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Hey guys,
I really want to crete a conversation about life after acne (once you cure/temporary fix your acne). This is a topic that is not discussed a lot and i think its important. 

I have been acne free for 1 year and i no longer have any pigmentation either. I no longer find the need to wear makeup, and i never worry about my skin anymore. I remember when i had acne i was self-conscious and i would tell myself "when i have clear skin i will have no worries."

The truth is yes you may not be conscious about your skin, but other insecurities appear.I realised that i no longer obsess with my skin, instead i would be conscious about my weight or how thin my hair is. Its important to mention that i am on birth control (what fixed my acne) and i have gained 15 pounds, have a headache everyday and my hair is thin. However, the fear of going off birth control and have my acne back is still strong.

I guess what i want to get out, is that i find that once you fix one problem, another becomes obvious. thats what makes us human. I have learnt to love myself and i think thats the real cure. I have been off birth control for a week and my hair is great again, my headaches are gone and i have lost alot of water weight. My acne may come back, but at this point i've decided to deal with it.

I would love to hear everyone else's experience of 'life after acne' or even if you have temporarily fixed your skin issues. 

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Hi Chloe, this isn't necessarily my life after acne story, but I wanted to congratulate you on your new (ish) found outlook. I'm glad that your acne has been under control over the previous year and I admire your positive attitude. But don't be afraid just yet.

As you're well aware, having experienced it first hand, all pharmaceuticals and medications have adverse effects. Nothing (synthetic/man derived) can fix something without disrupting a balance elsewhere. In saying that, it sometimes helps us cope, understand or appreciate things better.

If your acne has cleared up whilst using oral contraceptives then it is evident that your acne was (primarily) hormone driven. As you're probably well aware (again), the female menstrual cycle plays havoc with your hormone levels, thus causing acne. A tough pill to swallow for some (no pun intended), but, as you said, it's the nature of being human.

There are however a few things you can do, if your not already, that may dampen the blow of any return of acne. Best to start now  before finding experiencing a breakout. Proactive, not reactive right!

Firstly, diet. Now I don't have time to get into the evidence side of it, however a diet rich in dairy has been linked to persistent/non-resonsive acne in several studies, due to the fact that lactating cows transmit hormones in their milk. Consuming milk, or milk derived products (essentially all dairy) can sometimes push a person beyond their 'hormonal threshold', thereby promoting adverse effects like acne. Now, of course, every person has a different threshold and different intrinsic hormonal baseline, so the level of dairy abstinence isn't easy to find out. Therefore I would recommend that you cease all dairy, for around a month. If you are still acne free slowly reintroduce some of your 'can't go without' dairy, be it your favourite brie/camembert or your go to ice cream (yes sugar [read: processed fructose] is another story, but one thing at a time). If you find your acne returns then you know to cut down again.

Second, I know you must take care of your skin, however what is your routine? Preserving your acid mantle is the absolute, most important thing to remember, with or without acne, however it is extra important for those with. The usual method of doing this is oil cleansing, paired with glycolic/salicylic acid products, and ditching all the harsh stripping products, synthetic chemical laden treatments and comedogenic creams. A lot will say they're non-comedogenic, but regarding the ones that don't mention it at all, I would almost guarantee that I could show you one that you would think is ok, but really isn't. Cocoa butter is the biggest trickster out there for that!

Follow those (relatively simple) steps and I think you should have no concerns coming back off oral contraception. Of course if you do and your acne doesn't come back then you will never really know what worked, however if this is the case, feel free to reintroduce elements that you excluded or changed... Or you could be content with your naturally clear skin and keep doing what works.


Oh, and regarding your 'hormonal threshold' don't forget that your menstrual cycle and diet aren't the only things that will fluctuate your hormone levels.. Stress of any kind has a significant effect also, be it employment or educational pressure, lack of sleep, over-exertion, external trauma, etc. Fixing acne for good is a lifestyle/ big picture commitment. Humans are complex, and everything is interconnected/multifactorial.. In your, or anyone else reading this', journey to no acne, we have to consider all factors of how we live our life. Treat your body well and it will, in turn, respond favourable.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Regards,
Nathan. 

