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Can't Seem To Get Anywhere At All.

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Hey guys, so I'm a 19 year old guy and a Sophmore in college and I am absolutely over having acne on my face. It's really starting to mess me up emotionally. I have had moderate acne (Cysts, whiteheads, and blackheads on my forehead, jawline, temples, chin, nose, and upper lip) for 6 years and I feel like my skin has not been positively affected by anything I have tried since day 1.

Below is a list of things I've tried and their result. Any suggestions or advice would be awesome. By the way I am very strict about not missing my regimen and I lead a healthy lifestyle and take daily multivitamins. Also I didn't just try these treatments for a couple days and throw them out when nothing happened, I really stuck with each one for AT LEAST a few weeks to see if they helped at all. Here we go:

Started at age 14 with a Neutrogena 3 step regimen using Salcylic acid cleanser, BP lotion, and a SPF moisturizer.

Results: Extremely drying and irritated. Didn't clear me up at all. Dryness just made my skin secrete more oil.

Next, Proactiv 3 step system. Similar effect. Didn't see much improvement.

Acne-Free. Similar to Proactiv- 3 step cleanser, toner, BP cream. Same thing. Irritating and made me nice and pasty white looking. Didn't help with acne.

Carley's Clear & Smooth scrub plus a SPF moisturizer. I really wanted this one to work. It made my skin feel velvety soft after cleansing, but the exfoliating walnut scrubbing ingredient became too much for my skin and the BP didn't handle the acne very well.

At this point I started to think that BP just wasn't ever going to work for me.

Started changing my pillowcase every night, stopped touching my face, cut my hair so it was out of my face, pat dried my face with a clean towel after cleansing, those kinds of things. Helped a tiny bit.

Bought a Zeno Acne Clearing Device. Seemed to reduce existing acne really well but didn't stop new ones from forming. Couldn't keep it under control.

Went to a dermatologist. Was prescribed Benzaclin and Differin as well as antibiotics to clear me up quicker. Used them with Burt's bees Soap bark cleanser and Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 15 moisturizer. These worked wonders for about a year and a half, then the prescriptions completely stopped working and acne came back worse then ever. Also they really messed up my skin tone making me really pale and blotchy.

Stopped the prescriptions and tried to reduce my regimen down to just a barebones cleanser and SPF moisturizer. I was really tired of the irritation and sun sensitivity.

Tried Burt's Bee's Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub (Salcylic Acid) and Aveeno Positively Radiant SPF 15. Switched to Burts Bees all natural Shampoo. Still was breaking out like crazy.

Tried 2 of Burt's Bees Natural Toners. Didn't help.

I thought ok, it must be the hormones from the dairy products I'm eating. So I cut out all dairy. Cleared me up for really well for a few days then I broke out again and then again and again and it was clear it wasn't working.

I have pretty bad allergies to dust and pollen so I thought maybe a daily antihistamine will clear my acne. Took Claritin 24 hour daily plus benadryl before bed every night. No improvement.

Tried vitamins too.

Started drinking 8-16oz of Carrot juice a day getting around 400-800% Vitamin A (beta carotene)

Then I added:

Vitamin C w/ rose hips 500 mg 4x a day

Zinc 50 mg per day

360mg omega 3 3x per day

20ml of aloe vera juice taken orally 2x a day

Skin tone improved a lot. No effect on acne.

I read on here about vitamin B5 and how it worked wonders for some people.

Worked my way up to 10 grams a day.

Decreased oil drastically, didn't stop pimples from forming.

Started drinking loads and loads of water every day. Improved skin tone. Still getting acne.

Maybe my diet still isn't adequate enough. Went fully vegan. Eating mostly vegetables, fruit ,and nuts with some whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta. Ate a LOT of tomatoes and spinach which are supposed to help with acne. Cut out most sugar and greasy food. Switched from soy milk to almond milk. Stopped drinking coffee. Switched to one cup of green tea per day instead. Still breaking out really bad after 6 weeks of being vegan. *Sigh.*

Tried to eat as many low glycemic index foods as possible or mixed high GI foods with low GI foods. Didn't notice a difference.

