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Hello, I am 20 and have had mild acne since 10th grade(maybe one or two pimples at a time with no redness or scars from previous zits, maybe 5 at the very most during a breakout every couple months). Just recently in the past two months my skin has been getting worse, probably 2-3x worse then previous months, years. Most of the pimples I have now are red smaller white heads on my nose, cheeks and a little on my forehead. I am a sophomore in college now.

-Smoked for 3 years about half a pack a day (still smoke, planning on quitting in a few weeks it's extremely hard)

-Take 100mg of chelated zinc every night (have done so for about a year and just recently stopped a few weeks ago)

-Apply honey all over my face every night and leave it on for about 15 minutes before getting a shower

-Take 500mg of flush-free niacin every night (have done so for about 4 months)

-Don't use any creams or OTC products anymore really, may just use 10% bp just one night on a big zit to aid it along every week or so

-Drug and alcohol problems since since 11th grade (will clarify if needed.....)

*any questions, suggestions, clarifications etc. are welcomed

What kind of acne could this be?


#1+2- in high school, no acne (had to put up some good pictures at least haha)

#3-6- taken tonight after my shower (once my face dries for a few minutes the redness usually goes down, it usually isn't as bad as the pictures depict)

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Hey there! Your acne really isn't that bad. Have you thought about using retin - a? You can order it online or go to your derm if you're under insurance and they can give it to you. For your case of acne, I'm sure it'll work! What it basically does is unclog pores and increase cell turnover rate, so you're not going to have that stubborn bacteria (p. acne) finding a clogged hair follicle to stick onto. And yikes! 10% benzoyl peroxide is extremely drying, and can irritate your skin further causing more pimples. It's been scientifically proven that 2.5% works just as good as 10%! What you can do is get Retin-A (start with 0.025%) and use it at nighttime after washing your face, and then in the morning use BP (benzoyl peroxide - 2.5% preferably) after cleansing your face. This will surely bring down the amount of pimples you've got.

And what have you been lately doing that has been different from before? Are you under a lot of stress? Have you started eating at different times or in a different manner? All of these factors affect acne and how susceptible you are to it.

Also, changing your pillow case ever other day or as often as you can is also good. Don't pick your pimples (more often than not it'll give you scarring) and don't over cleanse your face. Make sure to moisturize your face (sometimes pimples can be caused by dry skin) and eat more healthy food (YES diet can affect acne, contrary to what most doctors say - after all, you are what you eat. And check out the holistic board, you'll get a ton of success story proving diet has a role on your skin.)

- I had moderately severe acne and I've been able to bring it down to a mild case. I'm hoping I can be 99.9999 % clear one day. =)

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Thanks for the reply,

I actually had retin-a a few years ago but I forget why I stopped using it. Acne was very mild at the time. I actually found a half tube of retin-a micro .04% that was left over from when I used to use it, applied some to my forehead tonight to see how my skin would react to it. How long would it take to start noticing results using retin-a? I heard it takes a few months.

My lifestyle now is actually a lot better compared to when my face was clear. I've been avoiding almost all sugar and dairy for the past year, accept for cheese.

I also don't pick at all, and stopped smoking a few days after the original post. It's been around 3 weeks without a cig and it hasn't helped acne at all, but my overall skin tone is improving.

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