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WTF ( photos added today)

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Quick background.

Age 22. Acne for the past 9 years. Not one single day without acne. Very severe and cystic at times. Have never actually had it under control no matter what I do. Now I have wide spread red marks and wide spread shallow scarring and some acne only 15-20 pus filled lesions instead of 100-120. And black heads/clogged pores. Maybe 40-50 of them.

I took accutane which did not work at all. I had a terrible initial breakout followed by severe side effects in which my doctor took me of the drug. Accutane is to blame for most of my scarring and red marks/ hyperpigmintation. It did something to my skin. I really effected the way my skin heals. Not only on my face and with acne but across my entire body for any cuts or scrapes. I used to heal so fast and would never have lasting red marks. This all changed instantly on accutane. Accutane is really a decision I regret. I hope that all of the side effects will fade in time.

Over the past 9 years I have basically tried every available method of treating acne. None have been successful.

This is what I am doing now.

Every week I see an esthetician who gives me a facial which last between 2-2.5 hours. She uses various plant enzyme masks, a high frequency machine, a micro current machine, one other machine which I can't remember the name, and she also does extractions. I dread getting these facials because it is 2 straight hours of pain and torture. But it is helping. I have been doing this for 9 weeks. Very $$$$$

I am also working with her and my dermatologist on a skin care/product regimen

They have me using products by Jan Marini. The most expensive skin creams I have ever heard of. It makes me sick how much money I am spending on skin care. My parents are paying for all of it. But still it makes me absolutely sick when I realize what I could do with that money if I didn't have acne. Getting into the Tens of Thousands now. $$$$ god damn. Someone is making money off people with acne.

Anyway here is the regimen. And the joke prices of Jan Marini. (anyone have experience with it)

MORNING

1. JM Bioglycolic Facial Cleanser ( 12% glycolic acid) $50

Wash for 1-2 min. Wait 3 min before next step

2. Clidamycin 1% lotion. $100

Wait 3 min before next step.

3. JM Age Intervention Transitions. (1% salicylic acid) $89

4. JM Transformation Serum ( some kind of moisturizer) $77

5. JM SPF 30 $ 45

NIGHT

1. JM Bioglycolic Facial Cleanser ( 12% glycolic acid) $50

Wash for 1-2 min. Wait 3 min before next step

2. Apply Retin-A .05%. $100

Wait 3 min before next step

3. JM Bio Clear Lotion ( 12% glycolic acid, 2% salicylic acid, 2% Azelaic acid) $75

4. JM Transformation Serum $77

5. JM benzoyl Peroxide 10% $35

On top of this I have been getting accupunture 1 a week which is very nice and has really helped my joint pain from accutane. I don't know if it has an effect on acne or not. I am also taking an array of herbal supplements than are traditional chinese medicine.

My diet is VERY healthy.

Lots of veggies every day.

Leafy greens.

Lots of fish.

Lots of water.

I use a new wash cloth every day. I Use a new pillow case every night.

My face is very sensitive and is irritated all the time. It is either burning like a sunburn. Itching like poison ivy. Dry, cracking and peeling. Or Oily, sticky and irritated. It can be all of these on any given day. My quality of life because of my skin is horrible. I am so angry every day at the state of my skin. It not only looks terrible it is SOOOO Irritated all day every day I can never get a break.

My acne itself is better for sure. But the acne I do get is still very painful. Is this a good regimen to continue if my acne is better? I don't know how much longer I can handle all of this irritation.

I feel like my life revolves around my face. When I can go outside. What activities I do. Wearing hats, being in the wind, being in the sun, being sweaty, Being cold. Its just constantly irritated.

What will happen if I stopped using all of these products?

Is it un healthy to be using so many chemicals on my face?

Could this possible hurt me more than help me?

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Firstly let me give you a (((((HUG))). You certainly need one. Secondly, If it is starting to work, then maybe you should stick it out a little longer, especially if your parents are paying. I too, get very irritated and red/raw from many of the products I've tried over the years. I've had only a few times when acne did not ruin my life, but can say it's something I think about daily. Since you have tried accutane and don't want to go back on it. Now it's time to assess everything that has not work and what has to some degree. Make a list of all the things you have done, all the products you have tried and list the outcomes. Acne can be made worse by irritation. Maybe it's just too much. I've learned my lesson on that. More is not always better. Harsher is not always better. I now have super sensitive skin and I am in the process of rebuilding my skins lipid barrier that has been damaged from countless harsh acne products over the years. Acne is not a one-size fits all deal. Our bodies DNA and how it reacts in external and internal factors are very different.

