I haven't updated in a few weeks... and no.. it's not because i'm cured LOL. Although.. there is a LOT of improvement which is promising. The blister like lump next to my left eye is significantly smaller and i'm hoping another 30 days eliminates it completely. And the knot by my mouth, also on my right side is also WAY smaller. It has probably reduced 70% in size. I still cover this spot with a bandaid because it used to leak sporadically (gross). I'm pretty sure i'm past that point but i've worn the bandaid this long so it's almost a security blanket lol so might as well ride it out and wear the d*** thing til the sucker is g.o.n.e! CANT WAIT for the day!
Lips are still excessively dry and in the morning the sides are cracked. I find that when I open my mouth real wide to eat they want to split but I haven't had any bleeding or anything. Than again, I take REALLY good care of them. (Even the derm comented on how they looked good)
I had some eczema (I guess?) on the underside of each forearm but it's a lot better since i'm doing better about keeping my ENTIRE body lotioned up.
My hair is still a lot more dry than normal but i'm still excited about how little I have to wash it... which in turn means less blow drying and straightening so its still a plus.
The soreness in my back/joints actually subsided for a week or so but is back. I dont think it's AS bad (or maybe I'm just getting used to it?)
Bleeding gums stopped but ironically started back up today? Weird
The dry eye sympton also kicked in and I even had to switch brands of contacts to something that (according to my eye dr) holds in moisture better and it has helped a lot.
My Derm appointment on Monday went well... and I am now in to my 9th week. She said I should see a LOT of improvement in my 3rd month so i'm excited to reach that point especially since I have plans to fly to see a friend this summer I haven't seen in a few years.
Products haven't changed:
Burts bees chapstick
(my derm did say there was a new? cetephil moisturizer out that she wanted me to try but i can't find the piece of paper they wrote it down on lol so i will let you all know as soon as i myself figure it out!)
Til next time......
1 Month down! Hooray!! Please oh please let the next 4 go quickly! For the first time in the two years since I stopped working.. I almost wished I had a job to keep my mind off of how slowly time seems to be ticking LOL. Luckily my OCD cleaning tendancies seem to keep me pretty occupied.
Skin update: The 3 knots I have all seem to pretty much be the same except the most irritating one right by my mouth on my left side does SEEM smaller... but BARELY... at this rate it will take the entire 5 months for it to subside. Blah. I only got 1 zit this week and it was miniscule and lasted literally less than 24 hours. Again... I wasn't struggling with bad acne before this so I still firmly believe that's why I didn't have a bad purging/breakout.
Dryness is maybe a tiny bit worse and still in the same areas, around my mouth, on my chin and around my nose. The inside of my nose is back to being irritatingly dry but i can cope. Lips are DRY!! So Dry. They aren't cracked but i think this is only because I literally lube my lips up every 15 minutes. They seem to peel a bit though. Nasty. The dry hair issue seems to be solved since I stopped washing my hair so much. No need to since my body doesn't seem to be producing ANY OIL. My scalp is a little itchy but it's not flaky.
On a positive note: my skin FEELS incredibly soft. Very smooth (less the 3 knots of course they still feel like bumps LOL).
New side effect: My body is achy. I dont know any other way to describe it. I especially feel sore when I wake up in the morning? I figure this is from laying in primarily one position most of the night. I wake up feeling like I'm sore from a workout... and I can assure you.... that didn't happen LOL. After I'm up and move around a bit it subsides some what... but the faint soreness is around all day. No fun. I feel a little more tired too. I took a fairly high dose of Solodyn the two months before Accutane and THAT stuff should be sold as a sleep aid because it made me SOOO groggy. The way i'm feeling now doesn't compare to that level of fatigue at all but i'm definitely not as energetic as normal.
My products haven't changed:
Washing at night only with Cetephil
Moisturizing morning, noon AND night with Burts Bees product (extra heavy application if I have to apply a little makeup)
and Burts Bees chapstick ALL day every day.
Here I am at the start of my 4th week. Yipee... Oh... I mean YIPEE!! I'm glad to almost have 1 month over with but honestly dreading the next 4 months after this one! My dryness is out of control around my nose, at the creases of my mouth and on my chin. I pretty much bathed in moisturizer before applying a little makeup for my dr. apt yesterday but after around 4 hours.. it looked a mess... I will probably look in to investing in a different moisturizer this week. I love the Burts Bees product i'm using but I dont think it's going to be 'enough' for the rest of my Accutane Journey.
