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My First Trip On Tane


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#1 SendMeAngels

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 10:52 PM

A little background information: I'm 26 years old, I've suffered with inflammatory (pustules and papules) and comedonal acne for 15 years. Almost half of my life. I have spots on my chest, face, and back. I've been on every topical prescription and over the counter medication. I've taken antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and vitamins. I've changed my diet, toothpastes, shampoos, and soaps to no avail. I've gotten hormonal testing, and that too has come up empty. When I pack a suitcase for a vacation, half of it is always full of acne medications. I am currently on 150mg of Spironolactone, Retin A Micro, Vanoxide HC, and Terminator, but I still have acne. I develop pimples daily and I have over 20 inflamed spots on my body and at least another 15 closed comedones. My bother, uncle, and mother all have acne (even in their 40s). After my brother decided to take the accutane plunge a month ago, I decided my time had come as well. I've exhausted all other options.

I have an appointment with my new dermatologist in Monday. I have a prescription for Yaz, but I don't take it, as hormonal oral contraceptives alter my moods negatively. I'm hoping he will accept abstinence as an acceptable method of birth control however, (and I'm not advocating lying) I'm going to tell him I have been taking the Yaz. I am currently abstinent and as someone who does not want children, I would never become pregnant on or off Accutane. I am hoping that since I cannot get pregnant, he will waive the 30 day wait for the medication.

The Spironolactone causes irregular periods, and I have been menstruating for over a month. I'm hoping that I can discontinue the Spironolactone when I start Accutane (assuming I am approved for it).

#2 SendMeAngels

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 01:31 PM

I was given the OK for Accutane on the 27th of October. Yay! My dermatologist is enforcing the 30 day wait before I can get the medication, as I have to take another negative pregnancy test. So I will be starting Accutane on December 3rd. I can't wait. I've been on Spironolactone for 2.5 years, and it is making me miserable. I have a period (or spotting) almost every single day. And I feel sick and tired most of the time. I am slowly weaning off the drug because I simply can't take the misery of the side effects. I will never take another hormonal medication after this one. It wreaks too much havoc on my body. Truthfully, I'm more excited about the Accutane enabling me to quit Spironolactone than I am about it clearing my acne.



#3 kenzie63

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:08 PM

Congrats! I just started my 'Tane last thursday, really nervous to see what happens... I guess we will see right!? I will keep checking back with ya, good luck!


Treatment Start: November 7th, 2013

 

Month 1 - 40mg daily 

 Month 2 - 80 mg / 40 mg daily rotating 

Month 3 - 80 mg / 40 mg daily rotating 

Month 4 - 80 mg / 40 mg daily rotating 

Month 5 - 80 mg / 40 mg daily rotating  

 

 

SAT NAM 


#4 SendMeAngels

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:24 AM

Day 1 (December 6)

 

I'm going to update either weekly or as important things progress. I was given 40mg of Claravis to begin today. I loaded up on Aquafor, contact lens drops, and Biotin. My skin isn't as bad as it has been, and at the moment I have 4 small pustules on my face, 7 on my neck, and a few more on my back. I have at least 10 closed comedones that tend to stick around for months at a time. My skin is already dry, and my nose is constantly bleeding (the humidifier in our house is broken). So I'm sure I will dry out pretty badly. 

 

My biggest concerns right now are the initial breakout, and any other side effects that could potentially come with the medication. I'm still taking Spironolactone (hopefully not for much longer), I'm still using Retin A Micro at night, and Vanoxide HC in the morning. My dermatologist told me on Wednesday to stop using the topicals right away, but It's difficult for me to stop. They have become part of my daily life.

 

Right now I eat on average, 3 boxes of candy a day. One of my new goals is to cut down on candy dramatically. I often substitute breakfast and dinner with candy, and I feel that I need to start focusing more on my health.



#5 firsttimeaccutane

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 02:53 PM

you should prob stop using teh topicals if your doc said to stop using them as your face is already dry you say and putting the topicals on top will make it drier and red, irritating AND you thin your skin if its irritating and while on the drug your skin will get/stay dry so healing time for red irritation will be longer.