Have you had an Allergen Test? The reason I ask is that I did not find my acne triggers until I had a full panel 3 day Allergy test. I was tested for 125 different foods/food additives and then had a complete scratch test for outside allergens like pollen, tree sap, and chemicals. What I found out surprised the heck out of me. 5 things that I loved to eat the most where on my high list as potential allergens. I also found other outside factors like Oak sap and even some common grasses. It made sense at that point. I realized that after eating certain things I would break out. It was an allergy. I've had to cut out most dairy and soy (I can still have hard cheese and yogurt). I stopped eating certain vegetables/grains that were on the "Potential" list from the doctor. I eliminated things one by one until I found my triggers it's taken 8 months to figure it all out by writing everything down. What I ate, possible ingredients etc. It take dedication and vigilance but so worth the effort. By modifying my diet, eliminating the foods on the allergen list and staying away from certain chemicals found in some beauty products and makeup (My shampoo had an allergen in it!! Didn't even think of that!) combine this with consistent use of tazorac and taking yoga fro stress relief, I'm nearly clear. With only the hormonal zit popping up now and then. I've had spells of severe acne to persistent cysts. I get them all. I've been so down and depressed that I wouldn't leave the house or go anywhere. I felt so isolated. I now am on track to feeling normal for once. I realized that acne did not run my life (Or ruin it, whichever way you want to look at it). I'm 36 I should not have to be dealing with this, but I am. It sucks to have acne and wrinkles. Be glad you parents are trying to help you now. All we had when I was younger was sea breeze and Clearasil and my parents never ook me to the doctor.

One thing I would have to say is that the less I mess with my face, the better. I do not scrub anymore. No matter how peely I get, no scrubs. Why? Because scrubbing can lead to more inflammation which in turn causes more acne. I use a microfiber cloth that is designed to take off makeup and dead skin without irritation. If I'm red and feeling flaky, I skip medicine totally and use something basic like a face oil (I like sweet almond oil or Apricot Kernal oil or a mix of the two), and then I just leave my face alone for a few days. No scrubs, no masks, no harsh aha's etc. It's possible that with Accutane you have lowered your immune system. I've seen it before with some friends. You may also have the dreaded post-accutane Rosacea flare up. Which seems to be common. I suggest you look into some Rosacea sites and look for some advice. It's a difficult topic (I have minor weather activated rosacea).

I hope you can continue to heal. I suggest taking extra vitamin C and a Fish oil supplement. I swear by both of them. Vitamin C is water soluble, so you can't overdose. I get Fish oil with Omega 3 in a big bottle from Costco and it last forever.

As for the Jan Marini Products. they are good. But also very irritating. Those with already irritated skin probably should not use them daily until they they get used to them.

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Hi,

I am very sorry you've been having such a hard time although at least you seem to be making some progress. Having supportive parents can make all the difference. My question is how long have you been doing this regimen and did you start all of the things at the same time? It seems like an awful lot of products to me and it could be that the irritation is just because your skin wasn't eased into it. I haven't used Jan Marini products but I have used similar things at different times. One thing I noticed is that your wait time between products is very short. I have always been told to wait at least 5 min between products- 10 min in most cases if possible. For Retin-a in particualr (which I use) it is recommended to wash your face, wait 30 min, put on retin-a, wait 30 min, put on moisturizer. This is supposed to cut down on irritation. My suggestion would be to use the retin-a every other night with longer wait times and on the other night use the bp and gly/sal acid. Whatever you decide to do I hope things improve. Keep updating.

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Quick background.

Age 22. Acne for the past 9 years. Not one single day without acne. Very severe and cystic at times. Have never actually had it under control no matter what I do. Now I have wide spread red marks and wide spread shallow scarring and some acne only 15-20 pus filled lesions instead of 100-120. And black heads/clogged pores. Maybe 40-50 of them.

