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  1. Thanks for the replies. I wasn't serious about the accutane, but yeah, it's really hard to be 27 & have skin like this & it does make you want to do desperate things (skin grafts? face transplant? become a hermit?). I was on the antibiotics for almost a year, so I did give them a good try--but the very minimal results I experienced weren't worth the upset stomachs & headaches I was getting.
  2. My neck & chest/shoulders break out in the summer. Like, with my neck, it's really weird, because it's just BUMPY all over the sides & back. Sometimes the bumps become red & inflamed. Anyway, when that started up again last month, I started using Lush's Ocean Salt on my neck every morning. I had been using it on my chest & it was working fairly well, so I thought I'd give it a try. Within a few days, the big red pimples had dried out & my neck is definitely less bumpy.
  3. I'm wondering if anyone has experienced something similar to this -- I had pretty mild acne since my late teens (but prior to that, everyone always told me what wonnnnderrrful skin I had) that got progressively worse into my 20s. My dermatologist didn't really want to prescribe anything hardcore for me because he said I had mild acne. I finally got him to prescribe antibiotics because the acne I did get was cystic. The antibiotics totally messed with my system, so I stopped taking them, but a
  4. Just about all of my acne is cystic -- I never get whiteheads, it's always the major ones. In my experience, nothing over the counter has worked. You can ice them (which, again, doesn't do that much for me), but DEFINITELY don't squeeze or poke them. At this point, if you haven't tried prescription meds, you should definitely go to your primary care physician about it -- he or she can prescribe stuff for your skin & may be able to provide you with a referral to a dermatologist (if you h
  5. Hey, I'm on the Clenziderm for normal-to-dry skin too, but it's week 3 & my face is no better than before. Same amount of acne, but now in addition to that, my skin is really dry & flaky. I'm going to keep at it for a few more weeks before trying something else, though. Did the dryness go away for you? I'm thinking about switching to a more heavy-duty moisturizer than the one in the system, since that doesn't seem to be doing much for me. Actually, I'm wondering if it might be just
  6. I do -- I get pretty mild breakouts on my chest & back, and it seems to keep them under control. I rub it in until the salt dissolves. It smells amazing too. I had originally bought it to use on my face. DO NOT use it on your face! I had read about people saying it cured their acne, but it turned my face into a war zone. My face was so irritated that when sunlight hit my cheeks, it burned. I think it works better on my body because I don't get cysts or anything on my chest or back,
  7. Well, I'm 27, but I'll give you my opinion anyway -- you can take it or leave it. I've been using Obagi Clenziderm for sensitive/dry skin for 3 weeks now. In the pamphlets you get about their products, they show these wonderful results after week 2, but 3 weeks in & my skin is still a mess with huge cysts everywhere. My skin is dry already & getting to the point where it's starting to wrinkle a little bit (probably due to so many years of harsh acne products!), so I was concerned a
  8. Thanks for your help -- I guess I don't have ebola then, heh. I just wish my concealer could cover it -- it makes it turn a lovely shade of green. I don't know which is worse, a big green spot on my face or a big black one!
  9. This morning when I was putting on my make-up, I irritated an already inflamed & red pimple on my cheek. When I came home from work & washed my face, I noticed that it's black now. Is this normal?! What do I do? I'm afraid it's infected or something really horrible. I thought maybe there was blood inside or something, so I squeezed it (okay, maybe not the smartest idea), but it just hurt too much to keep trying.
  10. Thanks for all the advice. I tried doing the reverse strategy that Sephora talked about (powder BEFORE the concealer), but the cyst is just a scab at this point, so it still looked pretty scabby & weird. And when it gets to that point I have this, like, internal battle... I want to pull the scab off SO BADLY so I can cover it up, but I know that will only make things worse. But anyway, from now on when the cysts first come, I'm definitely going to do powder & foundation first. T
  11. Well okay, I know that salt stings open wounds. I guess what I was trying to get across is that it probably doesn't irritate pimples that haven't broken open yet, and that may be why it doesn't sting on those.
  12. I had the same problem last winter. Two things helped me, maybe they'd help you too? First: Experiment with different moisturizers. It took me FOUR before I found one that worked for me (Oil of Olay for sensitive skin). Second: Don't wash your face with really hot water -- just warm. I like taking REALLY hot showers, but my dermatologist told me that's a great way to totally dry out your skin. This winter, I haven't had nearly as many problems with the scaly, flaky skin (although it
  13. I tried it last night for the first time, so I guess I'm not really an expert on it. But it stung when I applied it to a cyst that had come to a head & was already open & nasty & whatnot. But when I applied it to ones that were just starting to form, I didn't feel anything. So, my guess is that it stings if it's like an open wound. Or maybe you just didn't add enough salt?
  14. I tried that salt thing & it seemed to shrink it a little bit -- but even better, I had two cysts (one on each cheek, how awesome) that were starting to form & now THOSE seem to be shrinking too, without ever coming to a head. Thanks for the tip!
  15. I just discovered these message boards. Yay! So now to my question. Is there a good way to cover up a cyst when it's gotten to the point where it's starting to dry up, the skin around it is peeling, etc? Or is it just better to leave it alone at that point? Because whenever I try to cover them up when they're at that stage, it ends up looking worse than had I just left it red, because the make-up gets all caked up in the peeling skin. But if I start peeling that stuff off, it bleeds (lovel