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a c n e after coming off bcp

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update after aaages!! finally clear!!

I have not been on here for aaagges!! So I just wanted to come on and update about my situation. I am finally acne free!! I am currently off all acne medication and my skin is doing well. It has been 9 months since I have been off the birth control pill, and my skin is finally under control. I am no longer using Epiduo or Clindamycin to manage my acne. I have weaned myself off both! Currently, I am just using Manuka Honey(UMF 15+) as a mask every couple of days, and using Dermalogica cleanser and hydrating lotion. Nothing else. My skin is still oilier than when I was on the pill, but a lot better than when I first got off it. I think my hormones have finally balanced out, which is probably what has cleared out my skin. It is finally clear! I never thought I would see the day!! I am still nervous that it might stuff up again - but it's been good for the last 3 months so I am hoping it just stays that way. This whole process of coming off the pill to try and conceive, and then dealing with my acne outbreak has been such a hard journey. In the process of trying for pregnancy, I have discovered that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition that causes hormonal imbalance, and affects ovulation and fertility. I was diagnosed with it today. I am very thin and so I don't fit the general criteria (PCOS women are usually overweight), and so was not diagnosed earlier. But I have discovered that PCOS was what caused my acne due to the hormonal imbalance!!!!! That's what I wanted to let everyone know about on the blog today. Even if you are thin, you can have PCOS! If you are thin and have acne (particulary along the jaw / chin ), ask your doctor about it. I never would have thought I had PCOS (I don't have any of the symptoms except irregular periods - caused by the cysts, and acne) but there you go! FINALLY i get to the bottom of my acne... after all these years. 10 long years!!!! I just want to encourage you all to not ever give up hope - you will get through this. This website and all of your support has helped me a lot. Thank-you so much "You are so much more that you know. You can create dreams even if you don't know what those dreams are." Goodluck everyone!

S T A R

S T A R

03/24/2011

 

Survived 1 week without Epiduo!

It's been a while since I've blogged... Skin has been going pretty good. Had a few small pimples but nothing major. Luckily, I have not picked. It's sooo hard not to pick but I have been so scared of scarring/more hyper pigmentation on my skin. Few things I have noticed: 1) There has been a huge reduction in my whiteheads/blackheads. I really think that Omega 3/6 is helping with that. Since I started taking chia seeds, I have seen a huge reduction. Been a few weeks now. Also, perhaps my hormone levels are back to normal now after the pill (been 7 months since I have been off the pill) - my skin is also less oily. 2) Manuka honey used as a mask every day has been wonderful in evening my skin tone, and reducing my hyperpigmentation. I have been using it for nearly a month, and I have definitely seen an improvement with dark marks fading. 3) I have not used Epiduo in a week!!! We have been trying for pregnancy so can't use it. Was so scared about not being able to use it but my skin has been doing pretty good. 4) I have been more aware of following a good diet (less sugar and fried food). Lots of water and supplements. Currently I am taking chia seeds (omega 3 and 6), pumpkin seeds (for zinc), vit c, and vit d and lots of veges for vit a. 5) Trying to manage my stress levels. The days I have been more stressed, I have definitely seen more small breakouts on my skin. 6) Still not wearing any make-up (apart from a little concealer on dark marks when going out to a party) - I think this helps my skin breathe. I am paranoid about my skin breaking out from make-up. I am sort of over what others might think of my appearance. Diet changes/lifestyle changes are hard but if you can stick to them, I think you will hopefully see a difference. Even if you are not perfect everyday with it, having an aim is important. I have also let go quite a bit the last month. Accepted that I am not going to be flawless, perfect, and it's okay. Stressing is not going to help. So yes, things are okay for the moment. Fingers crossed! I will find out by the end of the month if I am pregnant or not. Hopefully, my skin will be okay until then! Can't use any prescription meds in the mean time! Going to be a challenge!!

S T A R

S T A R

01/09/2011

 

Survived 1 week without Epiduo!

