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

(48 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.

montage Tue 12-Feb-13 20:47:52

Things that I found helped were : going on the pill (can't remember which one was specifically helpful but the GP knew) and now using Johnsons clean and clear lotion twice a day - nothing else. A friend was put on low dose oral antibiotics which also helped.

I've been on anti biotics for mine, it was working wonderfully for me but sadly it's given me reflux laryngytis so I've stopped taking them.
I have recently found la Roche-posay effaclar a.I targeted break out corrector which actually dries spots up, nothing I've tried before has had this effect!

Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 20:59:24

Thank you both. I have tried the pill and antibiotics, both made things worse.
Any products like Clean and Clear or Clearasil just irritate!

I'm a lost cause, obviously!

BabyRoger Tue 12-Feb-13 21:00:20

The only thing that worked for me was roaccutane. It worked very well after years and years of acne.

bonzo77 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:04:04

Roaccutane. Really the only thing for adult acne. Needs to be prescribed by a dermatologist so you need a referral. Changed my life. 6 months treatment 15 years ago and really almost perfect skin since. I also recommend being very kind and gentle to your skin, treat it as "sensitive" rather than oily/ spotty.

Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 21:08:22

I've heard about Roaccutane, but not necessarily good things....

havingastress Tue 12-Feb-13 21:09:22

Another one for Roaccutane. I've had two courses now (over the last 12 years).

I know some people worry about the depression it can cause, but frankly, if your acne is that bad, you will not be depressed on it - you'll be elated watching the acne clear up!

I do think though that's why you have to be referred and you have to be bad really to be put on it. You need the dermatologist to agree it's bad, and it's not just you who thinks it's bad (if that makes sense)

Also try Proactiv. Bloody amazing stuff. In fact, I'd try this first, before the Roaccutane. You might just find it works for you, without whacking the heavy drug into the system (pretty sure it's ruined my liver, and I'm not joking). But defo use this AFTER the roaccutane if you get minor eruptions.

Seriously. The rest of it is just rubbish and won't make any difference at all to your skin. I know. I tried it all. In fact, I knew more than the GP!!! You need to clear your acne from the inside. Creams/lotions/potions just dust the top, doesn't stop it all brewing up underneath.

havingastress Tue 12-Feb-13 21:13:46

Ok. Bad points about Roaccutane:

It can cause depression.
Erm. You are depressed. You think you're ugly, your face is painful, you hide yourself..shall I go on? Seriously. Roaccutane will only cheer you up once you start noticing your acne disappearing. grin

It gives you bleeding lips and bleeding nose.
Yep. It can do. It did to me. However. Balanced this with..oh look, my skin is clearing up. grin

It can wreck your liver.
Umm. Yes. Can't defend this one. Mine isn't right since. I just don't drink now hardly to make up for it.

It makes your joints ache.
Not for me it didn't, but again, oh look, your acne is clearing up grin

PM me if you want more info. I can only share my two experiences on it. I do know someone though who went on it, and frankly, in my opinion, only had spots, not cystic, painful, ugly, defacing acne like I had. I don't think they should have been given it. They really did suffer badly mentally on it. So I don't want to just dismiss the mental side effects it obviously can have. However, when you have suffered for years and had disfiguring acne, I really believe the pros outweigh the cons.


BabyRoger Tue 12-Feb-13 21:15:07

See a dermatologist. They will talk about roaccutane with you. I had not one single side effect from it - except that after one course my skin was completely clear.

thehumanegg Tue 12-Feb-13 21:21:40

Not a cure but I've found that paulas choice the best for non gimmiky stuff thats science based. Sorry if you've already tried that as you mention american products (available here but sadly more expensive). No magic bullet at all though I too have tried everything to find that! but I do feel it is the best at helping my skin function more normally whilst protecting the barrier unlike most acne products which as you say can make things worse.

Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 21:23:26

havingastress - yes, I agree you have to treat it from within. My acne is completely hormonal and I've started taking Vitamin B complex again. I say again as I have tried this before along with evening primrose oil which are obviously well known to help with pre-menstrual symptoms. It didn't help 10 years ago but I thought being older it may help now...

I've tried Proactiv. It was on offer in Boots, but after time it just irritated.

To be honest, I haven't been to my doctor regarding my acne for many years as I never feel they're particulary interested but I do feel it's most probably getting to be my only option, and yes, I'm sure my acne is probably considered relatively moderate compaired to some peoples. My DS have never paid any attention to it before, me having had it all his life, but he has referred to it several times, which makes me think it has got worse.

Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 21:26:10

havingastress - smile to second post!

Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 21:29:38

thehumanegg - No, I've not heard of Paula's Choice. The product I used from America (10 years ago) was very high is Benzoyl Peroxide, which back then, you couldn't get products with BP in. Not over the counter anyway.

banterbus Tue 12-Feb-13 21:34:20

No advice but I can sympathise with everything you've said in your post. So watching with interest to see if there is anything I haven't tried!

Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 21:37:30

banterbus - sometimes it's just a comfort to know you're not the only isn't it?
Nobody else I know (that's over 25) has the same problem.
It's very isolating.

LoganMummy Tue 12-Feb-13 21:39:29

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I became so desperate. After listening to a radio programme I went to see an acne specialist called Elaine Mummery. She really made a difference. Worth doing a google search.

banterbus Tue 12-Feb-13 21:42:51

chucky- yes it is a comfort. Its hard to talk to people in RL about it and I try to cover it up as best as I can. But it's severe on my back and chest too so I spend most of the year in polo necks! Seriously considering putting TTC on hold to try roaccutane but not sure how I'd explain that one to DH

AKissIsNotAContract Tue 12-Feb-13 21:43:03

I tried everything. The only thing that worked for me was Roaccutane. I know you hear some off putting stories about it but taking it was the best thing I ever did.

banterbus Tue 12-Feb-13 21:47:20

How long do you have to take roaccutane for? And does the skin then stay clear forever? It just sounds to good to be true after I've tried so many things with little effect.

Chuckymuffin Tue 12-Feb-13 21:53:18

Yes banterbus, I've worried about that too. I'm not TTC but worry like hell if I did get pregnant, plus, my skin is really bad when Pregnant so would worry if I got pregnant after taking Roaccutane my acne would come back anyway!!

LoganMummy - have just googled Elaine Mummery. She sounds very interesting....

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.

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.
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.

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.

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
And Vit B supplements (some people recommend high dose Pantothenic Acid, which is Vit B5, I think).

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