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So here I am. I never thought I would have to make a post like this. I was saving the embarrassment for some other problem of mine. Sigh.

I've had bad acne since I was in 6th grade. Yeah I know, my definition of bad may be different than what you think bad is and so on. I define bad as breakouts covering one and or all parts or your face, chest, back, and, well, the ever so disgusting arms. I am now a junior in high school, so it's been 6 years-- almost. That's a pretty big chunk of my life considering that I am only 16 years old. Acne is something that has made me hide certain parts of my skin with my hair, or my hand, clothing, and even my limbs. Makes me really vulnerable and self-concious. Yada Yada Yada....

Okay. Now for the cry for help.

I have recently been pulled from accutane. One reason being that we could no longer afford the medication, (hospitals have been increasingly expensive) and another being that I was having those side effects that make you want to claw at your face singing Jesus Loves Me. The kind of thing that would make people look at you and run off screaming because they have just witnessed a lunatic in real life. Anyway, my skin was really clear for what it had been. Not perfect, but I looked in the mirror with a big smile on my face anyway. I have nodular acne. It is slightly on the severe side, but no major cystic acne. I have been noticing that my skin is not healing acne spots at all really and that my skin is becoming oily and producing more pimples at a quicker rate than when I was on the medication. And the side effects still aren't gone and its been 2 months. I now have random areas of breakout on my face and, although it's not nearly as bad as before, I fear it will return to its once terrible state of a new pimple every day and red, oily, nasty skin.

Here is the good part. I have been to my derm multiple times in the past year, a do accutane was the last thing he wanted to do for my skin, because nothing, (and I mean nothing) was helping my nasty skin.

Okay. Now here's what I do:

I cleanse morning and night, with a soap less, pH balancing cleanser.

I use a toner after that

And I finish off with moisturizer.

I eat really healthy. Like not perfectly, but way healthier than the average male teenager.

I am really active. I love taking my dog on walks, and running for miles at a time, and beating out my emotions with some strength training.

I do lead a stressful life, and there's just nothing I can do about that right now. School and home. Can't get away from either can we?

I also have that sad family history where my dad and family had acne too so it's genetic.

Okay so now the begging for help. HOW can I finally get my skin to a happy place? I'm up for anything. At this point, I don't mind a little money but please nothing outrageous. Please reply and thank you for listening.


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Heyy Evan!

Welcome to the boards, and sorry to hear about your misadventures with accutane! D :

I think you have the right idea going for the time being, simple face wash, tone, and moisturize... It's important to let your skin get back to normal after accutane, so you don't damage it with any harsh drugs. They say it takes around 6 months for the skin to fully heal from it.

What I would personally suggest you do after giving your skin a bit more of a break is a BP treatment, if you haven't tried the regimen, or a variant or it... I would highly recommend it. I notice you said you had nodular type acne, so I found a story of another acne.org member that had great success with the regimen (link below). Also just so you don't think I'm some Mod bragging up the sites product in my experience with it my skin personally couldn't handle the full regimen, and a lot of people I noticed can't.. It's very harsh, but the people who can often have FANTASTIC results. It's definitely something worth looking into!

You really sound like you have things on track though! Keep it up and I'm sure you will get things under wraps soon~ (:

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I ask myself this all the time. I've tried 3 types of acne prescription medications, both oral and topical. I've ate healthily and drank loads of water. I don't pick or touch my skin and nothing as of yet seems to have worked and in fact has gotten worse over the years. However I have recently changed all my skin products and am going to get a prescription from my doctor for BP gel next week. The best advice I can give is to really try and educate yourself about the ingredients you're putting on your face, look at reviews, don't trust marketing about a product, always wear sunscreen, and be gentle.

Gentle and non irritating skin care is always good but I don't think in itself it's enough to clear acne, I would try Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% gel. I used to use this a few years ago and it probably will make your skin red and slightly irritated but research has shown it's one of the most effective treatments. At the time I stopped using it because of the side affects but back then I wasn't aware that this is really common and simply thought it was making things worse.

You seem to have a good basic routine but make sure your cleanser is ACTUALLY gentle with non irritating ingredients, I made this mistake for a long time. A lot of products labelled as for sensitive skin contain unnecessary and potentially irritating fragrance oils and sodium lauryl sulphate as a detergent. I don't have sensitive skin, I just think that if you're using something quite harsh like BP you want to be as gentle and as moisturising as possible for the rest of your skin routine.

I always usually avoid cleansers targeted for acne and blemish prone skin because 80% of the time they will contain something irritating for the skin like Alcohol/Ethanol/Denatured Alcohol/SD Alcohol or minty oils like peppermint or menthol. Besides cleansers stay on the skin for about 10 seconds so even if they were full of acne fighting ingredients they are rinsed off of your face down the drain. Bottom line: Stick to a cheap gentle cleanser and target acne with a leave on product like salicylic acid OR Benzoyl Peroxide. You don't need to spend a lot of money at all to get good skincare.

Apart from this other small things you can do are: Always wash your hands before washing your face. Never pick or touch your skin. Be as gentle as possible with your hands when washing. And as hard as it can seem, try not to cover or touch your acne with things like your hands or hair.

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