Skin Struggles: Cystic Acne – by Christie Lohr (Beauty Nine to Five)
I’ve been struggling with hormone issues for the past year (I’ll write a separate post about what exactly has been going on soon, but I can tell you it’s been a nightmare). I have a thyroid issue that was diagnosed when I was 15, and over a year ago I decided to get off birth control for good. The combination of the two threw my body out of whack and I have yet to recover and adjust fully. Again, I’ll talk about that another time, for now let’s focus on my skin.
A side effect of my hormone problems, and in general hormone imbalances, is cystic acne – something I’ve dealt with off and on in the last few months and in my 20s. With my body finally beginning to normalize after a year, my cystic acne seems to have returned. For anyone who has dealt with this, they know just how awful it can be. Cystic acne isn’t your typical acne blemish, but instead deep, extremely painful flares up that can often time take over a week to heal. I’ve tried every product out there and nothing seems to help. In my experience, it’s something you just have to let run its course. Because of this I’ve become a pro at applying makeup and concealing, and I’ll avoid events if I have a particularly bad flare up.
Cystic acne can leave you with red scars or marks. For the most part these do fade, but sometimes they don’t and you’re left with an uneven skin tone and dark spots. What has benefited my skin greatly is IPL (Intense pulsed light), Pure Light Laser. IPL removes pigmentation from your skin, so it’s great for those suffering from rosacea, sunspots and red acne scars. I also had sunspots from all those years in the sun with no protection and this laser also got rid of those as well. My skin was left pretty flawless for the last two years, until lately! Since I’ve been breaking out again, new acne marks have reappeared. Besides time to let the red marks fade, IPL completely removes them. It’s been the best thing I’ve done for my skin. IPL is a non-invasive treatment that removes skin imperfections with no downtime. It just feels like an elastic band lightly snapping your face. While I wait for my skin to calm down, this has been a godsend. If you want to treat your acne like me, you can consult experts like Orchidia Medical Group in Naples, FL or Miia Medspa in Rowley, MA that do RF microneedling in Huntsville, AL and other skin treatments.
To help speed along the healing process, I’ve also just started taking probiotics. Unbalanced hormones can cause gut issues, and it’s true what they say about whatever is happening inside your body can be seen on the outside. Everyone usually assumes it’s something I am applying to my face that is causing these breakouts, but that’s not the case. More often than not, something is going on internally that you need to address first.
You may look at me and say “I don’t see any acne?!” but I’ve just been lucky thus far that my face hasn’t been completely covered and that it only lasts a few months. When these flare ups do appear, I usually get about five all at once, which is worse than it sounds (remember: painful, deep, sore – ouch!). Whenever these flare ups occur they consume my mind and I spend hours researching cures online, creams, antibiotics and reading discussion forums just to find a solution. I’m putting it all out there when I say you can feel completely and utterly helpless.
On the topic of skincare, I tackle other purely cosmetic issues (my ego speaking) like the start of lower cheek skin sagging and marionette lines (these are the lines on the lateral sides of your mouth). For this, I’ve been seeing Kam at Vancouver Medi Spa for Skin Tightening. This procedure tightens the underlying skin tissue. I’ve also been getting a similar treatment for nasolabial folds (the marionette, or deep smile lines) but it’s done from inside the mouth. It’s a very new procedure and I suggest getting a consultation with Kam to find out more. Vancouver Medi Spa is one of the only places in the city that has the Fotona Laser – over $100,000 machine that treats many different skin issues. I mention the cost of the machine because so many salons out there buy cheap machines with weak lasers, but charge the same price, so be careful of that.
These are the two key spots I go to for my skin treatments. I wasn’t asked to share, but I’m just so passionate about skincare I felt compelled to let you know. If you’re suffering from the same issues I am, or just have questions, let me know! I’d love to offer some advice wherever I can.
Photo taken by Brooklyn Photography