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The Regimen

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Houston, We Have A Problem. (Aka, T-Minus 3-2-1, Accutane) 16/m

The problem being, of course, acne. Everyone on this site, whether daily contributor or lurker (I fall into the latter category) is all too familiar with this problem. We've been scarred, if not physically, then certainly emotionally. And at times, it can feel like we are alone in the problem, out in space, with no one around to sympathize with - especially when we look around and there seems to be perfect skin everywhere we look! I promise you, you are not alone. A few days ago, I blasted off into the world of Accutane and I'm starting to make entries into this blog in order to document progress in a way that pictures will never be able to. My skin's short biography, written by me: zits started to make landings on my face as early as fifth grade, but it didn't become a real problem until sixth/seventh grade. Went on doxycycline. Worked? I type a question mark only because the memories are a bit blurry as far as my skin goes from that time (maybe I just partied way too hard back in my middle school days). Stopped working (notice the lack of question mark). Then there was some retin-a, some harsh BP wash, crazy home treatments, etc. the point is, nothing worked. I suppose the closest I got to being clear was with The regimen which just took up so much time - at least an hour every days. Quit that (and everything else) at one point only to have perfect skin for a couple of months. I kid you not, my skin was looking awesome. I was doing nothing to it but washing it and it was seriously clear. Of course, that didn't last. Huge breakout that took forever to get under control. Another round of Doxycycline and epiduo, which just about cleared me...until I went off of it. Broke out again. Went back on Doxy for a couple of months to get me thought the holidays. Went back to the derm. Prescribed me Claravis. One week (or so) later, here I sit. I am currently prescribed 40 mg/ day. I am a 16 year old male. I weigh about 160 lbs (72ish kg) and stand at 5'10" (yea, let's go with 5'10"). FIRST WEEK: Actually, not really the first week. More like five days. The week before I started, my skin was looking good. Really good. I was nervous to start my pills just for the fact that I actually kidded myself into thinking I didn't need this medication. Pfft, please. I have been slathering my face with aquaphor at night and using cetaphil daily moisturizer during the day. No dryness, so far. A few zits here and there have been popping up, nothing too bad. My problem with after I get a zit is more the red marks left behind that don't fade right away. I'm mostly left with them at the moment. I'm really nervous for the IB. I hope that I can just get it out of the way ASAP. Really wish I were able to think of a good line or two that continued with the space/rocket ship/astronaut metaphors that could wrap up this post but they're just up in space at the moment. (Dang, aren't I clever?)




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My Story

So I have just received Dan's Products so I decided that I should tell the story of my face before I start "The Regimen." Rewind to one year, one month, and one week ago. I was twelve, just about thirteen. How do I know the date? Right before school started. Of course puberty decides to hit me right before the start of school. So anyway, before this week my skin was ok. I would get a zit here and there but for the most part, I had nice skin. Then a disastrous family event. An extremely close member of the family is in the hospital. Scratch that, mental hospital. One month later, my entire face breaks out, and that is where it all began. So my face is a wreck for the end of summer, start of school and my birthday. I have a picture from my birthday, I want to cry whenever I look at it. Mostly because I exactly remember that night. The way I tried to cover up the zits and the cold sores (did I mention I get them EVERY SINGLE YEAR before the start of school?) Two weeks later I have a check-up. My doctor asks me about my face, and suggests that I see a derm. because her son's faces cleared right up after they saw a doctor about their problem. So I get the appointment, I get the prescription, and I get the meds. On October 10th, I start using the medicine, which was Retin-A and Doxycycline. Now, my acne at this point was basically concentrated at my chin. my forehead was perfectly smooth, along with my cheeks, don't ask. But the time when I was taking the medicine was THE WORST three months of my life, easily. I couldn't look anyone in the eye, because of the flaking and peeling, the red face, and the cracked lips. Which really sucked because this was right around the time I started my first relationship longer than a couple of weeks. And she stayed with me for all that time, even though I couldn't look her in the eye. Now that I think about it, she was great, so great, in fact, that it makes me wish I didn't break up with her. So fast forward to three months later, and my face is better. Or so I thought. Looking back, it probably wasn't so much better from what is was before I started the meds., but the meds. made my face look so bad, I'm sure anything looked better in comparison. So did I mention that my dad was getting remarried in June and I had to go to a cousin's wedding in April? So throughout the entire process, those were the two dates that kept me going. Before the April date of the first wedding, my skin miraculously changed: just one or two zits usually. And it gets better, for my dad's wedding: perfect skin. Seriously. I was so happy. The Summer is relaxing, which really helped me and my face. But school is here again, with a new problem, little pimples on my forehead and left cheek. What? I never had to deal with this before! It was always only just my chin. So feeling a mix of emotions, I ordered Dan's products, hoping that they will help fix me for (mostly) good. I hope you will follow me along my journey to clear skin, for some laughs, tears, and whatever else the road will bring. -PhillyKid (Tanner)




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