HarleyZ

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About HarleyZ

Veteran Member

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  • Gender Female
  • Location NY, USA
  • Interests '80s rock n' roll, books, movies by Quentin Tarantino, nice food, chemistry (seriously I'm a chemist), having clear skin one day

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  1. Beginning of isotretinoin

    So I FINALLY got my first month's drug supply from the pharmacy. I'm so excited. This is finally going to begin. I'm still working in the library and I don't think I'll be done by midnight. It's okay. Taking the first pill will be like a religious experience for me. For the first time I decide to put myself through potential danger by actively taking a drug that is so harsh. I am proud of myself.
  2. Beginning of isotretinoin

    So everything was good...except that when I arrived at the pharmacy, the pharmacist told me that they did not have accutane in stock. Great. I will have to wait until tomorrow - which is not that bad because it's literally just a day. Well I did get a little moody afterwards because going to the pharmacy is not the easiest thing for me. I do not own a car and walking takes too long. Often time I would call a cab but it means extra money. Oh well there is an actual price to pay... I stocked up on chapsticks. Things are going to get real.
  3. Antibiotics for transition to Accutane

    Thanks for the warning and suggestions. I've lost all hopes for topicals and natural remedies. I know all of the side effects that could result from taking accutane, but I'm willing to take the risk. I have been suffering fro seven years without the help from a doctor. Now my skin is horrible enough to be put on the craziest drug one could possibly take for acne, and I'm doing it. All drugs are dangerous. Life itself is dangerous. I want to be able to live my life to the fullest:).
  4. Beginning of isotretinoin

    I cannot believe it has been one month since my first visit to the dermatologist. I remember crying in my room on a Saturday night because of my ugly face and not being able to get any work done. I went to see the doctor on 2/8. I told her right away that I wanted to be put on isotretinoin. She looked at my face and said, I think it will work for you. But you will have to wait for a month to begin. Here I am, exactly a month later. The needle wound on my arm from doing the blood work two days before is still a little sore. I'm headed to the dermatologist's office in two hours. My accutane journey will soon begin. I am very, very excited to start taking this drug. Although my acne now is not as bad as it was a month ago, I want to eliminate any possibility of it flaring up really badly again. I have been suffering for seven long years. It has done enough damage to my self-esteem and self-confidence. I am not going to let it beat me anymore. Will update on this site as often as needed to record my journey. Sometimes I would go back and read those posts that I wrote previously when I was using BP and natural remedy. I sounded so hopeful back then. I thought they would work with minimal damage to my body. But now I'm disillusioned. There's a price to pay. There's no way I could get clear skin without trading my health away. Fine I'll do it to counteract my cursed genetics. No big deal.
  5. Accutane - Week 1

    I can resonate so much with you. I am about to stat taking it next week. It was a hard decision to make, since all of those horror stories online made me question whether or not I would want to risk my life for clear skin. The answer is yes. This is how badly I want to look normal. I'd rather have other complications than a face full of cystic breakouts. Acne hurts me mentally and physically... And honestly all drugs are dangerous. There's no guarantee that one drugs that works for others will be your miracle cure as well...so you gotta try in order to see whether or not it works for you. It sucks. Life is unfair and I feel sorry for myself from time to time for being blessed with bad genetics, but fighting back is the only way to pull myself out of this misery.
  6. Hi Lily I'm really sorry to hear that. It is true that your acne is very likely due to hormones, but it does not mean that you should just let it happen. I started getting acne at the age of 14, and my mom did not let me use any makeup/treatment for it because she believed that it would go away on its own. Well guess what I'm 22 this year and my face is broken out in severe cystic acne still. I'd say definitely keep in touch with your derm. It may take a long time for you to find a treatment that works. It could be as simple as cutting out dairy, or as hardcore as going on the most powerful drug out there (isotretinoin), which I'm about to do since all of the other treatments failed. I guess the most important thing is to not let acne atop you from doing things that you want to do, such as socializing and getting your work done. You are young and beautiful, and as long as you keep searching, there's got to be a way to fix the problem. Fingers crossed for you. Hope you get your flawless skin back soon.
  7. I can totally relate to you. Moderate to severe acne is not the result of not washing your face. It's mostly genetic. Some people could be treated with simple topicals or antibiotics, but others do not respond. I'm one of those. Tried topicals, elimination diet, vegetarian diet, herbal medicine, extraction, antibiotics and birth control - most didn't work, some worked for a while (longest was birth control, it kept me clear for about one year). Try out different things and some might work for you. If not, and if you think acne has been hindering your life the way it should not, talk to a doctor about going on isotretinoin.
  8. acne rant

