I am a 17 year old, athletic, fun and happy girl. I'm currently in my junior year of high school. I started getting acne when I was in the 6th grade. At first it was just on my chin and it was never really that bad & I never got cystic acne. However, it was always around. I never ever had some days where I felt good about my skin. Even though it wasn't as bad as I knew it could have been, I was still extremely embaressed about it. I would never go out of my house without coverup on because that was like my security blanket. From sixth grade on, it only got worse. It began to spread, but it came in stages. I would say that in 8th grade it was more on my cheeks. In 9th grade that was also the spot and that seemed to stay the spot for a while. Towards the middle of my sophomore year, it began to spead everywhere; all over my forehead, cheeks, and chin. The forehead acne began to be a real problem because that was where I got my biggest pimples, most of the time. This was a problem because I'm a dedicated soccer player and play year round. Heading the ball was a big issue. It would hurt and sometimes I would bleed and that was very embaressing. My back also used to be a problem. I got big pimples all over my back but eventually they cleared up; my face never did. When I discovered Accutane, I looked it up online and the side effects scared me so I said nevermind. I don't know how many pills and topical treatments I had been on that just never seemed to do the trick. It seemed like everytime I was on something, it worked for a little bit in the beginning but then it was like my face became immune to the treatment. Nothing ever, ever worked for me. That's when I became so fed up with my acne. Even though my face was never really that bad, it tore me up inside. I had no self-confidence what so ever and I felt like people were only staring at my pimples, when that was probably never the case. It became too much for me to handle and I decided to look at Accutane one more time. I did a lot of research on the drug and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. I discovered that accutane was for people with severe, severe acne and for people who have had acne for a long time and nothing has worked for them. That's when I decided to talk to my dermatologist about it. I knew it wasn't going to be easy because I never seemed to agree with the decisions they made for me. The first time I proposed the idea of me going on accutane, my doctor quickly shot it down and told me to take something else. Problem is, when she told me to take something else, I had already taken almost everything she recomended; except for one pill. So I decided to give that a try. Surprise surprise, it didn't do anything. So I went back to my doctor and told her that I really wanted to give accutane a shot. After two months of practically fighting my doctors for it, I finally got my prescription for accutane and I was ecstatic. So I started my treatment and for the first month or two I didn't really have that many side effects. I had little nose bleeds but that was about it. Towards the end of the second month and beginning of the third, my face and lips became very very dry, as I had predicted. The dryness only got worse. Also, my joints started hurting like crazy. And being a soccer player with already really bad knees and hips, it only made it worse. Another rare thing happened to me while I was on accutane. Towards the third and fourth month, I developed a rash all over my hands and wrists. I had one major spot, about the size of a quarter, that was very red/pinkish and it was bumpy. So were the rest of my hands. There were just spots completely taking over my hands and arms, it looked like I had a disease. It was very huumiliating but I eventually got a steroid creme that cleared it up but I was left with scars. Another thing while on accutane: the sun. I got second degree burns on my upper cheeks and my nose because I didn't put sun screen on for one soccer game. It was pretty intense. A final side effect that I encountered was very high cholesterol and triglicerides which was not fun dealing with. I have been on this drug for almost 6 months now ( I only have a week and a half left!) and I am so overwhelmed with the success I've had with it! I am so glad to say that I do not get pimples anymore! I do not need my security blanket, coverup, anymore! The only thing that is left on my face are little pink discoloration marks but they are fading! It was a very long road to where I am now but I don't regret it at all. The dryness, nose bleeds, joint aches, rashes, and high cholesterol were all worth it! I would recommend accutane to anyone out there who either has really bad cystic acne or, like me, has had acne for a long time and nothing has worked. If you're willing to deal with the major side effects, go for it!
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