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Witzend

It will never end

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I was born with infantile acne and i joke that when i die, my body could be exhumed and i’d still be breaking out. I’ve had acne since I was 11 or 12.  I have tried everything-antibiotics, peels, laser treatments, blue light, otc topicals, rx topicals, Accutane, yet I’m in my 40s and still have cystic acne. 
I can’t cover it with makeup, it’s painful, it’s ugly and red, and I have scars. I don’t want to go out thr doir. 

For a few years after Accutane it got better but never completely went away.  About 5 years ago, I tried an elimination diet and I was much better for about 3 years. Then, the cystic acne returned and i haven’t been able to control it. Some doctors say it’s hormonal but not treatable. I don’t know anybody else my age with cystic acne. 

I do believe there is some underlying problem that nobody has ever found because when i was 8 or 9, I used to go to the dermatologist to have blackheads extracted and by 10, I think i was using purpose soap and by 12, i was on retin A. 

I have been using Proactiv for a long time but I only uae the soap. My skin is too irrirated for anything else. I do use a Clarisonic once in a while. 

I can’t handle it anymore.  I need anti aging treatments and I’m still breaking out!  I truly believe adult acne shoukd be considered a disability, especially cystic acne. 

The one thing i don’t know is if stress is a factor. I’m constantly under a lot of stress but ao are a lot of people with clear skin. I don’t know what to do because I can’t continue to go to work, looking like this. 
 

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I’m 35 and I feel the exact same way. It’s frustrating and it seems so unfair.  With that said,sometimes you have to take a step back and take a deep breath.

map out what has worked to some extent in the past and incorporate those things into your routine.  Sometimes diet is not enough.  If a traditional dr is not willing to look deeper, try a doctor that specializes in hormones.  You could also look into seeing a naturopath.

stress is something that can make acne worse so try as you may to keep it under wraps.  I also don’t wear makeup and go bare all the time.  It frankly sucks.  But you are not alone.


Hugs from NJ 
 

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I can't offer much except the comfort to know you are not alone. I started having cystic acne very young (12 y. old) and I am now 28; my mother is in her 50s and still having cystic acne, and I can swear my maternal grandfather died at 81 years old with cystic acne. I don't know what is the cause but it runs in the family. 

I agree that stress is a factor ; we are all having anxiety issues too and I do believe it's related. 

As I said, I can't help much and offer solutions, but I want you to remember that you are not your acne, and I am sure the people in your life love you for your own unique qualities and personality. I remind myself everyday that we have all our cross to bear; mine is cystic acne. It doesn't deter me from trying to find a solution or anything that helps, but people with clear skin have other issues too. Keep your chin up and good luck on your journey.

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Oh god Im sorry to hear this I don't have cystic acne thank God but I know how u feel because I do have very bad acne at a certain time every month and it does be sore. deep breathing techniques and exercise help and working part time. Like you I have tried all the medications and nothing worked. Keep a diary of what helped and when.dont forget to drink alot of water. Maybe salosylic acid can help I'm not sure good luck xx

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witzend, am so sorry to hear your story. this is no way to live! 

I hope this doesn't offend in anyway or come across in the wrong way, I can't recommend any medicine or creams. But I can share my experience in hopes that it might help. I know exactly how you are feeling. 

From my own experience it has been fear of acne, the shame that it made me feel, and the belief that it was just a part of my identity after carrying it for so long. As crazy as it might sound,  It wasn't until I actually started challenging those thoughts and beliefs internally, that things changed for me. 


I had cystic acne for 10 long years (from 15-25) and honestly just thought that was it, there was never a time when I didn't have a pimple on my face. I felt like makeup would make it worse so I didn't always wear it, and then you just feel like everyone is always looking at you like there's something wrong with you. Some would feel sympathetic towards me which just made it even worse and to drive home the fact that there was something wrong with me. i was always in pain, physically and/or mentally. I tried tetracycline in my teens but i didn't want to live on pills for the rest of my life so i didn't continue with it. tried lots of different things from washing my face with sea salt, (dabbing it with dettol - very stupid) applying seudocrem, even using proactiv all the way to the most expensive skin care products with the dermatologist. They either did nothing or only made it worse. 

I remember just being 25, had my first baby, and hoped that maybe somehow the change in hormones from pregnancy would like reboot my system and somehow give me clear skin, but that didn't work. And when my daughter looked and pointed at my face asking me what that was... it just made me sink inside. I hated my face. And everyday looking in the mirror, being reminded of what was wrong, just sucked. 

I didn't find any miracle product or solution that worked. I did use wisdom and started drinking more water instead of juice because of the high sugar content. But that was pretty much the ONLY change in my diet. The big shift really was when I just decided that I was done, I had enough, and I was going to believe that I was healed. I know it's probably a bit out there or sounds too simple, but something just rose up within me, and I decided that I didn't have to identify myself as an acne sufferer anymore. It didn't clear up in my teens like it usually does, so there was nothing else I was waiting for. I just had it. And if it was going to go away, then I had to change what I believed. And so as hard as it was,  I just started looking in the mirror and telling myself that I love myself, looking at the acne and saying you are just a symptom, you have no right in my body and you have to leave. And just believing that i had a right to be  healed and I wasn't going to be afraid anymore, and I didn't have to carry this "identity" any longer. it obviously wasn't overnight, but the more i worked on what i believed, the more i saw a change. 

