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My Experience of Acne

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      05.02.2011 22:54
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      Works wonders for some people, dissapointing for others

      I have recently finished a course of 6 months on a medication known as isotetrin, accutane and roaccutane (people have different names for it but it's the same stuff). My acne was pretty bad before the medication, I had acne on my face, shoulders and back and had tried numerous amounts of face washes etc in a bid to try and clear my skin but unfortunately nothing seemed to work. Because of this I decided to try this medication despite the length of taking the medication and the different side affects you faced. I did not experience too many side affects apart from extremely dry lips (which were quite annoying) and skin. Secondly, you have got to be careful when in the sun on this medication, my doctor gave me a special sun cream because I was going on holiday and you are not meant to be in the sun really. Also you aren't really allowed to drink alcohol whilst on the medication however I found that the odd drink here and there didn't matter. Now, after 6 months of the medication, I am not completely happy with it. Although it has cleared my skin a bit, there is now scarring on my face which looks more noticable and my back and shoulders are not clear. On reflection, I'm not sure that taking this medication for 6 months was entirely worth it. For some people, this treatment does not work at all and for some people it works, I suppose its up to you to find out if this medication works on you. I suggest visiting a dermatoligist and discussing this medication in detail with them as there are numerous side affects, depression being one. After a lengthy dicussion, you should come to a conclusion as to whether you should start the medication or not. I wouldn't worry too much about the side affects as the doctors constantly measure how you are doing and take monthly blood tests to see how you are doing.
      To conclude, it is debatable whether you should go on this medication, I would suggest trying other methods first like natural face washes etc but if they do not work and you are frustrated with your skin then try this medication. It may work perfectly for you or it may be dissapointing.

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        10.07.2009 18:08

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        As far as I can see it is a wonder drug

        For what my face had been like in the years and months up using roaccutane I honestly thought there would no 'quick fix'. Whilst roaccutane is not neccesarily a quick fix it is the nearest thing to it.

        I began the course in May 2005 and by the September I was 100% clear of any lingering spots and I have not had a break out since. Of course, there were some side effects but no where near as bad as the scary ones I read about. I had some dry skin - especially dry lips - and I have to admit during the course my hair did go slightly thinner, however, it certainly wasnt noticeable.

        If anyone was to ask me if they should go on roaccutane I couldn't recommend it enough. For a few months of chapped lips and dry skin for a life time of clear skin and higher confidence it is definately worth it!

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        07.07.2009 11:48

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        i just have a few things to say if you suffer from acne go on this medication! Taking roaccutane was the best thing i done, i suffered no side affects apart from having a bit of dryness on my lips and hands but nothing severe and that cant be helped with cream,i choose not to listen to these horror stories, i was still able to do everything go out, go to the gym, have a life and within 16 weeks my acne was gone and the results are fantastic, i put up with having acne for so long and id had enough, this has changed my life completely and i am so happy with my skin now, so.....go for it!

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        28.06.2009 17:35

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        Give it a try if you find that the side effects are too much, all you have to do is stop taking it.

        Hi,
        Well this is now going into my third week of Roaccutane 20mg, and if i am to be really honest, I spent about a month and a half, just researching this product and reading the various reviews and looking at the various videos of how this product helped or didn't help individuals. I spoke with my dermatologist who was ever so patient and understanding.

        The first day I took the roaccutane, it was like I was waiting for a time bomb to explode. Nervous, would be an understatement. I was truly intimidated by the side effects that could occur and questioned whether "vanity" was worth what it..... I used the word vanity to myself as at the end of the day, I just wanted flawless skin and having to stop worrying about buying a million and 50 different products to make this happen or not.

        I took the advice of the people who shared their experiences on the internet, bought Vitamin E 1000 IU take it every day and Vit B Cetaphil daily cleanser, and the moisturizing CREAM, not the lotion moisturized twice a day. Side effects dry lips but I use Blistex do not use the any moisturizer on your lips just the Blistex Only!. I found that my lips were stripping like Wow, when I used the cream first and then the Blistex. My eyes at times feel weird, body pain, but not severe that I cant function and trust me my tolerance level for pain is LOW, and I may get headaches every now and then...but I don't know for sure if its caused by the medication. I bathe with Dove or Oil of Olay (white only). After showering, with my skin still wet, I use the Johnson Baby Oil gel and then I dry off and use just ordinary lotion on my skin. I found that it keeps the skin really moisturized. I I live on a Tropical Island so maybe that's why I don't experience a lot of the dryness that the colder countries can bring about.

