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Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:09 pm
by RagDoll
Hi all,

Since being a teenager I’ve always had spots. During my adult life they have been a bit on and off and not usually too bad. I tend to find that I get some around my period and then they clear up for a few weeks.

However, since early June I’ve had really bad spots on my chin and it’s getting me down now L I know in the grand scheme of things it’s not a big deal but it knocks my self confidence a lot. It’s my hen doo tomorrow and all I can think about is how spotty I’m going to look. I really want clear skin for my wedding in August too.

I have been considering making a doctors appointment about it (even though I feel silly going with such a minor complaint), but in the mean time does anyone have any tips for getting rid of them?! I eat reasonably well (I have been losing weight so to aid that I eat more fruit and veg now than I ever have) and nothing else has changed in terms of medication/make up or the like. Plus, I wash my face using a good cleanser and have tried all the usual creams etc. for spots.

I’d really appreciate any advice!

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:38 pm
by Bel Bel
Tea tree will dry them out but not stop them coming.

You could ask to go on dianette. It's a short term contraceptive they use to treat acne and excessive hair growth. They normally only let you have ti for 6 months. If you explain about the wedding I am sure they would let you have it.

Or they do anti biotic roll ons which are really good. My daughter uses these and you can really see the difference when she stops it.

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:38 pm
by peecee
It IS a "big deal" sweet pea! I used to go to family get-togethers with perfect make-up, and come home with a layer of yukky grease on my face. :o

Dianette did the trick for a while, but the side effects weren't worth it. So I had one of those weird allergy tests at my local health food shops; they told me to cut out dairy and coffee (not wheat, wine or anything else I really loved!), so I gave it a try. And my skin cleared up as if by magic.

I gradually re-introduced caffeine and ice cream, and in the main, my skin behaves itself.

Except for the wrinkles... :lol:


Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:55 am
by snail
I'm a bit of an acne guru as I started getting it badly by the time I was 12 :( and it's still an issue for me even though I'm almost 40. The susceptibility is genetic (my mother was still having treatment for acne in her 50s) but there are also known environmental trigger factors.

I would think that your current outbreak might be due to subconscious stress related to the upcoming wedding. You're probably doing what you can to minimise stress anyway, but you might want to think if you could do anything else to help you relax.

There are strong dietary links with acne, specifically dairy and foods with a high glycemic load. You can find more information on the net, or if you borrow the book The Clear Skin Diet I think this outlines it. You're essentially looking to follow the 'paleo' diet - no dairy (use substitutes) and no refined carbohydrates like bread or most breakfast cereals. Increasing Omega 3 fatty acids (fish) and antioxidant intakes (fruits, vegetables) also helps acne, as with any inflammatory condition.

Your doctor can also help. The contraceptive pill usually significantly helps acne, and Dianette helps it the most. They will let you stay on Dianette if you're healthy and the improvement to your skin warrants it (I was on it many years). The doc can also prescribe antibiotics, either topical or oral. However, over-the-counter creams with benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid are still a very effective way to treat acne, so it would make sense to try these for 2 months first. Otherwise don't be ashamed to go to the doc - acne is a condition that really affects how you feel and doctors are used to treating it.

However, given that your wedding's happening in just over a month, dietary changes and topical or prescription medications aren't really going to have enough time to have a full effect (you need to allow 2 - 3 months). So I would find a good cosmetic clinic near you (preferably one that has real doctors and not just beauticians) and ask about AHA/BHA skin peels, and Blue Light Therapy. The skin peels help unblock pores and speed healing, and the light therapy, despite the fact that it sounds a bit dodgy, is actually scientifically sound. Both should help in about a month.

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:59 pm
by RagDoll
Thanks for the replies :) It's nice to know I'm not the only one who suffers from this as an adult (logically I already knew that was the case of course, but I suffer from the green eyed monster when I look at my all friends with their perfect skin! haha).

I have a doctors appointment on Monday. I've taken the microgynon pill since I was 16. If the doctor suggests changing to dianette do you think I should do it before the wedding (29th Aug)? - the chance of horrible side effects is a bit worrying. What kind of side effects are common? Obviously I will ask them all of this too if that's what they suggest.

Snail, the over-the-counter creams with benzoyl peroxide/azelaic acid that you mentioned - can you please be more specific so I know what to ask for if I approach the pharmacist? Or is this something that I can pick off the shelf myself?

I will try and cut down on my diary in-take and see if that helps.

Thanks again.

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:42 pm
by Bel Bel
I too was on dianette for many years but I had complicated contraceptive issues and had no side effects at all.

None of my friends were allowed it more than 6 months so they never complained of side effects either. Like anything I think everyone is an individual and we all react differently.

I think Snail will have to answer about the side effects she experienced.

I finally got taken off off dianette at 40 but apparently you are not supposed to be given it after 30 due to increased risk of strokes :o :o :o

It will certainly start working pretty quickly but not sure if it will kick in sufficiently by the wedding. When in August is it?

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:58 pm
by peecee
Dianette improved my skin greatly within a month, but for a fortnight every month, I had PMS! :o Snarling at everybody, twinges in my breasts, periods dragging on for ages.

But as Bel says, it's down to the the individual, and nobody can predict the effects.

