Desperation is washing my face in the shower and breaking down into tears when my fingers find the ugly bumps across my forehead. With the water running, no one can hear my sobs.
All of my life, I had porcelain skin. I never owned concealer. Shortly after beginning college, I had one massive breakout. I dabbled with a variety of meds (BP, Aczone, Ziana, antibiotics, more BP, more antibiotics...) but nothing seemed to help. Finally, after investigating some digestive issues, we discovered that i have a severe gluten intolerance that directly affects my skin. Unfortunately, my problems did not end there. Though I was relatively successfully at removing gluten from my diet, I began looking for blemishes to remove even after the acne began to subside. Consequently, I developed what I now know to be acne excoriee. My suspicion is that the only remaining cause of the acne I still have.
My parents have encouraged me to go on Accutane and birth control, but I don't feel that my acne is severe enough for accutane (and if the cause is me picking, would it even help?) Besides, the side effects look awful. I'm not too keen on birth control because of side effects as well, I guess I'm just not too excited about the idea of weight gain, emotional issues, etc. I have many friends who have had bad experiences and I'm not altogether sure that my hormones are even involved.
I'm currently experimenting with some more natural products (dermE, tea tree oil, aloe vera/vitamin e, the ocassional egg mask) and relying on aspirin masks to knock out the new pimples that crop up and reduce redness. Though that's not as natural, at the very least it ensures that I'll keep my fingers off while it's on. The high dosages of chemicals in the creams I had been using seemed to further irritate my skin. I try to drink at least 64 oz of water a day (no pop or caffeine) and have adopted a vegan diet, so no dairy products to get in there and mess things up either.
I'm starting this blog to help keep myself focused on my skin goals. I cannot continue living my life in shame, hiding from mirrors and avoiding social contact for fear that someone will see how hideous I really am, and I'm terrified of doing permanent damage to my face.
Today I have 2 major pimples, 2 smallish pimples, 2 "healing" pimples and about 10 spots, which are no longer pimples because they are flat, but are red and/or raw because I've picked. The skin that is not broken out or picked is pristine. I have no oil problems, only some blackheads on my nose, and no ice pick scars (thank god!)
I welcome any suggestions, advice and encouragement, and am certainly willing to provide any support to other pickers. It's hell, and if I could help just one person to stop, I'd do whatever possible.