Many of you have contacted me personally to share your stories and advice regarding your battles with acne, and I thank you.
As you know, since the end of competition season my immune system has been under attack, which resulted in a lovely break out of cystic acne on my forehead, jaw line, neck… you name it! Just as one painful bump starts to subside, another will manifest elsewhere on my face. It's been an ongoing struggle since last November.
I went to my doctor to discuss my options and was preparing myself for the dreaded, but much-loved, Accutane. Many of you told me about your love-hate relationship with the acne wonder drug, and I listened. I went for blood tests, a pre-requisite to even be considered for Accutane, and in December I was told my dermatology appointment was set for February 6.
Sooo far away.
I was actually worried my skin would clear up by the time I got my appointment, and the dermatologist wouldn't believe me when I tried to explain just how bad my skin was. I was put on a waiting list, should an earlier appointment arise, and one did!
Unfortunately my skin was just as bad as ever, with a nice big cyst on my neck, just under my chin (never had one there before!), and a new zit by my nose. Perfect, she'll see just how bad my skin is and will agree that an aggressive attack is the only solution to problem free skin!
My appointment lasted a total of 5 minutes. Seriously, it was the quickest consultation I've ever had. Did she even hear my plight? Did she really understand the gravity of the situation? Who knows.
Instead of Accutane, I was prescribed antibiotics (doxycycline 100mg) and Tactuo gel, which is a slightly different formula of the popular Differin gel. Apparently this is the new super acne-fighting duo. She gave me a three month supply, and a follow-up appointment in April.
1 Week in
I'm expecting my skin to get worse before it gets better. The active ingredients in Tactuo gel are adapalene and benzoyl peroxide, which renews skin cells as it unplugs pores from the inside out.
I've been on this regimen for about a week now, and initial observations are as follows:
- irritated skin with a slight burning sensation when I apply moisturizer/sun screen (non-perfumed)
- flaky, itchy skin – especially around my mouth and nose
- slight gut-rot if I take the antibiotics before bed
So far, my skin is the same, with a new breakout every day. There are horrible red marks along my jaw where the cysts are/were, which I have to cover with a load of makeup – which of course ends up all over the collar of my shirts and jackets. Lovely.
What a long journey ahead of me…. I'll keep you updated.
Have you tried this combination of drugs to treat acne? Please share your story with us below…