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FaceIt

confessions of an acne product junkie.

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ive been breaking out for a long time, for about 6 years now. I'm a girl with moderate acne, it is persistent and neverending! I have breakout mostly on my cheeks and chin, and have combination skin. Breakouts have been on and off, sometimes my skin is remarkably clear:D and other times-horrid :cry: . Here are some of the things ive tried and the results:

Over the counter:

Clearsil-This stuff worked for awhile, but i think my skin "outgrew" it, it seems that my skin develops a resistance to things.

Noxzema-no.way. this is terrible, pore-clogging gunk.

Oxy-my skin hates salycic acid. period.

camphor soap- i found this in an oriental supermarket. this stuff was soooo strong, it stripped the skin off my face after one use and left a ring around my eyes and lips.

aveeno oatmeal soap- this was good for awhile, but being the product freak i am, i eventually outgrew it and moved onto other things when i no longer saw results.

Proactive Solutions: I hear all the great testimonials and friends who swear by this stuff, but its just too much for my face. Too drying, too itchy, too much redness.

Murad Acne Complex-Forget it. I didnt like the "texture"? i think if i doesnt feel good to your skin, then it isnt any good. I felt alot of bad breakouts coming on and quit this stuff right away! Of course some may say its the whole "cleansing process"..you know, the initial breakout period when using new product, but ive come to believe that if it actually is a good product, the breakout will be minimal, and will heal more than hurt.

Facialist:

Acid peels: At $50 a treatment and product to keep up the skin, this got pretty expensive. I even had a jesner's peel ($250, but given to me for free) which is really good-after an intense acid peel, the top layer of my skin turned brown and started flaking off in large flakes. my skin felt renewed and fantastic, i saw results in 2 weeks! But this was too expensive.

And the acid peels, If i missed even one treatment, i broke out-bad. Even after 4-5 sessions, i still had to go back. tired of the spa bill, i stopped going. Plus, the "extractions" the facialist gave left me bleeding sometimes, for "cleansing" she told me. yeah right. it's important to find a reputable facialist. better yet, just see a dermatologist.

Dermatologist:

Its important to find a good dermatologist, i had no idea i wasnt being treated properly until i find a good derm. For example, my current dermatologist wanted to know everything ive tried and the results (among other questions like other breakouts, diet, lifestyle, etc) he explained to me (with visual aids and everything) how a pimple forms and effects of squeezing (which by this time i already knew). He then (according to info i gave) determined the best treatment. Then step-by-step explained what he was prescribing and exactly what each prescription was going to do to my skin. Also, proper washing and common sense things just to make sure he was covering all bases.

i could ask all the questions i wanted (can i still use my soap? what kind of moisturizer and when should i use it?) he was caring and patient and i didnt feel embarrassed at all. afterwards, the nurse even came in to recap about my new routine and show me the sample of the prescriptions.

Before other dermatologists before would just take one look at my skin and jot a prescription on their pad. That is not the way it should be done, you should leave feeling a little more confident and even eager to start your new treatment. if in doubt, ask.

Prescriptions:

Orthro Tri-Cyclen (birth control)-this is good after 6 months, and clear skin and baby-soft but i did gain alot of weight (just one of many other side effects, i eventually had to quit.)

retin-a micro-i peeled alot and broke out way too much. i couldnt handle it.

differin-irritated my skin, with minimal results.

tetracylcline-no real results.

I'm currently washing with Cetaphil (antibacterial w/ triclosan-though im thinking of switching back to purpose), moisturizing with vita k for blotchy skin, night- tazorac, day-benzaclin. antibiotics-minocycline (75g). i just started so i have yet to see results.

any questions or suggestions just ask!

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barbie: the main side effect was the weight gain, also i saw something on the news with women having long term effects from bc if their family had a history of heart problems. not wanting to take the risk, i decided to just quit taking it.

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hello50: yeah, im on tazorac and minoclycline right now, im peeling soooo much, its unbelievable. when i go to wash my fash, i can feel the layers of dry skin being rubbed off my face, and this is just washing with my hands-no kind of exfoliating scrub or anything!

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What did you not like about ProActive? I just ordered proactive actually...I have a few friends that swear its the greatest thing they have ever used. Several of them choose that over Accutane, and had used Accutane and preferred ProActive Solutions much better. But I have yet to try the ProActive, I do know Accutane is a nightmare tho! So if you could go into more details about ProActive I would much appreciate it!

