If you have skin problems on your face such as pimples, acne, abcesses, and blemishes. Try these methods before going to a doctor. You may find that you can get rid of acne without going to the dermatologist!
So it started out innocently enough, a few pimples on my chest but nothing to complain about. Within the next few months a few pimples here and there would show up on my face but definitely not more than 2 pimples at a time per week. Fast forward 8 months later, and I am sitting at the dermatologists getting an abscess drained, and her giving me expert advice on what kinds of things I can do to stop the acne on my face and isolated area on my chest. Im relieved when she just prescribes me a months dose of doxycycline and sends me home.
After the month of anti-biotics, my face and chest had never looked better, my pores were open and my pimples were gone. I was finally back to my old self — pimple free. Ive never really had any issues with acne, even as a teen…well not acne that would be considered out of the norm, so when all this started to hit me after I turned 29 I was surprised and to say the least, a bit unnerved. After the month supply ran out, I went back to the dermatologist for the doctor check-up to look at my healing abscess and to see how the rest of my skin was doing. She then prescribed me all sorts of meds to handle the acne should it reoccur. This is what she gave me:
-Duac Topical Gel
-Retin A Micro
-Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
-NeoBenz Micro Wash
So I went home assured that I was ready to keep the pimples at bay should they ever show their “face” again ha ha. Well, two weeks later, my face was breaking out, my pores were all clogged, red, and rashy, and it felt like I was going to get another friggin abcess. So rather than let all that happen, I started applying everything the doctor gave me but the Retin A micro. It just freaked out my skin and made it all go bonkers. My skin started to look like it was being run through a chemical bath. Back to the dermatologist I went, and again she gave me more doxycycline but in less potent dosage. I was beginning to understand that fighting acne was more art than science, and seemed like dermatologists like to shoot from the hip by first prescribing a cure-all such as doxycycline, and then other junk to see if it can control the acne.
I was getting somewhat desperate, because none of the stuff was helping my face and each visit to the dermatologist cost me money…Then it hit me. Why didnt i try and figure out why I had acne and what was causing it in the first place? Why didnt I use the same type of thinking that I normally do with everything and be cheap and just do it myself. So this blog post is about how I cured myself of acne and should have done it before I went to the doctors in order to save me money. Hopefully this helps you as well.
So, I sat down and started to research and just read as much as I could. Acne could be caused by genes, stress, diet, environment, etc…basically everything. Well, I knew I never had problems with it in the past, so I started to think about what may have been causing it to happen in the first place. I realized that ever since I turned 27-28, Ive been getting more and more dandruff…not bad dandruff, but flaking nontheless. So along with this dandruff, I remembered using anti-dandruff shampoos. Namely head and shoulders, pert plus, and was currently using selson blue (none of them helping but I was still hopeful). I began to research and learned that anti-dandruff shampoos like to mess with your internal hormones and like most other soaps, facewashes, shampoos, and things that lather, contain something called sodium lauryl sulfate…basically a commercial lathering agent.
I decided if I was going to troubleshoot my situation I would need to start a baseline and slowly introduce factors which may lead to the problem. I was going to cut out all types of chemical weird stuff and go “granola.” My wifes coworker also told her about using vinegar as shampoo by mixing 20% vinegar with 80% water. I researched this and found that lots of people actually do this but prefer to use apple cider vinegar instead. Along with using this new apple cider shampoo, I needed a face wash (I was using cetaphil at the time, but it seemed to do nothing at all to help my condition), and learned that this shampoo would be great as a facewash as well! Its cheap, I can make it myself, and best of all, it doesnt contain much if any chemicals.
So heres what I did…I started with a clean slate by taking the new prescription of doxycycline and getting my face as cleared up as it could be (the doxycycline kills bacterial infections on the skin which cause pimples). At the same time, I started my granola regimen with the ACV and used only that to wash my face and shampoo my hair. After 2 months of using the vinegar mixture as a facewash and as a shampoo, my pores stayed open and my acne started to go away. The only place I had pimples was around my mouth area from udner my nose and above my chin. This was a marked improvement, as before, pimples would be everywhere on my face so I knew something was working.
I couldnt understand why pimples were only appearing in that certain area till I started realizing that my pimples would flare up a few days after I shaved. I was using an electric shaver which vibrated as it cut the hairs on my face. Maybe this was causing it somehow? I swapped it out for my wifes disposable leg shaving razors and after two weeks, I had no more new pimples. Was it really my dandruff shampoo causing my face to break out? Was my shaver causing my face to break out as well? The answer after months of battling this acne was YES.
