Caro, has no “Skin Secret”
Dr.Hevia’s Cosmetic Dermatology Office. Miami, Fl
* Warning, this post contains detailed procedure- back story- before/after pix.
Skin secret? I have no skin secret, I don’t think I could dare keep such a secret that brought me so much happiness! only recently have people asked me this phenomenon. Ask yourself? How is my skin? Clear as day? Some breakouts here and there? Constant acne? Are you like I was? Trying to find the thinnest sweaters for summer, and shirts that covered as much as my chest and back as possible? Did you ever dread bikini season, knowing that you were thinking what coverup would best hide your skin- The key thing showing on a hot summer days!? Or worse, wanting to wear that low back spaghetti string dress you keep eyeing in the window for a sexy night out on the town, but would never buy. If you answered yes to my sad but true questions, then next question…
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU VISITED YOUR DERMATOLOGIST?
I fear doctors, and yet I grew up with them in my family. What the hell was I waiting for when my skin got out of control?!
It was my first year of college and by spring 2007 ( age 18) my almost clear skin was breaking out more often than I ever experienced. I thought, stress? Diet? Theatre major’s have horrible diet habits during show runs, constantly exposed to moldy theaters, and stress level off the charts… Hormones? This shall pass? Fast forward end of college, now 21 and now breakouts have become an everyday issue on my body. From my face, to my chest,to my shoulders, to my back. Will the stress of my college career be the end of this madness? Now in career mode, a constant complaint from makeup artists, to casting directors; SKIN! SKIN! SKIN! After a few sessions of antibiotics, Proactive, and over the counter regiments I was tormented. Now I was 24, being the actor that I am, trying to pretend my skin didn’t affect me, it was killing me. I was tired of waking up everyday and having to put makeup on to hide all my insecurities. It wasn’t about my career anymore, it was my health and sanity. I wanted to wear those beautiful dresses, and tops hiding in the back of my closet, and bear my skin in confidence. I wasn’t going to allow my everyday acne, to be a normal thing that I will just ” have to accept”. There’s was one thing left as an option…
*Below are photos I acquired from shoots for actor headshots. I have to be honest, I never once took photos of my worst breakouts, but even in these photos make-up could not help me. Notice mostly my chest and shoulders. Lighting will always reduce the redness of blemishes, but do know that even all the alighting and makeup couldn’t hide the smallest bump. **BPphotography
The day had come, my consultation with my dermatologist (late spring 2013)! How much damage had my acne prone skin been through? Will I need laser? Injections? The infamous Accutane?
After the “hello, welcome, let’s take a look?”
First question to answer?
How long have you been suffering with acne?
Me: Freshman year of college would make it, seven years. HOLY S#@T SEVEN YEARS.
Doctor: Have you heard of ACCUTANE?
Me: Everyone has….. Isn’t it bad for you?
Any medicine can be harmful to your body, the key is the right dosage, following directions consistently, and the having the right attitude and goals met.
I mean he didn’t even hesitate to not suggest antibiotics one last time, He went straight for the cure–“it’s a better investment health wise and money wise” with, Accutane.
He was right.
This is a procedure that may seem overwhelming at first, but after the first month– ALL GOOD…more than just ALL GOOD– FANTASTIC!!!!
Within 3 months I had zero breakouts, and my pores were not only empty and free of blemishes, blackheads, JUNK- but reduced in size!
As the 6th month came along, I was so thrilled with the fact that my skin was glowing, healthy, and not only clear but the scars from previous breakout began to lighten and continue to reduce in appearance and size.
*below are photographs taken after I completed my treatment. These are un-edited photos! The soft glow on my skin was complimented by the light and the smooth surface skin I obtained. WAS NOT PHOTOSHOPPED. I wore minimal make-up on my face (eyes, lips, blush, powder). Do you SEE those shoulders? I hope these images inspires you to believe that their is an option out there for you! ** Lynn Parks Photography January 2014
-pregnancy test, a nice warm cup of urine the same day you come in.YOU CANNOT AND WILL NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO GET PREGNANT. This is. No joke. (Could be harmful for the growth of a child within the womb or fatal)
-Physiological evaluation interview and information given on procedure of this medication. It is known that this medication can cause depression. This is important to know if you are emotionally stable and helps with proper dosage when being prescribed. Followed by questions you will answer after to “pass” (these answers you must remember in the coming months).
-Hormonal balance check done with your OBGYN. It’s key to do this to make sure all hormone levels were balanced and not causing acne prone skin. At age 24 with a regular period, it’s very hard for that to be the case for me.
-next, blood check, at Quest Diagnostics. Here they check all proper levels with your blood test, and pregnancy test again!
After everything was taken care of within 72 hours tops, they came to the proper dosage and time frame.
Pill: Isotretinoin A.K.A. ACCUTANE
Common name/brands: Claravis, Amnesteem, Sotret, Myorisan, Accutane.
60 milligrams, to split into two pills. 30 in the morning, and 30 at night everyday – for SIX MONTHS.
The process, how it works: As soon as you give your doctor the green light, it is important to get all of this done within 30 days. You will be given a special card with your patient number ID and info packet on procedures and frequently asked questions.
For every 30 days you will be given an online computer test, remember those questions I told you about?
It’s roughly around 5 questions a month of the computer.
We are talking EASY COMMON SENSE QUESTIONS;
“What is your date of birth?”. Question’s on practicing safe sex, and questions regarding your treatment and dosage based on what the doctor has proscribed for you.
You need to PASS in order to pick up your prescription, and you only have a 4/5 day window to pick up your prescription. It’s clocks it the moment you finish your test so keep that in mind. Once you pass immediately call your pharmacist, because sometimes they don’t have it available and they have to order it for you. Means less time for you.
Finally you pick up your prescription, begin your dosage, and watch how your skin unfolds.
Some people experience a “purging” period in the first couple of months. This part varies for everyone. For me it was crazy to see how my pores eliminated blackheads and other dirt. The best part was once each poor cleaned itself out, they shrunk!!!!! As for the pimples and scars I had, they began to heal, and get lighter in color.
DO’s & Don’t
+Do invest in hydrating lotions, creams, chapsticks, and lipgloss ( coming soon, a post on “Survival Kit: Accutane” for products I used and recommend.)
+Do drink lots of water.
+Do wear SPF DAILY.
-Don’t bake in the sun, you will blister and damage/scar your new virgin skin.
-Don’t drink alcohol, ACCUTANE, is a high dosage of Vitamin A works your liver in order to flush out all the toxins. You don’t want to overwork your liver by adding more toxins. You need that organ in order to LIVE (but you knew that already). Besides think of all the weight you will lose by cutting out the empty calories!!!! I started mine in the late spring, so beach time came and I worked out, lost weight-detoxed-toned up and was ready to flaunt my clear skin (even though it have been spent under an umbrella with SPF 75)
-Don’t wash your hair everyday, invest in dry shampoo, Trust me you don’t need to and you will be so happy how frizz free and oily free your hair is. ACCUTANE stops your oil production- COMPLETELY!
–Don’t get pregnant. Please be smart and follow safe sex. If you are sexually active, use two contraceptives (birth control and condom).
So much information on this medicine can be intimidating, but I didn’t want to hold back on you all. This is my story. My way of reaching a healthier, glowing, clearer skin. It was one of the best choices I have ever made, and wish I hadn’t waited so long to do so. So if you are like I was, if you have anything close to acne prone skin- or any skin issues that may be concerning you– Now is the time to go visit your doctor and start a new chapter. You wont regret it!