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ZittyZander

16 Year Old Male With Moderate To Severe Acne--Please Help!

Hello everyone. I'm new to this site and I am hoping to get some info on what to do next about my acne.

I'm sure everyone who deals with acne has heard all my complaints before, but I feel like I need some dos and don'ts so I can get out of this bad skin phase as soon as possible with as little damage as possible.

I'll begin by saying I'm 16, male, 6'4" tall, and around 150-155lbs (very skinny, I know). My acne is red, bumpy, often sore, specifically located on my chin, cheeks, jawline, and between my eyebrows. It also affects my upper back. My neck is covered with bumps of even skin tone. My skin is very oily, especially when I wake up. I usually have 2-5 new whiteheads each morning. Thankfully, I see no signs of scarring yet.

As for my lifestyle, I eat quality foods but I dislike almost all raw vegetables, often making healthy meal choices difficult for me. I am definitely in shape physically, but I don't do anything like weightlifting that messes with hormones.

Treatments I have used in attempt to help my skin include benzoyl peroxide (face washes and topical treatments), salicylic acid (face washes and topical treatments), proactiv-like three step treatments, tea tree oil, milk of magnesia, a variety of astringents and toners, a variety of blackhead masks, and even home remedies such as toothpaste and crushed aspirin.

As for prescription meds, I have been on tretinoin cream since February and Ampicillin since July. My dermatologist says she wants me to take accutane if my skin hasn't improved by October, but my mom is worried about the side effects and may not allow me to take it.

My three biggest questions involve what lifestyle changes to make, which over-the-counter meds and treatments to use, and whether or not accutane is really worth it.

Unfortunately for me, my skin has significantly worsened since the start of summer break. I just don't know what people at school are going to say when I come back looking like I have a rash on my face. So if there's anything I can do to improve it within the span of a week, please let me know!

Edited by ZittyZander

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Hello man, i just wrote a topic that might help you. Dont trust dermatologist, they are all bad, if you feel the treatment they suggested worsened your acne i suggest you punch them in the nuts .

Edited by SilentOne

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I also read the post by SilentOne this morning-

One thing to remember as you are on this site, what works for one, does not work for another. Sadly, it's just not that easy.

For me, I tried accutane but it didn't work for me, after 7 months my three doctors agreed, I needed to stop - very unusual though, most have some issues with dryness and joint pain but get clear for a period of time....

Back to what worked for ME- diet was a huge change, food allergies show up on the skin, or CAN show up on the skin. I journaled everything I ate, and eliminated wheat and dairy, and what a major difference that made for me. Took a while to figure out, and years later, I STILL avoid those foods. Other than that I eat clean whole foods, avoid processed and sugar (although I just can't give that one up...my weakness I admit, but I don't overindulge).

So give up dairy first, for a month and see what happens for YOU- if no change, then start eating it again. And give the ampicillin time to work, it's only been a month...so waiting till October is smart.

It's been quite a while on the retin a, I had an initial breakout from tazorac (a retin a) that lasted a few months, but 4 months seems too long....if you are using a cream based formula ask for a GEL.....my skin is so oily that the creams just made things worse. But ask for a milder gel (go down on strength, but gel based).

Read up on this site, but again remember, everyone is different, so your triggers are unique....but ditch dairy, that's a big trigger for teenagers with acne...and it's not as hard as you think....I love coconuts and coconut milk

Good luck to you, you are not alone- keep us posted and know we are rooting for you and sending a big hug your way

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I recently started using an acne treatment products by Alpha Mane Skin Treatment. And so far I'm seeing some good results. I do understand what mrsrobinson said about "..what works for one, does not work for another". This is completely true when it comes to dealing with acne. Then again, that thought process will discourage you or anyone from trying anything new. I had read nothing but good things about what they offer for acne. And that's why i decided to give it a try. So far, no regrets. Like you I had tried so many other products out there. Good luck ZittyZander. Wish you the best.

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Thanks a lot everyone. I'm going to start cutting back on dairy and carbs and I'll try to eat healthier with more veggies. I'll also try to take some vitamins to make up for what my diet doesn't supply me with. Although I have my own suspicious about what dermatologists say, mine DID specifically mention dairy so I'll be switching to almond milk, my favorite alternative. I've been doing some research on Accutane and it seems like for every blog post or article that lionizes it as a miraculous cure, there is also a disastrous horror story. However, judging from the solid results other kids I know have seen from Accutane, something makes me think a lot of it is just people who are stirring up paranoia when they were really taking too high a dosage, not caring for their dry skin, etc. This excludes the people for whom it just flat out didn't work, because I accept that's a possibility. Good thing I have until October before I decide whether or not it's something I want to go through. So I'll see how it goes with the ampicillin: mrsrobinson is right, it's only been a month. Feels like forever, ugh. Until that next major step I'll try some more stuff, as much of what all of you have recommended as I can. But there's no doubt I'll be adjusting my diet and exercise habits to fight this on the inside.

One more thing: I read on acne.org that taking long, hot, steamy showers (as I do, often twice a day) can considerably worsen acne. So I'll work on not doing that. Feel free to give me more advice, I appreciate having plenty of ideas to work with. Once again, thank you all!

Edited by ZittyZander

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The people above gave you great advice. I have two teenage sons who have had acne so I know how you feel. I know it's hard to change up your diet a lot but do try to eliminate more obvious triggers like high carbs and dairy. Soda and sugary drinks are never good. My older son always seems to end up with a big pimple after eating pizza so that could be a trigger for you too.

As far as topicals, my sons never had much luck with Retin A, seemed to make their skin red and sensitive and never really stopped the acne. And they were on it for 8 months or so. They had the most success with the Regimen, but only did it once per day. Their skin is nearly clear now except for small bumps but they can deal with that. Adding Alpha Hydrox 10% gel every other night has helped too. And getting a little sun several days a week seems to help too. Could be the Vit D.

I would try the Regimen over the next couple months, before Oct, and see if that helps. That, along with diet changes, is probably your best bet. Good luck.

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Hey buddy I know what this feels like. But dont blame the dermatologist. Remember they are only doing the best with what they have learned. They can also only prescribe what is approved so there limited many times.

Anyways, Bud if you ignore the acne and live like you dont have it nobody will care once they see you dont care either. I have used all the stuff you have listed too.

I am also currently using tretinoin I have been on it for 2 months. Remember buddy yourt lucky you said you havent noticed in scarring or marks left behind. I still have marks from last year :) But I am ok with it! but bud to give you a hand make sure your not over using benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin especially not tretinoin you really only need a little like a pea size or less. you put small dabs (That you take out of the pea size you squeezed out) on your forhead cheeks and chin all in the middle of your face then rub gently around your areas and spread around to other areas you didnt put any on. Acne is a battle that can be defeated! and maintained!

Dont ever be ashamed of who you are and always remember that someone has it worse :) just try not to mix to many home remedies together with other possible cures like other remedies, prescription or etc. You dont want to cause any uneccessary side effects. :)

But for a proper answer you should describe to me and everyone here how you are using the product like how you apply how often what you use with it how consistent you have been with everything and etc?

I am always a pm away from you dont hestitate to message or ask for help :) tretinoin can help dramatically when it works correctly.!

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