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Day 47Ish?

So I haven't updated forever, sorry about that. I've just gotten really busy with summer vacations and work and everything. Also, everything has been going amazingly, so there hasn't been a ton to write about. I suppose I'm past the point of even having to worry about getting an initial break out, in fact, I haven't had a real "break out" since the day I started accutane. A pimple here and there, sure, but nothing too distressing. At the moment I have one dried up pimple on my forehead and that is it!

Noteworthy things to add:

- I was upped from 20mg last month to 30mg this month.

- There was an issue with the timeframe of when I got my bloodwork/ pregnancy test and my pharmacy's delivery schedule (they don't deliver on weekends and don't carry Absorica in stock), so I had to switch to Claravis just for this month. Haven't noticed anything different about it, although it is a bit inconvenient having to take it with a meal.

-I was away for 12 days and only washed my face 3 times... no break outs. Every morning I woke up expecting one, but nothing.

-Lips are perfectly fine as long as I have something on them. (I'm on a Nivea and Aquaphor streak right now.)

-I get strange rough dry patches on the cartilage of my ear. Random.


-USE Mario Badescu Cleansing Milk with Carnation & Rice Oil, Chamomile Cleansing Lotion (toner) and Soothing and Healing Mask

Hope everyone's doing as well as I am, good luck! :)

Day 19! I have to go have my bloodwork redone somewhat soon and I'm dreading it... I don't do well with needles. But oh well, it's totally worth it.

Results so far: Amazing, this is the part of my cycle where I normally break out badly. Last month (pre-accutane) around this time I probably got about 5 or 6 somewhat painful pimples/ whiteheads on my cheeks/ the sides of my chin. This month, one whitehead right next to my nose and that's it. My skin really has been great since starting my course, it's actually incredible, especially considering I'm only on 20mg a day. Other than the one weird whitehead next to my nose, I'm pimple free pretty much. There is kind of another one toward the end of the healing process on my right cheek, but that's it! Knock on wood.

Side effects: ...And the dry lips have finally come... I can keep them under control by applying various combinations of nivea chapstick, aquaphor, vaseline w cocoa butter, neosporin, jojoba oil, olive oil, and exfoliating with lemon and sugar, but they're never quite normal. I had one random day where every time I stood up my vision would blur out and I would get slightly lightheaded for a couple seconds, but considering I've fainted about 20 times throughout the course of my life, it's not TOO concerning and it could easily have nothing to do with accutane. The skin on my nose is the only area on my face that has been dry, which is odd considering it's usually the oiliest, but hey, my makeup stays on way better now because of it. Oh and I blew my nose the other day and there was a bit of blood. Yuck. That's probably it on the side effects that I can think of.

I do admit that I'm literally incapable of using NO topicals on the few pimples I have gotten since starting my course. I dab a bit of tea tree oil on when I do get a pimple.

I also cannot seem to figure out how I feel about my red marks. At first it definitely seemed like they were improving, but now they're at a standstill. Last week I had a somewhat sensitive pimple on my jawline (the kind that would typically leave a mark), but it left NO mark what-so-ever. But the couple of very tiny pimples I've gotten on my forehead (the kind that would typically leave no mark) have left tiny redmarks. It's strange and unpredictable. I'm not a fan of unpredictable.

That's it for now I suppose.

It's day 11 and everything is still going well! I only have one legitimate active pimple (white-head) on my face right now on my right cheek. And I guess there are a couple tiny ones on my forehead that are somewhere in a stage between dried up pimple and flattened red mark.

Also, something new to me: I've been getting an occasional, well, I don't really know what they are... it's almost like an under-the-skin pimple, somewhat on the larger size in terms of circumference, but they're just BARELY raised, and they don't hurt at all the way a normal under-the-skin pimple does. I have two on my chin right now, they've gotten smaller since they first appeared a few days ago. They're barely noticeable because they're skin-colored and not even slightly inflamed. Anyone know what they are?

Something I'm shocked and beyond happy about, my red spots are actually looking better and my skin tone much more even. One of my biggest reservations about starting Accutane was fear of my red marks getting worse. I had read SO many blogs and reviews saying that because your skin thins out and your healing process slows down, your red marks look worse.

