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Accutane: Let's Do This (40 Mg/day Claravis)

accutane log journal moderate acne

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#21 lifeinfaith

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 08:52 AM

Well...I take my lab again Wed and then start on Thursday!!!

As of right now most of the bottom part of my face has really calmed down the past few weeks...but my forehead has an endless parade of breakouts. I don't know what the difference is with those areas acting differently, but for the past 4 months my forehead has never really cleared up no matter what I do. It's the worst when I get out of the shower then calms down. Hoping the accutane will take care of that.

So far, do you feel like the tane is affecting one area of your face more than others?

PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#22 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 01:16 PM

Day 31 (first dermatologist check-in):

 

Hey everyone! I know it has been awhile since I last updated (I'm making a point to do this less often. It really just contributes to the obsession I have surrounding my skin). That said, I think there is value in tracking my progress and keeping others posted. 

 

I had my first dermatologist appointment today. I broke the news to them that I hadn't taken 80 mg/day at the two week mark and instead alternated 40/80 for the past two weeks. They didn't seem to mind and said I could continue on that for another month if it would bring me peace of mind (which it would. I think it would make me less likely to flare up, even though I know that at 5 weeks in it could still happen at any point). But they said I need to get to 1 mg/kg body weight for 5 months, so I may be looking at a 7 month course, which sorta sucks. I'm going to see the progress my skin makes and then reevaluate at 5 months. By my calculations, bumping up to 80 mg/day at the two month mark would still get me to my minimum cumulative dose at the 5 month mark, maybe I'll stay on a month longer for good measure, but 7 months seems excessive. Whatever, this is a lot of logistical stuff that doesn't really matter. 

 

Anyway, at this very moment, my skin doesn't look great, but I'm not too down about it. I don't actually have any actives at the moment and my skin is pretty damn smooth, but I have stupid red marks that literally go nowhere. I used to get red marks that would last a week or two. I swear some of these have been around for three weeks and they don't seem to heal, they kind of just change shape. This weekend, I felt like my skin was the best it had looked in a long time. But then I keep getting small whiteheads (that I pick at, of course) and get left with a big blotch. I talked with my derm and she said that healing usually slows down on Accutane so, yay eusa_wall.gif Even though the healing seems slow though, one thing I have to keep in mind is how quickly my skin seems to change on this stuff (bit of a contradiction, I know). One day I'll look great, then I'll look up and not so great, but it works the other way too. Seems to sort of be going in weekly cycles. 

 

Anyway, so far I do not regret taking Accutane at all. I do think I am certainly seeing an improvement in skin texture and while today isn't so hot, I think there has been gradual improvement (I really hate the thought of jinxing all of this). My derm said it's going to go up and down, but I generally should see a positive trend. I will say that lately, the breakouts I have been getting have been smaller and "shallower" (more on the surface). Can't complain about that. 

 

Side effects have been pretty manageable: dry skin, dry lips, dry-ish eyes (still wearing contacts though), sore lower back (this kinda sucks but has gotten better), headaches (these have gotten A LOT better), eczema on my hands (again, a place where I was prone to it when I was younger). Nothing unmanageable but enough to be annoying. Generally though, not awful. My blood tests were excellent. Apparently I have super low cholesterol (which I never knew. Thank you genetics!). My derm claimed they gave me a baseline blood test before starting. They definitely did not, but, as she told me, "Whatever gives you peace of mind..."

 

Lifeinfaith: I hope that your journey is off to a good start! We seem to have the opposite problem. The lower half of my face is messy, the top half is really clear (cue massive cystic breakout on forehead). I had two things that took awhile to heal on both sides of my forehead (I told everyone I was growing horns) but other than that, not much there. Cheeks have been hit pretty hard, all things considered (which makes sense. This is where I had started having problems when I began the 'tane so there was probably more to bring to the surface). Outer jawline hasn't been great either, but I don't mind those as much as they are off to the side. Also, I think I got a zit on the outside of my fingernail. Like, really? What the hell!? It hurt a lot then I broke the skin and nasty stuff came out. I'll spare you more details, but it was super weird. 

 

Anyway, this ends my novella. I guess today is the start of Month 2. Let's see some magic, Accutane!



#23 lifeinfaith

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:24 PM

Of course as soon as I said that my forehead starts looking better over the past few days and I get several large swollen pimples on my cheek/jaw area. Haven't gotten ones quite that inflamed in a few months...it might be due to all the stress I'm dealing with right now. Taking an intense 5 week Ochem course and moving this weekend, not been getting enough sleep at all..but who knows. I'm so close to being on the medicine I'm trying not to let that get me down. I really really hope that this one course will clear my skin permanently and I'm not one of those people who have to do multiple courses or it comes back a few months after the course ends.

