Hey guys, I'm 21 and don't really fit into this category really... but I've done a ton of research on acne and thought maybe I could throw some helpful ideas out there for you all. I never really had acne problems until the end of high school. Towards the end of my senior year into my freshman year of college my face started breaking out more little by little... larger, more frequent, and longer lasting pimples. It didn't get bad until mid-late freshman year of college and it just kept getting worse. I went to the dermatologist in the summer and antibiotics worked well, for about a month. After that they stopped working altogether. Things kept getting worse up until a few months ago when I decided to stop going to the derms and figure this out for myself, and I did.
I found a website that sells Isotane without a prescription and decided to give it a try. My skin and hair have always been slightly on the oily side, especially by the end of the day it would be pretty bad. I knew all along I just needed to somehow shrink my sebaceous glands down a bit and my face/skin would stop breaking out and have a real nice texture and tone to it. Well, needless to say when the Isotane came in it did just that. I've never had such wonderful looking skin in my whole life.
Now, this medication is more severe for women because of possible birth-defects while ON the medication. You should also not conceive for at least 6 months after stopping the medication either I believe. It will raise your cholesterol and the amount of fats in your blood, so it is something to definitely consider especially as you get older. You shouldn't drink really or take any other medications and NO vitamin A, mutlivitamins, or zinc supplements. It can also decrease bone density so calcium supplements might be a good idea. Anyway, this stuff is almost guaranteed to rid you of all your acne (take 4-6 months) and will last 1 year (90% stay clear) to 2 years (75% stay clear) or more.
As far as leftover scars and marks, there are procedures used to smooth over your skin to help restore a smooth texture and tone to it. You women could probably just use make-up if you wanted, but I think it would be nice to be able to go out without having to rely on make-up to make it through the day. And since guys don't wear make-up there is really no alternatives.
Retin A also kind of worked for me, but since I had oily skin (hormone-induced overactive sebaceous activity) Accutane was the right medication for the job. Washing your face too much is also bad. I used Neutrogena face wash / face mask (it doubles as both... blue and yellow and white bottle I beleive) with 3.5% benzoyl peroxide and it was just wonderful. For spot treatment I'd recommend Retin A instead of Accutane. It all depends on what is causing your acne which medication is right for you. I paid $200 for 100 20mg pills multiplied by 3 packages overall (or 4... can't remember). It's expensive but I don't think you can really put a price on happiness / self-confidence, etc.
Oh yea, and as far as feeling self-conscious, you should really try not to. I'm sure all of you know this, but looks are NOT everything. Good looking people with poor personalities lose their luster very quickly. Halfway decent looking people with wonderful personalities however do become very attractive very quickly. It's all relative... looks and personality are both important, but personality I think prevails over looks any day of the week. If you are confident people will sense that and it is such an attractive quality. Now that my skin is clear I can totally sympathize with those who are suffering through acne, but when I talk to them and they are just themselves I totally don't even see their face for what it is, I instead just see their personalities. I'm sorry if this isn't making sense lol, but I'm so serious about just being yourself and not worrying... you will care more about your face than anyone else. Nobody is perfect and nobody THINKS they are perfect, and everybody is more concerned with their own looks than anybody else's. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so don't worry and have a good time and let people see you for who you really are and you will be much happier guaranteed. You only live once so who cares what other people think.
Good luck guys!