Side effects:

-Lips are definitely starting to feel a bit of dryness. Unless I'm thinking about it and trying to, I tend not to drink much water so I'm usually dehydrated to begin with. So yesterday I started to drink 50 fl oz a day, and it has definitely helped.

-No real skin dryness yet. I was pretty oily to begin with, and I switched to Mario Badescu Rice & Carnation Oil cleanser, so I haven't even needed to use moisturizer yet on my face. I've been moisturizing my body like crazy from day 1, so no dryness there. I did have a random dry patch on my ear the other day though. I put some aquaphor on it, problem solved.

-Just today I noticed that I'm probably a bit more sore from the gym yesterday than usual. Nothing unbearable, but still a bit annoying.

-No vision problems or eye dryness, thank god. I wear contacts so that's another one I couldn't deal with.

I decided not to come off Yaz yet, I'm going to stay on for one more month and then come off. My cholesterol shoots up when I'm on it (I'm genetically predisposed, but it's still concerning considering I'm 5'4" and 110 lbs, work out regularly and generally prefer healthier foods) so I definitely need to stop it after this pack ends.

That's about it for today, if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask :)

Day 6

So today is day 6, and I can honestly say my skin looks better already! Granted, it's the time when I clear up anyway, but normally not THIS much. I haven't gotten a single new pimple since I got a couple of tiny ones on day 3, and they've all cleared up for the most part. I basically have no pimples on my face at all right now... there are a couple bumps from ones that are toward the end of the healing process, and of course my usual red marks, but even those seem to be getting better. I switched to Mario Badescu Rice and Carnation Oil Cleanser a few days ago (before I started Absorica, I was using Boscia cleanser) so maybe that's helping too.

No real side effects yet... I had a tiny dry patch on my nose in between my nostrils, most likely because it's a spot I tend to miss when applying moisturizer. But other than that, nothing.

Also, I know this was a bad idea, but I gave in and drank the other night. I was planning on giving up alcohol for the 6 months on Absorica, but it's definitely easier said than done when you're in college. I really thought I'd at least last the summer though. I definitely got drunk WAY quicker (which could also be due to the fact that I went from drinking Tuesday-Saturday nights at school to rarely ever now that it's summer). And I mean WAY quicker, like, I probably drank less than 1/3 the amount I used to in a normal night and got just as drunk. So anyone considering drinking on Absorica, I would definitely recommend taking it slow and giving your body time to react so you don't overdo it.

Anyway, I'm really optimistic about this. I think I might even come off of Yaz... I took my last pink pill yesterday and might just stop now so that my triglycerides go back to normal levels. We'll see.

Day 2

Today is a good day! I woke up and my skin actually looked decent enough to go to the gym makeup-free. No new pimples and the 4 I had from my monthly breakout are going away. Obviously I know it's probably not the accutane kicking in yet. This is the point in my cycle where I clear up anyway. On top of that, the hair dresser cutting my hair told me I have beautiful hair, and the cashier at ulta asked me if I always use Mario Badescu products and said I "have really good skin." I guess I've become an expert on making my half pound of foundation appear natural.

No side effects at all yet, at 20mg a day I don't expect to be affected much this month. No dryness yet, no chapped lips.

That's about it, nothing else to write about today. Hope everyone else is having a great day too!

