I'm back! Okay, so there is lots to update on. First of all, my absence. In my last blog post, I said that I wasn't sure if the "red spots" would go away, so over the last however long it has been, I have not taken any pictures of my acne and tried to think of it a whole deal. I thought that this would give me a good chance to compare the photos. On top of that, I have been EXTREMELY busy and haven't barely had any time to spend thinking about my appearance. Anyway, Week 21. Nearly at 6 months...Scary! Over the Christmas break my skin has not changed very much. I'm still on 70mg and have had no active pimples or "volcanoes", just the very rare little bump in the face that goes away in a couple of day which has no monstrous insides or redness on the outside. My body acne is all gone and I'm feeling pretty well smooth all over. The side effects haven't changed a whole load. Dry lips, seriously sensitive to the sun, and dry skin which isn't really OVERLY dry anymore. I have recently got the addition of having a dried nose which pretty much gives me nose bleeds at least once a day. Not proper ones usually, just a little bit of blood. Nothing major, and nothing that bothers me too much. I went to the dermatologist on Friday (WITHOUT ANY MAKE-UP OR COVERAGE, MIGHT I ADD.... Not by choice though. Thanks Mum.) and we talked about when I will finish up, and what the results will be like. So he worked it out and I have to have finished at least 9 boxes of Roaccutane before I can stop (I think I am on 7-8 at the moment. We will be finding out soon) but he also said, and I quote "If you have any left overs, you may as well just eat them up too. I mean, you did pay for them after all." which I intend to do. We talked about my acne, and came to the conclusion that my face is technically clear of all acne. I asked him about the red spots and he told me that the discoloration of the pigmentation is actually bruising and that they will disappear about 2 months after stopping the treatment. Such a relief to hear that one! We also talked about my scarring, which still bothers me a fair bit, and he told me that it will continue to heal after the treatment and should all be cleared up in about 1 1/2- 2 years. If it's not, then I will come back to him and we will look into other ways to get rid of it. I'm all for natural healing, so I'm still pretty pleased that it's not permanent. He also said that I should be able to cover up all of my left hand sides scarring with some decent make-up, and most of the right hand sides which is also good to know. So overall, I'm pretty pleased. I still don't have that much confidence because the red spots make it look like I have acne still. But I'm super stoked that I can now wear singlets and dresses and everything else my acne stopped me from wearing, and my face feels so much better. I can't believe I managed to suffer for that many years. This treatment has really blown me away, and to be honest, I'm scared about what is going to happen once I stop. There's still nearly a month to go (Possibly more) so I will continue to update on here until the end of the treatment, and some time after. I will also be posting again when the red dots have gone, and may make a blog post every few months to see how my scars are improving. For now, it will stick to normal. I won't be going back to the derm now unless my acne comes back (God forbid) or if my scars haven't healed. It feels so much better not having to be so ashamed of myself and people have really started commenting on my skin now. I won't be entirely happy until my face is entirely clear, but I'm very satisfied with the results so far. Here are some pictures I took just before. I got a bit sun burnt yesterday, so that's why my face is so red.
Finally on time for once, woo! Last weekend I went camping and my goal was to not get sun burnt... Talk about a broken promise. All weekend I wore at hat, layers and layers of sunscreen, zinc and sunglasses, yet I still managed to get out of it looking like a lobster breeding ground. Because I got so burnt, my face is now peeling like theres no tomorrow, including places like my eyelids. So rank. Sun sensitivity is my biggest problem at the moment, especially now that summer is here. My lips are still quite dry, but nothing compared to the sun sensitivity. I honestly cannot express how bad it is. Have you ever laid out in the sun for hours and hours, then showered, and looked at your burn? That is me every single day, but not from laying in the sun; I'm talking about from walking class to class at school. Enough of the side effects. I'm really not sure if my skin is progressing anymore. Maybe? I don't know. I've got a new breakout on my forehead, but I think that might just be sweating from having my hat on for so long. Other than that, my face is almost smooth. There's lots of different colour splotches that I've always had that I'm not sure will go away. Does Accutane get rid of that kind of pigmentation? My scarring is definitely coming out a lot more now that my pimples are gone. Quite a confidence crasher if you ask me. Mind the peeling, please.