My lips... they are wanting to crack... I keep as much chapstick on them as possible but lets face it.. I cant take a bite of my food.... lather on chapstick... take a bite of my food... later on chapstick... so they get gross in a hurry. They aren't painful... but they FEEL disgusting. I'm still using my Burts Bees chapstick and I like it because it doesn't seem to clump up or feel chunky on my crusty lips LOL. I've read about people using both Aquafor and Bag Balm so I'm going to do a little googling today to see about purchasing one of those products since i'm sure the lips are only going to get worse.
My skin: No breakouts so I think its safe to say nothing horrendous is going to occur with an initial purge. I can tell a small amount of bumps have been pushed out but they kinda flaked up and just went away. That only occurred a little on my forhead and in the crease of my chin. Aside from the knots under my skin there really wasn't any 'acne' to shove out tho. I finally feel like my staph infection is 'gone.' I realize you never really get rid of it but my bumps aren't painful or inflamed like they get when they are flared up wth staph. So a serious YAY to that. The small knot on my lower left cheek that was already in the heeling process when I started is gone. Cant feel it at all. YESSS... the eraser sized HOLE (thanks to staph) on my left cheekbone area is shrinking daily and is really only noticeable in direct sunlight and let's get real... I have basically taken up vampire status when it comes to direct sunlight LOL. Cyclopse like forhead bump also continues to shrink daily and I continue to cover it with my bangs. It's smaller than a chick pea now. The weird mushy quarter size LUMP next to my right eye (???) is also smaller... and also can be covered by bangs if I style my hair JUST right... I asked the derm yesterday WTH it was because it literally feels like a bag of water? (can you say disgusting) and she said it should fade as well. Curse this 'waiting' crap to h***. Man I need some more patience! And lastly... the unsightly knot (that was once two knots) near my mouth on the right side is still getting smaller by the day... SLOOOWLY I might add. I still cover this one spot with a beautiful round bandaid when in public because even tho it never came to a head.. it will sporadically 'leak' at the most inopportune times so better safe than sorry. PLUS... there is no covering it.. even tho it's smaller... it is large so... bandaid it is.
I dont feel sunburned anymore and my skin isn't flushed or red. In fact.. I am ghostly pale thanks to this 'no sunglight' crap. My gums also stoppped bleeding and for the last few days I haven't felt as sore and achy as I did??? so who knows. I stopped washing my hair so much which means less blow drying and heat straightening so it also seems to be less dry.... As bad as I hate to, since my hair is almost to my waist.. I think i'm going to cut a few inches off next week at my apt... just to keep it as healthy as I can.
I will keep you all posted as things progress.. Dr apt yesterday (weird that we did it at 3 weeks but whatever) went fine... all is good and I will be re-filling my Rx this week.
Well hello dry skin.. nice to see you. (sort of.) I took my middle sister to the dr. yesterday which meant being in public which meant wearing makeup. I lathered on as much moisturizer as I could before applying a little concealer and powder and it looked ok for a few hours. By the time we were headed home.. my chin was a flaky mess as was the area around my nose. I woke up this morning to a VERY dry face. My chin is peeling and the areas around my 'spots' (both cheeks) are flaky and will probably peel in a day or so. Luckily I have nowhere to be for the next few days. However I obviously can't hole up in my house for the next 18 weeks LOL.
As far as breaking out... still nothing crazy. On top of my excessive dry skin today..i noticed a few VERY Small bumps near my PROBLEM areas on each cheek... the new bumps are miniscule in size and nothing to worry about.
My newest side effect is.. (drum roll) bleeding gums. Nice hu? Brushing my teeth is rather unpleasant since my gums are suddenly mega sensitive? And when I went to brush my teeth the night of day 13 (i think) my gums bled like crazy? Something I have never experienced so I think it's safe to say the Accutane is to blame. Again... it's something I can live with. They aren't bleeding every time .. but i definitely have to be careful when brushing my teeth not to go crazy on my gums. The dryness in my nose is either not AS bad or i'm more used to it... who knows. Lips are a LOT more dry but not cracked. I keep them greased up 24/7. I even re-apply during the night.
