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Here it goes- I’m finally sharing my experience(s) on Accutane! I had 2 courses: one at 16 for 5 months and another at 19 for 6 months! I wish I wasn’t too embarrassed to post before pictures, but maybe I’ll get there eventually. My first round of Accutane was one of naïveté and struggle. I had been struggling with acne on my chest and back since I was about 11 years old. I would get the occasional zit on my face, but that wasn’t as big of a concern. I had tried every topical and oral antibiotic imaginable, but nothing was doing the trick. My mom and I did plenty of research pre-accutane, but in hindsight, nothing prepared me for what was coming. Long story short, for 4 out of my 5 months on the medicine, my acne was worse than I could have ever imagined. I took it over the summer- there really is no good time to take Accutane, but at least over the summer, I could hide. I never wanted to leave my house, I declined friend’s invitations. My dermatologist didn’t exactly have the best bedside manner and was not very sensitive about my struggle, making comments like “if it’s not working for you yet, I don’t see it working”. Thankfully, I did clear, and rarely broke out again for 3 more years. I was thankful that that horrible period of my life, in hindsight, was so short compared to the clear skin I was enjoying for years. Until..... it wasn’t. My sophomore year of college, I was sent into an emotional and stressful whirlwind as I struggled as a collegiate athlete. My acne came back with a vengeance- cystic acne like I never had before. It was all over. As a “public figure” per se, at my university, I was so embarrassed. No amount of foundation made me feel more confident. Seeing pictures of myself made me cringe. This time, I did a 6 month course of Accutane in the winter with a new dermatologist who I loved. She was encouraging and positive, and I think that made a big difference. Once again, it was an incredibly depressing 4 months, but I did clear again. Today, I use Curology as a daily maintenance for my skin, and I have found it to help in the wake of my acne reoccurrence. If I could give anyone one piece of advice, it would be to expect the worse. I don’t know where anyone else’s skin stands, but if you prepare to have a horrible Accutane experience, as pessimistic as that sounds, and realize that it’s not a magic instant cure all, you can be prepared for a true Accutane  experience, and rejoice if yours isn’t like mine! I don’t regret my courses on Accutane, and in no way do I want to discourage it. I do want to put a realistic journey out there, and don’t be discouraged if your journey is different than you expected. 

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Accutane can possibly trigger fungal acne, which is why accutane works for a while in some people and then it does not and acne (often cystic acne) then comes back big time. Fungal acne is often cystic.

Fungal acne is usually caused by taking antibiotics and some other meds (birth control pills, prednisone) and possibly by taking accutane.

Fungal acne an be controlled with topical antifungal creams, antidandruff shampoos and keeping skin dry - fungus loves moisture.

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