Ok let me start out by telling a little about my history with acne. I have been a constant sufferer of cystic acne since I was 12 years old, mostly on the cheeks. I am now 25, and still breaking out with some bad scarring on my cheeks and a couple spots on my forehead. My mom took me to the dermatologist about year after I began breaking out. He prescribed Retin-A, which didn't help at all. Went back about a year later, and he prescribed me Differin Gel. Helped the few spots of pustular acne I had but nothing for the persistant acne. I didn't go back for a while, just tried to handle things on my own by trying several different OTC remedies. Of course, none really helped. After I gave birth to my second child, my face starting breaking out severely again. I went back to the dermatologist and he insisted I try Accutane, telling me it was probably the only thing that would help. I was reluctant to try because -
1. I had heard several horror stories about the drug and frankly I wasn't comfortable with the possible reported side effects
2. You are required to take BCP while on Accutane and any kind of hormonal BC gives me debilitating migraines
3. I was breastfeeding my daughter at that time.
Needless to say, I left with nothing but a script for a topical antibiotic and that's it. I went back a little over a year ago thinking of trying accutane, but changed my mind after reading the pamplet ( I am very leary of prescription drugs to begin with). That time I left the office with nothing, so I am thinking of switching dermatologists and find out if they have any more suggestions. As of right now I am broke out terribly in small red lumps around my mouth, a couple spots on my cheeks, and on my jawline. I started breaking out bad again since using the Neutrogena Oil Free moisturizer, but I feel my skin needs a moisturizer. I was using the Neutrogena Advanced Care Acne kit, but have since stopped because I started Epidermex..I have been using it once a week for just 2 times now, but haven't noticed a big difference. It only seems like my skin is red and irritated afterwards. I have rolling acne scars on my cheeks, and I feel I have honestly never seen someone with scarring bad as mine, not personally anyway. It kills my self esteem and makes me feel ashamed to talk to anyone close up. My skin looks horrible in bright light despite makeup. There are sometimes I never want to venture out into public again. All I've ever wanted was great skin and that's something I've never had and probably never will.
Has epidermx helped any of you with your scars? If not, what are my other options?
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I've never used Epidermx so I can't comment on that, but was wondering what else you may have tried. Have you tried monitoring your diet or taking vitamins and other supplements? There's some good threads on this board about digestive system cleansing, info on Perricone's Acne Prescription book(at least to learn more about how diet plays a role in acne), etc. If your acne's hormonal and you can't be on BCP, then there's some supplements like Vitex (chasteberry) and evening primrose oil that may help. They take a while to work, but with consistent use, they should help. I personally don't focus on topicals, since they just deal with the symptoms, but rather try to figure out what's going on inside of me that causes the breakouts.
Anyway, just some things to look into more if you haven't already. Good luck to you.
Hi. Ive had moderate acne on my chin jawline for 4 years now and just recently after going through all the antibiotics, topicals etc I've started to drink around 2 to 3 pints of water a day. the results have been brilliant with a total clear up of my really damaged, spotty and slightly cystic forehead. Diet is soo so important as lilac said. if i were you id ditch all the inorganic drugs and try something natural.
I am a faithful Epidermx user. Epiderm makes fabulous natural products for the skin that have really worked wonders on my scarring. The Epidermx, Tea Tree Oil Bar, and Camellia Oil are all wonderful products that I never see myself giving up! As far as breakouts go, it really helps my cysts/pimples go down extremely quickly (within 48 hours...when usually these suckers would take at least a week), however, it has not completely PREVENTED all new breakouts from forming. My acne is about 85% better, but I am still having small breakouts that I feel I shouldn't still be dealing with (21 yrs old.)
That is why I am about to start my second course of Accutane. It is, truly, a miracle drug for me... first time I was on it, I was cleared 100%. I mean, picture someone out of any magazine with that perfect airbrushed skin and THAT is what I looked like, no exaggeration. I was 100% clear for a year, then started getting maybe one little zit a month.. well fastforward four years later, and now my acne is back to a place where it's starting to actually bother me again. Yes, there are some POSSIBLE side effects, but throughout my entire course I was always healthy and felt great, even played tennis 5 days a week and was FINE!
I realize that Accutane may not be for everyone, but for me it is the only thing that gives me the skin I want, with nearly zero hassles. Personally, I think I had more sideffects being on Retin-A than I did Accutane! lol. Anyways, it's your choice. There are a few people on this board that were like you, hesitiant to go on Accutane but finally caved in and then after the course, they couldn't be happier with their decision. So it's up to you. Good luck, and yes, I would probably look into the Epidermx if I were you!!
