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I'm kind of a "Type-A" personality who strongly believes that the amount of effort you put into something should equate to a certain outcome. So far, this has worked in all aspects of my life up until this point. My life has taught me that the more energy you put into studying, the higher your grades will be. The harder you train in a sport, the better athlete you will be. The healthier you eat, the better your feel. The more sincere and compassionate you are to others, the more sincere and compassionate they are to you.... So why is it that the more I take care of my skin, the WORSE it gets? My mathematical mind cannot make sense of this. I keep following the directions of trusted doctors and the nice ladies behind cosmetic counters, to end up with more breakouts. I don't understand where the blemishes came from in the first place. There I was almost 30 years old with perfectly clear skin my whole life, then BAM! 5 huge blemishes all at once. They continue to multiply and be replaced as they die off. They left battle wounds all over my face. I get no break or glimpses of what is was like before the war. And, no over-the-counter product or prescription drug has done anything to combat them. they just keep coming in large numbers. I already despise irrational people. I despise irrational events even more. At least you can try to reason with people. This is absurd. I want answers. With the information and technology available today, you would think they could fix something as simple as acne. Why is it still such a big mystery?

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I'm kind of a "Type-A" personality who strongly believes that the amount of effort you put into something should equate to a certain outcome. So far, this has worked in all aspects of my life up until this point. My life has taught me that the more energy you put into studying, the higher your grades will be. The harder you train in a sport, the better athlete you will be. The healthier you eat, the better your feel. The more sincere and compassionate you are to others, the more sincere and compassionate they are to you.... So why is it that the more I take care of my skin, the WORSE it gets? My mathematical mind cannot make sense of this. I keep following the directions of trusted doctors and the nice ladies behind cosmetic counters, to end up with more breakouts. I don't understand where the blemishes came from in the first place. There I was almost 30 years old with perfectly clear skin my whole life, then BAM! 5 huge blemishes all at once. They continue to multiply and be replaced as they die off. They left battle wounds all over my face. I get no break or glimpses of what is was like before the war. And, no over-the-counter product or prescription drug has done anything to combat them. they just keep coming in large numbers. I already despise irrational people. I despise irrational events even more. At least you can try to reason with people. This is absurd. I want answers. With the information and technology available today, you would think they could fix something as simple as acne. Why is it still such a big mystery?

The answers:

1) More is not better. Your mathematical mind fails to account for Ockham's razor.

2) You keep following 'trusted' doctors. Hate to break it to you but the only thing that separates most doctors from non-doctors is studying and a degree. It doesn't mean much when it comes down to it. Many people I know are smarter than doctors. Intelligence is not equal to passing tests and a diploma.

3) Ladies behind cosmetic counters are the dumbest people alive. One word: Clinique.

4) Acne is a requirement. Without it, imagine how messed up the body would be. Where would you like all the puss to go? There is no mystery.

-Necromancer aka Genius

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You're probably over-irritating your skin which is causing those unexplained breakouts. Just wash with something gentle, like J&J general purpose, once or twice a day. You have to be really gentle.

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You're probably over-irritating your skin which is causing those unexplained breakouts. Just wash with something gentle, like J&J general purpose, once or twice a day. You have to be really gentle.

I've been gentle. I wasn't at first. It doesn't matter what I do. It won't go away.

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Have you tried Dan's regimen?

I'm a relative newby here (been stalking the site for about 2 weeks), and I started the regimen last week and I really do see an improvement.

Now, my skin isn't super terrible, but I've been battling this crap for 25 years! I'm 37, I shouldn't be dealing with this, right? I started with Retin-A and antibiodics in the 80's (when half of the people on this site were in diapers or not even born yet!), moved to Accutane in 1995 (which made a HUGE improvement), but I've spent the last 10-12 years dealing with on-and-off acne of various degrees. It's never gotten as bad as it was before tane, but in the last 3 months it's gotten bad enough that I knew I needed to do something different.

Just prior to starting the regimen last week, I would wake up with 3-5 new small zits on my face, and I was nursing a small cluster of cyst-like acne on my chin. As soon as one of those puppies would subside, a new one would show up. Since starting the regimen, I've had one "poppable" zit come to the surface, but nothing else. The cysts are all going down on their own. The cons: I've had some flaking and peeling, and the regimen takes a long time in the morning and evening, but I'm really happy with it so far. I guess, according to some people, I may have a breakout at 2 weeks. I'll see what happens and hope for the best.

