Start a blog to chronicle your journey through your acne treatment or just start one for fun!
Hey! I'm 19 have struggled with acne for at least six years now. Mostly TONS of clogged pores and cyst on the right side and jawline. I have tried EVERYTHING! My derm finally agreed to start me on accutane. BUt I was only put on 20 mg.. she said she would probably up it to 40 eventually. But will I see ANY change with 20mg? I'm 4'11 and 100 pounds. I haven't heard of anyone on this low of dose. Any opinion would be awesome.
I wanted to start this blog for my fellow pityrosporum folloculitis sufferers. Quick history on myself, I have previously experienced a long journey on curing chronic UTI hence I have been on many many rounds of antibiotics (approx. 30) which I believe is the cause behind this skin condition for me. I have PF on my chest, neck, face (forehead and nose mostly) and sometimes shoulders. I used to have completely clear skin and all of a sudden, it is bumpy, red, itchy, flakey, you name it. Next, a quick history of my dermatology experience; I have been going to the dermatologist for almost a full year now where they have treated me for bacterial folliculitis which caused an outbreak, leading to their assumption of it being fungal.. well my tests for fungus came back negative BUT that doesn’t mean that isn’t what I have because sometimes it doesn’t show up in the tests. Anyways, they resulted to treating me for acne which in turn gave me an even more red, irritated, angry face. Now I’m going to get down to what everybody wants know, how you cure it or attempt to maintain it. So at this point I believe that I have pityrosporum folliculitis with probably a few spots of typical acne in there so I resulted to using the praised Nizoral shampoo which I was skeptical of because I was previously prescribed the 2% ketonconazole shampoo which dried out my sensitive skin. However, Nizoral only has 1% ketonaconazole in it which seems to be less irritating so far. So I just started using this yesterday, and I am not exaggerating when I say this stuff has given me instant relief. There are obviously still bumps and spots present to the redness, itchiness and flaking has cut down immensely. My plan is to rotate between Nizoral (3 times a week on mondays, wednesdays, and Friday’s), Neutrogena acne stress control cream (2 times week on saturdays and tuesdays) and scrub (2 times a week on sundays and thursdays) so that I treat the PF and any acne without overdrying my skin and of course exfoliating. Hopefully this works! Wish me luck and I hope this helps somebody else!
I've always admired Barbara Kruger. Her work as an artist in the 1980-90s mostly consisted of giant billboards, such as the one above, with confrontational statements imposed over confrontational images. Consumerism, feminist critiques, body image issues, abortion, and rights were the subjects of her typographic genius. I've always wondered, from a psychological perspective, what actually passed through peoples' minds when they read them. Was it a situation when they were a jerk? Or when someone was a jerk to them? Did they swear to themselves that they would not be one that day? Do they just stare in confusion. Do they weep in penance over past misdeeds. Or do they just withdraw and ignore. I'd say it'd mostly be the last one. But I'm wondering, if they do, are they subconsciously nicer that day. Are they unintentionally friendlier and more helpful? I always wonder how other people perceive acne as well. Do they shudder on the inside. Or have an empathic response? Many people say that having acne has changed their perceptions of others. I always imagine that people with/who have experienced acne would be less superficial. Especially when it comes to the skin of others. I mean freckles, eczema, dermatitis, vitiligo, would all be forgiven and understood a little more. Because they can relate to an uncontrollable skin issue. Maybe therefore they can relate to others' body image issues. Wow, I think all this studying has made me super-analytical today. I've also decided that I need to stick to "the regimen" only my tailored version. Basically I've decided (based on past experience) that it will just be BP at nights, followed by AHA. If I have a particularly bad breakout it will be AHA for the day as well. I've done this in the past with reasonable success. However, the difference now is that I'll simultaneously cut-out dairy, and swallow some zinc and omega-3 (anti-inflammatories). So now you can read a blog that actually follows some sort of acne related regimen. Lol. La la la. I get paid tomorrow. I love getting paid (who doesn't?) and it will be an extra large pay-check because we did first aid training a couple of weeks ago as well as my normal shifts. So I'm going to spend it on some clothes from the op-shop, (I need more summer clothes). And pay bills (whinge whinge whinge) and it should allow me to study productively at uni. What a big spender I am!!
"I was just walking down ze street one day and a man come up to me and he zaid "Do you want to be a szupermodel?" And ze next day I am in New York and on ze cover of VOGUE." Superstar! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sImj8OoKXVs So I was considering not doing a photo montage in supermodel documentary style, but then I was like NAH! They want to see gratuitous close-ups of my face (who wouldn't?), and they have every right to demand that from me. But yeah, as you can see, in my non-model shots, my skin has improved nicely (or so I'll tell you), I only have a few fading red marks on my left temple, with a pimple in my eyebrow. There are some small pimples below my lips and around my chin area. As well as fading patches of seb derm on the left side just lateral to my nose and around my chin. This is after about 2 weeks of the DKR and a few months with the Selsun and Zinc. In non-acne related news, my weekend was great. I went to ze beach on Friday, with people from church. We had the most delicious cake, it was passionate fruit cake. I should have really taken a photo, considering how food obsessed you lot are, plus it was the best passionate fruit cake I've ever had. Goodness gracious, I want some more now!!! But first I need to rant about the coast. It is stunning, absolutely, but as soon as you go there your self-esteem drops about one or two notches. Every beautiful person just runs, in some sort of giant loop I'm convinced, along the boardwalks. Then they all strip semi-naked and lay on the beach after they're done running. It is really quite overwhelming. But thankfully a lot of them seem to blessed with little brains. See the culture is all about how low your ute (an endemic pick-up truck) is, whether it is a metallic shade of green or purple, whether the street vibrates with the resounding of your bass enhanced Ministry of Sound album and how large your UNIT sticker on the back is. Oh and you must live at the gym, because appearing on Jersey Shore, is basically your goal in life. If you're female, the hair is fake, impossibly long, and lightened to some gross "platinum" blonde, but why stop at the hair? The breasts are almost certainly enhanced, the tan derived from a carotene containing bottle, and their personalities seem somehow mimicked from The Hills and 90210. Alright, let's move along. Umm, Saturday was entirely dull, but it didn't really matter because Friday was good enough. Except that I watched The Help, did I ever mention that I love Emma Stone (funny and hot!), it's true, she's up there. Plus the movie was actually on an interesting subject, 'coloured' servants in the south, so I really enjoyed it, the acting was top-notch. And then I just had to revisit Easy A, I think she just completely cracks me up in this movie, she has the best personality, now I wonder if she's like this in real life. Please let it be so. On Sunday, I went to work, and had a good chat to my geeky friend, who brought his girlfriend along with him, at church. I then said my last goodbyes to my nun-boss. Spent the afternoon at the gym (well a whole hour of it). By the way, I've finally renewed my membership, so now I have no excuse not to do fitness related things. In fact, I'm even playing tennis this afternoon. So superfitness here I come! Oh and let's extend this blog to Monday (my weekend never really finishes), I went to work for the first time back at another house. So we went out to some ridiculous suburb deep in the northside, and picked up his new wheelchair. It was cool seeing this client again, he's a little more easy going and fun than my other one, so that makes work a bit more pleasurable. Hopefully I'll get some more shifts with him. Ok, I'll quit rambling now. The End. I mean it is finished. Fin. Game Over. I forgot to mention, the house hunt is still going. And I really need to clean my room. Done. I think I have to leave you with the end credits theme to every movie during the 00s, just to show you how done I am.
