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ABF32

My Hopeful Regimen Log

First of all, this site has been such a great thing for me. It's like a personal support group...just knowing that others are going through the same thing as I am is so helpful. Well, I figured since I spend so much time reading other people's logs, I might as well start my own. Today is day 15 of the regimen for me. Things started out amazing. I cleared up of all active acne by like day two. I was reading everyone's logs (and seeing that many still had active acne at much, much later dates) and wondering if, for the first time in my life I was actually lucky at something. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I broke out after a few days with no active acne, and have stayed that way since. It has gotten better (today is really mild compared to about a week ago, when I was really broken out) but not cleared up totally. I have a few small whiteheads, and one giant, hard, underground cystic (I think) lesion that I tried to pick at today, which was the worst idea ever. Now it is very red, very raised, and very painful, when before I could feel it, but not really see it. Sometimes I feel like I can't control myself...I pick even though I KNOW it will only make things worse. So some background: I am 22 years old, female, and had acne to some degree in highschool. I went on minocycline my senior year of highschool, and that along with topicals seemed to keep things in check. Throughout college I had acne, but never severe enough to warrant going to a derm. Then, my senior year (I just graduated) I started getting cystic acne that hurt and seemed to last FOREVER. I went to a dermatologist who was basically no help at all. He gave me duac gel (clindamycin and 5% bp) which dried out my skin, so I stopped using it. He also put me on erythroymicin, 2 x a day. Still no major change in my acne. It would seem to sort of clear up, but during my period I would break out like crazy, and it would take weeks before it would heal, so I would maybe have one semi-clear week a month. When I first started Dan's regimen, my face was really really red, and like some other people have noted, I think that sort of made my acne and red marks look less severe. The redness has subsided now (so the red marks really show through), but my skin flakes like CRAZY. I cannot eat in public because chewing makes my face crack and flake off. It's pretty gross. I would consider my acne to be moderate (my family seems to think that I am way too self-conscious about it, and that it is not anything major, but no matter how it looks to anyone else, it makes me FEEL terrible, so I really need to clear up to get my self esteem back to where it should be). It has gotten to the point where I hide inside and tell my friends I am too tired or too busy to go out, when in actuality I am just too embarrassed.

My regimen:

Wash with cetaphil liquid cleanser

wait 15 min

apply Dan's bp gel (I am using about 3/4 of a finger...may have to reduce a little to try to deal with this flaking)

wait 15 min

apply eucerin skin renewal spf 15 lotion

morning and evening

I do wear makeup (just can't go out in public without it) but I use physician's formula, which is supposed to be ok for acne-prone skin. I used to use covergirl, and I felt like it make my skin worse.

My face right now:

about 4 whiteheads

one monster cyst that has been picked open and hurts like crazy

TONS of old redmarks

lots of flaking skin

(if it weren't for big cyst, this would be a really mild day...I'm worried now that I'm going to have to deal with this one for a long time, since I couldn't leave it alone eusa_wall.gif )

My neck has been red and flaky since like day 4...I try really hard not to get any bp on it, but I cannot seem to get rid of the dryness. I put lotion (only) on it every morning and evening, but so far, it's not any better.

Also, most of my acne is concentrated around my mouth and chin. My cheeks are almost always clear, if I breakout on my forehead it is usually insignificant. I cannot get the bottom of my face clear though...so frusterating.

Now that I've gotten this (Long-winded) background info out of the way, I'll try to update regularly. Hopefully I will someday be able to report that I am clear. Good luck to everyone who is in the same boat as me!

