I was a 32 year old with acne…here is how I changed that (not the age part though).
I was not one of those kids that struggled with acne in high school. I was lucky in that respect, but in retrospect, I wish I HAD’VE had it then instead of what I DID get!
When I hit college, at 17 (I graduated a year early.) my skin started its slow progression to what I’ve been dealing with for the last 10 years. It didn’t hit me all at once, but by the time I was 22 I had constant acne. It was never terribly eruptive – more on the cystic, super painful side. However, because I have a hyper pigmentation issue, every little spot turned into a bright red beacon that just never fully went away!
10 years ago I started with the dermatologist appointments, medications, creams, and treatments. I was given antibiotics of all kinds which only tended to give me lovely yeast infections – subsequently I was given more pills to combat that. Then I was given the creams (I can’t even remember the names at this point.). The only joys that came from the creams were dry super sensitive spotty skin – not pretty! Finally, I was perscribed laser light treatments. This was a special type of torture where you went in for a number of treatments (the number was based on the severity of your skin), laid down on a bed, and had a nurse place this device on your face that felt like someone was snapping a rubber band on your bare skin repeatedly. This was all followed by a bag of ice to calm the redness…
Surprise, surprise – NONE of this worked!
I moved to a different state at this point and just never sought out a new dermatologist. In the meantime, I had 2 children (which did not clear up my skin). After my second son, almost 4 years ago, I decided enough was enough – I did not want to deal with the pain anymore. I found a dermatologist and went to see him. We discussed the things I had already tried and what my options were. He happened to be an advocate for Accutane – or the generic form of it anyway. At the time I was still considered a “pregnancy risk” and he steered me away from the drug for obvious reasons. However, I did have plans to have my tubes tied, so we decided to try a few milder treatments until I was prepared to start Accutane.
We tried the standard antibiotics again – no luck, same outcome as before. We tried the topical creams – again, no luck. Finally, I decided to give it up and just go ahead and get my tubes tied before I moved forward with anymore treatments. So in early May of 2013 I had my tubes tied and so started my journey to fix my skin!
Let me just say, having your tubes tied (as a female) is not necessary to get on Accutane. I already had that in my plans before Accutane was.
After my proceedure to render me sterile, I went for my first blood test to make sure I wasn’t pregnant…Thankfully, and as I had expected, I was not. A month after the initial blood test, I had to have a second to be double sure I wasn’t pregnant, then I could pick up the prescription for my first 30 days of Claravis (a generic form of Accutane) from my dermatologist. He started me on 40mg twice a day and that is what I stayed on for the entire 5 month cycle.
When you have gotten your first prescription, you and your doctor decide on your 2 forms of birth control and you take an online quiz to insure that you are well informed on all aspects of the drug you are about to take. Once you drop of your prescription to your authorized pharmacy, you have a small window to pick it up once it is filled. MAKE SURE YOU PICK IT UP WHEN IT IS READY!!! I can’t stress this enough…If you do not, you will be stuck having to have ANOTHER blood test and waiting for your doctor to re-authorize a new prescription. (Yes, I had this happen once, and it was super annoying.)
I went through this process for each of the 5 months and also saw my dermatologist each month for a follow up. Your doctor may have a different process than mine, depending on where you are in the world. But if you are a male – you do not have to go through as much as us females do. Because you can’t actually get pregnant – outside of some sort of crazy medical miracle, there isn’t the risk of birth defects. Consider yourselves lucky gents!
Side effects – pretty much instantly my lips started to get dry. This continued until they felt like Spongebob looked when he travelled to Shell City in search of Neptune’s Crown and got trapped in a gift shop…