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#1 edithharms

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 08:02 PM

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.


#2 aze

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:50 PM

First off let me just say that you're not alone in feeling that way. Lately I feel like my life revolves around my skin. It's really frustrating when you feel like you're doing everything right - drinking plenty of water, eating well and taking supplements, yet it doesn't get any better. Most of my friends have flawless skin - and they eat whatever they want, drink alcohol etc. So yes, seeing other people and thinking they are 'normal' is not a foreign feeling to me.

 

Even though sometimes you just want to give up, I find the best feeling is actually to keep fighting it. It's not easy, acne can take such a toll on your self esteem. But if you feel like you're at least trying to do something about it, you're being proactive. It may seem hopeless but it's really not!!

 

Have you tried antibiotics or accutane? Are you on birth control? Your acne sounds hormonal to me. There are a lot of options out there that you may not have tried yet. 

 

As for your mom and boyfriend, they can say they understand what you're going through but unless they suffer from acne, they probably don't. Having support is great but only those who have been through it can truly understand the extend to which acne can hurt - physically and emotionally. Maybe you could try seeing a therapist? It's what I started doing lately, I can't say how much it has helped so far but I think in the long run it will be worth it. Learning to take your negative thoughts and turning them around is really important, especially when you feel you're at wits end. It can be really overwhelming, dealing with all these feelings, and fears (like pushing your boyfriend away) - so talking about it with a professional can only do you good. And remember - if someone really cares about you, they'll take the good with the bad. 

 

I have days when I don't even want to get out of bed. Sometimes I feel like no amount of make-up will help. Sometimes I feel just plain angry. But I try to push myself, at least a little. Doing something like going for a walk can help take your mind off it for a bit - I find exercise really helps boost my mood. 

 

No matter what just remember you're not alone, even though it may feel that way. Keep fighting!! You'll get there- we all will. We just have to be hopeful and stay strong :)



#3 edithharms

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:41 PM

Thanks aze, your comment helped. 



#4 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:40 AM

I have really bad acne that was initially triggered by the birth control pill. The acne-clearing power of those pills is a joke--they cause acne for some people. I never had acne at all before going on the pill, and literally within a few days my face exploded and it never went away despite being off the pill for 10+ years. So definitely don't look to birth control as an answer.

 

Have you tried the regimen? The one from this site? It seems to be one of the few things that help really difficult cases.



#5 Pigwidgeon

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:34 PM

I'm so sorry that you're feeling that way, yet, at the same time, I completely understand how you feel.  Just know that your skin does not make you a monster, and I'm sure you have so many wonderful qualities that more than make up for having less than perfect skin.

 

Since you have cystic acne and it seems like you've tried everything else, I'd really suggest giving accutane a try if you haven't already.  I've had acne ranging from severe-moderate-mild for over 10 years, and accutane worked wonders for me when I took it about a year and a half ago.  As in maybe 2 pimples in 4 months.  Unfortunately I have to take another course because my acne flared up again when I moved from Italy back home to California and switched BCP, but I'm confident that it will get rid of it for good this time.  My friend in college who had severe cystic acne took accutane a year before I did and now has beautiful clear skin. 

 

I'm not sure if you're nervous about the potential side effects that come with accutane and that's why you haven't tried it.  But, considering the degree to which your acne affects your feelings about yourself, it sounds like a good option for you.  If you have any questions about the drug, I'd be happy to answer.



#6 excelicious

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:41 PM

I was told this by my frend, it really help motivate me..... Picture yourself in your deathbed and you are talking to everyone of your loved ones. Tellling them the good times and bad times, also the incredible experiences you had with them while you are still alive. Sad? Is it not?

 

Instead of focusing on the bad things in your life try to create more memories with your loved ones because when you are at your deathbed those good things are what truly matters. The magic and the amazing things you share to the poepl around you it is possible to create more of them. The measure of a person is not what he has, but what he does for the good of society. The answer to ignoring all the bad things about us is to imagine as if we are about to die and do good things as much as possible.

 

Have you ever wondered how as humans we cry at weddings, performances and people who succeed? It is because we know that we can do those things or maybe more!!!!!! It is just that the little things hold as back you know, unless we ignore these things we can never go forward.

