I would say it all started in March 2020, during the first lockdown. The first time, I noticed that I had a pimple on the left side of my chin that was not like usual. A translucent bubble appeared, oozed and a crust formed afterwards. At the beginning the lesions were rather small, not really painful in my memories.
As the months went by, I noticed that it always came back at more or less the same time, during my cycle - close to ovulation. Only 1 pimple would come out curiously.
I naively blamed it on the fact that I was wearing masks because of the epidemic and that I couldn’t stand the plastic ones, so I decided to buy industrial fabric masks…
I guess that was the beginning of my problems. It’s September 2020, I’m living stressful moments. My son is starting daycare, with an adaptation period and it’s a step for him as much as for me - maybe more for me in the end… It must have disturbed my skin with an accelerated sebum production, I don’t know.
The pimples that used to come out only once a month started to come out every week…my general practitioner tells me it’s herpes. I’m starting to fear for my husband and my little boy.
As a preventive measure, during an attack, I wear an industrial fabric mask over half my face so that it doesn’t affect my son.
It certainly made the problem worse, along with the stress…it made for an explosive mix. I was getting pimples every 3 - 4 days. I couldn’t see the end of it.
I started to become paranoid, telling myself that if it was herpes I could contaminate my relatives but also contaminate myself everywhere. In short, a lot of suffering.
I managed to get an emergency appointment with a dermatologist. Showing him my photos, he told me that 99% of the symptoms were herpes but that it was better to have a sample analyzed during a next attack.
That’s what I did, the result came back negative with no particular bacteria. I am relieved but at the same time I don’t understand what I have…
In October, I met a new dermatologist who confirmed that it was not herpes and told me that I had hormonal acne with certainly a small impetigo.
I’ve always had hormonal acne…but this time I thought my pimples were very different from the classic acne pimples. I was treated when I was younger with Roaccutane which worked well.
She put me on antibiotics (Azithromycin I think) for 2 months. As I am breastfeeding my son, it is an antibiotic that is compatible but not necessarily the one she would have prescribed in first intention. In short, I’m alive again, the pimples are disappearing. At the same time, I switched to homemade masks and I told myself that I simply could not stand the treated plastic ones.
I stopped using antibiotics in January…
As I’m doing a naturopathy training, I’ve been asked to do an experiment: to practice a supercaloric bath (a very hot bath to evacuate toxins by sweating).
I dreaded this exercise as I had sensitive skin and was afraid of the appearance of pimples…
Indeed what I feared happened…I got pimples, one of them very big, always in the same area for weeks. I could not see the end of it…
I saw my dermatologist again and she told me that it was hormonal acne and that she was suffering from the same thing (she lifted her mask to show me that she had scabs but that didn’t mean much). I am doubtful.
She prescribes me some doxycycline.
When I get home, I think about it and refuse to take the treatment. If I’m going to take antibiotics and it’s going to come back, it’s not the solution in the long run.
I started to follow a diet without refined sugar and by cutting out dairy products (I have a healthy diet and I don’t like milk). But the pimples still appeared…
I decide to buy the latest treatment for hormonal acne AKLIEF from the GALDERMA laboratory based on trifarotene. My god… the application caused me burns, a desquamation and a state of dryness that I never knew. DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT!
I applied the product for 1 month, I had the impression of a reduction in the appearance of pimples (1 big one every 15 days).
Then I decided to stop it because my skin was in a state of suffering… and we had to go to a family dinner.
Anyway, no luck, 1 big pimple comes out the night before…runs during the night and forms a crust that gets worse in the morning.
As we are in family, I force myself to put a bandage on my pimple which runs (and then to hide my shame…).
I don’t know if it’s the heat of the day or just the bandage but I had a pimple like never before, which took a long time to form a crust (it even turned brown)…
I had to see my dermatologist the next day and in the end I told myself that it was a blessing in disguise, she would see that it’s not hormonal acne.
In the meantime, I forgot to mention that I saw an endocrinologist and that my hormonal check-up is fine. The dermatologist won’t be able to hide behind hormonal acne.
The dermatologist tells me that I have a staphylococcus due to the color of the crust and that it looks like an impetiginous infection. She prescribes me MUPIDERM and I manage to convince her to brand me SOOLANTRA. I show her all my research (I hadn’t found this site yet), including a French forum that talks about the treatment and these famous spots. I tell her about demodex.
She agrees to prescribe it to me and tells me that I now suffer from rosacea…
She asked me to use MUPIDERM first and to wait until I had no more pimples before using SOOLANTRA.
Last week (a few days after seeing the dermatologist), I had a crisis like never before. In addition to the famous pimple, two others came out, one of them very big. Always in the same area.
Hell…I start to warn my husband that if my life is going to be reduced to this, I won’t last.
The pain is excruciating, I’m itching like crazy…I’m so close to going to the hospital that I want to rip my face off. The big pimple is oozing, it’s even dripping on my chin…(I could have filled a teaspoon - sorry for the details).
I remember I have antihistamines and I take one. 30 minutes later, relief…
The pimples are swollen, the crust has a hard time consolidating especially if I talk or wash my face.
In retrospect, I think the AKLIEF cream damaged my skin and amplified the problem. It was in such a state of dryness and redness, it certainly caused an attack right after I stopped the treatment.
The problem with MUPIDERM is that the crust has a hard time drying. So I stopped it and put erythrogel instead to dry the pimple.
I decided last Monday to start SOOLANTRA despite the pimples and the crusts. I’ve been applying it on my chin area for 3 days now, with a little apprehension.
The cream does not burn me (nothing to do with AKLIEF…), yesterday I had a very small bubble under my lip. It doesn’t hurt or itch like before.
Strangely, this morning I woke up with a micro bubble on my left cheek. I have never had one anywhere else but on my chin. This bubble does not hurt and has already formed a tiny yellow crust. You can hardly see it
On the other hand, I have red pimples on the top of my cheeks that itch. I thought it was from rubbing the mask but I have a doubt.
My dermatologist told me not to apply the product on the rest of my face, but it seems strange if you want to remove the problem. I’m thinking of taking the plunge and applying it tonight, even if I risk a flare-up.
I might as well do it right away before the famous family meals of this summer, barbecues, aperitifs, etc. which have become moments of anxiety for me.
I apologize for this long post…it’s been months of suffering, of endless research, before I found this site! Thank you for creating it, I felt less alone. I think it saved me from a depression that was slowly but surely coming.
I think the hardest part of this ordeal is when my little boy, almost 2 years old, looks at me and says: “Mommy boo-boo” while showing me my scabs. I cried a lot, ashamed to show my face to my husband and my son, not being able to take him for a walk in the subdivision…
I sincerely hope that I have found an answer to my problem…I promised myself to see life differently after this ordeal and to enjoy it fully.
Thanks again to all of you!
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)