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Treatment descriptions, results for my persistent (and worsening!) adult acne

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I'm a 23 year old female who has not had a day without acne for 10 or more years. Like many people, I labored under the misconception that as I aged my acne would infallibly disappear. Of course it didn't, and has even gotten worse of late. I just cannot look in the mirror and feel even mildly good about my appearance. It's a bit psychologically painful to walk about and see not only adults, but teenagers with perfect or at least good skin and, after trying as many treatments as I have with no success, it's hard not to feel frustrated and even helpless at times.

The goal of this blog is to keep track of my treatments (past, present, and future) and their efficacy rates. If it helps other people find good ways to deal with their acne then I'll be a happy camper, but if nothing else it's a way for me to keep track of the remedies I've researched, how/when I've applied them to my own case, and the effects.

So, to start off with, here's what I've tried in the past and the results:

Round 1: Tetracycline (oral antibiotic) 2x per day EFFECTS: Minimal to none.

Round 2: Tetracycline (oral antibiotic) 2x per day in conjunction with the following topical products: Retina-A Gel EFFECTS: Horrible, Retina-A was far too harsh for my skin which is very light and sensitive. It made me peel excessively and I had to discontinue use.

Round 3: Tetracycline (oral antibiotic) 2x per day in conjunction with the following topical products: application (day and night) of Clindamyacin antibiotic gel and 5% benzoyl peroxide. EFFECTS: Minimal effects with marked drying out of the skin.

Round 4: Doxycycline (oral antibiotic) 2x per day in conjunction with the following topical products: applicatin (day and night) of Clindamyacin antibiotic gel and nighttime application of Tretinoin gel EFFECTS: Minimal. I think the Doxycycline helped a bit whereas the Tetracycline was a complete waste of time. However, the Tretinoin gel was even worse then the Retina-A. I used Tretinoin on my skin one time and peeled for a week, my skin was red, raw, and it hurt a lot so I had to discontinue use.

Here's what I'm trying now:

1.) Doxycycline (oral antibiotic) 2x per day

2.) Proactiv Solution (3-piece system, 2 applications per day)

3.) 5% Benzoyl peroxide gel/cream. I use this overtop the proactiv lotion on really problematic areas--areas with very large blemishes that the proactiv doesn't seem to be fighting off well.

4.) 100% Aloe Vera gel. I put this over top of the Proactiv lotion and the 5% benzoylperoxide gel as a natural moisturizer since the proactiv and benzoyl dry out my face otherwise. Aloe is another one of those natural remedies (like green tea) thought by some to not only reduce swelling and redness, but actually treat acne.

5.) Honey mask (plain honey with the contents of a decalf green tea + lemongrass tea bag) applied to face 1 time per day for 15 minutes [before applying proactiv, benzoyl, or aloe.] (Note: honey is supposed to contain a natural antibiotic, it's also a mosturizer. Green tea is supposed to reduce inflammation, swelling, and redness and some people swear by it as an important part of their acne treatment--as a component of facial masks and by drinking it often throughout the day.)

6.) At least 2 cups of Green Tea per day (see above for explanation)

7.) Olay Regenerist daily mini peel (Note: I've read that mini facial peels are not only good for removing dead, flakey skin caused by acne treatments, but that by removing the surface layer of the skin it helps get rid of acne and acne scarring. Olay Regenerist's product is incredibly mild, I want something more hardcore to remove the skin more efficiently, so soon I'll be trying another product I recently ordered...more to follow).

I've been doing portions of this regimen (the Doxycycline and aloe for 2months, the proactiv and benzoyl for 1month) for a while now, but other apsects I've included within the last few weeks as I've gotten progressively more frustrated and attempted to seek out alternative options. I've been using the honey mask, green tea, and mini facial peels for a week now. So, I still have a good amunt of waiting to do to see if I get any real results. As I get results or change/update my treatment regimen I'll make a new posting.

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