Avatar universal

help me understand and treat

Hi there,

I'm 34 and have suffered acne since my teens. Every now and then i feel lucky and only have one or two spots on my face but at the moment my chin is covered in 4 large, painful carbuncles that really hurt. This is the worst it has been in a long time. Though it still is usually pretty bad.

I get spots mainly on my arms (upper) chest (between and above my breasts) and face (my nose and chin are pretty much always effected and sometimes my cheeks to) The spots differ in the different regions.

My arms they are quite small. They don't hurt and come up as little lumps. I thought they might be ingrowing hairs but when i squeeze them no hair comes out (when i have had ingrowing hair a crumpled up hair is usually set free) squeezing them doesn't require much effort and i always get a little white excretion. sometimes it's like little pod almost. like it is contained in an outer membrane. very tiny. all the spots on my arm are the same.

My chest spots are quite different. They usually come up as larger, sore and red spots. usually fairly wide (5mm). they have almost a blister like quality and pop very easily. sometimes excreting a firm white substance when squeezed (this can take some effort) They very rapidly escalate to a large open wound weather or not i squeeze them. they can be quite painful and can last for months without healing. i have found though exploration and squeezing that they often have a little white dot in the center.This is not easily squeezed out but can sometimes be. usually i will use tweezers to extract this 'white dot' it usually turns out to be a long white object that seems to have a the membrane around it. When using tweezers i have found it is fixed to my flesh and needs a little tug. I have found if i leave the spot eventually this white 'dot' slowly grows and pushed out. i have occasionally removed them with my fingernails this way - the older they are the less likely they are to be attached to my flesh. sometimes the tip will have become fixed into the scab. if I peel the scab off the white thing is stuck to the back of it. the white think is normally very thin and about 3-5mm long. the scab always refused to heal until this thing has been removed. a softer puss can sometimes develop while the white thing remains in place too.

My face has a combination of spots. sometime black heads that i find easy to manage. Sometimes regular spots. they come after a day or two the soft cheesy whatever it is will squeeze out fairly easily and it will heal and go. usually i get similar spots to those on my chest and i have to treat them the same. they cause quite large scabs and can stick around for months. At the moment i seem to be getting a lot of boils on my chin. they are very inflamed, very sore and not healing very fast. One seems to produce a constant small amount of yellow/white liquid puss. it throbs with pain and is pretty big.

I find the acne unbearable at times - not only because i look hideous but because of the pain.

Treatments i have tried:
benzol peroxide creams
various face washes

I wash my face daily with a deep cleansing wash (Clearasil)
i do have diabetes and hear this can cause acne. since my diagnosis 6 months ago i have reduce my blood sugar levels through diet and meds. they are still a little higher than they should be although my levels are at there lowest and my skin at its worst.

I kind of gave up on my GP as they kept insisting on giving me anti-biotics rather than send me to a dermatologist. But i am desperate now.

There is also the fact that i have a compulsion to pick my spots. i know i shouldn't and i am told often. however as soon as i am alone i can;t help but attack myself. i think it might be self harm. i have a low opinion of myself (partly because of the ugly skin i have) and if i have a stressful day i am particularly harsh when squeezing spots. i am naturally depressive yet mask it around others. i am highly self critical and often find myself the focus of someones loathing. plus if the spot hurts as they often do it's all i can think about. i often can't wait to find an opportunity to squeeze the white stuff out so that the spot will stop hurting and heal. this usually takes longer then anticipated though. plus there is the idea of having bacteria under my skin. i can;t stand it and want it out. i can;t wait days for it to surface. yellow and white headed spots make me want to be sick. I know all of this is irrational and otherwise i am a very rational person. this is just my thing. but it is seriously affecting my life now. I find it hard to approach men i am interested in. have spent most of my adult life single and i am at such an age where i may never have children if i don;t address this soon. Please help and advise (telling me not to pick them will not have any impact many have told me this on many occasions - i fear only hypnosis will work there.) thank you
4 Responses
Avatar universal
I've used apple cider vinegar I used it as a toner and like once a week. Try it ure skin will start to become less oily acne will calm I usually applied and left on for a minute or two and just rinsed with water the vinegar is supposed to balance the ph on ure skin for chest or back just spot treat but use an old shirt the smell of vinegar is a wee bit too strong
Avatar universal
I had my skin tested by some people selling cosmetics. They said hydration and elasticity is fine but I have a little less oil than I should have. My skin is little on the dry side to touch. Not at all oily.
Avatar universal
I've suffered with horrible acne my entire life and I've been to countless doctors. The only thing that ever keeps my acne in check is my clarisonic aria. I wash my face night and day with the cerave cleanser. I also use tea tree oil with tazorac for spot treatments.
You're GP does not sound like they know what they are doing because antibiotics should not be taken for more than 6 months due to it's side effects. I suggest you visit another GP that will refer you to a dermatologist. There is a cream that a dermatologist can perscribe for the painful blemishes; sorry, I don't remember the name.
Sadly no matter what I'll always end up with one or 2 blemishes and it's hard not to resist and I end up picking them. However I make it a point to clean throughly with my aria and put a scar cream as well as tazorac; I'm in love with Kate summerville's scar cream.
In the meantime, I suggest that you brush up on your "concealing acne skills" because it will really help with your self esteem.  No matter what you do makeup wise, make sure you wash it off at the end. Here's a link to a video which I found extremely useful for myself. I actually wish I had found this sooner. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PljbzaUlA8o
You may also wanna check out her skin care routine for more advice.

I really hope this helps you. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Thank you Alinsa - very useful :)
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