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Just wanted to let you all know what I did to clear up my skin and help get rid of minor scarring. I've accomplished so much in the past year.

After countless attempts at different creams and antibiotics to clear up my adult acne in the last 3-4 years I finally decided to seek help the holistic way. I decided it was best to see if I could help my body from the inside out clear itself up. Sure, it was expensive and it's not covered by medical insurance, but you'd all likely agree it's worth it. Dermatologists were not helping me, that's for sure. I saw a specialist in Contact Reflex Analysis (CRA) in Boston that determined where my internal weaknesses were. This may be best for acne sufferers who believe their acne is hormone based. When I went on the birth control pill it did clear up my skin, but because of negative side-effects, namely migraines, I had to stop. This may sound like hocus pocus to some of you the way she told me to hold up my arms up and then if she could push it down easily as she touched parts of my body, that determined I had a weakness inside me in that area of my body and she gave me herbal and dietary supplements that would restore my body on the inside. I had my doubts at first too, but hey, it worked!

Sure enough, after starting to take dozens of pills a day and after about two months I started seeing a difference. The reason you have to take so many pills (it will differ for each person depending on your imbalance) is that you take the same pills two or three times a day because they don't stay in your system as long as the synthetic prescription pills are made to. These are all natural. To keep them in your system you have to take them more often. It's been one year now and people would never know I had dealt with such a problem for about three years, trying everything I could. The tumor-like pimples that gnaw under your skin hurt the worst and take the longest to clear up. I had so many of those and now I hardly ever get them and generally only get a pimple here or there, usually around the time I get my period.

I still take one type of herbal pill twice a day without food to keep my system in-balance. I also put a little prescription Retin-A micro gel on occasional pimples or to prevent them when I know I'm getting my period. I did break out again for about a month in December (1 1/2 mths ago), but I attribute that to stress because I have gone back to college and that was when I had final exams. So I was under a lot of stress. I have gotten my skin back under control, thankfully. But I plan to see the CRA lady when I visit Boston this month for a kind of check up on my system. I think stress and antibiotics do a number on my system and thus my skin. I must add that even though I started with taking dozens (about 42 pills/day) I would see her about every two months and she'd lower the amount of pills I had to take as my system got better. As well, I personally was also on so many pills to balance my internal yeast problem, so that added to the number of pills. Once I was treating just the skin problem I was taking about 18 pills/day. Mind you, it was more or less the same 6 pills three times a day.

As far as clearing up old scars I would suggest TCA C.R.O.S.S. I've seen some of you talking about just the TCA peel, but this CROSS process I find is better for individual hole-like scars (boxcar scars). Instead of treating the whole face, only the individual scars are filled with TCA and at a much higher percentage, sometimes done at 100% TCA. 100% can be used because you're only treating individual spots, not the entire face that can't handle such high amounts and may be damaged. With TCA CROSS there's less chance of damage and much less down time. You look a little weird for about a week. Scabbing on the affected spots occurs and it looks a little like chicken pox (but I've never had chicken pox either, lol). I've seen great results from getting about 3 treatments of that. It costs a lot less than regular TCA too, because it only takes like 10 min in the doctorís office to do and doesn't use much TCA. I spent $100/treatment with a Dr. Pelle in Boston (Dermatologist). In San Diego I spent $200/treatment. I will have to get a couple again since I broke out a bit last December. In the meantime I also have found some success with a skin bleaching cream called EpiQuin Micro (hydroquinone USP 4%). There are other types, but I like this one because it absorbs well. It's not covered by health insurance and costs about $93/tube. You use it morning and night on the red spots and it makes them blend in with your skin over time.

I've used professional microdermabrasion, glycolic acid peels and all kinds of antibiotics (creams and pills) that were prescribed to me, but they were not good at getting rid of the zits or the scarring. I had good results with them at first, but then my body became resistant to the antibiotics and my skin seemed to get worse as a result. Plus, it's very bad for you to be on antibiotics for long periods of time. In the case of acne, antibiotic use is indefinite and thatís never a good thing. The CRA is a way of helping your body fix itself, not just clear up the symptoms. Acne is a result of imbalance in your body.

I would also like to add that I saw an endocrinologist that determined my hormone levels were normal. The holistic lady agreed, but said different parts of my body were working harder than others to produce the hormones and I needed to restore function to those areas that were not working right so that other parts that were working too hard could share less of the work load. Make sense? That's basically the gist of part of what she said. My skin over the years had slowly gotten worse and worse since graduating from college and the herbalist said that was a sign my body was weakening. Everything's connected in your body. As one system weakens it affects others creating a cascade/domino effect and over time your body gets worse and worse until you start reversing the cycle and fix it going backwards. Think of taking layer upon layer of blankets and then sheets off your bed until you get to the bottom sheet you originally started with. She fixed each layer starting with the top layer first and worked backwards. I know this can work because I am living proof it can. I really want to be of help to those of you suffering with acne. Try researching Contact Reflex Analysis online first. I've read chiropractors usually are the one who offer this service, but that's not who did it on me. Good luck!! :D
Those are very good questions, thanks for asking. I never had bad acne as a teenager like my siblings and other students did. I used some lotion occassionally growing up, but nothing much. Over the years, especially when I got out of college I started noticing I was breaking out more and more, and not just when I got my period. It was horrible timing because for those two years right after college I didn't have health insurance either. I thought once I had it I could see a dermatologist and s/he could fix everything. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. When I got health insurance I tried various things like Differin and other ointments then went to using antibiotics (different ones I can't remember). I think it was Tetracycline that helped me a lot, but I got terrible migraines from using it so had to stop. That's a known side-effect for some women using it. My skin seemed to rebel against these antibiotics and would get worse after initially getting better.

I never got acne on my body, just my face, mainly my cheeks and in particular my left cheek, weird. When I started getting the tumor-like pimples that grow under the skin and last for weeks and hurt really bad, I decided something was going wrong with me internally. I was afraid for my general health and wanted to help my body get better. I took acne to be a sign of ill health since I was an adult with it. That's why I went with the approach of trying to see where the health problem stemmed from, not just preventing the symptoms (i.e zits).

Ever since I was a teen I've been getting yeast infections as well. Over the years as my acne got worst so too did the frequency of my yeast infections. I would suggest if you take antibiotics to take acidophilus probiotic pills every day for a month to balance your system out again (get it in the drug store). The herbalist put me on a strict diet of no yeast, sugar and other restrictions for a month, plus I had to take lots of pills, in order to clear all the yeast out of my entire body. She said it cleared up my system of yeast problems, but I occassionally still have some problems, but less frequently. I think that's the case though because everytime you take antibiotics again you're screwing up your system a little. I'm on antibiotics now for two ear infections and so am taking acidophilus twice a day to counterbalance the effect, and will continue to take it after I'm done with the antibiotics. What happens is that antibiotics kill normal flora in your body that are good for you, causing your pH to go out of balance and yeast infections are allowed to grow. They can occur in your mouth, body, or private parts. I hope that helps and answers your questions.

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