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  • something i wrote today about acne...........

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    Old 04-24-2003, 05:40 PM   #1
    established420
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    Lightbulb something i wrote today about acne...........

    hey everyone- I just wrote this for the oprah winfrey television show- if you live in the United States- then you probably know what that is. She had a show on today about people that had lost around 300 pounds and overcome great weight problems. That got me thinking about how she should do a show on acne. So I went to her website and sent this to her in the section that allows people to send in ideas for a show.........it's kinda long but I just had so many feelings and thoughts to express. Then i decided that I wanted to share it all with you guys also.

    Walking through my college campus everyday, I see thousand of young adults with beautiful skin. I stare enviously at them, with my head hung low. A cute boy approaches; I may get the beginning traces of a smile- until he gets 10 feet closer and see my skin. Immediately his gaze alters, and he lowers his eyes and moves on past me, another little piece of my heart breaks off. I consider the rest of my body to be attractive, looking in the mirror I imagine the potential I have- if I could just cut off my head or cover my face with a paper bag.

    My acne began back when I was in 6th grade- about 7 years ago. I tried to deal with it in all of the usual ways, specialized acne facial cleansers, toners, and over the counter topical treatments. When I entered high school I decided to go to my first dermatologist appointment, receiving topical medication prescriptions and eventually even antibiotics. As I progressed through high school I began to struggle with my self-image more and more. As my fellow classmates began dating, I was always the girl who was friends with all the boys- who helped them catch their crushes- but never the object of anyone’s affection. I was outgoing and friendly, but as my acne began to over power my life more and more, I started to turn into myself, becoming more shy, lowering my head to avoid eye contact. Maybe I didn't want to be acknowledged, maybe I didn't want to see my peers recognize me as a person, looking into someone's eyes became too hard- pretending to be invisible seemed so much easier, it was my way of evading the problem- the acne. And eventually all of my self confidence was lost.

    I have tried hundreds of "acne solutions" on the market today- yet none of them have worked, and I am loosing hope. In this world today, so much is placed on self image, on being beautiful- and even with a nice body and good features, the best clothes and hair-style, nothing can mask a person's skin. This disease is unlike any other; it can eventually take control of a person’s life- as it has mine. It also is something that cannot be masked- sure make up can try to cover it up, but the bumps, scars, and enlarged pores are still noticeable.

    You never see people on television with acne, every actor is made to seem like they have perfectly flawless skin, because acne is ugly- why would anyone be put on tv with such an ugly disease all over their face? I hope you are not scared to have people with acne on your show. We may be seen as less attractive and not “television friendly”, but we would also like to be heard. If your clear-skinned viewers are disgusted by our appearances, let them turn off their television for one day, I would not want to share my personally traumatizing story with them anyways.

    Acne sends thousand of people, but young and older, into depression- even leading to suicide in extreme cases. While I feel that dermatologists are trying to help their patients, we are just another "case", another person to prescribe some medication to- but we are not that at all. We are normal people in every other way, yet we have to deal with one of the most terrible diseases ever- acne. I’m not looking for pity- I am looking for help. I have been shooed away by my many dermatologists- they don’t want to waste any extra amount of their time on me. They have the their next patient to attend to- another $100 prescription to write out.

    I feel horrible asking my parents to spend anymore money on something as vain as fixing my skin condition- when my brothers and I have to be fed, a mortgage to be paid; but this disease is killing me inside, and I hope that soon a "cure" can be found.

    The prescription drug Roaccutane has somewhat recently been introduced to the consumer market. It can eliminate acne in about 80% of its users, but it also can have many side effects- the least severe being dried out skin and chapped lips.....more severe consequences being depression, and other serious medical complications. Also, in most cases, it is not a “permanent cure”- the acne can and perhaps eventually will come back. There have even been cases of suicide linked to its usage, and more long-term side effects have not even been seen yet, since it is new-ish. I’m personally too scared to take this drug, being so depressed already about my self-image; I don’t want to endanger my life anymore.

    Sometimes I feel that no one is really looking for “the cure” because imagine the consequences of this. So many companies would loose millions and millions of dollars, loosing their clientele- all over the counter and prescription acne medications would be obsolete. Dermatologists would loose millions of patients, and millions of dollars as a result. We can do face lifts, nose jobs, breast augmentations, dental surgery, facial reconstruction after accidents, we are even on the brink of being able to recreate human life- if not able to already- yet we can not cure a skin disease?! I am frustrated, sad, and feel at a loss for living, I feel that I have no place in this world, where the media only portrays beautifully skinned people.