        Right now I see a difference in my skin, it has cleared up somewhat. I am seeing a lot of little white heads on my nose and a few on my forehead, that are now clearing up.

        As I said this is only week three, so I trying to be real positive about this now that I am in it.

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        26.06.2009 21:26
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        Great drug to use for bad acne

        To Use Roaccautane or not?

        I've just started my first day on roaccutane. Wahey!!

        I took this drug 7 years ago for adult acne, and for some reason my skin has flared up again and have tried the norm- antibiotics / creams/gels to no avail :-(
        At the end of my 16 week treatment it made my skin looked fantastic! Looked all new and fresh looking!

        I would definately recommend this drug to anyone else to who has suffered the very annoying condition of acne. Until you suffer with it no one will know how it can effect us.

        The drug got bad press about suicide, but in reality, who among us has not felt like banging our heads against the wall trying get this embarrassing condition cleared up trying creams/gels/antibiotics which seem to do nothing!
        I have not felt suicidal, but get the feeling of being totally frustrated and fed up with bad skin which really gets you down.
        So what's the option? Trying this drug before the acne mentally gets to you anyway!

        Previously I did ALL what you should do whilst taking the drug. No sun, at all! No alcohol and generally tried to look after myself. This time will drink plenty of water, green tea to help detox my liver.
        Also I realise I can use face and moisturiser and probably still be ok to use fake tan! Hard to no use make up to at least hide the spots!! As long as you use ALL non comedonic make up.

        The products best to use, and dermatologists don't seem to know about these, is a professional beauty range called Dermalogica.
        It has face creams/ toners/moisturisers both can be used by men and women.
        They sell calming cleaners, tinted moisturisers which don't clog the skin, Check them out!

        True while on this drug you get dry nose and dry lips but again try and find better lip balm rather than just Vaseline.

        So anyone reading this with bad skin and your pulling your hair out.... get yourself down to see the Dermatologist and get on Roaccutane!
        For the sake of no drinking alcohol for a few months (not a bad thing!)
        dry lips and nose what's the worst that can happen? BUT what's the best that can happen?!! :-) Go on.... give it a whirl!

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          09.05.2009 00:18

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          Right, i'm about 3/4 weeks from finishing my treatment...and have had relatively mild side effects. The dry lips are annoying and mosturing gets annoying. But very recently [like today] i've had a bad day after having an small argument with a friend, and i feel really depressed and emotional...i've not cried or anything but i just feel really down! and it's sooo not like me! Im not suicidal or anything, it's just i've never really felt to down in years. OMG i can't wait to finish this and have great skin.On the bright side i do think they've done the world of good. No pain no gain i guess...

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          29.04.2009 12:31
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          Help is available.

          Acne - A Personal Perspective.

          Well I never thought I would be writing about this topic at the grand old age of 32!

          Acne has been the bain of my life since the age of 13. I know I shouldn't complain too much, after all there are much worse things to suffer from such as debilitating and terminal conditions. However I can't help but feel a little sorry for myself, as it is an embarrassing condition (particularly if like myself it affects your face). Here's my story, I hope it makes interesting reading.

          I first began to notice something was wrong at around age 13, when my small outbreaks of spots never seemed to clear up. As the months progressed what started as a stubborn area of spots began to slowly increase in size across the whole length of my cheeks. Before I knew it both sides of my face were affected. To start with I did nothing as I believed it would clear up itself. Also I was being ill advised by 'helpful' school mates who said I should just stop eating so much junk food (I must add that I don't believe I eat anymore junk food than the next person).
          As the months progressed the acne got worse, eventually covering my entire face and forehead ( I was consumed by ravaging boils - which as you know don't look pretty). As a young teenager at the time where looks are all important, this was a devastating time for me.

          Eventually my mother decided it was time to see the doctor to get this problem sorted for once and all (if only I knew!). The meeting went well and I was prescribed some topical lotion to apply on my face daily. I used this lotion faithfully and within a few weeks my face began to clear. I was delighted! Unfortunately this was not the ever lasting solution I thought it was, and after about a year of taking the treatment the acne started to rear it's ugly head again. Another trip to the doctors and this time I was prescribed some antibiotic tablets. Again this seemed to do the trick, but again only for about a year.
          This cycle of effective treatments followed by my body's resistance to them, continued until the age of 21. By this time I had tried and tested everything the doctor could prescribe. At a time when my friends spots seemed to be disappearing forever, mine were at their worse. It was at this point that my doctor referred me to a dermatologist and I was put on the acne wonder drug 'Roaccutane'. I was warned of some potential side effects, the worse being possible future liver damage should I ever have to take more than one course of this drug. From here onwards I took the course of the drug (approx 3 months), during which time my face dried up so much that it cracked and I couldn't wash it properly. I wasn't worried, as I needed this to be the miracle that I prayed for - and it was. Once the course of tablets were complete, my face began to improve. Before long I had the spot free face I had always dreamed of - it truly was a miracle!
          At the time my consultant warned me that earlier trials proved to be effective for about 10 years, after which time there was a chance the acne could return. However, as I would be 31 at that stage, I should hopefully have 'outgrown' the condition by then. I kept my fingers crossed since I couldn't risk having to take another course of the drug 10 years down the line (my liver remaining healthy was more important!).

