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My Experience at the Dermatologist

Towards the middle/end of first semester I started breaking out very badly, mostly on my forehead, chin, and one of my cheeks. I noticed significant scarring and it started to worry me because it was so unlike my skin to be breaking out so badly. I figured it would just pass and assumed my acne was stress induced from the daunting anticipation of finals. My acne was definitely not as bad as it COULD have been, but it was bad enough for me to feel extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. Along with appearance, there was lots of redness, inflammation, and itching. The itching was very worrisome for me because I have never experienced that with acne before. Following my assumption that my skin would improve once finals were over and done with, I decided to wait it out.

However, after being home for a significant amount of time during winter break where I was not stressed, it did not improve. Once I ruled out my acne outbreak as solely being stress induced, I decided to make an appointment for the dermatologist. I had never been, since my skin is typically unproblematic, but this was the first outbreak that was really bad for me. When I finally saw the dermatologist, she observed the area of cystic acne on my forehead and the slight scarring on my cheeks, she then proceeded to prescribe me Ximino which is an antibiotic to help with my sudden outbreak. She also prescribed Epiduo Forte, which is a topical treatment that is supposed to help with scarring and acne. My skin is combination skin, this means that it can be oily and dry at the same time (but most of the time its more oily than dry). Since I am 20 and no longer a teen, my acne is less likely to be from hormones but instead lifestyle choices such as what I eat (sugar, dairy, etc).

When I began taking the antibiotics, I saw immediate improvement. It calmed down my skin significantly and my skin was way less irritated. The thing about antibiotics that the dermatologist explained to me was that you can’t be on them for long periods of time and they are only a short-term solution. Unlike the antibiotics, the topical was a little harder to adjust to. My dermatologist warned me that it is super important to moisturize while using this topical. I used the cream on my sparse areas of acne and scarring and it immediately dried my skin out a lot. It was uncomfortable at first, but I knew it was just my skin getting used to the new cream and the chemicals in it. Besides that, the cream bleached my pillow which wasn’t fun but unavoidable. The cream started to become a lot for my face, so I transitioned into using it not as often. I went from using it almost every night to using it every other night/every few nights. This is completely okay, and I thought it was a good way to keep from overwhelming my skin. During my skin becoming really dry when transitioning to the topical, I invested in Cetaphil facial moisturizer and it was truly a life saver and its super universal for all skin types. I was only on the antibiotics for a month since it worked so fast on my skin (again, it’s a short-term solution and you can’t be on them forever) and I am routinely using the Epiduo Forte. My experience at the dermatologist was pretty good and I am glad that I have not had an awful breakout since using the things that were prescribed to me.

My advice is that you only go to the dermatologist for acne if you have a very bad cystic acne outbreak or if your skin starts having a reaction that is very out of the ordinary for you. Otherwise, it can be a waste of your money because going to these appointments can be very pricey!

Here are some products that I find universal and highly recommended for all skin types! Many of these products are very mild and designed for sensitive skin, so don’t be scared to try them out!

– Cetaphil Face Moisturizer

– Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash

– CeraVe Face Wash

– CeraVe Facial Moisturizer

– Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Brightening Daily Scrub

– E.L.F SuperClarify Cleanser

– Burt’s Bees Peach & Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub (99% natural)

– Burt’s Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream (99% natural)

Occupational Therapy student! I am an Aquarius, I love sleeping, music, and working out :)
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