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My Journey Begins - Approved For Accutane (W/pics)

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#1 depressingface

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 08:51 PM

I been suffering from acne (facial and body) since middle school. I received some prescription medicine while a teenager but nothing really worked for me. So I stopped using it and dealt with it.

Over the next few years while in high school and college I used only over the counter treatments. I tried salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur and mud soap, Proactiv, fish oil pills, changing my diet, everything! Nothing would work and I always had a face full of acne Finally I got tired of it. Friends and even family would comment on how bad my acne was. I was so embarrassed so it kept me in the house a lot.

At age 22 I couldn't take it anymore so I went back to the dermatologist. Below are pics of my acne prior to receiving any prescription medicine from my dermatologist.

pics 243.jpg pics 261.jpg pics 276.jpg

After my first visit with the dermatologist, she placed me on Retin A Micro and Minocycline. It did help some but I still had terrible acne. After 4 months with little to very minimal improvement my dermatologist wanted to try Differin Gel and of course no luck.

My dermatologist finally told me about Tazorac in late 2007. She started me on the lower dosage. Within three months I had seen major improvements but I still had moderate acne with extreme oiliness. At that time she boosted me up to the the highest dose possible on Tazorac. By the end of 2008 my face was decently clear. Don't get me wrong I still had a pimples here and there but my face was nothing like before. The pimples I did receive went away quicker. My face remained very oily but I would just blot it.

During the year of 2010 I maintained my "clear" skin with Tazorac at night and Benzaclin in the morning. I had occasional pimples but in general I was happy. Well except for my extreme oiliness.

Well in early 2011 I started noticing my acne was getting a little worst. My facial routine had not changed, I wasn't stressed, and had no other reasons to explain the sudden increase in pimples. So in April 2011 I went back to the dermatologist. She said that there was not any other facial medicine I could use that was stronger then the Tazorac I was on. She stated that she would be willing to put me on accutane. I knew about accutance and at this time wasn't ready to go with it because of the side effects. She instead said well stay on Tazorac at night, we will switch you to Aczone in the morning and I'll give you two months of Doxycyline. She also gave me clindamycin for my body acne.

So I went home and continued my routine with the added doxycyline and now aczone (instead of the benzaclin) hoping that my skin would return to how things were in 2010. After taking this course of action I saw no improvement and my acne remains. I had no improvements with my body acne after using the clindamycin for about 4 months. I continued dealing with the pimples that would pop up. I was now having 3 to 7 pimples on my face at any given time. Of course not all were huge but they were noticeable. The worst part is I work in a office environment with 8 other adults around my age. I am the only one who suffers from acne Posted Image.

Now keep in mind I have been dealing with acne since I was a teenager. I am now 26 years old and my battle continues. So after much thought and research I decided to go back to the dermatologist and let her know I was ready for accutane.

Well that visit was today. She gave me the go head on accutane. I received my I Pledge booklet today. I also had my first pregnancy test and blood work done. As long as all is well with that then I should be taking my first pill of accutane by mid December. I'm not sure of the dosage or anything yet. I will get that information once I return for my second pregnancy test.

I am excited. My dermatologist believes that my skin will clear up with just one 6 month round. She also told me it will help shrink my pore size and help end my oiliness problem. She also says that it will clear up my body acne. I am anxious though because I am dreading that initial breakout. Hopefully its not bad. But Honestly I am tired of my acne and the havoc it causes in my life and now I'm willing to deal with the side effects for a clear face.

Below are pictures I took today. I know a lot of you will look at them and say that i don't need accutane. My face is fairly clear right now with three lingering pimples. But don't let it fool you. Just last week I had 4 huge pimpled on my lower cheek. My face remains extremly oily. I have moderate back acne and mild chest acne (sorry no pics of this). I want to take this step and hope all goes well. I will keep a log and update with pics as I start my accutane journey.

