What is it? What purpose does it have? Why do all of ours look different? Why does it have a mind of its own? Does it actually?
These are some questions that have been roaming around in my head lately. Well…those and throw in a few choice words would probably make it more accurate. If any of you know me, you know that I have been battling acne for the majority of my teen and adult life. I want to put a disclaimer in right now and say that I’ve battled mild acne and I am incredibly thankful for that. I realize these days as I sit in front of the mirror and hate the picture staring back at me, that I am incredibly fortunate that it is not worse.
Still, there is always that underlying fear that I could wake up one morning and it will be just that. Worse. See I feel like no matter what I do, my skin just doesn’t seem to cooperate. It has a mind of it’s own, and I am definitely not able to read it.
It’s a little ironic that these are the thoughts that go through your head when battling acne – thoughts of fear, anxiety, stress, depression, sadness. I say it’s ironic (perhaps that’s not the best use of the term but humor has to be injected in somewhere) because if you think like I do, you think that acne is not caused mainly from population or “clogged pores”. It’s an internal force. Something behind those layers of skin and physical matter that is causing some sort of imbalance. And thinking depressing/maddening thoughts, will only make this imbalance worse. In short – it’s a vicious cycle.
Over the past 2 months, I’ve noticed my skin getting increasingly worse. My acne is still located in the same region for the most part, the sides of my chin, with the occasional movement upwards to my cheeks and lip area. However, the type of acne is painful. Large, cystic acne that will pop up on one side and then when it subsides (either naturally or by physical force on my part) seems to migrate over to an untouched area and wreak havoc on a new playground. Just to torture me.
I’ve done my fair share of research but it makes me more scared and anxious than anything else that I could say to myself. The bottom line with acne is that there really is no cure. Nothing is definite. There’s no telling which way it could go next..
I realize this post sounds a bit dramatic, but I wanted to get it out in the open, just for myself. It’s hard to talk about these things because it’s embarrassing. I’m (newly) 27. Part of the growing percentage of adult acne sufferers. However, when I look around, my skin seems to stick out like a sore thumb. In a corporate world where I already look adolescent, my teeny-bopper/hormone inflamed skin does not seem to help my case.
I fell into a state of depressing about 5 years ago when I suffered a strange outbreak on my chest after returning home from Europe. At first the doctors thought it was foliculitus. Then just acne. It eventually went away but those few weeks/months felt like a lifetime and were just darn right scary. I’m worried about that happening again.
This post is also serving as a note to myself. To “keep on keeping on”. Some things I want to remember:
1. Stay positive. Don’t hide indoors because you are embarrased. Get out and see the sun. Talk to friends. Be active. You may be staring at your skin, but perhaps no one else is.
2. Stay active and hydrated. I want to keep working out and treating my body well. Drinking plenty of water and trying to flush out any toxins on a routine basis. That being said, I’m going to try and cut down on the caffeine and alcohol. 1 Cup of coffee a day (max but not necessary) and minimal / controlled drinking. My social life may suffer but it will if my skin continuous to worsen so I’m willing to take this on.
3. Diet. I don’t want to restrict my diet but I’m going to be pretty serious about the grain and dairy intake. While I don’t typically eat any dairy, I’ll just be sure to watch this when out at restaurants or scenarios where there is cheese / yogurt and I may let myself slip. Grains I will have to experiment with and will likely not cut them out.
4. Regimens. I’ve read so much about different skin regimes that might be “miracle workers” but I’m nervous about a lot of these. Honestly, my acne is most likely hormonal and without going on birth control pills I’m afraid this is just par for the course. That being said, just sticking to the dermatologists regimine (have an appt in november to reevaluate the situation) and washing with a gentle cleanser and a little bit of honey at night will be my go to for the time being unless things get worse.
5. Stay positive. I want to add this in again because I really do think that this makes the biggest different in mine and anyone elses skin. I’m going to start blogging again once a week. I’m going to sign up for yoga classes a few times a week and try to find a dance class. I’m going to focus on my Nutrition business and see what I can make happen/solidify during my free time. I’m going to spend time with my amazing family, friends, and boyfriend and take comfort in the fact that they will love me despite my insecurities at this time.