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UC and Acne
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UC and Acne

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in July 2010. I was 7 months pregnant and I called my OB/Gyn and went to see her about my symptoms but she kept telling me it was probably hemhoriods because many pregnant women get those. I kept telling her it was NOT hemrhoids and finally she referred me to a gastroenterologist. Immedietly, after telling him my symptoms, he knew that I had UC. He wanted to do a colonoscopy but I declined since I was pregnant and didn't want any anesthesia. So, in the end I had a flexsigmoidoscopy with no anestesia. It wasn't as bad as I thought actually but he couldn't see the entire colon but the procedure did confirm I had UC. He did say that people can have UC without symptoms or a flare up but prenancy can cause a flare up and that's when some women are diagnosed.

Around June 2010, before my UC symptoms started, I started getting a lot of acne on my face and my back, just small patches. I chalked it up to pregnancy hormones but it got worse and worse. I am talking face, neck, my entire back, chest and arms. Painful acne. It was hard to sit and lean up against anything, even a soft couch or chair hurt so bad on the acne. It was cystic acne ALL over my back from my neck down to my waist and across my entire back. Everyone said it was pregnancy hormones. However, I had the baby in August and the acne actually got a little worse. I was still having UC flare ups every now and then but I am taking Canasa suppositories which seem to help.

I finally went to see a dermotologist in Septmeber 2010 after I had the baby. She was very cautious with what she gave me since at the time I was breastfeeding. But, I was in so much pain from the acne that I weighed the benefits and decided that 4 weeks of breastfeeding was better than some babies get but I had to get my painful acne under control. Sleeping, sitting, getting dressed, wearing a bra, having a shirt touch my back, anything I did was SO painful I had to do something. So, she put me on doxycycline. 100 mg 2 times per day. She tried to do extractions but it was worse than giving birth since it was such painful acne. She only got two extractions done before I was in tears and in worse pain then I was already in.

I went back two weeks ago for a f/u after starting the doxy and it had cleared up, only slightly, but the pain is definetly gone which I am thankful for. At this last appointment she gave me 1.5% Retin A cream that I use once a day. It is clearing it up even more, it's only been two weeks. She won't give me accutane because of all the lawsuits saying it causes Ulcerative Colitis adn Chron's disease. I am telling her, "Hello! I already have it" but we are trying this doxy and retin a cream for a few months before we resort to anything else.

I am saying all of this because I have never had acne. even as a teen I would get one or two pimples around the time I was about to start my period but that was all. Since being diagnosed with UC and around the time of my first flare up is when I started to get the terrible acne all over my body. So, is there anything else I can do/take? Is accutane too dangerous since it could cause my UC to get worse or possibly make me get chron's?? Also, after I had the baby I did the full colonoscopy and it was confirmed that the only part of my colon affected is the rectum and lower intestine and there is no disease in my upper instestine so it is confirmed that I do not have chron's, only UC.

Am I going to have to deal with acne forever now that I have UC? Is there anything people use to clear it up? Does the acne ever go away? Should I try accutane if the doxycycline and retin-a don't work? It was getting better so I am hopeful that after a few months of this treatment it was clear up.


This discussion is related to What's the best way to treat acne caused from ulcerative colitis?.
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