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Hello everyone, I'm new here and would like to join, if you don't mind. My name is Allison and here's my story: I just turned 35 yrs old and ever since I turned 30 I've struggled with break outs off and on that seem to be getting worse. I like many of you have tried a lot of these products that claim to work, like Proactive and OTC kits, but I really started getting serious about trying more expensive products last yr, thinking they would help. So, last October I went to a Plastic surgeons office and the Aesthetician there put me on a system called "Obagi Nuderm with Retin A" this stuff was suppose to clear my skin up and get rid of all those red marks left behind from acne as well as improve my skins overall texture. Well, I gave that a try and to my amazement, after about 6 weeks I found it did help with clearing my skin, and took care of those red marks, but that took much longer (about 4 mths), my skin also had a nice glow to it. However, I have sensitive skin and the Obagi nuderm system along with the Retin A was a little too much for me, so I discontinued that system after 4mths but kept up with the Retin A and my skin stayed nice and clear for all those mths. I mean every once in awhile I'd have a little breakout, but they were the small ones and they would be gone the next day! It was wonderful not having to worry about when I was going to get a break out of those large painful ones that take forever to get rid of!

Anyway, the summer rolled around and I knew I'd be out in the pool a lot and knowing how Retin A causes sun sensitivity, I decided to give it a break, BIG MISTAKE! I guess I actually believed my skin was cured and that I'd be ok, but it wasn't. About a mth later I started having breakouts again. So, I went back to the Aesthetician who put me on an Acne system called Obagi Clenziderm, which is a system of Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide and it cleared up my face initially, but then they started coming back the very next week, but worse than that it was like someone set off a bomb on my face it was SO RED and DRY, I could hardly stand it! When I reported it to the lady she said to keep plugging away that my skin would eventually get use to it. So, I did that for the next 2 wks and my skin got so bad that after washing my face, I couldn't talk it was so tight!, and I started noticing little speckles of blood on my face along with flaking. After that,I knew it was time to stop and call a Dermatologist. However when I called they told me they couldn't get me in for over 2 mths, so here I've sat for the last few mths desperately trying find a moisturizer that would help my skin and not break me out. I've tried Avenno soap bar for dry sensitive skin and it broke me out HORRIBLY! I then tried products from Avon, even proactive green tea moisturizer all which broke me out!

Sorry so long, but this is the worst my skin has ever looked and I've never been so embarrassed in my life! Its like I just want to dig a hole and get in it until my face clears up, it has literally devastated my self esteem! My face is constantly broken out and extremely dry on top of that, and it just looks awful, I can't stand looking in the mirror. The only way I can get it looking semi decent is if I pile on the make up which ends up looking a mess couple of hours later! It has put me in a bad mood which my husband doesn't understand (he's never had a blemish in his life!) So, here I sit feeling horrible about myself, really angry about discontinuing the Retin A in the first place, but afraid to start it up without seeing the doctor, which thank the goodness, is next Friday, but still seems like an eternity away! I just don't understand why I have these breakouts at my age, I never had this problem in my 20's!

Anyway, sorry I've written so much but if feels good to be able to share my story with people I know can understand what I'm going through! Thanks for listening.


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hello :) I do feel for you & a lot of people on here will do too, so many of us know how awful it feels to have break outs, acne, redness etc....

My response would be, have you looked into taking roaccutane, at a low dose, say 20mg a day? People have differing opinions on it but personally I think it is really worth taking if you want something you know will clear your skin. Speak to your derm & see what they say. If not then perhaps a BCP like dianette or yasmin? Takes 3 mths to work but will clear your skin. Only problem is it sometimes comes back when you come off it.

For your skin at the moment I would suggest the mildest thing you can find - wash with a mild cleanser or just water and then go for a very mild moisturiser, possibly even a baby one? Then for any bits which are sore a bit of sudocrem rubbed in to help it heal.

For the husband - I would try sitting him down and talking to him about just how awful this makes you feel and how much it upsets you. It really is slightly easier with support when you feel awful from those around you so if you can be serious with him about just how much this affects you & how you feel maybe he will realise that you need his support.

Good luck at the derm, keep us updated.

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