Sep 22, 2013

Super September Day 11: My Acne Story

I'm not sure how to introduce this post, so I will just begin with the story.

I got my first pimple sometime in middle school. I think it was on my forehead and it went away quickly. Throughout middle school, I always had one or two pimples on my face, but it was never bad. As a matter of fact, this was the case through my freshman year and part of my sophomore year of high school.

Within the first few weeks of sophomore year, my skin began to get bad. Why? I think it was because I was using skin care products my skin did not like. I also think it was because I was more stressed out than I ever had been because of the usual angsty teenager problems. My normal skin became oily and the breakouts started getting worse. I won't pretend that my acne was ever the worst out of the people I knew, but my skin was bad. Every now and then I would try to simplify my routine and my skin would get worse.

By the end of my senior year, I was persuaded to go to a dermatologist. He prescribed me an antibiotic and Veltin gel (1.2% clindamycin and 0.025% tretinoin). It made no difference to my skin, so a month later I was put on a different antibiotic and Aczone. That particular combination kept me clear for 3 or so months. Unfortunately my body became used to what I was using, and I began breaking out again. After trying a few more things, my dermatologist told me that he thought my last two options were either spironolactone or the big, scary A: Accutane. I resisted both for a while, but in June, I finally decided to go ahead and try spironolactone. He first put me on a small dosage that ended up doing nothing for my skin. Then he increased the dosage and I started having a weird side effect... my monthly cycle was completely messed up. As in... every 2-2.5 weeks I was given my monthly gift. When I went to see him in August, he took me off spironolactone and asked again if I wanted to consider Accutane. I decided to take the plunge. I can talk about that process more, but I only just picked up my prescription.

I will say that somewhere in the middle I stopped taking antibiotics and tried eliminating foods from my diet that are known to cause acne. I posted a few times about no longer drinking milk, only to see no difference after a few weeks (maybe I should have gone longer), and then I would start using it again in my coffee and cereal. I have a few other examples, but the biggest one was milk.

I will say that my skin is loads better than it was 2-3 years ago. But the problem is that I am 21 and my skin is still consistently broken out. It is somewhere between where it was in middle school and high school, but I'd like for my skin to heal some. I hope that I can share my experiences while I am on Accutane. Soon I will be posting the skin care routine I plan to be on while I am taking the big A.

I wish I had a decent picture of how my skin looked a few weeks ago, but below is a picture of me wearing makeup in May 2011. You might be able to see the breakouts. Yikes.