Skin Update: Why I’m Considering a Second Round of Accutane

If you’ve struggled with acne for years eventually you realize the goal of smooth, clear, glowing skin is unrealistic. So you set the bar much lower and do your best to achieve normal, un-problematic skin that no one notices, or stares at in pity. In 2017, I achieved my goal of what I considered to be perfectly normal skin after a seven year battle with hormonal cystic acne. All thanks to Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane. However, less than two years later, at the cusp of 26, I find myself resorting back to my high school ways of wearing heavy makeup to cover painful, inflamed, hormonal cystic acne around my hairline, mouth, and jawline. And now, I’m considering a second round of Accutane.

Right side of my face before Accutane, November 2016

Right side of my face before Accutane, November 2016

If you’ve read My Personal Accutane Experience post you’d know I considered all the side-effects of Isotretinoin (Accutane) to be pretty bearable. I even stated at the end of the post that if I had to do it all over again that I would! I honestly thought my battle with acne was over. However, 30% of people who complete one round of Accutane will find themselves needing a second round at some point in their life. The time frame differs from person to person. Meaning, some people will have clear skin for 10-20+ years before the hormonal cystic acne returns and others (like me) can find themselves back at square one less than a few years later.

For a while my skin was thriving. I only wore makeup when I wanted to feel fancy, not out of necessity, and I found a post-Accutane routine to keep the occasional white heads away. Then, it seemed like a switch was flipped and the occasional acne bump that popped up around my period turned into painful cyst that seemed to grow and multiply virtually overnight.

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Skin Appreciation Post ✨ May 4, 2018

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Just like that my acne was back.

A few weeks ago I found myself on the internet searching for a next day appointment with a dermatologist. Before she could say hello the words “I want a second round of Accutane” fell out of my mouth. If you’re considering Accutane, I must tell you that it’s the last thing a dermatologist wants to prescribe you. So of course, she said no. We chatted about my skin history, my current lifestyle, and about my goal of achieving normal skin again.

Right side of my face, May 2019

Right side of my face, May 2019

I’m currently on a new drug and a new skin regimen that I have to stick to for the next three months. I’ll keep you all updated on my new regime,  progress, and if I still want Accutane in the next Skin Update!

How long have you struggled with acne and what are you doing to combat it? Let’s chat in the comments!

If you enjoyed this post check out Skin Update: Is Spironolactone the Hormonal Acne Drug I’ve Been Hoping For? and Summer Beauty Products I’m Rebuying This Year posts next!

xo, Sha

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