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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?

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 12:02:51

Laser treatment works for some people on the subcutaneous bumps - obviously it's not the first port of call.

beingacow Tue 25-Feb-14 12:44:46

My skin has been poor since I was a teenager, I'm now 35. It is hormonal in my case, caused by PCOS, but I can't take any form of hormonal birth control (dianette) as it makes me very ill.
I've had nasty deep painful cysts around my mouth and chin, sometimes two or three at a time, so sore that they've kept me awake at night. I've had massive weeping sores where I've picked them and they've scabbed and scarred.
Only three things have helped keep my skin relatively clear. One was Panoxyl cream, but its been discontinued. The other is Dermalogica Medibac range, but the cost is prohibitive. Finally, I've discovered Paula's Choice 8% AHA exfoliating lotion. It truly does work. I use it with a gentle cleanser (currently using the Boots Botanics range), and Aqueous Calamine cream. My skin hasn't been better, and I haven't got a cyst in ages. Of course what works for one might not work for another, but I honestly think you should try the Paula's Choice, you can get it on ebay, and it lasts for ages.

VarsityQueen Tue 25-Feb-14 16:14:17

I don't think there is a 'one cure for all' which makes things very expensive as you have to try loads of stuff to see what works for you. Try to pick up trial sizes of things on eBay.

I agree that cutting down on sugar, avoiding touching or picking at the skin too much and trying something internal (Vit D, Vit C, fish oils, zinc, the pill etc) are the best tips. I've tried hordes of stuff in my time and very little makes much real difference.

Bonsoir Tue 25-Feb-14 17:53:58

beingacow - if you have really painful cysts, in some countries dermatologists will inject them with cortisone to make them disappear. This isn't a curative treatment for acne but does prevent individual cysts getting enormous and leaving scars.

Topical treatments don't work on acneic cysts - you have to attack them with oral antibiotics/Roaccutane/lasers to get deep enough.

Peplum41 Tue 25-Feb-14 21:23:04

I've had acne since the age of 11, I'm now 41. Last Feb I started the 5:2 diet, it cleared up in a fortnight. I'm pretty sure its the diet that has helped as whenever I have a break, back come the spots.

It won't cost you anything to try, and rather than give up, dairy and sugar every day its just twice a week. Don't ask me why that helps, its just does. Oh, actually it might be the regulating effect on insulin, which in turn effects your testosterone levels which tends to cause the spots, especially those nasty, red blobs that last for weeks and really hurt. There are some excellent threads on here about 5:2.

My skin is quite dry now, I need a thicker moisturiser, the last thing I needed before. Still get s mini breakout at totm, but its nothing compared to 30 years of severe acne.

Romann Wed 26-Feb-14 03:46:05

I'm a bit sceptical about 5:2 helping me as I basically eat paleo (meat, fish, veg) most of the time anyway so I'm not sure what I'd be cutting that would make a difference. Also I'd be starving!

RonaldMcDonald Wed 26-Feb-14 08:08:13

I do think that a really simple routine with a bha and benzoyl peroxide will make a huge difference
It has to be completely routine though and this took me ages to really really get
I think I'd steer clear of the clarisonic but that is simply because I think it would be too harsh
The ocm murdered my skin, ditto Liz Earle eve lom

I agree with Bonsoir about the v deep cysts. Have you had your hormone levels checked?
Once I learned to follow that routine( and tbh I tried all dietary exclusions too but couldn't really stick to no sugar) my skin massively improved. Massively.

SundaySimmons Wed 26-Feb-14 08:29:46

Hibiscrub and effaclar did nothing for me.

Panoxyl 10 was a miracle product but it's been discontinued.

I am nearly 50 and have bought and tried, everything. Everything.

I'm having some success using a normal waterless anti bacterial handwash.

Bonsoir Wed 26-Feb-14 09:07:52

Panoxyl 10

Romann Wed 26-Feb-14 11:43:58

I've really tried the topical treatment approach. There was a period when Retin-A worked for me, but not any more. BP has been useless, even when I've been very diligent with a routine.

Sunday if you haven't tried Aldactone yet, then you could try that - it worked for me when nothing else did, but I don't want to take it anymore for other reasons. My spots did get worse at the beginning but after 3 months everything cleared up really well (on 125mg per day). I stopped after 3 years, and my clear skin held up for about 6-8 months. There were no side effects at all, though I've heard some people say they gain a cup size on it.

frogslegs35 Wed 26-Feb-14 12:28:20

I suffered from the age of 22 until I was around 30. tried prescription stuff, changed my diet and had allergy tests. Nothing helped.
I read one day about Cliniques acne products. It worked, I could see a huge difference after 1 week and after 3 months my skin had calmed completely.
This was a while back and I know they've since changed their acne products.
I used the 3 step (soap and toner for problem skin and the normal DD moisturiser) and bought 2 tubes of acne gel stuff, one was for day one for night iirc. It was possibly called healing gel??

