Alright! Time to get things started. I love reading blogs, and I also like to know about the author. You know, what hair care products they use, their skin care regime, what they eat, and above all else what their wearing!!! Pretty much EVERYTHING!!! Yes, I am nosey. I am not afraid to admit it. I feel it’s only fair to invite you into those aspects of my life.
At the age of 12 I began to develop acne. Why me? At the age of 12, I had the body of an adolescent boy, couple that with acne, and that describes me at that time period in my life. I have never had cystic acne, but the kind of acne that forms large inflamed white heads, deep black heads, and a large amount of small pimples all over my face.
Acne affects 40-50 million people in the United States, primarily targeting adolescent boys and girls. But, 54% of the 40-50 million affect woman!!! I was in shock when my dermatologist informed me of this information. At every stage of my life I battled acne. While in high school, my acne was at its absolute worst. Acne is embarrassing. I have always been insecure about my acne. I rarely made eye contact with anyone, due to my insecurities. Never in my life have I tried a new product for my face without extensive research. If I did, my periodic tamed acne would come to surface with hostility and vengeance. The ridicule was unbearable at times, I think everyone’s favorite mean name for someone with acne was “pizza face”. Seriously, come up with something better. Who would want to eat a pizza with pimples? Joking 😉
My mother, bless her big heart, being very much “old school” suggested that I wash my face with bar soap (ouch), and then swab my face down with alcohol. I was in complete agony. I can still feel the stinging sensation. Despite cleansing my face day, and night, my acne worsened. As time evolved so did the market for acne products. I have literally been on every product in any local drug store. There were times that I would get a short period of relief, but quickly rebounded during menses. At the age of 15, I had pimple cover-up down to a science.
After I graduated high school, I joined the Air Force. With joining the Air Force I was afforded great medical care.
The first thing I wanted assistance with was my acne. I tried, topical antibiotics, oral medication, birth control, topical medications with benzoyl peroxide, you name it, I have taken it. My selection of medications were limited, I could not take any sort of medication that would prevent me from being deployable. I couldn’t take certain prescriptions that weren’t readily available in another country. I more than understood, and as a service member, I always put my service to my country before myself. I put my acne on the back burner, and accepted that I would have good and bad days.
Please, raise your hand if you have spent copious amounts of money on acne products? Both of my hands are up. I have personally spent unknown scary amounts on products to cure my acne, each time getting nominal results. I moved up to higher end products thinking that would definitely work, spending hundreds on expensive products. Higher end products produced nominal results as well.
After years of fighting with my acne, I decided it was time for medical intervention. As an adult in my 30’s I was more than over acne. A few of my friends said I was “vain” for wanting the medication I wanted. My acne wasn’t that “bad” to them. I love my friends, but until they have walked the walk, kindly keep your opinions to yourself. I still love you all!!!
Armed with all of my medical history I went to see a dermatologist. I knew in my mind what I wanted her to prescribe. I wanted what every person who has ever struggled with acne often sought after disappointment, Accutane. Before I go any further, I want to inform everyone that this medication has a ton of side effects. It’s a personal choice, it may not be the choice for everyone, and that is perfectly fine.
Millions of people still refer to this medication as Accutane, but it’s actually Isotretinoin.
My acne as I mentioned before isn’t the worst type of acne, with a strict regime I could be somewhat clear, but serve breakouts would always find a way back to me. The moment my dermatologist walked into the room and asked what could she do for me, I let it all flow, my frustration, anger and disappointment. With no hesitation, she agreed Isotretinoin was the appropriate treatment for me. The source of my acne as an adult female over 30 is a direct reflection of a hormonal imbalance.
The side effects of Isotretinoin are tough. Isotretinoin is in a class of medications referred to as retinoids, and was originally marketed as a chemotherapy drug. I know, YIKES!!! The medication is basically a very high dosage of vitamin A, and works by controlling the oil in the sebaceous glands. Almost every part of your body is drained of any oil.
My lips feel like cracked leather, my skin like alligator scales, my scalp constantly itches, and my joints ache. My first week on 40mg of Isotretinoin I felt awful, I was ill with Flu like symptoms. I was beyond exhausted. Exercising was a chore, and everyday tasks took longer than normal. I had to think of the end result when faced with the side effects.
While taking Isotretinoin a woman CANNOT become pregnant and must have 2 forms of documented birth control.
Isotretinoin can be harmful to unborn babies. The IPLEDGE program is in place to ensure patients comply with the rules, and guidelines of the medication. Every month before I receive my prescription I have to get a pregnancy test with negative results before the pharmacy will fill my prescription. The process is time consuming, but in my opinion thus far, totally worth it.
I just finished month one, of my five-six month treatment plan. My symptoms began to stabilize in weeks three and four. I’m not sure how my symptoms will change once I am on a higher dosage. Not to worry, I will keep everyone in the loop. My objective is to document my journey for anyone who may suffer from acne, and have questions or need tips. Why re-invent the wheel?
As I progress on my path, I will document makeup used, my skin care regime as well as skin moisturizers.
This path may not be for everyone, and I think it’s important to allow each person, and their provider to choose their own treatment plan. Everyone is entitled to there own opinion. We are all free to agree or disagree, as long as we do so in a respectful manner.
NEVER EVER get your eyebrows waxed while on Isotretinoin. I had my eyebrows waxed as per usual, completely forgetting that this is a BIG no! You can see in my photo where the wax burned my skin. Very painful! I applied aloe and Osmotic’s blue copper prime, day and night, and I’m healing up perfectly.