Just a quick update--still on Minocin. I quit using aczone right off the bat because it was making my skin worse so I've been using Tazorac pretty diligently and that helps. I would like to get off my pills though because I don't want to rely on them and they're not good for me.
So my skin has not been doing well. In April/June I started breaking out around my mouth and chin area and nothing was really stopping it. I would just get one after another. I started using my brothers proactive treatment morning and night and it only worked okay, but still wasn't preventing new breakouts and eventually it wasn't even drying my skin out. Then I went to the beach for a week and didn't get one new pimple. I don't know if it was the sun, the chlorine, the ocean, or zero stress but my skin looked great. Right after I got back the same old story. I decided to make an appointment to the derm and he put me on aczone (been there done that) and minocin (also been there done that). Aczone never worked for me before, but he wanted me to try again. As for the minocin, I haven't been on an antibiotic in a very long time so I thought my body would respond well to it. Within 2 days I saw a difference and my skin was near perfect and no new actives. I hit the one week mark and everything changed. I am breaking out really REALLY bad in the same areas and I'm also getting sores in my mouth..one terrible canker core and one place where my gum is irritated and prone to bleeding. I also have a swollen lymph node. I think I may be having a bad reaction to the antibiotic, but I'm not certain. I don't know if I should wait it out or what. I'm hoping this is just hormonal since I'm on my period or maybe an IB? Of course that doesn't explain the mouth sores. I'm going back to tazorac at night because these pimples are disgusting and the aczone doesn't seem to help. Acne needs to die.
My skin has gotten a little better since my last entry. I have only cleansed with oil a couple times--instead I have been using my Panoxyl BP wash and it seems to be helping. I also have been trying to drink a LOT more water. Just wanting my perfect skin back!!
So my skin isn't doing so hot right now and it has been this way for maybe 2.5 weeks now. I've only gotten a couple of VERY small pimples...well more like itty bitty red dots that never looked nasty or came to a head. But, I have sooo many clogged pores and blackheads! My entire chin, under my bottom lip, and under my nose is awful. I had a few blackheads before, but this all kind of became worse when I read about this thing called the "oil cleansing method" or OCM. I haven't used any castor oil (maybe I should be) but I have been experimenting with plain jojoba oil. After the first couple times I did it, I LOVED the effects which made me want to do it more and more. My skin was so soft and my makeup looked much more flawless. Next thing I know I'm getting all these blackheads. I don't know if they were already there deep in the skin or if they just developed. They appear to be very close to the surface so I WANT to believe that the OCM is actually helping, but I can't be sure. I am going to continue doing it every once in a while and see if this is just a purging phase and see how things look in a couple weeks, but I will be keeping a close eye on things. Feeling worried and scared.
Still clear for the most part. Still have same stuff as my last entry, some clogged pores, blackheads, but it's whatever. I haven't had one legit pimple, or anything close. I haven't really been following a regimen or skincare routine (I probably should be). For the most part I've just been washing my face with one of 3 soaps: My all natural oatmeal and honey soap, cetaphil, or my 5% BP soap. And then I will follow with a moisturizer. Nothing special. I know I should be using bio oil or the cocoa butter oil every night for scarring, but I haven't been. My scars still annoy me, but I am still grateful for the results and my face has a nice glow.
Quick update: No breakouts or blemishes since I've been off. ZERO pimples! I have some blackheads kinda between my eyes or a little higher and some clogged pores I guess around my nostrils, but it's manageable. I have started to slowly use a BP wash and a salicylic acid pad around on my blackheads at night time. Still moisturizing day and night. My scars seem to be getting a little better, or maybe I'm just getting used to them. But overall, I am very pleased with the results. I am going to keep a VERY close eye on my skin though because there's no way I can do a third cycle.
So ready to be off this stuff! I have 3 more pills from my 4th month and then I am getting my last script filled for the 5th month, I was hoping my doctor would let me stay on it longer, but he acted like he didn't want to. Ugh. I am still excited that the end is near though. My doctor acted like my scars would get better on their own and he said they weren't that deep. So I am a LITTLE hopeful that once I'm off this medication my skin will thicken back up (since people's skin gets thin while on the meds) and will make those scars look a little better. I am so tired of being pale. I also hate how accutane makes my face appear almost translucent. It's freaky. I can always look back at old pics and it's so obvious from when I was on accutane before because I looked weird. Accutane also makes my lips and gums red which is NOT attractive. SO SO SO ready to get back to normalcy!
