December 17, 2010

How I got rid of my acne and scaring

(Click on the image to see it bigger please. Note that in the before pictures, I was wearing Revlon Colorstay foundation, they were really red and uglier than in those pictures,  these were the only ones I couldn't find that I didn't delete)

Disclaimer: The products I'm about to show you worked for my skin. These were products prescribed to me by a dermatologist.I'm only showing you what I did and how it worked. I'm not a doctor or anything, so you have to be careful while using anything harsh for your skin and always follow the instructions.

So now that all the introductions and disclaimers are made I can start to write about my dreadful and horrible acne experience.
I just turned 21, and it was only last year (by this time) that I had acne, before then I always had perfect skin. I have really sensitive fair skin, any pimple that I would have would show off like crazy because I'm so pale and my skin it's so thin. After I turned 20 years old last year I started having little bumps on my chin that weren't normal, I thought it was because of stress with college and everything so I didn't do anything. By the time December came I was stuck in home for three weeks because I couldn't get out of my house... I had huge acne all over my chin, they were big pimples that were all infected and gross. My family were really preoccupied because it was really bad and they never saw my skin like that, and because I was so fair it was the first thing you would notice on me.I tried everything on the market and every natural remedies I could find, and nothing. It just wouldn't go away.. I failed classes at college because I couldn't go to the exams looking like that. It seems really vain of me but they would be bloody and itchy all the time and I couldn't take it. 
I wouldn't go to the doctors because I knew they would prescribe me something harsh for my body and I just didn't want to deal with it. The side effects could be awful and I didn't want to deal with them... so I just waited. By the time February came I still have them but they weren't so bad, but still I was left with scaring that was impossible to hide. I just gave up and made an appointment at a dermatologist at the end of March and it was the best thing I ever done for my skin and me. 

She prescribe me what I was fearful of.... Accutane which in Portugal has another name but it's the exactly same thing. She said that I had to use two products everyday while taking my medication 3 times a week only in low doses because my acne wasn't that severe at that time already. 
  1. Accutane
  2. Uriage Hyséac AHA moisturizer
  3. Kétrel creme
Accutane- (Prescription only) This is the strongest medication you can take for acne. And has many possible side effects that aren't so good and a lot of people can't take this. You have to be followed by your doctor while using this, especially in high doses, for me it wasn't necessary because I was only taking them 3 times a week. This will basically dry you out of all the moisture you have on your body. Not kidding. While using this I had dry skin and dry hair. This medication will also peel your skin. My skin started to peel off after the third pill I took. It wasn't super bad but you're going to have to warn the people around you that you're on medication that's why you have skin dripping all over your face ahaha My lips were all chapped and bruised, especially on the corners so use a ton of lips balms and Vaseline on your lips and it will disappear. Also, you HAVE to use sun protection and cannot exfoliate or wax while on this treatment. I was on Accutane for 4 months and my skin it's clear. Months latter, my skin stopped being dry and now I have combination skin. You have to have a doctor prescription to take this medication so I would recommend you to go to a dermatologist and talk about your problem.

Uriage Hyséac AHA moisturizer- I have been using this since April and it's the best moisturizer I have ever used. From the first application you'll see results. Your skin won't be matte and dull, but this will give you a healthy glow while not drying out your skin and killing all the acne. This is the perfect base for make-up. I'm taking a break from it because my skin it's getting used to it unfortunately! You can by this moisturizer and the cleanser at any pharmacy.

As I said before, I was left with a lot of scaring. I wish I could show you how bad it was. Even Revlon Colorstay foundation couldn't cover those red scars on my chin. My dermatologist even said that it was pretty bad, and it might never come off... only if I used this next product everyday for 16 weeks. 

Kétrel Creme- This little creme only costs 2€ at the pharmacy but it was the best thing that happened to me!!!! This was the product that completely vanished my acne scars. And no, it doesn't lighten them, it removes them forever. This creme has a form of retinol on it called tretinoin A this is the key ingredient that will help you to erase your scars. So even if you don't have this creme, you can talk to your doctor or even in your pharmacy and get a creme with this ingredient. I had to use this every night on my problem area, after the first week your skin will be really raw and irritated but it's normal, after a week it will pass. You just have to stick to it and get through it because the final result will be perfect. I used this EVERY night for 3 months and after the first one they were already almost gone. I used during the day sun screen every time I stepped out of my house because if you don't, then they will become worse, so USE A SUN SCREEN!

I stopped my treatment in July so for two months I didn't exfoliate or waxed any part of my body. Even though I wasn't using the kétrel or medication you have to wait a while so your skin can recuperate and get back to normal.

   4.  Magic Peeling Glove -  (I have made a review about this before click here to go there) After you skin gets back to normal, you'll have huge pores still and maybe a pimple here and there, so you need to exfoliate your skin really good to keep the results, and this glove helped me a lot with that, if I have a tiny pimple, I use this two times and there's no scar left, plus it doesn't irritate or dry out my sensitive skin, it's not harsh at all. You can check out my review about it to know more about this glove.

And that's it! I know how horrible acne can be and how can it destroy someone's self esteem. I went through hell trying to get rid of it with all these cleansers and moisturizers that did nothing! If you have severe acne, you have to know that it isn't a simple cleanser that will help you because the problem it's within you. Maybe you're stressed, maybe you're not eating right or maybe it's just hormones or genetics! It can be anything, but I advise you to go to the dermatologist because they know what they are talking about and will discuss with you the possible cures. But if you have only some pimples then don't worry, the right cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliator and make-up will do the trick. I still have some pimples here and there, but they are not all red and gross now and they don't leave a mark because I found something that works.

