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Hi, this is only my second post and my first one in this thread. I feel like many guys don't post on here, but here I am. I really need to vent my feelings and could use some of your personal experiences to help me through this.

First, I apologize because I understand there are people much older still fighting with acne and probably will be annoyed by this post, but I think we all have our own problems and struggles, so please bear with me. 

I started getting acne around 12 or 13 and it was nothing major. Freshman and sophomore year of high school I had a few pimples and I was the people I hate now. I was that kid complaining, "This pimple is gross," when now I have many, many more and would kill to have the skin I had at that time. Anyways, my skin got a little worse finishing high school, but it was still not bad. Then came freshman year of college where stress and some depression caused me to get cystic acne and it was bad (I still have cystic acne). Since then, it has improved a little, but my confidence is dead.

I don't have as many pimples, but I still have a decent amount and my face is covered in marks (about half pimples and half scars). What scares me even more is some kids have bad acne but there are parts of their face really clear (like uppers cheeks or forehead). My WHOLE face is covered in marks, enlarged pores, scars. It is truly gross in my opinion.

Like I've seen many people complain, I'm still a virgin, but that obviously isn't a big deal since I'm only 20. But still, I haven't been on a date all my life because I'm scared to ask anyone out. I take pictures with people and feel disgusting because all I see is the acne. Honestly, I don't consider myself a bad looking guy, but the acne kills any confidence I have. I fear people are looking at me and just staring at my acne. I want to go on dates and approach girls, but I can't do it because I think people look at me and find my face disgusting.

I've been on doxycycline for 2 weeks and it is just dragging. I know I probably won't see the results for a while if it does work, but I feel like it isn't working. I'm getting to the point where I think I'm going to have acne the rest of my life and be ugly the rest of my life.

If doxycycline doesn't work after 3 months, I am supposedly going to be put on a stronger antibiotic for 3 months. My parents refuse to put me on Accutane because of the side effects, but I may have to force them if these antibiotics don't work. The fact I may not see results for months or even years kills me. I just don't see a point in asking anyone out if I can't even find myself attractive. 

Any help or personal stories would be appreciated. I'm 20 years old and you would think a lot people still have acne at my age, but I go out and I'm the only friend with acne. Everyone went through their stages of acne and it feels like I'm the only one left. I'm embarrassed. I'm ashamed. This was supposed to be a great year for me, but I seem to be hating myself and what I see in the mirror more than ever. I truly don't see my acne getting better.

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I had acne at your age, it started when I was 15, my skin before that was so clear, but mine was different, I used to get cysts around my nose mostly, but it was still damaging at the time and caused scarring.  Later on it spread to other areas of my face.  I tried  so many topical things until finally in my first few years of university a doctor recommended Minocycline. I think I was 21 at the time. I tried it and it cleared my face up perfectly for the first time.  It was amazing.  I took it for several months but I stopped it because it was making me feel a bit lightheaded and because I was in university I didn't want anything to affect my academic performance.  I never went back on it because I don't believe in subjecting my entire body to antibiotics just to treat a small area of the body.  Anyway I'm in my 30's now and a recent doctor visit, suggested I try the same thing but I refused.  However you may want to look into it. 

There's some useful information online and in research papers, you should keep reading and do research.  Try as many things as you can.  Everyone's body is different.  

Over the years I tried many products.  For me the things that I saw helped most were,
- Minocycline
- Proactive (I tried the complete package for a while but I find benzoyl peroxide very drying and damaging to the skin so I no longer use it)  But it does help a lot. 
- high quality green tea ( I remember drinking a cup each day while using proactive and also taking the fish oil and my skin cleared up quite a bit without taking anything else)
- fish oil (EPA/DHA)  get the really good quality one - Nordic Naturals or Carlsons)  
- Zinc supplements (gluconate or picolinate)

And I think washing your face too harshly can actually make things worse.  Because it makes your oil glands think they need to produce more oil to combat the dryness.  

I tried ALA Blue light therapy a few times and it was kind of useless in the long term.  In the short term it helped but was far from being a cure or anything like that.   Plus it was kind of damaging to my skin, I was burned a bit too much. I regret doing it.  I regret also doing fraxel laser resurfacing for the scars because my acne came back later on and caused new scars.  It is a waste of money IMO unless you are sure you will not get acne again.

I would focus on fixing my diet if I were you, eliminate the bad things like too much refined carbohydrates and sugars, dairy
Supplement with the things we know are good like the green tea, zinc, fish oil etc

Although I eliminated dairy like milk for over 15 years now because is supposed to contain some hormones that aggravates inflammatory response or something, however I still have cystic acne so not sure how much of an effect it has - on me anyway.  

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Everyone is different, but don't look at it like the end of the world.  Some of us have it for an extensive set of time leading into early adulthood while others grow out of it and right into male pattern baldness at 25! 

Everything you've tried and what people have utilized with success are viable options, but that doesn't necessarily correlate to the cure.  There is a difference between causation and association.  Your cystic acne may be associated with the textbook markers in regards to pathogenesis, but that doesn't necessarily define it as the leading cause.  Sometimes in the end it's just our body continuously adjusting and tweaking it's biological base. 

Our HPTA is still adjusting still 25.  It's too early to clearly say and definitely too early to give up!

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I feel your pain. I'm 29, got acne the second I hit puberty and had pretty awful skin in high school, but it actually didn't get to be at its worst until I was 27! I know how frustrating it is and I also struggle with feeling hopeless and afraid that I'll have acne forever. I'm finally reaching a point of acceptance with it though. I know that I'm seeing a dermatologist and taking all the steps I can to make it better, and that's all I can do. I can't keep tormenting myself about something I can't control. I hope you can reach a similar state.

For whatever it's worth, I can tell you that doxycycline worked AMAZINGLY for me for a year, but then I developed a resistance to it and my acne came back full force. So keep that in mind when you're using antibiotics. They seem to be a temporary solution at best and may only worsen the problem in the end by allowing more resistant bacteria to develop. Personally, I'm starting to consider accutane as an option for my acne even though I've avoided it all of these years because I was too afraid of the side effects. I know it's not a cure for everyone and some people's acne comes back but it still seems like a more permanent solution than anything else I've tried (and I've tried just about EVERYTHING else at this point). 

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I'm a 20 year old girl and I have just gone through a period with awful acne which started out as hundreds of closed comedones and then progressed to cysts. Although the results are not instant, I have found Retinoids to be a huge help.

I know it's so hard, but try not to get too down. Everyone has insecurities and secret struggles. And for what it's worth, looks don't last; any decent girl should understand that. But please don't let your skin make you hide from life experiences and opportunities.

I wish you all the best

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I've had acne since I was 11, and I've gone through periods of clear skin, which makes the seemingly inevitable onslaught of breakouts that much more difficult to deal with. Honestly, I would be so happy if I got 1 or 4 zits. But I get 4-7 cysts that hurt like a bitch on a regular basis, especially on my period.

It's difficult to still be dealing with acne 14 years later, but I'm just so exhausted of worrying about it for the time being. I haven't socialized as much as I usually have, but I've continued to live my life for the most part.

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I was obsessed with my acne from ages 19-23, approximately. It seemed like I tried everything under the sun and nothing worked. My face was always covered with huge pimples and red flaky skin (seborrheic dermatitis). I was skipping class and missing work just because I couldn't stand being around other people with my skin in that state.

I found my current girlfriend when my acne was pretty bad, and in the early stages of our relationship it only got worse - while her skin was perfect. The whole time, she was nothing but supportive. It sounds cheesy, but it really is about what is on the inside that counts. You just have to project confidence and don't let acne get you down.

Everyone has insecurities. Everyone is wrapped up in their own problems, often thinking that other people are constantly noticing their flaws and judging them for it. Truth is, nobody is perfect. Never think that you're "not good enough" for someone because chances are, while you may have acne, you're better than they are in other ways. Unless someone is a really shallow person (in which case they aren't worth your time anyway), they'll see right past your acne.

Also - I started Accutane in 2013 and was on it for nine months. The change was amazing, and I really recommend you go on it if you can. For a couple months after finishing, my skin was flawless and my self-confidence was through the roof. I've started breaking out again since then, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was, and I don't worry about acne too much anymore. I've since gotten my Bachelor's, landed a good job after several great internships, and am no longer avoiding any responsibilities because I don't feel sociable.

 

Edited by wombat666

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Thanks everyone for the responses! I was actually just about to type another depressing post, but then I saw how many people responded and I feel much better. I have to start realizing that if a person cannot accept me for my acne, the person does not deserve to be in my life. Seriously, thank you everyone for sharing your personal experiences - even though I hope you all don't have to deal with acne anymore, it is nice to know I'm not alone.

My skin does not look any better, it quite honestly may look even worse than it did a few weeks ago. However, I am trying to be patient and give time for the antibiotics to work. If these don't work, I may force my parents into Accutane as a last resort. I'll keep you all updated and for the third time, thank you again! 

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4 hours ago, cap93 said:

Thanks everyone for the responses! I was actually just about to type another depressing post, but then I saw how many people responded and I feel much better. I have to start realizing that if a person cannot accept me for my acne, the person does not deserve to be in my life. Seriously, thank you everyone for sharing your personal experiences - even though I hope you all don't have to deal with acne anymore, it is nice to know I'm not alone.

My skin does not look any better, it quite honestly may look even worse than it did a few weeks ago. However, I am trying to be patient and give time for the antibiotics to work. If these don't work, I may force my parents into Accutane as a last resort. I'll keep you all updated and for the third time, thank you again! 


What you perceive yourself as is ultimately controlled by you.  We tend to be our own worst critics, but do everything in powers to avoid continual ,regurgitated , psychosomatic tangents.  Remember that beauty is rich in a loveless world and coincidentally most of us live in the loving realm.  I can sympthatize on the frustration, but at your age just enjoy living!  I'm 23 currently, but from 16-21 I wasted my precious moments of innocence and happiness.  Too busy worrying about being a pretty boy and consuming methamphetamine and heroin like it was hot pockets.

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