Part of me can't believe that I will be taking Accutane in a month or so (hopefully). I am so ready for this.
So, why am I finally deciding to take Accutane?
My Acne History
I am 21 years-old and have had acne for over 10 years now. I had terrible acne at the end of middle school, and also in high school. I had very few time spans when I did not have active zits of some form of acne on my face. I don't believe I've ever had a completely clear complexion (free of black heads, white heads, cysts, etc), even for one day, which is pretty scary to think about.
Acne Has Affected Me
Acne has held me back. I know as I write this that I have repressed how much acne has affected my life; I have made excuses in the past because I did not want to admit that my acne made me feel completely and entirely self-conscious, but it did. And in many ways, it still does. In middle school and high school, my acne could be as mild as one or two zits and blackheads to as severe as having numerous pimples on my face, chest, back, and upper arms, painful, deep cysts the size of dimes or even nickels, and blackheads. Even in college thus far, my acne has held me back. Many times I have decided to cancel on plans or going out because I was breaking out and did not want people to see me or did not want to be in pictures. In freshman year of college, I got mono, which made my skin a bit more clear. At the beginning of sophomore year, I had medical problems, roommate issues, emotional troubles, plus a great deal of stress, which at times, made my acne flare. For the most part, though, my acne was manageable during my Junior year in college. I still had very clogged pores and dealt with a few zits per week, but it was not so bad that I was hiding my face.
Major Freak Out = Major Break Out
Which, brings me to the end of this year. At the end of this year my stress was at an all time high. I was dealing with way too many things at once--a part time job, leadership positions and responsibilities, involvement in organizations and clubs, 21 hours of class per week, trying to find time to do homework, work out, hang out with friends, and sleep. Needless to say, I ran myself into the ground due to stress and a lack of sleep. My acne went crazy. Instead of one or two zits though, I got deep, painful cysts that would not go away unless I used a strong spot treatment to dry them out, which then made my face scab over, causing me to spread Aveeno moisturizer on the scabs to speed up the healing process. The past couple of months my acne and the healing scabs were s o severe from what I was used to that I was literally hiding my face/ parts of my face while doing makeup so that I could attempt to conceal one section at a time. With less stress, getting used to new water, and a bit of sun, my acne has gotten better. I only have a few zits on my face right now, blackheads and clogged pores of course, and healing acne marks. I saw a derm last Friday and he prescribed a 4 part treatment--a benzoyl peroxide facewash, a topical antibiotic, an oral antibiotic, and a topical retinoid. On Friday night, I realized I didn't want to deal with even more topicals, antibiotics, new face cleansers, etc, etc. It took the weekend for me to get the courage to call back on Monday and tell him that I wanted to try Accutane.
Exhausted of Having Acne
I want a long-term or longer-term solution. I know that Accutane is not a cure-all. Some people have very clear skin after Accutane, while some people have to do 1 or 2 rounds to clear up their skin. I understand that. I can't predict how my skin will react, so I will hope for the best, and go with what comes my way.
I am so tired of having "eh, so, so" or "decent" skin. I am so sick of having to put on concealer and powder and powder foundation to feel comfortable leaving my house. I want beautiful, clear, gorgeous skin. I am aware that Accutane has side effects. I have done research for the past few years. However, after 10+ years of dealing with acne that has ranged from mild to moderate/severe at times, I am ready to give Accutane a try. I already wish I would have tried it in high school when I wanted to, and I do not want to look back 5 years from now and regret not trying it. There's never a great time to face your problems. There's always going to be senior year of high school or the summer and a vacation you're going on, or your Fall Semester of your senior year of college. I think right now, I need to seize the time I have and try this.
The Pre-Accutane Timeline
Hopefully, I will have the 1st pregnancy test done by Monday. Then I can get the I-Pledge registration process begun, which I need to be registered as a member for 30 days before I can do anything else. Once that 30 days has passed, the next period I get, I need to take the 2nd pregnancy test within 5 days of starting that menstrual cycle. Then, finally, when it comes back negative and I answer I-Pledge questions online, I can get my first month of Accutane Pills for the month of August (hopefully).
My derm is in Minnesota, but I will be at college in a different state, so I will be getting my records faxed and continuing the Accutane there. Mostly, I am seeing the derm here and getting this set up now so that I can take the pills asap. My MN derm says the general course span is 4-5 months.
This post was crazy long but I promise the updates for my journey on Accutane will be a LOT shorter and to the point. I wanted people to be able to refer to my acne history in case they had questions.