    I’m scared to go job hunting- knowing that I might be turned down at a restaurant simply because my skin looks so horrible that they do not want me serving food to their customers. I’m majoring in business at college, but can I really own my own business and work with the public everyday, when at the sight of my face, most people cringe and turn away? Maybe eventually I can find a nice boy with acne too, but we would never have children- I would never want to pass my acne- prone skin genes onto another human being, I would never want my children to go through what I have had to.

    One of the problems with this disease is that it can have so many causes- and even the best dermatologists are not sure what these are. Does diet effect acne? Do dirty pillowcases? Can it be dirt and dust? Do genes and hormones?

    Being affected by this horrible disease has basically ruined my life; I am not the happy, clear skinned child I once was. Imagine waking up EVERY SINGLE MORNING for the past 7 years, walking to the mirror- and hoping and praying hat no knew pimples have popped up while you were sleeping- but they have, there are 2 new ones this morning, and there may be 3 more rearing their ugly heads by the end of the day......it is a vicious cycle I have been living- no trapped- in for the past 7 years of my life. As I’m sure it has become apparent, I have such mixed emotions about my acne. Sometimes I think it is going to be okay, when I’m having a “good” day, whatever that may mean- 10 pimples instead of 15, 5 instead of 10- my spirits begin to lift and I even find myself forgetting about my skin for a few hours that day, indulging in some activity I love- dancing, hiking, reading, etc. But then the next morning I wake up, make that daily ominous journey to my mirror to find it is going to be a “bad” day. I immediately want to curl up in my bed, go back to sleep and wake up again in a few hours “cured” from this horrible nightmare. I need help, I need hope, and I need acceptance- both from the world and myself. Some suffers are stronger than I- they have been able to go about their daily lives without letting their skin affect their personality, but I’m not that tough- I guess I could be called vain, but who doesn’t wish to look their best??? I realize that it will take time, that maybe if I’m lucky I will one day just “outgrow” the acne, the pimples will calm down and I will be cured naturally- but I can’t sit and wait any longer until that day comes, I can’t waste any more money on both over the counter and prescription acne medications that might not work. And even if they do, almost certainly they will not completely fix my suffering face, my horrible self-confidence, and the disappointing outlook I possess about the rest of my life.

    Please dont post if you are going to disagree with me about some miniscule point- "the" cause of acne, the effects of acctane, etc. My reasoning for posting this was not to argue with people about these factors- it was to emcompass the overall feelings that I have about this disease. This disease that has taken me on quite a different journey in life than myself as a clearskinned person would have experienced. Thank You everyone for reading this.

    [This message has been edited by established420 (edited 04-25-2003).]

     
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    Old 04-24-2003, 05:46 PM   #2
    poreoilyme
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    Wow, Established, this was one AWESOME post! I think she should put you on her show and connect you with a famous dermatologist and pay for all your treatments until you're clear. Who knows? She just might!

    I'd give you an A+ on the content and expression of your essay.

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 06:02 PM   #3
    hangman
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    im a person of few words, but that is exactly how i feel to. no one has ever laid it out like that though. you said it all. i am tired of this mockery of life and would do anything to be/look/feel better about myself. you only have my best wishes. thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. i hope we all get better and are able to experience life like it was meant to be full of happiness, joy, love. weve all been through enough pain, hopelessness, isolation, depression. sigh. this really is a strange disease affects us in so many different ways and just eats me up inside i try not to let it consume me. but ur right the media and society shun people like us
    but theyll never know the real truth. stay beautiful cause thats what you just wrote it was beautiful.




    [This message has been edited by hangman (edited 04-24-2003).]

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 06:13 PM   #4
    Girlie19
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    Old 04-24-2003, 06:26 PM   #5
    sugarbaby
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    i think it would be great if oprah did a show on acne! I agree with u totally!Your letter is awesome!

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 06:26 PM   #6
    established420
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    also- I'm definatley no "writer"- I don't even attempt to pose as one- and I know a lot of other people also feel their writing abilites are somewhat lacking.....but please people post a little something in response......your own biggest anxiety about acne, a feeling you had today looking in the mirror, even just thinking about your acne. Or better yet- if you are able to not think about it- a more positive emotion you have felt lately....... Hopefully this will keep this post from dissapearing into the massive depths of pages upon pages of old posts so rapidly. I hope to keep this post arond the top of the list for at least a little while so that many more people will be able to see it......and unless there are responses, it will dissapear all too fast! Thank you all.

