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Princessdaphne's Skin Journal

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Hi all, this is just going to be a place where I will record my acne troubles, treatments, etc.

To start off, I would consider myself to have moderate to moderate-severe acne. The only reason I would not consider it severe is because I don't really get cysts, but to me it is certainly a severe problem, both physically and emotionally.

Right now I am 14 years old and a freshman in high school.

I began to get acne around age 11 but it was just one small pimple at a time. Later in my 11th year and when I was 12 I began to get more spots on my forehead. Around age 13 it got worse. Since then, it has gotten progressively worse, with the acne mainly concentrated on my forehead but quickly spreading to my cheeks. One thing I don't understand is that it is mainly in the center of my face, not on the sides of my forehead and cheeks/jawline. If anyone knows anything about face mapping and why this could be, I would love to know!

It's very hard for me to talk about acne with my parents. Any advice would be great.

The acne is mainly small bumps with no head that are slightly red. When squeezed, these will let out either softish pus or a hard plug of dryish pus. There are always a couple that are swollen up really big with a large amount of visible white/yellowish pus in them, and some ones that are still small but have a visible white head. I also have numerous blackheads, and have gotten a couple cysts before, but they were mainly caused by me squeezing a previously smaller pimple. Recently, my pimples have started to leave dark marks (PIH) that takes FOREVER to fade (in fact, none of them have faded completely yet).

Speaking of squeezing, I have a bit of a popping/picking problem, although I am working on that. I have gotten better very recently at not popping pimples and picking my acne, but I still have a long way to go before I will be able to avoid touching my skin altogether.

My current regimen:

In the morning- Wash with mid-temperature (sort of neutral/slightly warm temperature) water and Derma E Problem Skin Cleanser.

When I get home from school- Same as in the morning to remove oil as my skin gets very oily by the end of the school day.

Evening in the shower- Every few days I wash with Neutrogena Oil Free Cleanser (orange one), but normally I just wash with the Derma E cleanser again. Every Wednesday I exfoliate with the Burt's Bees Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub.

Recently (yesterday) discovered spot treatment- Baking soda paste (baking soda w/water) dabbed on the pimple and left overnight (GREAT for the big pus-filled ones)

Old spot treatment that I plan to abandon- Hydrogen Peroxide (I feel like it probably is bad for my skin)

Other spot treatments I own and may switch back to in the future- A Tea Tree Oil one and a Derma E one

Eye Makeup remover- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (love it!)

Makeup- Until two weeks ago, I wore Physician's Formula mineral powder (talc-free kind) all over my face. Now I just wear it on my nose (not a huge place for acne but has blackheads) and the very top of my forehead where it gets most oily (not over my entire forehead). I only use a light layer. This was cutting down a lot from the amount I used to wear. I also wear eye makeup, which I feel has no contribution to my acne. I don't remove my face powder with the EVOO, I just wash it off with my cleanser (when I wash after school it comes off and I don't put it back on). I'm scared it would clog my pores, although I've heard otherwise. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!

Since I discovered that baking soda is such a great spot treatment, I plan to add a weekly baking-soda-paste mask on Saturdays, so I will start that this Saturday.

Current status of my skin- It looks a lot better than it did a couple weeks ago, probably because:

a) I'm trying to drink more water, although I still wouldn't say I drink enough- before, I barely drank any.

b) I'm not picking and touching my face as much, and

c) I've been sticking to my regimen better.

Thanks to any of you who actually took the time to read that long post! I would of course love to hear any advice you may have for me! :)

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Well, I had been doing pretty well with not picking, but now I'm having problems again. :(

I tell myself I need to not pick for all these different reasons and I tell myself I'm going to make a change and it starts NOW and I get very convinced of it....but then I pick again. It sucks because the more you pick, the worse your face gets, and the more things there are that you want to pick.

My skin pretty much looks terrible again. :(

My next approach is I'm not letting myself go shopping with my friends this weekend unless I don't pick anymore until then. If I do, I WILL cancel.

I'm also going to try just not looking in the mirror as much, and I'm even going to have my bathroom light off with only the light coming from my room on to give a dim lighting.

Hopefully this works! I know the health of my skin will really improve if I stop picking it!

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Hey Daphne :)

The rewards system is a good idea. I had not thought of that!

