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The Struggle

I’ve been a long-time lurker on this site, but I wanted to actually get involved now because I’m at a point where my acne is just making my life so bleak and I feel like this would be the best place to vent, because so many people here understand how devastating acne can be.

My name is Jeremy, and I’ve had acne since I was 15 years old. I have my good days and my bad days, but it seems like these days I have more bad days than good days. I don’t talk about my acne with ANYONE, I don’t talk to my family about it, I don’t talk to my friends about it…..I guess I’m just so embarrassed and ashamed of my acne that I think talking about it will draw more attention to it.

But I realize that it helps to talk about it, so that’s why I’m making this post, just to sort of get my thoughts out there and come to terms with the fact that I deal with this problem and I’m probably going to be dealing with this problem for a good portion of my life.

Just to give you guys an idea of the treatments I’ve been on…

All dermatologist recommended stuff.

Oral antibiotics:

-Tetracycline (built up an immunity to this)

-Minocycline (built up an immunity to this


-Bactrim (this is what I’m on right now)


I’ve been on various oral antibiotics for years now, and when I build up an immunity to one of them my derm switches me to another. I’m trying to avoid Accutane because I’m nervous as hell about the negative side effects.

Topicals I’ve used:


Differen (this is what I use currently)

Mirrors are my worst enemy. I’m always very tentative when I look into a mirror. Depending on the lighting of certain mirrors, I can look halfway decent sometimes, and then I’ll look like a monster in another mirror with bright fluorescent lights. Sometimes I obsess way too much as well and look into mirrors even after I’ve treated my acne. It just makes me feel worse, because I know I’ve done all that I can so there’s no reason to keep staring at my own reflection.

When it gets really bad, I just hibernate. I’ll stay at home for days and days at a time, I’ll make excuses when my friends want to hang out, I’ll turn down dates from girls because I think I’ll turn them off with my skin, I even avoid my family in my own house when my skin is at it’s worst. I feel bad about the fact that I lie to the people in my life that mean to most to me, and the reason I lie and make excuses as to why I can’t go out is because I’m just so embarrassed about how I look.

It’s weird because sometimes I’ll wake up and it’s a beautiful sunny day outside, I’ll want to go out and enjoy that day and make the most out of life and just have fun, then I look into the mirror and all my confidence just fades away only to be replaced by depression. I’ll see my friends putting up facebook statuses during the summer and I see how much fun they have, going out and enjoying life, and I feel like I’m just letting life pass me by. I really want to work to a point where I won’t let acne rule my life anymore, I want to be able to not care about how my skin looks and just do normal things like other people my age.

It’s really tough. I feel like in a way acne strengthens a person, because you have to make sacrifices that most people don’t make. You have to give up so much and really work to motivate yourself just to get out of bed in the morning.

I’ve let acne affect my job. I’ve let acne affect my relationships. I’ve let it affect my friendships. Sometimes I feel like I’m running out of excuses for people as to why I can’t hang out or why I can’t come to this party…lol…it’s pretty sad.

I don’t really know what I hope to accomplish with this post, I guess I just want to remind myself that I’m not alone in this. I know that millions of people suffer through this hardship just like me, and I need to keep that in mind most of all, because sometimes the isolation can be the worst part of it.

I’d just like to hear from other people who might be dealing with this and how you guys cope with something as simple as facing life with acne.

A Note: My acne doesn’t really show up in my pictures mainly because of lighting and things like that, but in real life it’s very noticeable.

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Guest *Spiro*

Hey Jeremy :) thanks for the words of encouragement on my log! It means a lot! I am a lot like you in the respect of not talking to anyone about my skin. I don't talk to my family about it anymore because none of them understand it. I am the only one in my family with acne. I won't talk to my friends about acne either, it's quite frankly embarrassing and not something I want to be the topic of conversation. So I use this board for support too! I get a lot of it and it's great to have someone to talk to who completely understands your situation and feelings. It's nice to know there are others out there that feel like you do. So you have come to a great place to get support. All of us on the accutane boards kind of form a family. Which is nice to have with all the side effects and the ups and downs on that medication you often need someone to vent too.

Seems like you have been on a bunch of other meds.. Do you notice anything is helping? I see your scared about the side effects of accutane. I can say it took me 2 years to come to the decision to take this stuff. I thought long and hard about the potential side effects and if I thought getting rid of my acne was worth the risk. Obiviously I think it is worth it. Right now it seems it's all side effects but things have to change soon I would think! It's a tough decision to come to if you want to take this medication. Most people handle it very well though. Also that 90% chance of clearing looks pretty good too! I see you have had acne since 15 how old are you now?

I can agree with you that there are days where I feel like closing myself up in my room for no one to see me for days. I have a daughter so that is not possible to do unless she is at her dads for a weekend. We just have to push through this and go on with our days and act like this isn't bothering us. I think it bothers us more than it bothers anyone else. It is hard not to let acne affect every facet of life. If your not feeling good about yourself that reflects down on everything else. It's tough. We just have to remember that we are being proactive about this and doing our best to get our skin healthy again! Hang in there and if you need to talk you can go to my log and talk or you can private message me! I'm always here to hear venting or bitching! It's nice to have people there for that, I use all the people on here I can for help and support :)

Hope you are doing well!

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Thanks so much for the kind words, Betsy! I'm 23 now. I was in a pretty dark place when I made this post...and I guess we all go through those periods from time to time. Sometimes just being able to talk about it and get if off my chest is the most cathartic thing for me...I always feel like a weight's been lifted when I open up to people about my skin.

I wish you all the luck in in the world on your accutane course, and I'm gonna be following your log closely and giving you support whenever I can. :]

- Jeremy

Edited by FlaggLives

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Guest *Spiro*

I know how you feel Jeremy! I am in one of those dark places today! I find talking about it is the best thing. Being able to form these friendships are a big help! If you need to talk you know where to find me :)

I'll be following you closely too! Thanks!! :)

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Hey Jeremy thanks for the support on my log. I can relate to you and BeautifulDisasters on all accounts, bar the mirror part. I'm not saying that I love what I see in the mirror, but I've had acne from a age where appearance didn't mean as much and I just adapted to any of the bs the odd person in my school would say. So unfortunately I can't give you any advice there. As far as going on Accutane, it took me around five years to make the decision, to try this medication, and a lot of research. So being around the same age as you, 23 in September, if you ever want to ask me anything feel free to.

As for not wanting to talk with your friends about acne, that’s completely understandable. I think the only time I've ever mentioned it to my mates was to say that I can't drink for the next six months to a year, because I'll be on Accutane. But as you and BeautifulDisasters have pointed out, that's what this forum can be used for. Everyone on this forum will be understanding of your acne difficulties, since we all suffer from the same problem to different degrees.

I really hope you can find something that will cure you of your acne and in the meantime just be confident when in public, anyone who will negatively judge you because of your acne is not worth knowing.

Edited by jamie o

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Guest *Spiro*

Hey! How are you doing with things Jeremy?

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