I have been reading up on initial reaction to accutane and I was wondering what you experienced for the current pimples you have once you started? Did they just dry up and go away or proceed like normal? I have heard some people say it brings hundreds of little black heads to the surface that just fall out...Which is kind of bizarre sounding to me. Have you had anything like that happen? I have a good number of clogged pores so I'm wondering if they will explode or just "come out".

Taking my lab tomorrow!!

PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#24 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 12:31 PM

lifeinfaith: For my initial reaction, I would say my skin almost immediately was less oily (I'm talking like, second day I noticed I didn't really have a shine). Within the first week, I noticed some of the pimples I had were getting a little drier and I vaguely remember thinking that the zits I had going suddenly got a little deeper. My biggest mistake was trying to push things that were forming. Before accutane, I would (often successfully) find a clogged pore and and squeeze stuff out before it could get inflamed. DO NOT DO THIS ON ACCUTANE! Your skin is fragile and it will tear apart a large area around the breakout. That's what made my skin bad the first few weeks (and I'm STILL recovering). I expected my face to really blow up (I still am expecting it, for the record) and it has yet to get too awful. Definitely noticed I wasn't looking so hot around 8 or 9 days in, and the past few days I've been noticing a lot more whiteheads popping up, but nothing too bad. I don't think it was worse than any of my bad breakouts pre-Accutane. 

 

As for the blackheads, I don't think this was that bad. Most people say this happens around weeks 3-5 (I'm nearly halfway through week 5) and I remember my nose getting a little bumpy (but only noticed this when I was washing my face) but thought it could be dry skin. I think in reality, it was blackheads falling out and I was probably rubbing them around in the soap (ewwwww). But I don't remember ever looking at my face and thinking, "What are these big black bumps emerging from my skin!?" It was kind of like my nose looked the same but felt a little bumpier, and then suddenly it looked a little clearer. 

 

Basically, I have gone into Accutane expecting my face to look horrendous for 5 months, then to be good at the end. It makes me paranoid, but it also helps me make sure I don't get too down when I get a breakout. Also, if it is any consolation, when I have been getting my bad breakouts, I've been pretty stoked by how much nicer the rest of my skin looks. It's much smoother and the pores are smaller. The areas that aren't blotchy and discolored are actually really nice, so it makes battling the first few months a little more tolerable. 

 

Good luck and check in here from time to time! It's so nice to hear other stories feel like we're in this together!



#25 lifeinfaith

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 10:07 AM

Took my first 20mg pill of Absorbica today!! Here we go.

PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#26 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 12:18 PM

Day 36 (starting week 6!)

Hey everyone! Five weeks down, which makes me 25 percent of the way done with the course! (Well, if my doctor has her way I'll be on it for like 7 months since they have this weird rule about being on 1 mg/kg dose for at least 5 months, but if I feel good at the five or six month point, I think I will just call it quits. But whatever, I can cross that bridge when I get there and the point is, I'm marking down the weeks and that feels good!)

 

My skin was probably as clear as it has ever been yesterday. Marks were fading. Last night though I noticed a small something forming on my left cheek and I'm kind of bummed about it. It's not huge by any stretch of the imagination and things really do look so much better than pre-accutane, but I'm just constantly waiting for the breakouts to stop and it seems like I get some kind of whitehead (some are virtually microscopic) everyday. It's good that I'm seeing results, but it's frustrating nonetheless. My derm said it will be up and down, but I should generally notice a positive trend. So far that has held true, but I know skin could STILL go downhill. Basically, I don't trust any progress so far, especially since I have to up my dose in less than a month from 60 mg to 80 mg. We'll see how that goes. 

 

Side effects have really been reduced, which I both like and don't like. I worry that if the sides go away, maybe the drug isn't being effective? I'm not sure, I'm probably just paranoid. Dry skin hasn't been bad (it feels like what I imagine normal, non-oily skin feels like) but this could be due to the fact that it has been 90 and humid here the past few days. Hard for anything to dry out under these conditions. The eczema on my hand has calmed down quite a bit, and that's just with applying moisturizer a couple times. Back pain is still present, particularly after I hunch over the sink to wash my face. I get dehydrated from running very easily now. I've never been one to sunburn and I still haven't had a problem with it, but I do get tan a lot easier now, which is kind of frustrating since I get awful tan lines (but this seems like a pathetic thing to complain about haha). Oh yes, and dry lips for sure. They haven't been painful, but I apply Aquaphor like every hour or two. 