 

also, for your nose dryness, my doc said that you could use saline nose sprays (just plain saline sprays not that other medicated stuff - make sure u get teh right stuff by talking to the pharmacist at the shop. ive got that ayr brand saline spray - non medicated and it helps with dryness - although i havent gotten a nose bleed.) ask your doc if you need anyhting special for a nose bleed.

good luck!!! the first month might be rough BUT it IS ALL GOOD FROM THERE ON and just rememebr that each day will only get BETTER!

 

Day 1 (December 6)

 

I'm going to update either weekly or as important things progress. I was given 40mg of Claravis to begin today. I loaded up on Aquafor, contact lens drops, and Biotin. My skin isn't as bad as it has been, and at the moment I have 4 small pustules on my face, 7 on my neck, and a few more on my back. I have at least 10 closed comedones that tend to stick around for months at a time. My skin is already dry, and my nose is constantly bleeding (the humidifier in our house is broken). So I'm sure I will dry out pretty badly. 

 

My biggest concerns right now are the initial breakout, and any other side effects that could potentially come with the medication. I'm still taking Spironolactone (hopefully not for much longer), I'm still using Retin A Micro at night, and Vanoxide HC in the morning. My dermatologist told me on Wednesday to stop using the topicals right away, but It's difficult for me to stop. They have become part of my daily life.

 

Right now I eat on average, 3 boxes of candy a day. One of my new goals is to cut down on candy dramatically. I often substitute breakfast and dinner with candy, and I feel that I need to start focusing more on my health.



#6 KrislynNicole333

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 05:41 PM

I was in a similar situation as you. Acne for most of my life. Hormonal problems. Tried everything, literally. Both my parents had bad acne, so genetics are working against me. My mom got on Accutane when she was my age (19), as well. I'm almost a month and a half in and I'm so glad that I found this website with others going through the same things as me. 

 

The initial breakout is rough, I won't lie to you. Sometimes I feel my face is worse now than it was before. But you have to look at it as your skin pushing everything bad out of your face once and for all. And my derm said that by the end of month two, you should see a drastic difference and you only get clearer from then on out. Keep updating! Emotional support will seriously help!



#7 SendMeAngels

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:00 PM

Day 6

 

I had been using both Retin A Micro and Vanoxide HC daily. At tho point, I couldn't use the Vanoxide even if I wanted to. I stopped using it three days ago. I now use the Retin A Micro every other day. So far my skin is dry (similar to the way it dries out when I put benzoyl peroxide all over). My lips are peeling, and the WORST part is my angular chelitis, which has come on full force. The corners of my mouth are raw, and so, so, so sore. I have Nystatin cream that usually wipes out the condition within about 12 hours. But this time they are relentless, and the cream isn't working. I'm not sure what to do about this, as I can hardly open my mouth to eat or drink. Any suggestions? 

 

I also have awful headaches, and I can feel tender spots on my forehead. However, I do have a cold (which I think has developed into a sinus infection, and I have supraorbital neuralgia, a rare condition that causes pain in those nerves. I have to get nerve blocks periodically for them. So I don't think the headache is a result of the Accutane. In addition, the headache began few days before I started Accutane.

 

I've had no initial breakout, and the spots I did have, have dried up and left. I had been developing small pustules on my chin for the past few weeks, but I haven't had any appear in about three days. As of now, the skin on my face is virtually clear. The pimples on the left side of my neck are still there, and I still have a few on my back. It will be interesting to see how a full course of Accutane impacts my acne. I have mild, sometimes moderate acne that is very persistent. My biggest qualm with my acne wasn't the acne itself, but the red spots that every single pimple left. No matter how small the pimple, a dark red spot always remained and stayed for anywhere from 4 months to years after appearing. I do have some scarring on my right cheek, though this is mild and I'm sure can be fixed.


Edited by SendMeAngels, 14 December 2013 - 05:58 PM.


#8 igotyouu

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 04:45 PM

Don't use retin-a while on Accutane. Its way to harsh for you skin while its dry/affected by the drug.

 

Please stop it and wait minimum 6 months after finishing accutane before starting it again.