2011-11-15 20.25.55.jpg 2011-11-15 20.24.41.jpg 2011-11-15 20.24.29.jpg

Edited by depressingface, 15 November 2011 - 08:59 PM.


#2 Conde de Montecristo

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 06:50 AM

You're right. I am 31, have used roaccutane twice and Im a pretty much clear, as your photo, however I was getting pimple once in a while, lots of blackheads on nose and oily face. Now I am doing a maintenance dose of 20mg daily. I am at day 5.

What dose did your doctor prescribe for you?

#3 maria411

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 08:47 AM

Today is my last day of my Accutane treatment I am 33 and this is my 3rd course over 14 years. It does work and will keep you clear for at least a couple of years maybe forever. I understand your skin may look reasonably clear but there are many spots under the skin. I wish you good luck with your Tane treatment. You can check out my blog to see what the last five months were like for me.

#4 depressingface

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for the support. Being adult with acne is the worst. Like I said my face is still extremely oily. Also as mentioned above I do have many spots underneath the skin. Well I am excited to start Accutance. I hope it will clear my skin as well. I am not sure what dose my derm is giving me. She will tell me when I go for my next pregnancy test. Anyways I will definitely keep updating on my progress. :)

#5 gems2889

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 05:35 PM

hey I am going to keep track of ur log see how everything goes for you good luck :)

#6 depressingface

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:17 PM

Well My dermatologist called today and said my first round of test results looked good. I need one more pregnancy before I can actually begin accutane. I will go get my blood work on December 17, 2011. I have my dermatologist appointment on December 20, 2011 and I will get prescribed accutance on that day! YAY I am so excited. I can't wait! @Gemms2889 I will continue to update with periodic pics.

#7 depressingface

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 07:55 PM

It's official! I popped my first pill of Accutane (Clavaris) today. My derm decided to start me off at 20mg, 1 pill a day. Well let's see how this goes. I kind of don't expect to see any big changes since I am on such a low dose. My derm said she will bump me up to a higher dose next month.

#8 blahdeeblah

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:05 PM

Congrats!! Your skin does look great now- hopefully that means you'll avoid the dreaded initial breakout :) keep us posted!!

#9 Jamie Ann

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Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:54 PM

Good luck! :)

#10 depressingface

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:03 PM

Day 3: Just took my third pill. I know it's early but I have not seen any changes in my skin. I did notice that my eyes feel dry. It bother's me at times since I do wear contacts. Do you all think 20mg a day is too little? This is my first time on accutane.

#11 depressingface

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 04:54 PM

Day 6: No changes that I have noticed. I started a new pair of contacts. The eye dryness I guess was because my contacts were old. Since I started this pair all has been normal. Have not had an initial break out, YET. My skin remains oily. No muscle ache or joint pain. I guess its too soon to see any side effects. Oh well. Life on Claravis continues.

Edited by depressingface, 25 December 2011 - 04:54 PM.


#12 depressingface

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:39 PM

Day 9: Well my skin has become slightly dry, my lips are a little sensitive but no cracking, yet. My derm told me it was okay to continue with Tazorac until about 14 days in since it takes about that long to really get into your system. I'm not going to use it anymore. My skin is decently clear with about 3 actives along my jawline. I have a medium hard pimple on my upper nose bridge. Back and chest acne remains mild. Well that's it for now.

#13 depressingface

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 11:38 AM

Day 13: Well I really have not had crazy side effects yet. My lips have gotten somewhat drier then normal but it's not a big deal. My lips are not cracking or peeling. I use a little lip balm and I'm good. The skin on my face was the only other place that I have noticed has begun to get a little drier. But I am moisturizing so that really alleviates that issue. Also cutting out the Tazorac has cut back on my facial dryness.

I have started going to the gym and working out. I want to loose about 20lbs. I currently weigh 170lbs but I want to weigh about 150lbs. So for the most part things have been going well. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I take one 20 mg pill a day and I do weight 170lbs. With all my working out I expected to experience joint pain but I haven't. Just the normal soreness one experiences from a workout session.

