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Hi, so I'm new here. Been reading the boards for awhile now and decided now to finally join hoping someone can relate to me.

Well my story is a relatively long one. I'm 22 and had acne as a young teen (starting getting pimples actually as early as 9), they got really bad in middle school, finally was put on the birth control pill... I had flawless skin during this time I didn't even cleanse my skin. I would have random people come compliment just how beautiful my skin was! As a teen, the acne was on my forehead, but now it's mostly on my cheeks.

Fast forward, I'm almost 19 and figure I should end the birth control and within 6 months I start getting the occasional zit. Then a bad breakout then things calmed down. Then got bad again and that's when it started... for the past 3 years, product after product after product and it just kept getting worse and worse and worse (got really bad with stress too).

Finally, a few months ago, I went to see a derm and she gave me tazorac, which made my face A LOT worse, with these awful cysts that would itch and burn (sometimes so painful I would wake up in the middle of the night from the pain) so I quit using it after 5 weeks. Derm gave me cortisone shots, which did jack. It kept getting worse and worse (I realized later a good deal of it was my own doing though, being too harsh). Around this time I started to develop some acne on my back.

I've tried a whole host of things, vitamins, detoxes (under the supervision of a holistic doctor), eliminating dairy and wheat/gluten, tea tree oil, BHA's (which I think actually make my face worse), AHA's, BP, fruit enzymes, eggs, , cetaphil, apple cider vinegar, "natural" lines (like boscia), blood type diet, ad nauseum.

The detoxing did help a little bit (particularly with my back), but that was short lived.

I don't know if my skin is oily or dry (probably a bit on the oily side), but after awhile I noticed that lately, my skin is volatile. I wash my face and it's dry, put a moisturizer and it's still incredibly dehydrated and it starts to flake and feel really, really right and looks scaley looking. Then I'll use a milder cleanser or cleanse less often and it's oily...

I eat healthy, cook almost all of my own food, rarely eat meat and when I do, it's fish, drink my water, rarely eat junk food, carbs are unrefined, lots of veggies, got my fruits, etc...

About 3 weeks ago I found Alpha Hydrox and the rave reviews so I got the soufflee and after 2 weeks I saw sooome improvement and purging so I thought I would add in the retinol thinking it would not give me the same bad reaction since it was milder, but I was wrong.

So right now I'm quitting. My acne is most likely hormonal as I have other symptoms of hormonal imbalances. Went to endocrinologist, waiting to get my blood work. I had it done a few weeks ago and everything came out normal but I was on the pill so the endo said to try again while taking the placebo section of the pills. My dad, an obgyn, said it should not make a difference, but I'm going to try the endo's advice just to see. Either way, it seems my body is producing excess androgens (or at least not metabolizing it properly if all the results are normal?) and I don't know why.

Anyways, I just wash my face with water (added with a drops of jojoba oil as water alone is drying to my face) and that's IT. I added fish oil yesterday, it's good for me anyway. I'm also back on the pill but that's going to take a while to kick in. I started a low glycemic diet about 3 weeks ago as well (since too much insulin can trigger more production of androgens). I don't know what else to do to be healthier frankly. I don't know what else to eliminate or add in. I'm really tried about stressing over it, and wasting my time and money.

Right now my face just seems to be purging. I'm going to leave it alone for a weeks ago and maybe try the souflee again.

And finally, my dad and aunt had acne until early-mid 20s so I'm sure that's a factor.

Sorry for the long rant, not sure what else to do anymore.

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I have to say...I have success with BP and AHA because I give them enough time to let them work on my skin.

BP took 2 months trial.

AHA is another 2 months trial.

The purpose of my regimen is to find a customized regimen for myself and to share my insights of giving AHA regimen a lot of time and consistency. I have never fail not to put on AHA every morning and evening.

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What about sleep and exercise? You need those as well to be healthy. If you have abdominal fat, lose it. It's a major source of inflammation. The fact that the detox helped maybe shows your liver isn't functioning/is overloaded. Maybe concentrate on foods and supplements that aid the liver like milk thistle and sulfur.

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I don't usually bother with these message boards but I also have tried everything. I did the Accutane twice - acne came back - all the oral drugs, all the creams all the natural stuff and all the not so natural stuff. I have had acne since my early twenties - i have not gone a day without pimples and i am in my late 30's. I have cried about this and raged about this. About a two months ago i started taking ground flax seed in my yogurt for other health reasons and i have not had a pimple since. I do not know if this is coincidence - but it is unbelievable to me and i am so excited i had to share. So maybe you can try it and let me know if it helps for you at all.

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Thank you everyone for your input.

sman7: The soufflee was doing pretty well and I had the usual purging, which i understand. Once I added the retinol, within 3 days I broke out horribly with cystic acne so I stopped both. I understand there would be purging, but the cystic acne was what really turned me off. Right now I'm not doing anything except washing with water and jojoba oil and in the past 3 days my face is clearing up actually. I did not realize your experiment was 2 months though as I did not see a start date and the time between your first post the post you said you were clear was 2 weeks so I got discouraged because I did not get those results in 3 weeks. Whatever topical treatment I do next, I should probably just let my skin rest I think though I think once things calm down I will try the souflee again and give it more time this time around. Thank you.

alternatevista: I do sleep well and exercise and generally lead a very healthy life style. :( I don't have a lot of abdominal fat. In fact, I've been getting slimmer over the past few years, it has not helped. I've also tried milk thistle for a few months and did not see any improvements. After awhile the detoxes were really just not doing anything.

lalame: I'm pretty sure I'm getting enough fats in my diet. I eat plenty of fish and use coconut oil or olive oil to cook. I recently started taking fish oil anyway as well as green tea supplements. My mom loves flax though, does wonders for her. Do you know how flax helps acne though? That might make me decide as toe whether I should add it. From a quick google, it seems as though it has pretty much the same properties as fish oil (omega 3's anti-inflammatory,etc). Is there anything else? Thank you!

