My name is Hannah and I’m 23. My battle with acne started when I was 13 and ten years later, although it is much less severe than it was in my teens, it is still something which effects my life very single day. Just as I turned 13 I started getting a lot of under the skin spots, mainly on my forehead and t-zone. I went to the GP who simply told me it was all part of being a teenager and that it would calm down eventually. When things only got worse I returned to the GP who put me on a course of antibiotics, as well as some topical creams. These helped slightly but my acne was still really bad and and the mental side effects were taking over my life. I would desperately try and cover my spots with make up but it almost made it look worse! I felt ugly, embarrassed and there were many days where I found it hard to get myself out of bed. I couldn’t bear to look in mirrors or have photos taken and I would often make up excuses to avoid social events because I simply felt too ugly to leave the house.
My name is Karen Thomas and I appeared on the documentary “The Unluckiest Faces in Britain” in 2003 on ITV1. For several years I suffered with acne in its most extreme form on the face only. Psychologically, I faced great challenges, which I then had to deal with. I was depressed. I know because my mother told me that is where I was. I realise that probably doesn’t make sense. Living on my own as I do, you get used to feeling a certain way and you don’t always register what those moods are when you are in them. Whenever I spoke on the phone to family, it was in a monotone voice. That was normal to me. Everything about my life and environment seemed to continue as normal. The world seemed less bright; there was a lot of negativity around, not just from me, but others about me. It was driving down my emotions and moods.
My life was carrying on as normal. I still took myself out to the pub to socialise, on my own as usual. I travelled near and far to see friends routinely. In that sense I didn’t feel affected in any shape or form. In fact everything in that way seemed OK at least for the time being.
It wasn’t until later on, I began to realise a number of things about myself. I was permanently tense. I felt wary of how others were responding to my presence, so, I had my guard up all the time. Being like this in public was exhausting. As time went on I felt a greater need to return to my sanctuary, which was my home, where I could “re-charge” my batteries ready for the next trip outdoors. Naturally, while this was occurring in my life, the depression deepened.