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Can we talk about spots please.(26 Posts)
I'm 38 and suffer from hormonal cystic spots on my chin.
At present I've got a huge humdinger of a spot, and I just seem to be getting them more and more frequently.
So two questions - any good spot prevention techniques out there? (I drink loads of water, eat lots of fruit and veg, cleanse properly . . .)
And how do I hide them - at the moment I just want to hide away when I have them, so being able to hide the spots would obviously be much better
As a fellow-sufferer (not got PCOS but get a lot of similar spots):
- see GP to review your hormonal contraception. My skin is better (not completely but the huge breakouts are every few months now not every month) since starting with the coil.
- see a dermatologist. They can't prescribe Retin-A anymore (my best skin ever was after using that) but you can get products like a face wash or benzoyl peroxide which help to dry them up
- I'm currently trying regular facials and have been getting good advice from the lady who does those. If you can afford it, might be worth a try. I have had breakouts since starting this regime but the spots are always so much better after a facial.
Cover-up: I've found that thick foundation doesn't look good on my skin. So I use a thin/light foundation and then dot on some thick concealer (I use Estée Lauder Double Wear) with a cotton bud. This might need a couple if layers. Then dust over some powder and again use a cotton bud to dot on pressed powder. Repeat a few times during the day.
Ugh. Hate my skin!
Totally second the hormonal contraception, while I loved the pill (yay lack of AF) it gave me huge under the skin inflamed pores. I came off it when I got pregnant and actually my skins been a lot better even with the pregnancy since.
Secondly, a good clay face mask is great for pores. This one is great REN Clarimatte
Finally steaming your skin to really clear it out, a good facial steamer or get a professional clean done for your pores. Once clear you then want to keep them that way by using clay masks and sorting out any hormonal issues where possible.
And try watching this video for tips for cover up makeup and blemished skin.
My hormonal acne (following having my DD) started 10 years ago - i've been on everything going (roaccutane - couldn't deal with it, Antibiotics etc) but the only thing that's helped is highly concentrated anchovy oil. It's changed my life. Also not using harsh cosmetics, I switched to Neals Yard cleanser, moisturiser and face oil. Best cover up is Laura Mercier Secret Camouflague... NO question - told this by a v famous make up artist friend and its true ;-))
What on earth do you do with concentrated anchovy oil?! Don't you smell a bit after using it?
it's in tablet form - I take some called Phamepa restore 90 (made by Ingennus) - originally took it as it helps mental clarity, mood swings etc as was recommended by a friend when I was having a rough time. Side effect of it was that my skin cleared completely. Subsequently read reviews where others with poor skin had the same fabulous side effect.
Worth having a look at the blog by skincare expert Caroline Hiron - she talks about treating your skin with respect, no trying to dry it out, but actually put more oil into it (hence the use of rose oil from Neals Yard religiously too) I've gone from seeing a derm who diagnosed severe acne and prescribed Roaccutane (eugh - too much for me, sent me bonkers) to someone who probably gets one tiny spot every month.... may not work for you but I would try if you can. And as I said, look at Caroline Hiron's blog - such sense!
Oh yes, I really feel for you. I've suffered from these cystic hormonal spots for years, and have PCOS, and can't tolerate any form of hormonal birth control either.
After a horrible flare up this autumn, where my chin was so badly infected with deep cysts, I finally went back to the doctor again as no topicals were touching it.
What's worked: oral antiobotics (tetracycline) and hibiscrub. There is a theory that these spots are caused by hormones, yes, but also an be a staph infection, which once sets in can be extremely difficult to move. This infection lives in your nostrils or ear cavity, and is spread to the skin by hand contact. So, the antibiotics kill the infection (I also washed with Hibiscrub), although you do need to take them for a while - I'm on my second month now. You also need to practice serious manual hygiene and wash your hands with hot water and soap a lot, and try to be conscious of when you touch your nose/ears/face, and stop doing it.
But my skin is clear! After a week of taking the antibiotics, one deep, horrible, huge cyst that had been in my chin for about a month, literally exploded and drained, healed in a day or so, and hasn't been back since. Bliss.
I'm keeping normal spots at bay with a gentle regime or Simple moisturizing facewash, light day moisturizer, and Paula's Choice AHA acid toner at night. At the moment it is working.
When I was in the midst of the breakout, I tried everything I could get my hands on, from Efflacar, to Avene, to Clinique, and had been prescribed topical antibacterials. Nothing helped.
Thank you, lots of suggestions for me to try.
Unfortunately I'm not able to have hormonal contraception because of high blood pressure, so I can't deal with them this way.
Blogs look good, so I will take a look. I've managed to cover this one on my chin so it isn't red - it's still huge though!
I'm intrigued by this anchovy stuff! where can you get it? could really do with some mental clarity too...!
I'm currently on antibiotics too but would prefer a natural and gentle approach long term..
I have suffered from spots through my thirties. I was covered and it was getting worse so I went to a dermatologist here in the states. She put me on 50 MG of Spironolactone ( an off RX use of a drug with a traditional use for congestive heart failure , so it takes off water). It is often used here to treat hormonal acne and it cleared up my face fast. I have been off it for two months and I only have a couple now, nothing like before. I as very stressed when I had my acne, with a lot of worries. I am definitely calmer now so that probably means less Androgens in my system too.
