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Member Since 10 Nov 2013
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#3443524 One, Two, Punch

Posted by Kim28 on 26 July 2014 - 12:13 PM

My acne was very similar to you and hormonal methods have worked great for me. Accutane never stuck, and I do break out again when I go off my anti-androgens, but I'm not so sure that after the initial flare of your body accepting it's not taking hormones anymore that acne is much worse than it was before. It might seem worse because you are older and your skin doesn't bounce back like it used to. And I think people are just surprised that their acne came back. Well no shit, sherlock, you never stopped having acne, you just had it under control.

I truly believe that spiro/diane/yaz are the best treatments out there for adult women with acne, and there is no reason you have to stop taking them prior to menopause (or even during necessarily).

Any acne treatment you find that works comes with the risk of relapse after.


Hope you find your solution soon, but I don't think 'learning to live with it' is the one you should feel you have to choose.

#3443243 How I Reduced Redness Overnight (Pretty Alot) With Zinc Cream

Posted by Kim28 on 24 July 2014 - 06:59 PM

First, to the second poster, although certainly different people have different experiences, vaseline has a comedogenicity rating of 0, and will not clog pores for the vast majority of people when applied in a reasonable way. The whole idea of it being 'occlusive' is not as straightforward as vaseline haters make it out to be.

Second, for the first poster, zinc oxide is anti-inflammatory, so it will reduce redness and make your skin nice TEMPORARILY. It is certainly not going to permanently change your situation overnight. It is what they put in diaper rash cream for the same reasons. However, stop using it without finding the root of the issue, and diaper rash returns, just like facial redness.

Lots of people who have redness use zinc creams to calm it down. I use a zinc based sunscreen (17% zinc oxide), and it works great, but it is not going to permanently change anything from one use.

Best of luck.

#3442350 Feeling Like A Million Bucks! I Know It Will Work This Time :d

Posted by Kim28 on 19 July 2014 - 08:56 PM

Oh, and I haven't yet found much good evidence on whether or not a high daily dose will clear you up faster, just that the sebaceous gland can be suppressed with as little as 2-5 mg per day.

And there is LOTS of research evidence that high daily doses are far more likely to lead to permanent scarring.


So I guess what I've been trying to say through all this is that getmetheresults has an excellent plan that is supported by plenty of current research, and anyone who says different doesn't have much current info to back them up.


Okay, now I'm done.

I just find people who are misinformed about Accutane and insistent with their misinformation incredibly frustrating.

#3442152 Feeling Like A Million Bucks! I Know It Will Work This Time :d

Posted by Kim28 on 18 July 2014 - 05:42 PM

WOW! First, the person who says you have to take a high dose is just wrong. There is no research evidence to support their claims. It may take longer to get clear, and you will have to take it for a long time, but I get the feeling that this is what Getmehheresults wants to do. Long term low dose therapy is actually quite common now.

And why come on someone's log and be so negative? That is odd.


And to the person complaining (in several places) about this site being for the regimen, you should read Dan's intentions more closely. He offers the regimen as what has worked for him, but created this site to support all of us going through this struggle, including those of us who have chosen Accutane. And I think it's offensive to show up on someone's log to raise this issue.


Sorry for being ranty in your space getmetheresults, those two just got my goat a little!

#3442001 Feeling Like A Million Bucks! I Know It Will Work This Time :d

Posted by Kim28 on 17 July 2014 - 10:13 PM

I totally disagree with the pill nay-sayers. It is common for people to have their acne relapse when they go off the pill, but there is no scientific evidence that going off the pill CAUSES acne in people who would not otherwise have had it.

As women, out hormones WILL change throughout our lives, pill or no pill, and if your acne is hormonally related, then you skin will be affected.


Although it is impossible to know if women who relapsed post-pill would have had acne the whole time if they had never taken it, my guess is that they would have.


Of course you have to make the decision that is best for you, and if you have side effects or good reasons to not be on the pill, then certainly you might try not taking it. However, the idea that the pill causes acne that would not have otherwise existed, is, in my opinion, not sound.

