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My Isotretinoin Claravis Logs

isotretinoin accutane claravis cystic nodular whitehead blackhead hyperplasia acne

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#1 user101

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:41 PM

Weekly Log Summary (big picture stuff):

  • isotretinon-week-1(on low fat diet few days and high fat diet on other days): no dry skin, no dry/chapped lips, joint soreness, itchy scalp, no initial breakout, on and off mid headaches(seems to go down when i stopped coffee), fatigue and slower healing times(get tired easily, plenty of rest helps)
  • isotretinon-week-2:(on a low fat diet, and no caffeine): drier skin(not too dry, just rier than usual), super chapped and dry lips, my lips cannot be any worse, joint soreness is reduced, itchy scalp is reduced, i got like one cyst, thats how much activity i had before Isotret, so i dont know if i can call that IB, no more headaches, not much fatigue anymore, thirsty feeling reduced, I had a small rash on my forehands(both), which seems to go away after moisturizing more often, i think since i wash hands a lot of times and everytime after i wash my hands i dont moisturize, the result is a very dry forehands that is susceptible to rash. i dont see much improvements in my hyperplasia
  • isotretinon-week-3:(on a low fat diet, and no caffeine): dry skin, chapped lips, mild joint soreness and mild muscle aches that comes and goes. acne got slightly worse.
  • isotretinon-week-4:(on a low fat diet, and no caffeine): dry skin, less chapped lips, mild joint soreness and mild muscle aches that comes and goes. acne got slightly worse, blackheads are starting to show up on the skin surface, cleared blood tests, so i am good for another month supply.
  • isotretinon-week-5:(on a low fat diet, and no caffeine): same as week 4
  • isotretinon-week-6:(on a medium fat diet, and 1-2 cups of coffee a day): during the beginning of this week, i am having the worst breakout since the treatment started, few huge cysts on my left cheek, lot of smaller red bumps around my lips area, white substance is coming out of the pores, they are hard and feel like beach sand particles, first i thought they were blackheads, but they were not black in color at all, super dry lips and deeper cracked lip-sides that are very slow to heal, despite the fact that i moisturize my lips once every hour, the lips side crack are the worse, in 5 days they have barely healed, also dry nose bleeds persists. the breakouts are going down towards the end of this week. 
  • isotretinon-week-7:(on a medium fat diet, and no caffeine): 

 

 

*********************************************original logs when this all started**********************************************

 

DAY 1: this is my DAY1 on isotretinoin, my starting doasge is 30mg Claravis, 2 pills a day with food, that's 60mg/day, i plan on taking right after breakfast and dinner.


this is an elaborate log/description with titles for each paragraphs, so if you dont want to read some topics you can skip thru'. this description explains my path to isotretinoin, and my acne history, etc. I will post more as the days/weeks move forward and when I make some progress.

Conditions that i am treated for:
(1) acne, one or two cystic spots on my face, a few more whiteheads and blackheads also on my face.
(2) scalp folliculitis, about 10 spots on my scalp all around my scalp and not specific to one location on scalp, this would be of cystic severity, so i feel uncomfortable sleeping, these cysts would press against the pillow and cause pain, but not as embarrassing as facial acne, its not visible.
(3) sebaceous hyperplasia, bumps all over my face, more so around the mouth, nose and the shaving line, less concentration on cheeks, forehead and other areas. They look like a larger white head, but when i touch it, it does not pain and this adds up the appearance of the face in a bad way.

Background info about me: I am a 26 years old male, combination skin type (some parts of my skin are very oily, other parts are dry), active social lifestyle, single, work at a desk job with people and computers, so occasionally stressful job, i wear contacts for my vision correction, i workout almost 5 days a week, workouts are not intense, i am a social drinker, i drink alcohol during the weekends, not every weekend though, i do not smoke, i have an average sports/outdoor lifestyle (this is for sun exposure). I live near DC. I am not sure how much of this is relevant, but this should paint a baseline picture about me:)

My acne history and past treatments (this has sub-paragraphs with titles):

Started with home/OTC treatments: I started getting acne when i was about 15 years old, at that time the severity was very mild, few white heads in face area. I started with home treatments like 'wash face more often, rub a slice of lemon on my face, salicylic acid, benzoyl perozide, blackhead extraction with comedone extractor device, etc. At this point i kinda self-prescribed these treatments without going to a doctor or a derm. These treatments helped but not quite complete. for example, if i had 10 spots, these treatments would reduce them to like 5 spots, but i still had 5 spots sporadically. As i got older like 17/18 years, i started getting more acne lesions. I also used to believe in acne myths like diet, masturbation, dairy, aspartame in diet soda, etc, so i made adjustments in lifestyle to adapt, but that did not change anything, not even a placebo effect. So i continue to treat myself because that helped partially and i did not want to goto a doctor for something as simple and common as acne, in other words i was quite ignorant. When i was about 20 years old, i started getting scalp acne, for which i got shampoo that treats scalp acne, which also only worked out partially.

