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How I dealt with my severe acne

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I actually just came on here to share my views with people suffering from what I suffered in my high school years. I am now 24 years old. I had what my doctor described as severe acne when I was 13-15 years old. In fact, my parents thought it was bad enough, and they cared enough to take me to the doctor without me even asking them. Every day I woke up with acne all over my face, neck and shoulders. I have oily skin to begin with. The acne was often painful, and also very unsightly and probably affected my self esteem at the time.

Washing my face with clearasil and other products succeeded in drying out my skin, but the acne just kept popping up despite my efforts to use any and every product under the sky and washing my face daily . Accutane had recently come out at the time and I started taking those dark pills, along with the annoying visits to the doctor to test my blood for side affects. Within a few weeks the difference was noticable, and gradually the acne started to completely go away, leaving minimal scaring. The side affects were very dry skin, and extremely dry lips. I stopped taking it at age 16, and the acne pretty much stopped coming back.

Later in my life, around 23 or 24 I noticed that my oily skin was spawning more acne on my neck, back and sometimes my face. The skin on my shoulders and back is pretty oily and it doesn't help that I have to wear suits to work every day, with little or no ventilation and lots of rubbing on my skin through out the day. Since it's not nearly as severe this time around, I've resorted to washing my face 2-3 times a day with fash wash and "Nivea for Men Oil Control", this has worked quite well on the mild flares that I get these days. The acne on my shoulders and back is the most annoying thing in the world, the only way I found to solve it was to join a tanning salon, which isn't half bad. I pay $29 per month, and go in a few times a week. After my first 3-4 times, the acne on my shoulders and back was 90% gone. People may piss and moan about tanning salons, but it really does work if you have acne. Just be careful when you first start, take it a few minutes at a time, and build it up to 10-12 minutes per session and always wear proper eye protection. Nothing wrong with a healthy tan, plus many people find it quite attractive.

Trust me, when I was a young pimple faced high school kid, I tried everything under the sun, everything I could find on the internet, and for severe acne, accutane was my savior. As an adult, with still-oily skin and more mild outbreaks, they can be kept in check with tanning and daily face washing using products that are meant for oily skin. I'm grateful my parents dragged me to the dermatologist when I was young and did something about it. Now a days, if I stop tanning for a few weeks, BOOM, the acne starts creeping right back up on my back and shoulders, in those annoying, painful, little blisters. The curse of oily skin! There is hope out there, just attack it early, and attack it hard.

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Hey, thanks for the excellent story. I do have some advice :angel: . Why not take another course of accutane? I'm on my third: each of the first two held me 5-7 years completely, followed by gradual relapse, but overall condition improved greatly each time and was more and more treatable by other means. I had a total of 10-12 years between each course. If you take another course, you could very well find permanent cure or if it does come back again many years from now, it will be milder still.

I've been looking hard and haven't found any medical articles which indicate long term permanent drawbacks to multiple courses. Serious side effects (like cholesterol and liver enzyme elevations, as opposed to dry skin) that come with treatment, go away completely after each course with no permanent elevation. All this to say, I do believe it's safe to take multiple courses so Why Not??

As for tanning, you are having good luck, more power to you. But tanning, regardless of the source is not good for skin long term. It may be working for you, but for a lot of people it provides a temporary fix, but long term can make the acne condition worse because of damage to the skin. In addition, any tanning increases the chance of skin problems such as wrinkling, aging, and cancer. It's very common for people who tan a lot in their youth look much, much older than their peers when they're in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, that's your choice. But as general advice it is not good.

Anyway, my purpose is not to lecture you (like I said, make up your own mind), just to thank you for the great story, suggest you try accutane again and put in my $.02 on the tanning issue (which is what my advice is worth probably). Good luck to you.

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I'd hop back onto Accutane, but I don't think the level of acne that I get right now would justify the cost. Initially when I started accutane I had SEVERE acne, it was painful, and everywhere. Unfortunately, my health insurance sucks, so accutane is still not cheap.

I've found that tanning in moderation keeps the acne on my back in check, as well as any breakouts on my neck or face. Yes, it does dry the skin (as does accutane), and that's what moisturizers are for. I keep my skin moisturized at all times using either alovera gel or moisturizers made specifically for the face. I also use a nightly anti-wrinkle cream with beta-carotene and dunaliella seaweed, which supposedly reduces fine wrinkles. Lots of people are tanning critics, and yes, tanning out in the sun is WAY worse for your skin than doing so in a controlled environment, with proper protection, but personally I'd rather have slightly more wrinkled skin in my 40's and 50's at the cost of having a nice tan and nice skin in my 20's. Plus, I'm a guy, there's no real stigma or shame attached to having a few "rugged" wrinkles in my 40's ;)

Different methods work for different people. Perhaps some people could very well keep outbreaks under control just by tanning once or twice a week. The average person is exposed to more UV radiation when they walk around at the mall all day, or work outside in their yards. I've also found that facial washes that are specifically formulated for oily skin have worked fairly well for me. I also use these on my shoulders and back because I'm just one of those people who was cursed with oily skin.

I would have hopped back on the accutane train...... but I guess if tanning is working for you, yay!

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yeah right, I live in Florida and see lots of people with tans and acne. It's not that easy for some people.

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