My name is Vlad, I live in Romania and I am 21 years old. Right now I study Marketing & Communication in Business. In high school, I had acne but wasn’t something bad, just some blemishes that would heal within 2-3 days. The moment where my skin literally exploded with deep cystic acne was when I started college, at 19 years old when I moved to our capital to continue my education.
At that time, I wasn’t aware of how severe it would get and how much it will impact my life. I thought it is going to be something that is will pass easily, just a few visits to a dermatologist and I will go back to living my life like nothing ever happened. Eventually, I ended up going to see one and I was prescribed antibiotics (doxycycline, without telling me to use probiotics) and a topical cream. Her treatment worked at first but the antibiotics destroyed my digestive system, I could barely eat anything, lost a lot of weight (went from 72 kg to 60 kg) and the acne eventually came back even worse, that is when I found out about the gut-skin connection. At the same time, I was overwhelmed with moving to another city, I was focusing on my acne 100% of the time and I wanted to drop out of college, my girlfriend at that time broke up with me and I had some family problems back at home. I felt like the whole world was falling apart for me in 2017 and 2018.
I love sports and nutrition. I think skincare, focusing on my gut health through nutrition, supplements, and gratitude helped me the most. Acne and scars dropped my quality of life tremendously. I forced myself to get through college, to go to many social gatherings because I love being with people and I am trying my best to not let acne take that away from me. I think the moment where I said enough is enough, is when my dad told me my mother was crying because I was suffering. As far as I know, she is not aware that he told me this. My main motivation is making my family and myself, proud of me, despite the things I’ve been through.
After 1 year, I decided to start my page where I talk openly about my skin journey. I was so afraid to do it at first, but now I’ve set a mission in my mind where I want to motivate others who struggle, especially with skin and remind them they are not alone in this journey. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I tell myself that to spark me up daily. I always said this and I will keep saying it: joining the acne community is the best thing that I did for my mental health, besides seeing a psychologist.
If you are struggling with acne and scarring, I want you to acknowledge that it is okay to suffer, to feel down sometimes, because we are humans and we can’t be happy 100% of the time. Don’t forget that you’re unique, beautiful, and stronger than before! Don’t let acne steal that from you, show up with confidence and make others wonder how can you still stand even after what you’ve been through. I suffer from anxiety and depression induced by acne and I have sleeping problems, saying this I want to emphasize the impact that acne has on your mental health. Another major tip is to seek help, acne can drain your energy and your soul. I had suicidal thoughts and I felt like I didn’t belong to my body anymore, that is when I knew I had to see a psychologist. So please, never be ashamed of being vulnerable. Stay strong, stay beautiful!