Where do I start with Accutane! It is a life changing drug. I mean that in the most amazing way possible. Before I went on Accutane, I suffered with depression because my face was constantly riddled with cystic acne. I never wanted to hang out with friends or even leave my house. Going to school felt like punishment. I was in high-school when I went on Accutane and other students would tease me and call me pimple face. It was horrible and I felt like I couldn't take it. I thought severe acne was going to ruin my life and wanted to skip college because of it. My parents were pretty scared about my state of mind and came with me when I met with my dermatologist. My parents told my derm that all the prescription medications and antibiotics I was placed on in the past weren't enough and they wanted me to be put on Accutane. My dermatologist agreed and was impressed that my parents were supportive of going on the drug, because he said most parents are very against it. As a male Accutane was a bit easier to go on. I didn't have to take birth control pills or prove I wasn't pregnant. I simply had to go for monthly blood tests and take an iPledge program test before starting. It really wasn't bad at all.
First 2 Weeks:
The first few weeks on Accutane were pretty uneventful. I stopped doing anything else for my acne, like using benzoyl peroxide and swapping out my harsher acne scrub for the more mild Cetaphil cleanser. My acne was so bad to start that I honestly can't say if it got worse. I don't think I had that feared initial breakout though. My skin was just bad.
2 Months In:
A few months into my treatment I started noticing a big difference in my skin. My skin was always oily and now I had dry skin that I had to moisturize frequently. My lips were also dry and I applied Carmex lip balm to them. My pimples were starting to go away and I was no longer getting large cysts. For the first time in my life, I thought there was hope that I would one day have clear skin.
4 Months In:
My skin was very dry but also amazingly clear. I still had some old blemishes but no new ones. Waking up and not seeing new zits on my face gave me such a self-esteem boost. I was starting to feel good about myself and started going out a lot more with friends. It was almost like I said to myself 'if this is not a long term fix, then I need to enjoy my time with a clear face as much as possible.'
6 Months In:
Smooth sailing. My face looked great. I had heard Accutane would cause hair loss and I had read taking biotin would prevent that. My hair was thick as ever so it was clear I wasn't getting that side effect. I did get a cold in my 6 month of Accutane and I was blowing my nose so much, that it caused me to get a light nose bleed. Nothing major, but my nasal passages were darn dry. This drug does dry you out but that was a welcome change from the oily mess I was before starting it.
During my Accutane course, I didn't have any liver issues. My blood work always came back fine, with the exception of 1 time, where my cholesterol was a bit off. My doctor told me not to worry about it and the following month my blood came back normal.
In the End:
I know if you read online reviews people can scare you from taking Accutane. Don't let them! You will have dry skin, dry lips and require monthly blood tests but otherwise, I did not have any side effects. Going through this for 6 is so worth a lifetime of acne free skin.
Taking Accutane was the best decision I've ever made in my life. My skin is now clear and I have self-confidence that I never had when my face was covered in Acne. I'm in my mid twenties now and know that If I didn't take Accutane in my teen years, I would have suffered from adult acne. I would have been miserable and there no need to go through that when there's an acne cure called Accutane!