Tuesday, November 24, 2015

(Hopefully) My Last Adult Acne Update

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.

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  1. Good on you for taking the more natural approach! Most of us don't have perfect skin, something I try to remember when I'm shaking my fist at my deep, dark genetic undereye circles and uneven skin tone. My skin's also improved since cutting dairy (six years ago or so) and just eating healthier in general. Good luck!

  2. It's great to hear more people are ditching the prescribed rubbish and opting for a more natural route! My holistic acne blog focuses on treating acne from the inside out and dairy and refined sugar are some of the biggest acne aggravators! Keep up the hard work and your skin will improve every week, your body and gut will still be healing from the antibiotics. <3

    Amy | Get That Glow |

    1. Argh…these people… natural doesn't mean better. Chemiophobia everywhere

  3. Glad to hear your skin is on the mend. I keep getting allergies which give me awful spots for a few days but thankfully it goes away. I had to use this horrible alcohol type stuff from the GP called Zineryt. It worked really well but was very drying on the skin.
    Now I just need to keep my antihistamines in check and I'm ok. Its horrible to have your skin feel like that, x

  4. I used to use tetralysal I was lucky and it cleared my skin up, gave me so much more confidence however it gave me the most terrible acid reflux though if it hadn't worked I wouldn't have continued to use either! I used it with the topical solution zineryt which worked but made my skin so dry and sensitive! Now I also take a more holistic approach watching what I eat, checking chemicals before I slap things on my skin and drinking gallons of water everyday, no side effects and works just as well X

  5. A month ago i fiiinally ditched the Differin for Epiduo with Benzoyl Peroxide. it has begun clearing up my skin (and scars! wooo) BUT my skin is so so so parched and flaky and dry because of it. i've had to use it every other night, and using a face oil helps, but it's just the worst. i suppose you can't have the best of both worlds haha, it just ruins all makeup application as it sort of separates on the skin.
    But yes, totally recommend anyone to just go to the doctor! x

  6. I'm really pleased that you've got it under control!

    I've got the Differing gel now I'm off the antibiotics and it is more gentle than the cream. My dermatologist recommended La Roche Posay products (that I was already using) and he was so lovely to me going through all the potential treatments and drawbacks. He also said my acne wasn't really even a 1 on the Leeds Scale. It had been bad though.

    I've been taking Omega 3 oil, which I think helps too. And only using acid toners to exfoliate.

  7. I've been through so much with my acne as well, so many different approaches have been made. unfortunately my skin was so horrible though when I was younger I seen no natural approach being able to work. I was eventually prescribed accutane and carried through the 8 months of it, along with monthly blood tests and the strict diet that comes along with it. while this worked for me it is incredibly harsh on the body; especially the liver and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone except as a last resort.
    I've found now to deal with my occasional breakouts (accutane didn't fully clear it up but it did change the nature of my pimples from big nasty ones that would pit and scar to just smaller easier to deal with regular acne) I use a more strict regimine but i prefer it over the pills and medication. I eat largely vegetarian as well and I find that helps. cutting out grease and unhealthy food in my diet helps my skin tenfold; I would recommend to anyone with acne problems to revaluate their diet first if they can!


  8. Fellow acne sufferer here! I'm on birth control to help control it. It is helping a little bit, but it's not an amazing fix. I recently just switched to a cleansing oil as well, and am shocked at how less inflamed my skin looks, rather than using a liquid cleanser. What cleansing oil are you currently using? I've got the Garnier nourishing one, but am curious to see what else is out there.


  9. Fab post! Although I've never experienced acne, I do get blemishes quite often. Tea tree is my life saver, as well as gently cleansing with a cream cleanser instead of the harsh exfoliating scrubs I used to use! X

    Everything But The Kitchen

  10. My daughter has acne and tried all the medication you wrote about. Some didn't work and others work for a while then stopped working. She then went on the pill and her skin cleared within a fortnight. It's the only thing that worked. She still gets the monthly visitors that just appear uninvited but mostly she's spot free. Glad your finding a solution that works for you. Was the pill not an option ? Xx

  11. Good on you! I was on Roaccutane for the longest time, it did however help me clear my acne but omggg the side effects was horrible. If i had a choice back then, i wouldn't have started roaccutane.

  12. I'm glad your skin is cleared up! So happy for you!:) I've never had acne before - and all of a sudden I'm covered in spots! I've tried drinking loads of water, & I don't really eat/drink dairy, I don't know what to do! x


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