Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TSE, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Ok this is really embarassing but whatever.

    I am 15, am a dude, and have been getting worse and worse acne and pimples on my face and my back.

    I have used a lot of the creams and stuff that you find at store, and even borrowed some of that stuff that jessica simpson promotes from my friend but none of it really worked. I also almost NEVER touch my face like a lot of people do.

    I wash my face about twice a day with a bar of soap, warm water, and a wash cloth, but overall I still get pimples! It ticks me off so much cause one time this girl told me I was hot but the pimples I had were kinda gross.

    Now, my acne on a scale from a 1 to 10 for my face is about a 3, it isn't that bad, I don't get a lot of big ones but like every week I get one or two HUGE ones. It really ticks me off.

    On my back, from a scale from 1 to 10 I give it about a 7, there are a lot of little ones and a couple big ones always on there.

    It seems as soon as they go away, more come. I even went to the doctor and they gave me doxycycline and overall that helped a little bit but it didn't really fix the problem completely.

    Anyone have any suggestions? Preferably no drugs cause I am kinda scared of taking drugs from an incident awhile ago where I accidently took the wrong drug and had to get my stomach pumped. :( :( :( :( :(

    If anyone needs pictures to maybe help, I can provide them...
  2. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
    Best help, wash with a oil removing soap, and dry. Use a small dab of Neosporum to help heal them. Change your diet to include less oils/oily foods, and chocolate. Keep the skin clean and oil free is the best way to stop them from forming. And no DRUGS. not mentioning which, but some drugs create the problem to a worse extent.
  3. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    how long do you think it would take for it to start taking effect?
  4. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
    A week probably, but you will need to stay with it, for a few years until more body changed happen. As you get older, it falls away, and there are less issues with them. But even at my age, 48, if I am around oils of any type and don't wash my face good, I can still get one.
  5. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    ok so i should stop eating chicken and stuff and no chocolate and ice cream?
  6. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    ^ It'll certainly help.

    I didn't get spots on my face but I did on my back, I still get them near my shoulders but 1 thing always fixes them for me - sun. I haven't been able to do it this year from rain, but I usually go for long walks on the moors without a shirt on.
    Works wonders for me.

    A few years back I went to the docs about it and was prescribed antibiotics. Course they didn't work.
  7. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I'll try that... thanks guys!

    If you guys don't mind I would certainly like more suggestions! :) :) :)

    No more girls getting turned off cause of pimples anymore!

    By the way, should I stop taking Doxycycline? And I also heard something about washing your face too much?
  8. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    My sister had terrible acne growing up. The doctor told her that while food can have an effect, it is extremely rare. The biggest common factors that cause acne are:
    Genetics - Not something you can change.
    Hormones - Especially hormones released in high douses during puberty (you're probably screwed here)

    One way that food can be a cause, is vitamin E. While not a specific food, low levels of vitamin E are common in severe acne patients. Try a multivitamin or something.

    The truth is that even though my sister had many treatments and met many doctors, the most of them only lessened the acne a little. The only cure for her was to grow up. As she got older the acne started to go away. Sorry.
  9. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    Eliminate as much fat from your diet as possible, and go hardcore on eliminating sugar/HFCS. You'll feel better and it'll make a huge difference with your skin.

    I'm not a doctor, but have enough medical training to know that unless you have a *major* infection (abscess/carbuncle/MRSA) the antibiotics aren't going to do anything besides build up antibiotic resistance, and compound the problem. You should talk to your doctor about Accutane instead. (Retin-A is a topical cream version, but that's not going to work on your back as well). The side effects of Accutane are harsh - your lips will crack and peel, you'll need CONSTANT chapstick/lip balm; your elbows will crack and bleed unless you keep them slathered with Nivea; you will become vampire-like in your sensitivity to the sun (even riding in a car on a sunny day can result in severe sunburn) so you'll need to avoid the outdoors and always wear the strongest sunscreen you can find. It takes about 6 weeks to kick in, then like a miracle the acne pretty much vanishes. You have to take it for about 9 months, and the effects last for about 3 months after you stop taking it, but at the end of that you could be almost 100% acne-free.

