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"everything Is Vanity..." 28 Yr Old Wf

claravis depression

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#1 rebec33

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:11 AM

Hi! I'm a 28 year old white female and I took my first Claravis capsule (40mg/day) last night.

I've been battling moderate acne since age 12. I've tried various antibiotics, cryogenic treatments, prescription topicals, and just about every over-the-counter remedy available except that Pro-Activ (seems too good - and cheap - to be true). This summer my wonderful husband, who finds me beautiful regardless, gently urged me to finally get on Accutane. He took it when he was 16 and has been clear ever since. I also have a girlfriend my age who took it just last year.

The reasons I didn't take it sooner are 1) I wanted to give my skin a chance to "grow out of it"; 2) fear of side effects; and 3) fear of being vain. To elaborate...

1) Yeah, so much for that idea! lol

2) The forthcoming dry skin and chapped lips I can deal with... the potential side effect that I fear is depression. I was clinically depressed from age 14-17, until...

3) I became a Christian at age 17. To quote a preacher I listen to on the radio who put it very well: "I didn't come to Christ by intellectual deduction. I came to Him by grace, through faith. A miraculous transformation of my spirit took place." As such, I was lifted out of depression and became a fairly well-adjusted member of society. Posted Image Meanwhile, I hesitated to pray for healing of acne (although I did pray and was miraculously healed of chronic UTIs in 2006), because I feel like it's just an issue of vanity. I want to look pretty. But it is a little deeper than that.. I don't want to be ashamed of my face when talking to people - friends or strangers. And I don't want my husband to see me as anything but beautiful; I strive to be a joy to him.

So, here we are - at the "last resort." (Well, almost. I did order this "skin detox" tea online from an herbalist lol. But by the time it came in the mail, I was just a few days from starting Accutane. I didn't want to do anything that could interfere with it, so I gave the tea away. But I wish I'd gotten to try it first!) And I'm trusting God to keep me uplifted and protected from depression, and to make the medicine do what it's supposed to do – and my prayer is that it will work FASTER and in a shorter amount of time than it's supposed to! How about three months, instead of 4-5?? Posted Image

I took a "day 1" photo last night, will post it later when I get it off my camera. I plan to take a photo every 10 days (each time I start a new pack of Claravis).

Edited by rebec33, 03 November 2011 - 10:13 AM.


#2 tracy521

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 12:54 PM

hey just wanted to say good luck to you!! keep us updated and i just know you are going to clear up very well on accutane. my hubby took it when he was around 17 and he has been clear ever since and he is now 37!

#3 PaulH85

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 01:09 PM

Hi! Posted Image
Fingers crossed for you, here's hoping it gives you the skin you want.
I can understand the fears about depression, I suppose you have the advantage of having experienced depression and are perhaps more in tune with your body and feelings as a result. And certainly, you can preempt it and try and remain as positive as you can throughout the course, even if it is a bit of a rough journey and your skin maybe gets worse before it finally gets better. Be patient with it because these things take time. Even if it's not easy, remember that it is actually a positive step and that you're taking the best course of action for you in order to achieve your goal. Good luck! Posted Image

Edited by PaulH85, 03 November 2011 - 01:11 PM.

Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

 

You look like a guy I banged once.


#4 rebec33

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 11:09 PM

OK so here's "before"... right after I took the first pill. No makeup :gulp:

Posted ImagePosted Image

The majority of that is scarring/discoloration from previous acne, I only had about 5 "active" pimples at the time.
I made the executive decision to "taper up" my dosage so it'll take me about 16 days to get through the first 10-pack of pills. Will post again when I start the next 10-pack...

#5 captainsunshine

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 01:23 AM

All the best. Just remember to verbalise any feelings of depression you may have, and warn your husband of any 'down days'. My undoing whilst on Accutane, was to not connect my depressive thoughts and feelings with the drug. I dropped out of my college studies 3/4 of the way through, because I felt the whole world was on my shoulders, whereas looking back it was only the period on the drug I was that low.

Edited by captainsunshine, 11 November 2011 - 01:24 AM.

Keep meat lean, and juices green...

#6 rebec33

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 06:22 PM

11th pill photos (holding back my Bettie Page bangs, heh)

Posted ImagePosted Image

no improvement yet of course, but my lips are starting to get chapped as heck! lol. next pics will be at 21st pill.

Edited by rebec33, 19 November 2011 - 06:23 PM.


#7 PaulH85

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:01 PM

The problem looks kind of contained to the left side of your face. That's improved though I reckon, and the right side side certainly looks better. Plus, the rest of your face is looking pretty good anyway. Might as well put a positive spin on things and look at the chapped lips as a happy occurence; means the Accutane is starting to work! :D

Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

 

You look like a guy I banged once.