So, I am 18 years old, and I have been fighting acne since I hit puberty. My case of acne may not be as severe as others, but it's enough to make me try all sorts of remedies and chemical mixtures to heal it. I have tried Proactiv, the acne.org regimen, a variety of other cleansers, some harsh face wash my mom's dermatologist gave her to give to me... I have been through quite a few things, and nothing really works. The only time I really notice I have wonderful skin is in the summer when I'm up at my cousin's cottage. There I only washed my face with water, went tanning and swimming, and put coconut oil on my face if I was afraid of getting burnt. And every single time I come home my skin is wonderful and radiant... and then it goes back to the crappy state it was before. A few things could be the cause for this healed skin- no cleansers used on my face, no stress, exercise from swimming and walking, and sun exposure (vitamin D). Because whenever I come back home, I either have stress, used some sort of cleanser/wash my face incessantly with water, I'm not exercising very much, or I'm not outside enough (I'm typing this from inside my house.. I SHOULD BE OUTSIDE!). I digress. The past few days I've been doing a lot of research on acne and the health aspect of it. I am vegan and have been for a year and a half. I thought giving up meat and dairy was going to cure me of my acne.. Well it didn't. It did help me out with digestion and such though, so atleast my inner body is happy. Outer? Not so much. I did read in this article though, that around puberty all the nutrients from one's diet is sent to their sex organs and the remainder gets sent to the sebaceous glands in the face... Which means acne for all! Well not really, but for many. I swear, that article was a godsend. It taught me about the sebaceous glands and how they work.. What the acid mantle is... It was wonderful! And then somehow I came across the Caveman Regimen. This regimen has gotten a lot more positive than negative reinforcement and I thought to myself.. Hm, why not? I've tried so many things... Why not... NOT try something! If that makes sense... Anyway, so the reason I came to the conclusion that this is a worthwhile routine is because, think about it... Every time you get out of the hot shower, water has been streaming down your face, steaming it and you get out and BAM... Your skin looks blotchy and red! All of my acne was so inflamed after a hot shower and it makes sense because you are stripping your acid mantle. (Seriously, I suggest reading the article I linked above because WOW did it begin a healing journey.) Also, for quite a long time now, I noticed that whenever I woke up in the morning and looked in the mirror before washing or doing anything to my face... It actually looked good! Any spots I had didn't look so inflamed and gross... I was super impressed... but then I'd wash my face and it would go back to being BLEH. SO. I will be pairing this Caveman Regimen with a healthy diet, plenty of water, exercise, and lots of sleep! Hopefully it works out for me. Day one: I have not washed my face this morning, and I have some breakouts.. Three main ones. One small whitehead over my left eyebrow near my T-zone. And two whiteheads on either side of my mouth near my smile lines... Like the angel bites piercing.. EXCEPT PIMPLES UGH. Overall, my skin is bumpy and oily... A wonderful combination. I hope this works out for me... Gotta stay positive! The picture I'm attaching is one I took just now.. You can see where my breakouts are and how oily my skin is. It's taking a lot for me to post it because... ew. But I need to in order to see the changes that happen. Here we go!