I have one bump that during my first week acted like it was coming back. It has since subsided. I can still barely feel it under my skin (not that i'm touching my face or anything... ahem...) but it's not visible so that's nice.
(This parts gross... skip if you're weak stomached) Update on the two massive knots on my right cheek that are side by side. The one closest to my mouth continues to seep (I know... yuck) Odly enough what comes out of it is literally the equivalent of what's inside my Claravis capsules. I accidentally punctured one of my pills the other day trying to get it out of the words most difficult packaging and when i pulled my fingernail out of the capsule... I realized it was filled with an almost orange liquid?? What's seeping from this spot on my cheek is identical to that?? Weird! But i guess that's a good sign the 'stuff' is IN my system. The twin mountain beside that spot is smaller in size but nowhere near un-noticeable. I pretty much have to wear a tiny circular bandaid on the two spots when I go in public because the leaky one tends to have a mind of it's own. Fun stuff.
I haven't changed my products any... still washing morning and night with cetaphil. Moisturizing with Burts Bees and using Burts bees chapstick. Ready to reach the 1 month mark and see if there are any big changes to note.
I realize my original plan to "only post once a week" is out the door. I swear I wake up with new things to talk about daily so what the heck. I know I've said this before... but i'm still really surprised at my dose? Is ANYONE else here taking 80mg a day?? Maybe that's the reason why I literally have a new "side effect" every day? Not complaining... i'm just curious if anyone else is taking the same high dose as me?
Sunday my entire body felt sort of itchy? I've always been good about moisturizing after showers ect but I think I'm going to have to step that up a notch. My hair also seems more dry than normal? I say 'more dry' simply because my wacky Oklahoma climate keeps my hair a little on the dry side.. PLUS.. I blow dry and straighten my almost waist length hair so.. it gets it's fair share of heat LOL. I have made a note on my next store run to invest in some better shampoo/conditioner to see if that helps. The stinging sunburn like feeling is still there... but not as bad. I also woke up to a painfully dry nose? I swear I read on some blog (who knows where.. I swear i've read hundreds) that someone was using some special nasal spray? If anyone knows of that please do let me know. It's pretty awful and If it doesn't subside... it will drive me crazy.
My lips....although they aren't cracked by any means.. are DRY. I can lick them (out of instinct) and they instantly absorb it and dry back up. I have officially turned in to 'that accutane girl' who has chapstick EVERYWHERE: 3 tubes in my bedside table, one downstairs, two in my purse and one in my SUV. Odly enough... despite the itchy feeling...the skin on my face isn't totally dry. I'm sure I will get there though. Around my nose and in the small crease of my chin it's slightly flaky but that's it. I'm still putting on my Burts Bees Moisturizer at night but only on the dry spots because it is REALLY thick and makes me feel sort of sticky? Still washing morning and night with Cetaphil.
As far as breakouts.. nothing horrendous has occurred (thank goodness). I got two teeny tiny bumps in that dry crease on my chin but that's it? I realize I could wake up tmrw and be a wreck.. but i'm praying since this treatment has a lot to do with a staph infection that caused me to break out.. maybe there isn't that much to purge in my skin? IDK.. .. just a thought.
Now my mood... let me start by saying I am admittedly a pretty high strung person. I also have OCD and cleaning and organizing are pretty much my two favorite things to do. I DO feel like my fuse is a little short here lately though? My 3 year old, bless his heart... after already getting in trouble for throwing toys for fun... tossed his big stuffed alligator and knocked over my flavored water I was drinking in our bedroom. Red - of course. And on my nice.clean.carpet. My blood boiled. It lasted about 5 minutes... long enough for me to lug the shampooer upstairs and clean the mess then I was wondering why I had gotten so upset? LOL. No harm done... (well except the little trace of the stain I couldnt get out ha ha) but i know this is a result of this medcine. My reactions to things seemed to be heightened.