#9 SendMeAngels

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

Update (Day 9)

 

I'm getting tiny whiteheads beneath my lower lip. This is unusual for me because I never get spots here. I have developed a nodule on my neck that is extremely painful, but I do get these every once in a while. I'm not sure if either were caused by Accutane, but I felt it was worth mentioning. In addition, I found a remedy for my angular cheilitis. Dr. Dan's lip balm. My brother (who is also on Tane) had some to spare. It cleared the sores almost immediately, and they are nowhere to be seen! My lips are still very dry and very red, and my nose still bleeds quite often. I don't use chapstick much (maybe once a day). I'm not sure if they will continue to get more dry, so I may have to start using it more often.

 

I now have dandruff (ick), so I got some Neutrogena Tgel and used it last night. It doesn't smell very good, but so far I don't have any flakes. I'm a bit surprised that I have dandruff, because my hair still feels somewhat oily. 



#10 SendMeAngels

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 10:56 PM

Two Weeks

 

Not much has changed from the last time I posted an update. My hair still gets oily fairly quickly (I was hoping this would change). I still get a new whitehead on my face a day, and I still have spots appearing on my neck. My back is clear however, so that's a bit of good news. I'm just hoping my face and neck will clear soon, and my hair will stop getting oily after less than a day. 



#11 SendMeAngels

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 03:14 PM

(Around) Week Three

 

I'm dry, dry, dry. My lips are as chapped as can be, the skin on my face is constantly peeling, and it looks like I have a skin flake beard. Spots where I used to have acne (that weren't very noticeable at one point) are now bright red. Any new pimples that I happen to get are also bright red. Normally my closed comedones are nearly invisible, but as of the past few days, they are coming up looking much bigger and redder. My nose bleeds every time I blow it, and (nasty, I know), I have blood crusties up there that drive me a little mad. I'm still getting as many pimples as I normally do, so as of now there hasn't been any improvement. My face looks terrible, and I now have eczema on my hands and arms. I'm feeling a little down today because my skin looks bad, and I'm hoping this will be over soon. I still have so much longer to go, and the discomfort and waiting period is a bummer. The one positive note that I can end this on is that my formerly absurdly oily hair is no more. I can now go about 3 or so days between washes. Yay!


Edited by SendMeAngels, 28 December 2013 - 03:30 PM.


#12 SendMeAngels

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:20 AM

Week 4ish

 

There isn't much to report this week. My hair is still dry (yay)! I still have flaky skin, dry patches, bloody noses, and dry lips. I still get new pimples daily (about 1-2 a day), though they tend to be very small and don't last as long as they normally do. I often get the red pimples with no heads, and while they were once large and very inflamed, they are now light and very small. And they don't leave red marks like they used to. I can now get pimples and not fret over the red spots that linger. My skin looks clear. The clogged pores (closed comedones) continue to appear on my chin, but they vanish almost as soon as they pop up. This is great for me though, because generally they stick around for weeks to months at a time. My back acne has cleared up, but it seems to come and go, so I can't exactly say that it's permanently clear. The hyper pigmentation spots have faded, and all in all, my skin looks good and I can't complain. 

 

I've had no initial breakout, and it's been pretty smooth sailing from day one. Admittedly, I was concerned about the initial breakout after seeing my brother go through it. But I somehow managed to avoid it. I love not needing to wash my face twice a day, I love not worrying about the foods I eat or the products I put on my skin. I'm also pleased to report that I don't need to wear makeup anymore. Most days I don't bother putting anything on at all. I've taken a few pictures of my skin (no makeup). The lighting is a little poor in my bedroom but you will get an idea of how much my skin has improved. I really wish I had put up a before picture. My face was a sight when I began the treatment. When I have more time I'll see if I can find one. 

 

 

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  • Accutane 1.jpg
  • Accutane 2.jpg


#13 SendMeAngels

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:09 PM

1 month, three weeks

I apologize for the lack of updates. I feel like this thread isn't getting much of a response, so I wasn't sure it was necessary to continue posting. I'm not sure I'll carry on with weekly updates, but I'll play that by ear. Anyway. My clear skin photos came a little too soon. As few days after those were taken, I broke out around the jawline. I have two large red bumps on my right side, and another on the left. I also began breaking out in approximately 5-6 painful pimples along the center of my upper and mid back. I was hooping I would be clear by now, and able to stop Spironolactone, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

And for whatever reason, my face is drier than it has ever been. Minutes after applying globs of CeraVe moisturizer, my skin is painfully tight and disgustingly flaky. My lower face now flakes enough for people to comment on it. Has anyone experienced a sudden drying like this? My face is nearly always red and dry, so in a fed up huff I went to CVS and purchased Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer. However, I am hesitant to use it in fear of breaking out. Has anyone tried either of these products? What should I expect from them?

