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Claravis Log: Repeat Offenders Edition

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Hey all, my name is Sascha and i decided that after reading all of the wonderful Accutane/Sotret/Claravis logs that i would start my own! Now to let you all know, i am a repeat offender of using Accutane - this will be my third and final time using it and unlike my previous experiences, i plan on following up treatment with some maintenance therapy (topical, skin care regimen - the works) as i've concluded that my acne is the ball that goes along with my chaineusa_liar.gif

A little about me and my acne:

I've had mild to moderate acne since i was a pre-teen/teen (i am now a 28 year old adult) and i've been to 3 different dermatologists who have thrown creams, gels, facial washes, antibiotics and all at me without any results (not even slight improvement). I have also tried Proactiv, Murad and other OTC/Infomercial products as well but to no avail. I have also had procedures done in hopes of clearing my acne which has included chemical peels, facials, micro current and micro dermabrasion. Last but not least, i have tried the holistic route with supplements and a complete diet overhaul and sadly to say, even though i lost weight and i'm eating healthier, my face is still a hot mess angry.png

I am a teacher and i work with kids and adults all day long and needless to say, my acne makes me feel self conscious and a wee bit embarrassed.

In any event, i've vowed that i won't let acne continue to control my thoughts and actions any longer so here i am about to embark on this journey with no expectations and a good attitude that it will all work out the way it is meant to work out.

I did a blood test a few weeks ago and received my first prescription for Claravis 60mg (3 pills a day) at a weight of 140-145lbs. All i have to do is answer the ipledge questions and pick up my meds.

My acne is mild-moderate but is a persistent sucker! It is mainly located on my chin and mouth areas and have now been sighted on my forehead with sprinklings on my cheek and jawline. The worst is that bumps go away and show up in the exact same spots! I get a lot of white heads with pus (anywhere from 10-20) and quite a few inflamed bumps with no head for days and weeks on end. They sometimes hurt and tend to scar. I just had a deep pore cleansing on Friday where my esthesician unblocked my pores and now i have red scabs that stand out against my fair skin. The texture of my skin is rough, rough, rough and very gross to the touch. Right now, i have had about 7-8 whiteheads pop up overnight (due to my period coming i think). I plan to take pictures of my face the day i start Claravis and to do so every week to document the changes in my skin (the good, bad and the ugly). I'm hoping to connect with other people going through this same process as i know how emotionally and physically draining it can be. So if anyone would like to be a support buddy or needs a support buddy or just want to share the love, feel free to respond to this log!

Peace Out till D-Day

Current Regiment

A.M.

Trilogy Balancing Gel Cleanser

Trilogy Energizing Lotion (moisturizer)

P.M.

Trilogy Balancing Gel Cleanser

Trilogy Energizing Lotion (moisturizer)

SUPPLEMENTS

probiotics

digestive enzymes

Omega 3,6,9

D2 tablet prescribed by my Dr for Vitamin D deficiency

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oh i have tried the "holistic" approach as well. major diet overhaul. I picked up some wonderful habits...but nothing for my skin. Have you tried brenda 35 or diane 35? they are great for my skin

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Hi disheartened - i have not tried both those things and i assume that once you take it, you must keep taking it. I cannot be on long term medication because of other health concerns which is why i wanted to try one more course of treatment with claravis and do maintenance immediately after. My blood test came back good and my GP is monitoring my other issues so if anything should change, i will stop the Claravis. I know what you mean about the holisitic thing - i guess like everything else, it works for some but not for others. What's your status - are you clear from your meds?

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Ok T-2 days till i get Claravis! I am excited to start but also scared. My face is pretty gross right now, especially my chin and mouth area. And walking around, i don't see any other adult with this problem which makes me feel so self conscious. But through the grace of God, my family/friends, i will get through this. Anyone else out there about to start on this Claravis journey?

