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Well, folks, after much consideration, I've hopped on the bandwagon and created my very own personal regimen log. Sure, I could expose my world of acne-treatment, to, say, my livejournal, but I don't think that's the proper target audience. Acne.org is just a little more...fitting.

So, where do we begin? Well, I'm 16 years old, and I've suffered with moderate acne since I was about 11 (although as a wee one it wasn't nearly as bad).

From the ages of 11-13, I experimented with (useless) OTC products, before making me first visit to the dermatologist. If I remember correctly, she prescribed clindamycin gel for the morning and differin for the evening for my pre-pubescent, only-slightly acne-ridden face. After a while of no improvement, I threw the products out and didn't bother making another appointment.

Skip over to beginning of sophmore year of high school. After giving up on a failed ProActiv during the summer, I discover acne.org. Ignoring the warnings all over the message boards, I give The Clear Skin Regimen a go. At first, it works like a miracle; just as my acne was starting to get serious, I found something to clear it up! Then, I noticed something strange. My eyebrows were no longer the color they used to be... they had turned slightly orange. My hair had done the same thing. And the green sweater my girlfriend bought me for Hannukah (yeah, I'm a Jew), was no longer green! Yes, I had discovered BPs dirty-little-secret: it bleaches EVERYTHING it gets its hands on.

Along with bleached clothing was an ever-worsening face. Cysts began to appear, blackheads ran rampant, and red marks refused to go away. Finally, I gave up. A few days later, I had an appointment with a brand-new dermatologist.

The derm. took a look at my face and my back (which, at this point, was sporting type 4 severe acne vulgaris), poked and prodded me with a few inflammation-reducing cortizone shots, took an electric device and shocked open some zits to perform acne-surgery, and then handed me a prescription for Doxycycline 1x a day, differin gel for my face, and tazorac for my back. He also sold me a papaya cleanser and told me to purchase a BP wash for my back.

6 weeks into treatment, I had witnessed another acne miracle. My face was nearly clear, with only a few barely noticeable zits. My back, which by itself was probably the perfect candidate for accutane, was entirely free of zits.

Two weeks later, all hell broke loose. The dermatologist told me I'd be taking Doxy for "8 weeks," so, I figured, at the end of the 8th week, I should stop taking it. Bad idea. Within days, my face was back to it's post-Dan's-regimen condition. I was covered in cysts and nodules and zits and all kinds of icky crap. Luckily, the back stayed clear.

I made an emergency dermatologist appointment following the experience, and he put me back on Doxy and told me that I was supposed to wean off of it. He also told me to start using the tazorac gel on my face as well as the back and to scrap the differin, since tazorac was obviously working better.

4 weeks passed and there was little to no improvement with the Doxy. My back remained clear, but that was about it. I made another appointment, and so begins my regimen log:

After a few more cortizone shots, my dermatologist put me on a last-resort regimen of Bactrim DS twice a day, in addition to tazorac on the face and back, bp wash on the back, and papaya facial cleanser. I added in Queen Helene's Mint Masque and Neutrogena Acne Mark Fading Peel every couple of nights for kicks. I also use Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer sunscreen every morning, and on top of that, Dermadoctor's Oil Control Gel (big help for overactive sebum... dermadoctor.com). He's informed me that if, in 8 weeks, my current regimen is failing, it's time to bring out the 'Tane. I'm crossing my fingers that this thing works... while Accutane sounds nice, I'd rather not have to worry about brain seizures and liver failure and what-not.

Two weeks have passed since the start of my new regimen, and so far, everything is working great. I haven't experienced any allergic reactions to Bactrim (which tend to be deadly), and my acne has reduced drammatically. Ever since I started using tazorac on my face, I've experienced chapped lips, but it's a quite manageable side effect. I only have about 4 active pimples, including a cyst on my nose, an white pus-filled zit on my chin, a regular red pimple on my forehead, and a small zit on my cheek. Unfortunately, I have a number of red marks that have been left over from god-knows-when, but hopefully this neutrogena crap will help get rid of them faster.

I have to say I'm really impressed by how well this Bactrim has been working so far. The dermatologist said it's typically the antibiotic of choice when tetracycline's fail. Unfortunately, it's only the 2nd week, so it's too early to tell whether things will stay this way. I guess we'll just have to wait and see...