I took accutane which did not work at all. I had a terrible initial breakout followed by severe side effects in which my doctor took me of the drug. Accutane is to blame for most of my scarring and red marks/ hyperpigmintation. It did something to my skin. I really effected the way my skin heals. Not only on my face and with acne but across my entire body for any cuts or scrapes. I used to heal so fast and would never have lasting red marks. This all changed instantly on accutane. Accutane is really a decision I regret. I hope that all of the side effects will fade in time.

Over the past 9 years I have basically tried every available method of treating acne. None have been successful.

This is what I am doing now.

Every week I see an esthetician who gives me a facial which last between 2-2.5 hours. She uses various plant enzyme masks, a high frequency machine, a micro current machine, one other machine which I can't remember the name, and she also does extractions. I dread getting these facials because it is 2 straight hours of pain and torture. But it is helping. I have been doing this for 9 weeks. Very $$$$$

I am also working with her and my dermatologist on a skin care/product regimen

They have me using products by Jan Marini. The most expensive skin creams I have ever heard of. It makes me sick how much money I am spending on skin care. My parents are paying for all of it. But still it makes me absolutely sick when I realize what I could do with that money if I didn't have acne. Getting into the Tens of Thousands now. $$$$ god damn. Someone is making money off people with acne.

Anyway here is the regimen. And the joke prices of Jan Marini. (anyone have experience with it)

MORNING

1. JM Bioglycolic Facial Cleanser ( 12% glycolic acid) $50

Wash for 1-2 min. Wait 3 min before next step

2. Clidamycin 1% lotion. $100

Wait 3 min before next step.

3. JM Age Intervention Transitions. (1% salicylic acid) $89

4. JM Transformation Serum ( some kind of moisturizer) $77

5. JM SPF 30 $ 45

NIGHT

1. JM Bioglycolic Facial Cleanser ( 12% glycolic acid) $50

Wash for 1-2 min. Wait 3 min before next step

2. Apply Retin-A .05%. $100

Wait 3 min before next step

3. JM Bio Clear Lotion ( 12% glycolic acid, 2% salicylic acid, 2% Azelaic acid) $75

4. JM Transformation Serum $77

5. JM benzoyl Peroxide 10% $35

On top of this I have been getting accupunture 1 a week which is very nice and has really helped my joint pain from accutane. I don't know if it has an effect on acne or not. I am also taking an array of herbal supplements than are traditional chinese medicine.

My diet is VERY healthy.

Lots of veggies every day.

Leafy greens.

Lots of fish.

Lots of water.

I use a new wash cloth every day. I Use a new pillow case every night.

My face is very sensitive and is irritated all the time. It is either burning like a sunburn. Itching like poison ivy. Dry, cracking and peeling. Or Oily, sticky and irritated. It can be all of these on any given day. My quality of life because of my skin is horrible. I am so angry every day at the state of my skin. It not only looks terrible it is SOOOO Irritated all day every day I can never get a break.

My acne itself is better for sure. But the acne I do get is still very painful. Is this a good regimen to continue if my acne is better? I don't know how much longer I can handle all of this irritation.

I feel like my life revolves around my face. When I can go outside. What activities I do. Wearing hats, being in the wind, being in the sun, being sweaty, Being cold. Its just constantly irritated.

What will happen if I stopped using all of these products?

Is it un healthy to be using so many chemicals on my face?

Could this possible hurt me more than help me?

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i'm so sorry you are so discouraged. i wish the world wasn't so "beauty conscious" because a person is so much more than their face, be it riddled with acne or flawless. i wish i could give you a cure, a remedy, a word to make you feel better. i'm sorry accutane didn't work for you since it is considered "almost a cure". just know that there are others like yourself going through the same issues, some better but some worse off than your current situation.

have you tried pantothenic acid or B5, 10g minimum per day? i've done some research on this and it is supposed to help. i'm currently taking it but have increased my dosage from 20 capsules per day (yes 20 since the caps only come in 500mg or sometimes 550mg) to 25 per day.

good luck and don't be too overwhelmed with the acne although i know this is hard to do. i'm 45 and have suffered with acne since my freshman year in college. it comes and goes in spells...

hang in there...

