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  1. Acne mystery

    Forums General acne discussion

    Hi guys! I'm trying to solve one big acne mystery. I've been suffering from acne almost 10 years now (I am 23 years old now) and I have tried many things but nothing has helped. Over those years I have eliminated foods that are breaking me out like dairy, sugar(chocolate, sodas, sweets etc.), fried foods, potato chips, nuts, citrus fruit and processed meat (ham, salami...). These are foods that definitely worsen my skin condition. I have even tried for some time vegeterian diet as well as gluten free diet but those didn't help at all. The thing is, even when I stopped eating those foods, there is still something hidden causing my acne. I feel I'm getting close to finding what is the solution but I can't seem to connect the dots. But this summer something strange happened, that's the reason I call it a mystery. Well the mystery is: I am from Slovakia in Europe and I was graduating in June at my university back home and the skin seemed to be ,,normal'' - sometimes breaking out more, sometimes less, according to my knowledge in random patterns. But after graduation I left to New York, where I was working for the whole summer as Work and Travel student. And guess what happened. My skin cleared a lot there. It improved by 80% while I was in the States. Even my first food in the plane to USA was fried chicken (I had to eat it, imagine being hungry on 10 hour flight). And next days no pimples no nothing. Just like that, everything (not really everything, but ~80% is A LOT) changed in one day. Of course I was still on my diet, but occasional fries/ chips didn't break me out, only when I ate a lot of them. My condition started to get back to ,,normal''(my normal) by the end of August and by the September, when I left New York and started to travel (NYC, Miami, California), it was like back home again. By the end of September I got home and like a week after, my skin worsened a lot. It's been now two painful weeks and you can see on the pictures how my skin looks like most of the time now. Right picture is from today. I thought it's because I ate some grapefruits and pomelos during first days home as I know citrus fruit breaks me out. But then my skin improved and after three days it broke out again so I have no idea what the problem is now as I'm still on my diet. It's also good to mention that my type of acne is almost always white inflamed zits, most of the time around mouth and in the chin area. I get some of them on the back, shoulders and middle of chest as well. Sometimes a painful cyst appears, usually around ears or neck but most of the time it's those white zits. And my skin is really dry. I have a lot of clues to solve my mystery but I still can't find any connection. I hope I will find someone wiser than me with more knowledge to help me out. So the clues are: 1. At home my skin is always dry, sometimes even flaky. When I was in USA, my skin was oily almost all the time (like really oily - but no acne). There are several external reasons I thought about. Either different air humidity, different hardness of the water or generally different weather. I have no idea about internal reasons. Only thing I know about - I read that avocado can moisturize your skin from the inside and I know I ate one half almost everyday (because it's really cheap there 98 cents wtf!!). But I'm not sure that 3 avocados a week can make your dry skin much oilier and if they can, who knows if the oiliness is my reason for clearer skin. Could this be the reason my skin started to break out in September - because I left perfect climate to travel across the country? 2. I had two jobs in USA, one of them was housekeeping, which is physically really demanding (don't do housekeeping, if you plan to go on WaT, believe me). Could I have some problem with insulin or IGF-1? I don't have a lot of movement at home and I was moving all day back in USA. Also something similar happened 4 years ago, I worked for three weeks in Czech Republic as construction worker (10 hours a day and even more physically demanding work) and I could even eat cheese back there and no pimples at all. What I noticed is, that when I wake up, my skin is always calm and it gets more red and inflamed over the day, which can be happening because of eating food -> increasing insulin levels. Other thing is, I tried water fasting two times (no food, just water) for 3 and 5 days, respectively. Both times my skin got clear for like a whole week after ending the fasting. But when I tried intermittent fasting last year, it did nothing at all to my skin. Contrary, as my father has diabetes, I had possibility to take that blood sugar test they do and my sugar levels were normal before as well as after eating food with carbohydrates. 3. Stress levels. As I'm graduate, I'm going through big change in my life right now, which can be really stressful. I delayed this stressful time period with my visit to USA and closer it was getting to going back home and to looking for a job, the more stressful was I getting. 4. I suffer from social anxiety, I have been even prescribed antidepressants and anxiolytics. The change in environment could have made some difference on my mind and my psychic, maybe even on those stress levels in no. 3. My condition was really better during the summer and when I got home it worsened again (past negative memories in that place, aquaintances etc.) I really hope there is someone, that could help me and thank you if you have read all of that. Have a nice day ya'll.
