|April 2011 - Acne level 4 (Right before it got real bad. There were no pictures during that time)|
|March 2012 - Almost in the clear!|
It's crazy how something as dumb as acne can mess with your life. Almost two years ago my skin started changing... blemishes, zits, blackheads, flaking skin, you name it, I had it. Without ever dealing with skin issues, I wasn't sure what I should do. I went to a few doctors and I wasn't getting noticeable results, so I started down an extremely unsuccessful road of alternative 'fixes'. I tried exercising, hot yoga, diets, every face wash under the sun, changed out shampoos, saw an aesthetician regularly, natural remedies, etc... nothing seemed to work and my face got worse and my insecurity was at a record high. It got to a point where a 'good day' was any day I could see a patch a skin that wasn't red. I know it may sound lame to let something as small as zits take a toll on your life, but when there's something funky going on with your face, you know, that thing that people talk at and look at, the first thing anyone sees, it becomes a conversation piece. Below are just a few examples of fantastic conversation openers (not to mention the squinty eyed face that went along with the statement/quesiton):
- What happened? Are you eating too many potato chips?
- I think I know what's going on with your skin... You need a good boinking.
- Are you eating a lot of sugar?
- What is that?
- What is that?
- Does it hurt?
- Maybe you should just wash your face more often.
- You need to eat meat.
- You need to eat meat.
- Hey! Have you tried (insert every 'solution' under the sun)?
Yes, I became the world's 'saddest bastard' (I apologize for the lack of a better term). When it got to a point where I couldn't go out to a shopping center without being stopped by strangers handing me samples, asking questions and slapping goop on my face, I felt defeated. I stopped going out, photos of me on the blog were rare, couldn't find a job, didn't make any effort to make friends and gave up on finding a solution. Really, I shouldn't have let it get to that point. In the large scope of things, this was quite petty, but I let my emotions spiral down the pit of pity.
I decided to take action again about a year ago when my 2 yr old nephew asked me why I had boo boos on my face followed by "are you hurt?" I laughed, I cried (yes, again) and then I found Dr. Carr. Thank God for hair salons and Brandi's clients, Pam and Joseph for giving me the recommendation.
My first visit she took a good look at me and said the thing I dreaded most, "accutane." Turns out I had the worst case (level 4) of adult acne one can have and any solution was going to be pretty intense. Yes, Accutane has done good things for some, but I knew it wasn't for me. There was a good chance that after I introduced my body to this drug, that my skin would not react. With that in mind and the good chance of losing my hair, AND all the other many dark side effects, I felt very strong about finding another solution. The Dr. gave me a month on plan b and if there was enough improvement, we would drop the Accutane option. While walking out the door I called Brandi and told her everything. Of course I was thinking plan b wouldn't work, I would take accutane, all my hair would fall out, I'd become depressed and be left bald and still have acne and scars. Brandi on the other hand told me to calm down, give it a month and pray. I prayed so dang much. I got home and called everyone in my family and asked them to pray too. It had been a long couple of years and I needed something to change. It was an emotional time for everyone around me. They saw how much this acne thing completely changed my personality and they wanted the old confident social Kelly back.
My skin took a strong turn for the better after that appointment. We found the right combination of antibiotics, medication wash, toner, night gel, monthly extraction visits, chemical peels, positive attitudes and prayer. It's been about a year now and I'm almost in the clear!
I'm not writing this for any reasons other than to share my experience with acne with you. It sucks. I still battle breakouts and at some point will need to treat my scars, but I'm not walking around with doom and gloom on my shoulders everyday.
Thank you to everyone who sent prayers and positivity my way and thank you Dr. Carr and folks making medicine.