So I've been on Bactrim for 5 months and just over a week, and I'm close to done with it as i start Tane tomorrow. I say close to done as i will be finishing off what pills I have left and take accutane at the same time, derm approved and even recommended to help with the possible IB.
In short Bactrim didn't really work for me, though this last month my skin has been behaving and I'd even reduced the amount to one tablet a day instead of two. Throughout taking Bactrim I had ups and downs but didn't see any consistent results. In my last blog I was pretty much done with it but was still undecided on taking tane and still had to wait to get my wisdom teeth out before starting anything new.
So tomorrow i start my roaccutane course and honestly I'm still a little uncertain. Earlier this week I even went to another dermatologist for a second opinion and evaluation of the options for my skin. In short she said due to my skins unresponsiveness to other treatments she would have also put me on roaccutane so that was slightly reassuring. She was actually pretty good but somewhat expensive (roughly double my other derm) and seeing as I still have to book my next appointment for my first checkup whilst on accutane I'm undecided on who I'll go see.( I sound somewhat indecisive which I hate, especially for little things, but I see this as a pretty big decision and want/wanted to have as much information as possible before making what I believe would be the best decision for me) Sidenote: I'm starting on 40mg per day as per my original prescription but new derm says she likes to start her patients on 20mg per day.
So this is the end of my Bactrim journey and tomorrow i start my roaccutane one, I'll start a new blog set and probably a log aswell. I cant think of anything else to write really but its late and if i think of anything else I'll update here.
For now atleast, because I wont start my course until the start of December at the earliest. I have to get a couple of wisdom teeth removed at the end of the month and the derm recommended i wait until my gums heal before i start.
So I'm still not 100% convinced on tane, as previously mentioned my acne is no where near severe, sometimes its even mild but its persistent. When i wake up with a new pimple i'm all like 'yeah, definitely need tane, had enough', then other times I wonder if I'm being too superficial and risking my health for the sake of clear skin.
I already have my prescription, it'll be 40mg for the first month then likely increased to 60mg beyond that, not sure for how long or if it will be increased again i just know that those would be my starting doses. Based on my loose calculations i'd need a cumulative dose of 9125 (73kgs) which equates to just over 60mg for five months. The lowish starting dose does make me a touch less apprehensive about side effects though I'm really only worried about the real severe long term damage ones.
So time to wait for around 4 weeks to start in which I'll change my mind multiple times about whether this is the right choice for me.
So had a derm visit to check my progress on Bactrim. As of today I've been on Bactrim for 4 months and in short: there’s been improvement in my skin overall but still had some bad weeks during those four months when I felt it was doing nothing at all.
Thoughts on Bactrim:
Underwhelming for the 'best' of the antibiotics and last step before accutane, especially for four months.
Some stomach issues whilst taking it
Appetite has been affected over the last month
So back to my visit. It didn’t last long, maybe ten minutes, most of it in which was in silence. He asked me how it the Bactrim was going and I told him what I wrote above. He was more concerned with the ‘results’ which I replied slight improvement. Then he said to me the same thing as last time, Bactrim or Accutane, its your choice. This resulted in silence as I deliberated and he just sat there. I asked him more about Bactrim and he said though there should be more improvement, but you really need to be on it 6-8 months to see if it will actually work. I asked him what he recommended and he was once again 'It's your choice', I even asked him the side effects of tane even though I already knew them. In the end he gave me the option of calling him after getting the mandatory blood tests done to make a decision. So that where I currently stand, I need to get my bloodwork done and call him with my decision and he'll send me the script depending on my choice.
Which way am I leaning? Right now towards accutane, that being said my acne is mild moderate, probably more towards mild but its persistent and scars which makes it look/feel moderate, I'm past the stage where i'll grow out of it, I'm closer to mid twenties than early twenties where i still had hope time would fix this. A year ago I had to go off the DKR regimen and the last thing i thought was that I would be here now, with this decision to make after having the worse year of skin in my life. Never more than the last 8 months have I obsessed and been so concerned about my skin and yet there have been days where i didn’t care at all. I laugh a little when I remember when my acne was truly mild and how a single pimple affected me and the state of my skin now, what I would give to go back to those days.
I'll try to book the blood tests for Friday, which pretty much means I'll do the accutane, but there’s still doubt.
I'll keep this reasonably short as there isnt much to report.
From the last update the oral thrush is gone, maybe a slight case has come back but there are no real symptons to confirm.
My skin is doing slighly better but after 11 weeks on this you'd expect results. Theres good days and bad days but overall the improvement is slight. Forehead doesnt break out much anymore but the side of my face and jawline still do. Especially my problem area on the right side of my jaw, atleast one new one a week and together with the scarring from previous breakouts it looks more moderate than mild.
