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Acne is probably one of the most upsetting things that has ever happened in my life, as I'm sure all of the people here know. I am now reaching the end of the spots, my face is pretty clear and ever since January, week on week, there has been a fundamental improvement in the condition of my skin. It has not been all in a straight line however, there has been ups and downs, even in the short space of time between January and now, but I was out in a club last night and girls were staring at me, and not because I have bad skin, but because they liked me!

I have had pretty bad acne on my face for the past 3 and a half years. I did develop mild acne on my back when I was about 14 (and its still there) but I was never bothered about it as I could just out on a jumper or t-shirt! This face acne was quite unfortunate as I am now 22, so my acne started when I was 18, just starting university, leaving home for the first time etc. Now acne can have a fundamental affect at any time in your life, but, as I'm sure many of you are aware at this time of your life, it is not good.

I was also, well I suppose I am again now, very lucky as I was quite attractive. You really don't realize the benefits and the way people treat you until that is snatched away from you. Also, through most of my life I have had a stutter, my stutter is now something I am in control of, my new friends have no idea that I ever had a stutter. I am known for over-talking if anything, but as you can imagine developing acne at 18 was pretty hard on my development.

As I stated above, you don't realize how people treat you until you change, but also how you change thanks to acne. When people start to look at you a bit funny, when you for some reason lose the ability to pull people in nightclubs. The way in which you don't want to go outside, the way in which your friends don't understand why you are not going out anymore.

I got a job doing this wedding function. I just had to serve drinks and stuff. The groom, after a few drinks thought it would be hilarious to tell me I needed Clearasil after having a few drinks. The girls behind the bar all told me that I 'could' be so good looking.

One time in my gap-year job last year I walked in on the security guard and and the receptionist talking. The security guard said:

"But he wears make-up"

she said "Oh, but it's because of his skin."

In that job I came across to everyone as shy, insecure and dull. Things I most certainly am not. But how can you explain to these people? How can you be funny and witty when you have no self confidence at all?

I've been on Differin, other weird topicals, antibiotics etc. I went to the docs last year and demanded to see a Derm. He suggested against it, saying that he would only put me on hard stuff. I demanded anyway.

Let me clarify. My acne was never totally severe, just went from mild to moderate at its worst. I went to the derm and he put me on more antibiotics and stuff. Just before I went back to the derm, my mother decided to enlighten me by telling me that my father told her that he developed acne when he was 18. When confronted about this he said he did indeed, and that it went away just after his 22nd birthday. My acne has almost completely gone now, and guess what, I was 22 last week.

The Derm then wanted to put me on accutane. Now I had a think about this, before I would have said yes, but after this info, and the fact I thought my skin was getting better (this was about last June), I said no to the accutane.

My father (and I was, and almost have back now) is blessed with this great skin, he is 50 soon, but he has almost no wrinkles and looks really young. I have had some real nasty spots in my time, big *******s, that have reoccurred. I've needled, squeezed, steamed etc, but I have not got any scars, and by jove I should have them. I would never have known my Dad had acne. Would accutane have changed my skin for ever? Who knows? I'm not saying accutane is bad, heavens no, if your acne is bad, moderate-severe, go on it right now. It will most likely help you a great deal, and change your life.

Ask your parents if they ever had acne. As I stated above my ance pattern followed my Dad's exactly. If he had told me before, at least I could have been prepared and understand what the hell was happening to me.

I don't really know why I'm writing all of this, I suppose just to share some of my experiences. This board has meant a great deal to me, and has helped through the pain I have gone through. As I stated earlier my skin is now almost back to its clear, radiant self. I don't have to look in every mirror, people are nice to me again and my looks help me to achieve things rather to hinder them.

The thing is we all say it should not matter about acne, but we all know it does. I did not want to go out and be stared at all those times, but I did it anyway, and it felt like ****. If you don't want to go out, don't go out! It's your life, do what you want. And if you do have to go, to work or whatever and people stare, **** them, **** them right in the ear.

I am now much more confident, maybe even more so than before I got acne, and I know I am a better person because of what I have gone through. You will get through this people. Good luck to you all, and thank-you.

[This message has been edited by ThingsCanOnlyGetBetter (edited 03-17-2002).]

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