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Hey everyone, so I am Katie Snooks and you can normally find me here.
I've suffered with acne for the last decade and honestly,
it has controlled every single aspect of my life from my
social life, dating, and also my self-confidence.
I don't feel beautiful at all, my confidence is really low today.
Until recently I finally had success.
I have spent the last eight months vlogging my journey taking
the sometimes controversial drug isotretinoin, more commonly
The success rate is high but it's also hard to get.
You can't get it from your GP and it took me a couple of years to get
I recently finished my treatment and I just uploaded my last skin
update on my Youtube channel and the transformation in my skin
So I finally found a drug that cleared my skin but I want to know
how other people deal with their acne but not just
the treatments but how they deal with the emotional side,
the self-confidence and the way you feel about being you.
Time to catch a train, I'm off to Edinburgh.
Libby and Lauren are taking me on a night out.
Libby's tried roaccutane three times without success so now she's trying
So the first time I went on it, it totally cleared up
And then it just came back all of it, and I feel like it came
You so you lived with perfect skin for a whole year?
I wouldn't say perfect, I still had scarring from obviously
the spots before but I was happy with my skin and that's
like the only time in about eight years that I have actually been
You are trying a new treatment now, can you tell me a bit about that?
So it's a suction and laser treatment and they go
around your skin and they suck the bacteria out and zap it
with a laser to kill any leftover bacteria.
What's the first step in your make-up regime?
I always start with covering the majority of the redness with
"This is BBC Radio 1, Saturday night, this is Danny Howard,
a big shoutout to the girls getting ready for a massive
Libby's training to be a beauty therapist and she says nights out
like this are one of the times she feels most self-conscious
You feel like the odd one out, like you stick
Also I feel like sort of through the night
like your make-up comes off, as well, like it's not as nice
Do you feel like you completely let go on a night out regardless of how
you're feeling about yourself at that particular time?
If I have had enough drink, then yeah, but if I have not..
I am with my friends and trying to enjoy myself.
When I have a problem about anything I can always go to them,
they're so nice about it, I love them.
Do you feel like Libby at any point gets jealous of you and the friends
that don't have acne and have never really suffered with it?
I wouldn't say so, Libby's not like a jealous person,
I do see she is not confident in her of herself
Do you think her acne has held her back with dating
As far as I have known her it's been school since we started there she's,
I have never known her to have a boyfriend.
Which is a real shame because there are so many other
She's had acne the whole time you have known her.
Never known her without and I just hope something does happen
for her that she can gain her confidence back.
She's not really dated many guys since I have been friends with her.
Do you think that could be because of that?
If Libby never looked good before she went out she wouldn't go.
She would be like, I am not going out.
Do you think her confidence has been affected by having acne?
Sometimes we have to come in the morning without any make-up
on and I think Libby is quite self-conscious coming out into
college with absolutely no make-up on.
If you are giving someone a facial with great skin
but you have not great skin, so yeah definitely.
So, it's been lovely to spend the evening
with you and after spending the last couple of hours with you and your
friends I've been thinking are you kind of pinning
all your hopes on this current treatment that you're on?
Yeah, I'd say I am just because the amount of money
I've paid towards it, it's like my own savings
But if it doesn't work, it doesn't work and I'll try something new.
Hopefully not as expensive but I have noticed a difference
in my skin and I have only had two treatments, so fingers crossed.
It was lovely to meet Libby, but after meeting her it really
dawned on me just how much she's spending on this acne treatment,
it's costing her ?600 and that's on top of all the make-up she's
I can relate to her so much and I really know how it feels
to pin all your hopes on one acne treatment.
I've taken one pill so it's kind of the first day but nothing's
I'm very worried about these big ones all coming at the same time.
That will be very painful and very unattractive.
Day 18, I wasn't going to film today because I didn't feel like it
but I thought I would be completely honest and show you guys.
My skin hasn't been this bad in a really long time.
I put so much hope and so much faith into every single thing I tried
for acne and when things didn't work it just crushed me even more.
I'm wondering what are the other solutions available
So I've come to meet one of the UK's leading dermatologists.
I met Libby a few days ago and she's tried roaccutane three times and it
hasn't worked for her and now she's paying her own money for a new light
therapy treatment which she's kind of pinning all her last hopes on.
