RCW and others - questions about cystic acne and medication

MassCurlsMassCurls Posts: 272Registered Users
Posted this on the non-hair board as well.

I've been struggling with what looks like cystic acne on my chin. I've been taking doxycycline for about 4 months, and using Renova every other day to help clear up the scars (and for the awesome things that Renova does for skin as well of course :icon_smile: ). Still having some major cyst action though.

Today my derm gave me a script for Keflex to try, as well as Benzaclin cream to use topically, and I'm seeing a specialist in about 6 weeks to talk about other options. He also injected some of the major cysts with cortisone (?) and that seemed to help already, thank goodness! But I know that won't stop them from coming back.

Here are my questions:

1. I haven't been able to find any info about Keflex being prescribed for use with cystic acne. Is this a normal off-label use for it? It seems like a really strong antibiotic to use for cystic acne. My dr also offered me minocycline but I declined; I worry about some of the side effects. I have Crohn's disease, and some of the side effects, while rare, will reverse some Chrohn's issues that I've FINALLY gotten under control after YEARS of tweaking meds.
2. Should I just stay with the doxy and add the Benzaclin cream and wait until I see the new doc to talk about different oral meds?
3. What order should I use the creams in? I usually use Renova every night/other night. If I use the Benzaclin at night should I apply it after the Renova or before? Or should I alternate nights on the Benzaclin and Renova? In the morning I use Prevage (BIG shout out for the MD version of prevage - LOVE IT) - should I apply the benzaclin before the prevage or after?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice - it is much appreciated!



  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    I'm not RCW, but I had cystic acne for 15+ years and took practically every antibiotic for it. I've never heard of using Keflex for acne though -- not to say there's anything wrong with it, but I'm not familiar with it used that way.

    I LOVED minocycline. It worked best on my acne, but I could only take it four months at a time before switching to something else because it can affect your liver (?).

    Doxycycline never worked on my cystic acne. After four months, you should be seeing some improvement if it's going to help. Personally, I would give up the Doxycycline and try a different oral medication or maybe even accutane if your doctor will prescribe it. That was the only thing that cleared up my skin once and for all.

    I recall loving Benzaclin. I think I used it in the mornings and alternated with Retin-A. I would apply it below moisturizer because I wanted it on my skin.

    If you aren't thrilled with oral antibiotics or accutane, have you tried oral birth control? I now take Ortho Tri-Cyclin, and it has kept my breakouts under control.

    And I've had the cortisone injections. LOVE them when I had a break out!

    HTH. I've been there and I know how frustrating it is. Good luck!
    Loose botticelli curls and waves
    No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Keflex is used for skin infections, so using it for acne is a legitimate use. Personally, I wouldn't risk aggravating crohns with all the antibiotics.

    I've been in your shoes...not getting adequate acne control despite using strong Rx topicals and antibiotics. I opted to use Accutane. It was the best decision I ever made. It changed my life. My only regret was that I didn't take Accutane sooner.

    Prevage is a waste of money. There's nothing in it that is anti-aging. It's been promoted based on a bogus study. You'd get better (and cheaper) results from a good quality Vitamin C serum.
  • MassCurlsMassCurls Posts: 272Registered Users
    Thank you for the replies. I appciate the help!

    I am on BCP, am on Nora Be (which is one of the mini-pills) and can't take estrogen based bc pills anymore.

    The Doxy has helped some, but it hasn't completely resolved. Still getting big nasty cysts. That's why I went back. I figure it should really all clear up. And it did, for about 2-3 weeks, then it came right back again. So frustrating! :banghead:
  • VTmomVTmom Posts: 2,487Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I wouldn't use the benzaclin and the renova at the same time. The benzoyl peroxide will negate the effects of the tretinoin in renova. You can either alternate nights or use the benzaclin in the a.m. and the renova at night.
    The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.

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    Nowadays I kind of worry where my mind's been at,
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