But, I like to think I am always open to changing my opinion, so if anyone has a good peer-reviewed journal article that states otherwise, please do share.

#3442000 Kim's Log

Posted by Kim28 on 17 July 2014 - 09:56 PM

Meg, I am not good with the paranoia at all!

With my first course, it just took time. If it is truly not a relapse, then eventually you just get used to not having terrible acne anymore and it stops being the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning. It probably took me about a year after my first course before I stopped worrying every day and with every tiny spot. Over the ten years I was clear I would get a tiny spot from time to time and a bigger one about once a year (always in the spring - no idea why). And every time I would be a little bit afraid, but less and less as time went on.


The thing that is helping me now is that I can do another course if I need to. The worst did happen - my acne came back. But I survived, and if I had just gone back to Accutane instead of trying out topicals and various OTC products, the 'relapse' experience would not have been that bad.


So I guess the knowledge that Accutane is there for me if I need it (my derm has suggested a long term low dose course if trouble happens again), and that a relapse doesn't mean I'm stuck with acne forever (clear right now!) helps a lot.


To answer you second question, I knew I was relapsing when my skin got super oily again and I started always having a cyst or two. Not like I had one and then nothing for a while - like I was always covering something up and worrying about something. I started going through concealer way faster, when previously I usually threw it out barely used just because it was old.


When my acne first came back, prior to my topical debacle, it was not as bad as it had been and in fewer places. But, it was bad enough that I worried about things like if a big event was coming up - would I have a giant zit for it? I started not wanting to make plans and thinking about my skin all the time, and that's when I knew I had to do something. I did the wrong thing at first, but I learned from that and I guess that's the best I can do.


Most importantly I guess I learned that I am not a failure for taking it again. It even says right on the product monograph that most people reach sustained clarity through "one or two courses of isotretinoin therapy", so a second course is not the shocker people make it out to be. From reading your posts, you seem to have a great derm that is willing to work with you, and that is the best thing you can have I think.


The fear is hard to kick, and I think I'll have it in the back of my mind forever, but it does get better once you have some sustained clarity. Let's hope we can both find some peace of mind.

#3441810 Feeling Like A Million Bucks! I Know It Will Work This Time :d

Posted by Kim28 on 16 July 2014 - 10:31 PM

I have seen countless posts by women who have hormonal acne and have taken Accutane and used the pill (or spiro) to maintain clarity. This is also because I look for these stories, as it is my story too. Although my acne has never been related to my cycles, I know it is hormonal because I have had such good results on the pill (Diane), and it is all on the lower part of my face.

Personally, I think it is a great plan, and probably the best method out there for adult female acne sufferers, but you do have to be relatively committed to staying on anti-androgens long term. The down side is that you will never really know if it is helping you stay clear, or if this is just a result of the Accutane until you go off it. But then you can always go back on if issues return.

Best of luck! Your course is getting close!

#3441712 Before You Apply Powder What Do You Use?

Posted by Kim28 on 16 July 2014 - 04:01 PM

Everyone raves about bare minerals, but I think it looks awful. I'm sure it works great for some, but I find it just accentuates every tiny wrinkle and tiny bump like crazy. They do make several primers, I think Prime Time is the original (which is full of silicones and sort of goes against the reason most people use this), but maybe you are right that this would improve the situation.

Just my opinion.

#3441710 My Favourite Moisturizer Contains Dimathicone. Should I Be Concerned?

Posted by Kim28 on 16 July 2014 - 03:53 PM

Some people (mostly natural types) argue that silicones like dimethicone are occlusive and can clog pores. Science says no. A moisturizer is always a big mix of stuff, so it might not even be a single ingredient causing issues, but a combination. In my opinion, chances are pretty slim dimethicone in particular is the problem.

#3441637 Kim's Log

Posted by Kim28 on 16 July 2014 - 08:18 AM

Hey JJ!

