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muttnchops

Accutanity!

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Hello, world! My name's Rachel. I'll cut to the chase-I have had moderate acne since I was a wee little thing, beginning in 6th grade with a pimple here and there. As I went through middle and high school, my acne got worse but really was never anything too bad, maybe 2-3 active(but not huge) pimples at any given time. Well, in the latter half of 2012 my face erupted with acne. I was 20 years old at the time. I attributed it to my high stress levels and poor diet, but the acne remained even when these things were long gone. Since that happened I have tried several different things. I've tried Proactiv, Maxclarity, many salicylic washes on the shelves, and I've slathered all kinds of random things on my face. Really..most everything in my kitchen I have tried putting on my face at one time or another(thanks Pinterest).

Anywho, after some serious stubbornness I finally gave in and went to the dermatologist. She took one look at me and asked me how I felt about Accutane. I was shocked and apprehensive because I didn't think mine was that bad and I had done research on how serious some Accutane effects can be. I expected some topical to clear me right up. But I have a persistent, cystic acne that loves to get in real deep and scar. I consider my acne mild/moderate but it is definitely persistent. So after a few minutes of feeling totally disgruntled I decided to hear my dermatologist out and I went for it.

During the one month waiting period, I was on Monodox, an antibiotic prescribed by the dermatologist to prepare my skin for Accutane. I began my Isotretinoin treatment on May 30th, Day 1 of taking pillz. I plan to update at least once a week and provide pictures of progress with the potential of venting, ranting, and digressing.

My stats:

Female

Type: Absorica

Dose: 40 mg/day

Age: 21 years

Height: 5 foot 1 inch

Weight: 105 lbs

These pictures are from before Isotretinoin treatment. As you can see, my acne resides on my cheeks and jawline for the most part.

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My name is Rachel too! Same age and exactly same acne!!!!!! I am on my 5th montht on 40mg a day. My acne has gone except i have redness and a lot of hyperpigmetatoon with a couple of scars... I still have a moth left and apperently redness and pigmentation evens out after i stop the drug. Good luck!

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Since I'm already technically on day 13, I'll sum up these past couple weeks.

WEEK 1

No huge changes (sigh of relief). after a few days, my lips started to feel dry. not peely or chappy, but the best way I can describe the feeling is pruny. I noticed the active breakouts drying out with dry peely skin around it. A few little pimples beginning to surface. Trouble falling asleep but not sure if thats related or not.. Anyway no IB the first week but definitely was not gonna get my hopes up..

WEEK 2

Okay. Lips are definitely dry now. So glad I've had aquaphor on them night and day so far, they'd probably be bleeding and cracked by now if I didnt. My skin is super itchy! on both my arms and legs. Moisturizing 2-3x daily. Also, taking preventative measures against nosebleeds by swabbing vaseline in my nose before bed. It's working so far.. though I have had some bloody boogers, haha. Around day 9 I noticed some serious soreness in my back and fatigue. I had to skip going out with friends cause all I wanted to do after work was sleep >_> Also, my skin has been more flushed than normal. Which looks fabulous, having a different color chin than neck.

Overall though, my skin feels smoother. Only one active pimple, the rest are dried/drying up but still scarring. Since my face is flushed I feel like that makes the scars even more noticeable too. OH and I feel like every single pore on my face is opening up or something. They look huge!

Really hoping since I havn't had an initial breakout so far that it won't happen.

First two pics were taken day 2, last two pics were taken sometime during week 2. You can probably see that week 2 my skin has smoothed out a bit, though there is still plenty of scarring and flushing.

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My name is Rachel too! Same age and exactly same acne!!!!!! I am on my 5th montht on 40mg a day. My acne has gone except i have redness and a lot of hyperpigmetatoon with a couple of scars... I still have a moth left and apperently redness and pigmentation evens out after i stop the drug. Good luck!

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DAY 17

Since my last post Ive seen a couple of changes.

