Dr. Crutchfield Put Me on Accutane and it Saved My Skin
I am a 30 years old female living in Minneapolis, MN. I have struggled with moderate to severe acne, predominantly on the chin and cheeks as well as body acne on the chest and back, since age 9. I never had access to medical care to deal with my acne until recently. In my twenties, I was able to somewhat control it using topical, over the counter treatments such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. However, I was still struggling with persistent acne. My friend who suffered with psoriasis recommended I see a top-rated Cosmetic Dermatologist in the area, Dr. Crutchfield because he had had a very good experience with him.
I made an appointment with Dr. Crutchfield for a few months later. He is quite popular, so it can be hard to get in initially but turned out to be well worth the wait. Dr. Crutchfield’s office is welcoming and clean, and his assistants and staff are very knowledgeable and empathetic. I did have to wait to see Dr. Crutchfield until about half an hour over my scheduled appointment time, so I would recommend being prepared for that, especially for your initial consultation.
Once I met with Dr. Crutchfield, I was very surprised by how kind, calm, and attentive he was. I told him about my history with acne and showed him my skin. He told me that he believed I had two options; try topical prescription treatments or use a low dose treatment of isotretinoin (formerly called Accutane). He told me that the low dose treatment plan had a very low rate of side effects for his patients. Most only experienced mild dryness and chapped lips. I would need to take two negative pregnancy tests before receiving the medication because it causes severe birth defects. He told me that based on my history with acne, he believed this would be the best route towards clear skin for me. Topicals might keep the acne away, but I would likely need to continue using them to maintain clear skin. Isotretinoin (Accutane) would be curative.
I decided to start a low dose of isotretinoin after this consultation. I took my first urine pregnancy test (UPT) and filled out the registration packet, and then Dr. Crutchfield gave me a generous supply of prescription topicals to sample while I waited until I could take the next UPT.
The next time I came in, I took the UPT as well as a blood test to check liver functioning before meeting briefly with Dr. Crutchfield. He gave me my prescription for 10 mg/day. Since then, I have had to come in every 30 days to take another UPT and get my next month’s prescription. I also had another liver functioning test on my third visit.
I was prescribed 10 mg of isotretinoin per day for the first two months of treatment. The following two months, Dr. Crutchfield increased my dosage to 20 mg/day. On the fifth month, he once again increased my dosage to 40 mg/day because I was responding so well with only one side effect: chronically chapped lips. I am currently on month 6 of treatment and have only had two small breakouts that cleared very quickly since my second month of treatment. My body acne is completely gone. I am set to end treatment in 2 more months.
My skin is much smoother, I have substantially less blackheads, smaller pores, and am overall much less oily. However, my skin is not dry at all except for my chapped lips. I still have hyperpigmentation and scar tissue, but plan on treating that with Dr. Crutchfield once I finish Accutane.
Once I started taking 40 mg/day, I did experience a few other side effects. First, my chapped lips became a bit worse and harder to treat with lip balm. Second, I have a dry inner nose that sometimes bleed. However, these side effects are not overly bothersome and I feel psychologically so much more confident and better. Having lifelong acne treated after so long is something I am very grateful for. I was initially scared to use isotretinoin (Accutane) because I had heard horror stories regarding side effects. However, the low dose Dr. Crutchfield prescribes, and the way he provides personalized dosages which he adjusts it based on your side effects, has really made this nothing but an empowering experience. I would highly recommend any adult who has struggled with persistent acne to consider seeing him and asking about a treatment of low dose isotretinoin (Accutane). Having acne is psychologically and physically painful, and no one deserves to go through that.
Each visit with Dr. Crutchfield is approximately $85 before my insurance pays for all of it. Each month supply of isotretinoin is between $700-$800 before insurance. However, my insurance completely covers the treatment, so I only need to pay a $10 copay per visit and per prescription. I would definitely see if your insurance covers this treatment.
I attached a video and before and after pictures of my experience being on Accutane.