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This seems to be the appropriate board for my post, but if it isn't, feel free to move it...

I'm a 24 yo male who has recently outgrown his acne condition, and I just wanted to post a message that may give some hope to those of you unable to see light at the end of the tunnel.

I suffered from pretty noticeable acne for about 5-6 years. I actually avoided outbreaks through most of my teenage years - In fact, a friend with mild acne once noted that I never got pimples - Ha! How things would change! It wasn't until my senior year of high school that pimples began popping up on my face, but I had some perfectly clear periods, and I honestly don't recall the acne being too deep or leaving any serious red marks.

All of this changed when I went away to college. (My acne must have gotten worse over the summer without me noticing.) I'll never forget the first time I flipped on the light in the built in vanity mirror in my dorm room and got a good look at my face. It was covered with not only pimples but horrid reddish/brown/purple blotches. (I'm originally from South America, too, so I doubt my darker skin pigmentation helped matters.) The bathrooms in the dorms were even less generous with the large mirrors and bright lighting. I, simply put, looked hideous. I didn't know anything about treating acne (and was too proud to seek advice), so I just used an over the counter foam wash, which while designed to help prevent acne, it certainly wasn't designed to treat it (let alone red marks). In fact, this wash, combined with the hard water in the showers just dried out my face and me look even blotchier.

I was smart enough to stop using it after my freshman year and while I still had acne and red marks, I noticed a slight improvement. Nonetheless, it was still apparent and embarrassing, and I wanted to eliminate it - So began an ordeal that many others who suffer from acne commence - Purchasing every last product that claims to be "the true cure for acne". I purchased/used snail cream, B5, special soaps, Proactiv, oxidation rollers, other pills, diet schemes, blemish reducers, and probably hundreds of dollars of other junk. None of it worked too well - though if it did, I may not have noticed because I did not realize at the time that red marks were a separate issue from active acne. (I did see some noticeable improvement from the AboutFace diet, but I wasn't disciplined enough to maintain it.) This sorry trend lasted from about my sophomore year until perhaps 6 months ago (roughly 4.5 years).

I never let acne affect me too much. I've always been somewhat introverted, and parties, etc. aren't my scene. I'm therefore naturally a bit on the anti-social side, but I never really thought about my acne when I was just spending time with friends, going to class, or making my way through the day. Lest anyone think this was just a case of someone with mild acne making a mountain out of a mole hill, I'd like to note that I was unable to look at myself in the mirror with my glasses. Plus, I had a number of large cystic outbreaks where my skin itched terribly (some were very painful) and they always were quite red and left terrible marks.

Despite all of this, I can count on one hand the number of times anyone ever really remarked about my skin condition. I always found this odd especially since I took some controversial stances in student politics and was pilloried for a number of other personal and physical shortcomings. Some girls even noticed me throughout my condition (though I never pursued anyone for personal reasons), and trust me I have neither a compelling personality nor natural good looks with or without acne. One might say these should be mitigating factors in regard to my condition, but I really think that it means that most other people don't really care about your acne.

What hurt me the most though was the fact that I never really felt like an adult either in college or in the workforce. Most other people over 20 didn’t have acne to this degree. It seemed unprofessional, undignified, and adolescent. I wanted to be taken seriously, and I really felt like acne detracted from that. Nobody ever mentioned anything to me, but I just couldn't feel like I fit in as long as my condition persisted.

Finally, my days of looking at mirror and wishing I could tear my skin off and becoming irate began to abate. My acne became less frequent about a year ago, my red marks seemed to heal faster (or have time to heal), and when I had a breakout it was less severe or deep. About three or four months ago, it seemed to stop altogether. I get some small pimples now then, and I still have some faded red marks on my cheeks (but I expect they'll be gone soon). I'm fortunate that I got away with only the lightest of scarring.

I was told that acne tends to decline at age 24 - Well, it proved true for me. It, unfortunately, made my college years problematic, but I praise God that it looks like I'll be able to go through the rest of adulthood without this curse. Hang in there, guys; it'll be over one day.

