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My Story So Far, Treatments And Prescriptions, Regime. How Can I Improve My Stubborn Acne? Warning, It's Long.

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I've had mild to moderate acne for 6 years now (first started appearing at 11, I'm almost 16 now). When I first wanted help I got it from my family doctor who recommended benzac AC wash and prescribed Eryacne. She eventually had me on short antibiotic courses and birth control Levlen. She recently left her practice and recommended me a dermatologist (she was going to anyway, my acne got to the point where it wasn't responding to her treatments).

I never had deep, painful cystic acne (I had a few spots like that, but that wasn't the acne I had- if that makes sense)

My main problem is whiteheads. My forehead was always covered in them! There wasn't a smooth spot on my forehead for a long time. I get big pustules every now and then, but they usually become less noticeable with in a week. But these whiteheads are so stubborn! I have stubborn blackheads too but they are in less numbers and are less noticeable then the whiteheads. My skin type is oily but gets very sensitive as a result of treatments I've used.

What the dermatologist had me on- she changed my birth control to Estelle 35, but me on a short antibiotic course (7 days, can't remember the brand), prescribed epiduo, had me use Eryacne for a spot treatment (which I believe my skin has stopped responding to) an alcohol based wash for my chest and back (which has worked wonders! no chance of me stopping this) and had me only use cetaphil gentle face cleanser and mosturizer.

About a month ago I stopped using epiduo- it helped a lot with my acne (didn't clear it up completely, but made me clearer then I've been in a long time) but made my general skin so much worse! My face was very pale (and I'm tan skinned so it stood out) very red toned, extremely sensitive, photosensitive, made my skin very weak, my skin looked dull (and I have oily skin so that's saying something.. But yes my skin was still oily) and it made every little spot leave a Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation mark, and they stuck around for ages! Once I found out that all these could be contributed to epiduo, more specifically- benzoyl peroxide, and also the long term effects such as early aging and the fact it generates free radicals in the skin, I stopped use immediately.

My skin since stopping-

The Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks have faded significantly.

My face skin tone is starting to match the rest of my body.

My face has sort of regained its glow

My face is still fairly sensitive, for about 30 minutes after washing my face in the morning it looks sort of red and patchy.

But I'm breaking out in little bumps (whiteheads) on my forehead (down to the sides of my face near where my eyebrows and), the inside of my cheeks, a few little ones on my nose tip/sides, my chin and upper lip. So pretty much everywhere. I've even got a few whiteheads on my neck, and I never even used it on my neck?

I'm going back to the dermatologist tomorrow, what treatment do you guys recommend I should try to get? I really want to clear up my face but I don't want to ruin my skin more than the BP already has. I know it would be too much to ask for but something that won't make me heaps red and peely is what I'm after. Or too photosensitive. I'm trying to get it under control by myself, but in going to get a prescription because its hard to get a appointment with this dermatologist, and it's expensive. But I just started on zinc supplements so I'm going to give them a month or so and if I see no results and my acne is still a problem I'll get the prescription. Any recommendations ? Or tips to rid of it myself? As I said, my acne isn't too bad but it's just so stubborn!

What I do at the moment-

I take very good care of myself and my skin in particular.

I take 5 tablets everyday- Estelle birth control, caltrate calcium supplement (I'm lactoast intolerant), and a fish oil tablet when I first wake up. A cranberry plus vitamin C tablet with breakfast (I get frequent UTI's) and my zinc supplement 2 hours after my last meal.

Since I'm lactoast intolerant I hardly consume any dairy so I can't contribute my acne to dairy.

I'm gluten intolerant so I cut gluten out of my diet entirely.

I drink at least 1 cup of green tea everyday, eat plenty of Veges and can sometimes be slack with fruit (I don't like eating fruit when it's bad weather- don't ask why I don't know).

I use cetaphil wash morning and night, wash my face with salty water (sea water) at least twice a week. After my nightly shower I use pure lemon juice as a toner (never overuse it though). I use emu oil on my face every night (I've used it for a long time and it's not the cause of my breakouts). I use sweet almond oil under my eyes 3 times a day (morning, when I take off makeup- usually not long after school unless I have plans, and night) I use a little bit of jojoba oil of my face in the morning. I use palmers skin success eventone face cream on my prominent hyperpigmentation marks usually once but sometimes twice a day. To spot treat I have a few products I use (I mix them up to keep my skin regime sort of fresh) acv, tea tree oil, Eryacne, lemon juice, calamine lotion, aloe vera gel, medical honey, witch hazel and crushed aspirin mixed with something from the above list.

Every two weeks or so I use a clay mask.

The make up I use is nude by nature mineral makeup and I've used it for years, it has never made me breakout or anything. It allows my skin to breath also- I love it!

Yes I have mild OCD so I have to follow this regime in a certain order every night otherwise I can't handle it. So what I'm saying is I'm very consistent.

I slack of on sunscreen unless Im outside without makeup or outside all day in the sun with makeup on etc. at the beach or on holidays as I'm yet to find my ideal sunscreen.

Sorry it's so long!

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lemon juice as toner is not good according to me.

u can use green tea toner or some people use acv(it doesnt suit all,but many or most find it good).

have lots of water(i dnt think u mentioned that.sorry if i missed it.)

a good multivitamin with zinc supplement(plus things like folic acid,nicotinamide etc) is usually good.

zevit was prescribed to me by my doc.

its got vit b-complex(i am not giving ur the exact measurements)+vit c+ zinc sulphate(plus folic acid etc)

as for wash,i always thought cetaphil is for dry skin.

i dnt know why so many ppl use it..may be because its not!am not sure abt that.

but a low% bha wash helps with whiteheads and tiny bumps to a certain extent.

its suppose to keep u kinda dry,unclog pores,and remove the dead layer of skin on top.also is suppose to haste the fading process of PIH.

wash ur face twice - once when u get up and 2ndly before bed.

sunscreen is a must when outside.

i use one called melagard 50+.

my derma prescribed me that.(and i've heard many dermas do).

i think its good for its got both physical and chemical block but i makes me look so oily/shiny.

am not sure why?

i'll keep a track by varying the amount i use.

remove dairy(if u still have not).

sugar(if u still have not)

try things once at a time or eliminate things the same way.stretch for one month and see if it does have any effect.

then move on to next step.

specially when it comes to meds or diet.

go through the diet and holistic living forum to get a fair idea.

i think u do a lot of thing all at a time.

give it a rest.

its ur skin.

go slow.

let ur skin breathe.

organic and natural stuff are good but even they are products u know.

piling up so many things will not u do any good,in fact some things like lemon juice is bad for some ppl including me.

if u r not intolerant to it,good for pls dont over do things.

be gentle.

no make up doesnt matter how light it is,let u breathe.

so use it only when u need to.(am sure u do the same but am just adding it here.=))

also,i've recently heard that someone broke out after birth control...whereas most have been benefited by check for urselves.

from what u say,i think its helping u.

am not sure if i have missed anything.

Itchy red raised skin - dermatitis??

huge pores

indented scar

oils used for cooking

inflamed whiteheads & clogged pores

my balanced diet chart and skincare routine(medications taken & products used now)

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