep my acne at bay and have me get off of minocycline/any antibiotics for good. i have went to 4 different derms during my 2 years of going to them and the last two went straight for me to take accutane, but again, reading all the reviews on this site and on the internet about accutane, i am scared shitless of the side effects (especially erectile dysfunction) and I am also afraid that once i stop taking mino and go into accutane, that I will break out until accutane starts taking effect. i wanted to see if there was anything that anyone knew that would help with the initial breakout from stopping antibiotics and going into accutane? Would low-dose accutane be worth a try or should I go for the full course? i really would like advice/input from others because this is taking a toll on me and I dont want to continue this cycle as it has been affecting even my time eith my kids. The break out from stopping the antibiotics and then going into accutane is scaring the crap out of me...if the panoxyl acne foaming wash doesnt continur to give me results, i really dont know what else to try other than accutane... thanks in advance to those who can provide helpful input.
  15. I am just wondering if Accutane does really stunt growth and if so what dosage was taken when it occurred and how long you were taking it for.
  16. Hello everybody, I am going out my mind. I have had acne for three years now. I always had clear skin until turning 24, it’s persisted since then. I get it on my back, although that has been there for longer but most notably it’s on my forehead. Always breaking out, sometimes it will subside and I’ll get a glimmer of hope only for it to come back... I have tried lots of difference creams and two courses of anti-biotics, Oxytetracyline and Lymecycline. Guess what? Neither worked...now I have been prescribed Erythromycin and trecalin (topical). Is this a joke or what? Are anti-boitics even effective? I feel like they just get thrown out and I keep reading the occasional comment about how bad they can be and how ineffective they are for acne. I have been on Erythromycin for 2-3 weeks and if anything my breakout has gotten worse in the past few days. It also upsets my stomach and gives me some minor cramps. Should I keep taking this stuff? Are anti-boitics even effective? What are peoples experiences here? I’m very tired of this battle. Thank you
  17. Hello everyone,Let me start by giving a quick summary of my acne. At around 15 I started getting the occasional pimple her and there, but never anything too serious. However, about two and a half years ago when I was 17 years old my acne worsened dramatically. Within a matter of a couple months of this first big breakout, it got to the point where I felt the need to see a dermatologist.My derma prescribed me a mixture of Clindamycin Phosphate and Benzoyl Peroxide. This helped to initially calm the new influx of acne I had coming in, but after a few months the effectiveness diminished. I then was prescribed tretinoin 0.025% (Retin-A) and I began using it immediately. The first four months that I was on Retin-A was the worse my acne has ever been; specifically my jawline and the area under the corners of my mouth were affected. I even began getting a few cystic nodules at this time. After nearly six months on Retin-A my complexion began to improve. Not satisfied with the results, I went back to my dermatologist, and she then prescribed me Doxycycline Hyclate to take once daily. At this same time I began using a 10% Benzoyl peroxide wash. This combination seemed to work wonders for a while. My acne improved greatly to the point where I only had a few blemishes at all times (aside from some minor scarring). It may be important to point out that I also cut out dairy completely at this time. Though, to maintain this regimen, I had to use a TON and I mean a TON of moisturizer. I would have to apply loads of this Neutragena Sensitive Skin lotion multiple times per day. During this period I also became sort of obsessive with picking every pimple I ever got. In fact, I was (and still am) so OCD about this that I would often try to force whiteheads to pop when they were clearly not ready, and in doing this I would cause my skin to break and therefore scab. (I know this is counterproductive, but hey, I'm admitting that it's a problem of mine).Soon, I moved to college and was forced to limit the amount of time and energy I was putting into my skin. My new lifestyle and living situation first led me to discontinue my use of the antibiotic. I weened myself off of it well, and my skin didn't really seem to get any worse from this. I then began slowly eating more dairy, and I started to become less strict with my regimen (going nights without Retin-A, skipping the benzoyl wash, ect) mostly because I couldn't keep up with the dryness. I simply could not maintain this lifestyle of drying the hell out of my skin and then spending twenty minutes applying lotion every morning and night, all only to maintain mild acne as opposed to severe. Soon my acne worsened again slowly. I then started using the Benzoyl Peroxide wash only every other day to try and combat dryness, while using the Retin-A 5-6 nights per week. I also cut out 90% of dairy again and began taking 2000 IU Vitamin D3 supplements once per day. This has led me to where I am now. At this point I'd say my acne is mild, but to be honest it is really affecting me emotionally. I feel like my acne is always in the back of my mind whenever I'm talking to people, out in public, or really doing anything. I often find myself comparing my acne to other people's, and thinking of how people are judging me based on my skin. I have a meeting to meet with a new derma this Friday, and I'm hoping they have some advice. Currently, I'm considering doing a course of Accutane just because I'm so done with the physical and psychological effects of acne.If anybody has any advice as to some possible treatments that seem fitting for someone with my story please share! I've included some pics of my skin below as well.Cheers
