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

accutane log journal moderate acne

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#41 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:27 AM

Day 52 (and story of the Mutant Zit from Hell):

So before all prospective Accutane users freak out that I'm on Day 52 and talking about a bad breakout, I should clarify: this is not a disaster, face-consuming, cystic breakout. I don't want to scare people here. My Accutane experience has been a roller coaster, but it has been largely positive. With that in mind...

This thing on my right cheekbone sucks. I seriously haven't had a zit like this before. The "cyst" on my chin and red marks are fading nicely. My face would actually look damn good if this thing weren't on it. For the record, this is what had me upset two days ago, and I don't really think it looks any better (actually, I think it looks worse). I've picked way too much to the point where I'm tempted to just take a knife to it. It isn't that big, but the red blotchiness from where I've picked is pretty significant (maybe penny-sized or a little smaller). But it is weird! I can't get it to pop, I think I've gotten some stuff out but now it looks like a big red blotch with a raised white surface. I've tried to open the white surface thinking it was a pus-filled and I didn't really get much out. So now the white surface looks like a donut. I don't think I can accurately describe this thing, other than it is very very weird and annoying. Maybe it was a small cyst that I just tried too hard to get rid of and it hardened into a scar? I have no idea, but I really really wish it weren't there. My chin isn't looking GREAT, but I could deal with that a lot better if I didn't have this thing. My only saving grace is that it is off to the far side of my right cheekbone and not in the middle of my face. But boy is it ugly…and not remotely concealable. I gave up trying.

Now that I have that rant out of the way, everything else is fine. Red marks on chin are fading nicely (although I can still see the bump under the skin from that chin cyst. I don't want that coming back). Dryness is setting in again, which is fine. I kind of wish my skin would just completely dry up and flake off and take the MZH (Mutant Zit from Hell - I've given it its own acronym, folks) with it. I'm hopeful that it will be significantly better by Friday morning, and maybe by the end of the weekend it won't be super noticeable. But who knows. This is new territory. 

I'm 7.5 weeks in and I like my results, but I'm not to the point where I want to be yet. Side effects have been the same: dryness, arm/hand rash, photosensitivity (got very tan on my 11 hour drive yesterday. I'm not kidding). Depression is present but that is again due to poor skin, not Accutane. Lips are drying out even more (didn't know this was possible) and the right side has cracked. Kind of wish the left side would too just to make it even. 

All in all, I hate the state of my skin, and yet I also love it. Chin and far right cheek (almost temple) have been hit really hard this week, but everywhere else is really nice. I'm getting labs done next Monday and have my two month check-in on July 18. I'm really hoping things look good at that point. A lot can change in just a day on this stuff, so a week and a half is an eternity. 

DawgDaze: Glad to see another runner on here! I've noticed running is much tougher on the 'tane. My recovery time after runs is probably 3xs what it was pre-tane. I made the mistake of doing a fast 10-miler a week or two after starting and I think I'm STILL recovering (and that was over a month ago, mind you). The sun is intense, and thankfully I have a darker complexion to begin with or I would be a red lobster at this point. As for skin obsession, I haven't been so good about that this week. It was a lot easier for me to say "don't obsess" when I felt like my skin was on the up and up. As it has gone downhill this week, my obsession has set in again. I need to relax and just deal with it for a few days, then hopefully things will be uphill again. Month three is just around the corner, and you'll be there before you know it as well!



#42 lifeinfaith

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 04:02 PM

I feel kind of similar to you except I'm not even a month in yet! The rest of my face is looking very nice (weird zit in between my eyebrows pretty much vanished after it popped this weekend) if not for my chin. The big pseudo cyst thing that popped had another pimple next to it a few days ago that I kept jacking with and last night I jacked with the cyst bump thing again hoping something else was still in there, but no, it's just a hard mass. This has happened to me when I was younger, and like yours, it just kind of becomes what almost seems like a scar due to all the inflammation and trauma. We really just have to stop messing with it and let it heal. Thinking back, those always got smaller and smaller after a few weeks if I just let them heal. Also, if you go to the Derm soon you could have them look at it and maybe get a cortisone shot if it hasn't improved? I really need to stop obsessing too. My skin has been my obsession for the past 2 years now and I'm just plain tired of it. I'm going to just put aquafor healing ointment on my chin the next few nights and try to completely ignore it.

