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Hi. My name's Lauren and I'm about to be 32. I've struggled with acne on and off since I was about 13, with some of the worst years happening after I graduated from college. I've tried most products under the sun, been on Accutane 3 times, never wear makeup, and after years and years of trial and error, I thought I was in the clear about a year ago. I decided to completely change my diet - no gluten, no dairy, no sugar - and after gradually cutting out those three things, my skin really transformed. I still get occasional breakouts from time to time, but with a good spot treatment they usually only last a few days. And for the past few months I've added Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant to my regimen (which is very simple and only includes a Neutrogena salicylic face wash), and that really helped with tone and texture. 

The thing is, whenever I break out now, it's always on the left side of my face, and it's not because of the usual culprits; I don't hold my phone up to my face, I change my pillowcases at least twice a week, and I never touch my face unless I'm washing it. I've thought it was weird, but since my diet and new product regimen had been working well enough, I didn't think too much of it. Until today. This morning I woke up with 3 big, inflamed, painful whiteheads and one cyst on the RIGHT side of my face, seemingly out of nowhere. 2 days before my brothers' wedding. Truth time - this wedding is giving me a great deal of anxiety; it'll be the first time I'm seeing my dad in about 6 years, I'm nervous about being nauseous and getting hot flashes (FYI I've had intense and untreatable Major Depression/anxiety/OCD for about 10 years, and I'm currently going through withdrawls from going off my last medication about 2 weeks ago), and being out and around new people makes me very nervous and uncomfortable. I don't know if any of this has anything to do with this new breakout, and personally I've never seen a causation between stress and acne (I know it exists, it's just never happened to me), but I really have no idea where this breakout is coming from if not all the anxiety I'm having about this event. I didn't change anything about my routine or diet, and can't think of why it would suddenly switch to the other side of my face.

Has anyone has a similar experience (maybe where you hadn't suffered from stress-related acne before and then suddenly you did) or any insight into why acne might favor one side of the face and then unexpectedly change to the other side? Is there any way to differentiate between a stress-related breakout and any other kind of breakout? Thanks for any info or stories you'd like to share.

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