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Heeloooooo, i'm new
Jun 20, 2001
Hey hey everyone....
Well, I've been lurking this board for maybe less than a day, but after reading all the posts and seeing other people going through the EXACT same things I am, I just felt compelled to post.

Hmm, where to begin. Well, I'm a guy who just turned 21 last month, but who has been suffering from acne since I was...well, since I was about 17. Ugh, what I would give to go back to my youth and yell at myself to go see a dermatologist! But yeah, I was basically in denial about the whole thing and thought that MAYBE if i just kept using some over the counter stuff, it would go away. But I think you know where this story is going. It never did get better, and in fact it got worse. I felt all the things that you guys felt - the embarrasment, wondering if people are looking at your skin. Not to mention it having an a pretty adverse affect on my self-esteem. Fortunately, I have a great group of friends, and I was determined to not let acne get in the way of my life. So thankfully, I think I've lived a pretty normal life (at least I think so, since, hey, who's to say what's normal?). Pretty active social life, a couple of girlfriends (ok ok, only 3, but hey, they were cute and i felt looooooved!) and I go to a pretty nice school here in the City and I guess you could say I'm "on track" to go somewhere in the world as my friend put it, whatever that means. But still, all of that doesn't change the fact that when I looked in the mirror, I didn't like what I saw....and it was driving me crazy. Whenever my parents would bring it up, I would just walk away. I DID NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Bringing it up only seemed to make me feel worse, and I just wanted to go on pretending it didn't exist.
It wasn't until I was about 20 that I decided to finally suck it up and go talk to my doctor about it. He diagnosed me with cystic acne (which seems correct given the descriptions of it that I've read) and prescribed Retin-a as well as monocycline (sp??). WEll, the monocycline didn't seem to do much, but the retin a did seem to work at getting rid a lot of the "bumpiness" i had on my cheeks. And areas where i used to break out a lot(forehead, cheeks and temples), are pretty good in the break out department although i still do get the occasical breakout in my cheeks. However, right now, my chin is another story altogether with multiple breakouts and it's getting kind of dry. It kind of feels like a harsh brush when i drag the back of my hand over my chin. yay, just lovely. And oily skin, ACK, is the worst. Nothing beats accidentally touching my face with my hands and having it feel like you just touched a pot of grease. I was always afraid when girls would touch my face and see how greasy it is....trust me, this has lead me to many a situation where I've ended looking like a retard. And, of couse, I have the scourge of acne - scarring. The thing about my cystic acne was that while it was mild to moderate, it was VERY widespread and covered a good 90% of both cheeks. Most of the zits are gone, but the scars remain. So now I have reddish marks on both cheecks. Anyone know of anyway to reduce these?? :-)

I've decided to see a real dermatologist to see if he could help further. He prescribed 40 MG of accutane daily with something called "benzaclin" at night. That, I'm guessing, is some benzoyl peroxide product - but i gotta keep it in the refrigerator. I've heard a lot of good things about accutane so I'm crossing my fingers about that. When I asked my doctor about somehow reducing my existing scars, he recommended something I never even thought about - chemical peeling. Anyone have any thoughts on that? He says a peel every two weeks for several months should help dramatically, but I dunno. He's a new doc and I'm not sure if I can trust him just yet.

Anyways, WOW, I wrote a lot more than I though I would. Ok, I guess I'll make this quick then. I'm somewhat optimistic about the future and can only hope that the accutane will help further. Scarring will be with me for awhile (unless chemical peeling is really an option), and that's really whats annoying me most right now, besides my stupid chin. Gotta stop picking and just keep my face as oil free as possible right? Anyway, I hope to contribute further in any way I can to this forum with whatever (little) insight I have. And to everyone, hey, I've been there. Wanting to only to go to dark hangouts, holding your hand somewhere around your face when your talking to hide your face....all acts of us desperate acne people I suppose. But I feel a lot better now that i've found a place where i can talk about it.
-John

P.S - I have a date this friday (i think), wish me luck!





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