So, I've decided that I'm going to be featuring two weeks in one blog from now on. I really feel like the treatments drastic climax has reached its end, so now it's just boring. 3 months on Roaccutane! Woo hoo, halfway there! Nothing has changed really. My body acne is almost gone, I've had the odd occasional breakout, otherwise that's all fading pretty quickly. I've had a couple of breakouts under my chin, which may be because I forgot to take my make-up off the night before, but other than that, not much more has changed. I guess the redness has reduced a little bit, but the acne is still quite visible. My scars are very irritating, but I try not to think about them too much. Dry lips, of course. God, I can't even begin to explain the sun sensitivity though. I hurt my wrist last week, and had to wear a fabric bandage on it for a couple of days and now I'm stuck with a big, dirty tan line because the rest of my arms got burnt. I'm going camping this weekend, and my goal is to not get sun burnt at all. Slip, slop, slap all the way. Alrighty, see you all in a couple of weeks. Apologies for the crappy photos, I'm starting to get lazy with the blogging and I knew if I didn't take some form of picture, it would've never gotten done. P.S MY ACNE LOOKS WORSE THAN THIS! I PROMISE TO TAKE IT IN HD NEXT TIME! See you soon!
I forgot to post last week! I've been super busy, and it didn't cross my mind until just then. Any who, I FINALLY GOT THE EXTRA 10mg. It was a long and traumatic journey, but we got there in the end. So now I am currently taking 70mg per day, the set amount my derm had planned for me. It's all going pretty well. I have the occasional breakout, but otherwise it just stays calm. I feel like I've reached the stage where it's fighting the acne that I have had set for years, not just the pimples on top. My skin has definitely improved since I started this treatment, so I'm feeling pretty hopeful. My scarring is still pretty deep, and my spots are still there. My skin is still ridiculously dry and sensitive. My lips are still cracking and dry, but nothing else on top of that. It's all going well, so fingers crossed. Seriously crappy quality this time. Apologies, I will make up for it next weekend.
I almost forgot to post this, but then I remembered, TWO MONTHS! YAY!!! So, two months on Roaccutane. Hopefully it's going to be uphill from here on out. You'd be surprised to know that I finally got my script sent out, but it's the WRONG DAMN SCRIPT. So it will probably be another 6-10 years before the correct one will arrive. So, I'm still on 60mg. My skin isn't looking too bad at the moment. It is definitely smoother, for sure. I'm very, very dry all over my body though. My arms, my legs, my hands, my face. Every where. It's really gross but there's not much I can do but smother myself in moisturizer. My side effects are still there. Dry lips, fragile skin, very sensitive to the sun. I just want my derm to hurry up and send me out the extra 10mg, so I can get into it properly. My body acne is SLOWLY going away. I thought that would've been the first to fix up, but it's defiantly not going as fast as my face is. My confidence is gradually coming back. I'm so untanned from wearing long sleeve shirts all the time, that my whole body just looks like one big ombre. It's going to be a while before I'm comfortable enough to wear singlets in public again. Anywho, I'm not sure why but these pictures make my skin look a bit worse than it is. Hopefully I'll have my good camera back next week so you can get a proper idea of what's going on.
Seven weeks. 2 MONTH IS SO CLOSE, I CAN TASTE IT. So last week I posted that I was meant to be bumped up 10mg but my script had never arrived. SURPRISE, my dermatologists a douche. After not receiving the script which I was meant to start 2 weeks before that, we called the office ladies 2 times and they said they couldn't read his handwriting, so they couldn't help. They then gave us his mobile number, which we called 3-4 times before he was available to talk properly. He said he would send off another script soon. 3 days later, and still no sign of the script. It has now been 3 weeks since I was meant to start. When we called him up again to ask if he could do something about my script, he said "Who's Emilie?" Anyway, while that's getting sorted/not sorted, my skin has been pretty average. I went to see my Grandma the other day, and she said my skin looked a lot better and that it was actually "acceptable in society." I was like, what bitch? I've had 3 new breakouts this week. It's really funny because last week I had two pimples on my forehead, and I made a joke to myself saying that it would suck if I had a whole line of pimples in a row........Jinxed it. The side effects are more visible to me now. Obviously the dry lips have been easy to notice all along, but oh my god, my the sensitvity. I scratched my arm the other day and LAYERS OF SKIN CAME OFF WITH IT. I had a massive cut in my arm! It happened again every time I scratched. Now my arms are covering with little scabs, and it's so rank! Today I was plucking in between my brows, and my skin started peeling and bleeding. Pain in the ass! Other than that, it's been pretty good. I haven't brought any attention to it because I thought it was just a stage, but my chin has almost cleared up entirely! One of my main targeted acne areas is clear! I couldn't believe it! Here we go. P.S MY EYEBROWS ARE GETTING OUT OF CONTROL, AND THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO. WAAAH. Here we witness a new form of "bad luck" which goes hand in hand with "unfortunate coincidence" And here we have in smile because YOU GO, CHIN COCO. See you guys next week. 2 months! Looking forward to it!