Going to put my info here here so I can keep track of it, and if anyone wants to check it out, maybe it will benefit you when using her products yourself. So, I've been using Dianna Yvonne's 2% SA Exfol Serum for a year or so. I've gone through 2 bottles. As I neared the end of my second bottle, I thought about reordering but, I didn't think it was making much difference. I knew it was working somewhat because 1) my lips would dry out from the SA migrating to them and 2) my skin seemed better using it than not. BUT, I was still breaking out and I was a bit upset that when I tested the product with a pH strip, it was not nearly as low as advertised on the site. I had also started using more vitamins. After reading that people with acne have lower Vit E levels and antioxidant levels, etc I bought a nice well rounded multi vit, a broad spectrum antioxidant, a Vit E complex (I didn't realize there were so many Vit E components lol). I also had been taking Vit D3 for seasonal depression but only 2,000 units a day. It didn;t seem to ward off teh blues as much as I would like, so I upped it to 4,000 a day. Then I read that our bodies produce 10,000 units a day from sun exposure (and a friend of mine who makes no Vit D whatsoever even with sun was prescribed 10,000 units a day) I decided I would double my intake again to 8,000 units. I have seen no ill side effects. My mood is better and I noticed my skin was not as oily. Vit D3 helps with hormones, too, so perhaos that is why. Anyhow, My skin seemed to do better on this additions, but I would still get some spots. Well, in march I had some larger spots and I was probably a little too aggressive, causing dryness and just a big mess. Lots of moisturizer and gentle skin care helped them heal. In April I got spots again and I just had it. lol Ridiculous! Truthfully, I don;t know how to handle more "normal" skin. I'm used to greasy skin 24/7, so yeah..I didn't change my routne to suit my new less oily face. *sigh* I don't use a moisturizer regularly because I'm normally an oil slick. So, i was just drying out my skin without taking it's new property in consideration. Ok, so on to Paula's Choice. I decided to buy some samples because they come highly rated. I was especially interested in the 2% SA stuff as maybe a replacement for the Dianna Yvonne. Online the website said it was at proper pH to be effective, etc. May 18, 2014 I started using the 2% lotion and neutrogena 2.5% BP. I chose many samples, and decided to try the lotion despite me having previosu oily skin. I really like the lotion. It doesn't make me greasy/oily AND it seems hydrating enough I don't need to put a moisturizer on top. I'm also using my Neutrogen ultra gentle foaming face wash. May 21, 2014 Been using the above for a few days. Today I went to church so I washed my face, used hydralight toner plus the hydralight moisturizer and put on my makeup. Wow--not oily and my makeup looked great. May 23, been using the hydralight toner and moisturizer in conjunction with the SA lotion. Works great. This morning i washed, used hydralight toner, then topped with the BHA lotion and spot treated with nutrogena's 2.5 BP. Before out dinner out, I washed, used the clear regular strength 2%BHA toner then the hydralight moisturizer. Really like all these products so far. Glad they work well together! May 28, 2014 So, my monthly friend showed up today. BAH. I ran out of my BHA lotion samples. So, trying out the 2% BHA liquid (which on site says it is the exact same as the clear BHA toner extra strength). Seems ok. A little oily like I read in reviews but putting on before bed. May 29 Put the BHA liquid on this morning and night May 30-June 1 SUCKS. I have painful spots. maybe cysts. http:////dn4iqhjvtt39e.cloudfront.net/messageboard//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png It's ben a week off the liquid. I decided to try it again. Not on my whole face, though! Too scared! But i did ut it on the stubborn blackheads on my nose (I don't normally get spots there) and then dabbed a tiny bit on each of the remaining cysts that haven't come to the surface yet. We'll see what happens! I also started adding a drop of ACV to my neutrogena cleanser to bring the pH down. It is at a 7. http:////dn4iqhjvtt39e.cloudfront.net/messageboard//public/style_emoticons/default/sad.png Needs to be closer to 5. Thought about trying PC, but many of hers has sodium laureth sulfate and I;m not a fan. However, the earth sourced (or whatever. it's in a green bottle and supposed to be natural) looks gentle enough and hopefully non drying. I think all of hers are at a pH of 5 or 5.5 June 9 Well nothing new popped up. Going to repeat it today. But only once per day. If all goes well, then I'm going to think it was either exfoliating too quickly or I was using too often and my skin couldn't deal with the irritation.(maybe that is what other reviewers expereinced, too) If I work up the courage to try it full face, and don't get a reaction like last time I think I will use this once or twice a week for a deep cleaning of pores. But, I'll stick with the regular strength liquid or the lotion (or maybe even the gel) for an every day maintenence. I haven't notice much difference in my red marks, though. I have a sample of the 10% glycolic acid but waiting to use that when my skin has calmed and cleared more. I'd also like to try out the reinol (I have used the .3% skinceuticals in the past and liked it). PC now has a new 1% formula! It is comparable to a.025% trenitoin. Going to also try a sample of Paula's 2.5% BP..I'm almost out of my neutrogena and maybe hers will work even better! Below are some images from the last 3 weeks. In each collage, the photos are in order from left to right: End of 1st week, End of 2nd week, End of 3rd week They are not miraculous, but some had gone and just left some red marking. The others are not as inflamed. I know it will take a while, so I'll keep on going, as long as it doesn't cause more problems than it solves. HA! But, so far, the only terrible reaction was the BHA liquid, so I think that' a positive sign. I think should make a note that the past few days i ate JUNK--as in pizza and sweets. Usually I stay away from processed foods because it seems they make me break out. I only eat them every now and again. However, it seems since I started my vitamins and such, I can be a little freer in my choices. Antioxidants help deal with stress to the body, so I'm wondering if now my body can cope interanlly with the onslaught of food irritations. lol (I'm not talkingn about gluten intolerance or allergies, etc). But white flour, sugar, etc in general causes systemic inflammation. Anyhow, I'm not emotionally stressed either, so I think my body has a very fine balance it maintains and if either one gets too high..well it can't cope. If I am stressed out and then eat bad food..it can't deal with both factors. Just some thoughts I've been kicking around lately as an explanation. Updated photos: June 23, 2014 6 weeks using PC 2% BHA products--4 weeks of consistent 2%BHA Clear toner Big bumps gone. Pores still cleaning out and lesions that occur are smaller. Red marks still hanging on. Updated photos: June 28, 2014 (photos from June 21) 11 weeks using PC 2% BHA products--8 weeks of consistent 2%BHA Clear toner Big bumps gone. Pores still cleaning out and lesions that occur are smaller. Red marks still hanging on. happy with progress--no spots due to *ladies time* =========== First 3 weeks collage and large photo on bottom is now (June 21) 8 weeks later =========== 15 weeks!!! Sept 7, 2014
