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Cystic acne sufferers, share your skincare routine please.

(36 Posts)
MikeLitoris Sat 03-Jun-17 15:15:22

I've had CA for a few years on and off. Usually treatable with a course of Duac, lymecycline if its a bad one. The last year or so it's been exceptionally bad. 6 months of lymecycline and some zinertyn (sp) haven't touched it.

My skin has become really sensitive too, I'm finding my usual face wash & moisturiser are making my skin quite tight. Rather than just the chin spots, my pores are really blocked too and i'm getting blackheads too.

I picked up some La Roche-Posay EFFACLAR DUO[+] UNIFIANT but I have no idea where to use it in a skincare regime. (before or after moisturiser?)

anyone help would be massively appreciated!

PollyPerky Sat 03-Jun-17 15:26:57

Have you been referred to a dermatologist? Try Roaccutane?

msrisotto Sat 03-Jun-17 15:28:51

Lotions and potions made not a jot of difference to my skin. It was Dianette and after that Yasmin + Spironolactone that keep it looking frankly, sparkling.

Arsenicinthesugarbowl Sat 03-Jun-17 15:43:10

I used lymecycline with good effect but stopped a couple of years ago. I use an oil cleanser st night now and la Roche posay toleraine cleanser in the morning. Toleraine moisturiser or effacera duo at night.
Loads of water and reducing sugar and now my skin is usually pretty good.
I had cystic acne all Over my jaw and neck for about 5 years prior to this. I'm very gentle to my face now and it's seems to like that as opposed to the aggressive use of stuff previously!

Truckingalong Sat 03-Jun-17 15:44:48

Blue and red light therapy. Game changer.

MikeLitoris Sat 03-Jun-17 19:09:54

Not tired any medication apart from the ones mentioned. I'm back at the doctors next week so will ask for a referral to a dermatologist I think. It's driving me mad. I have 2 teenagers with better skin thn me,

I've already cut refined sugar massively and drink as much water as I can.

truckingalong I have no idea what this is. i'll have to go look it up.

taybert Sat 03-Jun-17 20:03:30

Yep, dermatologist. Don't waste more money on cosmetic stuff. You need good drugs!

Truckingalong Sat 03-Jun-17 20:12:17

Blue light is anti bacteria and red is anti inflammatory. They are non- harmful lights you shine on your face, either salon treatments or at home gadgets. They have transformed my cystic acne riddled skin and so many people have great results from them. Someone on here posted about a new full face neutrogena one that I'm going to buy. I've been using the lumi one so far.

Truckingalong Sat 03-Jun-17 20:13:52 Dermatologists have been using blue light therapy for years. It's clinically proven to work.

mintbiscuit Sun 04-Jun-17 08:14:02

My cystic acne is hormonal (location and frequency indicates this). Without having hormonal tests I suspect I have high testosterone or at least am extremely sensitive to it. The only way to treat cystic acne is to address the root cause so I have been trying various more natural ways to regulate my hormones. I'm having to admit defeat after 12 months and have seen my GP for dianette which is the only thing that clears my skin. I'll likely do that for 3-6 months and then switch to Yasmin and differin to maintain. Am really not keen on using synthetic hormones to keep my acne at bay but feel like I've run out of options. Pregnancy is the only thing that keeps my skin clear!

taybert Sun 04-Jun-17 08:27:10

mintbiscuit some people like you find spironolactone useful but it would usually be initiated by a dermatologist and one who specialises in acne at that. You're not anywhere near Harrogate are you?

mintbiscuit Sun 04-Jun-17 08:58:56

taybert I have looked into spironolactone and think that it would work for me as it's an androgen blocker. However, I'm confused re side effects and on balance it looked like the side effects would be worse than dianette? confused Although I'm low risk my GP has been somewhat reluctant to prescribe Dianette as I'm over 35 and is questioning the yasmin as a maintenance option. Not sure if there are similar age restrictions for spironolactone?

CaptainWarbeck Sun 04-Jun-17 09:10:00

Definitely look at seeing a dermatologist. If antibiotics haven't cleared it up you'll be a candidate for roaccutane, which can feel like a drastic step but is an absolute life changer if you've been stuck with cystic acne for years.

Cystic acne as an adult is probably genetic and likely to be how your skin behaves rather than something you can clear up completely with good skin care. But. In the meantime (while you're waiting for dermatology opinion) - two ranges I found good were:

- Cetaphil - very gentle, they do cleanser and moisturiser for oily skin
- LRP - I used the toleruaine (argh spelling) cleanser (lovely and gentle), and then the effaclar duo each night afterwards, with moisturiser on top if I felt I needed it.

