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osmosis

My Acne Is Ruining My Life!? (Pictures Included)

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Hello,

I'm 18 years old, male. For about 3-4 years, I've been struggling with acne. My face has some on my forehead & around my chin, but it's not THAT bad.
However, my BIGGEST problem, is my upper body!!! My breast, and my back... omg I feel so disgusting, and my body confidence would have been 90% higher if it wasn't for my acne. This is bothering me so much! Whenever I go to the beach, people are staring. A kid even asked me: "What's that?" once. Believe it or not, but even an adult did that once. Also... imagine having sex with someone like me.
I've been trying to get rid of this for so long! My sister, my mother and my brother's wife are all super into skin care. My sister and brother's wife both have companies where they sell natural skincare products. I've been asking for advice, I've used many of their products, no luck! I will have to say though, my face got A LOT better after using the products. I haven't used them as much on my body... but I have used them and I see no results. It's been over 3 years, and I'm getting tired of this. I'm currently trying lemon, and it's not very comfortable... but I still feel like it's not going to work, but I'll give anything a try.
I've been thinking about seeing a dermatologist. My sister said she once did that, and that it was a waste of money... I've also been thinking about going to a drugstore and getting something there, but it's unnatural.
Please, what the hell do I do, I'm going crazy!?
Sorry for disgusting you with these gigantic images
Breast: post-456112-0-02335900-1426132640.jpeg
Left shoulder: post-456112-0-72597900-1426132649.jpeg
Right shoulder: post-456112-0-57787300-1426132655.jpeg
Back: post-456112-0-89556000-1426132661.jpeg
Neck & Back: post-456112-0-34119000-1426132668.jpeg

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Hey osmisis,


I'm sorry you're feeling so low about your skin!
A couple of things:
First of all, please don't let acne ruin your life. I know it's easier said than done, but try to be strong! You are a young guy with your whole life ahead of you, and you have plenty of time to find the right treatment for you.

I agree with your sister that going to see a derm can be a complete waste of time. It is likely a derm would put you on antibiotics and give you some sort of topical, either benzoyl peroxide or a retinoid; and though these treatments may be helpful in the short term, they are only a band-aid solution for the real problem.

It's great that you are into natural skincare, and that you don't suffer from severe facial acne too! I have had face and body acne for most of my life and I finally feel like I am on the way to healing myself, so hopefully I can be of some help to you!


I have a few questions:
Firstly, what is your skincare for your body like? How often do you shower and what do you use to wash your body? Any moisturisers or anything like that?

and secondly, what is your diet like generally? Do you have any diagnosed food intolerances?

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Thank you for your reply!

I shower 2-3 times a week. I use African Black Soap (contains coconut oil and shea butter), which leaves my skin dry. However, it's normal, so I use argan oil and sometimes (pretty rare) olive oil as moisturisers. I also use a hair & body shampoo, it's organic and has essential oils from lemongrass. I use shaving cream sometimes and it's unfortunately unnatural, and has many chemicals in it. But this is only for my face, I don't shave my body.

My diet is quite varied. I eat mostly meat, fish & pasta. I don't eat rice that much. I usually drink milk with my food, unless if I'm in school (where I drink water). I feel like I'm not drinking enough water. I'd say I drink maybe 2-3 glasses a day. Sometimes 1. I know it's SUPER important with water, especially for people with acne. I don't eat that much veggies because I don't like it. Sometimes, I'm very healthy. I eat lots of fruits, and make my own smoothies & juices, completely natural and organic. I also put in some superfoods, such as acai berries, maca, chia seeds, etc. However, sometimes I can't control myself and eat in McDonald's, Burger King, Pizzahut etc. and drink soda, eat chocolate, candy and just snacks in general. I find it really hard to eliminate fast food and snacks from my diet, but at least I balance it with lots of fruits and superfoods sometimes. I don't have any food intolerances, as far as I'm concerned, but I'm allergic to all sorts of nuts, apples, and pears, but I only get a reaction if I eat it, which I don't do.

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Thank you for your reply!

I shower 2-3 times a week. I use African Black Soap (contains coconut oil and shea butter), which leaves my skin dry. However, it's normal, so I use argan oil and sometimes (pretty rare) olive oil as moisturisers. I also use a hair & body shampoo, it's organic and has essential oils from lemongrass. I use shaving cream sometimes and it's unfortunately unnatural, and has many chemicals in it. But this is only for my face, I don't shave my body.