I was wondering if there are any other treatments left available
I wouldn't say there's anything imminent that's going to topple
roaccutane off its perch but there are particularly
light-based treatments now that seem to be gaining more evidence
For Libby, I think getting support from consultant dermatologists,
either privately, if it's not possible, because the NHS
is so burdened, would probably at least make her feel more
So I've just finished my course of roaccutane
before I started I was googling it and researching it an awful lot.
There are a lot of kind of controversial things about
Well, roaccutane is an extremely strong
medication for acne, and acne is not a life-threatening disease.
So it's always a matter of balancing up the
pros and cons, but it doesn't come without risks and it's understanding
the risks, informing the patients of the risks so they can
make their own decision, but it can be extremely
effective for people who have severe and/or stubborn acne.
It's understanding what the risks are.
Someone who knows all about those risks is Jessica.
I'm off to third wheel her date night with boyfriend Brendan.
Jess hasn't used roaccutane because she's been diagnosed with
Dermatologists say the side-effects range from dry lips to,
much more rarely, kidney damage and even mental health problems.
We met at my dad and my stepmum's wedding.
So I'm 22 now, so kind of all started when I was about 12.
I'd get, like, really bad whiteheads on
my face and my friends were like, let me pop your spot and I'd be like
And I think forget, like, the physical side of
Kind of worse on my shoulders but it does go down my
back as well, and I like to call it bacne.
See, they don't look too inflamed at the moment.
It looks like scarring, but it has been worse in the past?
How about when you first met, was that kind of awkward?
I think I was a bit embarrassed, and especially
I kind of, like, made a joke out of it but I think it was...
And do you have any ways in particular to make yourself feel
better whilst you're, like, really suffering with acne?
Just, like, having somebody, having your friends
and family and just know that they're always there.
None of my friends, my family, my boyfriend,
So spending time with them, and I just
make sure that I use, like, a moisturiser.
So, I just wanted to talk a little bit about how, kind of,
Jessica's acne has affected your relationship at all?
She does have low confidence sometimes, especially
when wearing tops where her back's revealed, because she feels quite
Has it ever, like, caused any friction in your
relationship, her low self-confidence, because of her
I've always been able to kind of notice when Jess has been quite
So when she's been quite quiet or quite upset,
I've approached her and spoken to her about it.
It was really lovely to meet Jessica last night,
and although she is feeling confident and happy
concerned because I know from experience that if you have acne,
it's always there in the back of your mind, no matter how many
kind of smiles you can put on for the
Supposed to be going out tonight and now I just don't...
Not only is it breaking out, it's also so itchy and
It becomes really infuriating and frustrating when girls with clear
skin on social media, especially some of the ones I follow on Twitter
and Snapchat, they're like, oh, I've got a spot,
And they've got the tiniest, tiniest little spot you can't even see.
I've got something going on with my eyes,
It makes me want to gouge my eyes out.
She got in touch with us about her acne.
She's suffered with it for an awful long time.
And we're also going to be meeting her son
I'm unsure about how much he's going to talk to
us about it, but let's go and have a chat.
So your mum got in touch with us about her acne.
I mean I think it's quite good that you're doing a
documentary, because everyone can understand what it's like.
Almost everyone has or suffers with acne at
But when you're going through it kind of
almost feels like you're the only one.
I look at myself in a mirror and think, yeah, this is worse
Because I don't really see, I don't look at other people
specifically, I kind of just criticise myself for it.
You sometimes wear make-up to cover your acne, can you tell me a bit
about that? It comes as a bit of a shock at first, people are like, are
you wearing make-up? Then everybody realises, what is the difference?
All the girls in my year slather themselves in make-up as soon as
they get a spot, at this stage I was, I think everyone could
empathise with me and see why I was doing this, because I was in such a
bad point. It made you feel better? It did. I covered it up, when I
looked in error I did not look atrocious, I looked normal. Do you
have any pictures, would you me having a look?
George is 15 and it takes him real guts to show me these pictures.
These back on holiday. As you can see, I look pretty bad. That is not
at my worst. He is now on roaccutane butchering the camera photos up when
he was not is a step too far. -- but sharing the camera photos. It looks
really painful, your entire face is covered with quite big... It was
quite bad, it was not just on my face, it was my back, my neck.
