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A Success Story

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I'm new to these forums, but have been a sufferer of acne since I was 12...I am now 22, and after such a long up-hill climb I felt that I should share my experience with others who are also suffering--hopefully I can give some hope and ideas to the few females who are unlucky enough to have cystic acne like I had. So ladies, this one's for you!

Like I said, I began having acne pretty much as soon as I hit puberty--all over my face, shoulders, back...words can't describe the feeling and I'm sure everyone here knows all too well what I mean. The embarassment, the frustration.

I tried Accutane twice, for about a year each time. I don't remember what dosage I was at (we're talking late middle-school/early high school here) but I do know that the pills were yellow the first time, and purple the second. I tried every sort of topical wash and creme from your basic Salycilic Acid to Proactiv, all with no effect or a worsening irritation of my skin, which is very sensitive to fragranced products. I had a massive allergic reaction to Aquaphor moisturizer, to give you an idea. My family was far from able to finance visits to specialists, and I eventually accepted my 'fate' as it were and decided to wait it out. I washed diligently, didn't scrub, tried so hard not to pick or poke.

I went on the Birth Control Pill at 16 for reasons other than acne treatment (therefore I wasn't disappointed that it had no affect on my skin condition whatsoever). Almost exactly one year ago, I had a bit of a pregnancy scare, and my gynecologist advised me to stop taking The Pill (which I frequently forgot with my busy schedule) and instead try Nuvaring. At this point, my mind was completely on well, not getting pregnant, but I noticed that in less than a month, my skin was beginning to clear. I haven't changed anything in my diet, my life is quite possibly more stressful than ever (so I'm sure it's not due to a decrease in stress)...on a whole my lifestyle has not changed, so I can only attribute it to the new birth control.

I immediately cut out my entire skin-care regimen (which pretty much included Clean & Clear's benzoyl peroxide face wash and little else) so as not to upset whatever balance I'd reached. Slowly I began trying new face washes and cremes, and found my skin ten times more tolerant than before. I can wash with a non-acne related cleanser, tone with a non-acne related astringent, and moisturize with a non-acne related lotion. Maybe I'm alone in this, but it's an amazing feeling not to have to rub peroxide and acid-based gels and cremes on your face--like I said, my skin is very sensitive, and I would always have this uncomfortable 'crawling' feeling on my skin whenever I used acne medicated washes.

Now I'm not completely clear, I still have flare-ups before my period...otherwise I'm lucky to get one or two zits for the rest of the month. My only 'problem' now is trying to refine my poor stretched pores! I would list my skin-care regimen, however like I said, I don't attribute my skin clearing to any combination of topicals. I currently use Olay or Dove washes/moisturizers as they are the least irritating to my skin, and Neutrogena's witch-hazel based toner for my pores (too soon to tell if it's working yet). I WILL say, if it isn't blatantly obvious, NEVER touch creme or pressed-powder foundations. I wore makeup almost every day, and found loose mineral powder to be the BEST. It gives light coverage, doesn't clog, and is easy to wash off...plus that little jar you get lasts FOREVER!

I would love to post pictures, however I have literally zero pictures from when my acne was at it's worst (I basically just didn't ever let a camera get near me) for comparison.

Rather long story short--for those ladies suffering cystic acne, perhaps give Nuvaring a whirl. I can tell you that from a purely birth-control related standpoint, it kicks The Pill's ass. I was absolutely shocked at the effect it had on my skin!

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