antibiotic #1 (minocycline+benzaclin in am+tretinoin before bed time): when i was about 22 years old, i decided enough is enough with acne & home treatments, i seeked medical treatments, mainly because of acne scarring. i went to a general physician and not a derm, he prescribed me minocycline 100 mg, twice a day, it worked as long as i was taking the pill, so my doctor told me to taper down the doasge, when i did that, my acne started coming back, so i went to a derm this time, my derm put me back on starting dosage for mino and this time he gave topical medication like benzaclin in am and tretinoin before bed. this worked, so my derm told me to taper the dose down for mino while keeping the topical medications unchanged. I did that, the acne strated to come back. i was on this roller coaster ride of going back and forth with the dosage for about 4 years. I decided that this only works when i am on full dosage, and i cannot take antibiotics for years, so for second opinion, i went to another derm, and he wanted to change medication. Also in this four years, i started developing a condition called sebaceous hyperplasia.

antibiotic #2 (bactrim+benzaclin in am+tazorac before bed time): this combo worked, and it even worked after tapering the dose down from 2 pills a day to one pill a day, so i finally thought this might it. these treatments only helped acne on face and scalp, not the hyperplasia. my derm said, if i continue using tazorac, over time, hyperplasia would slowly go away, i did not see any signs of that during my 4 month course, but may be it takes longer, who knows. finally my derm wanted me to taper the dosage down to zero. it was good until two weeks after i stopped the pill, then i started getting acne again. i felt bad, because after spending so much time and money, i am now back to square one.

isotretinon: All along i was aware of isotretinoin/accutane, and how dramatic the results were, i was very reluctant to jump into it because of the side-effect warnings. But now that I have tried everything else, and i have persistent acne, i have nothing but isotretinoin to try. I went up to my derm, same as the one who prescribed tazorac, and asked for isotretinoin, we went thru' all the possible side-effects, and I had to sign a consent form and i get an iPledge ID card. the process is pain-staking, i got my blood work done few days back and my derm ok'd for prescription. I picked it up yesterday and i started my first pill today morning, DAY 1. I am looking forward to the results, not so much for the side-effects...lol.

few articles that gave me the confidence to proceed with isotretinoin (despite the side effects scare):
these links allow me to relax a little bit, esp. because the way it was written, they say even though the side effects are more popular than the drug itself, in other words the drug is very controversial, they say most of the serious side effects occur only in very small percentage of the folks, which lets me think more rational, i hope this helps you too, if you are looking for articles to tell you this might be ok.
http://www.dermatolo...otretinoin.html

http://www.ijdvl.com...82;aulast=Sheth


my expectations from isotretinoin: I think the sebaceous hyperplasia will return once i complete the isotretinoin, atleast i expect long term remission from the facial and scalp acne, also not so oily face and scalp:). also i have a few blackheads which i am hoping to get pushed out. Usually to retain the results of isotretinoin treatment, dermatologists prescribe either a low does isotretinoin or a retin-A kinda topical after the isotretinoin, i hope something like that would keep the hyperplasia from coming back. though i am not quite positive about all that, and also i dont want to get too ahead of myself, lets see how this all plays out for me.

P.S: although i used brand names for medications in my blog, i always got the generic ones, generic ones have longer names, and i am lazy, so i used the brand names to make my drafting easier...lol.

thanks for patiently reading thru' my thought process, more updates to come.

I welcome any comments and constructive criticism.


Edited by user101, 23 January 2013 - 12:52 PM.


#2 Aballarina

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

Good luck! I'm on day 9 so we aren't that far apart!
I agree with what you mean about the side effects, but I felt as though any pill I to

Good luck! I'm on day 9 so we aren't that far apart!
I agree with what you mean about the side effects, but I felt as though any pill I toOk couldve given side effects too
Especially since you have more than 1 condition to treat :) I started getting my
Ib 2 days ago.. Hope it doesnt last too long! Besides that chapped lips And my nose peeling, Pretty thirsty lol

#3 Bnh394

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:12 PM

Good luck to the both of you!

I'm also just starting (5th day) Claravis 40mg 2x daily and I'm scared as ever. I've been experiencing dry nostrils and headaches most so far. Not really a initial breakout other than my shoulders really. I'm 25 yrs old with a similar lifestyle and a contact user as well. I heard that Oasis preservative free drops are great for eyes and that Dans cortibalm lip balm is the best for lips. I have recently purchased 2 of each and use them faithfully lol I'm currently using cetaphil face wash and cream as well.

#4 austinhuang

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:56 PM

Same day as Aballarina!

Hope everything goes well for all of us!