          Well 10 years passed and I enjoyed my spot free complexion, dare I say I even took it for granted. That was until I hit 31 and that familiar stubborn area of spots returned. Over the course of the year it progressively worsened, and I had to face the fact that I was one of the unlucky few who don't outgrow the condition. A couple of months ago I returned to the doctors, my ravaged face beginning to affect my confidence. The diagnosis of recurring acne was reiterated, although this time I was diagnosed with 'Rosacea' as well. I have since been prescribed more antibiotic tablets, and as we speak they seem to be working. However I am older and wiser this time around, and I realise that it is probably only a matter of time before my body resists them and I continue my never ending cycle of treatments and relapses. I keep my fingers crossed, though am ever thankful that at least it is not a life threatening condition.

          Thank you for reading.

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            19.04.2009 22:18
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            my experience of roaccutane so far

            Hello,
            I just want to write a review on roaccutane - the wonder drug that is known to clear up persistent and stubborn acne.
            Im 26 and i've had acne since I was 12. I first went on oxytretracyline, then erythomycin, to vibramycin and then minocin. When I was 16 I went on dianette - the pill - which worked wonders for my skin. The above anti-biotics and topical gels did not have such a good effect.
            So 10 years on dianette I began to think that I was definately on the pill far too long, but everytime I went off dianette, I ended up erupting in acne - mostly on my back and chest which really bothered me. My face experienced alot of acne but I found that using heavy make-up usually helped to hide the masses of spots and blemishes.
            So, I decided enough was enough. I had heard about roaccutane but I never wanted to consider it because of the side effects u hear about.
            Was referred to the dermatologist and was put on roaccutane in January. Im now nearly finished my treatment. I still have the odd spot and blemish on my face but I still have a few weeks left and I'm hoping that this will clear up. My back and chest are completly clear - i have never had such clear skin on these area's since I was 12 years old - it's great. I cant wait to go on holiday this summer and wear a bikini with pride.
            As for the side effects - dry lips are easily treated with a good lip balm such as carmex - vaseline is pretty useless!! U get the odd bought of tiredness - but isnt that worthwhile for clear skin!! I have not suffered in any way from depression, mood swings etc....infact my overall mood on roaccutane has improved due to the general improvement of my skin over the last few weeks.
            So, yes I would recommend roaccutane to anybody who is fed up with their acne and wants to get rid of it for once and for all..im certainly a happier person now than i was before i took roaccuatne

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              01.04.2009 19:58

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              read this carefully, no joke i had acne for 10 years, i tried all products, seen dermatologist, had pill, stopped pill, seen gp for antibiotics, then i had roaccutane years ago , fab, all acne gone but now i ve gor scars and i have another outbreak. i checked for allergies, and i m more likely to be sensitive to dairy products. before you go down to roaccutane, please try 2 months off dairy products. u will see, it worth it, just get soya milk and other staff but no cheese, no cow milk. come back to me in 2 months. u ll feel so good about urself.

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              06.03.2009 17:40
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              Cleaning the face, moisturising,diet, vitamins, smoking

              I thought I make a review to share my opinions and personal experience regarding acne. I think this review is more aimed on adult women then anyone else but still others could find really great tips.

              Ever since my teenage years I have suffered with acne. I always had moderate acne. However people did not noticed as I became an expert in makeup: using foundation, covering the bad areas and creating shadows to trick the eye in not seeing the problem, but all this took me an hour everyday just to get out of the house. I never went out of my house or faced people without my foundation on. Making liquid foundation and powder look natural in the day light is not an easy job at all.

              All I can say is that all this have not worked on the long run and the side effects of them have always been unpleasant. For example:

              -Clearasil and other similar product: dries up your face really badly, leaves it feeling dry and unnatural plus the skin does not has the healthy glow. Once you stop using it the face goes to having bad acne again
              -Sulphur or glycerine soap does pretty much the same as Clearasil, except perhaps it is a bit better.
              -Antibiotics: the side effects are too many too mention. For some people they have worked however for me have not. My acne has appeared soon after the treatment. I took too many pills to even remember they names.

