Accutane Cured My Really Bad Rosacea
I was very stubborn growing up and I didn’t see a dermatologist when I should have. I started off with a mild redness on my cheeks. I looked a little flush and didn't mind it. I was like 'yay, I don’t have to wear any blush anymore.' That changed as the redness on my cheeks got much worse.
After a few months, I started getting bumps where I had redness. The bump weren't zits though and covering your face with makeup is impossible when you have skin texture. Over time, the bumps began filling with pus. I also started getting crusty, flaking skin. It was really unbearable.
I tried some at-home acne treatments, and even changed my diet, going gluten and sugar free. I eliminated dairy too and nothing seemed to be working. I did everything I could but nothing seemed to help. It got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew I was at the point where I needed to visit a dermatologist and I had mentally prepared myself to go on Accutane, a drug I feared. I knew whatever skin issue I had, whether it be some form of cystic acne or not, I had a feeling I was likely to end up on Accutane.
The dermatologist I saw was completely puzzled by what she was seeing. She told me it wasn’t acne but she wasn’t sure what I had. She brought in another more senior dermatologist and she confirmed that it was a very unusual condition and was like an extreme case of rosacea and suggested that Accutane might help me. She said although I wasn't suffering from a case of severe acne, Accutane would help bring the inflammation around these bumps and help calm my skin down.
To go on Accutane I would have to get blood tests done every month and be on two forms of contraceptives: birth control pills and condoms. I also had to take pregnancy tests to prove I wasn't pregnant. Accutane causes severe birth defects, so you are warned about getting pregnant many times. The picture of a baby on the pill wrapper will make you very much aware of this. You also have to visit your dermatologist every month to go over your blood work and then he/she contacts iPledge to authorize your pharmacy to dispense your Accutane.
I was a bit daunted by going on this terrifying drug but I was also miserable at this point. I was prescribed 20mg to start, which is a low dose. They thought if I started on a higher dose, my face might get worse. Because I was experiencing scars, they didn’t want to do that. My dermatologist wanted to shut this down quickly.
Within 6-7 days of starting Accutane, my pustules had gone away and flattened out. Within a month, I went from really severe redness, to a much more mild redness. After 20-30 days my skin looked pretty good. I didn't experience an initial breakout either. My only side effects for the first month were dry lips, which I treated with aquaphor and a lemon lip balm.
My second and third month I was upped to a dose of 40 mgs. At 40mgs I had a very dry scalp. I used Head and Shoulders even though people say not to use it. It worked really well. I used it twice total and that’s all I needed to get rid of the itchiness from my dry scalp.
For the last 3 months of my treatment, I went on 60 mgs. Things got real then. Things that didn’t hurt started to hurt. I had dry eyes, actually everything was dry. I had to stay very well hydrated to combat the dryness. My eyelids would be so dry some mornings that I couldn't open them. The moodiness increased tenfold. I was miserable around everyone. I would be depressed and I felt like I was 14 again. I had no energy either. I was mentally and physically exhausted all the time. You lose lubrication in joints too, so everything feels very sore. I got horrible lower back pain. I practice yoga and I couldn’t even lie flat on the floor. It was excruciating. I felt like an old woman. This was probably the worst symptom of all. Thankfully this only happened the last 3 months. My skin became very thin during this period too and would damage very easily. If I bumped into something, my skin ripped open like tissue and took forever to heal (2-3 times what my skin would normally take to heal).
My entire Accutane treatment was 6 months and even though I had some side effects, It was worth it. My face was such a mess and I was so depressed because of it. My body was showing me that I was sick and I Accutane was the cure I needed. If you guys reading this are going through a situation similar to mine, just know that it's only temporary and Accutane will help. Don't worry too much about the severe side effects people rant about online. You'll be dry and might experience some joint pain, but it's so worth it. The only regret I have is waiting to long to go on Accutane. I am now left with acne scars and even though I guess I could have them treated, they're kind of become part of who I am. Hang in there!