Can't believe it's over, but I'm finished with Accutane! I took my last pill last Tuesday (March 19th). So I did a total of 6 months on Claravis. 40 mg for months 1 & 2, 60 mg months 3, 4, and 5. and 80 mg on month 6. I knew at my last derm appt that my course was over, but I kind of hoped there might be a 7th month. (only because I was terrified to stop taking this drug) When I first started Accutane, my derm told me that I wouldn't need to use any "maintenance creams" once my course was over because "my skin will be different". But when I went in last week I told him I was petrified of it coming back and he said he hopes that this is the end for me, but after all the money I've put into this, he wants to make sure we take the precautions and use some topicals. He gave me Aczone and Atralin. He actually filled a bag full of samples which I thought was awesome because I know last time I tried to get Aczone from the pharmacy it was like $300 or something. I really need to get better insurance. So I went to my psychiatrist on Monday and told him my worries and he wants to keep me on Wellbutrin for the depression for another 4 months because he doesn't want to take me off til I'm "completely calm". I wanted to be done, but I'm glad I'm not because it really does help me. On that note, I want to write my derm a thank you card. He is the 4th dermatologist I have been to since my early teens and he is the only one who has truly cared to stop this. He (and the creators of Accutane) saved my life. and I mean that. I wished I was dead every single day last summer. This drug gave me a life I have never known. I can't tell you how good it feels to not have acne on my mind every minute of the day like before. I do still do my "mirror check" every morning when I wake up, but I don't lay there in bed feeling anxious and dreading what I'll see. I'm not afraid of mirrors anymore throughout the day. I can actually sleep over my family's house without being embarrassed of being in the bathroom too long. I could keep going but I will get to the pictures! ok some of these pics are really gross, I'm sorry. Here are some pics from last summer. this first one is the result of my "water only method" and quitting the Regimen. it created an explosion of clogged pores all over my face, but covered my chin. Ugh, and this is July. August... End of August/waiting the dreaded month for Accutane Week one of Accutane (day 7) End of course! It's painful looking at those, but I am so glad I took pics along the way to see how it worked. I have lots of pics from in between week one til now but I have posted them in other blogs. I hope I have helped some people along the way! Many of you have helped me and I wanted to give back. If anybody is thinking about going on Accutane, give it a try! I am so happy I did. The side effects were completely worth it. I wish I did this years ago! I am always here to help, so if you have any questions, just ask =)
I had a TERRIBLE week, but finally my skin appears to be recovering. I have chronic depression, and last week was just terrible for me. I think I wrote in my last post that I had to cancel my therapist appointment because I was too anxious to be around people with my oozing scabs(that I created). Well, I thought I had learned my lesson from that, and I vowed that I would NEVER pick again, but that didn't last very long. I experienced a bad initial breakout from my daily Manuka Honey masks and out of frustration, I tried to pop the dozens of pimples that literally appeared overnight to no avail. Of course, that made everything SO MUCH worse, they weren't even large ones, just a bunch a small pimples with no head. But after I was done, every single one had turned into an inflamed mess. I have a feeling that if I had just left them alone, they would have went away really quickly, but hindsight is 20/20. I haven't experienced an IB since accutane, so I did not know how to handle it at all. I also was using a soap that I think did more damage as it brought my angular cheilitis back(something I haven't had since accutane). So, now I'm back to using my Konjac Sponge for a cleanser, and it's really helping the healing process. I'm still using the Manuka Honey, but I'm using one with a UMF of 15+ instead of the 10+. It's honestly amazing how fast my skin started to heal after I cut out my cleanser. I'm pretty disappointed though because that sucker was 28 dollars, and it was given a perfect score from Paula's Choice. I haven't seen one bad review on it, but my skin is ultra sensitive and it burned like a mother when I used it so it's got to go. I still have a few active pimples, but I refuse to touch them. Picking is seriously the worst thing you can do to your skin. As much as Pimples suck, oozing scabs are 10x worse, so I'm done. I forgot to mention that I bought the clear skin pack from Innate Skin. It contains vitamins to improve skin, and it has great reviews online, so I hope it works for me as well as it has for others'.
Wow. I can't believe how good my skin looks.....Sometimes I honestly look in the mirror and remind myself that I'm NOT wearing makeup! My skin looks that great right now. It's like, all the bumps and pimples just vanished after using finacea for a few days. I guess its been 2 weeks total. It says that it can take much longer like 8 weeks to see effects. I just can't believe it! I went to an allergist today for a consult for the skin allergy test or blood test. She told me all the different things she would test, and I checked to see if my insurance covered it....and it's not. It's $700!!! My mom needs to think about it- which I totally understand. I guess I will continue avoiding those foods until I can actually get the test. I just want to be able to say "no I can't eat that- I'm allergic" instead of just being seen as a picky eater. My diet hasn't been the greatest, but I'm determined not to give up lol and give in in just eating a bowl of icecream or bag of cookies. I haven't worn makeup since Halloween party Saturday night. I wore it a few hours, and my skin was just itching on my cheek. Now there's a few tiny very minor bumps there.... Currently, I have two suuuuuper tiny pimples on my chin- right next to each other. I wonder if this is from greasy food/oily food? I've been taking zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d3, garlic extract, and birthcontrol about every day for a week now... Maybe this has definitely helped my skin? There are still red marks on my cheeks, and faint ones along my jawline- but I am CONFIDENT. The finacea has greatly reduced redness in my face and the red marks. My dad today said that my skin looks great, and I wasn't even wearing makeup! This totally made my day! Ok, so I think considering accutane is definitely out of the question. I see now that my acne is totally related to what I eat- ESPECIALLY dairy and soy. I'm really excited about my skin and just praying that it continues to be clear for my birthday party this weekend. If I break out after that- I guess I'm fine lol. Yay! It's all good...
As I'm about to begin my third month of Accutane, there has not been a significant change. When I went to the dermatologist a month ago, she said in the third month my skin should break out less to the extent of no new acne forming. As of right now, I have a few breakouts and the scars of old acne is not fading at all even a little bit. I'm hoping this third month will show a much more drastic change. There are no new side effects. The backpain has come back and the dryness on my lips and my face has not disappeared (not expecting it to). My hair is still dryer than how it usually is which is nice for a change.(I also dyed my hair during this process and luckily no negative side effects occured). Since I live somewhere where the sun never stops shining, I have been careful with the sun exposure by using plenty of sunscreen. For the most part there hasn't been any negative reactions to being out in the sun. My face feels more of the heat and as a result I try to cover it to if I'm at the pool or beach. Other than that, I'm surprised and pretty happy that the journey so far is going great!
