How I Control My Severe Acne
A Little Background
First let me start by introducing myself and my experience with acne. I am 22 now and my acne started in the 6th grade. At first it was just a whitehead here and there, mind you I was the only one in elementary with them so I was bothered. Little did I know that was just the beginning. Fast forward to junior high and my face is covered in severe cystic acne. After trying countless OTC and prescription products with no success or actually making my acne worse, I finally moved on to the most powerful acne medication known to man... Accutane. I took this not once, but for two trials as I had a stubborn case. Sadly after the Accutane even though I was told I would be good for life, my acne came back when I got my first job and my stress level rose. It wasn't nearly as bad as before, thank the Lord! However I was not comfortable around other people once again so I needed to combat the acne without the Accutane as I didn't want another course. If you don't know Accutane has some serious side effects, so much so you have to sign a waiver. Girls can't get pregnant and have to be on birth control. While both genders are warned about depression/risk of suicide. I can say I defiantly experienced depression but I am not sure it was solely from the drug. In this article I will go over the products and routine that helped and still helps me keep my face clear without another trial of Accutane. I will also go over some products that I would personally avoid. Hope you enjoy and remember acne doesn't clear up overnight but you can start on the road to clear skin tonight!
Worthy OTC Products
- Benzoyl Peroxide
Now maybe you don't have insurance and can't afford a prescription. Well you are not out of luck. For example a great product for acne is benzoyl peroxide. This product is actually available OTC up to a certain strength. Lucky for you the strength available OTC has been shown in studies to be all you need, meaning the prescription product is not anymore effective. Below I will show the benzoyl peroxide face wash I use and have success with. I use this once in the morning
Another great product is Boraxo. Don't forget the o at the end, i'm not talking about borax. This is a gritty product that is used to get grease off of mechanics hands for example. This works great for the grease on an acne sufferers face. It works great to exfoliate as well. This was used by the actress Lana Turner as a beauty secret. I use this in the middle of the day when my face is the greasiest. I would suggest using this once a day whenever your face is the greasiest whether that be after work or a workout. Below I will also show the box of Boraxo so you know exactly what to get.
- Dynarex Scalpels
This one might sound a little scary but don't worry it is dermatologist recommendation. This tool is to pop your whitehead pimples. You poke the tip of the pimple and squeeze around it til you see blood. That is when you stop. This helps your pimples heal faster. Do not pick at them, this spreads bacteria and leaves scars. The scalpel method is very effective and much more sanitary. I will also post a link to the particular scalpels I use.
- Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin
This one I like to have since my dermatologist did recommend to wash my face 3x a day. If that dries your skin out... well that is good, trust me. This one I would ideally use 1x a day along with the other two for a total of 3x. I find the other two face washes superior to this one, however it does get the job done and is readily available. Below I will show you this product as well since there are several variations available.
- Dynarex White Petrolatum
This one is another dermatologist recommendation. This is what I use as a moisturizer but trust me when I say I use it sparingly and you should too. You want your skin dry as that dries out your pimples. They don't thrive without all that oil. However if you need too as you may be flaking a lot, then dab some of this on the dry spots only. It is medical grade. This is what some dermatologists and surgeons use on wounds. If your lips or the skin anywhere else on your body are chapped this will work for that as well.
Trust me... you can use this on your face & it works wonders.
OTC Benzoyl Peroxide
Leaves your skin feeling great!
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
For normal to oily skin, a gentle yet effective cleanser.
Be careful these are sharp!
100% White Petrolatum
If you need to moisturize this will do the trick.
Prescription Acne Fighters
Now most of you might be scared of Accutane and you have the right to be. After two trials I decided I did not want to go down that route again. So I aggressively fought my acne with the regimen above, a healthy diet, & a prescription called Retin A. Like Accutane it is also a form of vitamin A, however much safer. Before this I went through other prescription products that did work but brought on unwanted side effects. One was Minocycline which flared up my lupus SLE. So that may work for you but it is an antibiotic and can damage your liver. The other one I eventually ditched was Benzamycin. This I stopped taking as it was also an antibiotic you truly don't want to be taking those long term, plus I could get the other ingredient benzoyl peroxide which is safe and effective over the counter. If my current regimen did not work, I must say I might contemplate getting on Accutane once again. But Lord willing my face will stay where it is now, not perfectly clear but good enough for me! Try your success with the OTC products I mentioned and if you can then go ahead and add the Retin A prescription, it will help your all over facial appearance. If you get an initial breakout with any of these products do not be alarmed that is to be expected.
Like I said before a clear face doesn't happen overnight but you can began on the journey tonight! Be patient and give these products a chance to work. I would say use the regimen above for around a month before you can expect noticeable results. After trying countless products these are what I use and they get the job done. Your skin may be different but these aren't just some crazy home remedies from an ancestor. So I believe if anything they will at least help a bit! Though let me stress this, if you don't eat healthy these products won't have nearly as good of an effect... trust me! Go for natural and organic food, but don't forget to treat yourself from time to time. Good luck and feel free to ask me any questions you might have. If these products work for you please share your success, if not I would also like to hear back from you.