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To start, I'm a 20 year old guy who feels like my life has been completely destroyed by acne, and the subsequent scarring.

I had it all growing up, came from a wealthy family, ultra athletic (played ice hockey, lacrosse, baseball and basketball at the highest possible level for each of my age groups growing up), tall, had movie star looks, did well in school, confident, happy, popular and also did very well with the ladies. That was my high school experience in a nutshell.

I never had to put much effort into a lot of things. I didn't have to train an awful lot for sports to be relatively good at them (although I did because of my competitive streak), never did too much homework despite being an honor roll student, and for the most part never even really needed to approach women, as I was often the one approached. I had regular teenage acne in high school (the occasional pimple or two), while my brother struggled with moderate/severe acne. Despite his struggle with acne he was always athletic, popular and did very well with the ladies, so it was hardly a struggle for him.

I was able to secure a scholarship for both Ice hockey and Lacrosse to go to arguably the best academic private school in my country for my grade 12 year and for a year of post-grad. I thrived in school, although my acne started to slightly worsen, a few more pimples here and there, but nothing that wouldn't be gone in a few days, so I still had mostly clear skin. I didn't think about my skin at all compared to now. My brother's acne on the other hand, started to slowly worsen, before he was put on accutane, which has to this day ultimately kept his acne at bay (its been 2 years). (although throughout his whole battle with acne, he has always remained cheerful, popular and a ladies man) . He has scarring from his battle with acne, although his acne is pretty much at bay while mine continues. He also has a more rugged look than I do to begin with, so he can pull it off. I remember thinking to myself when I got a pimple, how it could always be worse, and how I should be grateful that my condition was not as bad as his. The year passed and I had received an offer to play Jr. hockey in Canada which I accepted, forgoing university for the year. This is when everything went spiralling out of control. With the separation of my parents things became a little more stressful, and travelling and living in a new town with literally nothing meant that I had alot of time on my hands to soul search when I wasn't playing hockey. This is when I developped some sort of anxiety/depression disorder, worrying about every little thing in life. My acne of course worsened, but even then was not that that bad (mild to moderate). I came home after the season was over and declared my intention on going to college instead of playing another year of Jr. hockey. For some reason this is when I started to worry and become concerned about taking care of my skin. My breakouts began to worsen, I would go through periods where I would have 1-4 pimples on my face at a time (the occasional cyst mixed in there aswell) to periods where I had clear skin and simply redmarks. It wasn't until I had my first true cyst that I began to really worry about my skin. It left a boxcar scar, which in my opinion now actually looks kind of cool (although possibly because of its location on my face). I started to worry about my scarring and whether I had more. As time went by and I began dan's regimen my breakouts continued to come (off and on) and I began to see more and more scarring (although its hard to tell what happened as a result of these breakouts and which scars I had all along as it was just in the past 6 months that I've truly started to care about my skin.

My face became littered with red marks, and I could see indented scars on my face as well. After getting another cyst/nodule I decided it was time to see a dermatologist, who gave me Retin-A, an antibiotic cream as well as doxycycline to take once a day. Ever since then my acne has somewhat improved with pimples/possibly cysts aswell coming and going at various times (my face had alot of under the skin blackheads which probably resulted in alot of my acne). I have been using the antibiotic cream, Retin-A and antibiotics for 2 months.

Now as I continue to use the antibiotic cream and retin-a my skin is starting to really clear up I believe, with the occasional big pimple that will arise. I still have redmarks on my face, but far less clogged pores. My main concern now is the scarring that I have from acne. I cannot tell if I have only started to scar recently or if I was all along and I just didn't care or notice. Most of my scars are on the front of my cheeks, with a few on my forehead. I cannot tell if some of them are icepick-scars or if some of them are just enlarged pores, obviously I am praying for the latter but I do believe alot of them are icepick scars. I feel very self conscious about my scarring and the fact that I still have active acne. I don't mind the pimples, it is the scars that I feel they are all leaving now that I just cannot deal with. My parents assure me that I have no scarring, but we all know parents are not the most credible source. My biggest fear is that with my active acne that my scarring will get even worse. I feel like one day I will look in the mirror and see a monster. My mother assures me that yes your brother has some scarring from acne but you do not, although I feel that she is just telling me this because she is scared of how I will react (due to my anxiety issues).

