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I suffered from moderate acne from age 14 till 21. I'm now clear, and at this point I think my opinions and experiences carry some worth, so I'm here to share them. In my time I experimented with many treatments.

First some facts about my skin. Vanity prevents me from calling my face oily, but I'm the sort that has a slight sheen on his forehead in photos. In the early years I had what they call T-zone acne (forehead, nose, and chin) but as years passed the bumps migrated to my cheeks, temples, and neck. I also had bacne: it was quite ugly for a while until I figured out my cure. My back, by the way, is not oily at all.

Mostly it was whiteheads, though I had my share of cysts.

For a while I tested treatments for efficacy on my back before trying them on my more valuable face, but because the skin types were different I found that what worked on one never worked on the other. Best example: eventually I realized that leaving the back alone works best. (I wash it with warm water only, never soap, body wash, or any of that.) But when I tried the same on my face the result was a rather large setback. There's probably a chemicial explanation for this that has something to do with pH. Anyway, try the water-only cure for yourself. It will work quickly if it works at all, so if no improvements within two weeks, quit it.

For my face the doctor prescribed various antibiotics - creams and pills - that never worked. Stevamycin (sp?) was particularly disastrous. It hardened my face into a chunk of dry red coral, and if I moved my face at all the skin would flake and peel. That was the year I stopped smiling.

I tried vitamin supplements: Zinc, E, A, D, C, and overdosing on B5. The B5 actually worked, indeed better than anything else I ever tried, but it was hell on my wallet and my bowels. Eventually I gave it up. If you can afford it, don't mind the side-effects, and have the patience to swallow pills morning noon and night, go for it. I took the Evolution-X brand (On discovering the bottle in my bathroom, my friend said, in a tone of anguish, "Are you evolving without me?") I think it has since changed names. It comes mixed with biotin and everything else. The other vitamins I tried had no noticeable benefits.

Diet: My father is lactose-intolerant, so I cut out dairy. This helped a lot. Notez Bien, I don't drink pop, I rarely drink beer, and I don't eat any greasy pub foods. I never systematically tested these latter proscriptions, and correlation =/ causation, but it's quite possible that they helped. Having a healthy diet can't hurt. As for drugs, I always broke out after I partook. Many other people on these boards have noticed the same thing. So cut out the pot and shrooms for a while and see what happens.

Dan's simple regimen was and is my mainstay. I use the clearasil cleanser, the foamy kind for sensitive skin, and the clearasil 5% bp. Twice a day. I found that taking a day off once a week kept my skin from overdrying.

Don'ts, written in blood: keep away from toners, scrubs, and any cleanser that contains menthol. Men, don't use an electric razor; furthermore, don't use shaving oil. Don't use painfully hot water on your face, don't continually steam your face over boiling water, don't drive your fist through the mirror in frustration. Don't take extreme measures - they usually backfire. Resist the temptation to pop your zits before school or before a date, as you'll just make them look worse.

I hope it helps. I'm sure I've left out a lot. Any questions, please ask.

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Hey, just a question but why should men not use electric razors? And thanks for sharing your success and also, congrats on clearing up.

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Hey, just a question but why should men not use electric razors? And thanks for sharing your success and also, congrats on clearing up.

All my experience with electric razors, corroborated by many veterans, is that they irritate one's skin. In general I think one should shave as infrequently as possible, and then always with the grain. I shave three times a week.

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So the BP doesnt dry you out anymore huh?

When I tried 10% BP it was nearly as bad as steivamycin. 5% is more comfortable. If I could sum up my experiences in a sentence, it would be this:

Experiment with many treatments, be patient, and avoid cures that are worse than the disease.

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