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Hyperpigmentation & Pimples everywhere

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I am a 20 year-old female who's been struggling with bad skin for close to 10 years now. I developed my first pimples around 9, but it wasn't until 5th grade  (10-11 years) that I became conscious of my skin. What started out as pimples soon turned into full-on acne. My chest, jawline, cheeks, back, and even shoulders/arms were soon covered in red spots and bumps. I have to say my chest, back, and face were the worst areas. By the time I was 15-16, I was extremely self-conscious to the point where I didn't want to leave my house (or even let anyone see me) without makeup. Growing up with flawless, tan, matte skin, I was now riddled in every visible area with pocks and marks. I finally went to the dermatologist and was prescribed minocycline. I took the medicine (along with a routine of medicated wipes and wash) for about 2 months, and noticed immediate change. I no longer had breakouts on my chest, and the big, painful bumps on my jaw and cheeks disappeared. I thought the nightmare was finally over, and I could finally live a normal life and maybe even have my skin heal to it's former, healthy state, but my happiness was short-lived; breakouts appeared on my chest once more, and pimples returned to haunt my face (though no longer the same painful bumps). I went back to the dermatologist, and he put me back on the medication  (he had me get off of it when my skin first cleared). I come to find out that somehow, my body must've gotten immune to the pills because they no longer worked! I just kept breaking out, all the while faithfully consuming the meds. I switched dermatologists and told my new one what happened, so he put me on doxycyline. I started taking the new pills, and after finishing my dose, noticed absolutely no change. Same old breakouts. I informed my dermatologist of this, and he decided to give me another dose of doxy. I remember getting upset and even angry-- I was putting all these pills in my body that did absolutely nothing! *Along with the pills, I was also prescribed tretinoin cream .04%, which ended up burning my skin so bad that it came off in sheets! Shortly after, my insurance stopped covering it anyways.* From that point on, I gave up. Everytime I asked my dermatologist for other options, he kept shutting me down, repeating the same empty promises over and over. At one point he even pulled the "you're beautiful no matter what your skin looks like. Just be confident." Thanks, but I'd feel much better if I actually had a solution! I don't want people telling me that I'm beautiful no matter what, I want to feel beautiful! I sure as hell don't when I see myself in the mirror, and being confident when you're not happy with your appearance is easier said than done, why can't people understand that?? As of now, I've tried PanOxyl 10% benzoyl peroxide  (does not work, but dries my skin), keep a consistent routine of salicylic acid toner  (morning and night), but at this point I'm doing it more as a habit. I've tried almost every wash that's available in drug stores, and at this point, I'm lost and desperate. I don't go to the beach, and I don't wear 2-piece bathing suits because of how self conscious I am. My back is a minefield of brown spots and non-stop, new pimples. My chest looks gross because of the pink, sore-looking bumps covering it. Tank tops and summer dresses, open-back dresses are not even part of my wardrobe, nor will they ever be if my skin stays this way. I'm a 20 year old girl, I should be able to pull on a cute summer dress, or sunbathe in the sand in a nice bikini. I should feel young and pretty, I'm at the prime of my youth! Instead, I'm sitting here, loathing every bit of the skin I'm in...sometimes I just want to rip my skin off and somehow grow a brand new one. 

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Hi Zelenina, 

I'm so sorry to hear about the skin struggle you've been going through. I've had bad acne since end of 2016 and I have barely been coping, so I cant imagine how you've been living for the last past 10 years - considering acne and skin troubles usually take a toll on our emotional and mental health. 

Its definitely hard dealing with skin issues - especially as you mentioned, society expects everyone to have perfect skin and treat those with skin conditions differently - despite acne being quite normal and common. Its really a shame, but keep your head up. There are a lot of people in the same boat - hiding away in their rooms (and the ones that are more confident, are actually still living their best life). 

You mentioned you've been on quite a few products and antibiotics for your skin, one being Tretinoin - How long were you on that for? I'm currently on Tretinoin and have been for the past 4 months and I have seen old acne marks fade - but they've been replaced by new ones which is frustrating - but I'm going to push through with the treatment until I reach month 8. After that I'll consider getting microneedling, 

How about you? What does your current skincake routine look like? 

I hope both of our skins issues are cured at some point this year. 

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