 

One weird thing I noticed is that I had a MASSIVE blister on my toe (which is from running, I imagine). It was a little weird though. I've never had a blister quite that large for no apparent reason and it is bright red and I imagine will take forever to heal. It doesn't hurt, so that's a positive, but not like anything I have ever experienced. Probably not 'tane-related, but I like to blame this drug for everything. 

 

A side effect I HAVEN'T been looking for or paying attention to is hair loss. I really don't think I've noticed anything so far. I have ridiculously thick hair (my sister and I both do) and truly it would be nice if it thinned out a little. But I'm worried about this side effect a little and I wasn't before. I really can't imagine anything calming this head of hair down, but knowing how powerful Accutane is, I wouldn't put it past it. So now I'll get paranoid about that. 

 

Overall, five weeks down feels pretty good. I'll feel a lot better once I get to the third month, as that seems to be a good time for people, but I really (knock on wood) can't complain about my results. I know it's early, it hasn't been a super smooth road to clearing but it hasn't been the worst, and I generally do like where my skin is right now. Still waiting for the storm to unleash its fury. I have a few big events next weekend, so it will probably happen then....

 

On that happy note, hope everyone is doing well with their course!



#27 lifeinfaith

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 01:26 PM

Breakitoutnow - 

 

The major thing to make sure of when you are deciding on stopping it is that you have gotten your cumulative dose. You need 120-150 mg per kg you weigh....for instance I weigh 45 kg (your cumulative dose will be a lot more since you are male and most likely a lot bigger than petite me). My cumulative dose is around 5500-6000 mg. I am planning on taking a low dose (.5 mg/kg) for minimal side effects of 20mg a day, so that puts me at about 10 months. I know its longer, but there are newer studies and many dermatologists who believe the long low dose is a much better way to go as far as no side effects and better on your body. As long as you get your cumulative dose, the studies show it still provides long term remission. They are even thinking the cumulative doses should be lowered for mild to moderate acne. If you are taking a high dose, you will probably meet your cumulative dose around 5-6 months though, depending on your weight.

 

Since you are 6 weeks in now, I bet you don't have to worry about the IB too much. From what I have read, it happens in the first few weeks for most people...and your acne was not severe so less chance. At least...that is what I am hoping as well!!!

 

I know this is only day 3 for me, but so far the only thing I have noticed is mostly that my face is a little drier than usual at the end of the day. I woke up with a big pimple near my mouth the day after my first dose...but I doubt this could be from the tane so soon. 

 

I noticed you talking about eczema, and this is something I get off and on as well. My whole life, I occasionally get little patches every now and then, mostly on my arms and trunk. How has the tane affected that for you? 


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#28 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 02:52 PM

Hey lifeinfaith:

 

I thought the same thing about the cumulative dose (I feel like such a braniac on this drug. I was correcting the pharmacist the other day about iPledge when they told me I had to answer questions online. I'm pretty sure they didn't appreciate my attitude but oh well). I weigh 70 kg, and by my calculations of two weeks at 40 mg,a month and a half at 60 mg, and three months at 80 mg, I would be at 149 mg/kg by the end of a 5 month course. So going to a seven month course seems a little excessive to me. I will voice these concerns with the doctor I guess. 

 

Anyway, I'm so glad you have finally started your course! Big thing to keep in mind is that even if things get rough, you are making progress and it's all a step in the right direction! I hope you are right about the IB (for both of us)! I'm just so scared to get optimistic on this stuff in the first few months. I agree, most of what I have read says it hits between weeks one and four, but I've read quite a few people saying they felt they were looking their worst around Day 35-40 and then there are always the logs about "Help me! It's day 127 and I have a massive breakout!" and those terrify me. Oh well, I'm just learning to enjoy the days when my skin looks good, and hope they become more frequent in the future. 

 

As for eczema, I used to get it a little bit between my fingers on my right hand when I was like 12-13. I remember it being aggressive, angry, nasty and oozy, but really confined to that specific area (my dad has always had major problems with it). It comes back now and then as basically a patch of dry skin for like two weeks in the winter, but I noticed around week 3 on Accutane it flared up a little. Not awful and definitely not as nasty as it was when I was younger. It just looks like small blisters now. I've added my CeraVe facial moisturizer to it maybe three times this week and it is pretty much gone. That's one thing I will say for accutane: you get side effects that you think are going to get so much worse and wonder, "How will I live with this for 5 months!?" and then suddenly they are gone. That's not to say something doesn't take their place, but it keeps things interesting!



