Well I'm just a few days away from my 50 day mark. And halfway there to my 2 month mark. I haven't really posted because not much has changed. My skin looks like shit. As far as cysts go (the ones I got on my IB) all dried up but have left red marks. I'm continuing to get whiteheads, particularly around my chin and lower cheek area. It's so depressing. I have so many red marks and the pimples take so long to heal. I just hate the way I look with acne and I wish I could go back to the days when I had clear skin. When will I get my clear skin? Why are the red marks prominent and not going away?
So depressed. The cysts aren't even finished healing but I got 4 more whiteheads this week. On accutane they look so much worse and so inflamed. I know it will get better but this is so depressing. When I'm not wearing make up it looks like I have the chicken pox. Why. When will I start seeing results.
Alright, update. It's easy to get upset and thinking about how much my skin sucks. This week has been an emotional roller coaster. I developed like 5 cysts on my chin and nose area, in addition to other various ANGRY whiteheads. It sucks, and it hurts. Luckily they seem to dry up quickly and the cysts from last week are practically gone. I got one regular pimple on my forehead (which has actually been pretty clear) so I spot treated and I'm hoping that will disappear. While the cysts are no fun, I have really seen a dramatic improvement already in my skin texture. My blackheads are disappearing rapidly and my skin looks so much smoother. Blackheads on my cheek (which were everywhere) are practically nonexistent. I know it gets worse before it gets better so I'm trying to deal with the pain and keep my head up, keeping that prospect in mind. Now that I'm done with the one month mark, I'm looking forward to finishing the initial breakout and expecting clearing. Hopefully really soon.
So I've officially hit my three week mark, and it seems as though what I previously thought was my initial breakout...was not. It's actually quite hilarious how awful my skin is right now. The only thing getting me through it is the prospect of clear skin which Accutane pretty much guarantees. At least I can tell it's doing its job...so I can't complain there. Currently I have three fairly large cysts on my chin. Which rarely happens, at least not so many at the same time and not on my chin. They aren't even really inflamed, just painful lumps that are visible, even through make up. I've developed one pretty much every day. Today's new addition is on the inside of my nostril. Weird. As far as skin texture though, everything is really dry, and all of my blackheads are chilling on the surface of my skin, dried out and rough. Hopefully they fall off soon? My pores are the same way, just clogged, raised, and dry...the texture is awful and it looks terrible up close. I have a few small whiteheads- around my nose and on my right cheek (1 or 2). I'm hoping this IB doesn't last for long...and I hope these blackheads and gross pores improve soon!!!!!! Has anyone dealt with this before? Pictures in order- right cheek, chin, left cheek, nose, forehead. Thoughts?
So, as of today one of the cysts on my cheek looks as if it's going to come to a head. Not sure if that's a good thing. Sort of just want it to disappear. Have another small pimple on my forehead and another medium-sized zit on my chin. Besides that, the texture just looks awful. My pores all over are very raised...like everywhere. On my forehead I have defined small bumps, on my nose tons of blackheads, even under my nose blackheads seem to have come out of nowhere. The smaller clogged pores on my right cheek are starting to raise into skin-colored bumps, I'm not sure if they'll become inflamed or just flake off with washing. I guess we'll see. Skin is so. dry. I had a hard time washing my face and taking off my powder because it just stuck to the dry skin. I used my electric facial brush which seemed to help. I'm really just so ready for my skin problems to go away. I hate having to wear make up so much and be scared of fluorescent lighting. Oh and I'm putting chapstick on every hour. Really hope the IB stops soon. woidlkweuwiofejlkd. Encouragement would be much appreciated.
Today is day 12! Think I'm experiencing the initial breakout. As of yesterday I'm taking 50 mg per day of accutane, 30 mg in the morning and 20 mg in the evening. Last night when taking off my makeup I had 3 pimples on my left cheek, one or two of which is a cyst, 2 on my forehead (which is almost always clear), one on my chin, and then today two more on my upper lip and at least another on my right cheek. This absolutely blows. I'm hoping this is an IB, as I don't normally breakout on my forehead like this and it is nearing the end of the second week. I'm just hoping it goes away soon since my acne is never this bad and was mild to moderate to begin with. Support and any useful information would be SO APPRECIATED. This is so depressing, I can't even look in the mirror.
The dryness definitely kicked in today on my lips. I felt like I was applying aquaphor constantly. No big changes in my skin...a lot of the closed comedones seem to be coming to the surface, or are at least close to doing so. My face is dry in certain areas, but by the end of the day, becomes shiny. Any whiteheads were just clogged pores. We'll see if hell breaks loose soon.
Today is my 4th day on 20 mg. My skin is pretty much the same as yesterday, though there is visible peeling and a few of the clogged pores I have are beginning to look like they'll be coming to the surface sometime soon. Nonetheless, I woke up with a whitehead in between my eyebrows, one just under my nose, and an under the skin pimple on my nose, which is not visible and not even painful unless I touch it while washing my face. I've decided to upload pictures so you can see what my skin looks like now without make up. I still have large pores, clogged pores, blackheads, hyperpigmentation, and now redness and dry skin from the Accutane. Yay. Here's to hoping I'll begin to clear after my first month. Praying, really. I heard the initial breakout isn't as bad for those with milder cases but nonetheless I'm terrified of what awaits me. Support welcomed! I also think my skin might look a little bit better in these pictures. Oh well, I guess we're our own harshest critics.
