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The Acne Medication That (Finally) Gave Me Clear Skin

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I remember certain things about puberty vividly, like shaving my armpits for the first time while my family waited downstairs impatiently before a trip to Florida. I remember my mother talking me through tampon insertion from behind the door of my bathroom, since I refused to let her in. But, for the life of me, I cannot remember my first zit. The inflamed red dots that scattered across my forehead and chin have always been a part of my life, like the perfectly round birth mark on the inner corner of my right eye. I have always had acne, and it's always been pretty bad. Or, at least, I thought it was bad.

In my teen years, I tried every possible regimen, from Stridex pads to Proactiv. When I was 18, I even convinced my mother to let me go on birth control to keep the zits at bay. But nothing ever worked for very long, and eventually, I just accepted my acne as a part of me. I stocked up on hella foundation, and figured it would go away once my hormones weren't as crazy-active.

Then, one day, I woke up and I realized that I was 25 and still had shitty skin. And I was fed up with it. So I made an appointment with Sejal Shah, M.D., whom I now consider my skin fairy godmother because she was 100% no-bullshit. "I'm fucking sick of having acne," I told her in her office on that first day. She replied: "Well, I can give you a topical. But if you really want to get serious, I can give you an antibiotic." I looked the good doctor straight in the eyes and said, "I'll take the drugs, please and thank you." [For the full story head to Refinery29!]

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