I have always had bad skin. You can sit there and tell me “It’s not that bad!” or “Your skin is clear!” but I won’t believe you. No, I don’t have skin dysmorphia. I have acne. And I have had it since I was nine years old. And I am tired of it.
I remember being in PacSun right before school started one year, probably before seventh or eighth grade. My mom always let us buy a new backpack for the school year so I was checking out their selection of Roxy backpacks when a kid I used to go to school with came up to me. He said, “I remember when you had mountains all over your face.” I was MORTIFIED. He was right. My acne was really bad at one point, mostly cystic. So that means I had my worst acne before the age of 14. From there, I just always assumed it would get better especially since it slowly became less cystic. Still had it in middle school? Okay, that’s normal. Still had it in high school? Okay, that’s even more normal because at least everyone else has it now. Still had it in college? Okay, seriously it should be clearing up. Still have it at 23 years old? Okay, I’m over it. Time to give me the strong stuff.
It was not a simple decision to go on Accutane. I had a lot of friends go on it in high school but it never really crossed my mind to do the same. My doctors always had me taking some kind of medication or prescribing me some kind of topical treatment so I was able to maintain a lot of my breakouts. I used every type of face wash, face scrub, face mask, face ointment, three-step face treatment, and homemade face remedy known to man. Some worked more than others. Some made my acne worse. Some tricked me into thinking my face was clear forever. But nothing has ever worked 100%. After my doctor told me I was a “perfect candidate” for this pretty intense final attempt at healthy skin, it was a no-brainer.
After eight years of covering up my skin with layers of makeup, after ten years of adding the “re-touching” option to all of my school pictures, and after 14 years of going to sleep with zit cream on my face every night, I am ready for clear skin. I’m tired of worrying about picking at it. I’m tired of covering it up. I’m tired of the redness. I’m tired of the scarring. I’m tired of trying every product ever. I’m just tired of all of it!!
Today was my first official day of taking Accutane. My doctor said I will be on it for five to six months. I’m not supposed to drink on it and one of the side effects is major chapped lips and dry skin. And it’s way more expensive than I expected it to be. SO IT BETTER WORK. Everyone I know who has gone on it has near-flawless skin now and I’m ready to join the club.
I know my acne doesn’t define me and I know it could absolutely be so much worse. But this is something I need to do for me. I absolutely love myself the way I am and I am overall happy with the way I look but my skin has always just been that one thing. I cannot recall a time it ever really held me back from doing something because like I said, my acne isn’t who I am, but I am really looking forward to being confident about my skin and not be embarrassed by it.
Here’s to hopefully having healthy skin before the big two four!