Started accutane today. 60mg a day. I take one pill in AM and two with dinner. I feel very nervous. I hope it doesn't affect my hair in anyway. If it just gets dry I can live with that. I am praying that I do not get an IB. If anyone reads this, say a prayer for me! I know I will have clear, smooth skin in no time! Ill post pics when I get home from work today and then weekly
so in january i used tactuo/epiduo for about 5 months and it totally cleared my skin but didnt stop occasional purging until the third month, so since my skin was clear i slowly cam off of it and my skin was nearly perfect for about 3 months and after using a pore clogging product (noxema for moisturizer) my whole face is full of clogged pores and now theyre turning into pimples and it is an absolute nightmare! so i brought out my new bottle of tactuo/epiduo and started using it again, im on day 2 right now and havent experienced any dryness yet... only a tiny bit red. my biggest concern/question here is... will i have to go through the 3 months or reddness, dryness and purging ALL over again? this is the only thing that has EVER worked for me so i guess have no choice anyways. when i got my hormones checked the doctor told me that they were fine and my acne was not hormonal which was extremely concerning because i am very very active, i exercise almost everyday i play high level soccer and i eat mostly organiz and very very healthy so what gives? its been 2 years and ive never figured it out. my acne is a big mystery. i might have a little more stress than the average person (mostly due to acne) but other than that i am completely lost on what could be causing this. i use mineral makeup, drink tons of water, use cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer and thats about it. has anyone gone back to epiduo for a second time? what happened when you did?
I decided I wanted to tell people about my experience with differin so I figured I would start a blog on here! Background on my skin, I started getting acne when I was in 6th grade, never severe but pretty moderate. Then my freshman year I decided to go on birth control to see if it would help, and it did a little bit but not much. During my sophomore year i found out I have sensitive skin that reacts badly to benzoyl peroxide, harsh face scrubs, and some other random things. Lucky me, right? At the end of my sophomore year I went to a dermatologist who prescribed me differin 3% and doxycycline. It took the full three months to get any results. I had no changes in the first month, just some minor flaking but moisturizer took care of it, the second month my skin began to purge these big painful pimples that seemed to take forever to clear up. And in the third month my skin was clear but more oily. At my three month check up he said I could try switching to the 1% to see if it would help with the oiliness. So I did. And that was the stupidest thing to do. My skin stayed clear for maybe two more months but then began to break out all over again. I was pissed. It was my junior year and I was back to feeling so insecure about my face that I would stay home sometimes just to try and clear it up faster. During christmas break I went back to using the 3% and my skin was awful. It was red, dry, and irritated. My skin was peeling off and leaving me with raw patches that only aquaphor would heal. You know how when your sunburns starting to heal and you peel off chunks of dead skin? That's what my face was doing. In May my face was still breaking out, but it was also so dry. I would get out of the shower and it would literally be a layer of dead skin on my face that you could see. It was like differin was just tearing my face apart. I tried cetaphil, cerave, ponds, clean and clear, and aveeno moisturizers and nothing worked. I switched to a cream cleanser by burts bees and it helped some but didn't take it away completely. My parents decided it was time to go back to the dermatologist and I asked for ziana and aczone. He said it was a good idea so I am now using those prescriptions. I will be tracking my progress! I don't know why my skin reacted so badly to the 3% differin the second time I used it but I will never go back to it. I know it works great for other people and I'm glad it does but it just didn't do it for me!
So as promised I have included a picture for y'all to see. The picture explains itself, that after just three out of five months since I've began treatment, this is currently where I stand. I am taking a break for about 6 days because I haven't gotten month four filled yet (it takes forever typically). These pictures are not edited, the flash was on for the bottom left hand corner just to kind of illuminate my skin. But it's day one and day ninety. The picture on the right hand side is me today with no flash, no editing, just natural light. I'm quite impressed! Tell me what you think and feel free to email me with questions regarding management of side effects, the process... etc.
Sooo.. After having fought mild acne for about 3-4 years it finally started to up its game about 4-5 months ago. My brother and Sister both have recommended i go on Accutane since they both experience moderately sever acne as well (damn genetics!) and have both gone it as well. So I got an appointment with our *family dermatologist, and he recommended i go on accutane right away to avoid serious scarring (like my dad has). So about a month later after blood tests i got my prescription Today and will be starting on Monday (after an intense weekend of binge drinking). I know many people here have had their accutane experience and I just wanted to know your thoughts on what cleanser and moisturizers i should use, I am currently using the acne.org regimen but im on my last drop of treatment and my derm recommends i use spectrogel. Any advice? p.s ill probly be uploading pictures the day I start to keep kind of a diary dayy 1.......................................... http://i794.photobucket.com/albums/yy229/g...01100953-01.jpg http://s794.photobucket.com/albums/yy229/g...current=meg.jpg UPDATE: before & after http://s794.photobucket.com/albums/yy229/g...;current=ba.jpg
Week 1-3: So I started out like a lot of other people thinking that I could apply Epiduo twice a day and get quicker results and boy was I wrong. My face burned so badly and itched like crazy these first few weeks. I experienced TERRIBLE peeling and flaking which was highlighted by make up. But there was no way in HELL I was going out in public without make up to at least cover the redness. So after about a week and a half of applying the cream twice a day I went down to just at night and I was met with much less peeling and irritation.
So this picture is about a week after starting Epiduo forte. I was upset that I didn't discover this app to track my progress from the very beginning but oh well.
Week 4:This is really when shit starts to hit the fan as far as the initial breakout goes... I feel like my cysts are starting to pop up a little more often and are slightly bigger and redder. But I am determined to keep going and push through this terrible period of my skin in hopes that I will one day have clear skin again.
Weeks 5 and 6: Well things are pretty much the same as far as the breakouts go, although I have started out with more acne on my right side of my face so thats why I have been taking my daily picture on that side, the left has far less breakouts so I am less concerned with that side. It is also at this point in my journey where I have introduced supplements into my routine after researching online, I now take the following every day:
Vitamin B complex, Evening primrose oil, Mega Krill oil, zinc, and a probiotic.
It is also at this point where I have switched from CeraVe moisturizer to a VERY TINY AMOUNT of pure organic unrefined coconut oil. I also use the coconut oil to remove my make up.
