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Member Since 16 Oct 2010
Offline Last Active Aug 30 2015 01:16 PM

#3487936 Help! Acne.org Regimen Never Got Me Completely Clear Even After 3+ Years...

Posted by skinnie on 15 July 2015 - 09:02 AM

Is your face dry at all? (Does it sting when you put moisturizer on? Do you ever feel itchy? Is your skin flaky? Does your acne get worse in the winter?) For me, Dan's regimen worked really well to clear up my "baby acne" on my forehead summer after my first year of college but the dry skin eventually led me to develop cysts that winter. Now, four years later, I wish I'd never used it.  I realized this past winter ( for which I was in Chicago) that avoiding dry skin really is the key for me. That's why AHA works so well -- it exfoliates and gets rid of the dry skin but is also moisturizing, unlike BHA or Benzoyl Peroxide. 

Just a suggestion! Irritation and dry skin can make inflammatory acne a lot worse. 

#3465501 Simple Skincare For Clear Skin

Posted by skinnie on 26 December 2014 - 10:34 PM

How long are you planning on giving it before deciding to stop or continue? 

#3464751 Chicago Winters -- Dry Skin

Posted by skinnie on 21 December 2014 - 03:07 PM

I can't post a new product review because the site won't let me. (An error occurs every time I try!) Anyway, just wanted to throw the rec out there in case anyone is struggling with dry skin. Dry skin makes my acne worse and my treatments don't help because they're just adding to the dryness.  But heavy moisturizers break me out.  


Anyway...my dermatologist gave me samples of this stuff called Hyalis, but when I went online to buy it, it was RIDICULOUS how expensive the stuff was. I couldn't afford it, basically. So I found a similar product that I actually think works better. It's called DHC water base moisture. I use it under my CeraVe PM and I've been using it for around 2 months now and haven't struggled with any flaky or dry skin at all. If I'd had this stuff when I was on the regimen, it would have been a god send! 


Anyway, it's like 17 bucks and I think it's really worth it for the job that it does. That said though, I can't use it alone. It's the combination of the CeraVe and the DHC that does it. I use like 3 different meds on my face and live in Chicago so I feel like if it can help my skin it could probably be useful for a lot of other people! 

#3439800 Cetaphil Or Neutragena Hydrating Cleanser

Posted by skinnie on 06 July 2014 - 09:32 PM

I think the neutrogena one is better. It seems to be less drying. 

#3439771 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 06 July 2014 - 06:55 PM

Even though my skin has been improving at a rapid fire pace within the past few weeks since starting the Regimen, I can't help but feel that it's too late. My 20's, the best years for finding a BF/husband, are gone. Those years were spent with many huge red cysts that deterred guys away. I'm 30 now. The prospect of having kids seem bleak now since I'm rapidly reaching the age where it's not ideal to have kids anymore. I'm just feeling depressed about it because I can't help but feel the outcome would've been completely different if I didn't have acne. More guys would've been willing to approach me to get to know me if I didn't look like a monster.

I have resorted to a life of eternal singledom. Being the extreme introvert that I am, I guess that can be a good thing.

I know acne is so good at making us all introverts. I don't believe at ALL that it's too late!! 30 is young and people are starting to get married later and later.  I know what it's like to feel that way though. Even at 21, I feel like I'm running out of time, sometimes. Maybe try using a dating service if you're worried? My friends (22 and 25) use one and they love it. Dating is hard -- it's really hard to meet people in real life, especially if you don't date in the workplace. Everyone has their problems and although acne isn't beautiful, a person with acne can be beautiful. Not just despite the acne, but because of it. You are a strong person, because you have the courage to go out and face each day. Just please try to focus on everything that is wonderful about yourself and in your life! It will show. And, a little makeup honestly makes confidence so much easier! There are acne coverage videos on youtube -- like this: https://www.youtube....?v=Y-mfpBiI9BQ. I hope you feel better! 

#3382307 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 13 September 2013 - 07:35 AM

Clarisonic is working really well at getting all the makeup and dead skin off; it lets me wear makeup so that I can cover up those scars! I just wish my hair still wasn't falling out... :/

Hey everyone I'm new to acne.org but I'm loving all the information and this website overall. So a little about myself I'm 23 and my whole life and never suffered from acne but when I turned 21 I had a serious breakout for like a couple months but it cleared then two months ago it went from little breaks out to moderate/severe acne (mainly little bumps everywhere) and lots of redness I am more self conscious than ever, my self esteem is so low, I feel ugly now because I felt my face was one of my good qualities even though that sounds conceited. I am a full time nursing student so I have to go to class and work with patients mon-fri which I dread because I feel like everyone is just staring at my acne and not into my eyes and on weekend I stay home to let my skin breathe and so I can hide from the world because I feel so ugly. So basically everyday I just hate my face, my skin, I hate looking in the mirror nowadays. Can anyone relate? I'm so depressed over this I don't know how to cope if I can chose to never go out I would. Thanks for listening have a blessed day.

Welcome! I'm 21 and I've had acne since the age of 13, on and off.  We all understand how you feel. My cheeks used to be the favorite part of my face, because they were cute and just made my face. I got cystic acne there when I was 19, which cleared up after going to the dermatologist. After that, I started struggling with non-cystic acne that ironically, scarred my cheeks a lot worse than my cystic acne.  So, those pretty little cheeks that made me look youthfully radiant are gone :(  Acne is a really hard disease to cope with, because your face is what you present to people. I think few people with acne don't feel self conscious about it.  It's also so hard to feel like you can't control your own appearance, that you are literally incapable of showing your best face to the world.


Do try to focus on the other good things in your life/your assets. And, don't let acne stop you from living your life -- have fun on the weekends -- it will help reduce stress and help you cope with your acne, I promise!  We've all sat at home because of our skin, and it's tough, but you just can't do that. When you see how much your friends enjoy being around you, it will boost your confidence. 


In some ways, acne is a blessing. You learn to define yourself by things other than your appearance. You learn to ground your confidence in really substantial things. That's what I've learned from my acne. You'll have bad days, but we'll be here to support you!


Also, have you been to the dermatologist? Honestly, without Tazorac, my cystic acne would still be blooming. That stuff was painful. The derm can help and Dan's regimen is really effective for non-cystic acne! 

#3379354 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 31 August 2013 - 10:55 PM

I'm not feeling too bad about my skin today because it has definitely improved a lot over the past week or so even though it's still far from perfect. I have a stubborn cyst that is still refusing to go down and have been getting a few new spots mainly on my forehead and one inside my ear - how is that even possible by the way?!! But overall I think it's still improving so it's just a case of keep pushing forward with it! :)

Hmmm... anyone think that the sticky part of a post-it note could break you out at all? :P I guess I'll find out tomorrow... In my psyc class today we did this task which involved out tutor sticking a post-it on out forehead... very weird, and honestly, I panicked a bit - I don't like things touching my face or being close to people I don't know where they'll clearly see the state of my skin / how oily it is (it was fairly oily today)... but the task was over and done with pretty quickly - thank goodness :P

Ah Lilly that's such a nightmare! I also hate anything touching my skin and things being sprung on me like that makes me panic a bit too. But I actually had to do something very similar with a post-it note for a game at a party last year back when I was on the Regimen and you'll be pleased to know that it didn't cause me to break out at all in the following days. Hopefully that means you'll be fine as well! :)
Haha that's so weird - I didn't expect someone to relate to this situation so specifically :P But good to know it didn't cause a breakout for you. I'm already breaking out a bit more these past few days (not terribly but still...) so hopefully this post-it situation won't add to it
Glad to hear things are improving for you!! :)

I have this too; I hate things touching my skin. I flinch when aunts and uncles touch my cheek and worry about the comedogenicity of icing. And I've worried about the sticky note bit too! It was for a game we had to play in class. Hell, I worry about the effect the wind from an open car window has on my face.

#3371677 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 04 August 2013 - 12:14 AM



Well I was feeling more positive for most of the day. My skin is clearing up a bit with all the treatments I'm using and getting flatter and smoother everyday but it still looks absolutely horrific in the mirror because most of it is covered in really bad hyperpigmentation along with all the active stuff.

Unfortunately I made the mistake of watching a romantic film on the TV this evening and it reminded me how it's going to be totally impossible for anybody to ever love me with a face like mine. I'm destined to be alone my whole life. Now I'm sitting in my room crying in front of a computer like a pathetic little loser. When will this cycle of misery ever end?!!

Oh no sad.png That sounds like something I would do (romantic film and getting all depressed) - Sounds sad huh? tongue.png

 I know what you mean and I think the same things about myself - 'how could someone love me when I look the way I do'. I have to remind myself though that there is more to me than how I look, and there are loads of people out there who have acne and who are in happy relationships - so why wouldn't that happen for me some day? It's just a matter of meeting the right person - Which may not exactly be easy, but that doesn't mean it's impossible!


I get what you mean about your skin right now too - I'm dealing with the same thing. Slowly, everything is healing and my skin is getting smoother but it in no way looks clear because of all the hyperpigmentation I have! Quite frustrating... but hopefully something like AHA will help when I start to use it. Have you tried that or anything else for pigmentation before?

>My face decided to throw the fuck up today, I haven't changed a damn thing in months, I was a fool for believing it was over. Some people deserve to be put out of their misery.


What have you been doing for your skin? Maybe it's time to try another treatment?

Hope things improve for you soon! Hang in there!

Yeh, it was quite a good film but definitely a bad idea from a self-esteem perspective! You're right that there's definitely more to us than how we look, but to be honest I'm not too fond of my own personality in any case, or of anything about myself in fact! Sad but true. I don't really feel like I have anything going for me at all though I know this is probably a biased perspective. 

Hyperpigmentation is such a nightmare isn't it?! I should be happy that my skin is slowly clearing but the fact is because of the redness it doesn't actually look much better than it did anyway. I've tried lemon juice but that did absolutely nothing and I tried aloe vera but it just made me break out even more. I'm a bit dubious about trying AHA because 1. I think it would break me out and 2. I avoid anything that has an exfoliating effect because there is a history of psoriasis in my family and I don't want to bring that on on top of the acne! Do you know of anything else that helps with hyperpigmentation but doesn't exfoliate? 


Sunscreen helps! I'm seriously not kidding. Sunscreen really helps it to fade by not allowing it to get worse, you know? If you want to be thorough, layer chemical and physical sunscreens. 


So, I haven't worn foundation in a while. I keep figuring this out the hard way, but even mineral foundation just breaks me out. It's so gradual with most foundations that I don't notice it until I have to stop wearing it for some reason and my skin clears up some as a result. I'll wear eyeliner and mascara, though. It helps me feel more confident about the no foundation thing. 


Cool story you guys. Queen Elizabeth wore lead makeup to cover up her smallpox scars, even though they really weren't all that visible. She wore her inches of makeup even on her deathbed -- wouldn't be seen without it. Lead literally will burn the skin off of your face over time. And of course, you get lead poisoning. Interesting, huh? She had reason to be one of the most confident women ever (she reigned over England for 45 years.) Made me feel a little better about my insecurities. Less pathetic, lol. 


My hair is still falling out. I got an abnormal thyroid test and thought we had finally found the problem. Only to get the more detailed T3, T4, TSH tests normal the second time. So I have to re-take in a month. Meanwhile, my mane get's thinner and looks just awful. I don't know what to do with it. It looks awful in a thin braid, looks bad in a ponytail, and looks bad down. *sigh* whatever. 


I've been working on medical school apps. I thought I was done, only to have one of my professors read my statement and tell me it was too intense and that she would question my readiness for medical school if she were on the admissions committee. That was such great news. -______-  Especially, since the essay just feels so "right" and most other people really loved it. Of course, it pales in comparison to my usual writing, but that's because my writing style is leisurely. I take my time with the words, so that they flow into each other and into a picture. I love the way I write; sometimes I look at it and wonder that I could have actually written something like that. But my personal statement isn't an amazing work of writing. That still doesn't change its honesty and how much it resonates with me. I had my reasons!