 

I really do hope this helps because it helped me. Don't give up!

 

So... basically to sum it up..... CHin up!!! :D



#7 woah44

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:51 PM

Wow great advice on here guys. I don't think my input will do much, but I would have to agree that Accutane would be a good option. If acne is affecting your life that much then I would recommend Accutane, but only if you have tried everything else. (And you obviously have) I also understand your situation completely. I took accutane about a year ago and it kept me clear for the duration of my treatment, but those were the greatest months of my life...sadly lol. I am looking forward to going on Accutane again this upcoming summer.



#8 foreverbold

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:30 AM

Just quit with the restrictive diets and eat normally - despite what you may hear from ignorant individuals and even people on this website severe ungoing acne is rarely ever linked to diet truthfully. People may argue "oh well diet hugely influences hormones that contribute to acne" - I say to them, how on earth do you explain the legions of severely obese people that have never had acne in their lives? - common sense, acne is more than what you eat. Don't restict.

 

Second of all - stop using tons of facial products, it's a waste of money as almost all over the counter skin systems do nothing for inflammatory acne. Just wash your face with cetaphil (it's ideal because it prepares the skin for medications) and then apply your dermatologists prescribed cream or benzoyl peroxide and add a moisturizer into your routine if you experience peeling or dryness. Keep it simple.

 

 

Accutane is an option of course, but that's up to you. The side effects can be devastatingly harsh for certain people (like me, I had to quit it) but other people (hopefully this will apply to you) only experience dryness and have great results with the drug and experience long term remission from acne.



#9 onefatalgoose

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 07:34 AM

Just quit with the restrictive diets and eat normally - despite what you may hear from ignorant individuals and even people on this website severe ungoing acne is rarely ever linked to diet truthfully. People may argue "oh well diet hugely influences hormones that contribute to acne" - I say to them, how on earth do you explain the legions of severely obese people that have never had acne in their lives? - common sense, acne is more than what you eat. Don't restict.

 

Why do countless smokers/drinkers/drug abusers/piss poor dieters not get cancer?  And others who avoid smoking and drinking altogether end up with it?  Why do some people react horribly to gluten intake, and others do not?  Or to certain fruits/foods?

 

There is a great deal of genetics that comes into play with acne.  Countless members have cleared their acne on diet alone.  Countless others have not.  I'm afraid you've crossed over into the other extreme in saying that diet and acne are not related, period.

Depends on the person.  For me, it was 100% related.  For me.  

 

Also think about this...

 

If we take a vegan diet, for instance, this could mean any number of things.  Maybe they only ate leafy greens.  Maybe they ate a ton of beans (which we know are not good for the gut)  Maybe they ate a ton of seeds that were not sprouted/fermented.  Maybe they had very little fat.  You might have one vegan consuming 80% of his/her calories from skin nourishing fatty acids from walnuts, avocados, coconut oil, sprouted/fermented seeds...and another who avoids fat altogether.  These people are very likely to see different results on their vegan diets.  

 

So it's easy to say 'the vegan diet didn't work for me', when the reality is, their are such a variety of foods in the vegan diet that it may have simply been your choice of foods.  OR DIET MIGHT NOT WORK FOR YOU AT ALL.

 

So...let's be a bit open minded in regards to the countless variables that come into play when choosing a diet.  I'm a true believer in a high omega 3 vegan diet, in which you are getting loads of essential fatty acids as your primary source of calories.  Not the only source, but the primary.  But this is based on my own research, as well as feedback from others.  

 

It may do wonders for your skin.  It may not do jack shit.  Diet is so highly debated, and backed up by research and studies on every side saying yay and nay.  So it's ultimately up to the individual to make judgements.  



#10 foreverbold

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:28 PM

Just quit with the restrictive diets and eat normally - despite what you may hear from ignorant individuals and even people on this website severe ungoing acne is rarely ever linked to diet truthfully. People may argue "oh well diet hugely influences hormones that contribute to acne" - I say to them, how on earth do you explain the legions of severely obese people that have never had acne in their lives? - common sense, acne is more than what you eat. Don't restict.

 

Why do countless smokers/drinkers/drug abusers/piss poor dieters not get cancer?  And others who avoid smoking and drinking altogether end up with it?  Why do some people react horribly to gluten intake, and others do not?  Or to certain fruits/foods?

