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Hey everyone,

Just to give a brief summary of what's happening with my acne, why they won't prescribe me accutane and why the military health insurance royally sucks:

First off, I should say that I do not have severely bad acne. I have what I, personally, would call "mild" acne. Some days are better than others and when I finally think my face is clearing up for a day or two of no extreme breakouts, by the time I wake up the next morning, there's more! I don't get it every where at once either, they like to take turns, it seems! I'll breakout horribly on my chin and that will clear up to leave a new patch of pimples on my forehead/hairline. I don't just break out on my face either, I have horrible acne on my back (I would say it's cyst like, but I'm not really sure what that is...) with pimples that are not quite "pimples" but large, red, painfully disgusting zits - not on the surface. I also break out occasionally on my neck and chest, but those only occasionally occur (I would say a couple times a month - rather than a daily appearance).

I have been to see doctors when I was in middle school and high school - prescribed medications and told to use certain over the counter medications. I was put on birth control at the age of 12 to "help clear up the acne". Well, the first BCP didn't do anything, so for the past 10 years I've gone through my fair share of "trials and errors". I've taken oral medications and used creams, I've seen 3 dermatologist who seem to think that I haven't already tried that, that their prescription of differin is going to change from the last doctor that prescribed me the same medication and yet NO ONE will put me on accutane. I understand I may not fit the description of good candidate for the medication - but come on! It's not like my acne is getting better - nope - I just keep adding to the scars of my face.

And to top it off? Being in the military I have a limited selection of dermatologist to go to. I have to be referred by my unit doctor to a dermatologist off the base. Hardly any in the eastern North Carolina area accept Tri-Care, so it's extremely difficult to find a place to go to and find a doctor that will prescribe me this medication.

So, I'm not sure if this is a loss cause or what, but I was wondering if you guys had any recommendations?? Does anyone live around the eastern North Carolina region that could advise me of who to go?

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Hi. Being in Australia, I can't really give you any recommendations to derms, however I can give you some advice. I suffered for many years like you with what I would term mild acne (I only ever had cysts) and none of the prescriptions meds worked until accutane. I was 27 when I took it and I was completely cured and enjoyed flawless skin for almost 10 years. I'm about to go on round 2, but that's another story. Anyway, I would go to a derm and explain everything you have tried and how NONE of it is working. You don't have severe acne, but here are the facts in your case:

  • your acne is persistent
  • it is unresponsive to other treatments
  • you have cysts
  • it is causing scarring

All of these reasons make you a perfect candidate for accutane. You need to be a bit assertive and make yourself clear to the derm. If they don't want to prescribe you accutane ask them WHY? I think you'll get what you want this time :)

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