#8 rebec33

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:50 PM

Yes, I absolutely took the chapped lips as a sign that it's working! Posted Image

Beginning of pack 3 pics:

Posted Image

Posted Image

During pack 2 my eyes starting feeling dry-ish, but not bothersome; uber chapped lips and flaky chin continues...

#9 rebec33

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:48 PM

Pill 31 pics
Posted Image Posted Image

Chewing my lips off!!! But Carmex helps prevent that. Dry eyes continue.
I also developed this weird rash(?) on my hand:
Posted Image
It feels like tiny scabs - at first I thought I had just scraped my hand on something. It began appearing the day after Thanksgiving, and has since spread to both hands. I emailed this picture to my dermatologist, but she wasn't concerned. She said to try an antihistamine and if it didn't clear up, it must be from the isotretinoin. It's not itchy or bothersome, just weird.

Side note I meant to mention before - my 30-days-before blood test showed high "absolute lymphocytes" which my nurse brother-in-law said is just sign of an infection. Had another blood test 30-days-in, and they were still high, and my white blood cell count was also up enough to be called high. Hmmm.

#10 rebec33

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 12:30 AM

Pill 41 pics. I did randomly develop like 4 tiny pimples on my cheeks overnight this week, but they went away after just a couple days. Weird. Dry lips and eyes continue, and the weird rash on my hands has pretty much gone away. I go to the dermatologist on Thursday. Hooray!
Posted Image Posted Image

#11 rebec33

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:35 PM

I tried to post these a couple weeks ago but the forums were down! Pill 51 pics:
Posted Image Posted Image


And then I had my first iPledge snag... The stupid lab where I've gotten my bloodwork done the past THREE times, suddenly decided they weren't going to fax my results to my doctor as usual, but were going to MAIL THEM. lolz. So my results weren't received in time, prescription expired, had to go back and take another pregnancy test and wait for those results. Moral of the story is, TELL THE LAB EVERY TIME that these tests are for iPledge and MUST MUST MUST be FAXED to your doctor within six calendar days. Or else. (Or else my husband was going to go up there and yell at them, which I threatened them with in a mean fax, since they weren't returning my voicemails. Funsies!) So I was off the meds for a week. No worries. Pill 61 pics:
Posted Image Posted Image


Yeah... Month 2 Breakout in full effect...

One plus about the drastically reduced oil production - I've only needed to wash my hair every 3-4 days instead of every other day. Take a bath in between instead of a whole shower. Maybe our water bill will go down. Posted Image

Edited by rebec33, 21 January 2012 - 02:37 PM.


#12 rebec33

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:16 PM

Pill 71 pics:
Posted Image Posted Image

Month three breakoutttttt :o
I saw my dermatologist at pill 88, she wanted to up my prescription to 60mg/day. But that would mean two 30mg pills daily, and would cost over $500 for 30 days' worth on my "insurance". So we're sticking to the 40mg/day for month four... (it's only $262! :P)

The weird rash on my hands came back with a vengeance for like a week, but it's cleared again. Silly!

Pill 81 pics are still on camera! Will post eventually, heh

#13 rebec33

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 03:14 PM

Pill 81 pics
Posted Image Posted Image
Month FOUR breakout, sheesh

Pill 91 pics
Posted Image Posted Image
Slight improvement?

In other news, chapped lips have worsened, and I keep subconsciously picking at them, causing them to crack and bleed whenever I open my mouth wide, and now I have to put Neosporin on the corners of my mouth before bed to try and heal the damage. Also, makes eating tall sandwiches and large bananas difficult! Heh

Pill 101!
Posted Image Posted Image
(Too much flash in the second one, sorry) My chin seems to have cleared. Right now I've really just got the tail end of three pimpled on my left cheek, as you'll see in Pill 111 pics that I'll take later tonight. I go to the dermatologist on Thursday, no doubt in my mind that she'll want me to keep on for another month at least. She initially said 4-5 months, I wonder if they ever go for 6?

#14 rebec33

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:54 PM

Pill 121 pics! (Because I accidentally deleted the pill 111 pics off my camera)
Posted Image Posted Image

Obviously we are going for six months, at least. In fact, I went to the dematologist this past Thursday and my dose is upped to 60mg. I'll post a longer update when I get more recent pics off my camera. These are from March 23. Long story but I don't have a way to get pics off of my caemra at present. But I think later this weekend that will be rectified!

#15 PaulH85

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:59 AM

Looks like things are going well. Good to see! :)

Thoughts become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become character
Character becomes destiny
It is time to change my destiny

 

You look like a guy I banged once.


#16 WalkTall

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 12:47 PM

Your skin looks a lot better with each picture
So you must be doing something right!

Glad something is working for you
From the pictures it seems to only affect your cheeks


#17 rebec33

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:44 PM

So, I've lost count on pill numbers... but these were taken April 15.
Posted Image Posted Image
(I had just put on my morning lotion (Neutrogena oil-free moisturizer with sunscreen), that's why I'm so shiny!)

