hi the 4 month mark and 120th day yesterday! so started month 5 today! my skin is looking amazing! i wear my hair tied back all the time now without a worry! my skin has not had a single breakout in about a month an a half! its just been clearing more and more!
I did get a small pimple on my right cheek on day 119 but wokw up the next day and it had dried out. Its completely disappeared now. really amazing stuff!
Can't express just how happy I am! to think in month one i wanted to give up! thank goodness i didnt! it's been so worth it! I am only in month 4 but i feel like it was the right decision!can't wait for these last 2 months to fly by!
My lips are in really good shape no cracks! i do suffer the dryness that we all suffer as oratane users but my trick is to MANAGE the symptoms as best as i can! DCT all day, on the hour every hour (and more) and at night before bed, i put on a thick layer of bepanthen! that's kept my lips moist and i think that's the main reason my lips havent cracked!
I haven't been so good with the drinking of water but im picking my hydration timetable again. so aiming for 3-4 litres daily. that should help my skin and body too.
i still have that joint pain botering me. especially in my right wrist. but i'm sure once im off the course it will wear off.
keeping my hair healthy with egg yolk, olive oil &mayo treatments and coconut hot oil treatments to keep it from drying out.
If there is anyone out there who is in the early stages of the treatment and is thinking of giving up...DONT! stay strong! it really is worth it! i had it super bad in month one! so i know what im talking about. there really is light at the end of the tunnel!
It the 3 month(90 days) mark 2 days ago! Felt sooo good! Also went for my doctor's appointment! He was really happy with the huge improvement!
AT this 3 month point my face was completely clear! no pimple in sight! it felt really good that my face and skin was looking smooth! However, almost on cue, in the late evening i got a pimple on my chin. The next day it developed into a white head. Its still camping there on my chin...feeling right at home it is!!! Its not sore or anything but its annoying! i am resisting the urge to squeeze it! its been 48 hours already!!!! arrrgh! anyhoo, i don't mind one i guess, considering what my face looked like!
I have some really good pics that show how far i have come. i made an album and everything in the gallery!(finally figured it out) but i cudnt bring myself to upload them. I feel rather embarrassed or ashamed of my skin wen it was at its worst! it looked so horrible!
Anyhoo, and winter is here and my skin was super dry. SO i have switched my body cream to aqueous cream with vitamin E oil added into it. Seems to be okay.
Evrything else is fine and under control.
"NEW" SIDE EFFECT: So i have had a painful wrist for about 2 months and i have just been ignoring it. I thought i hd sprained it in the gym or something. and then i also thought i had strained my tendons from running. So i have been off running for over a month now. Also, my legs were really sore last week after i took 5 spinning classes in 6 days. So i figured i must be over-training. So i took 5 days off gym. Had one medium intensity class yestrdy without any gym after and i have that same pain and fatigue in my legs. But after the doc's appointment and some research of my own..i am now connecting the dots!!! these are not isolated ailments but rather its the Oratane on the attack again.
It quite bad! If i lift a heavy text book or if i'm on my scooter i can feel the sharp pain shoot into my wrist. If i lie down or sit down for a bit, my ankles really hurt , i can bearly walk! my back has been very sore too. but my back's always had issues but now im guessing this is being pronounced by the Oratane! its really tough, coz i love exercise and had set my mind on a half marathon in august and october and also wanted to train for my first fitness competition.
Don't know if I can still do it. its worrying me?
Anyhoo, depsite all this i am so happy about my face and the good Oratane has done for me! wish i had gone on it sooner!
So here is the report on weeks 7 & 8! I hit the 2 month mark yesterday! Hard to think I still have 4 whole months to go!!!
Amazing!!! to quote one of my friends," your face is improving rapidly!" Lots of those kinds of comments! the general texture of my face has improved by about 80%!!!its incredible! Of course i still have some big ones that pop out on the regular but they seems to go as quickly as they come! for example, i had a big white head one my right cheek yesterday but this morning its virtually disappeared! but i try not to focus on these and obsess. and i generally refrain from squeezing any of them! dnt want to make my battle to remove the scars later any tougher than it already will be!
I am generally happy with my face! Now when i put foundation it makes a huge diff and i look almost flawless!!! heee heee! unlike before, covering up that "rough" skin surface was impossible! even when i wash my face, it does feel like a stretch of gravel texture-wise anymore! there is a lot of smoothness and some bumps.