In my twenties I was put on Dianette for hormonal acne and it made my face even worse!
After a few years of dreadful skin I've gone back on Yasmin and my skin is so much better, plus benzoyl peroxide in a low does. Going to google Phamepa right away.
Cotton bud dipped in surgical spirit dries out spots. Hope this helps.
I think it's all just trial and error in terms of what suits your skin but the Alpha H Liquid Gold and Alpha H Micro cleanse work for me as they clear the sebum that blocks the pores
As a quick superficial fix, Ibuprofen gel is anti-inflammatory and I've used it often to calm down those huge red throbbing under the skin spots.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo has changed my life. Try it for a few months before doing harsh drugs. It cleared up my acne after about 15 years...
Ok I have some of that PharmEPA coming tomorrow. Will feed back!
I've heard that La Roche Posay is really good too.
I would steer away from antibiotics - who wants to be taking medication forever? I was on them and got horrendous bouts of thrush, also, as soon as I stopped the spots came back, also the long term effect on your kidneys can't be good.
I would urge you to try and start by being kinder to your skin, Caroline Hirons says not to 'punish' it by scrubbing and dehydrating it. If you read her blog it makes a lot of sense, her advice is the opposite to what we hear generally. The Pharmepa Restore 90 pure anchovy oil are great - I would also say to try (if possible) to reduce the stress from your life as best you can. Consider having long soaks in the bath with Epsom Salts, I saw a homeopathist to help with this (I had renal fatigue) so temporarily had various homeopathic remedies which i'm sure helped me to be a bit calmer (helps skin). Go holistic before you panic and get yourself trapped by traditional medicines.
Just thought i'd c&p this from the blog I mentioned in my previous post:
Consider supplementation. I have no doubt in my mind that consuming large quantities of fish oil has saved my face. And it's not just me. People I know have had the same response. It works for acne OR psoriasis and eczema - so if you have any of those - or all - I would definitely recommend. I take anything between 3000 and 10,000mg a day depending on the day, my skin and circumstances. If you are vegetarian you can use flax - but fish is much better. (Sorry!)
Wow, lots of great tips here, thanks for sharing! I'm now 40 and have had acne since I was 11, have tried everything over the years, including 4 courses of Roaccutane! The only thing that fully cleared my acne was Roaccutane but once I came off it the acne would flare up again after about 2 years, although admittedly not as bad as before. The contraceptive pill definitely helped too (but it has to be the right pill, some can make acne worse) but decided recently to come off it for a couple of reasons. Of course acne has flared up again although managing it with a topical cream called Differin (prescription) so not too bad. Definitely going to try the topical ibuprofen tip, have had a few big inflamed spots recently and must give the fish oil a try as in the past couple of years have developed patches of eczema and psoriasis too!
I really do think it's trial and error though, what works for one person may not work for another. I definitely subscribe to the theory of being gentle to your skin, drying mine out never worked, I just ended up with spotty, red, flaky skin! My dermatologist was a big fan of La Roche Posay and after my last course of Roaccutane highly recommended it.
Interesting stuff about the anchovy oil. Where do you buy it from?
I have tried various treatments. Antibiotics work but don't want to stay on them forever. LA Roche Posay also worked wonders for a while but the spots came back after about 3 months but it was heaven for those 3 months.
Best solution is benzoyl peroxide which I use most nights but it is such a faff as you have to wash your face with a foaming gel, then gently rub the benzoyl peroxide in, wait for that to dry and then moisturise. As it has bleaching properties, you then have to be careful what you touch (several of the DC's PJ's have bleach marks on them from when I have accidentally touched my chin on then when snuggling). On the Plus side, it really does work wonders and the fact you moisturise afterwards (as it is very drying) keeps your skin feeling lovely and soft.
Have no advice as I'm still like a pimple teenager, and I'm nearly 30!! Looking at the positives, at least you've got plenty of moisture in your skin (that's what I say to myself, anyway, to make myself feel better).
Have to say, after suffering with horrible painful cystic acne since I went on the pill, the only thing that fixed it was roaccutane. Tried every antibiotic going but never had completely clear skin. Roaccutane was a miracle drug for me and I wish I'd gone on it ten years earlier! Totally worth all side effects.
Other than serious long term medication, when I had a really sore cystic spot, I'd take ibuprofen and paracetamol. I'd also crush a couple of aspirin and mix to a paste with water/honey and put on the offending spot. Aspirin mix and ibuprofen reduced inflammation and redness and paracetamol for the pain.
If you're covering up a horrible spot, you need something called My Nik Is Sealed. It's a shaving product and stings as it goes on but works wonders under make up as it creates an invisible seal over broken skin so you can layer foundation and concealer over it. Wouldn't be without it!
Wow! I'm so going to bookmark this page and make a list of everything posters have suggested. I'm 40, have had spots since 11, nothing has worked.
Thank you, everyone
Perhaps we coukd do updates on what we have been trying and how it is/isn't working.
I also get acne across my back and upper arms - you'll rarely see me on the beach and never, never, never in a strappy top or sundress (I live in the Med, it kills me to be so covered!).
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