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I Really Can't Believe Acne Got Me Feeling This Low

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hi everyone. this is my first post on this site, have been reading for a while.

I've been dealing with late onset acne for almost two years now (I'm 32). my face was fine throughout most of my 20's (except for one time when I switched bcp). I never gave it a second thought.

then things started slowly deteriorating. I kept thinking this is temporary, maybe something I ate, maybe some cream I used; I dealt with it in a pretty matter of fact way for a very long tie, didn't let it interfere with my life too much, just figured I need to find a solution for it and go on with my life.

but things kept getting worse. my face kept getting redder and itchier and I had more and more pimples; it was getting hard to conceal. I kept trying different things in a pretty methodological way, but at some point it started really affecting me. I started avoiding people - first only occasionally, when things were really bad, then more and more as I was trying to avoid wearing makeup unless I had to (since it was really irritating my skin), and I started staying home more and more. making excuses, lying, too embarrassed to admit that I'm dealing with this thing when I'm not even a teenager.

after about two years of trial and error, with very partial success so far, I started running out of hope; started realizing that maybe this is how my life is going to be like from now on. maybe this is never going to go away.

and I'm so bitter and angry about how I can't seem to get the support I need from people around me. even close friends and family - they just don't get it. I get all this advice that sounds really accusatory for some reason - well why didn't you try this? and this thing from the commercial? people don't really bother to listen to what I tried and what I already know and seem to be too uncomfortable having to recognize and carry this pain with me, so instead they switch to this know-it-all-adviser mode, when all I need is a shoulder to cry on. some people get too uncomfortable to talk about it much or see me in this low state, so they brush it off as if it's all in my head.

and altogether I can't find someone who would just say man, this really sucks, I'm sorry you're going through that. that must be crazy hard. that's all I need to hear. I just need someone to just get it and not be too intimidated to be supportive.

I'm generally a very happy and strong person and I feel I've been brought to my knees by this. it's hurting my relationship, it's ruling my life. now that I'm realizing it's here to stay I don't even know how to start imagining a future. this is humiliating. I can't stand being around people anymore, I just want to be alone at home and not have anyone look at my face and be able to cry when I need to, when I feel really bad. I used to see myself in the mirror, now I just see something terrible, and ugly.

I guess I just needed to vent. this forum and this community really kept me going lately. it's really great to have at least this.

if you read this whole thing - thank you :)

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First off, you are not alone. All of us on this site have been where you are or is currently there (myself included). Acne is a terrible disease and I think dealing with it as an adult is far worse than dealing with it as a teenager (I am 31). First off, quit blaming yourself. Acne is a crappy roll of the die and you have it because of your body. Treatments that don't work don't work because of your body. Keep in the back of your head that thought.

Secondly force yourself to find other qualities you like about you outside of acne. Also avoid mirrors.

Thirdly, don't isolate, even if you're just inviting a friend over, long periods of time alone are the worst thing you can do

Hugs from NY and if you ever need to talk PM me.

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leelowe1 - you're awesome. thank you so much for your response, it made me feel better. you seem to be a lot more reasonable about it than I've been able to be.

it's crazy how easy it is to confuse my body with my self. anyway, thanks.

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I totally agree. I feel like acne is completely underestimated by the majority of people who don't suffer from it- "it's only a few spots, it will go away" "stop making a big deal out of nothing"- people don't realise what a deep emotional impact acne can have on how you feel and your self esteem. When I look in the mirror I just feel like I'm wearing a mask- a horrible, red, painful spotty mask that I just want to rip off my face to reveal the real me underneath. It doesn't feel like a part of me if that makes sense- I would be so much more confident about the way I looked if it wasn't for my acne, it just ruins everything. I just want to be able to wake up 30 minutes before I'm due out of the house, splash my face with water, throw my hair up leave- not have to wake up hours before, spend ages carefully washing my face and then putting loads of makeup on. I've suffered from acne for 6 years now. It sucks.

Just know you're not alone, These forums are great, because they make you realise you have a whole community out there supporting you and going through the same problem.

When I get really worried about my face I just stop and think- how many people are worrying about EXACTLY the same thing as me right now?And then I remember I'm not alone and it makes it just a tiny bit more bearable.

Sending support and best wishes your way- just remember, our skin does not define who we are. It's one feature of your face, focus on everything else you have and don't let this horrible disease control your life.

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I too am 32 and never had an acne problem until recently...stress and maybe bad treatments made it severe...I totally understand how you feel. It has totally broken me down when I used to be the most strong driven outgoing person. Don't give up hope..i know its hard sometimes..myself I break down a lot lately and feel like maybe this treatment isn't going to work...im on Accutane..and the saying for all these medicines is sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better...so im trying to believe this...I wish u the best of luck...stay strong..there are people who love u for u..and I know it doesn't help much when u go out and feel like u don't look like everyone else..but sometimes u get to see who really cares about the person within thru all of this

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HappinessHasWings and Sankofa1 - you guys are awesome. I really appreciate your words.

it's very accurate to say that it feels like I'm not looking at myself in the mirror, like there's a mask - like the acne is hiding me. I think anything that is disfiguring to your face interrupts with the very basic human process of identifying our face with our internal self - our face is where our identity is and where we communicate ourselves with other people. I've been trying to explain this to my husband - acne is not like having some itchy skin on your arm lets say, it's not just annoying - it interrupts with your basic psychological identity because it's on your face. it's like your face is no longer there.

and it's totally true that you then get to see who really cares about you - I had some people surprise me with how unable they are to deal with watching me going through something hard and couldn't support me, and on the other hand, surprised with other people who turned out to be more mature than I thought.

best of luck to you guys as well... I'm off to wash my face with distilled water like some weirdo, lol


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When I look in the mirror I just feel like I'm wearing a mask- a horrible, red, painful spotty mask that I just want to rip off my face to reveal the real me underneath. It doesn't feel like a part of me if that makes sense- I would be so much more confident about the way I looked if it wasn't for my acne, it just ruins everything.

This. That's exactly the way I feel, like I'm stuck behind something that isn't me, something that I want claw my way out from. The few times in my life that I've been almost clear have been wonderful because when I've looked in the mirror I've seen me, not some masked not-me.

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I'm feeling this right now. Exactly. Ditto on the fact it is ruining my life, well emotional life and relationships.

I feel disgusting, I feel I look disgusting and I don't frigging know what to do.

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