My entire life I have been so good to my skin. I never went to bed without taking off my make up. I moisturized, exfoliated and applied SPF everyday without fail. Not because I was supposed to, but because I always felt that one day my efforts wouldn’t be in vain. As a kid, mud mask parties were my savior. While everyone else just hid behind cucumber peel off’s to expedite puberty, I needed them to soothe the pain.

ms doubtfire
I remember my father taking me to the dermatologist weekly to try an array of new ‘technology’. Prescribed the tetra, the doxy and the my-god-is-that-enough-cycline’s, I found no comfort in pumping my adolescent body with antibiotics. We tried injections, pills, and what Stacey the esthetician called ‘the blue light special’. Despite what my father wanted to introduce into my very young body, my only hope was an attempt at balancing my hormones by starting a widely known medication called birth control. Funny story, I could hardly remember to do my homework at that age, let alone take a tiny white tablet every morning at breakfast. So, that was a giant waste of a copay. Additionally my father assumed that because I could now control birth, I’d try to test its boundaries by becoming the town whore or something. Yea dad, like that was gonna be the answer to my pustular prayers; a baby.

herpes
Life became a little less stressful as the years went on. Boys were my biggest concern and the only flare up they caused was in my pants. I found that makeup was my greatest tool; and ultimately perfected this asset to achieve a flawless complexion daily. The truth is guys, make up gets old. And so do you.

On my 29th birthday I sat around my friends listening to them talk about their botox appointments. All I could think of was how I wished I could even find the wrinkles underneath my acne. I was still dealing with a childhood disease that now found it’s way into an onset of adult hormonal acne. Don’t google that. It’s basically your entire jaw line attempting to exit through your pores in very large cysts that are painful and cumbersome to heal.  I had to see somebody. Anybody.

help

My doctor was in shock at how bad I let it get before I saw her, and insisted that she had the cure. A medication called Spironolactone. Taken by men to basically become women, but also widely know for it’s effects on treating this type of acne. Essentially this diuretic was to regulate the hormones in my body that produced such horrible skin irritants. The bottle read “Call your doctor if you develop any side effects”. Whatever the most graphic synonym for side effect is, that’s what happened to me. My face broke out into more open sores than I had pores, and I was sicker than a dog. Dizziness, headache, muscle pain, and most of all an acute onset of SEVERE break outs.

“It’s got to get worse before it can get better”

Le Sigh. We started on a laser light therapy equipped with a gentle suction facial every two weeks during this medication trial and she still had me continue it at it’s largest dose for almost FOUR MONTHS. I cried myself to sleep every night  as I painfully washed the layers of make up that barely covered up my bumps. People take for granted that their skin is clear, all I wanted was a minute of relief.

After eight months and thousands of dollars in treatment later, I walked into my dermatologists office with tears in my eyes. I remember seeing her before the holidays and telling her that my one wish was to go to the pool the following summer without make up on. She looked at me disappointedly. It was time to bring out the big guns.

guns

Accutane, has been and will always be my last resort. The amount of side effects and regulations the FDA has announced over the years makes it almost impossible to want to swallow this pill daily. But, she and I knew that the reward was worth the risk at this stage. My quality of life was at an all time low when it was painful to do simple tasks like eat because of the cystic acne along my jaw. Not to mention the immense amount of confidence having a face full of zits takes from you.

So began my journey. In June of this year I started my lock out; a thirty day period in which blood is drawn, a pregnancy test is taken and paperwork is sent home with you on the medication and it’s usage. Almost a full month ago I started my prescription knowing damn well that the most potent of side effects had the potential to not only kill me, but severely deform any conception of a child. Luckily for me, I wasn’t planning on one any time soon. Well, what can I say for this medication?

It’s a friggin miracle.

With what I assume to be a 100% success rate after reading almost every single article that the interwebs has to offer, I can’t say a damn thing bad about it. Who knows what’s going on inside of me internally (I have my blood work retested every 30 days), but I do know that my skin feels like the ever-angelic touch of a newborn babies bum. Side effects have included: dry lips, increased sensitivity to already known allergens, suppressed hunger and dandruff. Other than that, the only other effect I’m noticing is that my skin is already 95% better after just 1/6th of my treatment. See below:

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Going from feeling like I was a prime slot in the next freak show, to having real hope for a clear face happened almost overnight. It’s only been 23 pills and I know for a fact that Accutane, despite it’s risks, is the only thing that could have and now is easing  my suffering. Did I mention that this medication is paid for by my insurance fully? All $800 of it. I couldn’t believe it myself, but all of those prayers I’ve had for the past 20 years have been answered by a medication I was almost too scared to take.

I will post the next stage of my journey here in a month, but I bet my skin is going to be almost completely restored back to it’s normal youth, if not better than before. Isotretinoin is the only product out there that is THE CURE. Excuse me while I go sign into my ipledge account, tell them I won’t be having any babies this month, and get my next month’s prescription for success!

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