Rather than limit your ability to hang out with friends, perhaps you could just say that if you pick your skin you aren't allowed to buy anything at the mall. This way you are still able to socialize, which is a good distraction from picking. Having acne is hard enough, don't let it interfere with your social life if you don't have to! :)

hang in there, girl. you'd be surprised how many of your friends may have similar problems or feelings! just do your very best and things will start to improve.


Routine

AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin

Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes

PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin

*Key to success: less picking, more patience*


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Rather than limit your ability to hang out with friends, perhaps you could just say that if you pick your skin you aren't allowed to buy anything at the mall. This way you are still able to socialize, which is a good distraction from picking. Having acne is hard enough, don't let it interfere with your social life if you don't have to! smile.png

That's a great idea! And it's very true that I shouldn't cancel plans on the rare occasion that I don't feel too terrible about my skin to go! I will admit that although I did better that week, I did pick once but since I got lucky and it didn't make it worse, I still let myself go.

I haven't updated this in a while because I'm having more picking problems and was just feeling really depressed and sort of like "screw acne.org and screw trying to do anything my skin's always going to be bad." NOT a good outlook, people!!! Anyway, at least it's much easier to talk to my parents about this stuff now because I did ask them about going to a dermatologist. (I posted another thread about this). I have an appointment in a couple weeks and hopefully she can give me something that works.

Bad news now- the mirrors both in my house and at school had been MAJORLY deceiving me. In my bathroom mirror, my skin doesn't look very bad. At school, it looks really bad. Normally, I don't look in the side mirrors of the car, but today I did, and realized that my acne is a lot worse than I thought it was and that scars that I thought had gone are still dark red marks on my face. I know those are supposedly temporary but I've had some for a couple years now that haven't gone away at all and were very apparent in the car mirror. When I was younger I wanted to be an actress or a model. Even if I did still want to do those things now, I couldn't. My skin sucks too much and it's really discouraging. I never thought I'd be one of those people with tons of acne, and even when I got acne, I never thought it would leave scars.I'm not a super pretty person- for those people, their beauty can shine through even through acne. I think that clear skin as another good attribute would be enough to make me generally a really pretty person, but with such bad skin, it really takes away from my appearance and is the first thing you'd notice while looking at me. Every time I look in the mirror I want to cry because of my skin, and that was true even before I saw my reflection in the car mirror. It's not even so much the acne as the scars. My mom is 50 with perfect, beautiful skin. She's never had acne in her life. My dad did but very mild, not as bad as me at all. Acne.org helped me realize that many people begin with acne in their teens and are still dealing with it as adults. No offense to anyone, but I never thought I'd be like that and never want to be like that. But I know I will be one of those people. Even if the acne were to go away, I'll always have the scars and be searching for any way to get rid of them.

Sorry for that rant, I'm feeling really bad about my skin lately. I got Head and Shoulders and am going to test it on a small portion of my face for a week to see if there are any results, and if there are good results, I'll use it on my whole face. I've also started taking probiotics for my acne. No effect yet. One thing- I got the Classic Clean H&S like you're supposed to if you're going to use it on your face, but was surprised that it is pretty heavily perfumed. Couldn't this be bad?

I'm really, REALLY hoping the dermatologist will be able to help. I'm doubtful because of all the people on this site whose dermatologists haven't been of any help.

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Ughhh I'm really upset about my skin. Remember how I said it's concentrated in the middle of my face? Like the middle of my forehead is covered in bumps but the sides of my forehead and sides of my cheeks are fine, whereas my nose and most of my cheeks are very acne prone and COVERED in acne? Well, guess what. It's spreading. Little bumps are starting to appear on the formerly-clear sides of my forehead, and also next to my eyes sort of on the outer sides of my eyebrows. Also, theres something really big and painful (still coming in, but possibly will be a cyst) coming in on my chin-another place where I've been lucky to be clear. :(:( This is not good. Can't wait for my derm appointment.

Also- could this be the probiotics? I noticed some small bumps in places they usually aren't on the day after I started taking the probiotics (I started on Friday- noticed these on Saturday) but it was just one or two, so I thought they'd go away. But now, theres a lot more of them and it looks like how my previous acne began- just a few little bumps, then turning into a giant red patch of bumps, whiteheads, and blackheads. I hope this doesn't happen to my entire face!

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Why do I have TONS of small bumps where I didn't used to??? I went ahead and used the H&S on my entire face in the shower today. My face seems a bit dried out, so I put moisturizer on which I haven't done for a while because my moisturizer tends to break me out. So I really don't know why I even used it. Ughhh. Why me??? Acne sucks. I have literally NO confidence and every waking moment and even my dreams are haunted by acne. I literally have my acne on my mind all the time and it affects every single teeny tiny decision I make.