              Right now I cleared all my acne and I had to get rid of a lot of my bad habits.

              All the things I do now have lead me to a fantastic skin. Bellow is my secret and has become a lifestyle. Of course nothing happened over night. When I started doing all this it took me 4 months until it worked for me but now but I don't look back at all and enjoy looking at my clear face in the mirror.

              First stop whatever you wore doing to clean your face and stop using chemical products as they don't do anyone any good.



              Cleaning the face

              I use the ####Oil Cleansing Method##### with a muslin cloth and nothing else on my face every morning and evening, this saves me a lot of money. It cost me about £3 to make 100ml which lasts me an entire month. Could be made even cheaper but I prefer to buy Organic and Fair trade ingredients.
              Recipe for dry to normal skin (simple or what?)

              75ml Sunflower Oil
              15ml Castor Oil all mixed together

              Soak the muslin cloth in lurking warm water after you massaged you skin for up to 3 minutes with the oil. Leave it over your face for 1 minute; the warm water will remove the impurities, blackheads, dirt and makeup. Rub off the excessive oil with the muslin cloth gently and this way you will also exfoliate your skin, insist in area where you have blackhead or spots a bit more. Some days you might want to use hotter water other days lurking warm water, all this depends on your preferences and comes with experience. Too much hot water used daily could dry your skin up so see haw it goes on the lung run, is all a matter of experience, same with exfoliating, experiment and see. Just make sure you are always gentle to your skin and don't do anything too rough or used very hot water.

              I also use the muslin cloth to exfoliate my skin. I make great savings here too because I don't have to buy any scrubs anymore. The cloth can be washed and reused over and over again, it lasts for ages. It only cost about £2 for one (you usually buy a pack) and lasts 3 months of daily use. Remember to wash the cloth after each use as you don't want bacteria to gather on it.

              This method is extremely popular at this time and if you Google it you will find so much information out there and recipes that you would not believe it.

              I highly recommend this as it will never clog your pores and your face will be left clean healthy looking.

              Tip: you can also use this oil mixture to remove even the most stubborn eye mascara. Simply add 4 drops on a damp cotton disc and wipe it off around the eye area also gently over the lashes.

              Back acne

              In the past I had some acne on my back, arms and V neck line which was very annoying. A very good method to get rid of it is to scrub the affected body areas with a loofah sponge or you can use some polenta to gently exfoliate the area. Polenta is basically crushed grain of corn easily found in any supermarkets. The crush grain of polenta acts like a scrub exfoliating the area that, works well on damp skin. You can exfoliate about 3 times a week.

              After exfoliating you can make a mixture with 5 % -7% Tea Tree Essential Oil. As base oil you could use: Jojoba, Sunflower or Olive Oil. Of course you could reed and research more into these oils and you will find that you can use others too; it pretty much depends on your preferences after all. One important thing is to use cold pressed oils because the method of extraction always preserves the best qualities from oil.

              You could play around with essential Oils and add for example 4% of Tea Tree and 3% of Lavender, Myrtle or Cedarwood. Is recommended that you do not mix more the 3 essential oils at a time. But if you want to stick to only Tea Tree that is fine.

              Note: Always buy good quality essential oils that are certified to be used directly on the skin and in their purest form.

              I used to apply this mixture and scrub on my V neck and arms and about 90% cleared up in 3 weeks for me. Now I don't get any any more mainly because I eat healthy and take vitamins which make a huge difference. I used to apply the oil mixture once or twice a day on the affected area.


              Moisturising

              I use a mixture of oils especialy for my face but one thing is always present and that is Tea Tree Essential oil.

              Recipe:
              *7ml Rose Hip Seeds Oil (rosehip oil heals scars and is easily absorbed by the skin, is also anti aging too)
              *3ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil + Sunflower Oil (for the night time I make the same mixture but I use Hemp Seed Oil instead). Of course you can skip these 2 Oils and use 100% Rosehip Oil but they do have some good proprieties
              *-2 to 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil Organic or Wild and that is that is approximately 2% ( this Oil is very important as it cures the acne) Sometimes I add 1-2 drops of Tea Tree and 1-2 Drops from either Myrtle, Cedarwood or Lavender essential oils. You don't have to as Tea Tree is enough but is fun to experiment.

              I use this morning and evening and even under your makeup all the time.

