Many young people struggle with acne, and I was someone who struggled with it immensely. I tried everything in the book to cure it. From rounds of antibiotics, to various topical creams, home remedies, and even changing the foods in my diet, nothing seemed to fix the problem until I tried Accutane.

My Story with Accutane

I suffer/suffered from Cystic Acne. This type of acne causes red and painful breakouts deep in your skin (meaning you can't really pop them). I ended up covering my face in layers of concealer and foundation. I was the most self-conscious I had ever been at that point in my life, and was even scared to be seen by my close friends without all that makeup on. 

I finally decided I had had enough, and went back to the dermatologist to see if there were any other options. After rounds/years of treatments being ineffective in clearing my face, my doctor gave me the option of Accutane.

What's Accutane All About?

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Dana Salzman

Isotretinoin also known as Accutane is a powerful drug that attacks all the causes of acne. It's basically just a form of Vitamin A. It reduces the amount of oil released by the oil glands in your skin, and helps your skin renew itself more quickly. Vitamin A in large doses has the same effects as Accutane, both good and bad, but quickly becomes harmful since it builds up in the tissue. However, four to five months of taking Accutane leads to a complete clearing of your acne. 

The Side Effects and Risk

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Accutane does have some serious side effects. It can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects in babies. So the women who take this drug must agree in writing to use two specific forms of birth control and have regular pregnancy tests before, during, and after taking this drug. Along with this, Accutane is only available under a special program called iPLEDGE which is a process of online registration and weekly questions testing your knowledge of the drug and your usage of it.

Accutane also requires that you take monthly blood tests, due to the fact it can affect your liver enzyme levels. Even though it hasn't been proven, Accutane may also trigger depression. It does not cause depression, but in some people it can really affect their mood. 

How It Affected Me

Hayden Massey

The course of treatment, for me, was one dose a day over a four month period, along with bi-weekly doctors visits. The side effects that I really experienced were the drying out of my skin. My lips were constantly chapped and even started to split, and the skin on my hands became so dry it would occasionally crack and bleed.

My skin was barely surviving the cold fall and winter weather. And I had to avoid the sun, because Accutane makes you extremely sensitive to getting sunburn (an issue I tend to have already). However, in a month and half's time, I had virtually completely clear skin.

Me Post-Accutane

Tori Carter

Even though this entire process was a lot to go through, it has completely transformed my life. Going on this drug changed the way I look and feel about myself for the better. Without Accutane, even with it's a long process and has somewhat annoying side effects, I know I would not be the confident and outgoing girl I am today without it. My experience with Accutane was what I can only describe as INCREDIBLY worth it.