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I've been getting moderate-severe acne in the past few months and I've been desperate for some way to alleviate it. For the past few weeks I've been using Oxy Daily Defense cleansing pads which contain 2% salicylic acid. I apply them around 2-3 times per day. However, they just seem to be making the acne worse and worse. I'm not sure whether this is purging or simply my skin begging me to stop.

Here is a picture: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/12252532/my_acne.jpg

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Is this just one side of your face? Is it the same on your forehead, for example?

Some of the bumps look like ingrown hairs. Dabbing on benzoyl peroxide could work, but some of them look too big/severe to have any decent topical effect.

Can you go to a dermatologist? It'd be a good idea, especially that you're darker-skinned and need to take more considerations in hand.

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Yes, this is only on one side of my face. The other side of my face is clear. I've also suspected it may be ingrown hairs, but if that was the case, why would this only happen on one side? Yes, I have gone to a dermatologist, but can't pick up the medications (antibiotics and BP) at the moment because I don't have my insurance card with me. I'll have to wait a few months to do that...

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Hair follicles are strange like that. Some hairs curl back on some parts of the body more than others.

First off, don't pick. It could only make things worse.

What might help topically is using a 10% glycolic acid once or twice a day. It's a little difficult to say, since some of the pimples have no head and are inflamed.

You could also try letting your beard grow.

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Thanks for the glycolic acid suggestion. I'll look into it.

I've been shaving every day for about a year and only recently have I gotten this much acne. I'm also really unsure how to prevent ingrown hairs. I usually use a facial scrub before shaving, a new razor every few days, aloe shaving cream, and an aftershave afterwards. Does anyone have any other suggestions for prevention? Should I try using an electric razor?

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You might be reacting to the alcohol (46%) in the pads. I would swap to Stridex Max Strength SA pads, they have the same concentration of SA without any alcohol. And maybe reduce your application to once a day.

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If it's not affective then it may be at the wrong ph. Almost 50% alcohol has got to be one of the worst things you could rub across acne ridden skin.

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