When your skin just won’t play by the rules

I’ve never had great skin, it’s thin and kind of pale. It scars easily and is home to more than 100 moles (no joke, I counted). As soon as puberty hit I had an acne problem.

My pores developed and became quite large, I had lots of blackheads and the odd angry pimple but it rarely bothered me because I was a teenager and most of my friends were having the same problem.

Unfortunately it never really went away and after my big weight loss, the adult acne appeared. It was big, angry and painful. It’s been around for more than two years now and I’m absolutely sick of it. I’m even sicker of people telling me “it’s not that bad” and it’s “just a few spots”. I don’t know if those are poor attempts at making me feel less self conscious or just mindless words from people who have never felt the pain of cystic acne, but it’s super patronising.

I have a medical condition and it’s on my face. I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years and I even kept a blog about a treatment called Mesotherapy; which I paid a couple hundred pound for and saw no results. That was disappointing.

I’ve tried cutting out certain foods, drinking more water, exercising, fresh air and a whole host of useless prescriptions from the GP. Over the counter crap is just that… crap, and then there are the side affects.

In 2013 I was finally referred to the dermatologist who prescribed me Dianette- a contraceptive pill with such serious side effects, that it’s banned in certain countries.

Just as it started to clear up the worst of my acne I started experiencing regular migraines, which is an instant no-no, and the pills had to go bye-bye.

The GP then threw several more useless medications my way before I put my foot down and demanded to see the dermatologist again. I have an appointment lined up for Christmas Eve and currently my face is harbouring some very sore and swollen cysts.

Having a proper skin care routine helps, as does a clean face-only towel and capping my sugar intake.

I’m 100% sure my acne is down to hormones, so stress, caffeine and too much sugar can have a really bad effect on it. Exercise is good, water is good and finding the right products is crucial.

I love the tea-tree range from Superdrug, a bit of Diprobase Emollient for dry days and I’ve just started to use something from Mama Nature to help with oil control.

During the bad phases of my acne, the oil production on my face is crazy. Come lunchtime I have a thick, shiny layer all over my face. It’s embarrassing and makes me really uncomfortable, especially with the OCD, I just feel un-washed. So I’m trying something called Teenage Dream from Mama Nature, it’s a completely natural oil that you use twice a day to trick your face into thinking it’s already well lubricated and eventually you should stop over-producing sebum.

Teenage Dream consists of things like Ylang Ylang and Jojoba oils, they’re natural antibacterial agents and promote healing so hopefully in a few weeks time I’ll see some good results. That’s with a decrease in sugar, increase in exercise and positive thoughts of course.

<update: it didn’t work>
<<update: Roaccutane did!>

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Author: Rachel

Communications Exec by day, TV show addict by night. Fighting #LymeDisease 24/7. Postgraduate student at Brunel University, writing my way to a Master's degree in Creative Writing.

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