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Acne that just won't go away :( What to do?

Hi everyone!

Lately I've been increasingly bothered by my acne. It's a problem that I've had since I was about 10 (I'm 16, almost 17 now). Unfortunately I do not just have acne in a specific spot, it's all over me- my body (legs, shoulders, chest, etc) and my face (mainly near jawline and neck). I have OCD so I do admit to being a compulsive skin picker, yet I'm not sure how it gets this bad because I have it in places where I don't even pick. Sometimes I'll stop picking for a week or so and use a rigorous acne routine (face washes, creams, antibiotics) but it still doesn't go away. I've been to the dermatologist and have tried a bunch of different medications (both store bought and prescribed) and nothing ever seems to clear it. In the summer it gets a bit better, but it's at it's worst in the winter. As the winter approaches, (sorry if this is gross :() I find that the pimples tend to be bigger, more painful, and more cyst-like. I live in the northeast so it's not like I'm hot and sweating all day, and whenever I excercise I shower ASAP. I take vitamin D and vitamin B both because I'm deficient and I also heard they help with acne, but they haven't improved it. I always feel so self conscious because while not the most severe, my acne is pretty widespread and sometimes is worse than I can manage to cover up with makeup. 

What can I do? I'd really like to figure out the cause of my acne so I can treat is accordingly.

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I feel your pain. In fact I'm sure we all do. I just turned 19 and I read that for lots of people acne will begin to subside between the ages of 18 and 20. I wish I had monitored my acne before I turned 18. Anyway, for me, I definitely get pimples when I start stressing. And actually that's where my acne started: stress. But of course as time went on it turned out to not be the core of the problem anymore. But maybe that will reduce your acne a bit. It is hard, but try not to stress your acne. Try keeping calm about it as well as all the other things in your life

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First thing's first -- have you considered going to a dermatologist? I'm sorry if that's an insensitive question, if you have already done that. It's just something a lot of people don't do until it's suggested to them. I waited longer than I should have when I was a teenager to see a dermatologist. 

So... next.

I realized last winter that the reason my acne flares up in the winter is because of dryness. I'm clear in the summer!.


But my cheek acne is almost entirely because of dryness. Becuase, my acne would get worse in the winter, I would add in more topicals and be more aggressive with the treatment. It was a vicious cycle.

You can see my signature to see what I do now, but I basically really amp up the moisture in the winter.  I use AHA which is a less drying topical and I still use a retinoid. I also cover my face to protect it from wind when I can. I use a clarisonic to get rid of dead, dry skin. 

This helped me clear up my skin to summer levels in January (I live in Chicago. It was really cold) last year. 



As far as the picking goes, that's something you could consider discussing with a therapist or psychiatrist. They may be able to help you overcome that.

Edited by skinnie

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