acne, acne.org and my situation
03-01-2009 11:20 PM
acne, acne.org and my situation
hey folks, just wanted to fill you all in on my current situation. my intentions of creating this thread in essence was partially for feedback and even to directly or indirectly help anyone out there. i would also highly appreciate any support out there. i'm not necessarily very upset about my acne, but rather, i'm actually quite optimistic my situation will better. i'm a very proactive individual but i'm only human so i can get down at times like any other normal person! view this as a log/review if you will and if it helps too! Note: phrases in italics are taken from a personalized quiz i took on acne.org. i recommend for you all to take it if you have the time. Acne advice - Get free personalized advice to clear your skin
My Acne History
in the past, i suffered from extensive nodulocystic lesions, inflammatory papules and pustules and open and closed comedones involving the face, chest, and back. my acne was severe and highly treatment-resistant which basically means i had tried many different other forms of treatment prior to engaging in isotretinoin therapy (aka Accutane). prior acne tx (treatment) included: minocycling, benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin combination gel, tazorotene cream as well as OTC formulations such as ProActive--all of which offered little to no improvement.
My Isotretinoin Therapy
i was enrolled in Ipledge and started @ 20mg daily. prednisone was also initiated @ 20mg and since i experienced difficulty in controlling outbreaks, prednisone dosing ranged from a high of 40mg daily - 5mg daily. my isotretinoin treatment was steadily increased to 40mg daily. my cumulative dose was 11.1 gm over an 11 month period. by 3 months of tx there was significant improvement of inflammatory lesions on the chest and back. by 7 months of tx, inflammatory nodulocysitc lesions began to clear on my face. clindamycin 1% gel was also added for "spot" treatment. to this day, i still have the occasional active papules and pustules.
that's my acne history in a nutshell. i seem to go through phases in which my face will be clear and look great/vibrant for a month, sometimes months at a time, and "out of the blue" i'll start noticing my acne acting up again. however, i have done my best to take careful notes of to what cause these reactions. one thing is for sure: when i don't get my rest i notice and instant change virtually overnight. a recipe for disaster is continuously neglecting my sleep requirements.
i also notice when i start lifting and taking whey (particularly ON's 100% Natural Whey), this worsens my condition and the effects are noticeable within days. i've also noticed my climate tends to take a toll on my condition. interestingly enough, there's speculation that people who live in hotter and more humid climates have more incidence of acne and more severe cases. This may be due to the skin slightly swelling in these hot temperatures, thus making it easier for follicle walls to stick together, causing a plug and an ensuing pimple. Any disruption to the skin may cause follicle wall breaks as well, which can lead to inflammation. Steam rooms, saunas, long hot showers, and facial steamers approximate this type of hot and/or humid environment. i love long hot showers so I'm going to start limiting my time i spent in the shower and try to keep the water temp. at a moderate level.
the quiz results also revealed something interesting. it asked if i had recently increased your caloric intake and the obvious response was "yes". anyone that doesn't significantly increase their caloric intake while being on the 5x5 program I'm on is setting themselves up for failure. here's a link to my lifting layout for you curious ones: Running out of steam mid-workout. Increased calories can result in increased androgens (male hormones) and a hormonal cascade that ensues. This can theoretically increase skin oil, perpetuate clogged pores, and increase inflammation. Sometimes when people try to "bulk up" they seem to experience an acne flare up.
i was also, thinking of starting up a stim sometime soon and as we know, stims typically contain caffeine. well, guess what? Our bodies can read a caffeine buzz as increased stress, and since stress can aggravate acne symptoms in some people, avoiding caffeine is probably a good idea. on another note, i had always heard that excessive iodine intake can aggravate acne and even cause it. looks like a multi is out of the question as many do contain iodine. can anyone recommend a quality multi that does not contain iodine or kelp? my mom had acne and acne and genetics seem to be strongly linked so this just adds on to the fact don't worry Mom, i still love ya!
some recommendations i will be taking into deep consideration and applying. these may also help some of you out there:
- Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to improve acne symptoms. Taking 25-50mg of zinc per day (zinc gluconate is preferable) may be beneficial. Do not take more than this! Too much zinc can be toxic. Also, be sure to take zinc with food. It can cause nausea on an empty stomach. Zinc is best for red, inflamed acne. If your acne is primarily non-inflamed (blackheads), zinc may be unnecessary. I continue taking my zinc daily as i have been doing and maintain my levels at around 30-45 mg.
- Omega-3s are important to reduce inflammation. i'm currently consuming 26g fish oil (Health From the Sea PFO)
moving on...today i went over to the acne.org site. it had popped into my head randomly and plus i'd gotten nothing but great feedback about the regimens on acne.org so i took the test as mentioned and wrote down the products i was going to be needing. tonight i went to wal-mart and bought those items. those products were:
- Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
- Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment
- Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
i'm going to begin the regimen tomorrow. here's the link to the regimen for those of you interested: Benzoyl peroxide - how to make it work for you
recently, i had begun to feel so down and out about my acne that i almost quit lifting. i created a link between my acne worsening and my recent decision to begin lifting again since the my acne began at about the same time i started lifting again). well, i slept on it, allowed my mind to clear, my good reasoning and will come forth and influence my decision-making, read up a bit and i've decided i'm going to continue with my training. i've given up training two times in the past b/c of how down i began to feel but this time i made it clear to myself i wasn't going to let myself be overcome by this or any other obstacle. i'm going to stick to my goal to get bigger and stronger and i'm dedicated to doing so. unfortunately, at the moment i don't have a gym membership or much gym equipment to work with. i'm thankful to have a friend who lives in my neighborhood and grateful to him for letting me workout with him several times a week. all we have to work with is a barbell, a few DB's. i guess if i ever want to squat i can always just utilize the Steinborn Lift, right? LOL
i would like to share with you all a bit of information i came across today that influenced me into making my decision to stick with my training but to also make some adjustments to it: if your exercise schedule is overly demanding and you have inadequate rest for your body to recover. In that case, too much exercise can actually create physical stress. It's important to maintain a balance. for those of you who are familiar with the routine i was previously on, it was an extremely demanding and taxing regimen. i think it's best if i take a lay-off from hardcore training and stick with the effective bodyweight exercises for now: push-ups, pull-ups/chin-ups, burpees, prone bridges, reverse crunches, etc.
i'm looking into joining a gym but i'm also waiting on a possible hospital job opening coming through for me. if this is the case, i will have access to the gym and the equipment in this gym suits my needs then awesome. otherwise, i'll be going with a local gym that offers a year's membership for $206 or 6 months for $125. either way, they're not bad offers but hey...nothing beats free!
for my next routine, i'll be looking into push/pull/legs. it's probably significantly less taxing than my 5x5 routine but yet, effective for muscle-building and strength-building as well.
well, that about wraps things up for now! i appreciate you folks that stick with me and support me! although i'm a very conservative person when it comes to dishing out advice and what not, i will do my best to help anyone who feels i might be able to do so and welcome all advice, suggestions, corrections, jokes, etc. i'll be checking in periodically to keep you all updated on my progress and any other relevant things that may occur along the way. (sorry for writing so damn much too)
have a good one y'all!
03-03-2009 02:26 AM
Nice post man, i never had severe acne but i had enough to make it bug me. I tried many products and they didnt work well. The best thing that works for me now is working out and then sitting in the steam room for 15min after, a healthy diet, vitamins, and laying out in the sun for a bit 4-5days a week.
03-04-2009 07:03 PM
a few progress updates regarding my acne tx. it has been but three days so i can't really report much but i have experienced favorable improvement and although slight, i will give feedback regarding the products i have used up until this point.
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
I'm very satisfied with the quality of the cleansing bar. it is a very gentle yet effective cleanser. produces very smooth refined skin results/ although a very basic product, nevertheless, a quality one at that.
Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment
the regimen advised to start out with small applications but at the moment, i am currently applying 1 1/2 fingers worth to my face (refer to the following link for clarification: Neutrogena On-the-Spot and Acne.org Treatment Gel benzoyl peroxide - how much)
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion (dropped)
the review i read on this product wasn't that great. many had reported the texture of this moisturizer being a bit thick but it was also said some said it was tolerable. i was hoping i would be part of the percentage who said it was tolerable but it didn't exactly work out that way. i could tolerate it for about a day and before i went to sleep i had to wash my face off because of how thick and gross my face felt with the moisturizer on. seems this lotion doesn't absorb well but i had only bought this brand b/c i had heard good stuff about it in the past so i figured i couldn't go wrong with their line. i ended going back to Wal-Mart last night and purchasing a replacement product.
Neutrogena Oil-Free (sensitive skin) (new addition)
what caught my eye when looking through all the other moisturizers was the "oil-free" claim. this is exactly what i was looking for and i figured i'm already using another Neutrogena brand product, it's a very well-known and recommended brand and although i thought the same with Cetaphil's Lotion, Neutrogena's product definitely outperformed Cetaphil's; absorbs much better and therefore, is the better pick. i highly recommend this lotion to moisturize with.
