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Posts posted by somedayistoday

  1. Well here's my update, skin is clear except for post acne red marks but they have already begun to fade. I broke out badly in August, started back on Atralin/Aczone in September and went on ortho tricyclen lo in October. After a month I switched to tri linyah only because my insurance covered all costs. Anyway, things got worse before they got better but by the end of December things started improving dramatically and these past few weeks I've gotten 1 or 2 pimples but nothing like what I experienced coming off birth control.

  2. Yeah, it also got rid of my clogged pores which I've dealt with for years. Wish I could use it forever but unfortunately I'll have to wean off it as I will be trying to get pregnant later this year. My doctor and I have a plan in place which includes taking vitex 2 months prior to stopping birth control and continuing finacea while weaning off Atralin. Hopefully this works, we'll see. At least I know Atralin works for me.

  3. I figured I would provide an update on my progress. Its been about 5 months on Atralin and 6 weeks on Finacea. At around 4 months is when my skin really started to improve, I would have less than 5 active pimples at a time. Currently I am clear except for a few small cysts on my chin that have been there for weeks...they are hardly noticable though. I also have a lot of red marks on the sides of my cheeks but I am already noticing that they are fading. I'm guessing a few more months.

    But yeah, it wasn't a steady progression with Atralin but at 5 months I am seeing more dramatic improvement. It was well worth the wait!

  4. Not really, he'll get big pimples here and there but none that I would classify as cystic. I saw him a few days ago and he had a few big ones on his chin. But he has acne all over. I think his uneven skin makes it look worse than it is though. His forehead tends to be oily with some scarring while his mouth area is red and dry. I think him washing his face less frequently helped reduce the irritation but I'm assuming with the holidays and eating more sweets his acne worsened.

    I'd have to ask him what he has tried, I know he has taken Accutane but I don't know at what dose or for how long. I do remember his acne becoming cystic and widespread while he was on it and never clearing. His acne is a tough one for sure, but I'm hoping to find a good topical regimen for him while we figure out some of his internal issues.

  5. My brother and I both suffer from acne ever since puberty, he is now 27 I'm 31. His acne is more severe than mine and it has caused some scarring mainly on his forehead. I'm currently treating my acne with birth control, atralin, and finacea. Along with eating healthy and taking supplements such as vitamin d3, omega 3, b-complex, and probiotics. My skin is doing very well, I'd say I'm about 85% clear.

    I want to help my brother though. He has never had clear skin. For me, birth control has always kept my acne at bay. Obviously that is not an option for him. He has also taken Accutane but it didn't work for him.

    I'm thinking of recommending he try the regimen even though ive never tried it, on top of taking supplements like the ones I'm taking. He doesn't eat very well so maybe I can offer advice on what to eat more of without putting him on a restrictive diet. He's very skinny.

    I hate how most treatments make acne get worse before it gets better. My brother needs a break and deserves clear skin. Wish doctors were more helpful.

    Any advice on how I should approach this? I don't want to upset him in any way, just want to offer some help. I also don't want to lead him down the wrong path.

    I know my acne is mainly hormonal. How do men tackle hormonal acne? Would the regimen work for his stubborn acne? He also has oily, dry skin. He tried washing his face every few days and that helped a lot for about a month. Now his skin is bad again. I feel the need to help him somehow.

  6. Yeah sea salt will do that, especially after a dip in the ocean. I also noticed that when I was using clay masks. They bring impurities to the surface. I would cut back on using the salt toner, it will make your skin harder to manage when more and more whiteheads appear. Over the summer I used clay masks multiple times a week and developed widespread whiteheads/clogged pores. Nothing was getting rid of them so I chose to go back on tretinoin which helped but now I also have inflamed acne that I need to get under control.

    You seem to be on the right track as far as maintaining skin balance which is most important. Don't squeeze those whiteheads, trust me they will dry up and fall of on their own, otherwise you run the risk of spreading infection and developing inflamed acne.

  7. Yeah I'm not ready to let go of atralin... it has done an incredible job at getting rid of my clogged pores and making my skin smoother. As I look back I started using it 14 weeks ago but there was an adjustment period so its really only been 6 weeks of using it every night. I think this is why I'm not clear yet, which is fine, just means theres still hope! I think aczone helps reduce the swelling of pimples but other than that it just makes my skin oily during the day. I'm eager to try Finacea because I've read that the combined use of retinoids and azeialic acid heals hyperpigmentation much faster than using either one alone.... and I have a lot of spots!! We'll see how it goes

    Thanks for the input guys!