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Orbital: I used proactive at a time when my skin was at its absoute worse and did not get agree with anything i put on it. The exfoliating grains in the cleanser only aggravated my skin :oops: , and the repairing lotion seemed to make me break out even more. I thought the mask was okay, but some over-the-counter stuff wouldve done just as much at half the price. I strictly followed the regime and only woke up to more spots, even after the initial breakout period. Maybe it was because I wasnt doing anything internally to help with the breakouts? Was I washing too vigorously? Did i not use enough of each product or too much? For some reason proactive just didnt work for me. It all depends on what your skin agrees with, and finding out exactly what that is can be frustrating at times.Hopefully it'll help you, I know some people it's been good for.Good luck! :evil:

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WEEK 1: TAZORAC.MINOCYCLINE.BENZACLINE.

Okay, so week 1 is over and done with.

I noticed that my skin is already starting to smooth out, I'm red of course, but the Vita K is helping with the dry, itchy, redness. The tazorac is causing major peeling. It seems that i just cant moisturize enough sometimes and my skin stays dry-ish until midday, when im spose' to wash and reapply benzaclin anyway. Its embarrassing having to wash my face at work and reapply acne medication, and i sneak the antibiotics when no one is looking because they assume you're sick, and those extremely nosy will ask what the pills are for. maybe i should tell them theyre my crazy pills? :evil:

i need sunblock. this stuff is making my skin sensitive to the sun, i got a slight burn under my eyes where the thinnest skin is, it stings..i know its the tazorac.

Just to recap my daily ritual:

cleansing: cetaphil antibacterial (w/triclosan)

ATTN PURPOSE FANS:i used to love purpose's gently cleansing bar, but this cetaphil antibacterial bar isnt bad, it lathers easily, has a pleasant smell, and is somewhat softer yet effective. but what attracts me the most are the words: antibacterial and triclosan.

moisturizing: Vita K

during the day, is applied after benzaclin

day treatment: Benzaclin

night treatment: Tazorac

be back in a week with WEEK 2 !!!!! :?:

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I was just thinking the other day, about the things ive tried to get rid of this acne.

Everything from the most talked about #1 selling products to the smallest its-so-crazy-it-just-might-work things (except using your own urine. no.way.)

and dont you hate it when people you dont know so well "suggests" something that worked for someone they knew? give me a break! i only feel comfortable taking advice like that from people who have suffered from acne themselves and are close to me.

our face is what we put forth in this world. living in a society that values appearance over just about anything else, it's hard when you feel like an outcast. i read something about acne being a "fatal disease" in the social sense. it's true,and it can be really hard sometimes, but im not going to let it ruin me or define who i am.

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Hello! Week 2 of my Tazorac.Minocycline.Benzaclin. regimine:

My face is sooo smooth, except for one small whitehead/pimple on my cheek, of course there's a little scarring but its mostly hyperpigmentation scars on my cheeks, and i think those go away in 6-8 months.

I'm happy with results thus far and hope that it will only get better. people are starting to notice a bit of a change, im not as red as i used to be. the only thing i really have to worry about now are scars.

im not peeling as much as before, but the tazorac seems to be doing a good job. the vita k is keeping the redness and dry, peeling skin away, and the minocycline is fending off the big bumps.

so far so good! :)

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face it - have you ever tried dan's regimen? and where is your derm located? mine was the kind you described :) (looked at my face, wrote a prescription, and sent me on my way)

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L- my dermatologist is located in Euless, Texas in the H.E.B area, im not sure where you're from. if youre in the area, i could give you an address and phone number if you like. i just noticed the same dermatologist popping up everywhere i looked, and he was on the list of reputable docs in the DFW area. If youre not satisfied with your derm, look to see if your able to find another derm in your insurance's directory or if you have PPO, you can find your own-maybe a friend or family member could suggest a good derm. someone who has had firsthand experience and has positive feedback is a definite try. good luck! :-

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Bahopheta- Thank you for your wonderful post. I was hesitant to first put my story on, thinking that although i may not be alone, no one would understand my plight. But from reading the experiences of others, ive come to find reassurance and acceptance. i hope we all find that "cure", the right regimen, just the right combination of products that'll help, but until that happens this support system will remain, (and even after, ive read).

