A teenager’s acne journey

By: Zauhra 

I can remember the time when there was no need for 'acne-prone face washes, concealers, worrying, and all that good stuff! But then... puberty. Before the age of thirteen I had never had a skin related problem and was completely oblivious to the fact that, soon, I would have to endure a very long and emotionally painful experience known as acne. 

It started off with a couple of pimples only on my forehead. I didn't really think much of them as many people my age had them and, because of this,  I would very often just pick at them. Unfortunately, this was worse for me in the long run as my ignorance has left me with indented scars, serving as a reminder for the hell I went through. Anyway, as the spots continued to worsen, I grew more and more self-conscious and insecure about my appearance. It's weird and quite sad to think about how before then I didn't pay much attention to how I was perceived, and then before I knew it my whole life changed to revolve around the fact that I had bad skin.

Once it started getting pretty bad, around the time I turned fourteen, I could not face anyone outside my home without at least applying some BB cream or powder. It was impossible for me to make eye contract for more than three seconds and this was about the time I began to show signs of anxiety, it was the lowest I've ever felt and I couldn't see a way out. It may seem slightly exaggerated to someone who has never been through it, but I know I am not the only one whose self-esteem has been completely knocked down.

It may not have affected me as much as it did if people didn't feel the need to make obvious comments about it. One of the very many incidents was when I went to a family gathering, I tried to have fun and mix in with the crowd like the old times until one of my cousins decides to laugh and say 'ew, why do you some many spots' followed by an awkward silence and blank faces by everyone around me. Although I might be able to recover my skin and get rid of my scars (fingers crossed), the experience, the comments, and how low I felt will always stay with me. It wasn't solely the acne, but that was what kick-started my anxiety. 

After about two years of this constant battle (age fifteen), I finally built up the courage to visit a dermatologist. After the first appointment, I was put on Accutane (also known as Isotretinoin), a prescription-only drug. I took it for exactly four months and by the end of the treatment, I was acne free! It has been nearly two years since then as I've just turned seventeen. Recently I have had some breakouts and it's been devastating to have to go through this again. It's definitely hormone-related but not the usual period pimples, so I am still trying to figure it out. I've even improved my diet by eating more fruit and vegetables and cutting down on sugar and dairy, this seems to have had a positive effect on my skin.

Although I'm not completely content with my skincare routine (yes, you guessed it, I'm a broke student), the products I have been using are the same from before my breakout and did help maintain my clear skin before it. I'm hoping this is only temporary and that, when I do finally try better products alongside my healthier diet, my skin will go back to being acne free.

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