INDICATIONS AND USAGE: ABSORICA® (isotretinoin) is a medicine taken by mouth to treat the most severe form of acne (nodular acne) that cannot be cleared up by any other acne treatments, including antibiotics. ABSORICA can cause serious side effects, birth defects and mental health problems. Females who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant must not take ABSORICA. Please see Full Prescribing Information including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide for additional Risk Information.
I am just finishing up another snowboarding season, and am happy to have recovered from my hip surgery so well and get back to where I hoped to be. This year was a true journey of recovery for me, a building year, as I'll hopefully be heading into an exciting competition season next year feeling both physically and mentally strong.
If you followed my story or watched my video journal (above), you were able to see me go through another very important journey – managing my severe recalcitrant nodular acne with ABSORICA®. I suffered from severe recalcitrant nodular acne through my teens, and I never really grew out of it. I had deep painful sores on my face, to be honest, that really affected me. I tried too many treatments, including antibiotics, to count over the years, but nothing seemed to clear up my skin. When I found out about ABSORICA, I had hope that it was the breakthrough solution I was looking for.
When I started treatment with ABSORICA, it was a commitment I took seriously. I signed up for the mandatory iPLEDGE Program. The iPLEDGE Program is a risk management program that all patients on isotrentinoin are required to participate in. Two forms of birth control are required for female patients of childbearing potential to prevent pregnancy. I took a pregnancy test and waited one month before starting treatment, just as my doctor asked me. And I took a pregnancy test every month throughout treatment. I had some side effects during my treatment but my dermatologist explained those to me so I knew what to expect.
Common side effects include: dry lips, dry skin, back pain, dry eye, joint pain, nose bleeds, headache, nasopharyngitis, chapped lips, dermatitis, chelitis (inflammation of the lips), musculoskeletal discomfort, upper respiratory tract infection, reduced visual acuity. ABSORICA may cause serious mental health problems.
I began my treatment almost two years ago and significantly cleared up my severe recalcitrant nodular acne in 5 months of treatment. And guess what? Today, I still have clear skin! It's just amazing how much the treatment transformed my skin.
Most people don't know this, but as a professional snowboarder, the only area of me that people actually see is the area between my goggles and my jacket, and that was where most of my pain and discomfort was. I was embarrassed, always choosing a scarf-like neck warmer to pull up, simply so people could not see my severe recalcitrant nodular acne. Now I love my skin and don't have to stress over trying to cover it up.
I see photos of me from past snowboard events and those are the photos that you are supposed to cherish and be proud of, but I have a hard time seeing past the dark spots on my face. I see photos now and my skin is the last thing that I am looking at. How I look at those podium photos now has really changed and I can now appreciate those memories. When I see old pictures it's hard to accept that, that was really my old reality. Severe recalcitrant nodular acne may not seem like a big deal, but when you are the person who is struggling with it, and has been struggling for a long time, it is a very big deal.
Peers and media sometimes comment about how clear my skin looks in comparison to the past. I get a lot of positive response as I have been in the sport for a long time and people have watched me grow up. People often comment on severe recalcitrant nodular acne in a cautious way, trying not to mention how you used to look while stating that you look great now. I always say thanks. While severe recalcitrant nodular acne is a personal struggle and not always something you want to discuss with the media, I like having the opportunity to share my story. Perhaps there is someone out there who is going through what I was going through. Maybe my story will give them hope and encourage them to look into options that could get them the treatment they need.
While people from afar notice a difference, it's really the people close to me that see the biggest change. My family didn't just see how acne was affecting me publicly; they saw how it affected me daily. It was not just a sudden issue for me; they have watched me struggle for most of my life. There isn't a time that I see my parents when they don't stop the conversation and just state how my skin is so clear. I don't see the dramatic change unless I see photos and stop to recognize how far I have come. My parents are still in awe of it and probably will always be.
Like most people, I have plenty of things to manage in life and an exciting journey ahead. It's nice to know that issues with my skin are under control. It helps me out as a snowboarder and public figure, as well as in life in general. I enjoy seeing photos of myself and I am more confident than I have ever been. I am so grateful that I found a treatment that worked for me.
I am just shifting gears and getting a little break before my training really picks up, but I'm excited for the journey ahead – and hopefully I'll have some new podium photos that will really be worth celebrating!
Kelly Clark is a paid spokesperson for ABSORICA®.
Kelly Clark's experience with ABSORICA® may not be typical. Your prescriber will determine the best dose of ABSORICA for you based on your weight and how you respond to treatment. The personal opinions expressed by the patient do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ranbaxy Laboratories Inc., a SUN PHARMA company.