I first noticed my acne when I was around fourteen years old, which was my freshman year of high school. This was really tough on me because of all the social and beauty pressures freshman year of high school held. Not to mention, I also had braces so I already wasn’t feeling all that confident in myself. Your image in high school is sacred, and my acne completely overtook my confidence.

After dealing with acne for those first few months, I decided to talk with my friends and family to get advice on what I should do. One of my friends, who also had acne, said she went to a gynecologist and started birth control to help regulate her hormones which in turn helped her acne.

I figured I would give this a shot and my mom helped me make an appointment with a gynecologist. I got put on birth control and stayed with it for about a month but ended up having really bad side effects from it. I went back to the gynecologist and got put on a different birth control.

Again, the bad side effects came back. I got put on another birth control and the same thing happened again. After these failed attempts at trying to control my acne via birth control, I decided to go to a dermatologist instead.

At this point, it was sophomore year and my acne was still taking a huge toll on my self-confidence. I was extremely embarrassed of my red, swollen, and bumpy skin and it definitely led me into a depression. After my first visit to the dermatologist, I got put on an oral medication which helped my acne for a little while.

My dermatologist saw the improvement the medication was making on my face so she decided to take me off of it and to start me on a topical cream. The cream was not as effective as the oral medication and my acne gradually came back.

When my acne came back full swing, I went back to the dermatologist in hopes of finding a new and better way to treat it. This time around I got a different doctor, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable because I felt as though she would not understand the history of my acne and how my skin responded to the medications I was on before.

So, the new doctor put me on a completely different sort of medication which was an oral antibiotic. This surprisingly helped a lot but only for a brief amount of time. Once again, my acne came back full swing.

At this point, I was in my junior year of high school feeling so defeated and helpless in the process of treating my acne. I felt as though it was never going to go away, and this really hit me hard. I wanted to feel beautiful and confident and both those feelings felt so out of reach and impossible.

I stopped going to the dermatologist altogether because I had just lost hope in all these medications. I then started to tell myself, “Who cares if you have acne? Just present yourself to others as if your skin was flawless.”

This worked for a little while but then I realized I was just pushing these feelings of insecurity away so I didn’t have to deal with them head on. I started wearing makeup, which in turn made my acne worse, of course.

It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I got the exact treatment I needed from the renowned dermatologist, Dr. Julie Kenner. Within three months, my acne had cleared up completely. I didn’t have to take any oral medications, but instead used topical creams that she compounded to specifically accommodate my acne needs.

Dr. Kenner also gave me a scar cream which has dramatically reduced and diminished my acne scars. I have never felt as confident as I do now in my entire life. Dr. Kenner forms a relationship with each and every one of her patients and works with them to customize a treatment plan unique to them and their specific acne needs.

If it weren’t for Dr. Kenner, I would still be the girl who stayed home because the embarrassment of my acne was too much to handle. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be the confident woman I am today.