 

There is a great deal of genetics that comes into play with acne.  Countless members have cleared their acne on diet alone.  Countless others have not.  I'm afraid you've crossed over into the other extreme in saying that diet and acne are not related, period.

Depends on the person.  For me, it was 100% related.  For me.  

 

Also think about this...

 

If we take a vegan diet, for instance, this could mean any number of things.  Maybe they only ate leafy greens.  Maybe they ate a ton of beans (which we know are not good for the gut)  Maybe they ate a ton of seeds that were not sprouted/fermented.  Maybe they had very little fat.  You might have one vegan consuming 80% of his/her calories from skin nourishing fatty acids from walnuts, avocados, coconut oil, sprouted/fermented seeds...and another who avoids fat altogether.  These people are very likely to see different results on their vegan diets.  

 

So it's easy to say 'the vegan diet didn't work for me', when the reality is, their are such a variety of foods in the vegan diet that it may have simply been your choice of foods.  OR DIET MIGHT NOT WORK FOR YOU AT ALL.

 

So...let's be a bit open minded in regards to the countless variables that come into play when choosing a diet.  I'm a true believer in a high omega 3 vegan diet, in which you are getting loads of essential fatty acids as your primary source of calories.  Not the only source, but the primary.  But this is based on my own research, as well as feedback from others.  

 

It may do wonders for your skin.  It may not do jack shit.  Diet is so highly debated, and backed up by research and studies on every side saying yay and nay.  So it's ultimately up to the individual to make judgements.  

 

 

By the sound of it this woman has already refined her diet and cut out many things but it did not influence her acne. Shouldn't she go back to a regular diet without restrictions? and I'm not talking about going on a Mcdonald's binge daily, I'm talking about eating normally without obsessive focus on what could "possibly" cause acne.



#11 onefatalgoose

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:48 PM

Yeah if it's food triggers you're talking about, i'd say forget about it.  Especially if you've already been tested.  Otherwise you are living in fear.  I don't even know how i'd define a normal diet anymore.  The normal diet in the U.S. is causing countless health issues.  Here is what i'd consider a normal healthy diet:

 

Avoiding processed foods unless they are organic.  This way all the crap gets kept out of them.  Avoiding cooked oils and fats as much as possible, as these become trans fats.  Eating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, or fermented.  Doesn't necessarily mean you have to be vegan.  Avoiding toxic substances like common table salt, and replacing it with Himalayan, Dead Sea, Celtic...etc.  Avoiding refined sugars

 

And yeah, not being paranoid about one certain food triggering your acne.  Unless you've had tests done that show you react negatively to said food item



#12 foreverbold

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:42 PM

Yeah if it's food triggers you're talking about, i'd say forget about it.  Especially if you've already been tested.  Otherwise you are living in fear.  I don't even know how i'd define a normal diet anymore.  The normal diet in the U.S. is causing countless health issues.  Here is what i'd consider a normal healthy diet:

 

Avoiding processed foods unless they are organic.  This way all the crap gets kept out of them.  Avoiding cooked oils and fats as much as possible, as these become trans fats.  Eating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, or fermented.  Doesn't necessarily mean you have to be vegan.  Avoiding toxic substances like common table salt, and replacing it with Himalayan, Dead Sea, Celtic...etc.  Avoiding refined sugars

 

And yeah, not being paranoid about one certain food triggering your acne.  Unless you've had tests done that show you react negatively to said food item

 

Yes exactly, I did years of experimenting with eliminating foods and such and found out that my acne was unfortunately not influenced by diet. No specific food trigger found.

 

 

In terms of you mentioning the "U.S diet" and the poor definition on what's healthy don't forget not everyone writing in here to acne.org is from the U.S (I'm not) or even the western world. So to bring up "the American diet" is irrelevant.



#13 Anday95

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:43 PM

The sad thing is i know exactly how you feel go to my page to see how my acne used to be but im on accutane and its goten better. i used to sit  in my bed all day and then cry all night it also didnt help that a girl i relly cared about decided to fuck some other guy but thats besides the point. Acne is a horrible thing to have and most people will never understand. but i truly do understand how you feel