#29 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 08:10 AM

Day 40:

 

Hey guys,

So at the risk of jinxing everything and ruining all my progress, I have to say it for the sake of honesty: my face looks really good. I've gone maybe three days without an active on my face and I only have maybe one or two noticeable red marks (one of which looks like it may be an ice pick scar but not sure yet). Other than that, it is RIDICULOUSLY smooth (I seriously spend a solid five minutes in the shower just feeling my face and wanting to cry tears of joy). Some parts of my skin actually look flawless. I am sure I will continue to break out, as I can't imagine the breakouts just ending and never starting up again, but hopefully things are more manageable from this point on. 

 

I have been getting a few more actives on my back and back of my neck, which is a little weird since these areas cleared up really nicely in the first few weeks. But I haven't broken out badly on my back in years and this hasn't been bad at all. One or two that go away quickly. I noticed what felt like a pretty big whitehead or maybe even cyst on the back of my neck yesterday afternoon. I got home and picked at it a little and I think it popped (sorry if this is TMI, but TMI seems to go out the window when it comes to Accutane logs). I put a little spot treatment on it. I know you aren't supposed to but that area hasn't been very sensitive so I figured it couldn't hurt. Literally within two hours I couldn't feel it and I think it is gone this morning. Pretty awesome. 

 

The unfortunate thing about getting really good skin on this stuff is you never know if it is going to last, and any little thing that could be a breakout sends you into frantic mode. I noticed a microscopic clogged pore on my right cheek last night (I'm not even sure I could call it that. It was more like a small bit of hardness under the skin). So naturally I started squeezing and pinching and messing around with it. I think it is gone now, but I probably made the area redder than necessary. Either way, hoping it doesn't turn into something in the future. 

 

Side effects time! Dryness has REALLY set in over the past few days, which sort of sucks because it looks like I have dandruff on my face but I would rather deal with this than acne ANY day. I view the dryness as a good sign too, since I've read that it is usually an indication that breakouts are coming to an end (but that could be made up). I told my mom about the dryness on the phone and she was like, "Try a moisturizer!" I was like, "Seriously mom? What do you think I've been using?"Joint and muscle pains: check. I made the mistake of doing push ups the other day (which always hurt for me) and the next day I was super sore. I'm probably just weak (as a runner, upper body strength isn't exactly my forte) but I think the 'tane has something to do with it. Headaches are happening on and off. Dry eyes seem a little more present, but that probably has more to do with pushing three week contacts to three months. The eczema on my right hand has calmed down dramatically, but it doesn't seem to want to go away completely. I'm also noticing some redness on my upper arms, but nothing too bad and I think some are just mosquito bites. That's the Upper Midwest in June for you.

 

Overall, I love where my skin is at right now. It's not perfect, but it looks like it could get there. I also know it could still get worse, being only 5.5 weeks in and planning to up my dosage in about three weeks, but I'm really enjoying the nice skin now. I've got big events this weekend and the holiday next week (for those in the US) so I would love if this nice complexion could stick around for awhile! Fingers crossed, but either way, I think I'm getting a taste for what life could be like after acne and I LOVE IT!



#30 lifeinfaith

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 07:37 AM

That's great it's going so well for you! I just finished week 1 (I started out taking 20 mg every other day, which I will do for 2-3 weeks to wean myself in then bump up to 20 every day as my dose for the rest of the course... Unless somehow I have 0 side effects on that and can bump up to 40 with no side effects but that's doubtful)

So far...absolutely no side effects except maybe that I feel I need a little more water. My face has gotten noticeably drier and clearer just in week 1 which kind of amazes me at such a low dose but I am pretty small and medicine sensitive. It still gets somewhat oily in the evening but overall it's producing less oil... I can touch parts of my face at 5 pm that would have been super moist and breakout prone before. In the past week I got 2 new pimples..both around my mouth. My clogged pores have been making an exit...they all seem to be coming to the surface faster and loosening up then either rubbing off in the shower or popping out with a small squeeze that so far hasn't left any marks....once I up dose I'll probably have to cut that out but hopefully I won't really have many clogged pores soon..My forehead has gotten the most clear...it's really strange that in a weeks it's smoother than it has been in months. It's my moist oily area...my T zone, and that area seems to have lessoned the most in oil. The chin cheeks and jaw area have broken out a lot more for me as an adult and they still have numerous clogged pores that will hopefully vacate with little convincing.

So...so far results seems pretty good, I know this is only week one but I'm hoping it stays on this trend.

