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Accutane ... round 2 !

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Day 13

By rachel31,

Good morning !!

Sorry I have not blogged in a few days. I've been super busy organising things for my holiday in 19 days. Yyeeehhaawwww !! Disneyland here we come. I cannot wait !!

Ok so ... today and over the past few days my skin has been doing really well. The burning from the peel has subsided and as it has been 7 days since my peel the 'new', regenerated skin that has formed is beautiful. Especially on my cheeks and forehead. Previously I had quite bit of hyper-pigmentation on either side of my mouth where my cystic acne had broken out in the months beforehand but 90% of that has now disappeared. I'm guessing I unintentionally had a deeper peel around my mouth due to the burning from the chemicals combined with the over use of my quinoderm before the appointment, which has aided in the removal of said hyper-pigmentation ... so I'm not going to complain. Yes I had to put up with burning, redness, dryness and itchy-ness for a few days but now ... it has all been worth it.

I still have a few small pimples and the remnants of the 2 cystic spots on the side of my mouth and top lip but they're not too noticable. Overall I'm really happy. I just hope my skin continues to improve. I popped a little quinoderm on last night as I feel my skin needs a little helping hand. I can see very small, I wanna say whiteheads, under my skin on the right hand side of my mouth threatening to erupt to the surface and I wanna stop them in their tracks. I'll only be applying the quinoderm every other night as I want to avoid any more burning disasters. I also read online that holding a hot compress to an ever growing cystic spot can help reduce size and ultimately eliminate it all together. The heat I believe disperses the trapped sebum under the skin ... and apparently if you use a big blob of preparation H on any cystic spots after the hot compress is applied it can also aid healing. The shark liver oil in the hemmeroid cream is beneficial for skin allegedly. But the majority of sights where I've read such information seems to suggest the preparation H cooling gel is more effective. Probably because it has 5% witch hazel in it.

I'm thinking about purchasing some witch hazel actually. You can buy a handy little stick of this in boots. I was thinking about alternating this with the quinoderm every other evening. I love the smell of witch hazel. So refreshing and clean. I would if you can make a witch hazel mask ?? I bet that would be calming and soothing. I shall do my research and get back to you.

I'm still doing my banana routine. And over the past couple of days I've been applying honey to my face after the banana to help provide moisture to my skin. I love the feeling of honey on my face.

Well I'm off to do to my research. Have a good day folks.

Have a happy and acne free tomorrow.

Day 9

By rachel31,

Well ... I have well and truly learned my lesson. I have also come to the conclusion that my vanity gets the better of me far to often. So you remember me telling you the other day about how my scabs from the peel had flaked off and my skin looked good and I went to the tanning salon ... blah blah blah ?? Well ... due to the tanning ... my face got worse yesterday. It turned bright red again and quite raw as if I had been sun burned - I obviously had from the tanning right ?? It was the most stoopid decision I have ever made to date and I am so disappointed in myself for doing what I did. But ... lessons have been learned and I will not be tanning until I go on holiday in 3 weeks. I have also decided to purchase some SPF for my face that is perfume free from amazon (I'm allergic to fragrance. It gives me eczema) just to be on the safe side. I don't often burn on my face but because of the peels and the disaster I've had recently with over tanning I'd rather be safe than sorry while I'm abroad.
Oh and that huge cystic pimple on my mouth that I picked ?? HUGE crusty brown scab formed over that yesterday. It looked horrendous. I mean truthfully ... I looked awful. Needless to say I did not attend the wedding and spent most of the day crying out of frustration,, guilt and anger. I applied some hydrocortisone yesterday to the burns as I read online it helps to reduce inflammation and did my usual banana routine alongside a honey + natural yoghurt mask and slathered my face in preparation H.
When I woke this morning my face had calmed down ALOT and when I showered a lot of the crusty red skin that had formed yesterday as a result of the sunburn, dropped off as well as the scab on the side of my mouth. The spot is still there but its not as big as it was before and the skin around my mouth is still pink but it doesn't look burned. It still looks kinda sore ... like irritated but not overly noticeable.
I've done my banana routine this morning and also applied a honey + natural yoghurt mask and then applied aloe vera gel and hydrocortisone. I popped a little bit of quinoderm on to the cystic spot on my mouth to see if it helps reduce the size, then after a few hours i've put a thin layer of preparation H on either side of my mouth as I still think those areas need to heal. You can see if you look really closely where the burns were/are as my face is quite tanned theres an 'obvious' patch on either side of my mouth where the skin has shed and is probably continuing to shed. I do hope its 'fixed' in time for my holidays. I'd like to go out in the sun without any worries.
Well I hope you have a good weekend folks.
Have a happy and acne free tomorrow.

