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doudeli 02-13-2008 11:28 AM

Long difficult acne story... still there
First of all, I apologize for my English (not my first language).

I have been looking through many other acne stories tread and I didn't find any that I can compare with my experience.

I have been dealing with acne since at least 15 years. I don't really have much hope anymore. I've got days that it get me very frustrated and upset. They are days I don't dare going out. The first thing people see between each other is the face and that's my worst body part.

I tried practically everything over-the-counter products. I tried 3 or 4 different kind of birth pills (which every one of them made me very nauseating) and which didn't help my acne & my PMS. I tried Tetracycline and a couple other antibiotics and prescriptions creams. Without success...
I got an appointment with a dermatologist. I had so much hope on that. First of all, she checked my skin for 2 seconds under a light and gave me a prescription. I felt really rushed... and in-and-out appointment. She practically threw me out for the next patient. I never got the chance to try to get some answers to my numerous questions and she never explained what she prescribed me. They only thing she said to me is to go back to see her after 4-6 months if there wasn't any improvement. I went to get my prescription the same day. Of course, my insurance doesn't pay anything on acne prescriptions and the bill was $150 for a month. The pharmacist started explaining to me how to use my products. Come to find out, the dermatologist had practically prescribed the same medication that I was on before I went to see her. I left the drugstore empty-handed.

The only other option at her opinion was Acutane. I read a lot about Acutane and I'm absolutely convinced to never try that medication. I work outside most of the time and there is a big warning to avoid direct sunlight with it. Along the side effects list is depression. I already have really bad PMS and feeling depress is on my list of symptoms.

Afterward I tried Burts Bee, Zenmed, Revivogen and others. The only reason why I did try those last products was because I had a money back guarantee. I can't imagine how much money I spent on acne products... and I don't think I want to know.

I completely stopped using acne products for about 1 year now. Why should I keep spending if nothing works!? I thought that maybe it would give a break to my skin. It's been so many years I kept applying harsh creams!

Since the past 2 years, I noticed that I don't just have small "normal" pimples. I've got more cystic acne... hard, big and deep inside my skin. It's bad when I can feel throbbing pain all over my face. And those ones take so long to go away.

Few years ago, I would have a little break the week after my period. Now my face never really clear up. It's constantly and just keep adding. I feel, as I will never win this battle. In good days, I say to myself:"stop being a cry baby, you've got above your head and you've got love". But unfortunately there is more bad days. I didn't think having a clear skin would be one of my biggest dreams that don’t come true. I just want to look at myself in the mirror and not only see all my pimples and a face under it... a face that I'm happy with.

Right now I'm considering acupuncture. I read it could be very beneficial to regulate hormones and help acne. I really have to push myself and be positive... It just seems that I get more and more upset with less and less hope each time that I try something new and it don’t work.

I just want a clear face... I want something called confidence! :(

karm0099 02-13-2008 01:10 PM

Re: Long difficult acne story... still there
Hi there - You are not alone! I was near tears yesterday :( Don't give up hope. I went off bcp pills 4 months ago and the result is not pretty. I have done a lot of research and am convinced that I am androgen sensitive. My testosterone is not too high, I am just very sensitive to it. You can get a book called "breaking out, a woman's guide to acne" that really explains it. What you may need is an androgen blocker. A natural anti-androgen, and good for PMS is saw palmetto found at any drug store. It's ok for women to take it, my dr. said so, but not if you are going to get pregnate. I've been taking 6 a day, 2 at a time. My dr. also prescribed spironolactone, which is a blood pressure med, but doubles as an androgen blocker. I am hoping this will work, takes 2-3 months. I started the saw palmetto yesterday and I think my skin calmed down overnight. A way to naturally decrease the oil in the skin is to drink about 4 cups of spearmint tea a day. I also take a product called frutels (look up online) which helps calm acne down. And take a tablespoon of flax seed oil a day, it helps with acne and PMS. I am also going to try vitex (chaste tree berry) supposed to be good for acne and PMS. I think blocking the androgens is the answer for me and the evil cysts. I am going to give it a try. Good luck to you.

doudeli 02-13-2008 01:24 PM

Re: Long difficult acne story... still there
Thank you Karm0099 !