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Day 16:

So I woke up today looking pretty good overall. I have one small pimple right by my nose (on my cheek...actually a little higher on my face than where I usually break out), and a small pimple right under my mouth. Those two are no big deal. Then, there is yesterday's picked open cyst. It's scabby and hard and big. Probably going to be really hard to cover with makeup. Whenever I do this (pick at an unpickable pimple...the kind that is underground) the same thing happens...it forms a big gross scab, I try to cover it up with makeup, and then finally in a few days the scab is like hanging off (usually when I'm out in public) and I have to just pull it. (gross, I know). I wish I could learn to LEAVE IT ALONE. I am hoping this one moves quickly. On the plus side, my face is WAY less dry today. I used slightly less bp last night, and lots of my eucerin moisturizer, so i'm hoping that maybe I just ramped up the bp too quickly. I'm going to take it really slow from now on. Keeping hope.

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Day 17:

The cyst that I picked at is now MUCH more flat...it is still red, painful, and somewhat raised, but definitely looking better eusa_dance.gif

I have 3 small whiteheads...I can't stand whiteheads, and never used to get them before I started on the regimen (though I suppose they are better than the deep, painful acne I used to get). I am going to try not to pick these 3 and see if they go away quickly. It's hard though...whiteheads are such a gross thing and I feel like everyone is staring at them. Otherwise, face is looking ok. Very very dry again this morning. Lots of red marks. Still keeping hope.

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Still day 17...came home from work and picked at 2 of the whiteheads sad.gif I KNEW I shouldn't do it, but I did sad.gif I'm recording it so that if the same pimples get worse, I'll know it was my own fault. No more picking!!! (why can't I learn my lesson??) Still keeping hope.

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Day 18. All old pimples seem to be healing (that's not to say that they are all completely healed, though...but I think they are well on their way). I don't have any new spota (that I can see), so that's definitely encouraging. I do have like 4 tiny white bumps though (I've read other people post about these mysterious things) which I really hope don't turn into full-blown whiteheads.

Also, does anyone know of/think a linkage between stress and acne exists? My mom seems to think that there is a link, and I am definitely stressed right now (actually I'm pretty stressed a lot of the time...but now is particularly bad). Any thoughts?

Still keeping hope.

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Stress isn't that big an issue. The regimen is much stronger. You can stress all you want smile.gif

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Day 19. No major changes. Maybe a new pimple (small) but I'm not sure...it might have been there yesterday. Mostly looks like everything is healing, but like yesterday, they are still THERE. Still keeping hope.

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Day 20. No major changes. The pimples still appear to be healing (they are taking their time, though!) No new bumps. Two pimples in particular, though they were never really large, seem to be hanging around. Red marks are the same. While the improvement is slight, it's definitely the best day I've had in like the past week or so. Hopeful.

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Day 21. Acne remaining: 4 very small bumps. Why it isn't COMPLETELY gone yet, I just don't know. GO AWAY. Still, improvement, I guess. Hopefully within the next few days I will be completely clear. At least I am currently getting no new acne. That, at least is something to be happy about. eusa_clap.gif

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Day 22. Today it looked like there was only one pimple remaining...a small whitehead. I picked at it. Seriously, I know that I can't do this, but I did. So looking ahead, my goal is to REALLY keep my hands off my face. I need to not look in the mirror, since that leads to staring, which often leads to picking. Anyway, I'm really happy with my progress. I'm just scared that once I am clear, I'll only be that way for a few days, then start the horrible breakout cycle again. But I'm going to try to stay positive. So maybe tomorrow's update will be NO ACTIVE PIMPLES! Hopeful.

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Day 23. Good news and bad news today. The last of the remaining pimples from the week 2 breakout has gone eusa_dance.gif I've been waiting for this day for what seems like forever. Bad news now: yesterday during the day I could feel something coming up on my chin (though I couldn't see it). This morning when I woke up it was visible. It's big, hard, and cystic. Grrrrrr. Hopefully I can beat it with the BP though. I WILL NOT TOUCH MY FACE, I WILL NOT TOUCH MY FACE, (and for good measure, again) I WILL NOT TOUCH MY FACE. Good luck to everyone else. Hopeful.

