Friday, October 26, 2012

Acne Then, and Acne Now


I'm trying really hard right now to find some things to be "bright" about because life seems to insist on throwing beets my way. Not lemons, because I like lemons. I don't like beets. Nor do I like beet juice. I'm going to feed these beets to the beetles and then make BEETLEJUICE by squashing the little evils.

Erm...let's pretend that never happened okay? 

Today we're going to take a look at my acne over the past few years. I've struggled with acne for since I reached my teen years. It's a genetic thing, and it has held me back from having a good self esteem for a long time. I've always felt like I couldn't be pretty with acne on my face, shoulders, neck, chest, and back. It has been like that since I was about 14/15 years old. That's really tough for a 14 year old.

I will let the photos speak for themselves with only a few comments.

Here's me, before I ever dyed my hair, probably sometime freshman summer. It doesn't show up much in the picture but I had a pretty bumpy forehead. This was a good day.

These next two photos are from when I went to Estes Park in Colorado for a family vacation.
 This was probably during some of the worst years for my acne. Super embarrassing for me when all of my friends had clear skin. Didn't stop me from wearing tank tops or anything, but for a while I did wear stage grade make-up to "hide" my acne.

What did I try to get rid of my acne? What didn't I try is more like it. I've tried over the counter stuff, I've tried natural remedies, I've tried Proactive and Mural (didn't work at ALL). I saw one dermatologist and he wanted to put me on a medication that has actually caused people to have heart problems later in life when the first medicine failed. It's called Acutaine. I did consider taking it at one point I hated my face so much. I hated looking like a pepperoni pizza. I also hated my friends telling me that it wasn't too bad. Granted they could have been blind because they were my friends, but I was a little cynical that someone could be that blind.

To be honest. I gave up for a while. I didn't go on Acutaine, and we stopped seeing that dermatologist because, frankly, he was a jerk.  Part of me thought that wanting clear skin was a "vanity."

This picture is from my senior summer when I was not dying my hair and trying to grow it out. Yes I have paint on my face, I was working make-up for a production of The Jungle Book. At the time this was a "good day." Not fun to think of this as a good day.

This is perhaps the most honest picture of my face I could find of "before." There was plenty of acne on the sides of my face too. By now I also had cystic acne to go with the everyday redheads and whiteheads. I'm sure this grosses some people out, but I've ceased to be bothered.

Then I found the most wonderful person in the world, my current dermatologist. She took one look at me and within ten minutes of consultation, I had a prescription and a lot of bottles of things to put onto my face.

Then things started to slowly get better. There was some trial and error. I had to get my prescription changed because it wasn't working as well as the Derm' and I wanted. 
This is me sticking out my tongue in defiance. I never was one to go down without a fight, even if there were a few times I wanted to just give in and hate my face (anyone recognize this place? No I was never a RenQuester). This photo was the year BEFORE I worked the Ren Faire. I had just started to dye my hair red. This was just before I started to see my current dermatologist. You can't really see it, but there's a lot of red along the side of my face and on my neck (not due to my clothing OR hair).

Here's a photo of me from this February when I took headshots pretty much two weeks before Ren Fair Auditions. When I still had bangs to hide my forehead.

This classified as a "bad day" for me at the time. Today that would be classified as a "horrible" day. I have a great friend who cleaned up my face in a photo-editing program. This is before I switched medications to the one I am currently on.
 This next lovely portrait was taken this past July at the dance camp I helped out at. Notice how clear my skin is! This is after we changed the prescription to something that has actually worked! It's called Amoxicillin and it has worked wonders.
Anyone else love the mustache? 

And this "lovely" self portrait was from about a month ago. Btw- this is a medium day. Today is even better (no I don't have a photograph). I saw the Dermatologist today and she doesn't want to see me for three months because I'm doing so well! To go from seeing her each month, to two months, to three months, this means I am finally improving!

Will I have to deal with Acne for most of my life? Because I am a woman, probably. Will it get better? I'm hoping it continues to do so. I finally feel like people see me and not my acne when I'm around them. The dermatologist thinks that my skin will continue to improve and we're really hopeful about more progress.

I know I posted a few frustrations about my acne last year, and I just wanted to give a "current" update about my little journey with my face.

Now where are those beets?........

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad for you! I just started a penicillin regimen myself. I hope it goes as well for me. I have red hair as well and it would be nice if parts of my face didn't always match my hair.