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Chandy

Clear skin with Differin [Warning: Graphic images!]

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Hello everybody -

I am a 24 year old female, and have suffered acne since I was 11. It has been absolute torture, but over the years my acne has regressed, I now only get it on my neck, jawline and tiny pin-sized whiteheads on my chest every other week (Which I think are stress related). I had hopes that with time, and some OTC treatments my acne would go away but it hasn't - So I have finally taken the next step, and seen my GP to get a topical retinoid. I have been prescribed with Differin Gel, so I am going to keep a log of my progress.

I consistently have up to 4 active pimples, but got a huge break out on my jawline - combined with a cyst on my neck... This was the end of the line for me - I could no longer sleep, due to the pain of the cysts, so I purchased some OTC treatments and booked in to see my GP, she prescribed me with Differin Gel because it was the lowest cost of all treatments. I really wish I was able to see a dermo because I feel they specialise in the area of acne. But because I was moving cities in a matter of days, figured it would be best to pile the acne in along with a list of things I had to visit my GP for anyway. I am going to push on with the Differin and see if it makes a difference before collating information on local dermos. So onto the details!

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Treatment start date:

December 15th

Topical prescription:

Differin Gel 0.1% - $40 NZD

OTC items:

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturiser SPF15 - $12 NZD

Forumla 10.0.6 Cleanser - $9 NZD

Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Scrub - $9 NZD <-- Sinbinned for now

Bio Oil - $20 NZD

Why I chose these OTCs:

Formula 10.0.6 - It was the cheapest option when I had little funds

Bio Oil - To combat the scars I have racked up over time

Neutrogena moisturiser - Doesn't cause breakouts, + sun protection

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Pre 15/12/09 Observations:

I had a breakout that was something like a chain reaction on my jawline

My right side of my jawline

2 cysts, then a blackhead flared up, a papule flared up, and then a pustle

My left side of my jawline

2 cysts

My neck

1 cyst

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Having used the Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Scrub for a few days, before any other OTC/Topical treatments - it made my skin disgustingly dry, and was so harsh my skin went scaly. I also noticed the area around my lips became hard and red with a rash, which never happens because I am so cautious with my lip care. My lips became so dry, and swollen I couldn't speak without discomfort, so I decided to put the Clear & Clear Scrub back into the cupboard. I am unsure of whether the discomfort was caused by applying too much, if the scrub is too harsh for my skin, or if I had an allergic reaction. Either way, since I have discontinued use - my lips and skin are back to normal - I found this incredibly strange, as I never applied the scrub near my lips.

I purchased all other OTCs (Besides the Neutrogena moisturiser) after this. The prescription for Differin came last.

Pics were taken 14/12/09

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Edited by Chandy

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Day 9 Observations:

For the first time since I started my treatment, I woke up to new arrivals!

My right side of my jawline

1 blackhead flared up, and 1 pustule

My left side of my jawline

1 papule

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 4 new actives! NOOO

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AM Regimen:

Wash face

Cleanse using a cotton ball

Apply SPF15 moisturiser

Apply Bio Oil to scars after SPF has dried

PM Regimen:

Wash face

Cleanse using a cotton ball

Apply a moisturiser and let dry

Apply Differin sparingly

Possible future adjustments:

Might add 1/2tsp of baking soda to 2c of water

and apply it to my face at night, may take out the cleansing

or may do the baking soda, after cleansing - not sure yet

Start icing inflamed pimples, and then adding either a crushed zinc pill

or a crushed aspirin to them

----

I thought I would add my regimen in case there are any issues with it, that somebody spots. I'm definitely open to suggestions for improving it if I can! So waking up to a bunch of new pimples this morning was hard. I was super happy to have gotten this far without any new additions. But oh well - I am hoping it is just an IB. When I started Differin I was applying it with a cotton ear bud, to the pimples only, to try and avoid the dryness I have read a lot about in other people's blogs. But after re-reading the instructions I noticed the Differin label said "Don't just treat the pimples". I started applying it to the problem areas as a whole. I am wondering if my break out is because of this? I'm definitely going to be much more cautious when applying Differin.

The scars from my previous pimples on my jawline aren't improving for the time being. But that's going to simply take patience - which I must admit is hard! In our new place we have a laaaarge mirror in our bathroom, that I just can't help but stare into - and feel that all too familiar pang of sadness, at the emphasized dark spots on my face. The fact that I have pale skin doesn't help either. Our move went fairly well, and we're now living in the largest city in NZ. We live in a suburb that is quite snooty and already walking through the streets, I can't help but notice the lovely skin of everybody around me. I'm hoping one day I can hold my head up high along side them, instead of putting my hand up to cover my face - anything or any excuse to hide my horrible acne.

