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Hey peeps,

It's been nice reading all you guys have to say and know that there are other people struggling w/ skin issues similar to mine. I've been lurking for a while, but I'm finally making my first appearance, in hope of getting some advice from you guys.

Here's the deal: I'm a 23 year old guy, and I have a big problem w/ acne on my back. I have almost no problem w/ acne anywhere else on my body - just my back, and it's so frustrating. Sometimes I get little surface pimples which are easy to get rid of quickly, but most of the time I get these big, awful cyst-like pimples that almost never come to a head, but just stay under my skin brewing and causing me agony because they hurt and are just so gross looking.

I've been dealing with this for a few years and have found that the culprit is ALWAYS going to the gym. During times when I stop going to the gym for a while, my back ALWAYS clears up perfectly. I lift weights several times a week, and almost invariably, the morning after a workout, I wake up with a couple of new nasty cysts. At first, I thought it could be my sweaty T-shirts, so I tried only tanktops, but that didn't work. Then, this summer, I even tried working out shirtless, and that still didn't help.

So far, I've been dealing with this mostly through liberal applications of a 10% benzoyl peroxide cream, which seems to help a little bit, but it makes my back all scaly and dry. I've also tried using Head and Shoulders, based on recommendations I've read here, but that hasn't seemed to work.

My doctor (my regular one, not a dermatologist) prescribed me Clindamycin lotion, which I was using for a few years, which worked for the mild acne on my face but not on my back. A few months ago, he prescribed me Minocin (minocycline) at 100 mg. a day, and that upset my stomach, and he prescribed me Erythromycin, which also upset my stomach. His current recommendation is that I try taking the Minocin every other day, which I've been doing for a while now - it hasn't been upsetting my stomach, but I'm not seeing any improvements on my back yet. Maybe I have to wait longer? Maybe it's not enough of the antibiotic to do anything?

So I've seen lots of recommendations posted here about surface treatments - I still have tea tree oil and other things on my list of things to try. But I suppose here are my main 2 questions that I haven't seen addressed yet:

1) How do you deal with the fact that working out gives you acne cysts on your back? I'm not really willing to stop working out - ideally, I could keep working out and find some solution. Is there something I can put on my back before/after working out? Does anyone else have this problem?

2) What kinds of antibiotics work and in what amounts for people who get an upset stomach from stuff like minocycline and erythromycin? Would these things even be strong enough to get rid of difficult cysts?

It's majorly therapeutic to get this all out...thanks for reading this, and if you have any suggestions/advice/experiences to relate, I'd love to hear.

Take care.

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