One most important thing my acne has taught me is Patience. And it is a necessary virtue my friends, trust me. Especially, if you are a sufferer of adult acne, not to undermine teenage acne which is equally gruesome if not less but there is the consolation that it will not go past your teenage years. In most cases, teenage acne subsides in its due time without much scarring and irritation. I have had teenage acne during my college days. Yes, it was painful & ugly but it did go away soon.
On the other hand, adult acne is a whole different ball game. For starters, you have no idea how it began. And narrowing it down to one single cause is a harrowing task in itself, it could be your hormones(PCOS/PCOD), it could be your lifestyle(stress,sugar,alcohol,lack of exercise) and many such triggering factors.
There are a few tips and tricks which I have learnt over the years, that may not help you eradicate your acne but will definitely help you find your way through it without giving you a mental trauma.
The first advice is to find the right dermatologist. It is of utmost importance that you find a doctor who understands your condition and treats it accordingly.
If you are not sure where to look, Google it.
1. Check for the best skin clinics or doctors in your area.
2. Read the reviews and results of their treatments. Make sure they are well-known and have good reviews. If you are still not sure where to go, ask for opinions from your friends or family. Chances are atleast one of them will know a good doctor or clinic.
After years of suffering from acne and burning my pockets over half-baked solutions to the problem, I finally found a good dermatologist. She was a blessing, both in treating my acne and the recovery from acne scarring.
I can’t emphasise enough on this point. A good doctor will never tell you to go on fad diets or shed weight.
They may ask you to look for triggers in anything you eat or drink, to see if it irritates your skin and avoid those items. They may ask you to exercise regularly to keep your health in check.
Checking for food triggers is good. It will help you analyse if certain foods like dairy or gluten or meat, aggravates your condition so you can try avoiding them. But, in most cases, food is rarely the cause. Dermats will agree with me. Unless, you eat 10 bars of chocolate and loads of fries, then ofcourse it can be a considering factor.
For woman with PCOS/PCOD, a doctor might suggest regular exercise. Doing exercise is vital in controlling your breakouts every now & then. It stabilises the hormones in your body and further controls it.
On a side note, I believe everyone should nurture the habit of daily exercise in whatever form it suits you. It strengthens your body, mind and soul on all levels.
The second advice is to follow the doctors instructions to the T. Whether its the medication, which can be either in the form of pills or creams. Consider your dermat as your friend, they are there to help you and not to harm. So keep Doctor Google aside and follow your actual doctor.
The first set of treatments will be focused on reducing your acne and containing its spread. This is where the virtue of patience comes in handy because this process can take sometime. Its not gonna happen overnight, you will have to give a few days or week or even months. But you will definitely start seeing results soon enough which will give you hope for the next phase to come.
The next set of treatments will consist of treating your acne scars which might include chemical peels,MDA(Microderma Abrasion) to laser. These treatments are not so pocket friendly so I would suggest you consult your doc first on any available schemes or packages. Ofcourse, before opting for any packages or schemes, make sure they don’t affect the quality of the treatment.
Again, the visible changes of all these treatments varies from person to person. Some might see changes from the first session and for some it make take a month, the only takeaway here is not to give up if you don’t see any improvements soon.
The third and the most important advice is to avoid all unsolicited advice whether it be your next door aunties Gharelu nuskhas(homemade recipes) or a well-wisher stating the probable causes of your acne and how sorry they are for you. It can be even your family telling you to try a thousand things to get rid of your acne. Little do they know they we have already tried all these tips and tricks under the sun and failed miserably.
The mental exhaustion which comes with all this can irrevocably harm you and depress you at times. Best thing is to maintain your calm and work towards your betterment both inside and out.
Lastly, your acne can be a sign of your body failing you somewhere, look out for those signs. Find the root cause and treat that.
Does that mean the acne will never resurface once treated? No, it doesnt guarantee any such thing. It depends on your lifestyle. Especially, for someone diagnosed with PCOS,it can recur but don’t loose hope. Work towards your health and watch your diet because as they say “you are what you eat”.
Also, getting a few pimples here and there during your menstrual cycle is common for women which is not a cause to worry. It can be easily treated with mild anti-acne creams or better skincare routine.
Remember, the after pic is not permanent and still a work in-progress, it demands a lot of effort given to healthy skincare routine and eating habits.
P.S : I have not suggested medications here intentionally since acne differs from person to person and so does the treatment. Please consult your doctor for this.