I've iced my cyst today, and will do so again before bedtime tonight. Hopefully the time it takes for these buggers to go down will decrease with icing, and Differin. For the last week I have noticed the gunk filling up one of my pores has been sitting raised slightly out of my skin. When I ran my finger over it during moisturising I could feel it. I resisted plucking it out, because I wasn't sure what to do... But this morning it was very red around the outside of the pore. So I went ahead with some tweezers and it came out effortlessly. Does that mean this blackhead was ready to come out earlier? and if I had taken it out earlier, would it have prevented the redness? Ahhh - it sucks to feel so confused about acne treatment. There is just so many considerations, that it really does feel like acne treatment is an art form. Lol. Ohh well Santa, I won't be acne free this Christmas but hopefully next Christmas I will be!

Pics were taken 24/12/09

I'm smiling in them to try and keep optimistic (It's very hard!)

Edit - Have added comparison pics as well

& an early Merry Christmas to all!!!

may you all be as clear as possible for a lovely day tomorrow

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Edited by Chandy

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----

Day 10 Observations:

Some of the random patches of redness have gone away, thank goodness!

Though no improvement on the actives for now

My right side of my jawline

1 blackhead flared up, and 1 pustule

My left side of my jawline

1 new papule + 1 pustule

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 4 actives, + 1 new zit as of this morning. Gutted!

Adjustment to regimen:

I'm going to cut dairy milk out of my diet, for a few days

try it again in about 3-4 days, and make a comparison

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First off - M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S E V E R Y B O D Y !!!!!

I don't believe how quickly Christmas is here! I got a lovely Chanel #5 body lotion, and some other random knick knacks like a pair of glass bottles with a slow ooze valve on the top for Olive Oil and shit like that (random much? lol). BUUUT I can't really believe that my father, and step mother would give my partner and I a $50 Visa Prezzy Card each! They're struggling all year with financials, and they go and give us so much for Christmas. I really was very shocked. I felt very guilty taking the cards from them... especially considering between them they have 4 kids, 1 grandkid, and 2 inlaws! If they gave us all $50 cards, i'm not surprised they're broke as hell... My partner also cooked us a lovely pancake + bacon breakfast, which picked my spirits up, as soon as that bacon smell wafted in from the kitchen. YAY!

I had been feeling down in the dumps from the night before. Because ever since my grandmother passed away in 2002, i've never felt the same around Christmas. She was an advocate of getting into the Christmas spirit. She went all out, had the little nativity set that was always a bitch to fish out every year, she loved putting up the Christmas tree and decorating the living room. She would even do the whole turn the lights out - so you can turn the Christmas tree lights on. It was something I took for granted back then, and now that it's gone - Christmas really is a total downer. So I decided to try and get some spirit back, i'd go out into the main city, and view this seven story high Christmas tree, made of little lights, that change patterns constantly. There's even a phone booth so you can call Santa - and the Christmas tree lights interact to your voice on the line. It sounded pretty cool.

So as we rode off into the night, we got absolutely lost. Went onto the main motorway when we didn't have to - back tracked like a million times, and eventually got ONE TURN away from the Christmas tree, when some sadarse went and cut us off from switching lanes. We missed our turn off, and had to take a wrong turn. Did a U-turn, and had to queue in traffic for like 40 minutes. My digital camera also decided to give up and go flat on me. At this point even though the lights were green at our intersection, traffic was sooo backed up we weren't moving. So we desperately got out of the clutter, turned down a small side street, and looked for the nearest parking complex. Low and behold... the complex was SHUT! To salvage the night a little, while we were stuck in the big ass queue at the lights - I looked up over the hill, and saw the Christmas tree!!!!!! Admittedly all seven stories of it looked so tiny and pathetic to what it's actual scale was - but for a few seconds I could see the lights flickering into new patterns. Soooo... getting out of the shower to the smell of bacon was enough to wash away sadness of the night before.