Edited by Nathan_NP

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On 3/30/2017 at 0:19 PM, Nathan_NP said:

Hi Chloe, this isn't necessarily my life after acne story, but I wanted to congratulate you on your new (ish) found outlook. I'm glad that your acne has been under control over the previous year and I admire your positive attitude. But don't be afraid just yet.

As you're well aware, having experienced it first hand, all pharmaceuticals and medications have adverse effects. Nothing (synthetic/man derived) can fix something without disrupting a balance elsewhere. In saying that, it sometimes helps us cope, understand or appreciate things better.

If your acne has cleared up whilst using oral contraceptives then it is evident that your acne was (primarily) hormone driven. As you're probably well aware (again), the female menstrual cycle plays havoc with your hormone levels, thus causing acne. A tough pill to swallow for some (no pun intended), but, as you said, it's the nature of being human.

There are however a few things you can do, if your not already, that may dampen the blow of any return of acne. Best to start now  before finding experiencing a breakout. Proactive, not reactive right!

Firstly, diet. Now I don't have time to get into the evidence side of it, however a diet rich in dairy has been linked to persistent/non-resonsive acne in several studies, due to the fact that lactating cows transmit hormones in their milk. Consuming milk, or milk derived products (essentially all dairy) can sometimes push a person beyond their 'hormonal threshold', thereby promoting adverse effects like acne. Now, of course, every person has a different threshold and different intrinsic hormonal baseline, so the level of dairy abstinence isn't easy to find out. Therefore I would recommend that you cease all dairy, for around a month. If you are still acne free slowly reintroduce some of your 'can't go without' dairy, be it your favourite brie/camembert or your go to ice cream (yes sugar [read: processed fructose] is another story, but one thing at a time). If you find your acne returns then you know to cut down again.

Second, I know you must take care of your skin, however what is your routine? Preserving your acid mantle is the absolute, most important thing to remember, with or without acne, however it is extra important for those with. The usual method of doing this is oil cleansing, paired with glycolic/salicylic acid products, and ditching all the harsh stripping products, synthetic chemical laden treatments and comedogenic creams. A lot will say they're non-comedogenic, but regarding the ones that don't mention it at all, I would almost guarantee that I could show you one that you would think is ok, but really isn't. Cocoa butter is the biggest trickster out there for that!

Follow those (relatively simple) steps and I think you should have no concerns coming back off oral contraception. Of course if you do and your acne doesn't come back then you will never really know what worked, however if this is the case, feel free to reintroduce elements that you excluded or changed... Or you could be content with your naturally clear skin and keep doing what works.


Oh, and regarding your 'hormonal threshold' don't forget that your menstrual cycle and diet aren't the only things that will fluctuate your hormone levels.. Stress of any kind has a significant effect also, be it employment or educational pressure, lack of sleep, over-exertion, external trauma, etc. Fixing acne for good is a lifestyle/ big picture commitment. Humans are complex, and everything is interconnected/multifactorial.. In your, or anyone else reading this', journey to no acne, we have to consider all factors of how we live our life. Treat your body well and it will, in turn, respond favourable.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Regards,
Nathan. 

Wow, this is so insightful and helpful. thank you so much. I have cut out dairy, even before birth control and it did not help my acne. I actually found introducing yogurt back helped my skin. Skin care: i dont wash/exfoliate my skin and i only moisturise with cold cream in the winter (i have chronic hives and i cannot put anything on my skin). My doctor is hoping that i have grown out of my acne as i am now 20. We will see. 

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3 hours ago, Chloe123 said:
On 30/3/2017 at 5:19 AM, Nathan_NP said:

Hi Chloe, this isn't necessarily my life after acne story, but I wanted to congratulate you on your new (ish) found outlook. I'm glad that your acne has been under control over the previous year and I admire your positive attitude. But don't be afraid just yet.