              You can also use Tea Tree Essential Oil directly on the spots too. Use a ear bud to apply a bit on each spot. Do not cover a large area!

              You can buy all these Oils I mention some from the supermarkets or pharmacies. I prefer the internet; one good website I always had a good experience with is www.aromantic.co.uk

              The makeup

              Literally stay away from any foundation from the high street, especially the liquid foundation as it clogs the pores and will only do you more harm.

              I know haw important is to hide the acne and I recommend you use only minerals foundation on your face. Is the only thing that is good for your skin and will never clog your pores. Make sure you buy proper minerals with no added filler. Some producers still add chemicals and get away with selling their producst as minerals foundation.

              Some good brand names and safe you can use are:
              www.lilylolo.co.uk
              www.returnallhealth.co.uk
              www.barefacedbeauty.co.uk



              The only downfall with mineral makeup is that you need to learn and understand haw it works to make it look good. Again you must experiment and master a good technique in applying it. For me is the best thing in the world and I can't even compare it with normal high street brands. Thet all have lost their charm and quality for me once I started using pure mineral makeup.

              You can reed my Lily Lolo mineral foundation review to find out more on the technique. You can use the same technique with any of the brands.

              The Vitamins

              I take the fallowing everyday:
              - iron
              -vitamin B complex
              -vitamin C
              200mg Cod Liver Oil

              The diet

              Last but not the least important. Having a healthy died is the way forward.
              * stay away from sweets in any shape or form, even limit your intake of sweet fruits so don't overeat sweet fruits to compensate for the lack of real sugar.
              * eat plenty of vegetable. Make sure you have 6 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Keep in mind: potatoes do not count!
              * drink 2 litres of water a day. Yes, water, plain water! No tea, coffee, fizzy drink or justice etc. In the summer or in a really hot climate like Sahara's desert for example you need to drink more.
              * make sure you have enough fibre in your diet, is really important
              * stay away from processed foods
              * stay away from fatty foods
              * on a short version: this all is a bit like the diet of a diabetic


              All this might seem an absolute pain to fallow but honestly I got used to it. Of course is easier to say then actually do it so I tend to pig into sweet at times however I soon regret it as my acne comes back with a vengeance.

              Other times I forgot to take my vitamins and even though I did the rest of the things again my acne starts reappearing.

              Also removing the dead skin cells of my face, using Tea Tree oil blend and the Oil Cleansing Method gives me a healthy glow. If I had to choose one single method of the ones mention this would be it.

              I have experimented over the years and I found that all the things go perfectly well together and by doing them I am blemish free, with a perfect skin.

              Smoking

              I do feel I should mention this as it all came as a big surprise to me.
              I smoked like a chimney for 10 years, about a pack a day. I have quit 2 years ago. I always though that smoking gave me acne but when I actually stopped smoking I faild to see any improvement whatsoever in the 2 years of being a non smoker.

              Some months ago I started smoking for a short period of 3 weeks and again no change in my skin condition whatsoever. Again when I gave up no change!

              I am not saying people should keep smoking I am just saying that things are even more complicated then that. Life is funny like that!


              Hope this helps xxxx

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                23.02.2009 04:19
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                Never recommend it to anyone

                Review of Roaccuatne

                Yes, I absolutely agree with Rachael. As a drug for acne it is extremely good - perfect almost as my skin became almost perfect. Even the scars went off but.... the side effects .......
                1. Deepressive mood swings inducing one to have sucidal thoughts - I felt down all the time from morning to night without ever knowing why until I read the instruction note in the box!!!

                2. Stiffness in the muscles and pain in the knees quite often while on the drug

                3. My hearing has been impaired tremendously - I cannot hear if people mumble - which was never a problem earlier.

                4. My limbs have increased melanin -which is it is more tan than normal, only the limbs - so it's kinda funny, you are fair skinned, your face is fair but your hands and feet are many tones darker than your face.

                I was only told of the dryness on my skin and the pregnancy thingy but hey so many other side-effects..... it is just not worth it - I will NEVER recommend it to anyone and the worse thing is, my acne is back and my face is drenched in oil I could start a car if it contains the right properties!!!

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                06.02.2009 14:13
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                Listen to teenagers and see it from their side.