I see the derm in just over a month, 5 weeks to be exact, and if not much else changes I dont think i want to stay on Bactrim.
So I wrote an update a couple of weeks ago and said how I'd only had one side effect from taking Bactrim (stomach issues), well at the time my mouth and throat we're a little sore and I thought nothing of it. Since then it had been getting worse, a few days after I wrote the update my tongue especially started to annoy me, felt like I had burnt it, it was extra sensitive to food (mainly anything spicy or salty) and food also didnt taste right. Decided to research and self diagnosed myself with oral thrush. At this point I actively checked my tongue and saw the other hallmark symptom of white residue near the back of my tongue. Called my derm about it last week and he sent out some information on how to do a lab test for results but that seemed like way more trouble than it was worth so I just went to a doctor today who confirmed I had oral thrush and put me on some oral anti fungal. Will call my derm tomorrow and update him on the situation.
Still breaking out but this week hasn’t been so bad, especially after having a particularly average week last week. 9 more weeks left which feels more like 9 weeks until accutane.
So I've been on Bactrim for a month and if i had to give a one word summary it would be 'underwhelming'.
That being said I havnt been on the full dose as prescibed for the whole month because i started slowly, just in case I had an allergy to Bactrim, by taking half a pill for a couple of days then a full pill for about a week before moving to the full dose of 2 pills a day. That makes it only around three weeks on the full dose.
So why has it been underwhelming? Well i wasnt expecting miracles, hoping but not expecting, and though I do feel like my skin is marginally better I havnt seen anything happening for me to get excited about. Even though my breakouts are a little less and pimples dont seem to last as long I'm still breaking out quite regularly, not to mention the PIH from pretty much every single pimple i get. Quantitatively I'd say a 10% improvement from when i started.
The only side effect I'm getting is minor stomach issues which means an extra visit to the toilet each day which is more of an inconvenience than anything else. I been trying to take a probiotic aswell but I have missed a couple of days, dont feel any different from them though.
I've got just over 11 weeks left on my course and right now it all just feels like a final hoop i have to jump through, partially my decision, before i take the plunge on accutane. We'll see though, I'll stay optimistic.
Edit: Another thing i wanted to write about is that being on an antibiotic has made me a touch slack with my routines. Nothing extreme as i usually have a great diet but I'm a little less fussed if I eat white bread instead of wholemeal and I've probably eaten a little less home cooked food, not meaning I've been eating junk and fast food, but I'll eat other 'take-out' like roast chicken or a pasta. Other little bits of slackness is having slightly warmer showers and water when washing my face, waiting an extra day to change my pillowcase. Like i said nothing crazy but minor changes from when I wasnt on Bactrim.
So I had my derm visit today, first time ever going to a derm for my acne. After the niceties and my background info he flat out said that as an adult, lol, i had two choices, antibiotics or accutane. A pretty big part of me wanted to take the tane but as you may have guessed from the title I'm going the antibiotic route, he also pushed them as a last effort before trying tane. I feel like i have to atleast try a proper antibiotic course first, though after reading about the side effects of Bactrim i might have felt more comfortable just going tane. (Worst case scenarios are stevens johnsons syndrome, bacterial resistance so bactrim cant be used for more serious things and possibly death, lol, but seriously google the severe side effects of this antibiotic and be scared) Add to this that my sister is allergic to bactrim, the possibility of me not completing the 16 week course is increasing. I plan on being extremely vigilant to any side effects due to the aforementioned and will stop immediately at any sign of allergy, hopefully my mind doesn't play tricks on me cause i already feel itchy and havnt even taken any. I also asked for a topical of some sort but he declined, disappointed, because i had told him of my allergic reaction to BP, will reevaluate this later cause i dont believe antibiotics are a long term solution to acne, will definitely ask for one if, IF, the course goes well and i need to taper off. Not much else i cant think to write about from the derm, except i forgot to ask about my self diagnosed keratosis psoriasis on the back of my arm.
16 weeks of 800/160 Bactrim DS twice daily with food. Also bought a pro-bitotic to repair some of the damage I'm going to be doing to my body.
Since I'm starting Bactrim I will no longer be taking 5g of B5 a day. I took B5 for 5 weeks, with 3g week 1, 4g week 2, 5g onwards. Results: I think there has been a slight improvement, my problem area has calmed a little and my face overall might be a bit less oily, my lips do feel and look a bit drier asswell. I've also recently done nofap/abstained completely for 50-odd days and i feel this did little if anything for my skin. Otherwise I did have a touch more energy, was definitely angrier but flatlined after about 5 weeks.
