Image Source: Spoonflower.com
For starters, my skin is by no means perfect now. But I used to suffer from cystic acne. I won't get in to details because any mention of the word "pus" is pretty gross. I started getting zits when I was in middle school. I got a few hear and there but it wasn't anything I felt truly self-conscious about. But in high school, I broke out so bad that my whole face would be covered in big, small, and medium sized dots.
Like every loving Asian relatives (AKA overly concerned family members), every single one of my aunts, uncles, family friends, and even cousins just loved to point out how bad my acne was. Every single one of them gave me these weird tips like wash your face with rice water, rub a watermelon rind on your face, and even rub lemon juice on your skin. (I highly DO NOT recommend you try this, lemon juice will irritate your skin and make you feel like skin is going to BURN off.)
It was around this time that I decided to go see a dermatologist, she gave me some Doxycycline pills to take once a day. The first month on Doxycycline, I had the worst breakouts I have ever had in my life. My dermatologist warned me this would happen. She described it as a way my skin was purging away all the bad before the good could come. Sure enough, two months in to the pills and my skin was clearing up. I could actually wash my face and feel skin. I could feel patches of soft, smooth skin that I haven't felt in ages.
But like anything you take, the Doxycycline pills killed my immune stuff and I was sick pretty much the whole winter with coughs, sore throats, and congestion. I started taking myself off the Doxycycline pills by taking it every other day then every few days and soon I was only taking it once a week. However, my skin still did not react well to me taking myself off this "miracle pill" that cleared my skin. I started breaking out again. I hadn't had a pimple in ages but when I washed my face that night, I could feel that familiar, slightly red bump that was about to break in to my skin by morning.
When I got up for school that morning, it was here. That huge red cystic planet on the side of my chin. "Great," I thought, "Now, I get to school with a new buddy on my face." After a few more breakouts like this, I went back to the dermatologist to see what she could prescribe me. She gave me Epiduo and a sulfur cleanser. With these two powerhouses, I rarely break out now (knock on wood). I kept getting refills of these prescriptions for about four years now. But since my insurance has gone up and I'm a recent college graduate that is on her own, I can't afford to spend $70 for a visit to the dermatologist and I can't spend another $50 to refill these prescriptions.
Recently, I began to slowly cut these products out of my life. I use Epiduo every 3 days now, instead of every day. I use my sulfur cleanser every night rather than morning and night. Using these products less, my skin does break out during that "special time of the month," but the breakouts aren't too bad. To take the place of these prescriptions, I am experimenting with drugstore dupes. So, stay tuned for that next post!
*I am NOT a dermatologist.
I'm just sharing my acne story and my experiences with a variety of acne medications.**