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Freakedout

Urgent - Acne Comes Back And It's Worse Than Ever

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So, the title says it all. Last few days I have to deal with a major acne issue. Acne has been bothering me for the last 4 yeras (I am 32 years old female), mostly around that time of the month and usualy around my chin. There were times during which I had perfectly clear skin for even months (zinc helped a lot and cutting off sugar, diary and fats) and periods where I would get a cyst or two and perhaps a couple of papules on my cheeks (mostly my right one - left usually was always clear). Antibiotics would do the trick after a brief treatement with them (doxy) and BP also helped to keep -especially my cheeks- clear (sadly I realized that red marks would take an eternity to fade while on it and also my skin looked.. dull, which in my age is not a cool thing).

Anyway, lately I got a huge flare up and it's spread over both of my cheeks, jawline area and less around my chin. The pimples are mostly papules but my face looks literally like a battlefield at the moment. Red spots almost everywhere. I went back to doxy but it doesn't seem to work anymore (I take 100mg twice a day for two weeks more or less, maybe less is more accurate). Usually doxy would help me instantly. What I might need to mention is that lately I started working out at the gym more seriously and usually I do free weights. Perhaps that has something to do with it? I am seriously thinking of going to accutane (the derm had offered it as a solution back in the past when my face looked much better than now) but I'm -of course- skeptical and nervous about it. Birth control is NOT an option.

I would really like to listen to your views/experiences/advices if you have any for me. I am literally devasted at the moment because I simply cannot leave house without wearing make up which I loathe. I wish I could stay at home until this shit is gone. I don't even wanna look myself at the mirror anymore and I used to be a very vain (not in the negative meaning of the word - I just liked my face) a lot

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Have you recently made any changes to your diet?

Do you shower after working out at the gym?

Did you increase your water intake when you increased your physical activity?

Also, am I right in reading that you only take doxycycline intermittently? How often do you take it and for how long?

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I usually do not take off my make up until bed time (but I thoroughly clean my face then and once in the morning as well). I do not think I changed something in my diet, no. It's the same, perhaps a bit better. I'm not sure if the fact i work out with weights caused an imbalance in my hormones though. That's a thing to wonder.

As for the doxy, yes... When I have a big flare up I usually take the pills and won't stop earlier than a three month treatement. But this time it seems to have really no effect to my acne. Which is weird cause usually it would hit it almost instantly.

Water I drink lots. Perhaps I should cut on diet coke though which is my weakness.

Ummm.. another thing I might have to mention is that on July I started smoking again which I am very embarassed to admit. But I used to smoke at younger age and had perfectly clear skin. I don't know...

Since yesterday I began drinking two cups of spearmint tea as well. In the past it seemed like helping with the cysts (those who appear during that time of the month).

I have stopped applying BP also but last time I used it was back in May. It really makes my skin dry and dull and the red marks take ages to fade. Perhaps I should accept the accutane or even ask my derm to change the antibiotic? I have no clue on what to do.. At the moment all I use is aspirin on the pimples every night. I have noticed it makes them get a head way much faster like that. Which though does not prevent the next ones from forming.

Seriously I am at a loss... I feel like I'm losing my life. I reject dates or even going out with my friends...

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