*Update: 8/09/2012 – It turns out I was wrong. It so happens that after about 2 weeks of use, the blades would get dull and I would begin getting pimples in the area where I would shave. I figured out that with dull blades, the pulling motion of the razor would actually pull the hairs out a bit and then cut them, then allowing the remaining part of the whisker to pull back into the original hole where the hair was growing from…Only it would also pull back bacteria into the hole with it and thus cause a pimple. I decided to test my hypothesis by using an alcohol wipe on the area where I shaved, and to clean the razor with the alcohol wipe right before I shaved. What I found was that I had no more pimples whether using a straight razor or an electric one (or whether it was dull or sharp). So if you get pimples while using a razor, clean your face and razor with some alcohol/water solution before shaving…no more pimples!
I think what happened was as I aged, my body became increasingly sensitive to the chemicals contained in the products that I had been using without a problem for so long. It wasnt like i was really doing anything different, but my body was slowly getting more sensitive and irritated by what I was using. My friend who also had an issue with this instead just took accutane and it cleared up her acne as well, but I decided to try a more natural way vs taking something as potent as that.
Anyways, washing hair with vinegar sucks, it doesnt lather, it smells like butt, and its just plain gross (although the smell is gone once its washed off). I needed to get a shampoo that I could use, and figured I should get something natural and didnt contain SLS, so I found one at walgreens for 8 bucks. I wanted to make sure it was actually the chemicals causing my acne from the shampoo, so I just got a cheap one without SLS and without the chemicals contained in the anti-dandruff shampoos. After using it for over 9 months now, I can honestly say that using shampoos without SLS has been so much better for me.
When I was using shampoos WITH SLS I didnt realize it was causing my eyes to itch and made me sneeze everytime I got out of the shower. I never realized it till I used shampoo without SLS. So after using it for a while, I knew it was my anti-dandruff shampoo that was causing my face to go bonkers because my acne never returned. Im not sure if it screwed my hormones like I learned anti-dandruff shampoos could do, or if it was just an irritant, but I dont care to find out. Im also very happy that im not suffering from any type of irritation caused by Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate. My dandruff is still there, but I would much rather have the little unseen flakes compared to another friggin huge abscess.
So to summarize what to do if you have acne and you are trying to figure out how to get rid of it, Follow these steps below (YMMV):
1. Stop using shampoos with Sodium Laryl Sulfate or Sodium Lareth Sulfate.
2. Stop using anti-dandruff shampoos immediately (they only cause problems)
3. Stop using an electric shaver on your face (the vibration really irritates the skin and caused me pimples)
4. Stop using any prescribed acne medication or facewash (unless your dermatologist says you need it for a medical reason) no matter how gentle it says it is (I used cetaphil, and it gave me trouble – it also had SLS in it)
5. Buy Apple Cider Vinegar at a grocery store, and get an empty water bottle. Mix 20% ACV to 80% water. Use this as a shampoo and facewash for 2 months.
6. Once youve found that you dont have new acne, you may try introducing a new shampoo without SLS into the mix so you dont have to use ACV as a shampoo anymore. But keep using the ACV as a facewash (im still currently using it with better results than any other facewash ive used)
7. Test SLS-Free shampoo for a week. if you see no ill results, continue using it (I have been using this shampoo for about a year now, and it works great!).
This should work for people who were in the same situation as I was, where doxycycline cured the acne, but the acne reoccured after a week or two. One might need an initial consultation with a dermatologist to get a prescription of doxycycline in order to kill the bacterial infection which is causing the acne in the first place before they can start the granola treatment above. I believe I had to stop the bacterial infection on my skin causing the acne first, in order to reset my skin back to normal before I truly found out what it was that was causing my acne.
So to summarize, create a baseline and get rid of any artificial products that could create clogged pores/alter hormones which in turn facilitates the growth of bacteria which causes acne. Once you have that baseline, slowly introduce products till you see which one is causing it. But if anything eliminate SLS from your skin products as much as possible. Im pretty sure you will see a difference like I did.
Disclaimer – As always, this information is what worked for me and may or not work for you. I make no legal claims or anything of the sort that this will cure you of your acne, and I can not be held liable for any health issues that arise out of the suggestions above.