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tracking my accutane experience

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jenblossom

how I got here

I am just lucky enough to have a family history of acne. I was even more lucky to get it the worst amongst all my siblings and cousins.

At the time I went away to college my acne was pretty mild, but bothersome. I was seeing a dermatologist recommended by a friend by which I saw under my parent's insurance. The derm prescribed an oral antibiotic and topical cream. He was also rubbing dry ice on my face at office visits. . .?!

Due to the typical college student lifestyle I stopped taking my antibiotics and pretty much forgot about treating my acne to focus on being 18 and away from home.

At the end of my first year of school at age 19 I was beginning to develop pretty severe nodular acne on my cheeks and chin. I made a horrible decision to just stop looking in the mirror rather than treat it and my parents were at a loss of what to do. Knowing my sensitivities we just didn't discuss it and I also think they may have felt a little guilty that it was hereditary. So it went ignored.

I very much regret the year and a half I completely ignored how severe my acne got, pretending it didn't exist which lead to very painful and unsightly redness all over my face. Strangers would approach me suggesting treatments and once I was even called 'pizza face' by a passerby on the street. I worked retail that year and children would come into the store and ask me, point blank what was wrong with my face.

One night, a woman came in to the store late, saying she could see I was a very nice and helpful person, took pity on me and handed me a bag with a Proactiv kit. God bless this woman, wherever she may be.

I went home that night and began treating my acne with Proactiv. By the end of the school year my face was clearing considerably. Unfortunately, I found pretty severe scaring underneath all the redness/acne.

My acne got better, then worse and then better again over the next 5 years within a manageable degree using Proactiv and eating an on-again-off-again vegan diet (which truly helped).

Now, at the age of 27 I a beginning to see the large nodular blemishes popping up on my cheeks again which worries me a great deal. I am in the working world in a management position and I feel my acne may hamper me the way jeans and a t-shirt would: I have the professional skills but not the professional appearance.

Last month I saw a dermatologist and was given the choice of an oral antibiotic paired with a topical cream or to give Accuntane a try. Deciding once and for all to get rid of this acne I've had for too many years, I chose the Accutane.

I think it's important to document/blog my experience with this drug, not only for my own knowledge and benchmarking but for you out there who may be experiencing anything of the same.

And that's how I got here.

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