I know I'm not alone in this acne situation. But knowing that a perfect stranger write back on my tread kinda help. I don't really know why I decided today that I was writing here... not typically something I would do... and I never really talk about my feelings about it to people. For the few times I kinda say something.. I get the "ho... you're not that bad, stop it!". Well... it is a big deal to me... I'm the one that have to look in the mirror for the past 15 years with "bipppp" pimples all over my face.

Thanks again !

I hope the treatment you just started work for you !

krlsgrl 02-26-2008 06:09 PM

Re: Long difficult acne story... still there
i understand your frustration with the dermatologists. mine has prescribed at least 2 rx's which were over $100 each.
today when i saw her, i politely asked for generic prescriptions. i was totally surprised when she agreed nicely and changed the meds to ones i can afford.

i agree -- it's a long road. my diet is so restricted due to stuff i avoid due to headaches and stuff i avoid for my skin health (dairy and now trying to eliminate wheat, which is in everything!!!!!!!)

hang in there, you aren't the only one :-)

AddyS 04-13-2008 05:39 PM

Re: Long difficult acne story... still there
I do empathize with you and your situation. I tried everything too. The only treatment that worked for me was Accutane, and it worked terrific! It took away my big cysts and my face cleared up! No more pimples!! I had no side effects whatsoever that I can remember. Its been a while now since I took it. You just have to be sure that you do NOT get pregnant while on this medication. If you can do that, then you are safe. You should try a course of Accutane. I have had acne for 30 years. Over the years I went on Accutane a total of 3 times. The wonderful effects of the medicine last a few years and then you may get acne again, or you may not. I did get some acne after about about 5 years each time, but the acne wasn't as bad. Now as I am getting older, I still get a small painful cyst type acne on my chin before my period almost every month. But thats about it. You may notice your skin is drier on this medicine. So you just put more lotion on. Easy to deal with! GIve it more thought.

AddyS 04-13-2008 05:48 PM

Re: Long difficult acne story... still there
Doudeli, I forgot to mention that my brother is a Dermatologist, and I know he wouldn't let me take anything he felt was dangerous. The bad side effects are rare. But you cannot get pregnant while taking this medicine!! I can't stress that enough. Your Doctor should see you once a month during the time you are taking the Accutane and he takes your blood and checks it for any abnormalities. You will be monitored.

doudeli 05-12-2008 11:06 AM

Re: Long difficult acne story... still there
Hello krlsgrl

Well I think you are a lot better than me for your very restricted diet. I do try my best to watch what I eat, but at one point, I'm saying to myself :"Life is short and we only have one... so enjoy when you can". I could give any type of reason (working and living in a hotel room every week... poor diet schedule with working on construction...) but I guess at the end, it's all my choices =)

For several months now, I only use Cetaphil... nothing else. There is absolutely no difference with my acne by using medicated acne products or not. It's been so many years I kept trying and switching from one product to another one (after few months on each) that I thought I would give my skin a little break. I always thought that if I didn't use medicated products (which contains salicylic acid or benzoid peroxid) that my skin would get more oily which would results in more pimples. Well it did the first 1-2 weeks that I stopped using those products (because my skin kept producing more oil to compensate what the products were "removing" from it). My level of oil is better now than the past 15 years. Still have acne... but not worse than while using medicated products AND I don't use those very harsh chemicals products on my skin anymore.

Good luck to you too ! I hope that your prescription works for you.