SIXSIXSIXSIXSIXSIX. Okay, okay. So currently on 60mg a day. I was meant to be bumped up 10mg but my derms handwriting is so illegible that the script got lost in the mail. What is with health specialist and their crappy handwriting? Hello, I'm paying you $145 a visit, can you at least make it possible for a piece of paper to get to me? Anyway, my skin's kind of meh. I've had about 5 breakouts come up this week, and all of the have been on the right side of my face. It sucks. My lips have been super dry, as always, and I think I'm on the road to set the world record for "The Most Paw Paw Used". I didn't think that my skin was dry, but I scratched my arm today, and it literally ripped off a massive chunk of skin. Then I scratched my neck and it did the same thing, so now I know how fragile it is. The days are starting to get hotter, so I'm layering myself in sunscreen. I still burn very easily. Everything else is pretty good apart from all that. Nothing too serious, and nothing I can't keep under control. I just can't wait until I finish this treatment. I swear I take all my pictures as soon as I get out the shower. Excuse my eyebrows, please, I'm begging you. See you next week.
ONE MONTH AND ONE DAY. Officially into the second month. So at the moment, I'm still on 60mg a day, and sometime this week I'll be getting the script to go up to another 10mg. Not much has changed, except I'M FREAKING BREAKING OUT AGAIN. Ugh!! Every day I wake up with a massive pimple on my cheek, and it's always the same bloody cheek as well. I'm not really letting it bother me because I literally do not care about what my skin is going to look like from now on. Well, while I'm on this treatment at least. My lips are super super dry, but the rest of my skin isn't too bad. My arms and shoulders are starting to feel pretty dry, but no major issue there. I didn't put enough sunscreen on today while I was gardening, and despite my massive sunglasses and hat, I still got ridiculously sun burnt. My body acne is starting to go. I mean, of course now that I've said that it'll start flaring up and my whole body will be one big zit. No, it's getting there. Slowly, but surely. I forced myself to try on a singlet yesterday (something I haven't done for about 3 years, so it was a major deal) and even though I'm as white as a baby's ass, I didn't feel too bad about it. Shitty phone quality AGAIN. Sorry about that. I swear, if I start breaking out again when I get bumped up again, I'm going to HOUGIJOKFWHGJLFWFQ. Anyways, see you next week.
Yay, 1 month! Finally, it's over. So, I know I'm a few days late, but I haven't been home for a few days. Last Wednesday I went to the derm, and he bumped me up 20mg, so now I'm on 60mg a day. In two weeks I'm going to move up another 10mg, so I'll be taking 70mg, which will be the highest amount I'll take during the treatment. Not much has changed apart from my lips getting about 10x drier, and I've gotten a few more breakouts. My body acne hasn't really changed, but my face is a lot smoother now, minus the breakouts. My hair doesn't get as greasy anymore, and it's bloody great. So yeah, I took these pictures today when I got out the shower. Please, excuse the eyebrows (I haven't been able to wax them, as you would know).