Now onto the icky bit. I decided not to change up my regimen last night. Though I made sure I applied very little Differin Gel!!! No more heavy hands for me. I didn't feel any cooling sensation at all. Here's hoping it works out in the end. For some reason I was in high spirits that I would wake up, and be instantly satisfied with the sight of my skin in the morning. But I really wasn't... What was a papule on the left hand side of my jawline - had turned into a big nasty painful pustule overnight! It is the largest pustule I have had in a long time. I don't know what to do, if I should leave the pus in it, or gently bring it out... Argh what to do what to do. In the past I have let the pus out, and the pimple has shrunk and vanished within a matter of days. If I leave the pus in, they take weeks to go away. I've worked hard not to touch it at all this point, and will be off to do some reading about pustules and their treatment. I really just want to minimise scarring, and healing time.

As for my cyst, it still has a stronghold of a fortress on my neck. Grrrr. Why won't you just die already!? Lol. It's gone hard, and is still just as red as it was yesterday. It sucks that this thing just appeared overnight, why can't it vanish overnight as well!? The fact that it has popped up right beside the first cyst I ever took a picture of just baffles me! All the cysts on my jawline have done the exact same thing. Sprung up near each other - is this really a chain reaction where one pore has issues, clears itself eventually, and suddenly the pore next door decides to kick up a fuss... It's so frustrating, to have so many scars building up in the same areas! Looking at my comparison photos, it looks as though some of the new actives, are just the old ones being assholes again. LOL! Ohh yes, and if you look closely, SO sad to admit this. But yes, I have hairs growing under my chin, and on my neck - thanks to my oh so sexy grandmother's genetics. Thanks nan. You're such a hero.

I'm starting to wonder if having hair there, is part of the problem why I am getting acne under my chin? While I was a teen, I never had hair there - for which I was SO thankful for, because I used to tease my mother about it all the time. LOL how ironic, right? So when I hit around 18 suddenly I had these fine little barely noticeable hairs sprout outta nowhere. So dumb me took to them with a razor!!!!!! Why oh why don't I have somebody in my life, who appears when I go to do something stupid, and pound me upside the head with a book or something, haha. So part of my acne treatment, may have to be getting laser hair removal done. I have noticed in the past, sometimes when I pluck those evil life-stealing hairs from my chin, a pimple will sprout up. Hmmmm... and considering I never had pimples there when there was no hair there, it just makes sense that the hair may be playing a part in my pimply trollness. Lol!

So - today i'm just going to let these things fester away how they like, and keep my hands away. I don't have any aspirin at the moment to apply, and i'm running low on my zinc tablets. I've also decided to try and avoid the obscenely HUGE mirror in my bathroom. Because more often than not, i'm finding myself standing in front of it - just staring at my face in desperation, wishing I would blink and this nightmare would all be over with. The depression from these things is getting hard to deal with, and I can feel my relationship cracking slightly under the strain. I didn't go up town yesterday for a walk with my partner, because I wanted to wear a hooded top - so I could pull it up over my chin - but it was just too hot. So I sat at home like a cave troll. Even going to the Christmas tree last night was a bit of an ordeal, because I was paranoid the twinkling lights would highlight my disgusting face - and that kids would start pointing and whatnot. Wowwie!! See how psychotic i'm getting over this acne issue??

My Christmas present to me - avoid the bathroom mirror during the day!!! get outside, get some fresh air and sun!!!

Edited by Chandy

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Hey, good luck! I LOVE NZ by the way, have a really good friend who lives in Auckland and visited last year, your country is awesome!

Good luck with your journey, I'm currently on my 11th week of my retinoid and I'm all clear! One thing I would suggest for your regimen, I used baking soda for awhile, it is really harsh and strips your skin of it's pH (something which makes it easier for bacteria to get to your skin). I would suggest either using an AHA or tea tree oil spot treatment, I found those of those to be the most effective for me.

Good luck! Merry Christmas!

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Hi americaninparis,

Thanks so much for the luck, and also the tip on baking soda. I think i'll hold off on it for now if that's the case, and see if I can work through this without it. But i'll definitely look ip AHA or tea tree oil. I need something for spot treatment.

Hey that's awesome you love NZ, i've just moved to Auckland! (on Dec 20th) I'm loving it so far, there's just so much to look at, something always happening. It's great that you had a good time here - did you come to Auckland? Or visit other places here? I'm hoping to save up after studies, and travel the country in a few years :D

Merry belated Christmas to you too! I hope you had a great one.

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Day 11 Observations:

Some of the random patches of redness have gone away, thank goodness!

