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 Skincare Regimen
Sircuit X-Trap+ Cleanser
Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion, AM
Murad Acne Treatment Concealer
Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Cleanser
Aura Cacia Grapeseed Oil (as a moisturizer)
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion (as a spot treatment)
Monthly Chemical Peels (Salicylic and Glycolic Acid Based)
Supplements: Real Food Multi-Vitamin, Nordic Naturals Fish Oil, Vitamin D (5,000 IU daily), Vitamin C.
Diet: Modified Paleo Regimen (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, organic and non-GMO wherever possible, but still consuming GF grains).
Symptoms: Cystic acne, mild rosacea, dry eye syndrome, mild blepharitis, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, brain fog, social anxiety).
Status as of 03/27/2015: Nothing is helping. Seeing a functional medicine practitioner 05/29/2015.