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I have oily acne-prone skin that is pretty sensitive/reactive and dehydrates easily. I used to have severe acne but after starting a new regimen, my skin totally cleared up and stayed clear for about 5 months. Here is the regimen I was using:

AM
Cetaphil
Benzaclin
Clinque DDMG
Kanebo SS
PM
Shiseido Cleansing Oil
.025% RetinA gel

But one day my skin started breaking out in large red bumps and painful rough patches, thinking this was becuase of climate changes I started lightly applying Cetaphil cream at night an hour after my retinoid. This resulted in large acne pimples all over my cheeks and forehead. After this I went back to my old regimen but cut out the cleansing oil, thinking that it might be too harsh becuase I feel a lot of dead skin peeling off during cleansing and my face would be red afterwards. So I started using Cetaphil in the AM and PM (sometimes w/ a gentle washcloth because my skin tends to build up easily and I need some sort of exfoliation).

Now the roughness is gone but my t-zone is still covered in small and large colorless sometimes itchy sometimes painful bumps. Please help, I cannot afford to go the derm right now. My insurance policy does not cover it. Any ideas on what I should try next?

Do you think maybe stopping Benzaclin and switching my AM treatment to spot treating w/ Prosacea may help? I haven't tried this yet, do you think it will be gentler than Benzaclin?
 

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Large bumps and rough patches, little bumps, skin build up all sounds like irritation. I'd stop everything and stick to plain water and a simple moisturiser like german nivea or olive oil (just a teeny tiny bit).

I've been through the same, it's really scary stopping everything because you wory about the backlash but it's worked a dream for me I thought I had such high maintenance skin but I was just overwhelming it.

The secret is that you have to cut out everything the cleanser the moisturiser absolutely everything. Give your skin at least a week, two if you can, to heal itself. You may get spotty in the beginning but it will calm down and your skin will look so much healthier.

If you must use a cleanser I suggest OCM using castor oil & olive oil, it'll also provide ample exfoliation. But if you can avoid using any cleansers it would be even better.


HTH
 

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i used to use benzaclin all the time. it would clear up my skin, but totally dry it out, and then after 3 months, acne again, and i realized the topical antibiotic, clindamycin mixed in this, was causing my skin to become immuned to it.

i no longer use it, because it drys out my skin, and it looks awful, so i use glycolic acid to treat my acne. along with niacinamide, which works just as good as clindamycin, but without your skin getting immuned to it, so it never stops working.

this is from an article that explains this better.

Treats Acne

In a randomized controlled study, a 4% niacinamide gel was compared to 1% clindamycin gel (a topical antibiotic) in 76 patients with moderate acne. After 8 weeks, 82% of patients treated with Niacinamide and 68% of those treated with clindamycin were considered improved. There were no side effects in either group. The research suggests that the anti-inflammatory activity of antiaging vitamin Niacinamide contributed to its effect on acne. Both were highly effective in the treatment of acne but Niacinamide worked better!

The main downside of antibiotics (1% clindamycin) is the emergence of resistance to the antibiotic itself and resistance to mutated microorganisms. If further research confirms that Niacinamide is as effective as topical antibiotics, it may become a treatment of choice for many acne sufferers because it does not compel microbial resistance.
 

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i used to use benzaclin all the time. it would clear up my skin, but totally dry it out, and then after 3 months, acne again, and i realized the topical antibiotic, clindamycin mixed in this, was causing my skin to become immuned to it.

i no longer use it, because it drys out my skin, and it looks awful, so i use glycolic acid to treat my acne. along with niacinamide, which works just as good as clindamycin, but without your skin getting immuned to it, so it never stops working.

this is from an article that explains this better.

Treats Acne

In a randomized controlled study, a 4% niacinamide gel was compared to 1% clindamycin gel (a topical antibiotic) in 76 patients with moderate acne. After 8 weeks, 82% of patients treated with Niacinamide and 68% of those treated with clindamycin were considered improved. There were no side effects in either group. The research suggests that the anti-inflammatory activity of antiaging vitamin Niacinamide contributed to its effect on acne. Both were highly effective in the treatment of acne but Niacinamide worked better!

The main downside of antibiotics (1% clindamycin) is the emergence of resistance to the antibiotic itself and resistance to mutated microorganisms. If further research confirms that Niacinamide is as effective as topical antibiotics, it may become a treatment of choice for many acne sufferers because it does not compel microbial resistance.
Hey ladolcevita, I'm so intrigued about your progress with Niacinamide. What particular products do you use? Which Glycolic acid cleanser are you using?
Benzaclin worked WONDERS for me for 2.5 years and now it's just not cutting it anymore. Can you please list your product names?
Also, you said on your profile that Retin-A was the only thing to cure your acne. Do you still use it? I know this is a lot to ask, but I'm so depressed and I'm really willing to take any form of help that I can.
 

