Life after Decutan, a Cinderella story of having a bad skin

Decutan (isotretinoin) is a drug prescribed by skin doctors when you have bad acne. You can’t get it if you only have a few pimples, nor can you if you haven’t tried everything else. Decutan is the last resort!

I have always had pimples since I was 12. I had never experienced a day without a pimple for ten years. Until I met Decutan.

Pimples and acne are awful because there is nothing wrong! You are not ill; you shouldn’t think about them because there are people experiencing way deeper and harder problems than this. Put makeup on it and get over it! (Or the other thing “Just stop wearing so much makeup, and that will clear up your skin…”). People with perfect skin don’t understand you, all the toners you have tried, the masks, the painful treatments you have paid for (for everybody with a bad skin I say f-you people with good skin!).
My mom had bad acne when she was my age and got the drug prescribed, and since it looked like I was going down the same road, I booked an appointment with a dermatologist.

The thing is also, your skin has to be really really bad for you to get the drug so I made it worse on purpose and prepared a speech why I absolutely needed this drug! It started with:

“I am 22 years old and I can’t have a teenage acne mixed with early signs of ageing for the love of god!”

There was no need for the speech, the doctor took one look at me and wrote a prescription immediately. Man, I was in heaven! But not yet… Ahead where six months of taking Decutan and while popping a pill every day seems like a piece of cake the side effects are a piece of SHIT. After all, there is a good reason why it’s absolutely a last resort. Decutan is one hell of a poison.

Here I am now, one year later and having the best skin of my life.

Here are the side effects that I experienced and how I recommend tackling them:

  • Dry eyes – have eyedrops on you all the time
  • Dry lips and cracks in the corners of the mouth – buy the Lansinoh cream that women buy for their nipples when nursing, the purple one. Don’t open your mouth too much when laughing or yawning or else the cracks will rip up (Heath-Ledger-Joker-style).
  • Dryness on the inside of the nose – same cream
  • Bleeding anus – olive oil and make jokes about it.
  • More pimples – don’t lose hope!

I was pretty lucky with the side effects although they were no joyride. Some people also experience depression, seizures, and joint pain!

Also:

  • Don’t drink alcohol! The liver is so busy breaking down that horrible drug it can’t handle alcohol. Experiencing a whole summer without alcohol was interesting and I thanked myself almost every time when I was out partying, and it was 3 am and everybody where wasted and disgusting, that I was sober. It’s way easier.
  • Don’t go into the sun! I know it sucks but the skin is so vulnerable it will do some serious damage exposing it to some sunlight. So always, inside or outside, wear SPF 50.
  • Skip the toners, the acids, and the masks. Mild wash and plenty of hydration is the only key.
  • DO NOT GET PREGNANT. Your skin doctor will tell you that there is almost a 100% chance of severe birth defects. The pill and the condom it is!

 

I am now one of the good skinned people!

I really didn’t know how much the bad skin was bringing me down until it got so much better. I am now one of the good skinned people (plus the scars that are slowly disappearing) and the only pimples I get are period pimples.
I have started to use toner again and exfoliation is also a part of the routine. I use moisturizer, serum, cleansing foam, cleansing oil, night cream, under eye gel, face mist, clay mask and a plumping mask. I love taking care of my skin and wearing less makeup.

I recommend seeing a dermatologist for everyone, not only the people with really really bad skin. If having a good skin can help you feel better then you should definitely do something about it. Seeing a dermatologist is a good step towards self-care.

Karen Thorsteinsdottir

Karen is an Icelandic based comedian with a great love for fashion, interior and movies. Please, if you ever see me wearing crocs in a lazy boy, shoot me.

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