Acne Medications?

Updated on March 22, 2008
M.F. asks from Plainfield, IL
43 answers

I'm 27 years old and have been struggling with acne since late high school. I've gone to see dermatologists in the past but all they've given me were creams that seemed to work for the first couple of weeks but then I'd run out and the doctors would give me no refills. The acne seems to be just around my cheeks but then I get these undergrown pimples and quite frankly I'm beginning to lose my self esteem. I know my husband loves me but there are times when he does mention the acne and how he wishes it would go away and this really hurts me. My own daughter who is 5 years old has also mentioned it. She thinks that mommy is sick because of the acne. I know both my husband and daughter don't mean to hurt me but it does hurt and I just wish it could go away. Does anyone know of any good over the counter stuff that really does the job. Please help I'm desperate. Thank you in advance.

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So What Happened?

Thank You so much to everyone who responded I do appreciate every response that I've received. I don't believe I ever mentioned that I had an allergic reaction 3 years ago to the benzoyl peroxide. This is one reason I was so scared to try the proactive, however, given to most of the responses I have decided that I will give the proactive a try. If that doesn't work I will try the Accutane and work from there on. Each and one of everyone's response has really helped me a lot. It feels so great to know that you can get the help you need from other moms through mamasource. Once again "THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE"

Featured Answers

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hello M.,

Have you ever had a Mary Kay Facial before? If not I would love to facial you. Mary Kay is the #1 skin care line for the past ten years. I have customers that had problems with acne.
instead of tring all of those otc drugs. Try Mary Kay. It's the only product you can try before you buy. That way you won't be stuck with products you can't use.

A. S.
[email protected]____.com

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K.G.

answers from Chicago on

M.,

I always had clear skin as a teenager then as I've gotten older my face breaks out all the time, now 30. I tried every product at the store and found nothing to help! So I broke down and ordered the ProActive stuff you see on TV. i have to say it's great! Since using it I occasionally get one pimple once in a while, but usually am acne free! I am always a skeptic to the TV ad items, but decided hey one time I'll try it and see! I now have it delivered every 3 months! The site to use online is www.proactivsolution.com, I do recommend it highly! Hope it works for you too!
K.

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K.A.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,
I too have had 'problem' skin since I was about 12y.o. So for the past 20 years I have tried everything. Here's my take:

#1-Accutane was NOT effective for me nor worth the risks. Severe liver damage, high cholesterol and birth defects to name a few. I do not recommend jumping into Accutane unless you have tried EVERYTHING. If you try it, make sure that your doctor knows how to perscribe it properly and tests your liver function every month.

#2-Get a good skin care routine and stick to it for AT LEAST 6 weeks before you judge its effectiveness. I use Neutrogena products. They are gentle and effective for me. I use the Healthy Balance line which is a combo of alpha-hydroxy and salacylic acid. I also use moisturizer...many people with problem skin avoid it but you need a good one with SPF 15.

#3- If you wear makeup try Bare Minerals. I NEVER thought powder makeup alone would give me the coverage I needed but it did. And it imporved my skin condition in the long term. It is a little pricey but to to Ulta or Ulta online and get a starter kit ($40) to try it.

#4- the best Rx a dermotologist ever gave me was for a lotion called Sulfacet-R. It is a sulfur medication which dries out your skin gently. I used it for about 1 year and now I just manage my skin with Neutrogena washes and Oil of Olay lotions.

#5- Certain foods can cause acne flare ups if you are sensitive to them...wheat gluten, sugar and hormone treated dairy products. If you can afford allergy testing get one done as that is the fastest way to find out. If not just research elimination diets and try them.

#6-I did a series of 6 microdermabrasion sessions 3 years ago and my skin texture improved greatly for about 1 year. Find a licensed provider and I recommend the salt variety as opposed to the diamond tip variety, it goes deeper and gives better results.

