ACNE- Please Help?!

Updated on January 28, 2010
T.W. asks from Windsor, CA
27 answers

As a teen I had an oily T-zone and hoped to grow out of the acne when I grew up but now at almost 35 I not only have acne on my T-zone but on my cheeks, down my neck, chest and back of my neck. It hurt and looks disgusting(my son told me I had to wear my make-up the other day because it looked so bad and he said the make-up only helped a little.)I do not drink, do drugs, smoke or eat a lot of junk food. My sons dermatologist told me to just use Clean and Clear. Most women break out more during the week of there period however for me that seems to be the only time mine clears up some. I am so desperate for relief. Please can anyone help?

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N.H.

answers from Sacramento on

I started breaking out really bad as well. I tried Pro Active and it did nothing for me. What has worked is Acne Free, i found it target for about $20.00 and it has truly helped me out. I also take a Multi vitamin that seems to help. When i skip my vitamin i notice i have break outs.

here's the website

http://www.acnefree.com

i bought the three piece kit and then i just started buying the wash itself.

it has worked great for me, and my sons uses it as well.

good luck
N.

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M.F.

answers from Salinas on

I would say to find a different dermatologist. There are definately solutions out there and I would imagine that someone out there in the medical world would be more than willing to help you find a good solution when clearly clean and clear is not doing the trick
good luck

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D.K.

answers from Sacramento on

I have the same problem as T. and I have tried MANY things without success. I read all of the posts so far and I see a few people mentioning milk as a culprit. What is it about Milk that causes acne - is it the hormones in the milk? Or is there something else?

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A.C.

answers from Sacramento on

If your dermatologist isn't offering you any other treatment options other than over-the-counter cleansers, then I would suggest finding a new doctor. There are a number of treatment options for acne and sometimes it takes a few tries to find the right one. There are prescriptions, topicals, cleansers, suppliments, etc. I would get another opinion. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

N.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi T.,
You've already heard of Proactiv which is the best selling acne solution worldwide. Well those doctor RODAN & FIELDS have an acne line that is more targeted to adult acne, it's called "UNBLEMISHED". I've seen it work
wonders on several people including my brother who is 28. Try it out and if it doesn't work you get your money back (60 day guarantee) http://nbrand.myrandf.com -- you won't be disappointed! Best, N.

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G.P.

answers from San Francisco on

You may want to ask your dermotologist about Deferen gel (not sure if that's spelled exactly right!); Erythromycin Topical Solution and the Erythro face wash. The Erythromycin Topical is a spot type treatment that you can use on small or larger areas. My son has acne on his back and we didn't want him taking the Erythro pills but we've had amazing success w/ the combination of the above AND also, he uses Murad Acne Face scrub, it comes in a blue tube, it's a clear gel w/ little scrubbers that's been incredible. I get the Murad on ebay as it's about half the price usually:-) Hope this helps:-) g

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L.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Jafra makes a wonderfully effective product called Malibu Miracle Mask. I have many clients (teens & adults) who use it, as I once did when I was prone to breakouts. My biggest success story was a 24 year old college student who had plateus of oil and crater like scars from acne. Malibu cleared up 98% of his skin in about 30 days and he told me he had tried everything on the market over a couple of years. If you're interested in giving it a try, let me know. The cost is $15.50 + tax.
lol, L.

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N.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I had the same problem when I turned 38! I went off the pill and then about a year later started getting cystic acne, even though I hadn't had it before. It wasn't all over my face, but painful and bad enough for me to go to my dermatologist. He mentioned Accutane, but first wanted to try an antibiotic. It was called Oracea. It's not generic, and easier on the stomach than Erythromycin. I had no side effects from it. You do have to wear sunscreen and be careful in the sun. It worked really well for me . I used it for about 3 months.

Unfortunately, I have really bad acid reflux, and this was making me more sensitive to it and giving me bad heartburn so I had to stop. I greatly improved though after taking it and I think it was just enough time to clear the worst of it up.

Now, 2 years later, i am much better. I still have pimples come up, but I can control them with over the counter topical products and they're not painful like they were before. I believe the cause of mine was truly hormonal, which there's not much you can do about. As people have said, you may want to find a new dr. who has more knowledge on the subject. Good luck!

