Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Acne Chronicles | Pt.1

Hello loves,

Welcome to Pt. 1 of my new series - The Acne Chronicles. After being inspired by The Sunday Girl's adult acne series - I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do my own.

My Skin Then
I've always struggled with acne. But I never thought much of it.  In high school I had what I thought was a "normal" amount of acne - and played it off as something that happens during your teen years. My most problematic areas were my chin and my forehead. I would get angry read blemishes on my chin - and tons of little bumps on my forehead (and the occasional blemish under my very cool 2000's side bangs).  For a brief period of time I fell for the Proactiv commercials - but it never worked for me.  I'm not entirely sure if this is because my skin just didn't respond well - or I wasn't consistent enough. Either way - there was no improvement.

When I reached my sophomore year of college - I had finally had enough.  I realized that at 19 I felt like my skin should be clearing up - and it just wasn't.  I sought out a dermatologist and was put on some antibiotics and the topical - Epiduo. It kind of worked. But again, I didn't follow through - and eventually couldn't even be bothered to make appointments with my dermatologist... I thought once again - that since I was getting older - it would take care of itself.

My Skin Now
Here we are - 2015 and I'm 24 years old - and I thought my skin was improving - I still had the occasional blemish - and the bumps on my forehead (not to mention spots on my back and around my collar bone) but it just seemed better.  I learned in March that my skin was not better, it was just different.  I started noticing spots of stubbron cystic acne around my jawline (accompanied by the blemishes on my chin and bumps on my forehead) that would just not go away.  My skin wouldn't respond to salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, cleansers, masks, spot treatments - nothing truly cleared up my skin.

Then - one day - I found a lump in the front of my neck under the skin. I was on the road for work - and totally freaked out.  When you find a lump somewhere on your body that isn't supposed to be there - your mind automatically goes to the worst.  I immediately assumed something was life threatening.  So I went to the urgent care in Indiana and the doctor said he thought it was just a sebaceous cyst - that may need to be surgically removed when I returned home. Great. Surgery on my neck - that sounds pleasant.  So I made an appointment for June with a new dermatologist near my home.

By the time I visited with the dermatologist - the cyst had dissipated - and several other popped up. She told me that I have moderate to severe acne that can be cleared up with medication - it is just a matter of what kind and how much. Oh - and no surgery necessary.

My Plan 
My dermatologist put me on antibiotics (doxycycline hyclate) for a month to jumpstart the process and fight off bacteria.  After the month is up - I won't be going back on the antibiotics to combat resilience. After I cleanse in the morning, I use clindamycin lotion to target inflamed pores, and at night (after cleansing) I alternate between using a tretinoin cream - to target plugged pores - and the clindamycin lotion.  Once the first month is up - at night I'll be using the tretinoin cream followed immediately by the clindamycin.

To fight the acne on my body, I am cleaning 2-3 times a week with benzoyl peroxide, and then also with a sulfur soap (which I have yet to order).

If she does not see the progress that she thinks I should make when I come back from grad school in November, we may look into a possible hormone imbalance - and combating the acne with an oral contraceptive as well - but we'll save that for pt.2 or pt.3.

Have any of you struggled with acne as an adult? What worked and didn't work for you? I would really love to know!

With love,

Traci J


  1. Hi Tracy! For me it was a hormonal imbalance, nothing topical ever worked by itself. However, everyone is different and I hope your situation is something a lot simpler :) Would love to keep reading these acne chronicles! Thank you for visiting my YouTube and Blog <3

    1. Hoping for the best! Thanks for stopping over. xx