I don't understand why your doctors' do not give you refills if something is working? Anyway, my skin is not totally perfect now but it is the best it has ever been. I am not on any Rx currently, just a religious skin care routine. I hope you figure out a soloution to your problem. Don't give up! One of your children may have to deal with this as it tends to be hereditary. I also hope you find a way to gently let your husband know that he should never mention the acne as you are quite aware of its existance and are trying your best to resolve the problem.

2 moms found this helpful
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T.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M. -- I'm in a bit of a rush but wanted to quick respond to your message. I've helped dozens of people with acne issues, a couple that were using Proactive which can be harsh on your skin over time.

My company has a skin care line that's botanically based and comes with a supplement (which is the key). The cost is just under $50 for the set -- a wash, toner, lotion and supplement. It's a 30 day supply of the supplement but the others last longer. The supplement is about $12 a month and you take it twice a day.

I could deliver it to you this week so you could get started right away and hopefully be cleared up by Thanksgiving! There's a 45 day money back guarantee so on the outside chance that it doesn't work for you, you get your money back.

If you are interested or want more info., just email back! I can also lead you to great resources for other ways to help your skin through diet and other lifestyle changes! You will be amazed at how what you put into your body effects your skin!

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K.F.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M.!
I know that this is going to sound like the infomercial but it REALLY works! I have had acne for years and don't even leave the house without makeup on. I tried everything but nothing worked until I used the Proactiv face cleaning system. It is a miracle worker! I used to have to buy it online but they sell it on one of those little stands at Fox Valley and Stratford Malls. It's on the lower level of Fox Valley towards the middle of the mall and I'm not sure about Stratford. Start with the basic system and then add products as you go along. I use the cleanser, toner, rpair lotion and moisturizer.

Now, I don't use their makeup remover but I do start the process with Philosophy's Purity Made Simple face wash and all of them combined has worked wonders. As I mentioned before, I wear a lot of makeup and that face wash is the ONE face wash that I've found that actually removes ALL makeup....no leftovers on cotton balls!

I hope that I've helped. Good luck!

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

Dear M.,

I too struggled with acne from age 12 until age 26 (I am now 36.) I tried every OTC product, and every prescription product. I was on long term anti-biotics -- for several years, which helped somewhat but has other side effects. Finally, I got over my fears and tried Accutane. It helped that I found a friend who was using it too. This is a serious drug, and like everyone else has said, it does cause birth defects. However, it totally changed my life. In the first two weeks of using Accutane, it was like I got every pimple and cyst that I was ever going to get again all at once. It was awful. Fortunately, I lived right near my dermatologist and he could inject them all with cortisone, which clears up the cysts within 12 hours. Then, it all went away. Within 4 weeks, my skin was beautiful, rosy and glowing. I continued the treatment for 6 months. Yes, it is drying. Yes, you should avoid alcohol so that your liver isn't damaged. But, at the end of the 6 months -- no more acne -- ever. Seriously, it has been 10 years, and only now, on my 3rd post Accutane pregnancy am I having any breakouts at all, and I think I'm the only one who notices. So, don't be afraid. If you want to have more children, ask your OB how long you should wait to get pregnant after stopping the treatment. Accutane is a fat-soluable chemical, I think you should wait at least 6 months after stopping treatment before trying to conceive, but I'm not sure about that. Good luck.

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B.K.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,

My name is B. and I have the same problem as you. I am 26 and had my first child a year ago. I have always had acne but when I got pregnant my face exploded and just a couple months ago I finally got it under control. Now I am pregnant again and am waiting the same thing to happen. I know what your going through with your self esteem. My husband has been very supportive but I often won't let him really look at me when I have a bad breakout. Let me tell you some things that have worked for me. I use proactiv solutions as my everyday face wash and although it doesn't stop me from getting acne, it helps me not get it as bad. When my face was really bad I went to a dermatologist, he told me that I had a bit more testosterone then most women and it was causing my hormones to be out of wack. So basically I have a hormone imbalance that causes me to get bad acne. There is a name for it but I can't remember. He wanted me to go on this medicine for it but I couldn't at the time b/c I was breast feeding. So, he injected ALL of my acne with this steroid. It was awful but it worked wonderfully. I have also had a procedure that is called blue light therapy. It is expensive but it does help if your acne isn't in cyst form. I don't know where you live but this place is called Advanced Cosmetic Dermatology and it is in Northwest Indiana. I am pretty sure they have a place in Chicago as well. They have a website so check it out if you want. If you have any more questions I will be happy to answer them. I hope this helps you. I just hope our kids don't get our bad skin. I don't want to see them go through this. Good Luck!!!!

