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#1 KK808

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:30 PM

Hi everyone,

I recently started my Claravis, Isotretinoin, treatment on 9/23/2012 and today I'll be taking my 5th pill. The dosage I'm currently on is 40mg once a day.

A little bit about me:
I'm 27 years old and I am 50% Japanese and 50% mix Caucasian(German, Portuguese, Irish), 150 lbs, and I live in Hawai'i. I've been suffering from acne since I was about 13 years old. However, in my early 20's Dan's regime had cleared me up but when I slowly eased off of it my problem came back. In June 2012, I caught the Influenza B virus and then my chin broke out in madness. I recovered from that and in August 2012, I got the stomach flu and then I broke out all over my jaw line. I decided to see a dermatologist in July 2012, and I was then prescribed doxycycline which I took for 10 weeks and saw no noticeable improvements. The dermatologist I was seeing did not seem very thorough and gave me round about answers or offered no suggestions to help me. Additionally, I was given a 6 month refillable prescription to doxy and told to come back in 2013 and we'll check on my status then. So, I decided to see another dermatologist. Immediately Dermatologist B wanted me on Isotretinoin. Without hesitation, I took my blood test that day, signed up for iPledge, and my doctor wrote my prescription.

I did a lot of research prior to just jumping into the isotretinoin game. I knew what the risks were. But I decided this is something I'd like to do. I'm single, I'm going to college, and I figure once I graduate I can look for jobs and look for a girlfriend with clear skin right? I gave you my nationalities because nobody seems to do this online.

So here I am, writing a blog about my isotretinoin journey. Just a FYI, again I'm doing 40mg once a day,

My regime:
Morning Wash with 5% glycolic wash
around 900 - take a bactrim

Evening
5pm - take claravis pill
Shower - if flaky, I use the derma e problem skin exfoliating scrub, then follow up with 5% bp wash (I'm going to eliminate this after when month 2 begins)
After shower - Cover face with derma e - hylauronic acid night creme (I love this stuff it makes my face very smooth and soft throughout the day but it's pricey)

I take the bactrim because it will help with my IB, if I get one, have I got one yet? I have had 2 new pimples since I began taking Claravis. Was this more than normal? Yes. I plan to eliminate this out after month 2 starts.

Side Effects
So far I've experienced very very mild side effects. And probably to soon to have any noticable side effects.
1) I feel more fatigued when I run
2) I'm more thirsty but I drink at least 64oz of water a day.
3) My face was flaky on day 3


I have not shaved today so cut me some slack on the hobo appearance...

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#2 KK808

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:10 PM

Today would be day 6. So far everything is going great. I notice that my lips are starting to get really dry but the chapstick overnight lip treatment was been wonderful. I did have an insane headache this afternoon right after lunch. If that was related to the isotretinoin? no clue because I take the pill in the evening around 5pm. Have I seen any improvements? Well my face has been very sensitive in the sun. I went for a morning jog on Thursday and it was rather cloudy and rainy but on my way back home the sun was blazing on me. I was trying to find refuge in any little bit of shade that I could find! However, I did notice two pimples which have been "red spots" for awhile that started to really form into white heads. This was on my left temple area. Do you think that this is the drug working?
Even though I moisturize twice a day, my skin still feels dry even though its soft and moist to the touch. It feels almost as if the subsurface layers are dried out... What do you guys think?

#3 leelowe1

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:45 AM

I think you are now officially introduced to the world of accutane! Yup - pimples will come to a head super fast though healing may take some time. Dry lips are also very common as is dry skin so invest in good moisturizer and lip balm (not the medicated stuff either.

#4 Bobby Stephenson

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:43 AM

Good luck. Why didn't my derm give me backtrim? I broke out like mad on week 2 and it looked like smallpox.

Edited by nbkyrww, 30 September 2012 - 11:45 AM.


#5 KK808

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 05:08 PM

I think you are now officially introduced to the world of accutane! Yup - pimples will come to a head super fast though healing may take some time. Dry lips are also very common as is dry skin so invest in good moisturizer and lip balm (not the medicated stuff either.


