I'm About To Give Up...over This S***!
Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:50 PM
I'm a 16 male junior in high school, and back in sophomore year I was praying that it would be better than sophomore year. But now, it's worse. Not education wise, but acne wise. I have back, upper arms, and neck acne. I was never one to really break out on my face, and when I do it's one pimple, but my back is just a mess.
It all started at the end of freshman year. I saw one red bump on my back, and stupid me decides to pop it. Little did I know it wasn't even a whitehead, and I just made it worse. I guess doing that spread it around my back. I had maybe 1-5 big red bumps, however they weren't whiteheads. And again stupid me, decided to try and pop them with a needle. I was totally ignorant to acne, and it was so foreign to me. My parents have flawless skin, so I never thought I'd be affected. Just typing about this makes me feel so stupid. To think this all could've been prevented if I were to have common sense. Anyway, it got worse obviously. I decided to try Proactiv...oh god. Yeah, that didn't work. I used it for about a year and a half. And my back just looked a mess. I used it for my face as well, as I wanted to prevent acne. It didn't really change my face. Even today my face barely has any pimple...just some blackheads on my nose that I don't care about.
Anyway sophomore year started, and my confidence was not very high. I'm a popular kid, it's just that I distanced myself from people. I never went a day without wearing a sweatshirt. I live in L.A, so it can get hot. I was extremely self conscience of my arms. I was kind of a skinny kid, so I was always embarrassed of my arms because I always wanted them big and buff, but whatever I did it wouldn't work. In the middle of sophomore I started getting pimples from time to time on the back of my neck. I didn't care that much, as I could hide it with my hoodie, but it still bothered me. Towards the end of the year I started getting bumps on my chest and arms, they were small, but stupid me (sensing the theme here?) decided to squeeze them. I used Proactiv's body wash on the back of my neck sometimes as well as on my chest. Surprisingly it worked, but not for my arms.
Finally summer time came, and I decided that sweatshirts were off limits for me I was going to conquer my fears and I didn't care. I wore short sleeve shirts, but they covered my arm acne. I was feeling so great. My back was clearing up, my arms weren't really, but they weren't white heads they were red bumps. My neck was CLEAR. Then I took summer school and I notice a small pimple on the FRONT of my neck, something I thought wasn't possible. I didn't pop it, and left it alone. Then two more clustered around it. They were whiteheads, but I still didn't pop them I finished summer school and they went away, but left a little scarring (I don't know why). During this time I got off Proactiv, and decided to see a dermatologist. My dermatologist pre-scribed antibiotics (minocycline), and Retin A. My mom was not happy about the antibiotics as they can mess up your immune system. But I gave it a shot. I found the Retin A drew everything out, and was drying. The antibiotics made no difference. Then I saw a pimple on my neck again, and stupid me put Retin A on it. Biggest mistake I ever made. Not only did it spread my acne, but it dried my neck to the point where my neck was RED! It was so dried out my skin felt like leather. I totally admit that I broke down and cried, and rightfully so. I hid in my house for 2 weeks, flaked on my friends. Overall it was terrible. And guess what? School started two weeks later. I was so nervous because my acne was hidden before. Now going to school and people seeing acne on my neck?! Gross.
I'm in my second month of school, and I'm feeling hopeless. I've been to the dermatologist again, and this time she gave me Tazarac .1% for my neck, arms, and chest, and face (?). As well as continuing with the antibiotics and Retin A. Oh, and Cleocin (forgot to mention that in he beginning). My arms have kind of cleared. There's just marks now. My chest has cleared, just some faint scars. The only reason I'm taking these damn antibiotics is for my back (she claims). And she gave me Neutrogena as well for my back. But guess what? MY BACK IS THE WORST ITS EVER BEEN!! Right where my shoulder blades are, is where my bacne is. My neck acne has not gotten better. It's red bumps. I get disgusted every time I look in the mirror. Now to put the cherry on this disgusting cake, there acne/blackheads on the BACK of my neck? WTF??!! I shower twice a day, for the past 4 years!! I'm not a dirty person, I'm very clean. I wash my sheets once a week. Alternate pillows. Everything. I honestly give up. I want to go to prom, and formal. How can I do this looking like this?
I'm at an all time low. My self confidence is non-existent, I've been very depressed lately. I'll just wake up, and feel itchy and dirty, like a sensation where I just want to shed and rip my skin off. I feel so uncomfortable. My dermatologist says the next step in accutane. However I am so scared for that. My face, like I said, is not bad. There aren't many breakouts, and if there are it's like two very tiny dots. I'm afraid with accutane my face will look like a pizza from the IB, and I'm afraid my neck will look like a pizza from IB. I'm just scared in general that I'll have a terrible IB, and I'll look even worse. I think about suicide which ISN'T NORMAL! Thank god, I've never harmed myself, but it's like my skin wants me to.