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J.N.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,

I'm 36 and suffered from acne for many years. I tried everything (benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tetracycline, and so on)! Unfortunately, nothing really worked and I found that those OTC products I used made my skin worse. All those products are very drying and ultimately lead to more irritation. If you're gonna use any of those topical solutions, I would suggest just targeting the affected area and not your whole face. To wash your face and remove makeup, use soap-free products like some Neutrogena or Aveeno cleansers (I love Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser). Cetaphil is great but doesn't remove makeup so well. To moisturize use oil-free products for sensitive skin.
What cleared up my face in the end is that I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Amongst other things, this disease leads to hormonal imbalances, and I believe that's what caused my acne. Another member mentioned she has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which also causes hormonal problems. I would suggest looking into those options and talk to your ob/gyn about getting your hormones checked.
Good luck and let us know how everything went!

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K.P.

answers from Chicago on

Proactiv worked for me and several people I know as well. Good luck!!

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S.B.

answers from Chicago on

i know what you are talking about. the thing is that i never had acne in high school but i just turned 22 and i had got it on my cheeks only and i went to the store and this girl told me to try clean and clear persa-gel 10 and that works for me.

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T.M.

answers from Chicago on

Like many others who have responded, I used Proactiv and it worked for me. I had "boulders" on my chin that would not go away and got worse certain times of the month. With Proactiv, they cleared up completely. I used all the steps (cleanser, toner, moisturizer, occasional cleansing mask) but only once a day instead of twice, so I wasn't dried out. I used it for about a year and stopped since I had been cleared up for so long. Now I get an occasional zit on my chin, but it clears up pretty quickly. It's worth a try!

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J.

answers from Chicago on

Hi,
I have also struggled with Acne since high school and have felt similar to how you describe. I think I must have tried every over the counter thing there is to try with no real results. I finally ordered a bunch of books on acne a couple of years ago to see if I could understand it...and tried things like Pericone's solution of eating less inflamatory foods. Anyway, I finally went back to the dermatologist and they gave me something called Duac which is a combo of a topical antibiotic and benzoyl peroxide...which the books said make both things more effective...the combo brings out the best in both. It really worked wonders for me...have been using it since. My acne has been almost gone until now, but part of it is that the Duac expires pretty quickly and I just had a baby so I think my hormones are going crazy and my perscription is too old. The books say that there can't be one thing that really helps because everyone is so different...and with pores, sweat, food intake, how much you touch your face, etc...all effecting it, it's hard to say which thing could work for which person. Oh, the other thing is that you should only buy stuff actually labelled acne medication, not "treatment" or "clear skin" or anything else. I guess the companies can skimp on actual effective stuff if they don't label it medication. There is also too much or two little salisyllic acid (can't spell it!) in a lot of it...says only to use 2%...not more or less. But honestly, the soap I use doesn't seem to matter anymore since I've used the Duac gel.

Hope that helps...it's a horrible feeling...someone once said to me, "I don't get why you don't wash your face." Like that never occured to me and I enjoyed having acne!

Good luck!