I'm almost done with week one and I can't wait for week five. How long did it take for you to start seeing results?

Good luck. Why didn't my derm give me backtrim? I broke out like mad on week 2 and it looked like smallpox.


Thank you! How long did your initial breakout last? How long before you saw results?

#6 leelowe1

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

I know the feeling. I think i started clearing between the end of month 1 and month 2.

#7 Bobby Stephenson

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 06:11 PM

I broke out on Day 8 (friday) and it got really bad over the weekend I had to use my vacation and take the week off. It didn't go away until Day 17. I am only on Day 19 now but i can finally go back to work tomorrow with 2 pimples and a red face.

#8 KK808

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:29 PM

I broke out on Day 8 (friday) and it got really bad over the weekend I had to use my vacation and take the week off. It didn't go away until Day 17. I am only on Day 19 now but i can finally go back to work tomorrow with 2 pimples and a red face.


I know exactly how you feel. So you just started your isotretinoin treatment also? Did you do any antibiotics or another regime before this?

I know the feeling. I think i started clearing between the end of month 1 and month 2.


Totally awesome. From what I've read online, that's a quick recover rate. I took a look at your pictures and your complexion is looking great.

#9 leelowe1

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:32 PM


I broke out on Day 8 (friday) and it got really bad over the weekend I had to use my vacation and take the week off. It didn't go away until Day 17. I am only on Day 19 now but i can finally go back to work tomorrow with 2 pimples and a red face.


I know exactly how you feel. So you just started your isotretinoin treatment also? Did you do any antibiotics or another regime before this?

I know the feeling. I think i started clearing between the end of month 1 and month 2.


Totally awesome. From what I've read online, that's a quick recover rate. I took a look at your pictures and your complexion is looking great.


Thanks, unfortunately those are not recent pictures hence the reason i am considering doing another course.

#10 KK808

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:36 PM

So today marks my 9th day. My lips are feeling more and more dry every single day. I'm constantly using lip balm and an overnight lip treatment to try to combat the dryness. The breakout on my temple is still there. I haven't had any other noticeable side effects like headaches, dry eyes, and other common symptoms.

I don't mind taking the drug since I'm on 40mg/day but I'm worried that if my doctor ups my dosage next month that it will trigger more of an initial breakout and encourage more side effects. I guess we'll wait and see.

#11 KK808

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:34 PM

For the 4 huge cysts that sprung up every since I started isotretinoin, I visited my derm to inject them. When I woke up this morning I was pretty happy to see that they are almost all flattened out. These suckers do not go away in a few days nor a few weeks. It could be MONTHS and plus it could lead to horrible scarring. My derm said that patients come in ALL the time for these shots. What really sucks is when they inject the pimple it kind of burns but nothing UNBEARABLE. And, after I was finished it looks more inflamed but all that is temporary :D Anyway, just wanted to share that with everyone and maybe others could consider this option for their initial breakout /shrug good luck all!

#12 KK808

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:42 AM

Day 12 - Had a few white heads over the past 2 days. I went running tonight and I noticed a few clogged pores pushed out the white head which would've potentially turned into a pimple. They were just idly sitting on my face when I got home. On a even brighter note, I notice my pores are shrinking dramatically. I can hardly see them anymore. My face is looking better as the days progress. Ironically, I'm looking forward to breakouts because better now than later.... Derm says that's all the subsurface stuff being pushed out, so it's a good sign that my body is working well with the drug.

#13 KK808

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:42 PM

The cysts that I got injected are now virtually gone. I did get 2 new pimples on my right side. The right side of my face has been going to war. I've been using this wonderful moisturizer. I really really really love this stuff - Posted Image

It's organic, It helps my face heal, keeps my face hydrated, and it gives me baby soft skin. I cannot ask for a better product. The down side is that it is a little pricey.
Lips are getting used to the dryness. I noticed today they are almost normal. I gotta keep on this healthy lifestyle to help my body so my body can help me.

