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At my wit's end

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So, I thought I'd post here to vent as I'm sure my husband is absolutely sick of hearing about it (although he tries to be understanding and supportive). I guess I just hoped some people here would understand what I'm going through.

I should be at work today, and I should have been yesterday. Yet...I can't bear the thought of going out at the moment; my skin is inflamed and sore and I feel so unattractive. It sounds ridiculous, sure, and I'm now worried that I'm sabotaging my own career by taking these sick days. How do I explain what I'm going through to my boss?

I am having panic attacks so severe that my legs give way; I get awful stomach pains & nausea and can't breathe. I'm convinced that people are staring at me when I'm out and about - I went to see my doctor yesterday and I got really freaked out just being in the waiting room.

The doctor just prescribed Fluoxetine for the anxiety, but I don't want to take antidepressants...I just want my skin to be better; I want the constant misery to disappear.

I've never had perfect skin, and have had acne on and off since the age of about 13. Still, it's been manageable and I've had definite clear spells until about two months ago. I now have constant outbreaks around my mouth and jawline - they don't clear up for any period, more just appear. The consistency and texture of my skin is now bumpy, with red spots. I used to do part-time modelling but that just isn't an option anymore. I can't bear to even face my nearest and dearest - going out terrifies me at the moment, which is bad because in addition to working full-time I'm doing a degree, qualifying as a fitness instructor and doing volunteer work. I always endeavour to be the best at everything I do, but currently takes me hours to pluck up the courage to go out.

What bothers me is this: I lead a healthy lifestyle. I eat a diet full of fruit, veg and wholegrains and have done for years. For the last four years I've drunk at least 3 litres of water a day. The only other drink I have is green tea or a caffeine-free fruit tea; I don't drink alcohol. I abstain from dairy as much as possible; using soya alternatives.

I exercise regularly and have been a member of the gym for three & a half years, although at the moment going to the gym gives me panic attacks.

I clean my face twice a day, and use topical salicyclic or glycolic acid treatments overnight. I've changed my foundation to a Dermalogica Treatment one, and the moisturiser I use is an oil-free skin-clearing one. I will never touch my skin without cleaning my hands first.

In the morning, I take zinc, B5, cod liver oil and echinacea supplements.

In the afternoon, I take 100mg minocycline, and finally in the evening I take Dianette.

Nothing seems to work;. I recently bought a BeautySkin red and blue-light treatment lamp having read positive reviews. After a month of daily use, there has been no effect whatsoever. I've tried frequent acupuncture, and been for treatment facials over the years. I've even been for private counselling to address the 'underlying self-esteem issues', but I truly think I would be happy if my skin would just clear up.

I just can't stand the thought of carrying on like this. My doctor doesn't seem to take it seriously, and tells me 'it's not that bad.' But the point is, for me, it is very severe. It's affecting the way I live my life - I used to be a really happy, vibrant person and now I'm increasingly introverted, worried and lacking in confidence. I just want to cry (and often do) every morning when I wake up and see the mirror; however hard I battle to be strong.

Sorry about how long this got guys...I just really needed to vent, and I don't know who else to talk to about it anymore. I feel like such an idiot, and moreover I feel weak :(

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I felt like I wrote that myself! I'm 24/f. My doctors years after years would tell me my skin wasn't that bad and if I just stopped wearing makeup my skin would clear up. wrong! I would get anxiety at the thought of getting up and having to look in the mirror, I would skip work-and this was a job I had just started after grad school. I would have crying fits so badly I couldn't breathe. I would even think I was having an OK skin day only to get in the car, look in the review mirror and have a breakdown. I got on accutane in July of last year and my skin has been so much more manageable since then. I get maybe one tiny clogged pore before my period and that's it. I'm of course still battling red marks but they're starting to fade pretty quickly. I know you seem pretty healthy conscious, and so am I, and accutane was a tough decision. However, my emotional health was plummeting. I needed to do something. I am happy I took accutane. It has really calmed me down and allowed me to focus on what's important. I also went to counseling and took some anti-anxiety meds-I didn't want to take them. I was convinced that my problems were simply surrounding my skin-and for the most part they were. However, finding a great therapist whose job is simply to help you get through the tough times really does help. If you decide to take the plunge and do it I wish you luck! If you have any questions about the medication you can PM me. Things will get better.

Laura

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I'm in a very similar situation myself. I've had mild to moderate acne for about 10 years and although it's cleared up at times in the past it's been at its worst in the past few months. I was on a six month course of oxytetracycline until recently and my acne definitely worsened during that period. I'm now left with a very unhealthy looking face but what's worse, my confidence is shot and I've become obsessed with the condition of my skin.

I work from home so I don't necessarily have to deal with lots of people on daily basis, but I've backed out of tons of social situations in the past month or so and when I do go out I have this horrible stomach churning and I'm constantly wondering if people are looking at my acne. Writing it down, it's ridiculous how stressed I'm letting myself get as even at the moment, my acne is hardly what you could call severe; it's just more noticeable than it was in the past. Up until a few months ago I never let it get to me like this.

Having noticed that the trying to be (overly) proactive about beating acne, the antibiotics and the the stress/depression all happened at about the same time I have decided to go back to a vary simple regimen and to try and work on my psychological problems. I know it seems that the ideal way to tackle things would be to work on any psychological issues AFTER you've seen an improvement in your skin, but I think it's very important to try and beat your inner demons and stop the anxiety from becoming even more of an obstacle. To this end, I'm trying to crush any negative thoughts about acne as soon as I have them and remain as positive as I can.

I think I will take a break from striving for a miracle cure for a while and just see how this goes. I'm not sure what other options there are for me anyhow as I've tried a lot of things over the years and I don't think antibiotics in a different form would have any benefit. The other option is Accutane, but I really think it's a very severe solution to a relatively minor condition. Maybe I will have reconsidered if this continues much longer though!

Sorry to rant at such length in your thread. I don't have any real advice, but you can take at least some small amount of comfort from knowing you aren't alone. Also, you must try your utmost to not let it get you down. Things will improve.

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Thanks so much for your replies guys; it is in a way reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who shares the same sentiments. It makes feeling abnormal feel just that little bit more normal; if you know what I mean?!