The Good: Everything is drying up! After a long day of running around at work my face is not greasy! My makeup actually stays in place, its wonderful not coming home looking like an oily mess. Also, my hair doesnt get oily, I went 2 full days(and couldve prob gone more) without it looking the least bit dirty or oily. This comes in especially handy if you are a dirty hippie like me and hate being bothered to wash and style your hair all the time.

The Bad: Still dry and very itchy everything of course, but nothing beyond manageable. Ive gotten lazy with aquaphor and lotion the past few days and am now suffering the effects, but its whatever. Also, earlier in the week i had some mood swings. I had a couple seriously bratty moments I had to repent and apologize for. I feel like it's more because of my bad sleeping patterns, though so I cant really blame accutane. I've also had a couple of smallish pimples here and there, except...

The Ugly: Mount Vesuvius is active in the figurative Italy that is my face. Large painful zit right on the underside of my chin. Kinda reminds me of that episode of Doug I saw as a kid where Doug gets that massive zit that starts talking to him. And then the zit gets some friends and they start playing card games.. or something. Hopefully someone knows what Im talking about.

I already had a close friend notice the change in my skin and compliment me today! Yay, affirmation!

Anyone have any advice or products (makeup, skincare, etc) that they've had success with?

Pictures will be posted soon. But for now, enjoy this picture that demonstrates what I do when life gives me lemons.

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OMG, i remember Doug. Wasn't it around the same time as Hey! Arnold and Rugrats? i never saw that episode but i think i'll you tube it. The itchiness sucks but if you stay moisturized and drink LOTS of water, it will make a difference tremendously.

Good Luck with your course


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.


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Water water water. When I was on accutane these are the products I couldn't live without.

Moisturizer CeraVe moisturizing cream in the tub, it's light but thick and extremely moisturizing and soaks into skin quickly and doesn't leave ya greasy.

Face wash CeraVe foaming face wash. Makes ya feel deep clean and not oily or shiny.

Body Vaseline intensive care used every other day

Lips bag balm is a must and Carmex hydrocortisone when they get really bad because they will

Spot treatments used neosporin cream

Rashes I used hydrocortisone cream or CeraVe cream

Nose vaseline and a q tip for the bloody noses. Just coat the inside of your nostril and bloody noses will stop if u get them later in your course

Fish oil for joints

As for the water a good rule of thumb if your urine is yellow your not drinking enough if it is clear your fluid intake is good.


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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Really noticeable improvement! smile.png I feel your joy.

GL

Thank you ! Its always good to hear it from someone else, sometimes I think I try to convince myself its better/worse even if it hasnt changed. Hearing from others keeps me sane :P

OMG, i remember Doug. Wasn't it around the same time as Hey! Arnold and Rugrats? i never saw that episode but i think i'll you tube it. The itchiness sucks but if you stay moisturized and drink LOTS of water, it will make a difference tremendously.

Good Luck with your course

YES! It totally was around that time. I have been moisturizing well (at least i think, im used to hardly moisturizing at all so it feels like im doing it a lot now) but i DEFINITELY need to be drinking more water. Thanks!

Water water water. When I was on accutane these are the products I couldn't live without.

Moisturizer CeraVe moisturizing cream in the tub, it's light but thick and extremely moisturizing and soaks into skin quickly and doesn't leave ya greasy.

Face wash CeraVe foaming face wash. Makes ya feel deep clean and not oily or shiny.

Body Vaseline intensive care used every other day

Lips bag balm is a must and Carmex hydrocortisone when they get really bad because they will

Spot treatments used neosporin cream

Rashes I used hydrocortisone cream or CeraVe cream

Nose vaseline and a q tip for the bloody noses. Just coat the inside of your nostril and bloody noses will stop if u get them later in your course

Fish oil for joints

As for the water a good rule of thumb if your urine is yellow your not drinking enough if it is clear your fluid intake is good.