Edited by KK808, 07 October 2012 - 04:42 PM.


#14 KK808

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:26 PM

day 17 - I've been waking up with really chapped lips. I've been using jojoba oil on them but neither than nor chapstick has really helped. The pores on my nose are turning to black heads. No new pimples since my last post. I'm going to try and go for a long run tonight. Wish me luck!

#15 poptartie

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:49 AM

For the lips I swear by AQUAPHOR, AQUAPHOR, AQUAPHOR!!!!! I even keep it under my pillow at night. LOL.
Chapstick (brand) seems to be too waxy or something. jojoba oil is awesome but doesn't have staying power. Also, lanolin is great.
Good luck!

#16 KK808

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 11:50 AM

haha right on for the tip! Since you actually sleep with the thing, I'll take your advice and pick some up today. I totally agree with you because all the chapstick that I bought just doesn't moisturize enough as we need and the jojoba oil just isn't sticking long enough to do any good.

#17 KK808

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 03:40 PM

Day 25 (week 3.5) - Life has been far from normal ever since I started the isotretinoin treatment. My entire face is flaking more and more everyday. My face is peeling like when you get a mild sunburn. My face is also noticeably red. I had to explain to a few of my friends what I'm going through and they were all super cool about it and some didn't even notice I had acne. The irony is that I don't even care about how I look while on this treatment, I'd rather look like a tomato for a few months than live with acne for another X amount of years. Other than the chapped lips and flaky skin I notice that I'm a LOT less motivated, I'm sluggish, tired, but not grouchy. No noticeable side effects other than the ones I mentioned. I love running so last week I did 2 runs and a 6 mile hike (in the shade of course), no pain or joint problems. Going to try and build up the motivation for a run tonight, if your curious I do about 4-6 miles nothing to extreme but it does the body good :D

Now for the important stuff that you probably are reading this post for....
I've never really had crazy breakouts except when i got Influenza B earlier in June this year. I've probably experienced the most dramatic breakout in my life because of this. Anyway, so since my last update I did get a handful of pimples. I noticed that they subside on their own if left alone. And my skin heals a LOT faster. I also been spot treating them with Retin-A micro. Just a TINY TINY dab, then I left that dry and cover it with moisturizer. This reallly reallly helps to declog these nasty guys quickly and helps fade the red marks left behind quicker. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to tell.

#18 made4817

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:07 PM

this is a great thread. i just started day 2 of claravis (i had taken a course several years ago, but it was cut short). your posts and tips are really helpful.
it's good to know you are keeping up with your running. im a little concerned that i wont be able to run due to joint pain, but i hope that i avoid that side effect.

#19 KK808

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 11:12 PM

Picture 12.jpg Picture 13.jpg Picture 14.jpg

Pictures:
On my right side of my face you can see where I had my initial breakout. Totally sucks because those marks are just going to LINGER. Sorry my camera sucks super bad but it's all I got.


This is my day 29 of Claravis (isotretinoin). I saw the dermatologist today and we've decided that we will do 40mg for the second month and then for the last 3 months we will do 80mg a day (40mg 2xday). My derm says my skin is doing great and he can see the drug working very well. No new pimples lately. I got a busy week. I really want to go for a couple runs this week but we'll see if I can make that happen :)
I'm also thinking that if I do a lot of running then it will help lower the cholesterol side effects of the drug. Or at least offset it by a small amount.

Side effects noticed so far:

1) again, sun sensitivity
2) again, chapped lips - if I don't use Aquaphor my lips crack when I smile...lol... its awkward sometimes when I have conversations with people and I laugh but keep a straight mouth. totally sucks but I find it hilarious. It's like I got plastic surgery and I can't move my facial muscles.

Those are the only 2 side effects right now. But thanks for checking out my blog update and I look forward to reading any responses :)

#20 leelowe1

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:10 PM

Your progress is looking up. From my past experiences i know that the marks will fade, even if it is albeit a bit slow.

Good Luck - side effects don't seem too bad.