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Camille Stefanie

Same Old Story

4 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

I'm a 32 years old female who -guess what!- still suffers of acne! As a matter of fact at the moment I'm typing these words my face is such a mess I don't even dare to look myself to the mirror. I wish I could stay home till it's gone but sadly I have to go out.. into the light! Today is the day I broke in tears (some of the many tears I have spent for acne during the years) even though I was trying so hard to stay strong and positive. So, the story in a few words...

As I mentioned I'm (soon to be) 32 and yet not acne free. My acne is probably hormonal, since it's mostly on my chin and around mouth and some on my cheek (the right one). I get cysts (some of them huge and painful) that usually come to a head (or two!) after a couple of days and then they leave an awful bright scar for months and months. I also get papules which also are inflamed and tend to scar as well (though they fade mush faster than the cysts).I have a pale skin and the red marks show ridiculously a lot! And frankly, I hate wearing foundation. I absolutely loath it. Yet, nowdays I can't leave home without it... I definitely can't! I wish I could stay in... Seriously. I do not want anyone to see me in this condition. Also, my acne is periodical... which means it comes and go. I had been absolutely acne free for more than a year until Christmas when a pimple here and there bagan to appear. Nothing major.. just around the chin during these days. But, progressively, the situtation got worse until the last couple of days when my face decided to host a good amount of red, angry acne! I started taking vibramicyn (doxy) twice a day since the 17th but, honestly, I do not have high hopes. Not at all. I also take zinc (44mg picolinate), 1 capsule of 1000mg evening primrose and vitamin D. I try to drink two cups of spearmint daily and lots of water. Even though I do know that milk and generally dairy afffects my acne (especially the cystic type) I haven't been good on my diet lately (even though I didn't consumed a lot). But I cut dairy and sugar again now, hoping it will do the trick. Another thing I used to use but stopped it around a month is indoxyl gel (benzoyl per 5% & clyndamicyn 2.5% - I think it's named Benzaclyn in other countries). I felt it was making my face look ... not glowing.. dull... But -hey!- I do prefer a dull face than a face full of acne. So, since tonight I brought indoxyl back to my life.

Point is.. I feel really devastated and desperate for a permanent relief. I can't go through this vicious circle anymore (break outs-more break outs-even more break outs-calmness-red marks fading-clear face-BOOM! Acne again). Seriously, I do not know what to do... I am scared on going to the accutane route. I've taken it once back when I was 19. It did miracles. No side effects, no IB... Just perfect, glowing skin since the very first month! It kept me clear for almost 10 years... Until acne crept back. But now I am afraid to take it again... I'm not 19 anymore and all these horror stories make me more than hesitant. Also, I couldn't bear an initial break out that would add more scars to my face... Definitely not! It would kill me! Same goes for BC pills. I would rather take accutane as a matter of fact than these...

Anyway... if anyone wants to share a tip or give an advice, please do. I'm really desperate for something that might work. Or even some.. support. Psychological, you know... Cause the last few days I feel seriously like shit.


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yep, been there done that....I actually gave up and decided to go on accutane, even though I was scared to death of the side acne was cystic too, horrible

accutane didn't work for me, made things worse, but I am in the minority, so I had to stop and in total desperation I started journaling everything I ate, mood, topicals, etc....and for my completely eliminating gluten and dairy worked miracles, absolute's hard but I avoid them completely. Not sure what your triggers are, but those are two common ones, but give it up 100% for 30 days and see what works for you.

Zinc always makes me break out, but again it works miracles for some

and for topicals I am in LOVE with mandelic acid, like you my teenage years are long gone, mandelic acid ( I get mine from GOW) helps with acne, hyperpigmentation and aging skin....can you say perfect????

don't give up...keep trying everything...keep track of what works and what doesn't

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Mandelic acid? Thats really something I heard of first time.

I am going to look for details about it.

As for the diet, Im starting today. Completely gonna give up on sugar, dairy and gluten. I wonder whats gonna be left to eat though!!! For certainly I know milk is my enemy. Every time I get dairy cysts appear.

Its a horrible thing, since acne makes me skip things from my daily life I love, like going to the gym. There is NO WAY of going there without make up at this period of time but wearing foundation while sweating is not an option either. It would stress me about making the acne worse.


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Hi Camille --- I struggled with the same kind of cystic acne and with rosacea too. Totally understand your despair! But take heart...if you continue to get cystic acne as an adult then you must use the topical gel you were using if you want to stay clear because your skin overreacts to acne bacteria and this is something you won't outgrow. My derm has me use a BP wash followed with a topical antibiotic (Clindamycin) and it totally knocked out the cysts. You can't stop the gel even when you get old like me. Trust me - I tried and even at my age the cysts came back. I highly recommend monthly microdermabrasions. My derm has me do them to keep pores clear and allow the topical meds to work they get rid of the dull look you speak of. I also take spironolactone which works to block is not a hormone but instead blocks the hormone androgens. This really helps with cystic acne...and better than BCP.

Avoid dairy, sugars and added oils (marg, butter, dressings, etc.). This will help your pores to keep from getting plugged up. As far as gluten is concerned I think it is more an issue of histamine from yeasts used in breads, etc. than the gluten...unless you are allergic to gluten. I think this because I can eat burritos and pasta with no problem but if I eat breads or any flour product made from yeast I break out...without fail. Try this approach first but don't eat a lot of flour products because it is too them for once or twice a week. This way you won't feel so deprived. Eat whole fresh foods.

Diagnosis - Cystic acne and papulopustular rosacea
Status - 98% clear

Morning - Panoxyl 10% Cleanser (BP), Cleocin-T, DML Lotion, Physician's Formula SPF 30 Mineral Pressed Powder, Spiro 50 mg (weaning off)

Night - Panoxyl 4% Cleanser, DML Lotion

Monthly - Professional microdermabrasion

Diet - Whole high nutrient unprocessed foods. Avoid oils, dairy, sugars, bread, nuts, alcohol, caffeine, spicy and fermented foods.

Supplements - Opti l-zinc, Citrical + D3, selenium, D

Daily - Walk, breath deeply, meditate and do yoga daily, wear hats for sun protection

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