Roaccutane: the medication that turns you into a pepperoni pizza. So three weeks down since I've started Oratane (Roaccutane), and it's been a bit of a roller-coaster so far. I've been on 40mg, in case anyone was wondering. Yeah, so last week I went through the initial breakout, and 7 days later, I'm still recovering. My skin definitely isn't as sore and inflamed as it was last week, but it's still pretty red and spotty. I've got to go to the derm in a couple of days for a check-up, and some more blood tests. My side effects haven't really changed. I went through a few days of not being able to sleep, but I think that may of just been the stress of having Mock exams. Thankfully, I'm back to being able to sleep like a baby again. My skin is super, super dry around my nose and my chin and no matter how much lotion I put on it, it just won't calm down. I went through a day where my lips weren't dry AT ALL, but the next day I woke up and they were cracked and bleeding, so I may of just got lucky. The sun sensitivity is still there, and I'm presuming it will be throughout the treatment. Roaccutane is very weird. I feel like over the last 3 weeks, my skin has gone through some dramatic changes, more than I have ever had in my life. It's a bit weird to see, but it's quite interesting. I'm also quite thankful of it right now as well, because when I wasn't taking any medication, I kind of just felt as if there was no point bothering to try and improve my appearance. Because you know, I had acne and I felt as if that was the biggest flaw ever, and that no one could ever look past it. Obviously, that's not true though, but you know how it is when acne gets you down. But now, because I know my skin is being taken care of, I can start exercising again, and I'm super thankful of that. So here is my current skin, after the initial breakout. Sorry the pictures are so low quality, I left my camera at someone elses house. See you next week. Let's pray that my skin doesn't get worse, haha.
Do you remember that course on Mario Kart called "Wario Stadium" where all throughout the track, you were faced with massive bumps to ride over? Well that's my face. Not only are there bumps everywhere, but if they were just the slightest bit bigger, I swear a car actually could drive over them. So week two on Oratane/Roaccutane. Probably one of the hardest weeks with my skin I've had to face in a long time. I'm guessing week three with be much of the same. In my last post, I asked whether people thought I had gone through the initial breakout. WELL I HADN'T. Not even remotely close. At this very moment, I am at the peak of my breakout. I have big, painful pimples all over my cheeks, and I woke up with 3 new ones on my forehead today. My body acne is kind of meh. It's not increasing, but it's not decreasing. I've been getting pimples in really weird spots though. At the moment, the prime target areas seem to be inside the ears. Yeah, I don't know. My skin hasn't looked so awful in months. I don't think it would've been as bad as it is, if I hadn't contributed to it myself. You see, I did the 40 hour famine over the weekend just passed. 40 hours without food, and can only drink water. I am also in the middle of exams right now, so I've been super stressed out about it. I also left my make-up on one night, so I'm sure that didn't help either. The side effects suck. My lips are so dry, and when I say that, I honestly mean that I have to apply lip balm every 10-15 minutes. I'm using a special dermatologist approved lip balm for severely dry and chapped lips, but even that can't control it. Paw Paw works quite well during those few minutes, but you know, they're just dry lips, I'll survive. My skin isn't actually THAT dry. Obviously it is when I don't put lotion on, but it's not as bad as it initially was. I'm using Natralia Nourish Naturals wash and lotion, and they must be some kind of miracle creams, because they make your skin feel so good. Over the last few nights, I inhabited a new side-effect: I cannot sleep at night! It's great because I'm in the middle of exams, and who needs sleep, right? No, but seriously, it's driving me nuts. Over the last 3 nights, I don't think I've had more than 7 hours sleep. I'm exhausted, yet my body just refuses to sleep. Hopefully this side effect stops because that's the last thing I need. In my last post, I said I was experiencing excessive hairiness. Not really anymore, but I am still very, very sensitive to the sun. I've also noticed that my hair doesn't get as greasy as fast anymore, which is a bonus. After a few hours my hair used to look like I've dipped it in a deep fryer. Hopefully it stays like this, or even better, gets rid of my greasy hair all together. So, these are the pictures I took last night. Brace yourselves. These pictures do not do any justice to how bad my skin really is. Anyway, see your next week.
