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My story, well worth a read (I think!)

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Old 08-25-2005, 02:23 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 88
determinedtowin HB User
My story, well worth a read (I think!)

I have been viewing this board for some time now but have not posted much as I have let my own situation progress before telling my story!

I am 21 and live in the UK. I have had acne since I can remember. I thought this was due to my age so tried to let it run its course. Unfortunately for me it didn’t run its course and I ended off with a major acne problem with terrible face, back and chest acne. Having said this, I have never let acne ruin or rule my life as luckily for me I was never tormented about it and I was always confident so always had girlfriends etc so I suppose I was lucky.

When I was 17-18 I went to the doctors who prescribed me Tetracycline. This drug did nothing at all for me so I decided to ask further advice. My GP then prescribed me Minocycline. Again, this did nothing so another trip to the doctor was made. This time he referred me to the dermatologist. At this particular point my acne was a at it's worst and he had no hesitation in offering me Roaccutane (it seems from what I've read on here, the rules about Roaccutane in the UK and US are very different as you do not need to have extra insurance in the UK) Anyway, I declined the offer as I had not heard of the drug and what she told me did not fill me full of confidence in regards to side effects and how effective the drug actually was (plus the fact I don't like needles and you needed blood taken ha ha). She decided to prescribe a combination of Doxycycline and Retin-A as an alternative. Again, this did nothing for me but make my skin oily.

About 6 months ago I'd had enough; I did some research and asked the doctor to explain the pros and cons of Roaccutane. When this was explained properly I decided to give Roaccutane a go. I should have been going on Roaccutane now as the appointment waiting list for the dermatologist was massive but with some persuasion I got an appointment the next week.

I have now been on the drug I was prescribed 40 m/g a day for 2 months, 80 m/g a day for 2 months and now 100 m/g at the moment.

The drug, for me, has been a miracle drug. I am clear on my back and chest apart from 5 spots (I used to be covered) my face is 100% acne free.

My trouble now is scars. I have a few red marks but nothing bad, they've mostly faded. My trouble is ice pick scars.

The situation with this is one that gets me down more than acne.

I have asked various family members how bad they are (I don't ask mates as they don't notice them and don't want them too!) My Mum always says she can't see anything to be nice as she used to say that about my acne. My Dad however is honest and says it how it is (which I prefer) he says he can't see anything apart from a few which he pointed at and said you have to look closely.

You're probably thinking "well that doesn't sound bad" but I wanted some other people to post back in the similar situation.

In certain mirrors and lights I have a 100% flawless face, smooth as a baby’s bottom, especially in false light. However, in some mirrors and lights my face looks awful like the moon craters everywhere that is obviously how my face really looks or it wouldn't look like that. I said this to my Dad and he again pointed out the few he said he could see. The few he pointed out are hardly visible to me and I think I have worse ones that even I can see but he says not.

I met my friend for the first time in 6 months and he said "wow your face has cleared, how did you do that" (he suffers from moderate acne and we grew up together so our diet might be something to do with it?!)

I asked him about scars and he also said "you have dents but tiny ones not like some people, if you look properly you can see you’ve probably had acne but you have to look closely.

I haven't got the worst scars but they are there which are not helped by scars of other things.

I suppose what I want to know is

a) Is there anything you can do about ice pick scars?

b) Is my friend right when he says because they're only small they’ll heal themselves?


c) Does anyone else have this problem of certain lights making your face look better because I find myself looking in good lights or mirrors to make myself feel better before I go out when really I should look at the worst scenario? I dread looking in certain mirrors as to what I'll look like. I have had very quality detailed photos done for things and the scars haven’t showed up. Maybe I’m being a paranoid.

I HAVE been, as people have said very lucky with scarring (even the doctors have said) considering the amount of acne I've had

I'm sorry to have waffled on but I would love some comments and answers to my questions.

I am grateful my skin is clear, I don't mean to sound ungrateful.

