Oh fucking hell, do I have a whole truckload of things to say about acne (and all skin conditions in general). My skin has played pretty much a leading role in sculpting my thoughts and feelings about myself and body image throughout most of my life.
I sprouted painful cystic acne all over my face, neck, shoulders, chest, and back when I went through puberty at age 11. I sprouted up tall and fat, with greasy, oily skin and hair. I sprouted tits.
All this sprouting happened within the span of what I estimate to be one year. I was teased about my skin relentlessly for years. I was teased about a lot of things. For the most part, I’ve pushed those experiences behind a wall in my mind and don’t really allow them to come out until I feel like dealing with them.
As I went through high school, my acne started to diminish. I still had extremely sensitive skin and broke out often, but the worst of it seemed to be behind me.
Today, my skin is scarred and still frequently blemished. I have overactive sebaceous glands that don’t let up and random cystic bumps that arrive at random. I now have seborrheic dermatitis that nearly never goes away and chronic hives that come and go as they please without rhyme or reason.
Right now, for instance, my entire head feels like it’s in flames, is flaking pretty heavily, and even my eyebrows are sore and flaky. I’ve got a very large, very sore cystic pimple at the base of my neck, and inflamed skin behind my ears. My scalp feels greasy, although I showered just this morning. Later, maybe a patch of hives will take over my hands for a while. Who knows, really.
I never accepted my acne. I hated it. I hated myself. But the punches kept on coming and acne was just the tip of the iceberg, so I’ve learned to roll with them.
There are days where I hate my skin, with a burning and fiery passion of everything that is in me. I let it fill my heart until I feel sick. I cry and yell about it. And then, eventually, I move on - and some days I do self-care photoshoots where I enhance all the blemishes on my face at that moment, just to see how I feel about it. Or stop wearing make-up to work for a while and see what happens, how I handle it, and how the world doesn’t end when my bare skin is on display.
I let myself feel things, express them, and try to move on. Eventually, I become a little indifferent and come to even accept my skin at times. I still get very frustrated, and that frustration turns into hate and anger towards my body and my skin for letting me down, but at the end of the day - I can’t fucking control it. I can do things to get some relief, I can try new products and adapt certain lifestyle habits to help alleviate my skin conditions, but they’re ALWAYS there.
So I deal with it the same way I deal with anything else that’s always there - I learn to live with it.
I don’t know if any of that was helpful, I tried, but it was very therapeutic for me, so I thank you. <3