So off to do more research on Bactrim, undecided whether to start tonight (would only take one pill today) or start 'properly' tomorrow by following the instructions of 'twice a day', i feel like i should start tonight so if i do have an allegic reaction i can catch it faster.
This wont be too long as im on my phone. Also excuse the spelling and likely mistakes.
I cut dairy completely 3 months ago, i would usually have 250mls(a glass) of milk a day with my oats and the odd piece of cheese. During the three months that i cut dairy i dont think i ate any at all, i made sure there wasnt dairy in any of the sauces, toppings etc of whatever i ate. Personally, i dont think cutting dairy had any effect on my skin. During the last three months there have been 'good' and bad patches and dairy had been out of the equation the whole time. Also in the past i didnt see any correlation between dairy heavy time and bad skin.days or light dairy consumption and better skin days. So i dont think dairy has much affect on my acne and though it wasnt overly difficult for me to cut it is good to know.
Since my last entry ive also been experimenting with b5, started at 3g for a week then 4g for a week and now im at and will stay at 5g for the foreseeable future. There was a period where i thought i was starting to get results but then i broke out again. It hasnt changed my skin much but if i had to say if i was noticing anything it would be a slight, emphasis on slight, oil reduction. Slight.
So in 35 days I see the dermatologist, if I'd booked when I'd enquired last entry it would be a couple weeks earlier... Since my last entry I had a good patch of about a week where i didnt break out on my jaw, especially on my problem area, and felt i was clearing up a bit however over the last week I've gotten a couple on my jaw, including a really inflamed one on my problem area and four on my forehead(I did aggravate a couple of them by trying to pop them early though). Felt like one step forward, two steps back...
So over the next 35 day I sort of feel as if i can 'experiment' on my skin. Best case i improve my skin, worse case i break out more and possibly get Tane. Would i take accutane if given the chance though? On my bad days it'd be a yes, on my better days I'd like more information before i did but we'll cross that bridge if/when we come to it.(Felt I've written this before)
So I'm not going to do anything too crazy with my skin, the one thing i do want to try though is B5, i kind of tried it in the past but i didnt mega dose, i did like 2grams a day for 3-4 weeks, then lowered it, didnt see nay improvement and stopped. This time I'm going to start at 3 grams and gauge my skins response. I doubt I'd go above 5 grams at any time during my experiment though. Note: I have oily skin, my t-zone gets pretty oily during the day, usually within 6-8 hours of washing my face oil is visible and can be patted off. I'm probably going to cut back my ACV aswell to two tablespoons a day instead of four cause i dont think it's doing much and this will allow me to drink more water.
Just ate dinner aswell which was takeaway pizza and pasta. Probably going to pay for it, the pasta was pretty oily and pizza is pizza. I dont eat pizza at all really anymore, except for times like this, and I took off most of the cheese topping cause im still off dairy. Has to be 2.5 months now and it hasnt done much but i will persist for the forseable future. Not really missing it though having oats again for breakfast would be nice.
So I've been taking ACV for atleast the last 6 months. During this period my skin has been good, average and bad. I drink 2 tablespoons with roughly 400mls of water twice a day, usually around dinner then a couple of hours before bed. I dont drink Braggs (Though i did try braggs for the space of a couple of weeks at the end of last year and had a little breakout though i'm not sure of the cause) but i do drink a brand that contains the 'mother' (Melrose for those of you playing at home). I've recently opened a new bottle and I'm thinking when i'm done with this one i'll change things up a bit. I probably wont stop altogether due to the fear that if it is doing something if i stop i'll have some sort of breakout but i think I'm gong to cut back to 2 tablespoons in water with dinner only. Drinking ACV may also contribute to my slightly lower water intake. I usually drink 1.5L during the day and night along with my ACV(Roughly another 800mls of 'water') so I'm not sure if i hit the daily 2L of water required to be healthy and possiblty help to have clear skin. I only drink water and ACV water but I find myself struggling to get more water in at night cause i'm full of ACV. During the day i can easily drink a litre whilst doing whatever but then at night it's ACV time and i dont really fell like drinking much else after i've had my ACV.
On my skin: Since the last update I had a breakout on my forehead, the pimple that popped in the shower last entry that i annoyed kinda came back with vengance, two either side got inflamed and they all threatened to merge into a cyst like thing. I coated it with calamine lotion which i think helped and they slowly went down but now are flaring up a bit again. Why do they always come back in the same places? I also had a couple on my cheeks and my jaw is still being problematic. The breakout may have been due to the new foods i was trying out which is disappointing as I want some new thin s to snack on.
