I think this post will be the most personal one i'll have for this year. I have been waiting for months to blog about this!!!!
BEFORE YOU CONTINUE READING, I SHALL WARN YOU ON THE UGLY PHOTOS THAT WOULD BE SHOWN TO YOU SHORTLY (if u scroll down). They are the barest of me ever. I feel 'naked' showing the photos but for the sake of this post i should not be too bothered.
This is real guys. I HAVE ACNE PROBLEM FOR ONE YEAR. In this post i will share my thoughts and things that i've tried to treat acne.
I NEVER have a history of acne problem. I had almost perfect skin complexion since i was born. Once in a while i will have pimples here and there but they subside very quickly. They don't leave scars and i was really happy that i had no acne issues! I have oily T zone, some dry patches around my cheeks and near the sides of my mouth. My skin is sensitive. It gets red easily if you try to squeeze pimples/blackheads out.
Towards the end of 2014, i had two huge pimples at the left side of my lower cheek (near my ear). Because i don't have acne problem before, i didn't do much about it. I left it there. I didn't squeeze them. Initially i wasn't paying too much attention on that two pimples until my friend noticed it and asked me why my pimples are so big and red. I told her they were there for two weeks already.
Then I STARTED TO SQUEEZE MY PIMPLE that night. Yes, i squeeze my pimples. Because i never had acne issues before, i squeeze them! I get violent and squeeze them even harder if the head doesn't come out! I will squeeze them until that part of my face is red. Acting like a professional, i will try to poke a hole into the pimple to let the 'dirt' or 'clot blood' or 'pus' to come out.
I managed to squeeze some yellow stuff out but the bump was still there. Again, i left them alone.
Honestly, two red and big pimples weren't big deal but if they were there for TWO FREAKING MONTHS, then something weird has to be going on and i should start to panic. Right?
So.... i start panicking.... I tried to squeeze them away every now and then. I think that was when the matter worsen. Sometimes i feel like my pimples are gone and other times i feel like they are still there.
Slowly.... I GOT MORE AND MORE PIMPLES on my left side of my lower cheek. IT IS ALWAYS THE LOWER CHEEK AREA. And then.... some on the jawline.
WHAT?!!!! I am getting more and more pimples and they are not subsiding by themselves!!! I can't squeeze them at all because they don't have heads!!!! I tried to squeeze them by force and nothing came out!!!
One time, my mother acted like a pro and wanted to squeeze out one pimple for me. To be exact, i think that is not a pimple because it was a purplish red big dot with no bump. It was an area that was most likely clogged with dead blood. So...my mother poked a hole and squeezed the 'pimple'. WOW SO MUCH BLOOD CAME OUT! They are the 'dead' blood. After squeezing, that area wasn't purplish red anymore. It went back to my natural skin colour. Then i thought 'wow..... i will poke a hole and squeeze again next time."
So i started poking holes on my pimples. In case you don't know why i poke holes - that is because when there is a hole, dirt hidden from beneath my skin can come out. Sometimes your pimples have no heads so you can't squeeze anything out. By poking a hole, u create space for the dirt to come out. Sounds legit right??? Yeah! Sounds logical!!!!!
HELL NO!!!!!! Although i think the concept is correct but THAT IS A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE way to treat your pimples.
I disinfected my needle before poking holes though. I managed to squeeze out the yellow stuff, liquid stuff and what not. AND THEN FEW DAYS LATER..............
I WAS SPEECHLESS.
I think 5 and more little bumps started forming on my face. (They are all around my lower left cheek).
THEY LOOK LIKE THIS IN OCTOBER 2015:
I counted them. I think there were a total of at least 25. From a mere 2 to 25.
And not sure since when the right side of my lower cheek starting having acne too.
I OFICCIALY HAVE ACNE PROBLEM NOW.
Here is my description of my horrific acne.
There are small bumps that never have heads popping out. It felt like big white heads. I also have the kind of pimples that are bigger in size and has a higher bump. I don't think they are pustules because they do not have pus. I can't see any yellow centre. I would say they are more like cysts but they are not painful if you don't touch them. I also have blood clogs (very visible on the first picture on top). So i guess there are several kinds of acne for me. Are those hormonal acne??? But i am 22! I should be passed that stage right???
What can i do? Below are my thoughts throughout the acne period:
Ok... let me change all my facial products! I bought Origin's Antioxidant Facial Cleanser $45 (read my review here)because they are expensive so they must work. I bought their clay mask $50 because i need to detox my face (Read this review here). I bought Biotherm's Life Plankton Essence $78 because i know koreans have good skin and they use serums. From a 3 steps skincare procedure (cleanse, tone, moisturise), i went to a 5 steps skincare routine (cleanse, tone, serum, moisturise and mask).
But they are not working!!! i'm not seeing results! What is wrong? Maybe something is wrong with my body. I guess my body is signalling to me something. Ok let's go get the body check. So i paid $250 to have a basic body checked at SATA. On top of the acne reason, i did the check too because i had other health problems (my stomach was super bloated that time and i was having frequent eye muscle pain and headaches and i have heart palpitation). I think my indigestion problem is the cause of my acne. That is why i had bloated stomach which caused dirt and bacteria to accumulate which then lead to them "spreading" to my face. Again, i sound logical right? lol.
Results came back and i was healthy. My nutrition level in my body is beyond good. So it has nothing to do with my diet. I was drinking 2litre water daily, drinking fruit smoothie, eating plain food. Nothing fried or too oily stuff. Btw my bloated stomach was cured by one thing. Read it here.
