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Hey everyone. I've been so very down lately about my acne and I figured it would be better to talk to people who actually know what I'm going through as opposed to my friends and family, none of whom have or have ever had acne as bad as I do. I'm a 20 year old woman, and although I've always had the occasional breakout, I haven't had anything as colossally horrifying as what my skin looks like now. I was going through an incredibly stressful time in my personal life, plus the added stress of exam week for a particularly difficult college semester, and tada! I had a massive breakout of cystic acne. That was about 4 or 5 weeks ago. I went to my derm 3 weeks ago and was prescribed epiduo gel, the oral antibiotic called solodyn, and a topical antibiotic lotion called clindamycin. I have followed my routine to the t, plus added in vitamin supplements, changed my diet, and began drinking loads more water. I use a Cerave cleanser and moisturizing lotion both morning and night. Today was the 3 week mark of my treatment, and although I am noticing that it's beginning to look a lot better, I just still feel so incredibly awful. To give you an idea of myself, I'm a massive perfectionist, especially when it comes to how I look. I have struggled with depression all throughout my life (non acne related) and I also have an anxiety disorder with some very OCD like tendencies. Two summers ago I was diagnosed with and treated for an eating disorder. So, as you can tell, I have not always been the happiest of people. This is by far the hardest thing I've had to handle, though. Having acne just feels like, I don't know, my spirit is just breaking into tinier and tinier pieces everyday. I don't leave the house. The only person I will see is my mother because I feel like she's the only one who looks at my face without judgement, although I am still paranoid that she is judging me. Isn't it funny how acne just hands you all the symptoms of depression on a silver platter, then people wonder why you're so sad? All I can think about is my skin and how much longer I'll be stuck in this hell. I cry out of desperation almost ever day, make bargains with God to make it stop, and resent everyone and everything for the fact that I'm missing out on the summer that I was so looking forward to. I have had panic attacks a few times because I get this overwhelming fear that my skin is actually getting worse and that I'll be left with a face full of ugly scars. One time I had an attack because I was convinced there were bugs crawling under my skin and I had to actually call my dermatologist so he could tell me himself that I didn't have scabies. Crazy, right? I'm worried that my friends are going to forget about me, or that they'll think I'm weird for not seeing them. I've told them all that I have a contagious skin infection and I can't see them until I'm better which is God knows when. So I guess the whole point of this post is just to vent all these emotions, and get some reassurance. All I need to know is that this will end eventually, and that I can get through it and that the world isn't going to fall apart around me while I wait, because if there's one thing I really really hate, it's feeling out of control. I've never had much confidence, but this has just destroyed me. Please, someone, tell me I'm not going to be stuck like this forever. Because right now, it feels like I am.

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you wont be stuck like that forever , crying makes acne worst also so keep doing your daily routine , avoid sugar/junk food ,

keep your positive mind and things will get better

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If you are seeing good results after just 3 weeks on a retinoid (epiduo) then that is a great sign!

Try to remain calm! This is likely just a stress induced breakout, as it has not been going on for very long and already you are feeling better.

And know that there are lots of options. Epiduo is one of the best topicals available right now, and your antibiotics should help a lot with active issues. It can take up to three months to see full results on a routine like yours.

Even if this isn't your solution in the end, there are lots of alternatives. Birth control and anti-androgen meds are a great route for women in their twenties who are often dealing with hormonal acne. And if all else fails there is always Accutane. It was a god send for me, and I had many of the OCD like symptoms and depression that you talk about.

So stay positive! Your results so far are very promising, and you certainly have not exhausted your options for treatment.

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Hey there! Many antibiotics take about 6 weeks to really start working well. Full clarity can be expected after a couple months. Patience is the key! Acne treatments are really a test of patience. I know how it is, I'm 20 just like you (but a male lol) I just started clindamycin in the morning and tretinoin at night about 10 days ago and I am not proud of my face at all right now...it really makes you want to time travel to the future because you want the results but the truth is, results will only come through patience and following the details of the prescription you were given. You can do it. Acne destroys me sometimes, but with a positive mind and patience you can destroy it!

