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perplexed'n'vexed

I'm a noob here... need some advice

Hi everyone,

I'm a 37 year caucasian male (English). Lived in the UK until early 2006 when I moved to Thailand. I spent a year living on a tropical island and got bored. I now live in Bangkok.

I'll admit I'm vein and want to look my best at all times. I find acne very aesthetically displeasing, not only on myself but also on others. I'm repulsed by it when I see it on other people and I consider my condition to be the single biggest problem in my life. I cannot be happy without feeling personally confident. By my nature I'm an extremely outgoing extrovert person and I consider myself to be quite good looking... if it wasn't for the spots ;-), but over the years my personality has suffered greatly due to my condition. Throughout my life none of my various friends have suffered from acne, it's always only been me, so often I'm left thinking 'why me?', 'why can't my complexion be like theirs?'. It's definitely had a detrimental affect on my personal development.

During my late teens/early 20's I suffered from moderate acne on my face, back and around my hairline and ears. I can't say it was severe acne (when I compare it to other peoples conditions I've seen) as I was never scarred by it, but at that period of my life it was enough to destroy my confidence in all social situations - with both male and female company. I suffered from very red, deep under the skin, big, stubborn spots - sometimes cysts etc. Whenever it was appropriate to expose my back in public I was always too embarrassed to do so.

Between the ages of 16 and 21 I visited my GP on several occassions but no medication I was given ever worked. So in 1990 I paid for a private consultation with a dermatologist in Manchester who put me on Accutane. Luckily for me the actual treatment was on the NHS so the financial outlay was minimal - after the initial consultation fee.

I was referrred to a skin clinic at a Manchester Hospital and was on Accutane for around 3 to 4 months. I can't remember the details as it was 16 years ago. All I remember is that the treatment actually worked. It was a huge relief and I was able to get on with my life. For the remainder of the 1990's I was relatively acne free except for the occassional outbreak due to excessive drinking or lack of sleep.

Towards the end of the 90's however my problem reappeared in the soft fatty tissue behind my ears; deep, long lesions formed which resulted in very big, deep and stubborn spots that lasted for years. They were hidden by my hair so overall this didn't concern me too much. After the Accutane treatment my back, face and kneck generally remained acne free for 16 years - so on the whole I was happy. Which brings me up to the present day.

As previously mentioned, just over a year ago I moved to Thailand. For the first few months my complexion remained ok, however after around 6 months here my acne came back with a vengeance; now it's worse than it ever was when I was younger - on my chest, back, kneck, around my ears, hairline and forehead. I now have 2 acne scars, one on my kneck, the other on my chest. So far I've spent nearly 10000 Baht (US$300) on treatments and visits to dermatologists but no treatments I've been given have worked as well as I hoped. The best thing I've used is like a chalky liquid that dries my skin up but as quickly as I get rid of spots new one's appear.

As you can imagine, I don't like going to the beach because I'm too embarrassed to expose my chest or back. It's ironic really, living in paradise with daily temperatures often well above 32C and I can't take my T-shirt off! It makes me very uncomfortable and self-concious, and is also making me very miserable again to be faced with a problem I thought I'd conquered years ago.

So, I'm hoping that someone here can give me some badly needed advice. What options do I have? I don't know if Accutane is available here, but one thing I know for sure - if it is available it'll cost an absolute fortune and I doubt that I'll be able to afford it anyway. I don't know what to do - and I'm curious to find out what has aggravated my condition, is it the climate? Could it be the change in diet? The quality of the water I use to wash with? Or could it be something else such as 'other' drugs I've taken?

Any suggestions, info or feedback will be greatly appreciated, and thank you for reading all this.

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why not go on accutane again? some people go on it 2 or even 3 times.

and maybe try being a little less judgemental againt other people. it's surprising to hear that you're that way considering you have a problem with pimples yourself.

i'm not sure what else to suggest other than the accutane since i don't get ance everywhere that you do.

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Hey, Ive just spent a year in Bangkok and know a little about Accutance over in Thailand. It isnt that expensive really and can be bought without perscription from a couple of places. It is also perscribed by dermatologists but is slightly more expensive but obviously you get the monthly checks etc. I would imagine in Thailand if you bought it without perscription you could easily find someone to do the checks for you for a fair price.

If you would like to know anymore PM me.

Regards, Alix

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