Throughout high school, I have never had a big problem with acne. Even when wearing football pads and helmet, my skin only broke out in a select few places with very little intensity. Needless to say, I was never really self-conscious of the way I looked, and was pretty popular back in the day.

My first real experience with relentless acne was during my sophomore year of college. Swimming through a sea of cortisol, combined with the college-environmentalist long hair trend, I started to notice some acne forming on my face, but I foolishly disregarded this admonishment. Months went by, and I remember the day I looked into the mirror and realized how bad my acne had gotten – this plague seemed to have hit me all at once. Though there were only a few white heads, my face was covered with brown acne scars. I cut off all my hair, hoping that it would resolve this issue, but it had already begun to snowball out of control. Before long, my entire face was marred with bumps, holes, and discoloration. I lost all self-confidence and seemed to lose a lot of popularity amongst my peers. I was afraid to go out at all, was embarrassed when people would look at me, and for the first time in my life, I felt depressed.

I began diligently going to the dermatologist, but even then I ran into a couple problems. For instance, I wasn’t seen by an actual doctor until the year after I began attending, and that was only to deal with my keloids I had forming on my face. The rest of the time, I was seen by an RN that had to get her work double-checked by a doctor outside of the client room, and felt like I was a guinea pig being experimented on. The most they did was prescribe me benzoyl peroxide (which ended up burning my face every time I used it) and Retin-A (which began to show improvements after a year of diligent treatment, but even then only reduced the brown spots to red spots). To add to this, I had expressed my interest several times for getting rid of acne scars completely, as if starting from a blank canvas again. However, they were never reassuring and instead told me I’d keep these marks forever, only worsening my already spiraling depression.

Thankfully, I was introduced to Dr. Julie Kenner. Through customized prescription medicine and personally assigned routine, I have noticed significant changes in just the first month of meticulous usage. She was incredibly assuring that we were on the same team and would fight this disease together, and that one day I would see clear skin again. This has given me the confidence to leave my house with my head held up high, something I haven’t felt in a very long time.