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Can't Help But Squeeze...

picking pimple popping cystic acne accutane

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#1 Brownilocks

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

Hey guys! I've been on accutane about a week and a half. No major changes yet. It does seem like everything is coming up to a head though. I've got some major cysts and in the past they have never come to a head, just ran their course and eventually shrunk down and faded away (with or without meds, quicker while on antibiotics and topicals, though). With the accutane, I've notice they are coming up to large, white heads and popping on their own. They ooze out and it forms a crust if left alone. My question is, how bad is it to squeeze at them once they've popped? I can't help myself not do it. They are already broken open and oozing out... I don't squeeze hard, just gently and stop if nothing comes out. I just don't want to damage my skin too much under the surface and spread it anymore or take a risk of scarring (luckily never have in past despite mod to severe and now TOTALLY severe acne) from doing this.. Any thoughts on this or reflections on personal experiences with the same would be greatly appreciated! I've also heard that accutane makes the skin heal slower if popped, is that true? Anyone experience this either? Thanks for your comments guys and girls!! Posted Image

Edited by Brownilocks, 10 December 2012 - 10:13 AM.


#2 g33tar

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:33 PM

i find that its ok to do it if it happens by its self. once its opened up, the stuff is gonna come out one way or another. gentle encouragement isn't going to do any more damage
but i would try to avoid forcing it out and popping them yourself.

#3 Brownilocks

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

So I really am loathing myself right now because I broke down and squeezed at my cysts :( I am just getting so mentally frustrated with this now! My acne is so severe and it blew up almost literally overnight from a perfectly clear face. I want it gone and I am tired of waiting! Its been 3 months already! It didn't hurt to squeeze, I just kind of gently "milked" out the infection more or less, but it made me feel better to do it. I did pop them myself versus letting them pop naturally. I hope I didn't do a lot of damage, but I just can't take much more of this and want these huge bumps gone! I'm tired of this and at my age (29) no one understands. I am basically a complete hermit now. Feeling pretty low tonight after thinking earlier today I was making some progress with my accutane :(

#4 secretsky

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:18 AM

Brownilocks,
I so feel for you! I am also on accutane (second time). My acne came back with a vengeance its not even funny! I too have noticed that what would normally be a cyst has now turned into a cyst/whitehead! I have also been starting to pick at my acne because it is sooo tempting to just get that junk out! I have this theory that if its already showing (white head) might as well push it out so that it can heal faster, right? However, i am noticing though that where i pop a pimple another pimple pops up right beside it or in its vicinity. SO...that has gotten me to stop picking at it.I have recently notcied this and I've only decided to do that this week. I now have 5 new 'white heads'. They are much smaller than i normally get them, but hey, they're still really annoying to look at. I'm leaving them alone to see how it goes.

Hehe, today though I have this pimple that has been on my face since August and it keeps getting a white head then going down, then getting another damn white head. Anyhow, it was oozing itself today and I lightly pressed on it (barely any effort) just to stop if from going down my face. Sorry for the disgusting details. I'm just praying (so damn hard) that I don't get another one popping up somewhere because this one is so persistent sometimes i feel like taking a knife and just cutting it off!

Anyhow, not sure if I helped, but thought I'd share my experience with you since you seem to have the same problem that I have.
Good luck!

#5 heitea

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 02:35 PM

I'm not on Accutane, but I do know what it feels like to not be able to contain yourself when it comes to picking your face!

If I ABSOLUTELY have to pick at the zit, here are some rules that I came up with after lots of experience with RUINING my clearing face:

1. NEVER pick at a deep zit (where you can't see the head at all). This will cause MAJOR damage.
2. When you absolutely need to pick a spot, wrap two fingers with toilet paper or tissue paper, and gently squeeze the problem area. If it does not pop with that gentle squeezing, don't force it anymore. Afterwards, gently wash the area with a mild cleanser, throw some drying agent/antibacterial agent (like BP, tea tree oil, or an aspirin mask), and wait for it to either go away forever, or come to a head again.
3. Don't pick scabs! You will scar if you do.