I feel like I have been robbed. Everything about me has changed. My personality went from the oh so happy and confident person, into this dark, gloomy, miserable person. I cannot meet or talk to girls anymore, and never get approached like I used to. I love women, and this is a really depressing thing, the fact that I feel like I am hopeless when it comes to finding love with my condition. I have stopped playing sports, and days like today when I feel terrible about my skin I become a hermit and lock myself away from the world. Its amazing how much a benign skin condition can change a person. I had been blessed with everything in life, so much potential, so much hope, but it has all been robbed. At 6'2" with a lean build, great facial features, fancy clothes, intelligent, and from a rich family, scarring has put an end to my once movie star looks (in which people used to say I looked like Brad Pitt, no joke). It has robbed me of all of my hopes and dreams. I look in the mirror now and see a lost soul, a shadow of the person I used to be. Acne and scarring has become my identity (or so I believe). Although I have been assured by my parents (who are really the only people I have talked to about my skin condition other than you guys) that I have no scarring, I feel like I am being lied to, because when I look in the mirror I see it, and it breaks my heart. I feel like whenever I talk to someone or walk by people that they are always looking at my scars, and or acne, instead of me, whereas before my acne worsened I had always put into my head that people were just looking at me for ME. As arrogant as it sounds I felt like when women looked at me and what not that they simply found me attractive, and so a huge grin would come upon me. It would make me feel so happy. Now it is the scars, acne and ugliness that I feel like they are looking at so I shy away. I feel like everyone is looking at me to pity me, as in oh poor guy, or just looking at my scars and feeling appalled by me. I tell my parents this and they assure me that I am being looked at in a good way and not the way I feel, but once again they are my parents lol, they are supposed to say things like that.

See the switch in my personality yet? lol

If I had to live the rest of my life with the scarring I have currently right now I would probably feel a little better, as in hindsight they probably aren't as bad as I think, but like I said with my active acne, that I hope is starting to become under control, it is the future scars that I fear. It is the further loss of identity that I am most afraid of. I feel like in a matter of days or months my face will be covered with them, and that I will become severely scarred. I am afraid that I will never get a job and never find a girl. I am afraid I will never find happiness again. This is what shatters all of my confidence.

I used to dream of the day when I would find happiness, with a stable job, a wife and kids, and now I feel like that is a long shot. Am I dramatic? Probably lol. But I feel like at 20 years old my life has been ruined for good.

Sorry for the long message, but I really needed to tell vent to someone.

(and to people that might read this and think that I am just a spoiled brat and should be grateful for what I have and that I have no idea what severe scarring is like, that is not the case. I am just showing you the psychological impact acne has had on my life. I am not trying to anger anyone by this, I am just telling you how I feel on the inside. I know alot of what I have said is farfetched, and my common sense tells me this is ridiculous, it is just a matter of convincing my mind that it is ridiculous, and everyone here knows that is the main challenge with acne, recovering from the psychological effects)

Thank you for your time

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Yea, acne and scarring and marks are a fucking bitch

i got no acne but those fukers left me with a lot of dark marks

have controled my life, i am puppet to my anxiety and fear and insecurity

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Have you thought about therapy at all? Sounds like you had a charmed life, and loving wonderful parents, and you're probably a very appealing person, with some acne. It sounds like you are suffering from some body dysmorphia (which I totally get. I'm slender and I was convinced I was chubby for a while, and I also think I look horrible from spots, but my husband and friends tell me that I do not). Therapy might be good because they can teach you some coping mechanisms to separate stuff (like acne) from bad thoughts (like "I am ugly and will never find love.") The bad thoughts are not true and having acne doesn't have to lead to defeatism.

I recommend cognitive behavioral therapy, which was super helpful for me when I first started my job and moved to NYC, without my then boyfriend (now husband).

Good luck. Try to get some perspective on your zits and remember to enjoy college!

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that sucks bro all i can say is good luck in fighting acne and dont let it take over your life because later on when your old you will prob regret many things you missed out on. If you do come from a wealthy family i would consider you getting some laser treatments, which are quite expensive but in the end it really makes a difference. goodluck!

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Welcome to the world of shit.

Scarring fucks with your mind and imagination from every side, at every angle possible. It's literally all you can ever think about, and affects every aspect of your life. It's made me not only hate the world, but it's also made me believe that you can't trust anyone outside of your trusted family. I'm paranoid as fuck and constantly stressing out. I can feel your pain.

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