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New Here - Hi Everyone. (:

Hey there. My name is Gillian - I'm a twenty one year old living in South Florida and I've been struggling with acne for almost a decade now.

I started breaking out in about sixth grade. It was never too serious then, but it was constant... always at least four or five white heads or papules around my chin and forehead, and a few spots on my back here or there. I'm fortunate enough to have a mother who went to all lengths to prevent it from getting out of hand, but unfortunate that I become discouraged really early by a whole lot of failure as far as treatment went. In fact, everything seemed to make the problem worse.

When I entered highschool, I'm thankful to say, my face calmed down a little. Blackheads and some blemishes, nothing too far from the norm. My back was a very different story. It seemed that overnight it just exploded. By the middle of my freshman year, my whole backside from my hairline down to the top of my thighs was a mess of huge, painful cysts, whiteheads and then some. I saw dermatologist after dermatologist who seemed quelled when they saw my face, but quite literally gasped when they took note of my back. I followed their suggestions and instructions religiously and my back only seemed to get worse. I dreaded any event that called for formal wear or swim suits and eventually avoided them all together. Short of oral antibiotics, it seemed like I had exhausted every resource I had. Topicals, lights and lasers, extractions...I couldn't bear to see my back in the sate that it was in and, eventually, I stopped looking. Missing prom, I think, is what made me throw the towel in. I thought I was doomed to a lifetime of discomfort in my own skin, so I simply covered up.

A few months ago, this hit my pretty hard. I've always had a lot of self love, and seen myself as a confident and strong willed person so the sudden realization that I was truly lowering my own quality of life because of my acne was powerful and painful. It was the push I needed though. With a little tentative initiative I went back to a dermatologist for some guidance. She gave me a prescription and some advice and, lo and behold, progress. It was minimal, but it was progress. That's when I started to tweak her instructions a little. I cut one topical out and applied another more frequently. Suddenly the difference, even if slight, was noticeable. It hit me then that I had the tools all along. I could beat this. There was no cookie cutter regimen that would work for me - I absolutely had to individualize it. After doing a little researching I found this site, and the relief of feeling that I'm not alone means more to me than I can put into words. The results I've seen after implementing quite a few of the suggestions here have exceeded my expectations completely. Just knowing that I can beat this is one of the most amazing feelings I've ever experienced, and today when I actually looked myself up and down my progress brought me to tears. (though - that's a little embarrassing to admit.) This really is a disease and I am really, truly healing.

Sorry if I've been a bit wordy. I'm glad to be here to share my experiences, trials and successes with you all and to learn about yours in return. I'm sure I'll find a lot of really great suggestions and hopefully have some to offer myself. (:

If anyone is interested, I'll post my regimen in it's respective forum, but the products I use are BP 10% wash, BenzEFoam 5.3%, Alpha Hydrox enhanced lotion w/ 10% Glycolic AHA, Clindamycin Phosphate topical 1% and Sulfur.

Edited by windsung

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Have you looked into hormonal treatment? I am 100% clear and all I have to do is take a pill once a day to balance my androgen level. No slathering on creams or disinfecting everything I touch.

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