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N.P.

answers from Modesto on

Hi T.,

We have an acne struggle in our home for my early developing 13yr old son. After researching on the internet, there were many "home rememdies" I found to try. In our home, toothpaste has been working well (when my son uses it regularly) :o)

We use regular old tooth PASTE, not gel. We squirt some in our hands and rub it together, then smooth it on his face (and all over his back). It isn't as WHITE as you would think, but if rubbed in, it creates a thin layer of dried paste. He just washes it off in the shower the next morning and....voila! The acne clears up nearly 50% for him. I have tried for my occassional acne, and it doesn't seem to work as fast for me, as it does for him, so I need to do it for about 3 days. But it still works amazingly enough :O)

Another home "remedy" I read about on-line were dots of honey covered with a bandaid at night. Although we haven't tried that, I thought I'd tell you.

Yes, there are TONS of products out there, but it truly takes buying and sampling them all of them until you find the one that works for YOUR skin the best.

I would try the toothpaste. It's cheap and easy!

I hope it works for you!

~N. :O)

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J.J.

answers from San Francisco on

I can relate, I had 'normal' skin in highschool-occasional teenage breakouts & then in college developed adult acne-it was very embarrassing & upsetting.
I took accutane in my early twenties-as a last resort. (I am 31 now) It was very harsh & hard on my body but it cured 95% of the acne I had & has not come back since.
It was a life savior & I would do it again in a heartbeat.
The other person's post mentions pregnancy-that was the only thing that you will need to be 100% sure you will not get pregnant while on it & for a period after taking it-I don't recall how long-you'll need to ask your dermatologist. Good luck.

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N.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi T. W,

Acne is caused from toxins in the blood. You can clean out your system so your body will detox and your face will clear up.

If you want more info I can help you get on the right path.

Have a great day.

N. Marie
[email protected]____.com

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J.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I have worked with an acupuncturist who has done some hormone balancing as well as working on certain food sensitivities which have helped my skin. It seems a little strange but it's the only thing that has worked for me. Let me know if you want to know the name of the person I've seen.

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Ask your dermatologist about Accutane. I'm surprised if your acne is that bad that he/she hasn't recommended it. Unless you are going to get pregnant.

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J.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi T.,

I know exactly how you feel. I didn't really have acne until until I was an adult. You said that your son's dermatologist recommended some products. Did you go in for an appointment for yourself? If not, maybe he/she would take a closer look if you went in specifically for your concern. Or--find a new doctor! If over the counter products haven't helped, ask about oral antibiotics and/or a topical vitamin a (such a Retin-A, Differin, or Tazorac) as well as a topical antibiotic. I think I tried every drug out there before finding the right combination with retin-a and cleocin. If you do try prescription medications, know that it will get worse before it gets better. I also use some of these products specifically for acne prone skin (paulaschoice.com) When my acne got really bad, I went to a cosmetic dermatologist and had a treatment done called Blu-Light therapy with levulon. It was pricey, but it has made a HUGE difference. My husband read somewhere recently (of course, he can't remember where), about there being a product on the market similar to the blu-light therapy that you can do at home for much less. I hope you find something that works for you!!
-J

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C.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I just want to add to what Liz G said. In addition to face washes containing either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Washes are either a gel type (which foams when water is added) or a foaming type (dispenses as a foam). I am 40 and can ONLY use the foaming type otherwise break out.

I have been using the Clean & Clear Oil Free Continuous Control Acne Wash foam for years and won't change. My daughter, on the other hand, uses Proactiv because nothing else works for her.

Unfortunately, it comes down to trial and error. I do find that generic works just as well or better than brand name.

Good luck.

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W.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Here is what we were told to do for our daughter and I have started doing the same.
1. change your pillowcase at least once a week. 2. wash once a day with an antibacterial soap (we like the cetaphil bar)3. never go to bed with makeup on. 4. wash once a day with a mild soap, and always wash in the sink as it needs to be cooler than the shower water. 5. only spot treat the acne once a day. 6. used a good moiturizer and suncreen every day. You may be over treating if all the products you picked up have salacylic acid in them, you would be overdrying your skin causing the condition to get worse.
I hope this is helpful....we also do not sell but love the makeup by bare escentuals. It hides my own scars well, and I don't break out with it like some others caused me to do.

