12/08/2016

MY ACNE STORY

I want to start this post of by saying, sorry for the vile pictures, but what's the point in writing this if I'm not gonna be 100% truthful? So I am feeling very nervous about posting this, especially the pictures, but I know this can help so many people out there stuck with acne. So here ya go, me out of my comfort zone, again.

I used to be the one with really soft skin back in 7th grade in 2009, not a pimple or blemish in sight. I can even remember having a 3 month long break from makeup in my first year of studying graphic design in 2011 just because 'I didn't need it'. Right after that I'm not sure what even happened, but I started breaking out every once in a while, it started on my back and shoulders but quickly moved to my face. I got really insecure about my back so I went to a doctor and she gave me a prescription to get some 'wonder cream' that was supposed to work, and it did, on my back. It dried out my face so much I just couldn't use it, so I just gave up pretty quickly.

A few years I just had spots constantly, but I wouldn't call it acne back then because I'd seen people with really bad skin, bumpy, filled with zits inch by inch, and I thought that was what it was, when it actually means having constantly spots. There are just different kinds of acne.
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I don't own, or couldn't at least find, a good picture from how my skin looked in the beginning. This one is from January 2016. 

I started getting insecure about it after my friends and family constantly commented on it, that I should go see a doctor about it when I didn't really think about it too much myself. I was pretty happy covering it with make up at one point, I didn't really mind it. I started drinking loads and loads of water cause I'd heard it works on your skin, and it helped my skin a bit, but obviously didn't clear my acne. When I knew I was gonna move to England I immediately knew I wanted to take action and clear my skin for good before moving away. I spoke about it with my mum and after she did some research we found a lazer treatment which was supposed to help against acne. It was at a salon in my town and you had to lie with your face under a machine with lazer for half an hour every second week. I did it for two months, if I remember correctly, and it made a tiny difference, but it still didn't clear my skin completely.
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Another day, another face mask. Early 2015 in England when my skin was pretty good. Lush's facemarks have been a big help. This one was the 'Mask of Magnaminty' and right now I have 'Cup o' Coffee'.

My skin was much better already when I moved to England, not eve close to clear but you could see a difference. I spent one year in England without stressing about my skin too much, I did regular face masks and washed my face every night, but that was about it. My skin would break out like crazy every once in a while and then again sometimes it was as clear as it could get at the time.
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Both pictures taken on or trip in Europe in August 2015 - without any makeup.

When I moved back to Finland in the June 2015 my skin was better than it had been for a while, but lots of work and very little sleep apparently took a toll on my skin and it started getting worse and worse. I bought some cream they recommended at the pharmacy since I was gonna go travel with my friend in Europe and wanted to feel comfortable without wearing too much makeup all the time. I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly but I think at this time I used Basiron from my local pharmacy, I'm sure about the product, just not exactly when I started using this. This dried up my skin SO much, it was horrible, at one point I couldn't even smile without it hurting my face cause it was so dry. It cleared my face pretty well after a while and in time for the trip but I couldn't stay long with the dryness so I decided to stop using it when I started a new school in the fall since my face was so dry it started flaring a lot and it looked horrid.

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Just another set of facial washes I've tried. They didn't exactly help out my acne but they were really nice otherwise, and organic.

Back in school, I felt insecure about my skin once again and started using loads of make up. I quit the school for other reasons already in November 2015 but continued using make up and feeling so insecure about my skin and by December 2015 my skin was the worst it has ever been. It got so bad I slept on New Years with my make up on just because I didn't want my friends to see my acne. By this time I'd gotten really good at covering it up and no one even really noticed how bad it'd gotten, but the minute I had to take it off or anyone mentioned a sleepover, the problem was there again.

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Picture taken in the beginning of 2016, a few weeks in to my Isotretinoin medication.

My first and last new years resolution that year was to finally clear up my skin, and in January 2016 I made an appointment for a skin doctor. Before this I'd watched loads of youtube videos about acne medication and what to do when nothing else had helped. Especially THIS video, helped me figure out that I really wanted to try Isotretinoin - before I say anything else I feel like I need to say, this is a really strong medication and don't turn to this until you've literally tried everything else, I want to say I recommend this medication because it cleared out my skin, but at the same time it was such hell for me so at the same time I don't, it dried my lips completely and they cracked and I had difficulties to eat because it hurt so much, I got loads of nosebleeds because my nose was so dry and constant stomach ache. I started taking the medication straight away in January, after a few tests, and had to continue go in for blood tests every 6 weeks for them to renew my prescription plus they wouldn't give me the prescription for the medicine without first showing them a prescription of contraception because you cannot get pregnant whilst on this medication, it can be really dangerous.
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Picture on the left is taken in February/March 2016 and the one on the left in August 2016

I took the medication regularly for 6 months and it will stay in my system for two months after stopping. Now my lips are back to normal and my skin is all cleared up, obviously I have scars left on my cheeks, but nothing that won't fade.

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Picture on the left is taken back in January 2016 and the one on the right is taken in August 2016.

It has been such a long and tough journey but I *fingers crossed* can finally say I beat acne and feel comfortable in my own skin again and my clear skin definitely had a big impact on my sudden boost of confident. The best advice I can give to you is to go see a skin doctor, a proper one. I went to a private one and I couldn't be happier. It can get expensive depending on what kind of medication you'll get, but trust me it'll be so worth it.

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