Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Take a Walk through my Acne from 2006-2007

I just wanted to talk and show you my acne that I once had, to help some of you girls and/or guys out there who may be going through acne or even have questions about acne, since I have tried just about every medication, including pills.

Most of the time, yall see me as Snugglebunny saying "does that have sulfa in the ingredients? May I have the ingredients list please because I'm REALLY allergic to sulfa and I don't want to get somethin that'll break me out"

People often think, oh, it's just some little breakout that people usually get when their skin dislikes a product and they just go back to normal.

Not for me.

I had some minor acne and then decided to try out ProActiv. Now ProActive is NOT bad. I have a friend who swears by it and her skin is PERFECTly clear while using this. It was just upon my mistake that I wasn't aware I am allergic to Sulfates. I always used products all my life that had Sulfates, so my body suddenly forming an allergy to it never crossed my mind. I'm not allergic to any food, or at least that I'm aware of, and I've never really had allergies/sinus or whatever(except NOW i have the "sniffles/runny nose allergy" -.-), so any allergies never crossed my mind, other than the one allergy that I have to mosquitoes where I swell up like 10X more than others, but anyway..yea....

after using Proactive just during the summer a few times...my face started to get worse. Then a dermatologist prescribed me Sulfa pills, that I still wasn't aware I was allergic to.

The results?

see for yourself:



here's a better picture of how my face looked like. This was Homecoming 2006 when my boyfriend had to leave the next morning after the dance. I was beginning to cry, but my face was already that red to begin with. Yea, I pretty much had to look that ugly every day for the first semester in school.

I was not kidding when I said I am severely allergic to Sulfates. And this picture doesn't depict all that acne I had since the camera took out a lot of the bright-red-coloring of the acne.

Yes, all that acne hurt just as painful as it looks. My face BURNED, itched, everything under the sun you can think of. You can see my face expression when I took this picture through my eyes. I was really sad and it impacted my social life altogether.

I stopped going to family events because I was too ashamed to show my face, but I still had to deal with school and had to walk to school with that exact face, NO MAKEUP, EVERY SINGLE day. Most people freak out over a couple of pimples, and actually, that's what I'm doing now since I'm so paranoid that my face will go back to that horrible state I once was in, but really, a couple of pimples that you, and even me, complain about, is nothing compared to having a face looking like what I just posted.

My friends ditched me completely. They stopped inviting me places..and they just said they were busy etc...well you know what? I didn't fall for that. It was way too coincidental that the very day they saw my face broken out, they avoided me since then. My Junior year in HS was demolished because of this acne.

Then I went back to my original dermatologist and was put on Accutane, the strongest pill medication out there.

What did it do to me?

It cleared up my acne like no other. Even a guyfriend in my Physics class said (after two weeks of using Accutane)

Guyfriend:"whoa that Accutane is workin pretty fast. "
Me:"..Huh...? you see improvement??"
And he replied "of course. I've noticed improvement since you took it so that med stuff must be working really good."

That completely made me feel better that even a guy noticed my face was improving, so it was great verification that my meds were working and it wasn't some placebo affect in my mind.

However, there was a price that came with Accutane.

The side effects that I experienced were:

dry dry dry dry EVERYWHERE. Now, dry on my face was BLISS, but everywhere else was horrible. My BONES were even dry to the point whenever I turn my neck, it CREEKED the "un-oiled door-hinge" type of creeking. The dryness factor got that bad. Not only that, but I couldn't even walk for 20 minutes in the mall. I ended up crying cuz my bones were too weak and my whole body was down.

On this medication, my diet was tortured. I had to cut back on sweets and cholesterol, or else I was kicked off the medication, enforced by the law/govt/authorities. Literally for a month, all I ate was Honey Nut Cheerios and peanut butter sandwiches. I also ate tons of fish....but beef was limited. Good god my mom freaked out so bad that she even restricted me from eating Pho because it had beef in it. Since my diet was reduced to a minimum, my whole body was deprived of nutrients and my body felt like I was a homeless person on the street who hasn't eaten in days.
Despite of the side effects, I had to suck it up to gain back my once perfect-porcelain skin I had in 8th grade (everybody used to identify me as the girl with the perfect skin).

