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I'm nearly 50 and my skin is awful. Scary photo included

(38 Posts)
Crusoe Wed 12-Oct-16 21:57:54

Just that really. I am nearly 50 and my skin has been shite since the age of 11.
I have always suffered with big sometimes painful spots that take weeks and weeks to go only to be replaced by more.
Alcohol makes them so much worse. I am guaranteed weeks of awful skin after a glass or 2 of wine so I hardly ever drink.
I do drink lots of water which does help a bit but it really shows in my skin if I have a day where I don't manage so much water.
I have a healthy diet with fruit and veg, although I could probably eat more. I have tried cutting sugar but struggling a bit with that.
I use a vitamin e face wash & moisturiser and a bit of e45 on very dry flakey patches.
I saw the GP last year for what might have been eczema or possibly a ringworm type infection. It finally went with steroid treatment. GP suggested I might have rosacea but declined any treatment as it wasn't bad enough. She couldn't have been less interested if she tried.
In reality at the moment my skin is not nearly as bad as it has been. I can cover the blemishes easily with make up and I haven't had to take a day off work for years because I am so embarrassed about my it.
I am just so fed up though with never having clear nice skin, of never feeling confident about it and always worrying about.
I don't have much money to buy expensive products and I can't face the GP again.
Anyone, can you help? What can I do to improve my skin?

DonkeyOaty Wed 12-Oct-16 22:04:59

Sounds like cystic acne. One of our resident skin care gurus will be along soon to help I hope (not me)

carmenta Wed 12-Oct-16 22:07:14

Have you tried an oil based cleanser with a hot cloth? And a very plain oil moisturiser? My skin is fairly reactive and can get quite congested if I use harsh products on it. I found that a cleanser like this plus a moisturiser like this keep it calm and minimise breakouts for me.

Also do you have allergies? If my other allergies aren't under control my skin tends to be worse, particularly sulfites (used as preservatives in wine for example).

Kornerkutta Wed 12-Oct-16 22:11:58

You can buy topical acne treatments online through boots pharmacy e.g. Differin or skinoren. For your type of acne I would opt for skinoren (adapalene). Build up gradually- once every 3d for a month, then every 2d for a month then daily. By the end of 3 months you should notice a significant improvement. If not, find a different GP as you may need oral antibiotics adding in. Good luck

minipie Wed 12-Oct-16 22:15:18

Go to a different GP and ask for 1) a prescription for Epiduo cream (combo of benzoyl peroxide and adapalene) and 2) a referral to a dermatologist. Good luck

Judydreamsofhorses Wed 12-Oct-16 22:18:04

Ouch, poor you. Go back to the doctor - see a different person, the one you saw before was very rude, but most are happy to treat acne as a debilitating medical condition. I suffered for years, and no amount of over the counter things helped - I spent £££ in my quest. I needed to try a couple of different antibiotics, and it didn't work overnight, but I would urge you to go back to your GP asap rather than mess around. In the interim, I'd suggest fish oil capsules and treating your skin gently, as if it was "sensitive" and not "acne prone", as it's likely harsh products/scrubby stuff will not help.

Girliefriendlikesflowers Wed 12-Oct-16 22:20:11

I have terrible skin all my adult life, someone on here recommended the La Roche range and its been amazing, esp the La Roche duo cream. Its pricey but so worth it.

lovelybangers Wed 12-Oct-16 22:20:11

Is your skin oily ?

I suffered from spots from a similar age. Tried all sorts over the years - antibiotics, creams, stripping face washes, masks etc. Then went on to the contraceptive pill (combined) which kept it under control until my 30s.

After years on Dianette I had to quit as was diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder - so got bad skin again.

Eventually I took myself to see a private dermatologist. I was planning to go on Roaccutane to sort out the oiliness once and for all. However my skin wasn't bad enough and she was reluctant to go down that path. She did recommend a dermatologist who worked relatively near and wrote to my GP recommending that they referred me to her (as this other dermatologist was NHS).

so, I went to see this dermatologist and she agreed that my face was very oily - back and chest slightly too oily also. The plan was to go on Spironolactone - it's a drug which acts on the testosterone. Within three weeks my skin was perfect. Not oily - not dry. Just normal. No spots.

I've been taking it for almost 2 years now - I have to have a liver function test prior to each quarterly prescription, but so far so good.

I am 48 - and think I'd like to continue with it until I am through menopause - when hopefully my skin will not be oily.

Skin care - I use Cetaphil as a wash, sometimes Dove soap. I moisturise as and when Ithink I need to. I don't wear face make up - just do eyes and lips.