  18. have been put on antibiotics (doxycycline) and the contraceptive pill gedarel for hormonal acne which was caused by the implant (even after 6 months of its removal). They seem to be working but not sure which, does anyone have experience using antibiotics and the pill together? i dont want to be on antibiotics longer than three months but im worried about the acne coming back worst ? also if anyone has good skin experiences on gedarel i would love to hear them (think it used to be called marvelon or something)
  19. Over it

    Forums Prescription acne medications 1 reply

    Thanks for reading my post. First, I know that there are people out there with acne a lot worse than mine but mine is driving me crazy. I’ve suffered from anxiety, depression issues since my husband passed 5 1/2 years and the acne is making those issues worse. I don’t even want to be around people. My face has been broke out non stop for months now. I’ve been using antibiotic (I forgot the name) wipes every morning after washing my face with dove. At night I use Epiduo forte after washing my face with miceller water. I started using the water because the soap twice a day was drying my face out. I’m also taking Bactrim once a day and just started taking the generic brand of ortho- tri- cyclin. My my left cheek is almost clear but the right one and my jawline looks a mess. It itches and feels like the moisture has been sucked out of my skin. anyway, I don’t know why I’m posting other than to vent and see if anyone has any extra advice for me? I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin. The no makeup picture is from a month or so ago and the makeup is today. I feel like it’s getting worse.
  20. Hi, Im a 31 year old Male and have been dealing with severe/moderate/mild acne since I was 15 years old. I never went to a dermatologist until about 2 years ago where i was first prescribed epiduo with the antibiotic Doxycycline(taking doxycycline pill once a day). It took about a year for my skin to clear up completely (except for some acne scarring) and then my doctor told me to get off of doxycycline (i might be misspelling it) and then he prescribed me the tretinoin cream. I stopped using all acne treatments after a couple weeks after my last doctor visit and about a month later my acne came back even worse. So i went to a different dermatologist and he prescribed me epiduo forte with 100mg dose of minocycline once a day. I did that for about a month and noticed an improvement in my skin, but when i went back to my derm, i told him i wasnt really satisfied with the progression because I would still get new pimples. He prescribed me tretinoin 0.05% along with the minocycline, which i did for a month, but again i would still get new pimples while old ones go away leaving marks. then on my next trip to the derm, he prescribed me tretinoin 0.1% and upped my minocycline to 100mg TWICE a day. I dont notice any side effects ever since i been taking mino, but reading about the possibility of skin turning blue from using Minocycline is scaring the crap out of me. I am looking for advice on whether i should just stop taking minocycline altogether and continue the tretinoin by itself, or should i lower my dosage of minocycline back to once a day? Honestly, i feel as though my acne is at a standstill...not gonna get any better or worse than what it is, but I am afraid that if i drop minocycline, that my acne will come back worse even though I will still apply the tretinoin gel every night. I see my derm in a week and a half, but I feel like he is just prescribing me stuff just because and I mean we barely even talk when i come in to see him... should I go back on doxycycline and get off the mino or suggest a different antibiotic to my derm since im concerned about the irreversible hyperpigmentation that minocycline can cause me? one thing is for sure, I am going back to taking the 100mg minocycline pill once a day and not two times a day. Reading stuff in this forums scares the crap out of me sometimes... sorry for the long post and thanks for any suggestions/advice * also, tretinoin makes my skin flaky and it seems like every moisturizer i put on my face just breaks me out. If anyone who has a similar issue, when applying moisturizer, have any suggestions for a good moisturizer? I have oily/combination skin and i have tried cetaphil and cerave moisturizers and they break me out, so i wanted to see if anyone had any other suggestions for a good moisturizer? thanks.