As for Accutane, I think it's quite hard to have prescribed in the UK. It needs to be signed off by a consultant dermatologist, and when I mentioned the possibility to my GP, she said there was no way a derm would look to prescribe it for me. However, I have (finally) been referred to a dermatologist at my local hospital, but the appointment is about six weeks away. Still, I think they will look to keep me on antibiotics etc. - minocycline and tetracycline have proved very unhelpful so far, though :(

Trouble is, I have a holiday between now and then and I'm so worried I won't be able to enjoy it. I've booked surfing sessions, because it's something I love so much - but if my skin continues to be consistently bad like this, there is just no way I'm getting in the water. The level of anxiety I'd feel would outweigh the happiness of doing an activity I love. I can't enjoy normal things right now, and it's just incredibly sad.

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This has been the message board I've been looking for. Adults with Acne and dealing with it.

I'm 25 years old, Filipino guy living in NYC. I've always had issues with acne, mainly along my jawline and forehead, but it never really bothered me all too much growing up. I guess I always thought "Sure, this will all end when I'm older". And to some it extent, it did - I was 'clear' for 3-4 years now, but since the beginning of 2009, its been spreading to my cheeks, a more noticeable area of the face. I'm 25 years old - I shouldn't be having acne!!! Since January 2009, I've been on a crazy ride of emotions. In the beginning of 2009, I broke out like I never had before - I had several cysts on my cheeks and several LARGE pimples on my forehead. I never experienced a break out like this ever - Despite what other people may say, I am convinced that this break out was due to the creatine I started using in December 2008 to bulk up. (Obviously, I stopped using it when I started having the break out). Immediately after the break out, I went to a dermatologist, who prescribed me Solodyn and a light cream. Long story short, I took it for 2.5 weeks before realizing the I was really allergic to the medication. I had trouble breathing, fast heart rate, and pretty bad panic attacks for 3 weeks thereafter. I also had red rashes around my nose area - making me terribly self-conscious. The panic attacks were the worst. I didn't care about anything! Imagine not being able to care about anything? Imagine not being able to make yourself happy? It sounds crazy and its definitely hard to describe those sentiments - but during those 3 weeks after stopping the medication - I was a different person. I was scared that I would never be happy again. That was the scariest thing. That's some pyscho-shit, huh? Just shows how powerful some side-effects can be. (of course the doctor claims that the solodyn played no part in these issues - but he suggested I stop taking it anyway)

I saw another dermatologist who prescribed me Doryx, a doxycycline. I only took it for 2 days because I was still shook up over the Solodyn trip. At that point, I was done with anti-biotics.

About 4 weeks ago, I felt a lot better both physically and mentally so I decided to give Doryx another shot. I took it only 3 times, and immediately I felt very groggy and 'out-of-it'. Although I stopped taking it immediately, I felt unpleasant side effects (though certainly less intense than my solodyn break down). I noticed my breathing was off and my heart rate was fast - but I was still functional (When I took solodyn, I couldn't do anything). After my breathing and heart rate calmed down, I had several panic attacks. I couldn't sit still and I actually had to take walks to calm me down. (I never had to take a walk to actually CALM me down - That's when I knew I was dealing with a whole new monster). A sense of hopeless was consuming me.

I'll be honest - though I never made any attempts, I definitely had suicidal thoughts.

Anyways, now I'm better. Physically, it appears that I am normal - breathing wise and heart rate. Emotionally, I'm not suffering from any anxiety attacks. I almost felt motivated enough to go to the gym. haha. I sincerely believe that the anxiety I've experienced on and off these 3 months have been from the medications that I took. I've never had issues with anxiety my entire life - and its too coincidental that I go through these attacks after taking the medications. Conclusion: I'm allergic to tetracyclines - done. No more oral medication. (Doctors won't prescribe me accutane - and after what I've been through, I don't want any more side effects)

All I do now is wash my face every morning and night. I stopped all Benzaclin, and Differen because both left terrible dry skin. I might just go back to 2.5% BP with some lotion - I'll deal with some dry skin as long as possible. Right now, the break outs have subsided, but I'll have one or two pimples on my cheeks each week, which will undoubtedly leave scars - basically my face is suffering a slow, and painful demise. It's hard for me to look in the mirror everyday because it just seems to get worse and worse.

However, I'm still finding it extremely difficult dealing with my face. I don't like to go out, I don't like to see friends. I'm afraid to go the gym and sweat, with fears that this may cause a break out. Basically, I sit in my room after work and try to go to sleep - that's the only time when I don't think about my face. Waking up is difficult as well. I try to stay in bed as long as possible before having to go up to the mirror and see what's become of me. I know it might sound dramatic, but everything feels so different now that I have all these scars and pimples. My once bright future seems so pointless and hopeless.

How are people going to look at me? What are they going to say about my face? They are just telling me that to be polite. Will I be able to get a job with this shit on my face? Will people take me seriously? Will I be alone for the rest of my life? How can anyone love someone with dots all over his face? No one will want to talk to me because of my face. Why doesn't anyone else suffer from this problem? How does he have such a clear face? How does she have such a clear face? Why can't I have such a clear face? These people have no idea what its like.

But then I try and tell myself that I am fortunate. I have life. I'm breathing, I'm moving. People have way more serious problems than I do. People have to endure a whole lot more shit than just a couple of marks on the face. I feel so ungrateful when I put things in this kind of light - but its soo hard to deal with nonetheless.

Where does this leave me? I'm utterly upset and confused. I don't know what to do. I am a very lively, fun, outgoing person. I'm active, I love to go out, I love to dance, I love to socialize. But now with these scars and pimples, I can't do any of that, without the fear of being judged. I can't look people in the face any more or walk down the street with my head up high. That's the most upsetting part - I feel so restrained as a person.

I'm an unemotional type of guy, who rarely talks to other people about anything. But recently, I've been pouring my heart to people - even my parents! ( I never talk to my parents about anything ) I find myself needing someone to lean on - and its difficult because I feel like i'm burdening them with these stupid stupid stupid problems. But i need it. :(!

Obviously, I don't wish adult acne on anyone - but it is comforting to know that I am not the only one out there dealing with it.

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Black Dahlia, a massive hug to you... I can so relate to what your going through...how old r u and what kind of job are you in now? I have just started a job, Im 28 and havent worked for the last 2 years, my skin and acne RULES my life and it is always on my mind..... I hope you can overcome your problem as I am working at mine daily...

