I wanted to start a blog to just tell my journey with acne and what I've used etc. I started to have problems with my skin when I was about 16 and continued to struggle until I was 18. It started with some white heads, cysts and pustules on my forehead but these eventually covered my whole face. I wouldn't say my skin was as bad as other peoples but It was classed as moderate to severe. Like most people who suffer with acne, it wasn't just my face that it effected; my whole personality changed. I went form very happy and bubbly to very withdrawn and quiet. I soon hated going out and was scared to make plans with people incase my skin got really bad. I remember when I was 18, I got my first proper boyfriend and would get ready to meet him, doing my hair and make up, and would literally cry and cry and cry because I just hated the way I looked. I hated the way people who scan my face looking at my acne when talking to me. It was a horrible time for me.
I had tried everything!!!! I'd tried cutting out meat, cutting out all types of dairy, using different treatments and nothing worked. I was honestly at my wits ends. It was such a horrible low point in my life. I constantly went to my GP asking to try different things and would have some hope in that what they were giving me would work.
After 2 years of being completely fed up and my acne only getting worse, I had found a drug called accutane. I booked myself yet another GP appointment and asked to be put on that. I was thankfully referred to a dermatologist a few weeks later who I completely broke down to whom quite happily prescribed me Roaccutane. THANK GOD!
I cannot put into words how pleased I was to be on this drug, I could have cared less about the side effects and was just so happy to be taking something that could potentially clear the bane of my life! I was very lucky in that I never suffered an IB and after 2 weeks I was noticing my skin was starting to clear up with no further break outs. Every morning was exciting to wake up and look in the mirror to see if it was any clearer.
Of course I suffered the same flakey, red skin as everyone does, combined with a sore back and pealing nail beds. To be honest it never bothered me because I was seeing clearer skin everyday, and by this point I would have done everything to get that.
After 6 months, I took my last Roaccutane pill and felt quite sad/anxious to see how my skin would cope without it. For the first month I continued to have flawless, beautiful skin, but after a month or too I started to get strange skin coloured bumps on the lower half of my cheeks. Obviously really put off by this and wasn't quite sure what to do. My sister recommended I used Clinique's anti blemish trio. This soon cleared up the bumps and I have continued to use this for the past 4 years. Although it's quite harsh and drying, I can't bring myself to use anything else, and as the old saying goes "If it aint broke, don't fix it"!
Now, recently I have suffered a break out. Nothing like it was before but when you've had flawless skin, anything can be a huge deal. At first it was just some white heads on my cheeks and when they go I would be left with dry flakey skin (seborrheic dermatitis), soon I had tiny bumps completely covering my cheeks and chin. Again, I found myself in the horrible dark place my acne left me in before. I was in tears every day, examining my skin. I had 'good days' and 'bad days' but it was still there 3 months later. I decided to book an appointment with my GP who peered at my skin saying "I can't really see much but I can prescribe you Zineryt". Ok, I've had Zineryt before for cystic acne and all it did was irritate my skin further... I used it for 2 days before chucking it out.
I was back to square one, constantly on google trying to self diagnose these spots/rash. Eventually I convinced my mum to pay for me to see a private dermatologist. It's sods law that for ANY appointment you have re your skin, you're skin does a U-turn and looks perfect for the appointment. The 26th of March came round and low and behold my skin was starting to clear up, I considered cancelling but thought I'd stick it out and go anyway.
The dermatologist sat me down and asked me a few questions; Did my parents have acne, do I have a stressful job, what cleansers do I use etc etc. He lay me down on the bed and started to prod away at my skin eventually saying "I can see al the bumps you're talking about, they're block pores".
He sat me back down at his desk and said he had no problem in prescribing me Roaccutane again but would like to start me on Differin cream first, a cream form of Accutane. I was so pleased to be on something that I had faith in helping my skin.
That was today. I really just wanted to share my story of acne and what I went through with Roaccutane. You hear a lot of horror stories about Accutane, and I don't doubt that it doesn't work for some people, but for me it was a total life changer. I genuinely believe that if I hadn't gone on it and sorted my acne then I would have sank further and further into a depression. I feel like having had acne, and what I've been though with it, I definitely have more empathy for people.If my story helps only one person, then I'm happy.