20/f Hannah's Accutane Log + Background!accutane epiduo cetaphil retin-a micro hormonal acne nodular acne cystic acne
Posted 04 February 2014 - 04:08 PM
This log will follow my hopefully successful journey with accutane; I just took my first pregnancy test yesterday and take my second March 5th.
My name is Hannah. I am a 20 y/o college student majoring in English. I have had oily skin since puberty but went on epiduo at the ripe age of 15 to control my teenager acne. It worked well and I thought my battle with acne was easily won...and over. I was wrong. My skin was always oily in high school, but remained very clear, unless I forgot to apply my epiduo the night before. Fast forward to the beginning of college: skin still clear, getting less oily (finally!), and life is grand. I had started taking vyvanse for adhd and felt on top of my school work (slash the world). I was slowly recovering from an eating disorder I had suffered from since age 16. The dorm water was terribly drying, but life was good overall. That Fall, I switched from epiduo to retin-a micro as I could sense my skin becoming immune to epiduo after three years of usage. At some point that fall (2012), I began noticing zits that weren't as painfully obvious as whiteheads...but they lasted longer. First I blamed it on switching acne meds, then, after a while, I blamed it on my vyvanse aggravating my skin. I started taking it as necessary instead of nearly every day. Nothing seemed to help, so I told myself that it was the adjustment period of retin-a. Come March, I get a knock on my dorm room door; my parents...standing there crying, they tell me my brother had passed away. With the stress of basically planning my brother's entire funeral alone while a freshman in college and consoling (still) my parents whose lives were shattered by the incident, you could say my acne worsened. I went from oily, but flawlessly clear skin and always being told I should model to a face speckled with scars from acne while trying to heal from anorexia and gaining 15 lbs. My self-esteem was at an all-time low. Summer '13 should have been filled with cherished memories, but instead I was too ashamed to leave my house (which was a depressing as hell environment with my mourning parents). This fall, I finally switched derms to a more conveniently-located office and more professional doctor. She took one look at my face and put me on birth control (ortho tri cyclen lo), solodyn (55 mg I believe), and told me to continue using my topical (retin-a micro). It helped a little, but definitely nowhere near perfect skin. Come this November, she put me on aczone. I called my dad crying in the pharmacy parking lot because it was "just another topical that won't do anything" and it was just more money flushed down the toilet for my acne. Mostly, I was crying out of frustration for this uncontrollable and confusing problem. He told me to give it a shot and not to worry about the costs (I don't have a job and I'm kind of expensive...so it's easy to feel guilty). Aczone has helped more than anything else, but definitely wasn't a miracle worker in my case.
Now: I have been on aczone since November and went in for a check-up yesterday. My derm says my acne is severe due to the scarring. I may have only one cyst at a time, but each one leaves its permanent mark on my face. We made the ultimate decision for me to start accutane ASAP. I get my ipledge password in the mail sometime soon and can start it in a month, so long as my March 5 pregnancy test comes back negative (it better). Sorry to bore you, but this is the background on my acne and now (well, after March 5) it will act as my accutane log.
At this point, I'm bored, impatiently waiting, and kind of hopeless. If you have any words of wisdom, or any words at all, please share! I'm not exactly sure what is causing my acne- partially stress I'm sure, but I also wonder if my eating disorder messed up my hormones, or if epiduo caused my skin to produce excess oil and now I'm screwed. Maybe I'll never know, but I'm sure as hell going to fix it. Thanks for reading! I'll be around and then start my log when I can
Posted 05 February 2014 - 01:49 AM
Hey Hannah, (love your title thatonepalindrome!)
First off, I am so sorry about the loss of your brother. I can't even imagine the pain, stress and heartbreak that must have been, but thank you for sharing your story!
I am a bit older than you but had mild to moderate acne most of my high school and college years. It was never bad, but frustrating enough to try different medications and topicals. This last fall I began to breakout pretty bad, and before I knew it... it was awful. It was unexpected and I remember feeling the same way... I was a nice looking person a month ago, what the hell happened?! While struggling through the acne I suffered a pretty bad eating disorder, but it was mainly from the debilitating depression my acne gave me. I think it must have been a control thing, I couldn't control my skin so at least I could control my weight? Kind of sounds silly now but it made perfect sense at the time. I also had a similar experience where I went to the doctor for help and all I got were a bunch of expensive topicals, and I cried on the phone to my husband about how it was another stupid, worthless topical. And it was just that....it didn't help it actually made it much worse. I have thought about my situation over and over to try and figure out what happened to my skin, and I will probably never know for sure, just like with you, but I do think that stress, a change in my skin routine, diet issues and hormones are all factors! I think that Accutane is just the ticket. I started Accutane the end of December and it has been really uneventful and pretty easy so far. I was one of the lucky ones who did not have any initial breakout at all, it just started getting better and continues to....just to give you hope not everyone has a breakout in the first month The other nice thing about Accutane (besides the obvious) is you don't need to use anymore acne medications! No more BP or burning topicals, you just use a gentle face wash and a good moisturizer! No more dealing with the dreading worthless ointments and creams. Oh and also you will not have to worry about oil production, your skin and hair become pretty dry, but it's so nice to not have to deal with oily skin! Hang in there sweetie I know how tough the 31 day wait is to start the medication but before you know it you will be on your road to recovery.
Posted 05 February 2014 - 04:32 PM
Hi Hannah, and welcome!
I can't imagine how painful your loss must have been - but if you ever need someone to talk to you can always come here. I feel an instant connection to you actually (and I hope you don't find me saying that weird) because I also suffered and was hospitalized for anorexia at 16 and have been "recovering" from it ever since. I haven't mentioned it in my own log, but I wanted you to know that you are absolutely positively not alone in this. When my acne became severe, I could feel myself falling into that old scary perfectionist regimented mind-set that I had worked so hard to cope with and avoid. I began losing weight (before starting accutane, I weighed less than I had in almost 8 years) and I couldn't find any reason to keep myself healthy and happy. So many things can trigger relapse with an eating disorder, and my psychiatrist (who has treated me now for 10 years) quickly recognized my backslide and recommended I look into accutane with a new (and mostly) sensitive dermatologist. I am so thankful he did, and I am so thankful that I found this forum before I started. The positivity and support this forum has given me has proven invaluable in times of stress while I've been on accutane. As someone who has to beat back her obsessive thoughts with a machete on a daily basis, I understand how traumatizing and frustrating acne can be. I understand acne is difficult for everyone, but for someone with history of an ED, it can be fatal. I am so proud of you for taking charge and control of your life in a healthy manner, for surviving and thriving in the wake of trauma, and for doing something to better yourself. Accutane hasn't been the easiest of roads for me, but it is 100 million billion percent better than it was when I wasn't taking it. And like Emma said - no more topicals, no more antibiotics that may or may not work. Just sit back with a bottle of good moisturizer and a tube of chapstick and let accutane do it's thing
If you ever need support, have any questions, or you just want to vent - please PM me anytime. I really, truly mean that. Keep us updated, and good luck!
Posted 05 February 2014 - 09:36 PM
wow what a tough life. so much kudos for you. you're a strong person and will get through this too. we all do and you will too!
Ive had my share of toughness too but my accutane journey has been going well.
good luck! i wish you all the best.
Edited by firsttimeaccutane, 05 February 2014 - 09:36 PM.
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