I would return to the GP and get a referral to a Dermatologist. Not all will take you seriously - I have seen two on the NHS prior to this and one just said I 'd grow out of it at 40 - the other would only prescribe long term antibiotics confused

It isn't fair to have to put up with it for so long. There are treatments out there and you deserve to have clear skin.

BellMcEnd Wed 12-Oct-16 22:24:53

This is purely my experience so don't know if there's any science behind it! My skin always responds brilliantly to Green Tea tablets.

They were suggested to me years ago by a health food - type place when my skin was awful. They've made a huge difference to me.

I really hope you find something that works flowers

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Wed 12-Oct-16 22:26:01

I had cystic acne ones and my GP gave me a topical antibiotic which sorted it out in a few days.

Forgot what it was, though, name starting with Z.

joangray38 Wed 12-Oct-16 22:26:10

My skin gets like that, I have numerous food allergies and an on medication where this is a side effect. I kept a food diary, had intolerance tests - wheat dairy and kiwi fruit are a big no no. Also you need to start again with your skin care. Try one thing at a time so you can see what it doesn't like. I use a deep clean cleansing mask - Peter Roth volcanic ash (I think) for acne twice a week and a gentle exfoliant - pixi glow every night. My cleanser if Emma hardie cleansing balm and I use Sunday rily lactic acid under my sanctuary neck/ oil cream has hydrolonoc acid . I know a lot of people on here can't stand her but I found Caroline Hirons cheat sheets very helpful. If you tweet her your pic she might have some advice for you.

Crusoe Wed 12-Oct-16 22:28:29

I would tend to say my skin is dry rather than oily. I have to moisturise quickly after a shower for example as it feels so tight.
Thanks for all your thoughts ...keep them coming.

rememberthetime Wed 12-Oct-16 22:30:58

Keep trying with cutting out sugar and sweetners. My skin comes out in rashes and spots if I eat too much sugar or have diet drinks. Also try cutting wheat. I also only use coconut oil on my skin. It works miracles.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Wed 12-Oct-16 22:32:28

DD swears her skin is perfect when she drinks kale juice.
I think that might be a step too far though. grin

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Wed 12-Oct-16 22:33:15

Oh and I get spots on the chin, like yours, when I eat crisps.

SpeckledyBanana Wed 12-Oct-16 22:34:41

My skin looked like yours, and in desperation I tried acupuncture, which worked for me. I am not at all woo BTW.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 12-Oct-16 22:51:12

Where is Preppers thread?!

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 12-Oct-16 22:51:39

Sorry! Wrong convo! Unless someone knows? 😆

JohnCheese Wed 12-Oct-16 23:33:37

Go to a dermatologist. Insist your GP refers you, (it's an entirely appropriate referral) or go privately if you can at all afford it. You've had troublesome skin for 40 years. That's no fun. No point waiting any longer.

Looks like cystic acne from your photo. All the diet modification in the world isn't going to get rid of this. And unfortunately there is no magic over the counter remedy. This is not a cosmetic issue, it's medical. While you're waiting for your derm appt, try the La Roche Posay Efaclar range.

Good luck. It's all fixable.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Thu 13-Oct-16 00:15:46

2 months ago I stopped dairy and it cleared my cystic acne. I have been on the pill for two years previously to clear it and it worked a bit. Came off the pill - acne came back. Came off dairy for an unrelated reason - my skin is clear. I get a couple of spots around ovulation but that's it.
So yes, dieg xah ge can be more powerful than medication in some instances.

amazonianwoman Thu 13-Oct-16 00:41:24

Topical antibiotic Zineryt helped mine. It isn't drying.

dirtywindows Thu 13-Oct-16 08:03:18

Your Gp sounds bloody useless. Insist on dermatology referral. You're entitled to it. Dermatologist will try you on various antibiotics and creams and if all fails will offer course of roacutane. In meantime use neutrogena or la Roche posay products. Good luck

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Thu 13-Oct-16 08:12:41


That was it, and it works. Do ask your GP about it or some other topical AB.

PoldarksBreeches Thu 13-Oct-16 08:16:31

I have similar skin, very dry with patches of red spots. Not big painful ones but lots of tiny sore ones. Went to the GP and she said it's acne and gave me a prescription for differin cream. It's horribly drying but seems to be working.

lurkingfromhome Thu 13-Oct-16 08:19:45

Get a better GP. I had hideous cystic acne until I was 46, was on constant cycles of antibiotics for nearly 20 years (actually I sometimes had to be put on penicillin for a couple of weeks at a time as my spots were so badly infected). Nothing in the way of diet, skincare etc made a blind bit of difference.

Finally I got referred to dermatologist and put on Roaccutane for 6 months. Have not had a single spot in the three years since. It really does work miracles.

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