Heres a few pics from these weeks...
Week 7: So here is where I have possibly noticed a positive change. I think that the cysts have lessened and the bumpy texture of my skin has only SLIGHTLY improved. I still of course have lots of scars and hyper-pigmentation but hopefully with time this will fade as well. This picture is of my skin as of today. It might look worse as far as red marks but as of active pimples there seems to be less than the past few weeks. Hopefully this is a good sign?
I had a random flashback today and remembered a time I really liked this guy who was basically my first realistic crush I'd ever had, seeing as he wasn't a movie star or someone way out of my league, and you know what it's like when you have a first crush (unless you're young and haven't experienced it or live alone in a dark room alone planning world domination) you kind of start imagining the future with them like going on dates, sitting in watching movies, creating a business that specialises in the production and distribution of Hedgehog flavoured snacks-I mean-getting married...yet you can't even get past the first step of showing that you like them in more than just a friend way. I used to talk to him a lot via the internet, but I knew him in person from years ago. I really wanted to meet up with him again, just to have a proper conversation without a keyboard, but I was too shy. He even hinted at it sometimes, but my skin held me back. Eventually I didn't reply to his emails because I was beginning to like him so much that it hurt; it hurt that part of me was really wanting to see him while another was terrified of seeing him. At the time I thought it would be easier to just cut all connections with him. Although I haven't spoken to him in a year or so now, I actually still think about him and wish I had just carried on talking to him, just to keep that friendship alive. Sometimes I imagine that I will meet him in a bar or something in the near future and we'll fire up our conversations again. I don't even care if the relationship doesn't develop, I just don't want to think that acne took away a special friendship I had with someone along with so many other things it has ruined sigh Ok, emotional rant over. Sorry . I am currently wearing Estee Lauder Double Wear Light. Yes, you heard me right, Double Wear LIGHT, and actually it looks pretty good... I'm tempted to say it looks better than the heavy coverage Estee Lauder Double Wear I usually wear (ok, the word 'wear' has finally lost its meaning now.) It has good coverage without looking caked like the high coverage version sometimes does, and it actually matches my skin colour just about perfectly, which is so hard to do seeing as I'm so pale that I'm often mistaken for an urban Yeti suffering from alopecia. The best thing about it though is that it feels so sheer, like I'm not wearing anything; I don't feel all hidden away and suffocated by chemicals. Going to go now as I have an appointment with something covered, filled or dotted with chocolate.
So admittedly, I've spent the day pretty much glued to the screen of my iMac. Well, I have no money. I'm currently waiting on the background of a painting I'm doing for my sister to dry (for Christmas). So I've just been watching the US version of Shameless. And well, I love it. Between mouthfuls of Original Chips, and one bout of actually getting out of the house and going to the gym, I've watched three episodes. Considering it's a US version of a UK show I was a little hesitant. You see, I watched the show a couple of times (probably it's first season) when I was about 15. I'd sneak down stairs and watch it on low volume on our 30cm3 second TV. I think I just wanted to watch it because it had an MA rating (for people 15 years and older), and the worst my parents would ever let me watch was definitely M (I think you can watch this one with parental guidance if you're under 15, it's just recommended for over 15 year olds). That's about as rebellious as I got. But it was a good show to be rebellious to: sex, drugs, nudity; all a fifteen year old could want. Well the US version doesn't disappoint. It's all entirely dysfunctional and full of loose morals. Vicarious living at its best. Honestly, this weekend doesn't excite me. I have work tomorrow, which I now have to wake up extra early for (I guess I shouldn't complain, I rarely get up before 9 these days) and then I'm reluctantly going to my ex's - boyfriend's- birthday pool party thing. Well you know how I'm still in the same friendship group, and it's quite tightly nit. I played tennis with the young chap a week and a half ago. Beat him, of course... I mean I don't mind the guy, but my ex is always trying to promote friendship between him and my best friend, and my other roommates. It was even suggested that he should move in with us. How does that not strike her as infinitely stupid and weird? I'm civil towards him, but that's about as far as I will go. I can't imagine living in a house where she's around all the time with him, it just seems supremely awkward. Not only that, but she actually put up the event on facebook and set the location as our place. Then, when after a few weeks of no one responding, she was like "oh well seeing as I haven't heard back from the guys, we'll have it at our place". What a bitch. I mean you don't just assume you can have a party at someone else's house, especially without actually formally asking them. I'm a nice person, but don't take advantage of that and don't expect me to bend over backwards for you. So I'm going to make an appearance at this pool party, I may even drink a little (if I can score free alcohol), and hopefully have a decent time. Without having to worry about cleaning up afterwards. There's the promised update. I know I'm kind of cheating (with the non-harsh lighting). But believe you me (I've always felt semi-special saying that, it just seems so wrong) my face is close to 100% clear. I have small red marks fading on my chin and light raised bumps on my left temple and some tiny lumps between my eyes. But I'm actually pretty happy with it. And I know I have a tendency to be critical of any minor flaws. For instance, my forehead has a pretty rough texture (kind of like oily sandpaper). But we won't worry about that, will we. The seb derm has also nicely faded. So, uh, this is awkward. What will I do with my life now? Blog on an acne website with clear skin, although I think I will keep blogging for a couple of weeks just to make sure I'm keeping up my regimen... Maybe I should blog on a body building website and I'll end-up with an awesome body. Or a professional pianists' forum and end-up with amazing piano playing skillz. Maybe a millionaires' forum...
So yeah, birth control was the answer to my acne problems. Along with other problems. Mostly acne tho Since I'm on my period and I've been terrible with my eating habits, I did break out a bit on the right side of my face last week. Which got some rude comments from my douche bag coworker. >.> I've been drinking a TON of water instead of sugary drinks and I limit my poor eating habits too. My hyperpigmentation and ice pick scars still persist. I'm deathly afraid of trying anything new. I'd like to try collagen capsules but they're super expensive. I'm also considering other herbal pills to eventually replace the birth control. The side effects of birth control are getting on my nerves like the whole weight gain thing. I honestly don't even eat THAT much. >.> but i do crave horrible foods. so yeah. if any of you have any suggestions as to how to get rid of scarring, comment down below I'd like to hear your thoughts. And ladies please tell me i'M NOT THE ONLY one struggling with birth control!
