First of all, I'm a male, 27 years old.
15 years ago I had the beginnings of terribel acne. As far as severe acne goes, I have rarely seen worse. Finally in college I went on Accutane, which helped clear me out for a while. The acne came back gradually over three years, at which point I went on another course of the 'Tane. This time, the acne came back as soon as I stopped. It took about a 6 months to get from 'good' to 'pretty bad.' In the meantime, the red nose became extremely persistent, instead of just quite persistent.
This time around my skin has the itchy splotchy red blotchies (which is new) in addition to my old pals the cycsts, whiteheads, blackheads, etc. etc. A couple weeks ago, 3 different people all asked me "Are you okay?" all on the same day. Also, several comments about my nose, which must have been getting slowly worse. It's hard to notice sometimes because it happens so gradually.
I have always taken very good care of my skin, but the condition is just so unmanageable. I"ve noticed that diet doesn't affect me very much; I've tried various skin-healthy diets for extended periods of time to no real effect. I'm now trying 20 mg/day and have recently started using tea tree oil. We're trying a lower dose for longer this time, to see if it helps. We might up the dose later on, but for now, we're trying this.
The initial breakout was bad, but expected. I'm on day 17 and I think the worst of it is over. Luckily, my initial breakouts have always been fairly short--2 or 3 weeks. Now my skin looks just 'normal bad,' which is great, as far as I'm concerned.
The tea tree oil works wonders, and really helps dry out anything pus-filled. I use the pure, concentrated stuff which I mix in with my moisturizer in the morning and at night. I think after my skin is under control again, I will only use it at night. Too much makes my skin red and inflamed, and finding just the right amount so my skin doesn't get really dry and flaky took some experimenting.
I'm so sick of this crap. It's a problem I never thought a 27-year-old should have to deal with. At times I feel the same embarassment and stress that I remember from my teenage years, if not worse. I'm looking forward to clear skin at least for the duration of my 'Tane treatment. Hopefully, it will help me have confidence as I finish my doctorate in Piano and look for a job.
More to come when something of note happens.