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If you're reading this, you're probably on the fence on whether or not to start this crazy over talked about prescription drug called Accutane. I'll start off with saying that I am 19 years old and have been suffering with acne since I was about 12 years old. For the past seven years of my life, my face and my acne have been my biggest weakness. I was very much in the spotlight during high school and middle school being a cheerleader and an athlete, so having hundreds of people constantly looking at me and my acne was a total self esteem killer. I had tried every single thing you can think of. Topical treatments, proactive, x out, skin id, Neutrogena, clean and clear, BC, you name it and I've tried it. Just recently my family doctor finally recommended I see a dermatologist because nothing else was working. My first appointment with my derm, she recommended putting me on Accutane. Let me start off by saying that I was terrified out of my mind to even consider it and all of the side effects seemed too risky. I did intensive research and came to the conclusion that in order for my acne to ever go away extreme measures would have to be taken. I started my Accutane journey four months ago and from this point in time I can not be any happier with the decision I made four months ago.

Month one. It absolutely horrifying and probably the worst my acne had EVER been in my entire seven years battling with acne. To begin I had about 50 pimples on my face and within that first month I could easily say the acne had doubled. My face was in major pain. Sleeping, washing my face, applying makeup, you name it and it physically hurt me. I cried myself to sleep a few couple of times in this period. To be honest I almost considered getting off the medication because of how bad my initial breakout was. My derm had told me I would get an initial breakout but I never expected it to be so vicious. The side effects... wow... my face was peeling and flaking. Within ten minutes of applying my makeup, I was ALREADY flaking. My face was constantly itchy and itching it only hurt more. My lips were the driest they had ever been, applying lip balm every 10-15 minutes was a must if I didn't want ripped or bloody lips. My scalp was peeling to the point were I had literal chunks in my hair even after showering. My nose was also cracking and every time I blew my nose I had a bloody surprise. Despite the horrible first month, before I knew it I was on to month number two.

Month two. Little by little the amount of acne was starting to decrease. Keep in mind I still had a good 40 on my face. My face was still in physical pain, but in comparison to month one it was nothing. The flakiness and dryness of my skin was much less severe as were all of the other side effects. Immediately after the first month I had changed up my entire skin care routine and that truly did wonders for my side effects. As each day passed, the more and more improvements I would see in my skin.

Month three. By now my face had significantly cleared up. I could actually feel soft patches of my skin. I knew that my acne was still severe, but in comparison to month one, this was heaven. All of my side effects were so mild. Sure I had to make sure I was constantly moisturizing, applying lip balm, body lotion, and conditioning my scalp, but my side effects no longer bothered me. I was getting closer to my goal and I could see the drastic improvements from the time that I had started.

Month four. Here I am now, month four with only one MAYBE two months of treatment left. (Two for precautionary measures to make sure a second round of Accutane is not needed.) I know my face is not completely clear. I have maybe 10 pimples on my face now and that's mainly due to my menstrual cycle hormones. But if you look at my face now and compare it to four months ago there is major improvement. Sure my acne has left red scars on my face but when I apply makeup my face ALMOST looks flawless. Side effects? They're hardly noticeable now. I still constantly moisturize but mainly because it has become a force of habit now. I can go hours without reapplying lip balm or lotion now. I don't need to moisturize every 15 minutes like before. Dry bloody nose? I haven't had one in about 2 months. Overall I am very happy where Accutane has brought me in four months and I cannot wait to see where it will take me.

Before I started Accutane I had started to go through a depressed patch. I no longer wanted to go out, see friends, or anything besides lay in bed and watch Netflix. I felt like all eyes were on me every time we went our anywhere. People ALWAYS asked questions about my face and I could no longer take it. I knew I had bad severe acne and didn't want constant reminders of it by getting judgmental glances and questions. Slowly my confidence and self esteem has gone up. Accutane has slowly brought me back to the person I used to be. Fun, full of life, and a good time. Honestly without Accutane I don't know where I would be right now. If you're reading this and you're on the fence about whether or not to start, I really hope this speaks to you either positively or negatively. I hope that this post can really help you decide whether or not you think this course of action is right for you. I know one of the main things that really encouraged me and finally pushed me to agree to start this journey was seeing all of the positive results from people. I figured that it's helped more people than it hasn't helped. I figured I would give it a try and if it didn't work at least I knew that it didn't work. If I didn't try Accutane out, I wouldn't be stuck with the "what if" taunting me for the rest of my life. I am over the moon with how far I've come since my first month of Accutane. This journey has definitely been a learning experience for me and if I had to relive that horrible first month on this medication again to achieve the skin I have now, I would do it in a heartbeat. Also I am in no way encouraging or discouraging anyone from using this product, I am simply stating my experience with it and hoping that my experience will help someone choose their own.

***UPDATE***

Month five & six. So the last month has been an up and down roller coaster since I thought it would be fun to go to the beach and hang in the sun. I got major sunburn on my shoulders, face, and lips. Aside from the tiny set back of sunburn, my face is pretty clear. Accutane has definitely been my holy grail for the past six months.

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Wow amazing imrpovement, so happy for you! I'm currently ending my third month, and although the active acne has gone down I am covered now in red marks and scarring which just don't seem to go away. I'm extremely depressed...haven't left my house since the beginning of December because of my skin, and I kinda hoped by now I would be able to leave the house, but it seems like I'm just so so far from where I want to be -- to the point where it doesn't seem like I'm ever going to have acceptable skin. I see your red marks have healed tremendously -- did you use anything in particular or just moisturise? Also, do you mind me asking what products you used? I'm currently flirting between moisturizers -- I find my cetaphil lotion and cream far too thick and greasy, but find my aloe vera doesn't help with the flakiness.

Edited by Lore91

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Wow amazing imrpovement, so happy for you! I'm currently ending my third month, and although the active acne has gone down I am covered now in red marks and scarring which just don't seem to go away. I'm extremely depressed...haven't left my house since the beginning of December because of my skin, and I kinda hoped by now I would be able to leave the house, but it seems like I'm just so so far from where I want to be -- to the point where it doesn't seem like I'm ever going to have acceptable skin. I see your red marks have healed tremendously -- did you use anything in particular or just moisturise? Also, do you mind me asking what products you used? I'm currently flirting between moisturizers -- I find my cetaphil lotion and cream far too thick and greasy, but find my aloe vera doesn't help with the flakiness.

Thank you! And I'm sorry that you are feeling that way. I promise that it will get a lot better! To be quite honest my face is still red but nothing compared to before. With time the redness has gone down so I assume the same will happen with you. My derm has said its mainly BC the skin is so thin while on the medication that it appears so red but a month after completing treatment it should be gone for the most part. I do find myself just moisturizing a lot more than I used to. I've religiously been using cetaphil cleanser followed by cetaphil extreme moisturizer & cetaphil facial moisturizer with spf 20. Although it's a bit greasy at first within 5 minutes it goes away. Throughout the day I moisturize with eucerin facial moisturizer spf 30. I really hope this helps in any way and I hope the best for you in your treatment!

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