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It will get better, I have had acne for 10 years. I am completly clear now for 4 years because of accutane.

Emotionally I am doing better, I used to get panic attacks and social fobia, stress, depression, suicidal thoughts, anger because people didn't understand.

I am still a bit depressed about the scarring, I have saved money for Recell and will go this winter.

You are at a emotional breakdown, because of acne and personal problems. Try to stay calm, this feeling will go over.

It is very hard for people to take us seriously, the world isn't always a understanding and idealistic place, still we are there and you can talk to us. Try to stay positive and promiss yourself things will get better. Don't dramtise. Try to set your mind on other things and make a plan you can follow and be assertive towards your dermatologist.

I believe thousands of people have gone trough what you are going trough, and with the other hardships in life miljons more. They never asked for those problems and they are and where real people with real feeling.

Acne is hard because it is socially dissabbelling, humiliating, it causes emotional distress, anxiety, panic, depression, etc. You can't talk about it in class or at work like you would a headache and a lot of people do not understand. Still there is nothing to be ashamed of, because you are human and not a robot. It is normal having stress or feeling insecure about it and it will go over if treated by a dermatologist. Patience

.

Edited by HopeIsAll
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you wont be stuck like that forever , crying makes acne worst also so keep doing your daily routine , avoid sugar/junk food ,

keep your positive mind and things will get better

This is what is helping me. Take this advice and others. I was in tears crying often about my acne scars, I usually go sleep and have a lot of thoughts about my acne scars then just cry because I felt there was no hope even though I am starting my journey to treat the scars. 2nd is routine. I go gym everyday now to keep it off my mind and have different focus and goals. 3rd is avoid sugar and junk food because in my opinion it may help the skin but give it a go. I now try to eat as healthy as possible, its very difficult at times for me cos when I do it for a while a binge eat junk food lol :(

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Hey everyone. I've been so very down lately about my acne and I figured it would be better to talk to people who actually know what I'm going through as opposed to my friends and family, none of whom have or have ever had acne as bad as I do. I'm a 20 year old woman, and although I've always had the occasional breakout, I haven't had anything as colossally horrifying as what my skin looks like now. I was going through an incredibly stressful time in my personal life, plus the added stress of exam week for a particularly difficult college semester, and tada! I had a massive breakout of cystic acne. That was about 4 or 5 weeks ago. I went to my derm 3 weeks ago and was prescribed epiduo gel, the oral antibiotic called solodyn, and a topical antibiotic lotion called clindamycin. I have followed my routine to the t, plus added in vitamin supplements, changed my diet, and began drinking loads more water. I use a Cerave cleanser and moisturizing lotion both morning and night. Today was the 3 week mark of my treatment, and although I am noticing that it's beginning to look a lot better, I just still feel so incredibly awful. To give you an idea of myself, I'm a massive perfectionist, especially when it comes to how I look. I have struggled with depression all throughout my life (non acne related) and I also have an anxiety disorder with some very OCD like tendencies. Two summers ago I was diagnosed with and treated for an eating disorder. So, as you can tell, I have not always been the happiest of people. This is by far the hardest thing I've had to handle, though. Having acne just feels like, I don't know, my spirit is just breaking into tinier and tinier pieces everyday. I don't leave the house. The only person I will see is my mother because I feel like she's the only one who looks at my face without judgement, although I am still paranoid that she is judging me. Isn't it funny how acne just hands you all the symptoms of depression on a silver platter, then people wonder why you're so sad? All I can think about is my skin and how much longer I'll be stuck in this hell. I cry out of desperation almost ever day, make bargains with God to make it stop, and resent everyone and everything for the fact that I'm missing out on the summer that I was so looking forward to. I have had panic attacks a few times because I get this overwhelming fear that my skin is actually getting worse and that I'll be left with a face full of ugly scars. One time I had an attack because I was convinced there were bugs crawling under my skin and I had to actually call my dermatologist so he could tell me himself that I didn't have scabies. Crazy, right? I'm worried that my friends are going to forget about me, or that they'll think I'm weird for not seeing them. I've told them all that I have a contagious skin infection and I can't see them until I'm better which is God knows when. So I guess the whole point of this post is just to vent all these emotions, and get some reassurance. All I need to know is that this will end eventually, and that I can get through it and that the world isn't going to fall apart around me while I wait, because if there's one thing I really really hate, it's feeling out of control. I've never had much confidence, but this has just destroyed me. Please, someone, tell me I'm not going to be stuck like this forever. Because right now, it feels like I am.

