So as I sit in front of my laptop and type this, I have to say that having just celebrated my 31st birthday yesterday has brought on some clarity on my acne situation. As a person that has suffered with this disease since 15 with 1 or 2 years of clear skin due to medication/topicals, I have come to the epiphany that we as acne sufferers are masters of playing the Blame Game. This idea that we are the cause of our acne is reinforced by doctors, the media, well meaning friends/family and other people that want to share their 5 cents of unsolicited advice. That has not been made more clear more so than on this site where everyone is an acne expert and knows the 'true cure'.
Well folks, i'm here to tell you that I am more than ready to get off the blame game carousel. I have been systematically trying to 'cure' my acne through topicals, diet, lifestyle changes and such since 2011 and guess what, i still have acne.
My trial and error process went something like this:
"Ok, maybe I need to see a skin care professional for natural products because natural products work miracles."
NOPE - Acne Worsened
"Ok, my skin care professional said to get off dairy, and get on supplements, that will help."
Dairy free since 2011 and have taken 'acne' supplements off and on and I still have acne
"Ok, accutane is the way to go, it worked well before....nope changed my mind, let me try topicals."
Acne cycled, thought I was getting better, then i got worse, then i got better, then i got worse and stayed worse.
"Ok, I need a naturopath, why didn't i think of this before?!?"
Hundreds of dollars on visits and supplements and zero change in acne
"Ok, diet is the key, i knew it! Paleo, here i come!"
Nope, lost a ton of weight, looked like a skeleton and guess, what, still had acne
"Ok, accutane again."
Never stopped breaking out but acne improved
"Ok, i'm desperate to try The Regimen! Topicals and a healthy lifestyle should help better than either alone"
It worked for a year and gave me facial eczema
"Ok, juicing and an elimination diet. This is it, i can feel it!"
"Ok now i'm back to square one. No idea where to turn."
So this is where I'm at in my acne saga. I am still searching for some respite but while I look, I realize that I don't have to keep on blaming myself for something that is out of my control. I had my birthday yesterday and wasn't gonna even eat the cake that my friend had bought for me (dairy and gluten free = expensive) and then I thought to myself, that is so ridiculous. It's my birthday, a day that should be all about me, not my acne! It made me mad that I was even considering staying home because of my skin....grrrrr. I also don't have to get all psychotic over my food choices because in all honesty, diet, while important has never cleared my acne.....i mean not even a little bit. Am i going to have a heart attack because I ate rice or beef or even pork? Is it worth the aggravation?
Needless to say, I am going to continue eating mostly paleo because I like it but you know what, rice once in a while is an option too. My derm is going to have me try a salicylic acid product so we'll see how that works out and I am going to continue to live because I have no choice. I won't be the 1st person with acne nor will I be the last. Moving forward, i'm going to take ideas from this forum with a grain of salt and keep on keeping on because while life with acne is annoying, embarrassing and at times, distressing, life with acne and a negative mindset is much worse.