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GracieP

My good/bad experience with acne, accutane, and everything else out there

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hey y'all. I just wanted to put my story out there in case it can help anyone and just kind of to free itself from my mind.

In high school I never had bad breakouts, just your occasional female pimples but hey pretty much everyone gets those. To me at the time, 1-2 pimples was 1 or 2 too many so i went to a private dermatologist. Briefly I tried topicals and also birth control for years. topicals did nothing, and birth control messed up my body and only made my acne way way worse no matter how many i tried. from there, I tried Yaz. Yaz destroyed my skin, guess it just wasnt for me. It made my skin so bad that I went through my first course of accutane. From day 7 on, I was perfectly clear and had no problems. I lived it up in high school and had the best life ever. I thought any chance at having bad skin was behind me.

About six months later, i was in the hospital for severe mono. I had to have my tonsils out and was put on an IV of steroids and antibiotics for one and a half weeks as well as have a food tube because I physically could not eat and drink myself. horror experience. It seemed like ever since that episode, my skin slowly started breaking out when i left for college. My reaction was pretty typical are you freakin kidding me? why now? why after accutane? so i figured id just spot my spots with tea tree and move on, it'll eventually go away. Well it didnt. it got worse and worse and worse. It was a completely new "kind" of acne. flesh colored bumps everywhere and hard strings in every pore and nothing was making it budge. I was devastated. scared. i didnt want people at college to not see my as who i wanted to be because of my skin. I tried everything and i can't stress that enough. every otc product, antibiotic pills, natural supplements, caveman regimen, apple cider vinegar, nizoral for maybe a fungal infection, demodex mite cream, literally everything. So i made the tough decision to take care of myself mentally. I deferred my scholarship and came home. Went to a derm who said i needed accutane again to cure my skin once and for all. started seeing a therapist for Body Dysmorphic Disorder and was told id have clear skin fast. Well it sucks to say this just didnt happen for me. Given my first course of accutane was for a much less severe and mild case, I was given 20 mg a day for six months. My new derm said i need a correct dosage to "get remission and clear faster". I weigh 110 pounds and am 5'7" and was given 60 mg of Absorica a day.

I was so optimistic starting it. It worked for me once, i saw so many videos and positive experiences on way worse acne than i had. I knew i might experience an initial breakout but it would be in month 1 or 2. So after month 1, it started. I thought my initial breakout had hit me. Huge red bumps everywhere. went from having skin colored clogs and comedones to 30 red inflamed painful sores that turned to scabs because my skin was so dry. I mentally motivated myself telling myself i just had to get through that breakout and id be in the clear. again, didnt happen for me. Ever since month 1, I experienced SEVERE breakouts. SEVERE. my ENTIRE 6 month course. not even CLOSE to being clear ever. It was terrible. I cried everyday wondering whether id ever go back to college and see my friends and boyfriend again. Beyond depressed and my derm was confused and by month 5 just condescending. it was the hardest thing for 6 months to watch my derm and the 9 others i tried just have absolutely zero answers for why my face was a mess. I tried 10 different derms who said just keep going it will work. I sit inside wondering if ill be able to do the things i love and be a successful lawyer. if my boyfriend will dump me because I'm not pretty anymore. Im 19 and went from being a popular social butterfly to someone who hides in their house for 6 months and deceives their friends. it has been the most traumatic experience of my whole life. 

I just stopped accutane two weeks ago. My skin FINALLY seems like its doing better. I have two giant, and i mean giant, wounds from healing cysts still healing and will probably be there a while, but other than that my skin is improving, now that i stopped taking accutane. I was actually causing inflammation in my body by taking TOO much accutane. I now only wash my face every 4 or 5 days with an organic scrub to gently exfoliate, and sometimes mist my face with rosewater and witch hazel  in between washing days if I feel like I want a refresher. Eventually i will get some vitamin c serum for scars...once my skin is fully clear. Also I take Vitamin E which helps thin skin sebum, reducing clog prone skin and also moisturizes your skin (great for people with accutane). While on accutane, I lost 75% of my hair. My hairdresser pulled me aside and whispered at me wondering if I was sick as in she thought I had cancer thats how bad it was. And i started with long beachy hair..got voted best hair in my yearbook. I moisturized my scalp with argan oil constantly and still lost all my hair and I really hope some day it grows back. 

all in all, I think my skin is starting to clear up. It could be from underlying help of accutane, but bottom line: my skin would not have started to clear had i not stopped taking it. too much is too much, and it will make your acne worse/not fully clear if its too much..especially for comedonal acne. definitely a minority case to finish an accutane course with bad skin, which is why i wanted to put my story out there. It IS possible for you to clear after you stop taking it as weird as it sounds, because it seems as though this is happening for me. (ill update if my skin tragically goes to shit again after the two cyst scabs heal)

Also, if someone tells you diet can cure you....thats not entirely true. On paper, Im such a healthy being. I have eaten paleo for over a year (no gluten, dairy, processed food, or unhealthy fats), drink 2 gallons of water per day, change my sheets every other day, workout 6 days a week, meditate each morning, sleep 8 hours a night, and have no food allergies or hormone imbalances (tested for both several several times). I only use organic face products, not even cetaphil or cerave because they have SLS and hidden pore clogging ingredients. I think a healthy lifestyle will help my skin for sure, but for me it certainly has not cured me on its own. 

Im still not "cured" as i type this, I'm praying praying that no new spots pop up after these two monstrous scabby cysts go away, but Ill have to see. Im hoping i can leave my house soon and have confidence with clear skin again, especially by the time my friends get home in a few weeks for summer. I know this is obviously not a super positive experience, but i hope some day soon it will be. I hope in a month or two i look back and say i can't believe i looked like that and how far I've come. I hope i will not worry about my skin as soon as i wake up and that it becomes a thing of my past that someday when I've mentally recovered i can thank for ultimatelymaking me a better person. I just wanted to write this incase there are any people in their 5th 6th 7th or whatever month of accutane who aren't clear and are frustrated looking for answers. you're never as alone as you feel and I wish i had someone to tell me that when i was in the height of all of this. reach out if you have any questions or need support. lot of love 

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