So far so good. The side of my nose was a little sore yesterday, so I spent the better part of the afternoon looking for a zit, but couldn't find one. I think it might just be from getting a bit sunburned at the beach the other day. So, skin is good, but paranoia is still high!


I have basically returned to the routine I was using before this second round of Accutane. That and an anti-androgen kept me clear for a lot of years, and I've realized that my skincare doesn't make as much of a difference as my hormones. The only piece of it that I really think is a bit helpful for me is using a tiny bit of BP morning and night. It was when I stopped doing this to try a tretinion cream that things really went bonkers and landed my back on Accutane. So maybe I'll be a slave to it forever, and maybe it will make my skin drier or whatever, but I'll take that over acne returning any day.


Here's my routine:

- Wash with a mild cleanser. (I like spectrojel. Not sure if they sell this outside of Canada, but cetaphil or cerave would be similar)

- Mix a pea sized amount of BP with two peas of moisturizer and apply. (I like moisturel, but again cetaphil or cerave would be similar, and for BP I use the proactiv one because it is less tacky than most and wears well under makeup - possibly not a concern for you!)


I wear foundation - but just a dab mixed with sunscreen. For sunscreen I am picky. I use MD solarsciences 50 spf because the ingredients are things that agree with me and it has 17% zinc oxide, which I think helps with my redness, and is supposed to ward off inflammation.


In the PM I also remove my makeup first with bioderma sensibio, which is a micellar water that takes off makeup beautifully. Again, probably not a concern for you.


That's it. I really think less is more with this acne deal. People put so much crazy stuff on their faces, and it really only seems to just irritate and make things worse, at least that has been my experience in the past.


I tend to think that a big piece of what kept me clear for so long after my first course was using an anti-androgenic form of birth control. It was only when I went off that for a good while that I started getting really oily skin and a few zits here and there. Trying to fix that by changing up my routine and adding all sort of topicals was what landed me back on Accutane.


To answer your Q about the 'cloggers' (damn those cloggers!). Most of them turned into little whiteheads right before I cleared up. One of them just disappeared, which I thought was rather a miracle. I do still have a couple little white bumps under the skin here and there, but I think most of them are scars from prior bumps.


I have come to accept that my skin will never be 'perfect'. And really, when I look around at my same age peers (late 30s), I don't think I'm doing too badly. It's not like I'm 19 anymore, so I don't have the expectation of perfectly smooth baby skin. I still have some redness that I hope will fade with time. All I really want in life is to not have painful spots on my face all the time. I can handle a few little blackheads or cloggy pores, I just hope to avoid cysts and other types of big ouchers. If I can do that I will be a happy girl.


Looking forward to reading positive updates from you. We have been through a long journey together, and it really gets my goat that you're not where you want to be yet.

Thinking of you.


#3439118 Feeling Like A Million Bucks! I Know It Will Work This Time :d

Posted by Kim28 on 02 July 2014 - 09:01 PM

I am sorry you are going through such bullshit, but I am certain you will find some relief soon.


I have been on Accutane twice, and it is great. Sometimes it is not the total solution for those of us out there with hormonal acne, but sometimes it is! I think you are onto something with the Beyaz, and you should stay the course. If you do take Accutane, the derm will want you on some form of birth control anyway.


The purging is from the retinoid. Retinoids were great for me in my teens, but now all they do is make me break out. I tried one before Accutane this time around and it made things worse. It's how I ended up choosing another round instead of just going back on the pill, which I think would have worked as well in the long term. I take Diane. It is a similar idea to Yaz and Beyaz, but with different hormones.


The holistic people are right that we should eat well, avoid stress, exercise, and be knowledgeable about the chemicals that we put into our bodies. These things do make a big difference. They are not right that supplements will fix you, and chemicals are evil. All sorts of supplement companies are currently under scrutiny because it is such a poorly regulated industry, so the world is not made of perfect lovely over there either.


Derms are right to take Accutane very seriously and try other options first. I will say that I have a permanent night vision impairment from my first course, but that I will take it over the acne any day. You have to be in a place in your journey where you can come to terms with these possibilities. So I sit in my car for a few minutes at night before I drive now (it takes my eyes longer to adjust). It's a lot less time than I used to spend just worrying about my skin.