It's been a while since I've blogged... Skin has been going pretty good. Had a few small pimples but nothing major. Luckily, I have not picked. It's sooo hard not to pick but I have been so scared of scarring/more hyper pigmentation on my skin. Few things I have noticed: 1) There has been a huge reduction in my whiteheads/blackheads. I really think that Omega 3/6 is helping with that. Since I started taking chia seeds, I have seen a huge reduction. Been a few weeks now. Also, perhaps my hormone levels are back to normal now after the pill (been 7 months since I have been off the pill) - my skin is also less oily. 2) Manuka honey used as a mask every day has been wonderful in evening my skin tone, and reducing my hyperpigmentation. I have been using it for nearly a month, and I have definitely seen an improvement with dark marks fading. 3) I have not used Epiduo in a week!!! We have been trying for pregnancy so can't use it. Was so scared about not being able to use it but my skin has been doing pretty good. 4) I have been more aware of following a good diet (less sugar and fried food). Lots of water and supplements. Currently I am taking chia seeds (omega 3 and 6), pumpkin seeds (for zinc), vit c, and vit d and lots of veges for vit a. 5) Trying to manage my stress levels. The days I have been more stressed, I have definitely seen more small breakouts on my skin. 6) Still not wearing any make-up (apart from a little concealer on dark marks when going out to a party) - I think this helps my skin breathe. I am paranoid about my skin breaking out from make-up. I am sort of over what others might think of my appearance. Diet changes/lifestyle changes are hard but if you can stick to them, I think you will hopefully see a difference. Even if you are not perfect everyday with it, having an aim is important. I have also let go quite a bit the last month. Accepted that I am not going to be flawless, perfect, and it's okay. Stressing is not going to help. So yes, things are okay for the moment. Fingers crossed! I will find out by the end of the month if I am pregnant or not. Hopefully, my skin will be okay until then! Can't use any prescription meds in the mean time! Going to be a challenge!!

S T A R

S T A R

01/09/2011

 

Day 30 - annoyed!

Totally annoyed! Just don't get my skin... It's New Years Eve and I have social plans and my skin has to let me down again - great timing argggh!. Woke up with a couple of inflammed pimples on my cheek this morning and they hurt plus the one on my chin hasn't gone down - even with Epiduo treatment last 2 days. What's frustrating about it this time is that I have been following these strict lifestyle/diet plans for the last few days (which I have been a HUGE CHALLENGE for me but I have been so good), so my skin is supposed to be doing better. Feel so let down. Feel like pigging out on chocolate right now.... Not a good idea...but it is tempting... ... so I am trying to be positive here, not freak out, be calm, and put things in perspective etc... it's so hard! I just want to scream!! I definately have seen a reduction in my whiteheads/blackheads last few days. In fact, I haven't had any in almost a week! Thinking the Omega 3/6 is helping, along with increased water consumption. But instead, now I am getting new red inflammed pimples??? Not sure why this is happening...??? Anyway, after my freak out this morning, I have definately calmed down, and tried to be less stressed. It's okay. Could be worse... I do have a habit of touching my face, leaning on my hands etc.. wondering if I accidently spread the bacteria around. Okay, going to be conscious of keeping my hands off my face, and also change my pillowcases every second day. Have to get through this!! Have a good new year everyone!! Hope 2011 will bring less acne ... let's hope...

S T A R

S T A R

12/31/2010

 

