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Claravis Log- I Guess Everyone's Doing It!

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#1 cheezycakes

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:57 PM

Hey everyone,

Guess I'm a little late to the party. I thought I would start a Claravis log because selfishly, I think it'll make me feel better about my situation and also I really want to reach out to those in the same situation as I am because as we all know, it really sucks having acne; it eats into your social life, and in the end, all you really want is for people to see you for who you really are instead of being distracted by your skin condition. Also, writing has always helped me take my mind off my problems.

I'm a 25 year old male. I've had moderate acne since probably 15-16. I've always had an oily face since puberty. It never really bothered me much until recently, when I thought I would've reached the age where I would grow out of it. Instead, lo and behold, it got worse when I was 23-24 when I got my first job. I don't think it was ever cystic in the classic definition, but having so many red blemishes on my face bothered me a lot. I was embarrassed to go to work some days when I was having a breakout. When I was a teenager, it never really crossed my mind to go to a dermatologist, but in my 20's I really just broke down. My derm prescribed doxycycline, benzaclin, and 0.05% retin-a/tretinoin, which having read the boards here, is a pretty common regimen. I started this during what was probably the worst breakout of my life. However, within about a month, I was almost entirely free of active pimples except for the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I think the doxy really helped to curb any IB that would have resulted from the retin-a. The retin-a made me red and didn't really help with my oily face, but that was a small price to pay for clear skin.

What I did realize after my acne initially cleared was that I had some noticeable scarring from the acne, which was masked when I had active lesions on my face. But I wasn't concerned, as I hoped eventually, with the regimen I would outgrow the acne and eventually try some procedure to deal with the scars.

My doctor took me off doxycycline over 6 months ago. Initially, not much was different- I didn't have a flare up or anything. I thought the retin-a alone was going to be enough for the rest of my life to keep me clear. However, about 1.5 months ago (funny how we always remember exactly when our outbreaks occur), I started to get more pimples than I was used to with the retin-a. It made me go back to my derm, who said I looked fine and bumped my retin-a to 0.1%. This didn't sit particularly well with me; I felt he ignored my concerns about my acne potentially coming back. I went to another derm, who observed that I was very oily and had some active pimples. She suggested tazorac and an antibiotic, which she said I would probably have to take for life (sounds strange), and if that didn't work, the next step was accutane. I said, "how about we just start the accutane today". Surprisingly, she ok'ed it right away. That was on the 3rd of October. I started a regimen of 40/80 mg alternating days on the 12th, after my bloodwork came back. So, after much ado:

Day 12 (40/80mg alternating)

Dry, dry, dry around my mouth and cheek area. However, nose, forehead, jawline still a touch oily.
I'm beginning to flake aggressively around my chin.
I guess I've had a breakout, couple of pimples on my chin and cheeks and under my nose, a lot of redness
I'm still using the retin-a in hopes of staving off the IB, but doesn't seem to be working. Should I just stop it???
Just looked in the mirror, pretty terrible, lots of heavy irregular red marks.... sigh.

#2 CWR24

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:46 PM

I would not use retin-a or any product while on accutane. It will only make things worse. Your pretty much going to break out no matter what sometime within the first month then things will start to clear after that.

Absorica Aug 2013 -Feb2014

 

Claravis March 211 - July 2011


#3 cheezycakes

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:51 AM

Day 18

Couple of actives on my right side. One large pimple on my left side. They seem to hurt a little more compared to when I was still using retina. I guess I'm lucky that I have the day off work because of Hurricane Sandy. Although my face is pretty dry, it doesn't seem to be helping with the pimples. This seems pretty contradictory to me.

I've been experimenting a little with only moisturizing my mouth and nose area because I have really oily skin. I try to stay away from moisturizing my cheeks because I feel like it makes the acne worse.

I really thought I would have been able to avoid the IB because I responded well initially to the retin a a year ago.

Actually I think the Claravis is really working for acne above my eyes and along my jawline, but my cheeks have always been a problem area.

I got my bloodwork for the first month done last Friday and have a doctor's appointment this Thursday. Fingers crossed.

#4 cheezycakes

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:53 AM

Day 23

I had my derm appointment Wednesday and picked up my second month of Claravis on Friday. Bloodwork looks fine. I think it's weird that my derm is keeping me on 40/80 mg alternating, even though Claravis apparently offers a 30 mg pill. It seems more logical to go with the 30 mg twice a day to get to 60 mg/day rather than averaging the 40/80.