Nothing is really happening. Red spots are not fading at all...maybe because I'm in the sun every day for work, but my makeup has SPF 15...guess it's not enough. Disappointed about that. I am such a crater face. My skin looks sooooo bad when I'm in the sun, you can see every single scar. I think I am definitely going to need a laser treatment or something after all this is done and over with. Feeling very discouraged. However, no breakouts or blemishes. Doctor appointment this Thursday.
Nothing much to report still. Eczema is back again...yuck. Still have the same joint pains. Using bio oil every night... not sure it's doing anything. But it might be lightening up a scar on my leg. My skin is really soft and it's perfectly clear right now..though it looks ugly with all the marks and scars. I want to be off this stuff so bad, but I will stay on it longer this cycle if that's what the doctor thinks because I do NOT want to ever do this or fight with acne again.
So my skin looks the same as when I last reported. No changes really, which is sad to say. I have one pimple up near my eye/temple area and I had a couple white head things above my lip that are now scabs trying to heal. I am a little concerned because my side effects seems to be subsiding. My eczema is gone...I don't know maybe that's all. I just am worried my body will get used to the meds and they won't work. I don't want to have to bump up my dosage if I don't have to. I have a derm appt. in 3 days. Cocoa butter oil doesn't seem to be doing crap. Going to buy bio oil very soon. Spirits are not very good. No big changes in my skin and I am a ghost. Face is still covered in dark spots and scars. Oh...and I can't seem to get healthy. I have been sick for about a month! First I had a cold, then I got pneumonia, and now either my pneumonia is coming back or I'm getting another cold...not sure yet. I want to get better, but the accutane is ruining my immune system! I go to work and pick up all kinds of nasty stuff from the kids.
Most annoying side effects this far: dry lips, sore ankles in the morning, and back pain.
So I tried to post the other day, but when I hit publish nothing happened, so all that work for nothing. I went to the dermatologist the other day (not the one I usually go to because he was on vaca) but they are keeping me at 40 mg per day for now. I went 3 days without my pills because my the dr. office scheduled my appt failing to tell me that I would be out of pills at that point. Annoying. So over the course of 3 days I developed 2 or 3 really small pimples, but I'm still upset about it. I just hope missing those days won't throw my body off or make me break out soon. My arms and the backs of my hands are so dry and scaley. Worse than my last cycle. However, no dry eyes, cracked lips, or cracked nose...which really is a miracle. I have been taking better care of my lips than last time because I can see a huge difference. Before, my lips always looked so red and disgusting and this time they look normal. My derm really upset me the other day, he came in and introduced himself and then said "well, it looks like you had some pretty good acne there" referring to my scars. When did I turn into such a freak?? Oh and I am getting really tired of being sooo freaking white. Everyone is tan already and with the weather warming up I feel embarrassed to show much skin. I wanted to wait as long as I could to tan to allow my hyperpigmentation to fade, but it's taking forever. Hopefully within a month it will look better.
So while babysitting last night...in a matter of a couple hours I developed a big cystic pimple on the top left side of my cheek!!! It was deep and sensitive to the touch. So, before I went to bed I wanted to put something on it to keep it from getting bigger. I chose to use the proactiv refining sulfer mask and left it on all night. When I got up I was trying to gently wash it off the spot with a wet rag and it popped it or broke it and it started bleeding like crazy and there wasn't even any nasty stuff coming out, so...it may come back which is really annoying. But anyway, it looks TERRIBLE! It's reallllly red and large. It's like a huge welt. So, that definitely has me down. I also am getting a little pimple on the right side of my cheek which I also treated last night. I think this is happening because I am expecting my period at any time. Hopefully on my next period I won't have a breakout. Other than that things are going well. I tried a vitamin B-6 today (I think that's what it was?) to see if it will help keep my energy up. My hair is slowly drying out. I haven't washed it since Monday night I think? It's only slightly oily down by my ears.
No new updates with my skin. Still have those 2 pimples by my mouth and they are getting really annoying. They aren't really the same pimples...I just keep getting new ones in that general area. It looked nasty today, like I had herpes or something! No other breakouts anywhere, which I am very happy about. My cheeks are actually smooth.