I called a derm that i have a referral to the other day, waiting period for an appointment is roughly 5-6 weeks. I'm going to call a couple of other places to gauge waiting time but I'd like to see one earlier then that. It'll be expensive as my insurance hasnt cleared and i may have to get a new, actually i probably will have to get a new referral if i can get an appointment at another derm. It'll probably be expensive but I'll just have to suck it up.
I like to use a hand mirror to look at my acne. I look at the wall mirror then angle the hand mirror so i can see the hand mirror's reflection in the wall mirror. If that makes sense? Maybe an easier way to describe what i do is i look at my acne via a mirror reflection in the mirror. Wait now im confused. Screw it, wall mirror, hand mirror, acne. I feel this way gives the best representation of how others see my skin. I use to not really care much when i did this cause i didnt really break out that much on the side of my face and what i saw when doing this didnt really change much from what i usually saw in the mirror, yet since i've started breaking out along my jaw doing this can make me feel worse about my skin. Yet this past week i havnt been doing it, mainly cause i havnt been able due to a lack of hand mirror. (Long story short i dont have access to my toiletry bag this week). Not closely examining my skin has had a couple of affects on me this week. Though I have not felt 'bad' about my skin this week i have at time felt a little more self conscious. With the mirror i felt like i knew exactly what was going on with my face and what it looked like, this week i've been a little bit more in the dark. I dont know exactly what im trying to say but not scrutinizing my skin this week has had both its advantages and disadvantages and i cant decide whether its been a positive thing or not.
Other things: I've made a couple of changes to hopefully help my skin. I've switched to a crystal mineral deodorant from a spray aluminum anti antiperspirant. I've started using cetaphil to wash my hair rather then head and shoulders. And i havnt been spot treating with calamine lotion this week cause its with the rest of my toiletries. Also had a bag of vege chips on Sunday, was only mean to eat half but ended up eating all of it, touch concerned it could break me out but my skin didnt do anything apeshit the following days except for one big pimple mentioned below. I'm hoping they dont break me out so i have something decent to snack on. Actually bought a bag of deli crisps, which are taro and purple and orange sweet potato baked like chips but preservative, gluten etc free. Finger crossed they dont break me out.
Skin: A couple little new ones on my jaw which suck cause the old ones havnt completely gone yet, i can still fell them when washing my face.aa really big one developed above my eyebrow but popped in the shower tonight so i got the head out afterward. I've had to use an old pair of reading glasses this week, once again due to toiletries, and where they sit above my ear i have a new pimple come up, my usual reading glasses i can angle so they dont touch my skin.
So its been a couple of weeks since i wrote last (Actually posted inbetween but got erased by the hacker incident)
I've pretty much been going through a re-intial breakout with AHA. Had quite a few little pimples on my acne-prone forehead which came and went in a couple of days (still left little scars though...) I also got a few on my jaw/underjaw/borderline neck. I never use to get acne here, well rarely, but since i tried lemon juice, drinking 1 whole lemon a day, my jaw has been breaking out like crazy, maybe i was detoxing but after one straight month and it getting worse i had to stop.
I've been a touch fickle, i was suppose to not add anything to my regimen and just let my skin calm down from the damage i've done to it this year but i've tried a couple of things because i feel like i need a spot treatment. I tried some old Sudocrem i had lying around from before i went on the regimen last year. Used it for a couple of days as a kind of spot/area treatment to see if it would do anything, but i didn't notice anything positive and stopped. Then a couple of days ago I found some old pure tea tree oil and thought it'd be a good idea to use as a spot treatment/mix with my aloe gel. I havnt used TTO since i gave myself contact dermatitis with a 20%(i guessed) toner i made from the TTO. Think using TTO might have backfired, where i've applied it the last couples day my skin has been pretty angry, redder than the surrounding skin and the texture is different. Also applied it to an old scar and now i have a small under the skin pimple forming.
Another note: I cut dairy about 6 weeks ago, and lets just say its been underwhelming. My skin hasnt really improved at all and my jaw actually got worse but thats due to the lemon juice. Really close to reintroducing dairy again, not like i ate that much anyway more for my cereal, but i might hold out for a couple more weeks.
And he hasnt since i was like 12, unless you count the odd bag of easter eggs which can be randomly found in the pantry. Santa doesnt visit me anymore either, maybe its cause i curse so much...
So its the easter weekend and along with that the easter/mid semester break from uni. Everytime this break comes around i find myself playing catchup on uni work. Each semester i tell myself this semester will be different, I'll go to all my lectures, i wont miss any tutes, i'll do my readings on time and be up to date, yet here i am, once again under a pile of work i need to do before i go back.
