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*Cross-posted to my blog*

At this time last year my skin started breaking out worse than ever before. I always had mild acne and had used tetracycline, minocycline, oral erythromycin, topical erythromycin, benzaclin, bactrim, aczone, ProActiv, and diet changes to manage my acne. My GP prescribed tretinoin cream for my acne in February 2009 and referred me to a dermatologist.

After a month on tretinoin my face was unrecognizable. It became worse than I could have imagined. I cried every day. I only went to work 3 or 4 days a week. I stopped hanging out with anyone other than my immediate family. I stopped eating. I had nightmares about acne. My mother made me see a psychiatrist because I was suicidal. I was prescribed Xanax to deal with the anxiety. I was in hell.

When I was finally able to see a dermatologist in April 2009 he prescribed accutane. I started in June and finished in December. Now I am 2 months post-tane and I am so happy with my results. During my course I had very bad joint pain, but it is now completely gone and I am running and doing yoga daily. I experienced some hair loss, but now my hair is shiny and healthy again.

I do have significant red marks. In 4 more months I plan to invest in microdermabrasion to hopefully reduce the red marks. Right now I am able to cover them well with an oil-free foundation.

In short, accutane saved my life. I read the horror stories, too. They scared me, but it was scarier to think about living the rest of my life depressed, isolated, and suicidal because of my acne. I decided before I started my course that I would finish it at any cost, I wanted clear skin that badly. I was lucky enough not to experience any of the severe side effects of accutane. Now the only fear I have is that the acne may come back, but I am learning not to live my life looking in a rearview mirror...

I wanted to post this (long) story to encourage others to give accutane a try. If acne is destroying your life, don't be afraid to do whatever it takes to help yourself.

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