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Robert Cohn

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I have been struggling and suffering with acne for probably around 5 years -- although it feels like far more than that. I recall it starting out on my forehead and it wasn't all that bad at first. I didn't do anything about if for the first year or two until it started popping up on other parts of my face, at that point I tried a few products but nothing worked. As of the past 2, maybe 3 years, it has been so bad that I can hardly leave the house because I am so self-concious.

I will admit that I am guilty of picking at my sores. I tried everything when it first started getting noticeable back in grade 8 when I was 13. Finally there was one day where someone made a very harsh comment about it and I just gave up. I really stopped caring at that point; not just because of that one incident, but because of life in general at that point in time. Life just didn't seem valuable enough to work at. At this point I just stopped caring and ended picking at it a LOT because I had nothing better to do with my hands and I couldn't help it, it got so bad.

When life gets to a certain low you feel like you have no other choice but to give into your impulses; to not give in would just feel wrong.

And now, 5 years later, I finally am ready to go out and live my life... only, I can't now. A few years of severe depression has ruined my life permanently and there is not much I can do about it.

I have not left the house in almost 5 months, and I have literally not stepped foot outside in nearly 2. The only time I don't have to worry about it is when I am completely alone -- and even then I still feel self-concious at times.

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I always have a few pimples on my face, but they come and go and aren't so bad any more; what I am left with is scars, mostly on my cheeks and up the sides of my face.

It is still raging on my shoulders and the centre of my chest. The acne on my chest seems to be worse at certain points in the day than others.

To be clear: I never ate well or groomed myself before, but as of the last year -- past few months especially -- I am really trying to be healthy. One thing that I read, and I'm not sure how true it is, is that carbohydrates are the worst thing that you can put in your body if you are prone to acne. I am trying to reduce the number of carbs I consume each day -- preferably to 0 -- but it really isn't easy.

I live with my parents still and am too embarrassed to ask for help or even talk about this kind of thing, so anything that costs money and that normal people wouldn't have in the refrigerator or in their bathroom sink is out of the question.

Everything I can possibly find on treating acne requires all sorts of coconut oils and random things that we don't have. I'm sure there are other options for me.

If anybody else is in this unique situation where they can't get help from parents or doctors, please let me in on your secrets!

Today: I tried a sugar and water exfoliant on my face after getting out of the shower with flaky skin. This is a method that I read about and it seems to work well, although I'm not sure if it is scratching and irritating my skin. (I used white sugar and water, nothing else.)

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