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#1 Summer5150

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:46 AM

I am 23 days into my Accutane journey. I turn 40 in November. My wish for myself is that by my 40th birthday, I am enjoying my life without the daily stress I feel about my skin now. 20-30 minutes to cover-up the red marks on my face before leaving the house. The fear of products, food, certain light. I want to feel like my life doesn't revolve around the status of my skin. I want to feel free and confident, without makeup. Accepting myself and loving myself. Granted, a lot of this has less to do with Accutane and more to do with my mental state. A work-in-progress.

Here is what I notice so far:
  • My lips are dry but manageable with Aquaphor
  • My face is dry (was an oil slick before, so okay with this) but moisturizer is helping--still haven't found my perfect one
  • My scalp is itchy and dry and I have dandruff (new one for me)--need to find a good remedy for this
  • My nose blackheads seem to be inching their way out and my nose feels very rough
  • Breakouts are emerging (no more than usual though) but they seem to go away A LOT quicker than before
  • No new cysts have appeared (and that was my acne type), just "regular" pimples, papules, which for me, feels like a vast improvement. After years of weird, hard, large and painful bumps (in lovely clusters) under my skin around chin, neck, jawline, that would stay around for months, regular pimples are almost welcome, if that makes sense.
  • I am super, super tired. Less sharp in my head. Less motivated.
  • I feel bloated 100% of the time, whether I can go to the bathroom or not. Bowels are not active enough despite a healthy diet and exercise and tons of water
I am trying to keep myself from reading the negative Accutane experiences and I even have to be careful about reading too much of the good stuff, only because I obsess and I do believe what you focus on manifests.

I am on only 20mg this first month and the derm wants to increase me to 40mg next time (Mon, 7/9) but I am really hesitant to jump ahead. Everything I am experiencing right now feels manageable and I am afraid if any of the above were to drastically increase, I might really struggle with my compliance. It's a balance I guess.

I am not sure I have the best products for this journey and yet also feel that fear I always have with trying new things. Trying to decide if I should just maintain the best I can without any change. Considering adding Neosporin to my routine to try to heal actives, instead of the more drying attempts I make now (sulphur & mud masks).

Struggling with my need to wear some type of makeup for my confidence level at work (I'm the oldest one there and the only one with bad skin!). I don't wear all over foundation, but I spend a lot of time trying to cover up my red marks or actives. I know our skin needs to breathe but....

Trying to keep my eye on the prize and understand this is not a quick fix, but a journey and no one said the journey would be easy.

I appreciate everyone who posts about their experience and encourages others to hang in there. I am trying to do just that. Have to say though, there are not many in my life who want to hear about this so I am grateful there is a place I can come for support.

7/14/12:
I realize I neglected to relate all of the things I had tried previous to trying Accutane. It is important for me to know where I was at before I finally took this step.
  • Antibiotics, including Bactrim
  • OTC - you name it, drug store, Sephora, Ulta, all the popular kits, a ton of products, masks, spot treatments, washes, zeno
  • Birth control
  • Facials - high end, including light therapy and exfoliation
  • Scripts - Retin A, Tazorac, Benzaclin, Clindamycin, custom blend of all with Benzo, Aczone, Cortizone shots
  • Cleanses, detox, supplements, vitamins, homeopathy, naturopath, acupuncture, chiropractic, prayer, meditation, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, tea tree, apple cider vinager, mud masks, aloe, gentle skin care...........
  • 15-16 years ago, tried an unsuccessful course of Accutane that left me with awful keloid scars
  • I'm sure I am forgetting things. 15+ years of trial after trial after trial and 4 different derms

Edited by Summer5150, 14 July 2012 - 10:26 AM.

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#2 heather135

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 07:32 AM

Hey there, just read your log and felt that I really related to it in ways. I'm nearly 23 and just finished college, I was the second oldest in my class and the only one with acne apart from a 17 year old boy. It was so embarrassing going into class when I had broken out, sometimes I wouldny even go in it was that bad. I experience the horrible cystic acne too. All my life the buggers just keep coming back and swelling up on my face. They never come to a head and are literally like big painful bubbles on my face for months. They get quite comfortable there don't they! So I finally started Accutane five days ago, so glad I did because I honestly think I would be suffering these cysts for a long long time if I didn't get something done.

Anyway, I'm sure you will have lovely skin by your birthday, my birthday is November also and I would quite like to go on a mini holiday and be able to walk about the beach without the stressful feeling of your makeup melting on your face.

Thought I would mention the foundation I have recently started wearing, estee lauder double wear. I find its the best foundation I've used in terms of covering any redness. It also feels quite moisturizing too and is oil free, very light on the skin too so my skin feels like it can still breathe. A wee dab of powder on top too get rid of any shine helps aswel.