  8. ^ Thanks! The pill cutter seems like a great idea. Really thought 31 is still super young and plenty of women can still be acne prone at that age. You're putting good things into your body and things will improve. Do you think you maybe no longer need the Spiro? Have you tried getting your hormones checked? Maybe that could tell you what direction to go in. I got mine checked the other week at a health clinic I go to. It's all based on how much money you make so I think I only paid $20. I haven't gone over my results with my dr yet but I'm gonna make sure I get a copy of it.

    Thats one thing I haven't done yet, is to actually get my hormones checked. I discussed it briefly with my naturopath and she said insurance doesnt usually cover it and costs around $150. But anyway I think its worth looking into if done right. Let me know how it goes :)

  9. Thanks for your input. I've been going back and forth on what to do. The fact that my Dr said my skin isn't going to get any better unless I go on Accutane or Spiro was a little disconcerting. It took all my strength to not cry in front of her, I was that upset. And to think I was actually feeling better about my acne... but now I'm in doubt once again. My gut tells me though... with a little more focus on my health/wellness my skin will get better.

    I think I'm going to stick with atralin and use Finacea every other morning until my skin adjusts. I wouldn't change things up but I really want to find a routine that I can use during pregnancy, might as well experiment now. Finacea reviews are mixed but I'm crossing my fingers it will work for me.

  10. Had a dermatologist appt today but I'm not sure that I trust my Dr's opinion. I'be been using atralin and aczone for 13 weeks now and I am finally noticing my acne improving. My skin is a lot smoother, I no longer break out along my jawline, nose, chin. The left side of my face also has been holding steady with no pimples. I'm still breaking out along my eyebrows and right cheek. My skin still looks worse than when I started treatment because of all the hyperpigmentation. Doctor says I shouldn't be breaking out at this stage of the game, and that my skin will not get better with topical treatments. She says I should go on Accutane or Spiro. But I'm pushing 32 and hoping to get pregnant in the near future so I'd like to avoid these types of medications. Since my skin has improved, I think it just needs a few more months of treatment.

    She agreed to prescribe Finacea as it is safer to use while pregnant and says I can stop using atralin/aczone all together. But I'm finally noticing improvement in my skin and don't want to sabotage my progress in anyway. I'm playing around with different options because my skin is a bit iirritated and flakey from the atralin but my acne is getting better but maybe Finacea will be gentler and more effective. So here are my options...

    1 no change- continue aczone and atralin

    2 Finacea morning, atralin night

    3 Finacea morn and night, discontinue aczone and atralin

    4 Accutane?????

    She looked at my skin for like 2 seconds and didn't really listen to my concerns. I may shop around for another dermatologist but I'm sure it will be the same story. Its sad that drs aren't willing to look at the whole picture. My acne is obviously hormonal and I have hashimotos disease so I doubt accutane would be a longterm solution for me.


  11. Well I saw my dermatologist today. She said I shouldn't be breaking out any more at 14 weeks and recommended Accutane (...scratching my head). But I would say my skin is just starting to improve its definitely a lot smoother and it has worked in the past so i'm going to continue on the tretinoin treatment for another month or so. Then I plan to switch to Finacea as it is safer to use while pregnant and essentially does the same thing. I'm fairly optimistic that my acne will clear up. She doesn't think my acne is severe but it is persistent which is why she says I should consider Accutane but I'm not ready to take that leap yet.

    My advice is to stick with it until you can see a dermatologist. You may just need to add a topical antibiotic like clyndamycin or aczone.

  12. Well I figured it cleared my skin I didn't need to use it anymore and I also went to get a refill and the cost was over $100 so I stopped. My skin was actually good for about 2 years after that just mild acne here and there.

    Long story short, I went off birth control last spring and my acne worsened a few months later. I was actually washing my face with ,Manuka honey for a while before I decided to go back on a retinoid. My face was covered in tiny clogged pores along with larger pimples and although the honey balanced my skin (not dry or oily) I wasn't sure it would do the job of getting rid of acne. I hope to someday return to a low maintenance natural skin care routine but for now I am using birth control and atralin to get rid of my acne. I'm working with both a dermatologist and naturopath to help me with that.

