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hope this helps:

ADVICE FROM AN ACNE "VETERAN"

I was looking though the posts and some of you are so young and I feel your pain. But some of the things you are trying will NOT work for moderate or severe acne and you are wasting time and money! Plus, I am someone who was OBSESSED with my skin, the slightest imperfections drove me wild, so I went overboard on spending money and time on medications, products, anti-biotics and peels - even laser. And I'm only 26. Here's what I learned.

1. If I could go back to high school, when it started, I would NEVER, EVER pick or pop pimples, unless they were well on their way. There is only one way to do this - and I only learned afterwards - remember - popping and picking is a TEMPORARY FIX that will lead to scarring. STAY STRONG! If you get a pus filled zit put a warm compress on it until the skin is soft...use 2 q-tips or put your fingertips in soft tissue on either side of pimple and squeeze GENTLY. NEVER with your bare fingers or it might slip and scar face (if you notice, facilists do this technique too - with the tissue). If skin doesnt pop its not ready, so DONT force it, or it will scar. Your skin is trying to tell you something - listen to it!

2. ANY EXTREME TEMPERATURE- hot or cold- is NO GOOD FOR SKIN! Skin should be washed NO MORE THAN 2 times a day - yes, even those with oily skin. You do NOT want to strip your skin of it's natural oils. Many docs say once is enough, at night. Overwashing (though you think you're doing a good thing) , hurts the skin. Im not saying anything new here, but it may be news to some of you. In the morning a rinse with TEPID, LUKEWARM water is best. At night, use a cleanser (stay away from bar cleansers - they contain wax - no good for acne). Use something oil free (duh) and ALCOHOL FREE (yes, even those with oily skin!) And if you catch yourself obsessively scrubbing your face mindlessly in the mirror- stop! You are aggravating skin. Be GENTLE. P.S Cut down the hot baths. Aside from aggravating acne, heat ages the skin. and STEAMING FACE? Keep it to a bare minimum.

2. ACCUTANE Is the ONLY drug that worked for me. I cannot say it is right for you because although it is the strongest acne med out there (and proven), it has side effects (1% have serious ones - like depression, and forget taking it if your pregnant). BUT - if doxy/tetra/erythro, etc have not worked (and we all know Cleoctin-T, retin-A, differen, etc rarely "cure" acne for those who have it bad), Accutane is a sure fire way to nip it in the bud. Sometimes more than one treatment is needed (happened to me - I needed 2) but I have not gotten a pimple in YEARS aside for the occasionaly tiny one, like once in a blue. My side effects were common - dryness - in the nose and lips. BIG FREAKING DEAL. My friend says "But Im scared to go on Accutane". Hell, she's been living for acne for YEARS!!! IS that the better solution? And remember the percentage of negatives, though there, is small.

3. VITAMAN E DOES NOT HEAL SCARS!! there is no medical evidence based on this. Vitman E softens the skin - preventing slower healing, so putting it on new scars is actually detrimental. Old scars, sure, if it makes ya happy. New scars? You're better off using Neosporin or Aquaphor - Vaseline even. Every doc has told me a patient must stay away from Vitman E (oral and topical) if they are healing from any kind of plastic surgery because it hinders the healing, rather than aid it. As for acne scars - not helping.

4. DO NOT GO ON PRODUCT OVERLOAD! Less is more. And I hate to say it, but if topcial products are not working for you, you have a more stubborn case of acne and you need something oral. WHY ARE YOU WAITING? Stop trying to figure out what causes acne - you have it, and you know if its the normal teenage zit, or if you have a case of ACNE. If you just had hormonal flareups here and there, you would not be on this board. Lets not beat around the bush here. Once you have acne vulagris (medical term) or cystic acne, you need to treat it PROPERLY. Cutting out fried foods isnt going to cure it. Most products ofer the same s--t, different packaging and prices. Dont waste your money on expensise s--t. TRUST ME, I did it!!!! Good stuff is a luxury, and it feels good, but its no better for your skin then the $8 similar stuff you buy at the drugstore. Ive been to so many dermatologists and have done so much research - I am not pulling this out of my a-s.

5.PEELS. Ive had them. What would you like to know. I can tell you that anything less than a 70% Glycolic (meaning 30%, etc) is "like putting piss on your face" - as my derm fondly put it. The acid content is so low it does nothing but a quick little perk-me upper. Peels and microdermabrasion have no long term effects and do not alter your skin, though some claim they "soften scars". Use your judgement.

6. RED MARKS FROM ACNE. Ah yes. They do fade. Up to 6 months, it takes. Sorry.

7. LEAVING ACNE UNTREATED --ESPCIALLY if you develop nodules (cyst-like acne) can SCAR YOUR SKIN - (yes, even if you dont pick it) if its left untreated. You need a strong, probably oral med. You can research that one yourself if you dont believe me. This is a deeper "wound" to the skin and if you have nodules or cysts you are doing your skin a GRAVE DISSERVICE if you dont see a derm asap.

8. LASERS.
Ive had Erbium for my tiny slight acne scarring. I spent $3000 and it didnt do a damn thing except leave me like a burn victim for a week, now I have slight red marks from the laser that will fade in - yup - up to 6 months. My derm told me not to - it wouldnt do anything for me, espcially young skin, but I was obsessed and went to another a-hole who did it. Oh well, now you know. ALWAYS get a second and even third opinion when doing something that costly.

9. The best way to prevent scarring is to prevent acne flareups and I swear, Accutane was a godscend. Look into it. Acne is a devasting thing and can run self esteem and lives!!! I hope this all helped. I truly speak from experience, and from questioning doctors, reading books and research!





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