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I started to notably break out towards the summer before my senior year of high on my forehead and cheeks. I would get inflamed pimples on my cheeks and sometimes relatively small cysts or nodules (not sure which) on the cheeks and in between my eyes. I also got some non inflamed ones on my forehead and temples. I was using drug store products (including a scrub which really stripped my skin and made it worse I think) but it definitely was not working. I think my acne was still considered mild even though it was sort of inflammatory. I went to see a dermatologist at the end of my senior year summer and was put on a sulfur wash and ziana regimen with clindamycin lotion. I used that for a little over a year (I used these products a little past their expiration date but I don't really think that was a problem) and it completely cleared up my acne for months and I would barely ever get pimples. But, when I got to college (around 3 months after my products expired), I started to break out on my cheeks again. The inflamed pimples came probably like 2-3 at a time on each side and left some pockmarks and hyperpigmentation. I went to my dermatologist a few days ago (4 months after arriving at college and probably like 3 months after the beginning of my break out) to get a new prescription, but I think the worst of the breakout is over now. I have one minor cyst on my right side that she injected with cortisone that's going down and one on my left that's really tiny and on its way out right now (didn't need to be injected).

My derm prescribed me aczone twice a day and differin at night with a CeraVe hydrating face wash (even though I have pretty oily skin I think it was getting dried out by the first sulfur wash). I do think it's going to work in clearing up my skin just like ziana did, but that's not really what I'm worried about. I'm worried that my skin is getting dependent on these products. I don't want to be on prescription for the rest of my life for my skin. My acne is getting better right now, and, because of this, I'm reluctant to start this new prescription and was wondering if it was a terrible idea to just not use the prescription and start using less intense washes like maybe cetaphil, neutrogena, or something else. But, I'm terrified that I'll get a break out of cysts or inflamed pimples because those lasts months and could leave severe scars that I've been lucky enough to avoid up to this point. I freak out about even the little pimples, so I can't imagine going through a really severe break out. So... should I use the prescription or try to stay off it? Thanks!

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