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For Those Of You Who Are Feeling Hopeless....don't Despair!

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#1 Lily87

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 06:05 PM

I was just about to go to bed and I was washing my face when I suddenly thought to myself that I really must get back on this site and write this post. I'm hoping that it may give some hope to those of you who are despairing of ever getting rid of your acne.

Here's my story:

I have had acne since I was 14 years old and it got progressively worse as I got older. I'm now 24 years old. When I was about 18 years old I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is a known cause of acne in women and the underlying reasons for it are that when you have PCOS your body produces too much testosterone, hence you may be prone to acne. From what I have read, high testosterone levels are often the very same reason for young men suffering from acne.

At the start of this year my acne had reached it's peak. It was absolutely awful. Both sides of my face and my cheeks were covered in pustules, cysts, blackheads etc. I also had a terrible problem with picking, which often caused more spots as well as traumatising the ones I had and making them bright red and sore. This led to superficial scarring for me, but luckily not pits.

When my acne had reached this stage of severity, my ability to cope with it just seemed to disappear with every new spot that arrived. I seemed to wake up every morning looking worse. My face hurt to touch and emotionally it hurt me to look at it.

Over the years I have been prescribed Dianette, a contraceptive pill which is intended to balance hormone levels and therefore resolve acne- taking this pill had slightly helped with the acne but that took around a year to work, and the effects were short-lived. It soon stopped having any effect on my skin and it continued to worsen. I had also tried all sorts of topical acne creams from the doctor plus courses of antibiotics- nothing helped. I also tried a variety of home remedies to try and sort out the problem but none of them had any effect either. I also tried microdermabrasion which made the problems worse. Diet changes and drinking more water also failed to help me.

So, when in January this year, after nearly 10 years of battling against acne and I had it worse than ever, I just emotionally broke down about it.

I completely lost all confidence in myself. I couldn't face work, my family, my friends... if I could avoid going out then I would. I stayed in every weekend. I cried constantly. Every time I got into my car to drive anywhere I found myself sobbing at the wheel for the whole journey. As soon as I got home after work I would sob all evening. I managed to hold myself together in front of every one except my mum, but when I was holding it together I was just blocking people out. I couldn't look anyone at work in the eye and if I could avoid having conversations with colleagues then I would. I just became completely withdrawn and an emotional wreck.

I eventually went back to the doctors and broke down there. It was so embarrassing, especially walking back through the waiting room after my appointment. I felt like everyone there was staring at me because of the way I looked and because of the fact that I seemed to be having some sort of nervous breakdown. My doctor did refer me to a dermatologist and at this point I was offered accutane.

It was then that I found this site- when I was searching on the internet for accutane reviews. Reading the negative reviews on here helped me make my decision to turn down the option of accutane.

So once I had turned down the accutane I really was out of options. At this point I was completely hopeless and had resigned myself to the depressing thought that I would never see my face looking the way it truly should. I would always be wearing this mask of acne that would continue to destroy myself confidence and my sanity.

Due to the fact that I was feeling so hopeless and that i'd tried every possible option except accutane, I decided to stop with my skincare routine. At the time I was using Clinique Anti Blemish solutions. I stopped using it, I swapped to a PH neutral soap from the chemist and general face wipes to clean my skin. The reason for the change was that I was so demoralised that I thought there was no further point in spending my money on expensive products with high alcohol content. The Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions didn't seem to be making any difference, except it dried my skin out and just made it all the sorer. It did nothing to prevent further acne from appearing.

I continued to use make up to cover the blemishes and I carried on with the PH neutral soap as a face wash.

From this point on my skin seemed to gradually improve. The acne became less severe, my skin less red and angry. I invested in an expensive skin serum- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I used that on my face at night and just used a cheap moisturiser which had an SPF in it for the day time. The serum helped my skin in the healing process and I am pretty sure it made a big difference to the scarring. I also made sure I drank Redoxon Vitamin C & Zinc soluble tablets- one a day.

