Dealing with Accutane

June 1, 2010
By antonio ambrosino BRONZE, Park Ridge, Illinois
antonio ambrosino BRONZE, Park Ridge, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

As a kid I always used to have a lot of problems with my skin. My problems started early in life, my face started to get bad in about sixth grade and got worse from then on. You see I did not have the normal kind of acne, the kind that you would have a few bumps and a little redness; no I had a severe case called cystic acne. I would used to get these huge welts that would form on my face and usually it was mostly blood that would be inside of them. My parents both had problems with acne, my dad having the most problems, so I got both of the acne genes from them. My sister had acne too but it was nowhere near as bad as mine was.

I started to get acne during about sixth grade. Back then it was not that bad, but as it started getting more towards summer it started to get worse. By seventh grade my face was horrible. It was red pretty much everywhere and I started to get these big welts on my face, like the size of one of those erasers you put on the end of a pencil, and my skin got really oily. By then, my mom decided to take me to a dermatologist. She took me to the one that she took my sister to and she helped clear up her face. My case on the other hand was different. He first prescribed me a face wash and a topical gel. No matter how much I used them, they had little to no effect at all. Then he prescribed me antibiotic pills that were supposed to help reduce the cysts and prevent anymore acne from forming, but that too did not do anything. All of these attempts and failures at taking and doing all these things began to discourage me greatly. I actually believed that I was going to have acne for the rest of my life. I was determined to clear my face no matter what it took. I even tried using Proactive. With all the commercials and all the stories of success, I believed that this was finally the thing that was going to work. Unfortunately it was to no avail; my skin stayed the same. My dermatologist gave me more topical gels to help get rid of the redness but as usual, that did not help either. It seemed that topical ointments and washes just weren’t strong enough.

So I turned to other methods. I tried old acne myths and cures. I put my face over a bowl of boiling water for an hour, gave up on eating chocolate, and all those other things. I was willing to try anything. My dermatologist then decided to try another method, a laser surgery, I was all in for that idea. If you want to know what this feels like, just get a rubber band and just keep snapping it into your face. That’s what it was like, a rubber band hitting me in the face a hundred times. All that did was make my face extremely red and sting for a couple days. After the redness cleared up there was a slight change, fewer cysts and a little less red, but I was still unhappy with the results. I used this method about two or three more times, by then I was fed up with not having the results I wanted and going through all this pain. By then, I was halfway through my eight grade year. I needed to find something to cure my face because I was not going to start off high school like this. My friend suggested the dermatologist that he went to and who helped him clear up his face. Getting this appointment was impossible, but luckily my friend’s mom was a nurse at the hospital that the dermatologist worked at. Thankfully, I finally got an appointment.

She was supposed to be one of the best dermatologists around; she is the head chair of the Department of Dermatology at Children’s Hospital. I had to spend two hours for the first appointment; this is how good she is. She is always booked for appointments. So they finally called my name and I went to go meet with her. After a quick inspection of my face and listening to a brief history of it, she right away knows what needs to be done. She said we had to stop messing around with creams, gels, cleansers, and surgery. What I needed was one of the most powerful and most effective acne medicines available, which was accutane. It is so powerful that I had to take a test to see if I was healthy enough to take it. She called this medication as a last resort kind of medicine.

This medicine was so powerful that if you were a girl and got pregnant while you were taking this medication the baby would have severe birth defects, which can range from mental to physical disabilities. I would have to go take blood tests every month to make sure I was okay. They also said that this medicine could cause kidney, colon, and liver damage. I was willing to take the risk though. So I got my first blood test on May 24, 2007. The first month I took this medicine it was horrible, my lips would dry up and crack, my face was so dry that every time I scratched it huge flakes of skin would come off. I also would have random nose bleeds, those were always fun. These were all common side effects though and I was willing to deal with them. I was on accutane for four months. It was a nuisance to keep going in for blood tests and stuff but it was all worth it. This medicine really worked it cleared up my face very well and except for a couple of pimples every once in a while but everything is good. I actually wish I had taken the medication sooner, but I am glad that my acne finally cleared up. I am really happy with my decision on taking this medication, I do not know what my life would have been like if I didn’t.

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