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pinkyxox

Acne Is Really Taking A Toll On My Life. Does It Get Better? :(

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Hi everyone,

I'm fairly new to this site so I hope I'm posting this is the right area. Anyway, a bit of background about me...

I'm a pretty standard teenager. Up until the age of 17, I had a couple of pimples cropping up now and then, a few clogged pores, but on the whole my skin was smooth and baby soft. And then I turned 18. I was dealing with various stresses and I think that made me break out more than usual. In hindsight, it wasn't a terrible break out, but I completely overreacted.

I went on Dianette for my acne and I seemed to have reacted badly, because within a few months, I was having disgusting breakouts. My acne was worse than ever, new pimples everyday, new red marks everyday. Also, regretfully, I'm a picker and so I started getting the dreaded ice pick scars.

I freaked out about this break out and went very crazy with the products. The salicylic acid, the 10% benzoyl peroxide (too strong, I know), the other random acne products and then every single home remedy I could find for my face. Essentially, I completely irritated my skin and made my acne much much worse than it may have been if I'd left it alone.

This is when I first started feeling the effects emotionally. I'd stare in the mirror for hours crying, I'd avoid going out because I didn't want people to see my acne. I'd obsess out it and almost alienated my friends. Even my boyfriend, who's extremely tolerant to all my insecurities, seemed to be getting fed up.

I decided to do something about the scars and so got a series of 6 glycolic peels. They were all 10.8%, so relatively mild I guess. I've finished the course of 6, and while they helped a bit, I've still got a lot of hyperpigmentation and those ice pick scars. I should probably also mention that I recently went on Duac, but it dried my face out too much, so I decided to stop after a week.

Anyway, I spend hours a day doing research about acne and I came across the idea that leaving your face alone and not overdoing it with the harsh treatments and products may be the best way to resolve your acne problems. I realise this may not work for more severe cases, but since my acne used to be mild, I though I'd try it. So I've stopped Dianette (after 5 months), and I use nothing on my face apart from an Avene Cleanser once a day. It's only been 4 days, so it's still too early to tell yet, but I'm hoping it will let my skin heal from all the damage I've done to it.

But I guess the purpose of this blog is to let out my emotional feelings, so here it is. My acne has really affected me. I wish I could go back to clear skin with the occasional pimple, but I know I lost that when I went all overboard. Everyday, I look at pictures from less than a year ago, when my skin was beautiful, and it makes me want to cry. I have spots, red marks, ice pick scars, scarred pores, clogged pores, you name it! And the thing that makes this so much worse is that I keep saying what if. What if during that bad breakout around my 18th, I'd just left it alone to heal. What if I hadn't gone crazy with the products that damaged my skin. I'd still have clear skin now, instead of permanent damage to my face.

I look at all my school friends. Yeah they have a few spots here and there, but their skin isn't scarred and it's still baby smooth. I've lost that and I hate myself for it because I am the one to blame. What's worse is that not only did I deal with the breakout caused by Dianette, but now I'll have another from stopping it.

Can someone give me hope? I'm only 18, so I guess I'm still young, right? I'm sure my acne will subside given time, but will my skin recover? I know hyperpigmentation will fade from 6 months to a year, and I can deal with that. But what about ice picks scars? At the moment they're not too noticeable unless I'm under harsh lighting - but that's only because the redness is much more prominent. I'm scared that once the redness fades they'll look awful. I guess they're fairly shallow, maybe 0.5mm in depth, so could they fill in over the next few years as my skin naturally regenerates? And what about the texture of my skin? It's all rough and unattractive. If I go down the natural, gentle route to skincare, will I ever get that baby soft skin back?

Has anyone had an experience like me? Almost where they've caused their own acne by being too harsh to their skin. Or even if anyone did have acne in their late teens, did your skin every fully recover and if so, how long did it take?

I wish I could build a time machine and tell my old self to leave her skin alone. But I can't. And now I'm stuck in this cycle of depression. I still talk about acne a lot to my school friends, family and boyfriend. I know my friends will support me, but I think there's only so much they can take. My family is trying to be supportive, but I think they're losing the ability to tolerate my obsession. I almost broke up with my boyfriend because we've been going out for so long and he's always known me to be the fun, attractive person I used to be, but I hate this new me and I don't want him to have to deal with it, even though he's been very supportive. But again, I feel like he's getting fed up of hearing about it all.

