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My husband would probably get a little upset if he knew I posted this, but he's too embarrassed to ask anyone for help. So, I'm doing it for him..

He's 27 yrs old and he gets the cystic type of acne all over his body.. he has for years. And I do mean just about everywhere.. his face, scalp, shoulders, back, chest, butt, thighs, even in his ears sometimes. I've always had some type of acne to deal with since I was a little girl, therefore, I just don't even notice it until he gets upset about another new one. He has probably 5 or more at any given time and they take months to go away sometimes. He has many scars from these. He has such low self esteem because of all of this. He always says that he feels like a freak. He won't even go swimming in the summer anymore because he's so ashamed of it. Not to mention, these things HURT him.
I love him no matter what he feels he looks like, hell, I think he's gorgeous. But I would absolutely love to be able to help him in some way.. he's just suffering too much :(

Is accutane the only type of med for something like this? He refuses to go to a derm, basically because our insurance doesn't cover it and he feels it's not a necessity, therefore he won't "splurge on a cosmetic issue". Personally, I feel like it's more of a health issue instead of "[I]just[/I] a cosmetic issue" as he feels it is. What would cause all of these cysts at once?

:confused:
Oh, I'm not exaggerating at all..

His diet isn't bad, really. He does have quite a bit of sugar each day with his coffee.. heck, I should say that he likes a little coffee with his sugar LOL.
He doesn't have oily skin at all, either. I have no idea what could be causing it..

I did a little checking into the dermatologist issue after I posted this earlier. Apparently, as long as it's deemed a medical issue, not purely cosmetic, it may be covered. So, starting with his regular doc would be a good idea, I think. He has an appointment for a physical next Monday anyway, and I'm REALLY hoping to go with him because I know for a fact that he'll be too embarrassed to bring it up.

Do you think it could be deemed medical instead of just cosmetic? I mean, they DO hurt like hell, especially on his scalp and the ones on his back. And he gets them everywhere.. so, I'm hoping he can get help. I highly doubt anything purely topical is going to do much for him.
I'd try diet - cut back on sugar and simple carbs. And try to figure out if there is a specific trigger. For me, it was oranges. I used to get cysts everywhere too. Eliminating oranges reduced it by at least 90%. And I learned about it from a coworker who got cysts only on her chin when she drank OJ. So that makes 2 people. That was 15 years ago. Since then, I usually had one or two on my back at any given time and even that went away when I recently cut out the sodas and cut back on simple carbs.

There are a lot of positive stories from people if you search for diet and digestive cleanse threads. Some of which are 70+ pages long though. In the middle of one of those long threads, I've bookmarked this post:
[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=306789&page=51&pp=5[/url]
I think this guy is right. Not just about the glucose and insulin, because that I've read over and over. But that the solution is fiber.


[QUOTE=PBABY] Now, a derm may give him an antibiotic, too, but they can give a more in depth diagnosis [/QUOTE]

They might, but I doubt it. This board is full of people for whom dermatologists have done nothing. Doesn't mean you shouldn't try though. Sometimes they do help.
Regular doctors CAN prescribe topical treatments as well. I just went today and my dr. gave me a RX for Benzaclin. Not sure how well it works, but I guess it's worth a shot.

I get cystic acne as well, but only on my forehead. What I think helps the most is treating it from the inside. Which means a lot of fruit and water. I also squeeze half a lemon into every glass of water I drink, extra if I've just eaten something like chocolate. It does help but you need to be consistent with it. I skipped a couple of days (I've been doing it for months now) and I got 3 cystic pimples because I didn't keep up. Now that I've bought more lemons (limes work well too), they've gone down pretty much all the way in just a couple of days. They do leave scars though, and I'm not sure what to do about that yet.
Thanks everyone :) I really appreciate you taking your time to help me/him out!

As I was saying before, his diet really isn't [I]bad[/I], but it's definately not good either. He drinks coffee with the huge amount of sugar for breakfast, eats sandwiches for lunch, and then whatever I cook for dinner.. usually some type of meat and then a side or two. He eats no fruits other than maybe one apple a month.. no fruit juices either. The only veggies he will eat is potatoes (which, IMO, don't count since they're starch) and corn.. that's it. He's quite the picky eater, that's for sure. He does drink ALOT of soda though.. like 3 a day.. sometimes more, sometimes less.

He had the cysts when I met him and didn't drink coffee then except maybe twice a month. I turned him into the coffee addict he is today :cool: I'm sure he's always been the soda drinker though. As far as food goes, he definately eats better now than he did when I first met him. Back then (while in the air force), he was living off of ramen noodles and fast food. He was a [B][I]REALLY[/I][/B] heavy sweater back then (discharged in 2000) since he was a firefighter/EMT. But he's not now at all. He had more than just cysts then, though.. he had other pimples on his forehead and body, but I just didn't [I][B]see[/B][/I] them, ya know?