Anyway, good luck and if you ever need to talk or some support then please give me a shout :) x

Here's to accutane making me a happier person!


Month 1: 30mg

Month 2: 70mg

Month 3: 70mg

Month 4: 70mg


<3


Moisturisers - E45 Cream & Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream

Lips - Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm (amazing!)

Wash - Pampers Baby Wipes


#3 Summer5150

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 07:41 AM

Thanks, Heather! Good luck to you too. Looks like we both have November goals to look forward to. I certainly relate to the painful bubbles and here's to their banishment for good!! Thank you for the makeup tip. I appreciate the support very much. If I can do the same, please let me know. :)

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#4 Summer5150

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 08:16 AM

Day 24.

I took some pictures and then tried to objectively compare them to some before pics I took and I do see improvements. Will be brave enough someday to post the before, progress and after. Changes I began after some advice on here: stop overwashing and overtreating my face. My face does seem happier about that. I also skipped a day washing my hair and only took one shower and my skin and scalp are less itchy and irritated for it. I actually did my grocery shopping and errands without any coverup on my red spots yesterday. And survived. Feeling hopeful.

Except :(
My belly. OMG. Seriously, this is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world. Things are not moving. I don't even want to eat because everything hurts. Flooding my body with water and fruits and veggies is doing nothing to help. Fiber, nope. Colace, nope. I had a nightmare last night the derm stopped my treatment because of this alone.

Have decided I am definitely not going to go along with an increase in my dose on the 9th, assuming she agrees we should continue.

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#5 acnegirl2712

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 09:46 AM

Hello!
I just read through your log and I wanted to say congratulations on embarking on this journey to clear skin! I am in the same boat as you. For me 20 mg has been pretty good. I would definitely would not want to go higher because I am really scared of the side-effects. If your scalp is really dry/itchy, what I use is coconut oil on my hair. I leave it in for at least an hour and wash it out. It helps soothe my scalp. As for the face, it is best not to do anything! I am just using cetaphil face wash/moisturizer and it's great!

I've had issues with my stomach as well in terms of "moving things out" lol. I've noticed that eating a lot of figs and bananas do the trick. I gulp down lotsa water with it. Also working out helps as well.

Good luck and keep us updated!

Edited by acnegirl2712, 01 July 2012 - 09:52 AM.


#6 heather135

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 12:03 PM

Day 24.

I took some pictures and then tried to objectively compare them to some before pics I took and I do see improvements. Will be brave enough someday to post the before, progress and after. Changes I began after some advice on here: stop overwashing and overtreating my face. My face does seem happier about that. I also skipped a day washing my hair and only took one shower and my skin and scalp are less itchy and irritated for it. I actually did my grocery shopping and errands without any coverup on my red spots yesterday. And survived. Feeling hopeful.

Except Posted Image
My belly. OMG. Seriously, this is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world. Things are not moving. I don't even want to eat because everything hurts. Flooding my body with water and fruits and veggies is doing nothing to help. Fiber, nope. Colace, nope. I had a nightmare last night the derm stopped my treatment because of this alone.

Have decided I am definitely not going to go along with an increase in my dose on the 9th, assuming she agrees we should continue.


That's great you are noticing positive changes in your skin, so happy for you :) I'm the same with the photo thing, I can't even bring myself to take a photo in the first place lol, I'll be kicking myself for it once I've finished my course and want to show the before and after :P

Sorry about your stomach problems. I haven't experienced any tummy problems yet but I've been taking a triple strength acai berry capsual every night with my dinner (get them from Holland and Barret) and these are helpful for getting things moving so perhaps you could give them a try if all else fails :)

Here's to accutane making me a happier person!


Month 1: 30mg

Month 2: 70mg

Month 3: 70mg

Month 4: 70mg


<3


Moisturisers - E45 Cream & Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream

Lips - Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm (amazing!)

Wash - Pampers Baby Wipes


#7 Summer5150

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:07 PM

I'll try both your tips, thank you Heather & AcneGirl. :)

And yes, take a risk and take a photo. I'm banking on it being worth it in the end for comparison! Even if you don't share with anyone, just for yourself.

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#8 Summer5150

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 03:54 PM

Day 26.

Two days of headaches. (Telling myself it is not related). Trying to relax. Skin is okay. Mind over matter.

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#9 heather135

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 04:46 PM

Day 26.

Two days of headaches. (Telling myself it is not related). Trying to relax. Skin is okay. Mind over matter.


I had a headache yesterday aswel, but accutane dehydrates you. Drank some water and had a bit of fruit and it went away in no time. Nothing to worry about :)

Here's to accutane making me a happier person!


Month 1: 30mg

Month 2: 70mg

Month 3: 70mg

Month 4: 70mg


<3


Moisturisers - E45 Cream & Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream

Lips - Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm (amazing!)

