I just want to say that yes, I am still on the trial and error course of finding something to help with clearing my skin. At the moment I'm using clindatech plus a face wash and moisturizer as well as sea water, so we'll see how that goes. I got told to take photos each week so I can see the difference, good grief it's a hard thing to deal with, it can be like a slap in the face if you think you're doing really well and on the right track and all.. anyway, I wrote this for youth central and hope that it helps though it can be hella hard sometimes... a lot of the time... enjoy
THE ACNE STORY
For many people, teenage years are hard. The body is changing and the hormones are raging, the skin tends to suffer and breakouts occur.
Generally this is a passing stage that, though annoying and embarrassing, clears up as you reach the end of your teenage years. For some though, it is not just a passing stage. It is a debilitating, life-changing thing that might not just strike in teenage years but drag on into your 20s or actually start in your 20s and cause untold amounts of grief or depression.
Throughout my high school life I was blessed with clear, smooth skin. I lived life in blissful ignorance of skin problems and the untold effects they can have on a person’s self-confidence and how much they can affect your life.
My time came when I hit 18. Just when everyone else seemed to be getting over their skin problems, mine hit me full-force. How utterly embarrassing. It really was. I was in TAFE studying Eco Tourism and no one, not one single person in that course, had blemished skin. Mine, though, seemed totally out of control.
I didn't know what had caused this sudden, aggressive outbreak. My diet was healthy and balanced, I was out in the sunshine and getting exercise and I was not overly stressed. My troubled skin ranged from the corners of my mouth to the sides of my face and would sometimes spread up towards my cheeks as well as my forehead.
I was not completely covered, but I absolutely felt that way. The overall effect was this: I was oh-so-embarrassed to go out in public, I felt judged by everyone who saw me, I felt dirty and uncomfortable and I could not wait to go home, wash my face and hide away, out of sight of the public and their opinions of me.
It took a huge chunk and a half out of my self-confidence and I struggled to face people and meet their eye when talking to them. I would hide behind my hand, hair or downturned face.
I believed people thought less of me. There was always that part of my brain that worried that my skin was not clear. Also, since part of my course required me to go on hikes, I was unable to hide at least some of the splotchy, lumpy redness with makeup. It meant I was totally exposing my skin for what it was, and I struggled.
Treatments and Courses of Action
What I want to get across as the most important thing is to work out what road you want to go down. Whether you choose medical treatment or go holistic and natural, do the research into the different regimes available in your category and stick to it. Some medical examples include:
- The pill
For natural alternatives there are:
- Witch hazel
- Aloe vera
- The Bellaboo regime
Each of these treatments has their own positives and negatives - it's worth researching all of them before you decide on a treatment for yourself. You might even find out about another treatment altogether.
The easiest thing to do once your skin starts breaking out is to panic and jump from one regime to another without giving any of them proper time to start working. Not only does this mean that your skin never has time to adjust to the thing you are using, but it causes unnecessary stress, which can lead to more breakouts.
Also, be wary of anyone who recommends a product that is meant to "work for everyone". No-one’s skin is the same and there is no one product that will suit everyone. I learnt this the hard way and spent a lot of money on something that was meant to work on everyone. It burnt my skin and spread the acne like wildfire, causing a lot more damage and scarring than I started off with.
Most products do have a period during treatment where the skin looks angry or inflamed, which then tends to settle down in time. This is especially the case, I find, with medical regimes. I tend to prefer the natural products as my skin is super-sensitive and not oily at all, so the medical stuff is really quite harsh and aggravating to me.
A good skin doctor can help you choose what products best suit you, though be wary of those who just prescribe Roaccutane. I would classify this treatment as a last resort, or only appropriate if your acne is severe and causing deep scarring, because it can sometimes cause more harm than good and has a long list of side-effects.
Take the time to find a doctor who understands your skin and who will help you work out a regime that suits your lifestyle and skin type.
Other Things You Can Do
I also encourage you to get into the habit of eating a balanced diet - obviously fresh and homemade food is better than takeaway. Though some say that food doesn’t have an effect on skin, it did for me. Exercising, getting sunshine, drinking water and getting some downtime also help battle the occurrence of stress and acne.
Use natural makeup and cover up as much or as little of your acne as you want in the morning and then that’s it. Don’t look at your skin in the mirror any more. Let it go. The more you focus on it, the more stressed you’ll get and the worse it will seem. Makeup also tends to help keep fingers off, which is important for keeping your skin clean.
It’s easy to forget that many people are caught up with their own issues and are not focusing constantly on your skin. Your friends and family still love you as they know the beauty that lies within. It is not something that will last forever.
Patience and surrounding yourself with loving and supporting people are the best things you can do to help reduce the stress of freaking out about your skin. Avoid looking in the mirror every five minutes; it tends to just stress you out more.
Remember you are beautiful. There are ALWAYS people who know this and who will tell you so. Trust them. They are right.