So, first week of Accutane (Or in my case, Oratane) accomplished. ONLY 5 MONTHS AND 3 WEEKS TO GO NOW. Anyway, in my last blog post, I was on a low dosage of medication, waiting for my blood test results to come in. I got them a few days after posting that, and all was clear, so on Monday, I started Accutane. I'm currently taking 40mg a day, and I'm on it for the predicted 6 months, like most people are. It's been okay so far. It took a couple of days for the side effects to kick in, but when they did kick in, IT HAPPENED ALL IN ONE GO. First of all, it started as dry lips, and I was like, "Yay, that means it's working!" so I didn't let that bother me. Then my skin dried out REALLY REALLY FAST, and I felt like a damn crocodile. I'm using some dry skin lotion and a dry skin wash once a day to keep it under control. It was really awkward though, because my skin was peeling right between my eyebrows, and it looked like a had a nasty ass flake unibrow. The next side effect was the nosebleed. Only one, and it didn't last very long. I haven't had another one for a few days, so hopefully that lasts out a bit. Then the next one was excessive hairiness, and it is not attractive! It's like I have light fur all over my face and neck, which I never had before. I feel like a damn Chewbacca. You'll probably be able to see it in the photos I'm about to post. The last side effect is how sensitive I am to the sun now. I forgot to wear sunscreen yesterday, and now I look like a raging beetroot. I was outside for 10 minutes, for gods sake! But yeah, lesson well learnt. So everyday on my calendar, I write down how bad my acne is: 1-10. 1 being fully clear (apart from scars) and 10 being a total pizza face. Mid-week, I was an 8.5, which was when I thought I was going through the initial breakout. I still don't know whether it has happened all night, so any opinions would be appreciated. Today, I rated it a 7.5. My face doesn't feel as lumpy today, but my god, my back, neck and chest acne is going OUT OF CONTROL. It is disgusting! The whole back of my neck is covered in them, and so is my chest. Not fun. But hopefully it's going to pass. I switched cameras, so now we can see my acne in HD. Yay! So this was what I thought was the "initial breakout" (Look at my furry face and chapped lips! Haha!) (The redness didn't show up as much in this photo.) These were taking today, a few hours ago when I got out the shower. So what do you think? Does that look like the initial breakout? Leave me a comment. See you next week!
First posts are always the scariest. It's like the before to your after, you know? So I'm sure that most of you continually scroll past hundreds of posts saying "Day 1 of my acne treatment!" Well this is another one of those. Not so much for everyone to read, I mean you're welcome to read it, but mainly for myself as I plow through (hopefully what will be the last) of my acne treatment. Okay. So first, I'll start with my past and acne. I am currently 15 years old, the prime teenage years. Most people at my school, they get a few pimples here and there. Mostly, I see clear faces all throughout the day, AND GOD DAMN AM I JEALOUS. My skin started when I was in year 6 (when I got to about 12 years old) and I broke out all along my T-line. Mainly on my forehead, and NEVER on my chin or cheeks. My mum just said, "Oh it's just puberty starting." which was all good. A little earlier than I hoped, but whatever. Year 6, kind of got a little harder. My hormones were in full kick, and I had an on-going amount of pimples. I am about to tell you something, and I swear on my life this happened. One day I said to myself "Having pimples on my forehead sucks, but at least I don't get them on my cheeks." I kid you not, the next day I had breakouts all over my bloody chin, and all over my cheeks, I was well pissed off! My forehead pimples started to disappear, but my cheeks and chin continued to turn into a nice big pizza resemblance. After a few months, my forehead was entirely clear (apart from the minimal scarring that I still have today) and my acne has started. I began piling on foundation, and just hoped that it would go away so I could stop wearing make-up. I entered high school as a pizza. I, along with a lot of people in this situation, got bullied quite a lot. Year 8, was probably my hardest high school year (but this one is quickly becoming the worst). My skin was awful, and my self-esteem was spiraling downwards. By this stage, I had tried all of the store-bought skin treatments. Clearasil, Clean & Clear, Proactive, Nivea, Olay, you name it, I've tried it. So as my skin continued to blossom, I kept picking. Now don't go telling me "It's so bad! Don't pick your pimples" because we ALL pick our pimples. Nobody wants to see a whole load of custard pimples (My slang for whiteheads) sitting on your face. My scarring had started all over my cheeks, and the acne was spreading all down my shoulders, back and neck. By summer time, all I could do was sit in long-t-shirts all day, with my hair fully covering my neck. I was getting teased so much at school. I refused to go on any excursion because I was so scared I would have to wear bathers. My mum took me to the doctors, and I was put on some antibiotics (I can't remember the name.) After a few months of not seeing a change, I went back to the doctor. He prescribed me a different load of antibiotics, and a cream called 'Resoncinol.' It was very strong, and because I have sensitive skin, it literally burnt off my skin. My face was just layers of peeling, irritated skin. I had to stop after a few weeks because it was just getting