Acne since the age of nine, now 22 years old - need to vent.
I have suffered from an aggressive strain of Acne since the age of nine, it started with mild Acne flares in the fourth grade and soon progressed to full body Acne by the time I was twelve ( before I had even had a menstrual period) my face, neck, upper and lower back as well as my entire chest cavity was covered with deeply inflamed nodules that multiplied every single day, I would literally be breaking out every few hours and by the time I came home from school my face and neck would be covered in new lesions. By the time I was thirteen I was seen by a dermatologist and prescribed a round of topical creams in various strengths and forms which I used religiously, when those failed I was then put on three different types of birth control all to no effect, then Tretracycline, and when I was fourteen I started my first trial of Accutane which lasted over sixth months and like so many other therapies also failed (zero improvement). By this time it was then suggested that my Acne was possibly ''hormonal'' in origin as opposed to bacterial, I was given rigorous testing by endocrinologists to check for hormonal imbalances in my blood (excess of Androgens inquiry) and ultrasounds to check for Pollycystic ovaries - nothing was found, my periods were regular like clock work, no cysts, no excess of Androgens, nothing was abnormal.
Then when I was seventeen I was put back on Accutane two more times to no avail, and then was sent to a food allergist to check to see if any unknown food allergies or candida overgrowth were responsible for causing this resistant strain of Acne - still nothing was found, my diet was flawless I had been Vegan since the age of thirteen (no eggs, no milk and zero fatty foods) and ate mostly vegetables so they really couldn't conclude anything over that either. By that time I had turned to expensive skin creams and pricey serums, lotions, moisturizers, high end makeup and had bought the Proactive system a total of 60 times between the ages of 12 and 19 and other various acne systems, liquid diets, supplements, put in an Acne study conducted in Toronto by several dermatologists, still nothing ever worked for me the Acne seemed to get stronger and more aggressive by the day and no one could ever tell me why. I continued to see different Endocrinologists, receive ultrasounds ( to check for any rising signs of PCOS), even had an MRI performed to check for a pituitary adenoma in my brain but yet nothing has ever surfaced as the cause. I also have Hirsutism and struggle constantly with my weight despite eating only raw foods yet my periods are totally regular and there's never any signs of Androgens in my blood tests or saliva analysis so I can't meet the criteria for any syndrome, I had even been prescribed Spironolactone for a year, which is an anti-androgen drug that they thought they would try on me because it was theorized even though I didn't have elevated Androgens that possibly I just had ''hormonal sensitivity'' and that the drug could be used to block all androgen receptors - Almost a year later I've had zero improvement from this drug. I'm now 22 years old am still covered in Acne from practically head to toe, and have totally given up, at my wits end - I have done everything, seen everyone yet no answers are ever given to me, fair to say I'm drowning in immense despair. Can anyone else relate to this! what is wrong with me.
Re: Acne since the age of nine, now 22 years old - need to vent.
My daughter is starting Acutane in three weeks. She, like you has been on so many things. Creams, Pills, diets. She has had several ovarian cysts and was put on birth control pills. Didn't help acne, but has helped with the ovary pain. Now that she is on the pill, she can start Acutane. Her dr. calls it the "miracle pill". Sure hope it is. Wish I could tell you what to do for your acne. Will put you in my prayers, because you sound so hopeless about this. There is something out there, just get a dr. that will keep looking.
Re: Acne since the age of nine, now 22 years old - need to vent.
Hi, I read your post. First off I am not a Doctor. I do suffer from annoying acne, but not extreme. It started for me when I was 9 as well, I started menstruating when I was 10. I also have a mild case of PCOS so mine is mostly due to hormone imbalances... but the solution I am going to suggest to you has nothing to do with hormones.
I am an American who grew up hearing American medical propaganda about how dangerous seeking international medical attention is. When I was a little girl I saw first hand that Western medicine doesn't have all the answers when my little brother randomly started suffering from tics after a tremendous strep infection... He was diagnosed with this Western phenomenon know as "Tourettes"... Turns out that it is widely known in third world countries where they don't have antibiotics readily available to all segments of the population that tics are a common side affect of inborn strep infections that reside in the tonsils and ear canals and attack the coccyx of the brain. This causes nerve misfirings that manifest themselves in the form of "tics"... In America where we are growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics "Tourettes" is on the rise... My mother had to seek out a South American Doctor to find a solution. They removed my brothers tonsils and put tubes in his ears which were the two areas harboring the strep infection. With in a week of the surgery his "tics" were gone... Multiple American pediatric neurologists had told my family to give up and put my brother on tranquilizers to quell the tics... In summation I am not phobic about seeking opinions from International Doctors.
I joined the Navy as soon as I graduated high school and then started overseas contracting as soon as I completed my 4 years of service. I most recently contracted in Afghanistan. My job was stressful and I was only getting minimal sleep so naturally my hormones went bonkers and I started breaking out. One of my co-workers from the Balkans who is a Doctor in his home country suggested to me that I try the "staphylococcus toxoid " vaccine. It is basically a vaccine for staph. He told me he was administered the vaccine in Bulgaria about a decade ago. He showed me a picture of himself at 25 years old just prior to receiving the vaccine. He was riddled with acne. Purple and red everywhere. To look at him today you would NEVER know he suffered from acne. His skin is perfectly void of blemishes. I began researching the vaccine. There was a trial done here in Houston in 2009. They use the vaccine to treat fibro malagia and chronic fatigue syndrome but not acne here in the states. To my knowledge here in the States they have yet to approve the vaccine for use against acne. Furthermore. I don't trust most American docs when it comes to the endocrine system either. So might I suggest you again have a doctor from the Balkans look into your hormones, thyroids, etc... Hormone therapy has been a taboo subject until recently because of it's correlation with cancer here in the States.. I don't know what the Canadian docs philosophy on the endocrine system is... I will say this though, in the Balkans they have been screwing around with the endocrine system for decades. It is no secret that the Eastern Sub lock has no issue with steroid usage. Even though this is frowned upon for good reason, it has made them experts on the body's endocrine system. Your average meat head 20 year old in the Balkans has more knowledge about the endocrine system then most American docs do. After researching the vaccine I have decided not to get the vaccine because my issues are hormonal and I don't believe the vaccine would be as helpful to me, so I can not give you a personal account. My Doctor friend did tell me the shots are given to you in the back, three days apart, seven shots total. He said they are painful to receive and you experience tenderness for a little while after each shot. I hope this helps. Although a plane ticket from Toronto to the Eastern Sub lock isn't cheap, I can tell you that medical treatment there is cheaper then it is here in the West. Room and board is also very cheap. I sincerely hope that this is useful to you, and I sympathise with you. I am currently held up inside my parent's house dodging phone calls from friends anxious to see me while I am briefly home because I just received a chemical peal to get rid of all the scaring from my most recent harmone explosion. My face is a pealing scabby mess. Acne sucks! Best wishes in your fight.
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