My body is very dry! skin is ashy after a shower! hands peel and are super dry after i do the dishes! I have upped my moisturising and combined my aloe vera cream with vitamin E oil. This feels great and makes a good lasting moisturiser! Also invested in some hand cream. My Exfoliac cream is wonderful for my face! no peeling on my face! so after a wash my super dry face gets instant effective relief!
No nose bleeds as yet. I hope it stays this way. But i occasionally put some vaseline in my nasal passage if it feels very dry.
My eyes are not sore and dry anymore and only put in the eyes drops after a reall long day of reading or looking at the laptop screen!
My lips are a constant management point for me. I have DCT's EVERYWHERE; from my gym bag, to my pencil case, to my handbag and my bathroom! its great! and the bepanthene is my General in the army fighting for my lips! i slather it on at night and again when i go to bed and if i wake up at night i put more on! its super stuff! so two months in and no lips cracking or bleeding and peeling horribly. they seems slightly pinker and a bit swollen sometimes but nothing i cant handle so far.
I feel much more emotionally stable and im just trying to stay strong and it helps that i can see this huge improvement 2 months in already!!!! imagine 4 months from now!!! that's all i can think!!!
Still struggling to wake up!!! its horrible! even if i go to bed by 10pm its still hard to get out of bed and get moving in the morning! i can even be dead asleep til 10pm without stirring! wish there was a solution to that?! anyone out there know what im talking abt? or am i alone on this one????
Anyhoo, that the update! My doc appointment and check in is after the 3rd month so will be going in after this month is through!!!!
Any questions or comments feel free to holler!
So i have combined week 5 & 6 together!
Generally, its good news all round. I have had a few comments here and there from friends about how much my skin has cleared up. I noticed too but didnt wanna jinx the progress. But yes there is a definate difference.
In week 5 i still have huge white heads on my cheeks but the concentration and area of inflammation had significantly decreased! The right side of my face especially! In week 6 there was a cluster of large white heads on my left cheek and on my chin. These have been very stubborn and refused to dry up quickly! however i resisted the urge to squeeze!
Well i woke up this morning and they seem to have "evaporated"! yaay! well i know its early days yet, and i'll still get some break outs but its good to celebrate the little victories!!!
My lips are still dry but the combination of DCT during the day and Bepanthen at night has gotten thins under control and its not driving me nuts any more. Also, my lips seemed to have stopped going pink and pretty much look normal. So i have averted the red/pink tell-tale Oratane lips!
I have been drinking 3-4 litres a day of water and i think this has helped hugely with the dry eyes. I hardly ever feel the dryness. but i still put i drops in every couple of days just as a preventative measure.
My skin is definately showing signs of dryness. when i hop out the shower and dry off, i am instantly ashy! but full body moisturising seems to help with that.
I have always been a keen fitness enthusiast but i am embarking on some new goals this year! Want to be a fitness model and also want to run a half marathon in July/August. So i have been training for a 10km on the 7th of may!!! woop woop! the Fitness Model Training starts on the 1st of May! So yeah! a lil nervous abt the oratane effects! but as far as i can see, my being active seems to have quelled the joint pain saga i felt in the first 2 weeks! so im gonna do this!!! i refuse to be held back by acne!!!
NIGHT SWEATS ARE BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!!!
not quite sure how to manage this side effect though? i'm totally stumped! its the worst since winter is here too! i wake in the middle of the night freezing and soaked thru! dnt knw what to do!
Also, i am really struggling to get up in the morning! feel tired and lethargic sometimes and can't concentrate on my coursework!! i have a masters degree to get through!!! i can't afford to keep having these late mrnings!
Also been a bit emotional lately and rather prone to crying spells! don't know if that the oratane or just me. ( i am an emotional but 99% cheery being already)
Anyhoo! I am still keeping a weekly set off pics to monitor everything!
I must say though as my face clears i cant help but worry about the hyperpigmentation! its really bad. my not squezzing doesnt seem to have help! so even as the acne is clearing, its not revealing clear skin, but instead it read like a bad story of acne break out's past!!! especially the last severe one! my clear neck and jawline are no more!!!! that gets me down and makes it hard to be excited about the clearing!
Much love to you all! mwa!
I have survived the 1st month! (just! )
So yesterday I finished my first batch of oratane and hit the 30 day mark! elation and jubilation!
DAY 28- 30: I observed a marked improvement in my skin suddenly. I woke up on day 28 and the huge white heads from the day before had shrunk hugely! (except for one that remained angry and red with a white "cherry" on top) After steaming my face I ended up up just gently popping it. (only one i have done that to so far!
This general improvement seems to have continued through to the last days of the month. One of two of my friends also made comments to this effect.