I reckon this entry will be entirely acne related but don’t let that put you off – it’s going to be really positive, I promise! A couple of weeks ago, I was in a really bad place mentally and I couldn’t put my finger on why that was. Suddenly, I was just feeling very down and low on energy. My face started breaking out and I let my mood influence how I approached my skin. The result of of that was pretty much a week-long pick-fest and I made such a mess of my face. I got angry at the results and actually carried it on to the end of last week as a result. So much so that I had intending on missing a concert on Saturday I’ve never missed a concert before, no matter what my skin was like, which perhaps goes to illustrate how low I was feeling. I’d paid for the ticket and would have been throwing away my money, but that seemed like a better option than going out in public. I virtually had to push myself out of the house but I did end up going to the show. I guess it was meant to happen because, even though I was late for the doors opening, I arrived just as a second entrance to the venue was opened up, allowing me to walk straight inside and take a place in the front row. I had a good night, let off some steam and escaped in the music for about one and a half hours. I never should have doubted that because music and live bands have always been the things I can rely on as an escape. So I will take note of that and never ever even consider missing a concert in future. Never underestimate the power of music, people! I attended my second group therapy session for depression last week and we were given the task of thinking about the things we do in life which hold us back; any actions, thoughts, feelings or behaviours which prevent us from doing things we might like, ultimately contributing to depression. In most cases, the things which hold us back actually start out as a coping mechanism, but the over-use of that can eventually have a negative impact and be bad for you. For me, almost everything I ever do or think is directly influenced by my skin. The coping mechanisms were put in place thirteen years ago in order to get away from school bullies. They stayed in place and, although they’ve been adapted slightly over the years, I still avoid things and essentially have a fear of people and how they may view me and my skin. So I got to grips with the first part of the task and instantly knew what I needed to focus on. The second part of the task was to find alternative coping mechanisms which don’t hold us back. In order to get the most out of the exercise, I tweaked things a little and decided that there is no alternative for me, in terms of another way of coping, because I was not coping at all. As you may have guessed, picking my skin and popping pimples is a major problem for me. I’ve done it for thirteen years straight. It’s self-harming and essentially an addiction; something I feel I simply have to do. So to break the cycle and to clear up my skin, there are no alternatives. I just have to stop picking. I’m currently at the end of day three without picking and it’s going well. Hopefully, my skin will thank me eventually. The third group session was today and I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to share my story and tell the group about my struggles with my skin over the years. That was something I had never done before. I’ve never talked to anyone at length about my skin and I’ve certainly never had an audience. So after a little recap of last weeks session, Annie, one of the therapists, asked if anyone wanted to talk about the barrier they had decided to try and break down and the alternative coping mechanisms they had started to put in place. I was in there straight away, “I’d like to share my story please.” So off I went, explaining that I’d started getting acne at thirteen and was bullied for the next five years because of it; how that was made harder because I was always the youngest person in the school year so I always felt behind and inferior in relation to everyone anyway; how, upon leaving school, I hid away and pretty much stayed at home for three years straight, suffering with what I now believe was a severe case of depression; how I lost all my friends, social skills, confidence and self esteem in the process; how my paranoia about my skin had me believing I was ungly and that everyone thought so, too; how all my anxieties about my skin and dislike of myself ultimately caused me to screw up and get fired from my job; how I was basically at rock bottom and now I'm trying to find my way back up. Fair play, maybe that last part is depressing, but there's a point to this bit so we can let it slide... Following what I suppose may have been a moving five minute account of my life story, I actually caused our other therapist, Sarah, to burst into tears! I stayed behind to talk to Sarah after the session and she thanked me for sharing what I did. That was nice. She said that even though we’d only met three times, she thought I seemed like a good person and that I’d already offered a lot of support within the group compared to most people who have taken part before. She’d apparently noticed that I walked into the session today looking noticeably happier and more open to initiating conversation, and that her observation made perfect sense to her when I had explained how my skin’s improvement also improves me mood. Perhaps that’s when the real me starts to come out. Hopefully that will happen more and more if I can keep working on my skin. Sarah described the thought that I’d suffered with acne for so long and indeed that I’d suffered with the emotional side of things in total silence all this time without talking as “heart breaking”, and that it was “unthinkable” that people who mattered would ever dislike me because my “qualities as a person blatantly outweigh a skin condition”. I was pretty happy with what I heard and certainly very pleased that I accomplished what I set out to. Plus, the responses were good and there was a lot of understanding everyone nobody could actually relate to these specific issues. That restores a bit of my faith in the outside world and it's no doubt going to be my first step towards seeing myself and others in a new light. I faced a fear and it really paid off. There’s a lesson there, I’m sure. I’ve a fair way to go yet and more fears to face, but perhaps they will pay off as well. The way I've held myself back has certainly been the focus of my attention this year, to the point where it consumed me and I couldn't actualy find the strength to fix things instead of freaking out about them. Hitting that half way point - 13 years out of my 26, bothered by acne and denying myself pretty much everything as a result - really pulled me down. I never imagined all this would last so long. It was out into perspective even further a couple of weeks ago by one of our fellow bloggers who had talked with a friend about these things and they had both agreed without doubt that they would never allow their skin problems to hold them back and they couldn't see how anyone could do that. By contrast, I was reading that and thinking, 'I don't understand how you can not let it hold you back! I have no idea how it would even be possible not to be consumed by it!' It's taken people who post on these boards to show me that I went so very wrong for such a long time. It's also taken me most of this year to process all that stuff going back thirteen years. I'm pretty much there so now it's time to act, learn who I am, learn how to be happy being me, learn to live and love life. If we don't do that, it passes us by. To get to the end and have more regrets than memories would be a terrible thing. As far as my skin and my regimen are concerned, it’s time for a new approach. I’m going to try and avoid looking at my skin at every opportunity. It’s a big problem and because I’m not working at the moment, I could easily clock up a few hours each day in front of the mirror, causing crazy amounts of damage to my face in the process. So that’s out. No strategies, I’m just going to walk away. Nice and simple. I shaved yesterday and afterwards, I walked away. That is the first time ever that I haven’t stayed in front of the mirror after shaving, under harsh bathroom lighting, and picked my face to shreds. Go me! I will pick my skin or pop the odd pimple at some point, no doubt. Perhaps it will happen in the next few days. If so, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. If I pop a pimple, I’ll do it right, clean it properly and treat it. Then, most importantly as a skin picker, I will walk away. Over time, I hope that the less I pick, the less my skin breaks out, then the less it breaks out, the less there will be to pick so it will continue to get easier and easier. Swapping those negative cycles for positive ones. My core regimen is the same, I’m not changing any of that stuff because I know it works if I actually let it: Doxycycline, Isotretinoin gel as topical, and I use a wash in the morning and Manuka honey to cleanse at night. I recently started taking a Beta Carotene supplement and also added vitamin B5, vitamin D and fish oil into the mix. The extra dose of vitamin A from the Beta Carotene really dried my skin out and I was actually experiencing what I believe to be low-dose Accutane-like side effects. But that’s calmed down and I’m taking the recommended dosage so I’ve no great concerns. I’ll just keep and eye on it and see how I go. I’ve also arranged to take an intolerance test next week because I’m certain that there are things in my diet which my body doesn’t process properly and causes my skin to flip out. I’m actually quite excited to take that and I'm looking forward to seeing what the results will be. As long as I can still treat myself to a pizza and a curry on the weekends, I’ll be happy. So, that’s me for this week. I’ll see you in my next POSITIVE blog entry!
