October 18, 2012

Tag | My Acne Story/Things I wish I Could Tell Myself About Acne and Self Esteem

Hi guys. Welcome to blushing appraisal. My name is Samantha or Sam which ever you prefer. This is going to be a LONG AND BORING POST.

I wanted to talk about Acne and the things I wish someone would have told me about acne. I believe Cassandra Banks has done a video called “Acne: Things I Wish I Knew (Or Could Tell Myself) Before Having Acne”. Not sure if she called it a tag but let’s make it one.
When I was 18 I had pretty good skin, good weight and prefect hair. I wasn't gorgeous or breath taking but I never felt like an ugly duckling. It wasn't until the summer of 2010 when I started to feel I was ugly, SUPER UGLY. When I was younger I had random break outs, one at a time, sporadically all over my face which was manageable. But in the summer of 2010 my face broke out like a volcano on steroids. At the time I had a stressful job, I had a horrible boss and my boyfriend moved to a university that was really far away. It was a really stressful time for me.

For a long time I spent a lot of money using drug store or ‘ dermatological’ brands like Neutragena (Best Drugstore Brand), Biore (Very drying), Neostrata (Kinda liked this one), Proactiv (burnt my skin), Vichy (Seriously, it's like water) etc. And then when that didn't work I thought maybe the harsh chemicals in those products don’t actually help but aggravate my skin. I always thought my skin was super resistant but it wasn't until I started using natural products that I noticed two things: I have sensitive skin (acne = sensitive skin) and that I have dehydrated skin.

Early this year I made a promise to myself that I would get professional help as soon as I landed a full time job. I have been going to my dermatologist since July of this year and it has help. What provoked me to make that promise was that my cystic acne was starting to spread and move downward. This freaked me out.

My acne is what my Derm calls stage 3. This stage/level is the worst. It is nodal or clusters of  acne that flare up. The cystic acne remains under the skin for months without coming to the surface. It is very painful and originally only existed on my cheeks. It started to move down my neck. Not Cute.

From May to the end of September I was one Doxycycline. It’s an antibiotic that helps with inflammation. This did… close to nothing. I say only a slight improvement and it wasn't worth it. I felt nauseous all the time, irritated, chapped lips and maybe this is TMI but I was irregular. Wow. I wrote that… Moving on.

In my last check up my Doctor asked if I had given Accutane any thought. I had decided to go ahead with the treatment a while back and I'm still heading in that direction. I am well aware of the risks and the side effects that come with taking Accutane, so no lectures please. I will be documenting how I feel when I am on it.

When you are on Accutane you have to be on birth control whether you are sexually active or not. And you will have to sign a waiver stating that you will use two form of birth control and have blood tests done once or twice a month. The blood tests are to make sure that your liver is alright. The birth control I was told to use is Diane 35. It is intended for persons with acne. And you are suppose to start taking in a month before you go on Accutane.

I can tell you this; my acne is greatly affected by hormones. I have seen an improvement since I have been taking Diane 35.

Now that I have been overly boring I wanted to show you some pictures of what my skin currently looks like. Please note: THIS IS THE BEST IT AS BEEN IN A LONG TIME:

Lets Start on the forehead.

The pimples are flatter than they have ever been.

Hopefully you can see the holes left by my cystic acne. 

Alright the point of the post was what I would tell my younger self:
1. Go to the dermatologist ASAP!
2. Try products for at least two months unless the acne gets seriously worse
3. Be Gentle, it’s hard to use anti-aging items when you’re trying to keep up with acne. So the only real wrinkle prevention is to be as gentle as possible. Don't take it out on your face.
4. Don’t to be so hard on yourself. 

The things I tell myself daily

1. Things will get better
2. Don’t stress about the small stuff, if someone makes a comment about your skin. IGNORE IT. Be strong and move on. If someone wants to tell you how they miraculously got rid of their pimples (one non-existent pimple) and how their method can help you. Respond like so: I am on a strict skin care regime that does not allow adding of other acne fighting products since it could fry my skin. But thanks! 
3. Focus on your goal and be consistent

Sorry for the long post but I hope this helped.

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