December 20, 2017 at 12:59 pm #730383
Whole30 has helped me some. Cause some food intolerances can cause some acne. Like cheese can cause some acne. And using a good mositurizer has helped a lot, especially in this dry winter weather. I live in Montana so the humidity is practically nonexistent. I use L’Bri (https://lbri.com/). But I still get acne and I’m 30! I started using the Detox mask from Younique (https://www.youniqueproducts.com/products/view/US-16091-02) and I feel like that has helped a lot. It has a self stable Vitamin A (which is retinol) but not at the prescription strength that Accutane is. Acne definitely sucks cause you want a quick fix, but unfortunately everything takes time.
Of course, I try to clean my cell phone regularly and wash my pillow cases often.December 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm #730388
I have had severe acne non-stop since puberty (I’m 27 now). I have taken minocycline for about 7 years as a teenager (that worked ok, not much more than that), then I took Diane-35 (which is available in Canada, but not in the US) and this was world changing! Diane-35 is a combination of birth-control + anti-androgen and it cleared my skin with no side effects whatsoever. Absolute dream.
Then I moved to the US and I had to switch to a normal birth control pill because Diane-35 is not FDA approved (same hormone dose except for the anti-androgen part), and all my acne came back and it sucked. Then I did another year of minocycline, which cleared my skin, but there was some side effects. Then finally, I stopped minocycline was put on spironolactone (anti-androgen) and my skin cleared right away! Absolute dream again! I love it so much!
I’ve heard a lot about Acutane and how harsh it can be. If your skin is like mine and your acne has hormonal causes, Diane-35 could help a lot (in my case it cleared my skin 150%).December 20, 2017 at 2:10 pm #730392
I went to a dermatologist to discuss different options for skin and tried a few different Rx ones (I don’t use anything as of now and skin is normal-ish). I recall them mentioning Acutane and that if you’re on it, you need to be on birth control and that it’s a serious drug and if you get pregnant then an abortion would be necessary. Scared me out of taking that. I am not on BC so that freaked me out that a drug would be that strong. Eeek. Is this true?December 20, 2017 at 2:14 pm #730393
CCL, that was what I was told as well. That Acutane causes birth defects, and that my dermatologist had to register me in some database if I took it. Along with required birth control and regular pregnancy tests. (This was 10 years ago.)December 20, 2017 at 2:43 pm #730396
I believe women are required to be on birth control when on Accutane. It causes birth defects. I was on it twice, one before the iPledge program was put into effect and once after. The first time I took it, I was 18 and hadn’t slept with anyone yet, and they didn’t require me to be on BC. I believe that’s since changed under iPledge. Other than that, the monthly procedure was about the same for both courses. On a monthly basis, you have your blood drawn to monitor liver function, cholesterol, lipids, and ensure you’re not pregnant. You can only refill your prescription if everything is normal. Every month you sign something saying you understand the risks of pregnancy and are using two forms of BC. Every month I filled out a survey about your mood (it’s also linked to depression). I’d still do it a third time if I needed to.
ETA: The first course I did at 18, my triglyceride levels shot up. In response they told me to get them down (I changed my diet) and they also lowered my dosage. My doctor told me that total amount you get in your system is what matters, not the daily dosage. So you can do a shorter courses with higher dosages to get through it quickly, but you’ll likely experience worse side effects, or you can do longer courses of lower dosages with fewer side effects. And it’s all the same. My worst symptom was dry lips. I also wouldn’t take Accutane under the supervision of a dermatologist I didn’t trust.December 20, 2017 at 3:36 pm #730401
I was on the pill for about a year and a half; now I am on my second IUD. Neither BC options really made a different in my acne levels.
I went to the doctor last night and was prescribed a gel that contains an antibiotic and another component to use once a day at night. Then to take 4 weeks worth of an antibiotic. My GP figures I have acne vulgaris and is recommending I tries these to reduce the bacteria that causes them. He said if this doesn’t work then the next step would be a dermatologist. He explained a dermatologist is usually used and more likely to take new patients who have already tried a prescribed med by their GP and have had no luck. So hoping for the best!December 20, 2017 at 8:24 pm #730429
My cousin used Accutane. It worked, but she ended up with bad scarring.
I had horrible acne. I went to a dermatologist many times. It made me SO depressed. I did the antibiotic thing, many different creams etc. Nothing they gave me worked. My skin was so sensitive many things just made it worse. I also tried birth control pills. The only things that really worked for me were baking soda (I use that to scrub off dry skin cause I have really dry/oily/ with cystic acne.) and epsom salt (this REALLY helped me and my daughter also) https://www.acne.org/epsom-salt-reviews-1067/
I am very sensitive to soaps. I really like Shea Moistures black soap and Grandpas pine tar soap. I also have a really super sensitive scalp that breaks out. Sometimes acne and scalp issues go hand in hand. I use the Grandpas soap as shampoo and follow with vinegar.(it says it can be used as shampoo) it is the ONLY thing that helps my scalp and I tried everything. Prescription, natural…everything.