If you have any questions or want to share your experiences with acne and scaring with me, feel free to comment or email me, I love earring your thoughts and answer to your questions, and if you're dealing with acne right now, be strong and know that there is a cure, just go to the doctors and find out what you can do to improve your skin (:


Anonymous said...

this sort of moved me. how brave you were, not because of the photos you've posted, but that you went for it. U had a problem and you fight with all your power to make it go away. cry over it alone, will solve nothing. and there are no instant miracles. it takes, time, devotion and it's hard. damn hard. When people work hard like U do, I am happy U end up with flawless skin now. I admire you a lot. I have told U before, I tell U again.

Ansa said...

I know how difficult this must have been. I've been there too. Thank you for sharing your story. Your skin is beautiful now as are you. :)

Alexandra said...

i never heard of these products before but they must be good if u have such a beautiful skin now
thanks for sharing

Sam said...

Hi there, I am so glad that the dermatologist could help you out of this! Although I often wonder if Acutane is necessary. I used a solution that contained zinc and it worked perfectly fine even though I used to have fairly strong acne when I was 19 years old. My skin also improved for the better since I turned to organic skin care.
Have a great flawless Christmas time! Your Sam xx

Eugenia said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I've been having skin problems and have tried various things but I really want to try the Ketrel creme, it sounds like what I need!

Jen said...

What a difference!! I too haven't heard any of these products before but that's why I love my fellow bloggers... I learn about so many new things!!

Marisa said...

@Sam- Unfortunately I tried everything and only accutane made it disappear ): But I know that there's cases that it's just not necessary. Zinc it's really good for pimples as well!

@Eugenia- You definitely should try it or something with that ingredient on it! It made all my scars disappear!

Flamante said...

N you looking gorgeous !!!
i have a request!
could you please tell me all the ingrdeients of Kétrel creme?
this would help me ask my dermatologist about a similar product!

Flamante said...

oh and the Uriage Hyséac range sounds interesting!
whats the price of the AHA moisturiser?

Marisa said...

Flamante- You just have to tell your doctor or pharmaceutical for a creme with TRETINOIN or RETIN-A these are the key ingredients to Ketrel. They are available in any pharmacy for like 2€, really cheap. To help you out, I found a site that lits all the cremes with the same ingredients as ketrel, you can see if your country is listed in any of them:

The Uriage moisturizer cost me 15€, it's not that expensive and it lasted me almost 6 months... I used it every day! The cleanser it's like 12€ but it's not necessary. I hope this was helpful ;)

Shout it said...

bem tu tinhas a cara minada :S
mas felizmente passou-te com esses cremes/tratamentos :D ainda bem ehehe
eu n tenho problemas com borbulhas (ja tive, mas poucas...) tenho é muitos pontos negros, e eu tenho um grande vicio - espremer IMENSO. eu adoro mesmo espremer mas sei k faz muito mal =/

Steph said...

I had the same problem when I was around 15. I pretty much tried every single product from Garnier, Nivea, Clearasil, and so on. Nothing helped and I eventually went to see my doctor. He told me that I could reduce my acne by taking this birth control pill called Diane-35. It has done wonders for me. This pill is actually not meant to be a contraceptive, but is used to reduce acne, body and facial hair. What also helps (for me), is cleaning my skin when I wake up and when I go to bed. If I don't do that, I will notice the difference the next day.
But, like you said, we all have different types of skin, so what works for some, may not work for others. Seeing your doctor or a dermatologist is the first step of getting rid of your acne.

Marisa said...

@Steph- I also took Diane35 while taking the pills for like 3 months then I stopped because it can have some bad side effects and you should take it for a lot of time. I think we always should wash and moisturize every morning and night, I do it since I was 12 years old (:

Rebecca from See You in Sweden said...

Wow, it really worked for you marisa- but you are gorgeous all the time, inside and out. i am still waiting and wishing to get my hands on that exfoliating mitten!

Zabrinah said...

You ARE super brave and very inspiring, my dear. You are beautiful inside and out!


All Made Up said...

This is such a lovely post. I have the most awful acne breakouts around my chin and my doctor prescribed something called Duac which didnt fix it. I've been taking new medication for anout 6 weeks not but there hasn't been much improvement (they said it could take around 3 months!)

I think it was really brave and inspirational of you to not only tell everyone about this but to post pictures as well. When I have a breakout I'd do everything I can to avoid having my picture taken :)

I'll be following a couple of your tips on top of what my doctor suggests... the Magic Peeling Glove looks particularly good!

Oh and I've given you a Beauty Blogger Award. Feel free to check it out and pass it on ♥

Jazzy E (hivennn) said...

I have such terrible skin now (after 17 long years of perfect skin) that this post has really helped me. Thank you. x hivennn.

Jazzy E (hivennn) said...

p.s i also now understand why my best friend always used so much makeup. like a lot.

Marisa said...

@Jazzy - Thank you, it means a lot. I really hope you can find a solution to your problem because I know how much it can hurt our self esteem \:


it seems a little scary but you have beautiful skin :)