I am really thinking my hair is drying out and it's starting to worry me. I couldn't even use shampoo this morning. I have really long hair so theres a lot of it. Going to put a filter on the shower head and use a heavier conditioner to see if it helps. I was considering bumping up to 30mg next month to shorten my time to 6 mo rather than 9 because I was thinking, how can I go for 9 months, but now I'm thinking, how can I increase side effects even more? Well see how it is end of month.

#43 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:57 AM

lifeinfaith: If I could stop picking, my life would be so much better. I sometimes notice though that I don't even realize I'm doing it. I lean in close to the mirror and then, two minutes later, I've left a trail of devastation. So with this massive weird thing, I picked off all the scar tissue and scabby stuff. Now it is an indented red mess, but at east I feel like it is on its way to healing whereas before I couldn't even say that. I think by tomorrow or Friday it will be concealable and maybe early to mid next week it will be much less noticeable. Fingers crossed. 

 

I got another microscopic whitehead last night that I popped and left a not-so-microscopic red mark. Ordinarily it wouldn't bother me because it's concealable and should be gone in two or three days but it's just adding to my frustration at the moment. My skin looks so good in parts, I just want to be like "How is there more stuff coming up!?"It is ridiculously smooth and it is so dry that I feel like it should be inhospitable to any kind of zit. But it's not. They just keep showing up. And even the smallest things leave a mark these days. I did manage to get a clogged pore in the middle of my right cheek last night that didn't really leave a mark and I was happy about that. Meanwhile, my right cheek and chin are looking pretty ugly. My left cheek and forehead and nose (knock on wood) are looking beautiful. I guess I'll just make sure that's the side I show off?

 

I keep feeling like maybe this is acne's last stand and that once these breakouts come to an end I'll be clear for good, but I sort of don't know if that's the case. I'm getting about one whitehead a day and contending with red marks, so it's not great news over here. I can also say it isn't any worse than pre-Accutane. But I'm two months in--I should be turning a corner, right? And I know people say "I didn't clear up until month 4" or "Some don't clear up until after their treatment" but I cleared up so well at the 5-6 week mark that I really thought I would be in better shape by now. Oh well, it's a marathon, not a sprint. 

 

Also, scary moment last night. I took two pills (I do that every other day), one at breakfast and one at lunch, so only about 3 hours apart (which I have done before and my derm said is fine). I went for a run in the evening (about 6 miles, a typical distance for me). It wasn't real hot, very comfortable. After I showered I noticed I wasn't feeling great. I went to a friend's house for dinner and basically couldn't eat. Spent the whole evening on the couch, with a blanket. I felt like I had a fever, and I was nauseous and my friend said my eyes were really bloodshot. I took two Advil and pretty much fell into bed. Woke up this morning and I am fine. I'm attributing it to dehydration. Any other ideas?

 

So right now, feeling bummed. Really hopeful that things look better by this weekend. I can't expect this red mess on the right side of my face to go away real soon, but I think if the other marks (which look like they should be on their way out) disappear, I'll be content. Now if only I could stop anything else from coming….


Edited by BreakItOutNow, 09 July 2014 - 08:59 AM.


#44 lifeinfaith

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:34 PM

Yea it sounds like dehydration. My Derm told me it's real easy to do on accutane so I try and chug water constantly. I have been scared to play soccer since I started and have just been working out in the gym. I'm going to this Sunday though, so hopefully I'll be ok. It's hot as hell here and I sprint a ton in soccer.

I keep thinking the same thing as you,if this would just be the last pimple, if theyde just stop coming - but I think that's flawed thinking because it might be months more until thst happens (like you said some say they don't totally clear until 4 months) or it might not ever happen. What might be "perfectly clear" to some might be a super annoying clogged pore to us. I have a friend who did 5 months of accutane and it cleared him tremendously (he had severe nodular cystic acne) but he told me he still gets a few pimples a month - to him this is amazing though. I don't want to set myself up for perfection because it isn't possible and I think if we do it might just be an endless pursuit. I have an extremely hard time not doing this though. I've been ok lately at not picking at clogged pores (since they are visible to no one but me) and only allowing myself to mess with swollen ones. My hope is that accutane stops me from getting swollen pimples except on occasion (and hopefully 0 cysts ever ) and majorely reduces my propensity for clogged pores.