  13. Yeah I wish I hadn't stopped using my topicals over the summer, I would probably have clear skin right now. But I'm taking it as a learning experience and using this opportunity to really address the root cause of my acne. Since I'm using topicals and birth control its hard to say if the BC caused an initial breakout. I've been breaking out for 3 months now on treatment, but I think the worst of it is finally over. I would give yourself a few months for the BC to start improving your acne. Although I should mention that I no longer get pimples along my jawline and chin and that happened within a month of using BC. Most of my acne is on my lower cheeks. So maybe since your breakouts are mostly on your chin you will see improvement much sooner since that is a classic sign of hormonal acne.

  14. From what I've read its not uncommon for retinoids to take longer to work. I'm on week 13 still breaking out and my skin looks worse than when I started but my skin texture is a lot smoother. I think it depends on the severity of your acne. First time I used it it took around 3 months to clear up, this time around its taking longer because I had more acne to begin with. I expect to start seeing more dramatic results in another few weeks and hopefully clear skin at 6 months.

    You also mentioned using a cream form, I would switch to the gel if you can. I don't know from firsthand experience but I've read that the cream is less potent/effective than the gel. I‘m using atralin 0.05% currently. I've also used retin a micro 0.04% in the past and it cleared my skin.

  15. Yeah I hear that. I really didn't want to go back birth control but my acne was getting out of control and I didn't want to experiment with other things that may or may not work. My naturopath and I decided it was best to retrace my steps and get my acne under control then try going off BC again and using hormone supplements. Thats not to say that you have to absolutely go back on BC its just what I decided to do to balance my hormones. I have also found that the love vitamin website has some good info about hormonal acne and how to get rid of it, http://thelovevitamin.com/6855/treat-female-hormonal-acne/

    I plan to discuss this with my naturopath as this is the direction I want to head towards.

    Anyway, I know exactly what you're going through, it can be so frustrating and stressful at times but there's a solution out there for us!

    Just take it day by day, the future isn't here yet so theres no need to worry about it now. We will be experts on acne long before getting pregnant and we'll know exactly what our skin needs to stay healthy. Hope things get better for you soon :)

  16. My face broke out too after going off birth control. I decided to go back on it just because its the only thing that has really worked for me in the past. I'm also using topicals. Its been 3 months and I'm still breaking out but not as bad, things are slowly improving.

    But yeah, I chickened out and went back on birth control but this time around I plan to work closely with my naturopath and dermatologist when I'm ready to wean off of it again.

    I feel ya though, I don't want to be on BC but my acne was getting worse and nothing was working. Wish I had better answers for you. Hopefully someone else knows a better way. I've also experimented with my diet going gluten and dairy free, I think it helped but I still had acne.

  17. Good to know there are plenty of options out there. I stopped taking birth control for the first time in over a decade and my acne got pretty bad. My acne is definitely hormonal, topicals help but not without addressing internal issues as well. I would hate for it to get bad again if I ever got pregnant, but I guess it could go either way. I'm somewhat relieved that I'm not necessarily doomed to have bad acne, thanks guys!

  18. Sorry if this is a double post.

    Anyway, I am currently treating acne with birth control, atralin, and aczone.....which are obviously not safe to use while pregnant. I'm not pregnant but its in my plans for sometime within the next few years. I'm realizing that acne is a chronic condition for me so I know I will need a treatment plan in place or my skin will flare up. I have a dermatologist appointment in a few weeks but I'd like to gather people's thoughts and suggestions so I can ask the right questions. My naturopath mentioned azeialic acid and niacinimide topical as safe alternatives. What has worked for you? And how should I switch over? Thanks in advance.

  19. I use sls free shampoo and body wash but have been using Cetaphil cleanser and Tom's toothpaste which contain sls. Since most of my acne is on my lower cheek area with some irritated skin (possibly eczema) around my mouth, I could very well have a sensitivity to sls. I also developed a canker sore in my mouth today. I'm going to switch to cerave face wash and an sls free toothpaste and see how it goes

  20. I feel like I'm running out of steam. Even taking my dog for a walk requires a lot of mental prepping. I'm supposed to go shopping with friends tomorrow but im thinking of excuses to get out of it. Also considering not going home for thanksgiving. I was doing so well for a while, taking it day by day, but I'm done. I want off this ride already.

    All I can do is dust myself off and keep moving forward I guess. But I just wish it wasn't consuming so much of my life.