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accutane

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#1 Kim28

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 01:08 PM

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.



#2 leelowe1

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 01:18 PM

Hi Kim!  Accutane - i can definitely relate to the experiences of being on it and feeling as if it may not work.  I'm a three time user and after my last course, i decided to try The Regimen which has been good for my skin in the mean time. 

 

My advice to you is to take each day one step at a time.  Accutane can take the full six months to work so don't give up yet.  Having done it three times already, its my experience that each time takes longer to see results for whatever reason.  As for the kiddies, do your best - i also teach kids (pre k) and they are indeed curious.  The older ones in my experiences are better at being more diplomatic.teehee.gifcheer.gif

 

 

Good Luck hun, you'll get through this


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.


#3 emmygirl

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 01:20 PM

I haven't started Accutane yet, but will in about two weeks, but I have been reading other logs like a crazy person! ha! I have read numerous times that there are differences between first and second courses of Accutane so it's possible that this will just be different than your first course. Some people have a horrible experience like a bad IB or very dry skin, but it seems like regardless of the start out for everyone using Accutane, things do eventually get much, much better. Just keep that in your mind, as difficult as it is, to wait. Trust me I know how frustrating it feels to just sit and wait while you watch your skin get worse and worse, that's what I'm doing right now :( BUT you are on the road to recovery and Accutane WILL clear you up, I guarantee it! It wouldn't be a bad idea to take some work off, it might help you relax and feel less stressed about your current situation which can also help clear you up quicker! I will be following you through this log and just know you are not alone in this and we are all here to support you through this tough time. Hang in there and remember this too shall pass!


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#4 Kim28

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 01:40 PM

Thanks Sasch! It's incredibly reassuring to know I'm not the only one having a more difficult second course. I came to realize that I basically WAS on the regimen for the past 10 years, even though I didn't know it existed. I wash, use BP, and moisturize. Not with Dan's stuff, but same idea. I think that some of my issues might be a result of using way less BP when I started the biacna, but who knows. Acne is mystery wrapped in an enigma, lol.

 

Emmy! Thanks for showing up here! I know it will get better. It's just the waiting that's killing me. After waiting through 10 weeks of tretinoin with the hope it would get better when it only got worse, and now CONTINUING to get worse on Accutane, it feels like it will never stop. I have had more zits in the past three months than I did in the 9 years before that. I would hazard to say this is the worst I've ever been, including the time before my first course. Alas. We will get through this!!!

 

Thanks for the support. It helps a lot.



#5 Kim28

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:20 PM

Day 32

Same cysts from yesterday. No change there which is actually a relief. Both the weird thing and the whitehead burst, but it's not clear yet if they will resolve or just fill back up. Yuck.

Better luck tomorrow? We'll see.



#6 Kim28

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:58 PM

Day 33

1 cyst (looks like it may have a friend coming in beside it?), some other horrible thing in the middle of my chin, 2 ouchy red bumps on my upper lip. That is all I have to report today.

Felt a bit better, because my worst spots are not in places that hurt when I try to talk, eat, or smile. Yay for small victories.



#7 ciaraki13

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:44 PM

Hey kim, I really hope things work out for you and thank you for this log, it's really helpful. You are strong and brave and a great inspiration. I totally identified with what you said about the area around your mouth being sore but that you were too sad to smile anyway. That really hit my emotions. I went for a private dermatology appointment today, having previously been told by NHS (UK) that my skin "wasn't just quite bad enough". The doctor who saw me today is starting me on Roaccutane on Monday. I don't dare to get excited or even a tiny bit hopeful. I have been destroyed too many times by believing my skin could improve. My dream is to be able to go outside with my hair tied back. (lol huge aspirations, I know) At present I wear my hair as an invisibility cloak. So tired of life passing me by. All the best of luck with your skin. I'll continue to read your log with interest and thanks for your help



#8 Kim28

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:08 PM

Day 34: If you think you hear a woodpecker - nope that is me, knocking on wood like a maniac! No new cysts today! And the nasty one on my cheek came out. Accutane is so weird - the top of it dried up and fell off, and then I barely touched it and it came out. What a pleasant surprise as I was expecting it to last a while longer. Whiteheads on my upper lip are drying up and don't hurt today. NOTHING HURTS TODAY! (Knocking on wood again).

