Hey everyone, wanted to tell my acne story. Accutane gets a bad rap, and I think its because only the people who had a negative experience end up speaking up about it. For me, I was on this site every day during my acne wars, but since now I am cured thanks to accutane, I never went on here again. I decided I would tell my story and hope to encourage someone else.
Today, I am a 26 year old male in the US. I had acne as a teen, on my chin and forehead, as well as constant nose blackheads. The acne lightened up on my face as I got into my 20s, but it flared up on my back. I'd say from 21-24 I had gnarly cystic type acne on my back, and worse, on the back of my neck, right on the hairline. I became obsessed with looking at the back of other people's heads, because I never saw anyone else with this condition. I would get large cysts, right on the hairline. Like I said, they were huge. And also painful. It would hurt to move my head around in certain positions. They had a LONG life cycle, that would take probably two weeks or more, start to finish. That was what was so discouraging about it, because when I felt a new one, I knew that was gonna be there for quite a while. It would eventually come to a head and drain, and wouldn't start to heal until after draining.
I tried to self medicate. I tried everything. I was changing my pillowcase every.single.night. I washed the area twice a day, morning and night. I used antibacterial soaps. I used regular acne washes, salicylic acid, bp, etc. Neosporin, polysporin. I took bleach baths. I thought I had MRSA, lol, I went CRAZY. It really wrecked my life for a couple years. I couldn't get haircuts when I wanted to. I couldn't style my hair the way I wanted it. I had to wear it longer, to cover the cysts. I didn't want people standing behind me. All kinds of ridiculous things that were normal to me back then.
I finally smartened up and went to a derm. They put me on doxycycline pills, and clindamycin gel. Man was I excited. Finally thought I found the answer. I would rate the effects at about a 1.5 out of 10. Next to no results. No change. Problem continued. At this point I found out about something called black drawing salve, or ichthammol. This stuff was interesting, in that I would confirm it does speed up the cyst coming to a head. BUT, it absolutely stinks and is so messy, and still takes a day or so to work. Its not realistic to have this tar on a visible part of your body for long.
I went to a new doctor, only because I moved. Told him my story. And he said one word, accutane. He told me if nothing else has worked to this point, this is what I need. He called accutane our 'ace in the hole.' He said he'd recommend his brother, son, daughter, anyone to take it. He said it would 'cure' me. That word really hit deep with me, cure. I needed a cure. My prescription was for claravis, isoretinon or whatever. I was on a high test prescription, I don't remember the dosage, but 2 pills a day. I gobbled them down like tic tacs.
I may have had an initial breakout on my face. Nothing even somewhat crazy, because I still had had forehead acne to this point, it just wasn't an issue to me because my back was so bad. Anyhow, I really had no adverse reactions to this drug. The only thing, and I mean only, were my lips. Yes, my lips were dry/chapped as hell. Chapstick became my best friend. I needed lip balm every half hour. So yeah, that was a little annoying, but I didn't care. Small price to pay.
I took my pills for 6 months, and I can honestly say it cured me. It has been about 6-7 months since my last pill. I can count on one hand how many pimples I've had since then. I was worried about a cystic rebound. Hasn't happened. Like I said, I definitely had face acne too, I just didn't worry about it bc of my back. But my face is crystal clear today. Its perfect. Blackheads gone. The back and neck too. It was a dream come true. My only regret is waiting until I was 25 to do it. I have some decent scarring on my back, and worse on my neck hair line. Those huge cysts mess up cologen and whatever else. I shouldn't have waited so long. If I started it at 21, I'd be golden. But I;m still good!
So my advice is dont wait. Don't hem and haw over the pros and cons of accutane. Just DO IT. Nothing bad will happen to you. Life is so much better without all the stupid creams and gels and the 10 different face washes in the shower, the toners and witch hazels, and concealers. YES, i had used spot concealer on my face lol. NEVER again. I can look someone in the eye and speak to them and not worry about their eyes wandering to the zit on my forehead. I can get my hair cut and not worry about the giant cyst I hope isn't too visible. It's a different life. I wouldn't lie to you. Do yourself a favor, theres only one cure for acne and its accutane. Then you can be like me, and you will forget about acne.org Good luck