I really should exercise instead of Netflix binging in my spare time like I've been doing. 

My skin is better this morning than it has been for a while. Apart from the cyst on my cheek, there is nothing else active. Got some hp on my neck but as the breakout there was quite small, it should fade quite quickly.

I`m feeling happier in myself than I did earlier in the week and it is ONLY because I perceive my skin and appearance to be a bit better. It is something I need to keep working at. Your happiness should not be dependent on the state of your skin - you need to be able to like and accept yourself period!


It really helps if you find other things to tack your happiness onto. Something to strive for, something in which you hold potential. A long term challenge that occupies your mind and your passion. 

#3364205 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 06 July 2013 - 03:52 AM

Way more often than not, I do not like what I see in the mirror and I'll tell myself how ugly I am. And THAT is the problem. How is someone else supposed to love me when I don't love or accept myself as I am and I keep telling myself that I'm ugly? If I loved and accepted myself as I am, and thought of myself as 'pretty' in some way / or in my own way, I would be a much more confident person, and I do think that confidence is attractive. I know in the past something that has helped me is to find the one physical thing that I like about myself. This was really hard for me to do but I decided that I did like my eyes and remind myself that I think I had nice eyes.  It definitely doesn't fix it all though. I still have many many days of where I feel ugly and think that I am, but if I'm able to find something that I do like about myself, then I can feel at least a little better and more confident for the day. But I think that's the main thing, for me anyway, - to work on my confidence and acceptance of myself as I am. Hopefully one day I won't have acne, but for now I do have acne, and even when that day hopefully comes that I have clear skin, the rest of my appearance will be the same, and there's not a lot I can do to change that so I do have to accept and love myself as I am. I do think that every person is beautiful and has something beautiful about them - it's just that I forget this and can't apply it to myself at times. 


You're so right. It's hard for someone to love you when you don't even love yourself. Loving yourself is one of the most important factors of happiness. It's hard loving yourself when you look in the mirror and see imperfections but you have to hold yourself above those insecurities. Tell yourself you're worth more than just your flaws, and that in any case, EVERYONE has flaws. And there are tons and tons of people out there who wouldn't give a damn about your skin. You're strong - as is everyone else on here - and you don't have to succumb to acne's willpower and let it affect your life. smile.png

I don't love myself. I feel like I have the worst personality. I get into arguments a lot, because, especially when I feel sad about something, I take it out on other people or I always feel like I'm right. Right now I'm in an argument with my mother (she thinks my PCOS was caused by my using tampons. what ridiculousness? And she used to be an OBGYN),  and I got into a debate with my friend about how you lose weight. I said that you don't have to eat less, you can just eat less calorie dense foods and more fruits and vegetables. He insisted you have to eat less. Such a stupid argument to have, right?


I mean we're okay, but those little debates/fights--I know they make me seem like an annoying know-it-all bitch to people. Also, a lot of people just really annoy me...and I get angry over the tiniest things. My friend used two of my face towels to wipe up the bathroom sink and threw them away. I asked her not to use any more. She says "Why? Are they special?" and I reply "No, but it's a waste" and she replies "to clean up a communal sink?" OMG they're my effing face towels.  She could have used the stack of hand sanitizer wipes in the corner. Or the baby wipes she brought with her.  And why did she have to use two of them?!? Like, it makes my head pound that she used my hand towels, spoke to me in that tone, and then made me feel bad about getting angry. 

How do I not get into these arguments? Not get annoyed by what others do? I hate when people make fun of me too much. It stings and I feel ridiculous. I hate when I'm trying to work and the girls are giggling in the background. I hate someone's tone of voice implying that I'm stupid or lazy. Sometimes, I just feel like I hate everything. I wish I were a happy, carefree person. I wish I just didn't care about this stuff. I wish I wasn't so petty. 