Night 7

By rachel31,

Good evening folks ...

...Ok so ... I woke up to very tight, dry, crusty brown skin round my mouth this morning where the peel had burnt my skin. Luckily I had done a little research yesterday and purchased some preparation H ointment (yes the hermmeroid stuff) which was fantastic for healing the burns. I mean literally this shit helped heal the itchy, raw, red skin overnight resulting in all the brown nasty dead skin flaking off this morning. Hallelujah !!!

The skin underneath is very tender and tight but looking alot less red and angry. As I am attending a wedding tomorrow I went to the tanning salon today and did 6 minutes on a flat bed. Its helped even out my skin tone a little so I dont look as red around the mouth. I'll probably have another tanning session tomorrow to give myself a little colour before the wedding.

However its not all sunshine and smiles. I have a small-ish cystic spot right on the side of my top lip that stings like a bitch. Eurgh. I made the stoopid mistake of picking it too so now the skin is weeping a little as I've ripped the surrounding skin where the peky zit is. It doesn't look to bad though. I'm sure a little concealor will help hide the little bugger.

Well as I went to the cinema today ... to watch world war Z if you're interested ... I haven't applied any of the preparation H or as much moisturiser as I'd like so as we speak I have an olive oil and honey mask on. I did my banana routine this morning but ran out of bananas for this evening and because I'm a douche I forgot to get some while I was out earlier so will have to purchase some tomorrow to start the routine again as I really enjoy it and I do believes it does help with healing existing spots. I could do with some banana skin right now for the cystic spot on my mouth. Bbbbooooo.

Anywhoo I'm off to take a bath ...

.... have a happy and acne free tomorrow.


Night 6

By rachel31,

Eurgh. I am a douchebag. I woke up this morning to be greeted with extremely dry, irritated and raw skin. I made the mistake of giving the lemon treatment a bash last night to try and lighten the acne scars around my mouth and I obviously didn't have my sensible head on because if I did I would have known this will irritate the chemical burns on either side of my mouth from overuse of the quinoderm.

A little concealor helped even out the redness during the day but I was in pain. My skin cracked every time I opened my mouth. Pleasant. So my day has been eventful. For all I knew my chemical peel today would also worsen the burns I still had the treatment. And the burning was so intense I genuinely thought my face was melting off. On the drive all the way home It felt like the sun was being rubbed across my face. Why do I do this to myself ??!!

Immediately when I got home I smoothed olive oil all over my face and the doused natural chilled yoghurt all over my burning skin. It was bliss. When the yoghurt dried I smoothed honey on to my face and continued to this for a few hours. I then washed the mixture off and continued with last nights banana routine.

My face is as red as a babboons backside let me tell ya. I've applied more olive oil and coconut oil after bathing. Oh and I have 2 small but very cystic spots brewing on my top lip and the left side of my face. Marvellous. I hope the bananas do what they're supposed to do and stop those pesky zits in their tracks. Fuckers.

So I'm sitting on the bed with a greased up face. Luckily I'm only at work for 2 hours tomorrow and off until next tuesday so I'm basically just going to sit in the house applying all natural products to my mug in the hopes they heal the chemical burns.

I hope you're day has been more pleasant than mine.

Have a happy and acne free tomorrow.


Night 5

By rachel31,

Good evening lovelies. My apologies first and foremost for not updating last night. Sunday is a busy day for me as I take my grandma shopping and I have housework to do so I did not get a chance to log in last night. Sowwi !!

Anywhoo ... I have a few things to report. I had 3 small pin head pimples today (that I couldn't help squeezing). Eurgh. Luckily they were only small so not too noticable. During the day though another 2 small pimples erupted ... buggers ... so I have decided to take a bit of a U turn as far as my skin is concerned. I have noticed for a while also that either side of my mouth where my acne is is red and almost raw ... as if it were irritated. I believe that the quinoderm may be annoying the skin a little more than it is helping it. Dont get me wrong it certainly helps with exisitng pimples ... but at the
moment because my skin is ssssoooo dry I would prefer to treat that over the few zits.

