So last night I was so distraught with my face (I've had a bad blackhead/mila breakout due to too much scrubing and irritating my skin. ) that I skipped my normal nightly dose of Epiduo and instead went old school. By old school, I mean what I did before seeing a dermatologist and getting on my topicals and pills. Anyways, I use Proactive's sulfur mask stuff as spot treatments on every single spot on my face...every one. I am so glad my house didn't catch on fire or anything in the night, because i looked ridiculous.
Anyways, I woke up this morning and washed my face as normal (Neutrogena Extra Gentle) and I am pretty sure my face looks at least %30 better. The spots look smaller, some are completely gone, and I think even those hyperpigmentation marks are a shade lighter. Of course, I don't think it did anything on the milia, but I wasn't expecting it to. Now I'm thinking maybe I should alternate nights...do Epiduo one night and Sulfur the next, at least until this breakout is gone. Any opinions on this?
Hello all! I decided to start this blog because I am CONSTANTLY on my computer always googling the latest thing that I have heard/read/thought about acne and how to control it or get rid of it. I thought it would be helpful to other people too if I gave all of my information about what I’ve found and tried, as well as a more emotional aspect to having acne. I have found very little people actually like to open up to how acne affects their day to day life, but I know that I’m not alone, and you aren’t either.
To give you a little bit of history, I am a 26 year old female who had perfect (and when I say perfect I mean maybe 3 pimples my entire life) until just last fall. Also of note, I started running (crazy marathon running) last fall as well. Coincidence? Maybe. My dermatologist seems to think there is no relation…but I’ll get to that in a little bit. Anyways, so last fall, I noticed that I was starting to get a pimple or two every few weeks. I had no idea how to deal with this, as I’ve always had good skin. So I would just wait for them to go, cover with makeup, bam. Then around January of this year, it got worse. I wasn’t just getting one or two, I was getting a lot…all over my face. No part was off limit…the chin, the cheeks, the forehead, the nose, even right on the edge of my lips. This is where the real battle started. I tried everything that I could find. The first thing that I found was the highly popular, commercialized Proactive. This did not work at all, and really only burned my skin like crazy when I first started it. I used it for about a month, and decided it was not for me. Granted, now I think part of my problem was not moisturizing enough to compensate for the overdrying of the BP, but remember…I was new to this. No idea.
So next, AcneFree (the Walmart brand) which I tried for another month. Nothing. Same thing. The breakouts kept getting worse little by little. Then I tried spot treating with Salycic acid, sulfur masks, honey masks, lemon, St. Ive’s scrub, cinnamon, salt scrubs, etc….anything I read about, I tried. Still bad.
I finally broke down about a month ago and went to the dermatologist. I don’t even think my insurance will cover this at all, but at this point, I DON’T CARE. I’m literally willing to go into debt to get rid of acne at this point if I have to. Surely other people feel this way? lol. But I am serious, if I have to go in debt, get a second job, whatever….to pay for what helps. When I went, I thought I had the worst breakout ever (ha). I had a cyst like one on my right cheek and one right on my chin, and some little whiteheads on my forehead. That was it. But here’s me…”Dr., I have a date next week…and this is terrible. Can you give me anything to knock this out right now?” To which he looked at me, decided they were on their way “out” (I’m thought he meant like going down, but I would find out that meant, just the gunk making the way to the surface.) and said he could give me a tapered dose of Prednisone. After that, he wanted me to start on Spiro pills 50mg once a day, Aczone in the morning, and Epiduo at night. I left the happiest person in the world because I just KNEW this was the end of my fight.
Prednisone…for future reference…if you are ever given this, don’t take it. Trust me. Not only did it not help what I had currently, it made me break out…horribly…for the next 4 weeks, and worse, I seem to have worse marks and scarring from those breakouts than I have ever had, ever. My face looks horrible right now because it is covered in little red marks, as well as a brand new giant whitehead (last night) and tiny little white bumps all over that I think I have correctly identified as “milia.” AND here’s the worst part….I had two giant cystlike pimples on each cheek about a month ago, they are “deflamed” at this point, but they are scarily red, and seem to look like a blackhead. What the hell? And I thought the Epiduo would eventually help…no. Well, not at this point. I know you’re supposed to use it for at least a few months before judging, but geez….come on. Are these permanent? And if not, why does everything seem to be getting worse? I’ve never had this many “tiny spots” all over my face.
Anyways, I’m sure if you’re looking at this page, you may have acne too. And let me tell you…the only thing that I want, everyday, is to be the person that I was before. Well, not really. Before, I feel like I was super superficial. I felt like I was a pretty person, and you know what? I made judgemental comments about other people’s prettiness too. And whether you’re religious or not, you’ll understand me saying…I think that acne is my payment for those sins. That constant judging of other people, taking for granted something like clear skin, never thinking I was good enough myself…ha. Haha, shame on me. But when I say the person before, I just mean clear skin. I feel like I have a new appreciation of “beauty.” And you probably understand this too, if you have acne. When you have something menacing like this, you stop seeing beautiful people, and you start seeing just beautiful skin and beautiful confidence. I envy girls, no matter how “pretty” society may judge them, who have clear skin. That’s all I can seem to think about when I go out, when I watch movies, etc. I find myself looking at people’s clear faces and can’t think of anything else. Relate?
Anyways, so as I said, my dermatologist doesn’t seem to think the running is related to the acne. But I beg to differ. The more I progressed in my training (meaning the longer distances) the more my acne progressed. And, my acne never started until I started running. My doctor thinks it’s hormonal (although we can’t really tell because I have an IUD) and I’ve read about how a big increase in athletic activity can change your hormones. I love running. I live for running. I divorced my husband of 5 years just a year ago for having affairs and some other stuff, but it was running that held me together. But now…I have not been running in over 2 weeks because I feel like it may be the cause. So now, not only do I have an acne problem, I’m losing a part of who I am.
And even if I did still go running, there is no way that I want to leave the house without makeup. No way. I don’t know how people feel when they are actually depressed, but here’s my normal day. Wake up- lay in bed as long as possible because I just don’t want to think about my face yet, check my face. Mad because there is no improvement overnight. I put off doing the morning face wash and applying of topical just because I hate touching my own face and looking at it now. With this said though, I look at my face 50 times a day at least just to asses the train wreck that it is. I also randomly google stuff about acne. I think about how none of my friends can even relate because they don’t have this issue. they have clear skin, and they have no idea. So telling me, we hardly even notice, and don’t worry about it…that doesn’t really work, girls. Sorry. I think about how there is no way at all that I want to be going out on girl’s night because I will only worry about my face. I think about the fact that there is no way I will feel comfortable dating until my face is clear. EVERYTHING that I think about concerns my face. I don’t want to go out in public at all. In fact, I have a work event all next week that I am terrified to the point of throwing up about just because of my face.Relate?
Okay, so question of the day….I’m considering going to a licensed aesthician on Tuesday to get a mini-facial and to extract the 25 or so small bumps that I have on my face that I think are a combination of blackheads/milia. What do you guys think? Anyone ever done this? Does it work? And is it worth the money? And how long did it take your face to recover? You knoww what I’m talking about…the little red marks, indentation, etc after extracting?