When you think about acne, an image of a pimply pubescent teenager will most likely to spring to mind. But what about a 33-year-old woman with painful, angry-looking red sores all over her face and neck?
Looking in the mirror last year, sobbing at my own reflection, this image of acne was my reality.
I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) when I was 29. And even though acne is a possible side effect of PCOS, I didn’t suffer from unusually bad skin – just the odd hormonal breakout.
But that all changed drastically in the lead up to Christmas last year when my skin started going crazy.
Angry, cystic pimples popped up all over jawline and cheeks and unlike the usual pimples I got, these ones were agony and lasted for days, even weeks on end. When one went away, another three popped up.
It even hurt when my face touched my pillow.
“I don’t know what to do about them,” I sobbed to my husband Corey. “Why is this happening to me now?”
It was a beard of acne and I was disgusted by what I was looking at, surely other people must be too?
I made an appointment to see my doctor pretty quickly and was given the option of taking the Accutane pill but I’d read that depression was a possible side effect and I was feeling so depressed from having acne in the first place, I just didn’t want to risk it.
After blood tests, ultrasounds and antibiotics, and numerous appointments with a dermatologist, it was determined the acne was aggravated by PCOS.
Reading other women’s stories online, I was starting to think I was stuck with it.
I tried diabetes medication to try to balance out my hormones but to no avail. I went to a naturopath to see if they’d be able to fix my face, I tried acupuncture. You name it, I tried it.
I was spending a fortune on creams, lotions and potions but nothing worked and I fell into deep depression.
Friends would say, “Oh, it’s just a bit of acne,” and I read online that 35% of adult women suffer from it, but they didn’t k now how it felt to be so self-conscious you wanted the ground to swallow you up.
It finally got so bad that after a few months, I was referred by my doctor to a psychologist.
Speaking to someone helped, but I still loathed my reflection. The acne was playing havoc with my whole entire life.
So I continued to search for solutions, by now at the end of my tether.
I’d often browse the internet to look for suggestions so when I stumbled across Clearskincare Clinics and looked at their acne treatments, I didn’t have much hope.
They offered a free consult and I signed up to Dr McCaffery’s SGA and also received a mixture of laser and skin peel treatments every fortnight on a monthly payment basis.
Specifically, Dr McCaffrey’s SGA treatment, which targets, probes and deactivates the overactive sebaceous glands that cause acne, pimples and blackheads using an ultra-fine probe.
After about a month I noticed a huge difference. Miraculously after months of painful pimples, they started to fade.
I can’t even tell you what a relief it was.
I overheard Corey telling his friend recently, “You wouldn’t believe how bad it got.”
And I guess that’s when I realised it myself. Acne was slowly wrecking my life to the point I had depression. It stopped me from wanting to do everyday things like school drop off and even just leaving the house.
Luckily for me, these particular Clearskincare treatments did work for me, and continue to do so four months in. But I empathise deeply with those who haven’t yet found their solution.
Becoming depressed over acne might seem like a drastic thing but when you’re living with it, those pimples can make each day a living hell.