Sometimes, Acne Really Is Genetic

I was the first girl to get pimples in my fifth grade class. Unsightly little bumps started to form on my forehead about the same time I got glasses, making adolescence even more awkward than it should have been. As I grew older, the tiny bumps morphed into angry, pus-filled pimples that left icepick scars even though I dared not pop them. It was fairly common for people to tell me that I would have been prettier if I had clearer skin.

Acne was pretty much the bane of my existence during my teens and early 20s, and I tried everything I could to get rid of them. I’d have regular facials to clear out my pores, I made sure to minimize my consumption of oily or spicy foods, and I washed, toned, and moisturized religiously. Yet the zits continued to sprout until I was around 23. Dealing with them was pretty frustrating, especially since none of my friends had any more than the occasional pimple to worry about, and no one else in my immediate family seemed to have the same bad skin I had.

Although I no longer suffer from severe acne, I’m a truth seeker by nature and I wondered if my skin problem was a matter of genetics. No one in my dad’s family had any acne problems, so I asked my mom if she or any of her siblings ever had the same skin issues I had.

My mom recounted the only time she suffered from severe acne. In her mid or early twenties, she used an anti-aging product that contained tretinoin, the acidic form of vitamin A. She discovered the hard way that she was allergic to the ingredient; large, red bumps started forming all over her cheeks, and it took a very long time for the acne to go away. “It’s a good thing there are now injections that get rid of acne,” my mom said. “Back then there were no such acne treatments, and I had no choice but to put up with the pimples until they went away on their own.” She also mentioned that two of her brothers – my titos – had bad acne from their teens until adulthood, which left massive crater scars. So if my adolescent acne problem was a genetic inheritance, I must have gotten it from my mom’s side of the gene pool.

It sucks to know that you can’t really have control over the quality of your skin. But if there’s one good thing that came from having acne at an early age, it’s that I discovered some things I can do to minimize the damage. Developing a good skin care routine and using the right products really helped. After some time, I noticed that many commercial skin care products seemed to aggravate the problem, and switching to gentler brands really helped. Eating well and sticking to a good sleep schedule also seemed to reduce the damage. Today, I only ever deal with the occasional pimple when I PMS, and I’m so relieved that my acne problem has finally disappeared.

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6 Responses to Sometimes, Acne Really Is Genetic

  1. Sherene says:

    Me too:(
    I never had them during my teenage years, but when I got pregnant and gave birth, pimples invaded my face thinking its their breeding ground, yaks.
    Found out later i have hormonal imbalance:(

  2. Shari says:

    Love this entry! I suffered from acne too when I was in 5th grade.

    The Misty Mom

  3. Belle Lopez says:

    Sooo sad that they never go away. My two brothers suffered from them too but not for long unlike me… They just appear and disappera, and appear again. I hope I could find the perfect product that would make these lil culprits to stop. I have tried consulting a dermatologist but she just gave me a long list of the things I must buy for me to use for my acne. That I never bought… They’re too expensive, way over my allowance. That’s why I just lean on product reviews about acne-zappers. And I hope I would find ‘the one’ soon.

    Thanks for sharing this Ms. Lauren :)

    By the way, please please check out my blog post about Ray-Ban.
    And please leave a comment. Hee Thank you sooo much :)

    Open Book

  4. Adly Velasco says:

    I started to suffer from acne in 5th grade as well. It was mortifying. It must’ve been terrible to be the only one among your family and friends who had that problem. At least it’s gone now. :) I get the occasional pimple when I PMS as well. Haha. And it adds to the moodiness.

  5. dew says:

    i can relate! even if i seldom break out now i still feel insecure because of the acne marks left on my face. id like to ask if youve tried skin needling or fraxel or something because id like to get feedback since its expensive…..

  6. miz eloise says:

    my derma said that its genetic, zits dont completely go away, you just need to manage them.

    i am able to deal with mine by using beauche exfoliating cream,

    this is also the skincare line that local flight attendants use

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