I'm at low point.
I decided to create an account on this site because I'm not sure who to talk to any more and my desperation has reached a new level. I feel like I can longer bear the weight of my feelings by myself. Everyone has an acne story, here's mine:
I've never had perfect skin. In high school I had a pimple here, a pimple there. In college, my skin was more or less the same even though I rarely slept and I maintained a consistently awful diet. Upon moving to Chicago for my first job out of college, I began to acquire white heads where I never experienced white heads before. Months passed and I found crops of enflamed, angry cysts on my face near my ears below my cheek bones. They crept along my jaw line, then my chin. Big, ugly white heads formed near the corners of my mouth. Enflamed, dark red and even purple-ish cysts continued to sprout.
At first, I switched toothpastes, then tried tons of over-the-counter products, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, everything. Then I visited a dermatologist who put me on Cetaphil and Retin-A, along with Finacea gel. I used these products consistently for months. No improvements. The dermatologist performed extractions as well, but they provided only temporary relief--if they didn't aggravate my already sensitive, combination skin. I spent hundred on those extractions, or "acne surgeries". I then became fixated on the possibility that my diet was triggering my acne so I tried vegetarianism. I did this for about 6 months with no improvements seen. Then I cut out dairy for about 4-5 months with, again, no improvements. I even cut caffeine. Two years have gone by and it's only gotten worse. I read that chemical peels might help. I found a good aesthetician and paid for at least 5 chemical peels, 2 salicylic acid peels and 3 or more Jessner peels. No improvements. I visited 2 more dermatologists. Both attempted to prescribe a similar regimen despite my insisting I had experienced no results with them. I've since tried Duac, Differin and Trentinoin gels with no results.
I've taken fish oil pills, zinc, vitamin d, multivitamins, mint teas, green teas, chlorophyll, spirulina, multiple brands of birth control, used the Clarisonic faithfully, tried Jan Marini...and I don't know what else any more. I'm 26 and I don't know what it's like to feel like a pretty young woman. My skin makes me feel like a monster. I hate myself. I disgust myself. I fantasize about digging my nails into my skin and tearing it off. When I see normal women women on the bus, train or street I feel defeated and overcome with grief. I want to cry all of the time. I want to be normal. Nothing I do works, all of the money and time I've spent has been in vain. I dread leaving my house for work, I dread vacations, I dread shopping for clothing because it doesn't matter what I wear, and most of all I dread eye contact. I worry that my boyfriend wishes he was dating a normal, pretty girl. He doesn't understand my frustration or grief, and I'm sure my insecurity is a turn off. It's only a matter of time before I push him away completely. My mother looks at me with pity since she's never experienced acne, my friends become awkward at the mere mention of it.
My acne has completely taken over my life, there's no denying it. I'm full of shame and despair. My whole body hurts from the pain it gives me. Sometimes I have awful thoughts. Please help me I don't know what to do any more.
Edited by edithharms, 16 March 2013 - 08:22 PM.