Adult acne - please help (if you can)....

(46 Posts)
Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 20:42:02

... I'm 35 yrs old and have suffered from hormonal acne since I was in my early twentys, getting to extreme levels when I was pregnant with DS (5).
I've tried everything, and please believe me when I say EVERYTHING - laser treatment, topical from doctors (creams/lotions), diet change (cutting out dairy/wheat), honey/lemon face masks, toothpaste, herbal remedies, herbal teas, soap and water, Dermalogica/any expensive products, products from America.... blah blah blah, the list (and money spent) is endless. Nothing has ever helped and even sometimes made my ugly, red, inflamed, painful spots, even worse.

I have no idea where to go from here. It's making me so miserable and down. I feel so ugly, and not only that, it's just so painful all the time. I don't wear make up because I always feel it makes it worse, but then I feel awful going out with my skin so bad.

I could go on but will spare you all by stopping there.

Thank you in advance for any words of wisdom/advice.

tywysogesgymraeg Wed 04-Sep-13 10:17:23

My skin was incredibly dry and flaky while taking Roaccutane, but I kept slapping on some rich moisturiser, and it was liveable with for the end result. It was only temporary, while I took the tablets - improved immediately I stopped them. It was 10 years ago, and like everyone else my skin is next to perfect.

If your GP won't refer you, do you have the funds to see a dermatologist privately? It would be worth it IMO to remove the angst, depression, lack of confidence etc that acne can cause.

banterbus Mon 02-Sep-13 21:33:05

I have had some effects but overall the benefit hugely outweighed the negatives. I have suffered with very dry lips which crack but I can keep it mostly at bay by applying vaseline several times a day.

My nose has been very dry on the insides and I have had to pick my nose 10 times more than usual!

Whatever you do do not wax while taking roaccutane. I stupidly had my eyebrows waxed and it was so painful and it took away layers of my skin. I had a bright red monobrow for a week!

Other than that I've felt no different. Before I would experience more pain/inconvenience from huge spots so this has been a walk in the park!

I NEED something too. But I can't have roaccutane (wonderful though it is). What is the next best thing?

I find for emergencies (job interview the next day etc) then covering my face (and back and chest and neck) in neat tea tree oil has an amazing effect the following day (After a long shower) but if I repeat it after a couple of nights my skin is used to it and it doesn't work any more.

elQuintoConyo Mon 02-Sep-13 21:17:03

Just found this thread in active! Thanks for posting back, banterbus I too have dreadful skin and have been wavering over roaccutane. Did you have any side effects? A friend took a course of it years ago (about 15 years ago) and got very flakey skin, including dandruff, as all the skin flew off - that put me off a bit! Did you experience that?

Glad you had a lovely tutleneck-free summer smile

tywysogesgymraeg Mon 02-Sep-13 21:07:36

The only thing that worked for me was Roaccutane. Don't believe all the bad things you hear about it. It changed my life (at least you should believe them, but the drug works wonders, and bad effects are rarer than we are led to believe).

banterbus Mon 02-Sep-13 21:04:55

It's been a while since I wrote in this thread but I thought I'd give an update. This conversation just about changed my life so thanks chuckymuffin! I went to my gp and asked to be referred to a derm which he did. There was a delay when the referral got lost in the post...

Long story short I'm nearly at the end of a 16 week course of roaccutane and my skin has completely cleared up. Even the texture/scarring has significantly improved and I now NEVER get spots.


This summer has been the first time since I was 11 that I have been able to truly relax and not think about making excuses for why I'm not going swimming, or why I'm wearing a sleeved top on the beach!

grin
My only regret is that I didnt ask for a referral sooner.

clattypatty Wed 13-Mar-13 02:25:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Titchyboomboom Wed 13-Mar-13 01:22:15

My acne cleared a little when I started the 5:2 diet

Andcake Thu 07-Mar-13 19:29:56

Not a total cure but b complex helped a bit but had to have a strong dose so either h&b b50 or b100. Mines definitely hormonal. Worse in second half of cycle. Bad in early pregnancy then perfect from 2nd tri then throughout bf.

Chuckymuffin Sun 17-Feb-13 20:41:20

I've now gone back to using Simple facial gel and vitamin E oil, which makes my hair greasy but that's better than dry flakey skin and bleached clothing from benzoyl peroxide gel hmm

After reading lots of posts I think my acne probably isn't as bad as some, I don't have it on my back or shoulders, but my acne is very cystic and so painful. I can't bear to look in the mirror at times. Nobody that has not experienced acne can know how that feels.

I am going to go to see my doctor and see if she thinks I'm worth sending to a dermatologist.