That's all for now.. Almost two weeks down.. Yay
I dont intend to update daily... BUT... a few things have changed just since my 1 week post yesterday so I thought I'd share:
First of all.. my face is RED. Although the sunburned feeling has downgraded to just a mild sensitivity... I woke up this morning looking very flushed. I dont feel warm or anything but i look like i'm running fever especially on my cheeks. Last night around 11pm I also noticed that my chin felt chapped? Almost blistered? It doesn't hurt per say but it's even more sensitive than the rest of my face. I put some of my burts bees moisturizer extra thick on that area and it seemed to ease the stinging feeling.I feel as if my eyes are a tad bit more dry than usual? I wear contact lenses and i catch myself blinking a lot to re-wet them. Altho dry eyes is minor compared to everything else we Accutane users face... i dread the thought of my eyes becoming to dry to wear my contacts! I hate wearing my glasses! Not for appearance reasons but merely because i am SO blind.. I feel disoriented when I wear my glasses... especially coming down the stairs in my house LOL. It's almost a funhouse effect. (But not fun) I bought some re-wetting drops before I even started the meds so maybe they will help.
All else is well. No breakouts YAY..
Yay! 1 week down19 to go LOL. I am a 5'7 female weighing 140 lbs taking 80mg of Claravis (40mg twice a day) Seems like a high dose to me?? BUT.. i'm not complaining since id rather take the agressive approach since i'm taking this stuff. Here is what I have experienced the last 7 days:
Day 1 and 2 I had headaches pretty much all day. They weren't the migraine type headaches that i used to suffer from but they weren't fun. I haven't had another since though so if it was the Claravis maybe it was just the initial shock of taking it. By day 3 I felt the early signs of dry lips. They aren't bad at ALL but i can definitely tell a difference and I am already depended on chapstick (i'm using burts bees). Also on day 3 i woke up to my face basically feeling sunburnt? By day 4.. my entire body felt burnt? It was odd and rather uncomfortable. Luckily... my body is back to feeling normal and my face is just moderately sensitive. Atleast it's not the itchy stinging feeling that i did have. I'm not experiencing any breakouts *yet* but i swear the cyst on my right cheek that was going away and no longer visible (thanks to an injection 3 weeks ago) feels like it's coming back? BOO to that. On a plus side... an additional cyst i have RIGHT next to that one... literally burst last night when i washed my face.. GROSS! I KNOW... but it's practically gone now. YAY to that.
I still have one small knot on my forhead that i can cover with bangs ha ha. One small cyst under the left side of my chin that you cant see but you can feel. and two disgusting OPEN sores on my left cheek? If you read my first blog you will know that I struggled with staph infection for 4 months which is what we think lead to this breakout of knots/cysts and what lead me to where I am today.. the Accutane journey -- Oh boy. Those open sores are a result of staph (lucky me) but they seem bettter and more dried out every day. whoopie!
On day 6 I had to make my dreaded 2 week grocery run (thank you Lord for bandaids to cover these sores on my cheek) and when i got home... no words can describe how bad my back hurt? I realize i'm not a teenager? But... i'm only 31 and in good health and NEVER had any back aches ect. Is the Claravis to blame? Who knows.. but it sucked. It's gone now though. My skin is actually more oily? I read so many people saying their skin is already flaky and dry at this point but mine seems to be seeping oil? Maybe it's just my body pushing that out of my body before it completely closes up shop? LOL.
I'm anxious to see what the next week has in store for me. Currently I am just washing with cetaphil morning and night and moisturizing with a burts bees face lotion. Since I no longer work.. I am fortunate enough to go sans makeup most days so that's a plus.
Here's hoping i'm one of the *fortunate ones* who doesn't experience a big breakout!
So I see a TON of blogs and but I haven't really encountered anything quite like MY story so I thought I'd share what's going on with me!
I have never had that ever so envious flawless skin BUT.. I've been fortunate in my 31 years of life (including my adolescence) to have decent skin. Occassional breakouts but nothing major and NOTHING I couldn't live with. About 10 years ago (like an idiot) I burned my left cheek with a hair straigtener... and I mean I BURNT it.. it was awful and nasty. It ended up getting infected and as luck would have it.. developed a staph infection. I battled with the nasty "spot" for maybe 2 months... and eventually it healed up. Left a dark scar that faded over time. I chalked it off to lesson learned... "be more careful with my skin" and went about my life...
Probably a year later I got a bump on my face almost in the same spot as the staph infection.... it never surfaced like a zit would and ended up being similar to a cyst. I went to see a dermatologist.. who injected it with a steroid shot and it pretty much took care of it. Only downside being.. my skins way of "healing" is to peel away layer after layer after layer which makes it VERY difficult if not impossible to apply makeup. Thank goodness for bandaids LOL.