too harsh to use. As I went into Year 9, I completely gave up on my looks. I had no self esteem AT ALL. Most morning I would wake up, have a shower, leave my hair as it was, put on some foundation, and walked out the door with dripping wet hair, dry skin, a disgusting face and a body loaded with pimples. When summer came, I just stayed in jumpers. It was so hot, but that was the only thing I was comfortable in. I avoided going out, and by now my tan was absolutely disgusting and uneven. My back pimples were still there, and there was no way in hell that I was going to wear a singlet. After 2012 finished I promised myself that I would get my skin sorted out in 2013, and that I would have no pimples by 2015. Which, I still stand for. At the start of the year, I went to a different doctor, and she prescribed me Duac. I was on it for a few months, and all it did was made my skin irritated, sore, and gave me about 2x more pimples than I originally had. When I went back, she told me, "No, no. Just keep going, it will work." I was really pissed off. Why would I keep going when I knew it was doing more harm than good. She said to me at the end of the appointment, "Also, don't wear make-up anymore because it will make it worse." I was so angry at that, I walked out and ripped up her stupid prescription for more Duac. I didn't really do much for my pimples after that. I used Clean & Clear every day just to keep it clean, but other than that, it was slim to none. When I went to England in July, my skin spiraled out of control. It was RAGING. My self-esteem had never been worse. I felt disgusting and hideous. I was also going through a stage of being bullied online by people back at home due to some problems I had recently had with some friends, which made me feel even worse. I honestly just felt like total shit. One day on the holiday, I skyped my Mum and cried to her saying, "Mum, my skin is so bad. I can't handle it anymore." And she promised me that when I got home, we would sort it out. A few weeks later, I found myself sitting in my old doctors office, begging him to help me. After being recommended Roaccutane by a load of different friends, I asked him about it. "Your skin is the type of skin that would respond really well to Roaccutane." I WAS SO EXCITED. FINALLY! "... But" he said, "You're going to have to fail one last round of antibiotics, so I can send you to the derm." I was then prescribed Minocyline tablets, and Differin. I'm going to be honest, my skin was doing OKAY. It was gradually being brought back to how it was before I went to England. I had been taking two twice tablets a day, every day for two weeks. On my third week, I looked at the bottle and it said "TAKE TWO, TWICE A DAY FOR TWO WEEKS, THEN TWO ONCE A DAY FOR A WEEK." Shit, I was meant to be taking 4 a day! I told my Mum, and she said to just start taking four. I was taking four for a few days, then I started breaking out in a rash. A few hours later, and I was itching everywhere. I was out at a Uni open day, and all I could do was scratch and yelp like an injured dog. When I got home, I went for a shower (A hot shower -.-) and when I got out, it was about 3 times worse. I was screaming and scratching and it was just so bad. I hadn't touched, eaten or done anything different to what I usually did, and the only thing I could think of that would of caused it was the Minocyline. My mum went out an bought me some antihistamines later that night, so I was able to get to sleep without ripping my skin off. The next day at school, I was in so much pain. My itching had started again, but worse. I was itching so much that I started bleeding all down my arms and legs. My neck was as red as a tomato. My teacher sent me home, and I dosed up on some antihistamines. Two days later, I went to see my derm. He said the allergic reaction would of ended, and he said that I should go on Roaccutane. Wow, I almost forgot. MINOCYLINE MADE ME DEPRESSED. No, it's not one of the side effects, but I have never felt so crappy in my life. Every morning after I would take them, I would turn into a complete bitch. Night pills were the worst. I suffer from anger management issues, and when I took Mino at night, it would make me majorly aggressive, and super super depressed. The few days that I was off Mino (when I had formed the rash) I had felt so much better, and was back to laughing and feeling happy. It is not mentioned as a side-affect, so just beware of that if you're planning to go on Minocyline. Anyway, it has been 6 days since I went to the dermatologist, and I am on a small dosage of Oratane (practically the home-brand version of Roaccutane. Same active ingredients, yadda yadda yadda) and using dry skin face wash and lotion. If my blood tests are clear, I will be moved up onto a higher dosage. I hope it is the "miracle" drug that everyone said it is. I am ready for the side-effects, and I am so prepared for the upcoming months. My lips have begun to dry out, so hopefully that means it's starting to kick in. But honestly, I don't know if I have it in me to go another 5 years or more with acne. I just need it gone, and this is my last option. Acne has been getting me down for my whole teen years, and I can't stand it anymore. These are the shots I took before I started Oratane. (The pictures don't really show how bad the scarring and redness really is.) Obviously, I look like crap in these photos, but oh well. That's the point, I guess? So there you have it. My "before" post. If you managed to read all that, I applaud you. I'll be writing again if I get moved up to a bigger dosage. Hopefully, all goes well.