I also have really important exams coming up in May, but I spend my evenings on acne blogs and then go to sleep because I'm feeling depressed. I need to get over this depression and fast, because these exams are basically determining whether I get into university or not, so it's a big deal that it's affecting my school work.

I'm so sorry this post was so long, but I guess I've bottled this up for a while and it felt good to let it out. If anyone could advise me on the questions I asked earlier, then I'd be really grateful. Thank you xx

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Hi I'm so sorry to hear about your experience but remember one thing: You made the initial decision to Dianette sincerely thinking it would help your skin. You made that decision out of self love so forgive yourself and don't hold on to that too much. I've had acne on and off for 14 years and I promise you if self-loathing could clear up acne my skin would be fabulous!

If you can, love yourself through the acne. Focus on all of the things that you really like about yourself. You don't have to pretend it isn't there but try to notice all of the other wonderful things about yourself too. If you feel there aren't many wonderful things then this might be a good time to explore and to start building your self love and self care!

The good news: my acne was pretty bad at one point in my early 20s and through a series of facials I was able to significantly reduce almost all of the scars. Through acupuncture and lifestyle changes (especially diet), I was able to really clear up my acne. Unfortunately I recently had to take plan B emergency contraceptive and it has reverted my skin back to college days. But again, that was a decision made out of self-love so I'm letting it go, focusing on what I do like about myself and doing everything in my power other than going on birth control to clear my skin.

I promise you healthy dietary changes (eating mostly vegetables and fruits) will provide your skin with a lot of the necessary nutrients to heal itself. I also think anything to boost the self-esteem and promote relaxation will help too (stress hormones can also aggravate acne).

Acne has been one of my biggest teachers to help me take better care of myself. Do I wish I could have learned that lesson a different way? Absolutely! But when I started to see the acne as my teacher and as a way of helping me get my body into balance, I found that I hated my skin a lot less.

Of course, I completely understand your pain, it's real as many people can attest to on this website. You're taking a lot of great steps to heal already: reaching out for group support, being kinder to your skin, etc.

At the end of the day, many of us don't know when our acne will go away or if it will return. But I promise you, I regret all of the times I let it get in the way of me feeling comfortable in my own skin. This time around, I'm trying a different approach to love myself through it. It's difficult but feeling bad about myself surely never worked so I only have a new relationship with myself to gain.

Hope this is helpful!

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Like my username suggests; it gets way better. You will never really know whether you would have clear skin now even if you didn't go through with all those treatments. Sometimes acne is caused by an ongoing surge of hormones. You can always find temporary solutions that might or might not make it somewhat better. You can always treat your body better by eating healthy and sleeping early. The best treatment in my own opinion is simply time. Time will heal it and the scars too will fade. I've picked at my severely cystic acne and left myself with A LOT of scars. Even time will smooth those out too.

Be strong!

I'll quote myself from another similar post for a little motivation!

Hi guys, I just wanted to chime in and give you all a little motivation! It does get better. I know how all of you are feeling, I've been there myself. It doesn't feel good to not see any progress admist trying everything under the sun. The frustration, anger, sorrow, resentment to others and yourself is all too familar. You have to persevere through it. Most of the topical and oral treatments only temporarily helps the problem. The real solution is to learn to let it go and not think about it. Time itself is the best cure for acne. Love and embrace yourself during this time and wish for a swift and less painful transition. It's definitely easier to say then to do but I promise it does get better. I've had bad acne throughout my teenage and young adulthood years but it does get better. It was only up until last year that I've stopped worrying about it and just live without carrying about the judgement of others. I'm clear now and even very deep scars that I've gotten over the years are fading.

Embrace and love yourself for who you are at the present because it's only a phase you're going through. Once you overcome it you'll become a much more humble and happy person.

Stick it through I believe in you.

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They say time heals all wounds. I've had severe back acne for about 5 years. I went overboard, like you, and made it way worse by putting all sorts of stuff on it, picking it, stressing over it constantly. This year I've made a huge amount of progress by focusing on my overall health, mental state, and generally just paying less attention to my skin. I get more sleep, take cooler showers, eat healthier, and don't spend time in front of the mirror! My skin is still really sensitive, but the breakouts are less frequent, less severe, and heal faster. Old scars are becoming much less noticeable. It's a very slow process, but it does get better. There are still days when I feel horrible about my skin, but it's not ruining my life anymore. You'll get there, just take it a day at a time and focus on the things that make you happy and healthy rather than your skin. You're still very young and have plenty of time to turn things around.