I can just say that this regimen seemed to click a lightbulb with me: my skin is so delicate, when I was scrubbing and washing, I was doing more damage than good. It's kind of like when you get stitches or have an open wound, the doctor always tells you to not get it wet or otherwise mess with it. That's how I treat my face now - like it's an open wound. Since doing that, it's healing up so much faster.

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I'm kind of a "Type-A" personality who strongly believes that the amount of effort you put into something should equate to a certain outcome. So far, this has worked in all aspects of my life up until this point. My life has taught me that the more energy you put into studying, the higher your grades will be. The harder you train in a sport, the better athlete you will be. The healthier you eat, the better your feel. The more sincere and compassionate you are to others, the more sincere and compassionate they are to you.... So why is it that the more I take care of my skin, the WORSE it gets? My mathematical mind cannot make sense of this. I keep following the directions of trusted doctors and the nice ladies behind cosmetic counters, to end up with more breakouts. I don't understand where the blemishes came from in the first place. There I was almost 30 years old with perfectly clear skin my whole life, then BAM! 5 huge blemishes all at once. They continue to multiply and be replaced as they die off. They left battle wounds all over my face. I get no break or glimpses of what is was like before the war. And, no over-the-counter product or prescription drug has done anything to combat them. they just keep coming in large numbers. I already despise irrational people. I despise irrational events even more. At least you can try to reason with people. This is absurd. I want answers. With the information and technology available today, you would think they could fix something as simple as acne. Why is it still such a big mystery?

The answers:

1) More is not better. Your mathematical mind fails to account for Ockham's razor.

2) You keep following 'trusted' doctors. Hate to break it to you but the only thing that separates most doctors from non-doctors is studying and a degree. It doesn't mean much when it comes down to it. Many people I know are smarter than doctors. Intelligence is not equal to passing tests and a diploma.

3) Ladies behind cosmetic counters are the dumbest people alive. One word: Clinique.

4) Acne is a requirement. Without it, imagine how messed up the body would be. Where would you like all the puss to go? There is no mystery.

-Necromancer aka Genius

1) What is the simplest solution then?

2) I take offense to that one. I have close friends that are doctors. And, I always find it interesting the the people without the degrees are the ones that think that degrees don't mean anything. If I had stopped at high school and never furthered my education, I wouldn't know a third of what I know today. There would be a alot of gaps in my knowledge and my knowledge would be superficial. Sure, I'd hear things and think that I know them. However, being educated allows me to consider alternatives, be skeptical of information, and form my own conclusions based on a variety of sources. I'm sure there are self-taught people out there, but a formal education certainly helps keep a person motivated to keep learning. I never would have opened all those books if I didn't have to take tests on them. Being "smart" and being "educated" are different things. Smart implies that you have potential to pick up on things. However, if a smart person never exposes themselves to information, they remain ignorant. I know lots of smart people that are not educated and lots of educated people that are not smart. Doctors are educated. You cannot deny that.

3) I've had my fair share of putting the Clinique women in their place. However, I am always interested in what they have to say even if I don't agree with them.

4) Acne is not a requirement. I spent 29 years of my life without it. First of all, it's OIL that gets trapped under the skin. Treating it hormornally (accutane, birth control...) can stop that production of excess oil. Secondly, it would never get trapped if the pores were functioning properly. Oil alone causes shiny skin, not zits. Salicylic acid, Retin-A, and Adapalene are supposed to help pores funtion properly so that the oil does not get trapped. Lastly, bacteria thrives on the oil underneath the skin, so it needs to be killed by oxygenating it (Benzoyl Peroxide) or by killing it with topical or oral antibiotics. The problem with me treating it hormornally is that I plan on having children within the next year and I want them to have 10 fingers and 10 toes. A lot of over-the-counter products have irritants in addition to the the ingredients that would help acne. So products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can often do more harm than good. Antibiotics are always problematic because the bacteria can become resistance because some of the bacteria is not killed by it and passes on that genetic trait of resistance. Eventually, all the remaining bacteria are immune. That's why people are always switching antibiotics.

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Have you tried Dan's regimen?

I'm a relative newby here (been stalking the site for about 2 weeks), and I started the regimen last week and I really do see an improvement.

Now, my skin isn't super terrible, but I've been battling this crap for 25 years! I'm 37, I shouldn't be dealing with this, right? I started with Retin-A and antibiodics in the 80's (when half of the people on this site were in diapers or not even born yet!), moved to Accutane in 1995 (which made a HUGE improvement), but I've spent the last 10-12 years dealing with on-and-off acne of various degrees. It's never gotten as bad as it was before tane, but in the last 3 months it's gotten bad enough that I knew I needed to do something different.