  2. I have had pimple on my cheek for a few weeks. It's starting to go away. Is there any steps I can take to help prevent an indentation from staying after the acne goes away? It's red and I know that will go away. Thanks for any help you can provide.
  3. Hello I have mild acne which is well under control with Epiduo. About 3 months ago I got a cyst that was very inflamed on my forhead. It was one of those that didn’t come to a head. I waited about 2 month and it went down and eventually the redness went away but I ended up getting a bump that’s the size of a pea—it’s not painful but I can see/feel a lump under my skin. I decided to visit a derm and got it injected twice and it kinda helped but the lump is still there!!! Any sugesstions or advice would be really appreciated!!
  4. I'm basically at the end of my rope now, and I need advice. I've seen so many doctors for my horrible cystic acne, and I'm so frustrated that every one of them wants to just put me on a pill and not look at what's causing my acne. I feel so alone in this struggle. If my story sounds like yours, please just take a minute to help me out. I started out with mild acne when I was about 13 and used acne treatments like Proactiv. But that began to not be enough, and I went to the dermatologist, who quickly put me on amoxicillin and a million topical treatments I can't even remember. My skin did well on that, but as soon as I went off the antibiotic, my acne came back a bit worse. My doctor then put me on a host of other antibiotics. I was put on Solodyn, which worked until it made me break out in a bad rash. I was then switched over to doxycycline, which ended the same way. All this time, I'd been hesitant to try Accutane or birth control, since they seemed so invasive. So I went back on amoxicillin for some time, but when I went off of it, this terrible, terrible cystic acne reared its ugly head, and my face is still scarred from it. I'd have a dozen red, painful, inflamed cysts covering my T zone. I'm convinced it was the overuse of the antibiotics that caused it. I've had to take ibuprofen some days because it's so painful. I've had to go to the doctor because my acne has caused my lymph nodes to swell up, causing me to go on more antibiotics. I've had problems with anxiety, feeling like I want no one to see me, because of my acne. Finally, I'd had enough. I'd heard so many success stories about Accutane that I stopped fighting it and went on it. Within the first couple of weeks, I had horrible pain in my hip. And one morning, I woke up to find my lips swollen to twice their normal size. I immediately went off Accutane. After that, I lost total confidence in the doctors I'd been seeing. I wanted someone to look at all my symptoms, not just my acne. I stopped seeing the dermatologist, went off my harsh topicals like Tazorac and Acanya. I think my body was so overloaded with chemicals that it was fighting me. And this actually helped somewhat, though I still get two or three cysts a month. I've tried natural treatments like probiotics and garlic and even spearmint tea, which help to some extent. I'm better, but I want a cure. I want to stop worrying about whether I'll break out before a wedding or a social function. I want to be able to go makeup free and feel good about myself. So now I'm at a crossroads, and I don't know where to go. I have other symptoms that scream PCOS, like irregular periods and hirsutism. But I've had ultrasounds and blood tests and the works, and the doctors have been giving me a clean bill of health, leaving me feeling like there's something wrong, but no one can find it. Should I try natural supplements? Birth control? Acupuncture? If you're out there listening, I'd sure appreciate your help. I'm desperate.
  5. I give up.

    Forums General acne discussion 12 replies

    I have facial acne, and I feel like giving up. First of all, let me tell you a little about myself: I’m a healthy, 18 year old male. I’m active, fit and go to the gym every morning. I eat extremely healthy: fruit, vegetables, nuts, organic dried fruit, green supplements, no processed foods or unhealthy sugars, rarely eat meat, and absolutely no dairy. I drink lots of water. As far as a skincare routine, I’ve tried every thing imaginable: Proactiv (until my skin flaked like snow falling on a winter morning), tea tree oil (until I had huge boils), Bentonite face mask (until my face felt as dry as the Sahara desert), and finally the worst, witch hazel (which caused 15+ boil/cysts that hurt so much). My current "treatment" - I shouldn't even call it that because I don't think it even does anything - is to palm wash my face with soap and water two times a day + shower once a day. I then apply topical Proactiv a few times a day. I change my pillowcase nightly. Despite all of this, I still have stupid acne. I long for the days when the worst of my troubles were a few whiteheads. How spoiled I was. Nowadays, it's mainly cystic-like acne that forms on my cheeks and jawline. It's not that noticeable, but it hurts. What are noticeable are the scars. I'm told I'm a handsome person, but to me, my face looks like a bulldozer ran over it in a gravel pit. Whether I try to pop my pimples or not, it still leaves a nasty scar. It's at the point now where I feel self-conscious when I leave the house. Despite being a very outgoing person (which I use to hide my acne anxiety), I’m afraid to talk to girls because I’m concerned about how I look. I feel like people are looking at me and my acne. I even dab on a bit of *ahem* makeup to cover the worst of the red scars. So, please. I don’t know what to do. I've tried everything imaginable. I've exhausted Google scouring for "remedies." The thing is though, I'm afraid to try any of them. One site says a certain treatment is the elixir of life and the other site says to avoid it like the plague. I don't even know why I'm posting this. Maybe it's for emotional support from people who've been in the same situation as me - someone to tell me it'll pass and I'll make it out the other side. Maybe it's a plea for help from someone who figured out how to clear this type of acne and scars. I don't know. All I know is that I feel like giving up.
