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Acutane: the once feared medication brings relief

Junior Erika Cook speaks wonders about Accutane.

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Junior Erika Cook speaks wonders about Accutane.

Erika Cook, Writer

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Many teenagers struggle with the burden of acne and try to find any way to cover it up. They see these blemishes as weaknesses, although this is common for many teenagers.

I started getting acne in third grade, which was kind of a bad sign for the rest of my life. As soon as I first got acne, I was kind of excited. I felt that it meant I was getting older and I would have a little more freedom – which was what any 8-year-old wanted, right? From there, it progressed. I remember in fifth grade when my forehead was covered with bumps and there was nothing I could do to help. I tried every Neutrogena soap, Acne Free, Proactive product there was, and eventually went to the dermatologist to start on my first doctor-prescribed medication; nothing ever worked. Sure, maybe for the first few weeks, my acne cleared a bit, but just as soon as it went away, it came back even worse. After maybe three years of going to the dermatologist, I was asked if I could be put on my last resort – Accutane.

I was really scared of this medication. I had friends who had taken it and the side effects were pretty drastic. Not only does it cause major dryness in your skin and lips, it also has a risk of depression, suicidal thoughts, and insomnia, as well as hurting your liver. I put this medicine last on my list, saying if nothing else worked, I would use Accutane. I talked to my parents and realized I needed to be free of this acne that was causing major scarring to my body and causing me to constantly wear T-shirts and high neck clothing.

It takes a while for girls to get on this medicine, due to the risk of birth defects to those who are pregnant while on the medication. During the summer going into my junior year, I started taking this scary medicine. Once I started on it, I saw the effects immediately as I searched for the best lotion and Burt’s Bees products became my best friend.

A couple months in, I started feeling the depression. It was difficult because I knew that I was only feeling this way due to my medicine, but it didn’t help me control the way I felt. I was either always sad and bummed out or I felt literally nothing, all caused by this medicine that I was taking.

The depression only lasted a couple of months, but it soon leveled out. I have been on it for six months now and plan on staying on it for one more month to completely clear everything. I am very excited because my acne should not come back and I have never been so relieved. Although I am still slightly emotional and very dry, I feel like through the struggles of this drug, it was worth it. I feel much more comfortable with myself and my body. The results are great and I feel like I can be myself, even though I still love wearing T-shirts. I finally like my skin.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Acutane: the once feared medication brings relief”

  1. Zoee Rogers on February 22nd, 2018 11:00 am

    Erika you’re awesome and gorgeous. Please keep being the beautiful human you are!

    [Reply]

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Acutane: the once feared medication brings relief