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Hello everyone, I am new to this website, but I have been reading some of the forums for a little while now and decided to make an account.

Currently I suffer with basically every type of acne that exists. I get pimples and random cysts on my face sometimes, pretty much everywhere except my cheeks. I have severe acne on my back and shoulders plus my neck front and back. part of my arms and chest as well. I don't normally get cysts on my face, but everywhere else it's bad. My face I would consider mild, but still extremely painful and noticeable. I will add pictures later to show exactly what I am dealing with.

I have been this way since I was about 15 /16 and I'm now 18 turning 19 in 5 months. I went to the dermatologist when it started getting pretty bad and was given retin-a micro to start. I never gave it a solid shot being so young and naive I thought that if it didn't work within a few weeks It's hopeless. I was so stupid and going through highschool having the increased amount of breakouts made it too difficult and I gave up. I regret not trying it for the full effect and it's a bit blurry as to where my mind was at when I was that age. I started using retin-a micro again for the past 4-5 weeks now. I have been breaking out and not a whole lot of improvement really if any at all. I'm going to give this a solid few more months at least. Growing up, it got to the point where I was scared to death of mirrors and basically any kind of social interaction that revealed my skin. I have had an extremely difficult time living the life I want, and I am not sure how much longer I can proceed living this way.

I have an extreme fear of accutane and I have a feeling my dermatologist might recommend it the next time I go. I just can't pull myself to risk harming the flawless system inside of me. I can't risk the side effects just to get rid of acne. As much as I hate my acne, I don't think I could ever take those kinds of drugs knowing the risks.

So the guidance I am seeking is how I should continue to go about finding something that works for me. I know there are other options besides accutane, but with my severity of acne, is there any kind of medicine or topical that might help with how severe my case is? If there is any other information requested from me I am willing to give it. If anyone has any kind of advice of suggestions for me, it would be greatly appreciated. Were in this together, and I'll never give up. To me, having acne is like being a blind person that remembers what it feels like to see.

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I read most of this(I'm a skimmer, I admit it!) and noticed(or missed) that you didn't try anything holistic(Diet, emotions, etc). If you really don't want accutane I'd try it first, it helps your whole body, rather than harming it. And you aren't losing anything by doing a final non-traditional attempt!

www.thelovevitamin.com is a website dedicated to holistic acne, started by an acne.org user. I've followed most of her changes and have been successful.

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So far, what have you tried an what has worked for you?

So far, I have only tried a few products. When I first got it, I tried proactiv... didn't work at all. I remember trying a few bp over the counter products as well but I can't really remember. I haven't really tried a whole lot of things and I'm thinking that's why I should go back to the dermatologist.

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I read most of this(I'm a skimmer, I admit it!) and noticed(or missed) that you didn't try anything holistic(Diet, emotions, etc). If you really don't want accutane I'd try it first, it helps your whole body, rather than harming it. And you aren't losing anything by doing a final non-traditional attempt!

www.thelovevitamin.com is a website dedicated to holistic acne, started by an acne.org user. I've followed most of her changes and have been successful.

Actually, I have tried plenty of holistic things in my opinion of it at least. I really only drink water and some juices. I cut out milk because It seemed I would always get terrible breakout everywhere when I was drinking it all the time. I hate it because I love milk so much. I workout quite a bit, stay healthy, don't eat fast food, nothing helps it seems.

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So far, what have you tried an what has worked for you?

So far, I have only tried a few products. When I first got it, I tried proactiv... didn't work at all. I remember trying a few bp over the counter products as well but I can't really remember. I haven't really tried a whole lot of things and I'm thinking that's why I should go back to the dermatologist.

So it sounds to me like BP is out of the question for you, probably means SA won't do anything for you as well. Go to your dermo and ask him for Retin-A its usually the most effective topical, but the one that has the most brutal redness, pealing etc...

In the meantime go to CVS/walgreents/etc... and buy 100% tea tree oil, doesn't matter which brand. get a cotton ball wet and add 3-4 drops of the TTO - tone your face with it. Also start washing your face with a gentle cleanser (no active ingredient). Always have have an effective spot treatment 10% BP, 100%TTO on a q-tip, zapzit, etc...