Maybe u should go see a councellor, they will listen to you and they arent going to judge... I hate too when drs and family members say oh it isnt that bad, or it could be worse or look at that persons skin, if u had it like theirs then itd give you something to really complain about...

Acne sucks and this site is great....Im glad I have an opportunity to get support from others AND support others....if youd like to email me and chat and just vent then Im happy to listen...

Trent

Australia.

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Hi, I am a 30yr old female who has sufffered from acne on & off forever. I have tried EVERYTHING. Accutane, antibioitcs, everything topical, diet, the 3 day acne free diet, proactiv. Nothing worked. Until 3 days ago I was searching the computer and came across a blog where people were using NIZORAL to clear up hormonal acne. I tried it and within 3 days my acne has , cleared up 75%. I never blog or join in chats, but I need to get the word out there. Nizoral is a shampoo for dandruff. Its main ingredient has anti-androgen effects on the skin. Do some research and please try it. You can get it at any drug store it is 8-15 dollars. If it works please spread the word.

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So, I thought I'd post here to vent as I'm sure my husband is absolutely sick of hearing about it (although he tries to be understanding and supportive). I guess I just hoped some people here would understand what I'm going through.

I should be at work today, and I should have been yesterday. Yet...I can't bear the thought of going out at the moment; my skin is inflamed and sore and I feel so unattractive. It sounds ridiculous, sure, and I'm now worried that I'm sabotaging my own career by taking these sick days. How do I explain what I'm going through to my boss?

I am having panic attacks so severe that my legs give way; I get awful stomach pains & nausea and can't breathe. I'm convinced that people are staring at me when I'm out and about - I went to see my doctor yesterday and I got really freaked out just being in the waiting room.

The doctor just prescribed Fluoxetine for the anxiety, but I don't want to take antidepressants...I just want my skin to be better; I want the constant misery to disappear.

I've never had perfect skin, and have had acne on and off since the age of about 13. Still, it's been manageable and I've had definite clear spells until about two months ago. I now have constant outbreaks around my mouth and jawline - they don't clear up for any period, more just appear. The consistency and texture of my skin is now bumpy, with red spots. I used to do part-time modelling but that just isn't an option anymore. I can't bear to even face my nearest and dearest - going out terrifies me at the moment, which is bad because in addition to working full-time I'm doing a degree, qualifying as a fitness instructor and doing volunteer work. I always endeavour to be the best at everything I do, but currently takes me hours to pluck up the courage to go out.

What bothers me is this: I lead a healthy lifestyle. I eat a diet full of fruit, veg and wholegrains and have done for years. For the last four years I've drunk at least 3 litres of water a day. The only other drink I have is green tea or a caffeine-free fruit tea; I don't drink alcohol. I abstain from dairy as much as possible; using soya alternatives.

I exercise regularly and have been a member of the gym for three & a half years, although at the moment going to the gym gives me panic attacks.

I clean my face twice a day, and use topical salicyclic or glycolic acid treatments overnight. I've changed my foundation to a Dermalogica Treatment one, and the moisturiser I use is an oil-free skin-clearing one. I will never touch my skin without cleaning my hands first.

In the morning, I take zinc, B5, cod liver oil and echinacea supplements.

In the afternoon, I take 100mg minocycline, and finally in the evening I take Dianette.

Nothing seems to work;. I recently bought a BeautySkin red and blue-light treatment lamp having read positive reviews. After a month of daily use, there has been no effect whatsoever. I've tried frequent acupuncture, and been for treatment facials over the years. I've even been for private counselling to address the 'underlying self-esteem issues', but I truly think I would be happy if my skin would just clear up.

I just can't stand the thought of carrying on like this. My doctor doesn't seem to take it seriously, and tells me 'it's not that bad.' But the point is, for me, it is very severe. It's affecting the way I live my life - I used to be a really happy, vibrant person and now I'm increasingly introverted, worried and lacking in confidence. I just want to cry (and often do) every morning when I wake up and see the mirror; however hard I battle to be strong.

Sorry about how long this got guys...I just really needed to vent, and I don't know who else to talk to about it anymore. I feel like such an idiot, and moreover I feel weak :(

Please try Nizoral you will notice the diference the first few days. Please do your own research I have tried absolutely everything. I just discovered it and it is the only thing that has ever worked. It is an over the counter dandruf shampoo with an acive ingredient that helps hormonal acne. Please try it and tell others if it helps.

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So, I thought I'd post here to vent as I'm sure my husband is absolutely sick of hearing about it (although he tries to be understanding and supportive). I guess I just hoped some people here would understand what I'm going through.

I should be at work today, and I should have been yesterday. Yet...I can't bear the thought of going out at the moment; my skin is inflamed and sore and I feel so unattractive. It sounds ridiculous, sure, and I'm now worried that I'm sabotaging my own career by taking these sick days. How do I explain what I'm going through to my boss?

I am having panic attacks so severe that my legs give way; I get awful stomach pains & nausea and can't breathe. I'm convinced that people are staring at me when I'm out and about - I went to see my doctor yesterday and I got really freaked out just being in the waiting room.

The doctor just prescribed Fluoxetine for the anxiety, but I don't want to take antidepressants...I just want my skin to be better; I want the constant misery to disappear.

I've never had perfect skin, and have had acne on and off since the age of about 13. Still, it's been manageable and I've had definite clear spells until about two months ago. I now have constant outbreaks around my mouth and jawline - they don't clear up for any period, more just appear. The consistency and texture of my skin is now bumpy, with red spots. I used to do part-time modelling but that just isn't an option anymore. I can't bear to even face my nearest and dearest - going out terrifies me at the moment, which is bad because in addition to working full-time I'm doing a degree, qualifying as a fitness instructor and doing volunteer work. I always endeavour to be the best at everything I do, but currently takes me hours to pluck up the courage to go out.

What bothers me is this: I lead a healthy lifestyle. I eat a diet full of fruit, veg and wholegrains and have done for years. For the last four years I've drunk at least 3 litres of water a day. The only other drink I have is green tea or a caffeine-free fruit tea; I don't drink alcohol. I abstain from dairy as much as possible; using soya alternatives.

I exercise regularly and have been a member of the gym for three & a half years, although at the moment going to the gym gives me panic attacks.

I clean my face twice a day, and use topical salicyclic or glycolic acid treatments overnight. I've changed my foundation to a Dermalogica Treatment one, and the moisturiser I use is an oil-free skin-clearing one. I will never touch my skin without cleaning my hands first.