My face is actually pretty clear. I have about about 4 actives along the jawline but you can't really see them. The hard pimple on my nose bridge is still there. You can't really notice it but it is the largest on my face. It doesn't have a head or nothing where I can see pus. It hasn't gotten better or worst. My actives tend to be small. Not like the pimples I use to get before tazorac. My back and chest acne remain the same. I'm hoping I don't get an IB but I probably will. So not looking forward to it.

#14 MerryMA

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 12:40 PM

Good Luck! Just signed up for acne.org and am scheduled to get my first perscription for Accutane January 4th.

#15 darling_

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 06:32 PM

Good luck! I'm 22 as well and had enough of acne as well, just had my first derm appointment today and he suggested Accutane. Going to get bloodwork / BCP done this week and return for a second doctor's appointment next week -- lucky you've gotten everything sorted out already, hopefully by summer we'll both be acne-free with glowing skin! I'll come back and check out your log :D

#16 isisrising

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:35 PM

Hello depressingface....
Your log reads like my life the past few years... exactly. I am only about 3 days behind you on accutane so I will be following your log. Good luck!

#17 depressingface

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:17 PM

Actually I am 26 right now. Good luck at MaryMa. Darling goodluck I hope we both are good to go summer. I'm pretty excited. Do you have a log isisrising? How is your experience on accutance thus far and what dose are you taking?

Day 16: Yesterday I was outside all day. It was terribly windy and the temperature was about 24 degrees. Needless to say my lips slightly cracked. I slathered on Aquaphor and it helped bigtime. They were raw but the Aquaphor really helped. Today my lips are fine. Don't get me wrong they are slightly dry but they look so much better then yesterday.

I also noticed a few little pimples popping up. They are nothing huge. They go away within a day. I hope this is the worst I get for the IB. Acne on chest and back remains mild.

#18 depressingface

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 04:41 PM

Day 19: I just realized my face isn't as oily as it was before accutane. I was using about 3 blotting sheets a day. I am now down to using only one, if that. I have small pimples here and there long the jawline. The hard pimple on my nose bridge remains even though it has shrunk some.

My nose feels like sand paper though. Before it was smooth. Could this be all the bad stuff getting pushed out?

At this point I am pretty happy with accutane. Haven't had bad side effects. I do get dry skin but I find that as long as I slather on the lotion I do well. I have note had any skin peeling. No muscle aches or joint pains. Im pretty happy to say the least. I hope it stays this way.

#19 isisrising

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:06 AM

Hello depressingface!
Sorry I have not replied sooner. I had a huge function at work last week and spent the weekend disconnected from anything electronic! I weigh 110 lbs and I am currently on 30 mg/day (10 in the morning, and 20 at night). Today marks day 18 and the time is going by relatively quickly. I am having the "initial" breakout everyone seems to be talking about. My two active cysts from last week are healing up nicely but four others popped up in the meantime. While I am mildly frustrated, I know that this is the storm before the calm. My skin has become less oily which is great since I'm used to blotting at least 10 times/day! I do have a log but I'm not sure how to link to it. Side effects are mild - chapped lips, dry eyes, mild irritability. It sounds like we are having similar experiences. Keep your head up girl!

#20 depressingface

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:19 PM

Day 21: I really looked at my skin today. It looks like a lot of the gunk in my pores is trying to come out. I know I shouldn't of done this but I tried to help the gunk out. Now my cheeks are slighty red from the pressure and they did slightly swell. I'm sure the redness and swelling will go down. My lips are still dry but as long as I use aquaphor I have no issues. At least they are not cracked. Pics from Day 21 are below.

Day 21A

Day 21F

Day 21C

Day 21B


IsIsRising is your log on here (acne.org)? I also noticed that the pimples I do get go away quicker which is great. Seems like our experience has been similiar. I am just happy my oily face is almost non-existent.