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I have seen women with hormonal acne have success with a pill - spironolactone, which controls the androgens you speak of. Try doing a search on the boards, there are some good threads about it.

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Do you know how flax helps acne though? That might make me decide as toe whether I should add it. From a quick google, it seems as though it has pretty much the same properties as fish oil (omega 3's anti-inflammatory,etc). Is there anything else? Thank you!

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Maybe you could try Mandelic Acid? It's done wonders for me.

I've lurked at this site for months, and after hearing about Mandelic I decided to try it. I also heard here about the 5% salicylic acid peel so I decided to try that too.

The Mandelic Acid has made a huge difference, and I'm so glad for Dan and this site so that I could find out about it.

I know you can get samples if you'd prefer not to buy a whole bottle.

I wish you the best of luck!

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Maybe you could try Mandelic Acid? It's done wonders for me.

I've lurked at this site for months, and after hearing about Mandelic I decided to try it. I also heard here about the 5% salicylic acid peel so I decided to try that too.

The Mandelic Acid has made a huge difference, and I'm so glad for Dan and this site so that I could find out about it.

I know you can get samples if you'd prefer not to buy a whole bottle.

I wish you the best of luck!

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Maybe you could try Mandelic Acid? It's done wonders for me.

I've lurked at this site for months, and after hearing about Mandelic I decided to try it. I also heard here about the 5% salicylic acid peel so I decided to try that too.

The Mandelic Acid has made a huge difference, and I'm so glad for Dan and this site so that I could find out about it.

I know you can get samples if you'd prefer not to buy a whole bottle.

I wish you the best of luck!

sarahinaz: what is mandelic acid? Most topical stuff had either very little or no effect.

Thanks everyone for the tips :):surprised:

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Hi jdruler!

Here are a couple of links on this board about it, the first one started in 2006 by one our of moderators, LionQueen :D

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php?showtopic=93702

Here's another one (with amazing before & after pics)

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...179851&st=0

And here are some FAQ's I've listed below (from the following link) http://www.mandelicacid.org/faq.php

"Mandelic Acid FAQ's

What is Mandelic acid?

Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) extracted from bitter almond that has been studied extensively as a treatment for common skin concerns as photoaging, acne and melasma, with additional focus on use as a pre- and post-laser treatment. Mandelic acid is an aromatic AHA and its molecular size is smaller than any other aromatic AHA, making it the most effective in skin care products; however its size is smaller than that of glycolic acid, the most popular AHA in skin care, making it much less of an irritant.

What does Mandelic acid do?

Mandelic acid works on two levels: as a mild exfoliant and as an antibacterial. It has been clinically proven to help eliminate hyperpigmentation in the skin, such as Melasma, as well as acne and oily skin. It has also been shown to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles from the skin. In stronger formulas, when administered by a professional, Mandelic makes a great chemical peel and is less irritating than a glycolic peel with very similar results.

How does Mandelic acid work?

As an alpha hydroxy acid, Mandelic acid works by breaking up the bond between skin cells, leading to an increased rate of cellular turnover. This is beneficial because it purges the skin of dead skin cells, which can lead to wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acne, among other conditions. Mandelic acid has also long been known to have antibacterial properties, which are especially beneficial in the treatment of acne and oily skin.

Who can use products with Mandelic acid?

Because of its molecular size, Mandelic acid is well tolerated by virtually all skin types, including sensitive skin types such as rosacea. Mandelic acid is one of the few ingredients recommended for those with darker complexions, who might experience hyperpigmentation from similar ingredients such as hydroquinone. Because Mandelic acid is absorbed at a slower rate than many other ingredients, it does not disrupt the melanin in the skin. Mandelic acid is also one of the few ingredients prescribed for acne treatment that can be used on pimples and pustules as well as acne cysts.

What are the side effects of Mandelic acid?

The side effects of Mandelic acid are minimal, especially when compared to similar skin care ingredients such as glycolic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) or hydroquinone (a skin lightening ingredient). However, because Mandelic acid is an exfoliant, it will expose new layers of skin to the sun. The newer skin will tend to be slightly more vulnerable to the sun. A sunscreen is recommended to help minimize occurrence of burning and irritation."

I personally use NuCelle's 10% Mandelic Acid serum, but there are several brands that I've heard good things about on this board (Vivant, MaMa, etc.) in different concentrations (10%, 15%, etc.).

Hope that info helps! You can get samples online if you'd like to just try it out. Good luck to you! :D

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Can I ask why you don't just get back on the pill? Yeah, it'll suck to have a year of acne if/when you do wanna get pregnant. But seriously, from what I've heard the pill is nothing but good for 99.9% of women (lessens bad shit rather than causing it) and an ~1/day pill to completely cure acne? Shit I don't know anyone who wouldn't kill for that. Hell, a lot of women get on the pill AND accutane (which has loads of bad shit that goes along with it) and feel lucky THAT works for em. The pill alone seems like a gimme cure.

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Can I ask why you don't just get back on the pill? Yeah, it'll suck to have a year of acne if/when you do wanna get pregnant. But seriously, from what I've heard the pill is nothing but good for 99.9% of women (lessens bad shit rather than causing it) and an ~1/day pill to completely cure acne? Shit I don't know anyone who wouldn't kill for that. Hell, a lot of women get on the pill AND accutane (which has loads of bad shit that goes along with it) and feel lucky THAT works for em. The pill alone seems like a gimme cure.

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