Wow, thanks for all the tips! I have definitely heard some good things about CeraVe. Right now im using the Cetaphil cleanser and cream, are they similar to CeraVe products? I'm gonna try to get me some Bag Balm, ive never even heard of it before you mentioned! I just found out that it was originally made for irritated cow udders, ahhah. But it looks like it has great reviews for use as a lip balm/salve :)

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DAY 22

Ive been starting to feel pretty optimistic about this whole accutane thing. Not that my face is in it's greatest shape, but nevertheless optimistic. Almost done with month one and if I can do month one, I can do all of 'em.wiggle.gif

In my last update I mentioned Mount Vesuvius on the under side of my chin. Well, it's lying dormant now. Insead, the neighboring area along my jawline has, in fact, revealed itself to be a volcanic hot spot. One large and rather painful nodule type zit and the rest just small pustules. And of course I cant just leave things be so I have been going to town on them all week trying to pick and pop. You know the deal.. now Im suffering the consequences with scabby spots on my jawline.

But Ive still gotta count my blessings because if it's day 22 and thats the worst Ive gotten so far, it seems pretty peachy compared to what many other people go through. Kudos and respect to those who have suffered many things in the name of the IB.

Other updates: Very chapped lips, have to keep Aquaphor on them consistently. Skin is still dry and itchy, and now when

I don't put moisturizer on my face right after showering it definitely gets flaky. I also feel like I've been noticing more blackheads covering my nose and chin. Maybe theyre just getting pushed out of the pores though so theyre more noticeable. I havn't had any mood swings or pain in joints or back though lately, so Im definitely happy about that.

Anyway I'm going to the lab tomorrow morning for blood work. Wooo.

Here are the pictures I promised, taken yesterday.

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Your skin is looking really good! Let's hope this is your IB and your getting out easy! It's about the right timing for one. Also those black heads you are seeing is the accutane pushing them out. It's pretty cool to watch happen. It's like your watching progress which is def encouraging! Your at the time where you are moisturizer become the best of friends. I used CeraVe cream in the tub and oh my god it was a god send stopped itching and flaking right in its tracks. I bought it when I started my course in April of 2012 and I am still going on that me tub right now and used it 3 times a day on accutane and 2 times a day now. It goes a long way and it's the best product line out there. Most product lines that carry the same ingredients cost triple the price. I really recommend it if your not in love with your current moisturizer same with the AM moisturize by CeraVe. It has 30 SPF in it and is light and non greasy. I also love their face wash the foaming cleanser. I should be a spokes person for them I swear. But I really recommend them.

Also look into getting some bag balm if the aquaphor isn't doing the trick.


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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muttnchops

Do you have a special food regimen or not?

If yes, what do you eat?

What your derm has restricted? :)

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DAY 24

So... dry... Over just the past two days I've noticed it increasing everywhere. My scalp has become dry and I'm even noticing flakes.. time to switch shampoos I guess. Also, I'm shedding hair like a dog in summer. My face is definitely flaking all around. Unless I put on moisturizer right out of the shower, my makeup makes the flakiness much more visible. And lips.. still dry as ever but doesn't seem any worse. Although I went out last night and forgot my Aquaphor- when I reached for it and realized I left it at home I panicked, but promptly got over it and once I got home just slathered the junk on.

On a side note, I'm figuratively kicking myself because I've been picking at my face like a madwoman. At the moment I actually have no active spots but probably about five scabby or drying up spots that I won't leave alone. When I'm zoning out my hands just creep up and start excavating my face. So I've decided to focus my energy at not touching my face or letting my hands near my face, because I'm sure if I had left it alone they would be healed and history by now.

Moonlight-

Yeah, seeing these blackheads come up is actually more encouraging than angering. I def agree, its reassurance that Accutane is doing something other than sucking moisture from my lips. And thats awesome about the CeraVe, you should be a spokesperson because you just made a sale here. I'm heading out tonight to get me some of their AM moisturize and probably the foaming cleanser too. I'll let you know how I like it smile.png Right now, as long as I'm applying Aquaphor when needed it has been treating me very well. But if I start having to reapply it a ridiculous amount of times daily that's when ill know it's time to search out the bag balm.

