A CURE FOR ACNE

I spent 6 months on Accutane (Roaccutane, Istotretin) or as many people have called it “the miracle cure for Acne.’ Accutane seems like the answer to many teenagers answer to their prayers, that they couldn’t imagine anything better but I’m here to tell you the difference between the fact and myth. I’ve now been discharged from dermatology and have been off Accutane for over a month so I can now tell you my story with the drug.

 

I’ve done posts before on my skin diary, how I suffered with cystic acne which caused occasionally a few white heads which was nothing out of the ordinary but more worryingly I used to have about twice a year a huge cyst would appear on my face that could grow to extreme measures and stay there for around six months. It was genuinely one of the worst points in my life and however overdramatic that seems, a teenage girl shouldn’t have to have her confidence knocked so much that even the thought of her leaving the house would make her cry. I’d like to point out that I went on Accutane because I was HIGHLY advised to, I never wanted to start the treatment and only out of losing hope I agreed to go on it. I had never even heard of the drug before my dermatologist told me about it.

 

I’ve talked about the first few months of my treatment so I won’t go into detail of what happened month to month on the drug but I’ll go through some of the side effects I experienced because I know that’s what I wanted to know most about when I was given the choice of starting Accutane.

 

DRY SKIN – There’s a 99.9% chance you will get dry skin, it would be classed as a miracle if you didn’t. In the first month, my skin was at its worst most likely due to it having to get used to the new substance that I’d thrown into my body. I remember days very well where my skin just fell off my face if I even touched it and because of that I couldn’t wear makeup. I have to admit that when the months went on, my dry skin began to decrease. I put on Nivea day and night cream which helped a lot and soon enough I was back to its normal combination skin.

 

DRY LIPS – Probably one of the WORST side effects. About a month in my lips began to be just like my skin, they used to flake off loads and it was incredibly irritating. I used Vaseline and would almost have a heart attack if I didn’t have it on me. Things got worse though, the edges of my lips began to become so chapped and cut that I couldn’t fully open my mouth, my lips would bleed if I slightly opened my mouth. It was hell and I just had to let it run its course because sadly nothing seemed to cure it. I wake up now and I’m still grateful I’m not awoken to the taste of blood.

 

NOSEBLEEDS – Speaking of blood, I’ve always suffered with nosebleeds since I was young but this was very different. On Accutane I was having around 3 nosebleeds every week. This lasted for about 2-3 months, they weren’t huge but were still an inconvenience. Many mornings I used to be awoken by the taste of blood at the back of my throat and then would have to run to the bathroom to stop my nose from bleeding, most of the time when I got there the bleeding had already stopped.

 

MOOD PROBLEMS – I was told about this side effect when I started about how its very common and needs to be looked out for. Most of the time I felt extremely down and never really talked about it. I spent most of my time bottling up my emotions and never really wanted to do anything about it. I felt as if I wasn’t the same person I was before, even when everything was great I always seemed to feel as if something was just missing. I struggled at school because my mind would just wander and not really feel as if there was any point to doing anything, I struggled in friendships because I felt as if people were friends with me out of pity. I spoke out about it which helped, I can’t say that the side effect has completely gone but I guess there’s many other factors that contribute to this one.

 

HAIR THINNING – I never used to have the thickest hair but it’s drastically got thinner over the 6 months. I never really remembered more of my hair falling out than usual but looking at my hair now and looking back to my hair before I started the drug there was a clear difference. Also on Accutane you can’t dye your hair and must wait around 2 months after finishing to be able to do so, if that contributes to if you want to start the treatment.

 

HEADACHES – They really sucked. I have never experienced migraines but I assume them to be similar. I was affected by light and sound; no pain killers would take it off and I could only sleep it off.

 

POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS – Many people have mentioned how Accutane can cause Inflammatory Bowel Disease, I started Accutane in October and was diagnosed with IBD in December. I had the symptoms for many years in advance it could be the reason why or it might not be connected at all but that’s another possible reaction.

 

 I’ve spoken about all the side effects, all the bad points to this drug but I haven’t said what my final experience was.

 

The drug itself is a miracle, I agree. I never thought I would be cyst free and I never believed that I would have spot free skin but I’m here and every time I look in the mirror and see no large lumps I am still amazed.

 

I recommend Accutane if it’s your final resort, if you have tried EVERYTHING else because sometimes it’s not worth it and there’s always the factor that you could go through all of this but still have acne.