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D.G.

answers from Chicago on

I've struggled all my life with chronic acne and understand what it can do to your self esteem. I used every cream and pill available by prescription but nothing really helped. I finally used Acutane in college which cleared up all my acne and now nearly 6 years later I only have an occasional spot here and there. However, this treatment has several severe side effects including depression and birth defects if you become pregnant during treatment. I was closely monitored by my dermatologist and fortunately only had the side effects of very dry skin during the treatment (no depression). My treatment lasted about 6 months. I think this an extreme option, but if nothing else works I highly recommend getting more info on the treatment.

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F.H.

answers from Chicago on

M.,

I'm sorry to hear about your acne troubles. I am 35 and have struggled with acne since I was 19. I have tried many things with little improvement. I have not tried ProActive and I'm sure that would work given their advertisements with celebrities.

I wrote to let you know that I have started drinking a tea, Wu-Long, found online for weightloss (I know skeptics out there are snickering but.....). I've been drinking the tea for 10 days now and have notice that the 3 LARGE acne/pimples have diminished in size incredibly! Not to mention a few lbs of weightloss (but thats another issue).

I suggest you try it. Like I said, its targeted as a weightloss tea but I've noticed an improvement in my skin.

Take care,
F.

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

I have a very similar situation. I get cystic acne in my T-Zone, and have since I was 15. Now 29... nothing like still feeling like a teenager in that respect. My daughter always talks about 'Mommy's owies' on my face. The only things I found to keep mine under control (and I did try ProActive which basically just dried out and irritated my skin, but didn't take care of the cystic acne) were OrthoTricyclen birth control pills and then, when I decided to go off those, antibiotics coupled with topicals from my dermatologist. Retin-A creams never worked for me, and the OTC benzoyl peroxide creams and salicyllic acid washes don't help much either. Mine is definitely hormonal, so was much worse during pregnancy and nursing, and is still not great. This is why the oral meds (b.c. pills, etc.) were really the only thing that worked for me. I've seen some estheticians who have recommended monthly facials on the 7th day of my cycle, and when I have done that I've noticed a vast improvement.

Good luck and I hope you find something that works for you! I know how bad it can make you feel...

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C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,

I had a problem with acne about a yr or so ago any my son too would notice & talk about it. I too did not feel good about my face. However, there is something that worked for me & my sister. We used proactive...it really works. I'm sure you've saw the ads on commercials or mailers. They even have stands in the malls now...Springhill & Schamburgs big mall. I used it religously for about 6-8 mo washing 3x's a day. When it cleared up I switched to Origins line of cleansers for oily faces & deep pore cleansing. My face has been & is very clean & clear. If you need anymore info on these products, let me [email protected]____.com this helps,
C.

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C.G.

answers from Chicago on

I have some friends who take antibiotics for their acne. Antibiotics have their side effects, but apparently they are effective at helping with the acne.

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N.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hi there-

I too have struggled with severe acne since late high school and have tried many products, to include Retin-A, light treatments and chemical peels to help minimize and stop the acne. There was a time that I was also on a constant antibiotic to help. Unfortunately, not all treatments work for everyone but I can tell you the following:

1) There are many different treatments out there other than topical creams
2) You likely need a consistent treatment that will give you success as this seems to be a chronic condition for you
3) There are several treatments that are unsafe and not recommended for pregnancy and/or if you are planning to have another child...be sure to verify before taking them to ensure that it won't affect you

Since several doctors have several different theories on what causes acne in adulthood, I would ensure that proper testing is done to ensure that something else isn't going on. For example, I saw a determatologist who believed that when you had an infection in your system, it would show up in your skin-hence the breakouts. Another theory, as I have experienced, is that other hormonal conditions can cause excess hormones and thus an overproduction of acne, etc. I was recently diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and once we started treatment for that, my acne got better. However, now that I am pregnant, I have a horrible cystic pimple that is truly causing me grief over my appearance, etc. Not to mention the fact that it hurts extremely bad.

