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It’s been a long time since I chatted about my skin on here, 21 months to be precise! So much has changed since then so I thought it was about time I updated you. Spoiler alert, it’s a pretty positive update on my medication – Lymecycline! I really hope that this post gives you some advice and tips on how to deal with adult acne.

In my last blog post, which you can read here I explain how long I had had adult acne for, what I had tried so far and also talked about the medication I had just started taking. At that point I think I’d only been taking my medication for a couple of weeks, so I hadn’t seen much of a difference yet. Unfortunately my mental health took a total nose dive at the end of 2018 and due to my anxiety I stopped taking the medication. I’m planning to write a separate post about anxiety so I won’t go into the details here, but essentially I felt like the medication was making me worse so I stopped taking it.

Fast forward a year and I was in a much better place, so I went back to my GP and was prescribed the same medication again – Lymecycline and Finacea. I remembered from last time that the Finacea just dried my skin out and made it look worse, so I made the decision not to use that. But I did take the Lymecycline every single day without fail. In terms of side effects, I honestly didn’t notice any so definitely don’t let that put you off.

You can read more about the medication Lymecycline on the NHS website.


Two months in and I wasn’t seeing much of a difference, it was very slow progress indeed. It took until about three months before I really started to see an improvement. At this point I had a review with my GP who confirmed that it can take months for Lymecycline to really start to work, which was reassuring. She advised me to stay on the medication for another three months before coming off it.

Over the next three months my skin was the best it’s been in years. I did get the odd outbreak, don’t get me wrong but it was a million times better than it was. When it came to finishing the medication I was honestly terrified that my acne was going to come straight back but I’m pleased to say that it hasn’t! It’s been over three months since I stopped taking the medication and I’ve had the odd hormonal outbreak but the vast majority of the time my skin is clear and I’m so pleased! I’m also reassured that if my acne does come back again, I know that I can go straight back to Lymecycline as I know now that it does work for me.

Below is a my skin at it’s worst and then how it is now. So much better, don’t you think?

I do still have some scarring but I think that is fading very gradually. Maybe I’ll be stuck with some of the scars forever but as long as I don’t have to deal with those painful cystic spots anymore, I’m happy. If you’ve had any success with products for acne scars please do let me know.

So if you’re suffering with adult acne I would urge you to visit your GP and give medication a try, Lymecycline may not necessarily work for you but your doctor will help you to find something that does. I just accepted my spots for so long and smothered them in foundation every single day but I really didn’t need to do that, I just needed to ask for help. If you’re starting out on Lymecycline my advice would be to stick with it and be patient. It doesn’t work overnight but don’t let that put you off, stick it out. Good luck!

Thank you for reading.



  1. Derek
    November 4, 2020 / 11:03 pm

    I have only just been prescribed this medication…

    I am 36 (male) and have suffered with acne since I was 14. I seemed to have went through all different kinds of Acne. Anything from little spots under the skin, white spots and over the last few years, huge (I mean huge) cysts. They are incredibly painful and make me (I’m just going to say it) upset. It gets me down and for the last few days I have been wearing a cap to try and hide the one I currently have. It’s absolutely huge and I just don’t understand how over the last few weeks, it seems to be getting even worse.

    I have been taking the same medication for around 2/3weeks now. It’s nice to come across thus review to give me some kind of idea of timescale and expectation level.

    It’s really getting to me, to be honest.

    • Emma
      December 3, 2020 / 1:54 pm

      Hi Derek. I’m glad you found my post helpful. Stick with it, it does work! But it takes time, definitely a few months. I ended up going back on Lymecycline around August as unfortunately my acne came back. It’s cleared up now and I’m so so happy with how my skin is looking but I am worried about what will happen when I come off it again.

      • Ashley
        January 13, 2021 / 11:15 pm

        Hi Emma, I’ve gone through exactly the same process as you! The first time, I took lymecycline from January 2020-March 2020. It worked wonders and I finally felt confident in my skin! By August 2020 the cystic acne was back. I was put straight back onto lymecycline, but like you I am worried I’ll be straight back to square one when I have to come off of it again.