 

I have to admit though, if I was given the choice to go through this all again to get the same result, I would.

 

BEING DIAGNOSED WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS

I sit at home yet another day being absent from school because my immune system is down due to one of the many medications I’m on for one of the many symptoms I have and a common cold seems to be like the end of the world to me.

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in December of 2016. It’s a very recent diagnosis but still, I have come to terms with it quite quickly. I believe that’s because I’ve been having symptoms of it since 2012, being branded with a chronic illness isn’t really that bad when you’ve spent the whole of your high school life dealing with it just without the name.

I don’t intend on going on about what Ulcerative Colitis is I could be here for years and also google is just around the corner for that but it is an invisible disability and no amount of medications that I will try or procedures will be able to change that I will have it for the rest of my life. I understood as soon as I was told that it would be hard. Knowing that you’ll have something for life and can’t do anything to prevent it is always daunting but I understand that by taking one day at a time, baby steps as I see them, then it isn’t as bad as you can imagine.

But my life really isn’t that bad.

I have days where I don’t want to get out of bed because thinking about what pain I’m going to be in during the day is enough to put me off.

I have times where I go into moods because the side effects of one of be many medications I’m taking causes much more damage than good.

I have moments where I just wonder what I have done to deserve all of this, why I had to be the one to have this illness and why I have to be the only one to try and fight it. I try to make those moments as minimal as possible.

People have it worse. I hate it when people say it to me because it just seems like people hold no sympathy in their hearts but it is something that gets me through this tough spots.

I am able to wake up and know that I am surrounded by people I love, that I have a good home, a good family, good friends and that is enough to enable me to want to carry on each day. I am not the first person to have this, I am not the last. I don’t have it the worst and I don’t have it the best but I have learnt enough from it to know that I am stronger than an illness that does not define me.

 

This post isn’t about pity, it’s an explanation even though one is not necessary I would like to say it anyway. It’s the reason why I miss so much school. It’s the reason why I spend time planning things so far ahead. It’s the reason why I am extremely emotional most of the time (thanks steroids). It’s the reason why I have lows in my self confidence and sometimes self worth. It’s the reason why I have become a stronger person and I’m able to understand that I am the only person who can make a difference to my own life. I won’t let Ulcerative Colitis defeat me.

 

Amira x

WHAT PEOPLE WITH ACNE WANT YOU TO KNOW

Since I started High School I suffered with cystic acne something that many teenagers have put up with. Severe acne can cause self esteem to be lowered and increases in anxiety and depression. In the past few weeks I’ve spoke to people who have suffered with different types of severe acne. This blog post is trying to break the stigma of what people believe acne to be and what people who have to suffer want to get of their chest.

WEARING MAKEUP DOESN’T CAUSE ACNE
“i only started wearing makeup after i developed chronic acne.” (@tououfive twitter)
Something that is constantly in the media all the time, I have come across many articles about this and because I developed acne at the same time I started wearing makeup I did think it had some correlation. It doesn’t. Things to do with makeup can cause acne like not taking your makeup off, not cleaning makeup brushes or anything you apply your makeup with. If you already have acne there are certain types of makeup that could irritate your skin but no, makeup cannot cause acne.

“before i knew much about acne, my friends and family would tell me i was wearing too much make-up and that was what was causing my acne.
i started to believe it but i couldn’t stop now?
i went into school one day with minimal make-up on and countless people and teachers asked me if i was feeing well because they described me as looking “ill”.
that was the last time i would ever wear so little make-up out of fear of being judged and reducing my self-esteem.” (kimberley)

ACNE ISN’T ALL THE SAME
Acne can be a few pimples that won’t leave your chin to massive cysts that cover full sections of your face. It can not be that severe that you only really get it every once in a blue moon or it can be really severe and every day you have the same old struggle. Just because somebody has clear skin one day doesn’t mean they don’t have acne. Acne is a long process and if you’re lucky, you grow out of it for some people it’s just a case of having good days and bad days.