    I don't think stop your periods could help...I'm suffering from bad cystic, hormonal acne as well, and it flares up really badly one week before and after my period. I'm on birth control but it does not help any more. Have you considered accutane? I'm going on it next week. I've been waited for so long and it's time to end this skin disaster once and for all.
  9. After a major mental breakdown about two weeks ago, I finally went to see a derm and asked her to put me on accutane. I told her that I had never been on anything prescription-strength, but I wanted to go on accutane right away because I had had enough of this dirty face. The doctor did not decline my request, but told me that I would have to wait for a month anyway for two negative pregnancy test results before I could start taking the drug. She prescribed Doxycycline - an antibiotics, and told me to wait patiently until one month later. I started taking Doxy a week ago. I noticed that those giant cysts on my face have been calming down. I'm under a lot of stress lately, and could not resist the temptation of drinking coffee. Good news is, I have not gotten any major breakouts after having a cup of coffee or two. I think the antibiotics is working, but I understand that once I stop taking it, those pus-filled giant cysts will soon come back. Last night I looked into the mirror and thought, maybe I don't have to go on accutane? My face now is nowhere near clean. There are still cysts, whiteheads and marks, but less painful. I'd be kind of happy for it to just heal slowly like this. However, I know that this is only a band-aid solution. Doxy is not a cure. I will have to go on accutane eventually, and I'd rather do it soon. This is my last few months in college. I can choose to suffer through these few months and the summer, and have a new self the I start grad school in the fall. Anyway, I've become much more social even after my face only cleared up a tiny bit. I'm actually head out for dinner with friends tonight - which never happened before with those people. I'm genuinely happy.
  10. Accutane, 60mg, MonTh 6 of 129308273

    Hi friend. I am thinking about going on accutane, and I have been reading every post I could find online about its effects and side effects. I stumbled upon this guy on YouTube - Brian Turner. He had pretty bad acne years ago and he recorded his accutane journey online. It was a TWO-YEAR experience. So I guess for some people it does take longer. However, he now has beautiful clear skin, and you can see the small, slow transformation that he had by clicking through his videos. Don't give up!
  11. I have been feeling pretty alright about my face lately, until last night after I washed the makeup off of my face. My entire forehead, chin and sides of my cheeks were red, and covered with countless bumps. I looked so ugly. So. Ugly. I went to bed thinking that it would get better, but of course it did not. I woke up with a few more cysts on my chin. I did some research on accutane this morning, only to get more depressed. I am so scared of the side effects, and I've already been through so much in search for a cure. I was sent to the ER twice last year due to allergy to benzoyl peroxide. I did so many painful facials. I've been on birth control for almost 3 years, had it work for one year only. I'm on Chinese herbal medicine, birth control, a very strict diet, but I still get A LOT OF painful, cystic breakouts every week. My face looks disgusting. I feel so helpless. Anyway, I thought I should not stay at home all day and sink. I should go out and enjoy this Saturday. Out I went to a movie theatre with a housemate. I met a lady at the mall, whom I did not know at all. She was the cashier of this food stand. After I paid for my food she said, you should do something to your face. You should use cucumber water on your face. I was so embarrassed and angry that I did not say a word. I just stood there and looked at her. I just wanted to fade into nothingness. I did not want to be seen at all. I was humiliated. And at that moment, I decided to go on accutane. I had enough. I've heard enough people telling me what I was doing wrong, what I should try, that I was not taking care of my body, that I was not washing my face properly. SCREW. YOU. I treat my body like a temple and see what I got? A face full of pimples that I can do nothing about. This is not even my fault, and YET I am held responsible for it. This is not fair. I have no idea why this would happen to me. When my housemates are enjoying nice food and each others' company, I'm staying in my room and type down my blood-drenched feelings - that's right, I don't even have the luxury to eat my feelings because that would only give me more breakouts, theoretically. I don't even know what the cause is. "I've been doing everything in my power to look normal. And now my last choice is this insane drug with no promise to cure." I cried in the phone to my mom just now. I felt powerless. Acne, you won. I've made up my mind to call a derm on Monday when the office is open. I'll ask for one course of accutane. I cannot live with acne knowing that there's a potential cure that could probably end my misery. I want to try it. Hugs for you all you read to the end. I believe that you are here because you have, or had acne. Keep fighting through this life.
  12. It's been as week since I updated last time. Actually I felt pretty okay about my face during the day - I guess the tinted sunscreen did hide some of my acne really nicely. However, I was literally looking at hell's pit after I took off the sunscreen with make-up remover. Every single acne mark, active spot, and pinkish-turning-to-cyst-like bump looked so, so bad. I have at least 3 cysts on my chin, 2 on my left cheek, and 3 along my nose right now. I also have a ton of acne marks and whiteheads on my forehead, and along my jawline. I look like a mess. I started researching on accutane as soon as I got out of the bathroom. I've been on a strict diet, a bunch of supplements, and this Chinese herbal medicine, and birth control pills for 2 months now. Pretty much nothing has changed. I literally got 4 new breakouts during these past 2 days and I have no idea what I did wrong. I am seriously thinking about taking accutane...I'm so scared. I hate my face. I hate thinking that I'm ugly and that my face looks disgusting. I hate waking up and running to the mirror and seeing new, giant breakouts on my face. I am so tired of pretending that I don't care, that I am confident, that I am comfortable the way my skin is... I am not okay. I am so tired. I've tried literally everything but accutane. This seems to be my last resort, but I am scared of all the possible side effects. My health is kind of brittle the way it is, and I have no way of foreseeing how my body is going to react to accutane. Sorry friends. I'm making no sense even to myself right now. I need to calm down and chill with some music. Will update maybe in less than a week to see how things go...
  13. A minor mental breakdown