        • Leon
          January 25, 2021 / 10:24 am

          I started lymecycline back in 2019 August , was on it for around 6 months. I then came off for around two weeks in February to which my skin started to go back to the way it was before. I then Started to take lymecycline again from February until around 6 weeks ago roughly the week of December 14, After coming off the first week was okay but with exams coming up and stress by the second week off my skin was reversing. I am now back on lymecycline i have 3 blister packs left and thinking of possibly coming off it before they run out as i am allowed only one more course of them after this. I shall document how my skin goes coming off. But yeah to summarize lymecycline DOES WORK and i have had no side effects , but coming off them seems to flare up the skin and make it go back to being inflamed.

          • Emma
            February 25, 2021 / 2:21 pm

            Hi Leon, I am about to come off my second lot of lymecycline and I’m very worried about my acne coming back. Keeping my fingers crossed though and I will update again soon 🙂

        • Emma
          February 25, 2021 / 2:17 pm

          Hi Ashley. I have a couple of weeks left and then I’ll be coming off lymecycline again and I am really worried about it coming back again. Keeping my fingers crossed and I will update again in a few months x

  2. Han
    November 20, 2020 / 12:05 am

    Hey there I just started this drug been on it a month skins currently worse I’m a 29 year old female. I’m starting to lose hope but this gives me the guts to push through please post updates and I will also

    • Emma
      December 3, 2020 / 1:56 pm

      Hi! It definitely worked for me eventually, it just takes time. 2-3 months I would say. How are you getting on with it at the moment?

  3. Emma
    November 25, 2020 / 1:01 pm


    I’m on my second stint on lymecycline and differin gel. The first time I took lymecyline I took to for about 3 months and had 5 good months of clear skin. My acne unfortunately returned and I dealt with it for 5 more months before deciding to go back on the treatment. I have now been on the treatment for 8 months and plan to stay on it for a year. Hopefully that will prolong the good skin, but I’m sure at some point I’ll have to go back on them. I am okay with that though – its nice to find a treatment that works which I can always fall back onto which doesn’t have the side effects of roaccutane!

    Highly recommend lymecyline too!

    • Emma
      December 3, 2020 / 2:00 pm

      It’s great isn’t it? Just takes time to start to work. I too had to go back on Lymecyline in August as my acne came back. My skin is now clear though and I’m so happy. My doctor has suggested staying on it for another 6 months.

  4. Taylor
    January 2, 2021 / 6:33 pm

    I’ve been taking lymecyline for 8 weeks now and I am due a review with my GP. I have mixed feedback which probably isn’t helpful for the GP. I was suffering with painful, under-the-skin spots (cystic acne) whilst taking lymecyline, I have had a few lumps come through but I think the lymecyline has made my skin recover quicker than normal. But I can’t be certain. I thought taking lymecyline would stop the cystic acne altogether but maybe I need a couple more months of it?

    I’m using benzoyl peroxide for my skin.

    • Emma
      February 25, 2021 / 2:16 pm

      Hey. I suffered with cystic painful acne too. Lymecycline took 2 or 3 months to really start working so I’d suggest sticking with it a while longer x

  5. Emily
    January 23, 2021 / 10:47 am

    I’ve been on this medication now for about 7 week but have still not seen any improvements. What was your skin like after 7 weeks of taking the medication? Not sure whether or not to try something else

    • Emma
      February 25, 2021 / 2:14 pm

      It takes a whiles, stick with it. I think it was between 2 and 3 months before I really started to see a difference. Everyone’s skin is different but it’s worked wonders for me x

  6. Safina
    February 15, 2021 / 4:48 pm

    Hi, I’ve been taking Lymecycline for about 3 weeks now, skin as slightly cleared but I’m still getting the odd occasional spot here and there. My spots tend to be really pressured and painful. I really hope this works, your blog has gave me hope. Did your acne leave scars? Because your face looks amazing! If so, what would you recommend?