W. M..

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B.R.

answers from Sacramento on

T., have you tested to see if your problem may be at least partially caused by the make-up you are using? You might want to try a different type of make-up and see if that helps... or eliminate make-up all together for a while to see what happens. I know many of us think we can't be seen in public without make-up, but if you're having acne problems, I think nothing looks worse on a woman than acne covered with make-up. Getting the acne cleared seems to be your most important priority.

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E.M.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi T.-
I am so sorry. Acne is the worst as an adult.I get it sporatically, more during my period, which I hate, etc. What I have found that helps are supplements. Take a WOMEN's supplement with magnesium in it. I like the Trader Joe's one that comes in a pink and mauve container that says "supports nails, skin, and hair." I also take a liquid grapefruit seed extract supplement. YOu can add it to your facial washing in the morning and evening, and it is supposed to help with that. Last, you can try a black tar soap. You can find all or most of these at a natural foods store, and the vitamins at Trader Joes.
I hope this helps.
I started getting it on my neck, and man it hurts. All the sylicylic acid on the planet has never cleared up my skin, only dried it out.
The very last idea is to find a really good skin care regime and stick with it. Mary Kay, Alba (Target), Murad, Estee Lauder, etc. They can get pricey, but if you can get a week's worth sample, try it. Also, some of the Oil of olay stuff, like the foaming cleanser (looks like a can of mousse), and the "aged skin with acne" stuff, really works. And it is a little cheaper than the rest.
Good luck!
-E.
P.S. Alot of makeup can make your skin more irritated. Use light amounts and make sure you cleanse (but not over dry) your skin every day.(Try Purpose, a gentle cleanser you can get at Target or Cetaphil). I would not reccommend a medicated course of action right away just because the chemicals in the meds can cause alot of mental health problems and issues. My husband is an example of that.
I hope this helps
-E. M

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J.L.

answers from Sacramento on

one thing besides going to a dermatologist is to go to a certified skin specialist at a salon.....when I was in Dallas, I was lucky enough to get a facial at a skin specialist at a famous skin spa that a lot of A list celebs went to...at the time I was having problmes wiht acne on the chink and jaw line...she told me it was a result of drinking milk...she said that women who drink milk will have reactions and break out there.....so it could be a matter of adjusting food even though it is healty....

I am a major milk drinker and at first I thought it was a bunch of hog wash........but I finaly tried minimizing my drinking of milk..and it worked.......then I just had to have some milk..and whalla...it came back....

Hope that helps and hopefully you can find a dermatologist and spa that can help you.

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L.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi T.--

If you look at the ingredients of the over-the-counter products, you'll see that they are all either salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or a couple of other active ingredients. (Clean & Clear spot treatment is salicylic acid, for instance, Arbonne is salicylic acid, and Proactiv is benzoyl peroxide in a fancy and expensive package.) Try one or two of these products if you wish but don't drive yourself crazy buying all sorts of "miracle cures" if they all contain the same ingredients; it should be pretty easy to figure out whether those active ingredients help you or not.

I would suggest that you find a new dermatologist. Yours isn't doing his/her job. There are plenty of treatments available to you by prescription, from antibiotics to retinol creams to Accutane. One of those will work for you; you just need to find a doctor who will help you find the solution. Good luck.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

T.,
Arbonne has an amazing acne line in addition to other skin care lines. This line also includes a supplement to take that helps your skin from the inside out since there are vitamins and other herbs that can help acne-prone skin. All of Arbonne's products are made without harmful ingredients and Arbonne has a 45 day return policy. I have 2 friends who use this line and it helped with their acne. Then they switched to the anti-aging line and kept taking the supplement and now you cannot even see any of their acne scars.

You can find a consultant near you via Arbonne's website at www.arbonne.com. Their products are not sold in stores. Good luck!

C. B Palmer
www.linabean.myarbonne.com

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J.L.

answers from Sacramento on

My son used Proactiv Solution. It is available on line at proactivesolutions.com. They sell it primarily on line and have a kit that they will ship monthly (or less often, per your request). If you start getting it, be sure to see what solution goes fastest and then amend your shipments accordingly. My son ended up with several left-overs of two of the products. It is pricey, but worked really well for my son.

