I have struggled with acne for many, many years, so when I finally got insurance that would cover my dermatology visits, I instantly knew I wanted to go on accutane. I first heard about accutane on Youtube, during one of my binge sessions on “how to get rid of acne”. My dermatologist gave me a few different options I could try, but I had tried enough, and said I wanted to go on accutane. I then had to sign, what seemed like hours worth, of paperwork stating I would not get pregnant while taking this drug. This drug is really hard on the body, and can cause serious defects to an unborn child if taking it while pregnant. I also had to get my blood work tested monthly to make sure I wasn’t pregnant, and also make sure my liver wasn’t failing, since it’s also very hard on the liver. They also gave me a book of all the side effects that can happen, either permanent or temporary. My dosage was 30mg twice a day.
The first month was very easy. I didn’t experience any side effects, or improvement in my skin. On the second month, my lips were consistently dry, and I had to carry a lip balm everywhere I went. I tried to avoid licking my lips, because I knew that would just dry them out more. My skin starting getting very dry and my scalp stopped producing oil. As the months went on, I was able to wash my hair less and less. It was glorious. I was able to go 10 days without my hair looking greasy, where as before I had to wash my hair every 2 days. I was very diligent on my skincare routine and I moisturized, moisturized, and then moisturized some more. From sheet face masks, to heavy moisturizers, I was always lathering up. This was the only way I was able to keep the dryness at bay, and wear makeup without a peeling face.
The first 2 months, I didn’t see very much improvement in my skin, and this is where I had a really hard time emotionally. Not only did I have acne everywhere, my skin was very red from the accutane. I didn’t want to go anywhere, or do anything. I wanted to lay in bed and cry. All the time. Nobody knew what I was going through, and it was a hard time. I starting having thoughts of “why am I even here? Life sucks” and those were some pretty scary thoughts. I was in a dark place, and it saddens me to think I was once there. I would pile on makeup for work and pretend like everything was okay.
As the months went by, it got easier emotionally. I started seeing more improvements and even started going out with no makeup. I’m talking to the grocery store, or the drive through. That’s about it. At month 4, I started feeling more and more sore, and slowly that progressed to joint pain. My lower back and knee joints got it the worst. I dreaded bending down or squatting to get something out of a lower drawer because of the pain it would cause. I had to stop doing any kind of physical activity and lived a very sedentary lifestyle, to keep the pain down.
By month six, I couldn’t wait to just be done. I was very tired of the joint pain, the constant dry lips, and skin. My skin looked great. Just some acne scars were left, but no active breakouts. My confidence was back, and all my crying spells disappeared. I am about 2 months post accutane now, and even though it was a hard journey to get through, I do not regret in one bit. I got my life back. My joint pain, and any other side effect I experienced went away just a few weeks after finishing my last dose. I couldn’t be happier with the results, and it’s all thanks to accutane.