Sorry if the post is a bit long - I had a bit more to say, but maybe I'll leave it for some later posts. Feel free to leave any comments or questions.

Best of luck to all!

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Thanks alot for the post. I'm going through roughly the same thing. I too once stared in the mirror wanting to tear of my face, but now even though my skin is still rough I find that I am getting used to the fact that my skin is the way it is and that it will one day be gone. I too find that no one really cares about my skin condition.

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many thanks for your post.. i enjoy reading stories of success not even because it gives me hope but it pleases me to hear someone else got over the awfulness of acne...

there are so many terrible psychological matters that go along with acne, like acne dysphormia-torturing oneself with negative thoughts, glancing in mirrors, not talking part in certain events, staying in doors, taking time off work, abusing make-up, worsening your skin by scrubing or using cheap products in despiration..feeling desperately depressed and anxious, terrified of social engagements, never really feeling like you can walk down the street with your head up comfortably minding your own business etc etc...

the one thing i hadnt really considered proparly before, was how acne makes me feel like a kid.it makes me feel juvenile, like i can't get on in my career.. it makes me feel like people don't take me seriously..

yes thankyou for mentioning that..its a very valid thing to post, im sure a lot of acne sufferers must experience this..

i can onyl imagine how your quality of life has improved.I am very glad for you.. :lol:

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good post. i had mild acne in high school as well, when i went to college is when the nightmare happened. thanks to accutane i just have to let these red marks fade.

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Thanks for that post, its story's like that that keeps our spirits up :) .

I started having acne from when i was 17, im 22 now and i think its getting better, i havent got any cysts in a year now only do i still have a lot of whiteheads/blackheads and those are getting less frequent too.

My sisters boyfriend has a similar story, his acne got 90% naturally clear when he reached 23. (he's 26 now and still got acne but only a very very little amount)

So everyone dont lose hope.

(btw: i too was 'accused' of having the smoothest and softest skin ever when i was 13-17, guess nature has its way to compensate, sure made me lose any arrogance i used to have so thats a good thing)

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Thanks alot for the post. I'm going through roughly the same thing. I too once stared in the mirror wanting to tear of my face, but now even though my skin is still rough I find that I am getting used to the fact that my skin is the way it is and that it will one day be gone. I too find that no one really cares about my skin condition.

Interesting...Is your acne on the decline or have you just been able to put it out of your mind? I was never able to do that for more than maybe a few hours until some mirror jarred me back to reality.

many thanks for your post.. i enjoy reading stories of success not even because it gives me hope but it pleases me to hear someone else got over the awfulness of acne...

there are so many terrible psychological matters that go along with acne, like acne dysphormia-torturing oneself with negative thoughts, glancing in mirrors, not talking part in certain events, staying in doors, taking time off work, abusing make-up, worsening your skin by scrubing or using cheap products in despiration..feeling desperately depressed and anxious, terrified of social engagements, never really feeling like you can walk down the street with your head up comfortably minding your own business etc etc...

the one thing i hadnt really considered proparly before, was how acne makes me feel like a kid.it makes me feel juvenile, like i can't get on in my career.. it makes me feel like people don't take me seriously..

yes thankyou for mentioning that..its a very valid thing to post, im sure a lot of acne sufferers must experience this..

i can onyl imagine how your quality of life has improved.I am very glad for you.. :lol:

Thanks for the kind words...It's really amazing how just feeling "normal" can be such a relief. I don't feel particularly attractive, extra-confident, or anything like that. I just feel like I'm just another regular looking guy on the street, and trust me, after all of those years of acne, I couldn't be happier. :)

I also second all of those awful problems you noted in your post...It really is a terible condition.

good post. i had mild acne in high school as well, when i went to college is when the nightmare happened. thanks to accutane i just have to let these red marks fade.

I'm glad that accutane helped you...I was always afraid of all of the negative reports I heard about the treatment, but I'm glad to hear that it helps some people.