:D Good luck!

#6 Brownilocks

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:09 AM

Hey secretsky!

Yeah I feel ya on the ones coming up nearby. They aren't as big, but still seems to be spreading under the skin if disturbed much. I do push down and extract a bit of the infection out that way when one of the whiteheads pops though. Can't see it doing much more harm. They seem to leak on their own and get crusty if I don't do this and dab with a clean tissue afterward until they "dry up," so to speak.

I also feel ya on the persistent devils! I have real inflammatory interconnected areas and the damn things go down and come up like nobody's business! Had some cortisone shots a couple of weeks before I started on the accutane and they only stymied and calmed the little monsters for a few days before they got all puffy and nasty and sore again! I think 1 small one out of 8 or so was all that it actually helped and got rid of (still got the red spot though)... I told my family the other day that if there was a plastic surgery option to clear these things faster I would spend my savings on it and even go in debt if need be! I can't wait to be rid of these things ONCE AND FOR ALL!! I'm getting tired of my IB and ready for these damn things to start melting away ONCE AND FOR ALL!! Such utter, total, and COMPLETE CRAP!! UGH!!! Posted Image

Edited by Brownilocks, 14 December 2012 - 12:14 AM.


#7 secretsky

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:43 AM

Heitea...thanks for the pointers! I'll try to keep that in mind when it gets tempting to just push the suckers open. But I do agree with you to absolutely NOT touch the ones that don't come to a white head. I tried it once, and swore to never do it again. Another things I read on the internet is to only gently push the ones that no longer hurt and the white head is distinctly ready to just come out. I tried that the other day, and so far so good.

Brownilocks, I feel your pain, I really do! Unfortunately there will be good days and bad days :-( I have to keep mentally telling myself that this is temporary and that it shall soon pass. Its hard to do that at times because these pimples just don't stop! But again, its temporary. Just try to keep telling yourself that. OH and try not to read anything negative about pimples and other people experiences with accutane. I started to do that, and boy did I get worried! It's just added stress that no one needs.

Right now, I don't mind the red marks as much as the swollen red disgusting ones. Right now I have 4 active papules/pustules and like 15 red marks from the older ones. Plus that nasty bump that just doesn't want to go away that's smack in the middle of my right cheek for everyone to see! Blah. I agree, acne is just totally CRAPPY!

Brownilocks, do you use anything else on your face? or is it just the wash and moisturizer? How many mg are you taking? I'm just curious. When I was in the US and took my first dosage I was on 40 mg/day and then at the end of my course I took 80 mg on some days. Now being over seas I am taking a lower dose of 20 mg/day. Over here you can just walk in to the pharmacy and get accutane! Its crazy, but in a way an advantage to me. SO since I'm not necessarily monitored my a doctor per say (well I went to a derm but he was going to give me cold antibiotics that I knew wouldn't work and told him i'd just take accutane, he said ok! weird) I decided to stick to a lower dose just because I'm worried about side effects and not doing monthly blood work. I plan to request blood work but not monthly. Again, its something I can go to a clinic to do without a doc request (I know, insane). PLUS the medication I'm taking is called Netlook. So its a different generic and am kind of worried how my body will do with it. I always get the feeling that not all generics are the same. Ok, I'm blabbing....soooo I was just curious because what you have seems very similar to what I have.

I have also been on birth control which is suppose to keep acne at bay for so long now. My derm in the US advised to stay on it to keep the acne away. Did your derm by any chance prescribe anything else for you to take with your accutane like antibiotics? My derm didn't in the US but here I got myself some cephalexin. I can't tell if it's working or not because I didn't start taking it when I started accutane but there was a time I noticed that the swelling of the acne did go down.