Breakitoutnow - so did you go from having an abundance of clogged pores to only having one or two now? I try not to focus on those because I have really messed my face up in the past trying to get at them but they are looking super ready and easy lately. There was even one big one on my jaw that has seriously been there for 9 months that finally popped out and looks like it's finally healing correctly. Strange business.

PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#31 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:54 PM

Day 43 (start of week 7):
Starting week 7, and I know this week is going to go quickly since I'm busy with work, plus I'm traveling home for the 4th of July to spend it with some family. Very excited. Hard to believe that I'm a month and a half in already. In some ways it seems like it has been so fast, in other ways it seems like this has been the slowest journey EVER. The scarier thought is that I graduated from college a month and a half ago and I'm still job searching, but that's a different story entirely. Now, as far as skin goes...

Flawless skin days were short lived, but it's not THAT bad. I felt REALLY great about my skin on Friday probably, and really I just felt much more confident all of last week. Starting yesterday, I noticed a few small things popping up. I thought I got them taken care of and gone so quickly, but my skin is so fragile and dry that even if I don't notice any damage right away, a few hours later I will see the red spot. And they aren't really spots, they are big blotches. It sucks and it takes forever for them to heal. I've got a reasonably large one on my left cheek right in the middle of my face, a large one right in the middle of my forehead, and two pretty much in the exact same locations on my upper left and right cheek. They aren't bright read, but they look like dark marks and I just hate how long they take to fade. It sucks too because I've noticed on Accutane that these things seem to pop up out of NOWHERE. It's like I notice a dark mark in an area where I had a zit, then it seems not as noticeable, then it seems to come back with a vengeance. I can't really figure out how the skin healing works on Accutane. It's a little all over the board. My face is still so smooth though that that is a perk. I just love feeling it in the shower. My skin was SO great last week, that this is a little discouraging. It is still so much better than pre-Accutane, don't get me wrong. But I even went out this week and had an awesome time and I just felt like I knew what life without acne finally felt like. Everything looked so good earlier last week that I couldn't imagine that there was more to come up. But there was. Anyway, the stuff was very small, and if the breakouts stop for a few days the marks should be gone and I'll be back to feeling better. Fingers crossed!

My back went through quite the breakout this week though. I've never had bad back acne, at least not recently. But I had probably 5-6 spots pop up and that wasn't super fun. I'd rather it there than on my face, but it is swimsuit season and it's not particularly fun. Point is, acne sucks anywhere. Regardless, things seem to be slowing down a little back there and spots are fading quickly. 

I think I said it last time, but HOLY DRYNESS! MUCH DRY! My face is really dry (finally invested in the CeraVe PM moisturizer and that helps). My lips are dry. My hair is dry. Everything is dry. One thing I have noticed is increased facial sweating. I'm not sure if this is even a side effect, but it seriously kind of sucks. I always sweat on runs obviously, especially when it is 85-90 out, but lately I'll get home and even after wiping down, my nose and upper lip is just RIDICULOUSLY sweaty! I'm wondering if this is more that sweat droplets that would usually flow off the skin are actually getting caught on the dry, brittle skin. I can stop talking about this now since it's sort of nasty...Other than that, headaches occasionally, joint pains occasionally (though these slowed down). That's about it. 

I went out last night and drank a lot for the first time on Accutane. Definitely felt it in the morning, though not necessarily more than usual. Hoping this doesn't mess with my liver tests, but I'm certainly not making a habit of it. I was just so anxious to cap off a week of good skin, but I may have celebrated too early. Still waiting for an IB. I'm six weeks in and I've seen dramatic improvement, so I like to think it wouldn't get so bad after having gotten so much better, but I know it is a possibility. I'm also two weeks away from starting month 3, and I hear that is usually when people see major results, so I'm excited to get to that point!

All in all, a little down about the slight deterioration of skin condition, but I also know good skin days will return, and hopefully soon!

 

Lifeinfaith: I went from not even noticing clogged pores to suddenly noticing the four or five on each cheek I had. So I think pre-Accutane, I had so many clogged pores and my skin was just bumpy with them that I didn't even realize what a clogged pore was. Once I started accutane, those mostly went away and the ones remaining were a lot easier to spot. It was like a dramatic improvement in skin condition, so much so that I could really notice the flaws (clogged pores). Does that even make sense? And I cannot emphasize enough: do NOT go after those pores. Seriously even when you don't think you are doing damage, you are and it shows up a day or two later for me some time. I can see where I scraped off the top layer of skin and it's blotchy and ugly and takes forever to go away. 



