Acne. Just saying the word upsets me. I cringe each day when I look in the mirror and see the dark spots. But alas, life goes on and I must face the world, even if I look like a teenager. My fight with acne started when I was pregnant. It was another sore point in my pregnancy and is one of my selfish reasons why I do not want more children and wish I could get a tubal ligation. I’m sorry, but my acne was so bad that my self-esteem took a nose dive and I cannot survive another attack like that. Yes, it is selfish, petty and childish but dammit I don’t care! So guys, brace for another selfish blog post.
As a teenager, I had fantastically, clean, smooth, acne-free skin. I had friends with major battles while I had none. I didn’t have a beauty regime or special diet to maintain my skin, l just naturally had it and was grateful. Then came pregnancy. It was one of the early symptoms and my OB/GYN said “No worries, your skin will clear up after you’ve had the babies and the hormones level off.” So, I anxiously awaited giving birth with the great desire to get my body back, especially my bladder and flat stomach, but also to get back my clear, smooth, acne-free skin. The desire to see my beautiful sons was high on the priority list too. :-)
So, here I am at my first visit after giving birth and telling my OB/GYN about my acne concerns. “Don’t worry,” she says “it will take some time for the hormones to level off and you are breastfeeding, so that will also impact it. When you wean the boys you’ll be fine.” She lied! Here I am eleven years later and still have acne. To be fair, it’s not all day, every day. My acne is a result of hormones so it fluctuates with my menstrual cycle. As a result, I have good days and bad days. Over the years, I have tried everything over the counter from store brands to name brands and nothing worked! For a while I tried DIY home remedies and again nothing worked! With a hectic schedule, I have to admit that my hormones alone aren’t to blame. My career must also take responsibility for its actions and as there is only so much I can do to control my hormones and a high-stress job, I went for reinforcement.
My first ever visit to a dermatologist was a good one until the end. She did the unthinkable to me by turning me into a girl. Now let me explain – I have never been a girly girl. I have always been a tomboy and the girliest thing about me is my love for short skirts (because I have incredibly sexy legs) and high heels (because I’m short). So when I say she turned me into a girl, I mean she put me on a full- fledged morning and night beauty regime. This was never me, and I never thought it would ever be me. But alas, for the desire to look in the mirror and not cringe, I decided to take it on.
Forgive me if I sound vain, but there are just so many things that have changed about me because of my pregnancy and unfortunately it has taken over eleven years to understand and accept them. My acne was really bad and my self-esteem took a major hit, so it was really hard. For the past four months, I have been dutifully following my doctor’s orders. At first, I didn’t have any hope of my skin improving but I am happy to report that it has. I still have a few breakouts every now and then at some points during my cycle but they are nowhere near as bad as before. As a result, I don’t cringe when I look in the mirror anymore and I feel the previous me coming back. I’m still not fully comfortable taking pictures up close so you won’t see any up close selfies, but the day I do, this will be the first place I post it. Have you struggled with acne? If so, when was the last time you fought the good fight?
Published by Krishta-Gay Lewis-Harewood