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Nikki9

How I've cleared up

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Good Morning! I've never posted to these boards before, though I have been scouring them for information for a couple of years. I am 34 years old and have been struggling with acne for 20 years. Over the last two years, it has been especially bad and I have been desperate fo finally be done with this! Each year I was more embarrassed about my situation. It's difficult to deal with acne at any age but the older I got, the less I felt I could be taken seriously in my professional career when my face was broken out like a teenagers.

I saw a dermatologist and was given spironlactone and Retin-A. It seemed to make a very slight difference but my face still looked horrible. Starting last November, I adopted several of the dietary changes highlighted in the diet section of this message board. Specifically, I cut out milk products and started taking zinc and fish oil pills. I am a vegetarian so I was already getting plenty of fruits and vegetables in my diet. These dietary changes seemed to make my skin have better tone and have smaller pores but I did not notice a change in the number of breakouts that I was experiencing.

About six weeks ago, I had a horrible breakout and several of the spots would bleed whenever I washed my face. I quit using my natural face scrub because I figured the lightest touch with soap would have the least likelihood of removing the delicate skin that was healing around some of the terrible spots. Within a couple of weeks, my skin had changed pretty significantly. I have only had one new spot since I quit using scrub. It's only been six weeks so I am hesitant to think that I'm cured but I have NEVER had even a couple of days without new spots so I am tentatively hopeful.

I am thinking that I have very sensitive skin and any kind of scrub must cause flare-ups. I never thought of myself as having sensitive skin. I do not have any reactions to products or anything. It's been interesting though, because one of my major frustrations was that my skin seemed so dry yet I was breaking out all the time. However, now that I've quit using a scrub, the texture of my skin is completely different. I never use moisturizer anymore (though I do use sunscreen).

I was aware that acne sufferers should not use harsh scrubs because it can stimulate oil production but I did not think gentle scrubs would be a problem. I know that if I would have read this post previously, I likely would have ignored it because it's hard to believe that I may have suffered with acne for 20 years and it was because I was harming my skin by washing too harshly. Maybe all of the other changes suddenly started working but I really think it's the change in washing regimine. I hope this helps someone, I know how desperate having acne can make you feel!

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So do you wash your face with anything? It's funny b/c I am around the same age as you...similar story and I also notice my skin breaks out when I use scrubs (St.Ives for me). It got me thinking maybe the constant washing is causing irritation which is making my acne worse than it should be. I was thinking about stopping washing altogether but I don't know if I'm brave enough :think:

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So do you wash your face with anything? It's funny b/c I am around the same age as you...similar story and I also notice my skin breaks out when I use scrubs (St.Ives for me). It got me thinking maybe the constant washing is causing irritation which is making my acne worse than it should be. I was thinking about stopping washing altogether but I don't know if I'm brave enough :think:

I use to think the same thing, but hell i have just been splashing with luke warm water only in shower for about 5 months and even thou it does not get as dry and irritated i still experience breakouts regardless.

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When I was in my vacation in Greece and cleared up, I never used any products on my face, ever. I cleared up 100%.

But understand that the products were NOT the cause because acne came back full force 5 days before the end of my vacations, in Turkey, after missing a lot of sleep and eating a different diet.

What I'm saying is that I definitly don't need ANY products to wash my face or to put on my pimples to become clear, since I used none at all when I became 100% clear anyway.

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I am still washing my face, I'm just using Cetaphil because it's so gentle. I don't think it would matter what I use to cleanse, as long as I'm extremely gentle about it.

It will be interesting to see if I continue to have great results - it's funny because I am so thrilled to have clear skin for the first time that I can remember but if my own harsh scrubbing has been causing my breakouts all of these years.....well, it's horrible to think that I've been doing this to myself. Like many on this forum, acne has had a real effect on how I feel about myself and the activities that I choose to participate in. I am embarrassed to admit that I declined a wonderful girls getaway weekend with friends a couple of months ago because I was too ashamed to allow everyone to see me without makeup. My skin never looks great but it is sometimes much worse than others and the last year or so has been awful.

I should have mentioned in my original post that I also try to consume a low GI diet.

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