Before I started Accutane I would stare at before and after pictures thinking “could that be me one day”? The transformations looked surreal and many of the people in the picture suffered from intense acne. I was not.
It felt a bit unfair from my part to be on Accutane when my acne was not just… destroying my face. But at the same time, I have suffered from acne since I was a teenager. I’m soon to be 30. I had to put an end to it.
Accutane before after
One of the reasons why it took me so long to get on Accutane is my anxiety. Yes. I was afraid to see a dermatologist.
I saw 3 last year, two in a video consultation and one in person. Luckily my insurance covers all expenses. Only the third one really heard me out. The second one put me on a course of antibiotics which did nothing (wow…shocking!) even though I told her that I took antibiotics in the past and they did nothing. She also sounded full of herself which is exactly what I expected. But I didn’t lose hope.
The good dermatologist
Come summer I had my first consultation with the third dermatologist. She prescribed tretinoin and some zinc supplements. It helped, a little. She didn’t want to put me on Accutane right away because it was summer, and apparently, sunscreen is not something that exists in their world?
Once I finished those prescriptions I went to see her again and got prescribed my first month of Accutane. It’s called Curacné here in France, which sounds so funny. I started on 20mg, and every month she prescribed a higher dose.
The first signs of improvement started on 50mg back in December. That’s when everything just vanished off my face. No pimple in sight, no blackheads, no pores, no oil production whatsoever. It was surreal, and it still is.
I was a lucky one and didn’t suffer from the most feared Accutane side effect – extreme dryness. My dermatologist said that it’s most likely due to my age: the older you are the better your body tolerates it. And my body tolerated it very well. I only had 2 instances of rashes: one on my neck and one on my hand, the latter being a very common side effect. A little bit of the Illiyoon Ceramides Ato cream took care of them overnight.
The mental repercussions
I said it before and I will say it again, acne leaves psychological scars as well, and we should talk about it.
For me it was my confidence that was so low. I clearly remeber a day in high school when we were taking class pictures and when mine came back everyone asked to see it, because they photoshoped my pimples out. My classemates would look at the picture and say how beautiful I look. They never told me to my face that I was beautiful. Well in fact they never told me anything kind because I was the subject of bullying.
I never considered myself beautiful. There were so many instances in my life when I would wonder how the hell do I even manage to have boyfriends. There were so many instances where I cried because I felt hideous.
Yes acne is normal, and so is seeking help for it.
Looking back I notice a pattern in 2020. I embarked on a journey of “healing” as cheesy as that may sound. I went to therapy for my depression, and I slowly did the things I always wanted but didn’t dare: cut off my hair, get piercings, get rid of my acne, take fitness seriously and achieve my dream body. Even this blog is part of that. I wonder what 2021 will have for me.
Anyway, if you look back on my Instagram feed you’ll notice no photos of my face because I was ashamed of it. Now I want to show off my skin. I want everyone to know that I won the fight with acne. I’m learning to love myself, and this boost of confidence feels so damn good that I want to rub it in everyone’s face. Look at me being amazing here!
If you wonder if you should get on Accutane, just do it. It will be worth it. Especially for your mental health.
You can also find more about my Accutane skincare routine here
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