How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Elliot Ruff Your Own Question
Elliot Ruff
Elliot Ruff,
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 1545
Experience:  GP at Whitstable Medical Practice
Type Your Dermatology Question Here...
Elliot Ruff is online now

I am 25 years old - never suffered from acne before. I

This answer was rated:

I am 25 years old - never suffered from acne before. I started to get some cystic acne around my T-Zone (between my eyebrows and right side of chin predominantly). I currently use a water-based cleanser, a salicylic acid BHA exfoliant, a niacinimide serum and a CeraVe moisturiser. It seems to help hyper-pigmentation however I am still continuously getting breakouts. Would be great to confirm whether these treatments are correct or if I am needing a prescription. Any help would be appreciated. Many thanks - Sinead
JA: How long have you been using salicylic acid? Any improvements so far?
Customer: About 8/9 months - it definitely helps calm down the breakouts from getting worse, however I dont think it is preventing them
JA: Got it. Have you seen a dermatologist about acne?
Customer: I have not
JA: Thank you so much for your time. Finally, is there anything else in your medical history you think the Dermatologist should know?
Customer: Nothing I can think of. Thank you!

Good afternoon, thank you for contacting us today. I am Dr Ruff.

Thank you for your information, are you able to provide a photo please?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Good afternoon Dr Ruff - thanks for getting back to me!
Please find attached some pictures.

Perfect, thank you for these.

So you certainly do have quite a few options, and often this is a bit of trial and error to see what works best for you and step up the treatment depending on your response.

The first option is consideration of a contraceptive. Often these acne outbreaks are hormone related, and using a combined pill can often help with these.

That is a hormonal options but you certainly don't have to do that, but worth considering. The treatment you have been using is a good start. However yours appears quite inflamed, therefore I would now consider adding in a Retinoid cream to your daily routine, but given how yours is currently, I would also consider adding in a daily oral antibiotic to get this under control with the view of managing it with creams only.

The antibiotics are used for skin and commonly used for a few months at a time, however this will require a prescription from your doctor. You can use a topical antibiotic instead if you prefer.

You can however start using a retinoid cream sooner which you can buy from many places. A brand I am familiar with is La Roche, Effaclor, however this is not to say there are not a lot of other very good options out there.

I would look into this and either see a dermatologist or contact your GP to consider a topical or oral antibiotic.

this link will take you to a page with some of the other treatments to give you an idea where the treatments can go from here.

Please feel free to ask any further questions.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
No problem at all - thank you for such a prompt and detailed response!I am currently on a combined pill (Microgynon 30), so I think it may be beyond that unless I am not taking the correct one. I will definitely try a retinoid cream now - I was just hesitant of throwing too much at my skin at once and irritating it even more, so thank you for confirming that should be something I have in my daily routine. I will have a look at the ones you recommended.In terms of an antibiotic, I am very happy to try an oral one to get it under control for now - would my GP just recommend one to me or is there one I should be asking for specifically?Thanks again!

Hello there, that is my pleasure.

I think you are right, that pill would indeed be of some help.

And yes, your GP will make a suggestion as this is very common place for this to be managed in General Practice.

I hope this helps, take care.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Wonderful - thanks so much, you've been super helpful!Hope you have a good rest of the week!

You too

Elliot Ruff and other Dermatology Specialists are ready to help you