#32 lifeinfaith

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:19 AM

Arggh you're right!! Last night I got to noticing 3-4 clogged pores on my right cheek and got too comfortable with how easily the clogged pores had been coming out...so I went after them and it did not turn out well. They were mostly ones that didn't do anything when I squeezed and now I have four red irritated spots on my right cheek that look like pimples. :(  I havent had any actual pimples pop up in the past several days (except for two on my neck/hairline area which is random) and I was really feeling great at the end of last week...but now I know it will be several days of putting concealer on those spots and hoping they dont turn into anything. I dont know why we do this to ourselves. They were really tiny clogged pores too.  I have this prevailing belief that if I don't take care of the clogged pores, they won't ever come out on their own or go away. But this is not the case on accutane right?


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#33 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 09:08 AM

lifeinfaith: Sounds EXACTLY like my experience around Day 8 or Day 9. That spot where I had a battle with clogged pores is still a little discolored and it has been a month (not to scare you. It certainly looks so much better and no one would notice unless I pointed it out and they had a magnifying glass haha). But I keep doing the same thing. Small tiny whiteheads lurk under the skin, so I pick and pressure and get them to the surface, and then I'm left with two weeks of broken, red skin blotches that are like 4 times the size. Without concealer (yes, I'm a guy and I wear concealer. I gave up caring about the stereotypes a long time ago. It simply gives me the confidence to take on the day) my face looks pretty messy right now, which is such a bummer because it was nearly flawless last week (I'm not just talking clear here. It was smooth, it was even toned, I seriously felt like I could take on anything). Now I feel like I've got a solid week or two of healing to do until things look good again. But don't fear too much about the bad skin and the red marks. A) try not to pick (easier said than done) and B) my experience has been that healing takes awhile on Accutane and it gets super frustrating, and then like, overnight, things look so much better. I will have red marks that seem to be taking a week or two to fade at all, then one morning I'll wake up and they aren't so bad. The next day, they are gone. It's kind of insane, but I won't argue with it. And as my doc said, it's going to be up and down, but you should notice a positive trend. Hang in there!



#34 lifeinfaith

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:49 AM

More power to you! I always wondered how guys made it through puberty without concealer.

The marks from yesterday are on their way to fading...thankfully my skin has always healed very fast. I'm getting a swollen bump on my chin and a small pimple under my nose. Looking forward to going a month without getting a pimple!

PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#35 lifeinfaith

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 11:40 AM

Something weird happened yesterday. Monday night I noticed a really swollen spot on my chin...yesterday that spot had swelled to an area the size of a nickel by evening...like the most swollen pimple I have had since I was a teenager. It reminded me of what I used to get monthly as a teen....super freaked me out..I was thinking it was going to last forever and was hurting like crazy...so I gave it a little pressure just to see and wallah. A tiny plug flew out. I don't see how something that small caused such an inflammatory respond and it wasn't even deep...today the lump is like 30% of what it was and just a little tender. I am wondering if this is some IB because that was totally not the usual.

And my lips are dry all the time now.

PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#36 lifeinfaith

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Posted 05 July 2014 - 03:22 PM

I upped to 20mg ever day now- the past few days face started flaking and lips are always chapped. This stuff is powerful I don't know how you guys do high doses! Those marks from squeezing last Monday are gone...but I am noticing one or two more scars/slight indents that I could never see before in places that I havent even touched recently. I've heard this can happen on accutane before they eventually get better? Have you experienced anything like this ?

The monster pimple is healing but left a lot of inflammation behind with it. I'm also getting one in between my eye brows. I think this is IB for sure.

PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#37 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 09:53 AM

Day 50:

 

Hey everyone. So today marks the start of week 8 and I'll be honest, I'm pretty down. My skin isn't the worst it has been (actually, I'm home with family for the weekend and they all say they see tremendous improvement). And they're right. My skin is so soft and the texture is just great. But I've been breaking out a fair amount this whole week. It started with your basic whiteheads here and there. They left marks and that was that. But last Tuesday I had my first cyst pop up on my chin. It only flared up really big (and not probably that noticeable, but it was painful) for maybe a day or two, but as it has been going away it's leaving a pretty big red mark. I don't mind it a ton because for whatever reason red marks on the chin just aren't AS noticeable, at least on me. It's kind of like the whole area has texture and shadows so it sort of just looks odd, but it isn't a huge blotch on my cheek or anything, so I'm grateful for that. But last night, I had a small something on my right cheek, up near my eye and off to the right side (thankfully it's not in the middle of my face). I picked too much and now it is a mess. Big broken skin and just a pain. I hope it will be gone in the next few days. My estimate is that if I can avoid any other kind of breakout on my face for the next few days, I will feel pretty good come Wednesday. But since I seem to be getting something new everyday, I'm not very optimistic. My back was also breaking out a ton lately, which is unusual for me. I really have no clue what was going on, but it seems to have slowed down at least a little. 

