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Re: My Story
Jan 26, 2004
This is my first post here... So Hello! It's actually a relief to find that so many others have had experiences similar to mine. I wasn't an "early bloomer" by any means, but I vividly recall the embarrassment I suffered when I got my first big, angry zit at age 10, on my cheek. I spent my teen years trying all the different products I saw on TV. I remember one called 'Acne Statin' which was pretty useless...! It was similar in principle to Pro-Activ.

I can't remember his name offhand, but I would also encourage the young man who's in college to go ahead and take Accutane... I remember, in high school, I had always heard that Accutane was a "miracle drug," but my mom wouldn't let me take it because she had taken it herself and wanted to spare me from the side effects. But, like every good kid, once I got to college, I "rebelled..." :) I started taking Accutane in my second semester because I was so unhappy... I had such low self-esteem that I couldn't look anyone in the eye. I was "Sweet 19 and never been kissed," and, despite being assured I was a really cute girl, I felt anything but. I had to really plead with the dermatologist at University Health Services, but she was sympathetic and prescribed Accutane for me. Both my parents had Cystic acne... In fact, my mom is 56, and still gets a few Cysts.

I had great success with Accutane, and other than the dry skin and eyes, the only major side-effect I had was some hair thinning. But it was worth it, and if I had the money, health insurance, and access to free health care (well, not "free," but included with my tuition) that I had when I was in college, I would take it again in a heartbeat... It kept my skin clear from age 19 until... let's see, pretty much until age 23. So I at least had some good years of positive self-esteem before it came back with a vengeance!

I have only recently really been getting the big, nasty cysts again, but it's really depressing because I thought Accutane was supposed to be "forever." I guess there are no guarantees! I attribute my recent breakouts to having gone off of Ortho Tri-Cyclen, because while I was still taking it, I stayed clear after Accutane. I guess hormones were part of the problem. I've recently started taking the oral contraceptives again, and have yet to see a major improvement but it's only been a few months. I have also had *some* success with the Nature's Cure supplements, especially the body acne ones with the spray. They seem to have cleared up everything but the cysts.

I hate cysts! They are so painful and itch like crazy. Sometimes I'll point a hairdryer at my face, on full-blast to trick my nerves into registering "pain" rather than "itch." That at least keeps me from picking at them for a few moments. I have had a cluster of about 15-20 cysts under my chin/on my neck since before Thanksgiving... The healing process is so slow. I don't have any health insurance right now, and I can't afford to go to a doctor or dermatologist... I think I'm going to order the Evolution-X B5 supplements and give that a try. Has anyone else who's taken Accutane (successfully, albeit not permanently) had great success on B5?

Sorry this is so long, but one last thing... It really horrifies to me to read on this message board that people are ordering Accutane on the internet and self-medicating... I would strongly discourage that! It's some serious stuff and requires monthly blood tests to check liver function and blood lipid levels... Viagra it ain't. If your doctor knew that you were going to take it anyway, come hell or high water, he or she would probably prescribe it just so he/she could monitor your health!! Thanks for listening...

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