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Been On Regimen 11 Years - Frustrated, Depressed And Seeking Advice/help

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Hey looking for some advice, help, support or to hear from people who've been in similar situation.

I have been using dans regimen since 2002. Prior to this I had 2 courses of accutane. I had moderate acne (papules and pustules, no cysts) which came back after each course. I was left with shallow scarring on my temples, cheeks and jawline mainly.

After my acne came back after the second course I happened upon dan's regimen and it has basically worked extremely well since. I was 20 when I started it and am now 31 ( I'm male).

So what is the problem you ask? Well I still some quite large papules at times (every month or so) which when healing are leaving me with new indented scarring. The scars are mild but bother me none the less. I figured when I started this regimen that I would only be doing it for a a few years. I did not think I would still be doing it at 31. Therefore I feel like I am just accruing scars over time.

The other negative aspects of the regimen like really dry skin, bleaching, time consuming make me wonder if it is worth it considering I still get occasional pimples and scars.

I guess I'm tired of the regimen but unsure and scared of what else to do. I am worried if I stop and/or try something else my skin could get badly out of control and lead to a lot of new scarring.

Nothing other than accutane has ever helped my acne. I tried differin after stopping the regimen for a month around 6 years ago. It made my face break out very badly so I quit and went back to the regimen.

So to sum up: I am frustrated at still doing the regimen which whilst doing a very good job isn't perfect, but I am scared/unsure if I should change or what to change to as nothing other than accutane and dans has worked (had antibiotics, retinoids etc before my accutane courses).

Has anyone had a similar predicament after being on the regimen long term? Did you swap to something else and were the results good?

Welcoming any advice/feedback/suggestions. I am extremely depressed about this situation and need help and support.


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Have you spent any time in the nutrition section of this site? There are so many things you can be doing internally, and naturally for that matter, to combat your acne. You may be broken internally, for lack of a better term. In fact, i think i can safely say most acne sufferers are broken internally because of what they've been eating/not eating for years and years. Fixing it can involve much trial and error, but there are some generally agreed upon ways to adjust diet to have the most anti-acne capabilities possible. And it's not necessarily 'you eat this, you get acne'. It's more about how eating this affects liver function/thyroid function/the GI tract, etc. And this healing process can take months, but it's worth it if you approach it with the right knowledge. Here's a great place to start:

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Hey onefatal goose, thanks for your response. I have done some reading about nurition etc and have actually started following a healthy diet as of a week ago. Trying to eat fruit and vegetables, lean protein, low GI, no fast food, limiting carbs and making sure that bread is wholemeal. Also taking fish oil. zinc, multivitamin, vitamin c. Haven't noticed a change yet but happy to persist as apart from anything else it is much healthier than my regular diet.

I do find the overload of information on the Internet sometimes contradictory and bamboozling. One person says they can't eat bread, another says they can't eat strawberries and so on. In the past I haven't really noticed any correlations. Sometimes I can eat junk and stay clear (although this could be the regiment holding the acne at bay).

What is your background with acne? What have you tried and what has worked? Have you gotten clear and remained clear on the diet in your sig?

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Maybe go for another accutane round?

I'm not sure if a derm would prescribe it for me. I have a bad history of depression and there's bad raps with Accutane and depression. Didn't have any depression from Accutane the last 2 times but I think a derm might be hesitant to give it to me. Would be nice to know it's an option.

No dairy, no sugar, low carb, plus some hormone modulating herbs (saw palmetto and stinging nettle).

I'll look into the palmetto and stinging nettle. I'm kinda doing the other stuff already. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Well in short of accutane, you just have to stick with the regiment really. I know its time consuming and frustrating with the constant dry skin feeling you always get. Try changing your products maybe. Try a different BP. Perhaps a little stronger like a 4%. Or a different moisturiser and cleanser. It might help.

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I'm 30,male, had moderate acne all my life. I'm Average weight, mixed race, and had oily skin most my life. Acne was worse in winter when it's cold/dry out west. I've done 2 rounds of accutane yep, 2. Several years apart however. The last round helped, but I still broke out in the colder months and still had moderate acne in the summer, albeit not as bad as before accuatane. At least I no longer have any on my back or chest, so that great.

Anyway, for the past 2 years I've been trying products to find the combination that work just right for me. Well, after trying all sorts of stuff, I finally bought into the whole "heal yourself internally" drive...seriously, I'm a dude, I drive a Harley and bullet bikes so that stuff isn't my thing, but I swear to you, more water, less sugar, and a ingesting flaxseed oil 1000mg every other day and a 400 iu Vitamin E once a day has damn near cleared me up, at least to the point I not going to keep searching for things that work. I don't do the flaxseed capsule thing daily because of reading about it's effect on males :-)

I use Purpose soap morning and night. I use Neutrogena 2% Salacylic Acid moisturizer/lotion, and that's it. But really, these are the same products that "helped" somewhat before I changed what I ate. So I emphasize, the real change in skin came after I stopped eating/drinking sugar, not that I binged before, but now I consciously avoid it, and I'm overall more healthy. The taking one pill a day of Vitamin E was the second dramatic improvement. And finally more water, but there are days when I'm too busy with work to drink enough, so I can't say the water has been a major factor, just the Vitamin E and less sugar for sure.

Anyway, hope you adults find what works, I know how it is, being expected to be an adult but with a "teenager" problem on the face. I'm an administrator to 200 employees and I was sometimes hard on myself, thinking "How are they supposed to respect my decisions when my face looks like I'm 16?". I just smiled and carried on. But that's changed now for the better, so I couldn't be happier.

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Fish and flax oil causes breakouts in some people, so keep an eye on that. My son is still recovering from a terrible break out after taking a really good quality fish oil once a day for a week. He's taking Chia seeds (soaked in water) and eating more fish for extra Omega 3s instead of the fish oil. So far so good with that.

Edited by gingergirl22
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i quit the regimen after being on it for awhile for pretty much the same reasons as you. it worked great, but the time, the dry skin, all the cons just began to outweigh that and take just as much of a toll on me as acne itself did. anyway, i switched to using Oxy face wash and it is working well. I also started taking some vitamins and minerals which have really helped me. i take the following once a day: zinc, vitamin a, vitamin b complex, vitamin e, and vitamin c. i would recommend adding those to your diet. you may also consider taking fish oil or flaxseed oil. that will help as well.

I feel you on being frustrated with the regimen though. i couldnt take it for more than a year.

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