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21 Aug 2007

I hope you can help me. I see the dermatologist forum has been closed. Please adivise if I must consult another doctor on the experts 24 panel. I am a 28 year old lady. I am trying to fight acne and aging at both times, I have a fairly combination T-panel /oily skin.

1) I developed acne for the last 6-12 months approx. in my neck/under chin area, and got info that it is due to hormonal imbalances and stress. I see that it gets worse when my stress levels get higher.

2) I do use Marvelon as contraceptive. Do you think that changing my pil, to Tricilest, will help? I got info that this certain contraceptive is used for hormonal acne, and will try to swop my pill and see if this will help. I don't want to go the route with Roaccutane for the 4th time in almost 20 years. The symptoms are too hectic and the costs unaffordable, also the generics are too pricy for me. The last time I was on Roaccutane it cost me R2500 a month, that was about 5 years ago.

3) I heard an aesthetician said to someone that Nimue products contain "blue acid". What is blue acid? I have read last night the back of my Gill face wash bottle, and it contains "acid blue (CL ...number digits). Is that harmful for the skin and in fact a light acid? Someone has advised me to regularly go for Nimue facials and now I am scared about this rumour. What is your opinion about blue acid?

What is your adivice or opinions on my questions? Thank you kindly.
Answer 1,419 views
Anti-ageing expert
Anti-ageing expert

01 Jan 0001

Hello Sunflower, thank you for the question.
This is a difficult question to answer without a consultation, and I must add, should be examined by a dermatologist, unless it is very mild. However, I will attempt to give you at least some information that I hope will help in treating the area troubling you.
An acne lesion is caused, regardless of age, by sebum and dead cells that block hair follicles. Acne that appears after 25 to 30 years occurs for the following reasons:
1. Recurrence of acne previously cleared.
2. “Flare-up”, after a period of quite, for example during pregnancy.
3. Occurring for the first time and here one should look for a possible cause such as:
• Medication. Some medications that can induce acne include anabolic steroids, some anti-epileptic medications, the anti-tuberculosis drugs isoniazid and rifampin, lithium and iodine-containing medications.
• Chronic physical pressure on the skin. Chafing from the straps of a backpack or tucking a violin between the jaw and chin can cause chronic physical pressure on the skin.
• Chlorinated industrial chemicals.
• Metabolic conditions. Changes in the hormonal balance, such as those brought about by pregnancy, menstruation or hormonal abnormalities can induce acne.
The degree of acne is important in determining the type of treatment and is classified into mild, moderate, and severe.
Mild acne consists of small lesions, such as blackheads, whiteheads or pustules, which appear at or near the surface of the skin. As such, mild cases of acne can sometimes be controlled at home by:
Gently washing the affected area(s) with warm water and a mild soap twice a day to remove dead skin cells and excess oil.
Using a topical (applied to the skin) over-the-counter acne treatment containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

In moderate to moderately severe acne, numerous whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules appear that cover from ¼ to ¾ of the face and/or other affected area(s). Moderate to moderately severe acne usually requires the help of a dermatologist and combination therapy (using two or more treatment options). Treatments used to treat moderate to moderately severe acne are:
Physical methods, such as camedo extraction or light therapy (performed by trained doctor only).
Prescription Medications: topical (applied to the skin), topical retinoids, oral antibiotics, and oral contraceptives – so changing to Tricilest is a good idea (please consult your family doctor for a script).
Over-the-counter topical acne medications.

Regardless of the severity of the acne the following steps should also be followed:
Keep out of the sun and use an oil free SPF.
Avoid abrasive facial washes.
Avoid topical products that are greasy or contain oil (your moisturizer should be ‘oil free’ too).

I believe the ‘Blue Acid’ you are referring to, is a TCA peel. These TCA peels and alpha hydroxyl acids (or glycolic acid) may be used as treatment options. They will have the added benefit of promoting a healthier skin and have an anti-ageing effect. Furthermore, both Nimue and NeoStrata, have products specifically designed for people with acne, to help treat the acne and maintain benefits to the skin.
I hope the above has helped with this problem, and I would try the “non-doctor” route for 8 to 12 weeks only. If no improvement is noted, please consult your dermatologist, and do not be afraid to discuss the options you have used and the financial burden and side effect profile of Isotretinoin.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.