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Day 24. Well, like I hoped, the cyst on my chin seems to be fighting a losing battle with the BP. It seems to be more flat today than it was yesterday, so hopefully it will disappear before any major damage is done. I didn't touch it (yay!) eusa_dance.gif Yesterday I also noticed late in the afternoon that I had a red spot above my upper lip...it seems like that one too is losing to the BP. Today I found two small white bumps near my bottom lip...I don't know if they were there yesterday or not... Also, it seems like one of the spots from the old breakout is raised again...maybe it's the same as it was before though (who knows). So I've been good about not touching my skin for a whole 2 days or something now...I just need to continue. Also, my skin continues to be extremely dry until I moisturize...I'm wondering if this is just something I'm going to have to deal with in order to get clear skin. My face is also still cracking when I eat dinner (I'm guessing it's because at that point it's been so long since I last moisturized...I don't know) which is ok when I'm home but not so great when I'm at a restaurant (like 2 nights ago). I sometimes worry that all the flaking skin on my face (that doens't come off when I cleanse with cetaphil) might lead to MORE breakouts. But I'm trusting Dan that exfoliating is bad. Wow, this is a long one. If anyone who reads this had any experience with the dry skin issues, or any words of wisdom, let me know (like, is there still a chance that my skin will get used to the BP and become less dry, even though I've already used it for a whole 24 days?) Thanks. Hopeful.

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Day 25. Ugh. Woke up today and looked in the mirror and for the first time in a while, my skin is worse than it was last night. I have a new (kinda big) pimple on my jawline...this area is weird b/c it is always SO dry from the BP so I find I have to moisturize like crazy. The spot above my upper lip is still evident (but barely...I shouldn't complain about that) and then there are like 4 small white bumps where old acne used to be. Also, my skin looks rough and bumby, like there are pimples just waiting to erupt. And the red marks are bad, as always. I mean, it's by no means horrible, but a setback nonetheless, which is always disappointing eusa_wall.gif I just want to wake up and be able to wash my face and go. I'm so sick of dealing with crappy make-up and needing hours to get ready. Blah.

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Day 25 part 2:

So things have gone from badish to really bad. I went out for about 3 hours this morning, and returned home to find that like 6 whiteheads had popped up (that explains the rough, acne-is-near skin that I saw this morning). WHY??? sad.gif

This sucks.

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Day 26. Loaded up with BP yesterday. Added extra to spot treat the breakout. Those are all looking better, but they aren't gone (surprise, surprise). Also got a new (pretty big) pimple on my jawline. All of this is in my problem area (basically just the very bottom of my face...around my mouth, jawline, etc.). I'm kind of discouraged (ok, not kind of, REALLY discouraged). NONE of my friends have acne (I just turned 22 in August) and I just don't understand why I'm still dealing with this. I'm giving the regimen at least 9 weeks though...I figure that I can't give up on it until I've given it the full 8+ weeks. It's weird because I think that I have what would be considered "mild to moderate acne"...maybe even leaning toward the mild side (not spread out or anything) so I don't get why it's not gone yet.

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Day 27. Same story. Yesterday's pimples are healing, but I woke up this morning with another new one. At this rate, I will never be clear...as soon as old breakouts start to clear up, another pimple arrives.

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Day 28. Fell asleep wtihout moisturizing last night (I was really tired, so I decided to lay down in between the steps...oops). When I woke up this morning 3 old pimples had come to head. I guess that means they are healing...? No new pimples for the first time in a few days. Right now I have the 3 whiteheads that popped up over night, and a hard one on my jawline that seems to be better than it was yesterday (I can feel it but not see it). Overall my skin is definitely not horrible...still, my backwards progress is disappointing.

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Hang in there. You're at the point now where you can be using LOTS of bp, and applying gently twice a day. Be sure to follow everything precisely and when in doubt, use more bp. I would highly suggest you use Eucerin Renewal moisturizer at this point as well. I skimmed your regimen log again, so I'm not sure if you already are. Give it another 2 months, stickin' to it.