 

I still have a weird lump in my chin that will surely get yucky soon, and I still look like shit (red spots EVERYWHERE), but today was a better day. Even if tomorrow isn't, I am thankful for this one day of grace.



#9 LoveLouisV

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:15 AM

Yaaay for improvement!!  I think weeks 3-4 are supposed to be pretty gnarly on Accutane so just wait it out and I'm sure it'll get better from here on out.  In any event, I'll be following your log to see how you do & give you encouragement as necessary :)  Best of luck! 


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Check out my Accutane Log!!

 

F - 31, 105lbs

Start date: December 5, 2013

Month 1: 40mg Claravis

Month 2: 60mg Claravis

Month 3: 60mg Claravis

Month 4: 60mg Claravis


#10 Kim28

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 06:39 PM

Thanks LLV and ciaraki. Glad to know writing this might help others, and LLV - I am sooo going to need that encouragement! I have been keeping up with your log too!

 

Day 35 and 36

Yesterday and today have been both good and bad. On the one hand I am INCREDIBLY happy to have no new cysts, and nothing that wants to explode from my face. First day like this in a long time.

On the other hand, Accutane seems to have a nasty sense of humour. I only have one active cyst (the weirdness in my chin) - but it is one of the worst I've ever had. It is like a second chin and incredibly red and ouchy with no sign of coming to the surface. What the heck - I should be happy to be down to 1 active for at least a day, but this thing is the size of four of them!

 

And I will say that the worst part of all of this is the fear. I'm not sure if I'm through the worst of the IB yet, and I keep having tiny itches and pains in my face that are barely noticeable, and probably partly psychosomatic, but every time I feel anything I am struck by the horror that it is all coming back and I will come home to seven new cysts or something. I couldn't sleep last night because I had a bit of an itchy cheek and I kept convincing myself it was another huge cyst coming in. I can still see quite a few cloggy pores, and I am so worried that every single one of them is going to do what the thing on my chin is doing now.

Hoping for peaceful days.



#11 yunchang

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:10 PM

kim I have done accutane twice before and like you the 2nd time was harder. I actually stopped halfway through because the side effects were bad. I hope you fare much better!



#12 Kim28

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:04 PM

Knocking on wood is apparently an ineffective cure.

Day 37: Chin thing erupted but is clearly still infected and yucky. No hope there. Really painful.

Looks like 2 new cysts coming in - just swollen tender spots now, which is always the sign of something awful.

 

The worst part of today was the hope. All day I was feeling good - just this one nasty f-er on my chin. Get home, and realize there are a bunch more coming. Hope crushed. Back to where I was. So much for progress.

Christmas is coming. My parents are coming back to town, and they left in Sept right before this got bad, so I am horrified for them to see me now.

 

I want my life back so much. Lots of crying today.

I thought after the success of my first course I would never have to go through this again. No one should have to.

The scars are piling up, the depression is severe. Feeling very much like something is wrong and I will never be clear again. Not sure what I'll do if that is true.



#13 ciaraki13

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 05:55 PM

Aw Kim, stay strong. You are so brave and amazing. It's hell I know. You are going to be clear and you will get your life back. Massive virtual hug from me



#14 yunchang

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 06:38 PM

You need to give it time! It will get better! 



#15 Kim28

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 07:20 PM

Thanks ciaraki and yunchang! I really needed that.

This morning I woke up with yucky whiteheads in the places I thought cysts were coming, and I have never been so happy to have two big yucky whiteheads on my face. I'm sure it's far from over and the cyst-monster will return again, but at least for today it is staying away. I'm not religious at all, but there are some days, like today, where I do thank God for giving me a break.

My skin is super dry and flaky today and my ears are starting to get dry. The ear thing is a side effect I have never heard others talk about, but I remember it from my first course. I have a lot of earrings, and I eventually had to take them out because my ears were flaking off, it looked yucky and it was hard to put moisturizer on it with all those earrings. Looks like it might be time to take them out again. Strangely sad about it, as my piercings (just nose and ears) are a part of my identity.

 

I saw that both of y'all (yunchang and ciaraki) are trying the low-dose thing. I am thinking this might be a good option for me if I have issues again after this course. If you read my intro, you know that trying a tretinoin cream was what made me go from a few zits to a face explosion in Sept/Oct. Should have just asked about the low-does thing then, but didn't have as much info on it.

