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Persistent Acne only on Cheeks??? Please Help

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Hey Guys,

I'm a 29 year old male.....have had clear skin for the past several years aside from the occasional break out a few times a year.

However over the past 3-4 months I have had persistent acne only on my cheeks????

I went to a derm about 6 weeks ago and she immediately said my break outs were being caused by my moisturizer. What's weird about that is I've been using the same moisturizer for the past 7 years!!! My derm's response was a lot of times companies alter ingredients without mentioning it. She told me to immediately stop using the Neutrogena moisturizer and since my skin was running oily, to go without a moisturizer all together!!!

I tried this out for a few weeks and was still breaking out, although they were definitely smaller in size, again only on my cheeks. Its 1-2 pimples on the high part of my cheeks on both sides consistently.

I was washing my face with Cetaphil in the morning and Proactiv at night. My skin was starting to dry out so I called my derm and she recommended getting on Ceptahil's moisturizer. That immediately made the break outs return to their larger, painful size.

Ditched the moisturizer again and ditched the Proactiv in favor of SA. I was spot treating with BP at night and still using the Cetaphil wash in the morning.... STILL breaking out although they did reduce in size again.

I'm at a complete loss for what's causing this sudden acne???? I started to think it was ingrown hairs rather than acne since I have a beard and tend to get a few bumps from my beard trimmer.

To test this theory I haven't shaved all week and I'm still getting them ONLY ON MY CHEEKS!!! WEIRD!!! Although now its only been on the right side of my cheek.

Its really starting to get to me and causing a lot of frustration..... I haven't broke out like this consistently since I was 20!!!

Any advice or tips from people that have gone through this????

Also for guys who have shaving issues... do you shave at night or in the morning? I always shave after a hot shower, but I'm wondering if I should wash my face before I shave or after??

My current skin care routine looks like this:


5% Glyolic Acid Wash

Aveeno Daily Moisturizer


Proactiv Wash

Proactiv BP

Again its just my cheeks no where else, about 2-3 red pimples that seem to start underneath the skin and grow without a visible head. Eventually most of them do come to head from the BP I suppose. I've never had acne of this type, use to always get white heads.

Any advice would be great, I'm confused and really frustrated..

BTW my diet is extremely healthy and I work out 4-5x a week, only drink water and eat plenty of fruits and veggies.

I've been digging my brain for what's different in my diet/routine and I can't think of anything?? Could it be hormonal??? If so, how could I determine this or get this tested???

I do suffer form mild dandruff even though I have a shaved head. I use a special dandruff shampoo that keeps it under control....

Thanks for any help...


Edited by Panic!!
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I'm 16 and I literally get the same type of acne as you described. It's really irritating, as it only happens on my cheeks. I know that this is a pretty old post, but did you end up clearing it?

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