Wash - Pampers Baby Wipes


#10 Summer5150

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 05:18 AM

Day 28.

Have almost made it through my first month. Appt. with derm is Monday. I solved my timing issue of being short 3 pills before next appt. by spreading out the days I'd miss (2 days on, miss 1 day), so that I wouldn't miss three days in a row.

Headache resolved. Water helps! (Thanks, Heather!)

Intestinal issues continue, will need to address at appt.

Skin is looking pretty good! (I don't think I've used those words about myself in about 15 years!!!). Although a bit red, it really just looks like I got too much sun. Things are healing. My old marks are red and I am trying to worry less about them. Another venture in public without makeup. Surreal. :)

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#11 bodyandsoul

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 08:03 AM

Summer,
Have you considered a good quality probiotic to help with your gut issues? I would also try even more water and more fiber.

Good luck! I start my course tomorrow if all goes according to plan!

~bodyandsoul

Female / 30 years old / 117lbs / 5'4"

Moderate-severe cystic facial acne


Claravis start date: 7/6/12

Month 1: 40mg

Month 2: 60mg

Month 3: 60mg

Month 4: 60mg

Month 5: 60mg

Month 6?: 60mg

My Isotretinoin Log


Supplements: Fish Oil, Milk Thistle, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Probiotics


#12 zodistarr

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:29 PM

Hi Summer!

Sounds like you are doing pretty well so far :)

I am also one of the "adult" members on here… I'm 31. I had "normal" acne and the occasional cyst here and there… but in the last year my face has been a nightmare! I've tried everything topical and antibiotics… nothing is working and I'm starting to feel like a prisoner in my own skin (and house on my weekends!)

I just finished the iPledge crap and now have my 30 days of waiting...

I'm going to try to stock up on things to combat any potential side affects that I've read on here (different supplements, chapstick, shea butter..) and hope to stay on top of things. I will be taking minnocycline up until I start… and I'm really hoping I don't get that dreaded IB everyone keeps talking about.

Anyway- hope you have a great night... I look forward to keeping up on your progress and learning from you what works/ doesn't!

xo Zodi

#13 bodyandsoul

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:04 AM

I'm joining the "adult" club! :) I'm 31 and am on Day 2! I did have a bad headache last night which I'm not sure I can yet attribute to the drug. More water today - glad to hear that helped you, Summer.

~bodyandsoul

Female / 30 years old / 117lbs / 5'4"

Moderate-severe cystic facial acne


Claravis start date: 7/6/12

Month 1: 40mg

Month 2: 60mg

Month 3: 60mg

Month 4: 60mg

Month 5: 60mg

Month 6?: 60mg

My Isotretinoin Log


Supplements: Fish Oil, Milk Thistle, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Probiotics


#14 Summer5150

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:41 AM

Hi Summer!

Sounds like you are doing pretty well so far Posted Image

I am also one of the "adult" members on here… I'm 31. I had "normal" acne and the occasional cyst here and there… but in the last year my face has been a nightmare! I've tried everything topical and antibiotics… nothing is working and I'm starting to feel like a prisoner in my own skin (and house on my weekends!)

I just finished the iPledge crap and now have my 30 days of waiting...

I'm going to try to stock up on things to combat any potential side affects that I've read on here (different supplements, chapstick, shea butter..) and hope to stay on top of things. I will be taking minnocycline up until I start… and I'm really hoping I don't get that dreaded IB everyone keeps talking about.

Anyway- hope you have a great night... I look forward to keeping up on your progress and learning from you what works/ doesn't!

xo Zodi


Zodi:
Waiting those 30 days was one of the hardest things. I had way too much time to think about potential side effects. I had to work really hard to not obsess. Even though I am having some of the side effects, I am still very glad I am doing this. I feel like this is going to be the thing that finally ends my agony with skin. I am choosing to believe that. I have found that staying positive has been the #1 tip that has helped me the most. Good luck to you!!!

I'm joining the "adult" club! Posted Image I'm 31 and am on Day 2! I did have a bad headache last night which I'm not sure I can yet attribute to the drug. More water today - glad to hear that helped you, Summer.

~bodyandsoul


Bodyandsoul:
Good luck to you as you start this journey! Water, water, water. Thank you for the probiotic suggestion. I hope it is smooth sailing for you!

Day 30.

I made it through the first month. The changes I made this week have helped! I stopped doing a mask every day to spot treat. I stopped taking a shower twice a day (after exercise) and moved to washing my hair every other day. I moisturized even if I didn't feel I needed it. I only spot treated with a little tea tree oil. The result? The dandruff has subsided. My skin is less irritated and healing. Spots are going away. Even if a breakout appears, it isn't a monster with it's own zip code and it does heal, IF I AM PATIENT.