#5 user101

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:50 PM

Nice to know I have Isotret buddies..:)....good luck to all of us, lets all cheer each other thru' this adventurous ordeal...lol

DAY 2 update - about 4 new breakout spots on the right side of my face, really mild ones, my left side is clear and nothing so far, my skin is still oily as ever, so i am not moisturizing yet, no dry lips or anything yet.

aballarina, if you have made it this far, then the only milestone that you need to clear is your first month's blood work, looks like your body can handle the drug....thats fairly good news....keep us posted...

Bnh394, how are the headaches now?, i read somewhere that tylenol or advil helps the headaches, pls talk to your doc about possibility of drug interactions before you try that...keep us posted....

more updates to follow...

#6 LainWired80

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:38 PM

hey! i know that because your face is oily you dont moisturize. but that is actually a false belief. moistruizing your skin actually prevents your skin from being oily. the reason your skin produces oil is because it thinks your face lacks prospective oil so it produces more. You should still use toner and moisturizer everyday.

#7 user101

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:45 PM

thanks LainWired80, ok, i will start using moisturizer, any particular brand recommendations?,

I used to use the cerave spf30 moisturizer when i was using benzaclin generic, i still have left overs of that, i am going to use that before i can get your recommendations.....

#8 LainWired80

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:58 PM

humm im not really sure because I actually use moisturizers i get from asia haha. also i meant to type protective not prospective haha. Once my skin start getting really dry I was thinking of splurging and maybe buying one from kiehls because apparently their products are really good

#9 user101

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:22 PM

ok, keep us posted about your experiences with kiehls products, whenever you get them...also your exp on Isotret on a regular basis....

#10 user101

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

DAY 3: nothing new, no dry skin yet, no dry lips yet, no side effects yet, no new acne yet.

I am aware that this takes time, so these are not complaints from my impatience....these are just logs...so i can keep track of it in case i need reference later....

my eyes got a little red yesterday, may be that is because i was watching too much TV...lol....it is better to be safe than sorry, so i switched to glasses today instead of contacts...this is just me over reacting to something....lol....i thought i would just log this....just in case....

also i forgot to mention a detail on my earlier write-up, i wear braces and i had an ortho appointment today....i told my ortho about how i am on a new medication now....he said not to worry about it and that will not interfere with my braces, he said "accutane is known to metabolize the bones faster, but that wont affect the teeth"...those were his exact words.....i didn't completely understand what he meant by "metabolize bones faster", but i trust his judgement.....i am writing this for anyone who is worried about thier braces or gum bleeding as a possible side effect from Isotret....that may have nothing to do with Isotret....

Also I have started using moisturizer, and on top of that my face is oily, so my face right now looks super oily.....like a oil factory worker....lol

more updates to follow....

#11 LainWired80

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:35 PM

hey you know what i remembered when i was really oily i used a sample size of this
http://www.kiehls.co...ce-moisturizers

and few hrs later i expected myself to be really oily but when i checked i was not oily at all! I was so surprised. try using this moistruizer. or just go get a sample at nordys ! let me know how it works

#12 user101

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:50 PM

LainWired, cool i will check it out and let you know later if i like it, thanks for suggestion:)

#13 user101

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:53 AM

DAY 4:
  • on day 2, I had 4 mild acne and 1 cystic acne (cystic acne was pre-treatment), all of them have gone down now. I can still see them, but barely.
  • same status on my scalp, all of the ones that used to be there seem to go down.
  • no dryness what-so ever, except my hands are a little drier than usual, but thats prob. because its cold weather.
  • my scalp has been itchy since last night, i try not to scratch them.
  • very thirsty all the time.
  • my knee joints seems slightly sore today, I am not sure if its the medication.
  • i walked like 5 laps around my office building and that seems to alleviate the joint soreness.
more updates to come....

Edited by user101, 18 December 2012 - 05:03 PM.


#14 Casey10

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:57 AM

Just started clavaris yesterday for the first time. I appreciate the the thorough description. It is reassuring to know there are other people going though the same process! It'll be exciting to see results.

Cheers

#15 user101

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:55 PM

thanks Casey10, yeah we are only 5 days apart, we should share experiences thru' this ordeal.