The pimples on my cheeks are subsiding. I am dry as fudge. I finally got the aquaphor on Friday and now am regretting not getting it earlier- it really helps.

#5 cheezycakes

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:08 PM

Day 34

I was going to put up an update last Friday saying my initial breakout had mostly gone away, but I must have jinxed it. I got one pimple/cyst right under my lip and above my chin and then another one on my temple. The one under my lip is in one of those places where it just hurts and it takes forever to go away. It doesn't seem to be resolving any quicker even on Claravis. bummer.

The pimple on my temple went away fairly quickly, I guess because the skin is thinner up there.

On the really bright side, my cheeks are clearing up nicely. I still have red marks from the IB, but because my skin always seems to be peeling, those are going away faster than expected.

Right now, I'm still on the 40/80 mg alternating regimen. I think next time, I'm gonna ask for the bump up to the big league 80 mg.

My side effects aren't bad right now. I'm using aquaphor for my lips and Cerave moisturizing cream for my face. The cream seems to be less oily than the lotion, which is good for my super oily skin.

Right now, I'm really hoping this cyst on my chin goes away ASAP, it's been 5 days already.

#6 cheezycakes

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:30 AM

Day 51

Can't believe it's been more than 50 days already. Just had my 3rd month checkup last week. Everything looks fine in terms of bloodwork. My dermatologist has kept me on the 40/80 regimen. I think my skin has shown a huge improvement in the last two weeks or so. The zit under my lip has dried up nicely. I still have red marks over my face from old acne, but I haven't had a new one in over a week.

I think the best thing about being on Claravis is that I'm dry. I've always had oily skin and it's annoying having to blot your face every hour when you're 25 years old. Now at the end of the day, I barely have any oil on my face.

So far, I've found that using Cerave cream on my face is really good. It's heavier than the lotion, but somehow I feel like it's less slick and oily than the lotion. Aquaphor is a real godsend. My lips are unbelievably dry when I don't put it on. My hands have been really dry lately and the skin has been cracking. I've been using Gold Bond Ultimate moisturizing lotion which works for more than 12 hours. It's fantastic.

My hope for this accutane is that I'll have significantly less oily skin (and of course no more acne!). I know most people say that their oil production returns to normal after a couple of months.

#7 cheezycakes

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:40 PM

Day 72

I'm doing well! I haven't an actual elpmip (sorry, trying not to jinx myself) for 3 weeks now. My face is pretty dry, but gets a little oily at the end of the day. I'm still on 40/80 until the end of the month, but I convinced my derm to increase it to 80 mg/ day. I did a little math. I'm about 64 kg. Since the recommended cumulative dose is 125-150 mg/kg, I would need 9600 mg for the high end of that cumulative dose. I've taken 4800 mg so far (1600 mg for 3 months). I'm hoping the last two month will be 4800 mg as well (2400 mg for 2 months).

I'm feeling very good about my skin. I do have scars from acne, but my derm recommended chemical peels after I'm done with accutane, but I'm not thinking that far ahead. Right now, I just want to be clear.... whether on or off accutane.

#8 cheezycakes

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:32 AM

Day 80


I'm still doing well. The 80 mg/day hasn't really had too much of an effect on my dryness (still fairly dry). I've had a couple of pimples here and there, but they are really not noticeable and usually resolve overnight. Right now, since I'm only a couple of months away from finishing my course (how time flies!), the thing I'm most apprehensive about is my oiliness coming back, along with my acne. I'm really enjoying my skin right now because I never have to blot it during the day and generally it just feels good to be dry. I had thought when I first got acne that my oiliness would really go down after going through puberty, but it really never happened. In fact, it might have ramped up. I know I used to use all kinds of products for my face and thought maybe those really ruined my skin, but now I'm beginning to feel that nothing in the world trumps genetics. I don't know anyone in my family who has acne, so I'm guessing some recessive gene met up with some other recessive gene when I was made. C'est la vie!

Anyway, in summary, I'm doing really well on Claravis. My body tolerates it very well. I guess I'm really fortunate that's the case. I'm just ready for acne to be over. It's tough being 25 and having to explain why you still have pimples. I've got my fingers crossed!

