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Any ideas???
Jun 12, 2004
I'm 25 and have been dealing w/acne since puberty. I got those little zits all over my forehead-and only on my forehead. My father used to apologize, saying I got it from him (his genes)-and encouraged me to use his meds when he was prescribed something. As a teen I used retin-a, antibiotic creams, bp, washing w/peroxide, dabbing on rubbing alcohol...don't even remember what worked and what didn't it's been so long-but I've grown up with the medicate, medicate sense of thinking. Wouldn't you know, that once I stopped poofing my bangs and using hairspray-my forehead cleared up?!

My face wasn't terrible in high school either-but I WAS on B.C starting at age 16 because I was anorexic and couldn't get a period-was it the pill or my illness that kept the acne under control?

In college, I got a few here and there, but they weren't little zits anymore-they were smaller cysts. It got worse w/stress which came after I graduated, got my new job, and moved out with my boyfriend-so I tried OrthoTriCyclin, and went to a derm who gave me Differin gel-it didn't work fast enough so I quit after the first tube and started Proactive. I cleared up pretty well, but 1-3 smaller pimples always hung around. I had to switch to Yasmin because of some problems w/OTC, but the # of pimples/cysts never changed.

Then I got pregnant and cleared up beautifully, but still used Proactive to keep it that way. After baby was born I took a progesterone only bc pill so I could breast feed w/a good supply, but not risk another baby too soon. My face got a few pimples, but nothing terrible. After a year of breastfeeding (this March) I stopped, and decided to try OTC again. In May I had a VERY stress full few weeks at work and home-and one by one huge nasty cysts popped up on my L cheek. I freaked, made a derm appt-he gave me retin-a micro and Duac (clindamycin and bp).

So far??? This is my 7th week using retin-a. I broke out fairly quickly-about week 3 0r 4, and I doesn't seem to be letting up. My left cheek looks terrible w/cysts-mostly gone, but I don't think I can handle another new one-the marks left behind are angry red. My R cheek is acting up-3 cysts popped up just last week, and the R side of my chin had the medium pus filled ones that are new daily. And these past 3 week or so my face has been super oily-I have never been so OILY!!

I used Proactive cleanser for a short while because the derms PA said it was good. Reading the boards I learned to use something milder so I switched to Liguid Neutrogena (the amber stuff). I stopped the Duac because the retin-a site said bp deactivates retin-a. I use Olay's oil free oil controling moisturizer in the am.

Should I be spot treating? I just experimented w/crushed up Ibuprophen mixed w/h20 to make a paste for the cysts...honestly? I have a huge but flat mark where a cyst was 2 days ago. I tried Proactive's sulfer mask before that but it takes longer to get rid of them that way. I've also tried salicilic acid on the smaller pus ones-doesn't seem to do anything.

What can I do about the oil? Does this sound hormonal-Maybe an endocrinologist can help instead? Should I stick with the retin-a? I look worse now than when I started. What about the red spots-what REALLY helps?

I know this is a long post, but I'm a nurse and I feel humiliated to take care of people looking like this...I'm not happy that it's summer, it's humiliating taking my little boy outside to play-I can't enjoy him thinking about my face. And no Accutane users-aparrently I'm not bad enough for it-and honestly, I'm not going through another initial breakout...I can't stand this any more. :(

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