A lot of people think of acne as just one of those annoying things that everyone has to go to in adolescence, but for some people it is much worse. Acne treatments are usually simply a convenience – something to make pimply teens feel better about the way they look – but if you have severe scarring acne, they are a necessity. Bad acne is not always something that will go away on its own. If it is bad enough, it can leave scars on the face that can last for the rest of your life.

That doesn’t mean that every acne treatment has to be drastic. A lot of people get by with pretty simple acne treatments using little more than soap, water, and common sense. When my best friend in high school came down with a bad acne breakout, his mom put him on a strict diet. He ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, cut out all processed foods, and gave up beef and fatty meats. In addition, he got an acne cleanser – basically rubbing alcohol with a little mojo – and took to washing his face three or four times a day. His face cleared up within a week, all without the use of any drastic acne treatments.

My case was different. I got little benefit from facial cleansers and soaps. Although eating badly made my acne worse, eating well did not make it much better. My mom was getting worried that I would get scars, so she took me to the dermatologist.

The doctor was glad that I had come in. apparently, acne scar treatment is a whole lot more difficult than treating the acne itself before it gets to that point. He provided a facial cream called Retin-A, and told me to come back if the problem did not go away. At first, I was skeptical that things would get any better. After four days of using his prescribed acne treatments, things had barely improved. I decided to be patient, however, and gave it another week. Slowly but surely, my face started to look better and better.

The cream did not work by itself, but with the aid of careful eating habits and frequent facial cleansing,  it did the job. Soon, I was almost entirely pimple free. I still had to watch out for occasional breakouts, but after going to the doctor, it was never that bad anymore.

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