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G.B.

answers from Boise on

You could have estrogen dominance. Estrogen levels are high during non period times, but progesterone increases right up till menstruation begins, and then they drop back down. So are you having your clearest times just prior to and at onset of menstruation? That is when your estrogen is lowest and progesterone is highest. Estrogen starts to build up again towards midcyle, ovulation.

You can reduce estrogen in the body by not ingesting chlorine in tap water, bromine in baked goods, and SOY in all forms (check labels). Take raw virgin coconut oil by
the teaspoonful, 3 x a day to help thyroid, by increasing progesterone production.

High estrogen also feeds candida (yeast). Drinking milk also feeds yeast. Iv'e read taking milk totally out of your diet will help.

Here's more info:

http://www.isletsofhope.com/diabetes/problems/acne_1.html
http://www.stopyeast.com/candida.symptoms.html

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D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Greetings T.,
You have recieved many wise suggestions but I'd like to add my 2cents from what we have learned.
We use only dove soaps and each person has their own bathing supplies since we were told that to share is to bring on more problems. We also use only the mildest of soaps to do laundry becasue this can cause breakouts. The last thing we were encouraged to do was the very hardest of all.
We have to change pillow cases 2-3 times a week along with the sheets. When sleeping the friction, sweat,body oils secreat and build up on the linen. Once we started changing pllow cases often there was a differance with weeks. It really is a pain but hey its that or have the acne problem.
We too have been the busy family that you are and all I can say is that it will make your children stronger because of it. I now have a son that is an Cub Master himself, 2 out of 3 sons are Eagels..but all 5 of our children have thanked us for being willing to be part of whatever their interests were. When it comes to the 2nd child we learned that you just learn to so it and that the children who are your greatest asset become the only priority that matters by the timewe got to #5 along with a few foster children along the way it was really easy and they all chipped in to help, but I remember times that I prayed to have myself cloned to do it all! Good Luck with the acne I hope some of the suggestions will help. Nana Glenda

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J.W.

answers from San Francisco on

First thing is stop using a drying astringent, it will cause your oil glands to produce more oil. use a very mild soap try dove. and Sea Salt,which has natural healing elements in it. (pump soap works well and is more sterial)
Wet your face
In the palm of your hand mix about a teaspoon of salt into the soap.
scrub your face GENTLEY with your fingers in circular motions spending more time on the T zone.
Rinse off all soap
pat dry your face
try putting a little aloe on your face, once it drys you can rinse the aloe off with luke warm water.
pat dry.
try not to touch it through out the day.
do this 2 times a day, it will sting at first because the sea salt is starting to heal your skin. the stinging will go away.

You should start to see an improvement by the end of the week.

I have seen this work for several people! good luck,

C.C.

answers from Fresno on

Hi T.,
I wanted to let you know that I could have written your post a few months ago! I haven't read all of the responses, but since I've been through every treatment under the sun, the only one that works, and works long-term to SOLVE (not just treat the symptoms of) the problem is Accutane.

Accutane is taken orally every day for 4-6 months and at first your skin gets so dry it peels. Pretty miserable. But ultimately it shrinks your oil glands so your skin is actually normal and not at all oily! It lasts for about 10 years, at which point you might have to do the treatment again (I did it at 23 years old, and now again when I'm 34).

The only downside, besides the fairly significant side effects of the medication, is the process you have to go through to get it. It's extremely regulated because it can cause birth defects - so you have to go through monthly blood work to ensure you're not pregnant, etc etc. Not all dermatologists will prescribe it because they have to do tons of paperwork to enroll you in the prescription program, so you may have to call around to find one that does.

Despite all that, I'd highly recommend it. It's the only thing that works, and you won't have to think about it again for 10 years, if ever again.

Good luck to you!

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G.R.

answers from Sacramento on

A new doctor sounds good. You can also try DDF skincare stuff. I have very sensitve/prone to breakout skin and their products are great (sephora or dept store). But if you aren't on the pill you might want to try it and see if it helps (or stop if you take it). This definitely sounds like something hormonal. You may want to get a facial and see if that helps too.

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