In my world it's pretty much a given that one gets peels before their wedding; even if their skin isn't "bad."
I waited a bit too long to start visiting estheticians, doctors, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, but it is what it is, and here we are. I'm getting married at the beginning of June.
So I switched to Carley's in January, and I really like it. I wouldn't call my skin "clear," as I still have pimples, but now at least I feel as though they're individual pimples, and not just a whole big mess on my face. And the product name doesn't lie: my skin is super smooth.
Also to keep breakouts under control between now and the wedding (and maybe scar help) I booked an appointment for a facial. But not just any facial, oh no. I overheard someone on the bus a while back saying that she gets massages for $20/hour at the local massage school. So I looked it up right when I got home, and saw that there's also a beauty school nearby. I booked my $18 facial appointment. It was a great experience. The girl who worked on me was super nice, and the supervisor was right there the whole time, telling her exactly what products to use and what to do next. They talked about my skin, which was wonderful to hear, because whenever I've gotten facials in the past I've always wondered what the esthetician could see when they looked with that bright light and magnifier. They mentioned something that I've suspected for a while: I don't have oily skin. Just because you have break-outs doesn't mean you have oily skin, but of course all the over-the-counter acne products are very drying. My plan going in was to go pretty much every week from now until the wedding, but they weren't really down with more than once a month. The supervisor did say that they could try peels for me at the school, but that really I probably needed the dermatologist strength. She mentioned TCA cross peels.
Feeling like the break-outs are under control, now it's time to deal with scars. It's a funny experience, like trying to learn an instrument or a language for the first time as an adult. I know pretty much everything there is to know about acne and how to "deal" with it, but now I had to start back at square one educating myself about scars and treatment.
First step, meeting with my PCP at the University Health Center to get a referral to a dermatologist. The doctor asked what I was using to prevent breakouts now, and I told him my regimen (gentle cleanser and BP scrub), and he asked if I've tried prescription treatments. I told him I had, but it doesn't really seem to matter. He asked what kind of break-outs I usually get, and I confirmed his suspicion that I don't get whiteheads or blackheads, I get the deep under-the-skin painful kind. Yes, cysts. He suggested antibiotics, and when I asked him topical or oral, he said that topical (anything) wouldn't help, because my acne wasn't caused by clogged pores or any of that, it's just hormonal.
What a relief! I mean to finally know! Why couldn't someone had told me sooner! I've spent so many nights searching the internet for what to do about a pimple that I could feel coming. They have tips and tricks for blackheads and whiteheadsâ€”heat, cold, drying, moisturizingâ€”but all anyone ever says about a cyst is that you need to go to the derm to get a cortisone shot. Right. Now it all makes sense.
So I let him write me a prescription for antibiotics. He also wrote me a referral for a derm. Now the next step is finding one...