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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!

Curtsey Wed 20-Feb-13 10:27:22

Thanks, Grendels (love your name btw). And cheers to everyone on this thread who has shared their experience! While I do think that sugar and white carbs help nobody's skin, at the end of the day, my diet really is pretty good and it's just depressing at my age to be obessing over allowing myself one cup of tea or coffee a day for fear I'm ruining my skin. And I'm fairly confident about the gentle products I'm now using - the days of using harsh facial washes etc. are long gone. The problem is hormonal, it always has been. So, yeah, I just need a little break really, and then we can see how it looks after 6 months. Impatient to get going but I'll have to wait a few weeks yet while I'm weaning DD and until next AF arrives!

GrendelsMum Tue 19-Feb-13 21:14:19

That's brilliant! Very glad to hear it. Maybe after the Dianette has cleared it out of your system she could move you onto something that will help keep it under control.

Curtsey Tue 19-Feb-13 21:03:17


So, I went to the GP today and we discussed it and I'm going to go back on Dianette for 6 months. She was totally happy to prescribe it, and said that maybe I just need a short burst of it to help really clear out the acne. I don't really think that it's a permanent solution at all but at the end of the day I don't want to get pregnant anytime this year and I also know that Dianette works for me. I just want a break from hating looking in the mirror!

I feel so much happier already - except the only thing is I do need to wean DD off the boob before I start it as she said it gets into the breastmilk. I was going to be doing that anyway over the next month or so so in a way it's kind of made the decision for me. Would really encourage anyone who's dithering about a GP appointment to just go do it! I also got a prescription for another niggling thing that I'd been putting off, so just feel better all round smile

hatcam Thu 14-Feb-13 21:36:13

Hi shrimponastick - firstly sympathies, spots before a big do are rubbish and annoying. Not sure that roaccutane is always the answer - it can cause terrible side effects and not always achieve the results you want. You might have better luck at a private derm as they may look more at the whole picture - all the the things you're putting on your skin - and also sometimes have a better range of products they can recommend. Hope it works out.

shrimponastick Thu 14-Feb-13 16:53:29

Following the post about seeing a private derm I have googled a few local to myself also.

I went to see the NHS derm last year as I wanted to go on Roaccutane. Having spent over 30 years with oily skin and acne, I am getting a bit fed up smile

The NHS derm didn't deem my skin bad enough for the roaccutane, which is why I am on the trimethoprim and differin gel. However it is't perfect- I have two lovely spots on my chin today ( and am going to a wedding tomorrow grrr...). It is just so darn oily. It feels dirty ):

I wonder if I would have more joy persuading a private d;erm to prescribe roaccutane. I read on forums about older women taking a low dose to manage similar skin to mine. But I think they are mostly in the USA - hence it all gets paid for - rather than NHS where money is tight.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 14-Feb-13 16:35:04

I've just ordered a retin a cream off amazon. It's 0.025% which I thought was a good strength to start with then I could move up to 0.05 then 0.1 if needed.

daylily Thu 14-Feb-13 15:53:30

Hatcam can you give a ball park figure for a consultation with the dermatologist?
Thanks PM if you prefer.

hatcam Wed 13-Feb-13 22:35:36

Forwardscatter I would very much recommend the dr I mentioned earlier - Dr Sam Bunting, she has a clinic in Harley Street. Easy to look her up but I will pm you with her number.

Like I said earlier, it's not cheap, but I feel I'm getting really good value for money as I'm not endlessly trying different products which can get really expensive. I dread to think what I've spent over the years. My routine is straightforward and touch wood, my skin is better than it's ever been. Shock horror, I went out with no make up the other day. This is unheard of for me! Not since about 1985.

Forwardscatter Wed 13-Feb-13 19:27:39

I can just about afford to see someone privately and in all honesty I'm impatient.. So I'd prefer to go down that route.


shrimponastick Wed 13-Feb-13 19:18:14

Can you go through gp first. See an nhs derm, and if no joy then go private?

Not in London area, so no advice on that sorry.

Forwardscatter Wed 13-Feb-13 19:16:42

Can anyone recommend a good dermatologist in London? The time has come - I look so crap these days.

shrimponastick Mon 11-Feb-13 20:28:54

I am in the bad skin gang too.

I guess by 45 I thought it would have cleared up, but no....

After years of various contraceptive pills, the winner for perfectly clear, non oily skin was Dianette. However had to stop it due to discovering a blood ckotting disorder.

Gp referred me to the derm (nhs) who px differin gel, and said I could try trimethoprim long term.

Have been using the Differin for almost a year now. It does make my skin look fresher. The anti biotics seen to keep any eruptions small, and they clear within a day.

Am going for a check up blood test tomorrow to ensure that my body is ok to keep up the trimethoprim.

The derm said it was the most effective treatment, other than roaccutane.

Still bloody oily though.

Chiggers Sun 10-Feb-13 17:59:58

Have any of you tried egg white and ground cloves face mask?

I mixed the egg white with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves and my skin was less inflamed and soft as a baby's bum. It makes the face tingle a bit, but I just waited until the tingling stopped, waited about 5-10mins after and washed off. I was shocked at how 2 simple store-cupboard ingredients could make such a difference.