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So far, what have you tried an what has worked for you?

So far, I have only tried a few products. When I first got it, I tried proactiv... didn't work at all. I remember trying a few bp over the counter products as well but I can't really remember. I haven't really tried a whole lot of things and I'm thinking that's why I should go back to the dermatologist.

So it sounds to me like BP is out of the question for you, probably means SA won't do anything for you as well. Go to your dermo and ask him for Retin-A its usually the most effective topical, but the one that has the most brutal redness, pealing etc...

In the meantime go to CVS/walgreents/etc... and buy 100% tea tree oil, doesn't matter which brand. get a cotton ball wet and add 3-4 drops of the TTO - tone your face with it. Also start washing your face with a gentle cleanser (no active ingredient). Always have have an effective spot treatment 10% BP, 100%TTO on a q-tip, zapzit, etc...

Ok cool. Yeah, I have been using retin-a for the past 5 weeks now and your exactly right about the redness and peeling. I feel like my skin is so dry at least on my face anyways. I will definitely try and find a gentle cleanser, but I seriously don't know what kind to use. Whenever I get out of the shower my skin feels like it's burning. It's almost like I enjoy having the oil on my face because it's basically moisturizing it lol. I have sensitive skin, but I will try the tea tree oil. Thanks for the suggestions so far man. I'm going to hang in there with the retin-a :)

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So far, what have you tried an what has worked for you?

So far, I have only tried a few products. When I first got it, I tried proactiv... didn't work at all. I remember trying a few bp over the counter products as well but I can't really remember. I haven't really tried a whole lot of things and I'm thinking that's why I should go back to the dermatologist.

So it sounds to me like BP is out of the question for you, probably means SA won't do anything for you as well. Go to your dermo and ask him for Retin-A its usually the most effective topical, but the one that has the most brutal redness, pealing etc...

In the meantime go to CVS/walgreents/etc... and buy 100% tea tree oil, doesn't matter which brand. get a cotton ball wet and add 3-4 drops of the TTO - tone your face with it. Also start washing your face with a gentle cleanser (no active ingredient). Always have have an effective spot treatment 10% BP, 100%TTO on a q-tip, zapzit, etc...

Ok cool. Yeah, I have been using retin-a for the past 5 weeks now and your exactly right about the redness and peeling. I feel like my skin is so dry at least on my face anyways. I will definitely try and find a gentle cleanser, but I seriously don't know what kind to use. Whenever I get out of the shower my skin feels like it's burning. It's almost like I enjoy having the oil on my face because it's basically moisturizing it lol. I have sensitive skin, but I will try the tea tree oil. Thanks for the suggestions so far man. I'm going to hang in there with the retin-a :)

Sorry, we stetted this in PM, anyone with similar problems/questions feel free to ask.

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So right now, I'm having breakouts still from the medicine. For the most part the new blemishes I get have whiteheads and don't last extremely long like a cyst. It's tough having all of these added breakouts. I'm wondering how much longer I should go if there is no improvement.

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So right now, I'm having breakouts still from the medicine. For the most part the new blemishes I get have whiteheads and don't last extremely long like a cyst. It's tough having all of these added breakouts. I'm wondering how much longer I should go if there is no improvement.

Same breakouts as from the retin-A earlier? Thats good that their not cystic!

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So right now, I'm having breakouts still from the medicine. For the most part the new blemishes I get have whiteheads and don't last extremely long like a cyst. It's tough having all of these added breakouts. I'm wondering how much longer I should go if there is no improvement.

Same breakouts as from the retin-A earlier? Thats good that their not cystic!

Yeah it's from the retin-a so no worries. I'm just wondering how long will this last until it starts to get better!