#45 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:07 AM

Day 54:

Hey everyone. So, day 54 and I am both loving and hating my skin, if that makes any sense. I love it because it is so smooth, and most of the residual red marks have faded. It looks pretty flawless everywhere, with the exception of two MAJOR flaws on my right cheek. 

First is what is left of the Mutant Zit from Hell. It is now a bright red gash on my right cheekbone, just past the far corner of my right eye. It is seriously the ugliest thing I have ever had on my face (with the exception of a pretty big cyst that I tore apart on my nose one time. That was bad). I don't know if it was infected or what (I did so much to this thing that I wouldn't doubt I severely messed it up. I picked, I used a needle, I might as well have dropped hydrochloric acid on it, it is that bad). Question: has anyone every tried spot treating with neosporin/antibacterial ointment? I need something that will facilitate healing of this gash. Dealing with a red mark is one thing (and difficult enough), but dealing with what looks like someone took a knife to my cheek is a different story. I've been spot treating with Differin but that seems to be irritating more than helping. So, neosporin? Any thoughts?

I also had a new thing pop up yesterday. Yippee! It feels pretty deep, but it isn't blowing up into a noticeable bump. It is more just a big red mark. It's on the far side of my right cheek (near where sideburns would be if I had them) and I don't mind it as much. It's relatively easy to conceal, but it's taking everything I have not to pick away. It is kind of sore, which makes me think "cyst" but I'm not sure that is accurate. I think it could just be a really deep whitehead that hasn't come to a head yet? Time will tell. 

If you would look at me from the front/left you would think my skin is flawless. If you would look at me from the right you would think "What happened to him!?" I think I have learned my lesson on picking, but probably not. This thing on my right cheek though is so ugly, I really need something to put on it. I have heard neosporin is comedogenic so that sort of sucks, but maybe if I'm real careful and just get it on the actual gash? I kind of don't care if it leaves an indented scar, I just want the bright red bloody (not as in the swear word…it's actually bleeding) thing off my face! I would feel a lot better too if I hadn't gotten this new thing on my right cheek. 

Accutane has been a largely positive experience, but breakouts get me down a lot more now, especially since I thought I was moving to the point where they would be more manageable. I've noticed myself slipping into old habits, like not being able to get myself out of the car and take on the day, or wanting to cancel plans with friends. The funny thing is, my skin IS better! It really is. Lifeinfaith: I think you are right. I have built up the expectation of flawless skin and any time I get close and it goes away, I get really upset. I also have to say I have some expectation of perfection simply because the rest of my skin is nearly perfect! It really looks and feels so great, it's just these two or three BIG marks (ok, one BIG mark, two other relatively small marks) I get that are really getting me down. But you are right, I have to remember that Accutane isn't going to solve ALL my problems. It can (and probably will) seriously help my skin, but I'm not necessarily going to look in the mirror and love what I see, even if I have clear skin. I have a pretty significant history of body dysmorphic disorder and always hone in on a real/perceived imperfection. I did it with my weight until I was 17 and weighed 108 pounds (which, for a 5'10" guy is pretty darn thin), I've done it with my skin now. I have to stop chasing perfection, not just with skin but with my appearance in general. I know this is a lot of very personal information that is pretty tangential to my Accutane log, but it is something I felt the need to share. Basically, I think I'm a relatively sane individual, but my self-loathing when it comes to appearances has plagued me for half of my life. I have to remind myself that Accutane is helpful, but there are deeper issues here. I recognize them, I'm working on them with a mental health professional, and that's about the best I can do. Sorry. That was a lot. We can go back to talking about pretty skin now. 

All that said, I'm fine with the odd zit every couple weeks. I would really love to not be getting them every day like I am right now though. In other news, I have a roommate who I believe did Accutane in high school and has always had very good skin. I've recently noticed he's using Clearasil products and new acne soaps. We never talk about skin care stuff, but I'm wondering if he is feeling a relapse? Either way, he is going on four or five years of very nice skin, and I think that seems worth it to me. Plus, I haven't noticed any blemishes on him recently, so maybe they have been small and he is just trying to get ahead of the game. 