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It sounds like you are irritating the hell out of your skin with so many products. Many people can't tolerate even one of those on a daily basis. Why don't you try a mild cleanser and then alternate a BHA product one day with an AHA the next. Or just the BHA. In my opinion it will help the most as it exfoliates inside the pores. And it will make the Retin A work better, so you might alternate the BHA with the Retin A.

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I wanted to post some photos so I could show you guys what my skin looks like and if it looks to irritated or not.

It says I have 0 attachments but my attachment space is 987.26k of 1000k. So I don't have enough space to upload a photo.

How can I upload some photos?

Thanks

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Go to the "add reply" button at the bottem of this thread and then scroll down to utilize the upload feature. You've got to press the "upload" button once you've got the picture picked, and then finish up your post. It will have to be approved by a moderator, but that will be pretty quick.

I'm glad you're here, btw - you're in the right place.

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post-89455-1228430592_thumb.jpg

post-89455-1228430613_thumb.jpg

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Here are the photos of my face. Its worse in real life but you can still see that it looks irritated in the photos. My acne has improved alot but I still get new acne everyday and my clogged pores/ blackheads are still wide spread. In my ears, behind my ears, covering my nose, chin and forehead. But the super painful cysts have calmed down considerably. Except for some in my neck.

What should I do. I have been using retin-a and clidamyacin for almost 10 weeks now. I have only been using all of the other products for a week and a half.

My skin is SOOOOO fucking irritated. It burns and itches and throbs and cracks and peels and is oily and sticky all at the same time. I can't handle this shit for 1 more second. I want to rip my face of. I don't want to just stop using all of this things because I don't want my acne to come back as bad as it was. I've been treating my acne full on with everything I have for the last 10 months and I am broken down and feel like I have been stripped from all enjoyment out of life. I can't handle it anymore I want to give up.

post-89455-1228430592_thumb.jpg

post-89455-1228430613_thumb.jpg

post-89455-1228430624_thumb.jpg

post-89455-1228430636_thumb.jpg

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Im sorry to hear what your going through =[ But if I were you I would try atleats for 2 weeks just to use a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil. Some people who have sensistive skin get acne just for the simple fcact that they irritate their skin too much, I even realize this on myself. If I rub my face with a washcloth, my skin gets so irritated it breaks out. Hope this Helps and Best of Luck!

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dude your good looking please dont give up man. you will get through this i promise! then life will be all the more sweeter for: victory is sweetest when you've known defeat.

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Ouch. It looks like you're irritating the heck out of your face; that alone can lead to more acne.

You might want to contact Face Reality skin care; they also do a long-distance program that seems to work well for many members. One of the moderators on this site uses them but she lives locally to them and she is clear. http://www.facerealityacneclinic.com/

If you're not interested in another clinic, I would suggest first off just using a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil. Then you can slowly add in one product at a time. BHAs are great for exfoliating the skin; you can most certainly buy them considerably less expensively if you look at Paula's Choice. AHAs are also excellent for exfoliation and they also help with collagen rebuilding to some extent. http://www.paulaschoice.com/ There is also a lot of information on PC's site about how to treat acne and how many different types of products work.

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i agree with wynne, it sounds like you're constantly irritating your skin, which is probably just worsening everything. i also suggest using a gentle cleanser like cetaphil, quitting the once a week facials, and slowing adding in one medication at a time (like wynne said.) good luck!

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Are you sure it looks worse in real life? Or is it just you? You are a very handsome guy, and it's unfortunate that your acne is getting to you that much. It doesn't look that bad! Don't irritate it with so many products!

