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My Story & Accutane Journey So Far

Hello to anyone who is taking the time to read this...

My name is Ali. I am a soon-to-be-21 year old psychology major, and I also study public health and nutrition. Woo! I love it !!

I am also dealing with acne! Boo.

My struggle with acne started when I was 18. From puberty until I turned 18, my skin was flawless. But then I suddenly began breaking out very rapidly and severly for no apparent reason. This was extremely traumatizing for me. I quickly began to hate myself. In no time, I was a master of drugstore cosmetics and probably tried every facewash known to man, as well as proactive. Nothing was working. I tried exercise, increasing sleep, managing stress, changing my diet, birth control, etc. And although these things would help slightly( except birth control), it would only do that--help. Nothing was curing my acne and stopping it from forming. It was awful.

I could talk to you for hours about all of the trauma that acne has caused me. I don't remeber what it is like to look in the mirror and not be afraid of what I see. But I do remember how much easier and happier my life was. I go through everything that anyone suffering from acne experiences. I sit in my room alone a great majority of the time because I am too embarressed of the way I look. I turn down invitation from my friends all the time because their skin is perfect and I am the one with something wrong and it causes me anxiety (Even though my friends would never judge me--it just depresses me to be around flawless faces). I don't watch tv or movies because everyone has perfect skin and it makes me depressed. I am afraid to eat just about anything that isnt a fruit or vegetable because of what it might do to my skin. I cry, a lot. But not too much, because too much crying causes a breakout. My whole acne experience is just soo much sadness. And of course, the sadness I feel is all a state of mind and it is my belief about the way my skin should be that causes my sadness. I am aware of this. But it is just hard. I want my life back--I don't want it to revolve around acne anymore. I've come to realize that I will never be able to except it. I just don't have it in me.

So, because of all these feelings I have, I decided to go to a dermatologist in March of 2012. I was given a benzyol perxoide and some other topical (adalpalene?) to put on. It didn't help at all. Then in August of 2013 I went back and saw another doctor. Of course, the first thing he did was put me on more topicals---tazorac and aczone. Again, no improvement after a month. Then, I was put of an antibiotic and this thing was the HOLY GRAIL !!!! I was on antibiotics from October until mid-December, and during this time my skin was the clearest it has been in three years. I was loving life again. I was seeing a new guy and felt sooo confident. I was able to go to sleep with him with a fresh face and no makeup without feeling self-concious, because there was nothing there but itty bitty blemishes ( and there was like...2).

But, I couldn't stay on them forever. Once I was taken off of them, my skin was INSANE. My acne was back with a vengence!!! I got my first cysts in 3 months on CHRISTMAS MORNING. Ya, Merry Christmas to me. I was miserable. But, I was FINALLY allowed to go on Accutane. I had been waiting for this for sooooo long.

My Accutane Journey so far:

At the time I started accutane, my skin was already back to the mess it had been before I went on antibiotics (maybe even worse...)

Month one: 20mg. I had a slight inital breakout. The only things that happened to me this whole month was dry lips, aches everywhere, and very slight dryness. My blackheads moved to the surface and began to just...fall out. (Sorry x] )

Month two: 40mg. This month, all of my balckheads were gone. I was still breaking as much as always though, which was frustrating.including cysts. I.HATE. CYSTS. I had a handful of little tiny blemishes from blackheads moving to the surface on my cheeks that would become inflamed occasionally if they didnt just fall out. I still had dry lips, eyes, pain in joints. However, the ONLY upside to this month was that was my face has zero oil. I used to be soooo oily but now my face is never oily. Or my hair. WIN.

Month three: 60mg. I am currently starting my second week in month three. I take 40 mg in the morning and 20mg at night. At this moment, my face is looking pretty bad again. I am breaking out pretty bad on my cheeks and ONLY my cheeks (why is this?!) The rest of my face is finally perfect except for my cheeks--they refuse to stop breaking out.

Some things to mention:

-Everytime my dosage is increased, I break out again.

-My skin was never dry or flakey since I started Accutane. Not even a little.

-My lips are falling off. No seriously, I'm convinced.They are trying to escape off of my face. They have taken the biggest beating from Accutane. Poor things. I was convinced that I would escape the dreadful dry lips while on Accutae but nope, they crack and bleed everyday no matter what I put on them.

-I broke out on this weird rash on my hands in month 2 which I still have. It looks like psoriasis. FUN! More psychological damage.

-I have days/ few days or maybe even a week where my skin looks beautiful and I am finally convinced that I am finally done breaking out and now its only going to keep getting better....and then I break out again. Why.

Accutane has been such a rollercoatser ride so far. It's soo frustrating to have such god days but then go back to having such bad days. Oh Accutane...you little tease. But seriously, let me stop breaking out now. Please.

At this point, I am scared that Accutane isnt going to work for me. But then I notice that my blackheads did go away and maybe it's just going to take a loooooong, painful, time. We shall see.

So...thats pretty much everything about my acne story and my journey with Accutane so far. I still have a long way to go, and I hope that I can finally have my clear skin back!

Did anyone else experience this? Anyones experience with Accutane sound like mine so far? Any advice or stories?

BTW...I just want anyone reading this to know..that if you ever feel alone or that you are the only one who feels these things...youre not. You at least know ONE person (me) who knows exactly how you feel. Im right here, right now, feeling the same thing.



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I have been on antibiotics for three years straight. Topical and oral. Dermatologists are a diverse group. My doctor has allowed me to remain on amoxicillin for years. She doesn't think I need accutane. I am also on spironolactone which I am hoping can slowly replace the antibiotics. I think your post was pretty cool. You obviously have some talent in writing. I am all done with school. I majored in History and then got a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. Not a top rated school but I learned a lot and it was hard as hell. Especially having acne. My skin has been clear for two and half years now. My regimen is in my blog. I don't want to bore you with details. I hope that accutane ultimately works for you.

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