Other cystic acne tips: change your pillowcase frequently so you're not letting bacteria build up on it, keep your face as clean as possible (so cleanse with a flannel to make sure you're getting all make up off if you wear it), cut down on dairy intake (probably won't clear it up but might reduce the frequency of cysts developing slightly) and eat more low GI foods rather than high GI. Those are the only dietary changes with evidence behind them.

CaptainWarbeck Sun 04-Jun-17 09:11:57

You can use the effaclar duo in the morning after cleansing as well but twice a day may be too much for your skin if it's sensitive. You don't need much, and it might sting slightly. It is good though.

LegoCaltrops Sun 04-Jun-17 09:13:45

I had 2 courses of roaccutane in my 20's. Made an enormous difference to my quality of life, honestly. I'd previously tried Dianette but unfortunately had an horrific (& extremely rare) reaction to it that's left me with a serious health condition.

My skin still isn't perfect but now I've found the right combination of products (or at least I'm nearly there) it's infinitely better than it used to be. Fortunately I have no facial scarring, my shoulders & back are another matter but TBH I'm just relieved it doesn't hurt any more. I do suspect that for severe cystic acne, topical treatments just aren't enough, & antibiotics are not strong enough / don't specifically target what they need to.

Hope your doctor will refer you - mention the impact on your quality of life etc. (Don't lie though!) I certainly found my rubbish skin enormously depressing & it really knocked my confidence.

GoldSpot Sun 04-Jun-17 09:27:18

Roaccutane was life changing for me.

My skin is by no means perfect now, but I manage it with the following products.

Avene Soapless gel wash (morning and night)
Paula's Choice Clear BHA (morning)
Estée Lauder Daywear Bb Cream (SPF 35)
Differin - retinoid prescribed by GP (evening)

When I get spots they are often around my jaw line - if i have a breakout I will often pre-cleanse the area with Boots Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Cleanser. It has alcohol in it but is gentle and the antibacterial properties work well for me.

I would love to find a good moisturiser but cannot find anything that agrees with my skin.

bloodyuselessme Sun 04-Jun-17 09:29:40

Following this thread as my CA is really upsetting me. I'm getting to the point I don't want to leave the house as I feel like people are staring at me.

I've tried BP, Duac, Zinert and Differin/BP mix, but nothing has made it stay away.

I don't think Roaccutane would be suitable for me sadly

bloodyuselessme Sun 04-Jun-17 09:31:05

Meant to say, they used to just be concentrated to the chin area, but they've started up quite badly around my nose.lips and forehead now. Backs not too great and (for.some reason) just my right arm too

CaptainWarbeck Sun 04-Jun-17 09:42:39

Gold (and OP) in case we have similar skin, the only moisturiser I found works for me is L'Occitane's Immortelle Precious night cream. It is eye-wateringly expensive (£50 for a pot shock) so I tend to get it for birthdays and Christmases from DH.

I first tried it as a sample first, you can ask in store for sample sachets, or else get them when you buy something else. It isn't greasy, smells bloody lovely and doesn't cause spots. It's a holy grail product for me.

GoldSpot Sun 04-Jun-17 09:54:59

Thanks Captain - will take a look. I am queen of samples grin

GoldSpot Sun 04-Jun-17 09:55:18

Thanks Captain - will take a look. I am queen of samples grin

thethoughtfox Sun 04-Jun-17 10:02:21

Another vote for Cetaphil moisturiser and cleanser incredibly gentle and cheap £6. Jennifer Anniston uses it FWIW. You can also use this when on treatment for skin like Roaccutane.

HelsinkiHome Sun 04-Jun-17 10:06:58

Treating my vitamin D deficiency helped. As does hyaluronic acid, Avene moisturiser and, surprisingly, an emollient cream left on for an hour or so every few days. Like a face mask I suppose. I don't exfoliate my face anymore, that causes flares, but I do use Clarins Camomile toner, one night missed and it's back to square one so it must be doing something.

CaptainWarbeck Sun 04-Jun-17 10:08:29

That's how I came across it fox. Lots of dermatologists recommend it because it's so gentle on your skin.

Doesn't really smell of anything though, and packaging is boring, it's not a very glamorous style and beauty product!

Hulder Sun 04-Jun-17 10:11:28


Otherwise your skincare should be really really boring to avoid upsetting or irritating your skin in anyway.

Avoid all the Effaclar stuff etc - it's for people who have acne that isn't as bad as yours. Will be no where near as effective as the Zineryt you have already tried.

You want really simple cleanser and moisturiser with no ingredients that are going to irritate your skin in anyway - which is why so many people use Cetaphil.

I love Cerave more than Cetaphil but it's hard to get here - only on Amazon - but in the US it's a cheap drugstore product and what their derms recommend to everyone.

Then leave the 'treatment' aspect to your GP/dermatologist. If you don't geet an NHS referral seriously think about a private appointment - it will be the best £200 (ish) you have ever spent. Think about how much you have wasted on skincare and it might seem value for money.

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