Caucasus-

I do not have a food regimen suggested or prescribed by my doctor or dermatologist. I know that quite a few people taking Isotretinoin do take their pills along with a meal high in fat to promote absorption. Apparently the difference between Absorica, the one I'm taking, and most other versions is that Absorica is made to absorb better into your body without having to take it with a fatty meal. That said, over the past couple months I have made changes in my diet. I dramatically lowered the level of simple carbohydrates I intake(I used to wolf down sweets and junk food and sourdough bread), and I now try to get most of my carbs only from veggies and, less often, fruits. Not to say I don't let myself of the hook and cheat once or twice a week. I don't cancel out dairy because I looove cheese, even though I've noticed dairy seems to link to acne :/ I also eat fish, chicken, and occasionally a good steak. I actually enjoy cutting out simple carbs because its making me get more creative with preparing my meals so I enjoy them. I can make a mean mashed cauliflower dish. Mmm. Anyways now that I've rambled on and given you much more detailed of an answer than either of us was prepared for, I will conclude by wondering out loud(though i guess not too loud since this is written) whether the fact that I have been eating healthier since I started my treatment has been a reason that I have not been suffering too badly with side effects. Who knows?

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Haha I'm glad your going to give them a try. I'm sure your going to like them!! God knows I do lol. Ya let me know your thoughts on their products. I'm glad you seem to be getting along good with the meditations. I wish I was on absorica when I did accutane.it must be pretty new because I was just on accutane last year. Sounds like less of a hassle I always felt like I needed to ave a huge fatty meal when I took my pills. If not I would take them with fish oil and coconut oil. Which I didn't enjoy so much but hey it got the job done! Oddly enough my dermatologist never even mentioned the importance of taking accutane with a meal. I found that out on acne.org. Right along with everything else I know about accutane. By the end of my course I was telling my dermatologist things about the medication that she didn't even know. Then again I think a good majority of us orgers know more than the normal run of the mill dermatologist.


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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muttnchops

Thanks for such a detailed answer !

My weight is 176 lbs, and I'm on 12-th day (aknenormin) .

Dose: 40 mg

First time, doctor said that I should take 80 mg (1mg/1kg) but then changed his mind.

my acne is mild to moderite, but isotretinoin made my acne worse in first 10 days,

I experience only a few side effects so far (dry lips, very rarely mild headache)

I believe in this drug!

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DAY 26

No new/worsening side effects to report today. I did have my derm appointment this morning though. I didn't ask for any details on my bloodwork, but my dermatologist said there were no problems. So she asked about side effects then gave me a prescription for month 2. She didn't mention upping my dose but on the prescription sheet she wrote 45 mg instead of 40? I think it was an accident but who knows. She also didn't seem to know what month I was in.. whatever I guess she's a busy gal. I don't mind because any questions or problems I have had, the internet has proved itself a worthy resource in times past

Since I don't really have anything new, I'm gonna list all the products I'm using and how I like 'em. Feel free to

Skin:

Face: CeraVe AM moisturize in the morning. Love this stuff! Doesn't leave my face all shiny and just feels good.

Cetaphil cream (in the tub) in evening. Moisturizes very well, but leaves my face super shiny and greasy

looking (hence why I use it at night)

CeraVe foaming face wash. Happy with it so far.

Body: Cetaphil cream 1-2x daily. Does the job, since I started using it the itchiness in my skin has gone way down.

Lips: Aquaphor, probably beween 4-7 applications daily and slathered on before I go to sleep.

Smith's Rosebud Salve in a tube, used on occasion when I dont wanna have to smear Aquaphor on with my

finger. Works very well (but not quite as good as Aquaphor) plus it has a nice subtle scent

Hair: Shampoo is some L'Oreal EverPure sulfate-free shampoo for colored hair. Feelings are pretty neutral, I have no

problems with it but wouldnt say I'm ecstatic about it.