  6. Hey, I'd be REALLY happy if someone could help me out. I've been experiencing acne since the past 1+1/2 month and I have oily/combination skin. I'm sorry for the graphic description that follows. If I scrub my face, the white heads come back the next day. My whole face has started to look bumpy due to white heads in my pores. I had really bad pimples and cysts that cleared out but left red marks. I was happy that my skin had finally stopped hurting when my white heads appeared again this month followed by puss filled swollen areas (even if i squeez the puss out it just forms again. It's inside my skin) and pimples. Some white heads are hard pieces of white stuff that I can press out. My pores look huge. I TRIED PRESSING SOME WHITE HEADS OUT AND GUESS WHAT?! A little depression formed on ON MY CHEEK. I'm freaking out. How do i stop this endless cycle. Now it's actually actually scarrig bad . I have previous red marks and now these tiny details depressions. Not to mention my whole face hurts. What do i do???
  7. Hi guys, I had a little spot on the side of my nose which turned into a cyst (the infection went under the skin) which is not unusual for me unfortunately. BUT after a week and a half on flucloxacillin the swellings has gone down but there’s still a big red boil. I’ve tried a hot compress. I’ve tried Savlon. Magnesium sulphate. It won’t come to a head! I even tried pricking it with a pin... I know I know! But nothing. I got a small amount of clear fluid and a lot of blood. This is looking unlike any type of cyst I’ve had before. It’s not sore anymore. It’s soft and squishy. More like a red blister. Any suggestings on what hat this is and how I can get rid of it?!
  8. I’m 19 now and for the past 6 years I have suffered with acne. I have been to the doctor several times and each time they have been no help. The acne first started on my nose and it has never gone. I get the most horrific painful cysts so far under my skin there is no way i could pop them at all. They stick out of my nose and there is no way of hiding them. I currently have 5 on my nose now. Two have been there for 6 years they have scarred and left what I Am guessing is a permanent mound on my face, and about two times week I can put pressure on the area and spot juice comes out. The other three I have on my face are only recent and show no sign of leaving either. They are bright red and sore to the touch. I only drink water and I drink a lot lot of it and i excerise in moderation and don’t drink a lot. WHen I have been to the doctor he wasn’t sure at all what was wrong and thought I had a fungus infection so gave me a prescription for anti biotics which I never took as i got a second opinion was told the care am given should never be put near my face. I am sick of waking up every morning with these awful lumps on my Face feeling like there is nothing I can do. i debated at times buying a super sharp doe and syringe to drain them but I know I would mess face up. any help on an idea how to pop them or any treatment which will help clear them up would so so apprectiated I am loosing confidence constantly from them.
  9. So I’ve got a cyst.. I think for the first time ever Being the idiot I am I picked it but the top scabbed over and has just healed Its only been a week and is now painless and basically under the skin... but how long is this going to take to heal? Thanks for any advice and help you can give me.. Also I have just started antibiotics will this help get rid of a current one?
  10. So I’ve got a cyst.. I think for the first time ever Being the idiot I am I picked it but the top scabbed over and has just healed Its only been a week and is now painless and basically under the skin... but how long is this going to take to heal? Thanks for any advice and help you can give me..
  11. So I’ve got a cyst.. I think for the first time ever Being the idiot I am I picked it but the top scabbed over and has just healed Its only been a week and is now painless and basically under the skin... but how long is this going to take to heal? Thanks for any advice and help you can give me..
  12. I need help,i dont know what i have! I went to many doctors and all of them gave differents answers but nothing helped me. I need to know whay i have. i have mix skin i believe, dry on cheeks, a bit oily in my forehead and nose. I've been struggling with these little bumps my whole puberty, teenage and now im 21, i cant longer say its bc im a a teenager Any idea of what can be? I dont even know if this is acne!
