My Journey to Clear Skin: Accutane Day 1

10.25.2014


Recently on Instagram, I shared a photo of me with my skin left unedited. It might not seem like a big deal to some but for this was HUGE. I kinda surprised myself when I posted it. I've even debated on deleting the photo but the kind feedback I got encouraged me to keep it up. Truthfully though, that particular photo still hid the worst of my acne. Thank the Lord for makeup right?! Those who know me know that I don't like to leave the house without makeup on. Even camping I make sure to have some sort of coverage. This post is very personable to me. I have NEVER shared photos of myself without makeup.

After the interest I received from mentioning my starting journey with Accutane I've decided to start a series; sharing a bit about Accutane, my progress, and any noted side affects.

To begin, I'll start with a bit of background info about my skin. I've had acne from the time I started  my period at 14 years old and I've never had a break from it since. I'm certainly not the worst case of acne. It is mild compared to some. What I do have are deep and extremely painful nodules and cyst. They stay for weeks sometime months at a time and rarely break the surface. It has caused scaring and uneven skin. The photos shown of my skin are surprisingly clear for me, only slightly swollen and broken out.


If you know anything about Accutane it's like the last stop on the acne treatment train. If this doesn't work well crap, that really sucks! This medication is like bringing out the big guns and it doesn't come without risks. First of all let me clarify that the actual brand Accutane can no longer be prescribed in the US. Due to too many negative cases it was pulled. HOWEVER generic versions like what I just started today, Claravis are still available to use. But since most people know this medication by its brand name Accutane, I will continue to call it such.

After spending what has seemed like a lifetime of experimenting with several cocktails of acne treatments, both oral and typical, I've finally broken down and accepted that Accutane was my only option. You name it I've tried it, natural remedies, Proactive, birth control, and every prescription out there. Regrettably, nothing worked successfully for very long.

If you are thinking about taking some version of Accutane, know that it takes a GREAT deal of commitment. You have to be consistent and stay on top of appointments. My journey with Accutane actually started in September. For ladies, this medication requires you to take a pregnancy test every single month, then follow up with your doc, fill out a monthly ipledge questionnaire, and take medication daily. In my case twice daily. For you guys, it's a lot simpler. Missing one step could set you back a whole month! You are only allowed one package of medication a month. You cannot get your refill till you have been tested negative for pregnancy, a healthy liver, and a few other things. It might not sound like that huge a commitment but trying to fit everything in their required 7 day window before you can get your next refill is quite nerve racking! What's worse, this medication is by NO means cheap! Most insurances don't give a large discount. With United Health Care it's $723 per month till my 3k delectable is paid! WTF?! Thankfully, at least 3 months of my medication will only cost $150 cause I've met my yearly deductible. Sadly that still leaves me with 3 months that I have to pay it in full cause my insurance deems this as a "not requires" medication. So as you can see this is a serious contentment!


I will be on this medication for the next 6 months. I will continue to post weekly updates and photos to show my progress. I hope you will join along with what I hope will be a successful journey to clear skin. I'd love to hear from you. Have you gone through Accutane? What did you experience? If you have any questions I'd love to hear them.

Take Care & Enjoy,
♥ Heather


3 comments:

  1. Oh, Heather, this looks so frustrating to deal with! And you are so brave to post these; back when I had mild acne, I never wanted to post bare skin pictures! I really hope Accutane works for you; skin has always been one of my biggest confidence things, and if my skin is misbehaving, I feel so self conscious of everything! I've never really dealt with acne like you have; I used to have regular breakouts but they were more topical and never cyst-like, just annoying. Mostly now I deal with super dry, flaky skin. I have days where my forehead and cheeks flake like nobody's business, and nothing helps. It's so frustrating to deal with badly behaving skin issues!

    I can't imagine dealing with it for that many years, though! One of my best friends has dealt with acne like this her entire life, and she's been using Proactive for a long time now; it sort of helps, but it hasn't completely cleared her skin up, either. So I really hope this works for you, especially since it's so problematic and expensive! And I'm crossing my fingers that you find some way for it to be cheaper on the months when it's not discounted.

    And I have to say, the first thing I noticed in these pictures was your EYES. Oh my goodness. Your eye color is just amazing!
    xoxo
    Kristina
    www.eccentricowl.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliment Kristina! My eyes are my favorite feature. Haha I'm still cringing when I see this post. But I'm hoping it might help others who may be considering accutane.
      As for your dry skin, I've found the following three things to greatly help: using an exfoliant face scrub, I really like Proactive's scrub. For stubborn flaky skin get an exfoliant brush even a small soft tooth brush is handy for small areas. But my favorite thing to use and is by far the best is my microdermabrasion machine! It's adjustable for anyone's skin and WILL remove all dead skin/flakes. It leaves your skin smooth and makeup applies like a dream. Plus you only need to use it once every week or two. I'd suggest moisturizers but I float a lot on what I like.

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  2. Great write up Heather, Ive read all you journey posts on Accutane. Thanks so much.
    Ruby

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