When should acne stop?

Dr Irwin, I'm a seventeen year old girl who has experienced acne since she was 13, starting with blackheads on the nose which progressed to pimples on the cheeks, then forehead, then chin and so on. All my friends don't have acne issues any more, which I don't understand. Why are they finished but I'm not? I some small scars on my cheeks which I really hate because there's no way to ever cover them up. My complexion looks patchy with hyperpigmentation across the cheeks and nose because of this acne and my pimples are large, swollen and red but take forever to form white tips...is this maybe because of stress too? Help please! G

I’m glad you wrote because I can tell you’re feeling a little isolated with this.  It’s true that acne is very individual in when it’s ready to go away, and it’s frustrating when your friends are pretty much done.  It’s really important not to pick because it increases the scarring.

You don’t tell me if you are using acne treatment?  It’s a definite must and if it hasn’t helped in 2-3 months, your family doctor can help if you don’t have a dermatologist available.

A good starting regimen is :

  1. am – acne cleanser, a benzoyl peroxide or combination product, non comedogenic sunscreen (helps even up the pigment)
  2. pm – acne cleanser, a retinol or prescription Retin A  product

It takes 6-8 weeks to really tell if it’s helping!

Here’s what others have done for acne and a link to acne care products.

Hope this helps,   Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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