Still going okay

Happy to report that things are still going okay! Been following my normal skincare regimen and really focusing on lifestyle changes. Have been sleeping well, eating well (less sugar/junk, more fresh food), and drinking 2-3L of water/green tea. Have also been taking Chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds for Omega 3. Have had one small pimple on my chin (today), but nothing else. No new blackheads/whiteheads. I have been hardly using Epiduo (yay!)... except I am now treating the new pimple area with Epiduo - hope it works!! End of nxt week, I have to be off Epiduo altogether (incase of pregnancy). I still have lots of hyperpigmentation, and some whiteheads under my skin but that is okay. As long as I can control not getting any new ones, the others will fade/go away with time. Lifestyle changes are definately helping. Not sure if it is the water or Omega 3, or both, but skin is looking much better. The lifestyle changes have been really hard. I get lazy, but then I feel guilty. Sticking to it consistently is really important. I think that will remain being a challenge for me. I am still allowing myself small treats... e.g. fun size choc bar with my green tea (I will die without some reward!) but overall, my diet has improved. I also have been managing my stress better, which I think is really important. I have been going out and doing things. I am going through this phase where I don't give a crap about what others think. I don't wear make-up and I am not fussed... I just go out and do my own thing. It's weird, I wasn't doing this a few weeks ago (when my skin was looking the same/if not better)...I think I am just over it. The weather is so nice outside and I am getting depressed just hiding out at home.. I try to go places where I won't see people I know. It's always a little risky, but right now, I feel free doing this !!

S T A R

S T A R

12/29/2010

 

Going okay

Been feeling good the last few days! Skin has been pretty good... Haven't had any new breakouts. Still have a few existing whiteheads and lots of hyper pigmentation, but it's a relief not to have to worry about new pimples. Have accepted that there isn't much I can do about my hyper pigmentation - I have to wait for them to fade (in a hundred years time argggh) Not sure why things have been okay... having a few good skin days is really scary... i am just waiting for it to turn bad... My lifestyle has finally (yes finally!) picked up! i have been sleeping well, drinking 2-3 litres of water, and eating better. Been on my normal regimen of Dermalogica products, manuka honey, and using Epiduo (only small amount on affected areas). My usage of Epiduo has definately reduced as my skin has improved, which is a relief because my skin has been super dry lately because of Epiduo. Haven't tried any new products. No more ACV. Been taking chia seeds and sunflower seeds for Omega 3. I don't know if it is the Epiduo or the Omega 3 or the increased water intake, but my skin has been less oily lately. Perhaps the Omega 3 and increased water intake is helping me... Ofcourse one day without good sleep, and my skin will turn on me again. All these factors seem to really add up... I am freaking out because I was a bit naughty today and had some chocolate (i have been good for so long, but I got some red lindt balls for xmas, and they are my fav, and I couldn't help it!!!)...hopefully my skin will be okay. Really, I am OVER worrying about every little thing. I mean what sort of life is this, when you have to worry about every little treat you eat, feel guilty and stress about your skin no end... arghhhhh!!! Having said this, I think I will regret it when I look in the mirror tomorrow!! Diet does affect my skin. Hopefully not too much this time! I won't have any tomorrow. I even turned down a glass of wine today because I was scared my skin might break out and it's been good so far. Geeeeeeeeeez, the things we acne sufferers go through!! Bit dramatic I know

S T A R

S T A R

12/26/2010

 

Day 22 - struggling with hyper pigmentation & whiteheads

Last time I was on here, I was having a pretty crappy day. Things have improved slightly from then... Still struggling, but don't know, feeling a bit more hopeful. So the pimple on my cheek that I picked a few days ago (shouldn't have I know!)...has healed and the skin has peeled off. Applying Epiduo on the area after it healed, helped it peel off the next day - Epiduo is really good with peeling. Unfortunately, now I am left with a red patch on my cheek where the skin has peeled, which will turn into a dark patch in the next few days because of my tanned skin tone and issues with hyperpigmentation. Great! Just what I need - more hyper pigmentation! As if I don't have enough already! ... I am over stressing about how to fade these dark spots all over my face .. just going to give it time and Epiduo. Other than that, I have lots of whiteheads on the surface of both my jawlines. I have been desperately keeping my hands away... and just treating these areas with Epiduo every night. I am supposed to be weaning off Epiduo, but this week has been pretty bad so I have had to use it almost everyday. Oh well.. what to do! What am I gonna do next month when I have to be off it ?!! Praying. Also not using any new products right now. Just Epiduo, Dermalogica products and manuka honey. I love manuka honey. Every morning I steam my face and use it as a mask - it really helps even out my skin tone. Thank God I've discovered it. Other than that, I have also introduced Chia seeds into my diet to increase my Omega 3/6/fatty acids (I am vego). I have read about fatty acid deficiency and impact on acne - inparticular whiteheads and blackheads, which are hard to treat. So thought it is worth a try!! Hopefully, it will help. Treating inside out. Also got of my ass today, and started working on my lifestyle patterns - ate well, drank lots of water and green tea, and did exercise. Maybe that is why I am feeling a bit better. I think when I am lazy and neglect my diet/sleep etc...I feel so guilty, annoyed at myself and that creates more issues for my skin with the stress. Hopefully, I can stay on track somehow.

