Sunday, 3 February 2013
Living with Acne. Tips and Tricks.
Living with Acne is one of those things that can easily destroy your self confidence, your ability to live properly and the ability to feel happy about yourself on a daily basis. It can completely control the way you feel when you wake up and can ruin your day and the exciting plans you have made. I have decided to write this post to assist others living with Acne including tips and tricks on how to live, control and deal with Acne everyday. I would like to add that I am in no way an expert, a dermatologist and no way near a doctor, however I am a sufferer and would like to hope that this post can help others like me. What might help me may not help you but I hope this can assist you to a happier face.
My Life with Acne.
Like most others, I first got Acne when I was in my teens. I was the age of 15 when I first noticed my skin deteriorating and decided to just let it be until it improved. Sadly, it didn't improve and only got worse. I visited the doctor many times, begging for something to help me, but they turned me away each time and seemed to "tut" everytime I walked in the door. I was sent away with numerous amounts of antibiotics which did not help. I was on each course of antibioitics for 6 months at a time but the side effects were destroying my day to day living and decided something else had to be done. After 6 years of doctors appointments, monthly prescription costs, headaches and disheartening discussions, I went back with a vengeance. Finally, the doctor referred me to a dermatologist.
I sat in the hospital waiting room next to people with burns and skin conditions and felt an overwhelming feeling of guilt and regret. There are far worse people out there than me. The dermatologist saw me for 5 minutes and gave me creams, more pills (with prescriptions costs again) and said they would contact me to see me again in 3 months. The pills seemed to work for 3 months but the dermatologist never contacted me again, so I never got to go back. After feeling more confident in myself, I thought I had been cured.
Unfortunately, the Acne decided to come back even worse 6 months later and this is me now. It has been 2 years since I visited the dermatologist and 2 years since I have taken any medication for it. I am now a known sufferer of Adult Acne and have spots on my chin, jawline and cheeks. They are not just spots, but blisters, ulcers and they have destroyed my self confidence. Luckily, over the years I have found ways on my own to help deal with Acne and I hope these tips and tricks will help you too.
Drink plenty of Water and Green Tea.
I would say that my highest and most successful tip is to drink as much water as you can. I decided to completely change my diet (you are what you eat) and cut out all fizzy drinks and squash. Sugar is one of the highest causes of sebum production. Green Tea is an antioxidant and is great to flush out impurities. I aim to drink 3 mugs of this beauty every day. It is also known that too much dairy can cause breakouts. If you Google "face mapping", you will find what might be the cause to your Acne depending on where you get it most. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables. Fruit is good, however it is full of natural sugars which again, can increase Sebum production.
Have a Skincare Routine.
You don't need to pay a fortune for a good skincare routine, however please please please stay away from Clearasil, Clean and Clear etc. They are full of chemicals, alcohols and perfumes which will aggravate your skin and strip it from its useful oils. You may think that if you have oily skin (like me) you will need to get rid of such oil, you don't. You may be producing too much sebum, which is what clogs your pores, but stripping your skin of sebum will just make it produce more. Its all about keeping a healthy balance. Go for skin care that contains no parabens, no perfume and nothing harsh. Stick with organic products, tea tree oil and anything that is clay based. Foaming products will not help. I am currently using REN's blemish prone skincare range purely because it is free from nasty's and I made a new years resolution to spend more on my skin to give it the treatment it deserves. Also, beware of the buff. A washcloth or buff puff can actually stimulate more oil secretion. Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicyic Acid are killers of bacteria, however they are very drying. If you suffer from large pimples or large areas of spots, you can purchase these creams over the counter at any pharmacy. Quinoderm is a cheap alternative which contains ingredients to dry out spots. Remember to moisturize even if you have oily skin. One thing I have not yet conquered is a good foundation. You should only invest in make up that is non-comdogenic however I am yet to find a foundation that is a good coverage, for pale skin and is non comdogenic. If anyone can recommend, I would love you forever. Cosmetic blotting papers offer a great option for removing oil because they don’t dry out your skin. Apply it to oily areas, such as forehead, nose, and chin. Don’t scrub your skin with the sheet of blotting paper. Instead, simply press it against the oily area long enough to absorb oil, usually 15 to 20 seconds. Some blotting papers are lightly powdered, which further reduces shine. If you suffer with Acne on your back, arms and chest, use Sanex zero % Shower Gel. This contains no nasty's which will help your skin stay to a healthy PH balance.
Do not Touch, Pick or Squeeze your spots.
You will only transfer infection if you pick and squeeze at your spots. For every spot you squeeze and eliminate, 70% of the infection goes back under the skin ready to attack your face with more spots a few weeks later. Try to wash your hands regularly or carry an antibacterial hand gel in your handbag. Try not to touch your face regularly, tie hair back when going to bed and change your pillow cases every 3 days. Wipe your phone screen with an antibacterial wipe daily, wash make up brushes and politely ask your boyfriend to stop stroking your face (As nice as it is, your spreading bacteria).
Build your Self Confidence.
After sitting in that Hospital waiting room, seeing others with burns and disfigured faces, I got the shock that I needed to realize that unfortunately, there are others out there much worse. Do not let Acne ruin your life. It can be managed in some ways, but if its here to stay, embrace it and learn that it is a part of you. Even though Acne may not look nice, it is not the end of the world. Try to realize that it is just one of those things that life throws at you. Remember that whats beautiful is what is within and not whats on the surface. Hopefully that will remind people not to judge a book by its cover! A smile will completely transform the way you feel and look. Stress = Acne. Happiness = Happy Skin.