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Bad skin support thread, anyone?

(69 Posts)
Curtsey Wed 30-Jan-13 23:13:43

I see there are others who frequent S&B who have the same issues I have: general ugh-ness of skin, moderate acne, oiliness, occasional cysts, sensitive skin that's prone to redness and inflammation; the list goes on. Perhaps I am not the only one who has just been trudging on with it for years? Skin's never quite bad enough to get ultra-serious and spendy about, but have probably spent a fortune over about 15 years with this or that fiddly product.

I am getting married in May. I want my skin to be clear for it, or at least, better than it is right now. I am reluctant to go to the GP with this as I know I'll be fobbed off because my skin 'isn't bad enough'. I don't want to go on the Pill, and I don't want to take Roaccutane or antibiotics. (Plus, you have to pay for GP fees in the country I live in.) Here's what I know does help: sunlight (non-existant in the country I live in sad), loads of water, no caffeine, no sugar, strict veg-heavy diet. Willpower, essentially.

So, if anyone would like to join me on a skin-clearing diet, sign in here!

TinyDiamond Thu 31-Jan-13 22:43:11

yes me! back properly tomorrow

AmandaCooper Thu 31-Jan-13 22:45:09

Why not roaccutane? Granted it's pretty horrible but it completely sorted my skin out.

PoppyWearer Thu 31-Jan-13 22:49:14

Best thing I ever did was see a dermatologist. She confirmed my spots are hormonal, not diet. If I'm on the pill or pregnant/breast feeding my skin is great - what about you OP?

Dermatologist recommended a great face wash containing salycic (sp?) acid which was brilliant when my spots were bad.

She also prescribed a Retin-A gel which worked wonders too, but not for you if you are ttc, pregnant or bf'ing.

Curtsey Fri 01-Feb-13 10:16:12

Tiny - you'll be welcome!
Amanda, I'm breastfeeding and I assumed it's not compatible.
Poppy, I think my skin has been marginally better while I've been pregnant and breastfeeding. I wouldn't say it's been great, but it's been manageable. But during that time I've also been taking a multivitamin and switched to OCM, and it could be that, either! I have tried face washes and gels in the past but they don't seem to suit. They strip my skin and leave it raw and worse than ever. Minimal interference seems to work better for me. I will try to get a dermatologist appt. at some time in the future; right now, I don't really have the spare cash or time to pay for both the GP referral appointment that'd be required, and the consultation (&any follow-ups) itself.

I bought some 'hormonal balance' vitamins yesterday - a blend of fish oil, starflower oil and evening primrose oil. Hoping it can't hurt!

Bluebell99 Fri 01-Feb-13 10:45:32

I have just had good results with differin on prescription from my gp. I have been using it for about six months and skin is mostly clear.I alternate with panoxyl in mornings, differin at night.

Mrsap Fri 01-Feb-13 11:15:46

Probably not what u want to hear but I've had similar skin a my life, until I but the bullet and got a dermatologist referral.

Not looked back since. Skin is now fab, spot free, no oiliness, make up stay put all day.

Wish I'd gone to dr years ago!

Good luck with it all tho. Bad skin is horrible.

lurkingaround Fri 01-Feb-13 11:55:41

I second what Mrsap says. A lifelong sufferer here. Spent a fortune on nonsense and faffed about for years. While you may think it's expensive initially, in the long run, letting a deramatologist take care of and manage my skin was the cheapest thing I ever did. (I also have to pay where I live)

No, you can't take Roaccutane while breastfeeding but there's lots more you a dermatologist can do for you.

My skin has never looked better, I spend feck all on it these days, and I even look younger (thanks to the fantastic care and advice from the dermatologist).

Curtsey Fri 01-Feb-13 15:37:49

Thank you, folks. No, am happy to hear all advice and experience! May I ask those of who who've seen good results on precscription stuff how long you've been clear for? I've heard many people say that unfortunately they get a good 6 months or a year and then it all goes tits up again for some reason.

peachypips Fri 01-Feb-13 15:43:54

What did the dermatologists actually do? Or prescribe? I'm 34, still have hormonal spots, eczema, dry skin, oily skin (?!) lumpy skin etc.

Charliefox Fri 01-Feb-13 16:55:32

I developed terrible skin aged about 30. Had gorgeous skin up until that point. Have tried everything under the sun but not much helps. I've been on antibiotics for the last 8 or so years. It's the only thing that keeps it under control. Have come off them a couple of times, just to see what happens, and my skin just flares up with painful, cystic acne. It's taken me a long time to figure out that the less I do to it, the better it is. Any fiddling or interference of any kind (creams, facials etc) just inflames it even more. Its such a depressing condition to have. Ageing skin AND spots just seems so unfair sad

Jemster Fri 01-Feb-13 17:46:37

At the risk of sounding stupid when does a spot on face become a cyst? My ds has one on his cheek, it started like a small spot but gp said is a cyst and we are going to see a dermatologist. I'm a bit worried what treatment they will give as he's only 5.

QuinnFabray Fri 01-Feb-13 18:04:55

A no sugar diet absolutely helps my skin. I am a bit hormonal, but if I cut out sugar, my skin is so much clearer, less oily, less congested, also younger looking. It's so hard to stick to though.

Another thing that's helped, after years of spending money on hundreds of different things is salicylic acid. Whilst my skin is still quite oily, it's a lot less congested, is clearer and brighter, and I only very rarely get spots any more. Almost never. I used to breakout quite badly every month, and now I don't.

I mostly use La Roche-Posay Effaclar astringent lotion ( toner ) and Efflaclar Duo or Efflaclar K ( Efflaclar K seems to work better for me ). I also do Salicylic acid peels from Bravura, at home, when I feel I need to. I want to check out the Neutrogena range though, as that's supposed to be good, and is cheaper.

