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Skin Deep

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To 'tane or not to 'tane.



That really is the big question, isn't it?

In my last entry I noted how while I still had a few breakouts, I had no cysts! Woohoo!

For like two days.

Aaaand they're back. On on each cheek, one on each side of my jaw, and one pretty much between my eyebrows. Awesome.

So here's the big (and obvious) question. Do I start isotretinoin? I go back to the derm Wednesday morning and if I decide to, it's pretty much Thundercats are Go! I've already done the initial check and been signed up for the iPledge program.

Is this really the right choice for me? Is the timing right? I'm so up in the air.

I, like everyone else, have heard all of the horror stories. At the same time, I've heard SOOOO many fantastic succuess reports. I feel like for every one person who has a terrible experience there are at least 50 who it really does help. At the same I acknowledge that it's definitely still a big risk.

Here are my biggest concerns:

The timing issue. I live in the sunny south-eastern US. In the summertime it's sunny from 5:30 am to almost 9 pm. As a fair-skinned person I'm usually reasonably careful with sunscreen and 80% humidity makes being outside during peak hours difficult. Plus I work 2 jobs which equates to quite a bit of prime sun hours spent inside, but it's not uncommon to take a trip to the lake or head out to the beach for a few days. Am I going to have to hide inside all summer?

Dental work. I have this weird situation where, at 24 years old, I still have 2 baby teeth. On is still going strong with a good root and everything. The other has no root and is essentially just hanging out. Basically everytime I eat an apple I'm prepared for the worst. I've talked to my dentist about how to take care of it, and it seems a fairly simple implant procedure. But I know isotretinoin slows the healing rate and even though my dentist had no concerns, my general practitioner warned against the procedure while I'm on the medecine. What if the tooth comes out? Tooth gaps on 6 year olds = adorable. Not so much on an adult.

The chapped lips. Ok, I know this is totally minor, but it's a concern! How do you deal with it?! I like wearing lip color but I don't want to if I'll have zombie lips!

The Initial Breakout. I know some people don't have it, but judging from all the ickiness in my pores, I think I'm more likely to. Even as a fairly confident person I'm self concious about my skin, I don't know if I could deal with it actually getting worse. And what if the inital breakout leaves scars? That would defeat the purpose! Plus I have college friends coming to town in what will be 2 weeks after I start. Am I going to look gross?

Those are my biggest issues. I've talked at length to my dermatologist, general practitioner, and opthalmalogist about this decision. They seem confident in the amount of research I've done and the steps I'm taking to ensure my health and safety while on the medicine. It would be really great to have clear skin when I start grad school in August, but I'm still nervous.

If anyone could share their thoughts, suggestions, or personal experiences, I would REALLY appreciate it. It's a big decision!


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