    And thank you too the people that have already responded to my message! You guys are wonderful, thank you for the support. After all, that is what this place is for- to help and suppot eachother- not to fight or bicker about whether or not egg yolk masks work, if chocolate causes people to break out,what is "the best" soap to use, etc. etc...........we are all just sharing OUR personal experiences here......it is so much better when we help eachother in an encouraging way.

    and why the sad blue face girlie......?!?!

    [This message has been edited by established420 (edited 04-24-2003).]

    [This message has been edited by established420 (edited 04-24-2003).]

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 07:58 PM   #7
    hangman
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    jus outta curiosity 420 where u from??

    anyway the 10 things i hate most about acne...

    all the wasted time in front of mirrors
    the stress of not being "normal"
    the wasted cash on bs products
    people telling me about MY problem
    the pain
    bleeding out of the blue
    frustration, feeling cursed
    people staring
    no attention or the wrong type
    low confidence/self esteem

    [This message has been edited by hangman (edited 04-24-2003).]

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 08:13 PM   #8
    established420
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    i'm from california- i go to college in southernish california- cal poly, san luis obispo. but my home town is in northern california- bay area. why do you ask hangman?

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 08:15 PM   #9
    scudboy
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    hey, i am really touched with your post. not many people would understand what severe acne feels like. A show on it would definetely give them a clue of how its like. I was looking for my supervisor today and asked my co-worker where he was. This co-worker was a complete jerk. This time he said out louad across the office, "If you kept your head up high, you could probably find him!" The whole office felt bad for me cause they all knew I had an obvious and serious problem. Why wouldn't God give him a clue how tasteless his humor was?

    but Established, don't lose hope. You're obviously thinking very positive and way ahead of many of us cause I would never dare go on Oprah with the way I look (my acne is relatively cleared, but I'm left with scars, brown spots and large pores).

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 08:18 PM   #10
    Nymue
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    Wow, 420 - I've got tears rolling down my face right now. You encompassed what I think most of us feel about acne. Since you asked, I will share some recent acne-related experiences:

    I got invited to go to the beach this weekend with some people I really dig. I am going to say that I have to work.

    The last time I hung out with the guy I'm dating, I really wanted to stay over, but I knew that my make-up would be somewhat worn off by morning and he would see all of my red marks and inflamed cysts peeking through. So I bolted. I have been avoiding him because of a break out at a time where we both want to start spending more time together.

    I have an appointment with a dermatologist who I know will prescribe Accutane for me (I have recently been turned down by two insensitive male doctors who could not possibly see how deep my pain ran because they made a quick 5-minute judgment based solely on the number of spots on my skin). This dermatologist is not under my insurance, and for her to say hello to me will cost $100 more than it will to see a derm under my insurance. But I figure what the hell, I've already spent thousands over the last 7 years on products that merely helped to control the problem, what's a few hundred more spent on something that might just give me the clear skin I've been wanting so desperately?

    So there you have it. I dream of the day when I will be able to walk confidently out of the house without make-up and without spending the whole day hiding behind my hair.
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    Old 04-24-2003, 08:59 PM   #11
    hangman
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    just curious id like to know everyones location. maybe hook up one day just hang out and have a good time. i dont know, id just like to spend time with people who i dont have to feel self conscience around. i have a few good friends but sometimes even around them im not totally myself not completely relaxed. i dont really know anyone with acne nearly as bad as mine. i guess i just want understanding thats why i come here.

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 09:22 PM   #12
    SpangledWinter
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    Hey Established..I wanted to say thank you for posting your thoughts. They hit home pretty hard for me and you actually had me in tears. I love being able to come here and share my thoughts and feelings with everyone on this board. It makes things seem more tolerable. And by the way, you are an awesome writer! I hope Oprah herself reads your post and decides to make a show out of this.

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 09:34 PM   #13
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    Great post,
    I know all the readers on this site can relate to your experiences, and are very appreciative for your sharing.
    It's a sad and difficult world at times, it is good to know we are not alone.
    God bless!

     
    Old 04-24-2003, 11:56 PM   #14
    established420
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    hey- just wanted to tell you all i just did one of the most daring things ever related to my acne- well besides volunteering to go on TV and talk about it! but- i just sent-emailed- what i wrote to my parents!!! i have never discussed anything like this with my parents. i dont live at home anymore, i live at college- and even when i was living at home before, my acne was never a subject i liked to discuss with them- or anyone else for that matter really. basically they'd pay for the derm. appointments- buy the medications- and ask what the doctor said and how my progress was going i guess. i would not say i am paticularly close to my parents- and i have never told them my personal feelings or emotions about something like this. i changed the last paragraph a little and would like to share that new little bit with all of you too- i'm scared that my parents will think i am severly depressed and have to go to a psychiatrist or something......but who knows, maybe i should and will......?!?!?! i'm just sick of hiding my feelings to make other feel more comfortable.
    the last paragraph to them was as follows:

