Skin Woes

Hi everyone! I hope your weekends were fantastic!

This Friday I have an appointment with a dermatologist. And all I can say is thank goodness for that! You see, I’ve been having really bad acne breakouts on my back and chest for a little over 6 months now and it’s time to do something about it.

Actually, it was probably time to see a dermatologist a while ago but for some reason I just kept thinking that trying other things would help. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

Let me give you some background about my experiences with the menacing little red guys.

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During my senior year of high school, I started to get really bad acne breakouts on my chest and back. On my chest the pimples were always concentrated in my sternum area and the ones on my back were usually in the upper back, neck, and shoulder region. Although sometimes they spread down to the middle region of my back as well.

The acne was so bad that I remember my mom having to help me put cover-up on the pimples when I went to school dances. And often times the acne was painful. I ended up going on the birth control pill to see if the acne was a hormonal thing and within a few months it was all cleared up! YAY!

After that I would get breakouts every so often- usually in the summer when I was sweating more. It was very manageable and I also had the help of acne body spray that I found. It was the Murad Acne Clarifying Body Spray.

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Last winter I started to get more breakouts on my chest and back and they were taking longer to clear up. I thought about going to see a dermatologist but then in the spring it started to get better so I stopped thinking about it.

Alas, starting again this past August, my breakouts came back…full force. There hasn’t been a time since then where my back or chest have been completely clear. In fact it seems like there are new pimples coming out all the time. It also seems like the breakouts get really bad every other week or so and they hurt really bad. It can be uncomfortable in certain clothing and when I’m working out or sleeping. They are also really big, red, and noticeable. Not fun.

I don’t know what’s going on. I shower right after I work out. I’ve been using different kinds of anti-acne products and they aren’t working.

I’ve tried the Murad body spray. I’ve also tried a newer body spray from Neutrogena but with no results :(. Over winter break I got an acne body wash and tried that out and that didn’t work either. So finally, I have decided to see a professional. I’m really hoping that they can help me out.

Source

I’m tired of having these annoying red zits all over my chest and back. They are extremely unattractive andΒ I’m really self conscious about it, and I’m tired of the associated pain. Most importantly, my wedding dress is strapless and this acne needs to be gone by that time. I’m hoping it won’t take more than a year to clear up. Let’s cross our fingers :).

Okay, I’ll stop boring you with my skin woes. I hope your Monday is a great one!

Make sure to check out my guest post on the FitFluential blog today :D.

Question:

Have you ever had problems with acne?

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About In Sweetness and In Health

I'm Lindsay! I'm a 23 year-old graduate student in occupational therapy. I love all things health and fitness related and this blog will document my life as I learn to really love myself, try to stop worrying so much about my body, and truly take advantage of all the sweet things that life offers us.

Posted on February 13, 2012, in About Me, Health. Bookmark the permalink. 42 Comments.

  1. That can be so frustrating! I’m sorry you have to go through this – acne can be absolutely no fun!

    I always break out on my face along my jaw line – it’s totally hormone related!

  2. hope it helps girl! i’ve been meaning to make an appt to see one also. i’m having trouble like chelsea on my jawline. it’s always in the same spot and SO annoying.

  3. congrats on the guest post πŸ˜€ I cannot wait to read it πŸ˜€ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have never had a huge issue with acne, but I do have somewhat of a “troubled T zone” at times hahahahahaha.

    Well, I hope the dermatologist gets things all cleared up for you love πŸ˜€

  4. When I was in high school I definitely suffered from acne. I had the whole issue of thinking I didn’t need to moisturize since my face was already oily. Yeh, not a good idea! After I started moisturizing after my washing my face, the acne really cleared up. Another thing that helped me was my birth control. I use Purity face wash and moisturizer from Sephora. It’s the best I have found πŸ™‚

  5. Ugghh acne can be so annoying!! I’ve never had it bad, but I do get random massive ones every now and then on my nose. Clinique makes this great “acne healing gel” that seems to help mine go away fast!

