Acne advice - I'm fed up!

(70 Posts)
Romann Mon 24-Feb-14 04:27:32

Has anyone found a cure for acne? I'm 41 and fed up with spots.

I did a course of roaccutane about 15 years ago, which was ok but not a magic bullet. More recently I had good results over 3 years with spironolactone (Aldactone), but the problem returned a few months after I stopped taking the tablets, as was thinking of ttc.

I don't want to take the pill, even if not trying to ttc, as I have quite high stroke risk because of migraine. Basically I don't want to medicate at all really.

As far as I can tell, topical remedies aren't much use. I don't mind changing my diet, bit though I look better on no sugar, I still get spots. Dropping dairy makes no obvious difference. Clarisonic hasn't made a difference.

The sun works like a dream, but I don't want a load of wrinkles either!

What are other people's successful remedies?

fumanchu Mon 24-Feb-14 15:22:28

I have had acne since I was 11 and the only time I had good skin was while pregnant and for about a year after the babies were born. Now 53 and got a bad outbreak a few months ago. The best thing I have used is Aknicare - you get it mail order and if you google it you can see some promo stuff. It helps get rid of blackheads without scrubbing and doesn't dry out my skin. IMO most people don't understand what actually causes acne, and that it is not diet related.

Sillysarah49 Mon 24-Feb-14 19:15:46

Can I just ask those people who are using the Effeclar range - how long did it take to work. I bought the range this weekend and now have a huge spot on my chin. Could be coincidental or just getting used to new stuff.

DippyEggAndChips Mon 24-Feb-14 20:55:16

I tried Effaclar 'cos my skin was looking a bit blackheady and congested and I'm happy to say it helped! It did give me a few spots at first but after about two weeks I could really see a difference. It's been about a month now and my skin looks much clearer and the texture is better. I think you're supposed to switch to Effaclar K eventually but I don't have oily skin so...? Not sure what to do...

I recently had a bout of acne on my chest and back after being ill and it wouldn't shift. I read online that body acne can be due to malezzia (sp) and to use zinc soap. Couldn't find any but apparently Head and Shoulders worked the same. I figured for three quid it was worth a try - just used it to wash chest and back once or twice a day. A bit weird, but it worked!

CorusKate Mon 24-Feb-14 21:07:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Romann Mon 24-Feb-14 21:19:20

fumanchu doctors all say that acne is not diet related, but lots of people's experience is different. For me, giving up sugar has made my skin really soft and velvety - different enough for people to comment. Still get breakouts though. I'd happily give up any food group - or several - for perfect skin. I'm strictly off dairy at the moment for 2 weeks and will see what happens.

Pinkandwhite Mon 24-Feb-14 21:28:28

I had this treatment done: http://www.theprivateclinic.co.uk/treatments/skin/acne

It worked incredibly well for me.

My skin was a complete mess and I was two months away from my wedding so I was desperate. I also bought a range of products from the clinic (can't rememver the brand - sorry). My acne hasn't returned since and that was three years ago.

The treatment itself is called N-lite and plenty of places do it so shop around for the best price if you want to do it.

Romann Tue 25-Feb-14 03:53:12

Well I've got a product with the same active ingredient as hibiscrub (couldn't find any) and I've booked an appt at a skin salon that does lasers/peels etc in a week's time. I'm encouraged by the positive stories here so fingers crossed something will work for me.

annabamma Tue 25-Feb-14 03:59:40

I sympathise. Have been a sufferer for the best part of 20 years. Touch wood, it's pretty much under control these days. This is my 2p worth:

1.) Take zinc supplements. I take 50mg per day. (Disclaimer: this is above the RDA. I am not a doctor but have researched safe dosages and I am more than happy taking this amount - in fact a lot of people take higher doses than this - but please look into it yourself for your own peace of mind). You may find that the RDA is effective for you, or you may need to keep increasing until you find a dosage which works for you. Google "zinc for acne", you will find plenty of anecdotal evidence. Only trouble is, you have to keep taking it. If I stop for a week I start breaking out. Oh and don't take on an empty stomach - you will hurl.

2.) Be gentle with your skin. Acne-ridden skin is usually sensitive skin. Use a gentle cleanser designed for sensitive skin and don't go mad with the Clarisonic (or any form of manual exfoliation). Gentle exfoliation is good but going overboard will just aggravate matters. Avoid products containing alcohol and keep your skin moisturised. In my opinion the best on-the-spot treatment is Sudocrem - don't smother your face with it, just use a tiny dab and rub it in. It's not a miracle worker exactly but it's more effective than the 40+ other spot treatments I've tried over the years (including prescription ones).

3.) Use chemical exfoliants (AHAs/BHAs). This is what has made the biggest difference to me in terms of skincare. I would definitely recommend getting an exfoliating toner at the very least. Personally, ones containing salicylic acid seem to work best on me. Again, don't go mad - using them once a day is probably plenty. You can also buy cleansers and creams which contain these (Skin Doctors Gamma Hydroxy cream is excellent and doubles up as a moisturiser, definitely recommend that one). I have also had good results using moisturisers containing retinol. NB - both AHAs and retinol make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so they're best used at night and you need to take extra care with your sun protection.

Quick note re the Liz Earle cleanser - the main ingredient is cocoa butter which is a major acne trigger in most people. Better to avoid if you're prone. (I got through 3 bottles of the stuff before I realised this).

Best of luck, I hope it gets better soon.

Romann Tue 25-Feb-14 04:29:15

All very sensible Anna and I will pick up a bottle of zinc - it can't hurt to try!