    "Well......that’s it mom and dad. We’ll see what the people at oprah say-haha- I seriously doubt it would ever make a show, or that I would ever be on TV-ha ha ha.....but I thought it was an interesting concept anyways. My reasoning for showing you guys this was not to make you sad or pity me- it was to encompass the overall feelings that I have about this disease. This disease that has taken me on quite a different journey in life than myself as a clear skinned person would have experienced. I love both of you very much; and I realize that I have many people that care about me-which makes it so much easier to cope with. So thank you for that, for loving me no matter what I look like, you both support me a great deal and help me in any way that you can- and I am forever grateful. And please don’t be sad after reading this- smile both with me and for me- after all, they say a smile is the cheapest face-lift. love, your daughter."

     
    Old 04-25-2003, 01:15 AM   #15
    poreoilyme
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    Bravo, to you and the crew all around here who stand behind their own and give support and encouragement. That was a bold step and I am so proud of you.

    This brings tears to MY eyes. A few days back I posted that after over many, many years of being engaged, I finally got the courage to discuss my skin problem with my fiance and I feel so much better. I never would have had the motivation or guts to do this had I not been hanging out on this message board 24/7 all month. I have never had access to this kind of anonymous support and information, despite a lifetime craving it desperately but feeling too ashamed and fearful of doing anything about it.

    My skin is severely oily. The breakouts I can deal with now that the cysts have virtually stopped littering my face. However, like the previous post, I have had to spend a lifetime making short appearances, because my face literally melts in a very short period of time. I go from great looking in makeup to a monster. I used to hang my head coming out of movies because my face was different from the one I went in with--to my shame on dates, as well as with my ex, etc. It doesn't matter how long you're with someone or even if you live with them, the shame and hiding are still there. I have to wipe my face like a person with a cold does their nose. I have even FAKED colds as an excuse to wipe the oil off before I look terrible. Sounds trivial to some, but when it is a constant in your life, it is a big deal to hide it. You don't want people to know you're "different." I am almost 50, and I have yet to see anyone with oil this bad, or perhaps I might not feel like such a freak, but I haven't and I still do--despite the fact that I no longer dwell on it as much. Thank goodness I look far younger and have no wrinkles so people think I'm just a person in my early 30s with a lingering skin problem. It's worse than that though. I have the oil production of a person entering puberty and then some, so I have no "excuse."

    I went through a terrible suicidal depression in my twenties, thinking I could never marry anyone with this disability (as I saw it), despite having boyfriends all my life. I did, however, but there's always that nagging doubt about what they REALLY think about you, and inside you're always "second rate" if only to yourself. To make up for this, I have always been a high achiever, trying far harder at everything I do and always staying at the top. You're never satisfied though because inside you feel like a phony. You're never "all that." No amount of acceptance is good enough when you can't accept yourself.

    I've come a long way learning to accept myself as I am and I am happier now than I've ever been in my life. Recounting this agony I've been through is painful but therapeutic. I've jeopardized jobs calling in sick for days as massive cysts were oozing and healing, I've missed important events because I would have had to sit too long in front of people or my appearance was too ghastly, and I still dread camping because I can't take care of my face properly, and wouldn't do it in front of anyone. My problem has been hiding, hiding, hiding. I am still a hermit, even though I look far better now, despite the oil. Unfortunately when I was really young and very pretty, my face was horrible then and I never could enjoy the years I should have. I'm a hermit now more by habit. It's just been engrained in me and were I to have perfect skin tomorrow, I'd still be the same hiding person inside. I'm out and around in the world when I have to be, but never by choice, only necessity.

    Acne stunts you and makes you feel sub-human, even when you're pulling out of it. The damage is done and all you can do is work on who you are inside, and make that as beautiful and loving as possible. That is the real secret to happiness, and I'm glad I've finally realized it, despite forgetting from time to time.

    Vanity was a real curse for me. If I had been ugly with acne it wouldn't have been better necessarily, but being "almost" all your life is not fun either. You are like two people, split. You're great for an hour and then the mask falls off and it's like you're revealed naked in all your faults. The makeup melts off and "Surprise!" Yeah, surprise.

    I hope you can get on that show and speak for all of us. If not, let's keep this thread going and speak to each other and for each other.

    Blessing to all of you.



    Thank you all and God bless you, Established, for opening all our hearts a little wider today.

     
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