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I know it's kind of a long read, but please bare with me...

I've been having acne since either late 8th or early 9th grade, I'm 17 now. My first sign came when I was swimming one summer. I got out the pool and noticed my skin was unusually dry. Being ignorant as I was in regards to facial care, I just rubbed a bunch of lotion on it and carried on about my day. Within the week, I was breaking out bad and have been ever since ~> my face has never seen a clear day with no acne in 3 or 4 years now. About a month or so ago, I have been the clearest I have ever been ~> mild red spots on my cheeks (not really noticeable until up close) and maybe a couple little bumps on my forehead (which was surprising!!!).

My current situation:

Now I have broken out horribly once again. It's not even pus though (like I mean as far as whiteheads). But my forehead has now surfaced with an unbelieve amount of small bumps (dozens and dozens.. some small, some big). About two or three weeks ago, I broke out badly on the right side of my mouth. In the past I never have had a problem with my chin or around my mouth (just side of cheeks and forehead), but now it has spread from the right side of my mouth to the left side. It's just horrible. They're like red too. My chin has like a small pimple (not really a whitehead) and maybe a small bump or two, but my chin is really dry. As of recently (like within the past week), my side of the cheeks have now resurfaced with the same red marks that I've worked so hard in the past to get rid of it (and they actually were pretty much gone too ~> now theyr'e back). My cheeks itself, next to the bridge of my nose, have also surfaced with small red bumps ~> never really had that problem before either; I'd maybe have one or two, but thats really it. My nose, which I never had a problem with besides blackheads, is now like really dry on the sides and is the oily-est part of my face. It's like ever since I started using Clindamycin Phosphate Lotion, my nose has like all these pimples on it (but again, like without whiteheads).. I look like Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer now.

I saw my dermatologist in November last year. He prescribed to me Minocycline 50mg pills to be taken orally in the morning and again at night, and Clindamycin Phosphate Lotion for nighttime. I stopped using the Minocycline pills because they just didnt work (I dunno, maybe I just didn't give 'em to big a chance). I broke out badly in my forehead whenever I took so I said fvck it. Now I'm only on the Lotion.

Things I took for acne in the past: Numerous producst like ProActiv, Florida's Best All Natural Acne Scrub, Oxy Daily Clensing Pads, and some more I can't remember (must've tried about half a dozen or so). Prescription products from my dermotologist like Tretinoin cream 0.025% and 0.05%, Differin, Clindamycin Phosphate Topical Solution Pledgets, and others. For blackheads I've tried those nose strips and True Blue Spa Pore Refiner peel-off facial. Since I have really dry and flaky skin if irritated, I've used Olay Complete Moisture Lotion (would make my face look greasy), Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (doesnt really work on some patches of my dry skin, and Estee Lauder DayWear Plus Anti-Oxident Cream (can honestly say this was the best thing I ever had to moisturize my skin; unfortunately I only had a sample). Since I have really bad oil now, I've tried Estee Lauder Purifying Mud Foam Cleanser (makes my face really dry.. but then again I didnt know about moisturizers), and am currently just using those Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets (which are beginning to be a hassle b/c I've gone through prolly about 10 packs already and theyre pretty costly at almost $7 for them small little papers).

Currently, like I said, I am using a Clindamycin Phosphate Lotion at night. In the morning I'd just wash my face with luke warm water and washcloth. Then that's it. I've stopped using Dove soft soap cuz it irritated my skin, leaving it dry and red. Throughout the day as my oils start coming on, I'd use my Clean & Clear Oil sheets. Just the other day though I picked up a Cetaphil moisturizer SPF15 since my skin was really dry after I got out of the pool. QUESTION: My whole face was dry, like you could see the skin layered right on top.. is that dead skin? Should I have removed that?

Usually I would box, and my sweat would dry out my forehead, which I would blot with a napkin. Then I'd take a shower and when I get out, I'd use my finger to take away the dry dead skin.. then apply my Clindamycin Lotion. Then I would drink some Green Tea. Usually within the next couple of days, my forehead will look very good. I wanted to join an MMA gym for wrestling and boxing this week, but I don't know if I should now that my skin went worst.. especially since my headgear my rub up against my skin and stuff.

Diet:

I must admit, my diet is crap. I just eat anything. Many days I don't go without breakfast, and I just snack on whatever throughout the day (Chewies, Oatmeal cookies, Chocolate chip cookies, pizza, etc), since I'm an ectomorph and it's really hard to put on weight (I'm 5'6, 126 lbs). My only decent meal is dinner. In the days leading to my recent breakout, I must say I ate and drank like a pig ~> pizza, junk food, and numerous bottles of Gatorade instead of water (which I wouldnt usually drink about 3, maybe 4 a day).

