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Hello, to my fellow victims of this terrible plague called acne. I’m not new to acne.org as I have stumbled across these forums on many occasions in the past, but this will be my first ever post. I am a 22 year old guy who suffers from moderate to severe acne specifically and almost exclusively on the chin. Picture someone drawing a triangle from the corners of your mouth down to the sides of your chin. I do occasionally get 1 or 2 above my mouth as well (maybe once or twice a month) but they heal well and don’t leave red scars. I also every now and again get some between my eyebrows, although this is a hideous location I don’t get them that often nor do they stay long which makes them the least of my worries. But other than that the rest of my skin, forehead, nose, cheeks, even body are flawless. I literally NEVER get pimples on my cheeks. I’m pretty sure I could smear motor oil on them leave it for a week and it would be as clear as printer paper.

                To give you a little background I went through school without any acne. We’re talking nothing, nada, should have been on a skin commercial. I don’t think I ever even got my first pimple until my senior year. Oddly enough, after that I began getting acne pretty frequently. Still exclusively on my chin of course but back in those days they were more scattered and I got more in the center of my chin. Still though they were typically small white heads with just the occasional cyst or two. With this being the first time I had ever suffered from acne I went and made the first rookie mistake. I went and bought every commercial product (Facial wash and topical) on the market, and tried them all with no success. Proactive seemed to dry my skin out the most and ultimately make my breakouts much worse, but they all had similar affects. The battery powered Clarisonic scub brush was the worst….. Oh my god, It was so harsh on my skin it literally turned my chin into WWIII. This would be what ultimately led to me completely destroying the skin on my chin. Going into that winter of 2013 (Winter Is by far the worst time for my breakouts) my skin was so dry I could literally run my finger nail down my chin and watch the dead skin cells fall of like a heavy snow fall. It’s like when somebody has bad dandruff and they aggressively itch their scalp. This led to me finally breaking down and going to my first dermatologist. She prescribed me more topical treatments but this time they were “fancy prescribed topicals”. But… yep you guessed it they did nothing. Fast forward some time somewhere near the end of 2014. My third dirma….. Yes you heard me correctly my THIRD DIRMATOLOGIST. Who pretty much in every way was the worst of the three prescribed me an oral medication called Solodyn (Minocin), which to this day is the only thing that has ever cleared me up. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s an anti-inflammation pill that’s quite commonly prescribed for all sorts of acne. It did come with a couple side effects; Severe dehydration, profuse sweating under the arms which no antiperspirant could stop (had to get a prescription one haha), and it has permanently caused my urine to be a golden yellow no matter how hydrated I am. But never the less it did what it was supposed to do, completely cleared my acne. I was on it for almost a year and was told even if it cleared me early to continue using it until I was out. I did so and was clear for nearly 6 months after.

                There seems to be a common theme of people on these forums who appear to have this thing licked but then it comes back with vengeance like Maximus in the Gladiator. There seems to be an even larger group of people who find something that works….. Works the first time that is. Only to try the same thing later and it has no affect. This seems to be the case for most every treatment/remedy for our specific kind of acne, from home remedies to the supposed “acne cure” itself Accutane. To get back on topic I’m sure you’re wondering what happened between the large gap from when the effects of the Solodyn wore off somewhere late-2015 to now. The best way for me to answer that would be to say….. Nothing. Literally “nothing”, not only in the way of not finding a cure but nothing in the way of my life. Like so many others who suffer from this terrible thing, I too have almost stopped living life all together. I know for someone on the outside looking in it that can sound extremely over dramatic or just down right foolish. But I can assure you it’s not, as bad as it looks on the face, or as physically painful as it may be. Nothing compares to the absolutely detrimental affect it has on your self-esteem. When I’m having a bad breakout I literally won’t leave the house. This has led to me dropping out of college, quitting a good paying job with co-workers I actually liked, and losing many friends from cancelling plans so much to the point where they think I no longer like them. You become obsessed, my skin and the pursuit of me trying to put a stop to my acne has completely consumed my life. It is literally all I think about every day. I look in the mirror countless times a day to check the current status. Is my current break out healing? Is the monstrous pimple on the left between the 3 smaller ones that’s been on my face for two weeks finally going away or is it swelling up for a round two? Maybe even a round three. The worst of all is when your current break out is almost completely healed and then BAM! You feel a new breakout coming. People who don’t suffer from acne don’t understand that having breakouts literally makes it impossible to even run to the grocery store, or go through the drive through at the bank, the risk of someone seeing it is too great. Being assertive with people which you took for granted for all those years now sounds like a dream. I know this all sounds a little extreme, like maybe I need to see somebody. But the truth is I don’t I’m perfectly sane. Like anybody else I know how crazy and cynical this all sounds but there is nothing I can do about it. I know that at the end of the day a person’s appearance is probably the least important thing about them, I know that any girl who genuinely wouldn’t be with me because I have acne is a girl that I wouldn’t want anyway. I know that any dude that sees me with a bad break out couldn’t care less. Most importantly I know that having acne on my face isn’t actually stopping me from doing anything, I can still travel, interact, and frankly pursue anything I please. But….. Knowing and being able to do are two completely different things. All though I know these things are true I can’t convince myself to ignore my breakouts, it’s like I’m trapped in a mental cage. I just want my face back. I don’t want exceptional skin, not even good skin, just average. I want my life back.