                I suffered with acne dreadfully in my mid teens and to be honest I don't think my mum really understood how I felt inside. She said she had it too but never said how she had felt-more concentrating on the idea that nobody was perfect and that I should accept it, and so I kept my thoughts inside. Eventually she took me to the doctors and he suggested using Cidal soap and a piece of lint (clean each day) to wash with. This I did and that was the extent of my therapies. There wasn't the internet then to look up answers, and so I suffered with them. Luckily there were non sufficiently bad to leave scarring visually, but that is only half the story as mentally they do leave marks, and I vowed if any of my children got the same thing I would really try to get inside how they were feeling to see if I could help them.

                So the years went by and I qualified as a nurse and we learnt all about acne, and the causes, treatments, and so on, and I will outline these in a moment, but I want to follow this with some personal thoughts on the condition which I call my "little steps approach."

                So What Is Acne?

                First the Science.

                In a nutshell it is a horrid unpleasant condition which comes along just at the precise moment no young person wants it. It is not about being dirty, eating chocolate, or chips, or any other rubbish you hear- it is simply the reaction of the skin to the production of male sex hormones. Interestingly these increase during the teenage years in both sexes, and the sebaceous glands are extremely responsive to these changes in some people. The problem is often much worse in boys which my son will testify to and it is often but not exclusively boys who will go on to need more intensive treatments. The sebaceous glands become extremely inflamed by these hormones called androgens and they produce a lot more secretions, this blocks their openings and it is bacterial action where bacteria are feeding on these secretions called sebum and then discharging waste products which causes the inflammation. So you see it has nothing to do with eating chips, or chocolate, or doing anything you shouldn't, it is quite simple the reaction of the body to rising levels of hormones. I think it is really important to educate parents particularly about this, as many teenagers feel they are responsible for their acne which simply isn't true.


                Now The Mental Torture

                Having acne is to many like a reason to have not just one but endless duvet days. Inside the mind of many teenagers with this condition is a feeling of loneliness and isolation. More so than ever as they are facing so many pressures from school than we ever did in the 70s to achieve even higher grades, and to pass even more slotted in extra tests. For many acne is the last straw. Above all else I feel we must comfort these teenagers and try to understand how they feel. My son was desperate to find a treatment which worked and despite being a very well educated and happy boy, a part of him was dying with the pain of going out every day, with what seemed like to me a mild case of acne. Being a nurse I had to be careful. He was pushing me to seek medications from the doctor straight away; I was not keen as I felt it was too early because at this stage he was only 14. To me his acne looked mild- but WARNING in his head these little pimples were like giant hummocks. I realised he was suffering in silence, so I started what I call my little steps approach, which I hope will be useful to other parents.

                Before I describe it I just want to explain that my son is the last of 4 children, the others did have a few spots, but nothing which really worried them, although my daughter did at one stage have a small number which recurred on her forehead.

                My Little Steps Plan

                1. My son started with acne at 14 and at first the spots were small and not too severe. To me they were insignificant, to him they were like erupting volcanoes, so this is my first point. Keep an eye out for the start of acne and watch for the way it affects them. I made a big mistake here in failing to acknowledge the way he was feeling inside, which I regret, because I had experienced the same thing myself. I soon realised this and spoke to him about it. I explained to him that I wanted to try as many natural and over the counter remedies I could before approaching the doctor. I did this because he did not have severe acne, I could see this myself, but if you are in any doubt ask your GP because what you don't want is any long term scarring.

                2. The first thing I did was to buy the Cidal soap which I had used all those years ago. It is antibacterial and so keeps the skin clean. It is useful, but only that- it is not going to make a lot of difference to anything but mild acne.

                3. Next I bought many of the off the shelf treatments for acne such as Clearasil. These have their successes and failures most of which I feel may be more to do with the way the hormones are at the time of puberty. The thing is that like the menopause where hormonal surges are common as the reproductive system is fading, in teenagers these surges are the reproductive system building and these fluctuations are the catalysts which fuel the outbreaks which occur in flares. One cream would work for a time and then another would be brought in to try.

                4. The next thing we tried was a product from Lush which I can highly recommend because it was our life saver for almost a year. It is the Warrior Fresh Face mask. Containing garlic this treatment was extremely effective and what it did for us was to get us over the period when his acne was getting more severe, but when he was still in my opinion too young for more aggressive treatments. At times with this product the spots would fade to almost nothing and the chocolate face mask they also do was highly effective as well.

                5. Freederm. We then moved to the pharmacy only products because the spots were getting worse and we tried this. This is a form of vitamin B3 and it reduces the redness and inflammation of the acne. It didn't really touch them sadly and it was binned after a few weeks.