DAY 5:
  • skin feels slightly better, still oily though, no dry lips or dry skin yet, since my skin hasnt gotten drier yet, so i have decided to go back to contacts, no glasses until i start feeling some dryness.
  • some new acne on my scalp, but they seem to be going down already (within like a 6-hr window), usually it takes longer for new acne to go down on its own, Isotret seems to be speeding up the process, it is also causing new acne faster, or atleast thats the way i feel right now, feels like i am on a acne time machine....lol
  • itchy scalp and thirst continues.
  • joint aches have slightly worsened, sore knee continues (walking and drinking more water helps), my left elbow pains when i bend my elbow in a particular way, it feels way weaker, i was able to bench press more than 160/170 lbs, now it slightly pains when i even push the doors open(the heavier and huge doors in government buildings, not the usual ones), i hope this a temp. thing. These things usually heals after few days, so i am going to wait and see before i blame it on the Isotret. I also notified my derm's office, and i am about to have a phone appointment with my derm today, lets see what he has to say, more updates to follow on this particular topic.
  • I have been reading since morning about the joint pains and accutane, people who are on lower dosage dont seem to have this problem, it just takes a little longer for the treatment to complete like 6 months instead of 4 months, so that is something to keep in mind. I am not going to opt. for it right away, i am going to wait a few more days and see how my joints recover. I am trying to be extra careful, because joint pains are one of the side effects that seems to be permanent, even after the treatment ends.


#16 user101

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:09 AM

DAY 6:
  • no dryness yet, facial skin is less oilier.
  • itchy scalp and thirst continues.
  • the pain in my left elbow has gone down, looks like it is healing, may be Isotret is not the culprit, may be i just hit something and i didnt even realize it..lol. Just so you know, it wasn't paining all the time, it only pained yesterday when i bent my elbow in a certain way, now i dont even feel that pain.
  • even though people say it is ok to drink coffee and protein shakes while on accutane, i am going to experiement a little bit, i stopped drinking coffee today morning and thats going to continue for a few days, then i am going to resume and see if that makes any difference. I am going to do similar experiment with protein shakes sometime next week once i am done with the coffee experiment, updates on those things will follow as well.
more updates to follow....

#17 user101

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

DAY 7:
  • my facial skin is not dry, but less oily, skin looks a tad better.
  • the left side on my lower lip is getting chapped,
  • still thirsty, i am now getting used to this level of water intake,
  • my scalp is not that itchy,
  • no IB yet(i have one new whitehead, dont think its the IB).
  • sore joints continue(knee and elbow), fatigue(getting tired easily), slower healing time, which means i need a lot of rest.
  • i had a mild headache yesterday, stopping coffee helped a little bit, so today i dont have headaches. this is my second day on no coffee diet, lets see how this goes, i am going to continue this for another 2-3 days. If you are getting headaches, try quitting coffee and see if that helps, it helps for me, there is no guarantee this will help you, but it is worth the try.
one advice for my fellow Isotret users, try to be on a low fat diet, it really helps, i know it is very hard to do that during the holiday season, but try, one day i was eating five guys' burgers, pizza, cup cakes, etc....the next couple of days, i felt heavy headed....even though i was working out....the past couple of days....i have been on low fat, low carb, no coffee diet, i feel a lot better.

more updates to follow....

#18 user101

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

the world did not end yesterday, and there we have it, my day 8 log.....lol

DAY 8:
  • i think i am having IB, two new whiteheads, and two new cysts on my face, yuck.....i thought i was mentally prepared to handle IB, but apparently i am not....i cant wait for the first month to end.....
  • my 'sebaceous hyperplasia' has gone down, i would say...gone down by 30-40 percent, so my skin looks smoother than before treatment....still more progress to make here.....
  • everything else is the same as yesterday, my whole body is dry except face and scalp, my lips are chapped, i have lost my lip balm, i dont know where i put it, wow...what a time to lose my lip balm....lol....not a big deal...i am going to go get another one from the drugstore....
  • I am still thirsty and have a itchy scalp.
  • sore joints, fatigue, slow healing continues.
Happy Holidays to all the readers, and merry Xmas!!!

for the whole first month, I am thinking of logging everyday, once i get past the first month, IB and all the awkwardness, then i am thinking of just logging once a week or once in 15 days...if you are reading this and if you find my daily logs useful, please reply or like, by that way i know how often i should log....

more updates to follow.

Edited by user101, 22 December 2012 - 01:59 PM.


#19 user101

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:32 AM

DAY 9:
  • no new breakouts, but the ones that brokeout yesterday got bigger, more visible, I am worried about scarring.
  • my lips are fully chapped now....thanks to Isotret....lol.....
  • itchy scalp, facial skin is not dry at all, it is less oily though.
  • sore joints continue, stretching exercises in the morning seems to help.
  • nothing else is new.....
more updates to come....

#20 user101

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

DAY 10:
  • my lips are crazy chapped and cracked, i have never had chapped lips like these before, this is just too dry, i am using aquaphor lip balm like every half hr, still its super dry, my lips are peeling too, so it looks like i am doing heroin now....lol...ftr...i dont do drugs...
  • everything else is the same as yesterday..
the good news is I have cleared the first milestone, which is the 9 day milestone, body takes 9 days to eliminate Isotret, so now it looks like my body can handle the drug....the next milestone to clear is the first month blood work....

I am travelling to NYC for Christmas and new years.....but i will still post the updates on log.....good luck to other users....and Happy Holidays....

more updates to come....




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