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Confession: I have the winter plague. I have not been as sick as I have been this past week in my adult life, perhaps. And so medical things are on my mind. When I saw I had drafted this post catching you up on my struggle with Adult Acne (You know, we keep it interesting around here. Some days we’re all Sully from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. <– read that. Other days we’re talking Acne) I knew it was a sign. Which was great because getting me to write anything fresh and interesting after a week of far too many drugs and steroids, you would have gotten a video of my sobbing into my bed sheets, which I just changed for the 4th time this week (102 fever will do that to you) Anyway……
Last year, I told you about my skin care regiment which consisted of this:
Due to some personal convictions and my 2016 New Years Resolutions to eliminate toxins from my life, I was determined to beat my adult acne the natural way. But then it got worse. I got the deep cystic acne that you get nightmares about the week of prom in 11th grade. As a 32-year-old. Thankfully it was on my jaw line so I could easily cover it and it wasn’t that noticeable, but it was painful, embarrassing, and the makes-you-cry-before-work type of acne.
So I had enough. And I finally went to the dermatologist to talk about my skin for the first time since I was a teen.
We discussed my fears of toxins, how I had such a bad time coming off hormonal birth control (the pill form- it was like going through menopause for 9 months, complete with constant night sweats, peeing myself and more fun. I’ll never do that to myself again) and how I have a fairly healthy diet. (I love those tacos, man). She told me she understands I want to use good, high-quality products and my concerns about hormones, but just like high blood pressure runs in the genes of very healthy, active people, some people just have acne. It could be hormonally-related (though I never really noticed a pattern), but it might just be that I have bad skin. So she convinced me there were some things I could try to get my skin clearer.
My Dr. started me on Tretinoin Cream (Retin-A) plus a 2x a day dose of Spironolactone which is a drug totally unrelated to acne, but they noticed that the skin cleared up on the patients who were taking it.
“So, sorry about your liver failure, Mrs. Andrews, but your skin is looking fabulous!”
Here’s an article. (I have no idea if the original purpose was for liver treatments.)
After 3 months my skin was… okay. It wasn’t worse, and maybe I had slightly less cystic acne. So at my next visit, we decided to up the dosage of the cream plus add an antibiotic. (“We” made that decision together, as a team. Lol no we did not. I let the woman with 8 years of medical training plus 4 years of specialized training make the decision for me) I wasn’t okay with the antibiotic idea, to be honest. But she told me the next option after this combination would be Accutane. Don’t get me started on that stuff. Do you know that even if you have permanent birth control (like an IUD) OR DON’T EVEN HAVE A UTERUS, you still have to get monthly pregnancy tests? And they ask that you use THREE forms of birth control. I can’t even name three. Any drug that scary, ain’t going in me. But.. guys, I repeat, I’m a grown up. I cannot have acne like this. So I went with her suggestions. Especially after she told me the Tretinoin cream is prescribed for fine wrinkles but insurance generally doesn’t cover it. She suggested I slather that shit on (in some more Doctorey-terms than “Slater that shit”)
I started with the increased dosage of the cream. I started being better about taking the pill daily. And I held off on trying the antibiotic. And my face cleared up.
Not just… a little bit.
I barely ever break out. And if I do, it’s like a normal pimple that bitch in high school would complain about while you were in the bathroom trying to cover your craters after swim class. I get “The Cheerleader Pimple”. It goes away in hours. I’m that bitch now. (‘Bout damn time, 33)
I don’t know what it is. I think the higher dose of the Tretinoin helps. I think taking the Spironolactone consistently has helped, and I don’t WANT to think this helped, but…. I have a hormonal IUD now. The Mirena is not supposed to go into your bloodstream (hormones stay local in your innards. Don’t ask me which innards or anythings about my body down there. I missed 7th-grade health and it’s obvious when I try to talk about my lady parts) but it’s possible it has for me.
Whatever it is, I’m happy. My face is clear, and now I want to focus on other things to keep it even, less red, splotchy, clear up scarring and more. But I barely have to wear makeup– just a light dusting of mineral foundation, and I’m a happy camper.
Moral of my Adult Acne Story: Use your toxin free stuff. Get off your hormones, if you want. Try everything. I used to be a member of the acne.org forums I was that desperate. But at the end of the day, it’s okay to talk to your Dr. about something serious for your acne. You’re a grown up, it’s time to be proud of your skin. It’s what the Cheerleader in you wants!*
And remember: Celebrities, they’re just like You (and me):
Pulled from Proactive commercials, found on Buzzfeed, that pile of garbage. Also added myself there for Lols. Blame the steroids. I don’t recommend Proactive. Even if it IS from “The Doctors” *barfs*
*no offense to my cheerleader friends. I love you.