You've probably read every single Accutane story online to educate yourself before proceeding to the pill and as you should, but of course each individual has different experiences with Accutane. Mine could perhaps help you whether you're considering it or have already started the procedure.
Now we all know I'm not one to usually publicly expose his flaws, especially one as severe as acne. However, I thought it'd be necessary to inform you about the notorious drug if you're experiencing what I've experienced.
I first started getting pimples during the first semester of college. It was awful and without any exaggeration, it was EVERYWHERE. On my cheeks, around my hairline, on my back, and even around my neck. I don't know whether it was from stress (uni/being away from home) or if it had something to do with climate change (Dubai/Montreal) or even a change in diet. Whatever it was, dermatologists couldn't figure it out either, although some believed it be hormonal.
Let's go back to December 2015. I had returned to Dubai for winter break and friends and family kept on commenting on my acne, which started making me really self-aware of the situation. I wasn't particularly a spotty child in highschool and so my return home from college sparked so much attention towards my skin. I was living a double perspective; being in denial of having acne while also being depressed and emotionally unstable about it. I started using almost every anti-acne drugstore product in the market to diminish the breakouts. I was so desperate I considered using cosmetics to cover up the mess, not knowing it would do worse. Since my early teens, appearance was probably the most important thing to me and I can say that last year, was my lowest of lows. Depression and mood swings started kicking in and I had unintentionally lost some weight which also picked up attention, resulting in excessive eating. To a point where people started calling me out on being "too thin".
Friends would come up to me and ask me "oh I hope you're okay" as If I was some patient they were comforting. At the time, it was hard to tell I was going through all this and as I am writing this, I am realizing that I tend to bottle up my emotions way too often only to conceal them with a fake "joyful" personality of mine, which is what most people know me to be.
My parents tried convincing me to book an appointment with a family dermatologist (one of the top best in Dubai, Dr. Simin) but I was just too embarrassed. Instead, I chose to go to other dermatologists that were still highly ranked in the country but were not necessarily on the same page as me. Their prescriptions did no good and it was all just a waste of time and money. I would wake up everyday looking in the mirror, hoping that the last night's cream had spontaneously cleared up my face, but nothing I did made a difference. Instead, month to month, my skin was getting even rougher.
Fast forward me to June 2016 after a second semester in college. Acne had become worse and I was giving up on it all. I would wrap the sleeves of my sweater around my face as I talked to someone and eye contact was just too uncomfortable. Acne was being the bitch that she is and shadowed the rest of my physical features.
Being a model, this brought my insecurity level to a zero. At castings, I would be always assuming they wouldn't pick me for what was going on with my skin, and at shoots I would hear the producers complaining about my postures as I constantly tried to hide he side of my face that had the worse acne. In April 2016, I had a job turned down straight to my face halfway through shootings, because of my confidence level on camera. The situation was just going mad crazy as the days went by.
I remember calling my mom from the airport heading back home for the summer asking her to book the first appointment available to go see Dr. Simin, who I previously referred to as a family dermatologist, and I can honestly tell you, she saved my life.
Right from the first look at my face, she said to me "Your skin needs accutane and accutane only".
Roaccutane is known to be the most powerful drug in the world for battling mild to severe acne, it is said to come with negative side effects such as depression, suicidal thoughts as well as internal and external body dryness. The way it works is, the pills are prescribed to you in the dosage most suitable for your body (calculated by weight) and each dosage must be taken everyday for a minimal period of 6 months.
Sun and alcohol must be avoided at all time. Sunscreens are recommended.
I am currently on my fourth month of a 40mg dosage, which is considered quite intense, and I can safely say, I now have an utterly cleared up skin. Now, I have and am sill experiencing some of the side effects such as parched eyes, dry lips, dry skin and joints, but I have good habits of taking care of myself; artificial tears, vaseline, cream and lotion applications are all things I pamper myself with, daily. One thing I couldn't control throughout this journey was my mood swings. I do not want to make any assumptions upon Roaccutane but I just wanna say, I did experience them. Whether it was coincidental or not, there were definitely some dark days during the first few months.
The reasoning is believed to the following: the medicine flushes out all toxins out of your body, it tightens pores and prevents new pimples from making appearance. However, the existing sebum and bacteria must get out of the pores, which can be challenging since the holes are tightening up. This provokes irritation and frustration inside the skin cells, resulting in inflamed patches. I was lucky enough to experience this for just a few days, while it can last up to weeks for others.
Don't let yourself down though! The pros of the side effects include carmex.
If you're an oily monster like I am, there will absolutely be no oil production throughout the period of the treatment! For example, my hair never gets oily and disgusting like before, and my T zone is now a no-oil zone! In fact, you'll actually be surprised at how much moisturizer your skin will need. This was tad surreal knowing how much I used to hate moisture.
Four months ago, I would be dreaming of having the skin I have now. And here I sit today, talking to you about what was once, my worst agony. I receive so many compliments on my skin nowadays of its glow, its unique rose/olive color and I couldn't be any more content! I am so glad to be reunited with my long lost self-esteem, to now be confident enough to show off what my skin has come to.
In an upcoming blog, I will be talking to you about my skincare regimen as well as some products that may have sped up the process.
I hope you find inspiration from my story as I shared something I thought I'd ever expose to anyone. A struggle that I endured for so long and one that almost destroyed me on the inside. I understand if you're still in denial or ashamed to commit to its treatment, but if you think it's going pretty bad, the sooner it is taken care of, the faster the scars and pimples will clear up in the long run. I guarantee that. Personally, I wish I had started the pill in December when I was finally coming forward, so take your chance now before it gets even worse! Why stop it later if you can stop it now? If necessary, convince your dermatologist that you have tried absolutely everything (if you truly have).