    Hope your week rocks girl! πŸ™‚

  6. I’m having the same issue, with the acne being on the sternum area. i always had acne on my face, but that has disappeared over the years, and now i am getting it on my chest! it is so frustrating, but thankfully the dermatologist can help you! i’m thinking of seeing one myself…

  7. Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction

    I can relate…I used to have the WORST skin my frosh and soph years of college. I had tried body washes, proactive, creams, internal medicines, you name it and I probably tried it. In fact I tried pretty much everything except Accutane. Finally I went to a new dermatologist and he suggested that I try microdermabrasion treatments. I was reluctant, but I decided to go for it and I’m glad I did! I got one treatment a month for about 6 months and then did one every few months and I saw instant results! To this day I still get a treatment done every few months or so, or when I have time just because it is so relaxing, and there are other benefits such as anti-aging etc… I suggest that you bring this up to your doctor, I am proof that you don’t have to take medicine to get rid of acne! It is pricey, but it WORKS and to me that was the most important thing, considering I had already spent so much on creams, medicines etc…

    Hope everything works out for you πŸ™‚

  8. Oh my goodness yes! Acne is so hard to deal with. Good luck with your appointment! Once you find something that works you are going to feel amazing

  9. I give you full credit for being brave enough to bring this up. When I was your age with the same condition I was Waaaaaayyyy too self-conscious to mention it. I just never wore anything exposing. And I lived in a beach town! Tell us how the appt turns out!

  10. I feel your pain! Hope they can give you something to help. I ended up going on Yaz because my problems were definitely hormonally related.

  11. Good luck with the appointment! Acne struggles are the worst. I’ve had some trouble with facial acne in the past, though I was lucky. They weren’t necessarily red breakouts (though occasionally I experienced those), but it was more that my skin was bumpy and just generally not great. It seems to have cleared up in the past few years, but I still get bouts of nasty skin, particularly if I’m out of my routine. I’m still on the hunt for a natural yet effective skin care routine!

  12. Yes I know your acne woes. When I was a teenager my skin was pretty good. But in my twenties I’ve had a lot of acne. I work in beauty so it’s kind of embarrassing. Then again, I have access to the best products and my skin still isn’t completely clear. Some people are just prone to acne from internal sources (ie not just bacteria on the surface of their skin) … I’m sure your dermatologist will have a bunch of advice. But you’re welcome to email me and we can have a Q and A and I might be able to recommend something for you.

    Good luck!

  13. this is so frustrating! i had the same problem and went on birth control in high school to clear it up. it’s come back for me too, and then only thing that has ever helped more than birth control is tanning. but, i don’t tan anymore, so i don’t know what else to do! my husband keeps telling me to go see a dermatologist too. i guess i should get on that…

  14. I know how you feel! I’ve suffered from acne issues for the past 15ish years. NO FUN! When I was on BC, it was mild and not as bad, but when I got off a couple of years ago, it came back with a vengeance. I’ve been to the dermatologist, only to be told that it’s a hormone thing. I’m currently taking medication for it, but have also cut down on the amount of dairy I eat. It seems to be helping, but who knows!

    Good luck!!!

  15. I am pretty ure have worse skin ow then when I was 16!! Oh the joys of getting sweaty!! πŸ™‚

  16. Hope that it all clears up for you! Skin woes are the worst–for sure. I def had it because of hormonal imbalances (with all the disordered eating, etc.), so after working on that, I started using those essential oils and it cleared it ALL right up!

  17. oh girl, i can relate all too well. i had the same exact issues in high school. a few years ago when i started on birth control, it helped a ton and i’ve had fairly clear skin since then. but actually just a little over a month ago, i decided to go off of birth control and just recently i’ve noticed my acne is getting out of control again! it really is so frustrating and puts a damper on your confidence. i hope your appointment goes well! i might consider going to a dermatoligist if mine doesn’t clear up soon too.

  18. Ugh, I can totally relate. Somehow, back and chest acne is worse than face acne (kinda… ) I have been using Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA clearing gel (seriously the fastest non-drying spot treatment I’ve ever tried…) and blemish buffing beads (the yellow one) for my back and it has really cleared up!

    I hope that you find something that works for you at the derm.. I went to one in high school for bacne but what he put me on made me really sensitive to sunlight. Good luck! ❀

  19. Yikes – not fun! Sorry you’re going through this, it definitely sounds frustrating! I have the problem of always getting zits on my cheeks and they leave marks that stay around for months. But I just called and made a dermatologist appointment so hopefully I can get some ideas on how to help keep them away!

    P.S. I did your 25 min. tabata workout that you posted last week and it is AWESOME!

  20. Gahhh I am so so sorry you are having issues with acne! To answer your question, oh YES have I had problems with it and continue to! I actually went on Accutane three times starting at age 13 and while it did clear the really bad ones up, I still get pimples fairly often and it annoys me to no end! Plus my skin is oily and dry at the same time, which is from me washing it too much… but I don’t know what else to do! Grrr

    Good luck with all of this, I know you will get it figured out!