Sorry, long post.
In any case, you'll have good and bad days, but I'll be here to help you through it if you'd like! I started on November 15, so I'm almost a month in and a few weeks ahead of you. I know that no two people get the same symptoms but acne sufferers know how it feels and can always relate. Others may not. I had a family member say that its no big deal! Yeah right! Well to me it is. I was always the pretty one, and now with these monsters on my face it does make you want to feel like not going out. BUT we gotta keep our head high and believe that one day, soon, we will be acne free!

Well, take care, and keep in touch!
Good Luck!
Secretysky

#8 Brownilocks

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for your helpful post Secretsky! I agree about not reading the negative on these boards. Talk about unnecessary anxiety... I think that a small few of the users on here are just on here to try and freak out those of us taking accutane as best they can... sheesh!

Anyways, in terms of products, I'm not even using moisturizer right now. I'm still not that dry. I've started getting a few flakes yesterday and plan on using Neutrogena sensitive skin moisturizer on my face. I've got Cetaphil cream too, but it would be way to heavy right now and I'm washing with plain old Dial gold bar soap. Not using anything else on my face right now. I WISH I could use some makeup, but its still too bad for that right now.

My derm didn't give me any antibiotics to take with mine. I know that you're not supposed to take tetracyclines like minocycline (which I was on before) because those in particular can cause brain swelling. She made me stay off them a week before I got on accutane. I know there are others that must be okay to use with the accutane though since other people seem to be taking them. I've heard of some people taking Bactrim with it, but I can't because I am allergic to it.

I feel I started on a higher dosage than most do, which is why its kind of strange that I'm not more dry yet. I am a really oily person naturally though and it seems that right before this breakout (I was 90-100% clear with tazorac topical only for 5/12 years before this), about 4 months ago, I started getting really, really oily. My face would shine and I couldn't shake it no matter what products I used or how much I washed it. It would get wet looking almost, so I guess my sebum just got REALLY out of control right before the severe acne formed? I am 110 lbs and started on 60mg/day on Nov. 30. I imagine if I don't see any more drying or much reduction in acne I'll get bumped up during my next visit, but not sure yet. I really don't care at this point, as long as it works and I don't get any severe side effects, I'm game!

I reallly do wish it was easier to get in the states... Waiting a month to get on it sucked and allowed my acne to get worse and spread! Posted Image Getting my first prescription filled was also sheer hell. Had to almost fight with the pharmacy and my doc to get it taken care of and it took about an hour of talking to one and then the other to get it filled. Finally, I made them just call each other since I got tired of trying to play the middle man... I swear, I am beginning to believe that it would be easier to get cocaine off the street in this country than to get a prescription filled for accutane! Its acne medication people, not mind altering narcotics... seriously!

Still, I am excited for this journey to play out. Ready to bansih this stuff and looking forward to talking about my acne in the past tense! I hope that your progress is making you hopeful! It is hard to go from being considered pretty and taking care of yourself to having disgusting acne all over your face and trying to explain to people that don't get it that "yes, I wash my face." Seriously? I run 20 miles a week to look good, they think I'm gonna neglect to wash my face?? Just venting...last time someone asked me that I said, "Why no, I've been smearing it with Crisco twice a day," the reaction was priceless. Gotta get some humor out of the situation still I guess! Good luck to you and I can't wait until we are on the other side of the fence, telling others what to look forward to rather than relating our journies through the worst of it!

#9 BMarieWantsNoAcne

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

LOL about the cocaine! It's probably true. It was such a pain getting my prescription the first month. I had to go to my pharmacy 4 stinking times and had numerous phone calls before it was sorted out. Lame!

#10 secretsky

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:35 PM

Yeah I remember those days in trying to fill out my prescription. OH and the doctor doing something to get the iPledge working every month so that I can access it! sheesh!! Annoying. That's why i was mentioning that I'm at an advantage here, i don't have to deal with that! I'm not sexually active so I'm not worried about it anyhow. Plus I'm on birth control anyhow bcs I wanted to keep the acne at bay (obviously didn't work)

So you started 15 days after me. How ironic. You won't really start to feel the real side effects kick in, like dryness, until about the end of the third week or so. Then things start to show up a bit more. How are your lips?

