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#1 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:35 AM

Hey guys!

My acne history:

I remember in 8th grade my forehead being SO OILY to the point where it was wet. If you tried to touch my forehead, your finger would just slide off my face. In 9th grade, I realized that all of that oil wasn’t normal, but I didn’t suffer from any acne. 10th grade was the year I started breaking out on my chin and nose. I’ve never had cystic acne, and the acne I had in 10th grade was pretty mild. Although the acne was mild, the oil was a pain. I remember I would need to go to the bathroom every other period and blot my face dry because it was so saturated with oil.

11th grade was the year all hell broke out on my face. My face was actually relatively clear but I remember the first day of Thanksgiving break I realized that my face was a warzone. My cheeks and jawline had broken out, with a cluster of zits in the center of each cheek. Added to that was my forehead began to break out and the continuation of my nose and chin breaking out. I looked like hell. Every day I would get three new pus filled zits somewhere on my face. I finally decided to go to a dermatologist.

The dermatologist I went to was not very good. He gave me a lot of harsh home chemical peels and told me to use them twice a day. He prescribed some weak oral pills. Three months later, in February, my face was even worse. My entire face was inflamed. I’d say I was always a pretty well liked person, but I remember one day in class this guy I didn’t get along with very well said, “Wow. You’re just so attractive, aren’t you?” after we got into a fight. Everyone in class heard him. I felt awful.

GOOD NEWS THOUGH! In the first few weeks back in school senior year, for whatever reason, my oil production was lowered significantly! I could go an entire day without having to blot. It was AMAZING! I felt like my acne would just go away naturally, because I had definitely stopped trying all of that dermatologist’s ridiculous ideas and I saw improvement. I would still break out every day but I could live with it. From March until July I lived with moderate acne and normal oil production! WOOHOO!

Today though, as a freshman in college, my acne is back to being severe. It really stinks. I break out on my cheeks and jawline pretty much every day, and my forehead is always a mystery. Sometimes it’s clear! Sometimes it’s not. I’m really happy though that my oil production is normal though. So I’m extremely grateful for that.

I went to the dermatologist here 6 weeks ago thinking that he would be better than the one at home. HE IS! He explained everything really well and told me he would be putting me on Cerave cleanser and moisturizer and Bactrim. These may have made my face slightly better… but not by much. He said that if it didn’t work when I came to see him next, he would put me on Accutane.

Well. My appointment is on Tuesday, Election Day, and I will most likely be put on Accutane. I’m excited and nervous at the same time… but hopefully since my acne is just surface zits and not cystic the treatment will go well.

A few questions:

1) Is it realistic to expect that through the blood tests and iPledge things, as a male, I would be prescribed and would take my first pill that night? That would be pretty sweet.

2) What are the top 5 things that I should have to aid me in my journey?

3) I look forward to getting to know a lot of you guys! I’ve been following this forum for the past 6 weeks and I’ve already learned a lot and have been inspired by everybody.

Thanks for the help!

Edited by OnlyOptimism, 05 November 2012 - 12:36 AM.


#2 poptartie

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:28 AM

Hi :)

It makes such a difference to find a doctor that you like and trust. My last derm was a weirdo, but I love my doctor now. I totally trust him. As a male, your requirements for ipledge are not the same as a girl's. Will you be getting a base line blood test (to monitor your liver and whatnot) prior to your appointment? Your doctor may want that before you start but you won't have to wait a month (like girls and their pregnancy tests). But I'm not sure...
My top 5 recommendations:
1) CereVe moisturizing cleanser
2) Aquaphor for lips
3) CereVe moisturizing cream (in the tub) for nighttime or really dry days
4)Cetaphil moisturizing lotion with spf for days in the sun
5)Neosporin cream (not ointment) for healing zits

I could recommend other stuff for any number of other issues you may encounter. Just holler if you have any other questions about products...I'm a junkie! Oh, WATER WATER WATER.
I have a log if you care to see how I've been coming along (kiss off acne). Like you, I don't have cystic acne, just stubborn surface junk. Let me rephrase that. I HAD acne. It's all gone now!!! I could not be happier! Accutane has been such a success for me. I am soooo glad I decided to do it. I was very scared and apprehensive at first but it hasn't been nearly as bad as I feared. Not fun but not terrible.

I wish you much luck and drop me a message if you have any questions.

#3 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:42 AM

That's really awesome that you've experienced so much success! I'll definitely check your log out, and I'll look into what you recommended.

Also, on another note, my older brother experienced cystic acne and accutane cleared him up in about 6 months. I think his acne was worse than mine is, but if it worked for him, hopefully it will work for me too!

#4 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:30 PM

The reason I haven't updated this is because I had my dermatologist appointment wrong! It's actually tomorrow. So hopefully I'll be prescribed some then!

#5 jamie o

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:41 PM

Good luck with your appointment tomorrow.

I'm not sure how the system works if the United States, but in Australia if you've already done your blood tests you should be able to start the next day.

I would say that Celia's suggestions are all good products for you to use. While I use different products, I have seen quiet a few people use these products.

If you're the type that goes on Spring Break, hopefully you'll be clear by then. Also ignore any immature idiots that have a go at you, due to your acne. They're just superficial brats and not worth your time. Your already a better person than them.

Good luck mate

#6 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:26 PM

Thanks mate.

I'm actually going to the Southern Carribean over winter break for 10 days. So that's definitely a worry for me since I'll be on accutane during that time, and there will be a lot of exposure to the sun.

