Did you know….
For a lot of people acne is a joke. They think it’s something that only teenagers get and some think that it’s silly to let “a few spots” play such a large part on our self esteem and everyday life. I can promise you that it’s SO much more. Did you know that June is Acne Awareness Month? I didn’t until recently!
As you all probably know, I am 28 years old and I struggle every day with adult cystic acne. Some days are better than others (heck, some months are better than others) but at the end of it all there isn’t a day that goes by where I’m not worried about whether or not that milkshake I just drank, the new makeup product I just tried, etc is going to send me into a downward spiral of breakouts, painful cystic bumps, or embarrassment that sometimes take months to clear up. I live in a world of changing my pillowcase nightly, using an insane amount of towels after washing my face, double (sometimes triple) checking that I’ve removed every trace of makeup from of my face every night, and going to bed hoping/praying that I wake up with no bumps the following morning.
If you have acne, no matter how severe, you’re not alone. A lot of people don’t realize how emotionally draining it is to have this skin condition but if you have ever suffered from acne then you know how hard it can be to put on a brave face and go out in public. Feeling like everyone is staring at you, wondering “why don’t you go to the doctor already for that”, etc is NOT a good feeling and it’s one that I hope you all never have to live with. Acne affects my life in ways I never thought were possible. Because I only break out in a very isolated area (the entire right side of my face) I pick and choose where I sit on the subway, in restaurants, etc. How crazy is that!?
About a year and a half ago a coworker asked me how old I was (which I thought was a legitimate question so I didn’t think twice) so I told her I was 27 and asked why she was asking. Well, her response was: “I thought so! When I was your age I also went through really bad hormonal acne but it cleared right up as I got older! You’ll be fine.” Although she meant well all I heard come out of her mouth was “I can see that you’ve got really bad skin” and it wasn’t really a reminder that I needed to hear. A simple comment like that can literally ruin my day, how sad is that?
In case you’ve ever wondered what a year and a half of acne struggles look like… here they are. Not every month is represented because those were my “good months” but you can see how, at a moment’s notice, my skin can go from great to awful. In May (just last month!) my skin was the best it has been in a LONG time and I was looking forward to my acne scars being nearly gone but you know what? As of this exact moment my face looks like it did in August of 2013 which is crazy since just two weeks ago it was essentially flawless. Luckily I’m going to the dermatologist this week to try to stop it before it gets worse but either way – it is a legitimate daily struggle.
I just showed this picture to a friend and her response was “Wow, Casey! What happened? Your skin looked so great in May!”
… yeah, thanks for reminding me.
If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t see my face much on Beauty 101, now you know why. There are some days where I don’t even want to be seen in public, much less have my face plastered all over the internet. My skin was getting pretty good so I started putting myself out there more but now, well, we’ll see what happens. I do tend to only break out on one side of my face so maybe I can work something out.
If you’re curious about my struggles so far check out this post where I tried Proactiv, this 6 month Proactiv Update, and this post which details my experience the last time I went to the dermatologist.
Acne is awful. Whether or not you’ve only suffered from one spot or you’ve got a face full of blemishes I hope that you know that you are beautiful no matter what, no matter what your skin looks like, and that it WILL get better.