I'm starting a log of my own for a couple reasons. First, so that I stop complaining about myself on other people's logs. Second, because I am hoping it might give me some hope. I could really use some right now.
Here's my story. I suffered from cystic acne pretty badly in my early twenties. Nothing helped for more than a couple months, and I finally went on Accutane at age 25. It completely changed my life for the better. My skin was clear as day for a few years until I went off the pill to try and get pregnant. I noticed my acne starting to come back, but then I did get pregnant and I had wonderful pregnant skin. I still don't know why I was so blessed. I went back on the pill right after and had several more years of loveliness.
Just over a year ago we decided to consider another so I went off the pill again. After a few months my acne started to come back, but it was not too bad so I kept trucking. Meanwhile we kept changing our minds about more kids, so I stayed off the pill. Over the summer I started to get some cysts again. Still undecided about kids, I went to the derm for a topical, hoping to buy myself some time.
That is when the real crappiness started. I don't know if it was coming anyway or what, but after a few weeks of using Biacna (tretinoin and clindamycin) my skin went nuts. I could feel all sort of weirdness forming under the surface and it was very painful and itchy. I thought it must be an initial breakout, so I stayed the course for almost 10 weeks before everything was so awful, and clearly so much worse than when I started the topical, that I went back to the derm. She took one look at me and suggested I stop the topical and go back on Accutane.
Even though it was depressing, I had a lot of hope because I had a GREAT experience the first time on Accutane. My skin just got better and better until it was perfect. I thought this would surely happen again. Not so much. Perhaps it's because of the mess that formed during my tretinoin treatment, perhaps it's my age (35 now), perhaps it's something else entirely - I don't know - but whatever it is, this course has been AWFUL so far.
I get new cysts everyday, on top of lots of white heads that burst when I wash my face. I have trouble doing my makeup because everything is leaking (gross!). The scars and marks are building up like no tomorrow, and I feel like I'm never going to get my face back.
So here is my log. I am hoping that some others keeping logs will come chat with me for support. I know I will still be checking out yours, as seeing others make progress gives me a little peace of mind.
I have been on Accutane for exactly one month now.
I wash with spectro jel, moisturize with Moisturel, and even though I know you're not supposed to, I use a tiny bit of BP at night because it is the only topical that has ever helped a little and I am at my wits end. These are the same things I have been using for the past 10 years with great success until now. I am too afraid to try anything new.
I wear Estee Lauder Double Wear Camoflage makeup. I'm sure it doesn't help, but it doesn't seem to be making things worse and it is the only way I can get out of the house and go to work. I'm a grade 6 teacher, and there is nothing quite as demoralizing as having a breakout this bad in front of a bunch of preteens. Yay.
So, back to logging.
Today I have 3 active large cysts around my mouth, as well as 1 nasty whitehead, and one ouchy thing that is yet to clarify what it is going to become. Probably another cyst. All this crap around my mouth makes it hurt to smile, which I guess isn't that much of a problem because I am too sad to smile anyway.
I have plenty of skin coloured indentation scars from my first bout with cystic acne, and now I have a whole new set to add to the mess of permanent scars.
I had my 1 month derm appt yesterday, and she confirmed that it was really bad, but tried to be positive. She said 'accutane works. It will work, you know that because it did before. It just might take a little longer this time, but in a couple more months you should see some improvement'.
I am having a hard time imagining getting through a few more months of this, and I am very worried about the permanent damage that is being done. On top of that there is a part of me that is VERY worried that something else is really wrong and the Accutane isn't going to work, and I will be this bad off forever.
I want my life back so much. After the derm yesterday I started crying and haven't stopped. I'm thinking of asking for a sick leave from work.
So that is my story so far. And here is my log to see what happens next in this tragic tale. If I ever get the guts I will post pictures, but I'm not there yet.
Thanks for reading.