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Another sob story.

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I'm 24 years old and I've come to the realization now that I've had acne constantly for the last 13 years. I knew that already, of course, but I never stopped to reflect on it much. There has literally never been a single occasion since I was 11 that I didn't have some kind of ugly acne lesions on my face. I realize this is not an uncommon problem, not here at least, but lately it has started to bother me more than usual. Not that it has ever NOT bothered me, of course, but I can honestly say this is the first time that its had such a profound effect on my self-esteem. It's gotten to the point now where I almost can't bear to interact with other people because I'm positive that all they're doing is looking at my acne. Everywhere I go I keep the hood of my sweater up in an effort to hide my face, and when I have to take it off I let my long hair hang down as much as possible, to the point that I'm starting to look like one of those ghosts from a J-Horror flick. At least a dozen times a day I retreat to the bathroom to check and see if my face really looks as bad as I imagine it does. Its gotten to the point now where its literally all I think about most of the time.

I'm sure that I have scarring but its impossible to tell how much because between acne and hyperpigmentation my skin has never cleared up enough to be sure what is and is not permanent. Ironically, the one permanet (and prominent) scar that I'm sure about I have from NOT popping a zit; that damn thing was planted on my cheek for 12 months because everyone warned me that if I didn't stop popping my pimples that I would get scars. So I just let it sit there until it turned an ugly purple color; when I finally burst it by accident (literally all I did was graze it with my finger) the fluid that came out was black, and within a week it was gone but now I have a dark spot on my cheek that looks like a bullet wound.

Its not so much the acne itself that is causing me to feel this way, its that I've just recently come to some realizations about how other people react to it. As a teenager I assumed that most people understood that my acne was a problem largely beyond my control and generally empathized with my difficulties. Lately, however, I've been shocked to learn how many people, including those who used to suffer from acne themselves, know little to nothing about it. People look at my face and assume that I eat junk food, never shower, and masturbate too often. They don't realize that acne does not automatically go away when you turn 18 and assume that if I still have it that it must be a comment on my lifestyle. I've become very conscious of the fact that, no matter what the statistics on sites like this tell you, 90% of the people I meet have no visible skin problems at all, and literally no one I meet has acne as bad as mine, including kids ten years younger than me who by rights should be stricken with hormone-induced boils of the Old Testament variety.

Everyone has advice, none of it helpful:

-"Just be sure to wash your face every day."

Yes, because for all these years its been just that easy and I never once thought to take that minor initiative.

-"It'll go away on its own eventually."

Indeed, surely I'm one of those rare individuals for whom puberty lasts until age 30.

-My mom: "Well even I still break out sometimes."

Yeah, THAT makes me feel better. Note also that she can't seem to differentiate between "breaking out sometimes" and a dozen years of constant skin problems.

-Mom again: "A few pimples isn't the worst thing that could happen to you."

This is the Answer for Everything and it always struck me as logically unsound. I mean, you can say that no matter WHAT has happened to you. I could lose both my legs in a car accident and still say "Well, it's not the worst thing that could happen."

-"Just go see a dermatologist."

Ah yes, the wonderful world of dermatology, where you get to spend two hundred dollars a month on antibiotics with no idea whether they will work and fully aware that if they don't they might actually make the problem worse or cause completely new ones. Honestly, the cost of my skin care is the hardest thing; I don't mind if a certain medication isn't effective, I realize that everyone's skin is different, but I work minimum wage on a student's hours here and it costs me $120 just to sit down in the doctor's office.

-"It doesn't really look that bad.

Then why did you bring it up?

You get the idea.

I'm really at the end of my rope here and I don't know what to do. Social interaction, which was never my strong suit to begin with, has been rendered next to impossible. I can't shake the feeling that everyone refers to me as "The zitfaced guy". I have no idea what kind of person would actually find me physically attractive and I have trouble imagining that anyone in the professional world will take me seriously when I have the complexion of a 13-year old (although it does cause people to think that I look younger than I actually am; however, since it also causes them to think I look like crap, I can scarcely consider this a good thing), and I can't even remember the last time I was this depressed.

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God, I know exactly how you feel. I'm 21 going on 22 in March and I've had acne since I was twelve or so. I can't remember what it's like to be able to go outside confident without having to throw on layers of foundation and concealer. I have pock marks and scars all over my face. I just wish it would end...

Good luck to you. We both need it.

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I can't wait for the day I wake up and admire my unblemished skin. whenever i wake up now i just wince at the sight of it, im fed up of wearing makeup, i wish I could just be proud to walk about without it.

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I can't wait for the day I wake up and admire my unblemished skin. whenever i wake up now i just wince at the sight of it, im fed up of wearing makeup, i wish I could just be proud to walk about without it.
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I thought I had tried everything (BP, retinoid, oral antibiotics, azelaic acid) when I one day, in october 2006, got so desperate I decided to try my acne medications in a combination which my derm never suggested. And it worked. I've been clear ever since.

This is my recipe:


Wash with mild cleanser and gently pat dry.

Apply generously Clindamycin (topical) --> let dry. (if your acne is dominated by nodules repeat once again.)

The apply generous amount of Azelaic acid.(This will also prevent the bacteria from getting resistant to the antibiotic of clindamycin)


Wash again.

Apply Clindamycin as above. Let dry.

Apply retinoid (Aberela or Differin)

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