    @Adeel2111 This is so true. I miss having cream cheese on bagels, or pizza, or, steak, or pasta, or ice cream, or milkshake, or French fries, or maybe even just a warm glass of milk with sugar cookies. Food was my only console. Now there's no more comfort food. There's only green veggies and water and limited types of fruits that make me sick. You know, the worst of all is that you don't know what exactly you are doing wrong. Everyone else is having a blast at a dinner party, whereas you are just carefully removing pieces of cheese from your salad and telling people that you can't drink when beautiful cocktails are offered. It's possible to be positive every once in a while, but to stay positive and not care about the visible blemishes on your face is so difficult... Hugs.
  14. A minor mental breakdown

    So it's been about 10 days since I truly started healing acne naturally. I swear it got better for a few days, and today, bam - tens of pimples on my chin, so many whiteheads popped up on my left cheek, and a bunch whiteheads on my forehead. Maybe it's the stress? The two cups of coffee I had yesterday and today? I vegetable oil I cooked with today? I don't know... all of a sudden my face feels painful to touch again, and I look absolutely detestable. I know that lows are to be expected. Sometimes I just find it extremely hard to deal with. I've sacrificed my social life so much. Now because I've adopted this crazy vegetarian diet without any food that could possibly irritate my gut, I can't even go to restaurants with friends or study in a coffee house anymore - my only means of socialization, gone. I make my own food three times a day, and lock myself up in my room to get work done. During the past few days, I had the illusion that my acne was getting better. I even went to the gym and sweat as I used to years ago - a true luxury. Now I feel like hiding away again. I hate looking into the mirror, but I can't help but staring at my face whenever I walk past the bathroom. I hate this. Never coffee again. Never vegetable oil again. Stick to the diet. At least when it went wrong, I can tell myself that it was not me. It was just my body acting against me for no reason. "This will pass soon." said mom. No mom. This is the genetics that I got from you and dad. You both had bad acne 20-something years ago. It has nothing to do with my way of life. I can become a vegan bodybuilder who never drinks/smokes even stays up late, but still have this ugly face... Don't tell me this is going to be alright. You don't know that. Enough rant.
  15. The other day I logged in and browsed the forum as I always did, and I suddenly noticed that my membership status changed from "member" to "veteran." Wow. It has been five months since I joined this community, and I've gone through a long difficult journey. I still have acne. Unfortunately everything that I have tried so far - birth control, dairy elimination, and BP - the one that gave me so much pain and cost me so much money and time - did not work by themselves. However, I have to keep trying. I am not going to settle with crappy skin. Now I do believe that acne reflects malfunction of organs inside of my body. I cannot ignore the signals that my body has been sending to me. I need to listen to my body and figure out what is wrong. I saw a number of holistic personnels this past month. One thing that all of them pointed out for me was that there may be chronic inflammation inside of my body, due to high stress level (breakup, internship application, grad school application and simply getting around with a pizza face - of course), unsuitable diet and lack of good sleep. It probably has little