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Clarus/Isotettinoin/Accutane. Again. I hate this.

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Day 2

Haha, I forgot this part. Can anyone tell I have no idea how the formatting for the new version works?

So. More facts. About this journey.

I moved out of my parents house. Somewhere along the way, meeting new people, seeing new faces, made me remember what my face looks like under the make-up. I got it into my head that my room mates saw the scars, redness, cysts, pimples, nodes and politely didn't point them out. I always saw the face underneath, as did my family. So, I got me to a dermatologist.

I hate male dermatologists. All my derms to this point have been male. They're all insensitive, belittling, brisk/brusque with consultations, and lacking good bedside manner. At this point I've seen 4 over my 15 year long battle.

He says " accutane is the only cure". He's taken all of 5 seconds to say this. I'm annoyed. I didn't like Accutane last time, and I don't feel like he's even heard me. So he just puts me on tetracycline and a retinoid cream. Saying I should contemplate it and come back.

In the mean time, the referral for a derm I'd really wanted to see comes through, so I go see her.

She's lovely, she listens. She looks at my skin and unlike the other me options. She says I can try birth control, hormone suppressors, other antibiotics, or isotetrinoin. I feel like this is the doctor-patient relationship I've been waiting for, I trust her. So I just demand the clarus, I just want this shit over with. I'm so frustrated/eager that I'm kinda crazed when I tell her I need to be on the highest dose NOW. But she calms me down, thankfully.

I get off the tetracycline (haha, ironically I'd popped my last dose in her waiting room), get my blood work and with the beginning of a new month start my 2nd course.

Nov 1 - 40mg (I'm about 96 lb - 43kg)

[i waxed my legs on day one because I know it'll be horrible once it kicks in]

For myself: the tetracycline has left my body but really done weird shit to my gut. TMI, gassy all the time. AND inexplicably...sleepless. I cant get to bed until like 1-2 am and wake up naturally at 6 ish even if my alarm is for 8.

QUESTION: I'm paranoid. Scientifically there are little to no long term side effects, but I've been looking up all the horror stories online and I'm scared as I was the first time. ALSO, there's no guarantee that this'll work forever. I've learned that some doctors just classify this as a drug that puts acne into remission. I hope to god I've got a permanent cure here. The idea that I could go overnight travelling and not have to have crazy amounts of products packed into my bags (cleansers, BP, SA, moisturisers and a full makeup coverup kit) would be AMAZING. Do you have any success stories to share?

So, I have a faulty memory. Acne blurs into one never-ending constant, I've had it for 15 years, more than half my life. I don't imagine my face being clear like a normal person. To me, a good day is having no 3D cysts and no normal pimples (i.e. the ones you can control topically with BP). Acne is so much me that if forget what it looks like to others. I had a random woman look at me recently, and say "hey, you need to get that checked out, your face" (er, she used worse English due to being an immigrant). I immediately thought, "shit, a cyst exploded and now I must have puss or blood all over, shit shit shit" so I pulled out a compact mirror checked out what I'd thought was a decent make-up application, relaxed because hey, no explosion! and went back to what I was doing. Meh, she'd just stated the obvious, I'm not going to get worked up over that.

I don't even remember WHAT I've tried to do to clear this. I had to come back here and find my archived I kinda wanted to update it to say that it took until the very end for my face to really begin clearing. And that clear skin lasted for 6 months post drug. That my dermatologist was an ass hole and made me cry in his office, calling me the poster child of Accutane. That he wanted to up my dosage at the end but I already hated the side effects of the drug so much I was afraid they'd get worse during my finals. Up till now I've been under the impression that it effected my mood quite a bit but re-reading my posts, I don't know. Maybe it didn't.

It's 5 years later, I still have severe acne. TBH I don't think it's as bad for as long anymore. It used to be just a constant level of severity. Now, it's cyclical. Stress/hormones/touching/diet can get it bad and then it gets nice, then it gets bad, and then worse, then really nice. I tried quitting dairy. No go. I don't know what the hell is wrong with my face. All I know is that for 5 years I have been following a VERY strict face washing routine. First I used Dan's Regimen for like...3 years or so. Then I got annoyed by the drying time and switched to Paula's Choice and really loved her stuff. I never outgrew my cysts. I just got really good at managing normal pimples. And it sorta helped with managing the cysts.

So 2 dermatologist consultations later I've got Clarus in my body. I'm waiting for the moments where my hands are so dry they bleed when I scrape them with my own nails. My lips chapped like I'm in the Sahara. And the aches and pains. Oh the joy of this journey.

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