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So i need to vent right now! i had a deep pore cleanse 2 days ago and now my chin and mouth area has exploded in red, under the skin type pimples. I definitely feel like crying....hard. I don't wear makeup and the thought of going to work on Tuesday and facing my co-workers and kids makes me sad. Acne definitely has changed me in a way i never expected. I am so much more withdrawn than i used to be and i am certainly more humble and less judgemental of others. In thinking about the journey that i am about to begin, i have a lot of trepidition and anxiety about it. I am scared that my face is going to literally be unbearable to look at (i don't remember being this anxious on my other two courses). I am also scared that the side effects will cause me to be even more withdrawn/sad than i already am. Any advice or words of encouragement from anyone?

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Ok - i'm definitely in a better state of mind today -Thank the Lord! T-1 Day before Claravis and i just want to get it over with! I'll take pictures tomorrow and post them (still trying to figure out how to post them in one place - any help?) For other people struggling with acne and it's physical and emotional side effects, here is what helps me make it through each day

1) limit looking in the mirror and fixating (this makes me feel like crap and totally crushes my self esteem so i'm trying to not do it)

2) Recognize that your acne is not you no matter what others may say or do to make you feel otherwise (i say positive affirmations as often as i can such as : I am beautiful both inside and out/ I have nothing to be ashamed of)

3) Take time out to do you (i find that i isolate myself when my face is bad - bad habit that i can't seem to break out of but when i'm by myself i read a lot, especially inspirational books as i am trying to reestablish my relationship with God. But it can be any other type of book, music or movie.

4) Go out for a walk, go out with friends, look at the beauty outside your window - we are alive and healthy and breathing on our own, life is and will continue to go on while we go through this process.

5) Realize that you have people that love you for you (i've gotten so close to my family throughout this struggle and my friends have been AMAZING!)

6) You have people that are going through similar issues - tap into the boards....many people struggle with the physical and mental effects of acne so YOU ARE NOT ALONE

Chin Up to all my brothers and sisters going through this!

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DAY #1

So just took my first pill and well....i'm nervous. I had heartburn today and was thinking of putting off Claravis till tomorrow but thought 'what the heck' and just took my pill. The side effects scare me....a lot, but i prayed on it and i'm going forward with a positive attitude. Got to keep that end goal in mind :-)

Anyway, this weekend i'll take pictures (in the sunlight) and post.

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Hi disheartened - i have not tried both those things and i assume that once you take it, you must keep taking it. I cannot be on long term medication because of other health concerns which is why i wanted to try one more course of treatment with claravis and do maintenance immediately after. My blood test came back good and my GP is monitoring my other issues so if anything should change, i will stop the Claravis. I know what you mean about the holisitic thing - i guess like everything else, it works for some but not for others. What's your status - are you clear from your meds?

No i am back on the brenda 35 (The Pill). I saw my GP and he said "Stay on it, coz you will keep breaking out". so i am on the pill until i guess i am 25?? until my hormones stop mucking around LOL But i have been taking tissue salts "Combo D", which make my skin smother, not clearer or anything. Good luck!!

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Disheartened, it seems that you have a plan in place which is great! Hoping it all works out for you and thanks!

Day # 2 - Well i took my first full set of pills and i noticed soon after that the area under my chin felt dry. Claravis side effect or placebo effect....who knows. All i know is that i couldn't sleep a wink last night after a took my pill - maybe it was my nerves. Anyone else have insomnia on this medication. Also, i am starting out on 40mg instead of the 60mg prescribed by my doc as i weigh significantly less (50lbs lighter) than what i weighed when i was on 60mg on my last go around on Sotret. No noticeable change to my skin tone, texture or acne. I'm getting whiteheads but i get them on a daily basis. Besides....it's only day #2.

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Hey! Just wanted to stop by and wish you good luck. I experienced insomnia the first 4 days, but honestly I think it's because I was so nervous/excited/had all these thoughts running through my head about accutane. Once that all wore off and the pill became a "part of my day", the insomnia was gone :) Good luck on your third course! Oh yeah quick question, did your acne change at all after your courses? What was your dosage and how long were you on it?

