The summer season is hitting its peak and wreaking havoc on our skins. Paired with that is the insane amount of pollution, our diets (rich, spicy, heavy and, oh, unhealthy too), and weird summer vacation sleep cycles (cuz gotta stay up all night to binge-watch that TV show duh). These things, I regret to tell you, come together to drop the ACNE BOMB on us. And that is what happened to me 2 years back…
I got a really weird spell of acne at the age of 20, where I’d get zit on top of zit, and one wouldn’t have gone, yet another would appear to amplify its presence. It got so bad and lasted so long (14 months) that my father had to ask me on a few occasions why my skin wasn’t getting normal.
I took prescription medicines but all they did was dry my skin out (because the drying agents in them, which are meant to target acne and reduce the inflammation, reacted to the rest of my face too). Early teenage hormonal acne, I understood. Been there, suffered that. At 20, I was ballistic. Because a couple of years ago I had made some permanent lifestyle changes for my health.
- I quit sodas. All kinds. Now my soda intake is maybe a few sips once every few months. (Peach Malt is an exception though)
- I quit taking sugar in any kind of tea or coffee. Yes, I drink black coffee without sugar. Teehee.
- I reduced my intake of junk and fast food to once every few weeks. This was tough. 😦
With these alterations to my lifestyle, I couldn’t understand why my acne wasn’t going away. I went to my dermatologist, practically crying, and asked him to give me stronger medicine that WOULD get rid of the acne. He told me I had some hormonal imbalance and that I needed to be more vigilant about my health. He advised that I drink more and more water, and get in some exercise at least a couple of days a week. And then he prescribed me THE medicine.
Every night for the next 6 months, I took one capsule of Oratane (20mg) and applied a pea-sized amount of Clinagel to the acne-affected areas on my face. 6 months later, voila! CLEAR SKIN, HALLELUJAH!
Oratane capsules contain a medication known as isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is a strong cure for acne, sometimes even harsh. It works by reducing the amount of oily substances produced by the oil making glands in the skin, which reduces the amount of bacteria in the skin. These bacteria are the cause of the ‘pus’ and inflammation found with acne.
Clinagel is an antibiotic with mainly bacteriostatic action against aerobic Gram-positive organisms (Oxygen dependent bacteria) and a wide variety of anaerobic bacteria (Oxygen independent bacteria). So in simple words, it is a widely used antibiotic to treat acne. It is safe and highly effective.
The reason why my dermatologist hadn’t prescribed Oratane to me when my acne had started, was because it acts severely on the affected areas and can have a lot of side effects (the one I faced was constantly dry lips). With such a medicine, it is always a good idea to take it as a last resort, and try other treatments such as creams and antibiotics, for acne first.
Mind you, when I say Oratane is harsh, I mean its harsh. Doctors refuse to prescribe it to women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding, and they advise the patient to take strict birth control methods a month before they start Oratane, during the entire Oratane treatment and for one month after they stop taking Oratane.
My point being, at last, if you’re in your 20s or 30s and you’re facing the sudden onset of troublesome acne, go to your dermatologist and consult them about isotretinoin and its suitability for you. And don’t forget to bring healthy changes to your daily routine (water intake, exercise, cut down on sugar and carbs).
Good luck beautiful! ❤