“Don’t worry Lee. It all seems horrific now, but they will disappear in a few years time.”
Here I am 25-years on and I have two symmetrical spots on either side of my cheek. What is it with symmetrical spots? Do they get lonely? Why does my body insist on installing this mirror? It’s all quite bizarre. I tried everything when I was younger, but nothing cleared my skin, and it was an affliction that has affected me all of my life.
I tried the entire range of products that you find in the chemist – none of them worked. The doctor used to prescribe me Retin-A. It was a liquid that you wiped on the affected areas and it smelled poisonous. I later learned that this ointment works by burning away layers of your old skin. I waved goodbye to my acne as it dropped onto the floor and said hello to my new acne as it replaced the old. In a last desperate attempt, the doctor put me on antibiotics. I took them for years, including a day when my friends and I took a load of them with a warm bottle of bitter in an attempt to get some sort of drug/drunken high. I think, looking back, we all pretended to be kind of Woodstock, but fuck all happened really.
One thing that my Doctor never did was to diagnose where my problem lay. It seems when middle aged women walk into the doctors complaining of period pains they have their wombs whipped out, when young folk complain of acne it is just put down to puberty. I am 38-years old and am pretty sure I am not going through puberty!
Why didn’t my doctor tell me to change my diet? Why didn’t he even ask me what I ate? I know kids like to fight against the vegetables – and I was no different – but this was about getting laid here. I was so miserable I would have eaten Brussel sprouts for the rest of my life if the result had been cleaner skin. But nope, in you come and out you go as quickly as you can. This doctor hasn’t got all day you know and he has a long list of people who are really ill.
Why didn’t my doctor send me for psychotherapy? Why didn’t he ask me how I was feeling? There are some pretty terrifying and low moments in my life, but my spotty years rank highly amongst them. I was 21-years of age when I first lived with my ex wife. On our first night together I turned the light off before I got undressed because I didn’t want her to see my spotty back. For years I would travel abroad and sit in the sweltering sun with my t-shirt on because I didn’t want people to see my back. I never went swimming in school after begging my mother to write a letter to say I had a rare skin complaint that caused an allergic reaction when mixed with chlorine.
If I knew now what I knew then, I truly believe that I would have been able to ease my situation. I may not have listened – that’s true. After all I try to sprinkle my knowledge onto my own son and it normally falls onto muteness. But it would have been nice for someone to have tried.
Habit change can help reduce your acne. Just learning to eat the right diet, for example, can have some wonderful results. Here are some links to some sites that recommend a raw food solution, but this doesn’t work for everyone. I spent my youth trying various different medicines to solve my problem. Please start trying many different forms of foods to try and solve yours. Eventually, I am sure you will find the right balance of foods to help improve your skin.
The other area you could explore is TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome). TMS will present itself if you have a lot of repressed emotions. I look back now and see clearly that I repressed a lot of anger and anxiety surrounding my acne when I was younger. It was such an embarrassment that I didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone but my Mum. Even my Dad used to call me ‘zitface’ completely unaware how much damage he was doing to me on an emotional level. Check out my review of Healing Back Pain by John E.Sarno where you can find more information about TMS.
Are you an acne sufferer? Why not vent some repressed emotion on this blog? How does acne make you feel?
Photo courtesy of xJason.Rogersx’s (CC $ Flicr.com)