My procrastiniating isnt helping either, I worked out i'd need to average about 5 hours of work a day over the space of about 10 days to do everything i wanted to get done but i did about 1 yesterday after being tired from work(yes excuses) and i spent two hours today cleaning my room, my desk is alot cleaner and better for me to study on so maybe i can count some of that time... In case you were wondering yes i am procrastinating now, but im alos watching tv and finding an e-reading i have to do so atleast im multi tasking. I also realise whilst doing one of my reading that i'd already read this and skimmed ahead and realised i'd read that aswell, should take some things off my to do list, score.
On my acne, one of the under the skin ones on my temple has become full blown, should develop a head with the next couple of days, but its where others have popped up before and i think it'll add to the scarring already there... The pimples on my jaw rarely come to a head, they appear, 'lump up', flatten, then they go away and leave an annoying mark, looking at some its hard to identify the 'live' ones to the marks. I've also been back on AHA for a couple of days now and im wondering if there will be another initial breakout, i used it for 2 months prior, to a roughly 3 week break, and broke out initially for the first 2 weeks the first time, i hope it doesnt happen again but i kind of feel like my temple pimple could be part of an initial breakout. Not doing much this week so hopefully if there is one its over before next.
Not sure if i'll be able to keep up my one a day post tomorrow cause i doubt much will happen with my face so soon but i do get the random thought so who knows
So my current acne situation would likely be considered mild-moderate, i'd say i have about 7 active pimples on my face, 1-2 either just forming or dying(may have popped them) and the rest full blown. The scars make it look somewhat moderate. My acne is generally in my t-zone with some on my temples but I've only recently started breaking out along my jawline, possibly over the last month. Only thing that changed during this period was that i was drinking one lemon a day, i stopped that a week ago so if that was the cause i hope i stop breaking out there soon. I currently have three only the right side of my jaw and two near my cheek/sideburn area and not only is it extremely noticable (i can kinda hide forhead acne with my hair if i so please) but i get pretty noticable scars. Along with stopping lemon juice i restarted using aha, i dont feel aha makes me clear but i think it kinda helps and if anything it should help my scars.
Wash face with cetaphil
Tone with witch hazel
Apply aloe vera gel all over my face
Wash with cetaphil
Tone with witch hazel
Treat/Moisturise with AHA.
Spot treat with calamine lotion.
I try to use as cold as water as i can bear, not cold but colder than warm.
I drink roughly 4 tablespoons of ACV split between dinner and my second dinner.
1000iu Vitamin A
2500iu Vitamin D
1000iu Vitamin C
I eat pretty well, pretty much no sugar or fastfood, but i do occasionally have charcoal chicken or nandos but i dont think thats that bad, not processed so.... I also drink 1.5L of water a day and 600ml+ of ACV water a day. I do eat alot of carbs though for calories but im attempting to cut down on them. Also have cut all dairy over the last month(only had some with oats anyway) but my face has been at its worse over this period so may reintroduce 'dairy', one glass of milk a day, next week.
Change pillow case every other night and use a seperate face towel which is changed twice a week. Dont really touch my face but i will scarcth the odd itch and sometimes blot excess oil with tissues. Exercise 4 times a week, minimal cardio though and though my sleep patterns could be better i average 8 hours a night.
Cant think of anything else related to my current acne situation and what im doing for it so thats this entry done.
So I've decided to start a blog. I think it'll be therapeutic and give me a place to vent about life in general along with my acne. The anonymity is nice and I also like to procrastinate. Lets get started.
I'm a young male in my early 20's. I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia but am from an asian background. I'm currently studying at university but I'm not exactly sure where my life is going. I like sports, TV and reading when i have the time. I'm a bit of a homebody, acne plays a small part in this.
I've written about my acne in a short-lived forum log but here the cliffs with updates since then:
-Acne as every teenager gets, mild and just used over the counter topicals.
-Didnt go away with age and i really wanted it gone so went on Pro-Activ
-After a couple of years of that it was 'under control' but i still had pimples
-After one particularly bad breakout i decided to try the acne.org regimen
-Was on it for roughly 4-5 months before i developed an allergic reaction to BP, my face at the time was under control, more than pro activ, but still not perfect.
-In the 6 months since then(to today) my skin was average, nothing too bad but still annoying.
-At the start of the year I tried some new things and that was a bad mistake. Damn you asprin mask.
-My skin has been getting worse since then, had massive breakouts on my forhead and temple and they scarred like a mother.
-Now I'm breaking out along my jawline and under my chin which has been 99% clear(slight exaggeration) since forever.
Thats it for this entry, excuse the spelling mistake because they will be a few, wheres spellcheck when i need it...