As you're well aware, having experienced it first hand, all pharmaceuticals and medications have adverse effects. Nothing (synthetic/man derived) can fix something without disrupting a balance elsewhere. In saying that, it sometimes helps us cope, understand or appreciate things better.

If your acne has cleared up whilst using oral contraceptives then it is evident that your acne was (primarily) hormone driven. As you're probably well aware (again), the female menstrual cycle plays havoc with your hormone levels, thus causing acne. A tough pill to swallow for some (no pun intended), but, as you said, it's the nature of being human.

There are however a few things you can do, if your not already, that may dampen the blow of any return of acne. Best to start now  before finding experiencing a breakout. Proactive, not reactive right!

Firstly, diet. Now I don't have time to get into the evidence side of it, however a diet rich in dairy has been linked to persistent/non-resonsive acne in several studies, due to the fact that lactating cows transmit hormones in their milk. Consuming milk, or milk derived products (essentially all dairy) can sometimes push a person beyond their 'hormonal threshold', thereby promoting adverse effects like acne. Now, of course, every person has a different threshold and different intrinsic hormonal baseline, so the level of dairy abstinence isn't easy to find out. Therefore I would recommend that you cease all dairy, for around a month. If you are still acne free slowly reintroduce some of your 'can't go without' dairy, be it your favourite brie/camembert or your go to ice cream (yes sugar [read: processed fructose] is another story, but one thing at a time). If you find your acne returns then you know to cut down again.

Second, I know you must take care of your skin, however what is your routine? Preserving your acid mantle is the absolute, most important thing to remember, with or without acne, however it is extra important for those with. The usual method of doing this is oil cleansing, paired with glycolic/salicylic acid products, and ditching all the harsh stripping products, synthetic chemical laden treatments and comedogenic creams. A lot will say they're non-comedogenic, but regarding the ones that don't mention it at all, I would almost guarantee that I could show you one that you would think is ok, but really isn't. Cocoa butter is the biggest trickster out there for that!

Follow those (relatively simple) steps and I think you should have no concerns coming back off oral contraception. Of course if you do and your acne doesn't come back then you will never really know what worked, however if this is the case, feel free to reintroduce elements that you excluded or changed... Or you could be content with your naturally clear skin and keep doing what works.


Oh, and regarding your 'hormonal threshold' don't forget that your menstrual cycle and diet aren't the only things that will fluctuate your hormone levels.. Stress of any kind has a significant effect also, be it employment or educational pressure, lack of sleep, over-exertion, external trauma, etc. Fixing acne for good is a lifestyle/ big picture commitment. Humans are complex, and everything is interconnected/multifactorial.. In your, or anyone else reading this', journey to no acne, we have to consider all factors of how we live our life. Treat your body well and it will, in turn, respond favourable.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Regards,
Nathan. 

Wow, this is so insightful and helpful. thank you so much. I have cut out dairy, even before birth control and it did not help my acne. I actually found introducing yogurt back helped my skin. Skin care: i dont wash/exfoliate my skin and i only moisturise with cold cream in the winter (i have chronic hives and i cannot put anything on my skin). My doctor is hoping that i have grown out of my acne as i am now 20. We will see. 
How do you learn to love yourself tho?

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Acne is only one thing, you do not need to keep "only" your skin under control but entire body, yes skin is one of the many other things like heart, muscles etc. don't forget that.

Anyways as acne sufferer your social live goes down heavily, if you need over "20 years" to find a cure (best years of your life are over), especially if you are really young and have a lot of people around you, a month or weeks clear skin doesn't matter actually, so you have a lot of time to take care of yourself, it's because of your acne, thank you acne, but please acne you can now stop and leave me, because I have grown up, I can take care of myself now, what a fairy tale :(. Acne are you my friend or enemy? Choose wisely...

Acne makes sometimes people look like zombies, you get that. Most people care how they look(Me at least), so it's like living two different lives, the good life is short...please try again in next life (once you suffered 20 long years of acne, there is no more possibility for perfect beautiful skin, this means you have thrown your perfect life away, no-one cared to educate you, or people are unqualified and careless, so help yourself is the only way to go in this world. use your mind, research yourself, do it yourself, test yourself, no one knows you better than yourself.).

