HELLO, I'm new to the whole blog thing. I like the idea of being anonymous on here, being able to share my true feelings with someone, anyone. I'm a 40 year old female. I've had acne since my teens, I mean serious acne. My parents were against doctors but I think I was on tetracycaline at some point. It was agony going to high school every day. I would feel my face and count the pimples, many times ten or more. This was not an occasional pimple, that would have been paradise. Daily, one would leave, another would take it's place. In all the years since I have rarely been without a pimple on my face. I always have oily skin. I could wake up, wash my face and you can practically see reflections of things on my nose. I would try to cover it up with liquid foundation, but this never looked too great or helped the acne situation. I see people with nice, clear skin and wonder what that must be like. Anyway, I don't know where it started because I pretty much would do anything to avoid a mirror. I actually went years without looking in a mirror at all. How awful, trying to cover it up without a mirror, going to work and pretending I looked normal. If I had to go somewhere after work without going home first I would go in a bathroom stall or something an wipe off the old makeup with a wet paper towel, dry and apply new. Always concious of my face, always. Plus I blush easily and people always seem to need to proclaim loudly and often how red your face is. So, back to the redness, because this is really my point. From what I've read I don't have rosacea. My skin does not hurt or burn, but yes it is red. I have some broken blood vessels and just a general redness to my face. If I accidentally look in the mirror after having washed my makeup at night it is very depressing. I still walk around, pretending I look normal. About 11 yrs. ago I went to a dermatologist. I was always embarassed to do this, the thought of even facing a receptionist or having to describe my problem. He put me on accutane which did seem to clear up my acne. We had our final appointment, and I said what about my redness, that's why I was really there. He said that was my complexion. I left crushed. I don't know if anything can be done at this point. I really think it's all damage from so many years of bad acne. I tried Proactiv and gave up on it. Now I've been using an acne face wash twice a day and an oil eliminating astringent at night. I have not had a pimple in maybe two weeks. Very, very unusual. I use a Max Factor concealer which does and ok job of covering the redness but is pretty oily. I hate that this problem has held me back in so many ways over the years. I would never go swimming in public, do anything that would get my face wet. I cringe in the summer, thinking of my makeup getting sweaty and wearing off. I feel ugly most of the time. This face has kept me inside in hot weather. If I sleep over someone's house I have to plan how I'll put on makeup before I see them in the am. If my place was on fire, the thought of putting on makeup first before running outside has entered my mind. Tonight I would've liked to take a shower, but can't until after walking the dog because I wouldn't go out bare faced. I've looked in the mirror and tried to accept how I look but this seems impossible. This had caused a lot of depressed feelings. I've never had much confidence, never wanted to call much attention to myself. Had destructive behavior, sleeping around, drinking, smoking, pot smoking. overeating. But it's not all gloom and doom, I always had boyfriends throught the years. I married (long story) and have a great 9 yr. old daughter.( She came home the other day with a pimple on her chin. I hope she has better luck with her skin). I quit drinking /pot 11 years ago and smoking 3 years ago. Food I'm still struggling with, esp. since the smoke quit. So, can anyone relate to my story. It's always so good to know we're not alone. Don't know what I'll do with this blog but it felt good to write it down. Thanks.