For the longest time, I used to be terrified of looking in mirrors.
I was scared of my reflection, seeing how much acne was on my face and how much more was sprouting up. I was scared of putting on makeup every morning, as I intimately felt all the bumps beneath my skin. I was scared because I knew that no makeup would be able to hide all the blemishes and make my skin look smooth.
The best dermatologists and skin care clinics were no help at all. They would all suggest the common antibiotic and topical cream remedies. Not only was their treatment not helping it was actually making things worse. The antibiotics were making me sick and the topical creams were making my skin dry, itchy and red.
As I entered my 30s I was frustrated to still be dealing with a seemingly adolescent problem.
Finally I accepted that I could deal with my acne as I saw fit.
I knew my body better than any doctor. I knew how it reacted to various things. I am happy that I could experiment and see first hand what would work and what wouldn’t. All these years I had trusted dermatologists with the health of my skin and I was left with unhealthy, dull and bumpy skin.
During the next two years that followed this is what I learned.
1. Food matters a lot.
We put things into our body which are not really good for us. Packaged and processed foods, sugary drinks and foods undergo a lot of change from their original state. While some of us may be more affected than others. What we put into our body affects the way we feel and look. When I eat junk food it shows up on my face and body. Sugar is bad for us. Besides being addictive, it increases inflammation, which is bad news for anyone suffering from acne.
Eating whole unprocessed foods provides our bodies with the nutrients it needs to repair acne from the inside. Topical creams may be able to hide the acne but to really see a change, we need to start on the inside.
2. The simplest things can cure the most stubborn acne.
Often, we attack acne with a lot of harsh remedies and unnecessary medications. Sometimes these do work, but they don’t really address the root of the problem which may be a hormone imbalance or increased inflammation in the body.
Tiny changes brought about massive changes to my skin. Not touching my face at all and completely avoiding sugar are two things that did wonders for my skin.
3. Acne affects us more mentally than it does physically.
Acne is not life threatening but it does deal a severe blow to a person’s self esteem. Acne is usually on our faces—the most visible and interactive part of the body. Having red itchy bumps on our face creates a sense of insecurity. Most acne sufferers feel that people are staring at their acne. This can make us feel like never wanting to show our face outside again.
There is not a lot of support for people suffering from acne. No one, besides the person suffering from acne, really knows how devastating it can be. Other people may say our acne is hardly noticeable and it does not matter, but we notice it and it does matter.
Acne that does not go away on its own in our 20s and 30s could use some alternate treatments like changing our diet and lifestyle.
Little tweaks, here and there, in diet and lifestyle can bring about massive changes in our skin.
Here are two small things we can do for two weeks to see if our acne responds: avoid sugar completely and don’t touch our face.
At the end of the two weeks if you see a change, you are probably on the right path.
Author: Anjali Lobo
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock