I can remember the first blemish I got. It was in the sixth grade and a boy who sat next to me made sure I knew I had it. He said, “You have a zit on your face!” It’s funny what kids say sometimes. From about sixth grade to my Junior year of high school I battled with mild/moderate acne. Through those years I probably took about two acne medications that didn’t really do the trick for me.
My Senior year of high school is when my acne started to get worse. I hadn’t changed any of my habits so I couldn’t really explain why my acne was worse. I went to the Dermatologist again and they prescribed me a medication that kind of worked. She also gave me a pamphlet on Accutane but my mom and I didn’t really look at it because I wasn’t interested in taking it due to the health risks I thought I heard. After a few months of taking the medication and putting on some medicated creams (Differin) I noticed a difference. I thought I beat acne for good even though I still had some blemishes.
The summer after my Senior year I went on tour with the Blue Knight Drum and Bugle Corps. to perform with the color guard professionally. We traveled all over the United States and were out in the sun for 12 hours. My acne was fine up until a month before I was supposed to go home. That’s when it got extremely worse. I felt acne all over my face and then it moved to my back where it was all over my shoulders. I didn’t know what was happening. Maybe it was because I was wearing a face full of make-up and then performing a 12 minute show in 115 degrees? I’m not exactly sure how to pinpoint it.
I got home from tour and just couldn’t believe how bad my face was. Even when I was home in the air conditioning, my acne was only getting worse. In fact, it was becoming painful. I could feel every time a new blemish was forming and it was not pleasant. There wasn’t a spot on my face I could touch where it wasn’t covered by acne. I went back the dermatologist where he diagnosed me with Cystic Acne (severe acne) and said that I should start a form of Accutane. He reassured us that the health risks my mom and I have heard are not entirely true. He told me that I would have to get blood tests every month to check how my kidneys were doing and make sure that my triglyceride numbers were not crazy. Blood tests also are used as a pregnancy test because you are absolutely not supposed to get pregnant on Accutane because of birth defects. After you get your blood tests you are supposed to take an online quiz that makes sure you are using the medication properly and you are well informed. Once you’ve jumped through all of these hoops then you could take the medication. I’ll be honest, all of this terrified me but I knew that this was what it was going to take to finally get rid of my acne once and for all.
Before I started the Accutane though, I tried alternative remedies. I got acupuncture, tried different vitamins, bought this disgusting powder to put in my water that would clear me of acne. I drowned myself in water. I tried everything I could possibly think of but none of it was working, I had to take Accutane.
Accutane did start to effect my body. My skin and eyes were CONSTANTLY dry, if I was in the sun for five minutes without sunscreen I would get badly burned, and I did experience some hair loss (but not a lot so don’t freak out). My doctor told me that I shouldn’t be out in the sun for more than about two hours. Not being out in the sun meant that I couldn’t march with the Blue Knights the next summer since we are out in the sun all day. Plus with the blood tests and the health risks of constantly exercising on Accutane it really meant I couldn’t do it. I had to take the medication twice a day for six months but it only took a month for me to see the difference. I could look in the mirror and actually see the majority of my face without acne. After three months, there wasn’t a single blemish. Everyone around me noticed and were shocked by the difference. I was too, quite frankly.
Now I’ve been off Accutane for three months and only get a blemish once a month. It was worth it, to me, to take Accutane even though it meant that I couldn’t do what I love. I knew it was better for me to be on the medication so I wouldn’t get deep scars. So this is it, this is my experience with Accutane and, it might not be for everyone, but it definitely worked for me. I can even go out without any make-up on my face which is wonderful! I didn’t think I would ever be able to.
For those of you with acne let me just tell you that you will get through it and I know it’s hard. Don’t forget that you are beautiful no matter what. If you’re concerned with what people will think/say just remember the people who truly love you won’t notice the acne because they’re just noticing how beautiful you truly are. After my experience with Cystic acne I remember that I had no confidence and I did not feel beautiful but I look at all of the people around me and they didn’t say anything. In fact, they made me feel so beautiful and showed me that looks really aren’t everything. People love you for who you are, not what you look like. 🙂
Thank you to all of my readers! I hope this was encouraging! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to comment. Much love ❤