(You may spend 20 years of looking acne cure, try again after 100 years, try to search the cause and after that you know if our medicine can cure it, but sometimes the only way to go is to threat it not cure it, at least you don't have cancer, you lucky one, but 20 years of acne free life, what a life it could have been, this is in your mind, really nothing is that simple)

Especially if you want your every part to be perfect, from inside to outside, so bring your inside beauty to outside, this is a new life purpose, this means fighting acne, take care of yourself now and always, work your heart and muscles, despite how your skin looks, make your body perfect, use everything, research your body, not only your skin matters, overall health is the key(good health can still result bad skin, just don't make your health suck). Doing sports, improving body overall performance, do heavy programming for the mind, do research and educate yourself, learn more about your body, test your body and don't eat things that make your body suffer(learn that). Even if I have acne, this does not mean I can not take care of other important things for my body and mind.  Don't smell gasoline or try to kill your body with bad drugs, don't work as a drug tester, you get the point.

I always do things for general health and not only for clear skin  (cause of body function "unknown" failure, you can not buy just new part, you are not a robot, no one knows for sure what causes acne from level 1, even if you know that, it may be already too late to prevent it or you can nothing do about it, this gets too long, and acne org would freeze before I could finish this).

So the point here is that beautiful skin doesn't mean good health or vice versa. Don't forget good health, and "healthy"(test your body for foods, may remove headaches and other pains) living and caring for your other organs and body parts.

Good health = Good Life? Many people probably would disagree, or just agree and forgot and don't do anything for good health.

If you feel strong inside, make your body strong outside etc.

I don't know how healthy you can get just from loving... :P 

OMG I need to learn to write shorter posts, and my English is as you see :/

;)  :D Wish everyone a perfect skin!

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ok so i have 50 zits on my face rn. I just had surgery so hopefully the anaesthesia didnt mess up my hormones :/

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I don't think that's how anesthesia works...

even after being clear now for like two years, I'm still super obsessive about my skin and always looking for ways to make it look better. Smoother, get rid of the hyperpigmentation, get that glow. Etc. 

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1 hour ago, Chloe123 said:

ok so i have 50 zits on my face rn. I just had surgery so hopefully the anaesthesia didnt mess up my hormones :/

june 4, you were all clear and June 12, you have like 50 zits?:smileys_n_people_38: and that too after having been clear for like 3 months already.

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On 6/12/2017 at 6:00 PM, eternalrocket said:
june 4, you were all clear and June 12, you have like 50 zits?:smileys_n_people_38: and that too after having been clear for like 3 months already.
Turns out it was a rash/hives thank god. My face literally blew up and im not exaggerating the '50 zits'. I might have been allergic to something?
On 6/12/2017 at 5:27 PM, skinnie said:

I don't think that's how anesthesia works...

even after being clear now for like two years, I'm still super obsessive about my skin and always looking for ways to make it look better. Smoother, get rid of the hyperpigmentation, get that glow. Etc. 

honestly i have some hyperpigmentation but as long as i dont have any active zits im grateful. 

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17 hours ago, Chloe123 said:

Turns out it was a rash/hives thank god. My face literally blew up and im not exaggerating the '50 zits'. I might have been allergic to something?

oh, yeah thats possible. Might be an insect bite or something. I got one when i was a kid

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I'm like super obsessing over my scars right now. Even though they're not that bad. it bothers me that my skin isn't perfect and never can be. 

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@skinnie Me too, because I had "perfect" skin for 20 years then bam. And the scars are my fault from picking at my face, they're not from any actual pimples/acne breakouts. Gotta wait at least 6 months to even try to treat my scars and I'm finding it really hard to hold on.

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3 hours ago, Feelishia said:
@skinnie Me too, because I had "perfect" skin for 20 years then bam. And the scars are my fault from picking at my face, they're not from any actual pimples/acne breakouts. Gotta wait at least 6 months to even try to treat my scars and I'm finding it really hard to hold on.