I also take Vitex (chaste berry) it helped my daughter with her breakouts and pms…it helps me keep my periods regular.
Everyone is different. I hope maybe one of my suggestion helps. If you only try one thing, try epsom salt…it was a life saver for me.December 20, 2017 at 8:59 pm #730431
I second the aztec mask with vinegar too. I use that sometimes. It feels really good…like it is sucking your face clean. lolDecember 30, 2017 at 7:35 pm #734595
All I can say is good luck, I am in the same boat and I know how awful it can be. I’m pushing 40 and the past year+ or so has just been awful in that I have started developing these HUGE whiteheads and HUGE red zits, mostly on my chin. I’ve never had anything like this in my life. I’ve been seeing a dermatologist and have tried 3 different products that all seemed to work great for a little while, until they didn’t (Tretinoin, Aczone, and a non-prescription clay mask Lerosett). Last visit my dermatologist said if all this still wasn’t working, the next step would be an antibiotic. I’m hesitant to try that (possible side effects, antibiotic resistance), so I actually made an appointment with my GP in a few days to discuss if there is any underlying medical reason this could be happening that I need to fix, like something in my diet, or maybe something hormonal (pre-menopause??). I’m really at my wit’s end – it’s frankly humiliating to be a grown-ass professional woman having to go to work with giant fucking whiteheads (or ginormous red mounds) on my face. You can’t hide them and you can’t pop the whiteheads without risking a scar, but they may still scar no matter what you do. I’m sitting here almost crying just thinking about it.
Side note: it’s criminal how expensive this shit is too. WITH INSURANCE, the Aczone was going to be over $500 for a small pump thing of it, and the Tretinoin was $100-200 (forget the exact number) for a small tube. I’ve had to learn to navigate alternate systems, like signing up for a manufacturer’s discount program so I can get the Aczone for “only” $75, or finding a local off-insurance pharmacy that could compound the Tretinoin themselves for “only” $79. FOR SMALL LITTLE TUBES OF ACNE CREAM. Plus the cost for all these dermatologist/doctor visits!January 4, 2018 at 10:28 am #734954
31 years old, have struggled with hormonal acne since I was about 19. I have tried retin-A, and my skin couldn’t tolerate it, even with adjusting the dosage, buffering with lotion, and building up slowly. I’ve done all the OTC salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide options, to mixed results. The thing that has made the BIGGEST difference in the overall appearance of my skin and reduction/prevention of cystic outbreaks has been Makeup Artist’s Choice mandelic acid products. I’ve used the toner, the 10% serum, and the 25% peel. The products are reasonably priced and, when used consistently, have made a night and day difference in my skin. Mandelic acid is gentler, and penetrates more slowly, than glycolic acid. It also has antimicrobial effects, which is helpful for acne. It is derived from bitter almonds, so may not be for those with a nut allergy. I swear by these products, for life.
I’ve also gotten good results with Alpha Hydrox and other glycolic acid products. There is a great (but intense) product by Replenix called ‘Gly-Sal 10-2’ pads, they are 10% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid, and do a great job with adult acne and aging if you want a step up from the old Stridex pads in the red box (red box Stridex pads also work really well for some people’s acne, especially because they are alcohol free).
The most recent thing I’ve added is drinking two cups of spearmint tea daily. I’ve not done it long enough to see results, but it works the same way spironalactone (Aldactone) works for acne, according to studies. Spironolactone is an oral medication, a potassium-sparing diuretic, most often prescribed to control high blood pressure and fluid retention caused by congestive heart failure, but it’s antiandrogen effects are very helpful when acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance, of PCOS. Because spironolactone lowers your blood pressure and can make your body hold onto potassium, you need to follow closely with your doctor. But a lot of people have found similar results on their acne by drinking spearmint tea; you can find reviews of the spearmint tea method online.
Hope this helps!January 4, 2018 at 6:31 pm #735006
Phew! SO many options! I have been on the medication and cream for almost 3 weeks now. I have noticed an improvement, firstly, my skin isn’t dry like it was with the retinol, so that is a huge relief! But most importantly, my breakouts have reduced, and if I get any whiteheads using the gel at night has it gone the next day. Regardless, I am seeing improvement, I still have redness and although my skin has smoothed out drastically, it has a bit more to go. I have also started whole30 this week. I thought I would give it a try and see if it helps my skin, but also my health overall. I have a trip at the end of the month, so hoping to look my best as well 😉
I also had the Aztec clay come in the mail this week, so will be using it weekly to help further clear my skin up.January 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm #735541
I’ve been using Tretinoin and really liked it, but my derm just had me switch to Differin, which is and OTC retin-A gel. I just got it, so I don’t know how well it works.
For cystic acne, I’ve been using Nexcare acne absorbing dots. They are these little hydrocolloid sticky bandages, and they suck up a lot of the pus inside. Super gross, but they work pretty well. I use them overnight, and sometimes have to do more than one night but the zits have usually subsided by the morning.