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Faceit,

Boy do I sympathize and relate to being an acne product junkie. Probably like you and most people on this forum, my bathroom looks like the entire skin care aisle of a drug store.

Almost everything you listed, I have tried. Just like you, the good things worked for awhile, but the positive effects did not last.

I wanted to share something that did work for me. It cannot be bought in a drug store.

I went to an accupuncturist who asked me about my entire lifestyle and my daily intake of food, vitamins, etc., my exercise habits, everything.

The first thing he was certain of was that I was getting too many carbos, not enough protein, and not enough *consistent* infusions of the critical "skin" vitamins. I thought I'd been eating really WELL, but he said NO WAY!!

Here's the regimen. I've done it twice over the past year and it does work WONDERFULLY for me. But its a lifestyle change.

NO sugar.

Minimal or NO fruit.

Minimal carbohydrates. Only brown rice, potatoes, minimal wheat

Minimal or NO Dairy.

PROTEIN: Fill Up on *Protein* 2 or 3 times a day: Turkey, Chicken, Salmon, Shrimp, Soy-based products, Lentils, Kidney beans, PURE PROTEIN

GREENS: spinach, kale, broccoli, red-leaf lettuce, the GREENER the better

He told me to do this for 5 days and then see what happens.

I looked at him like he was CRAZY. Then I had this look of daunting death on my face, wondering if I could do it for 5 days.

Out of DESPERATION, I did it.

My skin cleared up 99%.

For as long as I could stay on the no sugar program, my skin stayed clear. Of course I eventually caved and the cysts came back. So I went back on Minocycline, which was only minimally effective.

Six months later I was going to be taking a BIG trip where I did not want to deal with having acne. I felt desperate to be as "low maintenance" as I could be. So for 3 weeks beforehand, I did the no sugar, low carbo, high protein regimen, and VOILA, again, my skin was FLAWLESS within a week. I was also taking anti-oxidents and zinc, which kept me glowing and healthy throughout the whole trip.

Since I can't live like this for long periods of time (I LOVE sugar and carbos!!) I decided to try accutane for awhile. I'm clearing up but the dryness can be annoying. A few women I know were on accutane at several different times -- they had to try it a few more times to see if it would eventually "take". They finally learned that they had FOOD sensitivies (obviously just like me) and ended the accutane insanity altogether, and changed their diets.

When my Accutane program is over, I am going to change my diet forever. Am slowly starting this NOW, easing my way into this life of denial :- because clear skin is so damn important.

Just wanted to share this. I think quite a few people would be shocked to see their acne drastically improve by cutting out junk, carbos, sugar, and boosting their protein and vitamin intake.

Good luck and thanks for sharing your story.

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Carmen-Thank you for your post, I've been struggling between the food myths and facts debunking the myths. Recently, I've been trying to eat better, not eating as many sweets, fried or fatty foods. Its kind of hard to maintain, especially when its so convenient to grab a bag of chips than to bake a potato. I'm slowly easing into a better diet and drinking alot of water, and i feel better after having a light meal instead of burgers and fries. It feels like im clogging my pores when i eat a greasy slice of pizza, i cant help but relate the texture of the foods to my skin!! This thought (though weird) has helped.

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WEEK 3: TAZORAC.MINOCYCLINE.BENZACLIN.

Okay, so week 3 has come and gone:

My face is still smooth, i break out badly once a month, but this was kept to a minimum thanks to the minocycline. i didnt even notice enough to call it a "break out". im happy with this. :-

My forehead is completely cleared, i used to break out on my chin but i have seen anything come back since i started treatment. There's still scarring on my cheeks, not much of a change there.

Im not peeling as much as before, am i getting immune to the tazorac? or is all the peeling part of the start of the treatment? ill be asking my derm questions for my appt this coming thursday which is in 3 days. if there's any questions, ill be more than happy to ask my derm.

The Vita K is definitely helping with the redness, anyone who is uncertain about a moisturizer, give this a try. its good stuff. Before, i avoided moisturizers because they were too oily, too gunky, too clogging. Vita K goes on light and isnt too greasy. i like it. The only downside is that there's no sunscreen.

overrall, so far so good. same results as last week, the next report will be after 1 month of treatment! :)

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Clearlight. Anyone know anything about this treatment, it seems as if its just a quick fix. Someone i know has started working at a spa that offers this treatment, and is seeing about getting discounts. Is this a go?

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