Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Taking the Acne train for my new journey

I know that it has been months since I posted but there’s a lot going on in my life since then. You can’t imagine how much I appreciate all of you following this blog and I’ve been stressing out a lot over it just because I wanted to share so much and reform the layout of the blog to look much better and professional. However, it has been impossible for me to stay at home and take pictures and write posts because I have a full time job which requires a good deal of travelling resulting to a great deal of stress especially during March, April and May.
So, I decided to spicy it up a bit doing a post with updates of what has been going on in my life and write about a topic that has been troubling me lately and not a loaded with photos one that you or brands will appreciate much more.
Point being, I have been dealing with acne for the past 3 months. You might have realised from previous posts that I am an acne winner and have been left with scars, blackheads, acne prone and oily skin. But it has come back. And it’s stressful and makes me feel miserable. That’s why I wanted to share it with you. Mainly because many of you might have been going through the same and this post could have a slight chance of helping someone.
I’ve had acne since I was 9 and that was the age that I got my period. I patiently waited until I was 16 just seeing my acne expanding to my chest and back having tried all the mild therapies, until I was prescribed ‘accutane’ treatment which cleared up my face. I was super happy and only got the occasional spots those days of the month. My face was totally normal and the drugstore skincare just made my face glowing. Especially when I went on the pill, purely for birth control reasons, my face even switched from oily to normal/combination. I had almost forgotten about any skincare and the only thing I did was wash my face day and night! That’s the way it’s supposed to be right?
Three months ago I decided to stop the pill because it was giving me high cholesterol and that’s when it all started. My face started to sparsely break out with spots and within a week it was completely covered in white heads which made it rough to the touch. I tried effaclar duo (there’s a full review for it here) only to witness it getting worse. Since I only trust dermatologists and not aesthiticians I thought I’d pay a visit. The first one suggested I go on Accutane again but with a milder approach, just getting a pill every week or so. For the record, Accutane comes with a list of tremendous side effects. Apart from the aesthetic result which is dry and flaky skin, it should not be taken by women who are pregnant or even thinking about it due to birth defects that it can cause. It may also result to fertility problems in the long term. That being said and given that I am a 26 year old woman who is engaged and dreams of having a kid someday, I don’t think that it would be a smart thing to take the chance to go on a treatment that would clear my face but possibly f* up my life. Next dermatologist reassured me that the problem is hormonal and resulted from stopping the pill (tell me something I don’t know) and suggested a treatment with a Ducray cleanser, a Frezyderm non-comodogenic lotion mixed with an antibiotic, a spot treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide 2.5% and oral treatment with antibiotics for 3 weeks. I religiously stuck to that only pairing it with an oil free non-comodogenic moisturiser before applying make-up. That worked wonders, my face started clearing up and I was up in the sky thinking it wasn’t that bad, just a side effect of the pill. Until the oral treatment came to an end because you can’t take antibiotics for life. Then everything came back like I’ve never tried to erase it. Third dermatologist, and I had to travel to my hometown for that (!), gave me a treatment with adapene (known in the Greek pharmacies as ‘adaferin’) which I am currently on. On first impression it’s hell. I’ve been using it for about a week now and my face has seen better days. It is flakey, it’s breaking out with cystic acne and it’s very dry, itchy and red even at the eye area where I don’t use the gel; as a bonus I have very chapped lips as well! Obviously I can’t use any sort of make-up because we all know well that foundation on non-moisturised face looks even worse. The only thing I use, and I sort of have to, is an spf cream, because you can get dermatitis if you go out in the sun without any while on this treatment. Even when I apply moisturiser my face is burning for about 3 minutes. However, it was exactly like that when I was on ‘accutane’ which is the only thing that’s helped so far, so maybe that’s the way it should be in order to heal.
The reason for this post, apart from the obvious that I had to take it all out in the public in order to feel some sort of relief, is that it might actually be of help to one or some of you. It’s kind of a confidence booster to someone out there who is as self-conscious as I am about their skin issues. I won’t deny that I had bad days. I recently went to one of my school classmate’s wedding and I was dreading the fact that my classmates that hadn’t seen me for years were going to see me still dealing with acne after all those years. I was a laughing stock back at my school days and kind of isolated; imagine what they will think and say now. Acne is a disease for teenagers and for adults, mainly because of the psychological damage that it causes. You are constantly thinking about it and check in the mirror every now and then to see whether any miracle has happened. You occasionally touch your face to check whether those annoying bumps have vanished. You wake up in the morning and touch your face before you check in the mirror to see if it feels softer to the touch than last night. It’s a constant battle with your inner self to find the strength to go to work bare faced and let everyone see the ‘real’ you with no make-up on. Well, you can clearly see that I totally know what you are going through. The key is to be patient and it takes trial and error until you find the treatment that suits you because what suits me will not necessarily be your cure. Whatever the doctors say, do not risk to damage your health to get and even complexion and a nice looking skin. Most importantly, do not damage your soul thinking about what others will think about you. Because after all, that’s what we’re left with at the end of the day, isn’t it? Enjoy life and good luck!

P.S. I will definitely try to review all those acne treatments one by one but it takes time you know! <3

Georgina x x x