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Hi everyone! I'm making this log so I can keep a record of my quest for clear(er) skin. All replies, suggestions, etc. are highly encouraged. Let's hope my skin improves the way I hope it to!

Current regimen:

Date: August 28th, 2013

Cleanser: Hylunia's Facial Cleansing Lotion

Prescribed topicals: Epiduo

Prescribed oral medication: none

Other medication: salicylic acid wipes 1%, BP 10% as needed (Epiduo already contains 2.5%, a concentration that's fine for continuous "maintenance" use)

Notes: It seems I'm having a purging stage from the Epiduo. I've read that it lasts up to several months. I hope it's quicker than that! On Monday, I had a terrible experience with a Glycolic acid chemical peel. The left half of my forehead, my left jawline, both temple areas, and the sides of my nose are highly irritated, crusty, and even burnt in some areas. I guess glycolic acid isn't for me. As a result, I've had to cease all topicals until I'm fully healed. I'm treating it as naturally as possible, using Aloe Vera to soothe it as well as an oil free moisturizer for sensitive skin to promote healing. It's such a drawback and I wish I never got the peel. I can only hope that it heals fast so I can continue with the rest of my regimen.

Just an update on the glycolic irritation, tonight it started peeling. My skin was coming off in large flakes and was very uncomfortable to deal with. After some gentle exfoliation, about 95% of the flakes melted right off. I couldn't do it for too long, as I wanted to be cautious as not to irritate my already angry skin even more. It was immediate relief, and I'm even starting to see some positive results from the peel. The skin where it didn't burn is much more even in complexion, it is brighter and the hyper pigmentation has faded dramatically. I applied one pump of my moisturizer that I added a few drops of tea tree oil to, as to promote an infection-free healing process. I also applied one pump of my regular moisturizer as well. I'm still not at the stage where I'm comforterble applying topicals, as some areas are slightly raw. Fingers crossed it heals over well without any scarring!

Edited by JordanM98

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The irritation from the peel must be 80% gone right now. I've started using topicals again, and I think I'm adding benzoyl peroxide 10% to my routine in the morning. The only reason I use BP 10% is because I've been through the process of working my way up to this high of a concentration, and my skin is not sensitive to it in the slightest. The 2.5% in Epiduo is surely helping me, but I dont see it having as dramatic of an affect as I would like.

The adapalene has been going quite well,but I'm still purging. Interestingly, the acne that has made me come to the conclusion that I'm purging is not my usual deep-rooted cysts and nodules. I'm seeing an increase of whiteheads, something I seldom have to deal with. In my opinion, this is due to the adapalene purging clogged pores before they have had a chance to become cysts and nodules.

At my last dermatologist appointment, she took one look at my cystic acne ridden forehead and said that I needed to take antibiotics. I agreed and we started discussing topicals and that's where she came up with the idea of Epiduo. Right before the appointment ended she had a last minute change of heart and said that we should wait until October to start antibiotics. I non-verbally disagreed, but she was the doctor right? I know my skin, and I know that when I was taking doxycycline after getting my wisdom teeth out early this month, my cysts went down dramatically. Now I'm stuck in the purgatory of using topicals to treat cystic acne. Topicals are generally effective for acne that is more on the surface of the skin, but using them to treat cysts is futile at best. I truly wish I had spoken up and insisted on the antibiotics, and I urge others not to make the same mistake I did.

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I know they say that retinoids purge your skin for upwards of eight weeks, but I'm just several weeks in and I cant say that my skin is purging anymore. The peel irritation is long gone. I hate to say it, but the Glycolic acid really did even out my complection and tone down breakouts. Though I will not be completing the round of chemical peels that I had intended to try, I am happy with the results. In my opinion, I was just an extreme case of hypersensitivity, as no ones skin should do what mine did at such a mild concentration.

The Epiduo is going well. As I said the IB, though very real, has gradually faded and I have seen improvement. There is really not much else to say, retinoids take months to start showing drastic change. I will update regularly.

I have added Benzoyl Peroxide back to my routine at a 10% concentration. Ive been using BP for three years, and my skin is so used to it that I don't have any irritation in the slightest while using it, even at such high of a concentration.

I always like to try holistic medicine. Recently I have turned to tea tree oil to soothe and provide a low strength antibacterial effect to my skin. I have bought two bottles of moisturizer and added 10 drops of tea tree oil to one of them, for use during the day. I havent used it long enough to speak for its effectiveness, however I can say that I haven't experienced any negative effects.

I really want to try out some dietary supplements, but my parents are uncomfortable with the idea of taking anything more then a multivitamin and fish oil. Has anyone ever taken fish oil for acne? I usually take it during the school year because I'm under a lot of stress (All honors classes, working every day) and it was recommended by a friend as a way to take the edge off of the stress. Additionally, I suffer from an anxiety disorder that only ever comes out when I'm under stress. It is a huge trigger for my acne and I need to find a way to keep it under control. Could anyone recommend any supplements for acne or stress control? It would be very helpful and I'd appreciate it so if you have any ideas would you please let me know(:

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