So I still have lots of bumps on my face BUT the concentration and density of the zit population that had been booming on my cheeks and jaw has decreased noticeably!
I have been taking pictures weekly so ofcourse I will take pics and be able to compare and really see if i'm right!
So in the last week the side effects, especially the dry lips almost drove me over the edge!!! brown skin is NOT COMPLEMENTED BY RED/PINK LIPS and i was headed straight there! i was so afraid of looking like a freak or something! my lips were painful and swollen and burnt/tingled when i applied the DCT! i really was depressed about my lips.
But you guys came through for me. KC31 and flandy gave me great advice!!! the combo of their tips has given me my sanity back! the vaseline blistex combo helped calm my lips down. and bought the Bepanthen stuff yesterday! used it over night and today and my first impression of it is ,WOW!!!!
i also have come up with a lil trick for brown people out there! i got a brown lip liner and i just rub it over my lips when i go outside or into town and that kinda "tints" my lips and makes them look ok! not too pink. will see how this holds up in the long run.
Also have allowed myself a lil make up here and there. who am i kidding, i piled it on for my birthday dinner and i looked GREAT! HEHEHEH got home really late and felt lazy BUT i made sure i washed it all off and steamed my face and applied my Isotretinoin User moisturiser and cover my lips in blistex before i allowed my self to hit the sack! well done me!!!
So like I said I have been taking pics but I dont seem to know how to get them up in the gallery! so give me sometime and ill figure it out
out now! MONTH TWO, HERE I COME!!!
24 TODAY! something to celebrate and be excited about! the day i was born! so today i am gonna keep my head up! pimply face and peeling, lips and all! God gave me life and that fact in itself makes me beautiful!
So Grad came and went everyone! and I did go out!!!! but to ensure my survival I had to not be as strict on myself as I have been since i started oratane! I had completely stopped drinking and using make up. But as you know, going out with out these too during grad weekend is kinda like going into war with out a weapon! heheh! so i allowed myself some foundation to cover stuff up and i got my hair done and u know what, i felt like cinderella!!! i got awesome compliments! and since i have been feeling"unpretty" lately, these compliments were like mana to the Israelites in the wilderness! And i enjoyed my celebratory drinks with my friends!
Anyhoo like cinderella, my clock struck midnight! woke up the next morning and despite all my diligent lip care, my lips were PEELING and swollen!!! i cried! i felt so defeated and horrible. I guess i had hoped i had dodged that side effect since i had mean really taking care of my lips and drinking lots of water.
I guess not
So here goes, I hope i survive!
21 days in and I think I have entered the "break out period" without a doubt.
I have lots of large whiteheads popping up all over the place! big ones that are tag-teaming up on me and coming out in pairs!!! My pores seem to be oozing a white substance so my fave just generally looks bad and i feel like scrubbing it silly with exfoliator! but alas!!! I know i can't!!!
Its very tough, its grad week at my varsity so all my mates from last year are coming and the few i have seen all ask, what's going on with ur skin? what happened? did you react to something! its so hard!!! part of me just wants to stay in and hide! but i wanna see my friends while their here and have a good time! this is really tough! and its even tougher knowing that I am only 3 weeks in and have 21 weeks to go!!! that really really weighs me down!
but i am placing all my faith in God and trusting that the treatment will work for me to the fullest and my face will heal and the scars will fade.
as for the symptoms, the dry lips are a constant but the other symptoms seem to have subsided with my increase in water intake. I am drinking 2-3litres a day. Its a real effort for me but i think it is worth it.
feeling very sleepy so im gonna be off to bed
Two week mark has come and gone now and i am Day 15. It would be nice if i could look at my face and say there is some improvement but no there is none. I have taken pictures to ark this point in my journey and i just pray to God with all my heart that one day i can look back and see how far i have come. But for now, it feels as though i am exactly where i was two weeks ago....and that's pimple and acne ville!
The only thing that is a constant reminder of the change going on in my body are the ever present side-effects. The muscle and joint aches that bothered in the 1st week have completely sided and what stays with me are the general "dry-out" effects.
My philosophy though is definately prevention is better than cure. So i have made a short list of common symptoms and ways to combat them from start to finish!
Dry Lips - Blistex DCT apply on the hour or as frequently as needed
Dry eyes - artificial tears 3 times a day (am, pm and before bed)
dry itchy skin - moisturise whole body twice a day with vaseline intensive care aloe vera cream NOT lotion
dry nose - line nasal passages with vaseline jelly using an ear bud before bed.
possibility of weight gain - regular exercise i.e. 4-5 times a week
Dry itchy face - Exfoliac Reconstructive cream for isotretinoin users
One thing is for sure Oratane is expensive but what is expensive is not really the treatment itself but rather the treatment of the side-effects. So basically my 1st 2 weeks on Oratane have cost me R400-R450.00 and that EXCLUDING the cost of Oratane itself!!!