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Thanks Dan. I am using the Eucerin...I love it (way better than the cetaphil I used in the beginning). I actually started to realize today that I really was overreacting by getting so discouraged...I kept reading other people's logs who seemed to be clearing much more quickly than me, and I let that get to me, when I know that it's actaully a pretty personal thing...everyone's skin is different! Anyway, I'm still planning on sticking to everything. In fact, I'm going to go wash my face now and start my evening regimen. biggrin.gif

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Day 29. Things are looking good! Everything on my face dried up. I came to three revelations, and I'm going to choose to believe that these factors had to do with my recent bout of acne, since that will make me feel better biggrin.gif One, I'm getting my period on Friday...I sort of forgot about that. I'm one of those people who has a pre-menstrual breakout without fail. Two, I realized that I was not being as gentle as I should of when rubbing in the bp. And three (this goes hand-in-hand with two) I was not rubbing it in fully (all about impatience!) So my face today: one hard, dried-up pimple by my mouth (still there, but MUCH better), one fading bump on my jawline (it was one of those big old ones), one very small white bump on the other side of my jawline, lots of red marks. I"ve been using the eucerin for a while now, and I do believe that some of the red marks have begun to fade. Now if only I could prevent new pimples from forming...I would be in business! From now on, I'm only going to update weekly (unless I really need to vent, since that's basically the reason I have this log) since I'm sure people are getting a little bored with reading about my daily struggles. eusa_angel.gif

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So I'm 4 and a half weeks into the regimen, and so excited by how my skin looks. It's still really really dry, and I still have trouble with my skin flaking off while I'm eating (though I just finished dinner and look surprisingly flake-free). Anyway, I have no active acne right now (well maybe some of those teeny tiny bumps but I hardly count those since they aren't really noticeable). The red marks are still a problem, but I will take red marks over acne any day (since I can cover them up pretty easily...I use physician's formula concealer and mineral powder and they seem to work really well with my skin type). So lets hope this continues to work! My mom was telling me today how happy she is that I found the regimen...we both firmly believe that it works, even if it takes time. So thanks Dan! eusa_clap.gif

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Well...minor setback today. I'm a couple of days shy of 5 weeks into the regimen, and when I got home from work today (I work eves now) I found that I had either one monster zit or several small ones that are clumped together (they're sort of undergrounders, so it's hard to tell). It's my period though, so I'll blame that (damn it sucks being a girl sometimes!) Anyway, I'm still hopeful that maybe eventually the regimen will stop even these breakouts.

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Oh yeah. One change to the regimen. I decided to try something other than cetaphil for washing my face...don't really know why ( I wasn't having any major problems with it or anything) so I ordered the Basis Sensitive Skin bar from drugstore.com. I've only used it a few days now, but my skin feels pretty tight and dry, so I might switch back to cetaphil (in fact, I probably will eventually...maybe I'll use the bar up first though). Also, my lips were DISGUSTING today...I think I have gotten some BP on them over the last few days and today they were like chapped and peeling and gross. Hmmm...note to self...BP and lips do not mix. eusa_doh.gif

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New idea: from now on I'm gonna post anytime there is a change in my skin from the day before. So today....day 36...another cysts...this one on the other side of my jawline. Blah. Also have 2 tiny pimples on my chin (don't really care about those). I kind of squeezed at the cyst (I don't know...I hadn't touched my skin in a while and I just broke down) so now it is more enflamed and really painful. Going to leave it alone now, and hope that things are better tomorrow. So I have this cyst, the remnants of another cyst (actually healed up pretty fast), a dried up pimple by my mouth, and the two tiny pimples on my chin. Not horrible, really, other than today's new addition. Just kind of blah. My skin is drier than it has been lately...I think because I've been skimping on the moisturizer (I'm still afraid of being too liberal with it...even though it's not supposed to cause pimples).

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Very encouraged by my skin today. The one pimple (or at least the only one big enough to count) that I have is smaller than yesterday, which is encouraging. Skin is still dry. Still lots of red marks.

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