I’ve struggled with acne for what feels like my entire life but probably since I was 11 or 12, and I never really grew out of it. It’s had phases, really bad at 12/13, better for awhile and then bad again at 15/16 before getting better and then glaring up again in my early 20s. It’s never been bad enough in the cystic acne way to warrant more than some prescription creams and antibiotics but none really worked that well. I found a crazy concoction of washes and creams that kept it mildly at bay for years but it meant being religious about my skincare routine, and dealing with dried out skin. But it was better than being covered in zits so I dealt with it, even carrying little bottles of my creams and face wash in my clutch if I was going out and sleeping at a boyfriend’s. But then in my 20s after moving to nyc, my skin flared up again and my usual lineup of creams and potions just didn’t work as well, and frankly, I was sick of having acne. Wasn’t i supposed to have grown out of it by now?
So I booked an appointment with one of the country’s top dermos with a fancy office on Park avenue and No insurance and for once, she listened and suggested what no other doctor would – accutane, or actually it goes by a different name now but same diff. I went on a super low dose and while the monthly bloodwork and dry lips were annoying, it cleared up my skin and other than dry lips, I had none of the other scary side effects that give accutane a bad rap. Now I was on a super low dose and my acne wasn’t severe severe and obviously I’m not a doctor or expert and you should talk to your doctor about what’s right for you, but I couldn’t be happier that I did it. My skin was always a major insecurity of mine and I spent a fortune on creams, washes, pills and doctors and in just a couple months, accutane cleared my skin right up.
The one downside of being on a low dose is it didn’t cure my acne completely as it’s supposed to. It’s nowhere as bad as it was, but now years later, it’s been flaring up again and because we’re trying for babies, I can’t go on it again. With that said, it’s not nearly as bad as it was and an over the counter cream clears it up whereas before those non prescription creams didn’t do anything. Honestly, if it was safe to take when trying to conceive, I’d go back on it. I know there are risks to your liver etc and other side effects that are important to consider, especially at higher doses, but I felt like it was important to share my skincare struggles and what worked because when my skin was constantly breaking out, I wanted to know everything anyone ever tried that worked to cure their acne.