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almost 2 months off meds

So its almost 2 months since i stopped taking Isoraic. I have only had 2 actives in that time. My eyes are back to normal and so is my skin. Not dry anymore, and lips are fine too. My hair and skin is a bit greasier than it was when i was on the med. I actually liked my hair being less greasy. but its not as bad as it was before i went on the med. So my skin is good but i have so much hyper pigmentation on my cheeks from the old spots. so im still layering on makeup. and wondering how long it will take for these to go away!! my back is completely clear which is amazing!! it is such a good feeling! i have a few red spots from old ones on my schoulder and chest, but i can live with it. its so much better than it was. i wore an open back shirt today in public for the first time in years! its such a relief! so im happy but just waiting for these red marks to clear! any suggestions? ive been using jojoba oil.

speranza

speranza

05/22/2011

 

exactly 4 months

So its been 4 months today. I was on 30 mg from Dec. 17th til Feb 18th. Now im at 40 mg for 20 days. Then she will have me decrease the dosage to take me off it. I dont have any actives (which started just a few weeks ago, before I was still have break outs). My skin isnt as dry but my lips are horrible. Big flakes come off at a time and sometimes bleed and its just bad. So annoying. My eyes are constantly irritated and Ive had quite a few people ask me if everything is okay, cause it looks like ive been crying all the time. The back of my hands and my upper arms are very dry, like cracky dry. Even with applying lotion night and day. Im very glad I dont have any more actives, but now I have tons of red spots from all the old actives. My skin looks bad because of that. I never had this many red spots, and they are all concentrated on my cheeks. I never had problems before starting this medicine with scarring, and Im hoping this isnt a permanent thing. Does anyone have any advice for red spots left after the break out? Its better because they arent painful but I still have to cover them all up so its annoying.

speranza

speranza

03/06/2011

 

Day 70

So Im just over two months and still having break outs. Not as bad as the past two months but not what I hoped for two months in. The derm upped my dosage to 30 mgs a day. My skin is still dry and if I try to peel problem areas, too much skin comes away and leaves the area raw and aching. I have to be careful, but its hard when your skin looks so flaky. I have noticed some joints aching at random times. Mostly my knees, I had surgery on the right one a couple years ago and it sometimes bothers me. But this is random and it comes in like stabs of pains instead of long aching pains. Like my ankle once hurt bad it was hard to walk, but it only lasted like 10 minutes. No more bloody noses, but still chapped and cracking lips. Last week I had a pustule on my lip. It sucked, it looked like a cold sore but with a white head. Sick. Also my eyes are dry. Well they actually feel watery but I think they are acutally dry , if that makes sense. I keep thinking that it might be getting better but then Ill have a few more break outs. I am so ready for an improvement. Im sick of the pain of these break outs and the pain in the ass of covering them up and being self concious.

speranza

speranza

01/16/2011

 

