Hello DERMAdoctor, Goodbye Painful Cystic Acne

If you've ever dealt with cystic acne, you know how impossible it can be to handle. Fortunately, there's one product out there that clears it up in no time.

May 21, 2015
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Like many others, I struggled with acne throughout my teenage years. My flare-ups weren’t of biblical proportions, but they were severe enough to warrant seeing my mother’s dermatologist. He prescribed an expensive medley of Retin-A and benzoyl peroxide cream that seemed to help with the mild to moderate zits, but had trouble stifling the big juicy ones that appeared regularly on my chin.

A short while later, my gynecologist recommended I go on the pill as a means to alleviate what he called cystic acne (triggered by hormones). And it worked! I was pretty much acne-free throughout college and into my mid-20s.

But fast forward to a year or so ago; I started noticing around the same time every month that I was developing one or two of the large, painful, under-the-surface zits that had haunted me over a decade ago.

It was puzzling because I still took the pill religiously and had a very strict skin care regimen: a mild foaming cleanser followed by an alcohol free toner and a light moisturizer. I even splurged and got a spa facial every six months or so. But without fail every month, about two weeks into my cycle, I’d see one of those cystic nightmares starting to form on my chin, and occasionally my forehead, too.

So I did what any modern millennial would do; I scoured the Internet looking for advice. Enter DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated Acne Cleanser.

I found this product listed on a couple of different websites, and the reviews claimed that it could clear up hormonal cystic acne almost overnight. Now I’m the type of person that doesn’t want to spend more than 7 or 8 bucks on a cleanser, and this product was $27 for 7 oz. So while I wasn’t thrilled with the price tag, I figured I could give it a try.

As for ingredients, the product contains salicylic acid, witch hazel and allantoin. The DERMAdoctor website describes it as: “a medicated aha/bha acne cleanser formulated to clear blemishes and work synergistically with your daily acne control regimen. This soothing, non-foaming formula is ideal for anyone looking to reduce excess oiliness, mattify shine or simply refresh their complexion.”

Lo and behold…this stuff appeared to clear up my acne in less than a month!

Since I started using the product, I haven’t had even one of those sore, painful bumps sprout up on my face. The cleanser doesn’t appear to be drying my skin out, and I have a balanced, healthy glow. Since it is on the pricier side, I use sparingly. A dime-sized dollop twice a day seems to do the trick.

There are a few cons, however. While most cleansers on the market these days have a scent remarkably like grapefruit, honey or lavender, this product smells distinctly like…medicine. It’s not an awful smell, but it’s certainly not a scent I’d spritz on before a date. Secondly, it’s non-foaming and goes on dry skin. This might not bother some people, but it seemed weird to me as I’m used to working up quite a lather when I wash my face. Finally, don’t count on it to get your makeup off, because it just won’t.

But considering how effective it is overall, these minor drawbacks (along with the price tag) are well worth it. Highly recommended!

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