One important thing my acne has taught me is Patience. Trust me, it is a necessary virtue my friends. Especially, if you suffer from adult acne. Unlike teenage acne, adult acne lingers around for a much longer time if not treated properly.
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 activity/exercise)
- and many such triggering factors.
Over the years I have gathered some knowledge around this topic so I am listing them out for you below. It may not help you completely cure your acne but will definitely help you find your way through it without falling into a mental trauma.
Find the right dermatologist.
Finding a good doctor who understands your condition and treats it accordingly is of the utmost importance. This decides the course of your treatments and progress thereafter.
If you are not sure where to look, Google it.
1. Check for the best skin clinics or doctors in your area.
2. Read 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 any 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 recovery afterwards.
I can’t emphasise enough on this point. A good doctor will never tell you to go on fad diets or loose weight without supervision.
They may ask you to look for triggers in the food 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, gluten or meat, aggravates your condition. If yes, avoid them and see if it makes a difference. But, in most cases, food is rarely the cause. Dermats will agree with me. Unless, you eat 10 bars of chocolate, loads of fries and sugary drinks everyday.
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.
Follow your doctors advice to the T.
Whether its the medication, treatments or lifestyle changes they suggest, follow it diligently. Consider your doctor as your friend, lay down all your issues clearly to them. So keep Doctor Google aside and follow your actual doctor.
- The first set of treatments will be focused on reducing your acne and avoid further breakouts. Remember the virtue of patience I talked about, it comes in handy at this stage because this process can take sometime.
It is not gonna happen overnight, you will have to give it a few days, weeks 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 involve treating your acne scars & pigmentation which can include chemical peels, MDA(Microderma Abrasion) & laser. These treatments are not so pocket-friendly so consult your doctor first on any available schemes or packages.
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.
Avoid all unsolicited advice.
Whether it be your next door aunty’s gharelu nuskhas(homemade recipes) or a well-wisher narrowing down the probable cause of your acne and stating how sorry they feel for you or your family telling you to try a thousand things to get rid of your acne. Little do they know that we have already tried everything under the sun and failed miserably. Avoid or even better, ignore any such advice coming your way.
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 first.
Does that mean the acne will never resurface once treated? No, it does not guarantee any such thing. It depends on your lifestyle and your diligence in taking care of the acne. 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”.
Getting a few breakouts 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 & a 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.