I know there have been a few people on Yun's log giving him a hard time about taking this drug for so long. Don't let them get to you - I think what you are doing is brave and the fact that you are sharing your journey for others is amazing. This might be a really good option for some people, and people shouldn't be so quick to criticize just because it might not be for everyone.

 

I don't see too many others with my situation on the board - clear for 9 years and then suddenly the acne returns. It's almost worse to have had my life back and then have it taken away again than to have never known what clear skin is.

 

Back to logging:

Day 38:

The weird thing on my chin doesn't hurt much today. WTF thing! You were the most evil thing I have ever seen yesterday! Certainly there is still a really horrible looking nasty spot there that may return, but it actually feels a bit better today, which is unexpected. Two new whiteheads - one on my smile line (damn, I am old enough to have lines now!), and one right under my bottom lip on the same side. Still quite a few under the surface things which have been sooooo unpredictable. Sometimes I'll see something I think will turn into a cyst for sure and it will just dry up and go away. Other times I'll see some tiny thing I'm sure won't turn into much, and it turns into the biggest cyst ever. This second course is quite a ride.

NOT looking forward to holidays and relatives. Hoping for a better Christmas next year.



#16 Kim28

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:48 PM

Had to update for the record (so I can remember this moment later if I have to do this again!):

Today I woke up to the craziest face of my life! Luckily this is not in terms of amount of zits, lol.

I had those two awful whiteheads. One came out last night while washing my face, but the other didn't seem interested in that so I left it alone (good job, me). I got up this morning and went to take a peek in the mirror to see how much more awful it had gotten, and it was gone. Sure there was still a red spot there, but the thing literally popped itself over night. WTF, that something I have never seen.

It is clearly a result of super dryness, as I also have flakiness all over my chin like I have never seen before. Time to up the moisturizer I guess, because the entire lower part of my face just flaked off. I'm a little worried about my ability to wear makeup tomorrow (Monday = work!).

Hoping this is a sign that the Accutane is taking charge. Either that or I am turning into a zombie monster.

Oh, Accutane, just when I think I know you, you take another crazy turn.



#17 Kim28

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 10:40 PM

Day 39 - I know I did an update this morning out of shock at my crazy dry face, but here's the official day for me:

No new cysts (yay!), although there is something on the side of my cheek where I never break out, but I don't think it will be a cyst. Just a regular ol' zit.

My two whiteheads emptied out and we shall see if they are gone or returning tomorrow.

So, not much going on today. I can still see stuff under the surface that will surely come out, but it's nice that it seems to be slowing down a little? We shall see.



#18 LoveLouisV

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:34 AM

Yaaaay!  So glad to hear your skin is making progress :)  Just hang in there!  It will probably still be a bit of a roller-coaster ride for the next month or so (from what I've read on others' logs, anyway), but you can do it!  You've totally got this.  It will all be over soon!!  :D


xoxo

LoveLouisV

 

Check out my Accutane Log!!

 

F - 31, 105lbs

Start date: December 5, 2013

Month 1: 40mg Claravis

Month 2: 60mg Claravis

Month 3: 60mg Claravis

Month 4: 60mg Claravis


#19 Kim28

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:22 PM

Thanks, LLV! Crossing my fingers you will be one of those lucky IB avoiders! I didn't have one my first time, not like this, so I know it is totally possible.

BUT, even so, I think things are starting to calm down a little. I am trying to be more realistic and not expect to wake up every day with the skin I had this time last year. It's weird to remember every morning that your acne came back, because, for a second, I always forget.

 

DAY 40:

No new cysts, but I suspect this little clogged pore that persists on the right side of my chin will revolt. So much paranoia.

Whitehead under my nose got picked at. Swore I would never do it again, again. Now it hurts.

Quite a few red marks and bumps/spots healing. A few things that have been there forever and have never gotten that bad and I don't really count.

 

That is all to report.



#20 PersnickityChick

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:46 PM

Thank you for being so transparent with your log, and sharing all of the emotions, and everything that is going with your journey. I have been reading like crazy, hoping to find people close to my age who are going through this, so I can have some idea of what to expect. 

 

I too work with kids... high school and middle school special ed, and they have little to no "filter" between their thoughts and their mouths. I am nervous about what they will say, because even though I am an adult, I am still sensitive to the barbs their words can hold.  I am also a full time student, so that is just an added stressor.

 

I'm going to keep reading your log, and hoping that the light at the tunnel appears for you soon!






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