Starting My Skincare Journey
So today was the day that I finally bit the bullet & went back to see my GP about my skin. I was hoping to be cool, calm & collected. I'd even written up a detailed explanation on the problems I've had with my skin over the past 13 years, the effect these have had on my life and the approaches i've taken so far; but this was sadly unnecessary as I burst into tears as soon as I sat down.
The tears came because this has been a long long journey already, and one that has been on my mind almost constantly. Every time I look in the mirror or feel my face I am reminded of this constant worry. I was also feeling stressed and worried as each time i've been to the doctor I've left feeling quite fobbed off. My last visit ended up with me being told that 'my ten minutes were up', and I was escorted out of the room whilst in the middle of having a bit of a breakdown.
You can probably see why it's taken me a while to go back, and why I was so nervous before.
Luckily, this time my trip to the Doctors felt completely different. I felt embarrassed by immediately crying (this is what 13 years of constant stress does to you) but straight away she made me feel comfortable, took me seriously and just understood. I wasn't sure what I wanted exactly other than that I wanted to have help putting a plan of action together because I've felt like I've been stuck in limbo recently just not knowing what else I could possibly do to help myself. I'm at the stage where I need to see that the end is, or can be in sight, and I think what I needed most was for someone to just get it & take it seriously. After so many awful appointments where you are made to feel like such a silly girl worrying about her skin you start to doubt yourself, consider whether your feelings are valid, and begin to think that you are just making a big fuss about nothing and wasting everyones time. I'm not silly or making a fuss though, I'm nearly 25 and still struggling with bad skin that is affecting my life and confidence, and deserve to be taken seriously.
Over the years I have invested thousands of pounds on my skin, from blue light therapy, to laser treatments, natural skincare products to top of the range expensive ones. I've seen nutritionists and had so many rounds of antibiotics, topical treatments and changed my contraceptive pills three times. I've been patronised and told that I just need to 'wash my skin and drink more water' (Just no - I can guarantee that I clean my skin better and drink more water then most people) and a whole host of different supplements have been suggested by well meaning strangers. I don't really drink, eat a lot of vegetables and I've massively cut down on my consumption of red meat, gluten, processed foods and sugar as I find they don't agree with me. I have a naughty treat every now and again but most of my sugar intake comes from fruit, dates or sources such as maple syrup and high quality dark chocolate. I prefer complex carbs such as sweet potato and will eat rye bread rather than anything else. I take my health seriously. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and in recent years my body has been so out of control and I've gained a crazy amount of weight. This year I've worked hard to get back control, and I have managed to gain control over my eczema and I'm slowly starting to shift the pounds. My habits have totally changed and whilst I don't deny myself anything, I just find myself drawn to different foods then what I used to. Basically, I've re-educated myself and when I've made changes i've noticed a positive response from by body - apart from in my skin. I've tried so hard to try and find a more natural solution, maybe it was a problem with my gut health? Maybe I should be drinking more water? Maybe I don't change my pillowcases enough..or maybe I just have bad skin that needs a little extra help and it's ok to admit that. (On another note that I'll keep separate to this - how bullshit are all these magazine 'do these to get clear skin' articles? So so patronising. )
I'm happy as I now at least have a course of action, I will be continuing on with my regular skin routine but I have also been prescribed another course of Lymecycline tablets as well as a topical cream called Differin, which the Doctor described as being like the topical version of Roaccutane. She said that this would often be the first course of action prescribed by a dermatologist, that we'll see how it goes and if it doesn't help then she'll be referring me to a dermatologist. Of course, what I didn't know before is that you need to be on treatment before you can be referred so I'm glad I went into my GP to discuss this all. I'm definitely feeling much more positive about the whole thing and although we're still so far from the end of my journey, I definitely feel like the end could be in sight.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed anyway, and of course I will regularly keep you all updated with weekly progress reports.
Are you struggling with your skin, or have you overcome any issues you've had with your skin? I'd love to talk to you and find out more so do please leave me a comment below, or tweet me @tamsinkr :)