In the morning, I take zinc, B5, cod liver oil and echinacea supplements.

In the afternoon, I take 100mg minocycline, and finally in the evening I take Dianette.

Nothing seems to work;. I recently bought a BeautySkin red and blue-light treatment lamp having read positive reviews. After a month of daily use, there has been no effect whatsoever. I've tried frequent acupuncture, and been for treatment facials over the years. I've even been for private counselling to address the 'underlying self-esteem issues', but I truly think I would be happy if my skin would just clear up.

I just can't stand the thought of carrying on like this. My doctor doesn't seem to take it seriously, and tells me 'it's not that bad.' But the point is, for me, it is very severe. It's affecting the way I live my life - I used to be a really happy, vibrant person and now I'm increasingly introverted, worried and lacking in confidence. I just want to cry (and often do) every morning when I wake up and see the mirror; however hard I battle to be strong.

Sorry about how long this got guys...I just really needed to vent, and I don't know who else to talk to about it anymore. I feel like such an idiot, and moreover I feel weak :(

Maybe switching to a different bcp would help. Dianette I heard can actually make acne worse. You are not an idiot just because you have acne.

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This has been the message board I've been looking for. Adults with Acne and dealing with it.

I'm 25 years old, Filipino guy living in NYC. I've always had issues with acne, mainly along my jawline and forehead, but it never really bothered me all too much growing up. I guess I always thought "Sure, this will all end when I'm older". And to some it extent, it did - I was 'clear' for 3-4 years now, but since the beginning of 2009, its been spreading to my cheeks, a more noticeable area of the face. I'm 25 years old - I shouldn't be having acne!!! Since January 2009, I've been on a crazy ride of emotions. In the beginning of 2009, I broke out like I never had before - I had several cysts on my cheeks and several LARGE pimples on my forehead. I never experienced a break out like this ever - Despite what other people may say, I am convinced that this break out was due to the creatine I started using in December 2008 to bulk up. (Obviously, I stopped using it when I started having the break out). Immediately after the break out, I went to a dermatologist, who prescribed me Solodyn and a light cream. Long story short, I took it for 2.5 weeks before realizing the I was really allergic to the medication. I had trouble breathing, fast heart rate, and pretty bad panic attacks for 3 weeks thereafter. I also had red rashes around my nose area - making me terribly self-conscious. The panic attacks were the worst. I didn't care about anything! Imagine not being able to care about anything? Imagine not being able to make yourself happy? It sounds crazy and its definitely hard to describe those sentiments - but during those 3 weeks after stopping the medication - I was a different person. I was scared that I would never be happy again. That was the scariest thing. That's some pyscho-shit, huh? Just shows how powerful some side-effects can be. (of course the doctor claims that the solodyn played no part in these issues - but he suggested I stop taking it anyway)

I saw another dermatologist who prescribed me Doryx, a doxycycline. I only took it for 2 days because I was still shook up over the Solodyn trip. At that point, I was done with anti-biotics.

About 4 weeks ago, I felt a lot better both physically and mentally so I decided to give Doryx another shot. I took it only 3 times, and immediately I felt very groggy and 'out-of-it'. Although I stopped taking it immediately, I felt unpleasant side effects (though certainly less intense than my solodyn break down). I noticed my breathing was off and my heart rate was fast - but I was still functional (When I took solodyn, I couldn't do anything). After my breathing and heart rate calmed down, I had several panic attacks. I couldn't sit still and I actually had to take walks to calm me down. (I never had to take a walk to actually CALM me down - That's when I knew I was dealing with a whole new monster). A sense of hopeless was consuming me.

I'll be honest - though I never made any attempts, I definitely had suicidal thoughts.

Anyways, now I'm better. Physically, it appears that I am normal - breathing wise and heart rate. Emotionally, I'm not suffering from any anxiety attacks. I almost felt motivated enough to go to the gym. haha. I sincerely believe that the anxiety I've experienced on and off these 3 months have been from the medications that I took. I've never had issues with anxiety my entire life - and its too coincidental that I go through these attacks after taking the medications. Conclusion: I'm allergic to tetracyclines - done. No more oral medication. (Doctors won't prescribe me accutane - and after what I've been through, I don't want any more side effects)

All I do now is wash my face every morning and night. I stopped all Benzaclin, and Differen because both left terrible dry skin. I might just go back to 2.5% BP with some lotion - I'll deal with some dry skin as long as possible. Right now, the break outs have subsided, but I'll have one or two pimples on my cheeks each week, which will undoubtedly leave scars - basically my face is suffering a slow, and painful demise. It's hard for me to look in the mirror everyday because it just seems to get worse and worse.

However, I'm still finding it extremely difficult dealing with my face. I don't like to go out, I don't like to see friends. I'm afraid to go the gym and sweat, with fears that this may cause a break out. Basically, I sit in my room after work and try to go to sleep - that's the only time when I don't think about my face. Waking up is difficult as well. I try to stay in bed as long as possible before having to go up to the mirror and see what's become of me. I know it might sound dramatic, but everything feels so different now that I have all these scars and pimples. My once bright future seems so pointless and hopeless.

How are people going to look at me? What are they going to say about my face? They are just telling me that to be polite. Will I be able to get a job with this shit on my face? Will people take me seriously? Will I be alone for the rest of my life? How can anyone love someone with dots all over his face? No one will want to talk to me because of my face. Why doesn't anyone else suffer from this problem? How does he have such a clear face? How does she have such a clear face? Why can't I have such a clear face? These people have no idea what its like.

But then I try and tell myself that I am fortunate. I have life. I'm breathing, I'm moving. People have way more serious problems than I do. People have to endure a whole lot more shit than just a couple of marks on the face. I feel so ungrateful when I put things in this kind of light - but its soo hard to deal with nonetheless.

Where does this leave me? I'm utterly upset and confused. I don't know what to do. I am a very lively, fun, outgoing person. I'm active, I love to go out, I love to dance, I love to socialize. But now with these scars and pimples, I can't do any of that, without the fear of being judged. I can't look people in the face any more or walk down the street with my head up high. That's the most upsetting part - I feel so restrained as a person.

