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Cystic acne and atopic dermatitis

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I am 34yrs old and frustrated as I have been battling acne since I was a teenager. I have been on every drug possible. From several types of birth control pills, tetrocylines and accutane. Nothing has worked!! everything works temporarly, But now I have a bigger problem. December of 08 I woke up with my eyes swollen and itchy along with my neck. It lasted about a mth and was in and out of hospitals getting steriod needles and oral meds(prednisone), which calmed things down. After everything went away my skin started breaking out terrible, every morning I had a new pimple that turned cystic, this has lasted 6 mths now & I haven't had a day with out a cystic acne. I have gone to a hollistic doctor only to pay a fortune to say it was my liver and stomach not functioning properly??? I eat extremely healthy lots of veggies and and drink 2 litres of water a day.....don't eat chocolate or refined sugars, & no caffine!!
I went to my derm and he said I have atopic dermatitis....So now I am on mynocycline and elidel which still isn't helping, because my tight red, itchy skin with acne is back. I haven't really left my house and if I do it takes me 3 hrs to get ready, very depressing and emotional too.
Please help me as I am getting married in September and would appreciate a clear face.
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replied June 10th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Accutane didn't work? Wow. How long were you on it? Have they considered another round of treatment?

The swollen eyes and itching sounds like an allergic reaction. Were you putting anything new on your face and neck? Are you taking any medication, herbs, or anything for this or other conditions? Food really has very little, if anything, to do with acne, but medications can. Food may trigger your atopic dermatitis, though, so you might want to look into common food allergens and have skin testing done by an allergist. You also have to avoid environmental allergens.

I'll give as many suggestions as I can from my own experience. A lot of this you probably already know, but I'll write it anyway, just in case.

First, are you using *only* non-comedogenic products (or ones that specifically say "won't clog pores")? "Oil free", "dermatologist recommended", "gentle" aren't good enough. Even your acne washes need to say this. I have found that "won't clog pores" is curiously absent from most of the over-the-counter stuff. Since it takes two weeks for a pimple to form, this would be a perfect marketing strategy--clear and dry pimples now, while causing them in the future. That way no one ever stops using your product. This is only my suspicion--I have no actual evidence, but I still err on the side of caution.

When I say that everything needs to be non-comedogenic, I mean *everything*. Make up, face wash, body wash, hand soap, lotions, sunscreen, even shampoo and conditioner (if you can find it). This also means that your fiance needs to switch, too. I know it sounds extreme, but if my boyfriend uses a regular shaving cream, I get break outs from our faces coming in contact, especially around my mouth. This is after Accutane cleared my skin. I still need to avoid things that clog my pores or I'll still get breakouts.

Because of the atopic dermititis, you may want to make sure that your products are hypoallergenic, too. I know this means quite a bit of searching and reading labels to find hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic products, but it's worth it.

Also, the basics like don't over-wash your face (twice a day is enough) because irritating the skin can cause acne. Exfoliate the skin gently before applying acne medication.

Have you asked your dermatologist about procedures like Laser Light Therapy?

And finally: stress. Doing your best to relax and not stress about things can help, as well. Stress and acne have been closely linked, especially for some people. As it gets closer to the wedding, stress management may become more difficult.

Well, after all that, I hope something in there is new information and helps, at least a little.

Congratulations on your wedding. Just remember that your fiance loves you the way you are. I know the acne bothers you more than it does him. Don't let this stop you from living and enjoying your life. You aren't the only person with this problem. So many other people have been through it or are going through it right now. Know that you aren't alone.

Good luck. I really hope you find something that works for you. Please feel free to write back, even if it's just to ask for support. Smile
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replied June 11th, 2009
HI
Thank you for your honest and helpful advice, I appreciate the support. Anyhow I only use dermetologist products for my face and only wear mineral foundaion when I have a break out. I have also been to an allery speicalist and they couldn't figure out antything.
Another thing I tried was a gluten, soy free diet but that wasn't the problem either. I have lost weight because I watch every little thing I eat because I am worried I will react again.
As for the shaving creams and shampoo's we use sulfate free products and vegen too, my fiance is very supportive when it comes to change.
I do have one question.....could it be alcohol?? I don't drink that often but when we go out with friends we like to enjoy our selfs.
I have looked into laser light treatments but my Doctor charges $500.00 a session. I can't afford that at the moment

thanks again
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replied February 11th, 2011
Atopic Dermatitis
Check out Microcyn, which was approved by the FDA for atopic dermatitis this week. Consider whether the gel (a liquid that can bead) vs. the more watery regular liquid. The maker is Oculus Innovative Sciences. Some retail/drug stores carry it at Myclyns, but you won't get much product for your money. I personally use Vetericyn, the animal version, as the same chemcial, probably at better prices; you might find it in one of 6,000 U.S. pet stores, but not in the big chains like PetSmart or Petco. Apply it every 6 to 12 hours for several days. Let me know whether it works. Bob
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