No dehydration issues yesterday after my run. Lifeinfaith: Don't worry about soccer. Keep your electrolytes up, but enjoy yourself. It's important to maintain a semblance of normal life on this drug. Soccer will be a good way to get your mind off Accutane and skin care and--literally and figuratively--"get back in the game." Have fun!



#46 Mandycandy

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:43 AM

I'm right there with you! Wonderfully said. I'm on day 63 and my face is so smooth with only a couple cysts still. I'm happy with my results so far however accutane is like a roller coaster so I try to keep in mind a new cyst could pop up any day.

 

I've read where people talked about using neosporin, I've tried it because Im a constant picker. Now that all cysts are shrinking I can see my needle holes I've made in them in the past. But its lessening more and more each day. I'd do anything that will make you feel better about them. I didn't notice much difference when I was using neosporin. Cortizone cream works best for me and I've noticed good results.



#47 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:04 AM

Mandy: Glad someone is in the same boat as me. I think I am definitely going to use neosporin. This isn't a cyst anymore, it's an open wound. I'm so mad at myself for picking, but it was one of those things where it started out as no big deal, started picking, made it worse, figured I couldn't make it much worse, so I kept picking. False: YOU CAN ALWAYS MAKE IT WORSE! Anyway, I'm optimistic that maybe I'm turning a corner on Accutane soon. I can deal with the gash if it starts healing and if the breakouts slow down. I'm happy because (knock on wood) I haven't gotten anything (or anything significant) on the left half of my face for quite a few days (cue massive breakout on left cheek!)

 

Good luck to everyone on their course! Glad we've all got support here!



#48 lifeinfaith

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 10:41 PM

Antibiotic ointment for sure. If you put differin on an open wound it will just irritate it, I've done it. The quickest way to heal a wound with minimal scarring is to keep it moist for as long as possible - even Vaseline or aquifor.

When I was breaking out terribly in Colorado I started seeing a mental health provider for almost a year. It was the first time in my life, but the acne was giving me such severe anxiety and I was getting depressed about it ...that's about when I developed the major picking/complexion fixation. They actually diagnosed me with mild ocd... Which body dysmorphia is in the same family as. They said it wasn't straight up body dysmorphia because it was the only time I've been fixated on something on my body but have been fixated on other "perfectionistic" type things in the past. I had just never talked to anyone about it before. I figure at least half the people on this website probably have ocd of some type... Or they wouldn't be on here lol. Seeing a therapist was one of the best things for me, they gave me tons of good tools and a better understanding of how my mind works and how to think about my thoughts - cognitive behavioral therapy. I am loads better than the low point I had gotten to 1.5 years ago. Before I stopped seeing my therapist, he knew I was going to take accutane , and thought that was fine. He thought perhaps it would enable me to minimize or eliminate this trigger to the point where I could easily train myself to not obsess over it...thst is, until I find the next thing to obsess over!

What have you been doing to moisturize your face? I have been using my normal oil free moisturuzer but my face is getting so flaky at the end of the day. Has this been a problem for you?

#49 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:46 AM

Lifeinfaith: As much as I hate hearing your struggles, it is nice to know I'm not the only one who has struggled mentally with this. And I know other people on this board have as well, but hearing a personal story like that is helpful. I have to say I'm amazed there isn't really a cure for acne at this point. With how much it really seems to destroy people's lives, you would think we would just have a shot or something that gets rid of it. I just graduated college and if my current career path doesn't work out, I'm heading to med school and may try to make it as a dermatologist. I certainly have the passion to help people through this by now. But oh well, that's a long way off.

Anyway, for moisturizing, I use CeraVe PM anytime I wash my face. During the day I also use the AM moisturizer for some added SPF protection. I still get flakey skin, but this regimen seems to be working well.

I started putting aquaphor on the wound yesterday per the recommendation of my derm's nurse (I need to buy that woman a gift card or something. She has been so accommodating). I think it is helping, but it hasn't been an "overnight transformation" or anything. Have a nasty but concealable dark mark on my far right cheek just below the nasty wound, but I think it should be gone in the next two or three days. I also peeled off some dead skin where that cyst on my chin was only to reveal a dark red mark yesterday, so I'm upset about that, but maybe in the next two or three days it will be gone as well. I'm still getting little things though. Had a small thing pop up between the eyes yesterday and it was no problem, I popped it easily and it was so small, it's gone now. But I'm getting discouraged anytime I get something new. I would feel like I'm making major strides if I could even go a day without some kind of zit, no matter how small.