S T A R

S T A R

12/22/2010

 

Day 20 - ACV not for me...

...so my skin was going okay 3 days ago (on Epiduo and Clindamycin) and I thought I'd trial the apple cider vinegar again - you know give it a good shot this time. After all,all the reviews on it have it have been so positive and i really wanted to try some natural products. plus i was desperate for something to help fade my dark marks... they take soooo long to fade and my face is covered in it But ACV = BAD IDEA for me... i regret trying it. Within 2 days, my skin started breaking out. All the whiteheads under my skin came to the surface. Some of them formed into big pimples (they never usually do that). Right now, I have lots of hyper pigmentation all over my face, lots of whiteheads on the surface of my skin and under my skin, and a big red pimple on my left upper cheek. i shouldn't have touched it...but i did (i never learn).... now it is red, sore and inflammed. i can't bear to look in the mirror. i have put manuka honey on it to see if it will reduce the inflammation. i feel so annoyed at myself right now - shouldn't have picked. Shouldn't have used ACV. This is the problem with trying new things - there is always a risk this might happen. Now just gotta suck it up. arghhhh!!!! I have a day out with my friends tomorrow - going to look terrible. Feel so self-conscious! Was tempted to cancel it - but felt bad.... So ACV is now out for me. I can't stand the smell, it makes my skin really dry and it breaks me out. I know I only used it for 2 days - but I don't want to keep going. It shouldn't have created such a bad break out reaction for me!!! I can't risk it. Now, just back to my manuka honey, Epiduo (which I have been using more because of my current skin problems - haven't been sticking to the weaning off plan this week! oh well!) and Dermalogica Products. No more ACV- and not even going to try baking soda as intended. Too harsh for my skin. Sea Salt is on the cards though. Have used it before, and it has helped. But not going to introduce it just yet. Waiting for things to settle. I am terrified of going off Epiduo. I forget how well it works now for me. Dreading Xmas and New Year...so many social events/commitments.... worried about skin getting worse... Lifestyle changes are still an issue.... why can't i get motivated - i am just stuck in this rut! soo lazy... sometimes I think I bring this on my self. SHIT DAY. Hope yours has been better

S T A R

S T A R

12/20/2010

 

Day 17 - Going ok

It's been a while since I have blogged... Have felt quite lazy and unmotivated the last few days! Well I've had a lot of whiteheads/pimples come to the surface of my face lately. I've picked a few - couldn't help it! Now I have to deal with more hyperpigmenation! I kind of blame myself - haven't been sleeping well, not drinking much water, not eating right...etc.... what did I expect! I always have good intentions to change my lifestyle, but it is soooooo hard! Why is it soo hard!!! It's hard to drink water in cold weather!! And I love food.... Luckily, last few days, things have settled a bit - skin is not perfect but looking better than a few days ago. I've gotten back on changing my lifestyle (not perfect but better..at least sleeping a lot better). Less active whiteheads, just more hyperpigmenation. I've stayed on using Epiduo every second day - yay followed the originial plan! Every other day, I have been using Clindamycin Phosphate. Amazingly, using the Clindamycin at night hasn't been okay - skin hasn't been that oily. I was going to give up on it because I hated the shine! So far, this is working. I have also been using the manuka honey every second day as a mask. I have put the ACV, and baking soda on hold. I didn't want to add anything new (even natural products) with my skin being a bit out of control! I still will try them at a later stage when my skin improves. This week (starting 20th) I am supposed to be using Epiduo only as spot treatment... bit nervous about that! Hoping the clindamycin will keep things in check in the mean time. I'll keep updating!