 I'm not someone I would want to date, honestly. I've tried changing myself, but it's so hard. I feel like I get better and then, I regress. Two steps forward, three steps back kind of thing. Especially around my period. I get so grouchy then...I feel like I don't have any college friends, or that I push them away a lot. My high school friends are all wonderful, and I seldom feel this way around them.  I tend to see the annoying things in people... I'm such a perfectionist, and that means that not only do my own imperfections grate on my nerves, but so do others'... unless, of course I have a crush on a guy.

#3362337 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 28 June 2013 - 01:46 PM

I talked to a friend on facebook, looked at some photos of myself without glasses (glasses just make most people look awkward. they're always slipping on your nose and you have to push them up. And they cover up my dark eyes and my high cheekbones) and looked at my fairly clear skin (it's sooo the doxycycline). I thought about all the wonderful things in my life-- all the friends, my wonderful family, the opportunities and bright future that I have helping others. I have so many bright, fresh ideas that will make life better for so many people.  I have nothing to complain about.  Plus, everyone looks weird on video right? Unless you've just got a face that looks great in 2-d. I'm pretty awesome; you guys are right. And I will feel try to feel that way.  Thanks so much for the support, y'all! I really hope anyone else that is feeling bad is able to think about their life in a way where the positives allow you to see past the negatives.  

I have those same kind of body dysmorphia thoughts when I see myself. I think I'm pretty if I'm posed JUST right...but if I see myself on video where I talk or move around I'm just like ugh...wtf is wrong with me. I am not a human being...


I was looking it up, and apparently that is not how you look in real life. 3-d doesn't translate particularly well to 2-d, so video camera isn't the most accurate way to judge your appearances. Also, when I think about it, my judgement of a person's physical appearance changes as I learn more about their personality. For someone who sees you frequently, and likes your personality, you could be very pretty. There's this girl I knew who had the most awkward face ever, the first time I saw her. Really weird teeth and all. But she's gorgeous now, because her personality was really great and because her beauty just sort of grows on you after a while. 


You are a human being! Try to turn those thoughts positive. People like happiness and positivity. It's charming. Charm often goes farther than grace or good looks. 

#3353067 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 29 May 2013 - 10:07 AM

Hey guys guys guys guys. Can we all post a few things that we like about ourselves? It'll make us feel better! This was actually brought on by my noticing that (drumroll please) I NEVER get blackheads!!!! So I have skin that is clear...of blackheads. My nose is fabulous, you guys! There are so many things I like about myself that don't relate to my appearance. But this is the first thing I've thought of related to my appearance that I actually like. My hair is meh. My eyebrows are meh. My skin is ew. My smile is okay. My ears stick out. My cheeks used to be my favorite part of my face before the acne. So, now I think it's the fact that I don't have blackheads. Whenever I'm feeling bad about the way I look, I'll look in the mirror at my blackhead free nose/skin and rejoice! biggrin.png Now your turn! What can you look at or think about that will make you feel good looking when you feel the burden of your acne? 

Well I do like my toned body, although I work out/run a lot so have earned it smile.png


I get constant compliments about my eyes - the size, shape and colour of them smile.png


I have very smooth and clear skin on my body and it tans well, wish my facial skin could be like this too. I did used to get cysts on my chest and back prior to taking Accutane, this is one area that cleared up for good.


However, I know it's negative to say this, but I've always felt judged on my skin by others therefore my complexion overshadows my good looks in my opinion.


I feel you. I think everyone feels judged based on the quality of their skin. However, if you ever feel unattractive because of your acne, and this is what I plan on doing, before you look in the mirror, just think about those attractive eyes of yours. Imagine you're about to look in the mirror to admire them. Then look in the mirror and just give yourself the most seductive/flirtatious stare ever. Just focus on the attractive-ness of your eyes. Instant pick-me-up, I promise. You will hardly notice your skin! If you focus on the attractive that is there, that would make someone else who doesn't like the way their eyes look think "I wish I had her eyes," you will notice the acne a lot less, I think.

