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Hi everyone
I can't believe that I'm back on this website again. I'm a 20-year-old Chinese woman who has been struggling with acne since age 10. What's really frustrating is that I absolutely have no family history of acne. My mom and dad have perfect skin, so do my grandparents, and aunts/uncles. My male cousin struggled with the occasional pimple when he was 14, but it was barely visible.

I started to have pimples on my forehead when I was 10. Kids made fun of me, but I didn't pay attention to it. Then the acne got worse when I was 12. I was victim of constant bullying by my classmates, especially by the boys who called me dirty and ugly because of my skin. My acne spread to my nose, cheeks, and temples. When I was 13 I had big nodules on my temples, which I shouldn't have squeezed but I still did, because I hated myself for being so ugly. I can still remember my tears rolling off my pus-filled face, feeling disgusted yet helpless with myself. I would cry myself to sleep.

My acne worsened and reached its  peak when I was 14-15. It was so red and inflammatory that people on the streets would stare at me with a scared expression. I overhead a mom telling her own daughter that she is so lucky that she gave birth to a pretty girl, and not a monster like me. My family doctor wanted to put me on Accutane, but I refused because I remember her saying that it would cause my future child to have serious birth defects, which I really don’t want my child to have. I think I’ve suffered enough, and I could take on some more bullying and suffering from the acne, but I definitely didn’t want my child to be physically or mentally handicapped as an after-effect of my taking Accutane.

My acne subsided a bit at age 16, probably because I didn't eat much for two weeks due to an episode of pneumonia, which somehow purified my body of its toxins. But 3 months after my pneumonia, I started developing hundreds if not thousands of clogged pores and skin coloured bumps ALL OVER my face (like you would really have had difficulty finding one clear area on my face). My skin was or became so oily that the school photographer would have to wipe my face with a tissue before taking my picture (imagine my embarrassment and the photographer’s embarrassment). I couldn’t wear my glasses because they would become so oily only after 2 hours of wearing it that they would slip off my nose. My glasses were so dirty that whenever I went to the store where I bought those glasses to have them cleaned, the lady would always ask me, “What greasy substance did you put on your glasses?” I would smile shyly, and respond “I don’t know. Could you clean it for me please?”

When I was 17 and 18, my acne was still there, full force. My whole face was covered in thousands (and I’m really not exaggerating…) of pimples, some with heads, some without, some inflammatory, some hard under the skin. Oh and I developed pretty severe jawline acne, which I believe to be more common in males than females, but again I might be wrong. I went to China to see a Chinese dermatologist. Oh yeah, I should definitely point out that, before going to China, I tried a lot of off-the-counter skin medications. I tried Clean&Clear, Neutrogena, Dove soap, Oreal anti-acne cleansers and so many other brands of acne cleansers that I can’t recall. I tried topicals like BP, which literally RUINED my face, making it hyper-sensitive, hyper-allergenic, very VERY red and peeling. My skin became so sensitive that just walking under the sun outside in a normal 22-25 degree Celsius environment would make my face look angry-red. I took all kinds of oral antibiotics, none of them had any positive effect on me, except making me feel nauseous for some reason. I tried to go natural, eat healthy, cut all diary and white rice from my diet (you understand how difficult that was for me… because I’m Chinese and Chinese people eat rice 3 times a day), drink tons of water, eat healthy fruits and vegetables. Nothing worked for me. I washed my face twice a day, even though the oil would come back full force after 1 hour of washing. I tried not to pick at my pimples. Long story short, nothing worked. I went to China, and the Chinese dermatologist prescribed to me Chinese medicine, which tastes really bad and some of my western friends have told me that they’ve tried and that it tasted worse than shit… I doubt that they tried tasting shit, but I do believe that Chinese medicine is pretty disgusting, taste-wise). I would drink and cry a bit because it was so bad that I couldn’t swallow, but I wanted to cure myself of an actually incurable disease. I know that dermatologists keep telling that acne is not a form of disease or illness, but believe me, it has pretty much destroyed my life, my youth, my innocence (because I could really see people’s true colors as they judged me on my looks. They couldn’t see who I was on the inside, and would jump to the conclusion that I was as ugly and dirty as I appeared on the outside, the outside being my skin. The Chinese medicine didn’t work. Finally, the Chinese dermatologist decided to put me on a weird medicine that made me gain 5 kg, which is like 10-12 pounds. I wasn’t happy to gain weight, but I was willing to try out everything (except hurting my future children by taking Accutane, because I strongly believed that it would cause to be handicapped, which I was wrong. Later on, my Canadian dermatologist explained to me that it is only if I fall pregnant while I am on Accutane that there is a high risk that my baby would have serious birth defects).

