Doryx, Aczone, Epiduo, Birthcontrol: Please Discuss!

10 posts in this topic

Hi! I'm 21. I have never had problematic acne until this year. I have large cystic acne on my back, mostly concentrated on my shoulder blades but everywhere else as well. On my forehead and cheeks it seemed as if every single pore was clogged with a small whiteheads. My jawline and my chin have lumpy cystic acne that itch. I tried everything. I googled everyday what products work the best. I even tried the regimen. Nothing would stop the acne and it almost seemed as if things were irritating it more. I finally got to my wits end and went to the dermatologist. At first he prescribed me minocycline and epiduo. I was so excited, but after a month I saw no results. I went back, very discouraged, and he added Aczone and changed the antibiotic to Doryx. It also should be noted that I went to the gynecologist and was prescribed birth control, just in case my skin problems were caused by hormones.

After a week and a half of using these new products, I see MAJOR results. The white heads on my cheeks have subsided. Many have turned to blackheads which I much prefer and can clear up a lot easier. I have 5 cystic pimples: three along my hairline, and two in the chin area, but they are healing quickly. Also my skin is SO smooth. I am so happy and excited and more confident. The Aczone goes on like a moisturizer and takes away redness, so I haven't even been wearing makeup. To be fair, I don't know which product is working. I do not think it is the epiduo since it hadn't worked last month. I really feel as if Aczone is the miracle product, but I haven't been putting it on my back (which is also clearing) so I think it could also be the doryx...or the birth control. Regardless, I'm thrilled about the results, especially since my next resort was getting on accutane which I did NOT want to do.

Here is my regimen:




Take half a Doryx.


Wash FACE with Cetaphil Oil Control

Wash BACK with Neotrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash

Apply Epiduo to ENTIRE face

Apply Neotrogena On-The-Spot to inflamed cystic acne

Take half a Doryx

Take birth control

Note: I started birth control Sunday the 15th. I started the new products Wednesday the 18th, but didn't wash my face that Thursday evening, or that Saturday evening. From the 22nd-today, I have done the regimen perfectly, so I'm going to start tracking progress from that point only.

I would love to hear from someone who used some combination of these products and has experience! Please post!

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Hi aqua123! I'm so glad that the combination of these three is working for you! It sounds like, for the most part, we have very similar experiences-- I'm 24, and though I've struggled with some acne since I was about 18 (the occasional pimple, and I had problems with my back), I had a sudden breakout of cystic acne along my jawline, chest, and back in the last year and a half. I tried absolutely EVERYTHING (including going back on the birth control pill) before I went to the dermatologist, and she prescribed me the exact same combination that you're on now-- Doryx, Epiduo, and Aczone.

I noticed a big difference in the first two months-- the cystic bumps on my jawline all subsided (but didn't totally go away) and I stopped getting cysts on my back (though I still got an occasional pimple along my bra line). I think the Aczone helped with the swelling and redness, but I never totally cleared up, and I started to break out again with a vengeance during the third month of treatment. I thought it might be a delayed initial breakout, but it continued for another two months. I stopped taking the Doryx/Epiduo/Aczone combination after 4 months. I have other health problems that prevented the dermatologist from putting me on Spirolactone, which would have been her second choice, so I ended up going on Accutane. I'm in my second month now, and my skin has cleared up completely--it's been a miracle drug for me! I also went off birth control, because I'm pretty sure it was actually making the situation worse. Maybe on a different pill, or without the pill, the topicals and antibiotic would have worked?

With the Doryx/Epiduo/Aczone combo, though, I experienced a few very minor and expected side effects--severe nausea if I didn't eat enough with the Doryx, and dry, flaky skin from the Epiduo. I generally only used the Epiduo on my chin, jawline, and lower cheeks, so if I forgot to moisturize I ended up looking a little bit like Santa haha. It takes a little while for the Epiduo to dry out your skin, but you should be sure to add a moisturizer to your skin routine soon! Also, I couldn't use any other OTC topicals like BP or salicyclic acid on the spots where I used the Epiduo. As much as I wanted to when I started breaking out again, it just burned wayy too much. My experience was that Aczone was much gentler and didn't have any noticeable side effects.

Best of luck to you, and I hope you have lots of success on this regimen!

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This is my third week using this system and it seems as if every day I'm getting a new cystic pimple (underskin, painful, pretty large) in my chin area. It's so discouraging.