S T A R

S T A R

12/17/2010

 

Day 12 - Going back to using Epiduo

So I tried to get off Epiduo altogether (cold turkey) but then decided against it! I went for about 4 days without it. During this time, I started trialling Apple Cider Vinegar and continued with my Manuka Honey. I found these products worked well on my skin (reduced oil, and evened out my skin tone), but they drew the whiteheads on my skin (which were under my skin) outwards and so suddenly it was all raised to the surface of my skin. So there it was a cluster of raised whiteheads all over my left cheek and the left side of my chin. I kind of freaked out because my skin was going quite good before this! And I did end up picking (shouldn't have!) but it's hard when they are raised and you can see the junk (hard sebum) in them. Gross! Anyway, that was when I thought maybe I should use the Epiduo again, just in case things got worse... I got paranoid I guess. So I have been applying Epiduo to these areas and it has been helping. I have been sticking to my original Epiduo plan - applying a smaller amount. Now this week, I am supposed to be using Epiduo every second day according to my plan. I bit scared about that. But I hope things will settle. Maybe it's normal for ACV to bring the whiteheads to the surface - I shouldn't give up on it just because it does that. I am going to give it a bit more of a trial. I have been struggling with these whiteheads all over my face - they are all under my skin (you can see them in the light really well) and when they come up raised from under the skin, I always end up extracting them (they are filled with hard sebum). Any extraction/picking causes dark pigmentation all over my face - which takes months and months to clear. So frustrating! Anyway, so I am going to continue with manuka honey, ACV and Epiduo every second day and see what happens. Baking Soda is also on my list to try - maybe I can incorportate it on the days I don't use Epiduo. My lifestyle changes have been hopeless last 3 days. Been eating crap, not drinking enough water, not sleeping well... arghhhhhhhhh....all that has affected my skin too. Need to get back on track again.

S T A R

S T A R

12/12/2010

 

Day 7 - Experimenting!

So usually, on a day to day basis, I am so stressed over my acne and obsessively analysing it and treating it, that I have no time to think about other things. But over the last few days, since my skin has been pretty good, I've had some time to reflect on my life and acne, and ask myself some questions: I am nearly 30 but why do I keep having acne (although it is mild/moderate)? Will I have to keep taking strong medications to treat it for the rest of my life? Is there something wrong with my body? Is that why I have had this for the last 10+ years?? Often in the past when I have had these thoughts, I push them out of my mind. It is hard to answer these questions and usually I always want a quick fix. But for some reason, I was thinking about this a lot yesterday,and started to analyse my acne/lifestyle. Medications that I've used (both the pill and Epiduo) have worked amazingly for me and I am so thankful for that, because I have had a good quality of life while I was on them. But the problem is that I am reliant on them forever. They seem to treat the symptoms, but the root of the problem remains when I stop using them. Throughout my life with acne, I have never been disciplined enough to look at my lifestyle flaws and change them or use natural products, and see if they make a difference. I've always wanted a quick result. If I had tried a more holistic approach and it didn't work and then I relied on medication, I wouldn't be so judgmental of myself. But I have been lazy and impatient. So I think at this stage in my life (hopefully older and wiser!), I should try experimenting. I should approach treating my acne in a more holistic way. Of course there is a place for medication, and I would go on it if I needed to, but it doesn't hurt to trial some natural alternative/ treatment. To be open. On other things, I haven't followed my plan of weaning myself off Epiduo. It's weird, but I am taking risks. Like yesterday, I didn't use Epiduo at all. A few days ago, I'd feel ill thinking about not applying Epiduo (even for a day), but I had this feeling/thought yesterday " just don't take it, see how you go, you'll be okay". I used manuka honey instead before I went to bed. I was worried to look at myself in the mirror this morning, but amazingly, my skin looked fine. No breakouts. Smooth! I don't know if it is a good idea to trial going off Epiduo cold turkey, but I am thinking of doing it!! Thinking of just using Manuka instead. Worse comes to worse, I can always get back on Epiduo this month. It's funny how you can have a well thought through plan, but sometimes your instincts takes over! Wish me luck!