Though no improvement on the actives for now

My right side of my jawline

1 blackhead (clearing! yay), and 1 pustule

My left side of my jawline

1 new papule + 1 pustule

My neck

1 cyst (redness is dying down - turning dark instead)

Totalling - 4 actives

----

Okay so, Christmas night pretty much rocked! My partner and I got into the city via the bus. Neither of us have been on a bus in 2 years, so my face was practically plastered against the window watching every single thing whiz by, I must have looked like such a dork, lol! We saw the 7 story high Christmas tree! It was damn beautiful. The patterns of the lights was just breath taking, we must have snapped so many photos. We even met another lovely couple there, who let us use their tripod, to take a decent Christmas photo for our families! Turns out they were in industries that could help us along, so why not do some networking? Fantastic night :D I cooked us a great dinner, and dessert. So all in all. Christmas = WIN.

So on the war front, I woke up to an incredibly oily face. I don't know whats up with that? But i'd prefer it to be oily than dry as heck. Though technically I don't know which is worse for acne in the long run. My common sense tells me being dry would be worse. But my common sense has been known to be off at the best of times, lol! At least I have NO NEWCOMERS! Yayyyy! I felt like celebrating!

The blackhead on my right hand side jawline has gone down, and is starting to fade. It's going to be another addition to the scar club though, that i'll need to wait on to fade. From past experience my scars have taken months to heal. So a time machine would just be the greatest thing ever! haha. The cyst on my neck has shrunk a little, it's also starting to lose some redness. But there is still a little bit of pain. As far as the 2 pastules go, I released the gunk and they no longer hurt. I actually had to take pain killers just to sleep last night! So hopefully they'll be shrinking down in no time.

As far as my Christmas present to me went - I put on a Christmas hat, and went for a short walk to the gas station and the corner store. Both attendants were super lovely to me, and looked me in the eye the whole time, without dropping their eyes to my jawline! I felt elated to get some sun, and fresh air. I also avoided going into the bathroom, unless it was necessary. At the end of the day I felt so happy, and much more confident. I also started talking openly to my partner about my acne, and it is quite nice now being able to discuss it like an adult, instead of brushing it under the carpet - and pretending like it doesn't exist. I also avoided my usual 3 glasses a day of milk. So that's milk-free day 1 down!

I feel great today :D

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Day 11 Observations:

Some of the random patches of redness have gone away, thank goodness!

Though no improvement on the actives for now

My right side of my jawline

1 papule

My left side of my jawline

1 pustule

My neck

1 cyst (redness is dying down - turning dark instead)

Totalling - 3 actives, a mere 3!!! Yes!

Adjustment to regimen:

Ingest a spoonful of cider in the AM

Possibly do a bit of spot treatment

----

Okay so, i'm still waking up with the oily forehead, and neck. I still don't know how to feel about that. Maybe I should invest in a better moisturiser for the PM regimen?? I have been using Johnsons Vaseline Intensive Care - Dry Skin. It absorbs into my skin quickly - and has always soothed my skin really well. I'll have a look in town for some jojoba oil, and invest in some. I'd like to find out if it is my moisturiser for sure, and even if it isn't - i've always wanted to have some jojoba oil on hand anyways.

When I looked in the mirror this morning I felt so happy. The swelling and redness I went to sleep with had lessened! The pustule on my right hand side jawline has gone down significantly. It's a tiny bump, and a little bit red but nothing worth worrying over. I am just so glad the pain has left from it. The pustule on my left hand side jawline is still lingering. It had filled up with gunk again this morning, so I let that out. It's still inflamed, and red but at least it doesn't hurt either. I think once the white crap stops building up, it'll go down in no time.

As for the cyst on my neck, it is still hanging around. It is actually smaller than my pustule which is a good thing. But because the skin on my neck is basically as white as the moon - this cyst is very, very obvious. It is going from red to brown, and I just feel like it's singing out to the World for attention "Hey World! Look at meeee!" Ughhh. I am still getting a lot of pain from it, which again affected my sleep last night. I had a very uncomfortable sleep, just trying to avoid lying on it. I am really hating this cyst most of all. Avoiding the mirror for as much as possible has done wonders though :D Another day closer to freedom! I've also decided to take a spoonful of Cider in the mornings. I dunno, it might help. I've had a friend harp on about it, saying it does wonders for her treatment through daily ingestion and even for spot treatment. I've also seen a lot of people on these forums discuss the use of apple cider. I don't wanna overload my daily regimen to the point of complicating it - but figured it hasn't that far outta my daily duties. We'll see if it's worth it.