                6. The next treatment we tried was Quinoderm. This medication available from the pharmacy contains benzoyl peroxide and potassium hydroxyquinoline sulphate. The peroxide unblocks the sebaceous glands and both chemicals have antibiotic properties. This was the most effective treatment outside of the doctors, and it held it in check for a good few months. Be careful though as it bleaches clothes, bed linen, and towels -we had many ruined towels!

                7. We also tried various tea tree based lotions which did help at times as well.

                8. As my son was approaching his 16th birthday we had a long chat. He explained that he felt it was time to ask the doctor for antibiotic help. I explained that I agreed that the time had come as well. With the history of what we had tried behind us I felt that he was in need of some long term medication to control the condition. His acne was moderate with no scarring, but I felt he was suffering too much with the feelings associated with it to keep going on other treatments. I also felt at 16 he was mature enough to make up his own mind about treatment and to understand any risks.

                9. He was prescribed Tetracycline antibiotics which he has been taking now for over 6 months and he is almost 17. The treatment is working well and the outbreaks are controlled well. He is happier knowing he is doing something above and beyond the more natural and non prescription treatments and the results are encouraging. We could have also tried antibiotic cream which is a half way house but decided to use the antibiotics as the acne was getting angrier. The treatment can have side effects but normally these are mild but be aware of them and also the advice given on when to take the tablets. This is vital.

                10. As he has only moderate acne it is unlikely that we will need to consider specialist help in the form of Roaccotane which is a very strong treatment highly effective but with side effects. This would be my last piece of advice in the review as it is an option some with severe acne have to take. Roaccutane is a medication which lowers the production of sebum in the sebaceous glands themselves. It is known to cause birth defects in pregnant women so is reserved for severe cases only.

                11. There are other options as well for girls in particular who can take certain forms of the contraceptive pill which also work by reducing the effect of the androgens. Another thing I should say is that all skin does respond to some loving kindness so drink lots of water and plenty of fruit and vegetables and generally get lots of sleep. It won't cure it as I said earlier but it can help you cope better. Sunshine helps too but be careful if you are on Tetracycline as it can make the skin more susceptible to burning.

                12 One final point many of the treatments I have described take a few weeks to work.You have to persevere for some time with each before moving on.In the case of the antibiotics it takes several months to see a noticable sustained improvement.

                The important thing with teenagers I feel is to really listen to them because every pimple is a mountain, every spot a volcano, and every day is a battle to many of them which if you have never had acne you can't even begin to comprehend how they are feeling. You have to balance the side effects of medical treatments against the hope that in time the condition becomes less severe. You can battle on with chemist shop lotions and potions up to a point and this is fine for mild cases, but there may come a time when the benefits of a prescription may outweigh the disadvantages of waiting and seeing for too long. I think we got it almost right, though in hindsight I wish I had taken him to the doctors 6 months earlier, but you have to look inside their heads to really get a picture of how they are feeling which can be difficult.

                Above all I would say talk to them and try to understand what having acne feels like because my son will tell you pimples are not pimples they are giant peaks.I hope I have helped my son to cope with his acne and I hope this might help someone else going through it. They are not- no NEVER just spots.

                This review is also published on Ciao by myself under my user name there Violet1278.

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                  04.02.2009 13:49
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                  get it sorted quick!

                  I had acne for about 3 years and it was fairly severe and was therefore put on the controversial Roaccutane after finally getting seen by my local dermatologist (Yes thanks to the NHS I was made to wait for months before I could even get seen by one, allowing my skin to probably get 5 times as bad and leaving large scars, my biggest regret.) However the course did help, although I did suffer from mood swings which I was hardly aware of and other side effects. These included very dry skin on my face and in particular my lips were constantly cracked and often bled if I did not use lots of Vaseline, particularly over night. Fortunately I was given a tub of almost industrial quality moisturiser with the course and piling this glob on my face every night before I went to bed really did help. Furthermore I was somewhat hampered in my sporting life as anyone using Roaccutane is prone to aches and pains and this was not good for the rugby I participated in.

                  Fortunately it did clear up my skin no doubt about it, after about 5 months on the treatment I was completely free of it all, from the mood swings of the treatment to being overly self concious about an spot. But this is not to say that I am not still self concious about my scarring, something I am sure would not be so pronounced if the NHS was not so lousy! But i guess it is better than being self concious about my acne!

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                    26.01.2009 03:50

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                    Roaccutane caused severe mood swings in me that I didnt notice but those around me did. I think I can safely say it made me extremely depressed in retrospect. However, the results were amazing and my skin really cleared up. My skin just peeled off and was wafer thin like paper, and when you do things like itch your hand it caused lasting damage that has scarred. So be very careful! My mum accidentally opened a cupboard door that scraped my head and this too scarred. Also my lips constantly cracked and bled.Having said this acne can make you very unhappy so if you have support around you I would recommend that this is a useful and effective treatment. Just moisturise ALOT with a very intensive moisturiser that has been prescribed/recommended by a doctor.