  13. So i had a raised blackhead on my cheek. I tried opening the pore with a needle and nothing would come out. The area becomes infected and I had a pimple the circumference of a penny. I put a warm rag on it everyday and the infection went away after about 2 or 3 days. The lump from the original blackhead is still there (shrinking though I think) in the middle, but the area around it where the infection was is sunken in. Some things to note are that the texture is more rough and less shiny than the surrounding skin when looking at it up close, and the area is reddish and dark as well (has not been long since infection went away). I was wondering if this was normal and if the area will raise back up to the surrounding skin? I know that atrophy can occur from injections to get rid of cystic acne, but in my case it went away on its own.
  14. So I recently started working at a Dermatology clinic. I've struggled with intermittent moderate acne for years, I haven't had much of an issue lately but started to break out a little this past week on the right side of my face. I had a very deep cyst develop on my right upper cheek and I did a big no no.. I've watched the doctor at work slice open and drain cysts on patients countless times at this point and I thought I'd be able to drain my own at home. So last night, with a crappy give dollar set of currettes I got off Amazon And some sewing needles dipped in alcohol I proceeded to poke and prod at my cyst for hours which achieved nothing. I didn't manage to get even the slightest bit of pus out(it must be extremely deep) anyway now the cyst is five times bigger than before with a big open wound at the surface and the entire right side of my face is swollen and painful. I had to go to work this morning and couldn't even get makeup to stick to the raw skin, but I parted my hair on that side and somehow managed to hide it. I'm extremely embarrassed working in dermatology and I've only been there 3 months and don't feel comfortable asking the doctor anything about it, that would be mortifying to me. I have Wednesday off so I'm praying I can get the swelling down and the wound to scab over by Thursday. I took 4000mg of lysine and a garlic supplement today and have been using antibiotic ointment and bandaids to hopefully heal it faster and prevent a giant scar from forming. Any other suggestions on what to do? The whole side of my face is hugely swollen and throbbing and painful and there's now a two inch long lump that feels hard with puss that I can't pop no matter what. Is this something I should go to an urgent care for and get antibiotics? Idk if I can get it to leave on my own. I've been icing my face for an hour and took Advil and that helps with the pain. Please help guys! what have I done to myself!?
  15. I have been having a problem for the past 5 to 6 years were basically I would get big cysts on my buttocks area, recently I got one removed surgically that was quite big. The problem is that the cysts' scars remain there and never fully heal so once in a while they randomly start bleeding. The scars that I have around the ex-cysts are multiple and nothing seems to work to stop them from bleeding and fully heal. Any recommendations and suggestions on what I could do?
  16. i dont know if i can do this anymore, I'm so sick of my acne. never had any breakouts throughout my high school years until april 2018, my cheeks started breaking out horribly. ive literally tried everything under the sun but nothing has worked and now my acne is getting worse. the post inflammatory erythema are so bad, they make my skin look like i have active pimples. ive cried several times because my acne, and i pray almost everyday for me to have clear skin again. and oh boy oh boy, i am a very sensitive person and two nights ago, my uncle had a small gathering at his place and the adults were asking me how my studies were going and stuff and then this one person had to say "oh you dont have to ask how her studies are going, you can just tell by her face". i was literally so close to tearing up and that comment made me so depressed. anyway, a few of the people that have seen me are quite supportive but honestly, i dont need any "motivations" or "tips" from them because that would just remind me of how visible my acne are. sorry about the grammar, I'm just typing out whatever i want to vent about
  17. Cyst near my eye

    Forums Adult acne 2 replies

    Hi, this cyst popped up a couple of days ago. I’ve had the same issue in the same area three different times over the past five years. I wish I could have insurance and get on accutane and stop this once and for all! I had to cancel an acting gig tomorrow because of it :-( has anyone else ever had this issue? Cysts popping up in the same areas over time? Ahhh I feel like a monster
  18. In the span of just overnight a giant cyst has formed on the left side of my mouth. I was told to lance it with a sterilized needle and was wondering if that’s really the case. If not could someone possibly provide me with some kind of instruction as to how one would approach a cyst like this?
  19. In the span of overnight (6-8 hours) this giant cyst formed on the left side of my mouth. Was wondering if I should lance it. If not, is it possible for someone to provide me with some instruction.