Tomorrow is the end of week 8 and what I will call the end of Month 2. I've seen progress since starting, I know I have. I'm just hoping month 3 is when it really gets going!

UPDATE:

HOLY AQUAPHOR! I lied. I didn't think it was an overnight transformation because when I washed my face this morning and reapplied aquaphor, it wasn't. I just peeled some dead skin around the side off though and it tore off the whole top layer. It hurt like hell, but revealed fresh (albeit bloody) skin underneath. It is indented and will probably leave a nasty scar. I don't dare put concealer on it or anything, but I would say it looks 50% better. Seriously a huge huge difference. Incredible. Aquaphor is a miracle product. I am reapplying it now and will continue to do so throughout the day. With the improvement I just saw in less than 24 hours, I am excited to see what it may look like by the end of the weekend. Just wanted to update with some positive news for a change.

Edited by BreakItOutNow, 11 July 2014 - 12:14 PM.


#50 lifeinfaith

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 11:39 PM

That's great! My husband used aquaphor ( I keeps speaking it wrong) when he had some moles biopsied and they healed well. I've been using it on my lips at night and so far no peeling.

So no active pimples right now..,little plugs are falling out of my face daily, it's pretty weird. Did this happen to you? Also, this week the skin on my cheeks has been getting weird and rough looking...like slightly bumpy and uneven. Any insight on whst could be going on there?

#51 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:24 AM

Day 56 (8 weeks down!):

Alright so time for that 2 month update! Am I allowed to call 8 weeks two months? In reality it isn't, since I technically won't be at the two month mark until a week from now. But seeing as most people do a 20 week course, 8 weeks seems like an appropriate 2-month mark.
Briefly, here is an overview of my time on Accutane.
Week 1-2: Broke out, but basically felt like a continuation of my regular breakouts. I learned not to mess with clogged pores. I learned that scarring happens easier on Accutane. I thought I learned what dry skin and lips were (spoiler alert: I didn't)
Week 3-4: Skin starts looking better. Pores are smaller, face is smoother. Overall, liking my results. I learned that joint pains are real. I thought I REALLY learned what dry lips and skin were (nope, still hadn't learned that yet). I had my first derm appointment and learned I have really low cholesterol (yippee!). I learned that iPledge sucks and is a huge pain.
Week 5-6: I love my skin! It's so smooth, I have one spot I concealed a little and that was it! Had a blast on the weekend. Tried drinking on accutane for the first time and didn't die (but my liver may have. I'll let you know next week). I learned what dry lips and skin were (I really did. This is when this side effect was at its worst). I learned what life after acne may be like and I LOVED it.
Week 7-8: I hate my skin! Popped up with too many spots for my liking, including what I think was a cyst and a different spot that wasn't a cyst but that I picked to death. I learned that picking is bad but I'll probably always do that. I learned not to get too comfortable on Accutane, at least not in your first two months. I learned that dehydration sets in quickly on this drug. I learned that photo sensitivity is real and even though I have not been sunburnt (never have in my life. Thank you dark Russian complexion!), I tan very easily. I learned that PM moisturizer is your friend.

So, now, my skin is in an interesting state. There are really only two marks that I'm self conscious about, but they are very significant marks. One is the red mark from my cyst on my chin. Skin layers keep peeling off and revealing what seems like brighter redder skin and it's super annoying. It wasn't like this even a week ago and so now it's frustrating. The cyst itself seems to be gone, but this red mark is the size of a penny probably (maybe a little smaller). That doesn't sound awful, but go hold a penny up to your chin real quick and tell me it doesn't suck. So that's not fun. The other mark is what remains of that disaster on my right cheek bone. It is healing SO NICELY on aquaphor, but still very present. I don't mind it too much because it is off to the side and truly I'm much more self conscious about the chin now, but oh well. I'm hopeful that since these aren't actives they will be much better in a few days. I'm noticing two small hard bumps on my forehead. I don't think they are small cysts really (I don't want to be the Boy Who Cried Cyst) but they aren't pleasant. Certainly not very noticeable and easy to cover up, but I hate that things keep popping up. My forehead has been relatively unscathed by Accutane so it's probably time for that to flare up. Joy.