#14 Kim28

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 06:48 PM

I found my face was the driest in the second month, and has calmed down a bit now. I also have been putting on double layers of moisturizer in my flaky places (chin) and that seems to help. Put it on, let it absorb, do it again.

I hate cetaphil, but lots of people love it. I think it has shea butter in it, which just isn't my friend. I use moisturel, which works really well for me and I find it much more moisturizing than cerave or cetaphil, but it has a lot of petroleum in it, and some people don't like that. My skin seems to love chemically produced things and hate natural things. Silly skin.

So it all depends on your own skin.

Sorry I'm not much help.

But do know that you have lots of support out here! And p.s., your pics look great! That is some amazingly fast progress.



#15 xtinakim

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:37 PM

Please keep SendMeAngels, I'm interested in your progress.

 

I'm entering my second year of persistent moderate acne and NOTHING I'm doing is helping it disappear. I've tried many topicals, antibiotics, hormones and I'm just about a step away from laser surgery and accutane. I'm nervous about long term side effects of accutane but I'm sick of living with acne. 



#16 SendMeAngels

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:33 PM

Beginning Month 3

 

xtinakim, my advice to you is to just go ahead and do it. I worried for years about the potential short and long term side effects of accutane before I finally became so fed up, I decided to give it a go. I had nothing to lose. And after all of that worrying and researching, I got only one side effect: dryness. And it is hardly a bother at all. 

 

So, I've changed evening moisturizers because CeraVe PM wasn't giving me enough moisture, and it was burning the ever living Hell out of my face. So I'm using Cetaphil something or other, and it is much nicer. It keeps my skin virtually flake free and doesn't burn. In the morning I had been using CeraVe AM, marveling at how wonderful it was to moisturize and protect my skin from burns and aging simultaneously. Until I read the back of the package. CeraVe AM is not a broad spectrum sunscreen. I should have read the back of the package two years earlier. So I ordered eucerine face moisturizer with 35 broad spectrum sunscreen in it. 

 

I'm still getting tiny little whiteheads, anywhere from 1-4 any given week. My back is clear, but there is one pimple on my jaw that keeps filling over and over again. I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of this. I went up north for 6 days, and during that trip I broke out in 5 pustules on the lower half of my face. At the same time, I developed two cold sores on my lip, so all in all, I looked very attractive during the course of my trip.

 

On a side note, my 96 year old grandfather was with us on our trip, and he has Alzheimer's. I would venture to say that he is probably in the moderate stage of the disease. Once in a while the old grandfather I knew will shine through, and we will be able to chat like we used to. But often, he is confused, lost, and sometimes sad. And in doing some research on Alzheimer's, I found that there is a high correlation between the herpes virus and Alzheimer's. And as someone who gets cold sores, that shook me up a little bit. I hope that I never get such a disease, and if I do, I hope humane euthenasia will be safe and legal at that time. 



#17 SendMeAngels

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:38 PM

Mid Month 3

 

Back acne is still gone. I haven't had a pimple pop up in weeks. The never-ending pimple on my jawline has finally taken its leave, and shows no signs of coming back. In the past week I've had two closed comedones, and yesterday, a red pimple popped up on my cheek, but vanished the next day. I rarely get spots on my face or back, and if they do come, they disappear rapidly. I think the medication is beginning to take full effect, and I love it. I've been going out more without makeup, and I love it. I still have a few PiH spots, but those are fading with time. As gross as this may seem, I now wash my hair once a week. Yes, once a week. It's fantastic. My Eucerine moisturizer with broad spectrum sunscreen came in the mail last Saturday, and I've been using it ever since. I load it on my face (about a teaspoon), and so far it's working beautifully. 