There are two other things that I would look into:
1) Mineral-based make-up. I switched to this and I love it. Having struggled with acne, I have always used extra make-up and it has always felt "caked-on". I love feeling more natural. I use the Bare Essentuals (spelling?) line.
2)Before getting pregnant, I got a package for the American Laser Center to do the Microdermabrasion to help minimize my pores and the appearance of the scars, however, I decided to wait until after the baby. The thing about though is that you have to get control of the acne before you can treat with something like this- otherwise it's a waste.

Bottom line. You don't have to settle. Seek an aggressive dermatologist that will help you gain control- using several methods. I hope this helps!

Good luck!
N.

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J.L.

answers from Chicago on

Im 28 and never had acne problems until after my daughter. I did trying proactiv for several years and various combinations of salicycle acid and benzoyl peroxide products over the years and that all made my skin really red and dry. in fact the proactiv refining mask burned my skin. So now i stick with cetaphil and a neutrogena senstive skin mositurizer its taking a bit to clear up... I have a really oily t-zone and get them really bad on my chin and i think the extra moisturizer help balance out the oilyness in my skin. I skip a toner i find its too drying

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D.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M.. It's unfortunate you are having problems with this as my girlfriend was going through this as well, and she hit the wall with it earlier this summer. I run a business with Arbonne International (a wellness company) and the product we offer for acne is not a medication, but a skincare set made of botanically-based products. My girlfriend had been using a mix of medications through her doctor with Proactiv, but she didn't feel very healthy using medications (especially with starting to try for a family). So, she is now using the Clear Advantage set from my company and LOVES it! She no longer has to use the medications or Proactiv. If you want more information, I am happy to touch base with an ingredient list, etc. You can check out Arbonne at www.arbonne.com. The company is 26 years old and we offer a full line of wellness products...skincare, nutritional supplements, aromatherapy, baby care, weight management products, body/hair care and color cosmetics. Everything is botanically-based, made without mineral oil and fragrance (except for the aromatherapy line) and is dermatalogist tested. Just let me know if you want more information - best of luck to you! -D.

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L.R.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, M. ~ I feel for you and know exactly what you are going through. I have had cystic acne since I was 21 years old and I am still dealing with it at 36. I have tried EVERYTHING ~ ProActiv (I had an allergic reaction to it and it didn't help my acne either), every prescription and non-prescription lotion/cream out there and also antibiotics and birth control pills. The only things that worked for me were the antibiotics, Differin (prescription) lotion and low dose birth control pills. I was acne free for many years, but then when we tried to get pregnant I, of course, had to go off of everything and developed acne again. During that time, I experimented with many different face washes and I found that the Neutrogena acne cleansing cream helped and I don't break out as often as I used to. Good luck and I hope you find something that will help. :-)

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A.

answers from Chicago on

I also tried all kinds of treatments from many dermatologists. Proactive is the only thing that consistently works for me. But now I buy the generic versions that you can get at Walgreens and Sam's. I'm sure it's other place too. Good luck! Hope you give it a try and it works for you too. Be aware that it will bleach your towels and maybe your pillow cases, but to me it was more than worth it. I also use Cetaphil soap, but I need the proactive at least once a day to keep the acne away.
A.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

Hi, M.. You might think about working from the inside out on the acne issue. Derm docs don't often suggest that.
1. Think about everything that touches your face: not just cleansers and makeup, but shampoo, the detergent you use on your clothes and pillowcases, your HUSBAND's and daughter's products, the drycleaner...everything! Remember to change one element at a time and give it a few weeks, so that you isolate the cause. It could be something as simple as aloe in your shampoo...or your husband's aftershave.
2. ask your internist or OB-GYN to run tests regarding your thyroid and hormones.
3.a nutritionist (often found at wellness centers) could suggest changes to your diet, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
good luck!