Good luck to you!!!~~~

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wow, you really are very red and irritated. I think all the stuff you are on is just too harsh. Accutane can make people very sensitive, sometimes permanently. I agree with wynne, Gentle cleanser. Looks like you face just needs a break. You have what is called Chemically induced Erythema. Basically red, irritated skin from chemicals. I've had it too (From both AHA's and Proactiv!). Gentle, gentle, gentle. Seriously, the more gentle you are on your skin the better. that's a heck of a lot of stuff you are using. It also strips everything away. Skin actually needs oils to keep a protective layer to keep out dirt, debris and bacteria. Sometimes Erythema is caused by bacteria. Scrubbing can also put tiny tears in the skin which can introduce bacteria into the dermal layer. It might be best to stop the AHA's for awhile. See how you do. Personally, cetaphil clogs my pores but I do like Neutrogena Fresh cleanser. It cleans without being harsh. Another is LaRoche Posay products which were designed for those with ultra sensitive skin. I have theri dermo cleanser which I soemtimes use in the morning when I don't have makeup on. It's kind of milky, you cna put it on and wipe it with a cloth instead of using water. It might be alright for you.

My derm told me to not introduce too many products with AHA's in them at one time. They renew skin cells and overuse can damage your skin rather than help it.

I wish you well, you are handsome guy.

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Having acne for the last 9 years has completely changed my personality. Killed 100% of my self confidence. Basically ruined my life. I have become severely depressed and I has dangerously depressed and suicidal earlier this year.

Acne hasn't always effected me this bad but my acne has only gotten worse as I get older and every year and every day of constant treatment and research and seeing doctors and specialists and getting painfull laser treatments and having horrible side effects from anti biotics and Accutane have completely worn me down. I feel worn down beaten and dead inside. I am no longer the same person. I can hardly function in life.

I have completely given up every thing in my life. It seems that anything I do makes my acne worse. I have stopped communication with all of my friends. I don't think I can handle it anymore. I have no life. No friends. No job. Nothing to look forward to but more acne treatments.

As soon as I see my skin getting better every aspect of my life improves. Even if it is only for a few days. But then I start getting more acne. Everyday. For the last 9 years. I could handle it when I was younger. But I feel even worse about it now. I can't handle this shit anymore. Nothing brings me joy. I try everyday to improve my life and nothing ever changes.

I eat a perfect diet. I work out. Do yoga. Try to meditate and visualize a better life. I go to therapy. I get acupuncture. I don't do anything that can supposedly give you acne and yet I still get new acne everyday of my life.

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Hey man don't waste yourself, coming from a guy (not being gay) but you are good looking bro and I dont see your acne as being very bad although your skin does look irritated.

I recommend you trying obagi nu-derm. I have been using it on and off for 2 months (as needed) and it has really got rid of much of my pigmentation and helped my acne. Seeing as you already use retin-a (a major part of obagi) it will only be a complement.

No need to waste your money on all that clinical stuff, they are just out to eat the hard eanred money of your parents. Your parents seem to care a lot for you and just ask them to purchase the obagi kit and give it a go. Its pricey but in my honest opinion does wonder to restore both glow and erase pigmentation and even skin tone, (FAR FAR better than conventional skin lighteners) and also will help acne as you in corporate retin-a. I will continue with the healthy diet and supplements and not worry about every little pimple you get and focus more on restoring your skins overall health.

Please read up into it in your own time, makeupalley is a good and honest place for obagi revews. Let us know how it goes!

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I feel for you bud. I have acne too, most of mine is red marks, etc. My suggestions would try to go for chemical peels, microdermabrasions, or perhaps even a few courses of Levulan. I also would suggest that you try to find a pill called Seabuckthorn. Alot of stuff that causes acne comes from the inside of your body, it could be perhaps that your food isnt digesting well. I suggest you try this stuff, as its helped me a bit. Anyways hope u get better.

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I notice in some of the pictures theres almost a streak of redness below your chin extending to the acne. The third picture best shows this. This is a clear example of irritation, not anything related to acne.

You have to look at it like this -- if everything you've been doing now hasn't worked then it's time for a change. One noticeable mistake you have, as do many battling persistent acne, is that when something doesn't work you think you have to add more. Your regimen is indicative of this. Here are several things I notice which may be worsening your condition:

1. I don't believe those 12% glycolic acid cleansers should be used once a day, let alone twice.

2. Washing for 1-2 is minutes is excessive.

3. Glycolic acid, Clidamycin AND salycic acid within one setting can't be good for your skin. At night it seems even worse because you use glycolic acid as a cleanser (then again for this JM lotion), Retin A and Benzoyl Peroxide. It's obviously not creating a synergist effect.