Over the last 10 years I have had probably 4 isolated incidents of spots on my face that (despite getting injections) end up opening up.. seeping, and ... you guessed it.. testing positive for staph. (gross.. I know)
It's never a pleasant experience BUT... it always runs it's course with a little patience, a few bandaids and a round of antibiotics. No harm right? THEN the REAL trouble started....
In November (almost 4 mo ago) I noticed one of those irritating "bumps" popping up under the surface of my skin. On my "bad cheek" as I call it. I called the derm.. knowing that a shot would help the healing process and to my dismay they couldn't get me in for two weeks?!? I figured two weeks was really no big deal since I no longer work as an accountant anymore and i'm fortunate enough to stay at home with my youngest 3 yr old boy. Let's document this as MISTAKE #1.
Over the two week time span the bump grew... and it grew... and it got painful... and just when I thought I couldn't take it any longer.. the nasty peeling process began. (I thought this was a good sign that it was healing... boy was I wrong) In what seemed like overnight that one bump turned in to two and two turned in to three. ALL on the same cheek.
By the time I got IN to my appointment my face was (in MY book) a mess.. The three knots I had were gross.. two of them were basically open wounds and I knew before they even tested them.. I had staph.. AGAIN. They hit each bump with that shot I've grown to HATE.. and I went home thankful to know the end was near. BOY was I wrong AGAIN!!
In just another weeks time my three nasty bumps.. but even MORE gross... and one popped up on the other side of my face!? AT this point I was in full on panic mode because like I said... i've never dealt with this before. Let me just say to those of you out there that have dealt with this for years or your whole life... Bless your heart. I can't explain it to anyone who hasn't "been there" just how mentally debilitating the whole experience is. I consider myself to be an outgoing, confident individual... and for the last 4 months.. I have literally turned in to a recluse! I do NOT leave my house unless it's ABSOLUTELY necessary...
Before you think.. wow.. what a cry baby. Let me just say.. I made more than just that ONE mistake...
Mistake #2 was waiting another 2 weeks to go BACK to the derm.... they were flabergasted at what was going on. I know a few of the ladies who work there and they couldnt' BELIEVE the shape my skin was in. Over the course of 3 months I have done/ taken the following:
100 mg/day Spironolactone (Something I have taken in the past on a hunch that hormones were triggering the initial bump and then flaring up my staph) I like the pills because they make me shed water weight LOL
1600mg/day (yes you read that right).. i was taking 2- 800mg pills of Bactrim. (I have a hard time taking antibiotics and i'm allergic to doxycycline)
2 pills a day of Turmeric (just thought I'd give it a shot since i've read about it)
duac (does nothing)
epiduo (WAY to strong.. basically turned my skin in to raw flesh)
mupirocin (this DOES help with the open sores)
Aczone (I didn't really see anything fabulous happen from this either)
Kenalog facial spray (after the doctor thought I might have rosacea?)
one salicylic peel - MISTAKE #3!!!!!! This did not help AT ALL and i had a reaction to the procedure and developed LITTLE tiny bumps underneath my skin on both my upper cheeks...
24.. YES 24 steriod shots (IN MY FACE) thank goodness I only see one scar from that,,,
one kenalog shot in the butt (trying to take care of the tiny milia like bumps I got from the acid peel)
SO... almost 4 months later.. here I am.. a stressed emotional dissaster LOL. I did finally say to H*** with the idiots I was dealing with who I figured out.. were basically playing a guessing game with my condition. I am now under the care of a big shot dermatologist in Dallas, Tx over an hour away from where I live. She is putting me on an agressive round of accutane. I say agressive in that she's putting me on 80mg /day for 5 months and I only weigh about 140 so from what i've read and what she says.. thats agressive.
Thanks to a TOTAL screw up... I dont get to start the accutane until March 14th ( I was supposed to start it on the 21st of THIS month.. february) BUT... my info didn't get put in to the computer on the right date.. blah blah blah.. and IPledge says im not eligible until march 14th YAY.
Whew.. i'm exhausted from typing that.. hope there is at least ONE person out there that made it thru the entire post ...