Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

rebec33

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

25 posts in this topic

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. wink.png 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?? smile.png

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! smile.png

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! smile.png

1 person likes this

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.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

before2.JPGbefore1.JPG

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...

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

1 person likes this

Keep meat lean, and juices green...


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

2011-11-17b.JPG2011-11-17a.JPG

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1 person likes this

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.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I absolutely took the chapped lips as a sign that it's working! smile.png

Beginning of pack 3 pics:

2011-11-29a.JPG

2011-11-29b.JPG

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pill 31 pics

2011-12-09a.JPG2011-12-09b.JPG

Chewing my lips off!!! But Carmex helps prevent that. Dry eyes continue.

I also developed this weird rash(?) on my hand:

hand-rash.JPG

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

2011-12-23a.JPG2011-12-23b.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

2012-01-03a.JPG2012-01-03b.JPG

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:

2012-01-16a.JPG2012-01-16b.JPG

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. smile.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pill 71 pics:

2012-01-28a.JPG2012-01-28b.JPG

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pill 81 pics

2012-02-06a.JPG2012-02-06b.JPG

Month FOUR breakout, sheesh

Pill 91 pics

2012-02-19a.JPG2012-02-19b.JPG

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!

2012-03-01a.JPG2012-03-01b.JPG

(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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

2012-03-23a.JPG2012-03-23b.JPG

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1 person likes this

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.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I've lost count on pill numbers... but these were taken April 15.

2012-04-15a.JPG2012-04-15b.JPG

(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:

2012-05-05a.JPG2012-05-05b.JPG

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

2012-05-24a.JPG2012-05-24b.JPG

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

2012-06-10a.jpg2012-06-10b.jpg2012-06-10c.jpg

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!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

2012-06-28a.jpg2012-06-28b.jpg

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bes tof luck with your course!

JB


AHOY me log

first course 2010

week 1/2- 20mg

week 3/4 -30mg

month 2 - 30mg

month 3 - 30mg

month 4 - 40mg

month 5 - 40mg

month 6 - 40mg

second course 2012

month 1 20mg

month 2 40mg

month 3 30mg with prednisone

month 4 30mg with prednisone

month 5 40mg with prednisone

Yaz - birth control tablet

Zinc - liquid supplement

Vitex agnus castus - tablet form

Chinese Blood Tonic - twice daily

We're not out of the woods yet little bear...


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's some pics taken August 9, two months after I finished taking isotretinoin.

2012-08-09a.JPG2012-08-09b.JPG

Still clear, and the scars are trying to fade...

Something odd happened though. On July 26, I put on some temporary hair dye. (I haven't dyed my own hair in ages; I've been going to a salon for the last several years.) When I rinsed it out, I noticed a rather disconcerting amount of hair coming out. I thought it was just a reaction to the dye or the deep conditioner that came with it. Since then, when I comb my hair out after a shower, hair has been falling out, not at an alarming rate, but noticeably more than "usual." Today, I got a haircut, and even the girl who does my hair commented that a lot was coming out while she was combing it after shampooing, and she noted that it was "root-to-end" pieces falling out, not just breaking off in the middle. So of course I googled, and found that this is common in people post-Accutane. Sigh! I'm going to shoot my dermatologist a note, just to make her aware. The girl who does my hair suggested I start taking prenatal vitamins with biotin -- I don't take any vitamins right now (I know, it's bad, but I eat tons of fruit and veg so I haven't been too concerned).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, how many months were you on Accutane and at what dose? When you stopped coming buds? And let me Accutane serious purple spots and pigmentation: (


Never give up ;)


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WELL HELLO! See, I said I'd post again.. eventually. Lol. These pictures were taken February 22.

2013-02-22.JPG2013-02-22a.JPG2013-02-22b.JPG

Can't really tell if there's been much fading of the scars, since I look at myself every day and the lighting in this picture is way different than the pictures before it. But hey! I can say, that a few tiny pimples have come up over the past few months, but they all go away within a couple days and they just seem different than before I took isotretinoin.

Also, the hair loss has improved a lot. Several months ago I started taking a 1,000 mcg supplement of biotin a few times a week. I still don't know if it was from the isotretinoin, or from that hair dye, but I'm leaning toward the hair dye. That would just be too coincidental for it to start falling out at the same time I used that dye.

I actually cancelled my last dermatologist appointment, because there was nothing new to report and I didn't want to take time off from my new job at which I am hourly, not salary. So I don't intend to go back unless I see a need...

Aaaaand that's all she wrote. Toodles!

Hello, how many months were you on Accutane and at what dose? When you stopped coming buds? And let me Accutane serious purple spots and pigmentation: (

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites