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.
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.
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?