Just prior to starting the regimen last week, I would wake up with 3-5 new small zits on my face, and I was nursing a small cluster of cyst-like acne on my chin. As soon as one of those puppies would subside, a new one would show up. Since starting the regimen, I've had one "poppable" zit come to the surface, but nothing else. The cysts are all going down on their own. The cons: I've had some flaking and peeling, and the regimen takes a long time in the morning and evening, but I'm really happy with it so far. I guess, according to some people, I may have a breakout at 2 weeks. I'll see what happens and hope for the best.

I can just say that this regimen seemed to click a lightbulb with me: my skin is so delicate, when I was scrubbing and washing, I was doing more damage than good. It's kind of like when you get stitches or have an open wound, the doctor always tells you to not get it wet or otherwise mess with it. That's how I treat my face now - like it's an open wound. Since doing that, it's healing up so much faster.

I've tried a very similar approach before I ever went to a dermatologist. It worked wonders on my forehead! Not a single blemish in 6 months up there. I had 2 months with my clearest skin ever. Then 4 months ago, the rest of my face started breaking out uncontrollably. It could be a few different things. 1.) A product I was using on my face eventually clogged my pores. 2.) The stress from work this year had an effect 3.) I'm just getting old and my hormones are out of whack. 4.) A combination of the other 3 possibilities. 5.) A hex

I'm four weeks into using Differin and a topical antibiotic. It seemed to be getting better, but then my lovely PMS arrived with some fresh new zits. I keep being told to be PATIENT. I am anything but patient. I'm that person you do not want behind you in line at a grocery store when you have a special need with your order. So Differin and I are not getting along so well right now.

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you have to face facts theres no cure for acne. accutane the next best thing to a cure

I plan on having children this year. Therefore, Accutane is not an option. It is known to cause severe birth defects in 90% of cases.

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Perhaps you should see a dermatologist. I'm sure they can explain acne to you in text-book terms.

I already understand acne and have seen a dermatologist. This is why I don't understand why I continue to get more acne. It doesn't add up. I do everything I am supposed to do and it still keeps coming back. That is my issue with it. It doesn't make sense to me. I have conquered many seemingly impossible things in my life. I pulled myself out of poverty by working my way through school, I even ran the Boston marathon. I should be able to conquer this.

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Perhaps you should see a dermatologist. I'm sure they can explain acne to you in text-book terms.

I already understand acne and have seen a dermatologist. This is why I don't understand why I continue to get more acne. It doesn't add up. I do everything I am supposed to do and it still keeps coming back. That is my issue with it. It doesn't make sense to me. I have conquered many seemingly impossible things in my life. I pulled myself out of poverty by working my way through school, I even ran the Boston marathon. I should be able to conquer this.

I understand your pain. Acne can be spontaneous and uncontrollable for many and can be really hard on a perfectionist, such as yourself. In my opinion, you need to find what's more important to you - clearing your skin or having a child. It seems, from the way you describe it, you'll have to run accutane. Like yourself, I was at wits end - tried everything to clear my skin. I was desperate and obsessed. I fell into a depression and pushed everyone away. My derm finally prescribed accutane after months of dabbling with antibiotics and before I knew it, I was clear.

I don't regret it.

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Perhaps you should see a dermatologist. I'm sure they can explain acne to you in text-book terms.

I already understand acne and have seen a dermatologist. This is why I don't understand why I continue to get more acne. It doesn't add up. I do everything I am supposed to do and it still keeps coming back. That is my issue with it. It doesn't make sense to me. I have conquered many seemingly impossible things in my life. I pulled myself out of poverty by working my way through school, I even ran the Boston marathon. I should be able to conquer this.

You can't beat acne in the same way as you can solve a logical problem. Many of us on this board understand how acne develops, but what we dont know is how acne is triggered on our skin. Everyone's skin is unique to themselves, and so your acne will not be the same as someone else with similar symptoms. The only way that you can get clear is by trying many different methods and hopefully finding one that will work for you. Try and be patient with yourself and accept that acne will be present until you find the treatment for your particular skin. That's what everyone on this board has had to do.

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Can you shed some light on your diet and environmental factors (live in a urban city? just brought a car and hence, exposed to the "new car smell"? surrounded by smoke all day?)?

