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Looking for advice!
Apr 16, 2004

I just found this board and am so happy I did. :) Lots of great info here! I'm hoping someone will take the time to read my history and offer some advice.

My situation is: I'm probably a lot older than the rest of you here, I'm a 33yo female. I've had large pores my whole life, and oily skin. So I get a lot of blackheads and whiteheads. And I always have anywhere from 2-10 active red zits. I'm told they're not cystic....I don't know how to tell the difference myself. Not just my back too, and now I'm getting blackheads on my chest too. I have red marks over my entire back from past and present zits that take time to heal. It affects what I choose to wear and how I feel about myself. I feel it's getting worse. I was on the pill from ages 18-26 and that didn't help either.

After trying everything OTC under the sun, I went to a derm last year and he prescribed Benzoyl Peroxide 10% cream, sulphur soap, and tetracycline. I probably don't need to tell you that it didn't work. We also tried Differin last year, didn't work.

I went to a new derm yesterday, and before she even heard my whole history she was writing out scripts for me. She gave me Tazorac gel (a retinoid) to use after ZoDerm benzoyl peroxide cleanser. She said that I'm not "infected" and not cystic, so I'm not a candidate for Accutane--which was what I went in there looking for. She said that I have "the type of skin that's prone to acne" and that I'd probably have to use products such as these until menopause. When I said, how shall I get this on my WHOLE back twice a day, she said "you'll have to have someone help you, how about your husband?" Yeah, like I want to be dependent on someone to put medicine on my back for the next twenty years, twice a day.

She pulled out books full of the worst cases of acne ever, I guess trying to tell me that I don't have it so bad?, and said that in 7 years she's never given a woman Accutane. I left there feeling that she has a personal bias against Accutane and she really doesn't give a crap that I've been fighting acne unsuccessfully for 20 years now. She said that Accutane wouldn't help me, that I'd just break out again after stopping it if it even helped while I was on it. Where'd she get that?? My husband and two close friends both took Accutane with wonderful results. Is it true that it won't work unless it's all cystic? I am not kidding when I tell you that every visible pore on my face is plugged. Doesn't Accutane stop the oil production, which would help?

I also have PCOS so my periods are wacky. I'm on Provera to have regular periods. My hormone levels all come back within normal ranges though, but the testosterone and androgens are on the high end of normal. I do see an endo.

So, if you made it this far :angel: , what would be your next step if you were me? I have an endo appointment next week and I was thinking of talking to her about Spiro (just heard of it for the first time here, thank you!!!) or Accutane, or seeing if she can refer me to a sympathetic derm. I know acne isn't curable, but I believe that something like spiro or Accutane would be better for someone like me who has an obvious ONGOING problem with this. Opinions?

Thanks so much---

I'm 37 and still get clogging (chest, back, jawline, forehead), but they're tiny little clogs, some blackheads and whiteheads. Bottom line, I was able to get accutane. Your doctor stinks. As long as you use 2 forms of BC, you should be able to get a prescription. I was on 20mg a day for 4 months. It cleared me totally. But the down side is that it comes back. But it comes back in a different form (always better). Anyway, I took it 2x now. And I'm ready for my 3rd session (last round was too short, should have done 6 mos.) I highly recommend accutane. If you haven't tried it you should. And I think it's bull crap about depression. I'm more depressed with pimples at 37 than I ever was on accutane. In fact, accutane made me happier than I have ever been in my life. No makeup, less time pampering my skin, not worrying about how I look all the time. Find a derm that will prescribe it. It's worth every trip to the doctor, which by the way is every month for a pregnacy test and a look at your triglyceride levels. Good luck.

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