Horrible acne: any hope for me?

I am 20 years old - almost 21 and ever since I was 13 I have had horrible acne problems. I have tried almost every acne treatment product under the sun.

I haven't tried proactiv yet because I had heard from a few people in my high school that they had very bad reactions to the product. But now that I'm nearly 21 and still am battling acne I'm getting close to just biting the bullet and trying proactiv.

Due to my many years of acne trouble I have my fair share of acne scars. I know acne scars are way less attractive on girls than they are guys but I haven't found any scar treatments that work either.

I wash my face twice a day and I moisturize it after washing. I have done this every day since I first started getting acne and yet I break out. Horribly. My friends my age, when they "break out," it's like 3 zits that go away within a week. When I break out I turn into full on pizza face - zits all on my chin, forehead, and cheeks and they stay... forever. They don't just go away, either. They leave scars. Even if I don't pop them or pick at them.

When did your acne breakouts subside? Did you have horrible acne? Is your skin clear now? Blemish free? Did it ever stop looking blotchy?

Do you know any acne scar treatments that are cheap enough that a 20 year old college student could afford them?

Any help is appreciated.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I don't know if accutane is still available due to all the lawsuits, and I remember not long ago it was a real pain to prescribe to anyone, so you might have a hard time finding a doctor who still will.

    All hope isn't lost though. Forget proactive; you don't need it. With it, you are mainly paying for the name brand and a bunch of other crap that doesn't work anyway. The active ingredient in it is benzyl peroxide, and if 10% is too strong for you then find a local pharmacy that will order you a 5%, and, if it's still too strong, then try 2.5%. Your skin will probably adjust after a while, so you might be able to move up in strength after a while. Use it 2-3 times a day, and it will clear your acne. To help with your acne scars, find or order a moisturizer that has AHA in it. It will smooth your skin and diminish the scars. Apply it twice a day. Ideally, you should apply the AHA 10-15 minutes after you shower (your pores are open and it's easier for your skin to absorb it).

    If you want to apply the benzyl peroxide before the AHA, then use the benzyl peroxide first and then after 10-15 minutes follow it with the AHA. All of this won't cost you much, and after a while will make a huge difference in your appearance. You'll be very surprised how effective this routine is.

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What Guys Said 9

  • I'm 25 and still deal with acne but mainly due to my medications. It used to be pretty bad but then I was finally able to see a Dermatologist that prescribed me some topical creams. And honestly, if you're still struggling, you should consult a Dermatologist. Everybody's skin is different so while one thing may work for someone, it may not work for the other person. Additionally, hormones can cause breakouts so it's not uncommon for anyone in their younger 20s or any age really to experience acne. If it's pretty severe, then definitely see a Dermatologist to find out what's best for youj.

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  • One word. Accutane. I used to have acne, it wasn't that bad but it was persistent and annoying and nothing really worked long term. But Accutane is like a nuke on acne and kills it for good usually. It actually changes the size of your pores so its kind of impossible for acne to live on your skin, or if a pimple does show up it goes away super fast.

    The bad part is that it has a lot of bad side effects, especially for girls. It takes 5-6 months of treatment for it to work and during those months you will have super dry skin and your lips will feel like they are about to fall off even if you use chapstick every hour. Oh and don't get pregnant or you'll have a mutant in your belly. For girls they make you go on birth control and have pregnancy tests every month.

    I think its worth it and the side effects went away for me after about a month of not taking it. And it also improves your complexion and makes you look super sexy.

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    • They'd make me go on Birth control and get pregnancy tests every month even though I'm a virgin? What kind of magic is this Accutane?

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    • Lol shit happens.

    • Not that shit. Lol not to me.

  • I know several people that swear by 'Proactiv' and highly recommend it to anyone struggling with acne problems. I, myself, have never used it since I only get the occasional break-out.

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  • Do you eat lots of peanut butter? I used to eat peanut butter sandwiches and I used to break out after, I stopped and they went away. If not, do you eat something similar that is fatty/oily on a regular basis?

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  • Have you tried acne. org products? Honestly the best products i have ever used i have only acne scars left and acne is all gone try this! Hope the best for you

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  • I had really bad acne too. I used "exposed skin care." It worked miracles and i do believe it is affordable for a college student. One package lasts around 6 months

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  • Accutane really worked for me. It has its downsides, but I'm happy with my results.

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  • Stay away from gluten. Believe it or not, hard road but it'll probably do the trick.

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    • I'm gluten intolerant. But I do sneak the occasional biscuit. So good and so worth the stomach pains :p but yeah... not worth the acne.

