First, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who posts here. It's one of the only places I can go to get answers to questions from people who have first hand experience with acne.
My back story: I didn't start getting acne until I was around 26. I had clear skin in my teens and early twenties. Then sometime around the age of 26 I started to get occasional acne on my chin. I'm still not 100% certain about the terminology. It wasn't cystic, but it would be a small to medium sized red bump that would hurt. I would always have one somewhere on my chin. I didn't really have acne anywhere else. To be specific, when I say chin I don't mean jawline, I literally mean the area directly below my mouth.
Over the past four years it has gotten progressively worse. I began going to the dermatologist when the acne first came about. I've been on and tried many different topical and oral medications.
And there are probably a few others that I can't remember. I won't even bother listing the OTC stuff as it's a waste of time. It always made things worse.
The Clyndamyacin was probably the most effective product. It worked fairly well for several months and just stopped worked one day. I tried to start it again a year later, but I think my face acclimated to it.
No matter what prescription drug I took, I would always get acne on my chin. It was forever a losing battle. I would have one or two painful red bumps(nodules) that would take a week to go down and then a month or so for the hyperpigmentation to disappear. As soon as they went down(the skin flattened), quite literally the same day, a couple new ones would pop up. It quite literally was a game of whack-a-mole. Whenever I finally saw some progress in one area of my chin, another area would become aggravated.
Over the past few years I've made dramatic changes in my diet. I only eat chicken, turkey, beef, rice, fruits, vegetables and a few other healthy items. I go to the gym daily. I've gone from 165lbs to 150lbs in 2 years. (I'm 5'7'') While 15lbs doesn't look like much, I've probably lost 30 pounds of fat and replaced it all with muscle. I've given up milk, soda, most sugars, and have drastically cut back on wheat. None of this helped.
I wash my face in the morning and evening with CeraVE. My skin is closer to dry than oily. I'm extremely clean(actually some OCD issues result in me cleaning my house frequently).
On my last visit to the dermatologist, they were going to prescribe me some more topicals. I had reached my tipping point. How many more times was I going to be prescribed something that I had to use daily for 3-4 months before potentially seeing any results? I just couldn't handle it anymore. The last few things they gave me didn't do anything. Also, time adds up. 3-4 on this product and 3-4 months on that product. It ends up being several years of your life w/o any progress.
So I inquired about Accutane. They were more than happy to prescribe it to me as it was clear my acne wasn't responding to all the topical treatments. It was a tough decision for me. Accutane is a serious drug and a major commitment (20 weeks). But I feel I was at the end of my rope. I couldn't take the Sisyphean battle on my chin anymore. Every time I was close to being clear there would be another set back.
I will start cataloguing my journey on Accutane. I'll try to be as detailed as possible so anyone following this can get answers to questions they might have in the same way I have from other people's journals.
Added: Side note, I'd thought I'd pass this along. Prior to taking accutane, I noticed the best way to get my acne somewhat under control was to stop going to the gym, use 2.5% BP, and take hour long Epsom Salt baths every night before bed. I made sure most of my chin was under water while in the bath. I feel that this helped bring the acne to a head and dry out active acne on my face. Unfortnately, I can't give up going to the gym, so that's one of the reasons I decided to move forward with accutane. I guess this advice is best for someone who doesn't work out. Despite that my derm said there was no correlation, I did notice that the less I went to the gym, the less acne I had.