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Acne Skin-picking problems, super dry & flaky skin, and sudden unrelenting breakouts all over my body

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Posted 2016-11-28 21:24:32 |Show All Posts
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Hi friends,

I am a 21 year-old female, and besides the occasional PMS breakout or single zit, I have never had a real issue with acne… until recently. I have been breaking out in different kinds of acne all over my face and body for about 6 months now. I get horribly painful cystic acne on my jaw and cheeks. They hurt even when they aren’t being touched. I have smaller zits all over my face, shoulders, upper arms, chest, back (upper and lower), butt, and even my legs. I have many small blackheads on my face and shoulders. The cystic acne is sometimes unpoppable, but when I do pop them (which is rarely), they just fill back up, even angrier and more painful.

I have a terrible habit of skin-picking, which is sometimes called dermatillomania or excoriation. It’s a form of OCD or even self-harm where I touch and pick at my skin without even thinking about it. I used to stand in my bathroom and pick at my skin for HOURS, but I have since overcome that issue. Even though I barely ever intentionally pick at my acne, it still gets red and irritated.

I have excessively dry skin, to the point that it actually gets very flaky. This doesn’t make sense to me, because from everything that I’ve ever read, people with acne have oily skin. I have a hard time covering my acne with makeup, because it just makes the dryness more visible.

I have tried everything I can think of. I’ve been given a couple different prescription cleansers and acne medications from my dermatologists: Sulfur & salicylic acid cleanser, Aczone spot treatment, Ziana gel, Tretinoin cream, Clindamycin lotion… None of them have made any difference. I have also tried Ren face wash from Sephora, aloe & coconut oil lotion, Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer, Neosporin cream, and Aquaphor salve. The only thing that remotely helps is the Neosporin cream, and that’s only if I put it on every couple of hours.

I change my pillowcase at least once a week. I eat a fairly healthy diet. I haven’t made any changes to my makeup products, cleansers, detergents, etc. besides what the doctor prescribes. I wash and moisturize my face every morning, and clean my makeup off at night. I even clean my makeup brushes every week. I exfoliate 1-2 times a week. I use the prescribed topicals as directed by my doctor. Nothing seems to be helping. In fact, it’s only gotten worse.

The only thing that I can think of is my mental health. I have been suffering from depression for almost 14 years, but up until recently, it’s been manageable. Lately, I have been extremely stressed and depressed. I have been going through weekly medication changes for my depression, which can’t be healthy for anyone. And whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I hate what I see and I hate how I can’t fix my skin, so that just stresses me out more. I don’t know what to do about my acne anymore.
Please let me know if you have advice for:

Skin-picking, fixing your skin after excessively picking at it, calming down those painful cystic zits, getting rid of body and face acne, makeup tips, or getting rid of super-dry and flaky skin.

Skin-picking problems, super dry & flaky skin, and sudden unrelenting breakouts all over my body

Advice from Experts:

What is your current skincare routine? A cream with lidocaine with help with the pain while you get your skincare routine set to fight the acne. It's a skin numbing agent found in burn creams in the drugstore just avoid those with menthol or peppermint oil.

I find benzoyl peroxide gel the only helpful over the counter acne treatment. Salicylic acid always just made my skin mad at me and didn't do anything. I imagine your aczone spot treatment was benzyl peroxide, but you should get a cream you put all over your face every night. right now i'm looking right at my benzagel 5 acne gel. It's 5% BP. A higher percentage than 5% will only make your skin more dry and angry.

If you have bad acne on your jaw, chin and cheeks, it could be hormonal. Have you thought about going on birth control?
Also, for make up tips, I really like the MAC concealer that comes in a pot. I use it with a brush.

And for skin picking, on my face, what REALLY helped me break the habit was taping pieces of paper over my mirror at face height. Did I feel stupid when i had to bend over to put my make up on in the morning? yes. But it really helped remind me not to pick at my face - because i'd have to do it in an uncomfortable contorted position it just reminded me not to go onto autopilot! Hope this helps!

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Popteen Topics Topics: acne, skin problems, dry skin, flaky skin, breakouts, female, PMS breakout, face, body, skincare routine, Skin Care Routine, Daily Routine
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