“Acne…a condition so many of us deal with, yet it feels so lonely…” — A Mashion Staffer’s Experience With Acne

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Acne – the word itself seems so unwelcoming.  A condition so many of us deal with, but yet it feels so lonely. Some people suffer through it for a week, some a number of years; for me, it was the latter. I was probably only 15 or 16 years old when I realised my skin wasn’t getting any better — it would be impossible to get rid of one pimple or scar before more decided to show up. I would spend my time tirelessly researching the best home remedies to cure acne or the miracle foods that would solve all my skin problems, but nothing ever worked. People close to me would say, “it’s not that bad” or “it’s normal, they’ll go away”, but then I’d look in the mirror at the same face and it made me feel so helpless and frustrated. What’s worse is that nobody really understands your pain unless they too have experienced your suffering.

Countless Trips To The Dermatologist

Over the course of almost ten years I had been to every dermatologist, taken countless blood tests and ingested what felt like every medicine made on earth. The truth is, they worked, but only temporarily as in a few months, the acne would reappear. Then, fed up with conventional medicine and worried of the harm all these drugs may have already imposed on my health, I went to my first homeopathic doctor. Unfortunately, this too wasn’t the cure. After 5 months I found myself fed up again, restlessly throwing makeup on my face hoping nobody would notice, but how much can you ever really hide? I was studying in London during this time, with self-esteem levels at an all-time low along with any hopes of finding a solution. But again I found myself at a doctor’s office, prescribed with another antibiotic, and off I went with my 134th goody bag — no improvement. Again.

When my course abroad came to an end, I moved back to Pakistan and convinced my mother to let me see a dermatologist one last time. Accutane was the answer this time. Accutane – the medicine you hear horror stories about, specifically because of the toll it takes on your body alongside your mental health. After a few days of consideration I knew that this would be my only option. I began the course and followed through according to my doctor’s orders. Now I’m here, almost a year later with much healthier skin and a happier self. I do get the occasional breakout or associated maskne, but I prioritize my skin and take care of it as much as I can. This includes being careful with what I put on my skin, as well as what I put in my body (without depriving myself of sugar or the occasional McDonald’s once in a while!). Remember, those two things go hand in hand!

Everyone’s Skin Is Different

What I want to stress on is that everyone’s acne is different, as is everyone’s skin. Accutane was the answer for me, but this does not mean it is the universal answer to acne, especially considering the severity of such a drug. To every person who has dealt with acne or is suffering through it right now, I understand you and I will always feel your pain, but just know that staying positive — as hard as it may be — is the best way to push through it. 

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