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Day 15 Observations:

No newcomers! Yayyy

Actives have shrunk, and redness is becoming less obvious

My right side of my jawline

1 papule

My left side of my jawline

1 pustule

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 3 actives

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I had some issues in the past with applying way too much Differin. So i've been really careful in making sure I apply as little as possible - but still enough to get the job done. It's quite hard, because I just want to lather it up layer upon layer to get this treatment rolling. But i'm hanging in there. I've just been telling myself that by applying a tiny bit, i'm saving a heap of money. On day 11 I decided to start ingesting Apple Cider - and cut out drinking milk. I must have consumed around 3-4 glasses a day of milk a day. I still have this weird craving for it, but i've managed to stay off it. As far as touching my face goes, I am not picking anything at all - but I have a habit of gliding my finger tips across the top of my actives to feel how swollen they are (or lack of) I think i'll have to work on this...

As far as my progress goes, I can see some changes happening. The redness has gone away, as well as the pain! Yesterday my pustule was still quite swollen and painful, so I did some spot treatment with Apple Cider. Within half a day, the pain was completely gone and it had reduced in size. I couldn't believe it because i'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to spot treatments because they have failed on me for so many years. One day later, and the pain is still gone which is huge. I could sleep last night without the aid of an aspirin. My cyst has reduced in size also, and it should be flat in the next 48 hours. There is no pain. Though I am still gutted that I have to wait for yet another brown spot to fade. As for my papule it is quite stubborn, and still hanging around. Though there is no pain, or inflammation.

At the moment, i'm very happy with the fact that I have had no new pimples come about. I'm also stoked that the inflammation has gone down with my actives. But I am still annoyed with how my actives turn into brown spots. They take months to fade which really sucks. Oddly enough my spots take longer to heal than my actives. Anyways i've gotten a wee bit of confidence back. I'm still having to force myself out into the public - but I won't say no to trips up town, straight off the bat.

So here's some comparison pictures

Older ----> Newer

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post-118362-1262131543_thumb.jpg

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sweet im on day 4 of my differin adventure!

glad to see its working for you

just one question, when does the differin start drying your skin or making it red? im using .3% but im not feeling any of the effects people mention. haha i have a feeling im gonna wake up one day and its gonna hit me full-force :/

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Hi West-Coast_Skater,

Best of luck with it! I hope it works out for you too

I'm hoping it works out for me, time will tell

So far I haven't been getting dry skin at all - I'm on 0.1%

I don't know if that makes a difference in the level of dryness?

But I moisturise in the morning, at lunch time and at night time

I haven't had any redness from the Differin either

I make sure I apply as little as possible to avoid waking up with a tomato face

I am worried like you too haha, really terrified of waking up with scaly red skin!

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Day 15 Observations:

Still no newbies, yayyy!

My right side of my jawline

1 papule

My left side of my jawline

1 pustule

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 3 actives

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Well what can I say? I'm really happy I woke up without any new actives! I'm starting to feel a lot more confident about the whole regimen. Though it's still quite early on in my treatment, I haven't felt this happy in a while with my skin. Taking photos has really helped me so just how my progress is coming along - so i'm really glad I started this log.

As for my actives, the pustule is no longer filling up with gunk. It is still pain free which brings me the greatest joy! I can now sleep on my side, without that hideous discomfort. It has also flattened back into place. My cyst has really shrunk now, it's raised but just barely. It isn't painful either. The papule is probably the crappiest of all my actives. Its still raised a bit more than the others. Not long til they won't be actives anymore :D

So I got my cat back a few days ago, she's settled in well. What i'm finding is having her around is taking my mind off the acne. I am so interested in what she's doing i'm not thinking about my face which is awesome. I'm also avoiding the bathroom mirror which is still helping. I've still not touched a glass of milk either which i'm really happy with. So right now, things are going well - and I feel like for the first time in my life, I am truly doing something about my skin that is actually working out :D:D

Anyways - HAPPY NEW YEARS PEOPLES!

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Glad things are improving for you! I think cutting out the milk in your diet was a very good idea. Dairy can really be a trigger for some people - I know I had a lot of improvement after cutting out milk, cheese, cream cheese, etc.

Good idea to ditch the scrub and the baking soda too. Scrubs are generally not good for people who tend to get inflamed acne - it just tends to irritate the skin and cause more inflammation and more breakouts. Scrubs are really best for people who have mostly noninflamed acne, and skin that isn't too sensitive. Its also not good to use one if you are on a retinoid - especially when you are first starting. You should stick to a gentle, nonmedicated cleanser for now.

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Also - you might try taking the zinc orally instead of just using it topically. Its really good for reducing the inflammation of acne lesions.