Well, today is kind of a bad day for me honestly. I'm getting flare ups its yuky. The doctor said i should be clearing up after a month! Well, I just started my second and I'm still feeling horrible. I have more really bad days compared to good days, unfortunately. And yes, I do prefer to just stay at home but I have no choice to go to work. So I'm trying to keep my head high. When I was on accutane the first time I started to clear up fast! But this time around just really sucks for me :-(

Wow 60 mg eh? That's more then your 1mg/kg. That's what they normally give as a daily dosage. How bad would you consider your acne? Is it all over your face? Other parts of your body? I'm just curious as to why your doc has you on such a high dose. I've never spoken to someone or known of someone on that dosage. I'm sure your doc knows better but I'm just curious because I am tempted to go back to 40mg - 80mg. Maybe there's a reason that I'm unaware of. Sorry if I sound nosy. I weigh 135 pounds.

But vent and complain all you want! Sometimes we need to just get it all out! I know I do :-)
Well take care and I'm actually looking forward to your posts now!
As always, best of luck
Secretysky

Oh, and I got so fed up with one of those damn cysts that I squeezed at it for the heck of it! That's how frustrated I am! Goodness

#11 Brownilocks

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:48 PM

Yeah that's what I thought! I talked to my derm to double check. I'm 50kg so its about 1.2mg/kg, so not much more than the recommended starting dosage.. My acne is definelty severe. Had trouble walking and blurry vision when it first came up so they thought acne fulminans but its only on my face, so then they thought pyoderma faciale but said that usually presents with rosacea, which I don't have, so now back to just real bad severe acne. I will say that it itches and hurts really bad. So bad I almost needed a straight jacket at first not to want to itch my face off, lol! It stabs and burns and has crusts over one part of it (right chin) and is interconnected. It drains on its own and burns so bad, almost like acid or something, when it does. Sorry I know that's all pretty gross... I guess they put me on such a high dose cause of all that? Maybe cause I'd gotten really, really oily on my face too (too much sebum?) like wet looking all the time starting about 4 months before this all happened... I am just now getting miniature dry flakes at day 15 on my face, so I'm not too worried about the dosage. Doc said we could change it if I had had bad effects and go down, but so far so good and hoping tht continues here on out! I got another opinion from another derm and she also said that 60mg/kg should be fine for my weight and acne severity, so going on that for now and keeping my head up!! Hope to be doing better soon! :)

#12 secretsky

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:23 AM

Ah, Okay...I see. Makes sense now. But you're right, they probably think that its severe enough to get you on the full dose right away. I'd say my acne is more moderate or moderate/severe. Its just on my cheeks and chin (so far, knocking on wood here). I hope I don't flare in places that I normally don't flare in :-/ Goodness, scary thought there.
But if you can tolerate that dose then go for it! Did they say if your acne was hormonal?
I was almost 29 when I first went on accutane too. Now I'm 31. I think its adult acne which seems more stubborn compared to the teenage acne. Blah.
No your details aren't sickening to me...been there, done that! Acne in itself is gross so there's no going around that, right?
The doctor told me that I should see results after a month :-( Still nothing....got too many flare ups that I stopped counting and keep expecting another one to come up. Sucks, but just like you, I hope to be doing better soon!
I'll keep you posted on my progress!
Keep in touch :-)

#13 Brownilocks

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:06 AM

So I feel like I've been seeing some progress now on day 24 with accutane but I'm still having trouble resisting the urge to squeeze. I can go about 2 days max without picking at the dry skin or a cyst if it has a small white head showing. So far so good with not spreading it worse than it already is (knock on wood), but I'm scared I'm going to go too far and really irritate one soon... It's been 4 months of this big, sore cystic crap and I keep getting the idea that if I pick and drain it it will go away sooner. I try to tell myself not to do it or to stop but I can't. It's like seeing some of the infection draining motivates me to keep squeezing harder to try to get more out... I need to stop breaking down and doing this... Trying not to look in the mirror, but its hard and I keep wanting to see if I've made any new progress. Starting tomorrow I'm going to try to go a week without picking at anything.... Wish me luck, I'm gonna need it... Posted Image