I'm really really hoping he's going to let me go to the appointment with him Monday. He's just so self-concious (did I spell that right?) and I feel so bad for him. My acne used to be so bad in high school that people called me pizza face :( So, been there, done that.. It's such a horrible feeling when you feel like everyone automatically sees the acne, and that's exactly how he feels.. judged by everyone.
[QUOTE=Dee74]Oh, I'm not exaggerating at all..

His diet isn't bad, really. He does have quite a bit of sugar each day with his coffee.. heck, I should say that he likes a little coffee with his sugar LOL.
He doesn't have oily skin at all, either. I have no idea what could be causing it..

I did a little checking into the dermatologist issue after I posted this earlier. Apparently, as long as it's deemed a medical issue, not purely cosmetic, it may be covered. So, starting with his regular doc would be a good idea, I think. He has an appointment for a physical next Monday anyway, and I'm REALLY hoping to go with him because I know for a fact that he'll be too embarrassed to bring it up.

Do you think it could be deemed medical instead of just cosmetic? I mean, they DO hurt like hell, especially on his scalp and the ones on his back. And he gets them everywhere.. so, I'm hoping he can get help. I highly doubt anything purely topical is going to do much for him.[/QUOTE]

Hey Dee!

The medical issue/cosmetic issue is kind hairy, in my opinion. Back when I was going to the dermatologist, my insurance covered the visits, antibiotics, and creams that she gave me. It was the "extra" stuff that my insurance wouldn't cover that my derm offered-cortisone injections, acne facials, etc. But that was just my insurance. Other posters here may have had different experiences with their insurance. I just know how it was with mine.

Funny b/c they paid for medications for acne (which some insurance companies DO consider a cosmetic issue) but they wouldn't pay for a medication that I was prescribed for a really bad skin yeast issue I had. Go figure....

Oh, and reefbrake made a good point-zinc. I wouldn't expect it to be a cure all, but it is good for inflammations of the skin. I take it each day to keep the bumps on my chest from both appearing and getting inflammed.
[QUOTE=Dee74]Thanks everyone :) I really appreciate you taking your time to help me/him out!

As I was saying before, his diet really isn't [I]bad[/I], but it's definately not good either. He drinks coffee with the huge amount of sugar for breakfast, eats sandwiches for lunch, and then whatever I cook for dinner.. usually some type of meat and then a side or two. He eats no fruits other than maybe one apple a month.. no fruit juices either. The only veggies he will eat is potatoes (which, IMO, don't count since they're starch) and corn.. that's it. He's quite the picky eater, that's for sure. He does drink ALOT of soda though.. like 3 a day.. sometimes more, sometimes less. [/QUOTE]

Yep. Simple carbs. I didn't want to believe in the low carb diet thing either. Especially with everyone around me going on Atkins. I love carbs. Bread, cheese, pasta and cheesy filled pasta are exactly what I crave. But it's just everywhere I look now about how glucose/insulin does so many bad things to you including stimulating the overproduction of testosterone which stimulates the overproduction of oil. It also ages you. And there's also stuff about it causing inflamation at the cellular level impairing the skins ability to exfoliate and therefore become clogged. I think that's one of Dr. Perricone's claims, but I've read it elsewhere.

Fiber and exercise help process the glucose properly. And if you aren't getting fiber in your food, you can try supplements. Metamucil drink mixes or psyllium husk tablets. An apple a day.

And vitamin supplements like the aforementioned zinc. I take 500 mgs of vitamin c several times per day. I think it has made any cysts I still get heal much faster. I think that 90 mgs they say is our RDA is really what we need at any given moment in the day to produce and repair cells.
Well, an update here!!!

The hubby actually brought it up last night that he is definately going to mention the issue to his doctor. He's tired of feeling "ugly", as he put it. He wants to discuss his diet and ways to change it.. I hope that they can figure something out and get him back on track so that he can get his self-esteem back again. It's so hard watching someone you love go through the inner pain that acne tends to bring on in just about everyone that suffers from it :(


[QUOTE=Angela1416]

So, did your acne go away by itself? Do you have scars or did they go away?[/QUOTE]

Honestly, I think alot of it has been age, but mostly, I absolutely SWEAR by the aspirin mask thing that so many people have been raving about. I've been doing it for quite a few months now. It has worked miracles on my skin. The thing is, I don't use it as a mask, as it's way too drying for my skin.. I just use it as a scrub every other day.