Background ~> An Acne-induced Rollercoaster of Hell:

My dad has good skin, and my mom only has oily skin with an occasional pimple.. but nothing like what I've been expierencing. I really need help with this. I'm pretty much clueless about all these different producsts and stuff (toners, cleansers, etc), and my social life is in shambles. If I am in an enclosed environment (like a classroom), and someone I'm not familiar with talks to me, my face goes beat red.. even when I'm relaxed sometimes. Back in elementary and middle school, I was REALLY outgoing and had many friends. I knew everyone. But once I got to high school, and I began breaking out, I can't even hold eye contact for too long because it's embarassing. I'm not the same person, and haven't been. I have a really lively personality once you get to know me and I allow you into that comfort zone, but I keep my guard up a lot of the time and never really let people see the true me.. again, acne has slaughtered my confidence. I recently dropped out and am working on getting my GED, and I must say that acne (which really killed my confidence and social interaction) played a huge role in that decision. No one really understands either, so I don't bothering saying it when family and friends ask me why I'm getting my GED when I'm in my senior/junior year.

With girls its even worst. I have a lot of confidence in myself, but then I look in the mirror it's like DAMN!!! You can't really tell I have acne until you get up close. I'm pretty good looking, and have a great smile.. but sometimes its like fvck it ~> I cant really smile because of the sh!t I've been going through. I recently got back from a vacation in the Florida Keys. As always a hot girl keeps making eye contact with me from a short distance, but I can't really face her or go over and talk to her, cuz up close (and especially in sunlight) she'll be able to see my horrible acne (which gotten actually worst than it ever has in months recently). This has happened on numerous occasions, and it's always the same thing with me. I mean, this is supposed to be my golden years here while I'm still young, and here I am in my house typing up this crap. It's ridiculous.

So what do ya'll recommend? Any comments, suggestions, advice? All would be appreciated.

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I suspect that you will get a lot of replies in regards to your diet. Many people believe that their acne is caused by eating certain types of foods. They may be right, who knows. But for me personally I have never really seen a connection between foods and how much I break out. I just have super oily skin no matter if I am eating junk, or eating a very restrictive healthy diet which only makes me miserable. The acne has made me quite miserable enough without depriving myself of foods that I like. So I am not going to suggest you change your diet ~

From the type of acne you describe, it sounds like you need to get a product that will exfoliate your skin. The antibiotics the derms have you on may be helping kill the bacteria, but a combination approach where you do two things works better - #1 kill the bacteria and #2 exfoliate dead skin so your pores don't get clogged.

For exfoliating, I'm not talking about harsh scrubs and such which are far too irritating. I don't like salicylic acid, but would recommend you get a product that contain either glycolic acid or mandelic acid. (Mandelic acid has been getting some rave reviews on this site. It's supposed to really clear out your skin, but is a gentle product. This might work wonders for you. check out www.nucelle.com for products.)

It sounds like you've tried a lot of different topicals on your skin and perhaps that your skin is a bit sensitive. You don't mention benzoyl peroxide, I wonder if you've tried this before, or if BP also makes your skin red and irritated. If you're not happy with the clindamycin, switch that out for BP.

I don't know if that helps you at all. Maybe it will give you some ideas. Good luck.

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I suspect that you will get a lot of replies in regards to your diet. Many people believe that their acne is caused by eating certain types of foods. They may be right, who knows. But for me personally I have never really seen a connection between foods and how much I break out. I just have super oily skin no matter if I am eating junk, or eating a very restrictive healthy diet which only makes me miserable. The acne has made me quite miserable enough without depriving myself of foods that I like. So I am not going to suggest you change your diet ~

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Well, if your skin is sensitive I would suggest mandelic acid. Check out the products at www.nucelle.com. I am using the moisturizer with 5% mandelic. There is also a serum with 10% or 15% mandelic, probably the 10% would be good for you. If you want, they have a cleanser too, but you could use any cleanser from the supermarket/drugstore, provided it's label GENTLE or SENSITIVE SKIN. Neutrogena is a brand that I like, Aveeno is good too.

So, the mandelic acid would be for exfoliation. I have seen some other posts here about the "baby brush method". I have not tried that so can't say much either way. The main thing is that you're getting off the dead skin cells. The products will help do this, they sort of loosen the dead skin and make it peel. I do it in the shower with a washcloth, but my skin is not sensitive, so that may not work for you. You will probably peel a good amount when you first start out, but that is a lot of the buildup coming off. Once it's off, you will not peel as much and will have healthier skin underneath.

