The Truth About… Your Medicine Cabinet

Back in May last year, I mentioned in the blog post that I was emailed by a TV production company to take part in a health/science documentary talking about everyday issues that affects us all.  The documentary consisted of four parts and I was invited to take part in the one that would talk about acne.  No clues as to why I fit the bill there.

I completely forgot about the show and the filming, since I filmed my part back in May 2014 and was told at the time that the show would be aired in Autumn 2014.

Fast forward to 2nd April 2015, I received an email from the production company and was greeted with a photo of the show.  For those 4.1 million people that watched the show which was broadcasted on Thursday 9th April, you would have seen my face, 48 minutes into the show!  Now for those who didn’t watch the show, the show I was featured one was The Truth About…Your Medicine Cabinet shown on BBC1 presented by the one and only Chris van Tulleken,  This was the last of the four episodes to this documentary and this one focused on the truth about the top-selling over-the-counter medicines.

As I said I was featured on the acne part, now I won’t give too much away as to what happened during my part which was about 5 minutes, so you need to watch it yourself on BBC iPlayer.  But I will leave you with some screenshots of me on the show (my face actually didn’t look that bad on TV – the power of great camera equipment!) and also my thoughts on that particular section and addressing the feedback i have read on Twitter in regards to that section of the show!

Image Source: BBC

Image Source: BBC

Dr Dev Shah mentioned two ingredients that have evidence in treating mild acne, and they are Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid.  These ingredients can often be found in products sold over the counter and he also advised that if the symptoms are severe or  over the counter treatments do not work then it is best to see the GP.  The products shown during the clip for over the counter treatments were products from Freederm, Clearasil, Clear & Clear, Neutrogena and Quinoderm.  Now over on Twitter there were some negative reviews on the advice given.  People were commenting on how the only options for acne were Clearasil or prescription medication and how seeing the GP is not the best advice for people suffering with acne.

So what are my thoughts?  Well as an acne sufferer, I have used many over the counter products to treat acne.  But in my opinion and my own personal experience, products that are targeted for acne I found them too harsh, as they often contained either Alcohol or Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).  For people suffering from acne, it is a massive NO to use products containing these ingredients, as they strip the skin from its natural oil, making the skin dry and causing the skin to produce more oil which causes more spots. Obviously this is my own personal experience, I know people that have acne and have used these products and have seen improvement to their skin and that is great but for me it didn’t help at all.

I was 16 when I started getting spots and as the years went by the spots got worse and I went from moderate acne to mild/severe acne.  I didn’t seek medical help until I was 22/23 and I was prescribed with antibiotics/the pill and topical cream, which again in my personal experience it helped my acne a little bit but when I stopped taking the medication the spots will come back and as for the topical cream/gel they irritated my skin so I stopped using them.  If you have read my acne posts, you will know two years ago I went to see a Chinese Doctor about my acne.  You can read my latest acne update here.

Yes granted GP’s can be clueless when it comes to dealing with acne, however if using over the counter of products are not working for your acne/spots and your acne is getting worse.  You SHOULD go and see your GP.  If they prescribe you with antibiotics/the pill/topical creams, I would say no and push for them to refer you to see a dermatologist.  My advice is don’t be like me and wait till 6 years later till you seek medical help, by then you probably would have lots of deep red scarring like me and making the chances of clearing up your skin a little bit harder.  And remember as tempting as it might be, DO NOT PICK YOUR SPOTS!

You can watch The Truth About…Your Medicine Cabinet on the BBC iPlayer.

Did you watch The Truth About…Your Medicine Cabinet?  What are you thoughts on the acne part?



4 responses to “The Truth About… Your Medicine Cabinet

  1. Hey Julie!! That’s so cool that you were on TV :)

    I just want to mention that I suffered with acne for most of my teenage life and during my early 20s. It was that awful, painful and hormonal cystic acne that feels like you’ve been punched in the face. I went to the doctors time and time again and they gave me the tablets and cream that made no difference.

    I finally felt as if I couldn’t deal with it anymore as my self esteem was ruined and I felt pretty depressed so I went to the doctors again and basically was frankly honest and told them how much the acne was affecting me, and I was sent to the dermatologist at the hospital and started on roaccutane. I finished the course of medicine in June 2014 and my acne has been cured.

    I would recommend that drug to anyone that asks me about it but I understand that it has a lot of media attention due to side effects that puts people off.

    I hope your Chinese remedy is working well for you Julie. I understand the battles that are faces by people with skin problems and I think it is great that you went on TV to speak about it as many people wouldn’t. It is great that you share your knowledge and experiences with people also. I think you’re great!!

    Julia xx

    • Hey Julia!!! :D

      Thank you for your lovely comment as always! (:
      I’m so glad that you finally said “see you later” to acne! And I’m glad you got the right help and treatment in the end. as I think to this day many people are not doing the right thing which is seeking medical help and pushing for the help they require.

      I was offered to start Roaccture and being honest I got put off with the side effects like really dry skin and the other nasty side effects so I went down a different route. My skin has improved but its been a long process. I haven’t made to say “see you later” acne quite yet, but I’m sure one day i can!

      Once again thank you for your lovely comment! At the time I wasn’t so sure about going on TV back in May 2014, as I was worried I would get like nasty rude comments on social media but after seeing the show I’m glad I went on there and even if it does help just one person then I’m happy! (:

      Hopefully you had an awesome weekend Julia! xxx

      • I’m so glad it is improving Julie!! And I felt the same about roacc but didn’t see any other option. Maybe if I knew of something else I may not have taken the tablets.

        I can sympathize with the worry of people making negative comments; but honestly, I have never really had any stick for my acne, it was all in my head that people were judging and looking- but no one ever said anything.

        There was a documentary on channel 4 a few years back about roacc and it didn’t paint it in a good light…

        I hope you had a lovely weekend too ❤ xxx

      • Yes over time I realised people often don’t notice if you have spots and etc. I think if you come across as confident then no one will know about your imperfections, besides being perfect is boring!

        Yes I remember watching that documentary. I’m sure it was that, that made me think twice in taking Roacctune! x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s