I’m into my fifth month of isotretinoin treatment. Month one wins as the yuckiest, most self-esteem-killing month thus far but I was cheered up by the nice feedback and support I received about my vanity’s plight. My friends could relate, but most of them were smart enough to do this treatment as teenagers. Bravo, pals. I envy you and your foresight.
I know these posts would’ve been a lot more effective (enlightening? gross?) if I could’ve shown month-over-month progression pics. But, I just couldn’t bring myself to document three months of heinous self-consciousness. I don’t want to remember it that well.
The second month was slightly less traumatic with only nine blemishes but I still felt hideous. I tried to wear glasses a lot so people would maybe look at those instead of the fresh scars that dot my cheeks.
Month three continued trending downward with three cysts and before month four began, my Absorica dosage was increased by 10mg. The oil in my body was apparently not going without a fight. The positive result of more pills and more side effects? ZERO cysts in month four. ZERO. I’ve can’t remember the last time my face didn’t have at least one blemish coming or going. That incredulous feeling, and the subsequent lack of terrible, painful cysts has been making this hellish treatment worth it.
Month five is in full swing and I’m well past the middle point. I was told at my last monthly dermatologist appointment I have to be acne-free for three months before I cease medication. 1.5 months already down! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..
The amount of pills I’m taking right now is insane and I’m admitting it. The 3g of vitamin C I’ve been prescribed has been helping renew my skin to heal fresh scars, slowly but surely. The Absorica and the other vitamins I’m taking to offset the side effects of scarred sensitive skin, joint lubrication, and balancing the bacteria in my body total 14-16 pills on a given day. Tack on a couple more for my regular batch of meds and it’s a wonder I have room for food at all.
That’s a joke; I can eat food with the best of ’em. Especially food with chili and cheese.
Positives? My skin is dry but not as terrible as I imagined, probably because I am diligent about moisturizing and wearing SPF. My skin tone is evening up and all my hydrating potions seem to suffice. Time in the sun has been reduced, but not canceled altogether as long as I’m wearing sunscreen. And a hat. And I’m somewhat in the shade.
Negatives? My joints feel like the Tin Man before he got the oil. The stiffness and aches have been pretty severe; a side effect, I’m told, that occurs most frequently in women over the age of 30. It’s sucky and I feel arthritic.
Seven more weeks….