#3352926 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 29 May 2013 - 12:57 AM

Hey guys guys guys guys. Can we all post a few things that we like about ourselves? It'll make us feel better! This was actually brought on by my noticing that (drumroll please) I NEVER get blackheads!!!! So I have skin that is clear...of blackheads. My nose is fabulous, you guys! There are so many things I like about myself that don't relate to my appearance. But this is the first thing I've thought of related to my appearance that I actually like. My hair is meh. My eyebrows are meh. My skin is ew. My smile is okay. My ears stick out. My cheeks used to be my favorite part of my face before the acne. So, now I think it's the fact that I don't have blackheads. Whenever I'm feeling bad about the way I look, I'll look in the mirror at my blackhead free nose/skin and rejoice! biggrin.png Now your turn! What can you look at or think about that will make you feel good looking when you feel the burden of your acne? 

#3350299 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 20 May 2013 - 07:51 PM


I got a clarisonic mia today! My MCAT is on Thursday; I really hope I do well. (So much more important than my acne, ya'll. I've been studying for almost a year!) 

#3349844 Biggest Mistakes People Make to Treat Acne:

Posted by skinnie on 19 May 2013 - 05:00 PM

Where did the OP get her sources for "common skin irritants" and things to avoid?


I'm not doubting the validity of her claims, but having references would mean everything was legitimate. Otherwise it's just passed on by word of mouth and useless anecdote.


I disagree with the alcohol bit. See: http://www.futureder...la-begoun-says/

I know this is a very old thread, but I'm new here and I'd like to add my two cents.

First off, the original poster lists a lot of information based on sound research, but it really should be taken with a grain of salt. Lots of don'ts, very little do's. Heck, she might as well have said, "don't use everything."

I have suffered with acne (moderate to slightly severe for over 30 years. I'm 45 and still battling it). I'd like to think I'm an expert, seeing the tens of thousands of dollars I spent over the years fighting this losing battle (tens of thousands is indeed a correct figure). I should have been a dermatologist, but who would trust a dermatologist with acne?

Anyway, my decades of research, trying everything on the market, fad or not (I was perscribed accutane but resisted it due to side effects) have yielded one conclusion: There is no right answer or no wrong answer. Every individual's skin is different. Some respond quite well to salicylic acid, I break out in hives. Some find astrigent irritating, I use SeaBreeze for sensitive skin with great results.

Acne is steeped in genetics. For some like me, it may never ever go away. The best you can hope for is to manage it--keep it under control.

I'd like to add to the original poster's "don't" list:

DON'T be afraid to try any regimen or product or vitamin therapy, etc. It just might work for you.

I know this is an old response, but I agree with you. There is too much ingredient obsession on these boards. Skin care is so very trial and error. I disagree with her rant against alcohol too. 

Thanks a lot for the useful and important information.

I am one of those who have been trying to deal with the dilemma of finding a gentle cleanser that does not contain any of those irritating or pore-clogging ingredients listed on some websites but unfortunately my attempts over many years have failed.

I am still to find a single gentle, non-medicated cleanser for my combination yet sensitive skin that I can use without worrying.

I have a had a quick look at some of the ingredients in some of the cleansers you have listed and even those do not conform to the criteria!

  • Purpose gentle wash (which I have bought and used a few times) contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Fragrance.
  • Eucerin Baby Aquaphor Gentle Wash contains Sodium Chloride.
  • Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
  • Even the two Paula's choice cleansers that I checked has at least one offending ingredient:
    * Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser has Sodium Chloride.
    * Hydralight One Step Face Cleanser has Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
I wish there was some regulating agency to verify the claims those manufactures put on their packaging or make it very clear which ingredients are fine to include so as to put confused people like me out of their misery!


If you're still looking, CeraVe cleanser is really good. So is Olay foaming face wash for sensitive skin. 

#3349518 How ya feelin' about your acne today?

