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I Can't Focus On Anything...

Everyday, at least once, I sit there staring into space thinking of that day when I'll be free from worry about my skin. But I think and worry so much that it's affecting my life.

The last 4 years (15-19) of my life have been terrible. I've pushed away friends because of insecurities about my skin. I've avoided nearly every single social event. I feel as though my skin has been the deciding, make-or-break factor in many potential relationships with the opposite sex (and I don't blame them either), and so I pretty much gave up entirely with that just over a year ago. It was always a "once my skin is better" thing. I'm fed up of being judged because of my skin; judged for the wrong reasons. You know, most people associate bad skin with being unhygienic and hence this implies other negative things about me that are not true. I've become reluctant to train for my sports (gymnastics/athletics) because my skin temporally looks even worse after sweating/exercising hard.

Right now I can't even enjoy this summer break. All I can think is "does my skin look 1% better today or not?", etc.

I just hope that I can go back to university in October with clear skin...

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I feel the same way, and im 38. The only thing I think about all day is the condition of my skin. Everyone tells me they dont notice it, but its all I see when I look in the mirror. Are you currently seeing a dermatologist for treatment? If not, that is your first step. If you are and are not getting the results you wer hoping for, and still dealing w/ these constant osessive thoughts, you may need to see someone (psych) professionally. I currently am and am on meds but I dont find them to be effective.

I know what you mean about avoiding people and situations, and the stereotype that acne sufferes must be unclean or something. I feel the exact same way. Im supposed to be meeting up w/ friends tonight for a get together and its giving me anxiety just thinking about it.

But dont lose hope. I am married, have a supportive wife, and sees past any skin conditions I have, or think I have, have a steady/fulfilling career, and a very close knit group of friends. Dont give up. Somethings out there that can help you

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I'm so sorry you're struggling right now. We've all been there. What are you doing to treat your skin? That's all you can do for now, but you can always work on confidence as well. I've actually gained a lot of confidence about my skin since by ditching makeup for most of the week and just trying to remain distracted from my current skin issues while I treat them. In fact, I've come to realize that people don't really care about your skin, they're way too self-centered to even notice for the most part. If you just live your life as happily as you can, people will disregard your skin. I've definitely met (and still meet) people who also have acne, but their personality makes them so damn lovely that they just radiate anyway, and many people are attracted to them! Mostly everyone goes through acne at one point in their life, so people are very understanding of it. And, it doesn't last forever, so might as well enjoy life! Just stay positive and confident, dear. :) And I know that's hard to do sometimes, but it really does help, even if you can manage to avoid the mirror for a day and go outside and enjoy yourself! I bet you'll find no one paying attention to your skin, and the people who are important to you will most likely be thrilled you're out with them!

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I feel the same way, and im 38. The only thing I think about all day is the condition of my skin. Everyone tells me they dont notice it, but its all I see when I look in the mirror. Are you currently seeing a dermatologist for treatment? If not, that is your first step. If you are and are not getting the results you wer hoping for, and still dealing w/ these constant osessive thoughts, you may need to see someone (psych) professionally. I currently am and am on meds but I dont find them to be effective.

I know what you mean about avoiding people and situations, and the stereotype that acne sufferes must be unclean or something. I feel the exact same way. Im supposed to be meeting up w/ friends tonight for a get together and its giving me anxiety just thinking about it.

But dont lose hope. I am married, have a supportive wife, and sees past any skin conditions I have, or think I have, have a steady/fulfilling career, and a very close knit group of friends. Dont give up. Somethings out there that can help you

I'm so sorry you're struggling right now. We've all been there. What are you doing to treat your skin? That's all you can do for now, but you can always work on confidence as well. I've actually gained a lot of confidence about my skin since by ditching makeup for most of the week and just trying to remain distracted from my current skin issues while I treat them. In fact, I've come to realize that people don't really care about your skin, they're way too self-centered to even notice for the most part. If you just live your life as happily as you can, people will disregard your skin. I've definitely met (and still meet) people who also have acne, but their personality makes them so damn lovely that they just radiate anyway, and many people are attracted to them! Mostly everyone goes through acne at one point in their life, so people are very understanding of it. And, it doesn't last forever, so might as well enjoy life! Just stay positive and confident, dear. smile.png And I know that's hard to do sometimes, but it really does help, even if you can manage to avoid the mirror for a day and go outside and enjoy yourself! I bet you'll find no one paying attention to your skin, and the people who are important to you will most likely be thrilled you're out with them!