Tea Tree Therapy Antiseptic Cream (new addition)
contains tea tree oil and other herbal extracts such as that of chamomile, calendula, cornflower, centella, mallow and comfrey. provides a minty feeling to the skin and helps in combating dryness. tea tree oil alone has many great skin benefits (a quick Google search will confirm this) so i figured including a tea tree oil product would only enhance the regimen's effectiveness. might not be necessary but isn't a bad idea as an addition.
as promised, i'll be updating periodically. stay tuned. wishing you all the best in all your pursuits.
03-04-2009 07:10 PM
Looking forward to hearing from ya man, i was reading up on some acne stuff the other day actually and i guess the vitamin b5 is supposed to really help out in keeping the skin oil free. Im going to give it a shot and ill let you know how that goes.
03-04-2009 07:14 PM
thanks for the kinds bro. i've also heard about the B5 tx and there seems to mixed reviews regarding it. there's a 50/50 division of people who it's worked for and those who experienced no results or minimal results. i hope you fall on the side of those who it works for Afro
Originally Posted by Afrochowder
03-04-2009 07:17 PM
Haha ya its cheap so why not give it a shot .
03-04-2009 07:19 PM
for the record, how cheap are we talking and what brand b5 for the record?
03-04-2009 07:35 PM
To tell the truth i actually just assumed it is cheap lol, going to the healthfood store tomorrow to check it out.
03-04-2009 07:53 PM
get pro active it actually worked for me
03-04-2009 08:48 PM
03-04-2009 09:32 PM
I had severe nodulistic acne to and tried just about everything under the sun until I came to accutane. On a relatively low dose of accutane (20 to 40mg) I did not experience much change and had flare up so much so that I was put on bactrim to make sure that I did not get staph from my open wounds (its so disgusting just thinking about it) I had nodules about half the size of my thumb nail on my chest, back, and neck. I would spend days where I would not exit my room because I was so frusterated that this "miracular cure" was not working and I basically looked like sh*t. It really hurt my self esteem and I tried to keep positive about it but when I felt like I had cleared a little bit up a new one would appear the next day. It was so frusturating.
About 5 or 6 months into my treatement my doctor decided to go into overdrive and jack up my doses till it reached to the point where I was taking 125 mg a day (which is a ton) but the saying "less is more" did not apply here because just this simple solution of jacking up the dose has almost elminated most of my acne in a couple of months. A little more than a year from when I first started accutane I now have almost no active acne besides for a couple very small pimples that come around every once in a while, no big nodules though at least for a couple months now. I am now off accutane, which has possibly saved my life and sanity, but have came off of it with a few "battle wounds"
From this horrible acne that controlled my life for about 2 to 3 years I have gained a couple keloids, the biggest ones being on my shoulder, that are basically scarred up versions of the old nodules I had and my face has a scarring from the many pimples i had there. But overall I am very happy that that stage of my life is done now (knock on wood) and hope I never have to deal with something like that again that will control my life and kill my self esteem. I wish you the best of luck in your fight with acne.
Sorry guys for being so long winded.
03-05-2009 12:27 AM
Nah bro its great to hear.
03-05-2009 11:49 AM
it's amazing how everyone reacts differently to those systems. for me, it irritated my skin and worsened my condition. for my cousin, who also tried it, it bleached her skin. one day as she was wiping her face off after doing the proactiv regimen, she noticed her towel had been bleached hey, if it worked for you, i'm happy for you but uhh...lol, her case didn't exactly put me at ease.
Originally Posted by lucky1p
Originally Posted by beastmode99
agreed with afro. honestly, YOU'RE sorry about being long winded? lol take another quick glance at my original post and then remember that accounts such as yours are best when shared because it brings an immense amount of inspiration and hope for those out there that may be where we were at one point, currently experiencing the effects we talk of as if it were ages ago. as humans, it's imperative we're reminded things are going to be O.K. and that there IS an eventual end-point that will be achieved with persistence,faith and effective treatment approaches.
Originally Posted by Afrochowder
accounts like yours also an excellent way to keep those of us who have also overcome the fight against impacting acne grateful and thankful for having been made stronger and having been allowed to make it out of the situation. your situation is just one case but i'm sure there are people that got it just as bad, if not worse than you, and your contemplated thoughts of suicide were shared by them as well but were then acted out by those people and the world experiences yet another tragic death over a situation that was entirely temporary, controllable and reversible but the person never got the chance to understand and acknowledge that because they let their thoughts and emotions get the best of them.
can we blame them? of course not!
we know exactly how they felt and everyone is different when it comes to being in control of emotions and thoughts. the mind is a terrible thing to waste as they say but it can also become your enemy if one does not learn to tame it. that being said, in writing all this i hope you felt better about being "so long winded" now that you have a matching post made by someone else
03-05-2009 01:57 PM
The bleach was from the benzoyl peroxide in the proactive.
