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Skin Wars

Have you ever looked in the mirror and cried because your appearance isn't the way you thought it'd be as a child years ago? Well, welcome to my life. I never imagined being plagued with acne, especially not as a child in elementary school. At the age of 9, I lost someone so beloved and close to me. That one loss spurred a whole new chain of events. Anxiety hit me hard and it was pretty hard to be happy when you didn't understand what was going on with your life. I felt like my world had completely stopped and I was unable to get it to keep moving again. So, sadly, at the age of 9 is when the acne had started to come up. It only occurred in my t-zone and forehead and was an occasional bump here and there.

In sixth grade is when it started to really get worse, spreading all across my forehead and the occasional lesions on my chin. This was also when other kids started to notice, and began making fun of me for having pimples before everybody else. Proactiv was the common word thrown at me and I started to get depressed and seriously insecure. In middle school, the acne just erupted all over my face and I finally saw a dermatologist in 7th grade.

From topical creams to an immense array of oral antibiotics, nothing fully worked on my skin. In 8th grade, I switched dermatologists and tried some more creams and pills. This time, however, my dermatologist recommended Accutane and I was more than happy to try it since I was desperate to finally have my acne cured, as this medicine was known for. The couple months of taking the drug were brutal, with overly dry skin and crazy chapped lips. By the end of my trial, my skin was pretty clear and I was satisfied. But this short-lived happiness soon ended when my acne retaliated, stronger and worse than ever. During my freshmen year of high school, I was given Bactrim, an oral antibiotic, which worked very well for the first couple of months but slowly started to stop since my body was getting used to it.

With my acne coming back even worse, I was put on Tri-Previfem, an oral contraceptive that was verified to treat acne. I was a little weary about using birth control to treat my acne but did it anyway because I was and still am willing to do anything to achieve having clear skin so I could finally be able to love myself rather than hate the way I look. It worked well for a few months but I started to gain a lot of weight and put on 10 pounds. Now, I started to feel even worse about myself because my skin was still pretty gross looking and now I gained a substantial and very noticeable amount of weight. I stopped using the birth control abruptly, which was a big mistake on my part. My acne hit me like a truck, getting very, very bad. I hated (and still do) looking in the mirror or anything that remotely showed my reflection. I wore hats to hide my forehead acne and never dared to leave the house without makeup.

I was so sick of poisoning my body with all these pills, so I decided to stop using antibiotics as a method of curing my acne. I opted for a vitamin supplement prescribed by my dermatologist called Nicomide. It really hasn't done much for me and I'm just so sick of having acne and having to wear makeup every single day for the past 7 years to feel better about my appearance. My dermatologist was unable to do anything for 3 years and recommended a second course of Accutane, which I happily denied. I'm onto my third dermatologist with zero hope and no more smiles.

Do you know what it's like to avoid going out in public and hanging out with a guy that could potentially mean to world to you because you are so ashamed of what your skin looks like? Pimples may not be a big deal to some, but it really killed my self-esteem. My acne is not even that bad but to say that I've never had "clear skin" for over 6 years is a major disappointment. It's hard to enjoy being a teenager when I can't even leave the house without crying or hiding under a hat. I've reached an all-time low.



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