But I pray it will be worth it in the end. I am trying not to be ashamed of my face. I sed to love it. but i found myself beginning to not want to go out or trying to use my hair to cover it or talking to people without really looking at them so they dont see my face. People ask, whats going on with ur face? did you react to something? are you having an allergic reaction? and those questions kill me inside! but I am strong and confident woman! and im not about to let acne change that!!not without a fight!
Please God, grant me patience and strength during this time! That's all for now folks!
yay! Managed to take my spinning sift today despite feeling sore! Infact i gave an awesome high energy class and i feel good! no aches and pains in the joints and muscles
Lips still feeling dry but i am keeping up with the Blistex routins! as for the swelling i'm just rocking my Angelina Jolie lips as best as i can! might as well work it right!
Skin is looking the same but have quite a few white head popping up here and there but they dry up and disappear in a mtter of hours so not freaking out or anything!
This is a real game of patience! so im gonna take each day as it comes!
OOOOOOO my body is super sore!!!!! what can i do? i can't be taking pain killers for every ache! any ideas good people? And my body is real itchy!
Only getting up now and its 1pm!!!! I just felt so tired!
I love all the sites out there with info but the one thing i would like is a step by step narration of the Oratane Journey! I decided to do this blog for any one else out there who is thinking of taking this drug so that this can be a full and complete point of reference for them! I will put up at least 1 post every week! So here goes
I started taking Oratane on March 17 2011 following a massive breakout that gave my confidence a real life-size knock! (and i'm a confident person!!!) As the weeks go by, i will go into more detail about this turning point for me!
Day 1 and 2 were uneventful and showed no side-effects emerging! However since I had been warned about dry lips I was on that Blistex from the word go!!!
Day 3 I could definately feel the significant feeling of dryness in my lips! So I began applying the Blistex more often which gave me relief!
Day 4 and 5 the skin on my face was definately drier and began to itch sometimes!
Day 6- Oh my word!!! my eyes are sooooo dry and sore and a bit red in the evenings! This sucks because I have a huge assignment im working on so sore dry eyes are not in my favour!!!
But my GP warned me about this, so i gave him a call and he told me to get some artificial tears. My eyes were so dry that I had to leave the library and get the artificial tears pronto!!! Got home and got a friend to put them in! true relief i tell you!!! put some more in then took a nap! when i awoke they felt a bit better!
Also my skin is now very dry!and super itchy! but i really didn know what to use as a moisturiser on my face!!! I was using my usual clearasil spot-preventing moisturiser but wanted to ditch this as GP had said no harsh supermarket products. So off to the pharmacy where i have discovered an amazing product!!! It EXFOLIAC RECONSTRUCTIVE CREAM, its specifically for people on Isotretinoin! And man it provides true relief! its great! You get it at the Pharmacy and it cost's R165.50. So it's pricier than the other options like Neutrogena and them but i liked the fact that its for people on Oratane so its desigend for us and its ingredients prove this!
By the way, I am an exercise junkie! i gotta have my cardio and strength training man!!! I have put the weights on hold and I am just doing my cardio since the info leaflet says to avoid heavy exercise. I am a spinning instructor so that's non-negotiable right now anyway since that's how I am paying for this expensive treatment!
But yah, i am feeling that soreness in my body! thought it was over-training at first but I know its the Oratane coz i'm pretty fit!
Day 7 - woke up for my group run today!!! I had night sweats???bodyaches and sore joints!!! Damn this stuff is strong!!! I almost opted out of my run! but after the group had left i realised that I had to suck it up and try and live my normal life as much as i can, inspite of the symptoms!!! so off i went!!! and i felt really good as i ran! still on the sore side of things but there is a greater goal here!!!!
Oh, and my lips feel like......i can't really describe it! but it aint a good feeling! they feel tight and dry and tingly, even with all the Blistex I layer on! its quite annoying! My lips are also swollen this morning! aaaah man! I just dont want to have chapped, and bleeding lips though!!! so Im am going to be as diligent as i can about keeping them soothed and covered in Blistex!
As for my acne, right now i don't really see much difference.(maybe worse). I am trying not to focus on my face right now, since chances are it may have to get worse before it gets better!
That's all for now, will keep you posted!