    • Oh wow, 3 rounds of accutane? That’s intense! I’ve read another blog post (I forget where) about someone who had the same thing- oily and dry skin. She said that she started using a lotion with salicylic acid- so it moisturized and it didn’t dry her skin out. Then at night she wore a heavier moisturizer since being oily didn’t matter and she said it really helped!

  21. Maggie @ Running on Fro-Yo

    I’m fortunate enough that I’ve never had major problems with acne- just a random pimple here and there, usually red, large, and in the center of my forehead the day before events and photos of course!

    PS: I am LOVING the Love Out Loud devotional book- I’m so glad you posted about it πŸ™‚

  22. Thanks for being so honest, my friend. I have never had the problem on my chest or back, but I definitely have had breakout issues on my face. It is so miserable and frustrating to try to cover zits up all the time! But ever since I’ve started on a certain kind of medication, my face is almost always clear. Too bad I won’t be able to stay on this forever … πŸ˜‰

    • Haha…I wish mine was related to that certain medication. Sadly I’ve been on it for a while and it doesn’t seem to do anything!

  23. ive always had terrible skin! up until recently its really been awful- high school was the worst. i would have to wake up 1/2 hour earlier every day jsut to glob on a pound of cover up- ugh. i still deal with it but it is more controlled now. i find the only thing that works is a combo of neutrogena salicylic acid wash + clearasil spot treatment..that stuff dries everything up and makes it disappear within seconds of applying it! i would recommend! this is coming from someone with HORRIBLE skin! i am positive you will find a solution within a year in time for your wedding….you will look lovely!

  24. Good luck with your trip to the dermatologist! I used to have horrendous skin, that is until I started going to a dermatologist. Finally having someone analyze my troubles and tell me what to do has made such a world of difference (it happened quite quickly too!). Acne is so annoying, but something that the individual focuses on more than anyone else. I always thought that no one else struggled with it; that’s definitely not the case! Good luck and I hope that everything gets sorted out soon (I have a feeling it will) πŸ™‚

  25. I haven’t had any issues with acne, but my boyfriend has it so bad on his back. He has tried everything. I keep trying to get him to go to the dermatologist, but he won’t. I am interested to hear how your visit goes and what they tell you because hopefully it will work for him as well.

  26. I really admire your courage to bring up such a painful issue. Like you I’ve always struggled with acne on my back which is super frustrating since I don’t have an issue with acne anywhere else. For a short time when I first started birth control I had some mild relief but then it returned. I always find summers are better when I can expose my back to the sun but I’m sure that the UV rays aren’t really doing me any favors and plus I live in northern Canada so sun is a rare commodity during the long winter months. Now I’m pregnant and can’t use any of the many acne products I had been using before so I feel like I’m back at square one. I can appreciate the stress you’re feeling about your wedding dress, I felt the same way at my wedding. It is also extremely difficult when a very close friend asks you to be in her wedding party and all you can think about is whether the dress will cover your back. I hope your trip to the determotologist goes well. I’ve been wanting to go for years but a combination of shame and fear have held me back. Hopefully I’ll work up the nerve to make an appointment once my baby is born.

    Best of luck!!

  27. As a girl who has been through Accutane twice (yes – twice!), I can definitely feel your pain. Acne sucks. Mine is relatively under control right now, but I’m still on rx treatments. It runs in my family, and it still flares up with hormonal changes or stress. Good luck girl!

  28. I love my dermatologist! I really hope she can help you out!

    I have psoriasis and other issues … I’m pretty sure it’s acne, although she uses some fancy name for it. Some on my chest, arms and lower back. Right now she has me on a steroid cream and super hydrating cream, and it’s working!

    Best of luck to you at your appointment!

  29. I gave up dairy in July when I learned I have a dairy intolerance-I was having tummy issues. My skin cleared dramatically, as a result. I also see a dermatologist and an esthetician who work in conjunction with each other and have prescribed great products. And…I take a daily dose of organic fish oil as well as vitamins that help keep the skin clear. Aaaaand, I recently heard on the martha stewart radio show about pure Tamanu oil. I purchased some a couple of weeks ago and it has helped with the inflammation as well. Can you tell I take my skin care seriously? I was so tired of breaking out, so I feel your pain.

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