My diet is quite varied. I eat mostly meat, fish & pasta. I don't eat rice that much. I usually drink milk with my food, unless if I'm in school (where I drink water). I feel like I'm not drinking enough water. I'd say I drink maybe 2-3 glasses a day. Sometimes 1. I know it's SUPER important with water, especially for people with acne. I don't eat that much veggies because I don't like it. Sometimes, I'm very healthy. I eat lots of fruits, and make my own smoothies & juices, completely natural and organic. I also put in some superfoods, such as acai berries, maca, chia seeds, etc. However, sometimes I can't control myself and eat in McDonald's, Burger King, Pizzahut etc. and drink soda, eat chocolate, candy and just snacks in general. I find it really hard to eliminate fast food and snacks from my diet, but at least I balance it with lots of fruits and superfoods sometimes. I don't have any food intolerances, as far as I'm concerned, but I'm allergic to all sorts of nuts, apples, and pears, but I only get a reaction if I eat it, which I don't do.

Hey no problem!

You're right to be showering just 2 or 3 times a week to avoid irritating your skin too much.

I would say that although African Black Soap has a pretty good reputation for acne, the shea butter can sometimes be pore clogging. I would recommend that you try doing absolutely nothing to your body acne, except for washing it with water under the shower and see if there is any improvement. Oils like argan and olive, although natural, can still be very problematic and pore clogging for some people.

Try quitting the soap and the moisturizers for just a week or two, and see if there are any changes in your skin. I know it's scary to stop using products that you think are helping, but it is a good way of being absolutely sure that it is not the topical products that are causing your acne.

If this sounds unbearable then I would recommend investing in Doctor Bronners Castile Soap (specifically the tea tree variety.) You can order it on Amazon. It is completely natural and organic and it worked wonders for my body acne.

Since you are 18, it is likely that hormones are playing a part in your acne, and with time it will very likely subside on its own, but in the mean time you may want to take a look at your diet if you really want to clear up your skin.

Firstly, dairy is the route cause of many peoples acne and drinking a lot of milk is an absolute no-no.

If you want to be very sure about whether or not you have food intolerances (a very common cause of acne) you could try following an elimination diet. More information can be found here: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet

I know it seems scary and unrealistic to eliminate foods like dairy and gluten from your diet, but when you have acne, your body is telling you that something is out of balance on the inside and it may be something as simple as eliminating gluten that gets you on the path to clear skin (this is the dietary change that worked for me.)

It is a shame that you don't like veggies. You should have a look online and see if you can find any veggie recipes that catch your eye, because they are an incredibly vital way of getting skin-and-body-benefitting nutrients. Fruit it good too, of course, but it contains a lot of sugar, which (even in its natural form) can aggravate acne for some people.

You may also want to consider supplementing your diet with multivitamins. Some of the most beneficial for acne prone people are Vitamin D3 and Zinc. Both again, are available on amazon or in health food shops!

Good luck and I really hope your skin clears up nice and quickly.

Please do let me know if you have any other questions!

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As someone who has suffered from what I would call moderate acne for a long time I can really sympathize with your concerns. I can tell you that the extent and severity of the acne on your body requires treatment. However, roaccutane and oral antibiotics, like a doctor or dermatologist is going to offer you, though perhaps effective are accompanied by significant side effects and risks. I would get a referral to a dermatologist, in the mean time I would start niacinamide 500mg 4 times daily (before each meal and at bed time). Niacinaide, or vitamin B3, can be quick and effective in treating moderate to severe acne, is cheap, available OTC and SOOOO safe. Good luck!

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Ouch, looks painful, and a little raw. I think lemon might be a bit too harsh - I think you could do with something more 'soothing'. I was using a harsh synthetic based facial wash, and when I switched to a more gentle organic face wash, combined with pharmaceutical grade benzoyl peroxide with clindamycin, my skin improved.

You say the natural face washes worked on your face ? Well then I would highly recommend trying the same ones, in the same routine, on your body -- it sounds like something you found that DOES WORK on your body in the past, so it must be worth a further look into.

I'd say you should be gentle - it needs time to heal.

Thankfully you can hide it with a t-shirt, until then - please do appreciate that fact, as I am someone who has acne of the face (but has recently found a solution!)

Edited by hollenstein

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