Soooooo ... I am going to use all natural products on my skin to see how it gets along. I already use honey and cocunut oil as a moisturiser but after searching the net earlier I stumbled across the joy of bananas for acne. Apparantly banana skin has antibacterial and healing properties when rubbed on active acne and the body of a banana when mushed and applied to the face as a mask is moisturising. Who'd have thunk it !!!

I actually have a banana and honey mask on as we speak. It smells great. I first rubbed 1 length of banana skin, cut in to 3 small pieces, all over my face (until it turned black), then mixed honey with mushed banana and applied with a clean cosmetic brush. Voila !! Its quite soothing. It stung a little when I rubbed the skin on my face as I had picked some spots earlier ... but the mask is lovely.

I do hope it helps. I dont want my skin to be red and irritated anymore. Its getting on my nerves. I have some of the mixture left over + some skin which I have wrapped in foil and kept in the fridge so I will repeat the process in the morning, Apparently it should be done 3 times per day but I know I wont have time for this so will do it twice and keep you updated with my progress.

I'd love to have perfect skin. That is top of my christmas list each year. The only solice to this horrible victimising disease is knowing i'm not alone.

Anywhoo enjoy the rest of your evening folks.

Have a happy and acne free tomorrow.


P.s ... I have uploaded a pic of me with my banana mask on below. I look like an extra from the evil dead. Enjoy. It made me laugh.

Night 3

By rachel31,

Happy Saturday folks !!

Boy I needed a day off work today. Shame I spent most of last night coughing. Eurgh. A sore throat is looming ... man flu ??? I hope not. Anyhoo ...

... not much to report again. Had a slight headache most of the day until I took paracetamol. I dont think it was from the tane though. I think it was caused by waking up a few times during the night and thus lack of sleep induced disorientation and headache occurrd.

I do however, have a small cystic pimple right on my jawline. Its not really visible and only painful when its touched so I'm not too fussed by it. I've been applying my quinoderm today. Just on either side of my mouth and on both cheeks (I can see spots under my skin here threatening to break through and cause war on my face). All in all ... a pretty clear day.

I also had a tanning session today for 9 minutes. My face has a nice bit of colour now and I have not burned, which is great. Well I hope you guys have had a nice day. My pizza is en-route .... yummy. So I'll leave you with that.

Have an acne free tomorrow.


Night 2

By rachel31,

Good evening guys. Not much to report today really. It is only the second pill I have taken so I don't expect to have a reaction, good or bad, just yet.

This morning and after I bathed earlier, instead of applying my usual blob of quinoderm I smoothed my face with organic coconut oil. Now not only do I smell like an exotic fruit ... yummy ... my skin is nice and smooth. Like a babies tush. Aaahhhh.

I have followed my usual daily skin care routine and drank copious amounts of water.

Oh ! I also forgot to mention earlier ... I take herbal supplements. They are as follows:

cod liver oil x1 daily
oil of evening primrose x 1 daily
skin, hair and nails x 1 daily

I used to take multivitamins prior to starting accutane but stopped as I have not yet purchased a mutli vitamin that does not contain vitamin A. I will definitely be scouting local supermarkets for a bottle soon though.

I'm still in 2 minds about my glycolic peel next tuesday. Hhhhmm. I will be progressing to a 75% peel strength next week, having started off on 20% initially 4 weeks ago. The sensible side of my brain is saying ..."are you a douche ? you're going to risk scarring from an adverse reaction to the peel due to the accutane because your so obsessed with having perfect skin. Bitch please". The vanity controlled latter part of my brain is saying "you'll be fine. Its a low dose antibiotic your taking. Nothing bad is going to happen. If anything ... you're skin will thank you". Eurgh.

Also ... and I know you will recoil in horror and gasp in sheer shock when I tell you this ... but I will be using a tanning bed tomorrow. "Are you ok ?? Did you hurt your back falling off the chair??". I know, I know ... don't use sunbeds, wear SPF, don't prolong tanning, blah, blah, blah. I tanned while on my last course of accutane. With no sun damage or over sensitivity to my skin. In fact ... the UV rays contributed, I believe, to the clearing of my acne. So please don't judge me. I'm not an idiot. Honestly. I just know my skin. I know my body. And I know myself.

If i'm wrong and I come out of that tanning booth looking redder than a baboons arse you get the self gratification of saying "I told you so", which I believe is accompanied by a very attractive dance.

