Light at the end of the tunnel...
Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:54 AM
I've been dealing with this shit for ~6-8 yrs. My acne was mild-moderate through most of high school, then in my senior year it got pretty bad. It was pretty severe for all of my freshman year of college (awesome!). I used SA during high school and during freshman year of college I was using BP and Retin-A at the same time... I didn't realize how bad of an idea that was. During that year I found this site and the regimen... it helped get me under control for a bit.
Historically, I've cleared up during the summer and gotten bad during the winter. I've been using the regimen since I found it 4yrs ago but it's never been perfect. I'm never completely clear and, no matter what, my face is always red. Due to this... I decided to try the "Do Nothing" regimen I found on here.
It made perfect sense to me. I have no bacne, no chestne, and my family doesn't have a real history of bad skin. It seemed absolutely logical that I had caused my own bad skin by using too many topicals. I had complete faith when I started in March of this year. Things got better for about two months and then BOOOOOM! Things got real bad, real fast. I lost faith and got back on the BP, but it's barely done anything. My acne is now about as bad as it was in my freshman year, which is bad.
It took me a month to get my dermatologist appointment. Pretty much right away, we agreed I'd be put on accutane; I knew it was gonna happen anyway. I told him that I was worried because I'm going to Vegas from August 6-11... and obviously that means sun, alcohol, and "please no IB." He told me he likes to start courses with low doses anyway and his preference coupled with my vacation means that my first month will be 20mg of Amnesteem a day. This is an extremely low dose due to the fact that I'm ~175lbs. I'm fine with it, though, I really don't want to look even worse than I already do while I'm in Vegas.
Funny Anecdote Time: My dermatologist mentioned something about not getting pregnant, and obviously, being a guy this is not a concern. I jokingly said "I can't promise anything but I'll try." His response: "Well, it is Vegas..."
I'm gonna try to get pictures up tomorrow and take new ones once a week. I really don't expect much of anything to happen this month due to my very low dose, but who knows? I just want this part of my life done with. Thanks for reading... I'll be updating fairly frequently.
Posted 03 July 2010 - 06:47 AM
Anyway good luck sir. Hope you're lookin good for Vegas.
Posted 03 July 2010 - 08:45 PM
Best of luck with your course, and I hope your skin cooperates for your trip
Keep us up to date on your progress
Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:46 AM
That's actually really freaky. I thought I was insane to wait so long without getting actual help but at least now I know there's someone with the... exact... same... story. Even starting isotretinoin within 24 hrs of each other is just ridiculous. Let's be friends.
Posted 04 July 2010 - 03:29 PM
Nothing has happened yet. My lips feel a bit dry but can probably be attributed to the placebo affect. I'm not using any chapstick or moisturizer yet. I'm just using Cetaphil Gentle Wash and Dan's BP once a day, sometimes twice. My derm said this was alright and because my dosage is so low for this month, I'll probably just keep doing it until I run out or something changes... not really sure yet.
Got some awesome pictures...
They're not of great quality, but they tell the story. Ugh, for some reason looking at pictures sucks more than looking in the mirror. Oh well, on we press.
EDIT: I can't figure out how to link properly...
Edited by 8rysh, 04 July 2010 - 03:30 PM.
Posted 04 July 2010 - 07:11 PM
Anyway, keep us posted!!!
Posted 09 July 2010 - 12:56 PM
20mg has been pretty gentle so far. The only noticeable side affect has been dry lips but even those have not been bad at all yet. I am broken out very badly right now, though. It's hard to say if it's due to the accutane or just due to my skin sucking, though. I just stopped using BP a couple days ago, too, so that should probably account for some of it.
I'm so sick and tired of bleeding every single day.
Posted 09 July 2010 - 01:29 PM
Posted 14 July 2010 - 11:47 AM
My face is looking a little bit better... I've been off BP for about a week now. I'm now only using Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser twice a day and Eucrin moisturizing creme when I feel like it. My forehead is still really bad but my cheeks and temples have gotten a bit better.
Side effects wise... my lips are a bit chapped but not too bad. I apply chapstick twice a day-ish and I'm fine. Still no cracking or bleeding or anything. My eyes have also gotten a bit dryer, I think. I wear contacts and I've noticed them bothering me more, and although it could just be in my head, I don't think it is. I anticipate some real problems when my dosage is significantly increased.
I had my biannual cleaning at the dentist today. I was super self-conscious because a pimple I popped this morning was STILL bleeding a little when I went in. I had to wipe it every few minutes when I thought my dentist wasn't looking but ugh, that's just gross and I don't want to have to deal with it anymore.
When I finished my cleaning, though, I made another appointment for six months from today. I couldn't help but think that there's a really high chance I'll be clear by then. I hope. I hope. I hope.
Posted 31 July 2010 - 06:25 PM
I finished my first month of Accutane today. My acne's lessened quite a bit. I now have 2-4 active lesions on my face at any given time instead of like 10-15 which was horrible. I still look like hell, but it's a lot better.
