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My Battle With Acne - Focusing On The Last 7 Months

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Hey everyone! Wow it feels really weird to be posting on This site has been like a "bible" for me during the last few months (aka when I started having acne) but for some reason I never thought of actually making an account to communicate with people who are in the same place as me.

Anyways, so here's my story. I just turned 19, and the last 7 months (since September 2011) have been horrible for me, all because of acne. I started getting a few breakouts when I was about 15. I would sometimes get reaaallly self conscious about it, but every time the dermatologist prescribed topical creams I would just do the treatment for a week tops and then I would get lazy and stop. But it was fine because I barely had any acne back then, and during summer I would get really dark and tanned to the point where you wouldn't even see a single pimple. Unfortunately, all that changed in September 2011. I decided to take a gap year before going to college, and my first destination was India. From the minute I got off the plane in Mumbai my skin felt so oily! I had no idea what was going on. It just felt really greasy, dirty and even itchy. And from then on my skin went from bad to horrible. I was living in really poor and dirty conditions so there was no way for me to get any type of medicine. Blemishes were slowly taking over my entire face. I had nothing to treat it or at least hide it because i never wore makeup before then. After one month I finally managed to see a doctor in Goa and succeeded in bribing the dermatologist to prescribe birth control (biiiiig mistake, I know). She gave me Diane-35, a topical cream called Faceclin and a weird antibiotic. After my first pack on Diane-35 my skin was a million times better: not nearly as oily, almost no pimples, and less blemishes. However, the side effects were insane. I was unbearable with my mood swings, I felt sick and dizzy all the time, I couldn't eat anything, but still gained 10 lbs. Now, I've always been really cautious and all about my body, but I was so desperate to clear up my face that I accepted it anyways. In the middle of the second pack though I forced myself to stop because i was just too sick. As you can imagine, that's when my face exploded. Oh! and I forgot to mention that I was also taking the weird antibiotics. In India, you can basically go to any pharmacy and ask for anything you want without a prescription, it's crazy! so I would go every week and ask for more antibiotics (which were 100mg) and the usual response was "sorry, we don't have this brand, but we have one that is exactly like it", needless to say, they weren't. So in total, I spent 3 months taking really strong antibiotics all the while having no idea what they were for (acne really makes you do desperate things doesn't it?). Anyways, shortly after stopping Diane-35 I traveled to Indonesia, where the climate is even more humid. On top of that, I lived in the mountains during the freaking rain season! It was horrible. I had a huge HUGE initial breakout because of Differin, and after 1 1/2, my skin was still as horrible. I started getting those horrible red scars too. Finally my mom sent over Retin A and Solodyn (oral antibiotic). The Retin A made my skin INCREDIBLY sensitive to the sun and it did not improve at all. After 2 months of suffering in Indonesia, I flew to Singapore for a few days where I immediately ran to a pharmacy and got some medicated anti-blemish cover up. Oh my God. That thing saved my life, and I still use it now all the time. Who would have thought that I would ever where makeup? So that was the first good thing (although the "medicated' part of the cover up doesn't do anything). After I flew to Sydney, Australia, where I literally stormed into the first dermatology office I found. A very kind and understanding doctor offered to help me. I begged him to give me Accutane. I knew that it would be very hard to manage it because I would be traveling almost every month, and would probably not be able to get the monthly blood tests and refills, etc... But he saw how desperate I was and agreed to prescribe 2 x 25 mg /day. But instead, he told me to take only 25mg per day to make the medication last for 2 months (what a doctor!). Well, I promptly accepted and went on to get a blood test. That's when I called my parents back home to tell them the good news. The went BANANAS. My mom even started crying because she was so scared for me. After a very dramatic conversation, they made it very clear that I was not to take Accutane. I knew that they were right, it could be dangerous, especially because I would not be supervised by a doctor. So I went back to the doctor in tears asking for an alternative. He ended up only prescribing Yaz and Minocylcin. I was terrified to start birth control after what had happened with Diane-35. But I did it anyway, and I finished my first pack 3 days ago. I can honestly say that my skin had improved. I still break out but not as much. And my skin got a lot less oily which is always amazing. Still, I am not happy, so I talked to my physician in the US and told him that I would like to start taking Spironolactone because I had read amazing reviews about it online. He agreed, and sent over 3 months' worth of pills of 50 mg. I know it's a risk to take it without being seen by the doctor, but again, desperate times call for desperate measures. I received the package this morning, and I'm going to start taking it tomorrow.

It's crazy what acne can do to you. I'm a very, VERY self conscious person. I've always freaked out by the minor imperfection and always refuse to show myself. This year was supposed to be about getting rid of this obsessive disorder and to learn how to accept myself. Well, unfortunately my acne ruined everything. I can honestly say that I've cried everyday for the past 7 months because of my acne. It ruined what was supposed to be the best year of my life so far! Because of my acne I took pills that were so powerful, they made my hair fall off. I had always thought "hey, I have acne, and just gained 10 lbs because of birth control, but at least I still have my thick long hair". But soon that was gone too, because I had to cut boy-short hoping that it would stop falling (it didn't). So yeah, it's a sad story, and I'm so sorry for everyone who suffers from acne. Hopefully you will find something that will fix you up.

I will write regularly about the results of Spironolactone. And I pray to God that it will work.

Wow I just wrote an entire novel! Thanks for reading and putting up with my dramatic adventure with acne!

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Wow, that is quite a story!

How are you finding the Spironolactone? Are you using anything else with it??

I find that OCM works amazing to help minimize oiliness and totally cleans out my pores

I just started Spiro, yesterday, and also Differin cream for the superficial zits.

Crossing my fingers because accutane scares the boogers out of me~

33 years old
Caucasian Female
Medium Skin Tone
Cystic and Superficial Acne on Lower cheeks/Jaw
Severe hyperpigmentation to cheeks and Jaw

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser
Cetaphil Moisturizer

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser
Retin-A Micro .08%
Spiro 100mg

Last regimen attempt before I throw in the towel and just learn to embrace horrible acne. 

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