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Acne

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by Mutt, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. Mutt

    Mutt New Member

    Messages:
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    Dec 22, 2004
    I'm getting acne flare-ups again and I'm almost 24 now. I had it when I was about 20 and went on Accutane. It seemed to work, but I'm getting it again where I shave. So I went to a dermatologist yesterday and he prescribed me antibiotics and benzoil peroxide. But I dont trust this guy. I asked him if it matters how I shave and he said no. Doesn't matter what I use, gel, foam, soap, razor,electric, nothing. This is clearly bull. He also told me it doesnt matter what soap I use to clean my face, which is a bunch of crap I know. I lost all confidence in this doctor within 10 minutes of starting the visit. He wants me to use this stuff for 3 months to see if there's any improvement. 3 MONTHS of the simplest dumb prescription anyone could have given me. I was expecting at least a little information.

    Am I over-reacting, or should I get another opinion? This is a really embarassing problem. I was looking forward to this appointment and now I am feeling pretty hopeless.

    Thanks.
     
  2. alaaro

    alaaro Senior member

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    Dec 12, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    What do you shave with? It is recommended that people use alcohol free products, so their skin wont dry out, but maybe you need to use products with alcohol to dry things up.

    I used to always shave against the grain, and got bumps (ingrown hairs) as a result. Maybe try shaving with the grain to prevent?

    I guess all I can think of otherwise is just making sure to be diligent in washing your face. Some of us are blessed with great skin, some not, so you have to deal with what you have. Just wash up before bed at nite, maybe use an astringent.
     
  3. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    dude, see another derm.
     
  4. Mutt

    Mutt New Member

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Thanks for responding, no I keep my face clean, I was using Neutrogena shaving stuff and then went to Nivea gel just a week or so ago, I shave with the grain very carefully, because I know that alot of my skin problems are from ingrown hairs. I use Cetaphil moisturizer, don't use drying soaps, I'm very careful after having gone through this before. No matter what I do I am getting these nasty deep pimples.

    How do I find another (good) doctor? My main doctor recommended this guy, so I don't want to ask him for another referral. His taste in dermatologists is obviously not very good.
     
  5. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    Los Angeles
    Assuming you can't find a recommendation from a friend, I'd just call any highly regarded doctor's office and ask who they refer to for derm. I used to work at an ortho office, and we'd refer patients outside of our speciality all the time.
     
  6. Andrew V.

    Andrew V. Senior member

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    Aug 25, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio, United States
    Your derm is feeding you bull.  Remember that most derms are skin-disease experts, but very few are skin-care experts. Most don't know and don't care to help you find the best skin-care products.

    Antibiotics help many people with acne, but the effectiveness of the antibiotics tends to wear off after several months.

    Benzoyl Peroxide can be very helpful.  There are many good 2.5%, 5%, or even 10% concentrations available over the counter.

    Avoid any products that contain drying alcohol, as well as such other irritants as menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint, or camphor.
     
  7. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    I've never had success with benzoyl peroxide topical medication (well, except for success in spot bleaching fabrics that came into contact with my face), nor with antibiotics. My dermatologist seems to use those as "entry level" treatments but will step up to Accutane or topical Tazorac if those don't do it. I'm not sure if that is the common treatment algorithm, but certainly if you are a past Accutane user, I would think the doctor would be looking towards the big guns and not the basics. But I'm no doctor.

    I would go elsewhere if you don't like this doctor.

    At risk of sounding like a pharmaceutical rep (which I am not) I'd suggest "asking your doctor if Tazorac is right for you." It worked very well for me, much better than benzoyl peroxide.
     
  8. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I come out strongly against Accutane, this treatment has had a number of side effects including some that are quite serious. I think Tazorac is substantially better and possibly more effective. The general consensus on Accutane is that it is rather effective as a drying agent but the potential interactions and side effects can be quite irritating at best and serious at worst.
     
  9. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Are you shaving against the grain??
     
  10. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Dermatologists have subspecialties, just like many doctors. It sounds like the one you went to doesn't specialize in acne. Find one who does. Here in DC, the local "city magazine" -- the Washingtonian -- has an annual "Best Of" issue, which includes a list of the best doctors in the city. Each doc is listed under a specialty, with nearly all the derms having subspecialties, including acne. Perhaps your city has a similar list? If not, then see if there's a local American Medical Ass'n office (or similar association) that could give a referral to a specialist.