By the time I got to June I had very mild acne and mild scarring.

Since then it has just continued to get better. I actually have NO ACNE now.

I still have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and it hasn't changed or improved. My skin has just seemed to have miraculously cleared up.

I have tried so many things over the years that I find it hard to believe that the low PH soap and the serum was my cure. However, I do genuinely think it has helped.

My opinion on skincare is that no matter how awful your acne is, you should still be extremely gentle with your skin. Any sort of trauma will only cause a reaction- whether it's inflammation, sensitivity, reddening or scarring. I think that a lot of these acne products just dry the skin out and make it more sensitive. They certainly don't treat the underlying cause for acne as the cause is not usually just skin deep....

To me, it is important to think of acne more like a wound than anything else- you need to gently clean it and treat it sensitively. Don't pick it, don't poke it, don't use products that dry it, burn it, sting it.....just use a minimal skin care regime.

Cover it with make up if you want to, but always take your make up off properly and use only high quality cover up products. These tend to have better, more organic ingredients that don't aggravate the skin or block pores. If you need any advice regarding make up application or products to use then please feel free to contact me. I am actually a make up artist and one thing I specialise in from first hand experience, is how to cover up skin problems!

So, the point I really wanted to make and the reason for taking the time to write this post (my first ever post!) is that I want to show you that no matter how long you have been suffering with acne for, there is always the chance that it will one day clear up. I really never thought mine would and I am still awe-struck every time I look at my skin. I can't truly know what the reason for this miraculous cure has been, I can only carry on as I am now and hope that it never comes back. But one thing I know for sure is this:

I never thought I would see the day when I wouldn't have a single spot. But after 10 years of suffering with it, that day has come.

#2 the uphill battle

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 08:04 PM

Congratulations on your success! And thank you for taking the time to share your insight.

#3 Cherryx

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 08:24 PM

I am so happy for you! I would love to know some make-up tips. Which makeup do you recommend to people with acne?

#4 Tyga

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 10:37 PM

Nothing like rushing to the computer after washing your face to make a post on acne.org!

#5 amy91

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 11:50 PM

I am so happy for you! I would love to know some make-up tips. Which makeup do you recommend to people with acne?

Honestly? Stop wearing makeup, ur not doin' ur skin any favor. It cloges ur pores ( even tho it says it's not comedogenic and etc, fignya). Try to stop wearing makeup step by step, then completely stop it. Your skin will thank you for that.

#6 Lily87

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 03:57 AM

I am so happy for you! I would love to know some make-up tips. Which makeup do you recommend to people with acne?


Cherryx, I have made a few posts on the cosmetics and skincare section which may be helpful to you.

http://www.acne.org/...ble-for-advice/

Feel free to have a look and ask questions if you have any!

I know make up is not for every one, but at times when I felt really low, I don't think i'd have left the house at all if it wasn't for make up. And in my personal experience, if you apply it and remove it properly, and use decent products, it does not always make acne worse.

As Amy91 says, it would be better not to wear make up at all- and I do think this is true, but for me, that just wasn't an option that I could face!

#7 Cherryx

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 07:45 PM


I am so happy for you! I would love to know some make-up tips. Which makeup do you recommend to people with acne?

Honestly? Stop wearing makeup, ur not doin' ur skin any favor. It cloges ur pores ( even tho it says it's not comedogenic and etc, fignya). Try to stop wearing makeup step by step, then completely stop it. Your skin will thank you for that.


I don't really think that makeup is the cause of my acne. These days I wear makeup only for special events. How about you? Did going "make-up free" cure you?

And I agree with Lily, if I'm going out to a date or a party, I would feel super-uncomfortable having red spots on my face.

#8 Cherryx

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 09:07 PM

I have a question. How old were you when your acne cured?

#9 shapkalolly

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 10:24 PM

Congratulations on your success!