Having acne as a teenager is annoying, but something nearly everybody experiences; as frustrating as it is, teens can generally take comfort in the fact that the majority of their breakouts will subside by adulthood. For an unlucky few, however, acne continues well into adulthood, with breakouts often becoming more severe and harder to fight over time.
Such was the case for paleo food blogger Juli Bauer Roth, who struggled for years with stubborn, adult cystic acne, a severe form of acne that often leaves deep “ice-pick” scars on the face. Fortunately, as HelloGiggles reports, Roth eventually found a solution for her adult acne, and she opened up about her skin-care journey in an Instagram post that’s now going viral.
On Monday, Roth shared a before-and-after picture of her skin, the two photos taken five years apart. The first shows her skin covered with painful-looking breakouts and deep acne scars; while in the after, her skin is smooth, clear, and virtually free of any scarring. In the caption, Roth explained that she began taking Accutane (a prescription medication for severe acne) about five years ago. She said while it cleared up her breakouts, her scarring “continued to get worse,” even after stopping the medication. In fact, her scars didn’t begin to subside until recently, after she decided to do ProFractional laser treatments on her face.
For those unfamiliar, fractional lasers (such as Fraxel) essentially resurface the skin by targeting specific areas with high-energy light. “The laser works by punching microscopic holes in the skin, creating a controlled wound,” Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “As the skin heels from this controlled injury, it does so in a more healthy and cosmetically elegant manner.” Fraxel laser is a fantastic treatment for people who have sun damage, because it will not only improve the tone and texture of the skin but can also treat pre-cancerous spots, he adds.
For Roth, the laser treatment proved life-changing: Captioning her before-and-after picture, she explained: “Acne is brutal, especially cystic acne. Confidence is close to impossible at times. And even after the acne subsides, the scars that remain are a constant reminder of that period in your life….thanks to my amazing esthetician, I’ve been able to combat those scars and rebuild new collagen to repair the damage from those painful years. My esthetician Shawn Haviland of Cherry Hills Facials Aesthetics has completely changed my skin and I could not be more grateful to have found her. I recently did my second Profractional laser and it’’s truly one of my favorite treatments…I can see such a difference already, and I can’t wait to do it again in the spring!”
There are, of course, lots to consider before going on Accutane or undergoing laser treatment, and you should always consult with your doctor before starting any sort of regimen. That said, Roth’s skin transformation is an important reminder that even the most stubborn adult acne can be tamed — it’s just a matter of trial and error to find the treatment that works best for you.
More on adult acne (and how to fight it):
Now, watch four steps to getting rid of cystic acne: