lisa’s acne journey

 

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i never thought of acne before the age of twelve. i’m not sure i even knew what acne really was in all of its forms until i started my education at skinSALVATION. my acne started in middle school. there were all these little bumps under the surface of my skin mixed with the red angry bumps on my chin and forehead. knowing how scarring acne can be inside and out my mom sprung into action! she wasted no time in bringing me to a dermatologist where i was promptly prescribed an antibiotic and two different topical gels for morning and night. the doctor hardly looked at me before scribbling on her prescription pad. this would be the start of my acne journey.

from that point on it was a constant battle. right when one antibiotic would start to work my body would grow accustomed to it and render it useless. this continued for years. in addition, i was also prescribed countless topical medications of varying strengths. as the year passed the medications prescribed to me got stronger to stay one step ahead of my acne. all the while i did what i was told. i took my pills and rubbed the creams on my face night and day. i never really understood what any of it was or what it was doing to my body. i was never sat down and told how it works. at first, all i wanted was a magic pill and mystical creams to make it all go away but after years i was still clueless. no one told me i was destroying the beneficial bacteria in my gut with 5 long years of antibiotics. no one told me my moisturizer wasn’t supposed to burn like fire every time i put it on. i just trusted that my doctor was doing the best thing for me and my mother believed that too. i lacked the tools and proper education to help myself and so i felt helpless.

is was the time when girls my age were more interested in boys, and i was, they just weren’t interested in me. i remember looking at the deep red cracks in my skin in the high school restroom and thinking i was unloveable. i had stopped using the cetiphil moisturizer my doctor recommended due to the burning i felt every time i put it on. this left my skin with no moisture. My skin continued to be cracked and dry for months. at that point, self-loathing was just the usual.

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my junior year of high school my doctor decided it was time for me to be prescribed accutane (also known as isotretinoin). after all the other treatments had been exhausted this was supposed to be the end all be all. during my seven month round of taking accutane i went in for blood tests every month and even had to take and pass an online test to receive my prescription. since  accutane is known to cause severe birth defects i was also advised to start taking birth control as a precaution (even though i was not sexually active at the time). luckily i did not experience many of the severe side effect that others taking the drug had to go through. i had known several people who became severely depressed and suicidal while taking accutane so i was thankful my experience was less eventful. AND low and behold! i was clear after seven months! i was finally free of this burden! or so i thought.

on with the birth control i continued to use after stopping isotretinoin. I was happy for a long time and thought that my acne had been cured. There is no feeling like having someone tell you that you have nice skin after going through such a long struggle. And although it lasted for many years it came to an end in 2013.

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in 2013 i was a student at s.f. state and had newly adopted a vegan diet. my diet was rich in healthy veggies, legumes, grain and tons of soy, peanut butter and seaweed!!! my ignorance was bliss until my acne came back full force!!! i had no idea why this was happening, after all, i was eating better than i had in years! I had no idea what was going on and my acne looked completely different than it did before. i had developed tons of angry inflamed acne all over my mouth and chin area. Once again, i turned to my doctor for more pills. this time, the antibiotics seemed to help with the inflammation and soon after i once again adopted an omnivore’s diet. I continued to limit my dairy intake and was now able to rely less heavily on the soy and seaweed snacks i ate daily. this was a great example for me of how diet affects acne.

once i became an esthetician, i naturally was very interested in my own condition, which lead me to seek out a job with skinSALVATION. i am no longer helpless or clueless. i now possess the knowledge i lacked for so many years and am now able to empower our clients with that knowledge. the education provided at skinSALVATION makes the difference and i am so honored to help others on their path to clarity and understanding.

 

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