First and foremost, my nam is Zach. you can post whatever you want if you have questions.
Background: I am 23 years old and finished my strange trip with accutane almost a year ago to date. I am 6' 3" and weigh 160 lbs. Growing up I never had any sort of acne troubles until the unfair and unjust trials of 8th grade began. It started out quite normally, few tiny pimples here or there and easily squeezable ones too! arent those the best? accompanied by deep fryer look of shimmering oil. Then not but a few months afterwards the gloomy road began. Bigger zits that were too painful to pop began showing up and slowly conquering my face. They were the ones too deep to do anything about and never forming to a head to which a young nieve Zach decided could be erraticated through sheer will power and super human popping strenghts. Note to anyone, this is common sense but must still be relayed: DO NOT TRY AND POP ZITS THAT ARE TOO DEEP! I am sure most of you have tired this only to find the next day all you did was puch blood to the surface and irritate your new cell mate, making him angry and red in the face.
I went through most of highschool waging warfare on these suckers with BP facewashes and cleansing pads to no avail. I had the most resilient skin, NOTHING WORKED. Then my mother, through either shame of having a son who looked like chicken pox never healed or through true love sent me to my doctor who prescribed me BenzaClin, a 5% BP cream with some other ingredient (cant remember name) to fight the zits with. IT WORKED!, kinda. This cream would keep the suckers at bay until they united enough of a coup d'tat to emerge with an army. I would go three weeks with no break outs then WHAM BAM my face would breakout. I would spend another three weeks getting over the emotional stress of my lost war then ANOTHER ATTACK! And so repeat the process until mid-college when I wisened up and went to an actual dermatologist.
Process and Methods:
Keloids, a condition no one should wish upon their worst enemies. I have them, hard nodular lumps filled with a mystical substance that makes them immortal. Yup, I have them. My dermatologist said Accutane (Claravis for us po' folks) would be the only treatment for me due to the threat of keloidian biological warfare. I had to take the liver triglyceride tests and I could be on my way. Test came back good and I was prescribed 40mg daily for the first month. During my visits, my derm. injected my keloids with steroids (wait dont those make things stronger?) and to my suprise flattened them right out.
For the first month nothing really happened. I heard only horror stories of breakouts and suicide which quite honestly scared me senseless. Why on earth would an acne drug make acne worse? Is this why people commit suicide?
The first month passed and not much other than slowly drying out EVERYWHERE. yes, even the process of wiping your own rear turns into a project when your skin turns to a desert. I went to get my blood samples and uuh ooh, elevated triglycerides. Luckily my derm told me to stop drinking and we would just stay on the 40 mg daily for a while, which I did.
Low and behold, 7 months went by in the blink of an eye and I was finished with my treatment. No initial breakout, no suicidal thoughts, no new pimples!!! My skin turned from oily to dry and throughout the course of my treatment, I never had one new pimple, only spots from dry skin that could at first glance look like a zit.
Here I am with just over a year off accutane under my belt. How do I feel? excellent. Going from maybe 20 serious deep pimples and maybe 50 moderate ones a month to none is a serious life changing event. I am confident in myself and no longer worry that when I talk to people, they are too busy trying to not look at my face and not pay attention to me.
The only problem I am facing now is the winter months are coming again and my skin is not happy about it. It seems the world supply of moisturizer is not enough to keep my skin from flaking and cracking. But given where I was before, this is a vacation. Anyone who complains about dry skin after having to go on accutane is a prick. You shoudl remember how you used to feel, this is NOTHING!
Conclusion and Advice:
Try it if you and your derm. think it is a viable option. It will save you from being too afraid to talk to women (or men depending what your gender is) like I was. If I could have gone on this in highschool I would have in a heart beat. I feel like I missed out on some of the most influential years of my life due to acne. I had to develop a great personality because lets FACE it, my looks werent going to get me very far, which isnt always a negative. I nabbed the most beautiful woman and plan on asking her to marry me soon (wish me luck) and as shallow as this might sound, may never haved happen without accutane. I would never even have been confident enough to talk to her.
Advice: Moisturize!! Cetaphil worked wonders, it still does. Use Chap Stick!! Blistex medicated worked the best for me (it comes in a small blue container, you have to apply with your finger). Finally, just wait it out, the rewards will be worth all the aggrivation.
Sorry for rambling,