Clarus Gave Me A Life.
Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:32 AM
These are some of the medications/lifestyle changes I've endured with no result. (Minimum 12 weeks for each)
-Proactiv (Actually tried for a full year)
-Benzoyl Peroxides (Many Brands including Dan's Regime)
-Apple Cider Vinegar
-Diet Changes (Cutting out Dairy)
-Homemade Remedies (Too many to remember or list)
-Vitamins A, C, D, E and many other supplements
-OTC Product Brands (Neutrogena, Nivea, Clear Pores, Acne Bootcamp and tons more)
-Not Exercising (Thought maybe sweat was clogging my pores)
Approximately 6 years ago after trying a few different approaches I did a very small amount of homework and decided to try and go on Accutane and get it all over with. I went to a walk-in doctor, asked for it and after he looked it up in the CPS (Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties) because he didn't know what it was, he said sure. Started me at 40mg/day. No instructions, no nothing.
Me being the know-it-all most teenagers are, tried using pro-activ and a facial mask all at the same time as Accutane. I also drank 2-3 times a week. After 2 months with no real improvement (Highly likely due to my skin being so terribly over-dried from all the products and over-oil compensation still creating breakouts) the doctor simply took me off the drug with no explanation and refused to change his mind. Needless to say I was confused but wasn't about to question a doctor. (I had high-opinions of them for some reason)
6 years later after a talk with my current dermatologist, we can speculate that because he completely forgot about the bloodwork, he got scared and took me off it instead of risking anything happening to him.
The 5 years after that occurrence I researched relentlessly and tried every possibly "miracle" solution I read about. Nothing worked. Not antibiotics, not BP's, not Acids and not Differin. Along with my moderate acne my face seems to get blotchy and reddened very easily (temp changes, eating, exercising, friction) which is probably the worst part. Finally a doctor thought I might have a case of acne-induced rosacea and put me on metro-gel. No luck.
So here I am, at 25, still dealing with the same problem I've had for 10 years and seemingly no closer to a solution. Finally I decided I was willing to give Accutane another shot. I did some homework and talked to a few doctors about which dermatologists are good and which are bad (Don't kid yourselves, there are many, many bad derms out there that just want money and have no compassion or care in the world). I found a good one, got my referral and waited. Finally when me appt came around, I briefly explained my situation and she started me on Clarus 40mg/day immediately. I finally had some hope. And this time I was going to do it properly. I have the people on this site to thank for that. If there's one thing I can pass along it's not to wait for clear skin to try and better yourself. It can be a very long and excruciating journey and we shouldn't let it define us. It took me much too long to realize this but I did and good things did start happening.
Today I am just finishing month 3 of Clarus.
Month 1 - 40mg/day
Month 2 - 40mgday, 80mg every second day
Month 3 - 40mg/day, 80mg every second day
Months 4+5 will be 80mg/day
Side Effects for me are extremely dry lips and very dry skin on my face, mostly directly around my lip area. I'm very lucky to dodge the serious ones I guess but I try and eat healthy/workout/avoid alcohol and stay positive (As much as I sound like Mr Rogers I assure you I am not) My first time on Accutane I experienced very bad back pain. This time I've had none whatsoever. I even started training for a marathon while on it and everything feels great. The monthly bloodwork is no trouble at all, takes about 10 minutes so I don't consider it a huge problem. For the lips I recommend vaseline, Burt's Bees lip balm or Prevex (Recommended by Derm) but vaseline seems to work the best (I tried a few others as well). Your going to be applying it every 20 minutes or so no matter what you use anyways until your body adapts so you'll have to suck it up. Facial moisturiser was tricky for me. I use Cerave (recommended by derm) and mix it with Jojoba Oil (Thanks Dan) and it creates a perfect mixture. I apply it when I'm about to get out of the shower while my face is still a bit wet and then just leave it. Either of these products on their own made me slightly break out but together worked perfect. I use the jojoba oil in my hair after I wash it and leave it in (not too much or you just look greasy). Vaseline also works good in the nose before bed. Just an aveeno body lotion for my arms. I also experienced a mild eczema on the tops of my hands. Regular lotion helped with that. As far as a cleanser I don't use one, just water.
Most importantly I was pretty well 90% clear from day 10-15 until about day 50. Since then I've been 99% clear and my redness has almost completely subsided. I could not be in a better place. Shortly before I started I met the girl of my dreams (Sounds tacky but so what, zip it) and I've recently re-applied to med school. Clarus has made me a better person in every way and I still have 2 months left. The side effects were harsh and embarrassing at first, but 1000% worth it. I cannot stress how unbelievable it is to finally be able to eat greasy food once in a while, skip showering, let sweat dry on my face or get drunk without having to fear for the worst the next day. Without having to look into the mirror every half hour to see if something new has popped up, or to have to dab the oil off my face. I can touch my face as much as I want without having to panic that my hand bacteria will make me break out or fear that I'll feel a new under-the-skin cyst plotting to ruin a couple future weeks of my life.
I'll keep whoever's listening posted on my future progress and eventually get pictures up. I encourage any questions, I have a lot to share.
Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:21 AM
So once you come off Clarus what is the next step? as i assume you dont want to be hooked on it for the rest of your life...
Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:03 PM
I think I'm going to wait and see how my skin reacts after I'm off the drug to decide what future steps I'll take. I'll most likely just go back to a mild cleanser like cetaphil with moisturizer. If that doesn't work I'd definitely consider a 2nd course.
Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:16 PM
Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:07 PM
Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:17 PM
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