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Adult Acne Blog - thebroadroom.net: March 2006

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, nutritionist, herbalist, or otherwise medically trained person. I am an ordinary person who has suffered from adult acne since 1995 and have found no solution to my acne through conventional medicine.

One woman's experience with adult acne.

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Beginning of new template design
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 10:45 PM (Pacific)

Holy crap! how did anyone ever read this blog before? How did I ever read it?

I just changed the post part of the blog to a white background with black text, at least until I can design something better. I myself am tired of that old school deep red background/yellow text. It looks great but it's too hard to read.

posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 9:47 PM (Pacific)

My husband is noticing my improved skin. That says a lot, since he usually could care less about my makeup and so forth (admittedly I prefer it that way, I'd be suspicious of a guy being that interested in makeup). He said I should sell whatever I'd discovered to clear up my skin. (Being the old man, of course he was around when I still had acne...did I just say that? "When I still had acne"?)

I explained that it would be hard for me to do that, because the truth is, I got rid of my acne (this feels very strange..."when I got rid of my acne") by doing many different things. I'll go over them again in a minute...

And I would love to write a book about these things. But can it be so easy? I would need to hire lawyers and doctors. Not because I needed lawyers and doctors to figure out how to reduce acne to the point that I can now say I no longer have acne. But because that is our system. It rewards people who can hire lawyers and doctors, not people who have the brains to pick apart something like adult acne and find ways of stamping it out.


Perhaps the problem is that I still care. It pains me to read about other people suffering from adult acne. Because it's a horrible thing to have to deal with. People who've never had it, have no clue. You can't really cover it up with makeup, because it's bumpy. It shows. And it's on your face, so you can't cover it up with clothing. And, on top of it all, it's physically painful too. And we're living in a time and place when no one is admitting what's causing it. Why are we getting it? It has to be environmental, and there's this prevailing denial about whatever is causing it.

Indeed, the response thus far in the U.S. has been simply to capitalize on it. i.e. no one wants to cure the damn thing. Why should they, when they can make millions selling products to treat (not cure) acne?

Here is the list of things I've done that have worked. Sometimes the effect is not immediate. Typically you see some results pretty much right away, then slowly, over months, your skin gets better and better...at least I hope yours gets better the way mine did.

1.) Birth control. This is key. If you're taking hormone-based birth control, you may want to try switching to see if anything on the market...particularly those Pills touted to reduce acne...does something for you.

Yasmin and Ortho Tricyclen both reduced my acne. Ortho Tricyclen is the older drug (some prefer to take older drugs--the track record is better known). There are others that are supposed to help acne.

2.) Daily multi-vitamin. Now everyone and their dog claims to sell an "acne vitamin." Do your own research. Since vitamins can't be patented, there is no reason to pay more for an "acne vitamin"--it's the same as a "regular vitamin."

3.) Improve your diet. I no longer drink soda. I used to drink it the same way other people drink water. I mean I will drink it, I just don't buy it much so it's not around to drink.

I try to avoid fast food. Again, I'll eat it, to me it's not poison, but I do not eat it as a habit. I won't eat it every week.

Generally--cut out the junk.

4.) Try to avoid cheap beef. I can't afford to buy all my beef at health food stores, but I try to limit how much cheap beef I consume. Beef is raised with growth-promoting hormones, please do not tell me that none of that is ingested by the folks who eat it.

5.) Likewise, read your labels and buy milk that says "no growth hormone." Safeway sells it now...it's much more common now. Try getting dairy products with no growth hormone.

6.) And this is weird. Try drinking Celestial Seasonings White Tea. Any kind--decaf, peach or pear. Drink one or two cups per day.

There's nothing magical about Celestial Seasonings, and I hope that people explore this idea...and try other brands, possibly green tea works as well, I don't know...perhaps find out why it works. For me it does work. Mind you, don't take it out of context...it's #6 on my list, after all of the other stuff I do.

7.) A more minor point, but I use jojoba butter as a night cream. I used to use jojoba oil until I discovered the butter. The butter goes on more easily, it's easier to get a thin even layer of the stuff on, it sinks in faster and better.

I've been trying out various things for years, as you can see. Once I accepted that beauty boards were not going to solve my problem...they've been more than helpful, but I had to figure out a lot of this stuff myself...once I accepted that dermatologists were not going to help me...I never had cystic acne, just pimples all over my face that wouldn't go away...once I accepted, basically, that no one was going to help me, that I would have to solve this problem myself, that is when I started trying various things out, one by one.

A lot of things didn't work. For example, I tried out brewer's yeast. It helped, but in the end I didn't want to take yeast. I tried out various supplements before settling on the one I take now. I've tried numerous prescription topicals--in fact I tried all of them, I think, the next step would have been to take an internal antibiotic, which I didn't want to take. Internal antibiotics and Accutane were, and still are, sold as the end-all and be-all miracle cure for acne, but there's always a glossing-over of long-term side effects that I just don't trust.

Anyhow...so...my stock advice was and still is, if you have cystic acne, go to a dermatologist. I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone successfully curing cystic acne on their own.

But, I can't see "go to a dermatologist" as a sort of magic wand cure for non-cystic acne. I went to a dermatologist. They give you topicals first...I've tried retin-A, Azelex, Differin, Clindamycin, Erythromycin, etc. But if your skin keeps making acne, what's the point of treating it from the surface? I suppose it's worked for some people, but over the long run?

If the topicals don't work, the next step is an internal antibiotic. That, as I say, I didn't want. All antibiotics produce side effects. I've read several posts from people saying that Tetracycline permanently darkened their teeth. Some had been warned about this possible side effect; most weren't. If you're taking an antibiotic...and from the sounds of it, possibly for the rest of your life...aren't you more prone to getting infections? What about antibiotics being compatible with your hormone-based birth control? What about long-term use of antibiotics?

Then...and only then (? I never got to that point), they bring out the Accutane. Yep, the one that works, if I understand correctly, by permanently shrinking your oil glands. Are there any studies of the long-term effects of taking this? Please show them to me before I take it.

Basically, I began to feel that dermatologists really did not know what to do about adult acne. They were geared toward treating teenage acne, the kind that goes away after a couple of years.