Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Acne of Defeat ~ or ~ Adding Acne to Injury

One thing that I’ve always prided is my clear skin. In high school, if I had more than one pimple at a time, it was a major crisis for me. I remember faking a stomach ache one day during my Junior year because I had three zits. I just couldn’t face the public.

Jump to the present… Not long after I went on my medication for anxiety in June, I noticed that the skin on the sides of my face started to feel bumpy, not smooth like usual. Not long after that, those bumps got a little bigger and some got enflamed. They also spread from my cheeks to underneath my jaw and on my neck. I bought several brands of acne fighting skin cleansers. Over the next 10 weeks, not a single product changed anything. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve even stopped wearing makeup to try to alleviate the situation. My condition has only gotten worse.

I researched acne on the web and discovered contraceptives and anti-depressants can cause acne and that adults typically develop acne on the sides of their face. After reading that, I was pretty certain that my medications were causing this. At my follow up appointment yesterday afternoon with Dr. M (the doctor who listened to me and got me headed on the right path). I told her what had happened to my skin and that it had happened shortly after starting my anti-anxiety medication. I was anticipating her agreeing with me and giving me something to help take care of it.

Never anticipate anything.

“Hormone changes in your thirties can often cause acne in women, even if you've never had it before. I don’t think this has anything to do with your medication.”

Then, as if what she said had no negative impact whatsoever, she went on to remind me that I needed to get my baseline mammogram next April. It won't be long before they're a yearly experience. All of this, just 6 days shy of my 35th birthday. If medication had caused it, I wouldn’t give it another thought. It would just be a small price to pay for feeling better. This age thing is a whole different ball game. In some things, I guess, age is the great equalizer. At the rate I’m going, things are just going to get more and more equal faster and faster. Ha!

My assignment for my next therapy appointment is to write a list of things that I like about my body or things that my body has done that has been helpful to me (my body type made me the perfect softball catcher, etc.). Should I cross clear skin off the list now? Nah… 34 ½ years of clear skin is better than nothing at all. Besides, the cream she prescribed seemed to help with only the first application. Clear skin may just be another one of those things I’ll have to put some work into from now on.


Feminine topic described below. Do not read if you are faint of heart. You have been warned!

For those of you who care, I also found out that the random leaking from my right nipple that I've been experiencing when I don't wear a bra ever since I've stopped nursing Allison may be a special treat that might last "forever." I didn't ask, but I'm hoping that when she said "forever" she only meant until menopause. Could you imagine me as a wet nurse in my 80s?


DD said...

Even if it may be due to "age", I also think she could have divvied up some of the blame to the medication.

My skin has never seen a period of clear and smooth so I get rather excited when I see "only" three or four blemishes. What did your doc prescribe?

Trista said...

Ah, the fun of aging.

According to my sisters, 35 is the year their bodies fell apart. No longer could they get up off the floor easily, or sit indian style, their knees started aching, etc.

I'm actually feeling like it might be 32 for me. ;)

Kary said...

I definitely would just let myself believe it is the medicine. Too much of a coincidence for it not to be, right?
We already have to get a baseline mammogram? Now, that makes me feel as though I am "advancing".

Jennifer said...

DD: I'm using Differen gel. Have you ever used that?

Trista: You always have a way of making me feel better... ;) And here I thought it was just weight gain that made it harder for me to play on the floor and sit indian style. Now I know that I'm just plain falling apart.

Kary: I like your way of thinking. She said that women should get a baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 and 39. I'm just going to get it over with and give myself 4 years to forget all about it until it's done yearly.

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