Our cells in our body they respond to what we think and what we say, i think this is why depression and negative thoughts can really affect our skin so much. Sometimes its fear that keeps that acne continuing in our body. Because we give so much attention to it. Every time we look in the mirror, it "speaks" to you, and so we feed it with our fears and worry. We're always checking on it, seeing if its still there, if it's gotten any better. It like consumes all our life and thoughts. And then it obviously becomes a circle, with the acne causing more negative thoughts. I read somewhere that whenever we have skin problems, it's almost always related to our thoughts. There is some sort of toxicity in our bodies that is trying to escape, but because of the fear that we attach to the acne, we harbor it in our bodies and it doesn't get to leave. (Of course the condition of our skin obviously correlates to what we are eating as well, but if thats the case then it clears up when rectified). But those other persistent long-seated issues, is something else going on. 

Anyways, long story short, after doing that, within 6 weeks everything cleared and I no longer suffer from acne. i never thought that it was possible for me but it did happen once i started changing the way i thought. The only thing I use on my skin is a tea-tree cream once in a while. And It's been 4 years now. I remember finding a video of me from like 8 years ago and I couldn't believe how bad it was. I guess I was just so used to it, but looking back now that my skin is clear, I realise how much it has really changed. Last year my mom actually commented on my skin and that it looks really pretty (that was without any makeup or anything). That has never happened in my life. I thought I was plagued forever but letting go of that fear, and believing that I could be healed is what did it for me. 

Not sure if that resonates with you at all, but i'd be happy to answer any questions to help you out.

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^ what the person on top said I also believe that mental will power affects our bodies in supernatural ways. For me when I got acne I went to the extreme and cut everything from my diet because I belived that I developed a new pimple every time I ate something new because of that I only ate fresh chicken breast which was 40p calories I lost alot of weight. Funny thing was that the foods I thought broke me out were foods that I had no trouble with before I got it. I do think bevause I set myself to believe that foods were the cause of my acne it happened everytime I broke away from my diet. Other than that though genetics is a bitch sometimes we arent born lucky. :(

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16 hours ago, VulneraryRain said:

^ what the person on top said I also believe that mental will power affects our bodies in supernatural ways. For me when I got acne I went to the extreme and cut everything from my diet because I belived that I developed a new pimple every time I ate something new because of that I only ate fresh chicken breast which was 40p calories I lost alot of weight. Funny thing was that the foods I thought broke me out were foods that I had no trouble with before I got it. I do think bevause I set myself to believe that foods were the cause of my acne it happened everytime I broke away from my diet. Other than that though genetics is a bitch sometimes we arent born lucky. :(

I did the same thing. I cut out dairy, gluten, tofu, caffeine, artificial sweeteners, fried food, and decreased my sugar intake because I wanted clear skin for my wedding. I was afraid of most foods and was constantly stressed about my skin. I spent hours a day online researching acne causes and treatments. I was miserable and had panic attacks if I had to leave the house. I remember praying for it to get better. One day in church, the Bible reading was from Mark 5, about Jesus' miraculous healings. There was a woman who had a bleeding disorder for 12 years and Jesus healed her. "And he said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease'" (Mark 5:34). I remember thinking, "Okay, but what about my acne?" Right as I was thinking that, the pastor went on to talk about Jesus healing people of skin diseases. I took that as a sign from God to stop stressing about my skin and trust that He would heal it in time for my wedding. It was hard to stop obsessing about my acne, but trusting that God would heal it made it easier to stop freaking out constantly. 

And He did heal it. My skin wasn't perfect, but it was much clearer. On my wedding day I had only a couple tiny pimples that were easily covered with makeup, as opposed to the 10+ zits i had at any given time a few weeks/month before.


Now that my wedding is over,  I'm back to eating regularly and all of that dairy/gluten/sugar/caffeine/etc. doesn't seem to have an impact on my skin. My skin isn't perfectly clear, but it's a lot better than it was in the weeks leading up to my wedding. 

I honestly think stress triggered my acne in the first place (started breaking out a little before my bridal shower--April--and it didn't slow down until right before the wedding--mid-July). I'm acne-prone genetically (parents, grandma, aunts,  cousins, etc. have/had acne) and I think stress really makes it worse. My anxiety about my skin was so bad that I could barely leave my house and I panicked nearly every day about my skin.It wasn't until I stopped obsessing about it that it got better. My mental state and my skin only improved once I stopped trying control everything myself, let go, trusted God to heal me, and started believing it would get better. Obsessively focusing on my skin and finding the perfect treatment, I think, did more harm than good. Putting my faith in God and believing that He would heal me made all the difference, both in my stress levels/mental state and the overall state of my skin. 

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