If this red mark on my chin would heal, I would be really happy and probably tell you my skin is looking great. Question for everyone: I put Differin on the chin red mark because it isn't an open wound. It is sort of like the top layer of skin broke around it and underneath is a very red layer. I know you shouldn't use topical but I do usually feel like Differin helps with healing these kinds of marks. Is it just irritating it? Should I put aquaphor on it? It's not like my other mark that is actually healing over. This is basically just skin peeled away revealing an uneven skin tone. When I apply Differin, it looks good in the morning when there is a dry film/residue but when I wash it off it's just sort of back to blotchy mess. Suggestions please!

Hoping the breakouts stop in month 3, but if my breakouts are stress related (I'm not sure they are. I've had clearness during exams and major breakouts during vacation), they won't be ending soon. Adding to the fun of bad skin this week, my car broke, my laptop broke, and I'm in frantic job-search mode (with an interview for a position in DC next week). Gahhhhh!!!!

Lifeinfaith: I used straight Vaseline when I had moles biopsied last year and it didn't do anything to stop scarring. Still have three noticeable (not awful) scars on my back from those, but I wonder if aquaphor would have done better? Regardless, if you ever find yourself with one of these monsters on your face (and I certainly pray you don't), use Aquaphor. Seriously it's like this stuff was made for Accutane.
As for plugs falling out, I think these may have been what I interpreted as "clogged pores" and I picked to make sure everything would come out. That's what led to marks on my cheek and stuff. I don't recall my skin getting bumpier or uneven in tone, but it could just be a reaction to the dryness. Actually, I remember getting a dry patch of skin between my eyes and when a piece of it fell off, it left a very different skin tone and that was frustrating. Maybe this is happening on your cheeks? You should be nearing your one-month check in with the derm so you should ask them.

Edited by BreakItOutNow, 12 July 2014 - 09:34 AM.


#52 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:40 PM

Day 58:

Ugh so I was going to tell everyone that week 9 was off to a good start, but it's not. The mark on my chin is fading nicely I guess and the mark by my eye that was such a disaster is going away. But all of a sudden my forehead is a mess! Idk what happened! I rarely break out on my forehead and it was looking fine the past few weeks with absolutely nothing for probably a month. Then boom! It started with a small thing that left a pretty big mark on Saturday. There was another thing that wasn't fun to deal with but it went down relatively quickly. But last night/this morning, I found two more things! One close to the hairline and another in the middle/right of my forehead. This was actually a pretty significant breakout for what I'm used to (4 spots in one area). I was really frustrated about it earlier today. I'm hoping my forehead heals faster than other areas. I've "popped" all of them so they should be on their way down. They aren't big cystic zits by any stretch of the imagination, but they are right in the middle of my face and super frustrating. I know accutane is working, but these daily breakouts are really taking their toll. I'm two months in, I've seen what this drug can do. I really really want these breakouts to stop!!!!

This leads me to another point that I've noticed my breakouts are more clustered on accutane than they were before. Before the tane, I would just get zits randomly. Now, it seems like things follow a pattern. First it was my left cheek. Then my right cheek, then my far right cheek and chin, now the forehead.

Other than that, sides are fine. Had blood drawn today for my check up on Friday. Probably going to up my dose to 80 mg so I can expect another flare up. Yay.

#53 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:05 PM

UPDATE:
In an effort to look at the positive (and jinx any progress I've made) I have had nothing on my left cheek in about two weeks, nothing on my chin or right cheek for about a week. Marks on my far right cheek (I consider this different from "right cheek" since it is almost to the jawline) from breakouts last week are fading nicely. I guess I should be happy because anymore it's looking more like I get "the odd zit" than anything. Unfortunately that "odd zit" is in the middle of my forehead, but I can cover it with one of my hats. All in all, I have a lot to be optimistic about on this medicine, but it is really frustrating when you feel like you almost have your life back, then it goes away again. I've also had a lot of things go wrong lately so I think it is skewing my outlook on my skin. It's hard to see the bright side when your car, computer, and career are broken. But I'm going to try!

