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Member Since 25 Nov 2011
Offline Last Active Jul 14 2014 05:15 PM

Topics I've Started

Claravis Log- I Guess Everyone's Doing It!

23 October 2012 - 06:57 PM

Hey everyone,

Guess I'm a little late to the party. I thought I would start a Claravis log because selfishly, I think it'll make me feel better about my situation and also I really want to reach out to those in the same situation as I am because as we all know, it really sucks having acne; it eats into your social life, and in the end, all you really want is for people to see you for who you really are instead of being distracted by your skin condition. Also, writing has always helped me take my mind off my problems.

I'm a 25 year old male. I've had moderate acne since probably 15-16. I've always had an oily face since puberty. It never really bothered me much until recently, when I thought I would've reached the age where I would grow out of it. Instead, lo and behold, it got worse when I was 23-24 when I got my first job. I don't think it was ever cystic in the classic definition, but having so many red blemishes on my face bothered me a lot. I was embarrassed to go to work some days when I was having a breakout. When I was a teenager, it never really crossed my mind to go to a dermatologist, but in my 20's I really just broke down. My derm prescribed doxycycline, benzaclin, and 0.05% retin-a/tretinoin, which having read the boards here, is a pretty common regimen. I started this during what was probably the worst breakout of my life. However, within about a month, I was almost entirely free of active pimples except for the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I think the doxy really helped to curb any IB that would have resulted from the retin-a. The retin-a made me red and didn't really help with my oily face, but that was a small price to pay for clear skin.

What I did realize after my acne initially cleared was that I had some noticeable scarring from the acne, which was masked when I had active lesions on my face. But I wasn't concerned, as I hoped eventually, with the regimen I would outgrow the acne and eventually try some procedure to deal with the scars.

My doctor took me off doxycycline over 6 months ago. Initially, not much was different- I didn't have a flare up or anything. I thought the retin-a alone was going to be enough for the rest of my life to keep me clear. However, about 1.5 months ago (funny how we always remember exactly when our outbreaks occur), I started to get more pimples than I was used to with the retin-a. It made me go back to my derm, who said I looked fine and bumped my retin-a to 0.1%. This didn't sit particularly well with me; I felt he ignored my concerns about my acne potentially coming back. I went to another derm, who observed that I was very oily and had some active pimples. She suggested tazorac and an antibiotic, which she said I would probably have to take for life (sounds strange), and if that didn't work, the next step was accutane. I said, "how about we just start the accutane today". Surprisingly, she ok'ed it right away. That was on the 3rd of October. I started a regimen of 40/80 mg alternating days on the 12th, after my bloodwork came back. So, after much ado:

Day 12 (40/80mg alternating)

Dry, dry, dry around my mouth and cheek area. However, nose, forehead, jawline still a touch oily.
I'm beginning to flake aggressively around my chin.
I guess I've had a breakout, couple of pimples on my chin and cheeks and under my nose, a lot of redness
I'm still using the retin-a in hopes of staving off the IB, but doesn't seem to be working. Should I just stop it???
Just looked in the mirror, pretty terrible, lots of heavy irregular red marks.... sigh.