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So Now That I Think About It, My Life Could Pretty Much Be F*****

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ok so here is my story, and I am gonna try to keep it short.

acne started at 14, got severe at 15. and out of all the things, proactiv helped me immensly for 5 years! i wouldnt be 100% clear, but I would be 90 to 95% clear, which was good for me.

at age 20, proactiv stopped working!! i thought you didnt get immune to bp? wtf happened. my face got bad, but not like when i was 15, but still pretty bad. found a derm who have me benzaclin, plexion cream, and minocyclin. in like 3 months, i was 100% clear. i was amazed. after a couple of months i dropped the minocyclin. then i dropped the benzaclin after 2 years. with just the plexion, i was relativly clear. when i would flare up, the benzaclin will be thrown in and i would be clear in no time.

now iam 25, and i got another flare up. i threw in the benz. after a month, nothing. so i threw in the mino. i quitted the topicals because i felt they were doing nothing. 2 weeks without the topicals, and my skin got worse. went back to my derm, and he said i didnt give the whole treatment enough time. he put me back on everything, which improved me initially, but now i feel like its getting worse again.


things that concerned me:

iam fucking 25, and i still have bad acne!! i have not been able to live without topicals for 11 years. and it would be fine and dandy if the topicals didnt lose efficiency, but they do. and as you guys know, there isnt much options out there for acne!! the only thing left is accutane, but i dont know if that shit is gonna be worth it at the end because even that is not even 100% effective to all.

so iam in med school, and i frankly stop giving a shit about it because how am i gonna wanna study if i might live a life with a face full of acne. and my acne is mild-moderate now, but i dont know how bad its gonna get. and things dont look good, considering i break out every single day.

honestly i feel like i want to live a reclusive life. i know i have to work, so ill prob work as a security guard and just go straight home and try to live my life as comfortable as possible. i might have to go on psychiatric pills and get theraphy to deal with my depressive life. i might also lose my bf..........

i cannot believe that the medical world dont take acne more seriously. its a debilitating disease, and i feel like my life has been shattered. oh well, at least i got to live a normal life for 10 years.

Edited by jhonyguy04
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I understand where you're coming from. I am 23, and also still dealing with the debilitating effects of acne. In fact, I am taking this (and maybe next) semester off from school because of it. For the moment, I am living a fairly reclusive lifestyle, but I do not plan to succumb to a life of solitude and depression. I have an overall plan of improving my skin, and with it my self confidence. I am attempting to completely de-stress and rejuvenate my body and mind. For me this means 8-10 hours of sleep, dieting, exercise, and a strict regimen of topicals:

(I am using the AcneFree bp cleanser and repair lotion. It's cheap and the same as every other bp product as far as I am concerned)

A.M and P.M: I cleanse with a neutrogena gentle scrub followed by a small amount of the bp cleanser. I allow my face to dry, and then I apply the bp repair lotion. Again, I allow my face to dry. At this point, I slab on Aveeno Ultra-Calming moisturizer, I allow that to settle in a bit and then slab on Aveeno Skin Relief moisture lotion. I know this seems excessive, but it seems to be working faster than anything i have tried before.

It is hard when you wake up everyday and have to be out the door within an hour or two, and all the while still follow a skin regimen of 3 or 4 different lotions and creams. This is why taking a vacation from life has alleviated that problem, I can smother my face in lotion and not worry about having to be seen.

I have also been eating healthier and eating less. I eat mostly fruits and drink a lot of water, I am also a cereal addict so I eat a lot of cereal, but instead of cow's milk I have switched to almond milk (it's good, I promise, and it's better for you) I have about 10-15 pounds I should lose, so I am trying to slowly and healthily do that as well. I try and count calories, no more than 2000 a day, usually less if I can pull it off.

I try to break a sweat at least once a day

I read a lot, I stay informed, and keep my mind busy.

I am not taking this "vacation" to wallow in self pity, I am doing this to make positive and lasting changes in my life.

I know you said topicals don't work for you, but ask yourself If you really ever had the patience and time to devote yourself to a complete lifestyle change alongside a strict skin regimen.

I understand that not everyone has the luxury to take time off from their work or school life, but if there is anyway you can find 3-6 months of a fairly stress free lifestyle, you can get your skin under control. in 3 weeks I have improved at least 50% and I see more and more improvement each day.

by the way, I self medicate with marijuana. I know SO CONTROVERSIAL, whatever. It's way better than seeing doctors and taking antidepressants. The key to making lifestyle changes is within you, no medicine will help you feel better without your own internal drive to live a better life, especially if you already know the root cause of your depression (acne).

Sorry, if this doesn't help you. Either way, just know you're not alone.

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I am glad somebody feel me on this. The thing is if I quit med school now, I have to quit for the whole remaining year. I honestly dont give a shit. Honestly, if my life is gonna be shitty with acne, why would i want to spend it all day studying? i rather have something to cope with my life, like have actual free time to watch tv and play videogames. something to make my lowered quality of life at least more enjoyable!! why did proactiv stop working for god's sake. its bp, bacteria dont get immune to that!!

sometimes i think there is just so much lies in the internet about acne or so much conflicting evidence!! its so frustrating!!

i really dont know what to do with my life. if i knew the acne problem would recoccur again at age 25, i would have never applied to med school honestly.

