Hey everyone, I've been lurking for a couple of months now, finally got the urge to post my own log. I'm a 28 M, had very clear skin until I was 23. Never really even had a single breakout up until then. About a year after I graduated, I decided to forgo the standard corporate route and decided to try to start my own business. After an extremely stressful deadline for a project, I started breaking out, and it hasn't stopped since.
I've tried changing my diet to the point where I'm only eating brown rice, whole wheat bread, fish and chicken, and veggies. No sweets, very little alcohol, and 8-9 hours of sleep a day. About 2 1/2 years ago started going to the gym 6 days a week, lifting, cardio, and yoga, but it actually made it worse. Whenever I did a physically stressful activity, I would experience a lot of inflammation and I'm sure the sweat didn't help either. But I ended up loving working out and feeling great so I haven't stopped until recently when my IB got out of control and I couldn't face seeing all those people. Before when I would breakout, I would just go at 2 AM when there was literally no one at the gym except a couple employees. Now the gym has cut the hours from 24/7 to being closed from 12AM - 4AM. As I was a regular for a couple years already, I am friends with dozens of people there, so I don't feel comfortable going anymore. I plan on going at 4AM starting next week, but that time is really inconvenient for me so we'll see.
Anyway, I've been diagnosed with rosacea on top of the acne. I started on doxy, which worked decently well for a couple of months, then I tried minocycline which worked for about 3-4 months and then actually came back worse than ever. I've tried tretinoin, erythromycin, metrogel, finacea, proactiv, and 5 % bp wash. They all helped reduce the acne by about 20-30%, but the 70% leftover was still pretty awful. It was also exhausting always having to have these creams and pills to deal with day in and day out. Changing the pillow cases, going through new towels every time I washed anything, very stringent shower schedules, and then of course obsessing in the mirror and whenever I thought things were getting better, constantly getting gut punched by another couple of inconveniently placed cysts.
It's been the most frustrating 5 years of my life. I never visit my clients in NYC because I can't bear the embarrassment. I used to think "everyone is too busy with their own lives to care about my acne", but it's really not true at all. The first time I went to see my clients, I had one of them ask me, "hey have you been eating a lot of greasy food lately?". And then he launched into a 10 minute discussion about it. Also, I have family members who will come right up to you and ask you what's wrong with your face. I'm very outgoing but nowadays I just hibernate. It's also funny to see the difference in my luck with women. Before I had acne the energy was so much different, and if we hit it off, then naturally things would progress. Nowadays, even when we hit it off, I can tell that they don't find me attractive. I don't blame them at all, I just find life to be very unjust at this point.
So enough of the rant. I finally got sick of everything, and despite reading all the dangers of accutane, about 2 months ago I got my derm to prescribe it to me. He prescribed 60mg (I weigh 150lbs) for the 1st month. I didn't have too bad of an IB (hence I was still willing to venture out to the gym), but was extremely sore after workouts, to the point where I was sleeping 12 hours a day. Another side effect I experienced were the headaches if I didn't drink a ton of water. I was also depressed, not because of accutane, but just because of acne making me feel helpless.
On the 2nd appt, my derm said he wanted to up my dosage, and said that studies have shown that higher dosages increase the likelihood of permanent remission, and asked me if I wanted to get aggressive with it. Of course, I said hell yes. So he prescribed 100mg. A few days into it I got the official IB, with about half a dozen cysts, a couple of which were HUGE. I've been pretty good about not picking, even though everyone in my large extended family stares at me and pities me, which really makes me want to pick some days. So i'm now 15 days into 100 mg, and hopefully I'll stay at 100mg for the rest of the course. The only thing I'm worried about is my triglycerides getting too high, as my last blood test shows that it shot up a bit from 150 to 251. Still just in the range of good, but I just need it to stay that way for a couple more months! Anyway, I'll try to post updates. Good luck to everyone else!