I know you are really worried about trying accutane but honestly how many people do you know that have had more bad come out of it than good? I have read so many posts on here from people saying how much it changed their life and how they wished they would have tried it a long time ago. I have my acne under control right now with Yasmin birth control and Doxycycline but if it ever gets bad again I know I will go for the Accutane. Sometimes you just have to take leaps of faith! I really think that you need the birth control more than anything because your acne sounds very hormonal. You say all birth control pills have given you migraines? Which ones have you tried? My friend used to have migraines constantly on the pill and finally she started Yasmin and her skin cleared and the migraines were gone! You just need to find the right pill for you. I am on Yasmin as well and I love it! But it took alot of experimenting to find that it was the right one for me. I just thought I would suggest some things because you sound miserable and I hate that for you! You just have to get over your fears about these medications or you will never be happy. Hope I helped.
Wmoon24, I feel for you. I too have very nasty skin and hate to go out in public and will make any excuse lately (or when severly broken out) to see anyone. Scarring and the cysts suck - mine get really big and take over a month to go away. Actually I've had these 2 giant cysts (about the size of a nickel) now for about 45 days. I have 8 cysts total right now and about 25 other zits. Couple weeks ago had 11 cysts. I too get stressed and depressed about it. But of course then that adds to the acne. Dang it what does a person do. I have been trying a few things I learned here and right now I believe after doing a colon detox, my cysts and acne are at their worst! I hope and pray that this is the toxins coming out and getting as much acne to the surface as possible and soon will be on an end slop. Have added lots of supplements, multi vitamin, B complex (to maybe help with stress hormones), flax seed oil and now I am trying campho phenique. If this don't do it in say another week, I will call my derm. My appt isnt until end of October.....she's on maternity leave. Dang but I can't handle the actual pain, and disfigurement. I literally am deformed. My face looks so gross and looks like an orange peel, very large pores, and extremely oily, oh lets not forget the big speed bumps or whatever they are - so deformed. So disgusted. I am doing last resorts and going to ask for accutane (I've tried EVERYTHING else, well almost everything - believe me). So I am giving one more week, and then calling the derm and saying I can't take it, get me in to another derm and please treat me before I have no face left.
I feel you pain hon, I too have children. My 9 year old just asked me tonight (I sometimes try to conceal my acne and cysts - good luck, looks like concealed big bumps), anyway she says "Mom whats that on your face?" I said "what do you mean?" She said "the red things." I said "pimples." She said "yea but the red part all around them, whats that?" Try to explain cystic acne to a 9 year old without feeling like a real winner. Bless my daughters soul, she was just asking, not meaning to hurt me.
So.............whoa, sorry for the long boring story or whatever it was.
Thanks for your replies. I have thought seriously about the Accutane, but the only thing that has held me back is my fear of the side effects of accutane and BC pills, and my past history of major depression and anxiety. I was researching on the internet today and came upon several sites that stated Accutane could worsen or cause depression and/or suicidal thoughts. That in itself scares me because it was something I used to deal with for years before starting an antidepressant 4 years ago. I don't even know if I could take the Accutane and my antidepressant together. Like I said in my previous post, my biggest problem now is the scarring/uneven texture on my face, and continuing breakouts around the mouth, sometimes on the cheeks still, and on the jawline. Did any of you on Accutane find that it made your face appear smoother or more evenly textured and get rid of some of the redness/blotchiness, or did it just get rid of the recurrent cysts?
I am also not sure they will let you use accutane because of your depression history. If they do, they would have to really monitor you, but I'm not sure they would even let you?????
From what I read from a CareBear and Suzy something on another thread about accutane, their skin became beautiful, they raved so much. They said it was so beautiful, smooth, soft, better toned (even), and helped a little with texture. Which is awesome for them.......I'm sure everyone has different results though.
It's been 15 months since I took my last accutane pill. The first 8 months off accutane were wonderful, the oil did start coming back slowly but no major breakouts. But now, in the past 2 months I've become nearly the same as before. I'm very depressed. At age 29 and having taken accutane twice now I feel like giving up. I went through so much with the last round of accutane, the dry eyes were unbearable even with high priced eye drops, i was tired all the time and felt horrible for 6 months. Not to mention the price even with insurance was so high. Personally it's not worth the hassle.