Posted by skinnie on 18 May 2013 - 10:06 AM

@Helton - glad to hear that! I really hope it works for you smile.png

Hey Flaxen! I wish it was a "I'm nearly clear picture" because I was planning to post one few days ago. Good I didn't, because it would feel so bittersweet now. What is not visible in the first picture are the bumps under the skin that are gonna break out any time. One of them is getting more red and angry every hour if not minute. I feel that pulsating pain and warmth in the area. I wouldn't even worry that much about them, but recetly my skin got much more prone to scarring... Hyper pigmentation is something I absolutely don't mind, but scars... They depress me so much sad.png It can look pretty ok when I look at the mirror from a distance in semi twilight, but as soon I get closer...
Oh yes, I use topicals to prevent them from forming - Duac and MSM cream, but usually it doesn't even feel like anything can affect my cysts. Duac I've been using every night for past 1,5 years, so my skin got pretty used to it. But aha could be good to try, maybe a facial with aha? Have you tried it?
I can't afford laser treatments either at the moment! You know, I spent around 800 usa dollar (5000 swedish crowns) for red light laser treatment last winter, had 4 procedures and didn't see any result. I guess it could take more precedures to have any effect but come on, after 4 of them at least some improvement should be visible. It was not promising and too expensive, so I dropped. Never should have taken it anyway... Nevertheless I'm quite positive about fraxel and will do that as soon I can afford it (it will be winter 2014). Have seen fraxel doing some miracles on my friend's sun damaged skin. I would just do it on my cheek though, cause it's craaaazy expensive.

I agree with what you said about accutane. We can't be afraid of everything, just because there is a slight chance something will go wrong. In that case nobody should take a plane, cause there's 1 change in 2000 000 that it will crash. I would myself try accutane if my skin wasn't so extremely dry on it's own (i swear, most of the time I feel like I'm already on accutane, so if someone gave me a placebo pill I'd be sure it's real accutane side effects, lol). It could happen than your psychiatrist will be against it, mine was strickly not recommending it because of my rich history in psychiatry, but I think I would be able to talk her into it if I wanted.
So even if your's doesn't agree with the idea, try to argument that acne is much greater trigger and actually is a cause of all that distress.

I think aha might be worth a try. Dan recommends 10% aha as a spot treatment on newly forming spots to prevent them from fully developing. I know he and a number of other people on the boards have had success using it like that. I don't have his aha because of import costs but I use the other one he recommends by Alpha Hydrox. I'm not sure if it has any additional benefit over bp/duac because I always use that too but afaik it could be making a difference - often I am able to prevent cysts from developing if I catch them early enough. I have one on my forehead now that looked like it was going to be huge but actually stayed quite small and the inflammation went down. What is MSM? Thanks for the info about laser. I got really obsessed with trying to sort out my scarring a few weeks ago and I was desperate for laser treatment but now I think I need to sort out my acne first! Do the accutane, stop forming new scars... That's the plan.


I'm happy today because my psychiatrist didn't veto accutane. At first he suggested I wait til a less stressful time in my life but now he understands how much impact it has... He said he doesn't have experience with patients on it so he wants to read about it first but I don't think he will stand in the way smile.png I took this picture after I did my makeup this morning


 It takes me two hours to apply creams/base/foundation and to paint concealer onto every single one of my post acne red marks (I have nearly a hundred after a horrendous breakout last autumn) and blend it in. If I showed you a picture of what I look like before makeup you could see why I feel like I've painted a masterpiece every morning! It is so exhausting and I am so sick of it. At least I can hide it but I get so oily and flaky that it quickly looks gunky and horrible and people probably think I wear too much sad.png - I put SO much time and effort into it and I still look worse than everybody else. I hope so much that Accutane can free me from this routine because I really do feel enslaved by it. Maybe I am being a bit too much of a perfectionist but I know if I don't wear any makeup at all people will find me disgusting and I won't be able to look anyone in the eye.

If you need accutane, then there's something I don't know about acne... I thought it's for severe cases when there's no hope...
I don't understand what more people want from their skins, why they push it to the line... Even with makeup I would never look like this. 
Just... live and be happy Flaxen.


