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    Breaking out, never had acne before
    saaaaaamantha posted:
    I'm 21 years old and lately I've been having break outs, mostly a few zits around my mouth/chin area. I never had a problem with acne as a teenager (just getting a zit here and there around that time of the month), and the only time I experienced break outs this bad was when I was going through puberty! I even stopped wearing foundation and cover up for 4 months because I noticed my skin WAS looking healthier initially when I stopped using make up, and then after a few months, I started having these break outs. I did make the mistake in high school of using Pro Active because my sister had it, and I just thought it was regular face wash. Well, I tried to switch to a gentler face wash (Murad) about 2 years ago because I was afraid I had done more damage to my skin by using Pro Active when I didn't need it in the first place since I never had acne. I started breaking out because my skin had become so used to Pro Active. So I went back to it and I still use it now. I've heard that women can go through a "second puberty" in their early 20s and experience similar symptoms as they did the first time, but I'm not sure if that's true or not? I'm not on any birth control right now, I used to be on a low dose for about 4 years but it never really seemed to effect my skin or how often I got zits. Has anyone else experienced sudden acne problems in their 20s?
    Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Hi samantha,

    You can get breakouts at any age and acne doesn't care how old or young you are. Since you mention that you are breaking out around your mouth and chin area you may want to take a look at your toothpaste. Many people are sensitive to the flouride ingredients in toothpaste and it can cause perioral dermatitis.

    But of course it is not possible for anyone to be diagnosed over the internet. If OTC acne medications including Proactiv aren't working well for you then it's time to step it up and see a dermatologist for help!

    Good luck!

    - Annie
    Treasurecat responded:
    I will be 22 in a week and have recently been blessed with large painful acne. My skin has always had a few breakouts but never anything I couldn't hide with makeup. Over this past summer, my skin flared up where I had breakout after breakout and eventually spiraled out of control. I scheduled an appointment with the dermatologist and she provided me with some helpful tips and some prescription medication. First she prescribed difren gel, acanya, and solodyn (this is an anti-biotic used to treat acne) and secondly she worked out a skin care regimen that has been helpful. I wash my face every morning before I use make-up (to wash away all the dirt build up from the night) and every night with Cetaphil face wash. I use a toner to finish getting all the make-up off at night and then use the prescription gels. I also use Cetaphil lotion after washing my face (this is fragrance free, and hypoallergenic for sensitive skin) which doesn't clog my pores. It helps to always have a fresh pillow case also. Remember it takes awhile for your skin to become acquainted with a new routine so stick it out for a month and re-evaluate after. Good luck and I hope this helps!
    kristadell responded:
    Hi samantha. I would just like to share some tips because i can see myself in you. Before I used to have soft skin and my friends would even appreciate me for that, but when i turned 19 or so, i started to have acne all over my face and sometimes it becomes itchy too. And then, i stopped using my make up too. yet, nothing seemed to happen at all. Now, i have my old skin back, the dermatologist said that it was all because of too much stress. Maybe you're doing a whole lot of work lately. Health is a very big factor in maintaining your good skin.
    lauren2030 responded:
    I have heard that acne can appear on anyone at any age. My sister got acne as well when she was in her twenties, she tried green tea peels and microderm. It seemed to help the problem, but did not eliminate it completely.
    sheaves2009 responded:
    Hi samantha, I have one word for you "Clinique" I have struggled a long time with breakouts and I finally broke down and invested in Clinique, it has been well work it. The initial cost was around $85.00 but you don't run out of everthing at one time, so you don't spend that everytime. The only thing I am sorry about is not starting sooner on it. Give the product time to work a few weeks, and follow the instructions. Your skin will look amazing. Good luck,
    MissIngrid responded:
    Samantha I definitely understand your experience. The same thing happened when I was around 24 years old. My skin was clear through high school and smooth. I visited a dermatologist (who prescribed azalex and differin) which worked very well. I then began using products from the Body Shop (Tea Tree line) which helped with the acne. My skin looked great for years. A periodic facial didn't hurt. Now I'm 38 and experiencing another round of breakouts. This time, nothing OTC worked and I had to see a dermatologist. She recommended cleansing daily with Cetaphil and she prescribed Epiduo. This medication works! It will take several weeks before you see a dramatic difference. For the most part mild results are immediate. I only use this product once per day and my skin is not overly dry. I hope this commnent helps!
    MissIngrid responded:
    Samantha I understand your experience. My skin was clear through high school then in my early 20's I broke out. Terribly. So, I visited a dermatologist who prescribed Azelex and Differin creams which worked extremely well. Then I began using the Tea Tree line of products from the Body Shop which helped with the blemishes. My skin was clear for years. Periodic facials didn't hurt either.