DON’T CALL PEOPLE OUT FOR ACNE
Acne is in the category of things some people are most conscious of. If you don’t have acne and complain about every so often having a few spots and how annoying that is, how you get frustrated when they won’t go away imagine having that on a long term scale where if you mess with the spots on your face they’ll forever leave a scar.
”I would like to not perceived us as we uglier that the others, just because we have acne.” (‪@cutielodovica twitter)‬

IT TAKES ITS TOLL
It’s an effort going on medication after medication, getting your hopes up to have them ripped back down. It constantly feels like you’re having a battle with yourself, wondering why you have to be the one to get it and if there’s something you have done to cause it. You have people who will say that they can’t notice anything, that your skin looks “fine” which is nice of course but you know they’re blatantly lying to your face and then there are the people who speak to the spots on your face rather than to you.
people can be cruel.
“i got told i look like a burn victim once because of the bumpiness of my skin.” (kimberley)

MEDS DON’T ALWAYS WORK
“i think more than anything its frustrating, ive been on so many meds that have done nothing and ive spent so much money on products that do nothing” (@tououfive twitter)
Doctors say to fix your diet. They tell you to try skin products. They say it’s due to your hormones. They say to try one medication. Then another. Then another. However, it’s hard to tell what causes acne and therefore it’s hard to give something that will help it because sometimes nothing will. For me, roaccutane is helping my skin but it’s not fully fixing it. I’m left with scars on my face and a redness that just won’t budge but maybe that’s how my skin will now be, but i’ll talk more about that in my skin diaries.

“i still have breakouts.
i still have bad skin days.
i still don’t have the “perfect” skin.

but i am much more in control of it now than i ever was.”

Thank you for reading.

-Amira

LUSH & BODY SHOP HAUL

Well this isn’t exactly a haul in the sense there’s not that much that I’ve brought, however it’s much easier to categorise these in the same category. However! I went out to spend some money after the rush of the boxing day sales and the first place I was heading to was Lush after I hadn’t been able to get onto the website. I wanted to spend my money more on things that I didn’t have rather than clothes and accessories.

When I went to Lush I was overjoyed that they still had a small amount of sale left, after the manic yesterday I was thinking that there may literally be no sale at all. Even though there was some, there wasn’t much but it was enough for me to grab some bargains. The first thing that caught by eye was the Butterbear bath bomb that was marked down to £1.95 each. I already loved this bath bomb and with only a few lush products left, I picked up 3 to make sure that I was stocked up on them.

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The bath bomb itself isn’t one such as the experimenter which provides a lot of colour and fizzing it’s more of one to make you smell nice and also make you skin feel a lot smoother. Because it’s a small bath bomb I always like to use a bubble bar to make the bath feel much more full.

After stocking up on bath bombs, I headed over then to get some body lotions and conditioners.

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The first one I picked up was the Snow Fairy body conditioner and as soon as I got home, I regretted not buying more. Snow Fairy is only out at Christmas time and apart from Rose Jam, it’s my favourite product from Lush. The two other products I got were the Sleepy body lotion and Christingle body conditioner. I like getting products such as these because of how dry my skin is at the moment.

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The next items i got were from The Body Shop, Spiced Apple shower gel and Pomegranate body lotion. I brought these on their smell alone. The shower gel was reduced down to £2.50 and with my shower gel at the moment running out it was a great purchase. I really love it as well just because it has a Christmas smell to it and even though Christmas is over, I’ll be able to keep that little bit of festivity with me. The second product was the pomegranate body lotion that I absolutely adore. The smell is gorgeous and the product itself makes your skin incredibly smooth. This was reduced down to £7 and for the size I was so happy with it.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this and I would love to know your recommendations on products from these shops or if you tried out any of these!

-Amira

NOVEMBER FAVOURITES

November is a strange month because nothing becomes of it. Halloween has passed and Christmas is still just over a month away so you just end up with late nights waiting to get out the Christmas tree and waiting for the time to stuff your face with food without feeling as guilty as you normally would. November for me has been very uneventful, school and medications the only things going on in my life but still through all of it of course I have my favourite things that I have brought or tried out this month. Here they are:

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There’s nothing better than walking into your room and it smelling gorgeous. My mom gave me a new diffuser from Marks & Spencers and it’s the greatest thing in my life. I’ve had it for around two weeks now and my room constantly smells heavenly. The scent itself is orange and ginger, a smell that I wouldn’t usually go for but after having this I would. Most of it has run out now which is a shame because I’ve had it for such a short period but that’s probably because it’s constantly filling the room. I’m going to make sure I get another one of these from M&S aswell as trying out Zoella’s range.