Thanks both of you. :) I guess I did what I finally needed to do - which is join a forum dedicated to acne sufferers. I've felt so alone about this for a long time. I think being around like-minded people (even if online) will help me. :)

In the past I've taken erythromcyin which worked until I had to stop using it due to my digestive health suffering a lot (still bad to this day). This has been a major concern for me lately. Anyway, a year or so later I discovered that benzoyl peroxide really helped with my skin. It even cleared it up at one point. I can't recall what happened after this, but I know that things got worse. I remember wanting clear skin without having to resort to antibiotics/drying topical gels, so I basically stopped everything (except for using a natural face wash 1x per day).

For the 9 months or so I've been doing this. It wasn't until about 3 weeks ago that I realised how bad my skin had become. I had more redness than ever, all over. Since then I've come to accept that I'm destined to have bad skin, possibly forever. I've now been using benzoyl peroxide again for almost 1 week. It's helping already, but I'm concerned about the long-term use of it to be honest. It just seems so harsh.

One of my biggest insecurities is that I have about 3-4 keloid scars on my chest.

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Honestly, topical treatment is better than Accutane, in my opinion. Stopping the benzoyl peroxide might have caused your face to break out if you stopped it immediately. I would seriously recommend the Regimen if you're getting into BP again! :) It's acne.org's treatment plan. I've been on it for a month and a half and it's the most effective treatment I've tried so far, and I've tried a lot of things in the past. I know you're worried about long-term treatment, but once you're clear, you can ween yourself off of the BP and see how that goes. It's worth getting clear skin, and it works as long as you follow it precisely and stick with it. There's also a huge support network for it on here, possibly the largest on this site. The second-largest forum is probably for Accutane.

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That's kinda what I did last time. I reduced the concentration strength of BP that I was using, and then eventually used less and less until I was off it. But after a couple of weeks things started reversing. sad.png

I'm hoping to get clear skin with BP again. My regime is similar to the one on here actually! If I managed to fully clear up, I plan to slowly taper off of BP... Hopefully at this point a salicylic acid containing face wash will be enough to keep my skin clear. (In an ideal world lol...) I have about 6 weeks until I go back to uni. I'll be devastated if I'm still avoiding my reflection mirrors at that time

I've seen your progress pictures. There are definite improvements since you started!!! And you look great biggrin.png

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Okay, well best of luck then!!! smile.png I'm glad you're on a solid regimen, and 6 weeks is definitely a proper amount of time to make a substantial amount of progress. Be careful since salicylic acid can be irritating, but if you're super gentle it should be alright. I think you'll be clear again!

Oh my goodness, thanks. I post progress pictures weekly for my blog but I always forget people actually look at them...I like to kind of detach myself from them especially because no one on this site will ever see me with makeup, which is irksome because my naked face is so scary right now. But it's to track the Regimen anyway, not to be glamorous haha. But yes, serious improvements! I've been an acne-killing machine.

I also noticed you play ukulele, which is incredible, because my solo project is on uke, and I am so in love with that instrument, despite my bassist ways. Way to go. biggrin.png

Edited by lizardanne

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Okay, well best of luck then!!! smile.png I'm glad you're on a solid regimen, and 6 weeks is definitely a proper amount of time to make a substantial amount of progress. Be careful since salicylic acid can be irritating, but if you're super gentle it should be alright. I think you'll be clear again!

Oh my goodness, thanks. I post progress pictures weekly for my blog but I always forget people actually look at them...I like to kind of detach myself from them especially because no one on this site will ever see me with makeup, which is irksome because my naked face is so scary right now. But it's to track the Regimen anyway, not to be glamorous haha. But yes, serious improvements! I've been an acne-killing machine.

I also noticed you play ukulele, which is incredible, because my solo project is on uke, and I am so in love with that instrument, despite my bassist ways. Way to go. biggrin.png

Fingers crossed! smile.png Right now my skin feels completely calm, as if my skin is clear. But then when I look in the mirror, it's a different story. It's better than it feeling inflamed, though, I guess.

"I've been an acne-killing machine" - made me laugh! I think I'll get some pictures up eventually...

Ahaha! I've always wanted to learn an instrument. Being the maths/science guy, it was kinda like the "opposite-brained" thing for me (if you get me), but it really interested me a couple of years ago. tongue.png I'm no expert. I've learnt most of the chords etc., but it takes me forever to learn a song. I always leave it lying on a cupboard right next to my computer for frequent practise! I take it you're studying music or something? smile.png

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Oh, absolutely. If your skin doesn't feel irritated, that's a good sign. Just be sure to give any regimen you try at least 3 months!

Go for it, posting pictures is a good way of tracking progress objectively. It's definitely helped me evaluate how my skin's doing, especially if I'm feeling upset about a new breakout or something. It's usually not as bad as the last one.

That's cool that you want to expand your creative side! I'm really not that much of a left-brained person. Learning chords is very useful, keep playing! I was studying music in university, but now I'm taking a break to pursue music further with my band, since we're becoming very busy! I want to be clear before we go on tour. :)

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