Before reading this post please remember these are my personal experiences with various products or medications I was prescribed to try and help my acne. Everyone is different so whilst these may have been borderline nightmarish for me for someone else they might be life changing in the best possible way.
I didn’t realise until writing this post just how traumatic some of these treatment attempts sound but truth be told the vast majority I’ve brushed under the carpet and forgotten about. Throughout this post I’ll link some more positive previous blog posts of mine which may be of interest such as my absolute favourite effective skincare products and life changing discoveries which helped me to better accept my skin rather than clinging onto the unattainable notion that my skin must always be clear.
Duac – Prescription Benzoyl Peroxide.
I was prescribed this at around the time my Oxytetracycline anti biotic journey was reaching the end of its course in 2016 meaning my skin was virtually clear at the time. I was advised this topical benzoyl peroxide product would give me the best chance of ensuring my treatment was effective long term so began using it at night. The reality was I ended up with bleached pillowcases and an INCREDIBLY red swollen puffy face which felt like the most extreme sunburn I’ve ever experienced dialled up about 10 notches. It took several weeks to recover from the tight, strained red face after using it less than 3 times. I’m not at all saying this is a bad product, I just really don’t think my skin can cope with benzoyl peroxide in leave on forms… seemingly neither can my bedding which was ruined!
Zineryt USED WITH Adapalene
Even just typing that combination dreamt up by my GP makes me want to hide behind my hands. Before I tell the story of this horrible duo I’d like to add that using Adapalene on its own has transformed my skin with minimal side effects and I am a huge fan. However; using it at night when the instructions for Adapalene didn’t mention breaking it in gently along with Zineryt in the mornings was a disaster for my skin barrier before I even really knew what that term was. Even though I was using a rich night cream twice a day my skin ended up splitting and weeping looking almost like popped blisters from using these strong active ingredients together. It was so incredibly painful and anything but subtle that I almost didn’t go to work for several days. I spent over a week conversing with the floor to avoid meeting people’s eyes and crying lots partly at the sight of my reflection and from how uncomfortable it was. A colleague asked if it had been an allergic reaction as it looked so sore and I almost fled home. I went back to my GP and was prescribed a week of antibiotics to ensure I didn’t get an infection. Once entirely healed I did some serious research and consulted pharmacists for advise about Adapalene and began introducing this very slowly as prior to the disaster it had been working brilliantly. Luckily for me this worked out well.
- How To Use Differin / Adapalene. Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Prescription Retinoid For Acne.
Lucette – Combined Contraceptive Pill
It took less than 3 weeks for this pill to start really negatively effecting me in a way that left me very frightened. I was prescribed it as it was thought to be similar to Yasmin, known for helping with acne, but less likely to cause blot clots. Whilst taking the pill each night I felt fine but the minute the 7 day break period arrived I was an absolute mess. I experienced the worst period pains I’d ever felt leaving my eyes watering and me heavily relying on pain killers to somewhat function. By about day 2 I couldn’t function properly anymore and I ended up taking almost the entire week off work as I felt so nauseous. I was frequently overcome by dizzy spells meaning I had to navigate my way around my home on all fours as I didn’t trust myself to stand up without blacking out. I’d get big black splotches appearing in my vision and ended up sitting in my shower tray just so I could wash my hair and even then the event lasted over an hour. Prior to this I’d previously taken 3 contraceptive pills with no side effects even remotely close to this so it took me a while to connect the dots. I never started the 2nd month’s blister pack and didn’t experience those scary side effects again so I know Lucette was the causes. For whatever reason Lucette and I just aren’t compatible. Worryingly a second GP months later tried to convince me to give this one another go, needless to say I decided sit down showers and a week of house crawling weren’t odds I wanted to gamble with so declined.
- Acne Awareness Month: Why I’m Endlessly Grateful I Found The Acne Positivity Community On Social Media
Brevinor – Combined Contraceptive Pill
You think after the disastrous Lucette story that I’d have given up on contraceptive pills but for some reason I ended up trying another, I think this was because my GP would only support this as I kept declining a 3rd round of antibiotics. This time: Brevinor. This caused my skin to worsen week upon week of taking it. My acne has always been focused on my chin and jawline. Imagine drawing a rainbow shape from the corner of your jaw up to your nostrils and back to the other jaw corner and that gives you an idea of my typical acne affected area. Whilst taking Brevinor I was getting hugely painful cysts popping up on the daily down the sides of my neck which made sleeping on my side very uncomfortable and sometimes not possible. My cheeks began to break out and for me this has always been the biggest tell tale sign that something is wrong because my cheeks just never get spots. I was waking up with new spots every day and even started developing body acne for the first time across my collarbones. I stopped taking this within a month and gave my body time to recover from the experience and all went back to normal very quickly. Both my experiences of Lucette and Brevinor freaked me out at how quickly my body reacted and how extreme the side effects could be.
I somehow dodged spot treatments like toothpaste and TCP and fortunately don’t really have any hugely extreme skincare disaster stories!
Sensitive Comments Welcome