BP is not prescription. You can buy it in the store. Neutrogena On-the-spot is good because it's 2.5%. A lot of the clearasil type products have BP, but they are like 10%, which is way too irritating.

You can do a search on the board for nucelle products, there is a lot written about that. Also, the baby brush thing is somewhere on the board, probably at least 5 times I have seen it posted with the details if you want to find more about that. A lot of people swear by that so for sure check it out.

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Well, if your skin is sensitive I would suggest mandelic acid. Check out the products at www.nucelle.com. I am using the moisturizer with 5% mandelic. There is also a serum with 10% or 15% mandelic, probably the 10% would be good for you. If you want, they have a cleanser too, but you could use any cleanser from the supermarket/drugstore, provided it's label GENTLE or SENSITIVE SKIN. Neutrogena is a brand that I like, Aveeno is good too.

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BP is an ingredient in the product. Neutrogena On the Spot is one of them, Dan's treatment gel is another. There are many other brands. If oyu do try this make sure you get the 2.5% BP. The 5% and above tend to dry out the skin adn cause more irritation.

The baby brush method worked well for me. Definitely exfoliate when your skin is wet if you are doing it with a washcloth or baby brush. Make sure you do it gently. It may not seem like it helps a lot at first but with continuous use you will see the difference.

I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. I love it. It doesn't strip my skin bare. Although some people don't like it because it doesn't give you that squeaky clean feeling.

Also definitely try to eat healthy. Beneficial for your skin and overall health. Also drink lots of water, eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.

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BP 2.5% is one of the main ingredients in proactive, which I see you've used, so yes it would sound familiar.

I also see you go swimming, if so how many times a week? Maybe your skin can't handle the chemicals in the water?

Yeah the diet does need to be worked on, junk food probably contains high amounts of free radicals which can contribute to acne.

Drinking green tea will help, about 4 - 6 cups a day, Green tea also helps eliminate free radicals. Also when the tea bag is warm try dabbing it gently over your face and leave it to dry for around 10 - 20 minutes. Try drinking peppermint tea also as i've heard it helps to calm hormones down, drink about 4 - 6 cups again.

Try washing your face with filtered water/bottled water.

Ask your Derm if he can prescribe something such as Dermol Cream (soap substitute). It also battles bacteria and works as a moisturiser, it shouldn't irritate as it is designed to stop irritation.

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Thanks a lot for the replys!!!!

UPDATE:

Ever since yesterday, I've decided that I was gonna be on a quest to improve myself, for the better. (hence why I made this thread). I drank about 5 or 6 bottles of water throughout my day yesterday (and prolly about 4 on Sunday... will continue to drink a lot of water too), since I read on here (in the Nutrition forum) that breakouts on your forehead are because of slow detoxing in your liver and kidney. Last night, I boxed for an hour to relieve any stress I might be having. Afterwards I took a shower ~> now here's where I did something new.

I took the one advice in this thread about exfoliating my skin, since the prescription kills the bacteria... but I'm not doing anything really about it. So when I got outta the shower last night, I took a luke warm wet washcloth and easily wiped off my face. I thought my skin would be red and irritated, but surprisingly, it wasnt ~> and I took off a lot of that "gunk." I'm using to using my fingertips to remove that stuff (which would damage my skin alittle). What surprised me even more was that when I went to touch my skin afterwards, it was like normal, in the sense that it really no longer was flaky when you rubbed against. Sure I had some a very small stubborn dry "patch" here and there, so I waited till after I put on my prescription Lotion, then I put on a Cetaphil Moisturizer before I went to bed. I also drank some Green Tea.

I woke up this morning, my skin was still very oily, but my face isn't NEARLY as bad as it was the day before. My forehead bumps literally went from dozens to just about a dozen or so. And many of 'em are pretty tiny. My nose is now looking better, I guess it can breathe now :surprised: My cheeks next to the bridge of my nose are looking good; I still have a few small bumps on my left, but my right is bumpless for the most part. Only thing is the sides of my cheeks (when you look at the side of my face) has some visible red marks (not too bad, but I'm hoping I will be able to clear that up).

BP 2.5% is one of the main ingredients in proactive, which I see you've used, so yes it would sound familiar.

I also see you go swimming, if so how many times a week? Maybe your skin can't handle the chemicals in the water?

Yeah the diet does need to be worked on, junk food probably contains high amounts of free radicals which can contribute to acne.