    I took 40mg once daily when I was 14. Due to travel reasons, I only took 6 months of it so it didn't work completely and I had some degree of acne for the rest of my teens (but FAR less than the hideous sight that I was beforehand). As an adult I still had zits on my chest and back for a long time til I radically changed my diet. Sugar has a huge effect, and eliminating it finally broke the cycle and I haven't been bothered with zits for a long time.
  10. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Genetics - bingo! Both my mum and my cousin get spots so it must go back a fair while.
    I've also found that soaps don't really work. They might take the bulk away but they never really helped that much.
  11. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Exactly. There's little to no scientific evidence that suggests a correlation between diet and acne.

    Speak with you doctor and discuss further treatments. He/she may also refer you to a dermatologist.
  12. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?
    anyone know how to get the black specs out of your noise?
  13. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    It can pass. I had to use i think doscycline - bleached my towels like nobody's business. But it helped. Few years later, all cleared up. If you're not on doscycyline, a decent facial routine could help a bit, along with exercise, diet, and a bit of sun. Beyond that, just stick it out. Puberty has it's rewards in the end!
  14. TimTheEnchanter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 24, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I stopped washing my face so often. ;) You just dry your face out, and so your body produces more oil to fix the dryness problem. Some gets trapped, and you get more pimples.

    Honestly, the best things I did for myself was to realize that touching my face was bad (which you already realize), and washing too often makes it worse, not help. Some people may say that the use of moisturizer would help, but meh....no thanks.

    Oh, a third thing was to use a harsher-feeling scrubbing cloth during your shower. Mine is just a long cloth used to exfoliate, but I use it on my face as well. It clears the dead skin off your body surface, and you can honestly feel the difference across your whole body, including your face. Feel your face after the shower and around your nose where blackheads are common. I use mine every 2 or 3 days.

    Going into the sun and tanning severely reduces the problem by drying the acne out. However, once you stop tanning, you'll get the acne back because your body tries to replenish its oils. That's why you should use an oil-free moisturizer afterwards. I wouldn't recommend this method, but if you would definitely notice the difference if you just lie out in the sun once or twice.
  16. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Eating healthy is always good. Drink plenty of water. Change your pillow cover regularly. When washing your face don't scrub, and after moisturize with a non oil based moisturizer. Sleep regularly, exercise, basically just be healthy. If you do all that and still nothing, deal with it, there are somethings you can't change, don't wallow in your sorrow.

    And don't pop them.

    Biore Pore strips. It's cool to see all that crap that gets on it. I used it a couple times, cause I was curious.
  17. BlakTornado Guest


    Apr 24, 2007
    Washington, OH
    I have a similar problem but on a lower scale. (Oh and I'm ugly in the first place, so rather than making me ugly, pimples just add to the grotesqueness, instead.)

    I started eating more unhealthily, I started getting pimples.

    Try not to eat fatty foods... And if it REALLY annoys you, you could always try wearing make-up as long as it's not TOO noticeable.

    Of course, you could just have Acne and there's nothing you can do about it.
  18. furious macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2006
    If you live near the ocean or have friends who have a salt water pool. Start swimming. It helped me.

    Also don't use a body soap. The face has different ph levels than the body. Use a proper face wash. It will take weeks or month but if you keep up a regular routine you may be able to reduce the affects of acne.

    Also go to a dermatologist. They may be able to offer you a solution.
  19. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    The swimming and getting out into the sun suggestions are money.

    But please, don't get too burned in the sun, it won't help.
  20. Elphaba macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2006
    Whatever you do, don't wash more than twice a day - doing so strips the skin of its natural oils and will only lead to severe dryness. Use a mild cleanser like Purpose or Cetaphil, then apply a thin layer of 2.5% Benzoyl peroxide. If you skin feels dry, apply a thin layer of moisturizer after applying the benzoyl peroxide. Try doing this twice a day.

    It's also important to remember that sleep and stress play a big role in the appearance of your skin. You'll want to get at least 8hrs of sleep a day.. And one more thing - it's important to maintain clean pillowcases. Dirt, oil, bacteria can collect and eventually trigger breakouts. Not only that, but if you use fabric softener on your pillowcases, they can potentially clog pores because of the waxy ingredients they contain.

    How often do you exfoliate? Generally it is recommended that people start exfoliating in their early 20s. As we age, the skin's natural exfoliation processs becomes sluggish. Because of this, skin cells build up and clogged pores become more noticeable - in addition to the appearance of blackheads.