I'm an unemotional type of guy, who rarely talks to other people about anything. But recently, I've been pouring my heart to people - even my parents! ( I never talk to my parents about anything ) I find myself needing someone to lean on - and its difficult because I feel like i'm burdening them with these stupid stupid stupid problems. But i need it. :( !

Obviously, I don't wish adult acne on anyone - but it is comforting to know that I am not the only one out there dealing with it.

Im turning 25 next month and I feel the same way. Its like when youre a teenager, a lot of people have acne but when you get older, its just unacceptable to have acne.

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Hose3cu: Our situations sound very similar. Whilst I've not experienced panic attacks, I've certainly felt more stressed and anxious in the past few months than I ever had in the past. I can empathise completely with your paranoia about what other people are thinking and your attempts to rationalise the problem.

I've decided to take a step back from searching for a 'miracle cure' for my acne for a few weeks and see if a simple, gentle regimen - coupled with a more positive outlook - has a positive effect on my skin. I honestly think that my actions since I went on antibiotics 6 months ago have really exacerbated the problem. When I noticed that the oxytetracycline was causing lots of new little spots around my nose I didn't discontinue the meds as they were doing a good job of surpressing the cysts I get on my chin and cheeks. Instead I started using (supposedly gentle) face scrubs and then Duac (which my GP recommended) which in hindsight was a very bad idea. Whereas prior to the antibiotics I used very few products on my skin as it's really sensitive, I started trying more and more things in an effort to defeat the acne. Pretty much everything I've used in the past few months - the Duac in particular really didn't agree with my skin - has had a negative effect. Having worsened my skin significantly I would definitely be satisfied currently if I could get my skin back to how it was pre-antibiotics.

In summary, my thinking is that the less I'm thinking about my skin in every aspect, ie:

- What harsh chemical should I try next?

- could this ingredient be the trigger?

- Is that person 20 meters away staring at my acne?

- I wonder if that cyst has started to go down, maybe I should check it in the mirror/ give it a poke

etc. etc. ad nauseum, the less of an issue it will be. I know it will take a long time for me to break this obsession, but I think ultimately it's the right course of action as it's possible - as hard as it is to accept - that I may not find a solution that clears up my acne 100%. Therefore, I can't just keep telling myself 'I'll work on my psychological problems once I start to see real improvement.' If I think like this then I'm just deluding myself and continuing the spiral of depression that I've got myself into.

Anyway, sorry to rant again! I'm off to try and put this into practice.

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Have you tried avoiding soy? It's a common allergen as well as being estrogenic which could help or hurt depending on your imbalance.

And I think you should switch from cod liver to fish oil, so you can take more without risk of too much A. And get another source of vitamin D. A few thousand iu plus some sun, or 4,000 iu. These are both good for mood as well as acne and general health.

Do you enjoy your workouts at the gym? IF not do something else. Go for a walk. Dance. Something that makes you feel better.

Did the dianette help? make it worse?

And consider other allergens. The cystic acne I used to get on my jawline, chin, neck, hairline, turned out to be a reaction to citrus. And with cysts or nodules, since they take so long to come and go you always have some and it's hard to notice a connection with something you ate. You might also try avoiding grains. Gluten is an extremely common problem, but many people also have difficulty digesting any grains.

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I agree with you wholeheartedly. I find life more enjoyable when I don't fret about my acne. When my skin is going through a beating with all the topical creams, I sometimes stop for a week or two to let my skin heal - that is when I'm the most relieved! I was relieved when I stopped taking Solodyn and Doryx, I was relieved when I stopped burning my skin with Benzaclin, I was relieved when the rashes on my face disappeared, I was relieved when the flakiness disappeared and I stopped the differin. Its a relief when your face doesn't feel like shit (although it might look like it).

But then I see people on this site, people who once had terrible skin (worse than mine), but now have beautiful skin. I want to experience that - I want to experience that kind of relief. Not just a temporary relief from the dryness and burning sensations - or temporary relief from worrying about the acne. I want to feel the relief of self-satisfaction - I want to like what I look at when I see myself in the mirror.

This is so terribly difficult, but I'm looking towards the idea of acceptance. Perhaps I need to forfeit this battle against acne and just accept my fate. I'll continue to wash my face and use low concentrations of BP - but with regards to oral medications, facial surgery & procedures, peels, dermabrasions, accutane, and all that - I need to stop thinking of those options. They all seem way to risky, especially for someone with darker skin. I think all of those things will just cause more harm, both physically and mentally. Instead of trying to find a solution, I need to just accept the fact that I have pimples, accept the fact that I have blemishes and carry on.

Sometimes I go on facebook and look at pictures of friends who had terrible acne in college. I look at them now, and their faces are so clear. I don't have too much acne, but I bear a lot of the scars from my recent break out - its hard to imagine me with the clear face I had 4 months ago :(.

Hose3cu: Our situations sound very similar. Whilst I've not experienced panic attacks, I've certainly felt more stressed and anxious in the past few months than I ever had in the past. I can empathise completely with your paranoia about what other people are thinking and your attempts to rationalise the problem.

I've decided to take a step back from searching for a 'miracle cure' for my acne for a few weeks and see if a simple, gentle regimen - coupled with a more positive outlook - has a positive effect on my skin. I honestly think that my actions since I went on antibiotics 6 months ago have really exacerbated the problem. When I noticed that the oxytetracycline was causing lots of new little spots around my nose I didn't discontinue the meds as they were doing a good job of surpressing the cysts I get on my chin and cheeks. Instead I started using (supposedly gentle) face scrubs and then Duac (which my GP recommended) which in hindsight was a very bad idea. Whereas prior to the antibiotics I used very few products on my skin as it's really sensitive, I started trying more and more things in an effort to defeat the acne. Pretty much everything I've used in the past few months - the Duac in particular really didn't agree with my skin - has had a negative effect. Having worsened my skin significantly I would definitely be satisfied currently if I could get my skin back to how it was pre-antibiotics.

In summary, my thinking is that the less I'm thinking about my skin in every aspect, ie:

- What harsh chemical should I try next?

- could this ingredient be the trigger?

- Is that person 20 meters away staring at my acne?

- I wonder if that cyst has started to go down, maybe I should check it in the mirror/ give it a poke

etc. etc. ad nauseum, the less of an issue it will be. I know it will take a long time for me to break this obsession, but I think ultimately it's the right course of action as it's possible - as hard as it is to accept - that I may not find a solution that clears up my acne 100%. Therefore, I can't just keep telling myself 'I'll work on my psychological problems once I start to see real improvement.' If I think like this then I'm just deluding myself and continuing the spiral of depression that I've got myself into.

