ACNE: MY SEVERE EXPERIENCE
Acne here, acne there, acne in places I didn’t even know I could get acne! This post will be one of my most personal posts I have ever written for Sugar And Shoes. I have got such positive feedback from you, my readers, especially being a beginner blogger, and would love to move out of my comfort zone to establish a stronger connection!
Because of my acne, I wasn’t really much of a ‘selfie’ fanatic, so this was the best picture I could find! This was only in my early stages of acne and you can see the big red spots!
I was about 13 years old when I started seeing those annoying red and white spots we call Pests! Sorry, I mean Acne. It didn’t bother me at first because I was a young girl and had more important things to worry about like cake and cartoons. But then when I reached 15, it became worse and started to really bother me. I got to the point that I become conscious about my face and my self-esteem was weaker than ever.
My T zone (chin, nose, forehead) was a haven for painful large puss-filled zits, I would ALWAYS have one in these areas. There was once I had a zit in the middle of my eyebrows, on the tip of my nose, and the middle of my chin, AT THE SAME TIME! It was so gut-wrenching and I have to say, it was hilarious. My cheeks were red and covered with acne. Other than my face, I also had acne all over the top of my back, my forearms, and sometimes on my skull.
I was a teenager and the way I looked mattered to me. I would dress myself up to kind of take the attention away from face, I loved wearing fancy boots and people would admire them instead of giving me a whole list of natural ingredients and moisturisers to use. I was conscious about wearing sleeveless tops because my back was rough, red and fully acne-sised!
WHAT IS ACNE?
We need to understand the core of the problem before we go ahead to solve it. Acne are groups of pimples that are caused by inflammation of the sebaceous glands (also known as oil glands). Think of it as a water ballon – if the ballon is poked/damaged, the water comes out and spreads all over the place and it just becomes a messy wet situation. Same thing with an oil gland, the puss inside the gland will ‘overflow’ and surface on the skin causing pimples. Not to be confused with blackheads – dried up oil in pores caused by bacteria. Zits are caused similar to acne but the only difference being the pore is clogged up and the oil remains in the gland causing it to swell.
THINGS I TRIED
Honey and Cinnamon – this was useless. It made absolutely no difference to me. I used to put it on every single night with the hope that in the next week i’ll be dancing in a field of the most yellow sunflowers and an acne free face…..nope. Nothing changed. Buuuuut, it did make my skin a wittle little brighter – I was quite tanned.
Natural Aloe Vera – my mum had planted an aloe vera plant in our backyard and she would cut open a leaf in a half and there would be this gooey, cold, gel – check out My Shower Routine to see what I use as a substitute for home-grown aloe vera. Because it was all natural and wasn’t out of a tube, I wasn’t scared to try it out and gave it a shot! It eased down the redness and just like the honey and cinnamon, it made my skin more glow-y, but in regards with the acne, it didn’t really do much. But natural aloe vera has some amazing uses such as a cool-aid after laser treatments, a natural sun screen, eases redness in the summer and so on.
Chemical Peels – ouch, ouch, and just more ouch. This method was the most effective compared to the others i’ve mentioned. I saw a difference because I didn’t get many breakouts. However, in place of my acne, I got burns instead. My face felt like it belonged to a vampire – stereotypically if they go in the sunlight their skin starts fizzing and they get burns? Get it? Okay anyways, if I would go in the sun for literally 15 seconds, I would get red sensitive burns. I didn’t want to give up at first but eventually let this method go.
Just as I was loosing all hope and decided ‘Yes, this is gonna be my life. Raneil, it’s high time you start calling acne your companion for life’, my dermatologist suggested antibiotics, Roaccutane, or as most know it as Accutane. THE BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE IN MY WHOLE LIFE!!!! Notice how much I am stressing it.
The dermatologist explained that it wasn’t the safest option to go for as the little red squishy tablets could cause liver damage, but this was a very very rare scenario. But the possibility was still there and my parents were quite reluctant. After days of thinking and research, we decided to give it a shot.
One pill every evening with dinner
Retina A cream every morning after shower
Exfoliate cream – during breakouts
Initially, I was supposed to take 2 pills everyday but opted for one instead as I was quite paranoid about the whole liver damage thing! With the Retina A, my dermatologist said it would initially give you a huge breakout after using it for about a month but would eventually settle down, but it just kept getting worse for about 2 months in which I threw it out of the picture.
WHAT DOES IT DO
As I’ve mentioned earlier, acne is caused by oil released from oil glands. Accutane reduces the size of oil glands dramatically, almost closing them. This reduces the amount of oil released from the glands in which the outer skin peels off and a new layer comes out. Accutane achieves this by the help of Vitamin A in the antibiotics.
Oh my god where do I start! As I said, these antibiotics were the best decision I have ever made!
- I lost heaps and heaps of flabby fat around my thigh and I lost kilos of weight – I was quite the chubby teen
- My hair would hardly get oily and I would wash it only once a week
- I never had oily skin
- My acne of course, disappeared! Completely! I hardly get any breakouts. It cleared on my face, backs, and arms, rather everywhere I had acne was clean!
- I had a strong appetite for healthy foods – weirdly.
- My skin became fairer
- My nails and hair grew real fast
- My lips became really really dry all the time and started to peel and bleed – I had to carry a huge tub of vaseline everywhere I went
- I hardly had an appetite which caused me to feel dizzy at times and come up with migraines
- I used to feel weak and depressed at times
And there’s me now! Cleaner and acne free! I even love wearing off shoulder tops now because, well, I feel in good and them! (Like the top i’m wearing here? Check it out My Gypsy Top). Touchwood, I have no acne at the moment and feel confident about my appearance. I haven’t had any breakouts ever since. However, because of those years suffering with severe acne, I avoid any harsh chemicals on my face. I do not use foundation as this experience has taught me to embrace my imperfections!
*Disclaimer: This post is 100% a personal opinion and does not suggest any recommendations whatsoever. I will not be held responsible for your decision. I repeat, this post is entirely a personal experience under doctor’s prescription.
Hope I was able to relate and help! Comment and let me know if you’ve had a similar experience! 🙂