    Safina 🙂

    • Emma
      February 25, 2021 / 2:11 pm

      I absolutely recommend lymecycline, it’s worked wonders for me. I have been on it twice now and my only issue was that my acne came back the last time I came off it. Really hoping that doesn’t happen this time. I do have some scarring yes, which I’m hoping will improve over time x

  7. Nicola
    February 23, 2021 / 10:20 pm

    Hi Emma, thank you for your honest post!
    I have a question regarding anxiety and lymecycline. Just before I fell pregnant in 2019 I was prescribed lymecycline for my acne, but then I was pregnant so didn’t take it. Now I’m no longer breast feeding, but I am on anti depressants (sertraline) I’d like to try the lymecycline.
    I note that you say the medication made your anxiety worse – I read online it’s perfectly ok to take anti bio tics and anti depressants but did you have a bad experience? Thank you, Nicola.

    • Emma
      February 25, 2021 / 2:13 pm

      Hey. I was going through a really bad patch with my anxiety back then and worried that it might have been the lymecycline making it worse. It definitely wasn’t as I’ve since been on lymecycline twice with absolutely no anxiety issues. x

  8. Emma
    March 1, 2021 / 12:07 pm

    Hi Emma, hope you’re doing well!
    I have been prescribed this medication for my acne, I only have began to suffer with it since coming off the contraceptive pill in October (after changing types of pill 5 times for 3 years and none of them working) due to it messing with my emotions and mental health, so going back on them for my skin is sadly a no go. I’ve only been taking this for around 2 weeks and obviously I’m not expecting a miracle overnight and I’m willing to wait out the 3 or so months. However, I was just wondering what skincare do you use in combination with this? In terms of cleansers/serums/moisturisers etc. I have spent hundreds on skincare over the last few months and all of it has seemed to worsen the acne, so not sure whether the less is more route is the best way for me to go?
    Thanks so much for this post also, I started to panic thinking it just wasn’t working for me but it makes sense that it takes a while!

  9. Bethany
    March 4, 2021 / 12:18 pm

    Hi I’m just about to start my first dose of Lymecycline after reading everyone’s reviews I’m nervous about it clear ing my skin up and then when I stop taking it it gets bad again. Also have you noticed any bad side effects with the medication ?

  10. Amy Lauren
    March 4, 2021 / 9:30 pm

    Hi Emma, I am 18 and never really dealt with much teen acne until about 6 months ago. I finally ran out of things to try so I made a doctors appointment. I have now been on lymecycline for a month, it cleared up all my spots completely (not the scaring tho) and I was so happy that they’d gone, but as soon as I ran out of the tablets my acne came straight back, it was awful so I immediately made an appointment again with my doctors. They put me back on it again for another 2 or 3 months and I’m yet to see what happens. I don’t know if I just wasn’t on it long enough or it’s because I’m only 18 but I was super frustrated and confused to why it came back when my treatment was over. Thanks for ur post it was honestly so nice to read someone else who had tried the same thing as me.

  11. Linda
    March 7, 2021 / 12:15 pm

    Emma, this post was a godsend! I started Lymecycline around October 2019 and came off around February 2020, enjoyed not completely clear, but for me, clear enough skin for around 5 months and was so happy, finally getting my confidence back. Then unfortunately, like everyone else, it returned. Just started taking lymecycline again and using epiduo (anyone have any recommendations to stop the dry, flaking skin?! I’m smothering in diprobase atm). Please say someone on here has a good news story where taking it for a year or so means their acne didn’t come back 🙁

    • Rachael Williams
      March 13, 2021 / 8:55 pm


      How are you getting on with this? I’m on the exact same combination as you and my face is soooooo dry. I don’t know if it’s the tablets or the epiduo! Even my eyelids are a little red and stingy!

