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Thread: Cystic acne. Suggestions?

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    Elite Member L1049's Avatar
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    Default Cystic acne. Suggestions?

    Ever since I got a bad sunburn 2 years ago, I keep getting what I think is cystic acne.

    I'll get the typical pimples that's fine, but it seems like every few months my skin goes haywire and I end up getting monster zits that never seem to come to the surface. It eventually gets swollen and feels like an infection. Now I'm not 100% sure this is cystic acne, but if it's not, it's damn close.
    It also seems to occur in the same areas. I get absolutely no acne on my cheeks at all, most of it occurs on my forehead just below the hair line, and my chin. It seems like it's in the same spots as well.
    Right now, when it happens I just put Bactroban (Rx strength Polysporin) and a band-aid on it when I feel one coming on. It seems to help but it still takes a good week to go away.

    I've tried numerous face cleansers just to see if it would help, but even that cheap Noxema cleanser makes me break out the next day I've tried those Oxy pads as well, and they make me break out.
    I was thinking about trying Accutane, but unfortunately it's not on Transport Canada's list of approved drugs (for my medical certificate).

    Does anybody have suggestions on extremely mild mild cleansers/soaps/etc and what not?
    I have been going through this thread:
    My cystic acne - Acne.org Message Boards and writing down what products these people have had success with. But if anybody has tips, or suggestions I'd love to hear them

    I haven't been to a dermatologist before, but I'm planning to go to the doctor for my medical, and I'll see if he can refer me.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    ^^^
    could you try accutane as a topical treatment? i don't know what the name of it is but i know it also comes in cream form, so that it's much less aggressive on your sytem and you don't have to take any pills. you can't use it in summer because it basically slowly peels your face and brings the acne to the surface. i think you do it once for about a month, then let your skin rest for a while and do it again.
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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    I get VERY similar acne, but only on my chin. I went to my doc and she prescribed me Benzaclin, which is topical and both benzoyl peroxide and an antibiotic. I'm supposed to use it twice a day, but it dried the crap out of my skin, even with moisturizer, so I use it in the morning and then moisturize at night. My acne has gotten SO much better as long as I use it. I have a bad habit of discontinuing use once I get clear for awhile. I'll be good for a month or 2 and then my skin will go haywire again and I'll have to start using it again (I'm at that point right now with a good 3 of those bitches healing).

    For me it was adult onset too. I never, even had acne problems as a teen and then I started breaking out like crazy about a year ago. FWIW, my doc said it's actually not cystic acne even though that was my first instinct for how to describe it.

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    Cystic acne can be a bugger to deal with so you might have to see a dermatologist and work on the problem from the inside out. I don't want to scare you but I had a flat mate with cystic acne (ironically she worked for a pharma company that made acne products) and she fiddled about with it for years with creams and potions and ended up with some bad scarring.
    How can you trust anything that bleeds for 3 days every month but doesn't die?

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    czb
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    you need to go to a derm and get it diagnosed. i get deep zits occasionally - not sure if they are cystic acne - and topical clindamycin works really well. i know accutane works for some but the adverse event profile for that drug is scary. if you end up taking it, read the PI first.

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    Elite Member L1049's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the suggestions so far Right now I'm just writing down a bunch of different cremes and meds and when I do get to the doctor I can ask him if they're considered approved for medical certificates.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoDayButToday View Post
    I get VERY similar acne, but only on my chin. I went to my doc and she prescribed me Benzaclin, which is topical and both benzoyl peroxide and an antibiotic. I'm supposed to use it twice a day, but it dried the crap out of my skin, even with moisturizer, so I use it in the morning and then moisturize at night. My acne has gotten SO much better as long as I use it. I have a bad habit of discontinuing use once I get clear for awhile. I'll be good for a month or 2 and then my skin will go haywire again and I'll have to start using it again (I'm at that point right now with a good 3 of those bitches healing).

