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22 yr old female fighting cystic neck acne + cheek acne

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Day 142

I'm feeling SO much better! See my before/ after photos below. I never thought I would see improvement like this, and in only 142 days. I started my treatment plan around December 1st, and the after photos are from today, April 19. I haven't blogged since Day1, but I came back specifically to share how well my treatment plan has worked for me. I truly felt hopeless, and have had pretty serious acne since age 12 (I'm nearly 23 now!) and I didn't expect this to work. I stuck with it though, and I'm feeling really good. Still have a long way to go, but I couldn't be happier with my progress.

Month 1

Morning: BP-10 wash, Duac gel, amoxicillin pill

Night: BP-10 wash, Differin .1 gel, amoxicillin pill

—after 1 week, cystic acne was a little less painful and new breakouts slowed down (due to amoxicillin). My skin still looked terrible, but it was not as painful.

Month 2 (same as month 1)

Morning: BP-10 wash, Duac gel, amoxicillin pill

Night: BP-10 wash, Differin .1 gel, amoxicillin pill

—by the end of month 2 my skin was slightly improved (mostly due to amoxicillin, I believe). The amoxicillin helped me TONS to slow down new breakouts. There was no way my skin could improve if I didn't get the breakouts to slow down.

Month 3

Morning: BP-10 wash, Duac gel

Night: BP-10 wash, Differin .3 gel alternated with Differin .1

—In month 3 my derm switched my amoxicillin to Doxycyclene which she thought would be stronger and work faster. My body couldn't handle it, and I had strange chest pains so I only took it for one week. I was really worried I would have a terrible breakout because of stopping antibiotics, but my skin never got any worse. At this point, I continued on using JUST the facewash and topical creams.

Month 4

Morning: BP-10 wash, Duac gel

Night: BP-10 wash, Differin .3 gel alternated with Differin .1

—Nothing new, just was very diligent in using my creams every single day, and being sure to use enough to cover my entire face and neck well.

Month 5

Morning: BP-10 wash, Duac gel

Night: BP-10 wash, Differin .3 gel alternated with Differin .1

—Nothing new, just was very diligent in using my creams every single day, and being sure to use enough to cover my entire face and neck well.

And here's where I am at! Just using my wash and creams very diligently every single day, twice a day. I really haven't gotten new breakouts. It's the strangest thing. No new cysts, nothing large. VERY rarely do I get a whitehead. It feels like an absolute miracle because I've struggled for so many years. This routine never really seemed to dry out my skin too badly either, but I was sure to shower twice daily and peel off the extra skin. I rarely use a moisturizer, but when necessary (about once a week) I just use a Neutrogena non-comedogenic moisturizer from Target. That's been fine! So, still have a long way to go for the scars to improve, but I feel so much better.

Dermatologist appointment went well. I was so glad the appointment finally happened... had to wait forever to get in and I just see my skin getting worse every day. Dermatologist was optimistic, although they probably have to be, right? FYI I practically burst into tears because I am so upset with my acne, and dealing with all of this, and having to talk about it again. The first thing she told me I'm such a beautiful girl, she can't wait to see how great I look without acne. And this is SO dumb, but that really got to me. I never consider myself beautiful because of my acne. My regular doctor prescribed Alesse birth control pills for my acne, with the thought that then I'm covered for birth control too... the dermatologist disagreed and felt a different solution would work better so I'm going to hold off on the pills for now. Glad I didn't start taking the birth control pills because the one I was prescribed isn't even approved for acne treatment (according to the derm).

New regimen

AM

-Sulfur wash

-Duac

-Amoxicillin pill

PM

-Sulfur wash

-Differin

-Amoxicillin pill

I'm optimistic about the amoxicillin pill. The derm said that it was her initial thought from the moment she first saw my skin.... she thinks that's going to help a lot. Crossing my fingers. She mentioned accutane if this doesn't work after some time, and although I'm nervous about that, she said it's the ultimate cure for a lot of people. I'm hoping this at least helps a lot, and I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

How do you deal with benzoyl peroxide ruining your clothing? I wouldn't care if it was a PM product so I would just be ruining pajamas, but I have to use Duac in the AM, and on my chest and back which is what I'm worried about. I'll do anything in hopes of improving my condition, but I'd rather not ruin all my clothes...

Day 1

The day is finally here that I get to go to the dermatologist. (Takes forever to get an appointment). A bit about me:

ABOUT ME

-22 year old female

-Wisconsin

-Recent College Graduate

MY ACNE

I've had acne since I was 11 or 12 and my skin has never been great since. In my younger teens I just broke out on my forehead, mid-teens I just broke out on my cheek. Now, at 22, I'm experiencing painful cystic jaw acne. It's not the end of the world, but it's ugly and painful and as you can assume, it's embarrassing. I've largely used over the counter face washes to keep my acne under control, but this new neck acne is terrible and just continues to spread. I've never taken any oral medications for acne, and I used a few prescription face washes around age 18, but never kept it up. Now I'm serious about getting treatment for acne because I've never experienced anything this terrible before. Up until this summer I had never had a breakout on my neck. Starting in September it got really terrible and then in October the left side of my neck broke out too.

THE PLAN

I went to my regular doctor a month ago because I was really concerned at how rapidly the acne was spreading and couldn't get in to see my dermatologist for another month. She prescribed Alesse birth control pills (I received generic Avianne) although I have not started taking them yet... was planning to start when I get my next period in early November. Going to the dermatologist today so I'll get her opinion on the birth control pills, and hopefully leave with a new treatment plan.

Day 1

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