Anywho I'm going to retire to my boudoir now as I am exhausted. I have been doing a lot of overtime at work lately for extra pennies. Me and my partner are taking our little girl to Disneyland in Florida in 3 weeks. So I'm goosed. Good night all.

Have an acne free tomorrow.

Hey ! My name is Rachel. I'm a 25 year old white female from the UK and I'm a long term acne sufferer.
I'm new-ish to these boards ... in the sense that I've never really posted any comments ... sent messages, etc ... but I'm an extensive lurker of the site having registered 6 years ago when my cystic acne was at its worst. I'd like to give you a little background info on myself if you dont mind. I always find its best to start at the beginning ...

... I started to get acne in my early teens ... around 13/14 ... and it was severe. It didn't even ease me in gently to puberty. It just hit me like an explosion. An explosion of whiteheads, blackheads, cysts and patches of irritated skin. Holy crap it was painful. And hideous to look at. The kids at school didn't help. Bastards. Pardon my French. I hated school. If you hadn't already guessed. I saw several GP's over several years, all prescribing several variations to both topical and oral antibiotics. Tetracyclines, BP, erythromicyn and the birth control pill dianette are just few of the many meds I ingested along with over the counter treatments & prescription only creams and gels. All had little to no success towards the clearing of my acne, which was extremely frustrating and upsetting.

I also found that the GP's in my local surgery were not particularly helpful. "Its just your teens", "you'll grow out of it", are just some of the more passive lacklustre comments aimed my way during my usual monthly check ups. After 5 years of bullying, pain, self conciousness, low self esteem and an aversion to reflective surfaces, my GP reffered me to a Dermatologist. I explained my skin history to this ... 'doctor' ... who decided in all her wisdom, after I had a mild nervous breakdown in her presence, to put me on another course of some tetracycline that I dont remember the name of and that I only entertained for a fornight as I knew it wouldn't work long term. I've jumped the gun a little. I do apologise. A few months prior to this appointment I had my first refferal to a derm at my local hospital. Upon the day of this particular appointment my skin had been going through a particularly good patch. It was 90% clear and showed little to no signs of previously having cystic acne in all its severity. I believe my intensive 4 week course on a tanning bed contributed to this short bout of skin clarity. It was nice while it lasted. Anyhoo the derm I saw prior to seeing mrs personality 2008 took one look at my mostly clear skin and said "you could do with some accutane". To this I replied ... "meh??" ... and toddled out of the office, information leaflet in hand and follow up appointment booked for the following week to inform her of my decision.

After extensive research online I declined her offer of what I deemed was an unnecessary, dangerous drug and suggested I stick to my dianette birth control pill and recently revised skin care routine, which at the time consisted of exfoliating every other day with St. Ives apricot scrub and either Clearasil or Oxy face wash I cant quite remember. Just FYI ... I used every over the counter face wash, cream, lotion, gel and scrub known to man. All of which worsened my conditon. I believe all these cosmetic brands (clinique, oxy, clearasil,etc), which formulate there treatments with harsh chemicals and colourants, contributed to my eczema later in life. But thats another painful story.
Back to derm appointment number 2. Having expecting to be prescribed accutane after returning with a face that looked like a melted pizza I genuinely was heartbroken when she bluntly explained that "accutane costs £500 per course of treatment, per month, per patient and the NHS cant be handing this out willy nilly'. Exsqueeze me ?? I was more than the perfect candidate for this treatment ! If the NHS made accutane accessible to only those who passed a pop quiz I would have sailed through it like a cruise liner in the paciifc ocean. Was this woman out of her mind ??!! My mam sensed my depression and urgency to get my life and skin back. So we went private. It cost her a fortune. £50 per consultation, which I had to have every month including the initial consultation and £90 per 30 day supply of the wounder drug. We, sorry she, was financially crippled. I was emotionally exhausted by this point. 4 weekly blood and pregnancy tests were leaving me physically exhausted too. But it was worth it all. And I think my mam would say the same thing.

Accutane is like ... a reliable but slightly annoying friend who you know you can count on to cheer you up ... but can also cause you a few problems. I had the usual side effects. Extremely dry skin and lips ... like literally to the point where my skin was so fragile it would literally fall off in to my hands if I touched it. Headaches, nausea, achy joints and dry eyes. Eurgh. Small price to pay for clear skin after 6 months though. I was prescribed 40mg per day that I split as 2 20mg pills on a morning and evening to lesson the niggling nausea and migraines. And every time I swolled that little congealed miniture pill of miricle-ness (probably not a word), I was optomistic I was going to be acne free FOREVER !!!