On the smelly side of things, my favourite perfume this month was the Jo Malone Basil& Neroli cologne. I had this for my birthday a few months back, but its only recently that I have started wearing it more. The scent itself was quite new in when I received it and just like the diffuser I had, reading the bottle I wouldn’t have thought I would have enjoyed the smell. I was wrong. It’s fresh and floral and even though it intends on lasting the whole day, it’s not too overpowering. I do love all Jo Malone perfumes so I intend on getting another one soon.

 Next up is clothes purchases! A few weeks ago, there was a massive sale on at Missguided with 50% off everything! I felt as if I didn’t buy something it would be a crime against nature. At the time, I didn’t have much money so I brought myself a black jumpsuit and a Christmas jumper. The black all in one is so pretty words cannot even describe it, it’s lace and is so detailed. I don’t have a picture of it because it’s so thin and dark coloured that it’s hard to photo.

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The Christmas jumper I brought I have pictured though, I can’t stop myself from buying Christmas jumpers. I buy a new one every year, wear it one day and the cycle goes on. However, I do love the new one I have, the red is such a bold colour and one of my favourites. I always like to go away from the generic Christmas jumpers so this one will be great for when Santa comes to visit.  Another fashion favourite is my scarf that I brought from Miss Selfridge last year. I know it’s not new but as the cold weather has been coming around it’s the only scarf that you will find me wearing. I love it because it goes with everything and I’m so glad I found it out again this year.

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Onto everything else, my favourite book this month would be Alexa Chung’s IT that I brought a while back but I’ve only got around to reading now. I love everything about this book and would recommend it to anybody who loves fashion.  My last favourite for this month was How to Get Away With Murder. I’ve only just started show and at this moment in time I’m nearing the end of Season 2, but I love it so much. I’ve watched Grey’s, Private Practice, started HTGAWM and I intend next to move onto Scandal.

Be sure to tell me what your favourites were from this month and if you liked anything I did!

-Amira

MY FAVOURITE TV SHOWS

I spend a lot of time watching TV shows, some bad but mostly good ones so I thought I’d share with you the ones that have always stuck out for me. This post contains some spoilers so proceed with caution…

BATES MOTEL Bates Motel is one of the most overlooked shows on television. The show stars Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga who are both incredibly talented, they play Norma and Norman Bates the owners of Bates Motel. The show is based off the film ‘Psycho’ showing Norman Bates’ life before the movie, you don’t have to watch the movie to understand the show but as I huge fan I would highly recommend it.

FAVOURITE CHARACTER : Norma Bates – The mother of Norman Bates who goes through some of the hardest times living in White Pine Bay, you’ll either love her or you’ll hate her.

FAVOURITE COUPLE : Norma Bates and Alex Romero – A couple that develops over the seasons, it finally takes a while for them to admit they love each other through all the times they’re screaming hate at each other.

FAVOURITE EPISODE : ‘Forever’ – Season 4, Episode 9 – There are no words to describe this episode without giving away massive spoilers but a warning, you’ll cry.

FOR FANS OF– The Returned, American Horror Story, Orphan Black and How to Get Away with Murder

GREYS ANATOMYGrey’s Anatomy is now on its 13th season and still going strong. The show is focused on a group of surgeons, in particular, the life of Meredith Grey. Even though the show is a hospital based drama it is full of cliff-hangers and plot twists that will blow your mind. I only recently just finished watching Grey’s but instantly from watching the pilot episode I knew it was going to be a show that I would love each second of. But warning, don’t bother investing yourself in characters of couples on the show, because most of the characters either leave or die. Instant tears will be shed.

FAVOURITE CHARACTER : Addison Montgomery – She’s not a main character but is easily my favourite. If you love her as much as I do you can watch ‘Private Practice’, Grey’s Anatomy’s spinoff show where she’s the main character.

FAVOURITE COUPLE : Mark Sloan and Lexie Grey – Little Grey and McSteamy are a match made in heaven, even if it seems their love is expressed at all the wrong times.

FAVOURITE EPISODE : Sanctuary’ and ‘Death and All His Friends’ — Season 6, Episodes 23 and 24 – These episodes are ones that show how amazing of a TV show Grey’s Anatomy is. It’s heart-breaking but you’ll soon be quickly onto season 7.

FOR FANS OF – PRIVATE PRACTICE, SCANDAL, CRIMINAL MINDS, CHICAGO MED

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS Pretty Little Liars must be one of the most known shows for teenagers nowadays. The story of a group of teenage girls who get anonymous messages from a stalker who goes by the name of ‘A’. The show now on its seventh season is based off the books by Sara Shepard, has had many dramatic moments, love triangles, friendships and much more. The show is now in its seventh season, coming to an end next year (2017). I watched the show when it was first realised for the first two seasons then caught up again when season 6 was released.