#54 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:15 AM

Day 59:

 

Had a bit of a meltdown this morning. I really hate looking at my face at the moment. I'll feel a lot better once this stuff on my forehead heals, but between the mess up there and the red marks on my right cheek, I'm feeling pretty ugly these days. I really thought I would be further along by now but I guess not. I think I can say this was the IB, as I think, without exaggeration, this was either the worst or the closest to worst my skin has looked. Certainly the worst it has looked on Accutane and I would say one of the worst breakouts I've experienced in awhile. It's not face-consuming cystic awfulness. But your run of the mill pimples that aren't going anywhere and when I pop them, they leave marks that take forever to heal. The optimist in me wants to say, "The marks on your forehead will heal and this will get better" but everything seems to be taking forever. I felt like Sunday afternoon there was a three hour span where I thought my skin looked alright. I guess I have to be optimistic that it can get to that point again just as quickly as it deteriorated. 

 

I wanted to flee home for the week (I have a flexible job and could work remotely) but my car is broken and I'm not paying for a flight. Additionally, I have my derm check in on Friday and don't want to miss that. The only thing worse than Accutane is not being on Accutane….

 

Words of encouragement would be appreciated. Like I said, it's been a rough day. And it's only 9 a.m. :( 



#55 Mandycandy

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:33 AM

Aww don't get discouraged :( it will get better! Small pimples shouldn't have much life in them, so try not to pop them (I know how hard that is). Accutane is a crazy ride you can have some crazy symptoms and want to give up then all of a sudden their gone. Don't let it get you too down. Soon it will be smooth sailing my friend :)



#56 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:33 AM

Thanks Mandy. I need to be optimistic. But the mirror in my room this morning is right where the sunlight hits it at the right angle and everything was scabbed over and I just saw it and wanted to crawl back into bed. After washing my face and cleaning up a little, it wasn't so horrendous. But the state of my skin is pretty bad considering what it usually is. Once the forehead heals, I'm alright with some of the cheek marks. They truly aren't awful. But the combination right not just makes it look pretty bad. Plus, I'm probably upping my dose at the end of this week so that will be fun (not). 

I know you are right about the popping. I think things would look so much better if I could just leave everything alone. I'm going to make a better effort to do that now. I sort of gave up resisting the urge to pop and, well, now I'm paying the price.

I hope you are right about smooth sailing. I still don't regret my decision to go on Accutane, but I would be lying if I said so far July hasn't been one of my worst on record (from a skin perspective and for a variety of other reasons as well). Just a low point for me the past two weeks or so. But I certainly appreciate the support I get on here! 



#57 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

Day 61:

 

So I officially went two full days without anything popping up! That doesn't sound impressive but believe me, it was wonderful! Things are healing but this morning I woke up with a zit forming on my left cheek (which has been completely 100 percent clear for nearly three weeks). It isn't huge, but it's there. I started picking and pushing and then caught myself and said "STOP IT!" I literally had to keep telling myself out loud to leave it alone. I caused a little bit of broken skin and some redness but certainly stopped before it got too bad. I put some simple salicylic acid spot treatment on it and hope it will go down soon (or come to a head and I can make that sucker go away!). It's a little discouraging, but I'm trying to look at the positives here. 

 

Forehead is slowly but surely looking better. Aquaphor really helped on one of the spots that had broken open and was oozing and bloody. I should clarify that I don't seem to get big cystic nasty things. I know deep down that there are a lot of people on these logs who would kill for my skin. But the forehead is pretty much down to red marks now, and I hope by the end of this weekend it will be looking clear. I have a spot on my right cheek that doesn't look great, but with some concealer it just looks like a dot. The scar from my horrible zit battle last week is pretty indented but the color is fading and it's starting to smooth out. I don't mind a deep scar or two, at least not off to the side. I actually think in the long run it may make my face more interesting haha (bear with me here, I'm trying to see positives). 