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Can you shed some light on your diet and environmental factors (live in a urban city? just brought a car and hence, exposed to the "new car smell"? surrounded by smoke all day?)?

I live in the suburbs. I've run 40+ miles a week for about 4 years. I train on a treadmill at a large, open gym in the winter and outdoors in the summer. Running is pretty much the only time I go outdoors. I have been running outdoors more this year compared to ther years. I run close to the road most of the time. I eat to perfom in running, so my diet is very balanced and rountine. However, I may eat slightly more carbs than the average person to create glycogen stores for long runs and I rarely pass on dessert because I've already burned the calories. My car is about 18 months old. We did have a leak in our house around the time my face first broke out. This leak saturated our carpet, carpet pad, and floor boards. It took about a week for it to dry completely. Our carpet and pad is about 2 years old. Our house was built about 14 years ago. We have lived in it for 5 years. I had tried some newer products (hair & face) around the time breakouts began too. I've been gradually switching back to old products to isolate those products as possible factors. I have two cats. I don't smoke and avoid smokers.

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I'm kind of a "Type-A" personality who strongly believes that the amount of effort you put into something should equate to a certain outcome. So far, this has worked in all aspects of my life up until this point. My life has taught me that the more energy you put into studying, the higher your grades will be. The harder you train in a sport, the better athlete you will be. The healthier you eat, the better your feel. The more sincere and compassionate you are to others, the more sincere and compassionate they are to you.... So why is it that the more I take care of my skin, the WORSE it gets? My mathematical mind cannot make sense of this. I keep following the directions of trusted doctors and the nice ladies behind cosmetic counters, to end up with more breakouts. I don't understand where the blemishes came from in the first place. There I was almost 30 years old with perfectly clear skin my whole life, then BAM! 5 huge blemishes all at once. They continue to multiply and be replaced as they die off. They left battle wounds all over my face. I get no break or glimpses of what is was like before the war. And, no over-the-counter product or prescription drug has done anything to combat them. they just keep coming in large numbers. I already despise irrational people. I despise irrational events even more. At least you can try to reason with people. This is absurd. I want answers. With the information and technology available today, you would think they could fix something as simple as acne. Why is it still such a big mystery?

You know, I could've written the post above. I had absolutely clear skin until I was about 28. I'm healthy, I do everything "right" and yet now, 6 years later it's only gotten worse. It used to be that I wuold only get it on the sides of my face so w/ creative make-up I could actually pretend that it wasn't there. Now, it's all over my cheeks and my forehead. I can't hide it. No amount of make up can hide what I have now and I feel so helpless. I've tried every quick and not so quick fix. Two months ago I finally started accutane (made sure to try everything else beforehand because I didn't want to have to try this) and now I'm going on to my 3d month and I can't say that my skin has improved. I'm a walking side-effect but other than that, no real improvement... though I'm not saying it's not going to work... all I'm saying is that it's frustrating that even though I'm on Accutane, I still haven't seen much of an impovement after 2 months.

Anyhoo, I'm a complete newbie to this site and I'm sorry you're going through the same thing. This has certainly put my type A personality to the test. And you must be a fast runner! I'll never qualify for Boston. I've run 4 marathons but Boston? I don't think I could.

Good luck with your treatments.

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I was born in a socialist country, and taught that way so I completely understand why did your logic get stuck.

Acne is unlike everything else - you have to eliminate the logical approach, because you never know how your skin might react.

Maybe it was because of those new products? Remember that if you start using those old ones which you used before acne again, your skin will need some time to adapt.

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Thanks for all the support! Now that it's been nearly half a year since I've started having acne, I'm starting to realize that acne is not the worst thing in the world. My friends and family still love me and I still have plenty of other things to offer. In many ways it has humbled me. Perhaps it was one of those blessings in disguise. Acne was something I needed to be a little less critical of others for their imperfections. It's interesting that many people I have known for years have had acne for years and I've never even noticed it! I also no longer have to fear getting acne.

The prescriptions are not giving me the flawless skin that I once had, but they are certainly keeping my acne under control. It's not as bad as it was initially. It's somewhat predictable at this point. As soon as one round clears, I can expect another. I still believe that my skin will return to normal. Based on the pattern of breakouts, I really think a product I was using caused this. In any event, I now understand that treatments take time. I used to think that acne would disappear over night if a treatment really worked. But, there is a lot to contend with. Aside from oil, bad pores, and bacteria, there is still redness and inflammation to deal with. There is no quick fix. I will continue to be patient with my treatments and I will keep you updated.

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