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blindsolitude

Please Help! Not sure what I should do to treat. . .

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I have suffered with acne since I was about 11 or 12. I've been on anti-biotics, differin, retin-a solution (horrible), BP (again horrible and i think i'm allergic to it), retin-a micro, and various OTC items. When I turned 17, I stated taking birth control pills and that seemed to help a lot! More so than anything else I've tried, but I've never been completely clear. I'm still on BCPs (Tri-Sprintec), and not clear. I don't know what to do to get my skin clear. I'm at the point where I don't trust the Derms because everything they gave me made my skin worse or I had bad reactions to it. Also, I'm about to lose my insurance so expensive prescriptions and doctor visits are pretty much out of the question. I will say that I really haven't experienced cystic acne. Even at my worst, I just had a TON of papules and pustules covering my face. I've maybe had 4-7 cysts since I was 12 (well. . .that I can remember).

My acne at this point is either skin colored, raised bumps (no redness at all and most prominent on my forehead), a few whiteheads here and there, and some raised red bumps. And my skin tone and texture is uneven. I also get a few red spots on my chest. I would post pictures, but I don't have a digital camera (way behind the times, I know). My skin is very sensitive so I'm not sure what to use on it to make these bumps go away. I have samples of Finacea because the last Derm I visited thought I might have Rosacea since I flush easily and prone to redness thanks to the horrible Retin-A solution.

At the moment, I'm only cleansing with water and using my Mario Badesu oil-free moisturizer and Aloe. If I get a whitehead, I normally take a Q-tip and put hydrogen peroxide (probably a horrible idea, but it seems to work) on it to treat the infection. Even after moisturizing, I still see flakes of dry skin. I'm also taking a mutli-vitamin, Zinc Supplement, and Vit-E 400: 2x a day. In addition, I don't eat a lot of dairy, but even if I do, I don't see a difference. I'm just not sure what to use any more. After battling with this for almost 12 years (I will be 24 this year), I'm at my wit's end and self-esteem is quite low (generally crying at night because I'm just embarrassed and feeling uncomfortable even around my boyfriend and friends).

Any one have any suggestions?

Thank you in advance.

Edit: I also drink 7-9 16oz glasses of water a day. And I wasn't sure if this should be posted here or in the Adult Acne forum. . .

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I'm sorry about how you're feeling! And about the insurance, that really doesn't help when you're trying to get clear skin. My suggestion would be to ask about Accutane if you're willing to endure the side effects. But with your insurance issue, I doubt you will be thinking about that...

All I can say then is maybe try Cetaphil cleanser. It has improved my skin a tiny bit, but I'm still trying to get Accutane for my acne. Trying different cleansers can't hurt, right?

Good luck and we're all in the same boat!

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No- I don't want to go the Accutane route. My 1st derm tried to put me on it back in high school and that's when I went on BCPs, which cleared up a good portion of my skin.

Now I just have "comedonal acne," I think. . and 2-3 white heads and 5-8 papules. It's just so frustrating because I can't use a lot of products due to either being allergic (anything with BP) or its just to irritating too my sensitive skin. :(

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Check out this thread.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Small-bum...es-t164964.html

It sounds like what you described. the poster got rid of their bumps by taking anti-fungal medication, but those can be risky, and you can get great results with plain old dandruff shampoo like Nizoral. Just lather up the infected area, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse, twice a ady. Mine were almost completely gone after a week! If you've tried everything, you might as well give this a try, just to rule it out.

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What happened when you used Differin and Retin-A?

Well- the Retin-A solution just ended up making my skin (cheek area) really red and tender. And differin really did not do anything. I was on Retin-A for 3 or so months and I was on Differin for about the same time. :(

My skin reacts weird to everything. When I put Finacea on at night (on my cheeks), it gets all red. It will eventually go away, but I don't use it in the morning because it does make my face red. Same thing with my moisturizer and aloe. My face will get red for a little bit and then call down.

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If you are willing to try a mild retinoid, you might look into Green Cream Level 3.

Another very good mild product is the Paula's Choice BHAs ... it's most effective at 2% but if you have super-sensitive skin you can start with 1% and work up.

Same thing with the Green Cream .... once you know your skin can handle Level 3, you can move up to a more effective product.

If you decide to try either product, I would advise getting sample sizes first to see how your skin reacts.

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If you are willing to try a mild retinoid, you might look into Green Cream Level 3.

Another very good mild product is the Paula's Choice BHAs ... it's most effective at 2% but if you have super-sensitive skin you can start with 1% and work up.

Same thing with the Green Cream .... once you know your skin can handle Level 3, you can move up to a more effective product.

If you decide to try either product, I would advise getting sample sizes first to see how your skin reacts.

I was looking into those, but was just so unsure about how my skin would react. I didn't know they offered sample sizes. So- I'll definitely give those a try.