#9 cheezycakes

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

Day 103

 

Hey y'all. Can't believe how fast time flies. I've been cheating a little with my dosage. My derm bumped me to 80mg/day, but I've still been taking 60 mg, mostly because I have a bad habit of skipping meals and don't want to take Claravis on an empty stomach. Just got back from the derm office today. Got my last prescription for 60 40mg pills. I'm planning to keep going with the 60mg/day; seems to be working out well. I haven't had any significant pimples since probably month 2.... just tiny, tiny unnoticeable whiteheads every now and again.

 

On the bummer side, I do have some scarring. boo. But at this point, I'm just so grateful and happy to be acne-free(hopefully for good), that I don't care that much. I figure they're not too deep and a couple of chemical peels will really minimize them.

 

I will be in that 150mg/kg cumulative dose. I'm really hoping this will do the trick. Having adult acne absolutely blows... as many of you know. It's just so embarrassing to have to explain to people why you're 25 and still getting pimples. The thing is.... almost no one I know has or has had even moderate acne! I'm really glad I found this site, because it lets me know I'm not alone.

 

My doc has told me to come in for a final blood test after I'm done, and then I'll have to do some maintenace retin A micro.



#10 cheezycakes

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 07:29 PM

Day 119

 

119 days seemed like an eternity when I first got on Claravis. It's just amazing how time flies. I'm still doing very well. I tried to shave a stray eyebrow yesterday and accidentally cut myself above my eye and have a small blemish. It's healing slower than normal. I'm assuming this is due to the medication. I am down to my last 60 pills and I calculated it to be about mid-March when I'll be completely done. I really haven't had anything since the second month.

 

One thing I noticed is that when I had acne, I started to question everything I did- how often I washed my face, how often I shaved, how I dried my face after showering, what I washed with, what shaving cream I used, what moisturizer I used, how I blotted during the day. Now it seems, no matter what I do, I'm just simply not getting pimples. I think ultimately, 99% of it boils down to your genetics and how your skin is constructed. When I had pimples, nothing really worked (aside from antibiotics and retin-a). I must have spent a fortune on products. I get depressed thinking about how much money I wasted. I used to buy a whole basket of facial products from the convenient store. NOTHING WORKED. I've learned that MEDICINE IS THE BEST MEDICINE. For everyone whose acne has gone away with holistic methods or diet changes, I say I'm really truly happy for you, but I'm guessing most people on this website have been down that road and it hasn't helped.



#11 cheezycakes

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:55 PM

Day 126

 

Just a quick update..... I got a pretty small zitish thing on my hairline, not sure if it's acne. I kinda hurts when I push on it, but it hasn't gotten bigger for several days. The bad thing is it kinda calls attention to itself because of the location. All in all, that's about it. I'm very happy with my skin right now. If I could freeze it for the rest of my life, this is exactly the kind of skin consistency I want: not too oily, not too dry. I know some people have reported permanently drier skin post-accutane, I'm really hoping I'm one of them.



#12 Guest_foxtrotter_*

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM

Aw this thread seemed pretty lonely so I'm adding some love. I'm so happy for you that you are much happier with your skin these days. I cannot wait to be in your position and not have to always be worrying about my face! You should post some before after pics if you have any!

#13 cheezycakes

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 12:58 PM

Thanks foxtrotter! I'll take what I can get lol. I'm really looking forward to hearing about your success.

#14 cheezycakes

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:25 PM

Day 153

 

I'm just about a week from my last pill! To be honest I'm a little apprehensive. If accutane didn't have so many side effects, I would take it for the rest of my life, no questions asked. Minus the scars, my skin is as good as it's been since pre-puberty. It's starting to get a little humid around here as we're approaching springtime, so I can feel my face getting a little more oily during the day. I've got an appointment next Wednesday. I think my derm will put me on some retin-a micro for maintenance. To be honest, I'm sincerely hoping I won't need it. I guess I'll continue to update even after my last pill is finished. Right now, I'm glad I did this log, even if it's just for myself. I kinda have an idea of what to expect and hope it was helpful for anyone else thinking about taking or is currently taking accutane. 



#15 cheezycakes

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 01:02 PM

Day 160

 

Just had my last derm appointment today. She prescribed me some 0.1% retin-a micro for maintenance. I have 5 pills left of the Claravis and will finish it all up on Saturday. She also said to wait a year before doing any chemical peels, which sounds a little excessive to me since my skin isn't too sensitive. However, I'm not convinced that peels alone will get rid of my scarring, but for now, I will be content with acne-free skin.