 

I have a comedone on the right side of my nose that suddenly looks a little more prominent. I'm not really sure how to go about getting rid of it. At least, I think it is a comedone and not a blackhead. I was going to start squeezing but it seemed to make it redder so I stopped. It's not a giant zit or anything so I am kind of alright with it. But I wonder what is going to happen to it? The red mark on my chin doesn't seem to want to completely go away. The edges of it have cracked a little too so even when the color fades it sort of continues to show up as a geometric shape on my chin. 

 

All in all, skin condition isn't where I want it to be. But it isn't AWFUL. I'm trying not to let this new thing on my cheek get me down. It is relatively small and if I can leave it alone for a day or two, it will either go down on its own or come to a pop-able head. Time to test my will power!

 

Side effects: Peeling lips! I know what they mean by this now! Two nights ago I was getting ready for bed and noticed a little flap of skin dangling from my lips. I thought I would try to tear it off, then add Aquaphor. Wound up pulling off the top layer of the left half of my top lip. It was super weird. Didn't really hurt, just a bunch of skin came off. It was kind of bizarre looking too because that chunk was redder and more moist than the rest of my lips. Other than that, dry skin is annoying (and making my face so itchy!), I notice I get headaches and general nausea sometimes on days when I take two doses. Joint pains have settled down but I still sometimes feel like a 90 year old man. And I am noticing SOME stomach issues (I'll spare you all details). I'm not super worried about them though. It hasn't been a huge problem for me, but just present I guess. I was also telling someone that I don't think Accutane is causing depression, but when I go through a breakout like this past one I get pretty down. It sort of feels like Accutane enhances those feelings of hopelessness and frustration. But again, I think this is just because I want to stop breaking out. 

 

I'm in a better place than I was earlier this week. Two months ago, I would have KILLED to be one of those people entering Month 3! I was so jealous that they were getting to the part where most people start to see big results and I was getting ready to pop my first pill, uncertain of what the future held. Now I'm one of them and hoping for the same big results! The past two days have given me a little hope and I'm not letting this small new thing take it from me that easily! First two months have been a MAJOR roller coaster, and certainly not always easy. But you take things in stride and the days go by. I'm singing a very different tune than I was a few days ago, but it's the truth.

 

Two month check-in with derm tomorrow. Excited to hear what they have to say and find out if I destroyed my liver! And ready for the Accutane gods to smile on me in Month 3! Please?rolleyes.gif



#58 Tyrionlannister

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 08:20 AM

my advice is try not to think about it. My days 60-75 were pretty good, than I broke out badly then it went away, then again, etc etc. it's a roller coaster where everyones ride is different. Hopefully no more drops for you



#59 BreakItOutNow

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:28 AM

Tyrionlannister: thanks for the encouragement. I actually may just get off the logs for awhile. I find that they cause me to critique every element of my skin so much, it just isn't worth it. That said, I'm going to post again.

Two month check in today. My derm said my blood tests are fine and actually I could skip next month's tests if I wanted to because they are so good. So that's a plus. She asked to see my back and chest and those are completely clear. For face, I think it's in awful condition. She says the skin itself is looking much better but that I need to get the picking under control. There are no actives on my face; everything is healing. She said I just need to let the small things pop up and go on their own, but that I should start seeing fewer and fewer small things, so that's good. I asked her if month 3 is usually a turn around. She said it varies for everyone but that it can be a big turnaround for people and it's usually when positive effects start setting in. Idk, she was very encouraging, but it's hard to feel good about my progress when I have so many marks and cuts. She did say there was a study that showed zits that were picked tend to stick around 2-3 times as long as those that weren't, and on accutane that is probably 4-5 times as long. I'm not sure if that is true or not, but it will get me to think twice about picking next time. I'm really hoping I can get it under control.

As for dosage, I'm sticking to 40/80 alternating for now. I'm noticing side effects and I told me derm that any kind of flare up would be pretty devastating for me right now. She seemed fine to keep me at 60 mg. When I was walking with the nurse she said "You're almost done!" And I was like "no I'm not...?" She had misread the chart and thought it said I had been on accutane for 5 months, when in reality it says I should be on it for 5 months. The positive is that the derm seems to only want to keep me on it for 5 months! Maybe I'm not looking at a 7 month course after all! In that case, done with week 9 after tomorrow, so almost halfway there!

#60 Mandycandy

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

You do what you need to do to feel better :)






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