Not only that, but if you noticed, I am wearing my glasses in some of these pictures. Why? because Accutane even dried out my eyes to the point where I couldn't even wear my contacts and my derma even recommended me not to wear my contacts because they would be more prone to popping out of my eyes due to dryness and discomfort.

So what's the plus side of this medication besides getting clear skin (since I've just been listing bad stuff XD)? I was on birth control pills (BC pills are a REQUIREMENT for women because Accutane causes severe deformities to the baby if you were to get pregnant, which pregnancy was totally not on my to-do list until I'm married lol) and I took a thrill out of the fact that it made me have boobs XD HAHHAHA. (but they obviously went away when I stopped using the pills! -.-...) But the DOWNSIDE to the BC pills was that I wasn't used to taking pills and skipped a few days here and there, and the result? Unusual bleeding/mini period when it wasn't supposed to happen and sharp cut-pains down there to the point where it hurt to walk. It felt like some kept slicing me down there with a knife every time I walked. So I had to go to a gynecologist to figure out what's wrong and it was just that I didn't take the pills regularly/on time because I kept forgetting.

Anyway, I was supposed to go on for a full 5 months since that was the program Accutane goes for, but my body couldn't handle it anymore and so I stopped at 3 months.

The result?

Here's one of the very few pictures I have that shows my face immediately after I got off Accutane:


Looked pretty nice....but then guess what. The acne came back a few months later :(...not as horrible as it once was, but it was getting outta hand.

Here's a picture approximately 3 months after I got off Accutane. This was taken during my Hawaii vacation on the cruise boat:

If you can't see my acne you can click on the picture for a bigger size. But my acne was indeed there. I was really sad that my acne came back so quickly after having that clear face you saw me in the previous picture (Rodeo Art Show)

So then I was put back on pills. This time it was Minocycline, which worked like a charm. Cleared me up in just a FEW DAYS. Bad part? I got bad luck and got one of the side effects of getting gray/black gums, so I had to discontinue it.

I just stuck with topical creams etc during the meanwhile, but then acne came back a bit more. Some acne came back, but I had to deal with them. They came and went. My skin is like the weather, it creates a thunderstorm or a light sprinkle of rain, or has its sunny happy day whenever it pleases so I never know when acne comes back or it clears up.

At the moment, I'm finally back on pills again and am using Doxycycline. The REAL brand, NOT the generic brands. I got the generic doxycycline first and I threw up on the 4th day of using it (which was about last month). Generic brands tend to make people a bit more prone to side effects. Sort of like my Minocycline. I used the real brand and had no side effects whatsoever, but my insurance didnt' cover it so i had to settle for the generic brand which caused discoloration in my gums.

But for right now, I'm happy. I'm on samples of Doxycycline and have been having zero side effects. Problem is, is that I dont' know how much my insurance will cover the cost of this medication =/...

As of this moment, my face is pretty clear, as shown as my last post with my rinoa cosplay and you saw my face and it's that clear right now, since that's the most recent picture of me (its from spring break).

so overall, my face is finally happy and it looks like this (well..I'm wearing some Neutrogena Mineral Pressed Powder in Classic Ivory right here, mascara, and Victoria's Secret Mirror Mirror Shiny Lipgloss in Crimson Kiss[discontinued]):




So if any of you ladies, OR men, who are suffering from acne and you have any questions about Accutane, or any other medication, or need somebody to talk to who has been in your shoes about acne, you can talk to me if you want :)

Just wanted to share with yall my journey with my skin. ^_^

I hope this helps somebody out there even if you don't comment or whatever. I'm glad if I helped somebody out there or give a "she understands my position" type of feeling.

have a great day!

22 comments:

ChyiX2 said...