Scars as in pits or red marks? My red marks are gone and thankfully no pits! I've found doing nothing to fix my scars healed it faster. Everytime i used products it would make them redder 

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On July 6, 2017 at 3:55 PM, Feelishia said:
@skinnie Me too, because I had "perfect" skin for 20 years then bam. And the scars are my fault from picking at my face, they're not from any actual pimples/acne breakouts. Gotta wait at least 6 months to even try to treat my scars and I'm finding it really hard to hold on.
me too - pits. And i can't afford to treat my scarring. 

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8 minutes ago, skinnie said:
On 7/6/2017 at 0:55 PM, Feelishia said:
@skinnie Me too, because I had "perfect" skin for 20 years then bam. And the scars are my fault from picking at my face, they're not from any actual pimples/acne breakouts. Gotta wait at least 6 months to even try to treat my scars and I'm finding it really hard to hold on.
me too - pits. And i can't afford to treat my scarring. 
Ah, mine aren't pits so our treatments will be different. Yeah, it's gonna be hard to afford treatment on top of paying for college :/ 

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33 minutes ago, Feelishia said:
Ah, mine aren't pits so our treatments will be different. Yeah, it's gonna be hard to afford treatment on top of paying for college :/ 
or indentations. idk whatever you call them. they're more than just red marks! they're not that bad - they're just annoying. I tend to exaggerate these things in my head. 
that's what it looks like. It's like a handful of small scars but my perfectionist brain let it get to me. There's also a lot of hyper pigmentation mixed in. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 5.17.22 PM.png

Edited by skinnie

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8 minutes ago, skinnie said:
or indentations. idk whatever you call them. they're more than just red marks! they're not that bad - they're just annoying. I tend to exaggerate these things in my head. 
that's what it looks like. It's like a handful of small scars but my perfectionist brain let it get to me. There's also a lot of hyper pigmentation mixed in. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 5.17.22 PM.png

That's what most people's acne scars look like (pits/indents in the cheeks due to cystic acne)! Seems like subcision + fillers are the most successful from what I've seen on here. I don't have any acne scars, I just have trauma scars, so yeah our treatments would likely not be similar. I wish you the best of luck though! Wish scar treatment was treated by insurance if it was an issue of mental health/quality of life over cosmetics. Scars on my body I don't care about (maybe I would if I had something major though), but anything on my face is distressing. Ask anyone on here and I'm sure they'd say getting rid of scars isn't just for cosmetics, it's for their mental health!

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On 7/10/2017 at 7:10 AM, skinnie said:
or indentations. idk whatever you call them. they're more than just red marks! they're not that bad - they're just annoying. I tend to exaggerate these things in my head. 
that's what it looks like. It's like a handful of small scars but my perfectionist brain let it get to me. There's also a lot of hyper pigmentation mixed in. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 5.17.22 PM.png

You're skin is so clear omg.

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20 hours ago, Chloe123 said:
On 7/9/2017 at 5:10 PM, skinnie said:
or indentations. idk whatever you call them. they're more than just red marks! they're not that bad - they're just annoying. I tend to exaggerate these things in my head. 
that's what it looks like. It's like a handful of small scars but my perfectionist brain let it get to me. There's also a lot of hyper pigmentation mixed in. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 5.17.22 PM.png

You're skin is so clear omg.
I know, and me from like two years ago would be yelling at me for being upset about this. But they're visible through  makeup and I feel so ugly without makeup because of them. They're not worse than acne because they're static and acne felt like I had no control over my skin and it was unpredictable.  But I can't do anything about these. My skin will literally never look better than this. This is as good as it gets. 

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update: i've been breaking out a little. I had 3 bigger zits that have left marks. But im mostly getting whiteheads/blackheads on my chin. I believe its been 6 months since i stopped taking BC and that is the common number of months i've heard people getting their acne back. I hope it was a one off. :(

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