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today they injected my zits and took blood.

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I am 32 years old and have suffered with bad skin for 16 years of my life. I have suffered through retin a, various script topicals, antibiotics and incredibly painful diy chem peels. Nothing has ever really helped. I'd manage a clear week and then the deep, painful cysts would return. I will say it has forced me to get really good at photoshop. Kind of a sad thing though, really.

I have not been this depressed or overwhelmed about my face ever in my life. Finally, I went back to my derm and basically lost it, sobbing, in the exam room. I felt about as shallow and vain and petty as possible. I mean, what's a few spots? I just let her hear all of it, hiding behind my hair, as always. The constant preoccupation with my skin. The ten thousand make up tricks I have employed. The tendency to pull away when my angel boyfriend reaches over to touch my cheek. Hating that first time in a pool or at the beach with people who haven't seen my skin naked. Not wanting to wash my face when I stay at his house. Getting up before him so I can cover up the spots. My 2 year old asking me why I have dirt on my face... all of it. The shame, the sadness, the feeling of being horribly flawed.

Today I think she finally realized it how much this has effected me. When I finally regained my composue she didn't say much. Just asked her nurse to go get the cortisone. Then, as she stuck needles in my face she calmly told me it was time to take this to another level. Her nurse brought in the I pledge novel. My ma, watching from a chair in the exam room, turned green as she injected a really angry cyst. I told her it didn't hurt, as it doesn't. At least not compared to the feelings I drag around every day with my skin. Physical pain I can manage. Shame I really can't.

So, I'm home now. Had the blood draw, scheduled the next draw and the next visit to the derm. Cysts and spots are shrinking as I type and for once I feel like maybe I can manage this. Maybe things will improve.

I look forward to meeting other folks that are also dealing with this and I appreciate anyone who managed to make it through this pity-party novel of a first post.

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i just wanted to say good luck to you and i hope you keep us updated. i am sure your skin will look awesome after the tane and you wont have to wear so much makeup. i hate having to wear so much to cover my scars. its such a hassle ya know?

i hope you know that things will get better. stay positive and keep your head up!

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Thanks so much.

you are so welcome!!! i know how you feel and i can totally relate to your story. take it easy and i hope you have clear skin very very soon ;)

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I'm 29 and have had acne problems since I was 17. I have tried creams, pills, washes, pads, herbal supplements, sun exposure, and even a few old wives tales for good measure. Nothing worked. I would get cysts every now and again and I would ruin shirts and sheets from bleeding all over them. I remember when I was 18 we had free massages at work one day and masseuse was afraid to press hard in fear of my back looking like bubble wrap under my shirt.

When I was 22 I took the plunge and went on Accutane. It really did the trick. Because at the time I spent a lot of time outside I did get some sun blisters on my neck, hands and chin. Other than that it was a life saver. I do have scars from it and thought that I had kicked acne to the curb. I'm now 29 and my acne has come back. I decided to give it another round and see what happened.

My dermotologist would not let me go back on accutane the second time around without trying a few other medications. I tried two antibiotics, a wash and then some cream to put on at night. They all worked a little to help with the flare ups but their effectiveness tapered and now I am on Accutane again.

I have an uncle who ended up having to do it 3 times and it kicked it for good with him. My family has been blessed with some horrid acne in our blood. My dad has some bad scars from acne when he was younger.

My acne was such a downer because I could feel it. It would hurt to smile or move my face at times. So even if I avoided looking in a mirror I could "feel" what others saw. If you are interested I even started a blog at myaccutanelife.blogspot dot com to document my second time around on Accutane. I go to school full time and work full time and I have a family. So I stay busy and try to keep my mind off my skin but we will see how it goes this time around.

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