Oh dear... I just read through your entire year and let me tell you this. I am not going to complain about my skin ever again. The things I go through, all of a sudden just seemed minor next to yours. What a way to put things in perspective!

ilurvemakeup said...

See I think it's funny how when I freaked out over my breakout from MAC blot powder and Alienman commented on my reaction... your story is pretty much similar to mine!

I had horrible acne around your age too and before as well. My nickname was 'connected dots' that's how much acne I had during my teen yrs :( My face started to clear up when I went to a better dermo because the one I had during my teen yrs was just stupid and prescribed me things left and right to me which caused a ton more irritation to my skin. ARRRGH! I wish my mom didn't send all my picture albums back to the Philippines I could post my acne yrs :( Proactive didn't work for me either (nor my husband). If anything, it made my acne worse and gave my neck a rash that didn't go away for months.

Now that my face has finally cleared up, one tiny pimple gets my juice going and I get PARANOID TOO!!!

*hugs* I know what you went through cuz I been there too. This post might give better perspective as too why certain people freak out at the slightest pimples without knowing that person's personal skin background :)

(g)ezebel said...

ugh. i remember my acne days in high school. i had regular acne and a couple cystic acne. i got put on tetracylin, which made me sick to my stomach, but worked wonders. when i hit my 20s, my acne completely went away, and now i just get occasional small pimples that go away with drugstore zit cream. my sis got the opposite; great skin in high school, ended up with adult acne (which is even harder to clear up). she got on proactic, and it worked wonders for her.

i hope your new meds work out and that your insurance will cover the cost. *sympathetic hug*

Violet Honeybee said...

Aww *huggs.. I feel for you.. My sis is going through some teenage acne problems since she inherited my mom's acne prone oily skin. =(

I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through all that, especially the part about your bones being dry and creaking seem really painful!! O.o

*huggs I'm glad you found something that's working for you!! xD I hope you don't get any bad side effects from this one!

IchigoBunnie said...

Chi: it's alright to complain about the skin. Even with my near-normal skin right now, I freak out when I get some acne cuz I end up getting scared to return to what I used to look like.

Lurve: lol i found the post you made about your breakout from MAC blot hilarious. I loved how you zoomed in and put like this target area around it XD haha

(g): great to know that your skin got better when you hit the adult-age! :) Hopefully my skin will do the same and slow down then since it's so tedious to apply this cream, that cream, drink this pill at this certain time, watch out for the sun due to sun-skin-sensitivity...arg..so much to remember lol.

violet: It's so weird how one sibling can have one genetic of perfect skin and the other with oily/acne prone skin. my cousins are in the situation as you where my girl cousin has the most perfect porcelain doll face ever but his little brother unfortunately got tagged with the oily genetics from the dad's side (which is my mom's side of the family).

thank yall for your gl's and wishes for me and my meds :) i appreciate it

' * : . b | u 3 . : * ' said...

awww :( i'm so glad you managed to get your skin cleared up despite all of that. i hope you'll be able to get coverage for the new medication :)
i found it really shocking though how your so called friends abandoned you just because of that :( guess that shows you who your true friends are :S

Vi Anne said...

@lurve: LOL. "Connected dots!" Mine was "Chips Ahoy!"

I glad Doxy is working for you Hunnybunnie (i just wanna call you that). I had really bad acne phase too especially when I reached college (all nighters, practicums, and all that jazz). I didn't let it bother me too much but I was teased and ridiculed because of it (see above). Huggles all around!

Vanessa said...

You look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your story, you hear so many HORROR stories on Accutane (suicide, etc), but I am glad it worked for you despite the side effects. Acne is so frustrating!

Fabu-less Beauty said...

I would have never known you suffered from acne, if it wasn't from this post! But I know exactly how you feel, I suffered from horrible acne and still do and I'm in my 20s! My derm mentioned accutane numerous times, but people's personal stories have always turned me away. My friend went through it and had to stop after a couple of months. She had to go the ER!

