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ShredNine

Kayel's log.

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I have been battling moderate acne on my face, neck, chest, and back since I turned fifteen years old. I am now approaching my nineteenth birthday. Before the onset of my acne, I had the skin of a young Adonis: smooth, white, and blemish free. Those days are long gone, however, and since then I have grudgingly resigned myself to being satisfied with decent skin.

I have managed to get myself completely clear on numerous occasions, but I have never stuck with any kind of regimen for more than a few weeks. As a result, my acne always returns in full force as soon as I become lax in my caretaking procedures. My forehead, shoulders, and back are littered with red marks from previous breakouts, but I have been lucky in that I've suffered no scarring other than one freak incident on my forehead, and my hair covers that one anyway. The problems on my back and shoulders are bad enough at times that I am a candidate for Accutane, but I don't want to go on Accutane for a while yet for three reasons:

1. I'm not scarring. Red marks aren't permanent, no matter how unattractive they may be.

2. My father outgrew the same kind of acne I have when he hit his early twenties. There is hope.

3. I know that CAN keep myself clear if I try hard enough.

I recently had a bad breakout on the sides of my face, my forehead, and my shoulders, and it has taken so long in healing that I have decided to go with a procedure that usually works and, for the love of all that is holy, to stick with it. I've been following this regimen for a while now, and I am almost completely clear again (except, of course, for the red marks). This is what I do.

Morning:

Cleanse with Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar

2.5% bp gel over face

Noncomedogenic facial moisturizer (SPF 15)

Oral: 75mg zinc gluconate

Night:

Cleanse with Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar

2.5% bp gel over face, shoulders, and back

Noncomedogenic facial moisturizer (SPF 15)

Oral: 100mg minocycline

My doctor prescribed the minocycline to speed the recovery from the breakout I mentioned. I don't know what the side effects of long term usage are, though, so I hope to weed it out of my regimen once I am clear. Does anyone have information regarding long term minocycline issues? It has worked very well for me in the past, but I have never taken it for more than a couple of months for fear that it might weaken my immune system.

Hopefully by keeping this log I can encourage myself to stick with the regimen I've outlined long enough for my red marks to diminish and fade away. I deserve better skin, and damn it, I will have better skin. Acne, as of this moment, we are at war.

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Not feeling so great today. My hair's dried out and frizzy, and my face is still peppered with red marks and a few diminishing pimples. On top of that, I'm a little sick to my stomach. I'm guessing it's from the zinc tablets. It doesn't bother me too much. I dealt with stomach ulcers for a year and a half; surely I can deal with a bit of nausea, right? I should think that an improvement in my skin condition is worth a few tiny discomforts.

But nausea or none, I have to go out tonight. I'm not looking forward to it. Sometimes I wish I could just postpone all social activity until I can go out looking like I should. Oh well. I can't let my skin and hair run my life, can I?

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I did go out last night, and I did have fun, but just in time for my nocturnal adventures, two angry pustules popped up on my right cheek. They had been festering there before I started my regimen in earnest, so their appearance now was no surprise. Still, I wasn't too happy to see them. I've managed to resist the temptation to pop them so far, so hopefully they won't last too long.

Other than that, I'm clearing up. Slowly.

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I can say one good thing about the skin on my back: it's tougher than Stonewall Jackson. So I changed up my regimen just a little bit. Every morning and every night I now use St. Ive's medicated Apricot Scrub on my back and shoulders before I apply the BP. So far there hasn't been any irritation, and already, my back is clearer than it has been for a long time.

My face is making significant progress. The red marks are fading away, and though I still have a few active areas on my forehead, they're very small. I'm cutting back on the moisturizer on my forehead because I can never succeed in drying it out. I used 10% BP on it every day with no moisturizer and there was never a single flake. I think I can handle 2.5%.

So I'm in a pretty good mood today. :)

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Okay. I had a small cyst develop to the left of my nose. I was a good boy: I left it alone and let the antibiotics take care of it. That's what I was supposed to do, right?

Well, after about two weeks, a small scab forms where the cyst used to be. The cyst itself wasn't there anymore. The scab falls off, and what am I left with?

A scar. A lovely scar right where everyone can see it. No hair will hide this one.

Fuck.

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Okay. I've got a prescription for 10mg of Accutane twice daily. This seems like a pretty low dosage... Will it do anything for me? I weigh 135lbs.

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This is my skin when it's almost clear. There are still nodules and pustules on my forehead and around my sideburns, but I can never get rid of those no matter what I do. During a bad breakout, most of my face falls under attack. I don't have any pictures of the cysts and junk on my back, but oh well.

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

You can actually see a very light sprinkling on my shoulders. From there on down, it goes straight to hell:

IPB Image

These pictures show me when I'm as clear as I've ever gotten. Perhaps I can look back on these one day and think about how horrible my skin looks in comparison to its present condition. Here's hoping.

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