Hi Carolion, I know exactly what you're going through. I'm 19 and have suffered the consequences and incredible sadness of having severe cystic acne in college. It's so difficult and many times I've felt what you're feeling right now. But hear me out, don't give up! The one thing that has managed to rescue me from being emotionally dead is God. Sometimes we don't understand how a loving Lord could give us such hard times, but understand that He has plans for us, plans we don't see or understand but it's creating a story with our lives. Don't let this experience be wrongfully used in your life, let it be valuable! Use it to improve your relationship with God because we are all in desperate need of Him. You don't need to make bargains with Him, ask Him to give you the strength to use your suffering as a blessing, as an experience that will change you. Remember that God loves you so much and that he's not doing this to make your suffer, but to seek him. I'm going to be honest, if I'd never had acne (going on 4 yrs now) I would not be as compassionate or understanding; sometimes I never get how people could be so judgmental or ignorant to the insecurities of others and I try my hardest to not hurt the feelings of others and sometimes this is at the expense of my own feelings, I'd never be this way without all these years of acne.

Learn to see the good things in your life or all this negativity will destroy you. Declare life, health and healing every day, speak life unto yourself. Don't give up, don't waste life, forget about what you look like, remember that you only need to care about what God thinks of you, not what people are you think of you. Don't let a minute of people looking at you or saying something about your skin ruin your life! Please consider going back to college, you'll regret one day not having done so!

I'm home from college right now and my acne had been horrible at college these past two semesters, but here's what has worked super quickly for me (my skin has cleared ~40-50% in 12 days now)

I'm using a daily mask of: Manuka Honey (MGO 400+) and Ceylon cinnamon. Please give it a try, it works for many people. It's not irritating or drying and it's very healing. I saw an incredible difference in 3 days, no joke. Right now it's more of a slower change but I still see it. At night I suggest a very moisturizing lotion that doesn't break you out (use it for around 3 weeks till your skin get strong...then you can incorporate an acne treatment). Please please try this, I'm so confident it will work for you, nothing had worked for me!! Everyone's skin is different, however, manuka honey has incredible healing properties.

As for diet: I try to eat as clean as possible, even if you're not seeing tremendous improvements from a diet, I suggest you increase your intake of greens (lettuce, kale, spinach, brocolli are amazing!) because in the long run it is working along with everything else you're trying to heal your skin. If you've got the time, try making green smoothies (I started, but I'm too lazy tbh). One of the reasongs I'm thankful for my acne is that it's forced me to find out how truly terrible our current American diet is, I've researched like crazy and feel so much happier when I eat as healthy as possible (and b/c of this my whole family has been eating so much better!)

My best advice for you however, as acne is almost more emotional and psychologically scarring than physically is to not reject positivity or the words of God. Read the bible, even if it's a bit every day, read devotionals, and talk to God. I've doubted in God so many times, but I've given in, you know why I believe? Because nothing compares to the feeling of being at peace with God, we were created to seek Him, to desire Him! Trust me when I say that this is a blessing being sent your way, God will use it as an incredible benefit. Let go of any depression, slowly but surely you can do so. Try your best not to pick or touch your skin, every time you get an impulse repeat to yourself: touching creates pimples, I will not do this to myself!

Keep going, you can do this! God bless you always, may He create in you a woman of strength and courage and may He use you to bless everyone around you!

I'll leave you with this:

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