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So my last login was from November of 2013....

Now I'm back. This time to offer some help, advice, and insight. 
I'm going to spend a decent amount of time writing this - so I hope someone reads this and finds it helpful. 

So November of 2013, a junior in college. University of Tampa - where everyone is near perfect. Suffering from acne. Taking a cab to my dermatologist appointment. Same visit per usual - quick glance at my skin and an increase in dosage of my doxycycline. I leave extremely depressed and choose to walk back to campus. It's hot and humid, causing me to sweat, causing me to worry about more breakouts - leading to a phone call to my mother to vent. "I'm fed up with this f***ing bulls*** mom. I don't know what to do. It just keeps getting worse and this medication isn't doing anything." She replies with a sincere "You're going to be okay hunny, you'll grow out of it." -- We've all heard that before. Ludicrous. Now I'm wishing I hadn't called. I need to grow up and deal with it. I have class later. Am I even going to go? My face looks absolutely brutal. I probably went, I don't remember. But I know I skipped many classes because of the way I looked. I know I let my acne control my life. I needed a solution. 

So I'm a good looking guy. Solid job, friends, and family. I workout a lot, I golf, I go out on the weekends. Still do the same things I did when I was acne ridden. It's just a little easier now and less stressful. 
I was popular growing up. An athlete. The best player on the basketball team. Handful of girls. A leader and role model to some. I was all of this with my terrible acne. 
But I was still letting my acne control my thoughts and perceptions. It held me back in more ways than one, and that is extremely unfortunate. 

So for those of you that have read up to this point and can relate - keep reading. 

I am now 24 and rarely get pimples. I'm much more confident because of that. Although when I do get one I panic. I'm at the point in my life now where I've dealt with so many pimples that I can see and feel one coming in the very moment it begins it's process. Probably 3-4 days before anyone would even notice it in the slightest bit. They still worry me, but I'm much better at dealing with it. 

My Solution:
Stop whatever treatment you're currently on. Just stop. Don't use face wash. Don't use your oral prescription. Don't use a washcloth to scrub your face when you shower. Don't clean your face twice, maybe three times a day. Shower in the morning and let warm water run over your face. Don't pick or pop anything during the day, and go to bed at night. Shower after your workout if you workout - but do not use soap to wash your face. 
The day I literally said, "F*** IT" was the most important day of my acne journey. And this is what I've learned from it. 

Anything we buy over the counter is in the store to make a profit. Benzoyl, salicylic acid, tea tree oil, moisturizer, lemon juice, honey, etc - none of that is going to be a permanent cure for our acne. That is something that you need to realize and understand right now. Our skin wasn't made with the intention of applying foreign cleansers to it. It isn't normal for our skin. Our skin doesn't like it. That's why it burns and dries out - leading to more breakouts. 

My Perception:
I genuinely feel bad for people who suffer from acne. But that's because I went through it and I understand how you feel. But what I've discovered is that our friends and family don't necessarily feel bad. Sure, they notice. But they don't perceive you differently because of it. Certainly not how we see ourselves in the mirror. They aren't just "staring at our pimples" when they talk to us. That's the last thing they are going to do. That's that last thing I do when I am talking to someone with acne. So stop letting it affect your day. Your conversations, your relationships, your goals, whatever it may be.

It may not seem like it's going to get better today, but have faith in what you've just read. Stop using cleansers and creams and I promise your face will feel and look better within the next 30 days!


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Whereas I don't agree with you about not using cleaners etc, I do love your point about how people view us with acne! They absolutely aren't just looking at us for our faces!

I appreciate you sharing your story and I'm so happy you've found clearer skin!

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I agree with you on not using anything. Every time I do use something, I always get a reaction - too dry, too oily, etc. But for a lot of us, it is also what you are putting into your body.

And it also depends on what kind of acne you have. 

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For some people those drugs really do work. I think some of the big pharma stuff really is meant to make a profit of us, but I can't believe that it is all there to make a profit off us. The guy who created retin-a had acne. Although I'm sure he banked off his creation - by all means I think he should.

Are you really 100% confident that quitting all your medications and face wash regimen did the trick and not something else?
Are you saying that you rarely wash your face now? Do you have before/after pictures?

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On 17 May 2016 at 4:52 PM, gymrat3 said:

Stop using cleansers and creams and I promise your face will feel and look better within the next 30 days!

You shouldn't make promises like that.

What are you qualifications? Have you conducted any studies to back this up? Are you sure you didn't just "grow out" of your acne as your mother suggested you would? You're now in your mid twenties, which is around the age that most people grow out of acne as they are passed the hormonal imbalances of adolescence.

There's only one thing I'm confident about when it comes to acne - everyone's skin is different. I stopped using cleansers/ soap when I was about 15, but it didn't make any difference other than saving a bit of money. My acne was gone in six years, but would you really say that was because I'd stopped using soap? I know some people who just changed their cleanser and their acne cleared up in a few months. 

Its the same with diet. I know some people who cut out sugar and it cured their acne. Some people cut out dairy with the same effect. I know some people who have cut out everything at some point and it still didn't make a difference. 

Everyone has different triggers too. Mine seemed to flare up whenever I exercised (so I foolishly stopped exercising!). I know some people whose acne got worse in cold weather, or when it was hot and humid.

I more or less agree what you said about friends and family not judging you because of your acne. Although I will say that 90% of the people I encounter in life aren't my friends and family. They are basically strangers and acquaintances. Edited by jwalk

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I wanted to say there is truth to this.

I don't login much either,  often i have to reset my password I never remember

Though i  wish i could have read this sooner or it have been available way back then. I to have done essentially less and also find it does more for me then getting all worked up about the little things that become our OCD to controlling this pain. It will consume your life if you let it that's for sure. 

I find products only made or created a new problem. Steps made me anal and compulsive. Worrying and doing little things only created anxiety. I get a pimple now so what i dont care. I think what has helped is not focusing on it and growing older has probably helped. Acne hit me late so it wasn't like a problem until 17-18. It peaked in my early 20's right when i started using a shit load of things to treat it. I'm nearing 26 having gave my skin a break for 2 years + after not seeing a prolonged solution. it was the best thing for me. I support the OP. Thanks for your words!

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