S T A R

S T A R

12/08/2010

 

Day 6 - plan to wean myself off Epiduo

My skin is going well so far on my regimen. The pimple near the corner of my mouth and my chin have both almost disappeared. I haven't picked it, and it just seems to have gone down. I have written a mental note on the mirror "hands off, or suffer". Just a quick reminder. I have also realised that having whiteheads is normal. Lots and lots of people have it. We might not realise it because we have to be really up close to someone's face to notice it. I think the trouble is, when you have acne, you become obsessed with your skin and being perfect, that you analyse everything on your skin. Every tiny imperfection. When we see someone (usually at a distance), we assume they have great skin and compare ourselves to them (then feel depressed). If we analysed their skin as we do ours - up close in the mirror looking for every imperfection, we'd probably realise their skin isn't perfect either. I am finding that the manuka honey used as a mask is really helping me. I have only used it for about 2 days, but it's made a difference (and I love that I can eat it as well!). This has inspired me to trial some more natural products. I am sick of spending shit loads of money on expensive skincare products that don't work, or don't work as well as natural products. I want to be open minded from now on, and experiment. What would be awesome is if I could swap all my current Dermalogica skincare products (which are great but VERY expensive), for natural alternatives. Going to work on that. I am also going to start reducing my Epiduo (topical) medication. It has been great, but I need to wean myself off it for next month (as I will be planning to try for pregnancy and can't use it). So here is the plan for reducing Epiduo use: Dec 6th - 12th - Use everyday, but at reduced amount used on specific areas. Use half a pea size (instead of pea size on specific areas). Dec 13th -19th - Use every second day - at reduced amount on specific areas. Dec 20th -end of Dec - Use only as spot treatment, only as needed. Hopefully twice / once a week. Trial some natural products on skin during this period. Stick to the lifestyle changes (so hard...so damn hard...haven't had chocolate in 3 days and it is killing me ) Don't wear make-up. I am going to be real here. I am not going to give up all the little pleasures in my life. I will still have that ice-cream/cake when I am out. No excessive sugar, but as a treat. I have to live !!! Plus I loveeee food!!!

S T A R

S T A R

12/06/2010

 

Day 4 - Survived!

So I went to my first social event in 3 months and I survived it! I was so anxious about it, but once I was in the company of my friends (who I have not seen in so long), I kind of had fun and eventually forgot about my skin... well maybe the alcohol helped lol! But seriously, it was good to get out of the house and just chill out. I have missed that. I don't regret being anti-social over the last 3 months - I really needed it for my own mental health, but it's nice to break that pattern. It feels liberating to not have to wait for things to be perfect, to be able to just let go, and live. I have had to challenge my perfectionistic thinking about this, but letting go is wonderful! No one analyses me the way I do. No one obsesses about my scars and acne as much I do. I read a quote recently - “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.†I seriously need to work on building a good relationship with myself. I have been so horrible to myself lately, all because of my skin. It's crazy but acne does that to you. My skin was looking better today than it did yesterday - the sleep seriously helped. The pimple on the right side of my mouth and new one on my chin looked less inflamed and I did not touch it. Hands off! What I did try today on my face was some manuka honey as a mask left on for about 40 mins. I was a bit anxious about trying it (incase it irritated my skin), but then I figured, it's a natural product and there has been lots of good reviews, might as well give it a shot! And I got really good results. It immediately brightened up my skin, skin was softer and the skin tone more even. It really helped boost my skin, which is what I needed because I wasn't wearing any make-up today. I think I will try it more often from now. Always been a bit skeptical about natural products, but some of them really do work well. Other than that,I still need to eat better, drink more water, get to bed earlier... lifestyle changes are so damn hard! Will keep following my regimen for my face this month (but do the manuka honey mask as well). Hopefully, I can remain positive even though it can be so hard at times.