Western doesn't work. I go Eastern. I went to visit a Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic at Jurong. I have a feeling that it is something in my body that is causing all these trouble. Maybe it is part of my body that is not functioning well. The doctor took my pulse and said my upper body belongs to the "warm" 热体 section but my legs and hands belong to the "cold" section 寒体. Spent $100 for 8 days of medicine. DID NOTHING AT ALL. Technically she gave me medicine to cure my menses pain, saying that maybe it could be due to menses problem.
I almost took an air plane to Hong Kong because there was one very famous TCM doctor near my HK house. Honestly, i didn't know why i was so into the TCM. I just kept thinking that my pimples do not simply pop out for no reason. If it is not the products that i am using, then it must be my inner body. I still think it is my bloated stomach's fault!!!!
Then, my bloated stomach was cured but i was still growing new pimples frequently. So.... it is not my bloated stomach's fault. I didn't know what i was thinking. I was trying to make things link.
Nothing seems to be working... I had plenty of sleep. (10 hours a day). My diet is very healthy. Oh! It must be the clarisonic! I've been using it for a while to clean my face better. The clarisonic brings out dirt underneath your face and you will have breakouts! Maybe i am having a breakout because of my clarisonic. Better be safe than sorry, I stopped using it (read this review here).
Did a lot of research: "how to cure acne?" "what products to use to cure acne?" "what kinds of acne are there?" Some went to the dermatologist but i was not intending to visit the dermatologist. Visiting a dermatologist will be my last resort. I do not want to be stuck with using their own products. I don't really believe that they would clearly know what type of acne i have. I have a feeling that they would tell me it is hormonal and would prescribe me birth-control pills. If i stop eating them, my skin could get worse.
Since i don't know what was the reason for my breakout, i stopped using everything. I tried a 5 day CAVEMAN REGIME. I washed my face only with water and nothing else. I think i'm seeing result!!! On the 2nd day, my face didn't look as red. It went to a pale greyish kind of colour. On the 5th day, i decided it was not doing anything great. My second day was just an illusion. And that point of time, i had nothing on my mind except two words - "I'm fked."
Nothing was working. My skin was horrible. I also had braces that time. Whenever i looked at myself from the side, i could visibly see all the red little dots and bumps. If i look straight, i or you wouldn't be able to see that i have acne problem. To be specific, the only affected areas were my lower cheeks and jawline.
By looking infront only, my face looks like this:
But look at the side, my face looks like this:
TOTALLY NOT CLEAR.
I just want to cry!!!! When will this end?! I've been struggling with them for more than 6 months.
That night, i was crying again. I lost my self-confidence. My face looks like shit. I don't want to see anyone. The next day, under my boyfriend's encouragement, I went to the Beauty Salon that my mother visited to get my acne treated through facial treatments.
I spent $650 for 5 sessions of facial treatment. The salesperson claimed that i would see result after 5 sessions. After the 2 treatment (3 weeks later), I DID NOT SEE ANY RESULT. I was desperate, lost and frustrated. What are you doing?!!! U squeeze all my pimples, use machine on my face but i can't see any improvements!!! I am still growing new pimples almost every day! If this speed of pimple production goes on, my whole cheek would get covered with disgusting red bumps and blood clogs very soon. I wanted to cry so badly when i visited them the 3rd time. I complained.
On the 3rd visit, my original facial therapist was replaced by another staff (whom i also had facial done with her before) because she was on leave. This current staff, JJ, heard my condition and said she will try something different. She squeezed my pimples SUPER hard. I felt my skin was about to collapse or would have scars due to the force. I was super worried if she was doing it correctly. After all that squeezing, she took out a device and started zapping my face.......
MY PIMPLES DID NOT COME BACK AFTER THAT
"wait did i hear correctly? ur pimples subsided? ur pimples recovered? no more pimples?" YES u heard it correctly! My pimples literally STOP growing. I was officially in the healing stage. If you never had acne problem before, u will never know that kind of joy. It is inexplicable.
After 4 months of healing....
Currently, my face looks like this:
Now you have know all the methods and products that i've tried using. If you are thinking of using any of the above ways to treat ur pimple then chances of success are slim.
Wrapping up this post:
DO NOT POKE A HOLE on your pimple yourself (EVEN IF YOU DISINFECTED IT)
DO NOT SQUEEZE pimples YOURSELF because you are not the professional.
Going to the TCM thinking that it would treat your acne DOES NOT WORK.
If you are eating healthy and you are still having acne then diet is not the cause.
Going to the dermatologist is my last resort
A lot of facial cleanser that claim to treat acne is NOT TRUE.
CAVEMAN REGIME DOES NOT WORK. (for me)
I spent a lot of money curing my stupid acne. sigh.
Lastly, i believe that the cause of my acne problem is due to inflammation/bacteria infection. Had i not squeeze the pimples myself, maybe it (the bacteria) wouldn't spread out. If there are any suggestions for other causes, please tell me. I would like to know!
On the second post, i will reveal THAT MAGIC DEVICE that was used on my skin along with the current products that i'm using to keep control of possible breakouts. And also wrap up my whole acne experience.
P/S: Although my acne situation is not the worst comparing with other people who had worse cases, i still fully understand the state of despair and the hopeless feeling when you've tried all sorts of ways but still doesn't work. Don't give up. There will be a way that you will come across one day and will treat your acne successfully.