Adult Acne Update

So earlier this year my acne returned and with a vengeance (you can read all the other posts in this series here - link), admittedly it was something I had battled with in my teens but it did settle down to occasional blemishes rather than full break outs. My skin has never been perfect and I doubt it ever will be, all I have ever strived for is "normal" - no huge lumps and bumps, no pitted scars and no need for medication (in the acne sense at least). I promise this post is less whiny than the opening paragraph lets on...

As I've mentioned in past posts I was prescribed antibiotics for my skin - Tetracycline and Differin, one is an oral antibiotic which left my skin sensitised by the sun and the latter is a topical cream that irritated my skin. If I am entirely honest I would most likely have put up the adverse effects had my skin cleared up (I believe that anti-biotics have their place in medicine and for some they will be the very thing needed to clear acne), it of course didn't. I was then prescribed Lymecycline, again it didn't agree with my skin and despite three months of my best efforts, my skin was just as inflamed an irritated as ever. I was then offered Roaccutane.

Adult Acne Update

Roaccutane is fairly controversial within the treatment of acne, it is often seen as a last resort and one that is not to be taken lightly. A good GP will explain that Roaccutane will not be for everyone due to numerous reasons, and should you be prescribed such drug, expect countless tests and monitoring. For me the health implications outweighed the benefits and I decided that it wasn't a risk I was willing to take. I should mention that Roaccutane has been the skin saving grace for many others, many of which happen to be my friends so I am not against it as an option, it just wasn't the best route of action for me. Basically do your research before agreeing to anything (medical, natural or anything for that matter), which I'm sure is the step of action most will take in regards to any medication.

The more I thought about my skin, the more I decided that I didn't want to be on anti-biotics of any type (each one seemed to disagree with me internally so it did seem pointless) and sought out more natural remedies. After what seems like an endless research, I read that Saw Palmetto can be helpful in the treatment of acne, as can limiting or cutting out dairy. Yep after a visit to a Dermatologist, a long chat with the green light to implement both changes, here we are six months later. 

Is my skin completely blemish free? Nope but it is more the occasional break out (and mostly hormonal at that) and completely manageable, more importantly the blemishes don't scar or pit and I somewhat feel in control of my skin. Along with ditching dairy (I do still eat the odd piece of chocolate etc), I ensure that I drink 2 litres of water and at the request of my dermatologist I take vitamin E, C and Omega 3,6 and 9 supplements. Apparently combined vitamin e and c will encourage the skin to heal quicker and Omega 3, 6 and 9 are natural inflammatories. Again this is not medical advice so do talk this step over with a professional before rushing into your local Boots store and stocking up. I also hate to be this guy but I also recommend taking any acne skin care advice read on the internet with a pinch of salt, very few are experts (myself included) and you can not beat professional advice and guidance.

Adult Acne Update

I've also made a few skin care changes, none of which are particularly expensive nor difficult to implement. I now only cleanse using a cleansing oil (solid, liquid or balm) as the oil glides over my skin, doesn't require any tough scrubbing actions and more importantly doesn't disturb any healing blemish. If I have a blemish that is in the midst of healing, I take care not to disturb the "head" (grim I know) by gently cleansing around the area, with a soft facial cloth and never sticking my face under the shower. I'm also a huge fan of Rosehip Oil as a skin care treatment; it helps to rejuvenate the skin and can aid the fading process of existing scarring and red marks (hyper-pigmentation). Again nothing here is set in stone and just a break down of what works for me.

If you are suffering from acne (adult or not) I do urge you to seek professional help, don't suffer in silence! If you read the comment sections within my previous posts, you will see that there are several other people with the same problem, most of who have kindly shared their experiences on what worked for them and what didn't. If anything I found the comment sections to be the most helpful element of this series (you can read all the other posts in this series here - link) - especially the links to other posts of a similar nature.

I'm by no means a skin care expert but if there are any questions I can help with do feel free to ask below or drop me an email and I'll be happy to help as best I can.