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Hi willow569,

Thank you so much for your words, it's amazing what can upset your skin. If the milk has been a big one for me, it explains why i've had acne for sooo long and why it has never gone away. I'm definitely going to keep avoiding dairy where I can. I feel a lot healthier too, but that could be because water has replaced milk.

That's really interesting about scrubs being for non-inflamed acne, I really wish their labels would explain that in depth. As acne idiots such as myself, would have no idea. The level to which it affected my skin was very scary - and painful.

With the zinc, I take it orally. I don't want to put more money into my treatment if I can avoid it. So i've decided to save the pills and ingest them only, instead of crushing them for topical treatment. I'm trying so hard to stick to "more is less" which is working wonders already :) Thank you again for your advice.

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Hi willow569,

Thank you so much for your words, it's amazing what can upset your skin. If the milk has been a big one for me, it explains why i've had acne for sooo long and why it has never gone away. I'm definitely going to keep avoiding dairy where I can. I feel a lot healthier too, but that could be because water has replaced milk.

That's really interesting about scrubs being for non-inflamed acne, I really wish their labels would explain that in depth. As acne idiots such as myself, would have no idea. The level to which it affected my skin was very scary - and painful.

With the zinc, I take it orally. I don't want to put more money into my treatment if I can avoid it. So i've decided to save the pills and ingest them only, instead of crushing them for topical treatment. I'm trying so hard to stick to "more is less" which is working wonders already :) Thank you again for your advice.

I've gone almost totally dairy free. I'm not a fanatic about avoiding it 100% of the time, but I avoid drinking milk, eating pizza or anything with a lot of cheese. Almond milk is a great substitute for milk on cereal. The only thing I miss is cream cheese on bagels. I cave in and have it every once and awhile, and most of the time my skin will have a negative reaction to it.

I think product labels don't tell you what you really need to know, because they just want you to buy their products! And they can be really misleading in lots of ways - labels like noncomedogenic, dermatologist approved, safe for sensitive skin don't really mean anything because nobody regulates the use of the terms.

Good that you are taking the oral zinc. If you want to add any other supplements, I highly recommend niacinamide (not regular niacin). There is research that shows that it is good for reducing inflammation and can help reduce acne breakouts.

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I'll keep almond milk in mind for the future. I've caved in so far, and had a mouthful of milk - thankfully it hasn't forced a reaction out of my skin. But it's not something i'll be indulging in again. Too worried about cursing my good streak lol.

True true about the products... It's so sad, because regulations are so strict now about food items and labels that outline what the product is made up of. You would think the same would apply to acne treatment. But I guess it's all about money at the end of the day. Such a shame. Especially when people who are already suffering have to suffer more.

I'm going to have a look for niacinamide next time I visit the body shop. I definitely need something to help inflammation i'm getting to the point where the pain is really starting to affect my moods - because of the lack of sleep. It makes so many things unbearable.

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Day 21 Observations:

No actives as of yet, i'm pretty excited!

My right side of my jawline

1 pustule

My left side of my jawline

Nada!!!

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 2 healings

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Well i've been getting terrible sleep lately. There's a gas station just up the hill from us, beside an empty plot of land. Our bedroom window happens to be right behind the empty plot - so the light from the gas station at night floods our room - and sometimes i'm not sure if i'm awake at 3am, or 3pm. Lol! It's totally screwing with my body clock, so i'm terrified my acne is going to break out.

So far i've been really lucky with my acne. I had one little red spot pop out on my left cheek before bedtime - considering I never get acne on my cheeks, I was just about to fly off the handle at the prospect that my acne was suddenly getting worse. But when I woke up it had vanished! Phewww. Whether that was the nature of that particular pimple, or whether Differin kicked it in the ass i'm not sure. I also had another blackhead on my chin pop out and greet the world, so I grabbed the gunky stuff with some tweezers and plucked it right out. I had a little bit of redness, but not so much that it has sent me into a shame spiral or anything lol.

As for my cyst, it is a brown spot. Still has a slight lump to it which is weird? Same with the papule I had on the left hand side of my jaw, it is still a tiny lump as well. Thankfully though the annoying pastule that lingered and lingered has finally vanished. Including the hideous redness it had. I've decided to change the status of the cyst, and papule to healing. They're now joining the legion of brown spotty scars I have decorating my jawline and neck. Ughhh.

The scars I have from the acne that popped up back in early to mid December are still there. I don't see any improvement in them what so ever. I'm really starting to worry over the scarring now, and how much longer it actually stays around, as opposed to when they're in active forms. I really hope that treating actives with Differin will start lessening the time it takes for the scars to fade. Grrrr!