I didn't think about my skin much yesterday. A miracle.

The lips need constant Aquaphor. I did buy some bag balm and I'm not sure if I'll switch over.

No other headaches so far.

My exercise hasn't been impacted. I went for a 20 mile bike ride yesterday.

My gut is so-so and I am making changes there too. Trying to see what affects me the most when I eat. Typically I eat a very high fiber diet with a ton of veggies and fruits. You'd think this would be helpful to my gut. However, IBS often makes things turn upside down. Yesterday I ate a very different diet and I wasn't in pain all day. Go figure. I certainly can't eat like that for 6 months, but I do feel there is going to have to be a balance....we shall see what the derm says on Monday.

Edited by Summer5150, 07 July 2012 - 07:38 AM.

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#15 zodistarr

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 08:17 AM

Yes- it sounds like your diet should actually be helping you… Maybe you need more fat added? I've heard it makes the drug easier to absorb in your system if you eat it with a fatty mean...

I'm also glad to hear this hasn't impacted your exercises… I'm very very active and the joint thing really made me nervous


I'm joining the "adult" club! Posted Image I'm 31 and am on Day 2! I did have a bad headache last night which I'm not sure I can yet attribute to the drug. More water today - glad to hear that helped you, Summer.

~bodyandsoul


Hi BodyandSoul! Since you are just starting I look forward to hearing about your first month! Yaaay for "adults" haha

28 days to wait for me! This is the hard part… Once you've "committed" to something you want to just get it started/over with. It's even harder because my skin isn't doing so well on the Solodyn and I look terrible right now. I have a "gut" feeling I won't have a terrible IB…. but we will see! (Fingers crossed!)

xo Zodi

#16 Summer5150

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:15 PM

Day 32.

Appt with derm went well. She is satisfied with the progress and comfortable with keeping my dose at 20mg. She advises a follow-up with my primary care doc to discuss the intestinal concerns. My bloodwork was good. Month two: here I go!!

I need to remember...if I pick at my skin, I am guaranteed to look worse. Just let it be! Sigh. Treating my skin gently has worked well. Keep that up. Overall, I am thinking about my skin MUCH less.

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#17 Summer5150

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:56 PM

Day 33.

So I go to pick up my prescription today and expected to have the same kind as last month. Nope. This month it is Myorisan, courtesy of my insurance company. Whaaat??? I guess I should just feel grateful I only have to pay a copay of $10 and be okay with whatever they give me. But I like consistency, so I am irritated. I will try to think positive.

Really tired today. No other major issues right now besides my gut. Really working on staying away from the mirror and trusting the process...

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?


#18 bodyandsoul

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:38 AM

Summer,
I have experience headaches too but I do find that increased water intake helps. I am only on Day 6 though.

I hope your gut issues are resolved soon! I'd still suggest probiotics. You also may be able to make a connection between some foods - sometimes dairy can be hard to digest for example. A visit to your PCP is probably a good idea. Good luck!

~bodyandsoul

Female / 30 years old / 117lbs / 5'4"

Moderate-severe cystic facial acne


Claravis start date: 7/6/12

Month 1: 40mg

Month 2: 60mg

Month 3: 60mg

Month 4: 60mg

Month 5: 60mg

Month 6?: 60mg

My Isotretinoin Log


Supplements: Fish Oil, Milk Thistle, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Probiotics


#19 redhead rachel

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:22 PM

Weird how you got a different brand this time! I'm sure it'll be just fine though!

Hang in there! :) It's a rough journey, but it'll be worth it in the end!
Accutane Log
Month 1: May - 40mg
Month 2: June - 40mg
Month 3: July - 40mg
Month 4: August - 40mg
Month 5: September - 40mg

#20 Summer5150

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:00 PM

Day 36.

No difference so far w/the other brand. I'm going to keep thinking positive. That is helping me SO much!

I am thinking about my skin a lot less. I feel very clear, compared to a month ago. If you don't count my old marks and red spots, I almost look like I have "normal" skin (note, I did not say perfect). I still have a few actives that aren't super bad but they are not going away quickly either. I try to just tune them out. They are not visible, so that is a blessing.

Moisturizing has been key this week.

Lips are the most annoying side effect as of late.

I have discovered that less fiber = less pain. Who would have imagined?? I cannot eat this way for 6 months though!!!

Female, 39 years old

moderate to severe cystic facial acne

particularly jawline, chin, neck (off/on last 15 years)


start date: 6/5/12

Month 1: 20mg - Claravis

Month 2: 20mg - Myorisan

Month 3: 40mg (20mg/2x day) - Myorisan

Month 4: - 40mg - Myorisan

Month 5: ?

Month 6: ?