Getting to sleep was a struggle. I would have to deal with my face in
the day and my back at night. I'm sorry to say this but it also... It
almost makes you look like a different person because the cysts
are so big they kind of distort your face. I was quite swollen as well.
Thank you so much for sharing me these pictures and board talking to
me today, you are super in inspiring. I thought me and George
had a unique story, we both have acne, we both have acne, we're both
on roaccutane. The bias is showing the world has acne at its worst is
too much for George, his mother has had decades to grow in confidence.
Oh, my gosh! That was pretty much rock bottom. That was horrendous.
How did... When you woke up every day, what did... Literally every
time I looked in the mirror it changed, it was like it was moving
around. It got worse and worse. When George was nearing the age when you
started to get it, were you worried? I always said as soon as they got
spots they would go to the doctors. Did it make you feel guilty? No,
just sad. I can feel guilty, I have done nothing wrong but I feel sad, I
feel for George that he has had to go through this and he has dealt
with it really, really well. He is a very resilient kids.
Seeing acne that bad has really touched a nerve. I can remember
exactly how I used to feel when mine was that bad and it just isn't fair.
You just want someone that you feel like you can turn to land will have
answers for you. But obviously it does not happen with everyone. I was
lucky enough to have found a dermatologist I could connect with.
It got me thinking about Jessica, she has not really nailed any
solutions despite putting on a brave face, so I have decided to put into
each with a doctor. -- put her in touch with. I thought I would tell
you a bit about myself. I am 22, I have had acne for about ten years
now. I saw a dermatologist and was offered roaccutane but we decided it
was not the best thing for me, so I was wondering if there were any
alternatives. Every patient is different, I am meeting you for the
first time but roaccutane may be a treatment option for someone with
your skin type, but it is not just your skin, it is the emotional side
and anxiety. There are lots of options. Do you think there will
ever be a cure for acne? In many patients, roaccutane or isotretinoin
can cure the acne, turn it off and it does not come back, but not all.
We always live in hope of a cure. I have heard things about diet, skin
care, that that affects acne. Is there any truth behind that? Whether
or not one develops acne is pretty much genetically determined, but
there are outside factors. Stress can trigger it, you need strategies
to manage it so that you feel happy that it is acceptable and you are
coping with the condition rather than its ruining your life. Thank
you for talking to me. That is what it is all about. You
finding ways to deal with and cope with the acne, rather than its
controlling every aspect of your life. Somehow you have to finds a
way to stay positive. I am really, really happy
with how my skin's looking. For the first time in a real long
time I am just using like a stick concealer foundation which I've
never been able to do before because my skin's
always been so blemished. Still really happy
with it apart from this, Today is my last ever
day of roaccutane. I am the happiest I've
ever been within myself for a really long time,
like ten since since I have had acne and I couldn't be happier,
yeah, this is my skin, But the up with thing I've
learned is that your skin So whatever stage of your acne
journey you are on, you have got I am a keen photographer, it is for
my degree is in. I wanted to do something to help the people I have
met feel better. What were your thoughts about chatting to doctor
Tamara? I feel more confident about talking to my doctor about seeing a
dermatologist, she put my mind at rest and I might go on Rocky Tain.
It is good you spoke to her, you have not spoken to anybody about
your acne for awhile. About four years, it was nice for her to put my
mind at rest. Cute! Big smile. Do you guys have one
thing that you would say this one suffering with acne? Go to the
doctor, if the doctor does not give you the answer you want, go to
another and keep asking, as for a referral to the dermatologist if the
medication is not working. You are never alone, there is always yells
out there suffering, try to find someone to talk to, even if they do
not have acne. Don't pick your spots, it leaves you
with so many scars. Every time I get a new spot, I don't judge. Locale
beautiful that is. Thanks. Do you like it? Yes.
It has been amazing to meet so many inspiring people along this acne
journey, who all have great ways of dealing with their acne to make
themselves feel better. You can talk to your doctor and see what
treatments are available, you can visit a dermatologist, listen to
their advice and take it in because they are the experts. Whatever stage
of your acne journey, there are still ways to feel great about