Hello, I hope you can give me some insight!
I have been dealing with acne since about age 14 and I am 20 now. At first, I used just OTC cleansers and creams but convinced my mom to let me see a dermatologist after I broke down halfway to an event and made her turn the car around because I was so upset over how my face looked. I was prescribed differin, duac, and some glycolic acid cleanser and they were super expensive. I had slight improvements with the prescription stuff and around the same time began to take birth control which I think also helped a little bit. However, I could not continue with the prescription stuff because it was so expensive and I was moderately satisfied with my skin so I went back to using neutrogena/clearasil. I don't remember exactly what happened but all the sudden I had bad acne again, and it was showing up heavily on my back and slightly on my chest. I used tanning beds because it seemed like the UV rays somehow helped clear up or at least hide the acne. I went to the dermatologist and got prescribed more expensive creams and washes but never bought them mainly because my mom and I were not convinced that they would help and they would cost $100+ per month. My mom is really into homeopathy and I have taken remedies that she thought might help but unfortunately they did not ever work. It was so bad that I got very good at using makeup to hide it and I am sure the foundation has contributed to it even though I am always careful to look at reviews of makeup before I buy. Last year I used proactive for about five months, which did seem to work well enough but I would not say that I was ever completely "clear" while using it. I've been off and on oral birth control since age 16 but am currently on a low dose pill, and I have been taking 50 mg zinc supplements for quite a while. I began to take milk thistle, omega 3-6-9, and zinc every day for about two weeks and I am unsure if anything is changing. I currently use a 10% bp wash once a day and use calendula oil to treat open spots, plus maneuka honey as often as possible.
My acne shows up literally anywhere- forehead, nose, cheeks, jaw, chin, upper/lower back, shoulders, chest, inside my ears/nose and I am so incredibly fed up with feeling like absolute crap and never leaving the house without makeup and not being able to wear tank tops and shoulder less dresses and bathing suits and just generally feeling sub-human when looking at everyone else’s skin. I'm sure this is common, but it gets a little better in the summer but it looks so bad right now I am not sure it will get any better this summer. I get cystic acne on my forehead, cheeks, jaw, shoulders, and back, little blackheads cover everything else and whiteheads are common as well. A few days before my period is usually when I will break out the worst and it takes at least until my next period to clear anything up, though I feel like recently nothing has cleared up and scars are beginning to become a noticeable issue (I already have quite a few but they are more noticeable up close) I did research on hormonal acne and saw my gynecologist to see if she if I had low estrogen, but I do not.
I have not seen a dermatologist in at least a year but have an appointment with a new place coming up, and I am wondering if accutance might be something I could ask about and if my situation/acne is right for it. I really do not have that much interest in a bunch of products that don't work and cost a ton of money. know many drs are hesitant to prescribe it and when I told my mom I was thinking about it she was extremely unhappy and continues to voice her concerns about the side effects and risks, but I honestly don't know what to do anymore and feel like accutance might be the thing that finally works for me. I am tired of my face physically hurting from the acne and causing such low self-esteem during my college years that I have a hard time interacting with anyone, and it already made high school a difficult time.
I took these pictures today and the lighting/camera quality is bad but I have a bunch of scabs from cysts and two active blemishes along with a cyst on my forehead. The smaller things (blackheads/whiteheads) are not really visible in the photos but they are there, along with discoloration from scars.
The pores on and around my nose are pretty much always clogged and grey/black
^^ I know it doesn't look completely terrible here, but in reality there are a few cysts, many scars, and many "little" spots that are gross. I also will get big ones on my lower back and shoulders.
If you can tell from the images, I also have an issue with picking at spots but I am trying hard not to. So basically, if you have experience using accutane do you think I could ask my dermatologist about it? Or will she prescribe me different topical creams/washes?