Pre-Accutane

Hey everyone! I just found this website a couple days ago and have been back everyday! I soon will be starting Accutane if my blood work goes good and have been anxious about it and this site has been awesome to read what others have to say and hear of their results. So I decided to start my own blog of taking Accutane since maybe I can help someone down the road with the same issues. Before I dive into my zitty past: after reading others blogs I just wanted to break free from this control that acne has on my life..so went out walking with NO makeup on...with my husband and I danced down the streets and into a park and it was fabulous. No body stared at my face like i thought they would...its all in your head..we are our worst critics for sure! My husband didnt even comment that I went out without make up on....and its something I dont think Ive ever done since I got to Italy. So obviously we are the ones who notice it the most. SO thank you acne.org and all of you who share your stories. Acne Past: (sorry quite long!) I remember starting to get zits when I was in 6th grade but it was never horrible. I managed through high school just using topicals. When I started college I went to the derm and he put me on Bactrium also using Differin in the morn and Duac at night. It worked good, I still had some breakouts but nothing earth shattering, but then after I graduated college (still on Bactrium) I moved to Italy and ran out of my supply of antibiotics. Then my face really flared up, i guess it would be moderate with cystic nodules. I also started getting it all over my back which is just the absolute worst part of the whole thing. I feel like i constantly have to be covered, and dread swimsuit season because i dont want anyone to see my back. The perfect word in Italian is vergona. ..like shame. Its depressing. So after I married my Italian boyfriend I was able to see the doctors here and went to a private Derm.(i didnt marry him to just to get to go the doctors ..if thats what it sounds like ..ha) She put me on Tretrasyl (which may be tetracycline translated im not really sure) for 4 months then took me off for the summer cause she said it was photosensitive. She gave my Zitromax for over the summer but I heard its a very strong antibiotic and after being on Bactrium for 4 years I was already freaked out about liver damage and antibacterial resistance (which my first derm never mentioned to me) So i only took Zitromax for 3 days every 2 weeks...and it didnt help. I went back to the US over August to visit with friends and fam and it was tolerable..still quite a few breakouts but not a whole lot of cysts. But now im back in Italy and not taking anything because im waiting to get my blood work done to start Accutane. My skin is at its worst its even been. Lots of cysts and break outs everwhere. The marks seem to stay forever too and not want to go away! My derm was pretty hesitant to put me on it, because i cannot take the pill because i have something called Protein C Deficiency which causes me to get blood clots (which ive already have had 2 of and im only 24). I have an IUD so the chances are pretty low i will get pregnant. But i had to like beg her to put me on Accutane and shes not even convinced. She wants to talk to someone about my case before she gives me it. She (being Italian) said that Americans are too aggressive with Accutane. I understand her point of view of being cautious, but ive been living with acne for a long time and just want a long term solution without having to be on antibiotics forever. I have read a lot about Accutane and know the risks and am still willing to try it. Im sick of covering up and feel its just a huge hassle..i dont leave the house without makeup and always have to have my back covered up even when im on the beach or its scorching hot out. And i swear...everyone in this country is gorgeous and doesnt have a single blemish (well..from what my acne tunnel vision sees anyway) Phew...thats a long story to get out! So I have to get my blood work, then meet with her and see what her colleague said about my case. I am HOPING she agrees to put me on it. If she does then I will be documenting that journey here! A few questions I have are: Have any girls taken Accutane while having an IUD? Or having Protein C Deficieny? I hear lots about Jojoba Oil and wonder if its available abroad and where I should look for it? Id appreciate any comments! Ill talk to you soon!

speranza

speranza

12/14/2010

 

Still waiting

So everything takes 3 times longer to get done in Italy, so im still waiting for my blood results. And I dont have internet anymore so havent been able to blog. Anyways im hoping to get the results Mon and go to the derm Tues. 'magari' (hopefully) she will give me the prescription. Shes mentioned she wants to start me on 10 mg but i think thats too low. Im 62 kilos like 135 lbs. so think i can handle more. Has anyone started on 10 mg? From most blogs ive read the minimum has been 20.

speranza

speranza

12/14/2010

 

FiNaLlY!

So I started Isotretin (the Italian medicine is called Isoriac) on Nov. 6th 2010. My derm is very cautious and says that Americans are too aggressive with medicine so she put me on 10mg for 20 days then 15 mgs (alternating betweeen 10mg and 20mg) for another 20 days. I tried to get her to start with 20 mg but she refused. Ive read that lower doses have a higher chance acne of coming back, so not too excited about that. I will try to up the dose each month. I celebrated by getting a Kebab (like a Gyro) and roasted potatoes from this nice Iranian couple that own a place called Babylon. I had an awesome meal and took my first pill! Today is the 5th day. I do not notice any difference. I didnt think I would with this low of a dose. I have 2 actives and a bunch of under the surface cysts that i can feel. Mostly around my chin area like always. The active under my nose hurst so bad..and wont go away! It keeps getting a hard white head I keep peeling off cause it looks gross..and it keeps coming back. I need to just leave that guy alone! My skin is still combination. Oily but at the same time flaky in some areas. Such a pain to deal with...that deadly combo. Im still using Duac and Differin at the moment since its still early and I have a low dose. I have to jump through hoops to get my medicine here, its ridic. nothing like the convenience of the US. This is what I did and have to do each month to get my med: First wait in the derms tiny office with no nurses or anything, just her. Get her to write a piece of paper (not even a prescription) of the blood exams I need. Then I go to my general practicioner, wait about an hour (if im lucky -sometimes longer) . Get him to write the prescription for the tests. THen the next day (cause gotta go to work too!) I go the a seperate lab to get the tests done. I pay about 34 euro and they are ready in 3 days. Go back pick up the results, then head to the derm and hope she can squeeze me in to approve my exams. Take my exams and her instructions to my general practictioner (waiting another hour) and get the prescription. Go to the Pharmacy (at least theres Pharmacies on every corner practically). Of course they dont have the medicine...so have to return the next day to get it. PFFEWW. THats why ive been waiting 2 months to start this medicine. Its a whole fricken obstacle course. This is the first month I did this, im sure its gonna get old after a few months. Oh well. Hope its worth it. When I was at the Pharmacy, they asked me to help be their translator. There was this Indian guy who didnt speak Italian, just English, so the had me translate what he wanted to them and what they said. It was funny because he had acne too and he was looking for a lotion to help it. I think he was embarrassed at first I had to translate this issue, but I was there for the same reason, so obviously wasnt a big deal to me. Small world with the same skin problems. Thats all for now! Let me know if anyone else started on 10 mg and what they went up to. CIAO

