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Have acne-prone skin. Worried about open pores. Is cleansing face sufficient? Should I use contraception?

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Hi, I am 21 and I have acne prone skin. The gym I go to does not have showers so I need to walk home afterwards. I worry that walking home with open pores could be making my break outs worse. Would cleansing my face with face wash before I leave the gym be sufficient? Also I am on antibiotics but my acne is persistent. Should I look at other options such as contraception?
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 21 hours later

Thank you for posting the query,

You have provided with good information regarding your skin problem & I understood your problem however it would be good if you can answer few of my queries:

1) Do you get acne lesions over the chin & jaw lines.
2) Does your acne out breaks become more prominent 2 days prior to your periods.
3) Are you obese or have you put on weight lately.
4) Do you experience scalp hair loss.
5) Do you presently have irregular periods ( meaning that your periods do not come on time as predicted).
6) Do you have a problem of excess facial hair (hirsutism).

If you can answer these question, it would help me understand your problem better & suggest you good.

Pimples are multifactorial ,and therefore one has to find the exact cause of it.
It can be because of wrong use of soaps to moisturizers or any fairness creams which one is using, to hormonal disturbances if anybody has.

In your case excess sweating might aggravate acne but may not be the sole reason for having pimples.So,a complete work up is necessary in all patients.Also one should remember that its not a short course treatment,but a matter of say 6 months or so if pimples are sever.

But yes a proper care does help in preventing acne, so if you can use a good face wash like a 2% salicylic acid face cleanser, it would definitely help you. But as you said your acne has been a recurrent problem, so I don't think that only a face cleanser might help you. You also mentioned that you are on minocyclin which doesn't seems to be very effective.

In such a case there are two good options for you. Firstly if there are features of any hormonal imbalance in your case (which I can probably make out if I get answers to my questions), conventional treatment for acne(antibiotics) would not work, and one needs hormonal tablets to cure acne.

And secondly if there is no hormonal imbalance, and you get persistent acne, then I would prefer oral retinoids to you. Retinoids is a wonderful medicine for acne, provided one gets all the relevant investigations done and takes care of all the precautions associated with it. There are certain precaution which your dermatologist would tell you.

I would advise you to plan either for retinoids or for hormonal treatment (as required). Both medicines give excellent response.

Kindly XXXXXXX a experienced dermatologist who can understand your case properly and treat you.

Please don't plan for laser or any beauty parlor treatment .
You can even take chemical peels along with the medicines.

I would also advise you to stop all cosmetic creams if you are using on face

If you can reply me with the answers, I would be able to suggest you better.

Awaiting for your reply.

Dr.Bharat chawda
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have acne-prone skin. Worried about open pores. Is cleansing face sufficient? Should I use contraception? 14 hours later
Hi Dr!

I hope some of this information helps!

1) A little over the chin but more on the cheeks
2) My acne always becomes worse 2 days prior to my period
3) I am not obese. I am actually really very healthy. I go to the gym 5 times a week and my diet is very good; lots of fruit and veg, fish, chicken and limited dairy and no red meat. I dont drink a lot but I did in my first year of university and that was when my skin problems started. Before that I had great skin
4) No scalp loss. I have a full thick head of hair
5) As for period irregularlity that has been a problem. As a teenager I was an athlete and did not have my menstrual cycle for a few years. Now that I dont train as intensely my period has come back but still can fluctuate
6) I dont have any prominent condition however I have noticed that the hair on my face is actually quite long.

I suspect a hormonal balance myself but not sure who to consult. A gynecologist or a dermatologist or both perhaps? I think you are right I need to be proactive with it and seek help. Either through contraceptive or retinols. Also have you any opinion on the blue and red light that is being promoted. Thank you for you help!

Best regards! XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Bharat Chawda 2 hours later

Thank you for the reply,

According to your answers you seems to have few feature of hormonal imbalance.

The best person to consult would be a dermatologist and endocrinologist in tandem. But if you don't get an endocrinologist at your place then a good dermatologist would be competent enough to handle your hormonal problems also( along with skin).

I would suggest that you get properly investigated. You may need tests like a ultrasound of lower abdomen, LH/FSH ratio, Serum DHEA, testosterone and insulin levels checked .These tests would help find out if you have any hormonal imbalance or not. You may get these tests done under the guidance of your primary doctor.

If the tests are normal, then you would need to get relevant tests such as liver function test, complete blood count and lipid profile. Retinoid (isotretinoin) tablets are helpful in treating acne if hormone tests are normal.

To simplify, acne problems can be treated effectively with proper medication and lifestyle changes under guidance of a competent dermatologist. You seem to be suffering from hormonal imbalance. Consider getting the aforementioned tests done after proper examination. You may need retinoids or hormone correction based on the reports of the tests.

Hope I've answered your query.
Should you have additional concern regarding the same ,I would be happy to address it.

Dr.Bharat chawda
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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