Here we go, day 19. I guess that's um...(does math with a calculator)...1/8 of the way home. 12.66% of the way there.
Things are going so-so. My early optimism that I could avoid the "initial breakout" was squashed when I broke out more than I had in probably a decade. They weren't as severe as the old days, many of them being whiteheads. But they were numerous - like 8. That's a lot for me, as the usual would be one bad one at a time (if any). But they are healing ok now, and a monster that showed up on my chin was bad for a day but mercifully i was able to pin pop it and that helped it heal faster.
My face is really starting to dry out. I'm using Cetaphil cleanser day and night, lathering and scrubbing gently for about ten seconds. Then I'm very hesitantly applying lotion. I've always had problems with lotions/moisturizers/creams making me break out. I'm using a couple different ones, a neutrogena oil-free non-clogging whatever and also something from Aveda. They do an OK job moisturizing, but I can already tell my face doesn't like it. On my chin i feel a couple bumps coming up, but the good part is that they don't have the same fury as they could. Last night my gf noted that it (claravis) seems to be working so that's a good step. Sometimes it seems like a big pain in the ass, considering how moderate my acne was. But I know it'll be worth it when it's done, even if it just lessens the severity.
I'm also starting to notice dryness on other parts, like the back of my neck, back, arms. The backs of my hands broke out in a little rash over the weekend, and I irritated them by wearing gloves with ski pole straps rubbing against them all day. I've been doubling up on the lotion and that seems to be helping them but they're still visible. Not too big a deal though.
Other than drying I have no side-effects. With all the stuff online about how terrible it is, how it's poison - that stuff really scared me. An I'm sure people had reasons for writing those things but for me so far, and I think the vast vast majority, this stuff works.
What I'm most excited about is not having a regimen to stick to. Pills in the evening, special wash morning and night. Topical before bed. I spend a lot of nights outdoors, and have had to fiddle with RX cleansers camping on a windy glacier and all kinds of unpleasant conditions. My derm tempted me with thoughts of not having to do that anymore. I hope he's right.
Cheers to everyone else slogging down this path, esp to the dude whose post I just read who's around my age and just getting started. It'll be worth it, amigos.
I told myself that I would resist the urge to go online and read about accutane, other's experiences and try to judge my own progress. I figured the internet is a nasty place to go when looking for medical advice and it would only upset me. But around day 12 I caved. As long as I'm here...
My story is probably familiar. I have been fighting acne since I was 19. I spent my 20s on any number and combination of creams, pills, washes, solutions, even a few needles. Some of them worked better than others, but nothing well enough. My closest came when I took Bactrim for about a year and a half when I was 27. After awhile I was deemed "cured" and was taken off of it, only to have my acne return a couple months later. Subsequent tries on the Bactrim haven't worked.
Now I'm 31, and have decided that I won't spend my 30s popping antibiotics and rubbing creams into my face.
My dermatologist prescribed me Claravis, 80mg per day. I stopped using the Prascion wash I had been on for a couple years, ditched the Epiduo, and switched to drug store cleansers like Cetaphil.
The first week I didn't feel much of a change. Around day seven I spent a night out in the wind and cold which dried my face out pretty badly. I couldn't tell if that was the medication kicking in or what, but I doubled up on the aquaphor and lotions this past week and the dryness is getting better. My scalp has been drier than usual, and also my eyes. I haven't put in my contacts once in about a week. I've started putting drops in my eyes so hopefully that will help.
Acne-wise, it's been odd and frustrating. My acne wasn't really severe, just persistent. Most times I would have only one active pimple on my face at a time, with the areas just south of my mouth being the most problematic. Occasionally they would pop up just above the mustache line, corners of the nose and chin too. But I could pretty much count on the fact that if there was one, it would slowly go away before the next one came up.
Starting in week two, I started getting a few whiteheads, which was a change of pace. Usually they would be red and painful, whereas these were smaller and white. I'm now recovering from two between my eyes, one just off my mouth, one on my chin, and one above my mouth. And now the old problem area, which had been clear for a long time is just starting to break into what feels like will be a monster. That sucks.
Anyway, these new little guys have been drying up and healing relatively well so here's hoping that continues. My doc let me stay on Bactrim for the first month to help with the initial breakouts, so I guess this could be a lot worse. Nothing to do now but trudge along and hope things get better. Cheers to everyone who's getting on with their journeys and to those starting with me.