Many of my readers email me saying that they are thinking of taking Accutane if all else fails. Hearing the word Accutane itself gives me goose bumps. While I totally understand how having acne makes you feel desperate, you will never convince me that Accutane is a good idea. I had very strong feelings about this even when my acne was at it’s worst.
Here’s a bit of my story.
When I turned 35 and I seemed to be the only 35 year old still suffering from acne, I decided to give a reputed skin clinic a try. They had rave reviews and I hoped I would see some improvement in my skin. They promised treatment which was uniquely tailored to me. However within a couple of minutes of meeting the dermatologist my hopes were dashed to the ground. Again!!!!! However I thought I would stick with her and see what happened. After 20 years of being disappointed time and time again, somehow I hoped that this time would be different.
The dermatologist prescribed a medicine called Sotret. Having read up a lot about acne, I soon realized that this was just another name for Accutane. Get this, she never even warned me what it was. Only after asking her whether it was Accutane she said yes and asked whether I was using birth control. Yes, I still stuck with her and thought I would see where this went. Yes, I was that desperate!!!!
I got the medicine, as I was sick and tired of having acne. Once I got home, I read up on the side effects of Accutane and decided I was never going to take it. I told the doctor and she seemed ok with it, all the time telling me that the only side effect people generally have is dry lips. I was not convinced. The thing is I not only wanted clear, acne free skin but I also wanted skin that looked good. The thing here is that people trust doctors. Of course, why wouldn’t we? They are the experts and have a medical degree. But at the end of the day they are not the ones taking the medication, we are!!!
I was talking to someone at the same clinic later, who had taken Accutane and she told me that her skin is now dry and that the oil glands in her body have stopped working. She said she had lost her glow. To someone who has skin which looks like a oil spill has occurred this might seem a good thing but imagine having dry, flaky itchy skin all over your body. Having dry skin in your 20’s is ok, not a good thing but ok. However dry skin in your 30’s when your skin is naturally starting to dry is going to be a nightmare.
I want clear skin so that I can feel good about myself. At the same time I also want my skin to glow. I want my hair to look good and I also want to feel good about myself. It’s not asking for too much. If my hair is going to be falling and I am feeling sick to my stomach because of the medicine I am taking for clear skin, defeats the purpose of the whole thing. Having clear skin while feeling bad made absolutely no sense to me.
Accutane has buyers because people suffering from acne are desperate. I can really, really understand that. If someone comes along promising them a cure for acne which has been bothering them for a while, they are going to jump on it. You offer me a cure for something that I feel is holding me back and not letting me look my best, of course I am going to be interested. What you need to think about is the price you are willing to pay for it and not in terms of money, but in terms of the irreversible damage you can cause to your body. Clear but dry skin at the risk of your health.