I have just begun my first (and hopefully last) treatment of Accutane to address my mild/moderate acne. I am a little bit apprehensive, as prior to beginning this treatment, I was able to get my acne a bit more under control. However, this was only achieved through using 10% bp face wash every evening, 2% SA in the morning, not really moisturizing, taking antibiotics (which I have been on consistently for the past 6 years), and B5 supplements, IN ADDITION to cutting down significantly on my dairy intake. Nonetheless, though under control, the acne still continued to give me problems, particularly during menstruation. Taking supplements and all of these ridiculous measures to only partially prevent acne outbreaks became exhausting. I tried everything- various antibiotics, which, unfortunately, I became immune to, tretinoin gel, clindamycin topical, gentle cleansing- and these have either only temporarily helped my skin or caused purging that lasted for over three months, leaving me with awful red marks (though luckily no substantial scarring.) My mom took a course of Accutane when it first came out, after dealing with cystic acne during grad school, and she never relapsed upon finishing her course. So, after visiting with my dermatologist, I made the decision to also go on Accutane, aware of all of the side effects which await me...including the "dreaded initial breakout." Right now I currently suffer from a few closed comedones, particularly concentrated on my forehead, a few current whiteheads, and cysts, which usually only occur during that time of the month.
Today is my third day of taking Accutane, 20mg per day. I will be taking 20 mg per day for 5 days, 30 mg for the next 5 days, and then 50 mg (30 in the morning, 20 in the evening) after that, unless my dermatologist decides to increase my dosage throughout the remainder of my course, which we expect to last five months.
I've heard horror stories about Accutane, particularly regarding the initial breakout, but I'm prepared for the side effects, however depressing they may be. I've been suffering with acne for six years; I can deal with worse acne for another 2 months or so during the IB if it means clear skin for the rest of my life. I'm tired of avoiding people's gaze and applying full-coverage foundation around friends. I hope to one day look in the mirror and see my features without immediately searching for flaws in my skin. I am one of those people who always has control over what's going on in her life- acne is the exception. It has prevented me from going out with friends or on dates in the sunlight, for fear that up close people will not find me attractive. I'm also kind of bitchy to people because I'm so self-conscious. I don't like being this way, and I can't wait for Accutane to clear my skin and give me my confidence back.
So, with that being said, here's my Accutane log. I'm not sure how frequently I will be updating. At least once per week, to keep you updated on my progress, but perhaps more if needed emotionally, ha.
My current regimen is-
Dove sensitive skin bar
Sunscreen if going out
I wil probably add moisturizer as skin dries up more
Dove sensitive skin bar (2 washes if I'm wearing foundation)
The sunscreen was given to me by my dermatologist and is geared for people who have just received a procedure. The moisturizer is packed with Vitamins C and E and called Dermal Repair Cream, by Skin Medica. I am a little leery of this, as it does contain Algae Extract, which I have read can be highly comedogenic. Nonetheless, it was recommended to me by my derm, and I'm not sure how much its being comedogenic will even matter once the Accutane kicks in and my skin is craving moisture. I'll welcome anyone's thoughts on this!
Today is my third day of taking 20 mg. My lips began to feel much more dry, even by the end of day 1. I expect this is because I live in the desert and I am also a fairly small female (5'6.5'', roughly 115 lbs.) On day 2, my lips felt the same, maybe a little more dry. I also noticed some light though visible dry skin on my cheeks, particularly around my nose. On this day, one cyst I had had above my mouth formed a whitehead, which is still there on day 3. There was also a miniscule whitehead right on the edge of my upper lip which is no longer there today. I'm going to do my best not to pop any of the whiteheads, as I know that spreads bacteria. I haven't really popped any all summer; most which are ready to pop just do so on their own while I'm washing my face. This may have been the case with this whitehead on my lip. Today is day 3. On my upper left cheek (which is where I develop my cysts when I get them), I developed another pimple. I'm not sure as to whether it's a cyst, but as of right now it has not formed a whitehead; it just looks like a splotch of red. I put some neosporin on it, which has helped decrease the pain. In fact, I can barely feel it. I am also going to use my pimple zapper on it this evening. Overall, my face looks pretty flushed, particularly in my cheek areas...which sucks.
Besides the aforementioned pimples, I just have a few closed comedones on my forehead, verrrry few on my cheeks and chin, blackheads on my nose, enlarged pores on my inner cheeks, and red marks left over from previous breakouts. Bleh.
I should probably add that sometimes, upon consumption of peanut butter, I get a cyst or two. Yesterday I had some peanut butter. It may or may not have provoked the angry pimple on my cheek today. Or, it could just be a result of the Accutane.
Today I made it a point to eat very well, eliminating dairy completely (which I've been doing for weeks anyway), substituting almond butter for peanut, and mostly just consuming fruits and vegetables, with verrrry little gluten, if any. I certainly feel better, but it may or may not have a positive effect on my skin.
I'm hoping my initial breakout will just happen this week, or during my first month. I go back to college at the end of August and hope I've reached my clearing phase by then. I really want to get more involved on campus this year, socially and otherwise; acne has held me back from doing so in the past. I will be a junior this fall.
Anyway- I will keep everyone posted! If anyone reads this, of course...