Day 1

So after 5 years of seeing my dermatologist, I've finally decided to do accutane and I just took my first pill today! Here's some background on me (if anyone's actually reading this): I'm 21 and since about age 15 I've had light-moderate acne (I've been 95% clear at times, but moderate at other times.) I know several of you are probably thinking "light to moderate ance on accutane, not worth the side effects, derm shouldn't have prescribed it, blah blah blah" but hey, I've realized that I let my skin condition have too much of an effect on my life and my mood and I let it dictate too much of what I do or don't do. I'm way too vain and I know it. I'm that girl that literally puts foundation on to go to the gym and won't go out one night because I had a bad break out. So I'm doing accutane and getting rid of this once and for all. Anyway, back to my skin history... Although I don't get that MANY pimples (I have about 2-7 obvious ones on my face at its worst), they're always the kind that are inflamed and break open and bleed, and I have fair skin so I get awful post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation/ red marks.... I only have one actual scar thank god, an ice pick one on my cheek. I've tried the majority of medications out there, EVERYTHING over the counter you could possibly think of, and then an array of prescriptions from my derm over the years. Topicals have ranged from several benzoyl peroxide-clindamicin combos, differin, tazorac, sulfur washes and masks, etc. In terms of orals, I've done Yaz, Ortho tri cyclen, oracea, doryx, minocyclin. I've give you all the low down on my opinion of each of these (in order from my favorite to my least favorite):

Yaz: My acne is definitely partly hormonal, so this definitely improves my skin the most. I was on it for a year, cleared up a decent amount. Switched to ortho tri cyclen, skin went crazy. Went back on yaz for 2 and a half years, cleared up a ton, but then it made my cholesterol/ tri-glycerides shoot up so I went off it in september and 4 months after stopping it I started to get bad again.... You'll get initial breakouts the first couples months around days 12-16 of your cycle, but give it a chance because it does wonders in the long run.

Doryx: The best my skin ever was = yaz + doryx. I was probably 95% clear with an occasional pimple. But then I went off it, started to break out again, and the second time I went back on it it didn't work nearly as well.

Sulfur wash/ mask: Easily my favorite prescription topical. (Speaking of topicals, in terms of non-prescription, tea tree oil does wonders.)

Minocyclin: hey, if you can deal with the feeling of needing to vomit every morning, it's great... It definitely cleared up my skin a little bit, but nothing amazing. And like I said, the nausea is nearly unbearable. Oh, and it had a really negative impact on my liver function... LFTs went crazy.

Oracea: To be honest, I never really gave it much of a chance. I think I took it for a few weeks, had an initial breakout and quit.

Benzoyl peroxide/ clindamicin: I've never been a fan of benzoyl peroxide/ clindamicin combos. I think they're harsh on your skin and don't do much. Tea tree oil is a way better option.

Differin/ Tazorac: Okay, looking back now I have to admit that it probably did decrease the number of pimples on my face... But I HATED it when I was on it. My skin was always peely with a slightly pinkish tint to it, and lost its ability to tan while using it and for a year after stopping.

Ortho tri cyclen: It probably wasn't actually THAT bad, but it's nothing compared to yaz so it's at the bottom of my list.

Never tried tetracyclen, bactrim, or spiro (which was my other option a month ago, my derm let me choose between accutane and spiro).

So that's my history and my opinion on the various acne medications out there that I've tried. I know I should have just don't accutane a while ago (I started the process 3 years ago but didn't go through with it) and avoided all this hyperpigmentation... But enough about the past, I'm just looking forward to the future now.

My regimen: In preparation, I've already been intensely moisturizing my body (with st. ive's moisturizer with aloe and aquaphor) and my lips (with aquaphor and vaseline), and washing my hair with anti-dandruff shampoo for the past few days. As for my face:

AM and PM:

-Wash with Mario Badescu cleansing milk with carnation and rice oil

-Moisturize with Mario Badescu healing cream

Nothing too complicated. I ordered some La mer the Concentrate samples to use on my hyperpigmentation so we'll see how that works once the shipment gets in. The mario Badescu healing cream is awesome, I would definitely recommend it. I'll probably switch to a more intense moisturizer later on, but for now this is sufficient.

My dermatologist has me on 20mg of Absorica a day to start out with. My course should be about 6 months long, max. She says she's starting me out on a low dose to make sure I don't get an initial breakout, but if I do she said to call and she'll prescribe me steroids to get rid of it, so I'm not super concerned.

I took my first pill eariler today and didn't notice any side effects or anything different. My skin looked pretty good tonight when I took my make up off, but that's probably my optimism plus the fact that I'm at the point in my cycle that I clear up.

Anyway, wish me luck! Hope someone actually reads this/ it's helpful to someone out there! :)

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