Wednesday, 10 January 2018

My Struggle With Adult Acne And How I Treated It With Oxytetracycline and Differin

Spots. Everyone's biggest enemy. There is no worse feeling, than when you wake up in the morning, take a look in the mirror and see a new little friend chilling on your chin. If you're like me, you're a serial popper and make the situation 10 times worse by trying to get rid of any remnant of spot and instead creating a giant mess of blood, sweat and tears.
As a teenager, I had no issue with my skin, blessed with a spot free face, I thought I had it made. Until I reached my twenties and all of a sudden my skin started to erupt with angry red spots all over my chin and jawline. I began to think I was having an allergic reaction to my skincare and went out and bought the best of the best products, in an attempt to get rid of my new friends. Unfortunately, my skin is so sensitive that the new products actually made my spots worse, making them angrier and redder.
My skin last April (2017), before any medical treatment
As I got more and more self conscious, I decided it was time to seek some medical help and ask where these spots had come from. I was diagnosed with adult hormonal acne and basically told there was nothing to do but ride it out. I was given Oxytetracycline, an oral antibiotic that I had to take twice a day for several weeks to get rid of any underlying infection in my skin that was causing the spots. My experience with Oxytetracycline was a good one, I can't fault it. However, I am aware that everyone is different and although I experienced no side effects, it could be different for you.
Heres a science lesson for you: Oxytetracycline combats acne by interfering with the bacteria that causes pores to get clogged up and spots to form on your skin. So by taking it, you are essentially getting rid of the nasty stuff under your skin, before it pops (literally, ew) up to the surface to say hello.
Within a few weeks of using Oxytetracycline, my spots had begun to fade and I was getting less breakouts on my chin. My spots were disappearing faster than they were arriving and in turn, my self confidence was starting to rise up once more.



Although Oxytetracycline was great at getting rid of the infection underneath my skin, I needed something to get rid of the spots that had already raced their way to the surface. I was also prescribed Differin 0.1%, a Topical Retinoid that works at clearing and preventing current and future breakouts. This product was also a saviour, although I didn't see results straight away. In order for Differin to get rid of the spots, it brings out any bacteria hiding under the surface of the skin. Unfortunately this meant that for the first few few weeks that I was using Differin, my spots actually got worse. However, I was told to continue using it to see the results (although I was sceptical). After a few weeks of nasty spots, I begun to see great changes in my skin. My spots were fading and my skin tone was starting to even out again. As Differin is technically a steroid gel, it did cause my skin to burn and peel when I first started using it, so I do recommend only using a small amount at a time. But if you stick to the instructions and keep with it, you will definitely see a difference with Differin!
Top: my skin in January 2018
Bottom: my skin in June 2017

The combination of both Oxytetracycline and Differin has saved my skin and although I am left with a few spot scars, it's a small price to pay. My spot scars will fade in time and at least I can cover them with makeup!
In order to maintain my new skin, I completely switched up my existing skin care routine and swapped to all natural products, with no chemicals or synthetics. I have linked the post where I talk about my skincare routine here.

I really hope this has given you some insight into adult hormonal acne. It's something that many of us suffer with and it's better to nip it in the bud before it spreads and gets worse. I 100% recommend the use of these two prescribed medications as a way of getting rid of acne. I am aware there is products like Accutane and Roaccutane, but these products are much stronger and come with a parcel of nasty side effects. I would recommend trying Oxytetracycline first and if that doesn't work and you feel like all hope is lost, ask your doctor for the stronger stuff. You have nothing to lose, it can only get better! When you have acne it feels like there is no end in sight and that all hope is lost, but with a bit of trial and error, you can find the products that are the most beneficial for your skin type.
Remain positive and remember that acne doesn't last forever!
My 'no makeup' skin after finishing all treatment - January 2018.
If you have any questions about my struggle with acne and any more products that I used, please leave a comment and I'll reply as best as I can.

Lou Katherine x

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