I don't need it any more, I just use 3 step now, so I'm not sure if you went and spoke to them what they'd recommend. they've got a bigger range now.

I also think avons clearskin is very good too, it's a 3 step - wash, cleansing pads and cream. It's got salicylic acid so can dry your skin out a little if you're prone. It helped my sons acne.

Bonsoir Wed 26-Feb-14 21:09:38

From the information you have given on this thread it sounds as if you have tried everything, Romann, even really hard things like major dietary restrictions.


RonaldMcDonald Wed 26-Feb-14 23:18:09


The BHA made the biggest diff to me

cerealqueen Wed 26-Feb-14 23:37:47

Empathy - my skin has always been shit. from age 13-45.

Have you tried the regime? Worth giving it a go. Amazing website too, full of support and advice.

My skin is better since using siriusonic skin brush, avene triacneal and jojoba oil mixed with oil of olay (doesn't block pores.)

cerealqueen Wed 26-Feb-14 23:39:46

sorry, am taking omega 3 oils too.

Romann Fri 28-Feb-14 00:14:24

Bit early to tell whether it's just a fluke obviously, but my skin has definitely improved over the last 3 days. I'm taking a zinc supplement - actually it's a "hair skin and nails" thing, but it's mostly zinc - and rubbing an antiseptic with chlorohexadrine as main ingredient (that's what's in hibiscrub) all over my face. Fingers crossed! I'm still going to go to the salon for a consultation and see what they propose.

FrugalFashionista Fri 28-Feb-14 06:31:09

Romann good luck, topical zinc creams have definitely helped me. I've acne/ rosacea/ perioral prone skin and a super simple regime of water, castile soap and salicylate and zinc creams has really helped. Sun exposure also helps, sadly wink Moisturizers and SPF tend to cause breakouts, so maintaining the balance is hard work, but a minimalist routine seems to work for me.

I prefer not to take antibiotics or retinoids (because of their various side effects) but my brothers were on Roaccutane and most people in my mother's family seem to have rosacea. I've come to accept that perhaps we have a familial skin defect that causes various skin symptoms. It seems to be manageable but never fully goes away.

derektheladyhamster Sun 02-Mar-14 12:15:33

I've also tried hibiscrub after reading this thread, it seems to be working wonders! Although I have just ordered panoxyl (thank you bonsoir, I've given up looking for it, it's as good as the duac from the doctors but half the price of the prescription )

fooolofbeans Mon 03-Mar-14 21:57:47

Romann, sorry I haven't read all the posts but as I stated I had a v similar treatment to Bonsoir with roaccutane and it worked like a charm with zero side effects and this was a few years ago so there may be many more using this treatment regimen, might be worth asking for your GP for a referral

namechange74 Sun 29-Jun-14 20:35:43

Reinstating this thread (I hope) as i've found a 'cure' for my acne after 10 years. I happened across some 'potent & high concentration EPA-based omega-3 fatty acid supplements' (just nicked that off their website) that my friend researched for me as a natural product to support brain function and emotional wellbeing - i'd been having a bit of a crappy time and was feeling particularly low. Anyway, when I read the reviews online I noted that a couple of them mentioned that they had got rid of acne but didn't think too much about it as i've tried everything from topicals to antibiotics to roaccutane since I had my DD ten years ago with little or no success.

So, I merrily took these pills (2 a day), started feeling happier generally and more focussed/sharper as promised but also noticed that (after about 3/4 weeks) I wasn't getting any new spots. I can honestly say (2 months later) that I now have the most incredible skin - people keep commenting on it - never experienced that before grin

Just thought i'd share - it's worked for a friend of mine too who also has adult acne, she's been on them for about 5 weeks and is blown away by the change.

I'm NOT on commission (!) I don't work for them but felt compelled to let everyone know as I know what it is to suffer with acne.

Oh, incidentally, I changed the products i've been using to Neals Yard and have also been using their rose facial oil as well as their moisturiser which has made a huge difference to the texture of my skin - it's now dewy and pink, not leathery and grey (always thought that moisturising/using oil based products was a ridiculous notion on skin that keeps getting spotty/oily but I was very wrong)

Anyway, they're not cheap but like most that have had acne, I've lost count of the money i've spent over the years and undoubtedly this is the first time it's been worth it.

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