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So its been 5 weeksish, once it gets to two months you should have definitely seen improvement, let alone no more worsening and it sounds to me like you already have went through the peeling stage. Call your dermo, and get his/her input on the time. My best friend was using it a while before he left for the army, and it was like - he started it, for two weeks I noticed his skin get crazy red/start pealing, then we had Christmas break and I didn't see him for two weeks (ugh @ annoying gf's) And the first day, back from break every single blemish was gone, and he only had small scars remaining - I was shocked (so elapsed time of about 4 weeks for him give or take). But that's just one example. I bet your dermo will tell you to stick with it because the medicine seems to be acting pretty typical right now. but it all depends on how you feel man, its your choice but I think hearing an answer from your dermo will give you confidence in whatever you choose.

Edited by Acne Security

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So its been 5 weeksish, once it gets to two months you should have definitely seen improvement, let alone no more worsening and it sounds to me like you already have went through the peeling stage. Call your dermo, and get his/her input on the time. My best friend was using it a while before he left for the army, and it was like - he started it, for two weeks I noticed his skin get crazy red/start pealing, then we had Christmas break and I didn't see him for two weeks (ugh @ annoying gf's) And the first day, back from break every single blemish was gone, and he only had small scars remaining - I was shocked (so elapsed time of about 4 weeks for him give or take). But that's just one example. I bet your dermo will tell you to stick with it because the medicine seems to be acting pretty typical right now. but it all depends on how you feel man, its your choice but I think hearing an answer from your dermo will give you confidence in whatever you choose.

Yeah, I am getting peeling on my face only in a few areas(mostly around my mouth). I'm going to keep going with the medicine, Is there any moisturizer you recommend for the dry skin on my face? I want to put lotion on, but I don't know what to use.

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This is in response to your PM.

Yes, you can use petroleum jelly on your face. It won't burn even with annoyed skin from retin A. Cetaphil is a very gentle cleanser that I personally use. When you're in the shower, don't have the water very hot. When you get out of the shower, or still while in, put cold or cool water on your face as that will help calm the irritation from cleansing.

Please read the following post on how topical retinoids work and why patience and perseverance is required when using topical retinoids: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Info-reti...ial-t98395.html Please also realize that at least three months on the medication is required for noticing full benefit. You may experience an 'initial breakout' (explained in previous link) that's due to the purging effect of retinoids.

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Hey, I replied to your PM but also note that..

"Acne therapy with retinoids can be frustrating in the beginning. An exacerbation of acne often occurs in the first 2 to 4 weeks of therapy as the follicular epithelium is loosening. Fortunately, by* the end of the 2nd month, a significant improvement**with the acne (Prystowsky, 2001) and remission of irritation is typically noted"

So remember since you've passed the 4 weeks, the closer you get towards the end of your 2nd month, your logically entering a more statistically abnormal/infrequent group - i.e. those who don't see an improvement in acne. Consider though you haven't been using Cetaphil, you've been using something harsh, and you haven't been moisturizing so ask your dermo what effect this would have on the irritation/exacerbation.

*By could mean a lot of different things in this case, I never saw an exact number so It could mean of that typical group - 68% saw improvement the by the end of the first month 22% in the first half of the second month, and 10% (the outliers) saw improvement in the last half of the second month. It could also be the complete opposite with respect to time and %! like more saw it later in the 2 months, but this seems the more unlikely IMO b/c of sample tendencies, empirical rule, and crap you probably don't care about.

**Impovement (in original condition, not justthe end of exacerbation or impovement relative to it)

Edited by Acne Security

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Thanks for the reply's guys. I think the biggest factor to the dry skin on my face is from showering with way to hot water. I have always loved having the shower so hot because it feels so good, but I can't do it anymore and I think that's the main reason. I took a pretty cold shower today, and I didn't rub my face I just let it air dry. The dryness and complete feeling of irritated skin didn't come. I'm hoping that if I continue this trend, as well as use moisturizer, my skin will not be as dry :) Looking today, it seems as I am seeing some improvement. It's just hard to realize since I am slowly recovering from the initial breakout. I will definitely call my dermo within the next few days since I'm finishing school for the semester! Thanks again for all the help and continued support! Means a lot.

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