I had a huge pimple (maybe a cyst...who knows) pop up yesterday about an inch from my ear. :(

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Check out www.earthclinic.com and see if you can find a natural remedy for clearing up your skin. The apple cider vinegar helped me but we all have different skin. Check out the site, they have tons of remedies on there that could be helpful! Hope this helps you a little. I know how you feel! I was there in my twenties and it was no fun!!

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What brand multi-vitamin are you taking? I believe those are known to cause some people to break out, Centrum in particular. Are you able to get all your necessary nutrient from your diet? I know some people can't due to various reasons. Something to think about. Sorry I can't help more. ):

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Is it possible your moisturizer is breaking you out and you have what I usually call cosmetic acne. I began to really simplify my methods and use products that only had a very few , recognizable ingredients in it. Also some people have complained about taking zinc and it creating more acne.

You could honestly stop all of them *your vitamins* and see how you go, then slowly add the multivitamin, wait a month then add the zinc if you see no difference. Does your multivitamin also have zinc? Some times to much of a good thing is detrimental to your health. ;)

I had some vitamins *gummy vites* I took for maybe 3 weeks and my acne flared up like WTF LOL.

That's why I recommended that, also I say that about your moisturizer because when I got small bumps all over like *every inch* that it was due to usually me using a product that did not agree with my skin. *in my case my moisturizer*

I have found purpose bar to work really good as well as their moisturizer *just makes me look like a ghost with my skin tone* or you should be able to use your moisturizer if not you may want to look into a new one.

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Hi blindsolitude:

I presume you're still struggling with this, so I wanted to suggest something that has helped me a lot.

It doesn't look like you've mentioned anything about trying to make dietary changes, but for so many people, that has been the key. Because you think you might have allergies to topical products, I'd suggest that perhaps you have food allergies that are affecting your skin.

If you read freeacnebook.com, you will see the reasoning behind this... (for a concise summary go here:

www.waisays.com/AcneSampleDiet.htm )

Then you can try a diet that almost *always* clears up people's acne. It's pretty tough, but if you can do if for two weeks, you'll probably notice a big difference. Essentially you're eating raw fruits (fruits meaning the fruiting body of a plant, which includes tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc).

For me, this cleared up my acne 100%. It's a tough diet, but worth a try... usually you can determine through trial and error what specific foods cause problems with you. For many it's dairy products, for example, and it seems that for me, meat is a no go. I've been avoiding meat and dairy and have almost cleared up my acne now, completely.

Definitely look into nutrition and cleansing as a way of getting clear!

I hope this helps, don't hesitate to ask or PM me if you have any questions...

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Bringing this back and edited to what i;m doing now:

I have suffered with acne since I was about 11 or 12. I've been on anti-biotics, differin, retin-a solution (horrible), BP (again horrible and i think i'm allergic to it), retin-a micro, and various OTC items. When I turned 17, I stated taking birth control pills and that seemed to help a lot! More so than anything else I've tried, but I've never been completely clear. I'm still on BCPs (OTC), and not clear. I don't know what to do to get my skin clear. I'm at the point where I don't trust the Derms because everything they gave me made my skin worse or I had bad reactions to it. Also, I'm about to lose my insurance so expensive prescriptions and doctor visits are pretty much out of the question. I will say that I really haven't experienced cystic acne. Even at my worst, I just had a TON of papules and pustules covering my face. I've maybe had 4-7 cysts since I was 12 (well. . .that I can remember).

My acne at this point is either skin colored, raised bumps (no redness at all and most prominent on my forehead), a few whiteheads here and there, and some raised red bumps. And my skin tone and texture is uneven. I also get a few red spots on my chest. My skin is very sensitive so I'm not sure what to use on it to make these bumps go away. I have samples of Finacea because the last Derm I visited thought I might have Rosacea since I flush easily and prone to redness thanks to the horrible Retin-A solution.

At the moment, I'm only cleansing with water and using Aloe. If I get a whitehead, I normally take a Q-tip and put hydrogen peroxide (probably a horrible idea, but it seems to work and i rinse it off after 15 minutes) on it to treat the infection. I see flakes of dry skin, which are still there even if my skin gets oily. I'm also taking a mutli-vitamin. In addition, I don't eat a lot of dairy, but even if I do, I don't see a difference. I'm just not sure what to use any more. After battling with this for almost 13 years (I will be 25 this year), I'm at my wit's end and self-esteem is quite low (generally crying at night because I'm just embarrassed and feeling uncomfortable even around my boyfriend and friends).

Any one have any suggestions on cleansers and/or moisturizers? The only topical I'm using is Finacea, which seems to help with the redness. When I say my skin is sensitive, i mean it: i could put aloe on my face and it stays red for at least 15 minutes after application.

Thanks!

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Edited by blindsolitude

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