Ooooohhhh how I was wrong. Welcome to present day. June 27th 2013. After 1 child born 2010, 1 mortgage, a holiday to Vegas and Disneyland and a new car, I have been blessed yet again with cystic, all be it mild, acne on the lower part of my face. Oh great. Its by no means severe. It is certainly in no way shape or form as painful or hurrendous looking as it has been in previous years. But its still acne. And it has made a glorious return to my face. Bringing with it red and brown hyperpigmentation marks and a few mildly deep craters on my right cheek. Marvellous. This particular bought of acne has been persistant now for 2 years on and off. And the nodules do just erupt on either side of mouth in clusters. Its like one pimple will appear and then after a few days it gets lonely so it brings its friends and family. And so I was again referred to a derm by my GP. I say referred. I walked in to the GP's office a month ago and said in no uncertain terms ... "make me an appointment with a skin specialist because I'm not going through this crap again". So I didnt really leave her with much choice. I can be pretty persuasive when I want to be right ??

I did not for one minute expect the derm to suggest accutane. In fact, because my skin was again having a clear day today, I half expected him to laugh and tell me to stop fanticising acne on my face. Alas, I have been given a 30 day prescription for 1 20mg pill per day with the potential to increase the dosage in the future should my skin need it. I'm happy with the dosage. As I understand the severity of the side effects and the dreaded IB are dose dependant. So here we are. Night 1. First pill taken. Carmex applied generously to lips and the preparation for either an erruption of nodules and pustules and/or a face so dry the sahara desert would be jealous fully in place. I'm optomistic again. And not as worried about the treatment this time around. I will look to update every day on my progress (see ... optimism). I find this very therapeutic which is marvellous for my mood as I often find my on/off breakouts get me down and leave me in fear of the next explosion. So here goes nothing. Accutane ... round 2.

Also I'll just give you an idea of my existing skin care regimen:
Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser
Dermalogica Ultracalming spray mist
generous dollop of aloe vera gel (99%)
Dermalogica Barrier Repair
Quinoderm on problem areas

organic honey mask (with or without bicarb of soda and/or asprin) left on skin for at least 15 mins
Dermalogica Medibac acne clearing wash
generous dollop of aloe vera gel (99%)
Dermalogica Barrier Repair
Azelaic acid on problem areas

Dermalogica Prep Scrub every 3 days

twice weekly glycolic chemical peel (which have been fantastic by the way)

I'm most likely going to tweak this regimen a little. I may alternate days with quinoderm and azelaic acid with cocunut oil on the whole of my skin as it is highly nourishing and moisturising. I really want to keep on top of the suspected dry skin as if it is anything like it was previous my face will feel like it needs to drink 500 gallons of water. Oh I have also taken to drinking so much water my manager at work thinks I have a 'personal problem' due to the sudden increase in personal time.

The likelihood of continuing the fortnightly chemical peels is slim. I am aware of how accutane works and due to it causing skin to repair itself much slower than usual I am inclined to cancel my next peel on the 2nd July. However I am in 2 minds about this as I also feel like I am on such a low dose of accutane it may not necessarily effect the repair rate of my skin so greatly it would cause averse effects with the peel. I'll get back to you on this one. I actually, some where deep down in my twisted little brain, think the peel combined with the accutane will serve as a successful acne treatment. Hmmmmm. We'll see.

So ... my skin today ... scars and pigmentation aside, is more or less clear. There are a few remnants of past pimples from previous weeks still lurking either side of my mouth but my skin is relatively smooth and nicely textured. So all in all ... not too bad. I only have to put on a slight, light coverage of concealer (Bare Minerals Honey Bisque if your interested), which is great. But i'm not going to count my lucky chickens. My skin will more than likely begin to resemble the surface of the moon next week.
Well I hope I haven't bored you to death.
If you have any questions for me please dont hesistate to ask.
Have a pleasant and acne free tomorrow.

Oh ... I have attached a picture of me below. I am make-up free (apart from mascara). Eekk !! My skin like I say is having a good week this week so I dont look too monsterous hahahaha.
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