Here's my usual facial routine - Every morning and evening, I cleanse with Basis facial bar soap. It's super gentle and has never dried me out (I have very sensitive skin) and then moisturize with Purpose oil free moisturizer. After that soaks in well, I smooth on a light layer of PersaGel (I think it's by Clean and Clear) over my whole face. Now, I mentioned the aspirin scrub before. I do this every other day in the morning right after cleansing and before the moisturizer. While I'm cleansing, I dissolve about 6-8 aspirin with a few drops of water in a little dish. After washing my face, I lightly scrub with that, rinse it away, and proceed with the moisturizer and then the PersaGel. I do the same routine at night, minus the scrub. Also, at night, if I have any really big zits (which is really rare for me now), I use toothpaste! It's another thing I've swore by lol you have to use the plain white paste kind and just dab it on the pimple and wear it overnight (I read about this in a magazine). For me, it REALLY helps shrink them faster.

Seriously, my face has never been so clear. I also use the aspirin scrub on my back and chest and it's made a huge difference there as well!

BUT, it doesn't work for everyone.. my hubby has tried it and it hasn't made a difference for him at all. He hasn't tried using it as a mask though, so I don't know if that would help him.

Unfortunately, I do still have scars. Every pimple that I've ever had in my life has left a scar. It can be the tiniest pimple and I won't even touch the darn thing, yet it will still scar. I think it's my irish blood lol
I just wanted to let you know that Changing his diet will really help. The sugar and coffee will be one of the reasons, and I am sure he would give it up to have bettwer skin. It seems like a hard gamble, you want coffee and sugar but you want clear skin. Check ou the post on I've healed my acne through diet. It is hard at first but true it works. Proactive really worked for me. The derms take all your money and time! Good luck and tell him the more he thinks about it the stress will make it worse. I heard Clear Pores is a great system too with herbal pills. Relax, eat fruits and vegetables and stop that coffee.
[QUOTE=Dee74]Oh, I'm not exaggerating at all..

His diet isn't bad, really. He does have quite a bit of sugar each day with his coffee.. heck, I should say that he likes a little coffee with his sugar LOL.
He doesn't have oily skin at all, either. I have no idea what could be causing it..

I did a little checking into the dermatologist issue after I posted this earlier. Apparently, as long as it's deemed a medical issue, not purely cosmetic, it may be covered. So, starting with his regular doc would be a good idea, I think. He has an appointment for a physical next Monday anyway, and I'm REALLY hoping to go with him because I know for a fact that he'll be too embarrassed to bring it up.

Do you think it could be deemed medical instead of just cosmetic? I mean, they DO hurt like hell, especially on his scalp and the ones on his back. And he gets them everywhere.. so, I'm hoping he can get help. I highly doubt anything purely topical is going to do much for him.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=Dee74]Oh, I'm not exaggerating at all..

His diet isn't bad, really. He does have quite a bit of sugar each day with his coffee.. heck, I should say that he likes a little coffee with his sugar LOL.
He doesn't have oily skin at all, either. I have no idea what could be causing it..

I did a little checking into the dermatologist issue after I posted this earlier. Apparently, as long as it's deemed a medical issue, not purely cosmetic, it may be covered. So, starting with his regular doc would be a good idea, I think. He has an appointment for a physical next Monday anyway, and I'm REALLY hoping to go with him because I know for a fact that he'll be too embarrassed to bring it up.

Do you think it could be deemed medical instead of just cosmetic? I mean, they DO hurt like hell, especially on his scalp and the ones on his back. And he gets them everywhere.. so, I'm hoping he can get help. I highly doubt anything purely topical is going to do much for him.[/QUOTE]


I think as long as he gets a referal from his regular doctor, insurance will cover it.
Well guys and gals, the Keflex hasn't worked at all.. just as I figured it wouldn't.

I'm definately going to work with him on changing his diet. Not just because of the cystic acne, but because he's now having chest pains and some other problems possibly from having super high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and also being 20 lbs overweight (medically speaking, that is - Personally, I love how he looks with extra meat on him!). He had to wear a holter monitor for 24 hrs last week and he has a followup appointment with his primary doc this coming Monday.

He gets so frustrated lately (which I can't really blame him) and now he's not really wanting to change his diet, he wants to give up on the acne, he's just... Gaaaaah!! He's just so friggin stubborn sometimes!!!!!!!!!!!!


:wave: thepowerhouse, your experience sounds identical to my hubby's (except for the fact that his is practically all over his body). The mental anguish, the physical pain, just all of it. It's heartbreaking, really. I know that I've had low self-esteem most of my life because of my acne, but nothing I had compares to what you guys have gone through :( I'm so happy for you that you've found the right treatment! I soooo hope that my hubby doesn't really give up on this. I know there's something out there that can help him. I'm REALLY hoping that his doctor refers him to a derm on Monday. It's obviously medical and not purely cosmetic. He misses out on so much life because of this :(





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