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Before i was 189lbs and was on 60mg for abut 5 months - my acne went into remission on both courses for up to 2 years - it came back milder each time (or maybe i was quick to go back on accutane so maybe it would halve gotten worse). Thanks for the info on insomnia - i already have enough trouble sleeping because of stress so i'm hopeful this is temporary. Good luck to you also.

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You were smart to not wait so long to go back on accutane. I wished I hadn't waited so long. I spent about a year and a half wasting my time, money and developing scars to try and get rid of it the natural way. I don't know why we believe we can get rid of a disease naturally, when people get other types of diseases they don't do that. I suppose it boils down to the simple fact that acne has a stigma and people don't take it seruously. I really wish that they would make it more known that it is a disease. Hang in there and good luck.

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Thanks Again! I have been checking out your blog and it's very interesting - especially since we're both repeat offenders...lol. I know what you mean about waiting though. I gave it 2 months and then said to me derm 'i'm scarring' and she quickly signed me up again, but then again i have a history with her so maybe that's why she was so liberal. People definitely look at acne as cosmetic and don't realize how emotional draining/scarring it can be. It's not like when you lose hair and can buy a wig - your face is always out there and makeup cannot always mask things.

How is your treatment progressing? What was your acne like before this third treatment? Did you do maintenance therapy after the first 2?

Good luck with your as well. We'll beat this!

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Ugh! You should check out my log and find my before pictures. I had hundreds of painful cysts all over my face and down my neck. I don't even know how I survived it all. It was so bad!!!!!!!! I just used perscription Retinol A. Then when it started coming back I used Spironolactone along with some topical antibiotics which obviously didn't work. I really don't want to go back on accutane, but after you see my before pictures you may see why I would.

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I saw the pics and you are beautiful! We all are! Acne just diminishes that and leads people to judge us on the outside rather than on the inside. No matter what, keep your head! We will get through this - trust me. How are you handling your breakouts? Do you wear makeup? I don't and have never worn it on the regular and that's been a true test for me. I have anxiety going out with my friends when my acne is bad and i have canceled many a social events whistling.gif(. I'm so ready to move past that point in my life - acne or not.

Day # 4

Do i dare say i may have started the initial outbreak. I have developed (overnight it seems) 3-4 bumps on my upper lip, a few whiteheads on my chin and around my mouth and some under the skin bumps in the usual hot spots:-(. My skin also looks dry and irritated but also oily (oxy moron anyone?). My lips are not any dryer neither is my face. How much worse can i expect it to get and how long can it last? What a great start to the weekend....thanks Claravis!

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Oh god yes! I so wear make-up! You saw my face. I honesty do not have enough self esteem to go out in public looking like that. In fact, it was even difficult to go out in public with make-up on. Make-up can only cover up and hide so much. You can't really hide huge cystic bumps too well. Kuddos for being brave enough to not wear any make-up. Not sure how you do it, but I'm impressed. Missing social events due to acne seems to be the theme around here, so your not alone.

As far as breakouts go, not too bad. Honestly, when your face is as bad as mine was, it's kinda hard to get it worse if you know what I mean. After I take tomorrow morning's pill, I will be starting my 4th month. Which means my breakouts are phasing out-slowly I might add. So their not too bad anymore.

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Congrats on progress....i can't wait to be further down the end of the line where progress hopefully awaits :-) Well honestly, i've never been a girly girl so i never enjoyed putting makeup on my face but i am considering it because my face does make me so uncomfortable. But it is great to have the support of this site and people like yourself. I know i feel so alone sometimes with my acne, especially living in NYC where external looks account for a lot. I am taking steps to work on my self confidence issues with or without acne.

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Yeah, I know what you mean. I would say that I am both a girlie girl and also a rough it and tough it girl. I enjoy wearing make-up when I want to, but I hate how I feel the need to wear it. I actually get really depressed every morning when I put my make-up on. I feel so stressed as if I won't be able to cover everything. It's pathetic! We all need to work on our self esteem I suppose.