  • i wish i could show you what herbs to take. see, it all starts in the stomach, intestines.. and you have to clean them. if theyre clean. take on fruits and water.
    and only wash your face with water. most likely your mosturizer and soap is causing more harm than good.

    also, change your pillow case if needed. im sure you can google some homemade remedy... something to do with egg white.

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What Girls Said 10

  • Yeah just fix your diet up and get a good face routine. First we want to make sure you switch to a sulfate free shampoo as most companies put irritating sulfates which is the shit in laundry detergent and it can irritate your skin. Also make sure your body wash and facial cleanser doesn't have that. You want to stay as natural as possible when picking out a cleanser because natural products are better for your skin. Also get an exfoliation to help unclog your pores , I use the say yes to tomatoes brand. Also use a toner , I use diluted apple cider vinegar and a say yes to tomatoes moisturizer. Also occasionally steam your face and do a face mask , the Aztec Clay mask works best. Remember to eat relatively healthy most of the time and to drink lots of water as well

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    • I eat very healthy and drink only water. I get my 8 glasses of water a day and I work out and eat my greens and stuff and... nothing.

    • Then it might be your shampoo

  • I used Kiehl's Miracle recovery serum. It contains essential oils which act as antibacterial antiseptic agents. It costs about $44 a small bottle, but lasts 6 months.

    For really severe acne you may have to undergo 1-2 courses of oral antibiotic therapy (minocycline). You may have an underlying skin infections which is causing the persistent and widespread acne. The Dermatologist may also give you a topical antibiotic such as clindamycin lotion or a cream such as differin gel to help topically too.

    However for all these therapies, except Kiehl's, you will have to go to the doctor and get a script for it.

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  • I was watching a YouTube yesterday, this woman changed her diet by going on a raw diet, her skin was blotchy and on constant break outs.

    If you have sensitive skin, i wouldn't recommend proactiv because your skin will react badly to it.

    I usually get breakouts when i forget to apply moisturiser *sukin* after washing my face. a lot of cheap moisturisers have too much alcohol ingredients drying the skin than helping the skin not to. I'd recommend Neutragena. Keeps the skin moisturiser and i never gotten a break out. I'd stop using the brand because of the price.

    I make my own night moisturiser by adding vitamin C (powder)(Food grade) with aloe vera (grow in my garden), it smoothes over scars and and lighten dark blemishes. Mix these ingredients in a small tub and keep it in the refrigator to preserve the potency of it. Vitamin C oxidises quickly if exposed to air.

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  • I'll keep it short. I had the worst possible skin and nothing helped- not even proactiv. I found African black soap and it changed my life- my skin is nearly flawless. It's inexpensive and full of wonderful ingredients. It can be drying so I apply shea butter afterwards. Good luck!

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    • I should add it cleared up my acne, acne scars, eczema, and perioral dermatitis. All of which consumed my face!!

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    • Yes. And also make sure to use sunscreen because the sun darkens your scars.

    • did u change ur diet to reduce sodim sugar or meat with lots of fat such as pork and beef? or did u solely use that soap? and dou h ave a link for it

  • I've never really bothered with treatments i just put up with it but moisturizing won't help as your putting grease in your pores especailly straight after washing because the water opens your pore and then your pratically putting grease/oil into them and I've found a face wash called Freedom helps for white heads, blacks head you just have to pop x

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  • You need to go see a dermatologist and stop treating yourself.
    I go see one and there's prescriptions I need. Sounds like the case for you.

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  • Go on the pill!
    Acne can often be the result of an increased level of androgens, taking estrogen pills will help control hormone levels. In turn this will lower oil production and help with your acne.
    Also, remember not to pick at any pimples, don't attempt to pop them and try not to touch your face too often.
    Good luck (:

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    • What's the pill?

    • Birth control, a contraceptive but it's widely used for other purposes too.

    • Can't. I have a blood clotting disorder. Doctors say the pill will cause me to have a second stroke.

  • Try mixing a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil with Coconut Oil. Both are good for helping with acne, and natural. I have been putting this on my face for the past few weeks and it has helped my skin look amazing! Coconut Oil is an amazing thing, look it up!!

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  • Try aloe cream, try to stay way from acne creams they tend to burn your face and dry them out making your acne look worse then it really is. And wash you face only with water in the morning no soap and then at night time wash your face with your regular face wash since its been exposed to oil and dirt stuff like that and if you use make up try not to use it, it clogs your pores.

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  • Cut out all milk! it really does wonders.

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    • I don't drink milk except for maybe once a month...or should I cut out products that use milk as well?

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    • No more ice cream? Sad face lol okay. I'm willing to give it a go.

    • They make lactose free ice cream and milk that is pretty good actually.

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