I discovered this web site about a month ago. I found it really informative and motivating. I appreciated all the information I found posted by other people and thought I would post too in hope it would be useful to some one else. Some one similar, similar age, gender, etc.
I am 28ish, Male, and have acne, and have since I was 14. Half my life.
My acne is not nearly as bad as most the photos I have found on this web site, But it bothers me. Part of my way of coping with my acne is ignoring it. I occasionally look for information on the internet and decide not to see a doctor. Combining factors have slowed any progress of asking for help. Acne is a taboo subject, especially for men.
My parents didn't want me to take medication as a teenager for my acne. My younger brother had very bad acne as a teen, he took accutane and every other drug, but all the "warnings" they provide with the drugs scared my parents, therefore, it was never an option for me.
My face acne has varied over the 14 years, worst at 14, slightly improving every year till about 23 where it seemed to plateau. I also developed chest and back acne at 15 which I found the most traumatic. I thought my acne would only be a teenage thing and gone by 21 at the latest. I finally seeked advice from my doctor at 24, he prescribed an oral antibiotic which slightly helped my body acne over 5 months, then no further improvement. I felt slightly better for it, but not cured, and still very self conscious about my body acne.
Over the years my acne has held me back from doing many things, and made me very unhappy at times. It has impaired my ability to form relationships with women, and stopped me doing a lot of other social things I would have done otherwise. The depth of the psychological pain can not be expressed in words, it is all day, every day. My acne is a genuine problem.
At 14 I had about 10 - 40 pimples on my face at a time
15 about 5- 20 at a time
18 5 to 10 at a time sometimes more
19 5 to 10 at a time sometimes more
20 same again
21 same again
22 5 to just a few, but I would have major break outs every couple of months.
As you can see the years just seemed to keep on going, but the number represent "large" pimples, I would also have smaller pimples as well which in comparison didn't bother me. My skin is also constantly bad, and always oily with many clogged pores. I have uneven red skin on my face too.
I have body acne as well, always 20 - 40 large red pimples and blackheads too. When i was on antibiotics at 24, the body acne lessened but still oily blackheads all over and 3 - 20 pimples at a time.
I finally made an appiontment with a dermatologist recently, I didn't go "through" a doctor, I found a number in a phonebook, and just called.
I hoped he would prescribe roaccutane, from what i read it seemed to be the most powerful acne drug available. I was prepared for him to say NO, as in past experiences I found doctors didn't want to use anything, unless they had to. I think it helped I had used antibiotics and every other over the counter acne treatment. He had no problem with me using the drug, and was really understanding with how much my acne bothered me.
I am starting the drug today and will post progress over the next few months.
I hope the drug works for me and any information I can pass on will be of help to others.
If you have a concern, no matter how minor, see a skin specialist, don't wait another day.