I want to share my struggle with acne. I was 13 years old when pimples busted out all over my face, chest and back. It was really embarrassing and emotionally scarring. My mom took me to my first dermatologist in out town. I remember the doctor prescribed me lots of ointments that didn’t work and it just burned my face and I stopped it all. The second dermatologist we went to was in the city. The doctor also gave a lot of creams and toners that he formulated on his own. He also put me thru a laser machine to dry out my acne but it didn’t help. His last resort for me was the isotretinoin. I took it for only 3 months, 20 mg daily. It worked like a miracle and all that’s left were deep scars and dark spots. I was satisfied and I was acne free for almost a year but after that, I broke out again.
I learned that the cause of my acne is hormonal and then I went to a gynecologist and she prescribed me contraceptive pills to help with my irregular period and to control my acne. I took it for 2 years and it worked for a while but when I stopped taking the pills, I broke out 10x more! It was so frustrating because I was already 20 years old that time and even more embarrassing to go to class to see how other people look at me. I didn’t want to go out because it was too horrible.
I was really depressed then I went to one of the most popular derm clinics in our country, House of Obagi. The dermatologist prescribed clenziderm MD, pore therapy 5% benzoyl peroxide, obagi blender, tretinoin and sunblock. She said she won’t give any oral medicines if the topical will work but I really wanted the acne to go away asap. She gave me doxycycline, 100 mg 2x a day for a month but it didn’t help a lot so I asked her if she could give me the isotretinoin because I told her I took it before. After all the blood tests, she finally gave me a prescription. I took it for 7 months and for the first 3 months I was taking 30 mg a day and the doctor gradually decrease the dosage. I was really happy because for the first time, many people praised my skin and I was really confident to go through anything. My isotretinoin journey ended june 2013. For the first 5 months without it, my skin was perfect. My derm told me to have a fraxel laser treatment and genesis laser. So i did. I only had 1 session for each because it was too expensive but I still have my daily regimen.
Unfortunately for me, the acne is slowly but surely coming back. I don’t know what to do anymore. I cut all sugar, gluten and high glycemic index in my diet and I take zinc supplements but I don’t think it’s not working. No improvement at all. I want to take my a third course of isotretinoin but my derm said I don’t need it for now but I don’t like to wait for my acne to come back again like it did before. What should I do? I’m really frustrated and I spent so much money on my face just to clear the acne! I realized I spent thousands for the acne treatments I had. Instead of going on a vacation or buying something nice for myself, the money would always end up on treating my acne, which is really depressing. I do this because people these days look down on you if you’re different, if your face is full of acne and it disgusts them, if you’re not good looking for them and they treat you differently from people who have clear skin and good looks. Nobody should ever have to experience this. It’s not just physically painful but also emotionally. I envy people with clear skin. I can’t do anything right now.