My husband and I are heading to NY and also DC next Friday for 10 days! I've never been there and I'm quite excited.

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Well i'm sure you'll find a lot to do in both cities. If you need recommendations of things to do and places to eat, i have some great suggestions. I definitely feel you on the make up thing - you want to wear it because you want to, not because you have to. Things have a funny way of working out though so i'm positive things will work out with this treatment so keep your head up.

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Sweet! I would love some reccomendations for places to eat, especially cheap yummy ones since isn't that what NYC is known for!?! :)

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Day # 5

My face is feeling a wee bit dry but that could be due to me exfoliating. No peeling though so that's a good sign i suppose. My lips are dry but not unbearably so though i would like a recommendation for a lip balm that doesn't look like i went to town on some fried chicken teehee.gif. Also, i am interested in possibly buying makeup so any recommendations would be helpful (i am oily as a mutha but i know Claravis is gonna dry me out so....). Other than that, no noticeable side effects. I definitely am breaking out, especially in places that i don't usually break out in (my lip has 3-4 under the skin bumps that may or may not come up soon). My chin and mouth area is getting gross as usual as it rotates from clearing up to breaking out to clearing up to breaking out....well you get the picture. If you take the time to see my pics in my gallery (took them today), take into consideration that my acne at this moment is not at its worse (you should have seen me last Saturday with at least a dozen inflammed bumps and popped zits). Having been on accutane before, i know how bad it CAN get so i definitely want to head it off at the pass. Feel free to comment, share your experiences or/and ask questions.

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I use Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk and I love it. It covers, doesn't rub off and it doesn't look caked on-no matter how much I pile on. It's ridiculously expensive and it's way above my budget, but it helps me get out of the house to face the world-so totally worth it.

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Thanks Again! I am at a loss as to what shade to get. Did you just pick your shade due to trial and error? Makeup will last me a long time as i wouldn't wear it too often. Wish i had my own personal makeup shopper :-)

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Day # 6 - it's amazing how therapeutic blogging about this is! I really should be lesson planning for my kids and i will in an hour or so eusa_liar.gif . Just took my pills and overall i feel pretty good. No body pains, dry eyes, rashes or the like. I just feel itchy on my back (but then again i didn't lotion) and my scalp (could be because i'm waiting for my deep conditioner to get here/ i'm due to get my hair relaxed but have decided to just go natural instead and my scalp is like a crack addict going through withdrawl).

Face wise: I noticed today that i have a hard cyst like bump under my ear and it hurts to the touch but i'm not going to over think it. Breaking out more in the usual spots but nothing gasp worthyidea.gif . Face looked greasy on waking up this morning but doesn't feel as greasy as it usually does. I am getting a few dry patches though so i'll be monitoring that as time goes on. Still looking for a recommendation on lips balms for the day time (that moisturize and look non-greasy). Other than that, nothing new to report.

Happy Sunday everyone!teehee.gif

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Day # 7 - What a difference a day makes! My face looks/feels tight and dry and i don't have moisturizer with me - won't be making that mistake again tomorrow. No flaking/peeling per se but i'm trying not to move my face too much for fear of making my dryness more obvious ninja.gif . Acne wise, things are relatively the same - breaking out no more than usual. I have a whitehead below my lip and two on one side of my mouth but i will have self control and not pop cause i know it will spread like wild fire. On the oil front, even though my face is dry, it's greasy as a vat of fried fish (mmm mmm mmm). Not much i can do about it so i'm not stressing.

In other news, i'm trying to gain weight while trying to clear my face and i'm trying to do it as healthy as possible - it's so ironic though. For years i tried to lose weight and now that i finally have and then some, i'm struggling to gain a measly ten pounds (per my dr's suggestion). Anyone that has gained/maintained a healthy weight with healthy foods, please give a sistah some tips. I'm a pescatarian (fish eater) who is cutting out for the most part dairy, soy products and gluten (which is soooo hard).

Will keep you all posted

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