 

Objectively, my skin is no worse than before Accutane and actually is better (and has had points of being MUCH better). But these breakouts are really bumming me out. I cleared up so nicely just last weekend, and it has been such a roller coaster ride since then. Once everything is clear, I keep wondering why other things form. Isn't everything gone already!? Anyway, I keep thinking I'm approaching month 3, but I still have a few weeks technically (I started May 18, so July 18 is still two weeks away). But if you measure by weeks, I'm getting close. I hear month 3 is where good things usually happen. I keep praying that once this breakout stops, that will be the end and it will be uphill from there. I'm sure I'm wrong, but that would be so nice. Truly, on days when I have good skin my confidence is through the roof. On days when it is bad, I just want to throw things. I'm sure everyone here can understand. 

 

Side effects: Dryness has calmed down on my face, but my arms are dry and I'm getting eczema on my right hand again. It isn't bad. Just kind of a dry rash . Photosensitivity is real, folks. I never sunburn and I still haven't on the 'tane, but I run outside and I have a pretty fierce tan, which isn't doing anything for my red marks I'm sure. I put on SPF and everything and it kind of doesn't matter. I like it because I like the way I look tan, but I'm sure my derm will yell at me. I've been pretty depressed today, but that has more to do with the bad skin and the fact that my laptop screen broke on me than the 'tane. Also, lips (per usual), dry eyes, and some joint pain still. I just notice running is tougher, but I'm still keeping my mileage where I usually do, so no big issue there. Also, I think I've been fatigued. I always want to sleep, but like I said, I've been home all weekend and I tend to get that way when I come home. 

 

Question for everyone: I rarely get cysts (knock on wood, knock on wood, KNOCK ON WOOD!) but when I've gotten them in the past I always squeezed them really hard and got just clear stuff out and it looked horrible. For the most part, I managed to avoid that with this thing on my chin. My question is, doesn't stuff have to come to the surface? Is this cyst just going to come back in a week or two? It seems like if I just let it die down the nasty stuff on the inside has to go somewhere...Does it just dry up and peel off with the skin? Any insight would be appreciated.

 

lifeinfaith: Sometimes I will look at my face in the mirror and see tons of scars and think my face looks a little ridiculous, and other times it looks flawless. I think Accutane messes with your skin texture a ton by dehydrating it (making the scars look much more noticeable) and then shrinking pores and facilitating skin turnover, making them look better. I also think it depends on what moisturizer I'm using. If I use a really thick PM one, it looks a lot worse. I'm grateful that I don't have a ton of indented scars, though I have maybe two or three that I can see. 



***UPDATE***

 

Alright so after looking in the mirror, I realized my last post may have been dramatic. I have one bad red mark zit thingy that will probably look much better tomorrow, one red mark from the cyst on my chin that isn't great but is fading, and one very small red mark under my lower lip. That's all though. The rest of my skin looks very good. I only clarify because I told myself when I was starting this log that I would not exaggerate my experiences and scare potential Accutane users away. This is a roller coaster ride and I get really pissy about my skin, but it has been improving, even if it's not 100 percent clear. I have to remember that just because I'm really obsessive about my skin and it doesn't look flawless, it doesn't mean I'm not seeing results. I think I get more down about breakouts now because after making so much progress, it's a step backward. If you are considering Accutane, just do it. I had a taste of flawless skin last weekend and it was incredible. I know more of those days are on the way.



#38 lifeinfaith

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 01:32 PM

Oh cysts, those terrible little things. I never got true cysts until a year ago while my husband and I were living in Colorado during the worst breakout of my life...brought on by extreme stress/crazy climate change and using oil on my face to try and moisturize.....anyways the things I used to always get and get occasionally now - like this week's monster chin zit which is healed now but still has inflamed tissue (stuff easily expelled from it but I think it kind of became a cyst type mass afterwards from all the inflammation it caused. You cant see it at all aside from the red mark, just feel it, but it doesn't hurt at all anymore ), are actually reallllly inflamed pustules that eventually come to a head and expel with squeezing. The things I got in Colorado however, never came to heads and would have resulted in massive tissue damage if I had squeezed the crap out of them. I went to a dermatologist and they told me not to touch them or it could cause major scarring and they actually injected one with cortisone which took it down in about a week (but left a dent in my chin for almost 2 months from atrophy).