Conditioner: usually don't use it much but now my hair is feeling dry and brittle so I'm gonna start using every

time I wash now. Just bought some L'Oreal Color Vibrancy conditioner, haven't used it yet though.

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Ooo I'm glad you are giving CeraVe a go! I love the stuff. Seems like your jumping on the bandwagon too! Ya! Sounds like things are going good for you congrats! How's the acne coming along? Anything new there, seeing improvements?


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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DAY 34 (?)

Woo, made it through the dreaded first month alive. Right now still just chugging along, still getting some painful bumps but I've been too busy to really even care much..

As far as side effects go, nothing new. Getting used to the dry skin/lips thing and now lotion and lip balm/ointment are fairly routine. Actually though now that I think of it I did notice something else side effect related. A couple days ago I got to see my FAVORITE ska band. So as you can imagine, I was skankin' (it's not what you think it is) and dancin' and actin' a fool the whole time. Sooo its been like three days and I am still crazy sore. As in, walking down stairs sideways sore. And though I havnt been working out lately which definitely factors in, i do not usually get this sore even after doing a 4 mile run for the first time in months. Pretty convinced its all the tane's fault. Even if it isn't, it's always nice to have a scapegoat.

Acne wise, I have been breaking out on both my cheeks this past week. 3 painful nodule type spots, though Im not sure they are large enough to consider nodules. But very painful nevertheless. But I feel like theyre going away quicker while Im on Accutane than they usually would, in fact two are already dying down but one is just reaching its peak of ugliness and painfuless.

I'm at a point where Im feeling like Accutane isnt doing anything. Funny how if us humans don't visibly see something, we feel like it must not be there or active. I was so excited on week two because it seemed to smooth out my skin so quickly, but now feels like Im almost back where I started. I know that in due time, I will start seeing results. I guess I just gotta put patience into practice and keep reminding myself that noone other than me probably even notices that i broke out so I need to stop being a baby about it :P

Side note: I got a HUGE painful zit on the back of my scalp last week. The little bugger drove me mad. Don't know how that got there or why, or whether it's accutane related. But like i said about the scapegoat...

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I'm kinda in the same boat, after a couple weeks I had a huge reduction in oil but I think going from 20 to 40 mg has made some of the oil come back, not as much as before but enough and I'm still breaking out consistently although the spots are much more manageable now. Like you said, just gotta have patience. Also, I just want to say that I really like that you have such a positive attitude about all of this, keep it up :) you'll be clear in no time.

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Thanks Tim! Going into this I expected that I'd be an emotional mess the whole time on treatment. But I'm just counting my blessings and I know many people have it worse, with more severe acne or more painful cysts or friends/family that make the whole acne thing even tougher. That helps keep me centered and not feeling all sorry for myself ;) And yeah, glad to hear the spots are more manageable now but sorry to hear about the oil increase. It does seem like its a fairly typical thing to happen with an upped dose though, so I'm sure it'll resolve itself quickly.

Side note I wanted to sneak in: I am SO glad it's summer. My flushed face totally blends into the southern california lineup of sunburnt college kids. If it was winter, my perma-sunburned looking face might not fly so well.

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DAY 38

Scales. I'm starting to notice drier skin everywhere. My nose has a scaly region at the very tip, kinda on the bottom though so it's not super noticeable. My arms are also looking kinda rashy. But I do shave my arms and I think that might be what irritated them, because they were fine before that. If it gets worse I'll post a pic to gross you guys out a little tongue.png Also, I went to the beach Saturday, and didn't wear sunblock on my arms, only my face O: luckily it was kinda cloudy(wait, how is that lucky?!) and cool so I wore a sweater most of the time. My shoulders got a bit red just from that small amount of time, though!

I went running today, probably between 2-3 miles. I think its the first time since I began treatment actually. So I'm just hoping and praying I will be able to move tomorrow morning, cause I'd like to go running or at least walking again in the morning.