speranza

speranza

12/14/2010

 

Day 9 - messy!

So I was hoping to avoid an IB with a 10mg dose,,but I think im def getting it. I have these clusters of whiteheads on both corners of my lips. On my right side there is like a cysts with 4 white heads on it. It hurts so bad, and ive had it for like 3 days..and the heads keep coming back. Left side has 2, and hurts too!THey dont wanna go away. I swear they have their own pulse they hurt so bad. I feel hideous too, they are not easy to hide. On a positive note, where im not breaking out the skin feels smoother. But to even out the positive, my scalp is getting a bit itchy and flaky. SO a lil bit of good and lots of bad.

speranza

speranza

12/14/2010

 

Bloody Nose! Day 19

SO...as I was getting ready in the bathroom, my nose just started gushing blood. Wasnt really expecting that on 10 mg. It stopped after a bit...but man, i cannot remember the last time i got a bloody nose. Skin wise, i have a couple under the skin cysts on each side of my cheeks, and they hurt a bit. And last week I kept getting new pustules each day, but this week a bit less. The blackheads on my nose have like all come to the surface and are very noticeable. They never used to be this noticeable. But then again Im pressed upto the glass checking them out. Hopefully others cant notice them that much. I still have a bunch of whiteheads around the corners of my mouth and lower chin. And more actives dispersed around the face. I wouldnt say there has been a postive improvement so far. Tomorrow I start 15 mg (alternating 20 mg and 10mg pills) for 20 days then I have my check up. On another note, todays is Thanksgiving. Its hard to find a whole turkey in Italy, so we had mashed potatoes and gravy (first time i made gravy and it turned out pretty good!) then salad, spinach and steak. Random...thanksgiving, but still something to be thankful for. A Presto

speranza

speranza

12/14/2010

 

Day 38

So the first month has passed and I am still having break outs. Large under the skin ones that hurt but dont seem to want to come to the surface. Still clusters on my cheeks. And the old ones dont wanna go away. So in regards to less break outs there has not been a positive improvement. On the other hand I am less oily and that is great news. I dont need to blot my face everytime I go to the bathroom. And my hair is also less oily. I used to have to take a shower every day if I wanted to not look like a scum bag. My hair always got oily after one day. Now its perfect after a day or two with no oil at all. Its great! and saves time if I dont feel like showering I dont have to put my hair in a ponytail, I can leave it down without looking homeless. My lips have been pretty dry for a while now. I have chapstick everwhere. Avene cold cream is working pretty good. I havent had any more bloody noses thankfully. My skin is pretty dry and Ive had to use a gentle exfoliator once a week or its just too flaky to handle. I have a problem with wanting to peel these flakes off, and now they seems to come off in larger flakes and somtimes takes too much skin with them so I have these open red spots when I peel too much. Hands off is a hard concept! THe black heads on mynose are gone, even like on the nose crease...that is amazing. Cant remember when I didnt have those! And I dont know if its because of the tightness of my skin due to the dryness or what, but I have slightly larger pores on my cheeks (like under my eyes) and they dont seem to be as noticeable now. I have an appt. on Friday with the derm (we do an appt every 40 days) and will update then. I have pics, I just need to get them uploaded. Ciao

speranza

speranza

12/14/2010

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