Little Lottie: My skin story

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

My skin story

You’ve probably noticed me mention in other posts that I have sensitive skin and tend to avoid fragranced products and this is all down to acne. I have suffered from acne since I was 11 (started in my last year at primary school) This does sound very young and I remember being embarrassed because I was too young to wear make-up and it’s scary enough going into secondary school or ‘high school’  as it is. I was lucky enough that I had an amazing group of friends and didn’t really get bullied but the occasional comment was enough to make me very insecure.

Some days my skin would hurt and it would be worse so I would pretend to be sick and stay home out of embarrassment and it stayed like this for years throughout school. When I was around 12 my mum would be me creams from boots to try such as witch hazel and tea tree, as any other acne sufferer will know this doesn’t budge the problem at all so when I was 13 and rather miserable due to the endless problems me and my very supportive mum took a trip to the doctors, for the next 6 months I was on antibiotics which reduce bacteria but again this didn’t even have an effect. It’s very disheartening to hear such success stories from products like the ones I tried and get no results! As well as this I was drinking green tea and water to aid the healing from the inside which I still do now as it is very good for you.

As time went on and the problem didn’t stop I started to lose hope, I ended up trying 4 different antibiotics and countless over the counter creams. At one point when I was 14 someone told me that being beautiful is having nice skin and it knocked my confidence, after this I dropped all products and tried the ‘nothing’ method that the lucky people such as my sister with the perfect natural skin seem to be fine with. I used a face wipe to remove my make-up and would splash the residue off with water but this made my skin worse. After discovering foundation at 14 to cover my acne I had to use something better to remove it and gave up on the dream of having effortlessly beautiful skin.

Simple products became my favourite when I was 15 and I started taking a birth control pill to help my skin before my last year at school and the long awaited May Ball or ‘prom’. I also met my fiancĂ© when I was 15 and he was a massive confidence boost, it was amazing getting compliments and attention from him after many years of hiding but even when I would sleep over I would keep my makeup on due to insecurities.

The birth control wasn’t working for my skin but I stuck with it and being happy with Nick and using simple to be more gentle on my skin after years of scrubbing it raw and drying it out with lotions and potions was enough. However May Ball came round and my skin hadn’t improved, covering it before May Ball was my main priority and I remember being so upset that the doctors promise had failed me. Regardless I left school with great friends, good grades and bad skin. (you can’t have it all)

By this point I was 16 and suffering with acne for 5 years was taking its toll so I took drastic action and went back to the doctors sobbing, this time they referred me to a dermatologist (skin specialist) at the hospital which was daunting as it reassured me that my skin problems really were as bad as I’d feared.

This was the turning point for me, after almost 6 years of struggling I was put on RoAccutane for 6 months which changed my life. My acne was going slowly but surely and as the dosage was upped my confidence went with it. The constant hospital visits throughout college for my skin was well worth it and this pill is famous for its side effects but the only ones I experiences were the dry skin and lips. This was easy to combat. Whilst on the tablet I stayed on birth control and carried on with simple and by the end of the 6 months I could pop to the shop with no make-up on. For the first time in 6 years I went for months without 1 spot! Despite the concerns about this pill I believe it was worth it for me however it was a last resort and took much consideration so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone without medical referral first.

After RoAccutane I suffered scarring which is still hard to cover due to redness but I haven’t experienced any dips in my skin, this would probably be better combatted with laser treatment but I used Bio-Oil to speed up my healing and then left it to mother nature.

5 months ago I had to change my birth control pill due to uncomfortable migraines and since changing from a mini pill (you have breaks every 3 weeks) to a progestrian only pill (take it every day) I have suffered from acne and blemishes again. This has been difficult after many years of doctor and hospital visits and is easy for me to say they were for nothing. I don’t wear foundation as it causes me more breakouts and I avoid fragrance products to help my skin. My scars are much better and I only wear concealer now however I am upset by the constant hormonal skin problems that cover my chin.

I have recently been put on antibiotics again which didn’t have any affect… surprise, surprise. For now I am playing the waiting game and not bombarding my skin with harsh products or pills again but RoAccutane is always in the back of my mind as it’s affects were outstanding! Currently to help my skin I drink green tea and water as much as I can, avoid harsh chemicals and ingredients, take birth control and vitamins and wear as little make-up as possible.

I understand my body is going through hormonal hell at my age and next year I will turn 20.
As I’ve grown I have learnt to accept myself as I am and hope that others can do the same. After all, it could be worse.

Has anyone else encountered skin problems after change?         

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