Anyway, sorry to rant again! I'm off to try and put this into practice.

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I don't think that having a sense of perspective and not letting acne rule your life has to be the same thing as giving up. Personally, I think that after I've given my skin and my mind some time to calm down I will take another look at available options. I'm determined to resist any severe treatments but that still leaves a lot of lifestyle-based variables to work with. Whatever course of action I choose to take though, I will make damn sure that I don't become obsessive about it. Acne's just not worth it. I've had a lot of exciting stuff happening for me in the past 4 months and ALL of it has been overshadowed by how many zits I happen to have that day. It's just ridiculous and I know that in later years I will only regret how much time I spent miserable due to a superficial problem.

Don't admit defeat, and don't let it rule you.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I find life more enjoyable when I don't fret about my acne. When my skin is going through a beating with all the topical creams, I sometimes stop for a week or two to let my skin heal - that is when I'm the most relieved! I was relieved when I stopped taking Solodyn and Doryx, I was relieved when I stopped burning my skin with Benzaclin, I was relieved when the rashes on my face disappeared, I was relieved when the flakiness disappeared and I stopped the differin. Its a relief when your face doesn't feel like shit (although it might look like it).

But then I see people on this site, people who once had terrible skin (worse than mine), but now have beautiful skin. I want to experience that - I want to experience that kind of relief. Not just a temporary relief from the dryness and burning sensations - or temporary relief from worrying about the acne. I want to feel the relief of self-satisfaction - I want to like what I look at when I see myself in the mirror.

This is so terribly difficult, but I'm looking towards the idea of acceptance. Perhaps I need to forfeit this battle against acne and just accept my fate. I'll continue to wash my face and use low concentrations of BP - but with regards to oral medications, facial surgery & procedures, peels, dermabrasions, accutane, and all that - I need to stop thinking of those options. They all seem way to risky, especially for someone with darker skin. I think all of those things will just cause more harm, both physically and mentally. Instead of trying to find a solution, I need to just accept the fact that I have pimples, accept the fact that I have blemishes and carry on.

Sometimes I go on facebook and look at pictures of friends who had terrible acne in college. I look at them now, and their faces are so clear. I don't have too much acne, but I bear a lot of the scars from my recent break out - its hard to imagine me with the clear face I had 4 months ago :(.

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It's hard for me to look in the mirror everyday because it just seems to get worse and worse.

However, I'm still finding it extremely difficult dealing with my face. I don't like to go out, I don't like to see friends. I'm afraid to go the gym and sweat, with fears that this may cause a break out. Basically, I sit in my room after work and try to go to sleep - that's the only time when I don't think about my face. Waking up is difficult as well. I try to stay in bed as long as possible before having to go up to the mirror and see what's become of me. I know it might sound dramatic, but everything feels so different now that I have all these scars and pimples. My once bright future seems so pointless and hopeless.

How are people going to look at me? What are they going to say about my face? They are just telling me that to be polite. Will I be able to get a job with this shit on my face? Will people take me seriously? Will I be alone for the rest of my life? How can anyone love someone with dots all over his face? No one will want to talk to me because of my face. Why doesn't anyone else suffer from this problem? How does he have such a clear face? How does she have such a clear face? Why can't I have such a clear face? These people have no idea what its like.

But then I try and tell myself that I am fortunate. I have life. I'm breathing, I'm moving. People have way more serious problems than I do. People have to endure a whole lot more shit than just a couple of marks on the face. I feel so ungrateful when I put things in this kind of light - but its soo hard to deal with nonetheless.

Where does this leave me? I'm utterly upset and confused. I don't know what to do. I am a very lively, fun, outgoing person. I'm active, I love to go out, I love to dance, I love to socialize. But now with these scars and pimples, I can't do any of that, without the fear of being judged. I can't look people in the face any more or walk down the street with my head up high. That's the most upsetting part - I feel so restrained as a person.

I'm an unemotional type of guy, who rarely talks to other people about anything. But recently, I've been pouring my heart to people - even my parents! ( I never talk to my parents about anything ) I find myself needing someone to lean on - and its difficult because I feel like i'm burdening them with these stupid stupid stupid problems. But i need it. :(!

Obviously, I don't wish adult acne on anyone - but it is comforting to know that I am not the only one out there dealing with it.

God, we are so alike. I really do fear the mornings. I know that I will get up ridiculously early (I need a long time to prepare myself mentally and physically), and stumble sleepily but fearfully to the mirror before my shower, and my heart just sinks. I've given up that vague 'hope' I used to get before looking. Now it's: How am I going to cover this today? How can I face anyone?

Earlier my husband told me just to look at him; I was staring at the floor whilst he was talking to me. To not even be able to look my husband in the eye is awful for me, but I love him more than anyone in the world and I feel that maybe if I don't look directly at him, he won't quite notice how bad I look. I still want him to find me attractive - but I suspect what is more unattractive than anything is my panic attacks, my crying, my constant checking of mirrors & application of make-up. Yet I don't currently feel able to control these.

I am like you; I worry that the sweat from my workouts will affect my skin since reading about acne mechanica. Yet I love the gym, and miss the previous regularity of my workouts. I still go, but only on days when I feel my skin is just about bearable.

I miss finding enjoyment in everyday things; in laughing 'til it hurts, in spontaneity and silliness. I feel trapped in the virtual prison my skin imposes. Yeah, so maybe it sounds dramatic...But hey.

I also suffer the intense guilt at the 'big deal' I'm making over my skin. No, it's not as bad as some others suffer, and certainly there are much more important issues and tragedies going on in the world! I have a loving husband, a good family, my health, and on the surface a lot to be grateful for. It feels incredibly self-indulgent when people are born without limbs, or with massive disfigurements. Here I am - an intelligent, previously rational 22 year old woman, crying about acne.

I worry each day I'm at work that people are wondering what's wrong with my skin; staring at me. I find myself putting my hands in front of my face when people talk to me, or casually moving my hair to briefly cover it. I don't ever feel able to ignore my spots, because I can often feel a pain or tingling which constantly draws my attention back to it.