Accutane is also prescribed for really persistant acne. There are some people who have really severe acne but it responds really well to medication like retinoids, bp, SA. However, there are some whose acne is really persistent -- this puts you at higher risk for scarring, for example. In these persistant cases, derms will use accutane. Furthermore, people with higher levels melanin in their skin (skin of color) are often advised more agressive treatment plans, so accutane is prescribed quickly if the strongest retinoids don't work. This is because there is a higher risk of PIH and scarring.


That said, I think that unless I've tried agressive combination therapy, I'm not going for accutane. Accutane scares the shit out of me. It's chemotherapy for acne! Acne isn't life-threatening even if it is extremely depressing. It's an awful disease but accutane is... o.O  I'm going to try using three different treatments  together at least, first. I'm using Aczone, tazorac, and now SA. I also have a niacinamide based moisturizer and am going to add antioxidants after I've tested out the SA. (The niacinamide and aczone seem to be working well.) Tazorac worked wonders for me, but I started getting 2 or 3 actives over the winter again (I think because of dry, unexfoliated skin + hormones overproducing sebum).  My derm is recommending accutane if the addition of aczone doesn't work. With two or three actives. The inflammation of and damage caused by those actives on already damaged skin was pretty bad though. key message? The longer acne persists, the more damage it does, and the harder it is to treat! ​Which is why her doctor (and mine!)  is recommending accutane. 

Had a nasty chin breakout today, not happy at all sad.png


I want to go out with my friends and feel confident, but I can't.


I'm currently not using any products (or even water) because I'm on the caveman regimen. I breakout considerably less, but it's not a cure. I've tried changing my diet, that didn't help and it's not really convenient when I live with other people and have to have specific foods. 


Do I look for products to use? Do I start the regimen again? I have no idea what to do anymore. 


Go to the derm, bro. Like seriously. Retinoids prevent aging, address sun damage,  and are actually good for your skin. Your derm will probably put you on a retinoid.  If you use it correctly and gradually, it will work. 


Until then, find a gentle cleanser.  Make sure your cleanser is pH balanced at about 5 or 6. Tap water is actually too basic for the skin used alone. You have an acid mantle produced by the secretions of your skin which includes sweat, sebum, urea, water, etc. This stuff is all acidic and acts as a germicide. By using tap water, you are compromising the integrity of your skin's barrier. Also find a moisturizer with not much in the way of treatment in it. If you can find a moisturizer with niacinamide in it, that is fragrance and dye free, that's your best bet. Use that for a few weeks. Get used to it.


Then add in an active like SA. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think BPO is very difficult to find in the UK? SA or AHA (glycolic acid)  is a better bet. Use that for a month to see if it works. 


Check out this blog: http://www.futurederm.com/ There are some good product recs here. I don't know if you have Neutrogena Rapid Clear pads, but those are a good option. Just make sure that the SA product has a pH between 3 and 4. (It's okay if it's 4! and It's also okay if it's 3!). Don't be too afraid of alcohol either, lol. People here just really are, but its not that bad for your skin when its combined with ingredients like SA. It increases their penetrance. 


Ditch the caveman method, please! You're seriously not doing any favors for your skin. Like I said, tap water is actually more basic than your skin. If the only thing you get out of this is find a pH balanced cleanser and book an appointment for the derm, that's fine too. 

That said, guys, I wish doctors and derms would do more to educate their patient about disease and physiology. I mean there's no reason I need to know about liver cancer because I'm not at risk for it and I don't have it (although I will know about it once I'm hopefully in medical school). But my derm should have given me resources on how my skin works, how my products work to help my skin, how to find good products (more than just "make sure it's oil-free," or "something from neutrogena") I wish derms would spend more time teaching you about how to help yourself. I wish a derm had told me everything i know about my skin, but the two that I've had didn't. I had to actively seek information, and you know what? Until I learned how to use and understand research, I was looking in all the wrong places!!!