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Hello all, my name is Ross and I'm a senior in high school and I want to share how I go about dealing with my scars. But first, my acne story.

Through upper elementary school, middle school, and the first year of high school, my skin was flawless. I actually would stare and poke fun at kids with acne (karma maybe?). Then sophomore year, I started getting zits on my cheek, peaking at probably 10-15 on each side (1st picture). Fast forward three months and minocycline and epiduo cleared my up beautifully. I don't think I had a blemish for like six months (2nd picture). I did great with girls, I literally didn't have to try, they just fell into my lap. I don't consider myself the best looking guy in the world but I was smooth and my face wasn't repulsive (yet). My face stayed nice through the summer going into Junior year (I had a babe of a homecoming date by the way) and even through February it was ok. Then it started going in the wrong direction. I went to the derm and they switched up my antibiotic and put me on ziana. Didn't work. Then they put me on Solodyn (mind you it has a 95% success rate) and Atralin/Aczone/Ziana all at once. Nada. My face exploded with acne (third picture). At one point I was up north for a week or so and most nights I would just lay awake in my bed and think of the 50+ whiteheads I'd have on my face the next morning, and the 50 additional ones there by night. My derm referred me to U of M dermatology to go get an Accutane prescription. That was in August. I was put on 30 mg/day to start and was then upped to 70 mg/day. I was supposed to be done in January at the end of five months, but now I'm going through April for eight months total. Doc said because of my body type (very lean, tall) and my relatively healthy diet that the medicine didn't absorb quite like it should have (Check out absorbica if you're about to start Accutane, it has much higher absorbtion rates both with and without fat). As of right now my acne is almost all gone, but my face is still very red, and I have loads of boxcar scars (shallow ones thank God) and a couple hypertrophic ones (ones that stick out) (fourth picture). Girls don't really want anything to do with me anymore (as I'm sure you guys can relate) and I've been rejected every time I go for a girl. I haven't even kissed a girl in 2015. My usual jokes and ploys just don't work anymore. Whereas I used to be that douchebag that was texting multiple girls at once, now my messages app is empty. All my bestfriends have girlfriends and go to parties on the weekend, and I just stay home and read (not like I can drink anyways). Prom is coming up and I honestly might not even go . I used to be sad, angry at the world, and borderlined depressed (NOT BECAUSE OF THE ACCUTANE, BECAUS OF MY POSITION) but now I can honestly say that having severe, scarring, cystic acne has been the best thing to ever happen to me.

A couple months ago, I started reading the book, "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. In that novel, he talked about a deaf boy. The boy saw his disability as a shortcoming and used to be weak and ambitionless. His father saw an opportunity. Long story (very) short, the son used his disability as an advantage, and with that came motivation and success. In the recent weeks, I've been able to turn my constant rejection and feelings of worthlessness into motivation and drive. I was content with myself before, and now all I can do is see room for improvement. During the beginning of the course I started going to the gym, and to date I've gained 12 pounds of muscle. I've never felt better about my body, and without my acne and subsequent scars, I would never have started lifting. I've also been much more diligent in my studies. School has always came easy to me (3.9, 32 on the ACT) but I never tried, would have missing assignments, etc. Now I take pride in my school work, and know that I will be successful in anything and everything I put my mind to. I love learning again. I got into Michigan State's Honors College and recieved a $20,000 dollar scholarship. I'm going to be on Wallstreet. Without acne and its scarring, I wouldn't be where I am today. I know that the girls will come around eventually, highschool just wasn't my time. And I know for damn sure that I'm going to show everyone up that made fun of my face or turned me down. The anticipation for my reunion (even though I haven't graduated yet) only adds fuel to my fire. I want each and every one of you to know that your acne isn't your greatest enemy, but your greatest asset. You all can do what I did and use it to your advantage.

That's the main note I wanted to get across, but acne has also taught me humility. Like I said I used to make fun of kids with acne and just be insensitive as a person. It has given me a platform to connect with people and really relate to them and how they're feeling. I'm honestly a lot better person overall now. If this post helps just one person cope with their face, I'd be ecstatic. If you have any questions, or just want to talk, I'm all ears. Thank you.

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Edited by rlam

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