to do with my facial routine, because I have been washing my face with a gentle cleanser all along, and have been using moisturizer and sun protection religiously. My skin just felt abnormally oily seeing the past year for no reason, or in other words, for reasons that I did not know. A doctor gave me a list of foods that I should not eat anymore. Lo and behold, dairy is only a small part of it. I saw chicken, beef, lamb, shrimp, ginger, garlic, scallion, leek, curry, mango, coconut... mostly foods that I've always enjoyed. It made no sense at the beginning, but the more i think about it, the more reasonable it seems - my body simply does not tolerate those foods. Even though I never eat junk foods, those seeming harmless, even healthy foods can cause inflammation inside my body, which inevitably shows up on my face. My acne kept coming during this past year, because I've been eating those foods literally every single day. How could I not have? I love going to the gym and making my own healthy meals. Those "healthy" meals were constantly irritating my gut. How could my face looked so bad even after I quit dairy and so many desserts that i used to love? Well I guess that explains it. So here comes my new regimen: Eliminate all foods that were possibly causing the inflammation in my gut: tropical fruits, shellfish, chicken, beef, lamb, dairy, any processed food, hot spices, alcohol, coffee Take turmeric and l-lysine on a daily basis - those two are great anti-inflammatory supplements Eat a lot of leafy greens for breakfast and lunch, use only salt, soy sauce and a little bit of olive oil when cooking, no other spices Eat a lot of grains and beans to increase fiber intake - basically replace all simple carbs with porridge packed with fibers Snack on bananas, apples and berries instead of crackers, cakes and well, basically everything I used to love Drink a lot of water Sleep for at least 8 hours a day Workout at least 5 times a week in the morning Try to stay positive and relaxed - high stress level may further mess with my already-wrecked hormones I've been adhering to this regimen for about 5 days now. I do feel that my skin has calmed down a bit, and that my body feels really light and healthy. I do not miss feasting on a ton of meat at all. Leafy greens do not taste that bad. I really hope that healing from the inside will work for me. Will keep updating.
  16. Day 1

    Hi Ryan - Congrats on surviving your 1st semester of college! Your plan sounds really awesome. Acne on your face definitely reflects inflammation inside your body. Topical treatments can only mask the symptoms, if they work at all, but not solve the problem. I am doing pretty much the same - healthy diet, daily workout, and supplements. You may want to look into turmeric and l-lysine - ample evidences have shown that they do a great job at reducing inflammation inside your body. Good luck!!
  17. Hey girl acne is normal for your age. It is still a difficult situation, though - everyone on this forum can sympathize with you, including myself. I'm in my 20s and I still have moderate acne that just never goes away. Don't let it stop you from doing things. I know it is hard - I was bullied in middle and high school because of my pizza face. However, that was probably what made me a genuine and caring person. You can do it. You have a boyfriend who doesn't mid your little flaws. There are so many people on this forum who can't even go out of their boxes and find themselves soul mates because of low self-esteem. Girl you got this.
  18. what if I developed allergy to BP

    Thank you so much! This is really comforting to me:).
  19. what if I developed allergy to BP