What can I do? Should I go on Accutane and just get this acne out of system? There's no way in hell I'm having acne senior year let alone college. I just can't let that happen. I'm beyond over this s*** at this point.
What should I do?
Posted 09 October 2013 - 08:55 PM
I have a few tips for the acne itself and some emotional/psychological tips. So it sounds like you're going to a dermatologist, which is good. I don't know why they would suggest a retinoid (Tazorac) for your body because it's so expensive for so little...but that's beyond the point.
The first thing I would suggest: stop showering twice a day, you're probably overdrying your body (could be why you're waking up feeling itchy). If possible, I'd limit it to once per day (after you wake up or after you work out). Try to be gentle with treating this - don't scrub and don't pick/pop anything (I know how hard that can be though).
I'll just tell you what I do - maybe you could try it if you're looking for a new routine before accutane (which really is no big deal either way). I'm 19 (male) and started getting moderate to severe body acne when I was 15 or 16 but I'm clear now. I'd suggest in the shower you use PanOxyl Foaming Wash 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. Leave it on for a minute or two before washing it off. When I get out, right after I dry off I spray my entire back with apple cider vinegar. It stinks but dries fast and doesn't smell when dry. At night, I spray my back with apple cider vinegar again. I sleep shirtless on a fresh towel every night. Occasionally I'll take a bath with epsom salt in it, which is also good for body acne. This is probably really drying for most people, but my body doesn't get dry from it at all. If it is too drying, you could cut out the first apple cider vinegar and/or dilute it with water. Also start taking a zinc supplement if you can. I've tried all kinds of other stuff and that's all that worked for me.
As far as the emotional aspect goes, I can completely relate. I had acne on my face too (still do a bit), which was really bad as well. I used to have very bad posture trying to hide my neck/upper back with my shirt collar. Take solace in knowing that this is completely hormonal/genetic and not your fault - I don't think popping your acne caused it to spread to the degree you say it has. More than likely you'll even grow out of it eventually - this is just a rough period of time that you'll get through. You could have depression it sounds like, especially if you're thinking about suicide. Is it possible to see a therapist? If you're not willing to do that, something that helped me was starting up exercising. It's amazing for your confidence and really helps with depression/pent up anger. Last thing - people don't notice it/care as much as you think they do. It shouldn't stop you from going to prom/formal, dating, or whatever. My dad has scars all over his back from severe body acne when he was a teen, but my mom never cared at all, even when they were dating (she even had a little herself). Hope that helps!
Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:58 PM
The first thing I always recommend to teenage boys is to
- Go to sleep at 10pm or earlier each night
These changes will make huge improvements on your acne situation.
These sound like simple things, but they actually have huge effects on your whole endocrine system, which I could go into a lot of science about, but I won't, because I'm sure you wouldn't read the whole essay I could write anyway.
Edited by Green Gables, 13 October 2013 - 10:59 PM.
Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:09 PM
I have an appointment with my dermatologist next Thursday. I've decided that Accutane will be my next step. The only thing that worries me is the IB, but all I can do is hope and pray it isn't bad. Wish me luck!
Posted 27 October 2013 - 02:54 PM
So far I haven't experienced any side effects but that's probably because I've only taken 3 pills (1 for every day), and I'm sure it isn't in my system yet.
I'll update my progress when I start feeling the side effects.
Posted 10 November 2013 - 12:40 AM
I finished my 2 weeks taking one pill/day and I've just taken two throughout the day. But I'll just talk about what happened during these two weeks taking one a day.
Well, side-effects wise, I feel pretty good. No depression/suicidal thoughts, and no IB (knock on wood none of those happen). But I have experience a little dryness. It's mostly around my nose by my nostrils and under my nostrils. I just put extra lotion on that area and I'm fine. Also, my skin seems a little tighter when coming out of the shower, which can be annoying. My lips have been normal/chapped. Kind of in between. Some days it'll be okay and other days it kind of burns, but I put Burt's Bees first and then Aquaphora and it works. But since it looks like I have lip gloss on so during school I use Eos which works.
I noticed I'm staring to get a little dry patch on my forearm so I'm putting Amlactin on it, and Amlacin does wonders for dryness. Too bad it's not non-comeogetic so I can't use it on my face.
Other than that everything's going okay. Oh and I dont have oily skin anymore! My forehead always had oil but now it's normal, but we'll see how this pans out. But so far so good!
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