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I have become obsessed with my skin. I'm thinking about it constantly, always checking up on it in different lighting to see how it looks throughout the day. Always researching and trying to think of new things I can do to help balance and tone my skin.. It's really effecting my day and sometimes I just can't wait until night because at night my acne is unnoticeable and it also calms throughout the day(it seems the worst when I wake up but it gets better over time). Lately because of this, I rarely have the desire to go out during the day.

I'm back home from college now and my mother has realized this obsession I have and she thinks I'm nuts. She says she can hardly see the acne there but when I look I can see it pretty badly. Part of me kind of knows that people probably don't recognize it, care about it or judge me for it but then part of me is still self conscious about it and just wants to be one of those people with 100% clear, toned skin. I don't have a serious case of it and I really feel for the people that do but I have enough where it makes me very conscious about it. I mostly just get small red spots around my cheeks and small whiteheads but the coverage of them has been a lot more dense lately for some reason... Not to be cocky(I'm not at all actually, pretty shy) but I'm a good looking guy aside from acne..I get girls without doing much and have basically all the good traits a guy could ask for aside from acne and uneven toned skin in certain areas. So I guess in that sense I'm a perfectionist and it kinda drives me crazy that I still have any of this crap on my face at 21.

I've tried almost everything too. I don't have severe enough acne to touch anything like accutane and don't wanna even think about using topicals because they've just made things worse. I think the use of all these chemicals actually made my skin much more unhealthy over the years and I feel like I've done some permanent damage. My family doesn't have it really. My brother is 5 years older and he's basically acne free now, although he used to have it moderately. My parents never had it either. I feel like I got the worst of it and I'm just hoping some of these marks heal and everything fades over time.

I think I'm gonna quit all products and just stop irritating my face with this shit. My skin was so much healthier about 10 months ago before I started using any type of cleanser..I still got the occasional pimple but I hardly took care of myself back then in terms of washing my face and eating right..If only I just ate better back then, took some vitamins and washed my face twice a day I would be fine now but I started using BP and shit...Proactive also damaged my skin pretty badly..I just hope the damage isn't permanent..These products gave me combination skin..Oily in some areas, dry in others and I always had very even toned skin back before using these products and it was never oily or dry...I just hope if I stop using it all my skin will heal on its own...

I'm really just tired of the marks on my face being such a large priority of my day, it really takes away from a lot of other things I could be thinking about, doing and achieving...My goal priority is completely fucked up and since I broke up with my girl a few months ago one of my top priorities is simply looking good and I gotta admit that I've become very vain about my looks whereas I never used to care...She was extremely high maintenance and one of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen(let alone be in a relationship with) and I think her vanity rubbed off on me a lot.. I think if I didn't have these marks and spots on my face I wouldn't even care though and it would lift such a huge worry off my shoulders..

Anyway..Sorry I had to rant, I've become obsessed every day with my skin and lately have been rarely happy about the way I look, although no one else seems to notice or care and I still get compliments but they seem to do nothing for me until I see some progress myself..At this point, I'm hoping I just grow out of it. I've pretty much given up all hope on any type of product..I'm just gonna wash with water and maybe use light natural products at the most..Either way my skin needs a break from all these fucking chemicals.....

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I honestly haven't read anything that sounds so much like my life. I'm 21 too and I kinda feel to old for acne. Schoolwork was what finally took my mind off acne but obviously summer now so you don't have that. I tried to get rid of all the bad products and simplify and use only moisturizer. My skin feels a lot better and the last 2 months have mainly been red marks. I also switched to electric razor.

I really suggest trying to find something that will help take your mind off things. At the end of the day though be positive that, like you say, you don't have it that bad.

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I've been obssessed with my skin for five years. I wash my hands many times a day so I can feel my skin, and more and more often I lock myself away and feel my skin for three or four hours, even though I KNOW feeling it will do fuck all. And when I'm with people or whatever, I just feel like crying for some reason. I think its because of my skin. I don't want to be around people any more. I don't want them to look at me.

I've tried accutane twice, when i was 15 and 16, and LOADS of other prescription and shop drugs and creams etc from the age of 12. Right now I've been on absolutely nothing for over month, so i'll make an appointment with my GP, who will give me a useless prescription.

I am stuck.

By the way. Beck44, i feel for you. You sound intelligent, but do NOT blame yourself for not taking vitamins and washing your face twice a day earlier on...this has fuck all to do with acne, we're just unlucky with our skin.

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Sounds like you have acne dysmorphia. You should look that up.

I don't think my symptoms are that intense but they are pretty bad. I also kind of think acne dysmorphia, along with many disorders, are bullshit for the most part...

I think I'm just self conscious sometimes to an extreme where it gets out of hand and pretty insecure at times. I used to suffer from very bad anxiety in high school, absolutely crippling, but I've managed to overcome it without the use of meds. I'm sure the experimenting with drugs didn't help my case back then but I've been clean other than alcohol for a while now. Of course the anxiety still creeps up on me sometimes but I can handle it now...

Then I started going out with that girl..When I was with her I didn't care about acne, although I had it a lot less a year ago, my self-esteem was so high because I had her.. Once we broke up(mutual breakup for the most part, she wanted marriage, I wasn't ready) I became more self conscious about my looks, I guess because I wanted to find another girl, one as beautiful as her. She also told me a little after we met that she was attracted to me but I had so much potential and I could bring it out and look better with some more effort.. So I guess those words stuck with me and since I've dressed much nicer and actually take care of myself, which is good and its helped me get a lot of girls(no actual relationships since though) but when it comes to acne I get out of hand in judging myself and it destroys my confidence.

I suppose that's why I started using face products back then. I'd flip out on getting a small breakout so I'd use a cleanser on my entire face thinking I could prevent anything new from ever coming but all it did was make my skin weak and damaged it over time and most of the products just broke me out or dried me out..I'd be in such a better position now if I never used anything on my face back then. I never needed it other than MAYBE a spot treatment here and there..I don't know why I started using fully, daily facial cleansers.. What a dumb fucking mistake.

I'd imagine people with that "disorder" don't go out and socialize much but I make the effort to go out and meet new people, although acne has effected me going out a few times I get over it for the most part. It's just very hard sometimes to find the initial motivation to get off my ass and stop feeling sorry for myself but I gotta keep doing it and just fuck it and hopefully I'll grow out of it in the coming years.

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I totally know what you mean by the obsessions. I only ever have 2 or 3 pimples but in my mind it looks really really bad. I just want to be one of those people who always gets skin compliments. Anyways, what "chemicals" are you using? If you are using benzoyl peroxide you might want to stop that because its an oxidant and ages the skin. That could definately make everything look crappier.

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