Hello AddySarah

I'm very glad to hear that Accutane worked very well for you. Personnaly, I would rather still have pimples and painful cysts than trying this product. I guess that a personal choice that each person decide what they do and what they put into their body. It's awesome you didn't experienced any side effects ! I read a lot about acne and different way to try to treat it. As I wrote in my first blog, Accutane was supposely my only and last option to try after the over $100 prescription that the dermatologist had prescribed me. Good for you if you didn't have any side effects, but I did read MANY blogs and results of research on this medication. Depression... suicide... I'm a person that is already easily prone to depression (really bad PMS and way too sensitive =). For me, it's totally not worthy to use that "loaded chemical medication" and risk my physical and emotionnal health. AND from all the reading I've done and your own experience... the result doesn't even last.

I'm not saying that dermatologists (which include your brother) doesn't know what they are doing or anything like that, but I think each person have their own way to believe on something. Think about it a second... how much chemicals you think there is on Accutane for it to cause severe birth defects without mentionning the long list of others. They might be rare, but they are there (and everywhere online when you do a search for "Accutane reviews and/or side effects").

But as I said before, I'm very glad that it did work out for you ! It's all about our own choices of what we want to put inside and out of our body !

doudeli 05-12-2008 12:01 PM

Re: Long difficult acne story... still there
Hello Readers !

I've noticed the amount of people that read the tread I started... pretty amazing ! I should really try to keep on checking more often about people responses. It makes me feel that I'm not alone in that (which I knew already... but it's good to read about it).

I thought I would share my experience of a new treatment I started 2 months ago. I perfectly know that it's not everybody that believe in alternative medicine... so... take it if you want... if not, it's totally fine ! =)
If you talk to "normal" doctors and/or dermatologists, they usually don't believe in alternative medicine. They believe in prescriptions... which equal chemicals. I'm a person that believes to try natural products before putting even more chemicals in my system.

So, few months ago, I read an article in the newspapers about acupuncture and what it could do. Wow... the list is very long ! Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most common and dependable medical therapies used in the world. It is simple, safe, effective and sustainable health care by its' nature.

When I tell people that I started having acupuncture treatments, the first question they normally ask me is "does it hurt ?" Most of the time, when it does hurt, by the time you say "ouch", you don't feel the pain anymore. =)
I personally noticed that I was a bit more sensitive to the needles when I'm ovulating.

I did a lot of search online to find acupuncturists and I realized that I couldn't afford 1 or 2 treatments a week at $75 per session (and that's a average price... I found some at $90). I was ready to forget about that alternative medicine because of the cost when I finally found "Manchester Acupuncture Studio". It's a community acupuncture clinic model, helping to make acupuncture available to anybody in the US who is interested, regardless of means or insurance coverage. You decide what you can afford. They have a sliding scale that starts at $15 and up depending of your salary. They are the only one in New Hampshire for now, but it's getting more popular and we can find those clinics in other states too. Even with the price of gas, it's much more affordable for me to drive 45 minutes to 1 hour to get there than regular acupuncturist. This place and most "affordable acupuncture room" have a totally different approach that regular acupuncture (where you lay on a table in a room where you are just you and the acupuncturist). Those affordable treatments are giving in a comfortable group setting.. I should ask Andy (the owner... awesome guy !) a little commission for this "advertisement". They opened last June and they already have around 150 patients a week. If interested on more info... check their website : [url][/url]

So I started acupuncture about 2 months ago for many things, but one of my most important reasons was my acne (which is related with my "dear" hormones). He did told me to at least give 2 full menstruals cycles before we can see if the treatments work for me. Well... my hopes are a little higher since 2 days. I realized that I've got my period early (which the acupuncturist told me that my cycle would be a little different at the beginning...) and that my face wasn't as bad as it use to get before I get my periods.

It's a good sign ! And my PMS wasn't as intense this month either... I didn't get the "***** begun" as strong as other months... or others years ! =)

So I found something new, natural, no chemicals and no pain, affordable that could help with many other conditions.... and it's not a lifetime treatment !

I will keep posting about this new treatment... hey, maybe because of this blog, somebody would read this, try acupuncture and make their life a little better ! =)

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