FAVOURITE CHARACTER : Melissa Hastings – Spencer Hastings’ sister who always everyone screaming at their TV’s. She is easily one of the most shady characters in TV but has also been through a damn lot.

FAVOURITE COUPLE : Alison Dilaurentis and Emily Fields – Alison and Emily have loved each other since the first episode where they planned to go to Paris together. The couple have never ‘dated’ but have always under the surface had feelings for one another.

FAVOURITE EPISODE : ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’ – Season 5, Episode 25 – The greatest episode of the show by far, letting the audience know how far ‘A’ will go to hurt these girls.

FOR FANS OF – Scream, Gossip Girl, Scream Queens and The Vampire Diaries.

STRANGER THINGS Stranger Things has hit the world by storm and there’s no surprise why. Differing from the normal TV show, Stranger Things is set in 1983, Hawkins, Indiana. The show is set after a young boy disappears. Full of peculiar incidents, you won’t be able to stop yourself after watching the first episode. The show is one for all ages, old and young and with the success of season 1, season 2 is soon to be in the mix.

FAVOURITE CHARACTER : Joyce Byers – Joyce is the mother of missing boy Will who doesn’t stop at all to find her son. She’s strong, caring and will never stop fighting for the truth.

FAVOURITE COUPLE : Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper – Another couple that aren’t a character but you can see how much better Jim treats Joyce compared to her ex-husband. They’ll soon be together.

FAVOURITE EPISODE : ‘Chapter Eight : The Upside Down’ – Season 1, Episode 8 – The finale of Season 1 that was extremely climatic. The episode is full of moments both good and bad and will leave you wishing Season 2 was already out.

FOR FANS OF – THE KILLING, THE RETURNED, X FILES

SCREAM As you can imagine, MTV’s Scream is based off the hit movies. Set in the town of Lakewood, Emma Duval receives anonymous caller who is trying to target both her and her friends. The show is not for the faint hearted and with a killer reveal at the end of every series, you’ll be guessing for days. Much to everyone’s delight, Scream has been renewed for another season which will premier in 2017. Just like Grey’s Anatomy though, be careful which characters you love because there is a lot of death.

FAVOURITE CHARACTER : Emma Duval – A strong female lead is always the best thing a show can give to you. Watching Emma’s character development over the seasons is the greatest gift from this show.

FAVOURITE COUPLE : Brooke Maddox and Jake Fitzgerald – Brooke and Jake had a very on and off romance and usually had more times than bad. However, Jake and Brooke loved each other a great deal.

FAVOURITE EPISODE : ‘Halloween’ – Season 2, Episode 13 – This episodes is one of my favourites for Emma’s strength alone, but with a change of destination and a new killer of course it was going to be good.

FOR FANS OF – PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, SCREAM QUEENS, BATES MOTEL

Hope you enjoyed this insight and be sure to tell me if you watch any of these shows and any shows that YOU recommend!

 

-Amira

BEAUTY FAVOURITES

Finally, I’m posting more often, maybe now I’ll be able to manage a post a week like I intended on doing in the first place. Anyway, lets dive in!

 

Buying makeup strangely isn’t one of my favourite things to do.

I only tend to buy drugstore cosmetics as I know the higher priced products like MAC aren’t going to suit my skin at all and I don’t want to waste money knowing it’s just going to let me down. I have a few products that I could not live without and have constantly been rebuying as I could never get enough of them. Here’s a quick insight to what’s in my makeup bag –

 

 

 

FOUNDATION – RIMMEL LONDON MATCH PERFECTION – 100 IVORY

I am one of the whitest people out there so I’m glad that Rimmel has a foundation that suits my skin colour but doesn’t make me look extremely ill. The foundation has a good coverage and doesn’t stick to the dry patches of my skin. I’ve tried many foundations before and I just find this one my favourite because it’s not some miracle worker that can claim on covering all acne or being able to heal your skin while it’s at work, it does its job while still allowing my skin to breathe.

 

MASCARA – NYX XXL

I remember hearing about how NYX had just arrived at Boots and how hyped up everyone was about it but I hadn’t a clue. After searching around I looked and could suddenly agree that the products they do were good for the prices they charge. I decided on picking up the XXL mascara for a change in my normal routine and as soon as I applied it for the first time, I had only one thought – ‘This mascara is God’s gift.’ I find my eyelashes to be extremely light and whenever I have brought mascaras before it seems as if even if I applied 100 layers you still wouldn’t notice a difference. I think this cost around £7 but it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever purchased.

