I'm 19 years old and have been suffering with pretty frequent acne, with at least one pimple showing up every day or every other day since I was 13. As one heals, another comes up. They can range from pustules that are easy to just pop and heal before the end of the day, to deeply painful cystic nodules that take weeks to heal.
My question is can you use salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide together? And if so, is that the best regimen to do? Basically, are they compliments? I use Garnier Fructis Nutri-Pure Detoxifying Cleanser which has Salicylic Acid as it's main ingredient, and I tried Equate's Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% for a while as a spot treatment, but after a couple of weeks, it seemed to make me have more breakouts. Almost like it caused all my whiteheads and blackheads to come to the surface.
I've tried Proactiv, Differin/adapalene, I'm on birth control (Ortho Tri-Cyclin's generic Tri-Sprintec), but sometimes I think that's what makes it worse.
Can you let me know what you think is best? I understand you can't really determine anything without an exam, but let me know what you think.
Hi. Using Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide together is undesirable as it may cause increased sensitivity and fragility of the skin.
Ortho Tri-Cyclin (Cilest in the UK) may help with acne. Another option is Diane35 (Dianette in the UK) which contains an anti-androgen as well as oestrogen. It blocks the effects of angrogens so the skin is less oily.
If a fair trial of Differin has resulted in failure or relapse ask your doctor about Retin-A (a synthetic topical retinoid) or Duac (clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide). Use a gentle face wash to prevent over-drying. I use Estee Lauder Sparkling Clean cleanser for oily skin which prevents shine without over-drying. I also like Effaclar H cleansing mousse by La Roche-Posay which soothes oily skin made fragile by over-drying skincare.
The deeply painful cystic nodules are concerning. This type of acne does not typically respond to over-the-counter salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. A dermatologist should be able to evaluate your acne and suggest prescription only treatment options.
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