 

You basically have to assess it to be able to tell...if you have normally been a cyst former then that's probably a good indication...but if yours always pop them maybe it isn't a real cyst. For me, I can tell by the fact that the poppable kind "progress". They get really swollen, then over the course of 2-3 days, get even more swollen to the point that they feel like the huge lump has moved to the surface and SUPER hurt. Sometimes they show a white head depending on how long you wait, sometimes not. These I used to lance with a needle and all the contents would come out with pressure. The cysts would never seen to progress...they would appear all inflamed...never seem to have a central feel..and I would go days hoping they would progress, but nothing would happen except them just sitting there being painful and swollen and ugly. I never squeezed those...I think the plug or infection started pretty far down and ruptured part of the sebaceous gland causing all the swelling and angryness mostly from the tissue itself and not the plug. Most of that content was probably clear fluid from the tissue and white blood cells, not solid stuff. They would last for about 2 weeks....then the red mark from them would hang around for about 1-2 months. After about a week they would finally stop being painful and then start shrinking and then finally disappear after maybe 2 weeks. Nothing ever came out of those, so I think the body just broke it down and absorbed it. Again, I don't think these kind have a huge plug, they just get super swollen and fluid filled from the damaged gland way down deep. So...if I were you I would inspect it and see what kind it might be. If it really is a cyst, I would definitely not try and pop it. The cysts I had at the time (I got maybe 5 in total) healed without leaving permanent marks. 

 

It sounds to me like maybe you are finally having a bit of IB? I know I am...last night another zit showed up in between my eyes then this morning was huge and swollen. I worked out and took a long hot shower and it came to a head in the shower, and I popped it after. Now its healing flat...but I don't usually get this many large swollen ones this closely timed...and they also dont progress this fast. My derm told me that since my acne was not severe my IB would probably be a few more swollen ones than usual, not a ton of pimples like some get, so it seems to be doing that. Hopefully this only lasts a week or 2 and then I will be closer to clear skin. I pretty much haven't had any white heads since starting accutane (I didn't get a ton of these before) and most of the clogged pores that are left are on the sides of my chin, and a few near my mouth. 


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


#39 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 07:13 PM

lifeinfaith: Thanks for the description. I assumed this was a cyst because it felt SO deep and I could actually see/feel the bump under the skin (like a hard little ball) but it came and went within a matter of days (it's pretty much down to just a red mark now) so maybe it was just a big postule. Either way, I would love if it never came back. Sorry to hear that the IB is setting in for you. I'll cross my fingers that it clears quickly for you and you get on the path to clear skin soon! I'm not sure if I'm dealing with an IB or not. Like I said, this isn't worse than my breakouts were before Accutane and in many ways, the skin is so much better. But I'm just craving clear skin so much at this point. It's like it's almost in my grasp if these stupid breakouts would just stop. I'm also worried that in two weeks they are going to bump me up to 80 mg/day. I would love to clear up nicely and say I'm seeing great results, can I just stay on 60 mg? I hate the thought of suffering through an(other?) IB in month 3. 



#40 DawgDaze64

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:30 AM

Sounds like you've been doing really well, and I like your comments about trying not to obsess. I'm one week in on a second course of Accutane (second in 25 years), and I'm trying very hard not to make it the focus of my life. Not easy, though!

 

Also, like you, I'm a runner (although, several decades older, LOL), and I was ultra sensitive to the sun on my first course of Accutane, as well as on this one—if I'm out in the middle of the day, regardless of how much sunscreen I have on, I can just feel those rays pounding on me, and it gives me headaches, too. I have always been diligent about sunscreen use, but now I'm slathering on a 50 SPF whenever I leave the house, even if it's just to get in the car and go to a meeting. And when I'm on the trails, I add a hat and a long sleeve technical shirt to boot. And don't forget good eye protection, too. The sun is no joke, and it's doubly bad on this drug.


Best of luck and I hope you continue to enjoy your runs!


Edited by DawgDaze64, 07 July 2014 - 11:30 AM.



My regimen:

Mornings:
CeraVe Foaming Cleanser Normal to Oily Skin
Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Toner, Oily/Combination Skin (no alcohol, tons of antioxidants)

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Serum

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion 30 SPF for Normal to Dry Skin

Amnesteem 40mg daily, 6-month course started June 30, 2014

Evenings:
CeraVe Foaming Cleanser Normal to Oily Skin
Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Toner, Oily/Combination Skin (no alcohol, tons of antioxidants)
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin

Make-Up (on the days I have to wear it for business, etc.):
Estee Lauder Double Wear or Almay TLC 16 hour foundation





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