Thanks for that post, its story's like that that keeps our spirits up :) .

I started having acne from when i was 17, im 22 now and i think its getting better, i havent got any cysts in a year now only do i still have a lot of whiteheads/blackheads and those are getting less frequent too.

My sisters boyfriend has a similar story, his acne got 90% naturally clear when he reached 23. (he's 26 now and still got acne but only a very very little amount)

So everyone dont lose hope.

(btw: i too was 'accused' of having the smoothest and softest skin ever when i was 13-17, guess nature has its way to compensate, sure made me lose any arrogance i used to have so thats a good thing)

I'm glad my post gave you some hope - It sounds like you're on your way out as well. For guys, at least, it looks like those of use who develop acne in our later teen years get it pretty bad but it phases out by the early to mid 20's. I'm sorry to hear about women who aren't able to shake this curse even through their 30's (and even into their 40's).

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good post.

i too am growing out of acne, or it seems i am. i recently cut my BP use down to just spot treating once a day but other then that i dont do anything but wash my face with water, i havent broke out at all except for one spot on my cheek and other then that i have some redmarks, im gonna eventually give up on BP and just let my skin sort itself out.

7 years of acne and counting...could this be the year i clear up? :pray:

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your post brings hope to all of us out here who hold onto the belief that acne will, at some point in time, start to fade. we have all felt the disappointment of looking in the mirror and seeing new breakouts...i can STILL feel the way my stomach would drop when i would wake up to a new cyst. not to mention the feeling of anxiously throwing on makeup so my boyfriend wouldnt notice them, and so that they wouldnt stand out under the bright lights in my college classroom.

it's always good to hear encouraging words. please keep sharing them, it really does make a difference :)

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I'm mostly an acne graduate myself. Had it from age 12 until around age 18 with full break outs and nasty, cystic pimples. Luckily I escaped with only minimal scarring, which was pretty lucky from the amount I had. At age 27, I still occasionally get a pimple here and there, usually about 1 a month at most on my face, usually 1-2 a month on back, but it's nothing at all like what it used to be.

Trust me, I hated myself and my face pretty bad for many, many years. I ended up outgrowing it, I never really went on any treatments at all beyond just soap and water. With everything available today and the CSR and other treatments my acne may not even have been that bad.

Anyways, my rambling point is not to give up hope and to stick with it. Use the CSR, get on Accutane, save your pennies for the treatments, and I'm not going to bullshit you, people do judge the hell out of you based on your acne, but once this is all over with, you should be able to be stronger than you were before.

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I'm glad that my post has been encouraging to a number of you - That was my sincere hope since I remember not quite believing that I'd ever have a clear face despite the claims of others, but as somebody who has been stuck in the hopeless mindset, I hope my testimony will help give some hope to even the most incredulous acne sufferers.

From Majin's description, it sounds like (s)he's in in the last stages of active acne. His/her post also inspired me to list the stages my acne went through as it started to go into remission. Please note that this is merely what I personally experienced, so I'm not certain if it applies to others.

Description of my acne: At one point, every part of my face (including ears, nose, under my chin, back of my jaw bone, even my scalp) was prone to breakouts. The worst area (in terms of severity and hyperpigmentation/redmarks) was my cheeks. I usually suffered from a number of long lasting cysts at one time, which left terrible marks. My face had no time to heal between outbreaks.

Steps I went through as acne declined (over about the course of a year):

1. Stopped having frequent breakouts outside of my cheeks

2. Skin started healing faster in areas formerly prone to breakouts

3. Breakouts became less frequent on my cheeks

4. Pimples weren't as deep or irritating (healed faster)

5. Outbreaks eventually became very small (in terms of size and severity)

6. Experienced some minor inflammation/redding of my skin but with a bump or pimple

7. Only the occasional small pimple which doesn't leave a mark

8. Even the redmarks on my cheeks have a had time to heal

If you start to see something akin to this pattern occuring with your own acne (especially if you're in your mid 20's), I'd say there's a very good chance that you're on your way out.

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