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Well today, after using the H&S on my whole face last night, my face looks kinda dry and the pimples on my forehead look more red. I'm really not sure whether to continue using this, so if anyone has advice, that would be great!

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Hey girl!

I have not tried the H&S method but I will tell you that I now swear by The Regimen. I've been on it for 5 months and started the process to stop picking about 1/2 way through. i know everybody is different but i can safely say that i break out *because* i pick. anytime the pimples have spread, i now know it's definitely due to picking... no doubt in my mind at this point. my skin has become pretty clear on the regimen but i will still break out if i have a bad night and pick my face. luckily the BP heals up the zits pretty quickly and the extra-gentle application of cleanser/moisturizer keeps my skin relatively irritation-free... other than the occasional dry patch.

I wish I had more advice to give you! whatever method of skin care you decide on, start small & simple. don't get too aggressive. add one thing at a time (like an allergy test) to see if it aggravates your skin. stick to 3 steps or less.

also, when you break out, try to ask yourself if there was any picking in that area that might have A) spread the infection or B) made a small zit turn into a big one. Once i started asking myself these questions, i was able to identify that the break outs were all of my own doing. (occasionally i will get a zit without provocation, but it's usually due to PMS).

good luck with the derm! let us know what happens!


Routine

AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin

Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes

PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin

*Key to success: less picking, more patience*


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Thanks :) I did do some picking near where I've been newly breaking out, it's just that I didn't think it would cause as many bumps as appeared because in the past I've picked near that area and still not gotten any new breakouts in the area itself. Sorry for that really confusing sentence! That definitely could have caused it though.

I've decided to stop using the H&S because I want to see the effects of the probiotics alone first and I don't think I should add more than one new thing at a time. So I'll still use it on my hair, but I'm going to stop using it on my face. I'll probably try it again once I've been taking probiotics steadily for a while and following a steady regimen for a long time. Question: How long should it take to see results (if I get any) from taking the probiotics?

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Last night I squeezed the cyst thing on my chin. Pus didn't even come out, just blood. This morning, however, it's oozing pus, but is still swollen and really red. This morning I picked a whitehead next to my mouth- it was big and red with a white head and I just couldn't help it. That ended up bleeding too, so it'll scab and scar. I also picked one on my forehead- same story as the one by my mouth. Why did I do this???

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Why did I do this???

Bored, stressed, tired, angry, lonely, feeling imperfect? There are so many reasons and each one of us has a handful that trigger the picking. Take a few minutes to think about your morning, even the day before. I have found that the 24 hours leading up to picking provide a lot of evidence for why we do what we do.

PS - i've never done probiotics before but i'm sure there's a log that will have good information for you! try the natural/holistic boards. good luck!


Routine

AM - splash of warm water, DKR BP, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin

Makeup - ELF mineral makeup w/ Taklon antibacterial brushes

PM - Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, DKR BP, DKR AHA+, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive Skin

*Key to success: less picking, more patience*


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Why did I do this???

Bored, stressed, tired, angry, lonely, feeling imperfect? There are so many reasons and each one of us has a handful that trigger the picking. Take a few minutes to think about your morning, even the day before. I have found that the 24 hours leading up to picking provide a lot of evidence for why we do what we do.

PS - i've never done probiotics before but i'm sure there's a log that will have good information for you! try the natural/holistic boards. good luck!

Unfortunately, I'm usually feeling ALL of those emotions all at once, constantly. :( I went to bed really early last night, and got way more good sleep than I usually manage to get, but woke up with two huge swollen red under-the-skin bump things on my forehead. And I have never gotten anything like that there. :( My skin has definitely been acting different lately, like within the past month it's just been getting worse and worse and worse.

I'm back to using H&S, and here's why. Next week is Spring Break and I'm going on vacation, so I can't bring probiotics with me. I wanted to sort of test the probiotic's effect on my skin for a couple weeks at least, but this will be a whole week where I can't, so I'm testing H&S instead. I'll test it from now through Spring Break and then re-evaluate. My dermatologist appointment is during the morning on the Wednesday 2 weeks from now. About the derm, I have a few questions.

1) Will she recommend cleansers/a regimen to me?

2) Will she be all rushed and hurried because that's what I've heard about derms

3) What sort of things might she prescribe me?