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E.

answers from Chicago on

Good morning M.,
I am 30 and seem to have the same sort of issue on the right side of my chin. I think it is from talking on the phone all day, however nothing I have tried seems to work either. Two weeks ago I bought Proactiv. I am sure you have seen it on TV. They have little shops in the mall. They have a kit that is cleanser, toner and repairing lotion. It is a two month kit, however if it does not work after 6 weeks you can take it back and get a refund. Like I said I am only two weeks in, but I have noticed that it is starting to clean. Anyway just thought you might want to try, since if it does not work after 6 weeks you can just get the money back and you are no worse off.
Hope it works.
I know the feelings though.
My son is in second grade and one of them asked me what is that on your chin. Even though I am 30 that still hurts.
Best of luck,
E.

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K.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,
If you're not planning on any more kids in the near future you might ask your doctor about going on the pill. I took Ortho Tri-Cyclin for a long time and *loved* what it did for my acne. It's not OTC, but it does work wonders. If you're not already doing it, make sure you wash your face 2x/day (I used to use Noxema) and use some of those Stridex pads to wipe it over. Many moisturizers with Retin-A also work well for acne - most are available OTC these days.

Another non-OTC option that is amazing is Accutane (would also need to be combined with some very good birth control since it's teratogenic).

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H.D.

answers from Chicago on

I know you have had a lot of responses already, but reading through some of them I noticed no one mentioned Aveda products. I to have always had a problem with my skin. I've used Aveda Senstive skin line and make-ups for ever and they always seemed to help. Now that I've had my first child I'm breaking out agin. I hate seeing a dermo. because all they want to do is put me on med. or creams that work for a little while and are to expensive to refill. I think my hormones are out of wack since I've had my daughter and quite breastfeeding. Aveda has a kit you can buy (a little pricey) that has helped me and I just try and drink a lot of water. You are not alone-good luck. There is an Aveda in Oakbrook mall.

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A.E.

answers from Chicago on

M., I've battled with blemishes since I was a teen also. I have Finally found a system that works for me!

What I use and recommend is a product that is much better than Proactive. I love it. There is no benzoyl peroxide Yeah!!!

The product is called Clear.now "Acne Treatment Three-Step System" and you can buy it at www.MyShoppingNanny.com. Go to the Beauty tab > Brands > clear.now. It's 100% guaranteed and their return policy is excellent. Great customer service. I always shop there when I am looking for quality products. And look for the $75 free shipping offer. Good luck and Enjoy - I know you'll love it!

Also, it's important to exfoliate. I also use, on a regular basis, their "Microdermabrasion System" which includes the "Polishing Scrub" that I use daily. These products can be found as explained above under the Beauty tab > Categories > Treatments.

Also, they have a great new concealer called "Essentials Concealer" under the Beauty tab > Categories > Face. This I highly recommend as well.

Also, make sure you drink enough purified water.

Can you tell I've done my homework? I personally can't say enough about how clear.now has helped me. All the other products have been excellent tools as well for me.

Good luck. I'd like to hear how it works for you. Stay consistent with your routine morning and night. That habit alone will make a world of difference in your results. It is worth the effort.

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F.J.

answers from Chicago on

Check out my website

www.thebodyshopathome.com/web/faithjones

We have a tea tree line that is AWESOME! The blemish stick or you can just get ths oil and dab where you need works great for those areas. I have oily mature skin and I use the entire seaweed line and the teat tree blemish stick for when I get a small breakout. If you have younger skin I would shoot for the teat tree collection. This stuff has helped ALOT of people becuase it is an antibacterial wash and that helps wash away the impurities!!
Anyway you can email me once you look and see if you want to try it.

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N.S.

answers from Chicago on

Hi there. I feel your frustration because I've always had pretty poor skin. I break out from weather change and oil, foods and other things. You name it, and it adversely effects my skin. Right now I'm nursing and hopefully will be trying for another one some time soon but if you are on a hiatus from these two things right now, I would strongly suggest and encourage something that worked amazing for me. In the health food store there are little blue containers (I think by "boiron") and they are homeopathic pills for various ailments. THEY WORK SO WELL. I took the acne one for about 3 or 4 days and laready saw a huge difference. There are no side effects and it is so easy to take vs. all the flakiness and irritation and all the side effects of antibiotics etc. Please consider it cause you will feel like you found the cure. I'm not kidding. I could not believe the results. As soon as I'm done producing kids and lactating, I am going right back on to it. I guess you could take it while nursing but u would have to see a homeopathic MD to make sure whatever you take is safe for the child. Let me know how it works out. Hang in there!