My skin isn't perfect, but I'm 37, ageing, and have a fair number of scars etc It's ten times better than it used to be though.

GrendelsMum Fri 01-Feb-13 19:53:11

I had terrible, terrible skin until I went to see a dermatologist, who put me on the pill - I think it was Dianette. And then it just gradually got better, and then stayed permanently better, except for a nasty side effect of a particular medicine I had to take for a short while. I was particularly upset about it because it was not that long before my wedding, but my lovely GP somehow convinced me that it didn't matter, and as it turned out, it didn't.

And now I don't have spots at all, and I don't really bother with makeup, and it's great. (Well, I currently have one freak spot, but you know what I mean.)

Curtsey Fri 01-Feb-13 20:35:47

I was on Dianette a few years ago, GrendelsMum, for maybe 2-3 years in total. It was miraculous. My skin and I loved it. But as far as I understand it's not frequently prescribed these days because it's quite strong and you're not supposed to stay on it longterm. How long did you take it for?

Charliefox, I totally understand how you feel! So you still take antibiotics every day then?

ErrorError Fri 01-Feb-13 20:54:40

My skin was fine up until I got the contraceptive implant (Implanon) 2 years ago. I love having no PMS etc, but the state of my skin is really wearing me down. I have a very oily t-zone and often get horrible teenage breakouts (I'm 27!) It's not as bad as full blown acne so I feel I can't go to my GP, I think they'd just tell me to change my diet, but I eat healthily and drink lots of water, so I'm not sure what else to do. Like others here, I have tried every lotion and potion going. Currently I'm using a Neutrogena daily face wash, and once or twice a week I use the Vitamin C microdermabrasion scrub instead (from The Body Shop.) I don't want to have the implant removed but I do want my skin to clear up! Argh!

GrendelsMum Fri 01-Feb-13 21:14:02

Curtsey - a GP friend did repeat prescriptions of Dianette for me for several years. I was on it longer than they would normally prescribe it for, as when they tried moving me off it onto something else I had various nasty side-effects that I hadn't had with Dianette. Finally I moved off it onto something which wasn't nearly as strong but that still had some anti-acne benefits, and I think the gradual move worked.

Charliefox Fri 01-Feb-13 21:33:12

Jemster - I can get normal spots. They typically come to a head, literally! I mostly get cystic type spots though, which are hard, painful lumps under the skin that typically don't come to a head but hang around for weeks on end. If you give in to the urge and squeeze them, holy cow, does it hurt and it achieves nothing other than inflaming them even further.

Curtesy - yes, I take oxytetracycline every day.

Quinn - I think a sugar free diet may help but I'm not sure if I can / want to give it up and police my diet to such an extent.

lurkingaround Fri 01-Feb-13 21:38:26

Error your implanon is most likely causing your acne. Implanon is a progesterone-only contraceptive and a real no-no for acne sufferers. My dermatologist advised me that even the Mirena coil which has a tiny amount of progesterone was a no-go for me. Sorry, but you may well suffer from acne as long as the implant is there. Topical stuff from your GP might help. Try this and see.

Jemster Fri 01-Feb-13 21:40:08

Thank you Charliefox, that does sound like my son's although he never complains that it hurts unless someone in his class touches it! How on earth do you get rid of them then? Do they eventually just go on their own? He has had his since before xmas, hence the gp now sending us to see a dermatologist. Poor thing, his face is so perfect and fresh otherwise.

lurkingaround Fri 01-Feb-13 21:41:27

Oh and for anyone with acne, watch your dairy intake, explained why here, and reduce fruit intake, fruit sugars (or acids, can't rem which) are pro-inflammatory.

catsandmouses Fri 01-Feb-13 21:53:21

My skin wasn't terrible, but had lots of small blackheads which I felt the need to squeeze on a regular basis.

For the last month I've been washing with Neutrogena spot stress control daily scrub (morning and night) and moisturinsing with the ultra light treatment moisturiser from the same range.

There has been a gradual, but definite, improvement and I will continue with these products as they are clearing my blackheads, leaving my skin soft and smooth and don't dry my skin (except a little bit around my nose). smile

I believe they contain salicylic acid.

Charliefox Fri 01-Feb-13 22:12:04

Blimey, if I eliminate sugar AND dairy, I'd have to eat some of that 'healthy food' <boak>

TinyDiamond Fri 01-Feb-13 22:58:56

I'm 25 and I've suffered with acne since I was 11. Really badly. It goes through phases of how bad it is and currently it isn't so extreme but I still hate, hate, hate it. I have tried many treatments including several antibiotics and topical treatments. None of which make a huge difference. I have pcos so mine is hormonal. My skin is also v greasy and I have to wash my hair every day.
The only thing that has ever helped my skin is dianette. I was on it for years and after about 9 months it cleared my skin totally. As others have said you are not meant to be on it as long as I was. The only reason I was is that it was during uni and I moved around alot so saw several doctors so nobody noticed.
I am on it again now but have only been allowed a 6 month script of it to clear my skin up and it hasn't really worked yet, I'm
On the last pack, although I have seen some improvement.
I am getting married in 6 months so want it sorting for then and need a plan that I can put into action.

I was considering peels, dermabrasion etc, light treatment? Can anyone tell me about any of these? Money is an issue, in that I have little. But am willing to save up if it's likely to work!

Has anyone tried lumie? I was thinking of buying one.

I eat relatively well but I do love alcohol and hidden sugars

TinyDiamond Fri 01-Feb-13 22:59:22

I also gave up dairy for an entire year. It made no difference for me

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