4) WIll she want to know about what I'm using on my face and my whole acne background and stuff?

If anyone can answer these that would be great :)

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I went to bed really early last night, and got way more good sleep than I usually manage to get, but woke up with two huge swollen red under-the-skin bump things on my forehead. And I have never gotten anything like that there. sad.png My skin has definitely been acting different lately, like within the past month it's just been getting worse and worse and worse.

I'm back to using H&S, and here's why. Next week is Spring Break and I'm going on vacation, so I can't bring probiotics with me. I wanted to sort of test the probiotic's effect on my skin for a couple weeks at least, but this will be a whole week where I can't, so I'm testing H&S instead. I'll test it from now through Spring Break and then re-evaluate. My dermatologist appointment is during the morning on the Wednesday 2 weeks from now.

Okay, never mind this. I'm just going to go back to just using my cleanser like before, because it's probably one of the two (H&S or probiotics) that's doing this weird stuff to my skin. I'll just go back to normal for Spring Break up until my derm appointment, and I'm going to make my main goal not to pick over Break.

Okay, never mind this. I'm just going to go back to just using my cleanser like before, because it's probably one of the two (H&S or probiotics) that's doing this weird stuff to my skin. I'll just go back to normal for Spring Break up until my derm appointment, and I'm going to make my main goal not to pick over Break.

Ugh, now I'm having second thoughts again. Before writing the above post, I had washed with H&S, using it generously on my forehead which I hadn't really done before (my test area was my cheeks and even when I washed my whole face with it before I didn't use much on my forehead as to not irritate it further) and now, the small bumps on my forehead do look a little better. It's definitely too early to tell now, so we'll see how things look tomorrow, so as of now I'm undecided as to whether or not I'll continue the H&S. I'm not even going to take the probiotics tonight or this weekend as I know I can't bring them on vacation anyway. Haha I spend wayyy too much time posting stuff on here. This is officially today's last post. :)

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So, to update for the day, I don't see any new breakouts (knock on wood, which I actually did), and things look pretty much the same as yesterday. I washed with the H&S on my forehead only, as the bottom half of my face is drier and I don't want the H&S to dry it out. However, it does seem to be minimizing oil on my forehead, which is the most oily part of my face. I just used my normal Derma E cleanser in the morning (as always) and at night I used Derma E on the places where I didn't use H&S.

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Tonight I didn't use H&S, because I suspect it may be causing the big red under the skin bumps on my forehead. I woke up to another this morning, so now there's 3, and I see another of my small bumps beginning to swell up into one. So four. But one has acquired a white head. I put Derma E spot treatment on them all, as well as the thing on my chin, so we'll see how they look in the morning.

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This morning, 2 are now big pustules, and the other 2 are still under the skin, but smaller. I have school tomorrow, then Spring break starts and I'll be going on vacation (on Tuesday). I'm just going to continue using my Derma E products, I think. :)

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Well, I'm back from vacation. I recently picked my skin, though, because when I got home it kinda looked better than before I left so for some reason that made me think that it was somehow ok to pick it. Bad idea. Now it looks worse, and on closer examination, it wasn't better in the first place, just some scabs had gone away. Ugh. And then, I realized there are lots of very tiny flesh colored bumps all around my mouth area!!! I think it's because for some reason on my trip I started using my Cetaphil moisturizer again that I hadn't used for a while because when I used it before it seemed to break me out. So I'm pretty sure that's what it is. I'm currently feeling very very bad about my skin, and eating Easter candy, which definitely is not helping. At least I'm going to the dermatologist in a few days.

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Also, yesterday night and tonight I used my Neutrogena cleanser again instead of the Derma E (still Derma E in the morning though), and right now (wish hours after I used it for tonight) my skin looks slightly better (knock on wood...don't want it to get worse again)- mostly it looks like the tiny bumps are smaller/more dried out. I know this cleanser dries my skin out if I use it morning and night, so I'm going to use it just at night. I also waxed my upper lip yesterday, so we'll see if that causes more pimples in that area. I used a different wax than I used to use because the old one I could tell definitely caused problems. The one I used yesterday is pre-made wax strips that you just press on your skin and rip off. It came with this "Soothing and finishing wipes" so I used one of those as well. I got in the shower and washed my face right after. I'm hoping neither of these things make it worse, I wouldn't have used them, but my mustache was disgusting.

