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I was having a great day...and then I looked in a mirror.

Background: I've had moderate acne for 11 years, and for 10 of those years I hoped I would grow out of it and eventually have normal skin.

No. Such. Luck.

About a year ago, my skin suddenly started scarring. First it was just one or two pits from really nasty pimples, but over time, things got worse and worse. I tried taking a bunch of supplements, completely overhauling my diet, exercising, drinking a ton of water, and using dozens of different cleansers and topicals, but I still broke out and scarred constantly. Then, about 6 months ago, every single pimple started leaving a scar. Not a red mark, but a dent or an ice pick or a white lump. The texture and color of my skin is, to put it quite bluntly, fucked. I have some sort of scar on every inch of my face.

I never could have imagined how much acne could destroy my confidence by remodeling my face every time I have a breakout. I never thought I would become this vain, neurotic, and self-pitying. I never thought I would reach the breaking point like I have now. I can't even eat a bar of candy without it leaving permanent reminders on my face, and I want to vomit when I think of what I'll look like a few months or years from now if this continues.

I can't focus on anything else anymore. I just graduated from college and I'm supposed to be focused on getting a job and moving on with my life, but I'm spending all of my time trying to research ways to make the scarring stop. I went to a derm who gave me Aczone and Renova (tretinoin cream .025) to try, but after a month of use the Aczone hasn't stopped the breakouts or scarring. I'm starting the Renova now, but I'm afraid that will make my skin even more fragile.

My parents don't understand how much this upsets me, and I don't talk to my boyfriend or friends about it because how can they help? None of them have gone through anything remotely similar. Even my dad, who has a few deep pock marks from his severe acne in his twenties, basically just tells me to "suck it up."

I can't take antibiotics or Accutane because I have digestive issues and am quite prone to depression (due to acne). What else can I do? Any tips on keeping a positive attitude?

I hate being such a whiner, but I just got another big gouge-shaped scar in my chin today and broke down. Thanks for reading.

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Sorry you're feeling so down. When my acne was its worse, I was incredibly low. The only thing that kept me going was to think that somewhere out there, there's something that will help.

My only advice on keeping a positive attitude is try and keep yourself busy. I know it's hard to get the motivation to keep yourself busy, but it does take your mind off things.

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My derm asked me before going on accutane if I had any history of depression. My answer was "Yea when I break out." One would think that if acne causes depression.....and accutane gets rid of acne......then accutane would be some sort of anti-depressiant kind of. If acne got you this bummed out then you should consider accutane. I read several posts where the person took an anti-depressiant while on accutane as a preventive measure. As far as your digestive system goes....not everyone has those side effects. I'm just saying. Give it some thought. If not....continue trying the 1, 948, 732 methods out there to try and get rid of it yourself.

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You mentioned you've over-hauled your diet and you drink tons of water. What exactly is your diet like?

Are you avoiding the common food allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, wheat and nuts RELIGIOUSLY???

I wouldn't be surprised if your intolerant or allergic to several of the common foods above. And if your not avoiding these 24/7 your gonna break out.

Have you seen a digestive specialist?

I'm sorry to hear about your battle; acne sucks. Also are you working out and getting regular sleep???

PANIC

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Thank you guys for your support. I am trying my best to stay positive; the nice weather is helping. :)

@ Panic!!: I eat turkey, chicken, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, kale, collards, onions, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, blueberries, raspberries, kiwis, and raisins. That's it. Sometimes I have rooibos tea, certified gluten-free. I make all of my own meals. I broke the diet once or twice and got a few new pimples, but they could have been due to stress or lack of sleep. Out of the common allergenic foods, I think I may have a problem with nuts and dairy, and I think it may be due to the fat content. I think I may have a problem with my omega ratio that my supplementation of evening primrose and borage oils should eventually fix.

I saw a GI doc and am going to get a CT scan and upper GI series once I upgrade my life insurance, just in case they find anything! I am also working out or going for 30-45 min walks outside several times a week, and I usually go to bed by 12 and wake up by 8 with no alarm clock.

Anyhoo, thanks for the suggestions. Acne does suck!

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I can relate I've been pretty good for the past weeks but today I got a haircut and when the hair lady showed me the back of my hair with a mirror all I saw was my scars on my neck and since all I've been doing is looking at myself and seeing every little imperfection.

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