Edited by pleogsk, 20 March 2013 - 05:28 PM.


#16 cheezycakes

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 05:26 PM

Day 163

 

Just took my last pill!!!! 

 

Picked up my retin-a micro from the pharmacy.... Super-expensivo: $95 with insurance!!! I guess there's no generic version. I was on tretinoin cream before and it was $35, but it was generic. From what I've read, micro is better for acne maintenance, while the cream is used more for wrinkles. 

 

Anyway, I'll keep posting on this log even though I'm done, just to track my progress. 

 

Good luck to all of you still going strong! I wish you guys all the best.



#17 cheezycakes

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 07:21 PM

Post-Claravis 3 weeks:

 

As promised, here's a little update on my progress after accutane:

 

My skin is definitely less dry now, but the oil is still significantly less and a different texture. I'm still dry around my cheeks, but my forehead has gotten a little more oily (in the last week or so). I think another factor contributing is that it started getting super humid this last week.

 

However, the big thing for me is.... I'm still acne-free! 

 

I started using retin-a micro 0.1% a week after ending accutane every other night.



#18 cheezycakes

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 06:51 PM

Post-Claravis 4 weeks:

 

My oil production has increased slightly around my T-zone. Being on accutane, I thought I would completely dread this moment, but now that it's happened/happening, it doesn't seem like a big deal for a couple of reasons:

 

1. When I was oily before, I also had really red skin from my combination of Benzaclin and tretinoin and it made it look 10X worse.

2. The oil now doesn't shine like it used to, so I end up looking pretty much normal.

3. I don't feel the oil so much now because I don't have that irritation that came from using Benzaclin every day.

4. My lips are still a little dry, my cheeks are less oily than before.

5. It's gotten hella humid over the last week or so (springtime) and I think the return in oil has something to do with that.

6. I'm no longer getting those red scaly patches on my hands and arms from before, again, probably due to the weather.

7. It used to be that my face would get oily within 1 hour of showering/washing, but now it probably takes almost the whole day to accumulate.

 

I'm still using the 0.1% retin a micro every other night. I also use some tretinoin cream (trying to save the expensive stuff for the face!) on my chest and back. So far, I'm still clear post-accutane, which is basically hallelujah!



#19 leelowe1

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 06:14 AM

Congrats!  I am about to start retin a micro.04% in about 2 weeks, once i am done with accutane.  i unfortunately never cleared up 100% but you know what, i have had about an 80% improvement. 

 

Keep us posted a year or 2 down the line as i am interested in hearing how topicals help keep people clear after accutane


It's a rocky road but like everything else in life, there is always a beginning and an end.  Here's to finding my end.

 

God is good to me..........more than I deserve.

 

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


#20 cheezycakes

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 07:20 PM

Post-Claravis 2 months:

 

Thanks Sasch, hope everything is fantabulous with you. 

 

So some updates. I got a couple of whiteheads around where my nose meets my face. I've been using retin-a micro pretty consistently every other night. I feel like maybe the 0.1% is a little harsh for that area, considering the skin is supposedly a little thinner. I've been getting pimples on my scalp which is really weird because I've almost never had any there before. You might think I'm freaking out right now, but I'm still optimistic. I've read stories of a slight flare up about 1-2 months post-accutane as the drug completely leaves your blood and fat cells and your body essentially readjusts. I've seen Samismurf on youtube do a video about 1.5 months post-accutane where he gets a breakout, but once that went away, he was basically clear. 

 

These whiteheads I've been getting are going away much, much, much quicker now than pre-accutane. Before treatment, cysts/pimples would literally last about 1.5-2 weeks and were painful. These whiteheads basically go away within 24 hours and don't leave much of a mark. 

 

My T-zone is slightly more oily, but my cheeks are still dry. And the weird thing is, my lips are probably just as dry as they were on accutane! It's springtime here and it's been wicked humid and rainy. The oil doesn't accumulate nearly as much as before and doesn't leave that unsightly shine. I carry a towel in the car and wipe my face about halfway through the day. This has been working pretty well. 

 

I guess that's it for now. I will keep updating on my progress. I think accutane has really changed my attitude a lot; I feel like I don't get too down on myself even when my skin is not perfect. Thanks for reading, guys!






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