Currently, I am on doxycycline too! I've tried almost all antibitoics. When I first used doxy, it made me throw up. What I learned that was to take it an hour after a full meal, like lunch or dinner. Taking with a snack, made me nauseous! So far doxy is working for me, but you can't take it for a long period of time, because your body builds resistance. If you need any acne suggestions or input, don't bother to msg me.

But think of it this way, you are not alone on this acne journey.

Nic Nic said...

im so glad your skin is back to normal - infact it's glowing! you are so cute!

IchigoBunnie said...

blue/arashi:

Thanks! yea..it was sort of a let down and shocker my friends left. I was friend with them ever since I moved to my new location, and it's just weird after being best friends for years, they just ditch me cuz I looked like I had a disease or something even though they knew well it was just acne. =/ but you're right, definitely shows who my true friends actually are. I'm glad I don't hang out with this crowd anymore--they always leave me out of things

vi anne:
lol HunnyBunnie--i like that! lol, so I guess i'm snugglebunny, ichigobunnie, and HunnyBunnie. I can be addressed from now on from either of the 3 lol

vanessa & FABuless:
thank you! yea, my mom was SO SCARED to put me on Accutane cuz i read up on so many stories/reviews online of the horrible side effects. I'm glad that things worked out in the end, even though the side effects were bad. I was even depressed and cranky 24/7. it was like having PMS all day every day x.x! but at least the pay-off was good. I would have been soo pissed off if the meds didn't work and i had to go through that program.

nic nic:

thank you! haha i actually wish my skin was glowing like that 24/7 but it's only cuz I'm wearing some powder/makeup. Usually my skin looks pretty dull!!! ah...the flaws makeup hides....lol also, the flash made my skin glow/enhanced since in person the powder was sort of sheer and my camera flash is rather bright so i guess it washed out some of my acne scars I actually had in that picture lol

petitebelle said...

wow you are quite brave for sharing your story. I hope your skin keeps on behaving! It looks just flawless and glowing right now :) I'm glad your skin is slowly getting better. I am certain that it will continue to get better as you grow older and out of your teen years. Accutane sounds so scary!! Yikes.

Emilee @ GMM said...

Thanks for posting this, hun. It really puts things in perspective when I complain about a few pimples that pop up here and there.

I'm glad to see that things have improved for you! Your skin looks great now. :)

jie jie said...

I can totally relate with your story. It's so sad how acne can destroy someone's self-confidence and just virtually suck out the life out of you. You're such a beauty, and it sucks that you had to suffer just because of acne.

I had really clear skin when I was your age, but when I went to college, that's when the acne started. In my high shcool years, I could count in my hand(s) how many pimples I got that whole time. It really affected my overall appearance and confidence. I thought it was a phase but took me a loooong time to realize it was chronic. It was bad, but not as bad as my younger brother's. I felt so bad and regret not realizing we needed professional help. I swear, my brother is the cutest thing! Ever since he was a baby, he was adorable, and he grew up to be pretty attractive. I always tease him he might have been switched when he was a baby because he's just too cute. Exactly the same age as you, probably younger a bit, his acne got so out of hand. His mother never thought about seeking help, until I made a move. Took me so long I know. It was too late already because there are so many scars. I could almost cry at the damage to his young skin. And I swear to do anything to clear it up. It may seem he doesn't care, but I know him so well that he felt he didn't look good because of the acne. He's on Clindamycin(day), Tazorac (night) and Doxycycline. His derm was great about giving us a discount card for his Clindamycin that I ended up paying only $50 for it when it was originally $200+. It cleared up significantly but not nearly enough. IF he was a girl, I could've given him makeup to cover them up. But oh well. I think we're from the same town, he goes to sba-skincare.com . My colleague has been saying it's a good clinic, but I still wonder. His derm is insisting his current regimen is the strongest, and the next step is accutane. And I can't make the d*** child to agree to taking it. I think I understand why after reading this. You have to be on it for it to work, and he probably cannot commit to taking it for a longer period.