  20. Hi so I really need advice !! I've always had acne but never really a cyst. For this long underneath my skin. It started with an inflamed huge pimple on my chin but now after a week there's still a huge bump underneath my skin and there is no white opening. What should I do? Wait ? Make an appointment? Needle it myself? Help
  21. 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.
  22. Hey I need help identifying what this is on my face. I think it may be a cyst,but im not completely sure.I have applied warm compressed water on it for 2 weeks now. Its getting smaller,but it isn't going away. Also if anyone has any tips on how to get rid of it, that would be great! thanks
  23. I had a painful under the skin cyst that lasted a couple of weeks. I did NOT pick it or pop it, but did use hydrocolloid bandaids to help drain it and put benzoyl peroxide on it. Now, the cyst is finally gone except for redness where it was and a HUGE hole! I think the cyst formed because of a blackhead because that’s what it looked like when the cyst first started to form, so I think the hole is the pore with the gunk removed. Is there any hope for it to heal on its own? How should I treat it? Benzoyl peroxide? Glycolic acid? I also have Derma E Scar Gel; would that help if it’s an ice pick scar? I’ve been putting hyrocolloid bandaids on it during the day to hide it since it’s so embarrassing. I’m terrified that the hole will never close. I’m attaching a picture but it doesn’t really show how deep the hole actually is.
  24. Hi there - I've been on quite the journey for the past 4 months that I'd like to share with you. DAY 1 - It all started with a bump on my cheek the size of a nickel. DAY 2 - 15: Throughout the next 15 days it continued to get larger. Probably didn't help that I was jabbing needles into it trying to find the head. I assumed the whole thing was inflated with pus. Very little came out. The biggest mistake was using a derma-roller (sooo dumb. not sure what result I was expecting). By day 15 it looked like this: See those two bumps to the top and bottom left? The end up causing big trouble but also great relief. Day 15 - Around day 15 I was desperate to find relief. Although the growth didn't hurt, it looked super strange - to the point that I was wearing a bandaid to work. I couldn't find anyone in Toronto who would perform a draining, but I did find someone who could perform a quick cortisone shot, which provided relief for a few days. Immediately after the shots, the bump was larger (due to the fluid within) but it slowly subsided. Day 16 to 30 - the bump slowly disappeared and left a flat dark spot. Day 30 to 45 - The bump quickly grew back and eventually looked exactly the same as it did at its worst - then grew about 3x even larger than that. It was HUGE. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture (too busy being anxious). By day 45 I had lined up an appointment with a dermatologist/plastic surgeon combo - though a few days before the appointment, the cyst popped. The pus was white, had no smell, and seeped through those two bumps previously mentioned. Day 45 to 60 - The area where the cyst existed was slightly bumpy for a few days, but eventually flattened out. By around Day 60, I noticed the bump slowly returning. I panicked and called the plastic surgeon - hoping to have the underlying cyst removed. By this point, the bump looked like this: I took this picture with especially hard lighting so you could see the two small ice pick scars around the left side. Those were the points where the fluid had drained. I hated the holes more than the bump itself. Day 70 - Saw the surgeon. He had suggested waiting 2 months before doing any sort of procedure, as sometimes the previously inflamed skin could scar over very badly. He said that we should wait to see if the bump calms down, or if it becomes largely inflamed again. Days 70 to 120 - The bump remained fairly stable. Some days it felt bigger or smaller - but overall remained unchanged. After the two months had passed, it was time for the incision. The doctor aimed to remove the underlying cyst, associated scar tissue and the deep ice pick scars. The procedure was a success - he was able to cut the scar tissue away. Apparently the cyst wall would be within the scar tissue. He warned that because the removed such a thick ball, it may create a dimple where the cyst was. Luckily this spot isn't the worst to have a dimple. WARNING - GROSS PICTURES AHEAD The removed scar tissue: It's now one week after the surgery and the stitches are removed. There a bit of pinkness and uneven skin texture, but this should resolve within the next few weeks to months. I'm noticing a bit of dimpling. Doc says it will probably get a bit worse before it gets better (usually these sorts of dimples will fill in themselves). Wish me luck throughout the healing process! And let me know if you guys have any questions. I left out some details for an easier read -but happy to help where I can. BTW, this is the guy who performed the procedure. So amazing. Totally professional and clearly cares about his patients: https://www.ashlinalexander.com/
  25. I'm looking for a Surgeon in Los Angeles who is experienced in removing epidermoid cysts. I contacted Dr. Sandra Lee (Pimple Popper)'s office but she is not accepting new patients and I want to find someone closer to the city.