    Now I'm 38 and experiencing the issue AGAIN! Nothing OTC worked...nothing! I used Murad in the past for mild breakouts (one or two bumps) and no problem. This time Murad didn't work. I sought a dermatologist again. She told me to wash my face with Cetaphil (daily wash) and prescribed Epiduo. This product works! I saw where the medication began to clear my skin in just days. Dramatic results appear after several weeks-I've been using Epiduo for 4 weeks now. So there is hope. The best thing to do is seek the opinion of a dermatologist. Stress and diet have affect your skin. If you are breaking out, be sure to use sunscreen-the sun can irritate your skin further. I hope this helps.
    Sunsetliving1 responded:

    YES. I was normal like you skin wise, then in my 20's started to break out. It's normal. They say your skin goes through a major change every 7 years or so. First, let me say that Clinique is not necessarily a good idea. After years of research I have learned that most of the Department Store Make up Brands are not good for your skin, they are heavily chemical built, and are full of scented strong ingredients. It's a no no. You want to focus on something that helps you LONg term, not another proactive type solution. I struggled too, and what helped me were the following:

    1) yasmin or Yaz birth control puts your hormones on an even level. Usually around the chin and mouth breakouts are due to hormones....

    2) Drink A LOT of water

    3) Alpha Lipoic Acid- my dermatologist turned me on to this. It does wonders. It's a vitamin you can find at Whole Foods or Trader Joes... again ALL NATURAL

    4) Differen works well, but you have to be patient and let it run it's course. Sometimes your skin will "purge" and get worse before it gets better. Also, if you have insurance dont be afraid to see a dermatologist. It's not expensive. Things like Doryx, Benxamyacin, Differen, etc. all work wonders...after amonth or so your skin will be totally clear and you can stop wearing any makeup at all.

    5) Bare Minerals- this is the best makeup for your skin, really especially for break out prone skin

    6) Drinking Lemon Water and Taking Papaya Enzymes keeps the digestive tract normal and clear, and prevents break outs too

    7) IF you can save up your money and treat yourself, taking care of your body/skin by every now and tehn finding a natural type spa like Aveda, and get yourself a facial. Saunas at the gym are great to just sweat out impuries, mud masks get out impurities, Make sure to not only wash your face but exfoliate!!!!!!!! breakouts usually are from dead skin cells left on the surface and mixing with dirt.

    eat healthy Fish, veggies, chicken, help to clear your body a lot more than fast food and junk

    9) Get sleep and try to do yoga or work out whenyou fee stressed....

    edanielle responded:
    This was my story at nineteen, so I understand what you're experiencing. Like the doc said, acne strikes at whatever time it decides, not when you decide. What some others have posted are right-on, others not-so-much helpful. I'll give you a breakdown:

    1) The zits around the mouth and chin could be:

    a) due to an allergic reaction to your toothpaste b) due to using your cellphone and not periodically wiping it with an alcohol-based sanitizer so as to kill bacteria/germs--which everyone should do c) an allergic reaction to nickel, which could be in the base of your cell phone d) hormones e) all of the above and more.

