I was 19 when it happened.
Suddenly I started to get these big, painful, lumps along my jaw, chin, mouth and neck. I’d had the odd pimple at high-school, but not like this. This was next level. They were almost like boils. It was even inside my nose and ears. Sometimes they came to a head in the form of a big, angry pustule (sorry for the details), while others just remained there under the surface causing pressure and pain… sometimes for weeks. And for added value, each lump left a purple scar that would take months to go away. I discovered later this is called “cystic acne”.
It was unsightly and it hurt like you wouldn’t believe. I became incredibly self-conscious. I didn’t want anyone to look at me, let alone take photos. That self-consciousness lead to low self-esteem which affected every part of my life: socialising with people at university, my part-time job and of course, dating. No amount of make-up would cover it up, and made naff-all difference to my sense of self.
I had acne. I couldn’t hide it, I felt ashamed and I felt ugly. And ugly girls don’t get married and live happily ever after.
Having grown up, I realise now that having acne does not equal “ugly and alone forever”, but that’s what it was like for me back then. That was my truth.
Like so many young women, I was manipulated by advertising that capitalises on the vulnerabilities of people with acne. I tried lotions, potions, masks and cleansers from the supermarket, all the way through to very expensive products from department stores. Most of them were just harsh, and all of them ineffective.
So after about a year of trying to fix it myself, I showed up at my GP who referred me to a dermatologist, who said, “Take these antibiotics.” I trusted the guy in the white coat (yes he really wore one) and I took antibiotics for 6 months!
They made zero difference.
I went back to the dermatologist who gave me a pill especially for women with acne. It didn’t work either. Then offered me the big guns: Roaccutane. I knew nothing about health back then and trusted doctors blindly. But even I suspected something was up when he said I needed to have blood tests before, during and after treatment to check my liver health. And it was mandatory to stay on the pill because I was not allowed to get pregnant under any circumstances. You see, Roaccutane can cause birth defects. And although that all seemed pretty damn serious.
I took it anyway: my self-esteem and self-worth were on the line.
I took it for 4 months in a Western Australian summer. The dermatologist didn’t tell me I was going to be even more prone to sunburn (I’m already pale and freckly). I couldn’t go out unless I was fully covered with a huge hat. He didn’t tell me my skin would completely dry out, that my lips would crack and split. I wasn’t warned about constantly dry, red eyes and recurrent nose bleeds.
Many of my patients have used that nasty drug two, three, sometimes five times and still have acne!
I meet people who’ve been on antibiotics for a year or more. They still have acne, and now they’re having problems with their gut. No surprises there. And women who really want to get pregnant but are using the pill to control their acne. They can’t bear the idea of the acne coming back.
That’s why I do what I do.
I assist people in getting rid of acne, naturally and permanently.
Why? Because I don't want people to suffer from acne, feeling that they have no choice but to go down the drug route.
I’m passionate about people feeling confident and proud of who they are, and nurtured on their healing journey.