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My acne journey - from acne patient to acne treatment advocate

I was only 9 years old when I first got cystic acne. While my friends and classmates were enjoying their perfect, still child-like skin, I was dealing with flushed, constantly red bumps and pimples. 

I was only 9 years old when I first got cystic acne. While my friends and classmates were enjoying their perfect, still child-like skin, I was dealing with flushed, constantly red bumps and pimples. I was quite a petite and anemic child because of being born premature and iron deficiency, and my GP recommended me a hormonal treatment in the hope that it will accelerate my growth.  And it did. I grew several cm in a very short amount of time and I was happy to catch up with the rest of my peers, in just a couple of months. Unfortunately, puberty also hit me much earlier, and acne was a direct result of my hormonal treatment.

The most difficult thing was that there wasn’t really anyone my age that I could talk to about it, as the average age for the first breakouts is was 11  for girls, and even later for boys. I remember physical education classes, which I used to enjoy, suddenly becoming a burden, as my skin would get sweaty and inflamed. I tried several over-the-counter products and treatment that I knew nothing about at the time. 

The thing is, I only cared about how my skin looked, and couldn’t really care less about the ingredients in the products or the health effects they would have. As irrational as it may seem now, I also felt embarrassed being the only one in my class who has acne cysts forming on her skin, literally in my sleep. The consequence was also that I started using foundation earlier than I should have (or rather used my older sister’s make-up), but it seemed like the only relief that would enable me to feel myself again.

Kleresca acne treatment

I think a challenge of living with acne is that there is no clear line on when it is time to stop trying yourself and go see a doctor. From my experience, I recommend seeing a dermatologist as soon as possible. For me, it took more than a year, while my skin kept getting worse. Of course, I knew you were not supposed to touch your pimples, and that it would leave scars. But again, at that age I did not understand or care about the health and safety aspect, only about the appearance of my skin. 

As my mom noticed how my skin wasn’t getting any better, we finally went to see my GP, who at the time recommended a custom, in-pharmacy prepared solution to apply daily. We discussed other treatment options as well, some of them with very strong side-effects, such as potential fertility problems. While at that point I wanted the most drastic treatment, as long as it would work, today I am grateful my mom chose a safer solution. Even though my acne was probably between mild and moderate, even after my skin improved, I never felt like I would have perfect skin again. You know, like the girls in the magazines with flawless looks. It had a spiraling effect on my confidence, especially as a teenager. The impact of acne on confidence is well documented and grounded in research: 

“There is no single disease which causes more psychic trauma, more maladjustment between parent and children, more insecurity and feelings of inferiority and greater sums of psychic suffering than does acne vulgaris” – John Koo, MD San Francisco, California

At that time, there was no real choice of having an acne treatment with high safety and efficacy. I am happy to see that today, biophotonic technology is changing that. 

If there is something I wish for, is that someone would have told me that I do did not have to hide. That it is was not my fault. This is also the reason why I have decided to work for Kleresca®. It wasn’t only about finding a job I liked, but finding the right place for me. A place where I feel I can actually make a difference in people’s lives by helping them improve their skin. Today, my job involves content planning and communicating on our digital media platforms, but for me, the most important thing, is being to tell boys and girls what I wished someone told me 14 years ago: No More Hiding. 

This is a personal story from a former Kleresca® employee.

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