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Acne board

Hi everyone,

Desperate for advice! I'm sure my acne is hormone related, as I get large, painful red bumps (cysts?) at my time of ovulation and the few days before my period - I never really get smaller spots. Each one takes days to come out, and then they sit for weeks, before gradually flattening and leaving a dark red mark.

I feel like I've tried everything (over-the-counter stuff, Duac, Differin, Yasmin, Proactive, diet changes, Omega 3, special vitamins... ). Each one I've given 3 or 4 months. Duac and Differin burned my skin so much, and didn't make much difference. Yasmin helped for the ovulation zits but as soon as I went on the pill-free/placebo week I would break out worse than ever and my emotional state was all over the place. Those few days each month, plus the horror stories on the internet about Yasmin, hair loss, blood clots etc made me stop taking it after 4 months. Plus I'm sure my facial hair increased because of Yasmin. Proactive worked for a couple of months, but doesn't seem to be helping anymore. Plus I feel its for teenage skin - I'm 32!

I had mild teenage acne - nothing serious - which went away at the age of 19 when I went on the pill (Marvelon/Desogen), and stayed away as once I got off the pill I was continuously pregnant or breastfeeding for 8 years (I have three gorgeous kids)! When Hurricane Ivan came through (not fun) and my son cut back on breastfeeding, the acne came back - slowly at first but now is a real problem. Its been nearly 3 years now, and I've had enough! I'm 32, I want to be using those gorgeous anti-aging creams on the TV!!

I'm off to see a new derm next month as my derm just said to me that there was nothing more she could do, "well there's no cure you know, its just one of those things" - with me in tears at the time! She's the hospital dermatologist, so I am going to a private one next time.

My gynaecologist is really good and will prescribe the BCP I ask for (within reason of course), so if anyone could suggest either a new BCP, or some other solution I haven't thought of that I could ask the new dermatologist for, I'd be really grateful! Can they test hormone levels or something like that? Or is that terribly expensive? By the way I live in the Cayman Islands so I don't have a huge amount of dermatologists/options to choose from.

Any tips would be most appreciated!