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At the end of my tether

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I'm sure you all read threads like this every single day but it's the first time I have ever used a message board like this and just felt like I needed to write down how I feel. There isn't really anyone I can talk to about stuff like this.

I've had severe cystic acne since I was around 14. I had it all the way through school and I don't need to tell you all how emotionally draining and confidence shattering this could be for a teenage boy. When I was 18, after trying all the topicals and antibiotics, I was referred to hospital and put on accutane. It was wonderful, 5 months later and my skin was looking great and I felt like I had my life back. For 2 years my skin was perfect and then my world shattered as I started to break out once again.

This time the acne had shifted from large cysts and clusters on the forehead and temple down to the nose and cheek area. After many more years of topicals and antibiotics, I was finally referred back to hospital and put onto a second course of accutane.

As with the first course, I tolerated it very well, with minimal side effects and amazing results. Unfortunately, just 3 months after finishing the course, I've started to break out just as bad as ever. I have gone back to my GP who has once again decided to give me topical (Duac) cream.

When she prescribed the topical, I felt like I had just gone back to the start again and felt like crawling into a hole and never coming out. I think I'm just in a never ending cycle, and whilst having bad teenage acne is one thing, having adult acne and trying to talk to people at work or on nights out is so emotionally shattering for me and I can see no light at the end of this long, long tunnel.

I'm currently washing morning and evening and applying the topical cream. Washing dries my skin, moisturizer makes it oily and every morning I wake up with new painful spots and it's as bad as ever. Even simple things like shaving and eating are tough because of the large painful cysts round my mouth.

So what's next? I really don't know! I guess you just have to keep getting out of bed and get on with life! Thanks for reading this far, I just needed to vent :)

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Have you tried moving away from topicals & trying a natural approach?

I have been using just garnier essentials face wash followed my alpha hydrox lotion & my skin has calmed right down. Yes I still have acne but its no longer a combination of dry & flakey from topicals plus oily greasy from moisturisers. My skin looks much more 'normal' & healthy, on the areas that dont have acne which makes my acne on the whole look better. My spots are healing quicker too as when I use topicals they get angry & leave big red marks which take a long time to disappear. Plus drier skin = more blotchy skin. The AHA is exfoliating in itself so I no longer have to use abrasion on my skin & the cream doesnt make you produce loads of oil either.

In conjunction with this eating a more predominantly alkaline diet may help. I have started buying foods like spinach & humous & having lemon slices in peppermint tea as a start, although it would be very difficult to convert completely. Drinking filtered water is also recommended over tap water. Every little good thing you can do for yourself cannot harm - no one thin is likely to be a miracle cure but a combination of lots of little changes you help you to see an improvement over the space of 2-6 months.


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There is one thing that will drastically reduce the amount of acne you have, but it's gonna take a lot of will power and you're going to have to set aside any other preconceptions about acne you may have had before. I'm talking about the ketogenic diet. I've been on it for about 3 months and I rarely get acne anymore until I eat carbs. Hit me up if you want more info on it.

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