LAST UPDATED: November 2020
You shouldn’t read this while or after eating. You don’t want to puke, do you? You have been warned!
First off, this has been long overdue. It took me a long while to muster up enough courage to share this horrible time of my life. This isn’t for me to become a sensation but I think there are people out there who need a little light as they face the same dark battle. This seems to be a long story so I think it’d be better if I talk about how I ended up having monsters on my face for today.
I was in high school when I started having pimples and I thought everything was natural for a girl who was on her puberty. I wasn’t alone anyway. The feeling of being conscious of how I looked was never in my mind back then. Not until my university days! By the time I reached college, those tiny pimples seemed to grow bigger. No kidding! The bullying became worse, too. In high school, they used to say “Sheryl? Ah the pimply girl!”. Then in college, “Hey Sheryl! Do you own a rice field on your face?” [Background: pimple in my mother tongue is “bugas” which is grain in English. Get it? LOL] At first, they didn’t get to me at all but as I grew into a lady, man it seemed to hurt! All I did was to fake a smile but deep inside was a strong feeling of embarrassment. I was so embarrassed that I wanted to strike a punch in their faces!
Having those disgusting monsters on my face almost ate up all of my confidence. In everything I did, garnering up courage was the first thing to do. Because of that, I turned into a homebody for no good. I’d rather cooped up myself at home than going out and had to face people with so much fear of rejection, bully, seeing their offensive stares and all. Felt like I was different from everyone. My mom was the only person I talked to with confidence. She surmised me for having a skin disease or something, though. At the time, I lacked access to the Internet so I barely had the chance to do some research. I had suffered for years. I don’t know but at the time, I wasn’t sure of what to do about it. I just thought it was part of growing up thinking that it might come to an end one day. I was wrong! Totally wrong! They kept coming two after two or more even reaching my 20s. I was getting so worried that an ounce of fear emanated. I thought something must be wrong! Modesty aside, having that problem of mine didn’t deprive me of having boyfriends. Meeting my first Korean boyfriend was the turning point. I was 21 and an ESL teacher. It gave me the strength to see a doctor and accept any reasons for my acne problem. I was advised to use some products. Tried acne treatment at a good derm clinic. Even used Proactiv which was and is well known for acne treatment. That was the most expensive product I ever used. However, none of them worked. I thought my time, effort, and money were all futile.
One day, mom told me about seeing an OB gynecologist. This must be about hormonal imbalance. It took me months to finally see an OBGYN due to fear of knowing the truth or something. To make a long story short, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). The abnormity of my monthly period, aberrant oiliness of my face, and the appearance of cystic acne were all connected. These are the symptoms of PCOS.
Before I go, let me show you what PCOS acne looks like.
I went to see an ob-gyn here in Japan early in 2019. I don’t know what happened but he told me that he saw my ovaries being fine. He said he didn’t see any symptoms of PCOS at the time and he was also right about the date of my next period. Since then my acne has never acted up. Perhaps my case has improved over the years. Also, my period has been regular since 2017 or 2018.
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