Living with (and treating) adult acne

My entire teenage life, I had barely any spots. Sore boobs; bloating; mood swings; self-loathing and an obsession with angsty emo bands I had by the boatload – but acne was not a concern for me. So you can imagine my absolute horror when, in my early 20s, spots started popping up on my chin and around my mouth. What started as a few little appearances once a month soon spiralled into loads of big, painful spots – the type that I knew if I was staring at on someone else, I would long to squeeze. Naturally, I was desperate to get rid of them, not only because they looked grim, but because they physically hurt. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing on the road to clear skin…

Lush lashes but not so lovely spots

Here’s a list of what I tried in order to get rid of my spots:

Drinking three litres of water a day; Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Salicylic Acid; exfoliating with a scrub; not exfoliating at all; washing my face with salt water; not wearing make up; leaving it alone completely. None of this helped. I’d been considering going to the GP for a while, but the final straw was when a drunk middle aged man commenting on my spots, to my face, on a train.

Going to the doctor (love the NHS)

I booked an appointment and explained to the doctor what was happening. We talked through possible causes, e.g. hormones, stress, diet. When there wasn’t an obvious cause, she prescribed me three months of Lymecycline, an antibiotic to kill the infection in my skin. I was also given Differin, a cream to apply on the spots and the surrounding area. It’s worth noting that you can visit your local GP about any skin issues you have, so don’t automatically assume you need to pay to visit a dermatologist.

The treatment

For the first month I didn’t notice any difference (bit muggy cuz I had spots in all my holiday photos but we move). After six weeks of using the cream and taking the antibiotics, the spots started to clear and become less frequent. It was grim taking photos every few days but I’m so glad I did, because now I can share this absolute glow up with you (I know everyone loves a before-and-after photo). So happy to not hate my skin anymore!

I have a few scars left over, which are likely a result of squeezing the spots. Everyone tells you not to squeeze them and even though (in my opinion) there is nothing on this entire planet better than popping a fat spot, don’t do it unless you’re prepared to have scars that could last forever! One thing my doctor did say was to be wary that because a skincare brand claims to get rid of acne, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you: your skin is as unique as you are.

Thanks for reading! Xoxo WBR

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