Happy Halloween everybody! As a special seasonal gift I am ditching the mask for the day (I do appreciate the irony of being unmasked to wear a costume), partly because my full glory can only be appreciated without it. To achieve this glamourous look, I used skin-toned mineral concealer, light-toned powder foundation, black and silver eyeshadow, black eyeliner and mascara, a couple of leaves and a lot of hair mousse. Seriously, I used a ridiculous amount of hair mousse to mimic the tousled look that could be achieved by one *ahem* sleepless night (or alternatively roughly two to three days of being undead), and even then I could easily've done with more. So now I'm hoping the acne gods will be amused by my attempts and reward me with clear skin, rather than the hideous breakout I suspect will come from being such a heathen. Today I turned up to the office, and realised once again I'm the only one dressed up. And I had to remind people what day it was (sigh). It's actually quite disturbing the number of people who didn't recognise I was actually "in costume", and thought I just wasn't getting enough sleep. Yup, I am deadly (sorry, couldn't resist!) serious, I turn up to the office looking like that (-> see picture below), and people don't see the difference between me being zombified and the normal me...! Kill me now (tee hee! It never gets old). I saw three people dressed up across the entire campus, and that included me. It's pitiful really. I know we don't celebrate Halloween Down Under, but come on! Students should at least put in a token effort, they're always keen to dress in costume, right? I'm really surprised I didn't see heaps of blue-painted college students (it's a thing here), and scantily-clad undergraduate girls in various sexy animal / "occupational" costumes. Ah well, hopefully I gave a little bit of entertainment to people who saw me (...even the ones that looked a little frightened and backed away slowly). I can't wait to go to another Halloween / horror-themed do, I have an awesome costume in mind which should be really easy to achieve; I need to keep an eye out for a long white dressing gown and a cassette tape...
Today has been one of the most boring days in my 6th form life. I was so bored that in Psychology I decided to draw a dinosaur on paint: That was my excitement for the day. Also, I balanced a pile of 5 Jaffacakes on my left cheek, which was satisfactory. My skin feels like it's burning up constantly which is pretty annoying. I solved the problem of my eyes constantly watering by buying eye drops. Don't get how putting more liquid in my eyes would help but it has! My lips are the worse, they're not dry but they feel...rubbery? I have this urge to jump face-first onto the floor and see if I bounce. That's it. Very short blog but I wanted to share my image of Francis the Dinosaur.
Well, i'm 23- ill be done with school in about two months. Im in school to be a nutrionist/personal trainer. and having good skin would be pretty ideal in this profession. but... thats not the case for me right now. I've struggled with acne since I can remember, some months better then others. I've tried so many things I can't even remember the names of them all. Antibiotics, topical solutions, cleansers, etc. I've been seeing my dermatologist for two years and we finally both agreed to start accutane. December 5th I go in and see him to get the prescription-- i've been taking the required birth control for almost a month. My doctor (MD) was really worried about me getting on accutane, she is hoping the birth control will clear up my skin but I doubt it. Right now... I have been 'sort of' doing this websites regimen... I am using 1. Neutrogena fresh foaming cleanser 2. Retin-A Micro: (tretinoin gel),microspher, 0.04% 3. Moisturizer with jojoba & aloe in it, and then sometimes CeraVe moisturizing lotion because it says "non-comedogenic" right on it. what do you think?? So far, I started getting serious blackheads-which I literally hardly ever had them before, just some around my nose area... but now they are taking over my forehead & chest region, even on my shoulders which i never got before. My skin is super red and flaky, so the mositurizer is great. I made the mistake of getting to close to my eyes and the skin around there is soooo sensitive. I've gotten a few 'pimples' little red ones that don't like to pop for the first day then they pop out some white stuff. However, i've read this is just the initial breakout because my skin is cleaning itself or whatever you want to call it. I've also read that people break out severly at first while on accutane--- and then others say they did not because they still kept doing their regular regimen... I guess my question would be should I keep doing the regimen and while taking accutane to help cease the intial breakout??? because, that would be wonderful to avoid. The best product that has worked for me was taking the antibiotic-but of course you cant stay on that forever... I'm praying the retin-a will work, i used to before and it was great, i think i stopped using it too soon. Any advice would be great, precautions etc.... I'll upload pictures soon of me now etc.