I Started Getting Severe Acne When I Was 10 Years Old

I Started Getting Severe Acne When I Was 10 Years Old

What a decade of acne is like.

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Acne is the only common mark of imperfection that the world will not embrace. There are movements to accept stretch marks, fat rolls, wrinkles, moles, birthmarks, skin color, and all else that makes people different. However, acne is universally taken as a disgusting flaw that needs to be ridden of. As someone who began getting severe acne before I even knew swear words, here are my experiences of half a life filled with acne.

I began getting severe acne when I was 10 years old. It crawled all over my face and my back. The acne wasn't caused by much other than genetics. As young children are often inconsiderate, I was often made fun of. Even good friends would constantly point it out, and I grew increasingly self-conscious.

When I was 11, I consulted my family doctor and was prescribed benzoyl peroxide. My acne improved for a while, but then my skin adjusted and was even more oily and acne-covered than before. I hated mirrors and being photographed.

By the time I was 12, I had looked up almost every possible way to get rid of acne. I changed my diet and exercised; I also tried natural remedies, masks, drugstore creams, and other do-it-yourself methods I had read about. Of course, nothing worked.

In the eighth grade when I was 13, a friend who had naturally clear skin asked me if I had considered using medication on my acne. I was unspeakably offended by her ignorance, considering all my efforts to get rid of acne. Her comment seemed to heave even more weight onto my shoulders, to the point where it was unbearable.

Finally, I convinced my parents to hire a dermatologist. By the time I was 15, I had gone through three dermatologists. They had tried creams, gels, masks, injections, extractions, and pills on me – all without effective results. Meanwhile, people continued to inadvertently make comments that gnawed at my self-confidence. During all those years, I researched medications in my free time to achieve a fuller understanding of what I was putting on my face. I developed knowledge of all sorts of medications which came my way. I wanted desperately to heal myself, and I searched for a solution.

Three years later when I started college at age 18, I had gone through six dermatologists in total. The final dermatologist decided that I needed Accutane - a somewhat new medication at the time. My parents had feverishly protested against me using that, and it took a long time to have them get used to the idea. Accutane is known for serious side effects and grueling upkeep. I needed to have blood drawn every month, birth control pills, and to take an online quiz every month to get a refill. I was monitored closely for signs of depression, could not take any vitamin A, and constantly warned of serious birth defects.

But it worked. After a year of Accutane, my acne went away. It was absolutely the only thing I tried, in the past decade of the struggle with acne, that has worked. Now, half a year after stopping Accutane, I'm happy that the results have stayed put. My confidence has gone up and I feel free.

I spent the past decade avoiding photos and editing my skin to look better in photos. I believed that so long as I had acne, I would never be considered attractive. And society allowed me to believe that.

If anything, they forced me to believe it. Children would approach me to ask what was on my face. Adults would recommend a list of things I could do about my skin - within minutes of meeting me. I would buy something at a shop, and the cashier would tell me to try a skin treatment. Friends would pat my face and then wipe their hands off. I tried makeup, but it rarely covered much up and if anything, made my face look even more cluttered and messy. I can never change this part of my life, but at least going forward, I'll know the burden has been lifted from my shoulders.

This part of my background has had a major influence on who I am today. Despite the suffering, this part of my life has conditioned me to withstand judgment from others, and ironically it has made me the outspoken and happy person that I am today. If I had not been under such scrutiny for so long, it is unlikely that I would be as little affected by judgmental persons as I am now. After the stress and self-criticism, I endured for such a long period in my life, I cannot stand to see friends or acquaintances have similar experiences. I know how frustrating it is to be unable to fix something about yourself and to experience bias, so I keep myself open and accepting.

For those of you who may be reading this and struggling with acne, here's my advice for you. Number 1, try Accutane. Again, it was absolutely the only thing that worked. Number 2, understand that everything bad will pass with time. It may hurt so bad in the moment, and each day, someone may deliver a new blow that brings you down more, but it will all pass. I understand you, and would never lay a judgment on you. You'll find others who accept you the way you are. Carve your inner circle out of these people, and take out anyone toxic. Just remember - it will all pass.

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Why Ignorance In Our Country Is Not Bliss

And it never will be.

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The saying ignorance is bliss is a bunch of crap. Ignorance is ignorance.

With everything going on in our country, I think it is very important for us to be educating ourselves.

You don't trust the news? Do your own digging.

You don't understand? Do some research.

You don't have the same perspective? Share it.

You only have your religious beliefs to base your knowledge? Learn before you judge.

We live in a scary world today. People judge others they've never met or before they've ever heard their story. People involve themselves in matters that they shouldn't be involved in. People are trying to regulate other people's bodies.

People don't want to learn about the issues they so strongly believe in. People don't want to hear the other side. When did party affiliation become more important than being a human being? When did men get the power to decide what women can do with their bodies? When did we stop being compassionate? When did we stop being decent human beings?

I don't want to live in a world where I have all these questions.

I don't want to live in a world where a judicial system will convict a woman who got an abortion after she was raped, but won't convict her rapist.

I don't want to live in a world where my social media timeline makes me want to cry.

I want to live in a world where everyone's opinion matters, not just the one you agree with.

I want to live in a world where everyone's voice is heard equally, not just the one's in power.

I want to live in a world where everyone's story is taken into consideration, not just the one's the government wants you to hear.

I want to live in a world where I can raise a young girl and not be afraid for her.

I want to live in a world where we do good.

I want to live in a world where we have differences, but that doesn't make us any less equal.

I want to live in a world where we don't judge before we know.

I want to live in a world where religious beliefs are respected.

I want to live in a world where it doesn't matter what political party you are.

I want to live in a world where people see right from wrong.

I want to live in a world where I am not afraid.

What kind of world do you want to live in?

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