It has been almost 10 months since my last post about acne (you can read Vol.I here) and I have noticed that lots of you were interested on the topic. A lot has changed since then; I’ve finished my Adaferin treatment and I’ve changed my skincare a lot, as well as my way of thinking.
When I was writing the previous post I had just started using Adaferin (which for those of you who don’t know is a retinol prescribed cream used to treat mild to more severe forms of acne) and I was going through hell. My face was peeling off, it was very red, irritated, I had severely chapped lips and, to top it off, I couldn’t cover any of that, because anything I’d put on top would look flaky, patchy and all over disgusting. My full time job requires a lot of travelling which made things worse. The dry air of the long flights made my skin worse and the necessity of wearing makeup when delivering speeches made everything more miserable and difficult. I felt awful and very embarrassed that I was going through that at this age. I didn’t want to go out, I was crying myself to sleep and that was when I started considering going on Accutane once again. My dad had been suffering from acne since he can remember as well (I inherited the good genes, didn’t I? thanks dad!) and he was very understanding and supporting of me. Unlike my fiancé! The whole point of getting engaged is planning your wedding and having kids at some point. So our plan and dream is to have a baby at the very near future. Going on Accutane meant that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant while I was on it and probably for a year afterwards, although the doctors tell you that it’s ok to get pregnant a month after you’re finished with your treatment, would you risk it for your own baby?
So, that idea went out of the window and I kept trying to fight it with the creams. The first signs of Adaferin working for me, was that it completely cleared up my forehead. I had had little pimples there and it was bumpy to the touch but it all cleared up. However, I started breaking out on my jawline on both sides of my face. It started out as mild but resulted to huge, painful, bumpy, cystic acne. I had suffered from cystic acne in my teenage years and I knew well it causes scarring. I was warned that when you first go on Adaferin you get a bad initial breakout so I was not super worried, just patient. I was very careful with my skincare, I didn’t tease my pimples and basically I dried my face out! It was the beginning of the summer and as I live in Greece, you know that summer comes really early here with the sun shining every single day! I couldn’t go out in the sun without wearing an SPF 50 and I couldn’t go swimming at all since I was forbid staying out in the sun for long periods. I had already prepaid my solarium treatments (I know it’s bad for you, don’t judge me, I do 10 sessions every year to help activate the carotene on my skin and get a tan easily when I go out in the sun; I’m that pale that not even solarium manages to get me tanned!) which of course I couldn’t go ahead with because I was on Adaferin. So I spent half my summer indoors waiting for the 16 weeks of treatment to come to an end and be free again.
However, the breakouts were getting worse and even more painful. On some weeks it would be better and I would think it’s healing and I will be acne free again, and then again more breakouts and getting on that vicious cycle all over again. I visited my gynecologist who advised me to do some hormonal check-ups which proved that I’m suffering from mild polycystic ovary disease. So that was what caused the cystic acne, but guess what? The only treatment for that was the pill which I couldn’t take anymore because I had already been on it for 5 years in total! The gynecologist also advised me to go on Accutane, which I had firmly decided by that time that it wasn’t an option foe me; I’d rather suffer from acne than risk the health of my future baby. So I carried on with the cream and wasted my summer going swimming very rarely and when I did, I was reapplying my SPF every hour and was constantly under the umbrella; no tan for me that year!
I did complete the treatment and even carried on for more weeks than the original prescription was for; I was on it for about 6 months overall. I can’t say it did wonders; it has left me with severe scarring and hyperpigmentation and now that I’m done with it, and thinking about the pros and cons, I wouldn’t do it again. When I decided to cut it off I started using the Michael Todd True Organics line (you can read a full review here) for acne prone skin and I can say now that natural ingredients really did benefit my skin. I have no flakiness, no dry patches, I can apply makeup like a normal person and I can live my life the way I WANT IT again. I do get breakouts, I definitely do. The good old cystic ones and it does get me down like it used to. But they’re not that many and their life circle is a lot smaller. I treat them with a prescribed benzoyl peroxide cream and I carry on with my life.
I have documented my treatment weeks with photos which I’m not very fond of but I thought would be helpful for any of you considering this treatment or even if you are on it. The lightning is not that good either but they were not taken for blog use; I just wanted to be able to see the improvements on my skin by looking back at them.
|And here's a photo of me all made up and happy! My fiance is with me but I cut him off; he doesn't want to make an appearance on my blog yet!|
I know this post is too long and most of you will probably be disgusted by the photos and didn’t reach the end. But I really wanted to share my experience with you and let you know that your life can be adventurous and wonderful acne or no acne! You can’t stay under your covers for too long; you need to get out there, boost your confidence and make people see beyond that. While I was going through my 'low esteem days' I had to get out in public, make myself up and deliver speeches and I was so surprised when I was getting compliments, because I couldn’t see beyond my problem areas. But guess what? People do see you as a person and not as an acne patient and this is what you might need to realise as well.
If you wish, you can leave your experience in the comments. I always love to read about what you've been through!
Thank you for reading that and for keeping me company during those awful few months!
Georgina x x x