    For me it was adult onset too. I never, even had acne problems as a teen and then I started breaking out like crazy about a year ago. FWIW, my doc said it's actually not cystic acne even though that was my first instinct for how to describe it.
    There's just no rhyme or reason as to what triggers it But like you, I'll be fine for a good month or so than bam. It's monster-zit city. That Benzaclin sounds interesting, I'll check it out.

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    Elite Member Wiseguy's Avatar
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    I'm dealing with the same thing myself and it's driving me crazy. I never had acne as a kid. I went on accutane years ago and it was a miracle result for me.

    Now, I'm hoping to fall pregnant and can't go on accutane or the pill to fix things up. I'm interested in tried and true remedies as well.
    wait, did i miss something? who broke your wang?
    Keneesha when she banged it up a mango tree until I fainted.

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    Elite Member L1049's Avatar
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    I made an appointment with my doctor for next week to hopefully get a referral to a dermatologist.
    But would the derm be able to properly diagnose this even if I'm not in the middle of a break-out? or should I wait until it flares up than make the appointment?

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L1049 View Post
    I made an appointment with my doctor for next week to hopefully get a referral to a dermatologist.
    But would the derm be able to properly diagnose this even if I'm not in the middle of a break-out? or should I wait until it flares up than make the appointment?
    Seems to me your dermatologist will know exactly what you are talking about, without having a full fledged attack. Why wait for one that might be prevented in the first place? Especially if you must wait on a referral. Remember,he or she is a pro & will know right away what you are having trouble with.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    I had it my early 30's just on my chin. The dermatologist gave me topical clindamycin, oral tetracycline, more topical stuff. Some of them hurt. It just went away really, the medicines would just clear them up but it just had to go away on it's own.

    The topical meds dry it out and dry you out. Keep the area clean AND moisturized with a non comodgenic moisturizer - or see if you're dermatologist agrees with that.

    One important thing - they do reoccur in the same place because that's where the bacteria lives, and it spreads. VERY important to clean your home phone, cell phone with alcohol. Any place on your face that gets touched repeatedly. For example, it was on my chin and the phone receiver hit my chin.

    I never touched my face but because the cyst was in the same place for a couple of years, it scarred. Well, not really scarring, but remained red/pink, someone blotchy. I have to use concealer on my chin to blend out the pink hue. A tinted moisturizer usually takes care of that if I don't want to wear foundation.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Great idea-for all of us. Clean the phones with antibacterial wipes.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member L1049's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    Seems to me your dermatologist will know exactly what you are talking about, without having a full fledged attack. Why wait for one that might be prevented in the first place? Especially if you must wait on a referral. Remember,he or she is a pro & will know right away what you are having trouble with.
    I kept the doctors appointment because just because I can get into my general doctor, doesn't mean I'll get into the derm right away.
    And I totally forgot about the phone/other bacteria prone areas. It never "clicked" until I read yours and Chalets posts. Most of my problems occur on the left side of my face, and I sleep mostly on my left side.

    Thank you everyone again for the advice

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Wait! Be sure you wash your pillowcase frequently-I mean, have 2 or 3 & try a fresh one daily. Or cover it with a hand towel-a fresh one.
    Also-how old is your pillow? Wash it too or at least set out in strong sunlight several hours. I am amazed at people who get attached to their pillow & hang on to it for years. You don't want to be sleeping in dustmite heaven.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    the only thing that worked for me after years of suffering and it progressively getting worse was Acutane. Even then, it didn't get EVERY thing but damn it sure cleared up most of it for good. It was quite a rigid and complicated regimen and i could have gone it a second time but its dangerous to do that. a friend of mine did that and she went a little crazy and even dropped out of school for a while. she eventually came to her senses, but thats my only suggestion dear-heart.

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    Elite Member cmmdee's Avatar
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    Go to a dermatologist and see what he says.
    In the meantime, use something really light like Dove soap. Aveeno has a really good cleanser, too.

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