                As far as advice I have for other people dealing with the same kind of acne I don’t have much. In the 4 years that I have suffered I have learned some do’s and don’ts. But not much that hasn’t already been mention in the forums. I used to take extremely hot 30 minute long showers which I learned is a down right TERRIBLE thing to do and dries your skin out like you wouldn’t believe. I also learned that for me and other people suffering from the same kind of acne as me in the same locations would benefit immensely from sleeping on their back instead of their face on the pillow. I just learned that at the start of this year and had actually cleared me up completely for most of January. Unfortunately though all of this time I have only ever found one for sure trigger. This seems to sometimes be a controversial subject in these forums…. But masturbation is a 100% trigger for my breakouts. Please before you chime in and tell me about an article you read online by DR. Smitty Werben Man Jensen that says it’s not a trigger or that you yourself masturbate 10 times a day and have no acne. Just know that if there is one thing I’ve learned about factual information in the acne world it’s that long time sufferers of acne are more informed than the so called specialists in the field. And that just because it’s not a trigger for you doesn’t mean it can’t be one for me. I won’t go into any more detail on this subject as I plan on making a separate post specifically on this later on, I just wanted to touch base now. Ultimately I feel that the root cause is something internal, whether its hormones, diet, or both. And I plan to find out. Also I feel that my acne somewhat comes in cycles. For some reason I have really bad appetite swings where I will go for about a week or so being extremely hungry and eating everything in sight, followed by a week of having no appetite at all. Obviously I still eat it’s just considerably less. I’ve always noticed that at the very end of my big appetite week is when I tend to break out, and then I have no appetite at all during the bad breakout. This also causes my weight to fluctuate somewhat badly, I’m pretty underweight as it is and this seems to be a big culprit.

                My diet for pretty much my entire life has been fairly bad, not necessarily in the sweets department but as far as fried foods go I’m an addict. I drank sodas and stuff as a kid and into my early teens but I can say truthfully that I haven’t drank a soda since sometime before my sophomore or junior year in High School. Also I don’t drink alcohol, in fact I’ve never even tasted it, it’s just not my thing. Now there are plenty of people like me who indulge in more fried foods than they should, but my problem lies in the lack of good foods that I eat for counter balancing. I’m embarrassed to say that I literally hate every vegetable, other than carrots, potatoes, and corn. There isn’t another single vegetable I will eat…. And that’s a problem. The last year or so is really the first time I have every truly started to try to improve my diet. I’ve done and okay job still slipping up here and there, and occasionally getting discouraged and quitting all together for a bit. Obviously though my problem is eating less junky food really does nothing when you’re still not consuming enough good ones either. However I have just recently started putting large amounts of spinach in my daily fruit smoothies and also plan on getting the juice plus supplements within the next week.

                The last thing I really wanted to touch on as far as concerns would be a Thyroid condition. I literally suffer from every symptom in the book. Then to top it off I have four close family members who suffer from conditions themselves. I Have an uncle and a Grandma with celiac, (grandma actually went into a thyroid storm) a mother with Hypo, and an uncle on my dad’s side with Hyper. But despite all of this I went and got a blood test 2 months ago and they came back good. Although I heard that you can’t always find it in the test and that part of the problem is that having the condition means that levels are constantly fluctuating which means sometimes the levels are okay. The only thing that came back low was my Vitamin D which I know can play a big role on the skins health as well. Unfortunately though my levels are good again and it hasn’t made a difference in my breakouts other than the first week or two. For anyone who didn’t know the reason I brought this up is because if you have a thyroid problem it can play a HUGE role in causing acne. It controls many things from hormones to vitamins specifically correlated with skin to much more than that. If you’re suffering from a similar kind of acne as me, I definitely recommend getting tested.

                Very sorry for this book that I have just written, in case you can’t tell I easily get carried away with my rambling, especially on subjects I’m really passionate about. I really just wanted to get the basis of everything that is important to me on this issue in my first post. I fully plan on making many more posts on this journey and plan on sharing all of my results positive and negative. My first plan is definitely going on a strict diet with important supplements added as well. I’m really trying to stray away from any sort of topical treatments or remedies. Topicals may help with existing (emphasis on the may) but they don’t help with the source/cause, and that’s what I’m after.  Ultimately I feel that I’m suffering from a more rare type of acne breakout, as I’ve only found a few other threads of people with the same type and location. Also this particular type seems to be much more common in woman. Any and all advice is welcome, please keep the comments as positive as possible. There is already enough negativity going around in the world of acne. I plan on being pretty active on this site and should have more posts up later this weekend. Feel free to contact me about anything at all, my name is Matt as my username suggest’s. Thanks again for reading this 2000+ word ramble.

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Also just to nip it in the butt now. I Have never and will never take Accutane. I have heard enough horror stories in the forums and real life accounts to not go anywhere near it. I understand that it has been a great "temporary" cure..... But at what cause? Acne has single handedly put my life in a prison, but at least I can wake up with the optimism that this wont be forever. Some of the side affects that can come along with Accutane are forever.

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