I haven't had a painful cyst or whitehead in over 1 month!! Definitely took me a full 5 months to clear. I still get small noninflamed pimples, which don't bother me too much. Maybe one a week or every other week. Red marks are SLOWLY lightening. I started using Elta MD UV clear spf with niacinamide in it, which supposedly helps to decrease redness and irritation. It is a good sunscreen that has not broken me out. My derm said sunscreen is important to prevent the hyperpigmentation from worsening.
Unfortunately since it took me so long to clear my derm wants to keep me on it for a full 8 - 8.5 months. Still another two to go... Joints have been painful, face can be really dry at times if I don't stay hydrated, hands sometimes have a rash and I have had some issues with eyelid irritation. At this point, i've adjusted to the side effects and know that the higher my culmulative dose the less likely it is that the acne will return.
Dosing thus far:
1 - 40 mg Claravis
2 - 40 mg Claravis
3 - 60 mg Clavavis to Absorica (because my derm thought I wasn't absorbing the med well)
4 - 60 mg Ab
5 - 70 mg Ab
6 - 70 mg Ab (at the end of 6 months I am over the recommended 150 mg/kg)
7 - 70 mg Ab
For those of you just starting or frustrated thinking the medication isn't working...believe me it takes time! You'll have good days and really bad days. It will clear up...