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Someone with another story, in another city, living another life

Hi all,

I just joined this forum because I have been an acne sufferer for most of my life. I am 28 years old, and after a course of Accutane around 2 years ago, I have recently started breaking out again only seriously in the past month or so.

From high school (secondary school here in London) I used to get teased an bullied all the time because of my acne, I used to get huge spots on my nose that were abnormally big. I got to the point where, surprise surprise, I contemplated suicide and once I remember sitting in my room with a piece of broken glass and running it over my wrists in deliberation of cutting them. Until I started getting teased about my acne, I wasn't as self conscious as I am now. Through the years, university etc., I still had acne, most of the time it was bad but I had my good days. Through uni I generally kept myself to myself.

Then when I started work, I generally cleared up to a sufficient level which I felt was acceptable to myself and to others around me, so I became a lot happier. Then without much delay I started getting what I deemed as unacceptable acne - acne I didn't feel comfortable with, the type of acne that makes me want to lock myself at home until it gets better. So, I called in sick a lot because of this. My work involves me meeting clients and it's a very social type of career. I then decided to go see a dermatologist through my GP (doctor) and started a 3-month course of Accutane, which despite the side-effects gave me clear skin for about 2 years. I don't remember a single spot or pimple attack while I was on Accutane.

However, recently I have started to break out again, and I don't know why. In those two years I have built up a career and a social life. I became a socialite, despite the psychological scars that prevent me from having any kind of relationship for fear of my acne returning (I have never been in a relationship mainly for this reason), I became nonetheless good with people and in social gatherings, something which was utterly alien to me previously.

The worst thing is, people and friends I have now know me to be an "ordinary" fun guy and not someone who suffers from acne (not to say that acne suffers are not ordinary people). But with this recent breakout I can't leave the house. I feel like my past is returning to claim me. As I write this, I am sitting at home with the curtains shut avoiding work, and all social gatherings. I feel like I am exposed if I go out into the light, and I can no longer bear it. I have dance lessons tomorrow, a birthday party on Friday and a girl wanting to come over to my place on the weekend, all of which I must avoid. I do not regret this, because I cannot function as a person with this kind of acne, but I am sorry for it (not for me), that my condition reduces me to a mere measure of a man.

Just as a side note for anyone out there, particularly adults like me, I recently discovered the Tea Tree Oil Coverstick from The Body Shop, it's like a magic wand, just find your shade and apply it to needed areas, they more or less disappear. The only time it doesn't work for me is when I have unacceptably big spots, that although the redness is covered, the bump is so obvious it becomes a different kind of thing to worry about altogether.

That's it, I don't know where to go form here, I don't know if this is just a small phase that will pass if I just wait it out, or if i need to see a dermatologist again. Can anyone advise on my situation?

Thanks for reading,


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Don't isolate yourself from the parts of your life that made happy after what you've been through. Now that you have friends and very social don't give all that up for acne. These people don't care if you have acne, they liked you for you, because you were a fun person to be around. If you sit and dwell on it you will return to that place where suicide seems an option, and it never is. You have a life now, and it would be a shame to give it up after you've only just overcome all your past insecurities. Remember how you felt when you were among people and having fun. Please don't let acne drive you into being a recluse again. That is the worst part of acne, but it doesn't have to be that way. You get back out there and you will see no one cares and people want you to be there. You're only judging yourself, which I know we can't help, but judge yourself by how many friends you have and people who love you not by how you think you appear to them.

Hope you feel better.

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im not gonna tell u anything like who cares about acne or blablabla because u do care and so do i and every1 else on this forum. two pieces of what i consider to be not so bad advice:

1) admit to people you are self concious about ur face. this is a normal thing, and it will make the topic of your acne seem less shameful and taboo(obviously its not ur fault and not really shameful, but in the society we live in it can feel shamefull as hell) you will find that a lot of people still like you, red zits and all.

2) go back to the derm and get a 2nd course of accutane. being clear will help u proffessionally (not calling in sick etc...) so its worth the $$$ u spend at the derm's.

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also what chacham said about not giving up the exciting new life you just got for yourself, thats so true. all the more reason to get to the derm asap and deal with the problem before it grows.

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I know how you feel...like "here we go again..." It's painful.. but at the same time, you have to be brave and come to accept the fact that these people who care for you now, who are your friends, will STILL be there even if you have acne.

Also, from my personal experience, when I think back to those times I hid away from people, I regret it a lot. I regret the fact that I wasn't able to pull myself together and go on enjoying life..I regret letting a few spots on my face ruin it all. So don't let that happen, it's worth putting up with a few moments of pain now, then to face a long time of regret.

<3 Good luck and I wish you all the best

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