03-05-2009 02:21 PM
speaking of, proactiv's active ingredient is 7% benzoyl peroxide if i'm not mistaken, right? well, research is leaning towards 2.5% benzoyl peroxide being just as effective as higher amounts such as 5% and 10% but without the irritation and other undesirable side effects from the higher amounts.
Originally Posted by joeymutz
this is similar to what the AM member joebo mentioned regarding low dosage accutane.
03-06-2009 11:15 AM
I believe it is 2.5%. I use low dose accutane for a week every couple of months and it works great at keeping my skin clear. 10mg ed for a few weeks could really work well on an individual that doesn't have bad acne and just wants to keep there face clear of acne while on cycle.
03-06-2009 11:45 AM
Hey guys i can relate to you all i had acne bad but i dont think as bad as the other never had nodules atleast i dont think i did, anyway my doctor started me off with some weak ass pills one was called adoxa and the other i dont remember bottom line didnt work for me so after months of irratioin and being embarrassed of my skin and extremely frustrated, went to my dermatoligist and said i want off those pills i want accutane!! so i got it first month didnt notice much so he jacked up the dose i dont remember what the mgs were i just remember started with 2 pills a day then went to four and four was the lucky number that did it for me i started noticing my acne clearing up and going away and not waking up the next morning with a new zit or pimple! probably one of the greatest feelings you will experience is when you are happy and un embarrassed of your skin, so when it came to an end i pretty much maybe had one zit on my face at the end and after takin off accutane the months that went by i would get a zit here and there but nothing to make me feel as ****ty as before best choice i could have made for myself. and now after being a year off it ill go months with no acne and all the sudden ill go a month with acne stupid but no where near as bad as before.
anyway things i did that helped me wash your face 3x a day i bought shower wash i believe its called oil free acne wash by neutrogena pretty cheap helps out wash my face and shoulders chest and back with it helps i think havent had any acne there yet (knock on wood) and another thing for me is tanning ill go tanning once a week for like 3-5 mins to dry my face out and if you have zits pop em before you go tanning and drys the **** out of em and the zit redness will be alot less and fade within 24 hours for me atleast, ease up on eating sweets like chocolate can cause oil rush to your face and cause acne. shower daily, and anytime you sweat on your face wash immediately avoid touching your face throughout the day dirt on your hands will hit your face and cause acne as well, and that about covers it sorry for making this extremely long just tryin to get my advice in there for ya take care good luck on your quest man
03-06-2009 05:07 PM
How long do you have to take accutane for it to permanantly take the acne away? Or from experience how long did it take you guys cause im sure its different for each person. I got minor acne not super bad but like i said enough to bug me, i was thinking about going to the dermatoligist and seeing if i can get a low dose perscribed.
03-08-2009 02:46 PM
you're right joeymutz. my apologies for the inaccurate information. i should have gone straight to proactiv's official website and looked at the ingredients like i just did. hopefully this regimen does a good enough job at maintaining my skin the way i want to. i'm not a big fan of pharmaceuticals but sometimes, there's no choice but to resort to the them in order to get the situation under control. by the same token, i believe the preceding statement would apply more so to those who have severe cases of acne, not light to moderate acne. for those who are experiencing the latter, acne.org's acne regimen is a good route to go.
Originally Posted by joeymutz
you're the second person i hear that runs 10mg accutane cycles and from the sound of it, it seems to be effective. joebo is the only other person i'd ever heard of doing such a thing but it seems to be just as effective for him as well. that's good to hear!
all is good in good faith, friend. interestingly enough, it's more than enough to wash your face twice a day. over-washing only creates irritation and irritation isn't a positive thing when it comes to acne. it's probably best to let the skin perform it's naturally occurring tasks.
Originally Posted by MMAMONSTER19
the latter is definitely a good habit to practice. the records already been broken over and over but over-washing is acne perpetuation and many do it with good intentions of attempting to clean their face, believing they're actually helping their situation. obviously, not the case. if you sweat, you can use a clean towel to dab your face clean, wash your face with straight water or simply plan your day accordingly so you're applying your skin care regimen at about that time in which you're sweating. if you're sweating all day cause of your job, working 8 hours, you're not going to be washing your face every few hours. therefore, the towel or water washing methods will produce more desirable results.
anytime you sweat on your face wash immediately avoid touching your face throughout the day
it varies from person to person, brother. as an example, my tx took 11 months before i was entirely acne-free. check with your derm, a low dose may be a good route to go. many people seem to be having great results with.
Originally Posted by Afrochowder
03-08-2009 02:54 PM
What about taking accutane while on a prohormone? I mean it obviously doesnt sound like a great idea but would it hurt?
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