Anyways, onto what you're actually here to read. Acne. My huge nodules on my cheeks from last week have subsided or are in the process of subsiding, and now they're just flaky but for the most part inflammation is gone. I now have a little guy that is hopefully done growing in the region between my chin and cheek. He's not really painful but is inflamed so hopefully if I leave him alone he will leave me alone. Also underneath one of the cheek nodules that is drying up, I feel a bump forming. Not painful right now and not really inflamed but a lot can change overnight. I don't really notice any blackheads surfacing anymore and I do still have several whiteheads that have been hanging around but no noticeable increase in their number.

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Does anyone have recommendations to apply to emerging spots while on 'tane to calm them down? What have you guys tried, and any successes?

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I've had success with Mario Badescus buffering lotion but it only works on some spots if I catch them early enough. Since I've started accutane the only other thing I've used is The Lerosett mask which doesn't really do much as a spot treatment.

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thanks for the tips tim :)

DAY 45

For the past couple of days my skin appears to be improving. All the nodules from the past week or two are fading and nearly gone and I appear to have no significant new spots forming. All those blackheads that were pushing up a while back on my nose seem to have finished their biz and cleared out. I do notice that there remain several tiny whiteheads scattered around my chin and mouth area that haven't budged. But if that's all Im dealing with, I think I can handle having those. They arent even noticeable unless upon closer inspection, anyways.

Side effects have not worsened much. Still dry skin that gets bad if im not applying moisturizer straight out of the shower. Still very chapped lips. Since I serve at a restaurant with family-style portions, I have noticed after a long shift where Im carrying large trays with several heavy dishes and other lifting, I come home with lower back pain that sometimes makes it very difficult to walk for a day or maybe two. Im just gonna have to start taking it a little easier though. My hair isnt doing too badly and Im not experiencing significant hair loss, but I have been treating it better than I used to by using conditioner every day and an argan oil treatment after showering.

Anyways, I'm at a point where I could potentially feel comfortable going places with no foundation (maybe even no makeup at all!) in a short while if my skin continues improving. Which i'm really hoping for because my church group is going sailing at the end of the month and wants to make it an overnight trip, and I would love to not have to even think about needing to put makeup on, especially cause we will be in and out of the water.

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To your question about taming inflammation, desonide works well. If you don't have a prescription for that, over the counter hydrocortisone cream works well too. Both are corticosteroids and reduce inflammation. I tend to do this in the morning before I go out and focus more on moisturizing when i go to bed.


Accutane Log - Started April 5, 2013


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Thanks dude! Hopefully I won't be needing it, but I'll get to that later. First....

DAY 51!

I come with good tidings. I have noticed a dramatic improvement since my last update. Since then I have had no cysts or large painful pimples.. hardly anything at all. I think i have literally only gotten two tiny pimples that hardly even became inflamed. I am definitely noticing the hyperpigmentation I'm dealing with more than ever though since I'm not focusing so much on all the breakouts happening. But time will correct that so I ain't gonna worry about it right now. For now I just put on my foundation and go on with my day.

I'm just now starting to realize the effects that my acne has had on me since it started to get really bad when I was 20. I didnt really think much of it before but its definitely becoming evident. I literally would avoid having pictures taken of me(I can hardly find any pictures of me with friends from the past year). If my friends wanted to take one I would dread it and be worried about the lighting or this or that. I didn't want to go to the beach. Not to sound like a drama queen but to be quite honest I even think I lost alot of my pizazz and confidence and didn't even put the effort with my style like I normally have fun with. I became more introverted at work.

And now that I'm realizing these things, I'm feeling kind of lame for not doing something about it earlier, and letting it take such a toll on me. Maybe its just easier to say now since my skin is beginning to clear.. who knows.

Side effects: Nothing alarming, really. I have even begun to run 5x a week, 2-3 miles each day and no soreness beyond what is usual for me. I have been feeling a bit of pain in my hips that I'm not used to, but I'm sure some good stretches will help. Still crazy dry lips but manageable for sure. skin kinda flaky sometimes even though i've been moisturizing.

I will have pics in the next couple days.. sorry I havn't posted any in a while!

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