I've given in and had a mouthful of milk, since I quit it. But my skin hasn't reacted to it thankfully. I haven't cut any other dairy out though, still consuming cheese like it grows on trees. Today though I broke one of the biggest rules you shouldn't... I tampered with a blackhead I noticed on my cheek! It's huge compared to what I usually get, and I got curious to see whether I could squeeze it out. Judging by how stubborn this thing is, it isn't time to extract. There's no redness at the moment (touch wood!!!!) but now it is inflamed. Curse these curious fingers!!!! I wish it had stayed undetected! and that I had engaged my brain before making a move to destroy it. Urghhh.

Edited by Chandy

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Day 23 Observations:

No new comers to crash the party still :D

My right side of my jawline

1 pustule

My left side of my jawline

Nothing

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 2 healings

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STILL no actives!!!! Yayyyy - I'm so relieved to this point. My skin is actually looking a lot better, and my healing actives have actually faded a great deal. However I noticed the stubborn ass pustule on the right hand side of my jawline had a lot of redness today. I tightened the skin, around the pustule - because I had a sneaking suspicion it is actually a freaking ingrown hair!!!! AND IT IS! I can't freaking believe it. I've had an ingrown hair in that area before - and it was unbelievable. When I released the hair well over a year ago, it was soooo long. It would have been a good 2 centimetres at least! A fully developed strain of hair... how the hell does that even happen? LOL. So enough is enough!

I had a consultation with a specialist this morning for laser hair removal. My treatment is going to cost $1,620. A fair bit of money but for something as near as permanent as you can get, i'm going to take it. I am now absolutely convinced that a great deal of acne I am suffering along my jawline and especially under my chin, is due to ingrown hairs - and tweezing hairs out from that area. I feel so ashamed to even talk about facial hair, but that's how fed up I am with it, and acne. I have even started coming totally clean to my partner about it, and he has been so incredibly supportive - I am so grateful to have him, he puts up with my disgusting acne, and even more disgusting wookie chin - LMAO. He hasn't run for the hills in search of a more pimple/hair free specimen. Bless him.

I'll have to release the hair somehow, otherwise the redness will never go down - and as has happened in the past, the pustule will just flare up again and it'll be a vicious cycle. My first laser hair removal treatment is tomorrow, with 1 year worth of sessions every six weeks. I am quite terrified, because I am no longer able to tweeze my disgusting hair - and have to resort to shaving. EWWW. As if facial hair wasn't bad enough, at least tweezing made it subtle as ever. But I just have to keep thinking about one year from now - and how i'll be more hair free, and stubborn ingrown pustule free!

Onwards and upwards!! Wishing you all clear skin!!

- Oh yes, and as for the stupid head mistake of tampering with a black head on my cheek. I now have a hard lump under my skin, but no redness. You wouldn't even know it was there. PHEW!

Edited by Chandy

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Day 24 Observations:

No new comers to crash the party still

My right side of my jawline

1 pustule

My left side of my jawline

Nothing

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 1 healing, 1 healing that is becoming active

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Hello everybody! Hope your journeys towards clear skin are going well!

For the first time in many years, I feel very optimistic about my acne actually clearing up. Granted the brown spots of past actives are still there, actives haven't jumped out at me every 2 or 3 days. I'm absolutely elated! However I have a new regimen to add - I've started laser hair removal, for the stubborn chin hairs that I suspect are behind some of my acne.

My first session was a little scary. The beautician who tended to me today didn't have the nicest bedside manner. She told me to keep my eyes closed for the entire session, which was cool - I thought she'd talk me through the steps she was working through since it was my first time ever. She didn't - so that annoyed me. As for the process itself - it was sooo quick.

The laser treatment did sting a little. Some areas I couldn't feel a thing, but in other areas it felt sort of like a rubber band snapping against my skin - a small rubber band mind you. So it wasn't as painful as I was expecting. The most painful part was the beautician pushing the laser so hard against my skin, that it dug into my teeth. My eyes actually started watering - and she was pushing so hard, that my head was being pushed to the side. Though her bedside manner lacked, she was still able to nag me about keeping my head still. Ummm... maybe if you stop trying to push through my face, lady! Lol! She was a young looking woman though... makes me wonder if she has that much experience.

