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Hi, I'm Matt, I'm an 18 year old boy and I've been suffering with acne for quite a while now (about 3-4 years)/

recently my acne has gotten worse, probably due to the stress surrounding my final A2 exams (im British). I used to get small breakouts residing in specific areas of my face.. i've never had a widespread problem really.. but recently ive been getting the larger cystic spots. yeahhh the nasty ones.

They only seemed to appear on my right cheek.. which is strange (and no i never touch my face.. i change my pillow every night ect), but i'm sure a lot of you know that the cheek ones are some of the hardest to get rid of. Anyway, as my Acne has diminished over the past few months i've been left with 3 or so purplish blotches on this cheek. They're very noticeable. I've been prescribed Azelaic acid, which has made little a subtle graduated improvement.. And I'm well aware that with time these marks will disappear.. Yet, i'm going on holiday with my mates in 12 days as of today, and my hopes of clear skin by then is next to none..

So my main worry is about how to protect myself against sun exposure, which supposedly darkens these hyperpigmentation marks. I was wondering whether anyone out there has actually proved sun exposure to be better for the skin..

Also, how do i protect these marks? should i apply apply sun screen just to the marked areas so the surrounding skin may darken, thus reducing the appearence of such marks?

Any advice/ stories/ ideas would be great


Edited by manderson

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If you are a "1" or a "2" on the Fitzpatrick scale of skin coloration, you could try salicylic acid to exfoliate and remove discolored skin.

Compound up to a 10% salicylic lotion -- for a 10 % mix, first dissolve 10 grams salicylic acid in 10 grams food grade vegetable glycerin and 20 grams 100% isopropanol, in a shot glass, cover and heat in a water bath to about 130 degrees F, and then add it to 90 grams of any lotion you like. Shake well.

You'll need to mail order a tenth-gram electric scale, which costs about $30 US, and a half pound of salicylic acid powder, which costs about $15 US.

Do not apply this lotion near your eyes, or above your eyes if you are going to the gym for a workout.

If you experience a burning sensation, rinse with Aloe Vera, and reduce the lotion to a 5% mix with an additional 90 grams of lotion.

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exposing scars or acne scars in general does make acne discoloration look worse. Im not exactly sure why- because im no derm. But what i think is that your acne mark is enflamed- and when you get a sun burn lets say- its enflames it even more (which your skin does when you can a sun burn). To stop this from happening it would be a good idea to get a nice sunscreen-


This is consumer reports - which i also get the magazine sent to my house- but it can tell you which are rated the best- and which are crap.

Okay and also a nice way to protect your skin - and scalp! (many are unaware that your scalp gets burned too!) Anyways get a cap or hat. Now im not saying get a full on safari hat that can make you look dorky. But get one that either is a base ball cap, or if you want something stylish here are some options. I like the ones from Urben Outfitters. :) Good Luck!


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Exfoliate every day, it speeds up the fading of hyperpigmentation.

Try lemon juice on the spots overnight - also speeds up fading.

Make sure to wear sunscreen. If I were you I would use a SPF 35 or something all over your face during the day, then as the day goes on, re-apply just a bit of sunscreen only on the spots. That way you're protecting your skin but the rest of your skin will still get a little darker and make the spots look better.

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