    I'm responding to this because the right dermatologist makes all the difference. For years (high school, college) I went to one derm, who basically prescribed what your doc. has prescribed. I later read in Washingtonian about a local specialist -- supposedly the best in the area. And, he was. He prescribed two different pills and three or four different lotions and creams and cleansers (all of which were entirely different from what the prior derm had prescribed/recommended). Plus, he suggested that I start using a separate razor for shaving the neck -- using a cheap bic single blade (must be a single blade.) for the neck area and of course always shaving with the grain. He also suggested using Aveeno's shaving cream (can buy it in the CVS). In the end, I was "cured." For those in the DC area, his name is Jack Costa, by the way; his office is (or was 10 or so years ago anyway) in the Virginia suburbs.
     
  11. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    A little known fact is that Benzoyl Peroxide is also available over the counter (at the auto parts store) in a 100% concentration. It's the cream hardener for Bondo.

    Hurts like hell, burns a hole in your face, but kills the zit too.
     
  12. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Senior member

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    Location:
    Reagan Country (Massachusetts)
    Try Proactiv. Worked for me to eliminate the occasional flare up.

    Regular exercise helps. As does finding a good moisturizer that won't clog your pores. I am actually using Lac Hydrin right now and it is great.
     
  13. ct2272

    ct2272 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jul 12, 2004
    I have been constantly having to work at acne even though I am in my early thirties. The problem is gym workouts. I am constantly getting sweat bumps around the hairline. Once I defined what acne was then it was easier for me to combat it.

    My definition is that your pores allow oil to flow out of your skin. When pores are blocked with bacteria it inflames and produces the acne. Your dermatologist is recommending antibacterial soaps because the root cause is to remove the bacteria. Then the pore clears and you're fine again.

    1. Is there anything in your diet that would produce excess oil that your skin would have to secrete?
    2. Benzoil peroxide always did the trick with me. I used some BP pads that felt like I was applying alcohol from the same folks that make Noxema.

    Dermatologists appear to be very limited in their recommendations. When I was a teenager I was taken to the doctor once a month. All he gave me was Neutrogena antibacterial soap and Retin A. Retin-A cleared my skin at the cost of having a permanent red sunburn while on it.

    Accutane was always an option, but seeing some of the worst case scenarios while on it (even though I'm sure it's 1 out of a million who are on it), I feel better off.

    Regards,
    CT
     
  14. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Senior member

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    Cambridge/Texas
    I find that wet shaving causes my acne to flare up, which forces me to stick to an electric, poor shave though it may be.

    Keep in my though, I'm a teenager, so you may not react similarly at all.
     
  15. policy

    policy Active Member

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    Apr 14, 2005
    Have you tried applying Benzyl Peroxide morning and night? When I'm breaking out, I find that twice daily treatments are really helpful. I've never suffered from "Acne" though, IE Bulbous Acne, i just get like...zits.
     
  16. Patrick06790

    Patrick06790 Senior member

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    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    NW Connecticut
    I had it bad as a kid and got the same standard routine as you.

    As I ripen (age 43) it still crops up.

    I have found the Neutrogena stuff with salycic acid helpful on breakouts, and a lady friend recommended their "Healthy Skin Face Lotion" - also good.
     
  17. Carlo

    Carlo Senior member

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    1,027
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    Aug 22, 2003
    Every dermatoligist in the world would recommend shooting me for this but if you want an effective quick fix...

    Tanning bed.

    Ok, so you may die of skin cancer... but meanwhile you will be acne free.
     
  18. thetodd

    thetodd Member

    Messages:
    6
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    Apr 25, 2005
    Proactive worked for me too, but since I've got sensitive skin, now it's making my skin too dry. A friend of mine who works as a facialist recommended the hydroderm line to me and I have been so happy with the results. I also use their oil free facial moisturizer, which is great.
     
  19. Nil

    Nil Senior member

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    Apr 23, 2005
    I generally always had a few flareups on my face throughout the first 2-3 years of college, especially during the winter. I used tazorac gel, benzoyl peroxide face wash, etc, pretty much every topical acne medication there is. Then one summer I ended up travelling to China and ran out of my face wash when I was there. It being summer and all, I didn't have to worry so much about acne so I went without and just washed my face with water briefly at night and throughout the day whenever it got too greasy. I didn't experience any zits at all during my time there and continued that same method after I got back. I almost never get zits now. So either my method of just washing my face with water 1-2 times a day works for me or I just grew out of them at the right moment.
     
  20. benchan

    benchan Senior member

    Messages:
    329
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    Dec 3, 2004
    You can give DIFFERIN a try. Don't wash your face a zillion times per day even if you have acnes and oily skin, and avoid using hot water on your face.
     

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