    2) My suggestions for help (based on my own experience):

    a) If you have insurance, go to your doctor and get a prescription for a birth control (Yaz worked best for me b/c it blocks androgens, which stimulate acne), and a prescription for either Epiduo or Tazorac (both have retinoids, but Epiduo also has BPO)

    b) If you don't have insurance, try to use Pan-Oxyl bar cleanser (you can find it at Walmart) at morning and night, or Cetaphil liquid cleanser in the morning and the BPO cleanser at night if you have peeling/irritation. For spot treatments, try Clearsil's 4-hour redness reliever/acne spot treatment; it works, and this system is cheaper than ProActiv, which is just BPO anyway.

    c) Diet also makes a difference. I cut out all dairy and sugar, and got on probiotics, which minimizes the inflammation; do what works best for you, but definitely drink water (and no sodas).

    d) Stress is also a big culprit. Make sure that you try to take time out for yourself and have a short walk or read a gossip mag to de-compress. The less adrenaline you put out, the less oil your pores will chug out.

    Best wishes, and if you develop scarring or spotting, seek out glycolic peels (Avon Anew has one for $25) that will exfoliate the damage.
    Caramel_Cutie responded:
    Hey Saaaamantha,

    read your post and I had the saaame experience. I had terrible acne as a teen then it cleared up perfectly to the point where people thought I have always had perfect skin then exactly a year ago I started breaking out again. It was really awful there was no clear spot on my face and I became depressed and all. I tried every thing from going to a dermatologist to not doing anything and nothing worked. What I didnt realize is that i was under extremely strenuous working conditions and as such i was stresssssssed out. i took a 2 week break from work and decided to take the time to give my skin all the attention in the world. A doctor who i had gone to a few months earlier had given me Retin A to use exactly as prescribed and i started using it in that 2 week period and slept as often as i felt it necessary. I am not gonna lie, i slept like i knew Jesus was coming tomorrow, and i used the Retin A and a gentle cleanser before i applied it. Ad what do you know, what i was trying to get rid of all year is now all gone. and i now have perfect skin again.
    stewartk93L responded:
    Hi Guys, hope you dont mind me adding this but I found a great site that helped my friend a lot. Its a clinically proven system with a money back guarantee and you get one-on-one counseling with Mike Walden, a top expert in acne - check it out, nothing to lose.

    Here's the link
    RebeccaBoville responded:

    I know what you're going through. I used to struggle with acne as well. You just have to find the right product that works for you. Easier said than done.

    For me, I've found something that works. You should work with a good dermatologist. And know that there is no silver bullet that works for everyone.

    With that said, keep in mind that diet, exercise, and mental health all play a role. When in doubt lay off the sugar, alcohol, and exercise that booty.


    Rebecca Boville
    CosmeticChemist responded:
    Hi Samantha,

    As a cosmetic chemist and skin care expert, I can say you're skin isn't much different than many girls your age. I am 40 something and have been around the block through work as well as acne problems with my own daughters.

    I have several articles I have written for the Examiner as their Anti Aging Skin Care Expert, but what applies to aging skin, almost always applies to skin with acne. Read the ABC's of anti-aging skin care products on there and with the items listed. BHA's AHA's and a few others that can be found easily at Walmart or our Raesin Images Natural Cosmetics websites you'll be sure to have clear skin. Also you can contact me directly through the website, not trying to sell anything, just want to talk to you more about your acne and help you. I'm also not quite sure, since I am new on here what I can link to.

    One huge suggestion for anyone with acne is don't ever use an exfoliate over acne, especially cystic acne, it will only aggravate it, making it worse. You can however exfoliate where acne isn't.

    The gal with the Mineral Makeup advice was on the right track, but as is published right here on webmd, stay away from any mineral makeup brand with bismuth, and any mineral foundation with bismuth, mica, biron, talc, and other bad mineral makeup ingredients. Colour ID Minerals makeup offers matte mineral foundation, as does Luxury Minerals Makeup. Talk to them regarding samples to help you out.

    Remember to contact me if you need more advice. I write for several publications on and offline, so even though I am busy I love to help others like yourself .

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