Acne causes distress to so many people, young and old alike. I used to have the odd pimple now and again, however, from February 2015 to August 2015 my face was a complete state. It began when I was experiencing severe stress in my personal life. I went to bed feeling like I wanted the world to swallow me up and when I woke, I had five very large bumps on the right side of my face. I remember that day with such clarity and if I think about it too much, my face tingles with apprehension. My experience also left me with psychological issues which I will reveal during this discussion.
When you see such bumps under the skin panic sets in. You want them horrible things gone right now! That is when the picking, pushing, squeezing and application of all manner of products starts to occur. It is easy to forget that the skin is our largest organ and like any other organ, it must be looked after with care and consideration. If you start your squeezing war when they are swollen and tender you are definitely (remember I speak from experience!) going to create more problems. Attacking spots with your hands spreads infection, even if it does not burst. It can also push the pus under the skin further down into the deepest layer called the hypodermis. If this happens you are at great risk of developing nodules and cysts, which can take literally months to get rid of. They may even merge to create one big horrible pus filled volcano on your face. So rule number one, DON’T TOUCH! It took me so long to abide by this skin law. The less you touch the more chance the spot has to heal itself. It may look terrible for a week but it is better to cope with this and watch it disappear, rather than hacking away at it so it pays rent for another couple of weeks!
People often think that people with oily skin tend to get more spots, which is completely untrue. Dry skin is also a major breeding ground for bacteria and it is susceptible to clogging. You should have a gentle skin regime and you do not need to buy the most expensive products for your face. I tried the following brands which unfortunately made my skin much worse-
Clinique, T Zone, Tea Tree, Oxy, Clean Clear, Clearsil, Neutrogena, Simple and Avon.
The reason they did not work is because they contain all manner of chemicals, which were too harsh for my skin. My struggle was becoming mentally exhausting and I dreaded having to see anyone face to face. I bought different foundations and concealers every month and every time I tried to cover the acne, I looked like a crusty cob. After a major breakdown at my desk one day, I washed everything I had off my face and just sat there in tears…a human pimple. On that day, which I will also remember forever, I decided enough was enough. After lots of research I decided to try Cetaphil cleanser and moisturiser which only has eight ingredients. I stopped using make up altogether and I never ever touched my face unless I was washing it (morning and night only!). I also went to the doctor who prescribed me Zineryt. This works by preventing bacteria from multiplying. After my Cetphil cleansing regime, I put this on my face straight after and it gave my skin the time it needed to heal the acne I already had. It took around two weeks and I noticed my face was already healing! I would pray in that damn mirror every day for it continue…and thankfully it did! (I welled up with tears writing that just now!).
After 3 months my face was completely clear. Even though I was happy, I was left with anxious feelings. To this day I cannot allow anyone to touch my face and if I get too stressed or upset I have a severe urge to pick to feel some sort of relief. The pick fests rarely happen now but when they do it takes all my willpower to remove myself from the mirror. I found that watching acne YouTube videos helped me, as it reminded me I am not struggling alone. I recommend you check out Elaine Mokk’s channel.
Although my acne disappeared, I would still get the odd spot in addition to the dreaded hormonal ones and I could not understand why. Then I began my fitness and healthy eating regime in January 2016. You will hear this frequently and it is the ultimate truth… if you feed your body with healthy veggies, fats, proteins and as much water as you can consume, your skin should remain clear most of the time. If I have greasy, processed or sugary food then I know I will get a spot a few days later. So look after yourself from the inside out first. If you are still losing the acne war, get to your doctor asap. You may feel silly, however, the mental stress acne puts you through is not silly and you have the right to seek professional help. Alternatively, get in touch with me and I will offer you guidance and support.