Drinking green tea will help, about 4 - 6 cups a day, Green tea also helps eliminate free radicals. Also when the tea bag is warm try dabbing it gently over your face and leave it to dry for around 10 - 20 minutes. Try drinking peppermint tea also as i've heard it helps to calm hormones down, drink about 4 - 6 cups again.

Try washing your face with filtered water/bottled water.

Ask your Derm if he can prescribe something such as Dermol Cream (soap substitute). It also battles bacteria and works as a moisturiser, it shouldn't irritate as it is designed to stop irritation.

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I think you should try exfoliating 2-3 times a week first. If it goes well you can increase the number of times if you want to. But if 2-3 times is good enough then I don't think you should increase. I personally do it every night.

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I noticed that you said you had pimples on each side of your mouth. Try getting a toothpaste at the health food store without sodium lauryl or lauryth sulfate. JASON brands are good. I have perioral dermatitis - and the regular tooth pastes make it worse.

Look at trying Head and Shoulders or Nizoral shampoos for your hair, may help with your forehead breakouts- sounds more rashyish to go down so quick from exfoliating. It may help too.

Basis bars for cleaning face helped me alot. Super gentle but amazed how much crap it can take off your face.

Moisturize is key - though you don't think so with acne. Keep it up. BP is good - and I am finding that Neosporin on spots are helping me too.

Good luck.

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I think you should try exfoliating 2-3 times a week first. If it goes well you can increase the number of times if you want to. But if 2-3 times is good enough then I don't think you should increase. I personally do it every night.

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I noticed that you said you had pimples on each side of your mouth. Try getting a toothpaste at the health food store without sodium lauryl or lauryth sulfate. JASON brands are good. I have perioral dermatitis - and the regular tooth pastes make it worse.

Look at trying Head and Shoulders or Nizoral shampoos for your hair, may help with your forehead breakouts- sounds more rashyish to go down so quick from exfoliating. It may help too.

Basis bars for cleaning face helped me alot. Super gentle but amazed how much crap it can take off your face.

Moisturize is key - though you don't think so with acne. Keep it up. BP is good - and I am finding that Neosporin on spots are helping me too.

Good luck.

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It never affected me in the past (toothpaste) but it may contribute to the prob. If you are using a dandruff shampoo I am sure it is ok.

I use Nucelle - the Mandelic Acid that was referred to above. Great for oil - really like it and gentle on the skin.

Good luck!

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It never affected me in the past (toothpaste) but it may contribute to the prob. If you are using a dandruff shampoo I am sure it is ok.

I use Nucelle - the Mandelic Acid that was referred to above. Great for oil - really like it and gentle on the skin.

Good luck!

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Got to skincarerx.com - best prices and size - look at 10% first. SHIP 15 - coupon code will get you 15% off. The 4oz bottle has lasted me a long time - 2 months already. Plus I think you can send it back if you don't like it. You only need a few pumps and you start off doing every other night. If it works - then go every night or every day - 1x a day. Then go to am and pm if you want.

Check out this link for more info: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...79851&st=80. It is what sold me on the product!

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Hey!

I just wanted to add something to dwhaa's posts. I also use mandelic acid, which I love as well, and that is the best price I've seen too! The one thing I wanted to add is I also use BP about 4 times per week along with exfoliation. I have found I use the BP if I need an extra oomph for my skin. So even if you buy the On-the-Spot and begin using that first, while you're waiting for your MA to arrive, it won't be wasted.

Good luck!

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Got to skincarerx.com - best prices and size - look at 10% first. SHIP 15 - coupon code will get you 15% off. The 4oz bottle has lasted me a long time - 2 months already. Plus I think you can send it back if you don't like it. You only need a few pumps and you start off doing every other night. If it works - then go every night or every day - 1x a day. Then go to am and pm if you want.

Check out this link for more info: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...79851&st=80. It is what sold me on the product!

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the first one - 10% serum.

Agree with justamom - I use bp as spot treatment! Exfoliation is key! You cannot get at cvs or walgreens - that would be nice!

Good luck and hope you find a routine that is right for you!

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the first one - 10% serum.

Agree with justamom - I use bp as spot treatment! Exfoliation is key! You cannot get at cvs or walgreens - that would be nice!

Good luck and hope you find a routine that is right for you!

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the first one - 10% serum.

Agree with justamom - I use bp as spot treatment! Exfoliation is key! You cannot get at cvs or walgreens - that would be nice!

Good luck and hope you find a routine that is right for you!

Thanks a lot.