This message board offers me enormous support; everyone I speak to in daily life just says encouraging (but ultimately unhelpful) things such as: 'It'll get better' 'You're still beautiful' 'No one will notice' etc. etc. I am now worried about what others think of my mental tenacity - 'God, what an idiot, she's staying at home because of a few spots. What a loser.' To those on the outside of this horrible affliction, it probably does seem ridiculous. But unfortunately to me, it's very real and very scary. It's reassuring to know that other people do the same 'crazy' things as me - routines and habits that people with clear skin will never understand!

Currently feeling so selfish, and so irrational because lately I've started to have suicida thoughtsl. Something I am deeply ashamed of - in fact, I used to volunteer for Samaritans to help others in need. However, I had to give that up because I didn't feel able to help people anymore when my own state of mind was deteriorating. I don't want to hurt the people I love, but I simultaneously don't feel able to go through the motions anymore.

I went to the doctor again today, for a follow-up appointment. I have been referred to a cognitive behavourial therapist, and signed off work for two weeks for anxiety. Still, the cycle continues - will anyone there understand? Will they just judge me more?

If only it were as easy as just 'snapping out of it'! And ffs, as if to taunt me...that bloody Neutrogena advert with Vanessa Hudgens just came on TV. As if she knows the meaning of acne!!!!!! :angry:

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BlackDahlia

Isn't it amazing? How one's outlook can change so drastically, all within a couple of months - or weeks. I'm 25 years old, living in NYC. I have a great job (prior to recession - but still employed nonetheless), I have great friends, terrific family. I was completely content with everything that was going on in my life. I was excited for each day - I loved to plan for the weekends, I was excited about who I was going to meet next, what book I was going to read, what movie I was going to see, what TV show I was going to watch. I enjoyed being the center of attention. I was focused on the gym and on my health. Things were great a few months back. I had no reservations, or apprehensions. Sure I had stuff to complain about back then - why am i single? I need more money? how am i going to change the world? - but those worries were all just passing thoughts - Those worries never hindered me in any way, they never troubled me to my core - in retrospect, things were great only a few months ago.

Three months later, everything has changed. Last year, I was all about fitness and staying healthy. I worked out several times a week, ate a good amount of protein and maintained a good physique. I was on my way to a nice summer body. Now, I haven't gone to the gym in 4 weeks and I barely eat anything throughout the day. I'm not starving myself by any means, I'm not trying to be skinny skinny but I'll eat only when I'm motivated to - which is usually when I feel a bit weak.

I used to go out at least 2 times a week, usually during the weekends. I would have dinner with friends and then go dancing after - maybe catch a movie or just chill out. Now, I hope my friends don't call me. I hope no one has birthday parties or anything like, so I won't be obligated to go. I even turn my friends down when they do ask. I don't tell them why, I just say that I'm not feeling up to it these days. Its just so difficult to face people. I love NYC, but sometimes I think of just moving to another city where people won't know me - where people won't know what I used to look like and compare me to what I look like now. I used to be quite the social butterfly (hah) but now I refrain from holding any conversations with anyone because I can't look them in the eye, and I don't want them look at my pimples / scars.

I only talk about my insecurities with a handful of people - and now I'm beginning to think they are getting tired of all this talk! Sometimes I feel like I'm burdening them with such trivial issues, when they themselves have their own lives to worry about. When I hear the stuff I actually say , like "this is so difficult", its just sounds soo dramatic - I almost want to tell myself "GET OVER IT!". But i can't get over it :(.

Sometimes I think that disappearing would be the easiest way to deal with it - or not deal with it. But then I think of my family - I wouldn't be able to put them through anything like that. Then I think of me - despite my pimples, there are so many things in life that I want to do - most of all, I want to raise a child and watch him/her grow. That's what I want most in life - and I wouldn't be able to do any of that if I disappeared.

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Hose3cu: I apologise if I keep repeating myself, but you have to confront the psychological issues that you are facing and begin to deal with them. The best way to defeat the problem is to do it mentally, and hopefully your skin will improve as a consequence. Even if you are not able to achieve completely clear skin, then at least you can have a sense of perspective and not plunge into despair every time a new spot rears its ugly head.

I know that my mood is on an upswing and if I break out badly in the next few days I could be feeling very low and defeatist, but I'm determined not to let that happen. To be honest, I've had a couple of spots - one angry looking sucker by the corner of my mouth - come up in the past few days but I'm not letting it get me down. I'm not checking them in the mirror, I'm not touching them apart from when washing/moisturising and most importantly, I'm stomping on every thought about spots as soon as it enters my head. For me, constantly worrying about acne has been mentally exhausting in the past couple of months. I think I've suffered in every aspect of my life because I've become so fixated. A couple of weeks ago I couldn't even look my wife in the eye and at that point I just realised how ridiculous I've let this become. Like I say, I could have a terrible few days and break out like crazy, but right now - spots or not - it feels good to be back in control of my mind.

I guess what I'm saying is this: I accept that I can't control exactly what happens with my skin and it may never clear completely, but I'm going to make every attempt to not let acne win the psychological battle. I'd urge you to try and do the same, no matter how tough it seems. Just start by working on crushing those negative thoughts and maybe considering doing something social with friends. You don't need to dive in, but at least start trying to think positively and I think that you will start to feel better. A problem like acne just isn't worthy of the level of anguish we put ourselves through because of it.

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WOW this is scary. This is exactly how I've been feeling over the last year or so. I've even contemplated quitting my job and going to the gym. It has made me more miserable than you could imagine. I don't eat lunch with anyone at work. I always have to worry about how to position my face when talking to someone. I barely socialize. It's just so frustrating because I just wonder what it would be like to live a "normal" life. The stress of worrying about this crap day in and day out is just too much. I really wonder what it would be like to just have one week of completely perfect and clear skin. Sadly, I don't think I'll ever find out :(

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Know exactly how you feel! It sounds like you are suffering from hormonal acne, have you discussed Spironolactone with your Derm? It helps many women at even very low dosages. You can read reviews about it here: http://www.acne.org/spironolactone-reviews/305/page1.html

I was at my wits end too then I went on spiro 3 months ago and am starting to get my life back again.

You might want to look into it.

Good luck and hang in there!

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Yah man - I know what you're going through. I've been pretty miserable and depressed these past few months. Somedays are OK while other days are pretty terrible. When my face looks decent, I'll fix myself up and try to face the day. However, when my skin looks dry, or if I get a few pimples, or if my scars look more noticeable, I'll throw on a shitty outfit, wear a hat and try to look as incognito as possible. I would give anything to be as mentally strong and confident as I was several months ago.