Btw, I'm impressed at your courage to post up all the pictures. Your improvements has given me hope that his skin, as well as mine, would clear up. Thanks!

cocostrom said...

i, I just wanted to say I feel your pain. I am so happy for you that your skin is now clear. I am 35 years old and had perfect skin all through high school. Not until I got pregnant with my son at 21 did my skin start to get horrible! Since then I have been struggling with horrible painful acne. I know exactly what you meant when you said that your face hurt as bad as it looked. My face is constantly painful for me. I breakout all along my jawbone and neck. Tonight my husband is out at a going away party for a friend of ours but I couldnt go because it was before sundown and I refuse to go out in the sun where people can see my skin and or how much make-up I have on. I hate putting makeup on because I feel like it just makes my skin worse. I just started Clindamycin topical antibiotic with Retin-A today so we will see how that works. As far as powder... I really recommend Bare Minerals... it will not clog your pores and is great for your skin because it is natural but it will definitly cover any imperfections you may have. Also it comes with a finishing powder called Mineral Veil...amazing...you will love it. You can get it at any upscale beauty supply and it is affordable. Well you look beautiful... just wanted to say hello! Wish me luck!!

IchigoBunnie said...

cocostrom:

I really hope those two meds work out for you!! I was on Clindamacin (sp?) topical GEL (clear squeeze bottle with the clear liquid med inside) as my very first med in 6th grade. Worked out pretty good. And im on Retin-A right now, and it's maintaining my skin alright...

my skin started going bad again and I don't know why, but I'm the road to recovery once again and so far its alright.

as for bare minerals, unfortunately it has Bismuth Oxychloride in the ingredients and that irritates my skin too =(. I tried out that makeup before and i ended up breaking a little bit by the end of the night after I tried the sample at Sephora =/ thank you for the suggestion though!

goodluck with everything and keep your chin up. It's hard to do, but pull through and ur skin will be fine =)

REI 麗 said...

To be honest from your current photos, I would have never expected this to happen to a lovely girl as yourself.

Ichigo, you are very brave to have overcome this situation and proven the fight against skin traumas. I find that a very admirable quality in you.

I wish you the best of luck in keeping your skin and clear in the near future and forever.

IchigoBunnie said...

Rei: Thanks so much =) I wish I can have my skin as flawless as yours. Mine USED to be looking practically EXACTLY like your skin. My skin back in 8th grade was very very very light ( i even have a yearbook pic of it) and everything was so spotless--too bad I can't have that skin back at this moment. I'd love to have my perfectly clear skin w/o foundation on.

REI 麗 said...

No problem, Ichigo. <3

Ah, don't worry my skin has not always been flawless as it appears now. It has come a long way since I was younger, due to food allergy reactions and the fact that I was a bit allergic to the sun. [I know this is strange, but everytime, I'm out in the sun. I always get this horrible rash or breakout. Gah, I'm like a vampire. LOL!] Hah, I'm so glad that I'm getting older and my skin is behaving a little better.

Though I do have blemishes that always occur in the same spot around that time of the month. Got to hate those hormones, if only they would go somewhere else. LOL!

But, what I try to do is prevent it, since pimples brew under the skin two weeks prior to it popping out on the surface. So it's always good to keep up with your skin care routine even when you think your skin is flawless.

jeSmakeup said...

WHOAAAAAAAA how did u get rid of them? i thought it was a joke.. and impossible !! let me know howd u do this lol

Cookie said...

so brave to put up pics ^^ I admire you girl! My problem seems like nothing compared to what you go through...and to think I went into a depression phase that I didn't want to go anywhere...

More power to you girl!! ^^

I just realized, another blogger has "JieJie" here lol...(I recently changed from JieJie to Mi-Young/Cookie)

jamie said...

wow! it worked like a miracle on you! never thought that this would be very effective.
You really had a severe acne and I'm glad you don't have a problem on it anymore. All you just have to do is to maintain a clear and healthy skin.

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