Hi all...lurked this board on and off for years before finally deciding to create and account. My short story is, had clear skin all my life until my early 20's- started breaking out mildly, then around 23, started getting cystic acne, which started small and and has now waged full on battle with my face- like for real NO JOKE, really bad. I have multiple cysts currently on both sides of my face, which almost seem connected under the skin. It is not pleasant to deal with and it's definitley not pleasant to look at. It's starting to have such a profound effect on my life that it's truly worrisome to me...I cancel plans, skip school, call out of work, avoid eye contact- I am the opposite of who I was and want to be. I have been to the dermatologist and been on Minocycline (which I swear made my pigmentation worse) Now on Ampicillin and topicals with NO result at all. I have had to get cortisone shots almost every 2 weeks- it's been a true nightmare. My current derm refuses to prescribe Accutane, so I have found another and have and appt coming up this week. I can only hope that they will prescribe it. I have always been terrified of the side effects, because I have always struggled with depression, but lately it's been largely due to my skin and low self confidence. But I am also terrified of the initial breakout, as most of us seem to be- but at this point, I don't know if it could be worse than what is already going on with my face and I am willing to suffer almost any side effect at this point to try to make any kind of progress. Any words of advice or encouragement are appreciated- I feel comforted reading all of your stories and seeing many similarities. Since I am surrounded by friends with flawless skin, it's nice to think I may have found others who understand what I am going through and be able to be honest and not embarrassed. thanks for taking the time to read my sob story and please contact me if you have advice or suggestions or even if you need someone to talk to as well.