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I have been about on this forum for a few years, I have terrible acne, it has got worse over the last couple of years. I have tried all sorts of things, mainly products to try and clear it up.

For a few years I was on Dianette/Diane and it did help my skin but gave me terrible mood swings etc.

I am currently using , Paulas Choice Cleanser, then 2 BHA Lotion, I then a thing layer of OXY BP cream. It not really helping, I hear so many good things about Paulas BHA but it doesnt really do much for me.

I am really at a loss on what to do, my skins is dreadful , red, oily sore and spotty. Sometimes just when it seems to be clearing up a bit I start getting fresh new acne. Alot of it iis mainly on y cheeks and Jawline.

Trying to cover it is a nightmare too, I have problems trying to find a foundation to suit my skin, i have been using benefit concealer to cover my spots and then some powder but by the time I get to work my face is back to its oily self.

Can anyone give me some advice on what I should do next?

I have attached some pics to try and show what my skin is like, I did blank out some parts of my face as I feel so ugly and hate showing my full face. I wasnt not very good at taken pics of myself , so they may not be very clear







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hey, im brand new to this site, and I would say that we have the exact same acne, and storys. It seems like whenever i try a new product, it has immediate results, and my face looks great for a week or so, then I just get a bunch or new red pimples. I was recently put on doxycycline, and differin, and im told that it gets worse before it gets better (im assuming im in the worse phase now) Ill let you know my results, and if you ever need anyone to talk to, im here. for me, acne has taken more of an emotional tole than physical.

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Do you go to a derm? If you don't then maybe you should. If OTC products don't help it is best that you go to a derm. Once your skin clears up you can go back to OTC products. I really think if you need to then you should go to a derm.

My advice would be try not to get so stressed out about your skin. Stress makes you break out more.

I personally don't use makeup at all to cover up acne. I understand that some people feel the need to conceal acne though. I just think makeup while helping you to cover it up for awhile might aggravate acne. But I understand that you feel the need to use makeup.

I actually want clear skin so I can use makeup more. I only use makeup for my eyes so not much goes on to my skin.

Ps. I don't think your acne is terrible. I have seen much much worse. I'm not sure if you blanked out any scarring but I didn't see much of it. In that sense you are lucky. My scars are my main problem. Scars are worse than acne imo. Especially indented scars like mine. Can't cover it up and I cant do anything about it because I still have some active acne.

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I do have some scas , small ice pick type. I have alot of open pores and red marks left from acne that has cleared. I know it is not as bad as some peoples.

I do not see a derm, if I want to do I have to be referred by a doctor or can I find one myself?

I have been to the doctor several times about my skin and she gives me either dianette or cream, I got differin last time, I didnt really use that for to long as I had heard it makes acne worse.

Sometimes I wonder if all these products are making it worse, I tried a few mineral makeup lately but they didnt suit, think they have made my skin break out lately.

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If you can I would try not using too much makeup.

I am not sure about in the UK but over here I just go to a derm myself. Maybe a derm may help. I know some people have bad experiences with derms but I think it all depends if the derm is good or not.

When I used to go to a derm I did not had a bad experience. I only went to one. Made my skin better although not 100%. I wish I went earlier honestly. I probably wouldn't have so many scars.

Good luck finding one if you plan to go. Or if you decide to try other OTC products.

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Ever tried Spironolactone? It's an anti-androgen, but NOT a birth control pill. Perhaps it could give you the skin clearing effects without the mood swings that the Pill did? There was a huge thread about it on one of the boards awhile ago, so maybe if you search the site you could find it and get more feedback.


ps...my acne is mostly chin, jawline/cheek area like yours, and is helped alot by the Spiro. Apparently, acne in those areas in adult women is indicative of hormonal imbalance

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I have heard a bit about Spiro, I do have PCOS and know some woman take it for that.

I might go to the doctors and see what she thinks.

Its so depressing.

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I just looked through your pictures and I think you will be able to clear up rather nicely if you visit a derm and try a few meds. Your skin doesn't look as bad as you think. I've seen a lot worse clear up using the proper meds. Over-the-counter topicals might be able to clear it up, however, since you have tried so many already and nothing has worked well, a visit to the derm would probably yield the best results. Once you're at a clear status, you can begin backing off on derm meds and seeing if you can use other products to remain clear. My derm allowed me flexibility to try new products while being sure I had my staples in case the new ones didn't work lol. Just talk to your derm/doc and voice any concerns. You should view it as a partnership toward attaining clear skin! :D Also, just because you use a derm to get to your clear-skin status, doesn't mean you have to stay on meds forever. It can, however, be a stepping stone to clearer skin when it's flaring up.

I don't know if you have read Molly's (acne battle) log, called My Journey, under the personal journal section. She tried so many products, along with spiro, and has recently found a great regimen that has been working well for her. The reason I suggest reading it if you haven't, is she has been through a lot of meds and it might help you out to see what has worked for her. You can look at some of the pics too because your skin might look pretty similar to what she was going through at certain periods of time. Check it out if you haven't already.

Even though you are feeling like nothing works and it gets you down, I have seen much worse and I know it will just take a derm visit with some suggestions to get you on your way to clearer skin. You can see how many people around here love 2% bha from Paula's Choice, yet you don't feel it works for you. That happens often and it sends us in a tailspin trying to figure out what next to do. UGH! Also, there are so many other topicals they can give you instead of Differin if that didn't work. Sometimes they put you on products that have initial breakouts, or take 2-3 months to work, BUT you can also use another product that helps control the IB. Discuss that with a derm if you decide to visit one. This way you won't stress over the initial breakout period!

Good luck and let us know how you make out!

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Hi Crabby Patty!

I just looked at your photos...and I was surprised! A lot of your skin looks like it's post-inflammatory red spots..not bad at all!

I can empathize with your frustration but just think of your acne as temporary....it will get better soon...

A few things that have helped me: taking a multi-mineral(that contains zinc) has helped any acne I've heal a lot faster and cut down on the oilyness, taking EstroBalance with contains DIM--it helps balance hormones etc....(you can see the supplements I take and their brand name in my signature)...I've also found sulfur spot treatments and tea tree oil to be much better than BP--it's less drying and does not cause your skin to look so red.

Here's some links to products that I use(i don't know if they are all available in the UK but I assume you can order online:



Hope that helps--keep us updated on your progress!

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Omg your pimples look identical to some of mine and the jawline ones are on the same exact spot I get mine. Maybe you should read my regimen log and maybe try the regimen I currently am using

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