My Acne Journey and Accutane -1

To everyone who has acne, the first and the most important thing I can say is that it is a skin disease and it should be treated by a doctor. I suffered from acne myself, so I really think that my experience can be helpful. Acne can turn your life into a nightmare without you even noticing. What would you do if you had severe pain? You'd go to the doctor and ask for medication. That's exactly what you should do when you have acne. You can't cure acne with rose water, acne patch, sulfur soap, or just by using acne face wash and moisturizer. Of course not everyone's skin is the same, but from my personal experience I can easily say that the final solution to acne is Accutane. Acne is not just oily T zone or the little bumps every woman gets before their period, or the odd little whiteheads that people get during their puberty. Here goes my scientific explanation for acne:  Sons of bitches that might occur all around your body but especially on your face, back and chest. They sometimes go away and you think they're going to go away for good this time, but they never do. They might be red, white, and painful at times. They might leave indented scars or just red/brown stains.

Now I'd like to tell you about my personal acne battle. I never had acne during puberty. I had those odd bumps and i went to the dermatologists and they prescribed some topical medications but it was no big deal. Some of my friends had acne and they seemed very obsessive about it. They felt bad and I felt bad for them but I never actually got the reason why. I was like 'it's just acne what's the big deal?'. You really need to go through this yourself in order to understand. I got acne during my sophomore year in college. It was a really stressful time for me and gradually my face pretty much got covered with acne. I don't know if it was a coincidence or not. Now almost none of my friends had acne and I looked quite weird. I started using drugstore products on my acne, but they didn't work. You can see most of the things I used for my acne on this blog and read my reviews on them. I even used a medication prescribed for someone else. It was such a powerful cream that made my skin look like I was a burn victim. Turns out it had those `skin renewing` properties in it and you needed to use just a small amount at night and probably not every night like I did. Never use someone else's medication. It is just stupid. I used all types of creams, antibiotics and topical medications but none of them worked.

Isotretinoin, Benzamycin and Antibiotic topical creams, Tetra group antibiotics (tetracycline), and Azithromycin. Though some of them were effective on certain spots, none of them cured the acne or made my face clear. Antibiotics made absolutely no difference. If you use them without stomach protectants, you're most probably going to have some stomach burn.

I've been to 4-5 doctors and they prescribed these things that I mentioned above. And as I said before, they didn't work for me. One of the doctors I've been to told me that it wouldn't go away and that people might tell me to use Accutane but it might not work and it has a lot of side effects. One of them told me that it would go away when my body stops producing that much oil. I had quite a few breakdowns and cried a couple of times during this journey. So I had 3-4 years with acne and spent a lot of my money and time on finding a treatment that works. Finally, I met my doctor and she said I was an Accutane patient. She said that they prescribe Accutane for those who are younger than 25 with acne that leaves scars, and people above 25 who has acne. I was 23 and already had acne scars. But I visited my doctor in spring, and she said we had to wait until October. Accutane does not go well with sun, so late autumn-winter months are perfect. She prescribed some antibiotics and topical gels too until we can start Accutane treatment.

Something weird happened in October. I started getting hives around my inner thighs, my belly and my sides. They were itchy like crazy. I visited her and she said that it was Pityriasis Rosea. She said that this will go away on its own and that the reason for this disease is still unknown. It's not viral, not bacterial, not fungal, not contagious. She gave me some topical creams to take away the itch. They didn't work I was still itching like crazy. I got some shots and medications for the itch, nothing. That itch just made me forget all about my acne. I wouldn't be able to wait for it to go away on its own as it might last up to 10 weeks. So I started Phototheraphy. You go into a solarium like machine (I've never been in one). It basically works like the Sun but with less (hopefully none) harmful rays. My theraphy started with 1 mins and went up gradually. I went there 3-4 times a week. The nurses cover all your moles as moles don't like the sun and might react. And you stand there with solarium glasses until the machine beeps and they take your out. It worked wonders for my Pityriasis Rosea and I would recommend it to anybody who has extreme itchiness like I did. My doctor said that itchiness is the second most uncomfortable thing after severe pain. I can't agree more. I swear it might drive you crazy.