Fingers crossed...

expectingno2 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:49:02

I feel your pain. I have just started with witch hazel and tea tree toner and spot wand from boots and that is def helping. I was using benzoyl peroxide and was getting sore and the boots stuff has def calmed my skin down

AmandaCooper Wed 13-Feb-13 20:42:21

banterbus I found I had to try everything else first before I got the referral to the consultant dermatologist for roaccutane, so yes you do have to be persistent - and then there's the wait for the appointment. But it's worth it.

Thewhingingdefective Wed 13-Feb-13 13:14:30

I am like you ChuckyMuffin. Same age and have had acne for more than twenty years. It is a little better than it used to be but my back, neck and shoulders are scarred from me picking. I wear polo necks a lot.

The only things that have really helped me were being pg (but the acne returned after) and going abroad - the sun and sea really cleared it up.

I spent most of my teens and early twenties on different BCPs or ABs, with fairly poor results.

I really think I will have acne all my life.

havingastress Wed 13-Feb-13 13:00:56

Banterbus - Go for the 100th time and ask for a referral.

It usually takes about 2 months to start making a difference, but it can vary from person to person.

re. pregnancy, you have to sign to prove you are on proper contraception, and from what I can remember, if you were to get pregnant, you have to abort. That is because of the severe birth defects it could cause.

I think you have to wait min 6 months after taking it for the drug to get out of your system before getting pregnant.

Anyone who hasn't suffered with acne really doesn't understand the mental pain and anguish it can cause. Get some roaccutane and change your life. smile

Lostonthemoors Tue 12-Feb-13 22:19:54

Definitely see a dermatologist. My dsis had terrible skin problems and kept getting incorrect diagnoses from gps. She then saw a dermatologist and got diagnosed with rosacia and is so much better now after antibiotics.

banterbus Tue 12-Feb-13 22:13:25

This is really helpful to see everyones comments re: Roaccutane. Might give me the strength to go and see the doctor for what feels like the 100th time about my skin.

LaurenLaverne Tue 12-Feb-13 22:12:13

I agree with Glimmerberry, I had great success with that acne.org website. It recommends benzyl peroxide cream, but with very gentle face washing and moisturizing.
My acne wasnt terrible but it was v persistent/hormonal/cystic. I had tried lots of things, including creams which had benzyl peroxide. They seemed to make my face dry and flaky. This doesnt happen with the stuff im using now.
Maybe worth a try before going for the Roaccutaine? Good Luck smile

banterbus Tue 12-Feb-13 22:11:03

Glimmerberry- I found that worked better than anything else for me but I found it fairly expensive, and had to pay a custom charge once so didn't order the products again. Plus the issue with the BP bleaching everything in sight :-(

I took Roaccutane for 3 or 4 months (can't remember exactly as it was 5 years ago) in those 5 years since I've had less that 5 spots (not 5 outbreaks, 5 spots)for me the transformation has been amazing but it's not the same for everyone.

BabyRoger Tue 12-Feb-13 22:08:07

Just re the roaccutane and pregnancy. I took roaccutane 10 years ago. I had one course, I wasn't on it long. Can't remember exactly but only a couple of months or so.

It cleared it completely. I have had two children since then and no recurrence at all.

Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 22:05:43

banterbus - yes, I have many stained clothes and bedding!! Sudocream and Germoline are good for a short time.

Blimmer - I've recently looked at Pantothenic Acid.

Glimmerberry Tue 12-Feb-13 22:01:38

I've found the simplest, cheapest things work best (after spending a fortune on everything else).

The Regimen http://www.acne.org/regimen.html
Freederm
And Vit B supplements (some people recommend high dose Pantothenic Acid, which is Vit B5, I think).

banterbus Tue 12-Feb-13 21:59:23

Well things that have worked in part for me, in case this helps anyone else... mario badescu aha shower gel, mario badescu spot treatment dries up whiteheads overnight, its like a pink chalky thing in a bottle. Also putting loads of 2.5% benxoyl peroxide does help but gives me dry itchy skin and bleaches my clothes and bedsheets!
And sudocream left on overnight and gently exfoliated off in the morning helps to take some of the redness out.
Hope that helps.

thehumanegg Tue 12-Feb-13 21:56:24

Like I say - not a cure for when I've huge flareups but I do trust it to be doing something good for my skin.
http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/acne/_/all-about-acne
Mine only seems moderate as is sometimes clear but have had it for 20 years - it does really p**s you off after a bit doesn't it - especially with pit marks over the years.
Hope you do find your magic bullet.

AmandaCooper Tue 12-Feb-13 21:54:31

Roaccutane. I suffered nose bleeds and cracked lips throughout the course but my goodness was it worth it. It took two courses but it cleared my skin up permanently.

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