I'm posting this because I spent over a year perusing online message boards like this one hoping that somewhere I'd find something that would work for me as well...so I'm hoping this helps someone else. I'm currently 24 and had beautiful clear skin all my life then suddenly started getting crazy cystic acne all over my cheeks, chin, and even some on my forehead when I was 22-23. I tried pretty much everything under the sun for a year (seriously)....I used Proactiv for months (was a joke...didn't help at all), Murad, La-roche-Posay, Skinceuticals, got a prescription for Differin, got a prescription for Yaz, tons of over the counter acne treatments, tried microdermabrasion/chemical peels and changing my diet....nothing helped long-term.
It got to the point where I was actually embarrassed of my acne and semi-depressed...I'd always have about 3 or 4 big cystic pimples and then another probably 10-12 regular red/whitehead/blackhead pimples on my face at any given time. The cystic pimples took months to go away and left scars. Finally after a year or so I went to a dermatologist my friend recommended, and he told me that for moderate-severe acne, it's all about using a combination of things to come at the acne from several directions, instead of just one or two prescriptions, topical only, antibiotic only, etc. He pescribed the following for me:
0.04% Retin-A Micro gel
Triaz prescription face wash
Benzaclin as a topical treatment for my existing pimples--did not use this on my whole face
First let me just say...I'm convinced the Doryx and Retin-A micro alone would have done the trick...they are MIRACULOUS. I could rave about Doryx all day for what it has done to my face. I know what works for one person doesn't work for everyone, but it is amazing! NOTHING had helped my face before this, and literally within a month of following this regimen every day my face was drastically clearer. Within two months, my skin was CLEAR. As in no pimples. The cystic acne cleared right up as well as the smaller pimples. A couple months in, once the pimples were gone, I had a series of four Silkpeel microdermabrasion and chemical peel combos and now my skin is glowing...back the way it was before all this acne started.
After a couple months, I stopped taking the Spiro and only used the face wash a couple times a week. After three months, I only took the Doryx once every 2-3 days. It's now been nine months and my skin is still clear. =]
I have some left over Doryx that I still take maybe once every week or two if that. I still get maybe a small pimple once a month, but it clears right up--have not had a cystic pimple since i started this regimen. I use the Retin-A Micro every night. I hope this helps someone out...I remember how I felt a year ago and it sucks....a LOT. I spent a lot of time stressing about my acne...so I hope i can help ease your stress! =] Don't give up...you can do it. Hopefully this will work for you too...
The Following User Says Thank You to slthomas123 For This Useful Post: kelyems (05-31-2011)
in terms of going to a dermatologist, a lot of the time the skin care meds and regimen are unique to every patient. i've been to a derm as well, but i've been given differin, ben prox wash, and solodyn 90mg. it's working wonderfully here. i'm glad to hear that your skin's clear now! I'm halfway there.
Last edited by Administrator; 02-02-2010 at 01:12 PM.
Could you tell me more about the microdermabrasion and the chemical peels? I had cystic acne and took Accutane. Now I have pits on my cheeks and have thought about seeing a derm for that. Was it expensive? Does insurance usually cover part of it? Could you go to work afterwards? Does your face get really red? Does it hurt? thanks.
Hiiiii everyone I'm hoping this story is as encouraging to you as it is to me. I'm a 20 yr old girl and out of the blue in the past 9 months or so I started getting very severe acne on my forehead, cheeks, and jawline. At first it was tolerable, I didnt mind it much because I would always get a pimple here and there, but my skin was always beautiful.. then suddenly it wasn't. Out of nowhere one pimple would come after the other and soon enough they were everywhere. I'm always taking care of my body with exercise and diet, so I knew it couldn't have been anything relating to that. I literally tried EVERYTHING. I did over the counter stuff, prescription creams, antibiotics, chemical peels, natural body cleaners.. NOTHING worked and I got very discouraged, I'm very social and it honestly got to the point where I didn't want to go anywhere. What was worse was the red spots the acne would leave when it would FINALLY go away (only to come back a week later).
After trying everything, my dermo recommended birth control for 4 months (2 months pre accutane treatment) just to see if it would help some, it didn't at all (i think it even made it worse). Anyway, I wanted accutane to be my last resort. Both my siblings went on it at a young age and when I mentioned the possibility to them they immediately tried talking me out of it. I did my own research on it, learned everything I possibly could about it, and I figured at that point I had nothing to lose (except lots of money on prescriptions). I went to the dermo and got my first month supply.. I'm only 25 days into it and I HAVE CLEAR SKIN!!!!! I can't believe the immediate results I have gotten, esp because I know it can make acne worse before it gets better. I'm sure side effects are a concern for most of you, and they were def. mine.. So far the side effects I have had are:
- Migraines the first week and a half (I've had migraines all my life though)
- A little harder getting out of bed in the morning, but once I do I'm up and running.
- Lower back pains which sucks because I'm an athlete but they are tolerable and nothing serious
-Dry skin and chapped lips.
So far this is it, i don't mind any of it because of how amazing my skin looks (crossing my fingers it stays like this). The whole depression thing is BS in my opinion.. I know everyone has their own life and story but I think one of the main reasons depression occurs is because you expect it because its all the dermo's talk about when they warn you.. then again everyone is different.
Needless to say, I love accutane..so far lol! It has done wonders for me and my complexion.. and the red spots have even gone away for the most part! I've been using Vitamin E oil every night which I believe has helped them fade, but also my skin peeling. Best of luck to you all and if you are hesitant DONT BE! if anything you will be so much happier because of the results! I'll post back in another month or so with an update!
I was wondering - sorry if this is too personal - around how much you weigh? I'm taking 50 mg of spiro and my doctor is dragging her feet about letting me take 100 mg of spiro. I'm about 115 pounds and really just want my acne to improve as quickly as possible. I've been on it for 6 weeks and have seen a little bit of improvement - but not a LOT.
Dear CPOFF, Results with Spiro take time~~like 3-6 months. You will see some improvement before that long but you should give it atleast a couple months. I've read that dosage for treating hormonal acne is usually 100-200 mg / day and that dosage is built up to over a period of time.
Over and over the success stories with Spiro say to be patient and consistent. My wish for you is the same as the one for myself: CLEAR SKIN!
Last edited by Administrator; 02-02-2010 at 01:11 PM.
Hi Stefanie.. I have tried every soap, antibiotic and drying lotion known to man, but when you have excess oil and cysts coming from way down at the bottom of a pore, it is another type of acne. The hormonal cystic nodules are hard to stop because of the excess secretions of sebum. Spiro balances the excess testerone that is causing this sebum. The pimples that sit on the surface are the ones that you can dry up, but the nodules are the ones that almost have a root and they erupt slowly to the surface and stays hard and then scars with a pit or a red mark. They take forever to go away.Anyone who has this knows what I'm talking about. Spiro is the blocker discovered to stop this hormonal imbalance. Men can't take this because they need the hormone. Women don't need as much. There is a great book called the hormonally vunerable woman. Good reading and makes sense. Long term usage seems to be okay. Just can't take while pregnant. Accutane stops the oil to a degree, but can come back due to the fact that it can't balance hormones.