Ok so for the past two weeks I have been addicted to this forum and I fee like I've learned a lot and feel motivated to help others. I went off of birth control for the first time in 12 years and my skin went CRAZY!!! Me being me, I immediately went to see a doctor and then a dermatologist. I was prescribed Differin 0.1% and it made my acne SO MUCH WORSE. I have very sensitive skin and am prone to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Every time I used this product it either gave me more acne or caused such severe redness that it made my mild acne look like severe acne. I'm a nurse and PhD student and thus have a medical background. As a result, I always lean on the evidence based approaches. But holy sweet jesus I am learning SO SO much about diet and natural remedies and how they are so much better for treating acne than any harsh topical chemical. I do 100% believe in birth control for the management of hormonal acne and am also giving doxycycline a try. In my opinion, the best approaches to treat acute acne are a) GREEN TEA- I've only been using it for 2 days and already my skin looks less red. Although this could also be due to the fact that I've ditched the Differin, there are legitimate scientific studies that reveal why green tea is great for acne and skin in general.... b) ICE- please try icing inflamed pimples before putting harsh chemicals on your skin...especially if it's sensitive like mine. This has drastically helped to reduce my inflammation and can even reduce the size of the pimples. c) ELIMINATE DAIRY- eliminate it completely for one month and see what happens. I am only on day 3 of this so I will post an update. I know that this may not work for everyone, however, if you have a dairy intolerance or are willing to give it up for a month to see what happens PLEASE give this a shot before spending tons and tons of money on useless topicals and shedding lots of tears. I ate a bowl of ice cream and had a slice of cheese on Saturday and by Sunday morning I woke up with three more HUGE pimples. There are also various scientific studies on how dairy aggravates acne. Just type in Google Scholar: "Acne and dairy". I will be posting updates over the next few weeks. d) TRY CETAPHIL- gentle cleanser, not many ingredients, cheap. e) EAT LOTS OF VEGETABLES, FRUIT (but not an excessive amount due to the sugar), and foods with a LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX. Again, I only just started this and will post updates with my progress....but as mentioned, I've been obsessively researching this stuff and these are the safest, most cost effective, and healthiest ways to tackle this problem.
So to summarize, YES birth control helps acne (especially Dianne 35 but you'll eventually want to transition to a less harsh birth control once things are under control because it is an intense birth control with risks) and MAYBE oral antibiotics like doxycycline can help SOME people. The key is to not only treat the symptoms of acne but to get at the underlying cause. Hormones, stress, genetics, and food intolerances appear to be the main culprits. From my own experience and from a lot of the reviews I've read, AVOID DIFFERIN AND TREAT YOUR SKIN AS SENSITIVE AND YOUR ACNE AS A WARNING SIGN THAT YOUR BODY IS OUT OF BALANCE. Don't make my mistakes by going the harsh chemical route right off the bat! I had to go to the hospital last week because my face was so inflamed!! (I combined Differin, Retin A, and glycolic acid.....ya dumb, I know. Don't make my mistake!) If anyone needs some moral support plz feel free to shoot me an e mail at [email protected] I know how depressing and anxiety provoking this can be and it's important to get the social support you need! Good luck beautiful people! xox