 

MOISTURISERS – NIVEA DAY AND NIGHT CREAMS

Having a moisturising routine is an absolute necessity to me and I don’t know how people survive without one. I’ve tried many different cleansers and creams but when it comes to basics, Nivea day and night creams are my favourite. I know for sure without applying day cream of a morning there is no way that my foundation would go onto my face and without having my night cream I would constantly feel in pain. If you haven’t got a moisturising routine and want to start simple then these are the products you need.

 

These products are my go to ones and the others while great, aren’t something that need to be shouted about. I would love to know if you have any products that work for you that I could try out and if you ever give any of these a try, be sure to tell me!

Sorry it’s late, but if you have any blog ideas be sure to tell me, see you next time!

-Amira

MY SKIN DIARY – ENTRY TWO

[CHANDLER BING VOICE] COULD MY SKIN BE ANY MORE DRYER?

Apparently, the answer is yes.

 

A month into my new battle with my skin and things have begun to change…Ever so slightly.

 

THE PAST

Before I started my treatment, when my skin was average/ bad (I use this words to describe it because it has been severely worse, it gets to the point where I wake up every morning checking there is no new lumps on my face), I took a few pictures to show how my skin had been affected by this type of acne.

As you can see, being able to say that this was average for my skin wasn’t really a good starting point.

However after a month of taking the hopefully miracle drug, I still wait to see if my skin will change from something I’m ashamed of to something that I can feel confident about.

 

HAVE I SEEN ANY PROGRESS?

I have seen slight progress, the antibiotics I was on(and have now finished) helped enable the reduction of one of the cysts I had nearing my eye at the beginning of the course of treatment. I feel as if some of the redness has been taken slightly out of my face but I have been told that at this time no major breakthroughs will be noticed. Being one of the most impatient people in the world it’s hard to keep telling yourself to take something when you’re not getting anything out of it but hey, one month down – only five more to go(hopefully).

 

SIDE EFFECTS

I got told when taking the tablets that it was usually for the first month to be much worse than I had imagined. I thought that my skin would be so bad that having to cover my face with a paper bag would be the only solution on how to leave the house. I can happily say that didn’t happen and I am truly grateful for that. The main side effect I’m suffering with, like many people, is how dry my skin is. It isn’t just my face but my lips are the worst. I feel as if constantly my lips are burning off and no matter how many tubs of Vaseline I use it won’t stop the aching. I moisturise my face as much as possible but after finding out today that soon my skin will get ‘EVEN MORE DRY’ I don’t think my Nivea will be able to save me from this one. The only other side effects I seem to get are headaches and joint pain, both of which are common. The joint pain I can deal with as I’ve grew up with joint hypermobility (it’s easier to google it rather than me explaining), so I can manage that to a certain extent. The headaches I find hard to deal with often causing me to feel low, I describe them more as migraines as I quickly become sensitive to light and sound and the only best way to get rid of them is through sleeping it off.

 

WHAT HAPPENS NOW

 

I go onto my next month of the tablets now, my dosage not being increased just yet. I feel this month has flew by and maybe this tablet that has been so worked up to be incredibly scary isn’t that bad after all.

Let’s hope the next entry has less on side effects and more on progress.

 

-Amira

MY SKIN DIARY – ENTRY ONE

I hardly talk about my skin problems; I only usually mention them during flare ups to explain what is happening to my face because I find it to be an extremely sensitive subject. I was diagnosed with ‘Cystic Acne Vulgaris’ or in some cases just seen as acne. Many teenagers suffer with acne so it is hardly anything to complain about or even write about but the severity differs from person to person. Simple acne that is found in teenagers can consist of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and redness. However, in my case I go through flare ups of boils and cysts that can be infected and last for months at times being extremely dangerous. This has been ongoing since 2012 around the time I started High School, and now I am in my final year so it almost seems to feel like a hopeless case. Being a teenager, having this condition has knocked my confidence and made me that insecure in my own skin that I will never leave the house without wearing makeup. I understand that many people have worse things and having lumps on your face shouldn’t affect you that much, but of course just because people have got it worse doesn’t mean how you’re feeling is insignificant.