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I notice the derm gave you a papaya cleanser. Would you mind sharing the name? The papaya enzyme (papain) has some pretty unique qualities I've been looking into.

Good luck with your new regimen.

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I notice the derm gave you a papaya cleanser. Would you mind sharing the name?  The papaya enzyme (papain) has some pretty unique qualities I've been looking into.

Good luck with your new regimen.

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Thanks.

I just got a drugstore papaya /salicylic acid cleanser to try so the mention of your derm selling you one caught my eye.

I'll check the site out.

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18 days into regimen

WOW... results are occuring much faster than I had expected. i even recieved a compliment on my face! most of you are probably thinking i'm just one of those lucky kids and simple derm prescriptions work on me, but it's not true... i've been through other antibiotics and topicals, and this is the only one that's cleared me up this much so quickly. i'm starting to doubt that i'll need to take accutane in 8 weeks, as my derm suspected. providing this doesn't fail in a few weeks *knocks on wood*

i definitely reccomend this medication (bactrim DS) if other meds haven't worked. it's cheap and so far has been working wonders.

on the down side, a few red pimples have appeared on my back, but i have a feel that's due to stress. exam week is coming up and all.

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oh yeah, and that neutrogena acne mark fading peel doesn't seem to do much. but perhaps it just works slowly. queen helene's helps a bit for oil and active pimples, but again, it's not magic.

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okay guys, i'll admit it... this regimen log is EXTREMELY boring. i dont have any severe side effects to report on, my skin has cleared up too quicky for anyone to have time to offer me psycological support, and i'm not even posting any effing pictures of myself. sorry everybody!

i do, however, have a question. have any of you lurkers out there every tried Bactrim DS yourself? did it clear you up? did the acne eventually return?

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okay guys, i'll admit it... this regimen log is EXTREMELY boring. i dont have any severe side effects to report on, my skin has cleared up too quicky for anyone to have time to offer me psycological support, and i'm not even posting any effing pictures of myself. sorry everybody!

i do, however, have a question. have any of you lurkers out there every tried Bactrim DS yourself? did it clear you up? did the acne eventually return?

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Hi I tried lots of antibiotics. I think I staid on bactrim which is a sulfa drug for more than a year. And a series of antibiotics for about two years. It controlled my problem but I never had total clarity. And it usually takes about six weeks to see full results. The skin showing on the surface of your face today, starting developing six weeks ago, so you really need to try things for awhile before knowing what the cause is.

And taking antibiotics for a long time is just not good for you. I remember having to take some type of blood test, to make sure everything was ok. Eventually my dermatologist put me on even stronger antibiotics. And since none of those ever worked completely she said I would have to take acutane next. I stopped going to the doctor after that.

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Just had my dermatolagist appointment yesterday, marking a month-and-a-half of Bactrim DS. The results have been absolutely AMAZING. My skin is nearly 100% clear. The derm gave me a some cortizone shots just to reduce swelling in a few areas (something I reccomend everyone with acne should get-- it helps a lot and doesn't hurt), but other than that he didn't need to do any other procedures (normally he has to remove blackheads, electro-shock pimples, etc.).

The only thing I'm a bit worried about is how I'm gonna come down on this stuff. I'm currently supposed to be "weening" off of the antibiotic, which means instead of two a day, I'm going down to one a day, and in a month I should be on one every other day. Hopefully I won't get a major flare-up during this process. I guess if I do, I'll just have to contact the derm to figure out how to adjust the dosage. I've considered hopping on the B5 bandwagon if my acne returns, but I'm not sure if I really want to pop all those pills... I've read many mixed reviews on the effectiveness.

I went over to the vitamin shoppe yesterday and purchased acidophilus (probiotics). I figure it's just healthier to take them since I've been on antibiotics for quite a while now. I'm a bit concerned about whether or not this is a good brand or not (vitamin shoppe brand)... they claim to have 13 billion live organisms AT MANUFACTURING... which means that they could all just plop dead in an hour. Anyway I'm taking two pills at nighttime. Anyone else tried this?

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