Maybe my exfoliating scrub is too irritating. Switched to Dr. Bronner's Organic Pure Castille soap with tea tree oil. Used that on my body hair and face as my only skin product. Used a tiny bit of moisturizer when needed. Face doesn't feel tight and dry after washing anymore. Still getting acne.

And here I am today. Hundreds of dollars out of pocket and my face looks just as bad. I am currently still taking the vitamins listed above except for fish oil. I added a vitamin D supplement a couple days ago and started doing a daily raw honey mask with cinnamon once a day so we'll see if that helps.

The only thing I can think of that could still be the culprit are stress and maybe hormones, but I'm a college student so to a point, stress not really negotiable. It can't be excess oil because the B5 got rid of all my excess oil and I'm still breaking out. I'm thinking maybe my liver needs detoxing, but I've been told that my mostly vegetable and fruit vegan diet will detox me pretty well. I've also read maybe something could be wrong with my thyroid?

I am thinking maybe trying broccoli pills or liquid chlorophyl as I have read they may have some effect.

But all in all, I am stumped and extremely frustrated. I certainly have the discipline to keep up a solid regimen, but it hasn't ever paid off. I believe I am a very good looking guy behind this acne and would do anything to make it go away. If you made it through this whole post I applaud you and would love to hear your responses and words of wisdom. Thanks guys.

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You're using too many different products. My advice, stick to one product. you can't just use a product and give up on it because it's not showing improvement. It takes time for a product to actually work and clear up acne. see your dermatologist

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Yeah. In the second paragraph I stated that I stuck with each treatment for at least a few weeks to see improvement before deciding if it was working or not.

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Judging from the hefty list of products you've mentioned, I'm going to go ahead and assume you're pretty seasoned in treating your acne. I also can't recommend much, seeing as how you've gone through almost every class of medications used to treat acne. As such, I'm wondering if you've heard of Accutane, and whether or not you'd consider yourself a candidate for it.

Accutane (AKA isotretinoin, cis-13 retinoic acid) is an oral retinoid indicated for the treatment of servere, nodular or persistent (treatment-resistent) acne. Though it's most known for its effect as a teratogen (causing birth defects in pregnant women), isotretinoin has a pretty broad spectrum of side effects (not an all-inclusive list):

  • Xerosis (dry skin)

  • Epistaxis (nose bleeds)

  • Raised liver enzymes

  • Cheilitis

  • Eczema

  • Fatigue

  • Arthralgia (join pain)

  • Myalgia (muscle pain)

  • Mood changes

  • Alopecia (hair loss)

  • Conjunctivitis ("pinkeye")

  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)

  • Impaired night vision

  • Back pain

You'd have monthly blood tests (to monitor liver function), as well as monthly visits with your doctor (the maximum prescription quantity is one month's worth, with no refills). All said, it's a very potent drug able to produce long-term remission ("cure") of acne in upwards of 90% of its users, but there is the very present possibility for permanent side effects (basically, any of the above). It's a decision to be made between you and your GP/dermatologist weighing the potential for clearance and the potential for permanent side effects.

Sorry I can't be of much more help, but I wish you the best of luck in fighting this. smile.png

"Now I've done it. There's urine everywhere."

Just another loud-mouthed prevaricator. The Kardashians are real, relatable, educated, and hard-working.

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Hi Steinway2000,

I know too well how it feels to try everything without any success. Not only you are stuck with the acne and sometimes the skin even gets worse, painful, dry etc..

I can only recommend the product I am using right now. after I tried pretty much all the OTC & common prescription acne solutions, I decided to look for something more natural and non aggressive for my sensitive skin. I discovered Dermify, an organic acne solution on Amazon, read the reviews and gave it a try. I thought, at least, I would not expose my skin to any more chemicals. I have been surprised and pleased to see how well it works. After 6 weeks, my skin was pretty clear. Give it a try, it might be just what you need. Hope that helps, merry christmas!

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