Last night, my friend was like 'Let's go out for drinks later tonight." I immediately thought that idea was ridiculous because I assumed we had work the following day. And then I remembered it was Friday night - people make plans to go out on the weekends. Lately, to me, the days just seem to all blend together - I don't look forward to the weekends, because I don't look forward to going out and socializing. Whereas before, I used to LIVEEE for the weekends!! ::SIGH:: things have change so much....

I don't even want a perfectly clear face! - If I can take my face now with no more additional pimples, I would be happy. But the idea of more and more pimples with each week is the hard part! more and more pimples, means more and more marks....and with each mark, i get more self conscious..

WOW this is scary. This is exactly how I've been feeling over the last year or so. I've even contemplated quitting my job and going to the gym. It has made me more miserable than you could imagine. I don't eat lunch with anyone at work. I always have to worry about how to position my face when talking to someone. I barely socialize. It's just so frustrating because I just wonder what it would be like to live a "normal" life. The stress of worrying about this crap day in and day out is just too much. I really wonder what it would be like to just have one week of completely perfect and clear skin. Sadly, I don't think I'll ever find out :(
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Know exactly how you feel! It sounds like you are suffering from hormonal acne, have you discussed Spironolactone with your Derm? It helps many women at even very low dosages. You can read reviews about it here: http://www.acne.org/spironolactone-reviews/305/page1.html

I was at my wits end too then I went on spiro 3 months ago and am starting to get my life back again.

You might want to look into it.

Good luck and hang in there!

Thank you so much...That's what I love about this site; you get so much helpful advice and support from people who have been through it!

I think I definitely have hormonal acne as it's consistently centred around my mouth and jawline now. I went to see a homeopathist and she also said this was most likely the cause... I'm gonna get me some Spiro! :)

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Hi,

Just had to chime in. In a way it's a relief to read this and see that other people feel the same way I do. I'm 26 and been dealing with acne since I was 12. Had some clear years and some really bad years. Even did accutane, which worked great while I was on it but the effects didn't last. My skin isn't terrible right now, though I have a huge, painful cyst on my jaw and a few other small pimples. Believe me I've had it a lot worse! But that doesn't make me feel better. It's the endless cycle, the week of my skin doing ok and starting to feel optimistic, then waking up and feeling something hurt on my face and knowing I won't go to the gym or see my friends this week either.

Watching the red marks and scars add up, seeing my self in the mirror in clear lighting and wanting to cry. Other people rubbing their faces, slathering on greasy hair products and still having perfect skin. Someone telling me I look pretty and wanting to turn away because I'm covered in makeup and my hair falling over my face is hiding my breakouts. Worse than how I look is how I FEEL about how I look. It hurts. I feel cheated out of the normal relationships that other people have. Even if someone I like asks me out I won't go because I don't feel confident in the way I look. When my skin is broken out my personality changes. I'm quiet, sad, depressed. Some days it takes all my strength just to leave the house. I feel like I'll never have the kind of love other people do, the kind of happiness, then I feel petty for letting this ruin my life when so many people deal with worse. All I want, all any of us on this site want I think, is to be able to look someone in the eye without feeling ugly or worthless. To be able to wash our faces without pain. To wake up knowing that we don't automatically have a strike against us.

I know life isn't fair, but I wish it was.

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'Hose3cu' A friend of mine had the same problem when he started working out and bulking up. Its because you produce more testosterone which causes spots. Its like during puberty when guys start making more testosterone and get hormonal acne which then usually clears up after puberty....

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Laindenver,

I hear you - I've always been self conscious about my looks but I was finally getting comfortable with who I am these past few years. I would even go out and flirt with other people - or at least talk to people with some confidence. Now that I've got s*it all over my face, flirting is totally out of the question. I am even shy around people who show complete interest in me!!! It's crazy and I tell myself that I'm being dumb, but its soo HARD not to be self-conscious!

Before acne, I was totally stressing out about 'never finding love' (as you mentioned) - but with the acne, I don't even know what to do! :(

Hi,

Just had to chime in. In a way it's a relief to read this and see that other people feel the same way I do. I'm 26 and been dealing with acne since I was 12. Had some clear years and some really bad years. Even did accutane, which worked great while I was on it but the effects didn't last. My skin isn't terrible right now, though I have a huge, painful cyst on my jaw and a few other small pimples. Believe me I've had it a lot worse! But that doesn't make me feel better. It's the endless cycle, the week of my skin doing ok and starting to feel optimistic, then waking up and feeling something hurt on my face and knowing I won't go to the gym or see my friends this week either.

Watching the red marks and scars add up, seeing my self in the mirror in clear lighting and wanting to cry. Other people rubbing their faces, slathering on greasy hair products and still having perfect skin. Someone telling me I look pretty and wanting to turn away because I'm covered in makeup and my hair falling over my face is hiding my breakouts. Worse than how I look is how I FEEL about how I look. It hurts. I feel cheated out of the normal relationships that other people have. Even if someone I like asks me out I won't go because I don't feel confident in the way I look. When my skin is broken out my personality changes. I'm quiet, sad, depressed. Some days it takes all my strength just to leave the house. I feel like I'll never have the kind of love other people do, the kind of happiness, then I feel petty for letting this ruin my life when so many people deal with worse. All I want, all any of us on this site want I think, is to be able to look someone in the eye without feeling ugly or worthless. To be able to wash our faces without pain. To wake up knowing that we don't automatically have a strike against us.

I know life isn't fair, but I wish it was.

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argh! I'm sure the increased testosterone didn't help - but I'm pretty sure it was the damn creatine!! that got the ball rolling. I've been pretty active the past few years and I haven't really had any issues. It was when I started to get 'work out crazy' - i started taking a lot of creatine and drinking lots of milk - and then PIMPLES!! I stopped working out recently and I obviously no longer take the creatine - the break outs stopped, but I'm still getting a few pimples each week. At least, more than I have previous to this whole fiasco!

'Hose3cu' A friend of mine had the same problem when he started working out and bulking up. Its because you produce more testosterone which causes spots. Its like during puberty when guys start making more testosterone and get hormonal acne which then usually clears up after puberty....
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