#14 secretsky

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:12 PM

Sorry for responding so late. I've been super busy over the holidays.
So how's your not picking going? You know I've been better at it. I'll tell you what I do. I am still breaking out terribly :-( So I've been getting like 5-8 pimples every time I flare up and out of those pimples I'd ONLY stick to popping ONE and leaving the rest. So far I've noticed where I pick I get others coming up close to it and where I don't it clears up (knocking on wood). You might want to try it out yourself if you still have that picking urge. It helps me because when I see the difference in how i can affect my own skin it motivates me to just not pick.
When I pick it actually looks MUCH redder. When I don't pick the pimples seem to linger a bit longer BUT i don't have the redness and the bloody 'cut' that you get when you pop. So the scar from the popping is staying much longer even though the pimple itself may be gone.

Not sure if this will help. But try your best not to pick and you'll see the difference.

What day are you on now?
I'm starting my 8th week and I don't see any improvements yet. BUT I'm really starting to think that I am the exception to the normal person on accutane. My acne is SO much more stubborn compared to others so don't let my experience discourage you. I was on accutane before and I was almost clear by the end of my first month. This time around however is just different.

Well, take care, and I look forward to seeing your updates.
Secretsky

#15 Brownilocks

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

I am just beginning month two (day 33 or 35 if you count the 2 days without meds while I waited for my bloodwork to come back). I've been doing much better with the popping. I've noticed that if I don't overanalyze it in the mirror, I'm less inclined to pick at it, so I don't dwell in front of the mirror now looking for slight improvement every day. I'm just going to be patient and try not to think about it as much! I've been pretty good about not picking at it this week. The only time I do is when I get a huge whitehead and then I just lightly squeeze and stop when it stops coming out and that seems to be helping. I'm not doing as much damage and spreading them and they seem to get smaller after. I like your idea of telling myself to just squeeze at one to make yourself feel better, without making a mess of everything else on my face!

Are you still on the 20mg/day? I'm still on 60mg for month 2 and my derm says I will probably stay on the same dosage throughout my treatment, but I'm not averse to going up to 80mg if need be, despite my weight, as long as I don't get bad side effects and if I need it to get rid of this crud once and for all! I'm pretty severe and my derm told me to be patient because the majority of people have a rough go of it the first month. Month 3 seems to be a better indicator of when improvement begins, especially for severe patients, but I've been told it could take 4 or 5 months even if the acne is stubborn enough... Trying to stay patient and I am happy that its not at the level it was before during the horrible IB! I'm feeling and looking better, its just gonna be a slow, slow process... Can't wait to walk around with my pretty, smooth skin this summer sans makeup though!!! ;)

#16 secretsky

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:41 PM

Yeah I am still on 20mg. I'm on week eight with no improvement so far. Today was a rough day. Pimples are disgustingly red and my face is extremely dry that it hurts. That cyst on my cheek just doesn't want to go!! It's frustrating.
Trying to be optimistic!
I'm happy to hear that your starting it see some improvement. I can't wait til we both can walk around with clear faces!
Keep in touch !

#17 Brownilocks

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:31 PM

Hey secretsky,
Hope you are starting to get better!
I have been squeezing a little since my last post... I created 2 huge cysts on my jawline from 1 tiny one by doing this.... That was the point I decided to really try and stop once and for all! Not looking in the mirror excessively now or squeezing at anything! I've been good for about 5 or 6 days now... Hope it lasts! Wish me luck! ;)

#18 whoartthou1

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:45 PM

Hey, i don't ever squeeze or pick at my pimples, but I do get A LOT of dead skin over my acne. The dead skin drives me nuts, so usually rub the dead skin off of my skin and acne. Not sure if this is causing damage though. Also how exactly does an acne scab look like compared to a scab from when you fall and cut yourself?