I understand your rationale that if you quit now it may get worse, but perhaps what everyone within this thread has suggested is correct -- a gentle cleanser only twice a day may be beneficial. It'll definitely be beneficial for your parents wallets. You should try this.

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What about if I just stop everything and just wash with water and maybe a cleanser? That is really what I want to do. I have been applying some kind of topical to my face daily since I was 14 and I am 22 now. I've never really seen any great improvements with anything compared to doing nothing. I seriously hate putting anything on my face of any kind. I hate putting anything on my skin on my whole body and would never do it if i didn't have to.

I agree that all of this stuff seems to crazy and harsh. I have used all of these products before sometime in the last 6-8 years ( except retin-a) and none of them ever worked so I dont see how they will help all together at once. I was just trusting my doctor and my esthetician because I had no other choice. I want to find a cure to my acne that is not dependent on applying chemicals to my skin multiple times a day.

My skin has improved a lot for sure. In terms of how many actual pimples I have. But my skin seems no different. Just as oily and just as many blackheads and clogged pores.

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This is what my skin looked like a few months ago and basically what it has looked like several times in the past 4 years or so. It seems to have no pattern and has been better than that before and worse. But never seems to go away.

I am so scared that it will go back to that. I can not emotionally handle having my skin like that again. I have been so depressed and suicidal about my acne. And beyond the embarassment of having acne at age 22 which is much worse than 90% of most teenagers acne, and the fact that not one single person I know even has "acne". I don't think I can handle the physical discomfort and watching my skin get destroyed and watching scars appear.

Like, I can not handle it. I am so scared. I have nightmares about acne. I wake up every morning and the first thought on my mind is acne. I go to bed with my only thoughts being acne. I don't want this to be a part of my life anymore It is breaking me down. I have been dealing with this for so long. What should I do.

I have stopped using all of those products except the retin-a. My doctor wants me to keep using it since I have been on it for 10 weeks and he says I should wait 12 weeks to see if it will work or not.

It seems that the older I get the worse my skin gets. The opposite of what is supposed to happen . Its like my skin has been getting gradually worse since I was 13.

post-89455-1228614697_thumb.jpg

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I'm very sorry, I can imagine what your going through. Maybe you should give tane another try eventhough it sucks. It also permanently changed my skin as far as healing goes, but it cleared me temporarily. Check out my thread here. This is the first thing since tane to make a difference and this might help with stress, changed my life.

Good luck

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Bandido, is your regimen really the result of a doctor and a skin care professional? Wow. Sometimes I question these people's judgments. No, I'm not licensed to be a dermatologist but sometimes I feel that way from all the years I've spent on this board browsing through threads, reading people's problems, and noticing what works and what doesn't. What works is rarely the same for everyone, but I can honestly say I never recall anyone with an external regimen as expensive (or powerful) as yours actually working.

I guess it's a good start that you're dropping everything aside from Retin A. You should include dropping the moisturizer and SPF, as these may be aiding in the clogging of pores and oiliness .

Just think of how much crap is on your face at every given time with your regimen. Seriously, you're putting 4-5 layers of chemicals on your face.

I know many people will probably go against this, but if you really want to try something different that'll save a lot of time and hastle don't wash your face at all over a period of several days. If you're a student at school, or maybe taking a holiday from work, devote several days to leaving your face alone. Not as a long term solution (since your acne is moderate) but a small sample size or whether irritation goes down.

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Hi,

I have been in the same place as you- and unfortunalty now have scars to prove it.

When I have had active acne I discovered, BLUE LIGHT TREATMENT. It can be expensive, or it is sometimes medicare assisted.

PLEASE try it. I believe its one of the only treatment that really works.

All the facials and extractions are useless. Google blue light therapy for acne. I SWEAR it works.

Goodluck

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I'm very sorry, I can imagine what your going through. Maybe you should give tane another try eventhough it sucks. It also permanently changed my skin as far as healing goes, but it cleared me temporarily. Check out my thread . This is the first thing since tane to make a difference and might help with stress, changed my life.

Good luck

There is no way I could take accutane again. It messed up my body bad and I am still having side effects from it months later. I felt like I was poisoned by accutane. Everyday I regret taking it.

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