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mbord04

persistent mild to moderate acne for 6 years

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I've dealt with some form of acne since I was about 14 years old (I'm 21 now). It started out as just black heads and the occasional white head and then turned into what I would consider mild to moderate acne throughout my high school years with cysts that would come back in the same places and t-zone acne that consisted of  blackheads, the occasional white head, but mostly just the red pimples you don't really want to mess with.  I never had acne on my cheeks, jaw or neck. I did have some mild chest and back acne. I was put on probably 5 or 6 antibiotics over the next four-ish years (I can't remember all of their names but I know two of them were monocycline and doxycycline). I was also prescribed epiduo, differin, and rosadan.  I did the whole "try one medicine for three months and if it doesn't work try the next one" for about 4 years and finally got fed up when none of it helped.
My biggest concern was my cystic acne so my doctor put me on accutane for 5 months (February - July 2014). I didn't experience any horrible side effects or anything like that. When I got off acutane I wasn't fully pleased with the results. I think I had in my mind that this was a miracle medicine that would make my skin perfect and glowing and it just didn't. I still had bumps, redness, and black heads. One good thing accutane did was cure my cystic acne.
However, now I'm dealing with acne on my cheeks and jawline that I never dealt with before (see pics). It's the same type of acne that I used to have in my t-zone before accutane (red bumps, can't really pop) but also what I think are black heads. They're raised and the same color as my skin. If you really messed with them you could pop them and it's the same stuff that comes out of a black head, but it's going to irritate your face to the point that it's not worth messing with them.
Summer of 2015 my doctor put me on an oral antibiotic to see if that would help my acne that I was still getting after accutane and it didn't. Oral antibiotics then got knocked out of the picture when I started birth control in November of 2015.
One year ago (November 2015) I started birth control for the first time (lo lestrin fe). I was getting irregular periods on that one so I switched (April 2016) to Minastrin. I liked Minastrin, but I noticed over the next 6 months that my acne was getting worse on my cheeks (more red bumps).
Since I first started birth control in November of 2015 and through 2016 my dermatologist has prescribed me benzo face wash and then sulfate face wash when the benzo did nothing. He also prescribed adapalene gel and then velatin when the adapalene did nothing. 
About 3 months ago when my acne was getting worse on the Minastrin I stopped wearing make up to see if that would help at all and it didn't. Even though it didn't help I still try to wear make up as little as possible (usually just on the weekends). 
I am religious, and have been religious this whole year about washing my face, taking my make up off, moisturizing, using my acne creams and what not.  I use a gentle cleanser morning and night and currently I'm using the sulfate wash after.  I try not to touch my face, pop pimples, etc. Then I put on a thin layer of gelatin. 
About a month ago I made a gyno appointment to switch my birth control to one that may help acne (Beyaz). My dermatologist has never suggested taking birth control for acne or even switching birth controls once I started taking it on my own. My gyno was not convinced Beyaz would do anything different. She claims that any birth control should help acne, not make it worse, so maybe it wasn't the Minastrin making my acne worse (but to me it makes sense because my acne got worse while I was taking it).
I also switched dermatologists who told me to wait out the Beyaz for the next three months (I'm only on my first month) and keep using the velatin. (*side note: I was never told my by previous dermatologist that velatin is meant to be put all over your face not as spot treatment so I'm using it the correct way now).
ANYWAYS, it's been 6 years and I've been through ups and downs. I'm just getting discouraged because I feel like I've tried everything, I'm a clean person, I take care of my skin, I've tried a million treatments, and I still have acne. I know my acne is by no means severe, but it's persistent and constant and has been for years. I have yet to find something that makes my acne worse or better to help figure out what exactly is causing it. 
Wearing or not wearing make up does nothing, drinking more water does nothing, I don't break out more before or during my period.
I'm wondering if anyone has dealt with persistant acne, after trying a plethora of antibiotics, accutane, creams, washes, birth controls and even times of doing nothing to your skin. 
I am absolutely willing to wait out the next few months on my birth control, but if this fails me what is my next step? Do I go back on accutane?  What other medicines that aren't antibiotics can I try? Do I wait it out or try different creams? Different birth control? I'm lost and annoyed!!!! Photo on 11-21-16 at 2.25 AM #2.jpgPhoto on 11-21-16 at 2.25 AM.jpg 

Edited by mbord04

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