    There are two main ways to exfoliate- mechanical and chemical. Chemical exfoliation is less abrasive and tends to work better since it reaches deeper into the skin. The most popular ones are salicylic acid and glycolic acid. This article goes more into detail: click.
  21. Nabooly macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2007
  22. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I know this is going to sound horribly common and cliché, but please don't be embarrassed by this. There's nothing wrong with seeking help. In fact, you ought to be proud of yourself; not everyone would be willing to come forth like this.
    Don't wash your face with soap. I know this sounds counterintuitive, but soap actually dries your face out and causes your body to produce even more oil than it did before. As a result, your pores get clogged faster and more acne has the chance to develop.

    Instead, simply splash water on your face several times a day (maybe after every class during the day and about once every two hours where manageable).

    Don't stress too much about the bacne. If you go to a dermatologist, he can inject a very simple solution into the larger ones that will cause them to shrink and disappear.
    Antibiotics were only minimally effective for me as well. They really only do more harm than good, since you are effectively creating bacterial strains that will one day be resistant to doxycycline (if not already).
    I know you said you prefer non-drug suggestions, but there is one drug that never fails to work: accutane.

    You should know that because you are still young, it will take a great deal to convince your doctor that you need it, but I had my first dose a little before I turned 18. Since you're only 15 still, it would probably be good to let this ride out for a short time (does the acne get worse as time goes on, or is this part of your final hurdle through growth) and let the doctor see how well you're doing.

    For me, accutane worked wonders. You take it for a 5 or 6 month period, and it shrinks your oil glands permanently so that you will perpetually have fewer pimples than before.

    You shouldn't be worried about accidental dosage swaps, because accutane is very clearly marked. It comes in its own specialized carton (you must break open a small cell for each pill), and you have to check in every 4 weeks with your doctor before you can receive another dose. It is very well regulated, and I doubt you would have trouble with it.

    I know you wanted to stay clear of drugs, but sometimes they really do work wonders.
  23. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    Did you see your GP/Pediatrician or a dermatologist. Go see a dermatologist. Make sure you get a good one though, because some of them are voodoo doctors, seriously. (by that I mean they really don't know what they are doing, just because they are a doctor doesn't mean they know what they are doing). If you are just going to your GP, you're not getting the best treatment you can get. Why go to them when you can go to a doctor that specializes in skin?

    In the mean time antibiotic ointment really does work. The sun also can really help treat acne. Most of the over the counter stuff doesn't do a very good job of clearing stuff up.

    If you see a dermatologist they'll probably start you on a topical medication before anything else and that stuff can't really hurt you. Theres loads of topicals out there that they can try. Taking oral medications usually means you're taking either an antibiotic or accutane, both of which are two big decisions. But I am sure you've learned from your mistake.

    I actually think the biggest factor is stress (for me). When ever I am really stressed out is when I break out, and after a couple days it will go away and my skin will be perfectly clear.

    To the person above that suggests accutaine- it's usually the last line of defense used for severe cystic acne. Its a very mysterious drug and they don't really know how exactly it works. Somehow it decreases sebum output but that means it will dry out your skin and lips significantly. There are some problems other with it including possible liver damage (you can't drink), hair loss, decreased night vision, muscle pain, increased photo sensitivity, and possible depression. It also causes birth defects if taken by a pregnant woman, which is why it is a really controlled drug. It's really chemo for acne and probably not a good first choice.
  24. Nabooly macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2007
    Exactly :D

    However, i doubt any dermatologist will give him accutane the first time he comes in unless he's a very severe case. I went through 3 different antibiotics and creams cycles before i told him im through with them.

    The only (slight) downside was the blood tests every month. They gotta make sure the accutane isnt harming your body (cholesterol levels and such), and to make sure you aren't pregnant( be happy ur a guy, girls haveto take 2 forms of birth control while on it). Theres also lots of side effects (like all other drugs).
  25. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Absolutely, however our OP has already been to the dermy at least once according to his OP, and I'd bet more than once based on the fact that he's clearly frustrated by this.
    Meh not a big deal really. It just takes a few minutes for them to draw some blood and then you're on your merry way.
    That's definitely worth mentioning. The dry lips and skin are always there, and you can't spend much time in the sun, even with sun block.

    But it's only for a few months; I did my first round during Fall and Winter, so that made it easier to stay indoors. :)

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