One warning about cloves.....Do not use clove oil neat on your face. I, stupidly, did it to see what effect it had. Believe me, it wasn't nice grin. I had to go splash freezing cold water to take the sting out of it. I must remind myself never to do that again grin. Have to say that it wasn't one of my better judgements in life wink.

GrendelsMum Sun 10-Feb-13 14:42:19

Unfortunately I can't remember which pill it was - it did the job and my skin's been clear ever since. I suddenly realised that all my expensive cleansers made absolutely no difference and stopped using them all together.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 10-Feb-13 14:32:15

Well I've bought some lemons so I will use the juice as a toner later.

TheWombat Sun 10-Feb-13 14:09:15

Hi there JumpingHoops <crappy skin fist bump> I'm really glad to hear that you've had success with the Dermalogica special cleansing gel as I've just invested in that! I agree with you about Alpha H products - lovely and not all cloggy on congested areas. I'm really liking the Alpha H vitamin C serum - I've used it for about 3 days now and although it's early days, my skin does look brighter in the morning.

I have gone and bought the Lumie clear and will use it religiously every night and report back. Apparently it takes about 3 weeks before results occur so I will have to try and be patient...

TinyDiamond Sat 09-Feb-13 18:49:37

Which pill was that then?

GrendelsMum Sat 09-Feb-13 17:56:38

Just want to say to everyone that if you haven't been to see your doctor about recurring spots, it's cheaper and potentially much more effective than spending money on cleansing products, if the problem's hormonal. The pill she switched me onto that isn't Dianette was also good, if not as fabulously miraculously transformational.

<twirls in her spot free skin>

jumpinghoops Sat 09-Feb-13 15:42:35

TheWombat- I usually have v similar sounding skin to yours (currently pregnant which seems to be the only time my skin is ok).

I wanted to recommend that you look at the dermalogica special cleansing gel and alpha-h balancing cleanser both of which I have found are great for my kind of oily, dehydrated with jawline spots skin.

I picked up a Tresonic from amazon which is similar to the clarisonic and works well with both of these cleansers. I personally had more success with origins on the spot than the derm. clearing booster but everyone of course is different. Have you ever tried the dermalogica face mapping? They can recommend the products they think might work for you.

kitsilano Sat 09-Feb-13 15:12:13

Thanks very much hatcam, I'll look her up

Chiggers Sat 09-Feb-13 10:01:34

Fluffy, MSM was originally used to keep the ligaments and tendons of racehorses in good nick. Nowadays, it has been formulated for joint health in humans.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 09-Feb-13 09:48:07

Has anyone tried applying fresh lemon juice as toner? I used to do this years ago but stopped for some reason.

I'm going food shopping tomorrow so I'll buy some lemons again.

AllRightSoFar Fri 08-Feb-13 22:22:57

I thought Dianette was being withdrawn because of the links to deaths/causing depression?
I really want to hear that the lumie thing really works. They are selling reconditioned ones on the website for £80 rather than the cheapest price of £120 elsewhere.
I've heard the red light pens are amazing at healing users, cold sores even tooth ache so there must be something in it!?

TheWombat Fri 08-Feb-13 17:55:59

Hi everyone signs in spottily

I've decided to embark on a clear-skin mission blush. I'm 35, and my skin breaks out regularly around my chin, neck and jawline. I also have very large visible pores, but my skin doesn't seem very oily - it's not tight and flaky, but it looks dehydrated and of course, to crown it all, I'm starting to get fine lines and pigmentation. In short: delightful. It's time to sort it all out.

A course of antibiotics cleared up the worst of it about 3-4 years ago, but I don't want to stay on them long term, and I don't feel like my skin is bad enough to warrant a trip to a dermatologist.

I'm mulling over the following
1) Trying out the Clarisonic with a gentle cleanser. QVC has a 30day money-back guarantee. [ link here]] My skin doesn't like many cleansers - Philosophy Purity gave me spots, as do lots of the non-wash off cleansers. And the gel-based ones either do nothing and seem like a waste of money, or leave my skin feeling tight and stretched-feeling. Most of the time I resort to soap and water because at least it doesn't make the spots worse. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the effect on wrinkles! The Cetaphil cleanser sounds good - could I use that with Clarisonic for extra benefits?

2) Buying the Lumie Clear link here I'm intrigued by this, it has good reviews on amazon and MUA and seems to be backed by research. If anyone's tried it I'd be interested in knowing more..

3) Dermalogica overnight clearing booster (heard good things about this). I've been recommended dermalogica products, but think most of their anti-acne range will be too drying for me, so I thought I could incorporate the clearing booster with some of the other products for normal / combination skin or the ones that contain lactic acid.

4) Salicylic acid peels (maybe every two weeks)

I like Alpha H products (their gycolic mask is lovely) and found them to have a good brightening effect. I recently bought a sample their Vitamin C serum off ebay - it has hylauronic acid in it, but not in an oil-slicky base, and my skin seems to be tolerating it well.

Oof - well, at least you can tell I've been giving it some thought blush. I'll report back with some progress in a few days..

hatcam Thu 07-Feb-13 16:39:09

Kitsilano I see Dr Sam Bunting, very easy to look up her details on the web but I'll message you with her email/tel.

Very normal and non-scary. She has also not 'upsold' me at all, in any way which I really like and which means I'll continue to see her. There was no hard sell at all for any particular products or anything, just great advice, a sensible regime, recommended sunscreen and a prescription for Differin and Duac.

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