  12. Mollie
    March 9, 2021 / 10:17 pm

    I’ve been on lymecycline along with epiduo gel since last summer. It got SO bad, worse than ever before, until about November then started settling and is now the best it has ever been, still far from perfect but so so much better. All the while I’ve been trying to get roaccutane and finally got my first 3 month course prescribed yesterday, but now I’m thinking, do I just keep going with the old medications for longer, and it will continue to get better, or will I eventually come off and it’s worse than ever, or do I just bite the bullet with roaccutane and go through hell for potentially perfect skin?

    • Elaine Harvey
      March 25, 2021 / 12:40 pm

      Have been on lymecycline for 8 months for acne rocea. It did take spots away after 3 to 3 months. I have been advised to stay on it long term by hodpital. The problem is that it can cause sun sensitivity zi have brtn staring factor 50 and it was a nice day went a walk the sun was a bit warm it was March and warm day for time of year may face went really red. I contacted doctor at hospital and was advised could come off them and risk spots returning or stay on them. And avoid sun at all times. This is a very hard delima as the summer will be here soon. I would not sunbath Bay can’t stay in house all the time. Don’t know what to do.

  13. Elaine Harvey
    March 25, 2021 / 12:39 pm

    Have been on lymecycline for 8 months for acne rocea. It did take spots away after 3 to 3 months. I have been advised to stay on it long term by hodpital. The problem is that it can cause sun sensitivity zi have brtn staring factor 50 and it was a nice day went a walk the sun was a bit warm it was March and warm day for time of year may face went really red. I contacted doctor at hospital and was advised could come off them and risk spots returning or stay on them. And avoid sun at all times. This is a very hard delima as the summer will be here soon. I would not sunbath Bay can’t stay in house all the time. Don’t know what to do.

  14. Hannah
    March 28, 2021 / 11:22 pm

    I’m 27 years old and have always suffered with moderate acne around my lower cheeks and jaw line – the rest of my face is flawless so I’ve never really understood it! In September 2020 my skin became the worst it’s ever been and although my pill usually controlled it so I was generally spot free, even this stopped working. I decided to stop my pill and contact my doctor who put me on 2 doses of Lymecycline a day (408mg x2) and Epiduo gel at night. In the morning I apply a strong oil free moisturizer with SPF all over my face and take high strength Turmeric twice a day. I have also swapped milk for oat milk. My acne (that had got really bad hence my 816mg dose of antibiotics a day!) completely cleared up in the space of a couple of months and my face has never been so clear.. even my scarring from old spots has started to fade.

    I’m really happy with the treatment and I guess I won’t know exactly what it is out of my routine that has had a massive impact – unless I gradually cut things out one by one. I’m reluctant to come off the antibiotics any time soon by reading the above and how many people see their acne come back after a few months… but maybe I will halve my dose in the near future?

    With the Epiduo – I read a helpful blog before taking where they advised to build up your tolerance. So on day 1 wear for 1 hour then wash off, day 2 is 2 hours etc and so this every day for a week. Then after then you can apply every night and leave on until the morning. I was also advised to wash off with Dermologica calming wash and La Roche Posey oil free moisturizer. I actually have found the Boots no7 oil free range to be so good for problematic skin and it’s cheap! 🙂

  15. Hamida
    May 16, 2021 / 9:51 pm

    Hi Emma
    Thank you for your post. I just wanted to ask, what did happen in the end when you came off the Lymecycline? How did your skin react?

  16. May 28, 2021 / 2:09 pm

    Hi Emma,
    Thanks so much for this post! ?
    I just wanted to ask if you did any type of topical antibiotic at the same time as taking Lymecycline as this is apparently what’s recommended (well actually… apparently essential)… so that u don’t develop antibiotic resistance.
    I’m allergic to Benzol Peroxide you see so I’m having to use Zineryt lotion at the same time as taking the medication and it’s been a month for me but no improvement yet 🙁
    Thanks x