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My acne is spreading EVERYWHERE. And I don't know why. Big acne and little bumps are all over my face in much more of a widespread area than a week ago. Existing acne looking worse. Having picking problems again. AND my mom had to cancel my derm appointment because all of a suddenly she has other plans. Surprise surprise. fml.

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Fingers crossed that things improve for you soon, and also that you can get to grips with not picking. Stay strong! :)

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Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

You look like a guy I banged once.


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Well, I've been changing my regimen around a bit, and I think its time to stick to something for a while. So here's what I've been doing and plan to continue:

Morning- Wash with Derma E cleanser

Evening- Wash with Derma E cleanser (I want to stop using the Neutrogena because it makes my face dry and then oily/shiny), and use Derma E spot treatment if needed, also I've been using hydrogen peroxide on my popped pimple spots, although hopefully I won't have to anymore because hopefully I won't be picking spots anymore!

Weekly- Once a week, I will exfoliate with a clean, dry washcloth on a dry face (I did this yesterday for the first time). Also, since my skin has been dried lately from using the Neutrogena cleanser, and then later becomes oily because it overproduces oil, I realized I really should be using a moisturizer. My Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer definitely breaks me out, and I think my Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream does as well, but I think this may be because I leave it on overnight and put on a lot. At some point I read a post by Sima about how she is using the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream as a cleanser. So, I thought I'd try that. I did it yesterday after exfoliating with the washcloth and washing with my normal cleanser. I think it worked well, but I don't want to do too much too fast so I'm going to stick with doing this once a week for now and maybe I'll slowly increase later.

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Hello Princessdaphne,

You've been given some great advice from other members but I just thought I might add somethings that might help you:

-Steaming your face (15 min)...This opens up the pores and allows the infection to drain out. It may cause an initial breakout because it's deep cleaning your skin, but dont worry. With regular steaming your pores will clean themselves out! Cleanse your face afterwards and splash with cold water to close everything up!

- Have a look at my blog if you like. I have posted my Personal Regimen and I think it might help you!

- Try to get into the habit of touching your face ONLY when WASHING (and obviously applying makeup) but i mean throughout the day, do not even lean your face into your hand! This obviously didnt clear my face fully but it significantly helped with reducing bacteria. Even if I have an itch, I use the back of my knuckle to itch it. It's really tough but I can guaruntee you will reduce irriation big time

I really hope that everything gets better for you sweetie - :)

Hang in there!!!hifive.gif

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I haven't posted here for a while because I was waiting to go to the dermatologist! I went on Friday and today my mom and I went to get the prescriptions filled. The actual visit was fine. The derm didn't seem too rushed and she was pretty nice! So what she gave me were some samples and prescriptions for Clindamycin Phospate 1% Foam (for the morning) and Tretinoin (Retin-A) 0.025% Cream (for nighttime). She said to wear sunscreen every day because the Retin-A can make your skin much more sensitive to the sun. From what I understand, Retin-A can actually be very dangerous (it's a steroid) if used incorrectly, so I'm going to try to be extra extra careful. I haven't used these things yet; I'm going to start tonight with the Retin-A and tomorrow morning with the Clindamycin foam. I'm going to only use the Retin-A every other day at first (the doctor said I could do that if I wanted to). Hopefully this works; I'll be updating this log more often now that I have a treatment! I'll probably update every day or maybe every couple of days. Wish me luck! smile.png Oh also- this stuff better work because it was EXPENSIVE! Insurance covered a lot of it but still...I had no idea these things cost that much money! It was mostly the Retin-A that was so expensive.

EDIT: Sunshine- I just read your blog and it turns out we have similar prescriptions (except you are on BenzaClin and I'm on just plain Clindamycin). I'll definitely be checking back to see how they work for you! smile.png Thanks for the advice!

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Okay, I just read that tretinoin isn't a steroid; I guess my mom was wrong about that! I made another post about this, but I was wondering....what would happen if you got retina-a (or clindamycin) in your eye/nose/mouth? There are SO MANY warnings against this in the instructions and on the box and the bottle. It's kind of scaring me a little and I can't find much on Google. Any answers would be appreciated!

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Day 1 (yes, I know I started last night, but by now I've used Retin-A once and Clindamycin once so it's going to be Day 1)- All I've noticed is that my face look super gross and oily right now after getting home from school, but I'm pretty sure this is from the sunscreen, not either of the products. I'm debating using the Retin-A again tonight or starting off slowly by only doing every other day.

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