When I came back to Canada, I went to see yet again another dermatologist, and she prescribed to me the famous Accutane, the so-called “miracle drug” that “cured” many people of their acne “forever”. Please remember that I have no intention of being sarcastic with those “” marks, but all I’m saying is that THERE IS NO CURE TO ACNE. Accutane is a treatment for severe nodular and cystic acne, or in my case, extremely resistant and widespread acne that I suffered from for over 10 years. I accepted to take it, knowing that all I had to do is NOT to fall pregnant during my Accutane course in order to prevent my future child from having birth defects. Well really, it’s impossible for me to fall pregnant because no guy has ever shown any interest in me. I’m not doing self-pity here, but in all seriousness, over the 20 (almost 21 years) of my life, no guy has ever asked me out on a date. I haven’t hold hands with a guy, I haven’t kissed a boy, I haven’t done anything, so really what are the odds that I fall pregnant while I’m on Accutane. I know that guys my age are pretty visual, and let’s face it, nobody wants an acne-wrecked face for a girlfriend, so I totally understand, and I don’t blame them for being shallow or superficial. I get it that physical appearance is important to be attracted in the first place, but, at the same time, I think that someone with a great personality and a caring heart should be valued as much, if not more. My 10-year acne has really caused a lot of pain and heartache. Anyways, let’s put aside my emotions, and talk about my Accutane dosage. I was put on a low-dose course, 10mg per day, upped to 20mg/day for a few months, and back to 10mg/day. I heard from some sources on the Internet that the low-dose is as effective as the typical high dose of 1mg/kg/day for 6 months, but other sources claim that the low-dose tends to have a higher recurrence rate, meaning that it is more likely for the acne to come back after finishing the course (which is confirmed with my case at least). Since I was on a low dose, I didn’t not experience any side effects, absolutely NONE except for maybe a bit of dry lips, but really no side effects at all. I was clear after 5 months if I remember correctly. My Accutane course lasted 12 months, from November 2014 to November 2015. My forehead was the first place to clear up completely, followed by my cheeks, and it took quite a while for my jawline acne to clear up. For the first time in my life, I felt pretty and cute, and confident with my looks. I cumulated 4500mg of Accutane in my body, which is not a complete course considering my weight (My current weight is 49kg, but I gained 10 pounds while I was on Accutane and travelling overseas. I don’t think that Accutane caused my weight gain… I’m pretty sure that the food was the reason why), but my dermatologist recommended that I stop the Accutane treatment mid-course if my face is completely clear, which it was when I stopped. Sadly enough, my acne returned two months after I stopped Accutane, which I did on December 1st2015.

Today is 10
thof February 2016, 4 days away from Valentine’s Day, and of course, I know that no guy is interested in me (not because of my personality or anything. I have a lot of friends, and people generally like me. I was recruited to be working at one of the big4 accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers. They get thousands of student applications per semester or year, and very few people, I would say around 20 university students, get recruited by such big firms. And I got chosen because I put in a lot of effort in my academic performance and extracurricular activities. I’m constantly smiling and exulting positive energy, although my acne brings me down, but I’m able to hide my pain and tears.) But I still have to admit to the fact that Accutane boosted up my confidence level by quite a bit, and maybe that’s why I had the courage to apply to such big important firms and get more involved in extracurricular activities. Now I’m back to staring at my acne-wrecked face. The acne now is not as bad as my pre-Accutane acne, but considering that I took a cumulative dose of 4500 mg over the course of 12 months, and that I only stopped the course 2 months ago, I do feel pretty disappointed that Accutane didn’t work for me like I thought it would. I feel unlucky and depressed. I try to keep myself positive and cheery, but deep down, I really feel sad and hurt. My mom wants me to get married in my twenties, and I want that to: meet a nice guy and have my own family, but I seriously doubt that anyone would like an acne-wrecked face. It pains me knowing that my mom is so eager to meet my potential invisible boyfriend, but I know that I’ll probably be single for a long time. I’m still waiting to go on my first date, remember haha. Do you guys think I should go on a 2ndcourse of Accutane or just finish my 1stcourse (to finish my 1stcourse, I would only have to take 1500 mg more, but I have a feeling that it won’t be enough to stop my acne from coming back)? Thank you for sharing your thoughts
J

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I can only speak from personal experience. I took a first round and got completely clear, and my acne relapsed. I was placed on a second round and my acne was completely gone for 10 years. I would just go on a full second course, I would ask for a higher dose.

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Yes take it again or longer and at a higher dosage if you can tolerate the side effects. 
Acne definitely sucks but life goes on. Btw men aren't completely superficial, confidence and self esteem are desirable qualities too

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16 minutes ago, acnehardcase said:

Yes take it again or longer and at a higher dosage if you can tolerate the side effects. 
Acne definitely sucks but life goes on. Btw men aren't completely superficial, confidence and self esteem are desirable qualities too


I agree, men dig a confident woman. Stop thinking of your face as acne wrecked. The fact that you haven't had a boyfriend has nothing to do with your acne. If that were the case you would have gone on tons of dates while you were clear. Even if it was for only a few months. There are plenty of blogs on here with woman with very severe acne with photos and they are dating and in relationships. If you have never been on a date it is because you are not allowing it to happen. 

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