So I have treatments every 6 weeks. I informed them of my use of Differin but they didn't seem too phased at all. I'm just terrified of my acne progress reversing - I've been very strict with my regimen since the beginning, as well as picking and touching my face (though I had one moment of picking stupidity recently) It would be quite heart breaking to see all that effort go to waste because of the laser hair removal. Though if my hunch is correct that a lot of my acne is due to in grown hair - then I am looking forward to minimising the need for tweezing. Good bye in growns! Good bye pusules!

As for the 1 healing spot, that i've changed to active - it's that same stubborn ass pustule that has been lingering for weeks now. I tried to bring the hair out to the surface with a fine needle. It hasn't worked, and redness has flared up again. Such a shame. I'm going to have keep trying until I get that beast of a hair out though. Poor face. More redness, and pain. I just have to keep thinking about that light at the end of the tunnel... which is basically 1 year away. Good bye hair! Good bye acne!

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Day 25 Observations:

Grrr... my healing papule decided to kick up today

My right side of my jawline

1 pustule

My left side of my jawline

1 pustule

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 2 actives, 1 healing

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Well I noticed a previous papule that had healed recently came back to life. It isn't anywhere near as big or red though. Spot treated it with apple cider. As for that annoying pustule that I suspected was an in-grown... I released the hair stuck under my skin. Hopefully it'll heal nice and quick! No brand new pimples, so i'm totally over the moon.

Also I woke up this morning, and noticed that my skin has a healthy glow about it. I've only been applying Differin around actives - so it must be the deep pore cleanser that is making a difference. I have to start applying a proper sunscreen because of my laser hair removal, so i'm hoping to purchase an oil free sunscreen, in hopes that it doesn't reverse my progress with acne.

So here's proof of my hideous pustule being caused by a horribly long in-grown. Ughh!!

post-118362-1263028672_thumb.jpg

post-118362-1263028672_thumb.jpg

Edited by Chandy

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Day 93 Observations:

I feel like i'm losing the battle with acne :(

My right side of my jawline

1 healing

My left side of my jawline

1 healing cyst

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 2 healing, 1 active

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Hey folks, so it's been a while since i've posted. I've started studies again, and am incredibly busy (procrastinating lol) I'm still feeling pretty down about my skin. I don't know why, I just want this annoying acne to go away. I've had a great deal of new actives come about since my last post, and they've shrunk in a matter of days, instead of weeks. Which has been great.

The down side is the actives are popping up in the same places on my face time after time. So I have a cluster of scars, that will suddenly reactive and form a cyst. It is almost as if my scars are re-activating everytime I get close to that "monthly" time all poor women have to go through.

My scarring is still very bad. Scars from December last year are still there, and don't seem to be improving. It is really heart breaking having the same scars for a 1/4 of a year, with no end in sight. *sigh* >:

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Ingrown hairs are never much fun. I very rarely get them, but when I do, it's annoying. You have to wait for the hair to come slightly free before tweezering it out. In the meantime, you get the build up of pus! The only good thing, for me, is that the red marks left seem to scab up and heal pretty quick. I wish all red marks did.

Have you tried adding Duac to your regime? Dual combination therapy can really help your skin. It brought mine back from the brink of extinction.

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Day 93 Observations:

I feel like i'm losing the battle with acne :(

My right side of my jawline

1 healing

My left side of my jawline

1 healing cyst

My neck

1 cyst

Totalling - 2 healing, 1 active

----

Hey folks, so it's been a while since i've posted. I've started studies again, and am incredibly busy (procrastinating lol) I'm still feeling pretty down about my skin. I don't know why, I just want this annoying acne to go away. I've had a great deal of new actives come about since my last post, and they've shrunk in a matter of days, instead of weeks. Which has been great.

The down side is the actives are popping up in the same places on my face time after time. So I have a cluster of scars, that will suddenly reactive and form a cyst. It is almost as if my scars are re-activating everytime I get close to that "monthly" time all poor women have to go through.

My scarring is still very bad. Scars from December last year are still there, and don't seem to be improving. It is really heart breaking having the same scars for a 1/4 of a year, with no end in sight. *sigh* >:

Hey Chandy, that really sucks.. You'd think after this long things would be better, Im meant to be starting differin this sunday and Im very nervous. My acne is more whiteheads, of larger amounts, as opposed to the cysts I used to get 3 years ago before accutane, but now acne has returned.. I hope it goes well or I will have to have another course of accutane. If you are losing hope then you should definately consider going on it, I was at breaking point and it saved me for a time, and now, times are changin, but it seriously cures over 80% of patients.. GOOD LUCK!!

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