    I have stopped the treatment immediately after I saw the severe redness. I washed it off and put on moisturizer. It's been a little more than a day now, and those patches still look alarmingly red, especially after I took a shower just now. I don't have blistering and crusting, just redness that sometimes itch a little - God bless. But how long does it normally take for one's skin to get back to normal if the treatment is stopped? I do not plan to ever use BP again. Just want the burn to heal before school starts....
  20. @Adeel2111 Yeah you've mentioned it before, but my oily skin cannot take any heavy-duty moisturizer. I get an oily mask within hours of application, and it feels absolutely gross. But thank you anyway! I am really happy for you that you found it to be beneficial for your skin. I am really sorry that your brother said that hurtful thing. He probably does not know how devastating it is to have acne. Most people with clear face don't get it. We understand each other, though. Everybody on this forum can relate to one another, which is very comforting. As for breakouts on forehead - have you been stressed out/staying up late lately? Stress and lack of sleep may result in acne on forehead, which I also have. I have trouble sleeping, and am constantly stressed about school work. Well I guess there's no quick fix to that... And guess what, I did it again. I tried BP again on my lower cheeks and bam - massive redness. I had a pretty bad reaction to it. It looks a lot like the eczema I got last time, only this time it is not itchy and raw. It just looks really, really red - I'm talking scarlet red. I immediately washed off the BP. Will throw away the bottle. Won't ever touch it again. I am freaking out again. Having acne really is nothing compared to having massive skin rash... Fingers crossed. I hope that the redness will go away on its own in a few days.... I am not going back on steroids again.
  21. I put a tiny tiny bit of BP on my lower cheeks for spot treatment, and six hours later I discovered that the areas touched by it got really really red. I immediately washed it off - it does not look like a normal reaction. I've done BP before, and previously I never got this red from this little contact. I had an eczema flareup possibly due to BP two months ago. What should I do now? I am freaking out! Will the redness go away if I leave it the way it is? How long will it take?
  22. A week ago I promised myself that I'd definitely go back on BP this week, because of all the whiteheads on my lower cheeks, forehead and the cysts on my chin. I took a pea-sized portion of BP, and very carefully put it on spots on my forehead, lower cheeks and chin. I went to bed. Six hours later I got up, and saw GIANT red patches on my lower cheeks. The shapes are irregular, and I can tell that the redness definitely came from applying BP - and I put on the finest amount! I immediately washed my face and decided that I'd never ever use BP on my face again. I remember when I started on BP four months ago, this did not happen. My face did get dry and red, but nothing so drastic like this. I think it might have something to do with the eczema outbreak I had towards the end of my BP treatment. My skin has been incredibly sensitive since. My forehead and chin still look normal, because the oil production in those areas is really abundant, which protects my skin from being irritated. I am freaking out. I immediately moisturized my face, and those red patches feel really warm under my moisturizing mask. The only console I have is that they don't sting or itch. I guess right now it's just an initial warning that my skin gave me. I will just stick to the Chinese herbal medicine regimen. I came across a supplement called L-lysine online. I ordered it and will give it a shot when it arrives. Ugh.
  23. Hey you are a gorgeous human being. Yes you have acne, but it is definitely treatable. Your acne looks serious, but it mostly is constituted of whiteheads, as far as I could tell from your pictures. They are easier to treat than cysts and nodules, which occur to a lot of other people on this forum, inducing myself. Try eliminating milk, cheese, sugary foods and seafoods from your diet. Use benzoyl peroxide. Maybe get your hormones checked given your acne is most on your cheeks.
  24. Bloody hell that kind of lines up... It's been more than a month since I discontinued the steroid. However, the lower half of my face and my forehead are still cover with whiteheads, and there are two huge painful cysts on my chin. I'm not very surprised about getting cysts, because I'm used to seeing them. But those crazy whiteheads that came out of nowhere? Now I'm starting to think that the steroid might have done something. Thanks for reminding me. I guess there's nothing I could do about those bastards besides waiting them out... I'm still on Chinese herbal medicine. I'm not doing very well. I got new cystic breakouts on my chin, and new whiteheads along my jawline and on my forehead during the past two days. After washing my face this morning I stared at my face for a good ten minutes in the mirror and felt disgusted. I don't know when this travesty is going to end. Looking at my friends' pictures on FaceBook made my heart bleed. They had so much fun during the break, whereas I did not even went downtown once. I could not even gather up enough courage to go to the gym, because I hate seeing my own reflection in the mirror at this point. Will get back on BP next week. How are you feeling about the treatment? Any changes?
  25. Great! It may over-dry your skin, so make sure that you keep your skin moisturized. Don't use too much in the beginning, because your skin needs time to adjust. I really hope that it takes care of the problem for you! Keep me posted. Good luck!