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Update: I realized that this is the week before my period. I think this could be the cause of the breakouts (approximately 7 zits this week). I will continue to monitor and update.

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I'm not sure if anyone is even reading this, but I thought I would update it just in case. I posted almost a month anda haf ago. After that post, I felt very discouraged. My face was breaking out again. It would break out in areas: Each cheek, my chin, my forehead, my jawline. The acne would scab over and it was very ugly. I was so self concious and cried a lot. Finally, finally, FINALLY I have noticed such a large difference in my skin. It is so soft and beautiful. The oil has significantly decreased, and I only get pimples if I negect to wash my face at night or around my period. And even then, one or two is nothing compared to how my face used to be. I love washing my face and looking at my skin in the mirror. I feel so much more confident and think I look better over all.

My advice to anyone starting this regimen is to maybe skip the antibiotics. I just don't think they were really neccessary. I think birth control helped much more than the other pills did. As for Aczone and Epiduo, I really recommend them! I truly think they made the difference. You HAVE to be patient. I know it's so hard but once your face has purged you will be able to start fresh. It is so worth it! Don't give up!!!!

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I recently made a few adjustments to my regimen and I thought I would update this (even though noone seems to be reading it).

Like I said, I didn't refill my prescription for antibiotics.

I do take birth control though.

I don't use a second benzoyl peroxide because it really dries out my skin.

Every morning and night I wash my face with Cetaphil Oil Control Foaming Wash.

In the morning, I apply Aczone all over my face.

I layer this with a tinted moisturizer and powder.

In the evening, I apply Epiduo, all over my face

I layer this with Cetaphil lotion.

And that's it! Pretty simple and so effective. Twice a week I exfoliate and if I have time once a week I will use a clay mask to tighten pores.

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What type of birth control?

I was on aldactone, absolutely hated it, and worry Yaz will make me lose (more) hair (it thinned to a major extent the three years I was on aldactone) and cause a level of purging I can't take.

The alternative is going back on Accutane.

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I am a 23 year old who has suffered from mild acne for years. Last year I got an IUD (merena) implanted to try a different form of birth control. I loved it! But after 4 months I had huge cystic painful acne all around my mouth and chin and cheeks. It completly defeated me. I went to my dermatologist and he tried to assure me it wasn't my IUD. So I tried all his crazy ideas. Used so many different topicals that would just dry my face out and make it worse. He put me on spirolactone and aczone. I had no results from that. He then wanted to put me on two forms of birth control to try and counter act everything. I decided to get my IUD out in January 2015 and my doc gave m acne specific birth control, sprintec.

Since the chane in bc I have had less acne but still embarrassing. I have red marks, still get the occasional cystic pimples.

I wanted tk get a second opinion so I went to another derm. He took one look at me and said I was hopeless and Accutane is the only option. I have been very skeptical about accutane because there are so many side effects and the whole process is intimidating to even start the pills. If they are so concerned about my future babies, what is it doing to my body? I have heard great results but I have also heard of very extreme and life long medical problems with that.

I went to get a third opinion today and she is trying the doxyl antibiotics and epidou. I am hopeful after hearing great results.

I am ready to cure this and move on with my life. I fear acne scarring will get worse any more crap I try on my face.

Hope this helps anyone!

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I went to the dermatologist for the first time ever this past Monday (12/28/15) and she put me on the exact same regimen: Doryx,Aczone,Epiduo with Cetaphil foaming cleanser (oil control/derma control) with the pairing moisturizer. I'm on day 5 and my face definTely feels softer. New cystic acne is popping up but I expected that. I go back in 6 weeks to update her on my progress. The only noticable problems that I have as of now is that the Epiduo make my face burn at night. And that just started last night. A little background: I'm a 28 year old female whose acne is localized on my cheeks only. It got worse after I stopped taking birth control with hormones a year ago. Because of other health issues my GI Doctor will not let me have any birth control with hormones. I've only had acne for about 2 years. I'm interested to see whether my face will get better or not. 

The doctor's regimen: 


wash with Cetaphil foaming cleanser (oil control)

put Aczone all over face (pea size)

take 1/2 of Doryx with food

use Cetaphil moisturizer (oil control)


wash with Cetaphil foaming cleanser

put epiduo all over face (pea size)

take 1/2 Doryx with food

use Cetaphil moisturizer


AVOID: food and drinks high in sugar; skim milk (high in hormones they give to the cows)


KEEPING MY FINGERS AND TOES CROSSED!!! Will update in the future


Edited by jackiepaige15

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