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Hello! I am 41 years old. I had cystic acne last June-Oct'06. My dermatologist prescribed tetracycline 500 mg 2x a day. IT HELPED A LOT! after 2 mos of taking them, I dont get cystic acne anymore only small non painful ones. Now i'm almost clear. Morning - I wash my face w/ cetaphil gentle cleanser then apply neutrogena multivitamins (oil free) in the morning and clindamycin lotion

pm before bedtime- wash again w/ cetaphil, apply oil free mario badescu seaweed night cream or neutrogena multi vitamins night(oil free) and clindamycin lotion
for mild/moderate acne- I use Mario badescu pink lotion- very effective ($17.00 at nordstroms) and origins mask 2-3x/week
note: I spent a fortune for trying diff products- I just went back to basics- these expensive products are even more harmful to our skin. You cannot treat cystic acne by topical solutions only. You need to take something orally. Tetracycline is good for 2 mos- more than that i heard of side effects like rashes in the neck, drying of skin- though safest among other acne medicines. Hope this would help.
Oh my gosh. I want to thank you for posting the wealth of information that you've provided us. I enjoy cooking so that won't be a problem. I never eat take-out/fast-food and I do not eat at restaurants very often. It's hard to do such things as a student, but I have patience/will power to avoid eating unhealthy food. I actually have found that since I stopped drinking milk my acne had started to go away within months. I used to sit there with a box of cereal (any kind...I loved cereal) and a jug of milk and just eat bowl after bowl. My whole life up until about 18-19 I would drink probably as much milk as the recommended amount of water. I took an antibiotic for almost 2 years, which is crazy even when I think about it now. It helped, but slowly but surely the acne started to get worse.

I stopped taking it and got on different creams, moisturizers, washes, etc. I used to do Pro-Activ. It worked initially before I went to a DERM. It turned my face a bit too red for my liking, but worked for my FIRST bout with acne.(the first time I got it OH was it bad...blood filled boil like cystic acne, but i haven't experienced that since lasted about 6 months or so.) I then tried the herbal 3-phase system thing from ZEN-MED, which I know made my skin about as bad as it ever has been. I got on supplements from GNC and it helped a bit. (acidophilus,zinc, etc) I now use Cetaphil Cleanser twice a day, use H2O2 on a clear day sometimes twice a day mostly just once in the morning, and moisturize with Cetaphil day/night. I also take a soy protein shake, 80 mg of zinc lozegens, and flax-seed oil/fish body oil. I do think that the protein I have added to my diet has helped. I think I'll be able to do this so thank you. I just looked up Dr. Cordain's book and I can get it online for not much at all.

I'm just tired of waking up EVERY DAY and KNOWING that I have acne and the best I can hope for is that a few of them are "going away." I do not want to deal with it if for another minute if I can help it. The binge kind of sugar fests I tend to have every three months or so have to stop also.:p It usually happens when I have no food in the place except bread and something sweet so I go to the store after having like a PB sandwhich looking for cookies/chocolate.
I'll second the diet thing. A decade of dermatologists, antibiotics and accutane did nothing for me. I'm 41 and my skin cleared last spring for the first time since Junior high, from diet.

I don't do anything that strict though. I just eat fewer bad things and more good things. I cut out sodas and sugary drinks. And I used to think I was addicted to Coke. I've had ice cream once in the past year. And I eat fewer simple carbs and never by themselves. Fats, proteins and fiber slow the processing of glucose and keep your blood sugar from spiking. I also take fiber supplements before meals, especially if it's going to be pasta. I think not completely eliminating things keeps you from binging. Although I've never tried a strict diet and therefore never binged.

Also, I eat legumes with no ill effects. They are full of fiber, protein, and anti oxidants. I'd just eliminate the simple carbs and altered fats and see if that helps before avoiding other such nutritious foods. Lecithen is a very important nutrient. I don't worry about high glycemic fruits either. They are too full of important nutrients to not eat them.

The antibiotics can cause Candida imbalances which can cause acne too. So cutting out the sugar means you aren't feeding the yeast.

Exercise is supposed to help too. I walk daily, but then I always have. I always mean to do more than that, but rarely do.

Also, before the diet, I took Zinc and Saw Palmetto for about a year. My skin got a lot less oily and my face was fairly clear. Then I stopped drinking Coke and improved my diet and am now completely clear. I take other supplements, but that's what I can definately say helped.

Another thing: Have your allergies checked. I was suprised to find I was mildly allergic to many things. But one, in particilar, I know caused the horrible cystic acne I used to have. Oranges. Something I was eating believing it would be good for my skin. I figured out the orange thing at least 15 years ago. I just discovered this year that I am allergic.
I didn't read all of the post on here but I didn't see much about yasmin. I had mild acne throughout my teen years but then all of a sudden when I hit my 20's it got out of control. Instead of getting little zits I started getting big painful ugly cysts along my jawline, and I mean like 5-10 on each side of my jaw. From what I had read it sounded like adult acne (which are usually cystic and along the jawline) and that meant it was hormones. The only birth control I was ever on was Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, which did not help at all. In fact, it could have made it a little worse. So I searched and searched online and found yasmin. At first I was scared because there were probably just as many horror stories as success stories with it just like there are for all of them. So, to make a long story short...I have been on yasmin for 8 months now and my skin has never been so clear. It took about 4 months to really start to clear up, but it worked. Don't get me skin is still not perfect, but I never get cysts along my jawline anymore. I get a little zit here and there, but it is one day and gone the next. As far as side effect, I have one...clear skin...thats it. I pay $50 a month for it because insurance doesn't cover it but it is so worth it. So I hope that might help someone.

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