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January 2014



I remember when I was in 3rd grade I had a pimple and I remember my sister asking my mom "isn't she too young to get that?" Than by 5th grade my whole forehead was filled with them, people would always pick on me about it and tell me to wash my face, as if they had any idea. It hadn't really bothered me much at the time, I figured it was just a phase and it would go away as I got older, but I had no idea how much worse it would get. I'm almost 26 and dealing with the worst of it, I notice it gets worse during the winter months when it's cold outiside. But all in all, it's always there. Like I mentioned it started on my forehead than around age 20 it moved to my cheeks and now it's mostly on my chin, the horrendous thing about it is I ALWAYS have atleast 10 at a time under my skin, when one goes away, another one shows up, and usually accompanied by another scar. I've tried almost everything, from the fish oils, to the honey masks, I've tried proactive and Paula's choice, which both worked for a couple months, than stopped working. Ive spent money to go a dermatologist with hopes that she would be able to help, just to hear her say that acne is hereditary and there's nothing that anyone could do about it. I've tried changing my diet by cutting dairy and gluten out which is incredibly difficult. But even then it was still there. A lot of people tell my to try accutane, that scares me a lot, my cousin was on it and her skin got worse than got better, than got worse again, not to mention the mood swings and depression she fell in to, and the fact that she couldn't get pregnant after, and all of that just so it could come right back.

I'm engaged to an amazing man who definitely looks past my acne, I wish I could be more confident for him but I feel that no body understands. If anyone else I know were to wake up with my skin problems, they would cry and not leave the house, but I guess since I had mine all my life I should just be used to it? Although I have come to the realization that it's just something that I will struggle with for most of my life, it's still saddens me to know that I will never be able to feel comfortable without makeup on and I'll never be able to feel what it's like to just have nice, smooth glowing skin.

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I was like you. I was covered in cysts and tiny pustules. The breakouts were constant and both physically and emotionally scarring. I tried many different medications, Retin-A Micro (worked a little), benzoyl peroxide, helped immensely. Nothing got my skin smooth until I started amoxicillin. I want you to try it. amoxicillin is a powerful antibiotic perfectly suited to Propionibacterium acnes is the relatively slow-growing, typically aerotolerant anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium (rod) linked to the skin condition acne.(see Wikipedia, It works better than other antibiotics like doxy and minocin. I know you had a bad experience with a dermatlogist. All I can say about that is try someone else. There are many dermatologists and I am sure you can find one willing to treat your skin condition. I had a bad experience with a dermatologist once. She prescribed me a mere 40mg of minocycline per day. She told me it wasn't to kill the bacteria but rather to reduce the swelling. Needless to say it did not work and I ended up filling an ethics complaint against her. Her name is Jennifer Dick in Minnesota where I reside. Ask for amoxicillin by name and ask for tretinoin and ask for benzaclin. Be adamant that you need all of them. Thats what I did. I tried a variety of medications and now I am on an exhaustive regimen, but guess what? I no longer have acne. A few pimples a month and they heal quickly and are never cysts anymore. Clarity is possible. Try also, in addition to amoxicillin look at differin, duac/benzaclin, ziana (clindamycin plus tretinoin). Never give up! P.S. Check out my blog to see my "before" and "after" pics. You'll be amazed!

One more thing, cephalexin is equally effective as amoxicillin. But ask for 500mg 3 times per day for both. Twice a day isn't enough. Peace!

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I am so sorry for your troubles - please stay away from the accutane. It is especially bad for women. Be carefully what docs will sell you as long as you are in your child-bearing years. Your overall health is most important. You mentioned that you've tried some things that worked for a while, then stopped. Acne treatments do have that plateau effect as bacteria are great at surviving and will adapt to a treatment. When that happens try to switch to another one to keep the bacteria "guessing", then you can switch back. I have seen some people have good effect with topically applied gel prescriptions that contains an antibiotic. One of them is Duac -- it is very expensive though. Sometimes just a good OTC acne treatment can do as well for you as it keeps the exfoliation going every day (salicylic acid), with a natural, non-comedogenic moisturizer. You also mentioned that your acne is better in the summer -- have you considered taking up swimming during the winter? Swimming is obviously not an acne treatment, but the pool can be very bacteria-killing, and for me it is amazing how much better my skin is when I work out in the pool! It's not a cure, but could be just a little extra help. Also, just as an aside, I personally believe that benzoyl-peroxide and harsh treatments caused some of my scarring -- so unless it really helps a lot, consider staying away from it as much as you can. Dark marks will fade away in time, deeper scars can be removed with a peel at some point, if you so chose. The most important thing is that you protect your overall health -- I am sure that you are beautiful! Keep trying!

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