My monthly derm visit was a few days ago. My bloodwork was fine and he wanted to take me from 20mg to 40mg. I had different plans. I'm somewhat conflicted because I want to get this over with but I'm also going to Vegas from August 5-11 and I don't want flare up really bad for that. Knowing that the 60mg dosage comes in two 30mg pills, I proposed that he upped me to 60mg for the month. From tomorrow until the end of my Vegas trip, I'll take 30mg daily. After Vegas, I'll start 60mg.
I've been switched from Amnesteem to Claravis, fwiw. I've done a bit of research and it doesn't look like it matters.
As far as side effects go, I got pretty much nothing so far. My lips are dry but I only even apply chapstick once a day, if that. I suppose I'm not really expecting too much in the way of side effects at 20mg daily, though; I'm 185lbs.
Posted 12 August 2010 - 12:53 PM
I am the worst Accutane patient ever. I just got back from Vegas... I knew it was going to be rough, but not that rough. I got drunk twice while spending hours in the >100 degree sun EVERY day for 7 days. My rationalization for blatantly breaking the Accutane rules is that I was only on 30mg daily. I need a ton of rest, but I'm not feeling anything that I wouldn't expect from lots of alcohol and sun. My lips are chapped and my skin is dry... my nose has dried blood in it sometimes; no big deal.
Today will be my first day taking 60mg, 30 several hours ago and 30 in a couple hours. Because of the fact that I was prescribed 60 for this entire second month but only took 30 for the first 11 days, I have more Accutane than I should. I was thinking of taking 60 for like 7 or 8 days and seeing how I do, then doing 60 and 90 on alternating days until my next appointment. We'll see what happens.
Skin-wise... meh. I definitely look better than when I started but I still have some active spots and my skin just looks bad in general. It sucks actually, I'll look in mirrors in some lighting and think I look OK. I convince myself I just have a sunburn (which I'm sure I do). But then, I'll look at a picture or look in a different mirror and it's just really bad.
Posted 15 August 2010 - 11:40 PM
I'm feeling pretty down right now. I've been doing the 60mg for 3 days now and I'm flaring up bad. I'm not sure if it's the increased dosage or not (it's only been 3 days...) but it sucks regardless. I've got a dime-sized cyst on the right of my nose, an inflamed painful spot on my nose, a bunch of nodules on my forehead, and some healing scabs. I look bad.
Acne sucks so bad because it's so variable. One day, I'll be looking better and feel great. I'll think that things are finally just going to improve until I'm clear. Then the next, I'll be able to feel shit growing under my skin and that's when I know it's just going to get worse for a while. I hate thinking about stupid little non-events in the near future and trying to calculate if my spots will have grown or shrunk by then.
To let you know what I mean by "non-events," a good example exists at my place of employment. There's this gorgeous, awesome girl that I work with who I flirt with whenever I see her. My skin had been getting better for the past couple weeks and every time I saw her I had more confidence and had more fun with her. Now that it's gotten really bad in the last couple of days, I've completely avoided her. I know all this shit is mostly in my head and that she probably doesn't care in the least that I have a huge cyst near my nose, but it's all I can think about when I'm talking to her (or anybody).
I've seen people talk about low self-esteem on these boards. Many make the argument that if you're extremely self-conscious with acne, it won't matter when you're clear; you'll just be self-conscious about something else, instead. Maybe that's the case for some... but I swear: not for me. I've gone through some ridiculous physical changes in the past decade or so. I used to be a fat kid, then I was thin and clear, then I got acne, then I was clear, then the acne came back, etc. etc. etc.
I'm comfortable with who I am as a person. I've actually finally reached a point where I'm OK with my body. But these fucking bleeding lesions all over my face... I can't get over them. Maybe some people can, but I can't. Acne changes who I am as a person. I got a chance for an internship this summer. I avoided it because my acne got worse than ever. Multiple girls have expressed interest with me in the last couple of months. I avoided them because my acne got worse than ever (and they had known me when I was clearer). When I'm clear, I'm confident, outgoing, productive, and fun. Right now I suck. I know it's my fault for letting acne get to me like this... but it is what it is. And it sucks.
Posted 01 September 2010 - 06:40 PM
I had my third derm. visit a couple of days ago. The lady that brought me to the room before the doctor came in told me that my numbers were a bit high... I decided to tell a bit of a fib. I told her and the doctor that I had forgotten to fast and had eaten a few hours before the blood test (when I had fasted for ~16 hrs). The doctor didn't seem overly concerned anyway and I think if the numbers were dangerously high he would have scrutinized more... so I'm not really worried. Honestly though, I would just flip out if I got taken off Accutane at this point.
I wanted to get increased to 80mg but he seems to think that the overall time spent on Accutane is more important than the cumulative dosage. He kept me at 60mg at implied that I'd be on this for 8 months total. 6 more months... ughhh...
