How I Combat Cystic Acne at Age 37
I think I finally found a solution, for me at least, to my chronic cystic acne problem. Just a little background before I tell you how I keep the cystic acne at bay.
I started getting acne (all kinds) when I was 14 years old. I am now 37 years old and continue to get acne. I think once I got in my 30s it switched over to mostly the cystic type. For me, cystic acne are the pimples that are monsterous, no over the counter creams work (and even prescription creams didn’t work), and take a month to dissipate.
So the way it works for me, I’ll get one pimple and it gets humongous over a few days and stays that way for basically a month before it dissipates. I get them either somewhere on my chin or in the middle of my forehead right between the eyes. How attractive, right? The first few days you can sort of cover it up with concealer but after that, it looks like this massive skin colored mountain on your face. Talk about being self-conscious! Yep, that is me. And once one went away, another one would pop right up on schedule.
Last year I had it. 22 years of having acne and I was totally over it. So I went to a dermatologist. She stated that my cystic acne was hormonal. So therefore, she was going to prescribe me Spironolactone, which would balance out my hormones and thus get rid of my cystic acne. I thought, “Yes! Finally a real solution.”
This pill was a miracle cure in the sense that it got rid of the pesky cystic acne. I could not believe it. But then….here comes the side effects. And I had all the side effects that were opposite of all the ones they said you could get which is weird. Some of the side effects included getting regular little pimples which I gladly chose over the big cystic ones…and I started gaining weight like crazy. Not sure why. The worst side effect, which I won’t go into here, was just unbearable so I stopped the meds. It just wasn’t worth it. If you’ve ever had cystic acne, you’re probably thinking anything is worth it but honestly this was NOT. In addition, through some research, it appears that pill triggered a genetic skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris. Basically, they’re a bunch of raised red bumps on my legs (and raised skin colored bumps on the back of my arms). Considering I’ve been a runner and pride myself in my legs – this was pretty devastating to say the very least. It was pretty bad until I moved to Florida so I’m thinking the sun maybe helped a bit so now I can wear dresses/shorts, etc. again which is a relief.
Anywho, back to my story. So eventually my cystic acne came back in January of this year. I was none too pleased. But I just dealt with it. I had to start my new job here in late July with a massive one. What a way to make an impression, eh? Eventually, I found a place to live and went to a local Walmart and came across this thing called illuMask. I had seen it in a magazine one time but thought it was only online and didn’t feel like buying it online. But I thought, what the hay – when I saw it in Walmart. I also bought some Neutrogena acne pads as well for a little extra help.
So basically what I do is this. If I’m stressed out or have eaten something I know makes me break out (eggs, salt, etc.) OR if I can actually feel one coming on or see one, I bring out the Neutrogena pads and the illuMask. I wipe my face down with the pads and then throw on the mask – the mask has these lights in it that is supposed to kill bacteria I guess. A session lasts 15 minutes and there are 30 sessions that come with the mask. It is $30 at Walmart so basically a buck for a session. Chump change for clear skin, in my opinion. I started using it probably the beginning of September and have gone through one whole mask (30 sessions) and started my 2nd mask last night (1 session) for a total of 31 sessions. NOT ONE CYSTIC ACNE popped up. Not one! Since the beginning of September! That is the longest I’ve been with clear skin without meds probably since I was 14.
Now I’m not saying I’ll never get one again but things are definitely going well so far and I totally had to share with you guys in case you are struggling with the same thing. It is just something to try. The mask is only $30 at Walmart and the pads are about $7-$9 at Target. Well worth spending the money to try out if you have cystic acne as bad as me.
Good luck!!!Disclaimer: I did not get paid for this post nor did I get a product free. I am merely providing my success so far with the illuMask and Neutrogena Pads.