S T A R

S T A R

12/04/2010

 

Day 3 - No sleep = bad skin

I had a late night yesterday, and got very little sleep. And it has really affected my skin! My skin looks awful. It's dull, uneven in skin tone and the hyper pigmentation marks seem darker... sucks!! I also have a pimple forming on the right side of my mouth. It hurts to open my mouth. Sleep is so important. I need to get to bed earlier... I hate being a night person! I love staying up late... But NO not anymore... I have to take care of my skin! I can now add sleep to the list of things that causes my acne - genetics, hormones, stress, and now lack of sleep ( I have a feeling this list is going to get longer in the future....) On other things, my diet is going okay, didn't have any junk today...that's pretty good for me! I love my chocolate - but I have been substituting it for some organic liquorice instead. It's a good sugar fix. I should be drinking more water though... but I hate having to pee all the time...lol I am a bit nervous about tomorrow night... I have a dinner party on and it's my first social event in 3 months! The last three months have been really hard for me because of my skin.I have been hiding at home and avoiding all social events! I have not seen any of my friends in the last 3 months...I have been making all sorts of stupid excuses. This has been really hard on my husband, who has had to go on his own to these events, and lie about me being sick or whatever. He has been really supportive, but I know it's not easy for him to understand my situation. My skin has improved now - I don't have as much active acne, it's more hyperpigmentation, but I still feel very self conscious. Also, I think I have gotten so used to being a hermit that I have no motivation to go out. I've also been so anxious lately, that I think even though my skin is getting better, I can't get rid of this anxiety (keep thinking...what if it gets worse...what if people think i look bad...etc etc). I feel like an idiot! I do want to go out and have a life... but yeah I am fearful. My husband made me promise a few weeks ago that I would start coming out from the start of Dec...and so now I have to... argghh..... I think most of friends are annoyed at me as it is because I have not made an effort to go out with them lately. It's hard to explain this acne and need for isolation business to anyone... if you don't have acne and self-esteem issues, you won't get it! ...I guess I really need to start somewhere - I am not perfect, but hey it's okay, I need to start living. If I wait for things to be perfect, I might be waiting forever. I am also not going to wear any make-up tomorrow night - I don't want to take any risk of irritating my skin. It's really sensitive at the moment because of the Epiduo. Gosh this is going to be a hard tomorrow...especially with that nasty pimple forming near my mouth.... god help me get through this! Better get some sleep as well!

S T A R

S T A R

12/03/2010

 

Day 1 Plan for Next 2 months

Regimen Plan for this month - Dec '10 (will not be trying for pregnancy): Morning: Wash face with luke warm water Cleanser: Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel Toner: Dermalogica Multi Active Toner Moisturiser: Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster, followed with Dermalogica Sheer Moisture SPF 15 Night: Wash face with luke warm water Cleanser: Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel Medication: Epiduo - pea size amount applied to problem areas on my skin My skin has been extremely dry since using Epiduo, and so I have had to use the Dermalogica Hydrating Booster. It provides good hydration, and you only need a few drops. Epiduo has really helped. It has taken about a month to see real results, but it has significantly reduced my acne, and the "peeling effect" of it has helped with reducing my hyper pigmentation. The initial burning, redness and tightness of skin with the Epiduo was a struggle, but my skin has gotten used to it. I always wear sun screen and try to avoid the sun. I am quite happy with the current state of my skin (less active acne, hyper pigmentation fading). My plan for this month is to make some lifestyle changes (improve sleep, diet, and stress, and no picking!) and see if it helps my acne, in conjunction with reducing the use of Epiduo as my skin improves. Regimen Plan for next month - Jan'11 (will be trying for pregnancy): I spoke with my doc (who is very supportive, and understands adult acne because she has had it herself), suggested this: - From 1st day of my period until day 11 of cycle (before ovulation): Continue treating my face with Epiduo (as you cannot get pregnant during this time). - From day 11 - until my period: Cannot use Epiduo (as I can get pregnant over this time, and Epiduo cannot be used in pregnancy). Use clindamycin phosphate lotion (antibiotic) instead to treat acne. Clindamycin lotion is safe to use during pregnancy. I personally don't like clindamycin because it makes my face oily (have used it before), but it's better than nothing. My doc said that I should not use products with: adapalene, BP, retinol, vit A, glycolyic or salicylic acid. Which rules out almost every acne treatment! So frustrating! She did say I can do mirco dermabrassion to treat my hyper pigmentation during this period (just not when I am on Epiduo, and ideally I should be off Epiduo for a week before doing it). My plan is to follow my doc's advice and try this approach next month. I will continue using my other Dermalogica products as well. I am also looking into whether mandelic acid (which I have heard so many great things about on this website) is safe for use in pregnancy, and looking into natural remedies (dead sea salt, honey) etc as other treatment alternatives - in case my skin goes crazy when I am not on Epiduo. The next 2 months should be quite a journey * fingers crossed!* !!

