Monday, April 20, 2015

Adult Acne Part 3

Adult Acne Part 3

Adult Acne Part 1
Adult Acne Part 2

I'd love for this to be the closing chapter but with my skin (and life for that matter), nothing is quite plain sailing. Anyway time for an update, an upbeat catch up - yes ladies and gentlemen, my skin has finally started to behave and not through medication.

Above I have linked part 1 and part 2 of my acne struggles, in order to keep things condensed let me briefly explain what has happened up until now. I've had acne on and off my entire teen and adult life, it seemingly gets better for a good few years then comes back with a vengeance. In the past I have experienced less than stellar doctors, who pawned it off as something most people go through and offered next to no help. After a bout of mostly clear skin, with just the odd breakout my acne returned in October of 2014. I initially wrote it off as several things: stress, poor diet, climate changes due to travel and only admitted defeat in late December and sought out medical treatment. I was prescribed various antibiotics, some of which did work in the short term but not enough for me to continue. I have been referred to a Dermatologist to see if Roaccutane would be a good fit, after much deliberation I decided against the idea.

Adult Acne Part 3

I know many will be curious to why I have decided that antibiotics weren't the route for me - in a nutshell: side effects and my health. Despite having what most would deem a medium skin tone and skin that tans very easily, I began experiencing Photosensitivity to the oral antibiotics. Without going into too much detail, it is a reaction to sunlight resulting in burnt skin and a rash - this was with a high SPF. I can't live my life indoors, fearing the sun - nor do I want to badly damage my skin, acne scarring and hyperpigmentation (those pesky red marks blemishes leave behind) is one thing but UV damage is a lot more serious in my opinion. Sadly the group of antibiotics used to treat acne all belong within the same category but vary in strengths, meaning most of the side effects apply to each drug i.e they all can trigger a sensitivity to light. I was offered some topical lotions but was warned that these too could result in my skin burning - this was not a chance I was willing to take. In the back of my mind, I was also concerned that my body would build up a tolerance to antibiotics, rendering them useless should I fall ill. As someone who very seldom takes paracetamol or any medication for that same very reason, I decided that traditional medication wasn't the way forward for me.

My Dermatologist suggested trying Saw Palmetto which is a natural supplement as well as switching to water based skin care products, changing my pillow case nightly and a diet change to see if that would perhaps help. I must stress that Saw Palmetto will not be for everyone, my acne is hormonal based (I have a slight hormonal imbalance) and this works by lowering such hormone, working similar to a DHT blocker - this is so far from the exact science it is embarrassing but hopefully you get the jist. That of course is in laymen's terms, if in a similar position to myself please don't rush and purchase Saw Palmetto, go and speak to a professional - it really is better to be safe than sorry, I hate to say it but internet advice is not the best advice.

Adult Acne Part 3

Thus far the combination seems to be working, gone is my huge, painful cystic blemishes and my skin is relatively clear. I do still get small blemishes but they do not scar nor are they overly painful.
Saw Palmetto is a not a miracle cure and the diet overhaul has been far from easy but I like being somewhat in control of my skin, rather than betting on a facial mask or treatment.The main changes to my diet are: I only drink water (sometimes with lemon) - no fizzy drinks, I have cut out processed sugar and lowered my dairy intake. I also avoid processed food and have stripped back my skin care routine (follow up post is in the works). It hasn't been easy but my skin is in far better condition than it was a few months ago. I'm not for one moment bashing antibiotics for treating the skin in any way - if it works for you and you are happy with the results then continue. Honestly I know I would if I was in the same position.

The real point of this post is to say that if you aren't having any luck with prescribed medication, do not give up hope nor discount seeking more natural methods with the correct guidance. Please, please bear in mind all of the above is merely my personal experiences, I am by no means a skin care expert and merely wanted to share my acne journey.

I'm not really sure what else I can say, so I turn this over to you.
Is there anything you want me to follow up with other than my skin care routine?
I also want to ask has anyone else who has suffered with acne given up on antibiotics as a treatment route?

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  1. I totally feel for you. I've had very similar acne struggles and the toll it takes on both one's physical appearance and mental health can be hard to deal with. I'm happy you've found something that works well for you! I eventually went the accutane route and I couldn't be happier. It's been a year and half since I finished my course of meds and I've had just minor spots here and there. What a relief once you find what works for your skin!

    xo Brianna | Glazed Over

  2. I was prescribed both the things that you featured in the photos in this post and they didn't work for me in the long run either! I actually did decide to go with Roaccutane and appeared to be one of the lucky ones that experienced very few side effects. The only thing that bothered me was how dry my lips got. Apart from that, it was great! I am now acne free and feel good about it. However, I know it is not for everyone and we all react differently to medication. I hope everything continues to go well for you and your skin clears up even more! x

    Holly | holly la beau

  3. Totally feel your struggle, you're not alone! I've recently started taking BCP's and tried out silver serum - I'm noticing results after a week or so, so fingers crossed I've struck lucky this time. Sending my best skin wishes your way! xx

  4. Great post - I still struggle with adult acne. Not good at 23 really.

    Lizzie Dripping

  5. I still struggle. I have seen a big improvement recently though. I double cleanse first with an oil based cleanser then a micellar water. Then I dry my face and use Panoxyl which is one of the over the counter benzoyl peroxide type things. I have tried antibiotics in the past but they didn't really do anything.
    I'm so glad you're seeing results, it's such a relief when it happens isn't it?

  6. I have had acne now for about 20 years. Nothing I have tried, antibiotics, skincare, diet, supplements have worked. I know its hormonal as during the latter part of my pregnancy my skin was spot free for about 2 months (something that has never happened before). I would love to see a good dermatologist (someone that might prescribe similar things as the doctor Caroline Hirons recently interviewed on her blog) but I've never heard anyone in Glasgow giving any glowing recommendations for any. So, if anyone has anyone they would recommend I would love to hear them.

  7. I love that you're sharing this with us. I partly feel your struggle, I had acne as a teen and my skin has calmed down since then (I'm 23) but it reminds me so much of what I went through. I'm glad someone told you about photo sensitivity because my dermatologist at the time didn't and I have so many marks :( It must be hard to change your diet, but you seem to be managing well :) xxx

  8. Really interesting to hear someone else's experiences with adult acne, especially from the other side of the fence- after years of fighting with acne, I was recommended roaccutane and chose to go down that route. I don't regret it, but definitely respect your choice- it was brutal. Worst of all, it was badly managed by the hospital I attended and therefore hasn't worked to full effect, talk about gutting.

    Your experience has renewed my will to go back to my doctor and see what else is out there- I've been fobbed off with so many excuses about my skin or told so much rubbish (including that I should consider pregnancy as a cure, yes really) but I think it's time to get my game face back on.

    Wish you all the best with your current treatment/plan of action. Brilliant series of posts to read.

  9. Diet is such a big factor. Glad to hear you have a handle on it. I've also found that less is more with the number of skincare products that I use.

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

  10. glad you are starting to see improvement! I found cutting back on dairy so good, as well as caffeine too. Really interested to hear more about the saw palmetto so keep us updated!

  11. I saw my dermatologist again on Tuesday. I'm doing another three months on the lymecycline but I agree it's not lovely. The thrush has been a distraction! That said, my skin is improving, and we think it's mainly scarring that's left, though it's still quite red. The derm did offer me a topical cream, but said it might cause dryness elsewhere. My skin is actually great bar the spots, so I declined. I hope the cream works for you!

    What is helping with the scarring is Alpha H Liquid Gold, and REN clay cleanser is helping with the redness.

  12. Really good to hear that your skin is improving and it sounds like you're much more in control of it now :-) xx

    Ramblings of a Beauty Bird | Beauty Blog

  13. I'm glad that you are finally seeing some results! Also very glad it's not from antibiotics or roaccutane, there is only so much medication human bodies can cope with and I really wish more Dermatologists new that.
    Best of luck with your skin in the future :)

  14. I feel your pain I struggle with adult acne myself. Try getting a retina- a cream. It helps with unclogging pores.


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