Friday, 4 October 2013

Every Journey Begins With a Single Step . . .

My eyes are tearing up as I see the blank page to start my first post - that's quite the visceral reaction
. Why, you wonder? Maybe it's because I'd rather not be sitting down to blog about my skin problems. Because it's been quite the downhill slide to where I'm now starting a blog about how shitty it currently is - but how I truly believe it's going to get better.

So. . . . deep breath. Let's go!

I've always struggled a bit with acne. I had a few pimples here and there as a teenager. And, during my years at university. Never really that bad at all. Then, bam!, after a trip to my local esthetician to get a freshen up facial when I was 23 years old (isn't that supposed to make your skin all dewy and glowy?) my skin started breaking out BADLY. Like, painful, large cystic acne. I think my pores must have been damaged by her digging around on my chin or something. I went from getting the occasional pimple here and there, to moderate acne. All because I messed with my skin.

What followed were three years of fairly clear skin, thanks to an addiction to and strict regiment of Proactiv. I think my ex-boyfriend still hasn't forgiven me for how many of his sheets, duvets and pillow cases I bleached with that 'repairing lotion'.

Then, when I was 27, it seemed like the Proactiv just stopped working. I started breaking out again, along my chin mainly. I didn't get it. I had a great boyfriend, a great job, I was in the best shape of my life, and I was having a wicked summer. But, underneath it, I was really self-concious and upset about my skin problems.  I was on a year+ (wtf?) wait list to see a dermatologist. I heard a radio ad about this clinic in town that specialised in cosmetic skin treatments and booked an appointment. The doctor was great, and covered by healthcare, and started me on Obagi skin care, followed by antibiotics (minocycline and doxycycline), and light chemical peels. Oh, and I started the pill again. I was able to get fairly clear on this plan and the next couple of years consisted of antibiotics and lots of $$ dropped on laser and chemical peels.

Then I got pregnant. 

Ah, pregnancy. A time of glowy, bright skin. Even if you feel like a whale. Except not for me! Well, sort of not for me. The first trimester, my skin was up and down. The second trimester it was beautiful and definitely glowy (which was awesome, because my husband and I were getting married and who doesn't want to have clear skin on their wedding day?). Then, during the third trimester my skin just seemed to start reacting to everything I was putting on it. Like, breaking out with tiny bumps from my moisturizer and face wash. I stopped wearing foundation on my chin. I stopped using my Oil of Olay serum. And I had tiny red spots down the sides of my neck. My husband said I looked like Trill from Star Trek. My midwife and doctor said it was caused by the hormones and it would go away after the baby came. On Christmas Day, I was nine months pregnant and I remember complaining to my family that I was so done being pregnant and so done with how itchy and red and spotty my skin was.

A few days later, I gave birth to my beautiful, perfect son! But, instead of getting better. My skin got a million, zillion times worse. I had developed perioral dermatitis - a red, bumpy and super painful acne-looking rash around my mouth. Although how long it took to be diagnosed as that is another story.

My son is nine months old and my skin is no better. It did get better, but then just a few weeks ago I had what I will assume is another hormone surge from breastfeeding and the bumps have started coming back in full force (except for on my neck. Luckily those have been clear for months).

I've had it. I'm upset and ashamed and just want this hell to end. My doctor prescribed another round of tetracycline. But, I want something more hard core, like Accutane. That was, until I stumbled on The Love Vitamin. This wonderful website by this super wonderful gal named Tracy who has cured herself of acne holistically.

I'm ready for this. I'm ready to do what it takes to clear my skin. And I wanted to chronicle it on this blog to hopefully help other women who are struggling with hormonal, pregnancy and post-partum related acne and skin problems.

That's it. The history behind what's brought me to this Glow Journey. I know I'm going to have glowing, beautiful skin. It may take months, or even years, but I'll get there.

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