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Hey guys,

I'm a 19 year old chinese male living in Singapore (nope singapore is definitely not in china). Like most teenagers, I too have a common skin condition - acne. Unfortunately, I belong to the smaller and unluckier group of people who has to take drastic measures to control their skin condition.

Let me talk about where I stay. Singapore is a tropical country with no seasons. Basically, it is summer all year long and sometimes monsoon. Not to mention the humidity level is extremely high here, the climate is absolutely perfect to keep the skin going (bad).

I've been facing this delimma since I was 13. It has been 6 years. Since it has been that long, I thought that I should have already conquered it by now, but I was wrong. It was the total opposite. Most acne sufferers may know that we are like on a roller coaster ride. Our skin get worse and worse, then clears up and BAM! All of a sudden it just worsens and this cycles continues. I found out that my breakout were mainly hormonal, due to the fact that it was always around my cheek and jaw area and it was always close to my exams dates, and it only gets worse with every cycle.

It didnt bother me that much until about a year later - when I was 14. Thats when I started feeling so helpless and desperate. My parents aren't very helpful as they believe that it'll just go away in time. They refused to let me see a dermatologist so I had to rely on products. I started using various products and as you may guess, things only gets worse.

After quite some time, my mother finally relented and she brought me to a dermatologist. Yes it worked for awhile but it didnt take long for me to realise it was extremely harsh on my skin. My skin got easily irritated and was constantly itching and hurting. Not only that, it didn't come cheap too. Since my face got better (I thought), I stopped.

It didn't take long for acne to start appearing and spreading like wildfire. Before I knew it I was in total desperation again. This time my mom offered a cheaper alternative which she heard from her friend which was to exfoliate the skin with lemon and wash with salt. Things only got worse and thats when I decided I needed to do something.

My friend has been recommending me oral isotretinoin but I refused to give it a try as I thought it would be my last resort. So I went ahead and had my first course (This is my second). The first 1 month was hell. I had initial breakouts and my skin and lips were cracking so badly (common side effects). Afterwards, things only got better and by half a year, my skin was acne free and my acne marks were recovering well!!

I thought that would be the last of my acne since I'm slowly growing out of puberty. Nope. I actually stopped without the recommendation of my dermatologist and it came back to haunt me due to exam stress. So I went back for my second course of oratane. Things got slightly better until I started taking mass gainers and working out. Man I started breaking out. Then I had to catch the flu at this point which blew everything up. Now i just finished my second month and my skin is worse than I started!

The dermatologist doubled my dosage today (from 10mg every alternate days to daily) with Cloxacap 250mg (antibiotics) 3 times each day for 5 days which is burning a huge hole in my pocket. I took a photo of my skin which I am considering if I should put it up. Now I'm just feeling extremely helpless and depressed.

Its not that I do not take care of my face. I make it a point not to touch my face without washing, and washing it immediately when I get in contact with something dirty. I also watch my diet strictly. Fried food are a definite no and I'm cutting down on other favourite stuff like chocolates, peanuts etc. It feels terrible to be restricting myself but I do not have a choice. I drink a lot of water daily too and sleep early. Anything that causes acne is a no no.

After doing so much, my skin still continues to be like this. it makes me feel, does hard work really pays? My confidence level is rock-bottom now. The fact that none of my parents (or nobody close to me) can understand me just makes me feel really upset. The feeling of being being afraid of self reflections, being looked at.

Whining aside, this is my skin condition now:

Smaller acnes on forehead. Other than that t-zone is clear.

Huge acnes all around cheek - jaw area closer to the mouth.

Hurts when cleansing or applying small pressure.

Let me hope this will work out! Would like to hear from those on Accutane and how they are coping!

Edited by jnatcire
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Hey good luck man, I started Clarvis on Wednesday and am on it for 7 months. From what you explain my problem areas are similar to yours, but trust me I completely overhauled my diet for months and it did little to nothing for me. Now that I am on Claravis I want to enjoy food again haha. Anyway I know what you mean by no one understands the pain of acne, and one of the biggest slaps in the face is when someone will say, "oh your face isn't that bad." I realize that they are trying to be nice however, it is a massive backhanded compliment, that drives me nuts.

In order to combat the "helpless" feeling all I tell myself is that the medication will work and it is all out of my control now, no matter what I do. And surprisingly this has helped me quite a bit, I no longer stress so much and realize that in 7 months time, I will have clear skin.

But I actually met someone from Singapore last year in Manchester, UK, he is a med student in Ireland due to your country only allows 250 student to enter med school each year or something. He also was telling me the cost of a car permit, which I thought was crazy!!

Good luck with your treatment, everything will go away in time.

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I tell myself is that the medication will work and it is all out of my control now, no matter what I do.

This is great. I will be using this.

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