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Nearly A Decade Of Desperation, Help!

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I started getting acne when I was about 16 years old, I want to say, and it has persisted ever since. I am now 25 years old, and I'm at a loss for what to do.

Two years ago I was put on a few variations of antibiotics and differen gel which didn't do anything before I was eventually put on accutane for 6 months. For the time my skin was dryer than ever, of course, but my eyes were painfully dry and sunlight hurt. I went through with it and for about a year I didn't break out nearly as bad as I used to but my skin texture was still awful.

About a year ago the breakouts became more consistent and more like it was when I was a teenager. My pores are clogged and I get some cystic acne on my jawline. Not a day goes by that I can leave the house without wearing makeup and that's just become the norm of my life, I absolutely hate it.

Currently I'm using the Clinique 3-step system for combination skin and I felt for awhile it was helping keep my skin under control but who am I kidding?

Help!

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I had acne since I was 13 . I'm 22 years old and I'm in the same boat as you . Almost a full decade with ....

ACNE . It sucks , I know and sometimes I feel like getting a rake and scratch my face off . Even though I still have acne it has got a lot better and I mean a lot better since my teens. There's a lot of factors that can contribute to acne . How's your diet ? Any dairy in your diet ? Do you drink enough water ? Are you using a effective antibiotic ? Are you currently under a lot of stress ? Do you exercise ? The list goes on . The way I finally got my acne under control was though exercise , healthy diet , and drinking a lot of water . I also use 5% benzoyl peroxide and a non greasy moisturizer and it has worked great. I'm just sharing personal experiences with you and hopefully this helps. Remember that acne comes from the inside out and you have to attack it from the inside first for it to get better !

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Try the regime. Trust me it works . I have been struggling with acne for years I actually quit the regime (stupid stupid ) broke out all over and I just have went back on it and now my face is clearing up.

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I may be wrong, but doesn't cheek/chin acne usually means its hormonal? Have you ever tried birth control? I've had friends and have seen people on here have great success with clearing hormonal acne with BC. I'm a guy so I don't know much about it, but maybe its something to look into.

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Birth control may help... I take a birth control pill and I think it helps reduce the serverity of acne but I still get it. The things that have helped my acne go away are using benzoyl peroxide (I use 10% but many use the 2.5%), exfoliating and making sure to get alllllll my makeup off at the end of the day.

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I'm not currently on any antibiotics since the last time I tried them it had no effect on me, but I do think it's time to see a derm again. I am trying to live a more productive lifestyle though and try to drink a lot of water.

I had acne since I was 13 . I'm 22 years old and I'm in the same boat as you . Almost a full decade with ....

ACNE . It sucks , I know and sometimes I feel like getting a rake and scratch my face off . Even though I still have acne it has got a lot better and I mean a lot better since my teens. There's a lot of factors that can contribute to acne . How's your diet ? Any dairy in your diet ? Do you drink enough water ? Are you using a effective antibiotic ? Are you currently under a lot of stress ? Do you exercise ? The list goes on . The way I finally got my acne under control was though exercise , healthy diet , and drinking a lot of water . I also use 5% benzoyl peroxide and a non greasy moisturizer and it has worked great. I'm just sharing personal experiences with you and hopefully this helps. Remember that acne comes from the inside out and you have to attack it from the inside first for it to get better !

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I feel you - I have had acne for more than 20 years and it sucks.

Diet changes can make a big impact. Dairy and sugar are huge culprits for some people. Some makeup will make acne worse, so you should research whether that might be contributing to your breakouts.

If accutane and antibiotics have not worked long term for you and diet changes don't help, it may be "hormonal acne". Othro Tri Cyclen is supposed to be a good pill for acne, but you may want to consider trying other BC pills, or other hormone-altering herbs or medications. The hormonal acne forum here has lots of interesting info hormonal options.

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Have you thought about going on another round of accutane? It doesn't sound like you had a great experience the first time, but many people need more than one round of accutane to see sustained clarity of their skin.

But as someone else mentioned, your acne does present with the typical hormonal pattern. Have you ever though about trying spironolactone?


My Accutane log (with pictures): Holy Isotretinoin Batman It's another Accutane Log!

26 y/o female- approx. 54kg

Absorica -40 mg, 1 daily, December 26, 2013 - February, 25, 2014

Absorica - 60 mg, 1 daily. February 26, 2014 - July 6th 

Probiotic - 1 daily

Fish oil supplement w/ vit D - 1 daily

 

Morning:

Cetaphil cleanser

Food Grade Rose water - Toner

La Roche Posay Mineral Water Spray

Vichy 50+ Capital Soleil Cream for Sensitive Skin

 

Night:

Cetaphil Cleanser

Food grade Rose Water - Toner

Ziana (tretinoin/clinda combo) August, 2014 - Current

La Roche Posay Mineral Water Spray

Aveeno Positively Radiant intensive night cream

Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion- PM

Avene Cicalfate (as needed)


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I guess pure chimp super cleanser can be helpful for you. It works gentle but effctive.

