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I've been thinking a lot lately that exactly one year ago, I was having one of the worst breakouts I've ever had. I've had acne for 4 years now, but until that breakout, it hadn't really bothered me much. Mild - moderate acne, really. This past breakout really made my skin become an obsession. I had red marks all over my cheeks + active pimples + dry skin. I could barely cover it up with makeup, and I would literally have dreams about waking up to clear skin. I had a particularly low point where I heard a boy I liked make a joke about my skin to another friend. Later on that week, I was in the bathroom in-between classes and I looked in the mirror and just felt shocked at how bad my skin looked even with makeup on. I called my mom up sobbing and telling her that I wanted to drop out for the semester and come home.

That breakout, one year ago, is what caused me to become so OCD about my skin/face. But I did it - I pushed through. I started taking measures to clear my skin and month by month, it got better. Finally in May 2012 I was able to look in the mirror and actually see clear skin.

But it's just so odd, yet relieving, to think that so much can change in a year. I still get pimples - I'm still struggling with acne. But it's much, much better than what it was exactly one year ago. Going through that breakout showed myself how strong I can really be. That I can get through anything. And most of all, I am SO happy that I didn't drop out of school because of my acne.

I guess I just wanted to post this because I'm really proud of how I've improved, and I wanted it to show you guys that a lot can change in a year. That even in the midst of what you think your worst breakout it is....it WILL get better. And most of all, that the ones who really love you don't give a damn what your skin looks like. My closest friends and family saw my skin at its worst, and they never once made fun of me for it, or even commented negatively on it. They didn't care what I looked like, they loved me for me. And I can guarantee you, the ones that matter in your life will too.

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Hey I am glad to hear that your acne has gotten so much better than it was last year. I am currently going through a horrible breakout myself and it has left me feeling very depressed and not wanting to go out anywhere. People who are not suffering from this do not seem to understand the psychological toll that it takes on a person, waking up every day hoping for a miracle and to see your face clear. I am going through that at the moment and it is sometimes hard not to lose hope for clearer skin. I know you said that your acne has improved, so was wondering if you could give some advice on what methods you took to make it better and the amount of time it took for it to improve?

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Hey I am glad to hear that your acne has gotten so much better than it was last year. I am currently going through a horrible breakout myself and it has left me feeling very depressed and not wanting to go out anywhere. People who are not suffering from this do not seem to understand the psychological toll that it takes on a person, waking up every day hoping for a miracle and to see your face clear. I am going through that at the moment and it is sometimes hard not to lose hope for clearer skin. I know you said that your acne has improved, so was wondering if you could give some advice on what methods you took to make it better and the amount of time it took for it to improve?

Well, my breakout started getting bad mid-December. In January I went to a derm and started taking 150 mg of Doxycycline a day and using Epiduo at night. I know antibiotics are not a permanent solution, but for me, it helped calm down my breakout while the rest of my red marks faded. It started clearing up my face by February. By February, I wasn't getting active pimples anymore really, I just had to deal with the red marks. And then by May, my marks had pretty much all faded and I got pimples very infrequently.

Unfortunately antibiotics do stop working at some point for most people. I believe Doxy stopped working for me around September of this year. I started taking Mino, but that hasn't helped that much. I'm now probably going to go back on Doxy and still use Epiduo; Epiduo is, I think, what helps me the most now. It's best for mild-moderate acne.

I also take Fish Oil, Vitamin D, and Zinc supplements. And I use a Clarisonic in the shower everyday. These additions have also helped my skin a lot.

Basically, I would recommend you visit your derm and ask what your best options are. If your acne is mild-moderate like mine, consider going on an antibiotic to help calm down this bad breakout and let your skin heal. If it's more severe, maybe you could go on Accutane, which has been a permanent solution for many. But don't lose hope. I truly wondered how my skin would ever get better last year, but it did. Every breakout I've ever had has improved at some point and yours will too. Focus on your passions and what/who you love most in life. Those are all way more important than acne. :)

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Oh wow Im glad to hear you started seeing results so quickly. I am scared of going the antibiotic route because of the side effects it can have on your body. I am currently also using clindamycin in the mornings and at night, and use a cetaphil face wash morning and night, as well as a cetaphil moisturizer. I also just started on a generic tretinoin 0.025 cream to use at nights. I feel as though that is clogging my pores though, so not so sure what to make of this. I will try not to lose hope though. It's hard to deal with this because all my friends my age have clear skin by now and have seemed to grow out of the acne stage, but I guess you are right, I should not let this rule my life.

I really like your suggestion about using the fish oil, vitamin d and zinc supplements though, and think I will try that. Thank you for your adivce :)

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Great to hear something so positive, glad to hear you feel you've turned a corner.

I always thought that would remain something out of reach but things improved more and more throughout 2012, as did other areas of my personal life. Generally I'm acne free these days and all other areas of my life are on track and moving forward. It's amazing what time can do and how things can turnaround so much in a year. It's a short space of time in the grand scheme of things.

I hope these kind of threads inspire people to keep battling because it is possible to beat this.

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Great to hear, always good to look back on the past and evaluate. Me too, me skin is clear now; this time last year I started getting severe-cystic acne, was degrading!

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