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                    04.01.2009 17:13
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                    Shouldn't be long until I have that thing I covet most. Clear skin.

                    For me, acne has been the worst thing that's ever happened to me. It started in primary school; way to young for someone to cope with it. Part of a class full of angelic, clear skinned and unaware little children, me (and my face) stuck out like a sore thumb.
                    I must admit though, even though I've had them since Year 6, at the time, their presence wasn't that upsetting; I don't know why, but I somehow had the confidence to take all my friends' insults in my stride (yes, my friends). However I do remember moaning to my mum about them. All she ever said was that "Well, there's that girl who's got them as well, so you're not the only one." The fact that that girl was the weird outcast of the class didn't help.
                    So then came secondary school, I don't think my spots stood in the way of me making new friends and what not really. Of course, there were a few other kids with acne, but for every person with a spot or two, there was ten kids with flawless skin. As I went through the years, I became increasingly aware of how bad my acne was, and how unnattractive it was. Unfortunately, other people made this discovery as well. The onslaught of insults and teasing wasn't immense, but every little dig just hurt a little more. I felt isloated and alone; no one was in the same circumstance as I was.
                    I can't remember what spurred my mum into action, but we ended up at the doctor's one time and I started my first drug. I was on it for ages... perhaps two years. It helped my spots slightly, although nothing dramatic happened. Then someone decided I needed to change medicine as the one I had been using I was 'getting used to', or something. So I changed. But the second one wasn't as effective. My spots got worse. By this time, I was 14; girls seemed interesting but I didn't have the confidence to do anything about them. Then there was a kerfuffle with the doctor. We saw a dermatoligist (skin specialist) and this wonder drug 'Roaccutane' was mentioned. All I found out about it at the time was that it was effective but dried out your skin 'to a crisp.' It was eventually decided that my acne was serious enough for me to take this thing. We got all this information on it, and my parents got worried. An intimidating list of possible side effects including diabetes, liver disease, depression and suicidal thoughts cast them into doubt. I was unfazed and knew that I would do anything to get rid of my spots. It seemed unfair that everyone got perfect skin for free and I had to worry so much about mine. Recent events I can recall are such;
                    A girl who had never had a spot on her face admitted that she only watched her face once a day with soap.
                    Two of my friends (a boy and a girl) were moaning to each other about how they both had such 'horrible' spots. Their complaints were groundless. It just upset me so much to hear people who had previously said that my spots 'weren't that bad' would fuss so much over just one spot. So surely I was hideous to them?
                    To start, I had to not take any medicine for a month before I could to take Roaccutane. I also had a blood test. My spots got slightly worse during this period; just went to show how little the previous drug had done to help. I finally started Roaccutane a week ago today. It says on the leaflet that it is likely that my acne could get worse in the first 7-10 days. School starts the day after next, so this time will pretty much be over by then. Some of the side effects are kicking in. I've had dry lips (I've had worse due to harsh winters) but Vaseline means I don't have to worry. I've had a few small patches of dry skin here and there; this Aqueous Cream from Boots has sorted that. And this morning my nose was bloody, but this wasn't much of a concern. I can't help but be really optimistic for the results. The doctor said that there is a 50% chance that after the treatment is over that I would never have a spot again, 45% that I'd have the odd one or two, and 5% of needing further treatment. I haven't seen any particular improvement in my skin just yet, but it is of course early days.
                    While reading other reviews on here, I'd just like to say that blood in urine is not a possible side effect of taking Roaccutane. Not sure where that one person got that idea from.
                    And something else to add. I recently got my first girlfriend; she says that she doesn't care at all about my spots (even though they cover my shoulders and middle to upper back, as well as my chest and neck now) and after asking her friends, she said that none of them would care if a boy had spots or not. Even though the issue is often most troubling to the person experiencing it(everyone is their own worst critic), it might prove reassuring to see that most people at my age (15 to 16) are mature enough to not be seriously bothered about spots. You can't stop them and they know it's not due to being unhygienic.
                    One more tip. Never talk about acne to a person with it, and especially if you barely have any spots at all. I find it really offensive, even if people mean well.
                    Good luck everyone, and please try to rise above any jibes at your skin. Remain optimistic no matter how hard it proves. You'll have clear skin some day.

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