I'm a 21 year old male and I get acne. I don't get BAD acne. If I had to put a label on it, I would say "mild to moderate" acne. At any given point, I usually have maybe 4-8 actives on my face and shoulders/back. The edges of the forehead, upper lip, and the cheeks are of particular concern (the cheeks are relatively recent. Gotta love the whimsical, unpredictable, ever-changing nature of acne!) but I'm not immune to zits on my chin, nose (those are a blast and a half) and even got one on the earlobe the other day! Seriously acne!? Is nothing off-limits?!
So let me tell you the story of how I tried to fix my face an gloriously failed. I've gotten zits since I was maybe 15. Nothing awful, but I would usually get some kind of deep, under the skin cyst that I would just pick at until it bled and then look ridiculous for a few days. It would go away, I would move on with my life, and frankly, I didn't care. At this point I had also tried some kind of cream (I want to say it was a BP? It was prescribed by my doc at a check up and I figured, why not? I didn't notice a change and it just stained all my pillow cases).
Fast forward to my third and final year of college and, while taking the GRE, I got a MASSIVE cyst right between my eyes. That sucker HURT! I called the dermatologist and, one month later, managed to get an appointment. My skin had deteriorated, but it was still probably just moderate acne. The derm prescribed me Differin (0.1) gel and minocycline. The Mino worked MIRACLES but as soon as I was done, my acne was back. I tried tanning to conceal it, and that worked wonderfully until I started getting awful hyperpigmentation (which I NEVER got before). Moral of that tragedy is DO NOT TAN ON DIFFERIN (duh...). Seriously, it was awful.
So, during the height of my PIH fiasco, my derm prescribed me Accutane. Most people I have talked to have said they were surprised I got a prescription for it, but I did. And I'm going to use it. I've held off until after graduation and there doesn't seem to be a better time in my life to try this. I have a flexible job, I have no real obligations for the next few months. It just seems like the stars aligned well for this (although it would have been nice if they could have aligned a little better and not given me acne in the first place, but go figure...).
I became really obsessive about my skin over the past few months and I'm ready to make a change. I'm sick of checking mirrors nonstop. I'm sick of wearing more concealer than my girlfriends. I'm sick of waking up every morning and dreading the new blemish on my face. Five months of misery seems like a small price to pay for some peace of mind. As for the long term side effects, I'm just going to hope for the best and talk with my doctor if I notice anything beyond the regular joint pains or dry skin/lips/eyes.
So, here's the plan: 40 mg/day Claravis for the first two weeks (may push it to three weeks) then 80 mg/day after that. I weigh about 160 lbs.
Questions: I've been on Differin for 6 months. Any chance this could help me avoid the IB? I'm hoping that since they are similar medications and my acne is not severe, maybe my skin doesn't have as much crap to get out? I'm preparing for the worst, but really hoping for the best!
I'm nervous, excited, and paranoid. But I'm ready to take this on. Sorry for writing a novella, and I'll keep you posted along the journey! In the mean time, any words of encouragement/success stories would be GREATLY appreciated!