S T A R

S T A R

12/02/2010

 

Day 1

Been thinking about starting a blog for a while... so here goes... Brief Intro: My dreaded ACNE began at age 18. I am now 29, and still struggling with it. I have non-inflammatory acne - mainly blackheads all over my face. Leaves terrible dark spots (hyper pigmentation) that take forever to fade on my dark skin. Like everyone else, acne has affected my self-esteem and confidence. I have often isolated myself from others, and felt very depressed and lonely. I hate it. What I know: I believe my acne is genetic (dad had severe acne and scarring), hormonal (problem area = chin) and definitely worsens with stress. Treatments: From age 18-21, I tried lots of different treatments - including BP, glycolic peels and microdermabrassion. Helped a bit, but i always struggled with the pimples coming back. Hyper pigmentation has also been very difficult to treat. My skin tone is always uneven, and my chin is darker than the rest of my face (most of my breakouts are on my chin). At age 21, I went on the birth control pill (Yasmin and then moved to Yaz). My skin became very clear on this and I felt confident and happy. It really changed my life. During this time, I finished Uni, met and got married to my husband, and started working. For once, I didn't have to worry about my skin - it was liberating! Last year, I went off the bcp (to give my body a break after 7 years of being on it), and my skin went crazy! It was worse than ever! I was so distressed that I went back on the pill straight away and it cleared up after 3 months. The hyper pigmenation took about 6 months to clear. This year, my husband and I decided that we want to start a family soon, and so I had to make the painful decision of getting off the pill for good. I was dreading it.... I am not going to lie. As much as I wanted to have a baby, I was scared about the acne coming back again (especially after what happened last year). I feel selfish writing that... but acne scars more than just your face... I have been so traumatised by it in the past. Anyway, long story short - I have been off it for 6 months now, and my acne has come back again... surprise surprise...anyway, it is terrible...horrible..... the last couple of months have been such a struggle. I went to my doc last month out of desperation, and I have started on Epiduo (topical) for the last 1 month for treatment. My skin got worse initially when I started it, but now it's really helping. The acne has gone down even though I still have the dark spots all over my face. I can't be on Epiduo once I start trying to get pregnant. In fact, most acne medications can't be used. And this is my dilemma.. How to control my acne during this phase in my life? We are planning to start trying to have a baby from next year. This Blog: I have started this blog, to keep track off my experience, as I know things are going to be hard with having really bad skin, trying to get pregnant, deal with stress, and not be able to use most acne medications. Since my acne is hormonal, I am expecting the worst over this period. But I also really want to fight this battle and pull through. I really do want to have a baby If any one has gone through a similar issue or have any advice, feel free to msg me. I am hoping to update this blog as often as I can - about my skin, diet, hormones, thoughts, plans...anything that comes to mind! It's so nice to have a group of people who understand what it's like to experience acne. I don't feel that alone anymore, like I used to! This website is great !!!

S T A R

S T A R

12/01/2010

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