Emily Karlsson talks years-long acne struggle: 'I couldn't enjoy my pregnancy'

The former "Bachelor" star shared how her hormonal acne impacted her self-esteem.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 13: William Karlsson #71 of the Vegas Golden Knights, wife Emily and son Beckham pose after defeating the Florida Panthers to win the championship in Game Five of the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on June 13, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Emily Karlsson, a former reality star and wife of NHL player William Ferguson, opened up about her acne journey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Emily (Ferguson) Karlsson is opening up about her struggle with acne, and how it impacted her mental health.

The former "Bachelor" star, now married to Swedish hockey player for the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL, took to Instagram to share how her hormonal acne impacted her self-esteem.

In an Instagram Live, which she then shared to her grid, she talked with esthetician Alexandra Sherman who helped her along in her skincare journey. Before talking specific products, the two reflected on Karlsson's past struggle with her skin.

"This was all during pregnancy when my hormones... were out of control," Karlsson said.

"I struggled with hormonal acne and cystic deep, terrible acne and it all started once I decided to get off the birth control pill. I think obviously birth control regulated my hormones for as much as it could," she recalled.

"Then I started noticing a couple of months after being off the pill that my skin started to get worse and worse."

Karlsson revealed she began taking birth control when she was 16, and stopped at 25 when she wanted to start a family.

"My body, I think, went into shock cause like I just would have known. I would have never known I have hormonal acne because I was on the pill for so long."

Holy moly, my skin freaked out.Emily Karlsson (via Instagram)

She said nothing made it better, and her skin continued staying that way despite her efforts.

"I tried everything. I've had it on and off for years, like I would do facials and whatnot, but it would just never got better."

Karlsson also admitted to worsening the problem because she would pick at her skin, creating scars and spreading her acne. She said she knows it's the number one thing estheticians advise against, but "I'm a picker," she said. "When you see a big ol white pimple on your face, you're gonna pop it."

Leading up to her wedding in July 2022, she started to seriously look into solutions. She began short-term medication, which she had to pause once she became pregnant shortly after the wedding. The acne came back.

"I just felt like I couldn't even enjoy my pregnancy because I didn't want to leave my house. On top of being pregnant and all your hormones, I had the worst acne of my life... and makeup made it look worse."

Esthetician Sherman said Karlsson's acne was "some of the worst acne I've ever seen."

She said Karlsson was lucky to have supports in place while she was struggling, as acne takes a mental toll on those who have it.

"I really wanted to touch on the fact that you have this amazing support system and your husband, he said something to you... which was that he was like, 'There's real problems, not that this isn't a valid problem, but you should be so much more than just your acne, about who you are, it's your personality and how amazing you are,'" Sherman recalled hearing from Karlsson.

I just felt like I couldn't even enjoy my pregnancy because I didn't want to leave my house.Emily Karlsson

Karlsson agreed. "I'm so lucky that he's always been extremely supportive and just calls me I'm beautiful no matter what," she said in the video.

Now that her skin has cleared up, Karlsson said it "changed my life."

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