  21. Hi all, I was previously on a low dose of minocycline for acne, but I decided I didn't want to continue taking it for multiple reasons. I would really like to heal my gut since the 6 months of antibiotics probably weren't good for it. I've done some research, and it sounds like I'd benefit from probiotics. Are there any reputable brands and formulations you guys would suggest? Any tips would be appreciated! Additional note: I think I have a sensitivity to dairy, grains, and soy, so I'll be cutting those out of my diet along with reducing sugar intake. Thanks in advance!
  22. My daughter has suffered from back, chest and t zone acne for the past year. Gp prescribed many topical products and one oral but these didn't really do much except irritate the skin. The oral tablet turned her newly growing tooth orange temporarily. Long story short...I paid private to go to a dermatologist who prescribed dalacin T lotion. 4 days in and she is already seeing results. Has anyone else had success on Dalacin? The dermatologist also prescribed Doxycyclin but I'm holding off giving it to her at the moment. He also prescribed hibiscrub which she is using as a cleanser.
  23. As the title says, I'm in dire straits thanks to nearly two decades of acne treatments. In case of TLDR, I was wondering (hoping, really) whether anyone else has been through years of harsh acne treatments and found a product, foodstuff or regimen of any sort that helped them recover fully or at least partially? Over 18 years and a gamut of registered physicians and dermatologists, I was prescribed, and thus took a crazy amount of acne treatments. I can't remember all of them, but several were: tretinoin/ Retin-A (10 years use, twice daily) antibiotics (7 years use) accutane (high strength; 1 cycle) BP facewash (10 years use, twice daily) Salicylic acid peels (5 years; weekly) AHA peels (5 years; bi monthly weekly) BHA peels (5 years; bi monthy) Exfoliation (about 7-8 years; daily) A topical roll-on solution that I forget the name of (on and off for about 10 years; stopped due to developing an allergy to it) Never once did any of these professionals warn me or my parents of the dangers of prolonged use of any of these products (not even that I should use sunscreen with them), nor did they ever link them my systemic health problems, which began to develop in my late teens (namely: hypothyroidism; PCOS; adrenal insufficiency; poor night vision; severe IBS; sleep disruption; fibromyalgia; diffuse alopecia; prematurely greying hair). The only 'moisturisers' I was advised to use were mineral oil, vaseline, and one that I forget the name of (basically mineral oil with other occlusive agents). As I didn't have a clue, and blindly trusted authority figures, I never questioned any of this. I went from having super oily, youthful, olive skin (I'm mixed ethnicity), to extremely dry, flaky, dull, rosacea-like (face only) and apparently prematurely aged skin. I believe my gut was absolutely wrecked by the antibiotics and Accutane, and a lot of these illnesses stemmed from that. The topical products I believe compounded the situation by destroying my lipid barrier, acid mantle, then over exerting my hexamer (?) limit (amount of times skin cells can turn over) and exacerbating my photo-sensitivity and the damage thereof. Over the last decade I've spent a small fortune on dietary supplements (all the major ones recommended for skin and gut health), most of which never had any lasting effect. I've very recently cut them down to the essentials that I don't manage to get in my daily diet (zinc picolinate with ascorbic acid; magnesium bisgylcinate; individual b vits; algae oil; vitamin d spray; vitamin k complex). For the last five years I've tried to eat as healthy a diet as possible, getting my RDA of as many of the vits and mins as possible. I drink 3 liters of water daily. Since last year been getting my caffeine from 2 cups of matcha green tea, and only drink on weekends (about 4 units once a week). I'd love to exercise, but extreme pain and frequent fatigue due to fibromylagia have made this currently impossible. For the last few months I've been using a mixture of aloe vera gel (fresh from the plant) and argan oil after cleansing with raw honey (once daily), and apply home-made sunscreen whenever I know I'll be in the sun for any extended period of time, although all of this appears to be merely stopping things from getting worse, as opposed to actually repairing any damage. I'm wondering if anyone else has been through similar treatments and managed to repair the damage to their skin, gut, or both? Can the lipid barrier repair itself, or at least be repaired? What about the acid mantle? Can micro-tears be repaired? Can sebum glands be restored? Once collagen (and elastin; although that one may be beyond the scope of this discussion) are gone, are they gone irreversibly? Looking forward to your input! Esme
  24. 28 year old Asian male here - been suffering from acne vulgaris since age of 13-14, and have been conservatively treated with topicals (differin, BP, clinda, etc.) and occasional antibiotics, with varied responses (never 100%), until I was 25 (2014) when I had a pretty bad breakout. My derm in NY considered it "moderate" cystic acne, though it was causing a lot of scarring and psychological effects at the time, which he placed me on isotretinoin for 6 months. I responded very well, clear for about 8 months, until I started to break out again. I was at a different location in NY at that point, and saw a different derm, who placed me on conservative medications (topicals) because he did not believe that my acne will progress even worse. He was then convinced, and placed me on isotretinoin for a 2nd course (40 mg/day for 4 months). I cleared again and 4 months after completing the course started to break out bad. I saw a separate derm outside of NY because of a temporary move. She immediately put me on minocycline 200mg/day for 3 months, which cleared me well. About 2 months later, I began breaking out again. This stretched for a few months before I moved back to NY, and saw the derm that placed me on my second course of isotretinoin. He placed me on minocycline as the non-NY derm did on an "as needed" basis. I responded fairly well over the course of a month, and so I began tapering off, which inevitably caused the return of my acne in a matter of a week. I went back on it strictly again but recently noticed that I am developing more comedones (black heads) that result in a bumpy appearance on my cheeks/jawline. I think this is because the isotretinoin effects from previous courses is finally wearing off completely and has been sprouting more acne. Therefore, I am not responding to the minocycline/doxycycline as well! All this while, I am developing many blemishes and predict future scarring. But my derm isn't convinced and wants me to stay on the antibiotics, though he added vitamin A. He said the only way he can see me going on isotretinoin again is if I wait a month without taking anything to see if it gets bad enough... How valid is this "management"? I have a long history of persistent acne which returns when I stop my medications, and now with antibiotics that previously worked is now becoming less effective! I am tired of the "get better, get off meds, and wait to get worse again" game. Should I seek a new dermatologist for a possible 3rd course of isotretinoin? Or do you think I should stay with my antibiotics+vitamin A regimen? What can I do to manage the increasing numbers of comedones that are forming (e.g. masks, cleansers)? Thanks a lot guys!
  25. Hi all, I’ve suffered with this constant acne on one of my cheeks for the best part of about 4 years now. I’ve always suffered with acne popping up now and again since I was a teenager, but never this badly/constant. I was on the contraceptive pill microgynam about 6 years ago, that completely cleared my face of any acne, but I had to come off it because of migraines. Since this cheek acne has cropped up nothing seems to make it any better whatsoever, let alone banish it. I’ve tried a few natural products designed for acne over the counter and 6 months ago I decided to go to my doctor about it, who prescribed me oral and topical antibiotics. I was on lymecycline for 3 months but that didnt work so I have been on tetracycline for the past 3 months but again, haven’t seen any improvement. I’ve been using 0.1% Differin cream alongside the oral antibiotics. I have my next appointment with my doctor this Friday, he said this time if nothing has worked he will refer me to a dermatologist. He mentioned roaccutane and I have heard of it before, but he was quite hesitant to recommend a dermatologist going down that route for me because I’m also on anti-depressants and have mental health issues and apparently it’s a huge no no for people like me. Anyone have any ideas what could be causing this/preventing it from being treated with the aforementioned antibiotics? I’m just at a loss as to where it came from and why it won’t go away. My diets good, I don’t have much dairy in it and I’m also a vegetarian (but only for the past year). I hardly wear make-up and I’m very conscious not to put any products with parabens or oil on my face because I don’t want to make it worse.