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My Story



Well my "journey" with acne has pretty much been my whole life, a good portion of it anyways. Right when I came out of my mother I was blessed with acne on my cheeks. My grandma said the same thing happened with my father so you can already guess I have my father's skin. The acne as a newborn left small scars on my cheeks, they just look like large pores today and they have never bothered me. But I can remember being in 2nd grade and a girl in my class would look at me and poke at her cheeks, teasing me over them. What did I know as a 7 year old? I thought that's just the way I am and would laugh it off. It's only when other people say something about my skin that has made me feel self concious. I started to get acne in 5th grade, nothing major, 6th grade it started to get worse, just breaking out on my forehead and I'd take my mothers make up to cover it up. I also started playing sports then, and I sweat way more than the average girl when I exercise. I started to see a dermatologist in 7th grade, she'd put me on the standard tetracycline with creams that irritated and dried my skin up so bad I'd have to ask to go to the bathroom just to apply more lotion to soothe my face. After numerous visits to the dermatologist with no success, I gave up on them. The dermatologists I saw were against accutane and my mom would not allow me to take it even if they had. Tetracyclines have never had any impact on my acne, it's like my body is immune to it. My skin does clear up completely from peniciilins and sulfa antibiotics though. Throughout high school I had acne but nothing that really made me worry, I'd use benzoyl peroxide products, I kept thinking I'll grow out of this. I didn't let it affect what I did, I played a ton of sports and had friends, never affected me having boyfriends. My family was never really understanding though, my brother would say things like "you need to go tanning to get rid of that" and my mom never had acne in her life, she'd tell me to go put some makeup on if I was going out in public with her without anything covering my blemishes. After I graduated high school I began seeing a gynecologist, even though I hadn't had sex yet. I had her check my hormones thinking maybe this is the cause of my acne. No, always checked out fine. I had seen all the ads for Yaz and asked her for a script for that, so began my first birth control pill. It did nothing, my acne didn't get worse or better. I've never been one to get acne around my period, I just get it randomly. I switched birth control pills 2 more times, I tried pretty much every product out there from low end to high end, to everything a dermatologist can prescribe. I'd go through phases of somewhat clear skin to 10 cysts popping up overnight. When I was 22 I saw a dermatologist who pretty much only prescribes accutane for all acne. He sat me down in a room and made me feel like crap, saying look at how bad your skin is, you need to take accutane. I wasn't ready and just felt that my skin wasn't that bad and he was a jerk doctor. After that I moved to Arizona for a year, my skin barely broke out during that time and I ate like CRAP, soda everyday, fast food, dairy, I will say I didn't drink coffee at that time though. I was also very relaxed while living there. I moved back to Michigan after that and the first week back my skin broke out. At 25 now, my skin now only breaks out on my lower cheek/jawline area and chin. The dermatologist I see now tells me that's just where adults get acne. Benzoyl peroxide does help dry up my acne, and tazorac has kept me scar free besides some hyperpigmentation. My skin had been doing so well, then january hit and I suddenly had all these clogged pores, then cysts developed, literally OVERNIGHT and tiny whiteheads all in my trouble areas. I've tried doing the paleo diet, no dairy, no grains, just vegetables and meat, low iodine diet, vitamin B5, loading up on every vitamin out there, probiotics and my mind is so determined that I never crave anything I give up, and I'm pretty sure I just scare my family with the way I eat. I still stay away from dairy and grains now even though I don't believe it affects my acne for better or worse, but i'll still have some potatoes or gluten free oats once in awhile. I've been food allergy tested, all negative, but I'm sure I have food intolerances. Certain things I eat make me get congested (not just dairy products) and when I eat yogurt my face tingles like it's getting a rush. I believe my skin problems are from my stomach being irritated. I had an EGD done before because multiple doctors have thought I have acid reflux (even though I have never had heartburn), and every time I take an acid-reducing medication my symptoms become worse and actually make me develop heartburn. The scope of my stomach showed that its inflamed. So I can only conclude that I've damaged my stomach over the years, either by eating poorly, painkillers or use of antibiotics. Now let me bring my father back up, I have his skin, though you wouldn't know because his skin has always looked clear to me, just rough, not scarred at all though. He had acne when he was younger and even at 60 years old tells me he still gets a pimple sometimes. He says every topical product out there breaks his skin out and he can only wash with basis for sensitive skin soap. Well yesterday I just about had it at the dermatologist because I have been going through a bad breakout and I began crying in the room while talking to the dermatolgist. Just over the frustration of my skin, how what once had been keeping my skin somewhat clear no longer has any effect on my skin it seems. So I'm on bactrim for a month now because I really can't deal with looking at my skin at the moment, and I'm just going to use the basis soap from now on, no sunscreen, moisturizer or jojoba oil (any oil breaks me out). My skin just seems so sensitive to everything anymore but I guess I can be thankful I don't get acne on my body and I don't have scars. I wish I didn't have to wear makeup but I have no confidence if I don't when I'm out in public. Thankfully where I work I don't feel the need to wear makeup unless my skin is awful so I really try to minimize having to wear makeup. In a month from now I may decide to take accutane. I've heard success rates of acne not coming back for adults are higher when they take accutane and I really am just tired of slathering crap on my face, popping another pill, restricting myself from so many foods that it makes my family worry about my weight for the rest of my life to keep my skin in control.


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Wow! I thought I had it bad. Cheer up girl. It will get better! I'm kind of in the same boat as you when it comes to accutane. I'm so scared to take it! But I literally have tried everything under the sun when it comes to topicals and antibiotics. I just saw my dermatologist yesterday to get the process going for accutane because it takes about a month due to the ipledge program, you have to have two negative pregnancy tests before you start and a bunch of other blood work, it was a pain but my derm said it will be worth it in the end, so I'm trying to stay positive and patient!. I'm 23 years old and I get that terrible,painful and embarrassing cystic acne, it has killed my self esteem, I use to be this fun,sociable loving person and I'm not anymore, I isolate myself from everyone, even my familu bc I don't want anyone to see me so accutane is my last resort and I'm hoping that it works. Good luck to u! I'm also starting on 20mg which is a low dose bc my derm lnows I'm scared so I'm just taking it slow so that could be an option for u as well. :)

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Hi hey, I know exactly how you feel. I 39 and I have been dealing with acne since I was 12, nothing seems to work, my acne gets better, then worse again, it's been a roller coaster and I was sure I would never take accutane but here I am, afraid to be 40 and deal with acne at the same time, so I stated yesterday! I'm on 20 mg for now, but it's day 1 and I have diarrhea, it's not severe though.

It might be the nerves of getting/ not getting the symptoms .

Good luck whatever you decide!

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