So over the past couple of weeks I've noticed my skin has basically stopped improving - still 5+ new large whiteheads and lumps per day, constant itching and swelling (especially if my hair touches my face, I wear a scarf, I pull a T-shirt over my head, the air around is me is too hot/cold/dry/humid, you know, just, all the time). And I've also been really depressed - basically every day I wake up and think of 10 excuses not to leave the house, but so far I've still managed to force myself to go to work every day. Anyone else out there just feeling mentally exhausted by hating your face all the time - I feel you.
It's been exactly 5 weeks since I started the epiduo, and while I think it gets rid of my spots once they've got really noticeable or been squeezed, it doesn't seem to be doing much yet to prevent the new itchy bumps/big nasty spots from forming in the first place. I'm really keen to keep using it, as I know it takes a long time for acne treatments to really work, but I was at such a low point last weekend that I booked myself another appointment with my GP to talk about my skin, hoping there might be something else she could do to help me out.
I went along today, and was SO impressed by my doctor's reaction. She took me seriously as soon as I mentioned why I was there, wasn't patronising or dismissive, and suggested straightaway that I take an oral antibiotic (Doxycycline) in addition to using the epiduo. While she wrote out my prescription, she also asked me (without any prompting from me at all) how it was affecting my stress levels, and if I needed to talk to anyone about it - I was super impressed by that, as often the self-esteem and mental health aspects of having acne are really difficult to bring up without feeling trivialized or vain. I'm currently training to be a clinical psychologist, and hoping to specialise in body image disorders, so I'm all too aware of the mental health problems associated with this kind of thing - body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), social phobia, depression, anxiety, etc etc.
So I was really happy that my doctor seemed to be aware of that aspect of acne, and willing to help me out in that respect if I needed it. For the moment I told her I was feeling pretty depressed about it, finding it hard to be in social situations etc, and her responses were really helpful and practical. I didn't feel like I needed any counselling or anything (I'm still going to therapy for my eating disorder anyway, so I'm kind of covered), but it was so awesome that she offered!
Anyway, so I'm continuing to use the epiduo, and now adding in the Doxy, which I'm feeling pretty positive about. I'll keep updating on how that goes, and hopefully my skin will clear up enough soon that I can take some exciting, non-depressing progress pictures soon! Hope everyone reading is feeling ok in their skin today (or at least managing to leave the house )