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I think you've mentioned this wanting to quit med school thing about a half-dozen times on this board. At the risk of sounding a bit harsh, I'm not sure what you're looking for here - do you want us to tell you it's a good idea? Because if so, then I think you may be barking up the wrong tree. We can't tell you how to live your life because it's your life, but from an outside perspective probably 95-99% of us will think it's a not-great move and one you might just regret like fuck later.

I agree that perhaps the medical community should take at least the psychological effects of acne a little more seriously. Either that, or at least try to increase awareness that acne genuinely can be emotionally scarring for so, so many people... if only to prepare not only them but their friends/family/general society to help make the experience a little bit easier (but bio/medical ethics are a field I know very little about, so obviously grain of salt and all that).

Quite frankly, your acne isn't that bad - I'd say it's moderate. It's where I am now after a month and a half of Accutane, and I'm about 50% better than when I first started the drug and 75% better than when my acne outbreak first hit. Again, I'm just going to be completely honest here: it's the type of acne I would see as very likely being a hindrance to somebody in their love life, but not so much professionally - especially not in a field that relies on skill and knowledge rather than marketing or presentation or anything like that.

You seem to be basing your decision to quit medicine and - well, your entire life, really - on the premise that your acne won't get better. Ever. But you haven't even tried everything yet (only assumed a bunch of things), aside from an assortment of topicals and one antibiotic. I agree that Accutane should be a last resort (and one you really ought to consider trying if your only other "option" is to quit med school and just be a stay-at-home loser for the rest of your life), but you could still always try (assuming you haven't already) changing up your diet/exercise habits, decreasing your level of stress (as impossible as that sounds), Chinese herbal remedies, other antibiotics, other topicals, specialized hormonal treatments, and et cetera.

I do know how you feel, trust me. When I got my first breakout, I looked a lot like this woman and it was absolutely shocking - I have the same rare skin condition (pyoderma faciale/rosacea fulminans), and I also had pretty much spotless skin (as in people would coo at me about just how pretty my skin was on a daily/weekly basis) before. I also had no idea what was happening to me at first - I assumed I was having an allergic reaction to something and actually stayed calm and didn't do anything the first 4-5 days because I told myself keeping calm and just letting the acne die down would be the best solution. Then it persisted and I tried topicals, then antibiotics, then a very strict diet coupled with Chinese herbal remedies, and finally, after it was apparent nothing was working, I went to see a derma who put me on Accutane because isotretinoin (and oral corticosteroids to a certain extent) is the only thing my condition will respond to. But before I finally figured out what the hell was wrong with me, I was genuinely convinced that I would look that way (like in the picture) for the rest of my life and wanted to do exactly what you want to do right now: just... quit everything. I nearly sabotaged my LSAT and chances of getting into a decent law school because I felt like professors would take one look at me and just give me an F, and even if *that* didn't happen HR would take one look at me and just burst out laughing at the idea that somebody so hideous would dare even apply to their company because I'd scare off all their clients. I also considered the psychological counseling route because I assumed that I'd need a therapist to help me adjust to my new life of gigantic "loser-dom."

tl;dr don't give up so easily. I've known multiple people who claim that although they struggled with acne all the way into their late twenties, their skin just... magically cleared up by the time they hit their early thirties for some unknown reason, so you never know. I've met doctors who've - okay, not had acne per se, but in retrospect had pretty bad scarring (and fresh scarring too!) that suggests they may have just had acne during their days as a medical student too. Nobody's lowering the quality of your life here other than yourself.

Edited by hotburrito
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You've hardly tried anything.

I didn't even see a single retinoid listed in there, which are extremely effective treatments.

Try sticking it out longer than a month. Some treatments take 3-4 months and leave you with perfect skin... After making it worse for 2-3 months. That's how it was for me.

However, don't try a retinoid if you're just going to give up in a couple days. It takes a long f****** time to work. I know from personal experience.

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Yeah but u have sodium sulfacetamide on the mix, which is plexion. That one does all the work. I think I did most of the work for me. Its not that effective anymore....maybe I should try bactrim...

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Sorry but if you feel so bad about your acne that it makes you want to quit med school then surely despite the possible side effects of accutane it would be well worth it in the end in terms of how you feel? i had acne from 11, was on Roaccutane between 14 and 16 and i havent had it back since, touch wood! i did have to put up with a lot while i was on them and now im still dealing with the scars from the huge breakout they gave me but it is so worth it for the feeling of not having to deal with acne anymore! if you really feel THAT bad then take the risk and do something real about it, topical creams etc do not work and will never be able to stop acne once and for all!

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jhonyguy, you have acne yes, quantity yes, severity no, I don't see that. You don't have nodules or cysts that I see. I don't see scarring and very little PIH. You are one step away from finding what will control your acne.

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I'm sorry for your struggle, I'm 26 and in the same boat.. but I have tried all the antibiotics, more than once. I'm now immune to all of them..tons of fun. Have you tried any others besides Minocycline? Have you tried B5? That was a miracle for me for quite some time.

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My uncle is 34 and he has the same type of acne as you do, Johny. But he doesn't care about it,he eats whatever he wants and he doesn't take oral meds.!!!

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