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L.

answers from Chicago on

Try using a soap called SaLac. It can be found behind the pharmacy in many stores but does not need a perscription. I've used it for years on a daily basis. Good luck

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B.B.

answers from Chicago on

Hi
I feel awful for you becasue I have been there until 3 years ago and I am 36. I went ot a great demetologist that gave me 2 creams that worked great and refilled it 3 times without an extra office visit. She is in Lombard. I can give you her info. if you want.

I also swear by Clinques Turn around cream and they have a mask too you do once a week and your face feels softer than a baby's skin.

The demra. also said Nuetrogena is the best brand over the counter that is not so expensive. They have some great new products. I use to use Biore too.
Good luck and remember it is you and your personality that counts! Not your looks- but I totally get how you are feeling down.
[email protected]____.com

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C.M.

answers from Chicago on

I agree with Anne, Proactiv is wonderful. My brother used it on his back and face and he looks like a million bucks. That really works. You can go on the website.

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

M.:
Our whole family struggles with severe acne, I completely understand you. You need to understand about acne. The severe type that causes the large bums that really hurt to touch are caused by a virus in your system and not by dirt on the surface. 2 ways you can go - For me, I went on birth control and as a result it pretty much cleared it up with only occasional breakouts. I've been on it for years now, we are done having a family. When I went off to get pregnant and during my pregnancies, my skin was horrible. Or as I have done with my sons, we saw a dermatologist. There are 2 types of pills they can give you to clear it and maintain it along with surface washes and creams. One of these made my son nauseous and worked well, the other didn't make him sick but didn't clear his skin as well. With both of my sons, we have turned to using Accutane for 6 months. This very powerful drug kills the acne virous in your system permanently-for life! My one son is now 21 and we used it for him at 13 & 14. His skin is beautiful and he only gets maybe one small pimple 2-3 times a year. Cleared his back, chest and legs too. No bad side effects. My other son is just starting the treatment but I expect the same fantastic results. It is very dangerous to get pregnant on this drug so you will really have to becareful but I think you will be very satisfied for the rest of your life. If you have acne this bad, your children probably will inherit it also. So developing a relationship with a trusted dermatologist will be to your advantage. A company named Arbonne has a vitamin that you take orally along with their skin care routine. This works very good for my daughter who didn't want to try the Accutane.Good luck.

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A.A.

answers from Chicago on

HI, I am not sure if you have already tried it, but if not try using proactive solution. I know it looks like just another phony infomercial, but I have used it and swear by it. They have a website you can order from or request a catalog. If you follow the instructions on usage you will see considerable improvement within a week or so. The stuff is great and it doesn't smell nasty or sting. Please give it a try if you have not already, I haven't found anything that works as well, even prescription acne medicine.Good luck.

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L.

answers from Chicago on

I have also battled with acne for years. I've taken medication, done the creams and I took Acutain (SP?) when I was in high school. The Acutain was like a miracle. My face was completely clear for years. Now I do still have breakouts, etc. I am currently using Proactive and seems to help but my face still gets pretty bad in the summer months, sweaty, oily time. Best wishes!

N.P.

answers from Chicago on

I have heard Arbonne has some great products. Mario Badescu (sp?) also has some great stuff too. All the best.

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H.C.

answers from Chicago on

There is a super strong medication out there called Accutane. It is very strong and will completely dry you out. While you're on the treatment, you basically cannot wear any makeup, can only use Dove soap and must keep carmex on your lips. (Your skin will yearn for moisture.) I forget how long the treatment lasts, but you will notice a difference. This will help get rid of the cyst-like acne.