And finally, Accutane is the only thing that has worked for me with no side effects so if your prepared to risk it, it's brilliant.

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Old 08-25-2005, 08:18 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 265
amo HB User
Re: My story, well worth a read (I think!)

Glad your skin is clear now! That is wonderful to hear!

I don't really have the best advice about "ice pick" scars as I don't have them, but I can tell you what has been working for my discoloration due to old acne. Capsiderm cleanser is great if you have any reddness. And Epidermx microbermabrasion cream, followed by camellia oil. HOWEVER, I am pretty sure that when you are on accutane, you're not supposed to do things like microdermabrasion. The camellia oil might be helpful for the scarring, I know that it helps reduce lines and wrinkles.

As I haven't seen your skin, I cannot say for sure, but I tend to think that your friend is not correct in saying because they are small, your scars will just heal up. The reason I say that is that a scar is a scar, it's already "healed up." So they probably aren't likely to shrink on their own.

As for the mirror thing, I think a number of us on here can attest to the fact that mirrors are the bane of most acne sufferer's existance. I try not to spend too much time in the mirror. Of course, my skin looks great in some lights, and like a total mess in others. I just try not to worry about it.
But like you said, you haven't had trouble with letting the acne rule your life (still going out, having girlfriends, all of that kind of stuff) obviously, you wouldn't let the scars rule your life, would you?

Don't know if I was any help, but I couldn't let your post go without responding...
Congrats again

Old 08-26-2005, 04:41 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 88
determinedtowin HB User
Re: My story, well worth a read (I think!)

Appreciate that!

I woke up this morning and in natural light my skin looks wonderful. I suppose it is just false light (i.e. the bathroom light at night) doesn't reflect a true light. I'm probably just being paranoid as like I say, detailed photos don't show many scars only the ones I notice (which is good)

Anyway good luck everyone, I have an appoinment at the derm on Tuesday where he might take me off the tablets or keep me on them for the last bit of active acne. Whatever he says I'll ask about ice pick scars

Everyone has told me they are hardly noticeable so like you say...I'll not let if affect me

I'll let you know how it goes

Old 08-26-2005, 09:01 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 77
Kelly03 HB User
Re: My story, well worth a read (I think!)

I know exactly what you mean by lighting. Flourescent lighting is the worse, like public places with these lights, a person acne prone and with scars looks horribly worse! I actually starting crying in a store when my husband was very firm about getting flourescent lights for our house. I cried and cried in secret, he didn't know or seen past my problem of acne skin. I finally told him but haven't explained why I cried about the lights. The one and only place I don't look like a monster is in my home. I still look bad, scars and zits and cysts and stuff, but nothing like someone just threw up on me when seen in flourescent lights.

Anyhow, I understand, and yes I'm sure alot or most others with acnes and scars see the same thing.

I am going to ask for Accutane from my dermatologist. I have alot of research and I am a little nervous...but. I have tried EVERYTHING!

Wish me luck.

Oh as for the scarring, I heard this from a number of knowlegeable people use: Nu Skin Clear Action™ Night Treatment: full tube costs $36.58. Helps you wake up to healthier looking skin. Night Treatment erases the signs of breakouts while you sleep. Retinol and patented alpha lipoic acid work to diminish the appearance of remnant marks (uneven skin texture and discoloration) associated with past breakouts for a smooth, clear, evenly toned complexion while salicylic acid clears pores. Buy it at:

I am going to try it, but might wait until after I am acne free, heck maybe I will start it now to help whats already happened to my face.

Old 08-31-2005, 07:17 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 88
determinedtowin HB User
Re: My story, well worth a read (I think!)

My acne is alright and to be honest my face is alright in the most. Most people are now saying my skin is mostly flawless and what isn't they could live with (easy for them) I'm on Accutane for another month to help scars (so my derm said) then I have the option if they bother me of having my scars re surfaced but there's a waiting list. We'll see eh...

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