 

It’s been confirmed to be cystic acne since last year by a dermatologist but in the past days I’ve gone onto my next step of treatment so I decided to write about what’s coming up and what happens to my face including side effects for anybody else who takes this treatment or is just interested in what happens. But first, I thought I would tell you the back story of the treatment that I have already had.

 

With the occurrence of cysts, it’s not safe to drain them I’ve been told by my doctors and sticking a pin in them is an option but can cause scarring and underlying damage to my face. I started my first treatment on a course of antibiotics (the name I can’t remember, it was quite a while ago) but as I expected nothing happened and it ended in another trip to the dermatologist.

My next set of treatment was a gel called Epiduo, I can tell you now that looking at the bottle makes me feel physically sick. Each treatment for cystic acne is in order, you have to take antibiotics to get Epiduo, you have to try Epiduo to get Roaccutane – you can’t just miss steps out. I took Epiduo for around a month in total and it was one of the worst months I could have even had imagined. The gel you use at night putting it on areas such as your cheeks and chin avoiding areas of sensitive skin. The dermatologist at the time told me how there was going to be a burning sensation and drying of the skin however the burning sensation was much more extreme than I could ever imagine. At first I thought I was having an allergic reaction until I realised everybody online said the same thing. Within a few days of using it, my skin was completely dry to the point where I had to keep drinking loads of water and moisturising more than I would have imagined. I knew that Epiduo makes your skin worse before it can get better but I could never manage that pain for a longer time period.

 

I’ve now been started on Roaccutane which is one of the most controversial drugs but at this point I am willing to try anything to try and get my skin to a good place so I can regain the confidence I used to have. I’ve been told about the major side effects such as problems with pregnancies, dry skin, dry eyes and much more and I’m still willing to give it a try. I’m on the course for the next 4-6 months which includes hospital trips and blood/pregnancy tests to see how to change the dosage and make sure everything is still okay for me to stay on the drug. I hope to keep writing on here to tell you how my journey goes, how I find the side effects and hopefully I will soon see a change in my skin even though the first month will get a lot worse before it gets better.

 

-Amira

  

SWEET SIXTEEN

This post is way too long overdue and I really need to start getting myself into a schedule where I post regularly but anyways…

Last month it was my sixteenth birthday and for the weekend following up to it I went on a trip to London with my family. I always enjoy going to London mainly because I’m a big city person, I love shopping, people watching etc.

 

SATURDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER

As soon as we got into London we headed straight for the hotel but with the street being so close of course we had to make a slight detour to North Gower Street to as per usual check out the spot where Sherlock (BBC) is filmed. It’s like whenever I go past it I’m a magpie seeing something shiny.

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Of course today was going to be a day of sightseeing and shopping, my two favourites. Firstly, we had a quick stop at Starbucks to get energy up then headed Bond Street. This is where I had my first surprise of the day. As soon as we headed down the street I was gravitating towards the Tiffany’s shop because, don’t we all? I was very happy window shopping but soon enough I was made to go inside even though I felt extremely underdressed to be heading into a shop which has somebody open the door for you and bottles of champagne lingering around on tables. The surprise of course was when my mom asked me to try on a necklace I liked and then asked if I wanted it. I can’t remember what facial expression I pulled or what I even said but it was most likely embarrassing and funny to watch.

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The next surprise I had was when we’re heading on shopping, clinging on tightly to my Tiffany’s bag, you’d have thought the queen’s gold was stashed in there, I got pulled into the Jo Malone shop. I spent a long amount of time testing each individual bottle but finally ended up falling in love with the new fragrance of Basil & Neroli which just smells like heaven in a bottle.

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After heading for some dinner the main event was soon arriving. The reason I had so badly want to come to London was to see Wicked the Musical again especially when my favourite actress Rachel Tucker was back on the West End. Once again as per usual she was incredible and so was the show, as soon as the cast waved goodbye I straight away wanted to buy tickets to see it again. It’s like a drug.

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SUNDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER

On Sunday I spent another day shopping this time heading for the shops like Harrods and soon enough when my feet were aching and I was nearly falling asleep we decided to call it a day and head home.

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MONDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER

My actual birthday! Of course it wasn’t extremely exciting as the day was spent mostly at school but after that I headed out for a meal with my best friend and family where I got this incredible cake.

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I had an incredible birthday with family and friends and of course I was spoilt to my heart’s content. I can’t wait for what this year brings and roll on my 17th!