Want to Know if Accutane Is Worth It? I'll Tell You.
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Hello! My name is Rachel and I am 22 years old. I reside in Chicago, Illinois. Since 7th grade, I’ve had an ongoing battle with acne. After getting my period, my hormones were everywhere, which led me to start breaking out pretty bad. I then went to the dermatologist. From 7th grade, up until junior year of high school, I was making visits to the dermatologist, trying different products, and ultimately trying to find a way to get rid of my acne for good. I tried topical gels, antibiotics, and chemical peels from the dermatologist. I also tried different acne products from drugstore to high end. I even went on birth control, because it helps to control your hormones and help with acne. Some things worked for a while, but my acne always ended up coming back.
I was 17 years old, and had been battling with acne for a few years. At this point, nothing was working for me. This was when my doctor brought up going on Accutane. The doctor that I have seen since my first visit is Leigh Ruelo, at Bakal Dermatology in Schaumburg, Illinois. She is very experienced and wants the best for her patients. She told me that this would be the best option for me, and to think about it. I didn’t know much about Accutane, but hadn’t heard the best things about it. Since I had tried everything that the dermatologist could do for me, Accutane seemed like my last hope.
I then did my research on Accutane. I watched YouTube videos on people who had experienced Accutane, and ultimately decided that this is what I needed to do in order to get rid of my acne for good. Accutane is a last resort option. Dermatologists will not put you on it unless you have tried everything else, because it is such an intense drug. It is intense for a reason though, because once you take Accutane, you aren’t supposed to get really bad acne ever again. Taking an extreme drug comes with measures.
Accutane requires a few things while you are taking it. Every month, you have to get your blood taken, to check your lipids, liver, and pregnancy. There is a 99% chance that if you get pregnant while taking Accutane, your child will have a birth defect. This is why you are also required to be on two forms of contraceptives. For example, my two are birth control pills, and condoms. If you are afraid of needles, you need to consider this. Every female on Accutane who can get pregnant is put into a program called IPledge. IPledge is a risk management program with the goal of eliminating fetal exposure to Accutane. Each month, before getting your medication, you have to answer questions through IPledge.
Other side effects I want to mention that are associated with Accutane are; joint pain, dryness, dizziness, cracking/peeling skin, blurred vision, depression, suicidal thoughts. People are scared to take Accutane because a side effect associated with Accutane is depression. This side effect is far less common then others such as dryness. If you are taking Accutane and start to feel depressed, you need to stop the medication immediately. Each time I went in to see my dermatologist, they would ask me any side effects I was experiencing and how I felt. One thing that I really enjoyed from being on Accutane was going from having super oily skin to having dry skin. It was actually quite nice! Not to mention, I didn’t have to wash my hair nearly as much since it wouldn’t get greasy at all.
The first month on Accutane, I was put on 40 mg. Your doctor will adjust the amount based on your weight. The first side effect I experienced was dryness. This is a given for everyone taking Accutane, since it shrinks your oil glands. I got used to carrying chapstick with me at all times, and using products catered to dry skin. Another side effect I experienced was joint pain. I almost felt very sore. This side effect eventually faded away within the next month or two. I also experienced nosebleeds, and using a humidifier helped.
Within the first two months, of being on Accutane, my acne cleared up completely, and I didn’t get any new breakouts. Throughout the 5 months of taking Accutane, I experienced all of the same side effects, and eventually got used to them. Accutane costs $1500 per month, but luckily my insurance covered it, and I only had to pay $10 per month.
I am extremely happy that I went on Accutane. Accutane has a stereotype of being very scary, but it has helped out so many people with their acne. The less serious side effects that almost everyone experiences while on Accutane can be dealt with. It takes time getting used to it, but I think it is completely worth it. Acne is frustrating and leaves people with no hope, and I am glad that Accutane helped me gain my confidence back!