Hello to whoever takes their time to read my rambling! To start this (hopefully 6 month journey), I should introduce myself. My name is Jessica, 15 years old, and a sophomore in high school. Acne became apparent to me around fifth grade. It was nowhere near extreme, just a whitehead here and there. However, I remember being with my friends at recess and wondering why everybody's skin was pretty, and I had red dots on my face. To a fifth grader, it didn't seem fair. In 2008, the glorious three years of middle school (aka the awkward stage in every pre-teen's life) started. Sixth grade acne included 3-4 whiteheads on my face at the same time. Nothing major. However, seventh grade was the beginning of what can be described as hell. In that year, my cystic acne came with a force. Hard, painful cysts appeared on my face every week, and as many teens with acne know, with acne comes bullies. A girl who was my "supposed best friend" sent me the nastiest text message one day. I can still remember her saying that "nobody could ever want a fat girl whose face looks like a pizza." The teasing and bullying then contributed to my ever-growing amount of stress and self consciousness. All I can say is thank God for liquid foundation. Seventh grade was the year I started seriously, religiously, wearing foundation. Finally, I got out of purgatory and moved onto high school. Freshman year, I took somewhat difficult classes and was a member of the freshman volleyball team. All throughout the year, cysts would come and go, whiteheads were constantly on my face, and there was never a day where my face wasn't inflamed and red. Now, this year is a change. Because of the constant need to challenge myself, I took on a college level world history class, junior language arts class, and year round volleyball. The amount of stress I feel this year outweighs every other year in the public education system. What people say is true. Stress does affect acne. In the past 8 months, the cysts on my face have increased in number and size. As a twist, white heads and cysts have started to appear on my chest and back. Being a teenage girl, this means no v-neck shirts, tank tops, or low cut dresses, as well as adding stress on top of school-related stress.
Last October, my parents saw me without makeup on for the first time in a while and realized, I needed help. Because of the dermatologists hours and availability, I did not get an appointment until November. Over a 4 month period, the dermatologist put me on antibiotic after antibiotic. Nothing changed. Finally, Accutane was introduced. Doc put on me on the birth control route for the iPledge system in January; this would allow me to start Accutane on February 22. Because of wrong directions by the pharmacist, I started taking the birth control before my cycle started (BAD IDEA). My acne, at first, got better and then it came back with a vengeance. It spread to my neck and my back. When my cycle did start, I was extremely moody and had super duper bad cramps. So, I was quickly taken off of that. When Doc asked me if I wanted to do the abstinence option instead, he never mentioned that it would push Accutane another month. To be so close to starting treatment and then having it yanked away, I was crushed. My next Dermatologist appointment is tomorrow and hopefully I can start within a few days.
I know I've rambled a lot on this post, but I hope for this site to be a place where I can track my progress and just let my thoughts run wild. In the past 3 months, I have spent hours researching Accutane: the treatment, results, and side effects. During my search, I was looking for a high school student's journey through this process. Adults are great to hear from, but it affects teens differently. So that is what I'm aiming for. I hope that some teenage girl (or guy) will come across this and see what Accutane is like from my point of view.
By Saturday, I hope to be on Accutane.This is the start of my journey.