I would like to start off by introducing myself and giving you a complete background about my struggles with my skin. So, let’s go all the way back to elementary school where zits were not a thing for me. I had clear, radiant skin and makeup was not part of my skincare routine. Seeing that I was a late bloomer, I didn’t start puberty until high school which is when the acne struggle became real. After a trip to the doctor, I was put on birth control for more reasons than one, however one being to help control acne. It took about 3 different kinds of birth control until I finally found one that worked for my body. I continued the birth control up until my third year of university and was still getting pimples here and there, but nothing that was uncontrollable. The issue with me is that I am a picker. Any pimple (ready to pick or not), I had to get it out which lead to significant redness and scabs as a result. You would think that I would learn but it was a temptation that I could not handle. After picking, I would instantly regret it but the next day, I would be in the mirror for 30 minutes at a time just analyzing my face, looking for the next zit to pop. There would be days where I completely destroyed my face and could not face going anywhere which brought on a lot of insecurity issues. However, I am thankful that through all the years of picking, I do not have any deep scarring, just an uneven complexion due to hyperpigmentation.
Fast forward to 2015, I decided that I needed a change in regards to the form of contraception. Although the pill was just managing my skin, it was discovered that it was causing my migraines due to the increase in estrogen therefore this was no longer an option for me. When I went to my doctor, she recommended me an Intrauterine System (IUS). I was prescribed Jaydess which is a form of progesterone only birth control that is inserted into the cervix and effective for up to 3 years. I was warned that there was a potential risk of acne however I chose my migraines as my number one priority and since insertion, I haven’t had a migraine since. So, one problem solved BUT let me say that Jaydess has left my skin the worst it’s ever been. In my fourth year of university (2017), I went on exchange to Europe where I continued to have an increase in acne, not only on my face (mostly on my cheeks) but shoulder, chest and back. It became so flared that I would do everything in my power not to expose my body. My skin continued to get worse and worse and no matter what I did, I developed new pimples every day. Now I know that picking pimples causes the bacteria to spread which lead to multiple in the same area, however the urge was too strong. My acne was considered cystic acne meaning that the “pit” never really came to the surface but I still managed to pop them with a lot of pressure. Cystic acne is under the skin and can cause a lot of pressure so not popping them was not an option for me. As a result, I was left with A LOT of hyperpigmentation and every time I touch my face, all I feel is painful bumps. Although you may not see the acne on the surface, it is deep below the surface of my skin causing a lot of inflammation, leaving me with a lot of redness and marks.
So, what have I tried to do in the interim?... Well, I first wanted to start by trying my best to STOP PICKING. I can’t say that I have, but I have gotten better in regards to making sure if I do pop, I use a lancet needle and an extractor and only pop when the white is at the surface. However, I am sure I am not the only one in saying that I go on a picking rampage some days… In regards to treatments, I have done 4 weeks of microdermabrasion with blue light treatment and 4 weeks of glycolic peels with hopeful results… NOT. These treatments didn’t make it better but it did put a dent in my wallet. The only benefit is that it made my skin texture smooth but the zits and hyperpigmentation still remained.
So where am I at now?... After a long-waited trip to the dermatologist, he examined my skin and told me I am a candidate for Accutane. At first, I was completely against it after reading the horror stories and watched people who went on it. However, after much research and talk with my dermatologist, it was suggested that it is my best option. That being said, it has been advised that I get my IUS removed and look at another form of birth control or get off it altogether.
So here we go… I am a 23-year-old female and here is my experience on Epuris (Accutane)… Positivity is key, this WILL be the solution! These photos have been taken after I just washed my face, toned and moisturized BEFORE starting accutane. Please note that the first two photos were taken towards the end of May, 2017 and the rest on June 14, 2017 after coming back from a vacation (hense the tanned skin).