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I just don't know what to do anymore...

Okay so I'm 18 years old now and my acne seems to be worse then ever. I used to have very very mild acne with no red bumps, but the white ones that you couldn't really see with the occasional pimple. So because of the mildness I tried to get rid of it. I went to a dermatologist and he prescribed Differin to me. That made my face burn and dry up so much I couldn't use it anymore. I took that for about 2 weeks or so.

Then I would try treatments from places like CVS. Those seemed to do okay, kind of just preventing any new pimples, but didn't get rid of my mild acne.

Now the worst of them all, ProActiv. I purchased ProActiv at...the beginning of October. I continued to use it, day and night like it said, all 3 treatments, for about a month and a half to 2 months. In the beginning it seemed to be clearing it up and then a little while later my face just broke out. Worse than ever. Now I have about 5-6 red bumps on my left side of my face and 2 on my right side and they will not go away. It seemed as if ProActiv was making them worse so I stopped using it. This was about a week and a half ago and I still have the bumps on my face. I assumed that if I stopped using it my face would clear up somewhat right?

I really don't know what to do anymore and this seems like one of the worst ages to have it. Also, I'm active playing football every weekend and hockey every once in a while too. And yes, I take showers after I play too. I a lot of water, around 3-4 Poland Spring bottles a day. I don't eat fast food a lot, I work out. I'm lost here lol. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Hey you have no idea. I feel you. I am 18 years old right now and dealing with the same stuff. I've had it since I was 14 and it's still going on. I have been on differen for 2 months now. The derm said it will be 2-3 months before I see a difference. It seems like something is changing now.

The key is you have to stick to something for about 2-3 months before you can call it good or no good. Trust me I know how it feels. It's not fair. I look at 99% of the kids in my college have clear skin, but you know what? There is always worse. My friend who's clear has crones disease, and cancer in his hand. There's a little boy on the news who I just saw who died from cancer. My other friend who's clear has diabetes. If acne is the worse thing that will effect me in my life then so be it. I still have friends, and girlfriends. People really don't care about it. Only people who feel like crap to them selves care about it. That's the truth friend.

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i also feel you :( im 18 and ive had mild acne for a couple years. i came to college and KABOOM ACNE explosion haha not really but kinda, im getting it under control now but im going to a derm when i go home cause i have all of these closed comedones i hate what it does to my confidence tho :comfort:

i love that were all 18 hah

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The acid mantle and its role in acne

Our skin's main function is to literally hold everything together, ie. keep our organs in a collective group. To do this effectively the skin needs to be strong, elastic and keep everything in, as well as keep things out. The things we want to keep out are excess moisture, viruses, bacteria, fungi, corrosive things, and keep our body at the correct temperature and moisture level.

The pores on our skin regulate the temperature and moisture levels, and the combination of oil and sweat glands (sebaceous and sudoriferous glands) on our skin keep it healthy and elastic. THE COMBINED EXCRETIONS OF OIL AND SWEAT FORM THE "ACID MANTLE" WHICH SURROUNDS OUR BODY AND HAS A pH OF 5.5.

The ACID MANTLE is our body's first defense mechanism against bacteria invading it. The slight acid conditions are disliked by bacteria. The acid mantle develops at puberty for our adult system.

When we are children we do not have an acid mantle, hence why children are more exposed to disease, viruses and fungal infections like ringworm, that adults do not tend to get. The mantle around a child is pH 7, which is neutral.

The change from a mantle of 7pH to a more protective ACID MANTLE happens at puberty when we start producing more hair on our bodies. Each hair follicle has at least one sebaceous or oil gland, which becomes active as the hair starts to grow and this changes the balance of oil and sweat on the skin. The hormones that control sweat also become active, hence the whole surface of the skin in a teenager is totally different to that of a child. The body is trying to create a safer, more protective environment. THE OIL ON OUR SKIN PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE!!!!

It is now that the problem of acne starts to occur, with the skin becoming clogged with oil and dead cells, forming small pimples and black heads. A teenager often feels that they are not clean so they tend to wash until the skin feels "squeaky" clean, stripping the skin of oil, and if using soap, altering the pH to alkaline conditions. This is opposite to what the body is trying to achieve, to protect the body, so it will naturally produce more oil, in order to correct the body to the "safest" condition which is a pH of 5.5. The continued cleansing of the skin with alkaline products like soap create a see-saw effect on the bodies hormonal system, which controls the amount of oil being produced. In order to correct an alkaline skin condition it will have to produce much more oil than a neutral or slightly acid condition. Therefore one of the simplest ways to prevent an imbalance occurring is to get young teenagers to use an ACID BALANCED CLEANSER. A cheap natural alternative to a commercial cleanser is acidophilus yoghurt.

Suzanne Hull, owner of Living Nature, has found the above explanation, though a bit involved, very helpful for teenagers to not work against their body, but with it.

So this is the first step. Unfortunately some cases have gone past this and have developed a severe problem, or have had an acne condition for many years, which requires treatment.


Whatever you do don't put anymore chemicals on your skin! Follow the tips on this site: holisticbeauty.net/Acne_Troubles.htm if you believe your hormones are still fairly active. You will be going with what your body is trying to do (protect itself) rather than against it. This is stuff that your dermo won't tell you simply because of $$$$. I too once had it mild and then it still wouldn't go away (i just turned 20, got it at about 18) until now by simply doing nothing...not even water for the past 11 days. Good luck and stay positive! I'm trying to just help you out so you don't have spots longer than you have to (like I did) and so you are educated on the topic instead of brainwashed by what all of the media say on the issue.

Note: if you are a chick I dunno much about the situation because the hormone levels tend to be ongoing than in men. I still think all of those chemicals are ridiculous and are only quick fixes. We want stuff to be permanent!

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