About 2 years ago, when I first turned 17, right as I was going through the life-changing experience of moving to boarding school, I started taking Accutane for my acne. I had previously tried many different acne treatments, which included 3 or 4 different antibiotics, 5 or 6 topical creams and just about every over the counter cleansing solution (e.g benzoyl peroxide washes) known to man. Many of the treatments I tried immediately failed, or they worked for a few months and then stopped working completely. And like clockwork, my blemishes always seemed to reappear.
At the time, I lived in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I started Accutane with Dr. Boyer at Dermatologists Inc. in Greenwood. He had recommended Accutane in the past, but my mom was worried about the potential side effects and that I would have to take birth control pills. However, I was at a point in my life where both my mom and I felt like Accutane was my last resort.
On Accutane, you are required to take 2 forms of birth control, such as condoms and a pill, but at the time, I wasn’t sexually active, so I just opted to pledge abstinence with no birth control. Every month females must take a pregnancy test called iPledge because Accutane will 100% cause birth defects; it isn’t a case-by-case basis. There is an online test that females (I’m unsure for males) must take, confirming that we understand that Accutane will turn everything to hell if we don’t take our birth control. It’s only about 5 questions but sometimes I would choose the wrong answer and have to take it again. I had to wait a month after my first pregnancy test and online quiz to receive my first prescription.
Within the first month of taking Accutane, I noticed I had dry lips and my skin started drying up. Happily, as my skin dried up, my acne started to heal! I also had virtually no oil anywhere, as my the Accutane caused my oil glands to shrink. I could go forever without my hair getting greasy (Before Accutane, it would be greasy by the end of the school day), and I had to switch up my skin care routine. Previously I would use Neutrogena oil-free acne wash and never moisturize, but while on Accutane, my skin and lips became so dry, I switched to a Cetaphil cleanser, lots of baby lotion and a lip balm. I experienced the grumpiest time of my life while on Accutane. I don’t know if it was the medicine or my raging teenage hormones, but I was SUPER temperamental. It probably was a combination of both.
I ultimately had to switch doctors simply because I needed to get in and get my pregnancy test within the allotted time frame to get the following month’s prescription and I had some scheduling conflicts since I had moved away to boarding school and returned home infrequently. I began going to Dr. August Natalie (I had the biggest crush on him at the time and got so excited when he complimented my healing skin). He immediately upped my dosage based on my weight and time remaining of treatment and my acne was healed within 6 months of my start date. I didn’t even finish all my last months’ worth of prescription, which I admittedly should have.
My skin remained dry for a few months after I finished my Accutane, but it has slowly returned to normal oil production. I am back to my old skin care routine with the acne wash but I still use the baby lotion! I went a good few months with no breakouts at all following treatment. Now, 2 years later, I get healthy breakouts that any 19-year-old would get. A pimple here and there every month or so but nothing like my acne was before. I’m unsure of the prices of the doctors or the medication simply because it’s been so long and my mom was the one paying for my treatment and her memory is lacking. I am so thankful for my transformation! Taking Accutane was one of my best decisions. I would recommend it to anyone with severe or moderate acne, oily skin, or anyone suffering from chronic blemishes. It's just about a cure when it comes to acne!
I've posted a video of my story below.