When this ended, it was December 2014. It wasn't the perfect month for accutane but we had to. I was 50 kg (110lb) (I still am). Accutane will be prescribed according to your weight and the severeness of your condition by your doctor. Your doctor will calculate the dosage and you should just follow what s/he says. Nothing more, nothing less. You need to give blood every month so your doctor will be able to see how to continue. A little increase in your liver enzymes and cholesterol is normal, but your doctor might stop the treatment if they go up too high. I got my HDL, LDL and Total Cholesterol, AST, ALT and other liver stuff checked as well as a CBC every month.  You need to fast before these tests.  

my face before Accutane:
face before accutane

1. Month (16 December 2014): I used 1 pill 20 mg every day. The first side effect I noticed was extremely dry lips and cracked hands. Also, my body is dry as is and with accutane, it dried like crazy. During this month I saw some improvement. My face got clearer and I though that it would go like this from now on. It didn't.

This is taken with Iphone camera so it looks a little bit blurry but you get the idea, my face was better.
1 month after starting Accutane treatment

2. Month (January): 1 20mg + 1 10mg every day. Total dose 30mg. I started seeing some new and horrible acne at this point, because Accutane is clearing from inside out. It wasn't anything I hadn't already seen before so I didn't care all that much. Also, my face started to get really really dry but the things that my dermatologist gave me helped a lot.

2 months after starting Accutane treatment

3. Month (February): I started taking 2x20mg every day. Total dose 40mg. I got one in the mornings and one in the evenings after meals. My skin was still breaking out.

 3 months after starting Accutane treatment

4. Month (March): 2x20 mg every day. My skin was still breaking out. At this point i started thinking that they'll never go away. My doctor said it was normal, and we continued with the treatment.

4 months after starting Accutane treatment

5. Month (April): 50 mg every day. 30mg in the mornings and 20 mg in the evenings. People started to comment on my skin. They said it was getting clearer. I really noticed that the blackheads were gone and my skin was smooth. Like, really smooth. The bumps you see in the photos are still from that breakout.

5 months after starting Accutane treatment5 months after starting Accutane treatment

6. Month (May + June): Since the start of the treatment was in the middle of December, the end was in late June. Since I was working at an office, sun wasn't a huge problem. I applied sun screen before lunch and I was fine. We made sure that the treatment didn't continue in July.

At my last doctor's appointment I still had scars on my face. To be honest, I was quite sad that my face looked like that at the end of the treatment. Normally, people who use accutane end up with extremely clear skin. Accutane can't do much for the indented acne scars but it's also effective on the marks. My doctor said that the treatment wasn't 100% successful on me. But she also said that the effects of Accutane will continue and I can use another round when I'm like 30+ as they get really good results with older patients.

Now I'm having 1-2 bumps before my period and they go away quite fast. I can't even compare my current skin to pre-Accutane skin. I'd 100% go through everything again if I have to.

6 months after starting Accutane treatment6 months after starting Accutane treatment6 months after starting Accutane treatment6 months after starting Accutane treatment

A month after Accutane:
1 months after completing Accutane treatment

2 Months after Accutane:
2 months after completing Accutane treatment

September 2015:
3 months after completing Accutane treatment

October 2015:
3 months after completing Accutane treatment

It was quite a hard journey. Accutane is by far the heaviest, most powerful medication I've ever used. I read a lot about it on the forums and blogs and I was ready for the worst. It wasn't that bad actually. I'll write about everyhing I used during and after Accutane, how I prepared myself, what I did during the treatment and the side effects in another post.

Acne is a skin disease that we still don't have a certain cure for at this age. It can really be devastating psychologically. Kudos to people who fought with acne and I hope that this post helps someone who is suffering from acne like I did.


6 yorum

  1. Nice sharing information. Can i share your useful experience info on my blog Acne Advices?

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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