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This was such a big issue to my esteem that I really want to share it with others. Acne is no longer keeping me from showing my face and doing the things I love.

I have suffered from some acne since I was in my 20s, and in 2000, in late 20s, I began getting huge cystic pustules on my chin and neck in addition to the annoying spots I typically suffered. Some doctors told me it was hormones, others claimed ignorance to the cause. My facialist told me that I just need to admit that my skin is incredibly sensitive and will react differently than most people to environmental factors.

My acne was very painful and looked like sores or very large pink bumps. Covering it with make-up created the look of a skin-colored BabyRuth bar. I tried over a decade of internal and external prescription antibiotics, hormones, gels and cleansers.

I am finally, finally clear!!!
My skin routine takes up a solid 10 minutes _every_ morning vs the struggle trying to cover my infections prior to work each day. If I fall off the wagon, I find them starting to form in about 3-4 days.

It's been years in coming, but what works for me is simple:
1) Wash with a 3% benzoyl peroxide cleanser each day - use it as directed - leave it on as long as the label instructs! Rinse well with cool water.
Consistency counts. Do this every day. (3% - Higher concentrations tended to overmedicate and dry out my skin.)

2) Wipe a toner all over your face to correct your facial pH about 1/2 hour after cleansing, once skin is good and dry.
I use one with aloe vera at $6 a bottle (by EarthScience) from the healthfood store. Moisturize with a bit non-clogging lotion if you find your skin begins to dry out or flake. I do mine at night, if necessary.

3) Give up sodas and as much sugar as possible - it made me more inflamed.
4) Take a few degrees off your showers. Hot showers seemed to irritate my problem. (And I adore hot showers and baths. After a jacuzzi visit - I take a cool/warm shower IMMEDIATELY to rinse the chemistry off.)
5) Treat yourself to a facial every 2-3 months. The anestician (sp?) will work on problem areas and you leave feeling REVIVED.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY 6) Do not pick at the pimples. Don't touch them unless you are cleansing them. Don't worry them, don't squeeze them, don't scratch them - do not pick them at all.

If your cysts hurt so bad that you cannot keep your hands off them - go see a dermatologist immediately to have it checked - or find a good facial (at a beauty salon) expert who can help.

But if you're one of those folks who catches themselves scratching at bumps (yes, I know, it's gross) without need to become aware of the damage you're doing.

If you like, do an experiment - try the cleansing and toner for a month and a half - and squeeze or whatever you compulsively do - only one side of your face. You will be amazed.

It took 5 weeks to see significant improvement - with the first two weeks looking like a backslide! It was nearly 3 months until I was completely clear of cysts.

It's been about 10 months now and my scars have faded to the point where I actually do not have to wear ANY make-up any longer. (Which I am beginning to wonder about - did my daily dose of cover-all makeup contribute to my plight??)

Best of luck to you all!!! I hope it works for you as well as it worked for me.

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