Your posts remind me a lot of me around 25ish when I finally did my first course. I was so unhappy, and my world revolved around searching for a cure. Eleven years later I have determined that there is no 'cure', but there are quite a few options to control it. Accutane can be used more than once, so you need to stop worrying about whether or not you will 'relapse'. Maybe you will. I did - ten years later, and there isn't even any research on people like me. You know what though - I just did it again! The chapped lips are annoying but I am otherwise fine.


I learned that I do need that hormonal control and will stay back on my trusty Diane, but I'm okay with that. Other than when I tried the retinoid, my acne return was not as bad as it had been in my twenties. My skin got oily and I was getting an ouchy bump once a month or two. So even though I wasn't cured, I know that my acne will never be what it was way back then.


Right now I just finished my course and I am very pleased. My skin will never be perfect, I know that. But I have nothing ouchy or infected to speak of, and that is my happy place. I can live my life this way.

Your makeup looks amazing - sorry the derm thinks it's bad for your skin! I wear foundation, and it has never affected my skin outcomes. It is not likely to be the underlying cause of the type of acne that you have, but you might want to check the ingredients for highly comedogenic ones. Soon you won't need something so heavy anyway!


Best of luck on this journey. I do think you should continue to pursue Accutane. And Beyaz can really do wonders for the type of acne that you have, it just takes quite a bit of time and patience. But it will really help to keep your skin not oily and your acne from returning post-Accutane if you are comfortable with being on the pill for a long period of time. For the record I went off it for a few months years ago, post-Accutane, and had a lovely baby, so it's not a commitment to not having kids at some point.


Anyway. My two cents. Sorry if it's a bit ranty. I see myself in your pictures (the supplements ones too!), and I know that Accutane was a miracle for me at that point in my life, and continues to be now. Don't be afraid of chemicals, just make smart choices with them. If you do enough research, you will find that the hype around these drugs is about 90% bullshit. But you should take the 10% very seriously, and I think that you have.

#3439114 Old Lady On Accutane—50, Female, 40Mg

Posted by Kim28 on 02 July 2014 - 08:27 PM

Good luck, DD!

I have a similar story to yours. Clear for ten years after a round of Accutane at 25, and then it slowly crept back when I went off the pill a couple years ago. Damn hormones! I had a lovely first course, too. This one was harder, but I am in a happy place now and hoping it will stick. I did decide to go back on the pill too, because I am just too afraid of it all coming back again and I can still do that for at least a few years. I'm trying not to think about what happens after that.


I wish you all the best.

#3439105 Taste Blood, Blood In Saliva, While Took Accutane For 4 Months

Posted by Kim28 on 02 July 2014 - 07:13 PM

Although you seem to have determined that this is related to your nose, just wanted to note that Accutane can also cause your gums (in your mouth!) to bleed easier than they normally would. So, if you are tasting blood, it might be that your gums are bleeding just a little bit, but not enough to be noticeable when brushing your teeth? Just a thought.

And I agree that aquaphor in your nose is great for dry noses!

#3437946 Absorica (Accutane) Not Working ?

Posted by Kim28 on 25 June 2014 - 09:48 PM

Actually, studies show that Absorica is absorbed 80% better than a generic when taken FASTING. HOWEVER, it is still absorbed BETTER with food and fat. So it is false to claim that you do not need to take Absorica with fat. You can do this, and it will work better than taking a generic with no fat, but it will still not be as effective as taking Absorica and trying to take it with a meal or something a bit fatty.

Just sayin'

#3437945 Why Are People Scared Of Accutane?

Posted by Kim28 on 25 June 2014 - 09:43 PM

It is because Accutane is a serious drug, and actually does quite commonly cause long term side effects, especially ocular ones. I suffer from permanent night vision impairment. In all honesty, I will take that over the acne, but decisions like that should not be made lightly.