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Back To Basics...



Before delving into the depths of my struggles with acne- I wanted to take the time to give some background information on all other aspects that make-up who I am (I guess you could call them the "positive" qualities that acne and low self-esteem can't take away.)

Here GOES....

My name is Amber and I am 25 years old. I married my high school sweetheart and just recently nailed a "hard-to-come-by" permanent teaching job in northwestern PA! My husband and I are finally at a place where starting a family should be and would be the next step...It seems that there are many positive things occurring all around me and that my life seemed to finally be falling in place...well...all except for one little issue- my acne which has returned suddenly after 8 years of being practically "acne-free."

Acne is a very fragile topic for me. It is unbelievable how it can completely change the person you are into someone you do not want to be both physically and mentally. I have become a stranger in my own body...I am on a journey which I hope you will embark on with me- to finding myself again...It will not be easy and the struggle will take time. We all have to start somewhere right?!

I took Accutane (Sotret) when I was 17 for five months (I wish I could remember the dosage...sorry.) It completely cleared my skin in that time. I had absolutely NO real side effects that were not easy to manage or control. Needless to say, I was acne free for the most part for 8 years. Recently, my life has been a roller coaster ride...I lost my father to cancer in May of this year. He was diagnosed in November with Pancreatic Cancer and died six months later. The monthly struggles, watching him suffer, watching him wither away took a huge toll on me...This rocked me to the core and opened the door to a darkness I've not ever experienced before- a new low...and also opened up the door for a unwanted friend to return- acne...

I started combatting my acne with over the counters (acne free 10%, clean and clear Persa Gel 10%, Kate Somerville products, Murad products, and proactiv.) None of these products brought about true relief- if anything, they caused more irritation. I even broke down and purchased a Clarisonic thinking I just was not "cleaning" my face properly. Still- NO RELIEF. Now I have full blown acne again at age 25- this age is supposed to be my prime right?! I then decided to try and contact my derm whom prescribed me Accutane 8 years ago. Of course she is booked and scheduling two months out!!! I made an appointment for July 7th and I am anxiously awaiting to begin the second round of Accutane- which for me, IS THE MIRACLE ACNE CURE! In the meantime of waiting for July 7th to arrive, I made an appointment with my family doctor to try and get some immediate relief. He prescribed me Metrogel first, which by-the-way is a TOTAL waste of money, super expensive even with insurance, and made everything worse. I went back to him a week later and begged for something new- he then put me on Minocycline 100mg twice a day and Erythromycin gel. While they have calmed my acne down some, I am still experiencing new breakouts every day. :-/

So this takes you to where I am today- one week away from starting my second Accutane journey. I am a full believer that the second time around (especially when your acne is on the mild-moderate side and now in my mid-twenties) will cure me of this for the rest of my life. Like I said before, my first round was for a short period of time, I believe a low-dose, and kept me in remission for 8 years. I am going to push for a moderate-higher dose this go around. I look forward to update you each week and maybe each day if it helps me cope. Even if nobody in the world ever reads this- my shoulders feel lighter with sharing my thoughts, my struggles, and my journey to finding "Amber" again...Thanks for reading...

The above pic is to remind myself of what I look like completely happy- I will get there again...


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Wow, sounds like accutane worked really well for you. 8 years is a good run. Let's hope this time round the results will stick. Good luck

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I'm sure it will work out for you, my acne came back at 27...I blame hormones! I was the same with a lot of topicals they just made things worse, although I did find my cure in the form of differin gel and birth control, but since you are hoping to start a family soon I think you are taking the right course. I would just lay off all the harsh topicals and wait for Accutane to do it's thing. I always thought I wasn't cleaning my face properly either, but switching to more gentle cleansing has really helped, especially cream cleansers.

Good luck :) xxx

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