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Hey, I've been suffering from terrible, horrible acne since age 11. it's cystic and bacterial..
I tryed retin-a micro and benzaclyn when it first began, but being new to the experience and impaitient, I stopped using it all together after it began so painful that i cried, just to apply the creams. i went through many cycles of recovery and then drastic outbreaks... so I thought it ineffective.
I realize that at age 15, it is expected that some acne will be present, but under-the-skin bumps, like the one i have on my forehead now(which looks more like a bruise, being purple and sticking up about half an inch. I came home and my mother honestly thought I'd been punched), are troublesome, painful, and embarrasing.
I was my skin twice daily, and brush it once a day. i've also found that alpha hydrox toner astringent helps, some. It makes my skin feel tighter and less puffy, and also very clean. I wear my hair long and in my face, to hide the scars and sores, that's why I am so attentive to keeping it oil free.
This being said, I think my skin is mixed. It's very oily over the day, but flakes as well. Is this normal for my condition? I try not to pick at it, but it's really tough not to. I've actually become a bit OCD about keeping my skin free of anything I can pick off of it.. i.e. scabs, dead skin, whiteheads.. etc. Again, unhealthy, I'm aware, but I'm trying. I actually sometimes cry because of this, because I find it the only thing ugly about me physically, thusly I deny any compliment. I have major low self-esteem and constantly am disgusted by my reflection.
I had just decided to try to begin using Accutane, and decided to research it more than the pamphlet my doctor had given to me, and came across this site, thankfully. I discovered drinking milk can lead to outbreaks.. is this true? And now that I've researched Accutane, I'm EXTREAMLY wary of taking it. My father, who had cystic acne as well, took it when it was new, and had to live in the hospital while he carried out his prescription, but he was pretty much fine afterwards. Has anyone found anything better/just as effective as this, but not as.. dangerous?

My main question, though, is, what are your opinions of Toner Astringent coupled with regular cleaning? I haven't seen anything mentioned about it, and right now, it's the only thing I have that's relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire, so I had to ask. (I haven't been able to convince my mom that those organic oils and vitamins really work... so if you suggest them, it won't help too much... I'm open.. but seeing as she pays for it.. you know)

Any help is appriciated, and I apoligize now for the long message.. but I really want some help that's not as drastic as lazers and potentially deadly pills.

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