My son is 15 years old and has had acne in some form or another since he was 10 years old. He's a high school basketball and volleyball player and is almost 6 feet tall. He's been a HUGE milk drinker since he was a year old which I feel may have contributed to his acne development - for the first 13 years of his life I had him on skim milk then recently realized that skim is actually WORSE for you than WHOLE milk. I guess they have to add so many fillers to make it "skim" - we've talked about cutting out dairy for him, but he loves milk and really helped with his height and bone strength. His Dad has terrible, terrible acne problems even at almost 50 years old so heredity does play a part in it.
His acne started normal enough, but then he started getting cystic acne all over his forehead. It seriously started looking like the Colorado Rockies up in there. And cystic acne is below the skin so it just looked like he had lumps all over his face, it was awful. He's been on every topical and oral antibiotic out there so Accutane has been our last resort. As a totally type-A Mom, I researched this medication sideways and backwards. His biggest concern is the possibility of stunting his growth - premature epiphyseal closure of his bones. But he's almost 6 feet tall and decided that getting rid of his acne was more important.
So far he is on his 18 day of Accutane and I can tell you this - within the first 7 days, his face looked like a NUCLEAR explosion. If you think you're depressed now? Brace yourself for the initial breakout! If you're about to take Accutane and already have really bad skin, ask your doctor if they can put you on an antibiotic (I've also heard Prednisone works) at the start of Accutane to limit the initial breakout. Remember that the purpose of this medication is to stop your glands from producing oil so the oil that's already beneath the skin is going to be pushed to the surface - which means Hiroshima will erupt. All over your face.
He almost wanted to give up, but I kept telling him to hold on, be patient and had him read all these great blogs on here. One thing you will constantly hear is DON'T GIVE UP. Today is his 18th day on the medication and I can honestly say he is slowly starting to clear up. The huge pimple that appeared on his nose last week is finally going down - that thing had like 3 pimples combined into one. When it popped by itself one morning, I told him to squeeze it just a little to get all the white stuff out and it shot out across the room like a cannon. LOL, gross, but you know EXACTLY what I mean. The rocky mountain cysts on his forehead are all much , much smaller and the white, crusty small pus filled acne that popped up are all gone. So basically, if you're one of the few that experience the initial breakout, BRACE YOURSELF for the worst eruption ever. Start taking Accutane during a time where you can "hide out" if needed or at least not have many things to do outside of the house (yeah, umm what about school???). But just know that it will get better!
What he's experiencing now is the dreaded, much talked about dryness. His arms have small tiny rashes which is actually eczema, but he puts lotion on when it bothers him and that helps. And his lips? They keep talking about chapped lips right? OMG, chapped isn't even the right word. How about, so dry that it looks like he's been stuck in the desert with no water for 3 months? But Aquaphor for the lips has really helped him. Forget Chapstick, that stuff is too weak for this action. He is also having really bad back pains - he's always had issues with his back, but they're definitely magnified now. So if you typically get joint pain, it will probably get worse.
So it looks like he is turning the corner on his treatment and the roughest days are behind us. Know that you will get moody and depressed - you have to be prepared for this and recognize it when it happens. Confide in your parents, siblings or good friends to help get you through those moments. It is rough, believe me. As a Mom, I hate to see him suffer through all this, but I'm hanging on for the results at the end!
Edited by HulaNinja, 05 March 2013 - 02:35 PM.