I never thought I would see the day where I would be openly talking about my acne and even labelling it as a relationship, if you asked that to the 18/19 year old me I would have laughed and if you’d have asked it to me in my twenty’s I would have ignored you and thought “yeah cheers for mentioning it”
But hey am older and wiser, so know I look back and think what relationship did I have with my acne and you could label it as a love hate relationship. Clearly it’s obvious I hated it and hated it with a passion, I mean I disliked it so much I would be surprised if you could even find a handful of photos of me online, in the period of me being 18 to 25, if you do happened to find one photo, I can ensure you I didn’t post it and I didn’t approve of it being posted haha. Yes I was that serious when it came to photos online as my era of growing up was on the cusp of the digital photo upload epidemic and with this era, I had to juggle how to fit in with the crowd but also not feel the spot light was on me, as I use to take a photo for said profile (too many to name as this was before the social giants took over the game). I would review it and instantly find several thousand faults as to why I would never post that photo.
So I had to be clever and creative as to fit in, but also not look to weird with my profile photos, so that’s one of the things I hated about my relationship with acne, what you could say is – well what did you love? And that’s an easy one for me.
Picking, popping and pushing…..
Yes I know what you are saying, you are not meant to squeeze spots, ok I hear you, but if you are like me, the theory is, get it gone!!!
As I hated the idea of leaving some big phat spot on my face, I mean you really think I would walk out in public or go to the shops if I had some bright big spot hanging on the face, no way, not a chance.
What I did wrong as the start was, going in to early, yep as soon as that sucker appeared I was right up on it like Mike Tyson in the first minute of the first round.
And that’s with hindsight was the first rookie mistake I made.
But over time, this became habit and an obsession, I just had to squeeze whenever and wherever I could, even to the extent where I didn’t even need a mirror, my fingers could locate a new spot just by touch, and once I had found a new one, oh boy was it in trouble, as every few minutes I would be touching it, checking if it’s still there, checking if it’s any smaller and also checking what type of bad boy is this going to be* (yes you read that right, I soon learnt to tell what type of spot it would become, but to learn more on this keep tuned in to my blogs as I’ll be doing a whole blog on spots and there styles)
I put my hands up and admit that I was a Serial picker. So any new spot my strategy was to squeeze and extract the contents as fast as possible because I was under the impression that as soon as I got the spot squeezed and popped the profile of the spot would disappear, but that wasn't the case.
Because what I learned later in life was that every spot squeezed floods, the area with white blood cells that then creates a larger profile of the spot. This then creates an angry-looking spot which then makes you want to squeeze even more. In some circumstances I would use any object possible at my disposal that I thought would help extract it, anything from;
Sewing needles the ones from my mum's cupboard or in worst cases pair of pliers. That's for the big ones that obviously never went down. Well, worst case scenario was I wanted to try to cut a spot out with a razor blade and as you can imagine that didn't go well.(I will again do a blog just on the old methods I tried)
So, my strategy going into my early teens was to look up on the internet for every conceivable idea, possible to stop spots to extract spots to reduce the size of spots.
I started on the path of going to the usual places like Superdrug & Boots. Getting any sort of Clearasil product, they would advertise on the TV to combat breakouts or clear pores. This was tried and tested over a number of years the results, never really met the expectation I had. A lot of the time the products used would just excessively dry the good sections of my skin. So I stopped using them types of products. Then I went into the realm of the old wife’s tales and myths such as apple cider vinegar in which I would dab the apple cider vinegar on to Cotton wool and apply that to the skin with the hope that it would dry out the spots.
Yes as you guess, it didn’t work and just left my face smelling of vinegar, I also tried the old favorite of putting toothpaste on the spot as I had been told it calms the spot and reduces the size, I still see that to this day and it never worked. Other methods that I remember was using ice cubes or ice packs to try and reduce the big lumps I had caused to swell on my face by too much squeezing, but only it only left me with a cold forehead.
All this trial and error spanned over many years, as some times I would be right up for trying and sometimes I would just give up and face the music with what damage I had caused and just play the waiting game for it to reduce the swelling on its own.
As am sure you can imagine this Relationship goes on for about 14 plus years, so to save you from boredom, I will conclude the next chapter of the relationship in my next blog, as I wouldn’t want to miss anything worth mentioning no skim over any points that may be valuable advice.