Let me whisper something - I was a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding before Dianette, and to clear my spotty face and back, I had the occasional sunbed.. That worked, even though it was a naughty thing to do. :oops: But I would agree with Snail's suggestion of skin peels and light therapy, you can read some brilliant reviews online.

If all else fails, just sit down calmly with a glass of wine and a slab of chocolate - full of vitamin Z, they are known to cure all ills. :D


Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:37 pm
by snail
Yeah, I used to sunbathe to help my acne too :oops: Sunbathing really helped it. Blue light therapy wasn't around in those days, but the idea behind it is that it's not actually the UV in sunlight that kills the acne bacteria, it's part of the visible light spectrum, and blue light therapy gives you the same effect without the UV damage.

I never had any side effects on Dianette either. I think, as Bel says, it's just a stronger pill with more risks so there's more chance of problems and they don't like prescribing it. I got taken off it at 34 because of high blood pressure (due to psychological stress) and decided to stay off it afterwards, as my skin hardly changed. To be honest, although it's well established that the Pill improves acne in most people, I don't think it's ever done that much for mine. I just insisted on having Dianette because I was desperate for anything that might help. The trouble with acne is everyone's different (probably because there are several different things that have to 'go wrong' in the skin before an acne lesion is formed, and different people will have different causes and therefore different things help them). For me, the main issue was always emotional stress, and after that, diet I believe. I also felt that heat-treatment devices like the Zeno helped me, but nowadays my skin's not that bad so it's hard to tell, and these are very expensive anyway.

I don't know any actual brand names of acne creams because I don't use them any more (they irritate me too much now my skin is older and make it worse I feel). I would ask the pharmacist, if you can bring yourself to, and take their advice. Remember that benzoyl peroxide bleaches things - don't put it on your face overnight and then sleep on your best pillows.

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:18 pm
by Skarlet
I used to use a product called Quinoderm, which you can get on amazon and I used to really like it. It got rid of those underneath really painful spots I occasionally get.

Another product which I really rated was Out of Trouble face mask by origins. It's designed to calm spots down and dry them out. And it smells nice too. it is expensive, but the tube lasts for years.

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:11 am
by RagDoll
Thanks again for your responses everyone.

Peecee and Snail, don't tell anyone but I have already considered using a sunbed to help clear them up! 8-[ I will have to be careful because I am fair skinned, but I am desperate at the moment. I get spots on my back too so it will help with that. Would love to try the light treatments which aren't damaging, but I don't have the pennies for expensive treatments, especially at the mo.

I am going to ask my doctor about whether there's any chance that changing my pill to something else could help. I have been doing a bit of online research and came across a pill called Cilest which is also supposed to help with acne - does anyone have experience of it?

Skarlet, I am going to buy Quinoderm Cream on my lunchbreak :) It isn't expensive so might as well give it a go. Will possibly invest in the Origins face mask too but may leave that one until after my doctors appointment to see what they suggest.

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:04 pm
by snail
I was never offered Cilest - I don't know why. Maybe it wasn't available when I first went on Dianette. Worth asking the doc about it anyway.

Quinoderm is a benzoyl peroxide-based treatment, so remember the pillows thing. It probably has warnings about this on it anyway. Like most benzoyl peroxide creams, it comes in 5% and 10% strengths (according to their website). With these you're always supposed to try the 5% first and see how you get on, and switch to the 10% if the acne doesn't respond and/or the 5% doesn't irritate you. I always went straight for the 10% ones of course :roll: but it does make sense to follow the instructions.

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:30 pm
by RagDoll
Well I had my doctor's appointment this morning and it was a waste of time :(

You could tell she wasn't in the least bit interested. I told her I had started to use quinoderm which was clearing up the spots hence they didn't look as bad as they had done previously. I also explained, however, that whilst it's doing the trick with the spots, I'm also finding that it's making my skin very flaky and sore (even though I haven't been using the cream as often as it suggests on the box).

She basically said to keep using quinoderm and that was that. She said just use it less frequently if I am finding it's bothering my skin. I get eczema so I have the type of skin that is prone to being sensitive and dry.

Nevermind, it isn't the end of the world, but she made me feel really quite small and like I was wasting her time. Obviously her indifferent attitude isn't going to have any horrible consequences for me and my condition, but this is what makes me angry about some doctors - unless you're on your death bed they don't seem to care. Rant over!

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:32 pm
by snail

How unpleasant to go through. It's usually male doctors who are more like that. It can help if you present it more as a mental health issue; i.e. "I'm feeling very distressed/depressed because of my skin" - that approach helped me get treatment. But it would probably be worth having 2 months on the Quinoderm anyway before looking at prescription drugs. Also, that way you can say to the doc that you are seeing her because over-the-counter treatments haven't worked.

Re: Spotty at 27 - Eurgh! :(

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:34 pm
by highlandcow
RagDoll wrote:Nevermind, it isn't the end of the world, but she made me feel really quite small and like I was wasting her time. Obviously her indifferent attitude isn't going to have any horrible consequences for me and my condition, but this is what makes me angry about some doctors - unless you're on your death bed they don't seem to care. Rant over!
How annoying! Every time I go to the hospital with my bad hip, I go with my Dad (I'll never grow up) and because he's a doctor too they just talk to him rather than me! :bomb:

Can you go to another doctor at your practice and get a second opinion Ragdoll?