 

In two weeks I'm moving from cloudy, cold Michigan to sunny San Diego, California. I'm so excited about the move, but after my next Accutane Appointment next Friday, I'll have one more month on the medication after that. My health insurance is only in Michigan, so this means I'll have to find a doctor willing to prescribe Accutane in San Diego. I love my dermatologist here, and I love my insurance, and I'm concerned about how this move will impact my treatment. I'm guessing I'll have to pay out of pocket for accutane (a whopping $1,000 + dollars) since I won't have insurance there. I don't like the idea of switching dermatologists or paying obscene amounts of money for my medication, but I'm not sure there is an alternative. Prolonging the move isn't an option. Has anyone experienced a situation similar to this? Any advice would be welcomed.



#18 SendMeAngels

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 11:09 AM

Little Update:

 

It's official! I leave for San Diego next Saturday! The warmth will be a welcome relief since there has been snow on the ground for over four months and the temperatures have been in the single digits. I was worried about Accutane and insurance changes when I got there, but that was resolved this morning when I visited my fantastic dermatologist. He is bumping my dosage up to 60mg per day so I reach the 120 mark. The medication will be taken at 30mg twice daily. I forgot to ask him, if I get too much dryness, would it be okay to simply take one pill a day and extend the treatment another month? I think that since cumulative dose is what matters that it won't make a difference. Am I correct in thinking this? At any rate, I'm sure it will be fine either way.

 

As of today, I'm acne free. I get a pimple once in a blue moon, but it goes away in a matter of hours. I absolutely think the treatment is working. I love being able to use new products on my face, and I'm currently looking for a pressed powder with SPF, since Neutrogena no longer makes theirs. Any suggestions.

 

Also, I'm dropping Spironolactone once and for all. Both my dermatologist and I agreed that it wasn't necessary anymore. I shouldn't have such an attachment to it since it never really worked, but for some reason I'm psychologically having a difficult time letting go of it. He told me I could stop taking it immediately and that it wouldn't matter, but I may taper it down. Either way, it's time to stop the medication.



#19 SendMeAngels

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 12:50 AM

Week...not sure. 

 

I'm about 3.5 months in, and I'm still clear. Back, face, and chest are completely free of acne. My hyper pigmentation is nearly gone, and I am now happy to report that I can (and do) go out without powder on my face. I can leave the house without a stitch of makeup and feel confident. I love it. It makes it much easier to reapply sunscreen. Wearing powder is still a habit and I'm still a little more comfortable wearing it. But I look fine without it, and that makes me so very happy.

 

I arrived in California on Wednesday (huge change)! But still no acne. However, my cold sores are relentless, even with daily Valtrex. California is has some serious sunshine, and I notice now more than ever, that I have to diligently reapply sunscreen to all exposed parts of my body. My calves were neglected when I was applying sunscreen, and I got a little burnt in a short amount of time. 

 

I realized that a 60mg dose of accutane would not reach the 120 goal, so I have a new dermatologist here in California who is going to continue my treatment. I don't want to come all this way not to reach the goal. So I will be taking 30mg this month and next month, and 40mg the last month. So I'll be finishing up my treatment in the beginning of June.

 

My lips are still flaky, red, and dry, and my hair is still dry. The corners of my mouth flake once in a while, but other than that, my face isn't particularly dry. If I moisturize my body, the dry skin patches go away. So all in all, I'm doing well on the treatment and am not having any severe side effects.

 

Yay.



#20 SendMeAngels

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Posted 08 April 2014 - 02:58 PM

Month 4:

 

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but there was a mistake in dosage of Accutane I was prescribed. I'll end up taking more than the 120 cumulative dose, which is fine with me, and my treatment will end a month later than it initially would have. I have a little over two months of my treatment left. I've been taking 30mg instead of 40 for about a month, and I have noticed a few differences. However, the differences may have something to do with the California weather. When I left Michigan it was in the teens, and here in California, it's been 90 degrees for the past few days. My skin is a little oilier than it had been, and I'm no longer getting bloody noses. The skin on my arms is still dry and flaky. I've gotten 3 little pimples in the past week, but they disappear before they turn into a serious bump. 

 

Transitioning from my Michigan dermatologist to my dermatologist in California was a painless process. I have no complaints. And I finally got some answers about the cold sores that had been lining the edges of my mouth for months. I had been taking Valtrex daily for over two months, but my mouth continued to get bumps. After making an emergency appointment with my dermatologist, he told me that the bumps aren't cold sores at all. They are inflamed spots from the Accutane. Go figure. The remedy? Chap stick, chap stick, chap stick.






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