And it's natural and handmade in UK and it costs not much.

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I had acne since I was 13 . I'm 22 years old and I'm in the same boat as you . Almost a full decade with ....

ACNE . It sucks , I know and sometimes I feel like getting a rake and scratch my face off . Even though I still have acne it has got a lot better and I mean a lot better since my teens. There's a lot of factors that can contribute to acne . How's your diet ? Any dairy in your diet ? Do you drink enough water ? Are you using a effective antibiotic ? Are you currently under a lot of stress ? Do you exercise ? The list goes on . The way I finally got my acne under control was though exercise , healthy diet , and drinking a lot of water . I also use 5% benzoyl peroxide and a non greasy moisturizer and it has worked great. I'm just sharing personal experiences with you and hopefully this helps. Remember that acne comes from the inside out and you have to attack it from the inside first for it to get better !

Can you be more specific about your exercise regimen? This is something that I definitely need to do, but I find that towards the end of the day, after work, I'm just too tired, or lethargic, or apathetic to even try to begin working out. I know sweating is good and helps release toxins from the body, but I'm also paranoid that sweating will cause me to breakout more and agitate existing acne. I have IT friction band syndrome as well, which just means that the band or muscle running from my hip to my knee requires constant stretching or it tightens, rubs over my knee, and causes sharp pain that prevents me from running for more than 5 minutes. I know these are ultimately excuses, but when dealing with exhaustion via low-grade, long-term, acne-induced depression, it takes an enormous amount of energy to begin anything.

Anyway, I'm in the same boat as pretty much everyone else in this section. I've had acne since sophomore year of high school. I am now three years out of college and am still dealing with this. To make matters worse, I decided to get LASIK a few years ago, even though I was slightly predisposed to dealing with dry eyes. Now I constantly deal with dry eyes. I wake up and the skin around my eyes is red and inflamed and my eyes are bloodshot. I use eye drops every 15 mins or so. As a result, there's no way I could ever go on Accutane and risk aggravating my eyes even more. I don't think I would ever want to go on that stuff anyway though.

Over the years my skin has gone from bad to worse, improved some, but then worsened again. Per my signature, I have tried the typical dermatological pills and creams. I am now at a crossroads where I really don't know what to do or where to go next. My biggest complaints are that my skin is still very oil while dry. I constantly have an unflattering sheen across my face that none of my other peers possess. I have hyper pigmentation from previous blemishes, and my skin is almost always slightly reddened and inflamed. And still I deal with cystic acne, the worse kind of acne.


Current Health Strategy

Supplements: Vitamin D3, krill oil, zinc, and comprehensive detox protocol by Bio-Botanical Research. 

Diet: 100% paleo since circa 2014. Recently began including grass-fed liver; bone broth; fermented foods; and more greens into my diet. I cannot stress enough that healing your gut is critical to overcoming acne and all other related health issues. Sleep, exercise, stress management, and social interaction are also very important.

Status as of 04/15/2016: Renu 28 honestly seems to have helped my skin. Usually I am very skeptical of topical treatments because acne is the result of hidden internal stressors (hormones, gut bacteria, food sensitivities, blood sugar response, etc.) but this seems to have provided some level of relief.


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Yaz is the top anti-acne birth control recommended right now.

Although several of us (myself included) on the board broke out on Yas. It can also cause weight gain but furthermore extreme emotional upset (everyone I know personally who has taken it, myself included) which is not good for the skin at all. I was also on Spirano while I was taking it, so perhaps that was overkill on my part.


  • Clear Skin and Anxiety Maintenance Routine:
  • Supplements: Shi wei Bei Du Tang (powder by Sun Ten) and the Zhen Zhu An Chuang Pan (tablets by Guang Ci Tang) both for acne+ other Chinese mood stabilizers. + not needed in months
  • Meal Replacement Shakes, + magnesium, MSM, DMAE powder
  • no meat, coffee,  or alcohol- regular juice cleanses
  • Topical:  African Black Soap, 99% pure aloe +vitamin E when dry
  • Lifestyle: 8 hrs sleep, light exercise only, >1hr sun exposure daily, no fluoride toothpastes, no sulfate shampoos, clean shower/pillowcase, no pets

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I have no advice, I've had acne 20 years now & have at this point kinda accepted i have another 20 years ahead of juggling dianette & topicals & concealers, just wanted to send big hugs to you xx

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