This medication is so strong that it can cause birth defects. So they make sure that you're not pregnant before you start. Then they test you throughout the treatment to make sure you're not pregnant. It may be a 6-month thing.

Another option that's OTC is Proactive. It's a great product. This too dries out your skin. It's just like how the infomercial says, it works.

Don't let your self-esteem slip away. You know that you're not doing anything to cause the acne. So don't beat yourself up. And you can think of this as a learning opportunity by telling your daughter that she shouldn't judge people by looks alone, etc. I'm sure she doesn't understand it all, but maybe there is a bright side to all of this.

Good luck to you,

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

M.-

I have found great luck with Paula's Choice skincare products. All you need to do is use the cleanser 2x a day and exfoliator 1x a day and it is wonderful what it does for your skin. They also have a acne medication ...which I found to be too harsh for my skin, the active ingredient in it is no different than most over the counter things. But, I find the exfoliator does wonderful things because it gets rid of all the extra oils and dead skin cells each day so they can't build up to be acne. They have different choices depending on your skin type and your issues and you can even get small samples from them to try. I order the big bottles and they last me for months and months and are only like 16-18.00.

The website is www.paulaschoice.com. If you have any questions about which products to try, feel free to email [email protected]____.com luck!
A.

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K.S.

answers from Chicago on

I, too, used to get the "underground" pimples mostly just on my cheeks. It turned out that I was using a product that dried my skin too much. I took some advice to use a gentler cleanser and toner, and the acne cleared up for the most part. The underground pimples form when too much of the natural oils are removed from the surface of the skin and oil from underneath moves towards the surface to replace that which was lost, then gets stuck and infected. Backing off from the heavy-duty stuff really worked for me. Now I use H2O's cleanser for normal skin, a mild toner, and H2O's face oasis moisturizer (the only moisturizer I've found that does not leave my skin feeling greasy or make me break out). I hope this helps!

I also had different problems while I was pregnant and used Proactiv, which helped during that time. After I had my son, though, it was too drying and I started getting the underground pimples again, so I switched back to my old routine and it helped.

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M.B.

answers from Chicago on

Oxy products - (10% Benzoyl Peroxide)

Hi M.,

I did not read through all the posts - sorry if this is a duplicate.

I am 31. I have had bad acne since high school. I went to a dermatologist a couple years ago because it was getting even worse. (face, back and chest areas)

The dermatologist gave me a prescription for a cream and antibiotic and also told me to use an over the counter cleanser of 10% benzoyl peroxide.

I stopped taking the prescribed medications almost immediately.

I have been using OXY Daily Wash. It has 10% benzoyl peroxide in it and it works great!

I still get some acne once in a while, but it has really cleared up nicely.

There are other products out there that have 10% benzoyl peroxide, but they are hard to find at Walmart, Walgreens, etc.

I have read that dermatologists tell patients to not use Salicylic Acid. I have used products with salicylic acid and it makes my skin even more oily.

I have used a product from Walmart called Acne free. It is a Proactive knock off. (About $20 for the kit) It is ok, but you get more for your money when using Oxy products. You might want to try the Acne Free product to get started. It has a cleanser, toner and acne cream/repair lotion.

Good luck, you will find something that works.

M.

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A.T.

answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,

Tonight is my first time entering this community.

Yeah, I think I know of a wonderful product you could use for your skin condition. It is botanically based so it is very safe for sensitive skin types too. It is a deep-cleaning wash that unclogs pores, and it keeps outbreaks under control, and prevents new blemishes and doesn't dry out your skin. It has pepermint in it which is really good because it helps to open your pores and allows them to be cleanse from the inside. Which basically means that your pores will appear to be smaller. I'm actually a consultant that is why I know of the product. My clients have been very satisified with it. Let me know if you would like more info.

Take care
A.

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S.H.

answers from Chicago on

Have you tried Proactiv? I've had really good results with it. You can get at the proactiv website or in some malls in the area.

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