CorusKate Tue 25-Feb-14 04:45:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Romann Tue 25-Feb-14 06:39:39

You're right. That's the thing about diet changes too: if you drop cows milk but start drinking almond milk, which you never had before, then what counts as the change?!

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 07:17:46

My Paris dermatologist is an acne specialist - she is the sort of doctor who leads lobbies to get the law changed on medicines - and she swears by "micro-doses" of Roaccutane. Both my DSSs have acne, the elder one really quite severe, and she deals with them by manually removing the contents of cysts (very few dermatologists will do this) and then giving them the micro-doses of Roaccutane. They also have all sorts of other medications. Anyway, if you want her name/number, PM me as she is really very interested in acne and does what it takes - albeit with medication - to cure it.

fooolofbeans Tue 25-Feb-14 08:55:34

Bonsoir, I'm unsure exactly what micro doses are but early teens I was prescribed 1mg/kg weight/day =60

Mg/day
for 4 months, my acme cleared but the side effects were harsh

It returned after a few years, after not wanting to go back on it I did the rounds of topical and oral antibiotics until I asked for a referral for a dermatologist

He was amazing, prescribed low dose for a long period, 20mg I think for 8 months, no side effects just clear non greasy skin which has remained for over 10years, I rarely get. Spot now and am a massive proponent of use of roaccutane in this way

Sorry for crappy formatting, I'm on my phone

Hope this helps OP

Standinginline Tue 25-Feb-14 09:05:15

Look up Oil Cleansing Method. I tried this and it definitely worked BUT after a while found it quite drying.

Also, I know you said no pills but I found Cod Liver Oil worked wonders as well smile

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 09:34:39

fooolofbeans - it sounds like something similar. I cannot remember off the top of my head but I seem to remember (because I went with DSS1 to his first consultation) that my dermatologist talked about 1/6 of standard Roaccutane dosage. What she prescribes is in fact still illegal in France (!) but she gets away with it because she is an active researcher.

DSS1 doesn't have any side effects.

Samu2 Tue 25-Feb-14 09:52:58

The only thing that works for me is antibiotics sad

I have tried everything. The La Roche Posay products do help somewhat though, so for people without cystic acne might find them great.

I had acne when I was a teen and it went for a few years. Strangely enough it came back when I quit smoking. I know a side effect off quitting is acne for a while but mine never actually stopped and then resulted in cystic spots leading to scarring.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 09:57:49

There's nothing wrong with antibiotics! I have had a course of antibiotics for skin issues several times in my life and I have always had amazing skin afterwards - the antibiotics not only zap the problem I consulted my dermatologist about, but all the other little problems too.

princessalbert Tue 25-Feb-14 10:08:13

I can take the antibiotics for as long as I feel I need to (according to the derm).

BUT they don't fix the oiliness. Which may keep me looking less dried out at my age, but I can't stand the feel of it.

ListenToTheLady Tue 25-Feb-14 11:07:01

I second Duac, which the GP can prescribe for you. It's a combination of antibiotic cream and skin-drying chemicals and I thought it would be awful for my sensitive skin (because I can't use things like OXY and clearasil as they are too harsh) – but it's been fine.

I also use a garnier pure active anti-spot moisturizer and a gentle scrub from the same range, superdrug hot cloth cleanser, and witch anti-spot primer if I'm wearing make-up.

In a few months I've gone from having anything from 20-50 spots on my face (in various stages of developing/healing) at any one time, to getting one or two per month. I am sooo happy (I'm 44 and have had this bastard acne since being a teenager!) I'm going to report back to the GP soon and proudly go with no make-up on at all to show her.

Diet has never made a difference for me btw. The only thing that helped was being pregnant.

princessalbert Tue 25-Feb-14 11:17:11

listen - that is an impressive result for you.

It does suck doesn't it having this shit to deal with when we should only be concerned with wrinkles and grey hair.

newlifeforme Tue 25-Feb-14 11:22:42

What areas of your face do you get the spots? I seem to have finally managed to calm my skin after many years of outbreaks. For me it's hormonal and stress and mostly around the chin area (check out acne face mapping for symptoms). I now treat my skin as highly sensitive and only use very gentle products I have been fine with Liz Earle however.

As the breakouts are hormonal I have tried Vit B6 and Magnesium which seems to very effective. I ran out of VitB recently and had a minor outbreak! Also second Sudocreme or Metanium - can be really effective at reducing the redness.

ListenToTheLady Tue 25-Feb-14 11:57:53

I know princess, it's really annoying. On occasion I have had a spot in a wrinkle. Lovely.

Romann Tue 25-Feb-14 11:58:35

For me it's mostly cheeks and chin. I also get little lumps around the jawline. To be fair, I think the clarisonic has got rid of the blackheads on my chin and nose, so that's an improvement. But there seem to be loads of teeny bumps under my cheek skin all the time, and some inflamed spots. I get the occasional really big one that scars and others less dramatic but which hang around for ages.

I'm not going back to roaccutane, it just wasn't effective enough to be worth the side effects.

Antibiotics have never worked for me, and topical creams not really either (I think I've tried most of what's been suggested.

OCM made my skin much worse, and I did try different oils and combos. I'm using cetaphil now which I don't love but it's ok.

I take a multivitamin already and also magnesium. I don't mind adding something, but I doubt I'm deficient in much as eat loads of veg, fish and meat.

Romann Tue 25-Feb-14 11:59:37

Bonsoir I'd love to see your derm, but it would be a big trip from Canberra!

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 12:01:32

Maybe you can find a dermatologist in Canberra who does micro-doses of Roaccutane? I swear the DSSs have not had side effects.

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