I don't even really know how to start blogs or write them for that matter. I just felt that before and even now that I'm on Isotretinoin reading blogs of people that are going through or have gone through the treatment has help me a lot. I hope to achieve the same thing for somebody else.
I'll start by telling a little about my story and acne.
I'm currently in my mid-twenties, I have had acne for 15 years. At 13 years old I started seeing a dermatologist to get rid of my acne to avoid scaring and to avoid having to go through the same ordeal as my older sister (she also suffers from severe cystic acne). I was put on different antibiotics (tetracycline, doxicycline, bactrim) in conjunction with prescribed topical medications. I got offered accutane twice because the antibiotics were not working anymore. The way Isotretinoin was offered to me was not ideal, it freak me out. I was just hand out the booklet with the side effects to read by my dermatologist and he would go out to see more patients and come back to tell me if I wanted to do it or not. I was 14 years at that time and I was so scare that I declined both times. After that I continued for a few more years on antibiotics and topical creams then one day I just got tired and quit going to the doctor.
I started dealing with my acne with over the counter products, Clinique, Neutrogrena, etc and of course with covering the acne with make-up. My acne at that time was not worse or better, it was manageable but there were times I just wanted to stay home and not go out.
When I started college make-up was my best friend. My acne got so much worse with all the stress and bad eating habits especially going through nursing school. On my last year in the nursing program I decided to give it a try to proactiv. I started with regular proactive, then I switched to the extra strength and it did help control the acne, I will still have bad days especially on the week before my menses. But then I got tired of Proactiv, Proactiv was just managing the problem it was not solving it. I stop using it after four years.
Then I decided to try "natural" stuff. I went with apple cider vinegar, I was so excited to try it based on the good reviews and considering that at that time I needed/dreamed to have decent skin (not good, but decent) for my sister's wedding. I started drinking it with water every morning and night and as a toner too. It sort of work, and I'm sure if I had a less stubborn type of acne it would have cleared my face. The apple cider vinegar would dry small pimples easily but when cysts came along, it did nothing.
At the end it was not enough for me, I still was having cystic acne and scaring was starting to get worse and after going to two of my sister's weddings with a huge cysts on my face, I had it!
I made my appointment again with a new dermatologist to explore more options. I'm not going to lie I was afraid of taking Isotretinoin but my new doctor was awesome in going through each side effect and the confidence that everything was going to be handle the right way, it made me realize that this might be the one thing I needed to take care of my skin disorder.
I started Isotretinoin on April 13, 2015 with 40 mg.
And on birth control a month before to serve as the one type of contraceptive required and to help control my crazy hormones. The labs and pregnancy tests are other requirements and I don't mind them anymore.
It's been 9 weeks so far and I have all the usual side effects. Now my dose has changed from 40 to 60 mg. I'm getting the usual side effects but more pronounced compared to the previous weeks.
- Dry lips: the only thing that works for me is Aquaphor, I've tried the other brands but they don't work (burt's bee, blistex, yes to lip balm, nivea, etc.)
- Dry eyes: I'm still trying to find good eye drops! I'm currently using Thera Tears
- Dry skin: Cerave moisturizer and Neutrogena susncreen and dove for sensitive skin to wash my face.
- Joint pain: Advil and water... a lot of water! min 2 L.
- Headaches: they usually occur due to the dry eyes, but Advil takes care of that.
As far as my skin goes... I love not having to worry about being an oil monster one hour after washing my face, I'm able to wear just a bb cream all day without powder or setting spray, it will last all day without touch-ups, that's huge for me since I will always use full coverage make-up. My pores are smaller and about 80 percent of face has cleared up, the only bad thing is that I will get one or two cysts that seem to hurt a lot more. However those cysts heal up so fast!
So far I'm happy with what's going on and I hope that my skin continues to improve!
Good luck to all of you who have started and I hope it works as it's working for me!