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How bad does your skin have to be to go on accutane? Watch

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    I'm 20 and in my second year at uni and have acne. Sometimes it's reasonably mild and the biggest issue is hyperpigmentation and scarring but sometimes, like now, I break out in swollen, painful cysts. Unlike the pigmentation and very slight texture, I can't really hide the cysts with makeup because they protrude so much. I've been on tetracycline twice and was prescribed hibiscrub and duac a few years ago but it keeps coming back.

    I know plenty of people suffer with acne and I try to tell myself that people don't really care, but I've been suffering with this since I was 12 and it's not going away and every time I get another scar it takes months or years to fade. It affects my confidence so much, I don't feel comfortable going to my own kitchen at uni, I never have people stay the night and it's making me utterly miserable. And then I feel worse because people have genuine health concerns and I'm crying over acne.

    I've made a doctors appointment anyway because anything affecting me this much is worth going to get help over but I was wondering how bad things have to be to go on accutane. I've read about the side affects and it doesn't sound fun but everytime I think I'm seeing an improvement things just get worse so I think if I could go on it, I'd be willing to have a very rough 6 months.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm 20 and in my second year at uni and have acne. Sometimes it's reasonably mild and the biggest issue is hyperpigmentation and scarring but sometimes, like now, I break out in swollen, painful cysts. Unlike the pigmentation and very slight texture, I can't really hide the cysts with makeup because they protrude so much. I've been on tetracycline twice and was prescribed hibiscrub and duac a few years ago but it keeps coming back.

    I know plenty of people suffer with acne and I try to tell myself that people don't really care, but I've been suffering with this since I was 12 and it's not going away and every time I get another scar it takes months or years to fade. It affects my confidence so much, I don't feel comfortable going to my own kitchen at uni, I never have people stay the night and it's making me utterly miserable. And then I feel worse because people have genuine health concerns and I'm crying over acne.

    I've made a doctors appointment anyway because anything affecting me this much is worth going to get help over but I was wondering how bad things have to be to go on accutane. I've read about the side affects and it doesn't sound fun but everytime I think I'm seeing an improvement things just get worse so I think if I could go on it, I'd be willing to have a very rough 6 months.
    It's not really a case of 'how bad' your skin has to be to be prescribed accutane; it's a matter of trying a few different things to see what works. Assuming your worries are proportional (i.e as long as you're not envisaging a lot of acne when you actually only have one spot every few weeks), your GP will probably prescribe you something, but they're likely to want to try topical antibiotics/benzoyl peroxide before moving onto retinoids. In most cases, it wouldn't make sense for them to go straight for a drug with a serious side-effect profile when your acne may clear up with something with fewer/milder side-effects.

    And of course you should seek help; please don't feel bad for worrying about this because you think it doesn't constitute a 'genuine health concern'. Skin conditions are hard for people to deal with, not only because they can be painful (as you mention), but because they tend to be the sorts of things you can't hide; they really do batter people's self-confidence. So please do keep that appointment with your GP and don't feel bad about it; it's a legitimate medical issue, and you're entitled to treatment for it. Good luck.
 
 
 
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