These are from May 5:
Posted Image Posted Image
Had some stuff going on on my cheekbones that week.

So yes, at my April 19 appointment, I saw a different dermatologist because mine was out of town. She said I should be making more progress at this point (five months) and upped my dose from 40mg/day to 60mg/day. Now, since on my "insurance" 30 of the 40mg pills is $262, I checked to see how much 2 x 30mg pills would be. $586. PASS. So I attempted to fill a prescription for 45 of the 40mg pills, and would just take 1 one day, 2 the next, 1 the next, and so on. Well, the pills come in blister packs of 10, then packed 3 per box. I thought maybe my dermatologist knew this? Nonetheless, the pharmacy had to call and get her to change the quantity to 60 so they could fill it. And all this minutes before closing time on the last day I could get the RX before having to take another pregnancy test. Gads... that makes four iPledge SNAFUs I believe...

Since upping the dose, I don't think I ahve any new pimples, so that's good. I'm just about fed up with the chapped lips though. I've been putting straight up Vaseline on them three or four times a day, and I still subconsciously nibble at them all day long. My jaw is sore from nibbling.. I have to consciously make myself stop!! Terrible. Otherwise, just generally ashy on my arms and starting to get pretty flaky on the end of my nose, despite my morning and evening moisturizers. Oh, they also gave me a sample tube of a general skin ointment called Protopic. I've been putting it around the edge of my lips when they bleed from chapped-ness. :(

My next appointment is May 24, at which point I guess they'll decide if I need to go another month at 60mg/day (or technically 40 days since I'd have to get 60 pills). I'm praying that I can be done after the pills I have run out... and I pray that this wasn't all for naught, simply because it was so dang expensive. If I break out again after I'm off this medicine, I'm pretty sure I'll cry. :/ We shall see!!!!!! The Lord is my protector, my shield... I have hopeful trust in His ability to heal!

Oh yeah, side note -- my dear mother-in-law gave me a very thoughtful gift, one of those Clarisonic Mia things. Before trying it, I asked my dermatologist what she thought of them. She said my skin is too active right now to use it, but even if it wasn't, she's not a big fan of at-home cleansing devices like that. She thinks they're hyped up. She said a few months after Accutane, I could get some sort of treatment in her office to lighten the discoloration and smooth the scars... but my cousin owns a medical spa up in Oklahoma City and she said she'd give me the family discount on skin treatments. And permanent eyeliner. :D

#18 rebec33

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:46 AM

Pics taken May 24, the morning of dermatologist appointment where my fate would be decided...
Posted Image Posted Image

I actually haven't had any new pimples in about 3 weeks?! (Well, I have a tiny one on the edge of my lip but I think it's just from all the Vaseline I've been slathering on lol)
Dermatologist wanted me to go another month... but I said noooo. At the time of my appointment I still had two weeks' worth of pills. By the time all is said and done, I'll have been on this medicine for seven months and three days, with just a handful of days missed here and there. And I feel like it's done its thing. (And I really don't want to drop another $550!) I wish I'd gone up to 60mg/day three cycles ago, this could have been done sooner... oh well! Next dermatologist appointment is June 28, and I'll have been off the meds for over three weeks by then. So we'll see how goes it.

#19 rebec33

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:10 PM

These pics were taken June 10, the morning after I took my last pill!!
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

I guess it worked... I haven't had a real pimple in about a month, we'll see if any come back once the medicine leaves my system. I'm still scarred so it's definitely not the end of the battle, but I look forward to the redness fading over the next few months, as my dermatologist promised! I also bought new makeup - a trial kit of that Bare Minerals. I think I like it but I need to get a different shade.
I'll continue to post pics on here!! :)

#20 rebec33

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:09 PM

Pics taken June 28, the morning of my LAST obligatory follow up appointment!
Posted Image Posted Image

Still no pimples. Believe me, I still wake up every morning expecting to see one! I'd say the side effects are 98% gone. My lips still feel slightly chapped around the edges on occasion but NOTHING like before. Sheesh. That was the worst part.
Dermatologist said I should use a topical medicine with retinoid like Differin to help the scarring fade. I have like half a tube of Epiduo left, she said that's fine for now. My next appointment isn't for six months!
I also asked about what to wash my face with to remove makeup now. I don't know any other world besides acne-fighting cleansers! I think I single-handedly supported Noxzema from age 12-14. I've been using Neutrogena Naturals cleanser for the past couple years. It removes my liquid eyeliner pretty well but is fairly drying, I usually put on Neutrogena Light Night Cream afterward. My mom sells Avon, I'm going to see if she has any samples of a good makeup removing cream that you just rinse off.
I'll take more pics in 2-3 weeks, it'll be interesting to see how quickly/slowly the scars fade, and to what extent.