And wow, I just read that thread with "NuCelle changed my life".... Un-fvcking-believable @ those before and after shots. It looks like it does work wonders.

Would I still use my Cetaphil Moisturizer, or do I just use Neutrogena On the Spot and NuCelle Mandalic Acid?

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the first one - 10% serum.

Agree with justamom - I use bp as spot treatment! Exfoliation is key! You cannot get at cvs or walgreens - that would be nice!

Good luck and hope you find a routine that is right for you!

Thanks a lot.

And wow, I just read that thread with "NuCelle changed my life".... Un-fvcking-believable @ those before and after shots. It looks like it does work wonders.

Would I still use my Cetaphil Moisturizer, or do I just use Neutrogena On the Spot and NuCelle Mandalic Acid?

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For some of us - right away - some within the week. You will see less oil within a few days. It is returnable to them - keep the receipt. I had a little breakout - but I get one monthly so it was hard to tell. Your face may get dry and peely - makes sure moisturize at least once a day. Ship 20 is the new code - 20% off if they let you use it.

I like skincarerx - they take good care of you - send it out right away and send emails from an esthetician to help you if you need it.

I really hope you like it and it helps you!

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Diet:

I must admit, my diet is crap. I just eat anything. Many days I don't go without breakfast, and I just snack on whatever throughout the day (Chewies, Oatmeal cookies, Chocolate chip cookies, pizza, etc), since I'm an ectomorph and it's really hard to put on weight (I'm 5'6, 126 lbs). My only decent meal is dinner. In the days leading to my recent breakout, I must say I ate and drank like a pig ~> pizza, junk food, and numerous bottles of Gatorade instead of water (which I wouldnt usually drink about 3, maybe 4 a day)

Yeah, first right here I think your diet can really improve, that's up to you and your attitude towards it, but obviously your diet is affecting your skin. Especially cut down on the sugar and grease. Try some veggies, good water, sleep, exercise, and be POSITIVE!

About your self-confidence.

I recently got back from a vacation in the Florida Keys. As always a hot girl keeps making eye contact with me from a short distance, but I can't really face her or go over and talk to her, cuz up close (and especially in sunlight) she'll be able to see my horrible acne (which gotten actually worst than it ever has in months recently). This has happened on numerous occasions, and it's always the same thing with me.

The truth is it's all up to you, not your skin or how some girl might (REPEAT MIGHT) perceive your skin. Are a few girls going to care if you're broken out? Yeah a few will; so what, they weren't worth it anyway. SO GOODBYE TO THEM. Don't crawl into a hole because your skin is broken out, okay? YOU MAKE THE CHOICE EITHER WAY IT'S UP TO YOU. Are you going to stand up and fight for yourself and your life, or are you going to quit? You're stronger than you know, and you're stronger than your acne.

You know what most women love (in my experience) and where relationships really happen? It's what 2 people share. Shared experiences- laughter- feelings, and good times are all important. If you can talk about a woman's life and feelings with her as well as sharing your own then you'll be surprised how many women want to be around you, and want you! :lol: But the key there is just finding the right one, and at your age I'd suggest just trying to find a great girlfriend by being a great boyfriend and person!!!!!! GO FOR IT!!!!! It has nothing absolutely nothing to do with your acne, I promise. I know because I've lived it and I'm older than you, been there done that okay buddy?

I stole this from AUTONOMOUSONE1980 because I thought it was appropriate.

Under the immense pressure of acne, I will shine like a diamond.

Acne is not my fault, but i will deal with it nonetheless.

I am not a pussy just because acne makes me want to avoid people, its a very logical response, and reasonably understandable response, there is nothing wrong with me.

Its never ok to let acne, or anyone, or circumstance affect how you feel about yourself, other wise you are a slave to your external conditions and can never rise up above them.

In the end, all you have is now- NOW-the present. That's it. What are you going to do now and change now about your attitude (not just your skin) that's giving you a better tomorrow? Are you going to look into the mirror and think something positive rather than something negative?

The choice is yours, you determine your life and your future by what you do now, don't think for one second you're going to be "Happy when I'm................................(FILL IN THE BLANK)" It doesn't work that way, never has never will. You created your low self-confidence not your acne, and no I don't want to hear your argument about it. You're stronger than that, I already told you that.

NOW- what are you doing about your thinking and attitude to get your confidence back?

Here's a long post of mine that talks about my regimen. Good luck!!! :cool:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/The-Truth...ne-t193547.html

And how about getting back into a regular school so you can finish high school and not get a GED? You can do it, you're stronger than that, I ALREADY TOLD YOU THAT!!!!!!

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