So here I am, ready to turn 23, which will mark (roughly) 10 years that I've had to deal with this bullshit. And every year at my birthday I would tell myself "well maybe next year at this time I won't be dealing with this anymore" but I've decided to stop lying to myself. I'm 23 years old... this isn't going away. At 23, it's no longer that "normal teenage acne". I guess I'm one of the lucky ones, eh? So I've decided to give up on trying to fight it. I've been down every avenue, tried all the options (minus accutane), listened to all of the advice and broscience, and from all of this I've concluded two facts: 1) nothing works for me, and 2) no one has any god damn idea how to treat acne. I mean just look through these boards, everyone has their own homemade magical cocktail remedy that, sure, may work for them, but others nothing. Go to one derm who says diet doesn't mean shit and starts writing up the med prescriptions, go to another derm who says diet is related and tells you to take specific vitamins. No one knows anything about this disease, because everyone's body reacts differently. And for people like me, whose acne is solely at the mercy of their hormones, are fucked. There is nothing I can do about it, plain and simple.
I don't really know why I'm posting this. Maybe to get it off my chest? I don't talk about my acne to anyone I know in real life, and frankly if you knew me in real life you would have no idea that I'm even bothered by it, nor care about it. But the fact of the matter is that this disease has destroyed any confidence I've ever had, and had a rather large impact on my life. I'm not one of those people who have hidden from social situations (not like I've been in many to begin with though) due to acne or anything like that. But I'm sitting here at 23 years old and I've never had a girlfriend, never been on a date, and never had any physical contact with a woman. Pretty god damn pathetic, no? But like I said, I have been robbed of any confidence I ever once had. If I've ever felt unusually confident before heading out of the house all I would need is a quick glance in the mirror and at my face and I'm faced with the fact that I'm completely fucked. I'm a very honest, level-headed person, so let's be real here: no physical attraction, no connection. You can preach to me about "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and "personality is really what matters" until my ears bleed, but the fact of the matter is that I have absolutely no problem talking to women and I'm not socially awkward, but I've never had a girl show any interest in me sexually; nothing beyond simple friendships. But sexual frustration is simply just one of the issues living with this disease has brought upon me.
Next let's talk about the scaring... see, even if by some grace of god my acne would subside tomorrow, it really wouldn't matter. After 10 years of dealing with very moderate, and especially during my teen years severe (cystic) acne, my face has been left looking like a war zone. Scars, I have them all: rolling, ice pick, boxcar, hyper pigmentation, you name it, it's there. I would say about 80% of my face is scarred. That's not an overreaction either, I'm being serious. My scarring is not like half of those people posting over on the scar treatment forum, who have two scars on their cheek that you can only see if they're standing directly underneath a street lamp, while you're crouched below them looking up at them while their head is tilted to a 30 degree angle to the right, and Jupiter and Mars have perfectly aligned so their light reflects upon their face at just the right angle... you get what I'm saying. No disrespect to those posters or anything, but I often wonder what they would do if they woke up one morning to the mess that is my face... Sure, there are scar treatments, but it's like a cruel joke to me: you cannot begin the treatments until your acne has actually subsided. Well, there goes that option. But they're not a guarantee fix anyway, and in some cases have made things worse for people. No, my face looks absolutely terrible due to scarring. I have seen a small number of posters here who have scarring as bad, or worse, than mine; but never in real life have I met someone whose face is as badly scarred as mine.
Again, like I said, I don't know why I'm posting this. I guess after 10 years I just have to bitch and get all of this frustration out. No one else in my family has any problems with acne. All of my friends who back in high school had bad acne as well no longer deal with it. I think what pisses me off so much is I feel like I was lied to by everyone. Family, friends, doctors, other adults. They all said the same thing: "Oh it's just a puberty thing, you'll grow out of it." I'm 23. If I haven't "grown out of it" by now, I highly doubt I will. There is still that small shred of hope that I have, deep down inside me, that maybe I will. But each year that fades more and more. It's not going to last much longer.
So if you've actually read this wall of text I thank you for putting up with my bitching and moaning. But I feel as if I had to rant. Now feel free to leave hate mail below.