Accutane

By , palatine, IL
There is nothing worse than waking up on a day with any importance to you, with a new pimple in plain sight. You try everything to cover that one mark. The only positive thought in your head is that hopefully it will be gone soon. Now imagine waking up every day with them covering almost your entire body. Knowing that they won’t go away, and haven’t for years. They are wrapped around you like a mask, covering who you are and exposing to the world nothing more than corpulent, gross, red marks. I personally know how that feels. Starting around the beginning of seventh grade through my sophomore year in high school, I suffered through acne.

There really is no explanation to the feeling of being surrounded by a society of perfection when there’s nothing you can do to obtain you own. In order to lose weight, you can work out. To become more stylish, you can go out and buy more clothes. To become healthier, you can eat better foods. There seems to be not necessarily an easy solution to other physical appearance issues, but there certainly are ways to help or soothe them. With acne there is no “simple” cure.
"Get the clear skin you deserve!”
“Clean and clear and under control!”
“Break the breakout cycle”
These famous words promised by the girls who have never had a pimple a day in their lives, on the Proactive, Clean and Clear and Neutrogena are heard all over Americas media every day. I have proof that none of these can even clear up the smallest whitehead. I can’t count on the number of pimples that I had, how many mainstream products that I tried on my skin. With every new product I was praying that maybe it would have the feeblest impact. For years I went through the same process. Step one was to see something new in the media. Step two was to convince my parents to buy it, and step three was the try and fail of the product every time. It was becoming quit a theme for me. There is not a product in the book that didn’t touch my face. The feeling of discouragement only grew worse after time. I was beginning to think that I was going to look the same for the rest of my life.

After two years my parents decided to take me to the dermatologist. I remember the day of my first appointment as extremely exciting, and nerve wrecking. I still recall the sweet vanilla smell of the doctor’s office, and the warm faces of the three secretaries with beautiful clear skin. The first couple of appointments consisted of much of the same treatments I had tried myself. As anyone can imagine this was extremely discouraging. It took until the third appointment were the word Accutane was first mentioned. The doctor briefly explained to my mother and me the side effects of this drug. My mind did not even comprehend any of the negative effects; all my ears heard was the end results that the doctor described. “By the end of this treatment of 7 months your skin will be completely clear, 95 percent of people never have acne again in the life,” said Mr. Kozney. He sounded as generic as a television ad while he repeated over and over again how wonderful the results were going to be. It’s funny how little he mentioned the side effects compared to the amount of times he described the results.

When you look up the definition for Accutane on the internet this is what you will find: Accutane is a medication used for the treatment of severe acne. It was first developed to be used as a chemotherapy medication for the treatment of brain cancer, pancreatic cancer, and more. This definition is not only scary, it is terrifying. When my parents and I were faced at the choice of whether or not we should even consider taking the risk of letting me participate in this process, the only thing I could do was to beg them. It was impossible to explain to them the feeling of sitting in a classroom with the heat of everyone’s eyes on me. Miraculously they came to an agreement that I would be able to take it. On a cold October morning, I started by taking my first capsule. Not sure what to expect, the only thought I had for myself was, “here we go.”

The first couple of weeks went by with no change. The only thing that I had to complain about was that my lips had a little bit of dryness. It took until the first month and a half for the pill to really start taking its toll on my skin. My skin turned into a dry, red, painful, mess. Since it was the middle of November, I can recall an indescribable discomfort every time the wind blew at a spot of direct bare skin. These effects were taking place with only the 20 mg capsule. The doctor had told me that I was going to be up to 60 mg twice a day by the middle of the treatment. Not only did I have uncomfortable, painful physical side effects, I also was extremely self-conscious about the appearance of my dry flakey skin. With the months that followed the side effects worsened. Many times it got to the point where I wanted to stop the treatment. Every month I had to submit to a blood draw and physical to evaluate the progress and effects of the drug on me.

Once I was up to 60 mg my side effects consisted of blurred vision, dry skin, headaches, back pain, and dizziness. This was the worst that it ended up being. Around the 5th month of treatment I finally was able to see what the results were going to look like. It really made everything that I was dealing with, worth it. I will always remember the day that I woke up for school and couldn’t see any acne on my face. Yes, my skin was pale and dry, but that didn’t faze me one bit. I was so excited; I put on my best outfit. The last couple months of the pill my dosage was reduced and the side effects started to decrease. I completed the whole process on May 18th. When I look back at everything I went through, I don’t regret it, though I know for sure I would never go through something like that willingly again. I’ve benefited from Accutane in so many ways. I literally became I different person. My confidence went from a 0 to 5 billion. Throughout the whole process I learned to love myself, no matter how my skin looked. It will always be hard for me to understand how something so destructive and ugly could bring out something this positive and beautiful. The most important thing I learned is that fortunately physical analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts.





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