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mellymelly,

yes i love retin a! but i need to update this on my profile as i am in love with the products i use now.

i bought niacinamide 4% gel from my pharmacy. here things are little different. you don`t need a prescription, so i am not sure where you live, but maybe you can ask your pharmacist, but i think you can get this online, and there is a member here, who makes it himself.

but i use products from glytone and md forte. i use the md forte facial cleanser III, but started with the II. it doesn`t take makeup off, so to remove my makeup i use earth science clarifying cleanser, and then i use the md forte with my clarisonic.

i then use the glycolic acid line from glytone, the step up line. i started with step up 1, and now i am on step up 2. i use this together with the niacinamide.

i cleanse my face, then apply the niacinamide, let dry 5 mins, then apply the glytone products. it made me breakout at first, but it was unclogging my pores, and now i don't have any whiteheads or blackheads, and if i do get a pimple, its so small and never inflamed, and goes away in less then 2 days.

retin a however is wonderful too. just that the percentage i have is .1%, and its too strong, so i had to buffer it, mixing it with a moisturizing lotion. i would love to use the retin a again, but the 04% and then use the niacinamide in the morning, but for now, i am enjoying the glycolic products.

once a month a do a peel, with a product from ncn skin care, called the pumpkin peel, and i first started using every week for 6 weeks, then now i use once a month. it gives me a glow, and makes my skin so smooth.

how bad is your acne? i loved benzaclin also, but i realized after it would stop working, it made my acne ten times worse, and would dry it out so bad.

try to see if you can use these products. it takes time, and your skin will probally breakout first, but this is just about 2 or 3 weeks, and you will see your pores are getting cleaned. hope this helps :)
 

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Hi ladolcevita,

I didn't want to post a reply right away because I really wanted to give my skin some time to just relax.
When I wrote to you, I had actually just gotten back from an amazing trip and I was so depressed with having to go back to my normal routine here, which in heindseit might have caused my hormones to go out of whack which then caused those juicy zits that are obsessed with me (lol).

I saw a dermatologist last week, and while I expected that she wouldn't listen to my history at all, she did mention something that I think I need to take to heart. She said my acne was hormonal. I get them on my jaw and cheeks. I get about 2 tender ones a week, and it's been like this for 10 months now.

This has happened to me before... maybe about 3 years ago. I would see progress with my skin and them BAM- another eruption yet again.
This was because I had been so extremely stressed due to school and sleepless nights. Sleeplessness is a big thing in causing my acne, I find. Anyway, 3 years ago when all this happened, my doctor prescribed me Benzaclin. I used to use it all over my face ONLY AT NIGHT and then I'd use Neutrogena 2.5% BP in the morning for treatment. It worked like a dream for a good solid 2 years. I was also at my most spiritual at that point in my life-- I slept early, drank lots of water and tea (I still do though), I didn't stress at all, and most importantly (as if I haven't mentioned it before) I SLEPT EARLY. 5 months later, my skin was uber clear-- and it stayed clear.
And even before that breakout 3 years ago, I had broken out due to the onset of teenage puberty, and it also took my hormones about a year to balance out. I really honestly believe that my hormones are so imbalanced at the moment and thus causing all of these breakouts.

To be fair, my tzone looks normal-- and I've never stopped using Benzaclin, so a HUGE part of me doesn't want to let go because of the fact that a huge part of my skin still reacts wonderfully with this medication... I do believe that weaning off of it will probably serve me a good deal... and therefore, I am trully looking into Niacinamide as an alternative.

I will say my acne is not horrible (knock on wood... and I really thank my lucky stars!!!) but I think all of this is a signal to reorganize my skin routine and most importantly, work from within.

My derm never listened to me and my concerns, but her saying that this is hormonal has really gotten me thinking! She told me to go on birth control to balance out the hormones, which I DO NOT want to do.
I believe that hormones take time to balance out and go back to normal. The human body is an incredibly smart "machine" and I know for a fact that in time, it can heal itself.
However, despite this comforting realization, I'm only human and when I look at my ugly lesions in the morning and/or at night, I do feel helpless...
Do you take any vitamins that have benefited your skin quite a bit?
Also, any tips on how to balance hormones?

THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for your suggestion on Niacinamide. I will seriously look into it and ask my usual family doctor about it, whom I'm hoping is nice enough to go into detail with it.

Sorry for the rant. I'm so greatful you replied to me. And I'm very happy for you that you've cleared up your skin. You're very beautiful. Voce e muito linda! =)
mellymelly,

yes i love retin a! but i need to update this on my profile as i am in love with the products i use now.

i bought niacinamide 4% gel from my pharmacy. here things are little different. you don`t need a prescription, so i am not sure where you live, but maybe you can ask your pharmacist, but i think you can get this online, and there is a member here, who makes it himself.

but i use products from glytone and md forte. i use the md forte facial cleanser III, but started with the II. it doesn`t take makeup off, so to remove my makeup i use earth science clarifying cleanser, and then i use the md forte with my clarisonic.

i then use the glycolic acid line from glytone, the step up line. i started with step up 1, and now i am on step up 2. i use this together with the niacinamide.

i cleanse my face, then apply the niacinamide, let dry 5 mins, then apply the glytone products. it made me breakout at first, but it was unclogging my pores, and now i don't have any whiteheads or blackheads, and if i do get a pimple, its so small and never inflamed, and goes away in less then 2 days.

retin a however is wonderful too. just that the percentage i have is .1%, and its too strong, so i had to buffer it, mixing it with a moisturizing lotion. i would love to use the retin a again, but the 04% and then use the niacinamide in the morning, but for now, i am enjoying the glycolic products.

once a month a do a peel, with a product from ncn skin care, called the pumpkin peel, and i first started using every week for 6 weeks, then now i use once a month. it gives me a glow, and makes my skin so smooth.

how bad is your acne? i loved benzaclin also, but i realized after it would stop working, it made my acne ten times worse, and would dry it out so bad.

try to see if you can use these products. it takes time, and your skin will probally breakout first, but this is just about 2 or 3 weeks, and you will see your pores are getting cleaned. hope this helps :)
 
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