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03-14-2012   #8 (permalink)
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I can relate to what you're going through. In high school I had severe acne, the type that forms under the skin, all over my face and body. I agree that it's a painful experience both physically and mentally.

I personally suggest that you see your family doctor for solutions or ask them to refer you to a dermatologist. Another thing I'd recommend is that you research not only on how acne forms but also how to care for different skin types. I say this because what might work for someone else, might not work for you due their skin being a combination-dry type and yours being, say, oily-sensitive. By knowing your exact skin type, you can strategically create a cleansing routine with products tailored to your skin.

From what you've mentioned "me and my family are wasting thousands in medications, creams and others, but it just won't go away." I'd be wary of purchasing Proactiv, Clean n' Clear and the like. For one, these over the counter medications are meant mainly for mild cases of acne; which from your story suggests that you have more aggressive acne. Over the counter medications are topical (applied to the skin) creams/gels/astringents that treat acne by exfoliating/drying out the pimple using salicylic acid, sulfur or benzoyl peroxide.

Benzoyl peroxide is the strongest one you can purchase. They come in different concentrations. Proactiv offers the highest concentration of benzoyl peroxide; about 1-2% higher than the amount traditionally found in stores. I often find people with weak acne buying the strongest benzoyl peroxide they can get. But doctors recommend that, as with any medication, you start out with the lowest dose your body can handle and then heighten the dosage as your skin adjusts.

The downside to these medications, aside from being meant for non-severe acne, is that they are meant for long term usage (years) and used as a way to control pimples, not cure acne.

I found success with 3 treatments of Accutane (a concentrated form of vitamin A). Keep in mind that there are generic alternatives to this pill, since "Accutane" is a brand name. (You can save money by buying generic.) 1 treatment lasts 6-8 months and the dosage depends on your weight.