Last year, I had a horrible experience with acne. I had swollen and painful bumps all over my face and even some on my upper body. It all happened in a span of two to three months. I was self-conscious about my face and did not take many pictures during that period. I tried numerous treatments like OTC creams, herbal remedies, diet changes, and more.
In this article, I will talk about my treatment attempts, what finally worked for me, what I learned, and the future of my acne. If you are interested in learning more about acne, check out my article, “Acne: Types, Treatments, and Causes.”
I tried so many different treatments to get my acne to go away. Here are most of the things I tried, what worked, and what did not.
What Did Not Work
I desperately tried so many solutions to make the acne go away! I tried all the recommended over-the-counter treatments, including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Nothing worked. I tried it all.
I also tried other remedies, like apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil. Still nothing worked. I did have a minor improvement after stopping eating dairy and sugar, as many websites online recommended it as a possible treatment for acne. Still, my acne was severe.
After trying many different treatments, I decided to see a dermatologist, the best thing I could have done for my acne. The doctor recommended an advanced acne treatment called isotretinoin. However, in order for my insurance to cover this treatment, I needed to first try antibiotics (it is around $700 a month in my area without insurance).
I was prescribed an oral and topical antibiotic for my acne. After a week, I was already seeing massive improvements. I used the antibiotics for longer than planned because they worked so well. I never even needed the isotretinoin! After around six months, I stopped taking the antibiotics with almost no acne. I finally felt somewhat comfortable taking pictures. Unfortunately, I still had quite a lot of scarring.
I tried many different treatments with little to no success. Finally, I went to the doctor and found a treatment that works! I still have scarring, though.
What I Learned
I have learned so much from this experience, from the best treatments to what to never do with acne. Here is a quick list of things I learned about acne:
- Wash your face multiple times every day
- Never use the same washcloth two times in a row
- Avoid touching your face as much as possible
- Seeing a doctor is the best thing you can do for acne like mine
- Specialists are amazing
How it Happened
All this happened because I became a teenager and started puberty. Puberty causes your hormones to fluctuate a lot and brings on worsening acne (and other things).
I have learned so much from my experiences with acne. All of this was just because I became a teenager. 😂
I still use a prescription antibiotic on my skin every day to keep my acne from returning. But because of all my skin has gone through already, there is a lot of scarring on my face. It is not great, but it is much better than the alternative of having lots of acne. There are plenty of treatments available for acne scaring too! The most common is a form of laser therapy. The only downside is that insurance covers almost none of these treatments. This is because it is a cosmetic procedure and not “necessary.” But it can feel necessary for people with acne scarring.
The future of my acne looks good. I have not had any flare-ups since undergoing the treatments. I may consider laser treatment in the future (if we can afford it).
Acne can be a difficult skin condition to deal with, especially if you have it severe. Luckily there are many effective treatments to treat it. Visiting a doctor is one of the best things for everyone to do for their acne. You never want to be in a position where you waited too long to get treatment. If you are interested in learning more about acne, read “Acne: Types, Treatments, and Causes.”