Happily though, my skin is much better. The cyst I mentioned in my last post (two fucking weeks ago) near my nose is still there, but it's going down. It's calmed down a lot in the last couple days, but it was seriously popping every single time I washed my face before. Probably the worst single pimple I've had in at least 4 months. Other than that cyst, though, it's pretty ok. I've got something happening under the skin on my left cheek but everything else is clear.
Redness and redmarks are horrible, though. It sucks to think that even if I'm free of active acne in a few months, my face will still bear the marks of a turbulent past. I started taking zinc because I read that it helps with healing skin, but I'm sure it only goes so far. One step at a time, I guess.
Posted 14 September 2010 - 09:54 AM
I'm in a pretty bad mood regarding acne/accutane/redness right now. I don't have too much active acne anymore, but what I do have is gross. That cyst I first spoke of on DAY 46, A FULL MONTH AGO, is still there, albeit much smaller. I also have a nodule that has been repeatedly filling up and popping right between my eyes above my nose. It's a scab right now and who knows if it will refill/burst again. Ugh.
I guess I'm just discouraged because things got a lot better really quick in the middle of month two... and this "amazing," "magical" month three has been rather unimpressive.
I'm also very concerned about redmarks and overall redness. Even if all of my active acne was gone right now, I would still look very bad because my face is just so damned red. It's a completely different color from the rest of my body.
I've read good things about emu oil for redmarks and PIH so I think I'll pick some up today and give it a shot. TBH, though, right now it's just another one of those "amazing" cures that people speak about on here. How many things have I been completely convinced about because some prophet comes to this board and persuades everyone to give it a try?
1. Sea salt
2. Lemon juice
3. Olive oil
4. Jojoba oil
5. DO NOTHING!!!
7. Egg whites
Really, this forum has played a fairly large role in prolonging my acne, I think. If you just go around and read all the threads on here, it's so easy to find hope in so many different things... when really you should just go to a fucking dermatologist.
Ugh... sorry for being really, really negative. I just feel like it'll be a solid 9-12 months before my skin looks normal and that estimate has been growing a lot recently. It's depressing as hell.
Edited by 8rysh, 14 September 2010 - 09:55 AM.
Posted 14 September 2010 - 10:55 AM
It's been working for years! The only people it doesn't work for are the people that give up. So don't give up!
Your photobucket links seem to be broken, so I can't see what your skin looks like. But honestly I have some of the worst skin that I have seen on anyone. Painful, huge cysts, tons of whiteheads, and my PIH is also awful, now that my skin is clearing I have a ton of craters
I am currently on day 98 of Accutane I can tell you that around day 75 things were still pretty bad for me. So cheer up, there's still time for things to get better.
Also, everyone goes through the cycle of clear, full of acne. It's depressing but after every outbreak there is better, and better clearing. Just think, in that very same spot that you have that annoying pimple you will never get a pimple again. It is that pore clearing gunk out forever!
Make sure that you are taking pictures to track your progress. You see your face everyday in the mirror so it's difficult to notice a good difference, and easy to freak out over one bump.
Don't give up, and don't be angry about life. You are on your way to clear skin )
I tried starting a log on this site for my Accutane but I got no replies, so I made my own for my own benefit. Here's the link, and I have pictures
Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:04 AM
I took a look at your blog and I have to say that your improvement is incredible. How much longer do you have to be on Accutane? You don't seem to have any "tane-burn," did you ever deal with it or is that just not a problem you had?
Posted 16 September 2010 - 12:38 PM
I am on a five month course.
I started at fourty mg, then to fifty the second month, and sixty for the last three months.
I think by tane-burn you mean overall redness or sunburn looking skin.
Uhm...my face has always been a little red, due to so much PIH so i'm kinda used to it. My skin texture in the pictures looks better than it really is due to make-up. I'll take some pictures this weekend without any foundation because I myself am curious to see how pictures look. My acne is definitely going away, I have a lot less bumps but I am far from perfect looking skin due to scars etc.
Darn Acne, what a curse.
Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:58 PM
I had my derm. visit last week. He said I'm clearing up well and I was happy to hear that my bloodwork came back better than before, which I didn't expect due to drinking.
My skin is definitely getting better and better. The only active/inflamed stuff I have right now is PERSISTENT though. The cyst next to my nose that I mentioned ON DAY 46 is still there, albeit much smaller. It's shrinking and shrinking, but it's taking so damned long. Honestly I don't care about that one much anymore.
It's the one between my eyes that I really can't stand. I mentioned it twenty days ago on Day 75. I wrote "It's a scab right now and who knows if it will refill/burst again." Well, yeah... it's refilled and burst since then at least four times. I thought it was finally on its way out yesterday morning. Then it got real big out of nowhere and popped again. Right now it's a mess and it's the kind of mess that I don't think is done... ughh... just go awayyyy.
I've been using Emu Oil 1-2 times a day and I think it's helping a lot with my PIH. Really, I shouldn't be complaining so much because my skin looks so much better than it did a month ago and 100x better than 2 months ago, etc. etc. I really feel a lot better and much more confident now.