#7 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:00 AM

I was prescribed accutane and I will be taking my first pill at lunch at 1:30 today :)

I went in, he asked me if I wanted to try it. I said yes. He told me everything about it. I then signed the pledge. I made my next appointment, and then got my blood drawn. I'm waiting for Walgreens to complete my order! I'm excited :)

#8 jamie o

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

Is winter break anything like Spring Break or is it just similar destinations? I know summer break is meant to be similar in Cancun, but on a smaller scale.

Also glad to hear that you're taking your first tablets today. The process was definitely quick.

What's this pledge thing? I thought only the women had to sign the i-pledge thing, to say they weren't going to get pregnant while the medication was in their system. I'm curious as to why you had to sign something.

Good luck and hopefully you'll be clear in no time.

#9 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:41 PM

Yeah, my family likes to go to a warm foreign place every winter for some heat! So yeah, it's kinda like Spring Break (except my university has 5 weeks off :D)

I guess I'm not sure if it was a pledge, but I know it was a contract. It was basically just stating that I knew all the risks and that my derm explained everything to me well.

Also, I'm curious. I'm taking 2 20 mg pills a day. Does that mean I'm actually taking 40 mg a day? That's what I'd assume anyway. He didn't really tell me my course either... so I'll try and get that from him in a month when I see him!

#10 jamie o

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:57 PM

Yeah man you're taking 40mg/day, no matter how you look at it. The medication stays in your system, at the origial dose (from what I was told), for around 24 hours. It is not meant to make any difference either way you take it, I ask my derm seeing as how quite a few of your fellow Americans were doing it the same way as you are now.

Winter break sounds pretty good to me, though I think I'll only travel over for Spring Break and get the crazy parties. I can trump your five weeks. My countries university system gives me about three and a half months of straight, but I choose to do an extra session because it gets so damn boring. I also still get three weeks off as it is.

Thanks for explaining the contract thing. I only had to say I had read them, the potential side-effects, and all was good. Apparently we're pretty laid back down under,compared to the US and UK .

#11 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

Alright sweet. I feel like 40 mg is a good place to start.

Shooooot. Three and a half months is just too much for me. I feel like pushing week five I'll need more structure in my life again haha. I'd probably take a class like you too if my winter break was that long. I definitely won't be doing any drinking while on the drug. I know some drinking is alright, but I don't want to push it. It'll be hard, but I think it'll let me sleep better at night. But I'm stoked for the southern Carribean!

#12 jamie o

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:23 PM

Mate what do you drink? If it's beer then there are quiet a few none acloholic beers around. I have even found a couple a German non acloholic beers, haven't tried them yet. There is also non alcoholic wine, but I'm a spirit drinking, so for me atleast wine isn't an option. I know neither will replace alcohol, but if it's the taste you want they could help.

Yeah I nearly went crazy when I did take the three and a half months off. I could travel for that length of time, but not do absolutely nothing stuck at home.

Edited by jamie o, 15 November 2012 - 11:23 PM.


#13 MgX

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 01:34 AM

Hydrate!!!!! moisturize both skin and lips.....
Good luck on your Accutane journey and i hope it works out for you....best wishes!!!!

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.....


#14 wsmith189

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:12 AM

drinking is fine on Tane...unless you have liver problems or the tane seriously effects your liver (just ask your doc.) While at UGA (first tane course) the med center docs didn't even try to pitch the don't drink bs. They were very up front about the possibilities of danger but said have at it. If you feel like it negatively affects you..stop drinking. If you feel like you can, don't be getting blackout every night, but enjoying beverages and even getting drunk is fine.
My derm in Charleston, SC literally said the exact same thing.
Don't pretend there aren't dangers, but test the waters-see how it effects you personally. My guess is you'll notice a bit more of a dehydrated hangover but that's it. Live yo life my friend.

#15 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

Yeah I'm sure drinking everyonce in a while is fine, but it's probably a habit I should get out of anyway :) I only drink hard alch too... so those wines and beer without alch don't help me much! :) Haha. But I appreciate it, and I'll be alright not drinking!

Day 2:

I may have SLIGHTLY drier lips, but I can't tell. I guess we'll see in the following days :)

#16 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:02 PM

Question: My dermatologist told me that it'd be alright to continue using the topical I used with bactrim, called Acanya, until I started seeing the drying effects of the accutane. Is that a good idea? I've applied it the past two nights, and can't imagine I'd use it for more than a few days more... but it does contain either 1.5 or 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and I don't want to mess anything up... Thanks!

#17 leelowe1

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

I'm surprised your derm said that. Your face needs to be treated gently so all you should be doing is washing and moisturizing. I recommend you don't add ANY topicals as you can damage your skin which will become more fragile. Unfortunately, we all have to go through the ugly duckling period before we clear up

Just sit tight.

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.


#18 jamie o

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:55 PM

I'd just like to support what Sasch has mentioned. I was told to only use the general purpose cleanser and moisturiser, as in you can't use something that is specifically made to treat acne. General cleanser and moisturiser brands are Aveene, Cetaphil, QV and so on.

Edited by jamie o, 18 November 2012 - 05:55 PM.


#19 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:09 PM

Yeah that makes sense. I just didn't want to initially break out just because I was switching meds.

Day 3 and 4:

No new side effects besides my skin flaking on the right side of my chin when I woke up on day 4. After I applied some moisturizer, it was gone! I'm really surprised my lips aren't drier! Hopefully, knock on wood, I don't experience any side effects! My skin has actually been clearing up, I'd say. I have had only had one active that I got on day one. Hopefully it stays like this! Nothing but good things so far.

#20 OnlyOptimism

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 10:49 PM

Day 5: Lips are definitely drier. Cyst is forming on my cheek. I never get cysts! Mehhh. At least it's not very noticeable. And I feel like it's going away already anyway.

Yay for progress :)