New Member! My skin as of 8/2013

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These are photos of my skin in its present state. I've been back on taking 50 mg of Spiro each day ( I was temporarily off the meds for roughly a week and a half to two weeks because the prescription ran out and my dermatologist was on vacation and unavailable >:{ ). I've been using Cetaphil for a week because I thought it might calm my skin and redness down, (previously was just using Simple brand exfoliating scrub), moisturizing with Eucerin, and at night I apply BP to acne (tried switching to just Neutrogena 2.5% instead of Acne Free 10% to try and decrease the dry skin I was experiencing). I also occasionally apply a sulfur spot treatment on top of BP when I am desperate to get rid of pimples over night (bad idea, I know). I've been experimenting with a cucumber peel off mask, also because I thought it might calm my skin- I don't see any specific results with this though.

Basically I've been taking the 50 mg of Spiro since late April 2013, and throughout May, June, and most of July I had dramatically improved skin- very few active pimples, and my skin actually felt smooth if I ran a hand across my cheek- for years now I would dread doing that, it was so bumpy! So yeah, Spiro was doing great things, but then I started to try and fix my hyperpigmentation- I've tried Garnier's Dark Spot Corrector, which really didn't do much (had been using it since maybe last October), then I tried a 2% Hydroquinone cream, which only dried out my skin, then I started using Olay's microdermabrasion and lactic acid peel system, which exfoliates really well, but also seems to make me break out. Long story short, I am probably trying waaaayyyy too many different treatments, and my lack of tracking how they affect my skin is just leaving me so confused as to what is making the situation worse. Hopefully after a month of being on Spiro again things will get better, if not perhaps I'll talk to my dermatologist and see if 100 mg a day would be better. I also stopped taking birth control around the beginning of July because the prescription ran out. Most likely I'll just have to try and get back to my hometown to see my primary care doctor and get back on the birth control.

That's the technical aspect of my skin condition/routine/lack thereof for routine. I've had mild to severe acne since roughly junior year of high school, and now I am 21 yrs old. I'm terrified that my skin is always going to be this bad, that I will never grow out of this like so many fortunate people have. I really don't want to spend the next 20-30 years of my life taking and experimenting with acne medications and over the counter treatments. I'm tired of feeling like the only way I can step outside is with makeup on, and even then being dissatisfied with what I see. My family and friends always tell me I'm pretty, and I wish I could believe them, but all I see are the imperfections. I've visited this website for a long time, but only now have i decided that it would be wise to seek advice and support from people who suffer the same issues that I do- its all good and well to have family and friends tell you that you look nice, but many of them don't know what it feels like to struggle this much with acne. I am tired and frustrated with my skin. Hopefully joining this website will help me to be more diligent about tracking my progress with the meds, and seeing what treatments do and do not work for me.
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