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Hello pinkxox,

Great replies so far.

You now realize where you may have gone wrong, so put it right and stick with it. This is the key. As you know from experience, it is easy to jump onto new products, but stick with a simple skincare regime and stick to it.

I wish you the best of luck.

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On 3/26/2014, 8:47:33, RacingheartZ said:

Hi I'm so sorry to hear about your experience but remember one thing: You made the initial decision to Dianette sincerely thinking it would help your skin. You made that decision out of self love so forgive yourself and don't hold on to that too much. I've had acne on and off for 14 years and I promise you if self-loathing could clear up acne my skin would be fabulous!

 

If you can, love yourself through the acne. Focus on all of the things that you really like about yourself. You don't have to pretend it isn't there but try to notice all of the other wonderful things about yourself too. If you feel there aren't many wonderful things then this might be a good time to explore and to start building your self love and self care!

 

The good news: my acne was pretty bad at one point in my early 20s and through a series of facials I was able to significantly reduce almost all of the scars. Through acupuncture and lifestyle changes (especially diet), I was able to really clear up my acne. Unfortunately I recently had to take plan B emergency contraceptive and it has reverted my skin back to college days. But again, that was a decision made out of self-love so I'm letting it go, focusing on what I do like about myself and doing everything in my power other than going on birth control to clear my skin.

 

I promise you healthy dietary changes (eating mostly vegetables and fruits) will provide your skin with a lot of the necessary nutrients to heal itself. I also think anything to boost the self-esteem and promote relaxation will help too (stress hormones can also aggravate acne).

 

Acne has been one of my biggest teachers to help me take better care of myself. Do I wish I could have learned that lesson a different way? Absolutely! But when I started to see the acne as my teacher and as a way of helping me get my body into balance, I found that I hated my skin a lot less.

 

Of course, I completely understand your pain, it's real as many people can attest to on this website. You're taking a lot of great steps to heal already: reaching out for group support, being kinder to your skin, etc.

 

At the end of the day, many of us don't know when our acne will go away or if it will return. But I promise you, I regret all of the times I let it get in the way of me feeling comfortable in my own skin. This time around, I'm trying a different approach to love myself through it. It's difficult but feeling bad about myself surely never worked so I only have a new relationship with myself to gain.

 

Hope this is helpful!

I can't believe I made this post over a year ago and had such lovely replies from people like you and forgot to reply. I'm so sorry this is so late but thank you so much for that! A year on and yes I still have acne but I've learnt not to let it take over my life, and I actually believe it's getting better! Your post was amazing, I hope everything has worked out for you :) xxx

On 3/27/2014, 2:31:47, GetsWayBetter said:

Like my username suggests; it gets way better. You will never really know whether you would have clear skin now even if you didn't go through with all those treatments. Sometimes acne is caused by an ongoing surge of hormones. You can always find temporary solutions that might or might not make it somewhat better. You can always treat your body better by eating healthy and sleeping early. The best treatment in my own opinion is simply time. Time will heal it and the scars too will fade. I've picked at my severely cystic acne and left myself with A LOT of scars. Even time will smooth those out too.

 

Be strong!

 

I'll quote myself from another similar post for a little motivation!

 

I'm so sorry I didn't reply a year ago when you first posted this, but re-reading it now, it's so lovely to hear those things. Thank you so much for the support :) I hope things worked out for you too!

On 3/27/2014, 3:40:04, thelongestroad said:

They say time heals all wounds. I've had severe back acne for about 5 years. I went overboard, like you, and made it way worse by putting all sorts of stuff on it, picking it, stressing over it constantly. This year I've made a huge amount of progress by focusing on my overall health, mental state, and generally just paying less attention to my skin. I get more sleep, take cooler showers, eat healthier, and don't spend time in front of the mirror! My skin is still really sensitive, but the breakouts are less frequent, less severe, and heal faster. Old scars are becoming much less noticeable. It's a very slow process, but it does get better. There are still days when I feel horrible about my skin, but it's not ruining my life anymore. You'll get there, just take it a day at a time and focus on the things that make you happy and healthy rather than your skin. You're still very young and have plenty of time to turn things around.

I've being saying this to all you lovely people who read my story and said such wonderful, motivational things. I'm so sorry for not replying for over a year but I hope it isn't too late to say thank you! You were absolutely right and with a better frame of mind, things have definitely turned around. I hope things are going well for you :)

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