Back pain has gotten a lot worse as of late. Itchy scalp...ew. Blackheads still hanging around on my forehead, but getting better. Hair still gets slightly oily. Backs of hands are dry as well as a few spots around my wrist from time to time. Some side effects have subsided such as the small amount of blood I had in my nose and the pain in my neck and shoulders in the morning when I wake up. But yeah..this is basically a pointless blog. 10 more days til the 1 month mark!
So not a WHOLE lot has been happening, but here are the updates.
My skin: Is looking better. My scars are beginning to fade which is a GREAT sign since it's so early in the treatment. I have about 3 active pimples. 2 of them are on either side of my mouth and they just keep popping back up. The other is on the upper right side of my cheek...and I picked at it. Blackheads appear like they are getting closer to the surface on my forehead, but it's not real noticeable yet. I am still gently exfoliating about every day.
Side effects: A teenyyy amount of blood in my nose, but not even enough to count. Body aches...feeling like I've been walking around an amusement park or something all day just when I've been out shopping for an hour or so. Dry upper arms (not bad yet), but they were dry before I started treatment. Dry lips, but no cracking and they're not disgustingly red like last time. They appear perfectly normal, they just feel weird and it's annoying. Not very hungry in the morning, but it's getting better. Hair still seems the same..it may be a LITTLE dryer. I am washing it every other day right now. Feeling very tired a lot of the time (especially right now). Chest pains when I inhale sometimes.
That seems to be about it. i am thankful that I haven't had some of the other side effects I had last time yet like dry eyes and sensitive gums. I am looking forward to seeing my progress at the month mark. Oh yeah...and I am starting to feel itchy under my left nostril which as I remember, is the first sign to the skin cracking right there. So I am trying to keep that moisturized.
So nothing has really happened yet. My lips became dry pretty quickly probably within 3 or 4 days but they haven't been too bad. My hair is still getting oily as well as my skin. I currently can't focus very well because I am doing a white strip and it hurts like no other. Holy cow. Okay.
No sensitive gums yet, which is why I am trying to finish up these white strips. I had a cold a few days ago...not sure if it was accutane related or not. My energy is a little low but not enough to where I've noticed much. I've had 2 pimples so far...one was on my upper lip and I popped it even though I know I shouldn't have..but that's just a terrible place to have a nasty looking pimple. I am trying to leave the other one on the left side of my mouth alone. Although last night I treated both places with the proactiv refining mask all night and today I put a small amount of 2.5% BP on them. It will be really nice if I don't have an initial breakout. I didn't really have one last time.
Today I am not feeling very good. I have been cramping all day, but I shouldn't be starting my period for another 2 weeks..so that stinks.
I bought some of the Palmer's cocoa butter oil stuff the other day and have been mixing a few drops of that into my moisturizer morning and night to treat my scars. I was going to buy bio oil, but I thought I'd try something cheaper first. However, I don't think it will do anything for hyperpigmentation which is my biggest issue. Right now I'm just kind of letting time make those dark spots fade, once I get into my third month or something I may try a product for that.
The funny thing is I havent been getting any breakouts/pimples for several weeks now (even before I started the meds)...it's mainly these dark spots! My doctor said I needed to do a second cycle because I just keep getting more and more scars. So it will be very interesting to see what my skin looks like in a couple months or something. I have been reading old entries on this and I think around day 11 last time is when allllllll the blackheads started popping up...so I am really dreading that. I have been exfoliating, but I've been pretty gentle with that. Every few days I use the "St. Ive's" apricot scrub with salicylic acid and on other days I use a more gentle, "Simple" facial scrub. I am hoping that this will help with the blackheads.
Other symptoms....oh I woke up really sore today. My neck and shoulders just hurt and felt stiff. Dry lips as mentioned above. I think that's about it so far.
So I have started my second cycle of accutane. I have taken two pills so far (nothing to report yet). I can't tell you how much I wish I had sucked it up and done this sooner. My cheeks are completely covered in scars and dark spots. I don't know how they will ever go away, but I am hoping that by the end of this cycle I will see big improvements. I am planning on trying some scar treatments during my cycle as well (debating on bio oil, emu oil, or garnier's dark spot corrector). I know nothing is going to do a miracle, but it's worth trying. My face is clear right now, because up until accutane I had been using epiduo (a 2.5 benzoyl peroxide treatment) modeling off the regimen). That helped a lot, but I couldn't use as much treatment as I needed to keep off new pimples because it was so drying and irritating. So it helped, but it wasn't working as a preventative, and I can NOT afford any more scars. I started thinking that I need to do this second round of accutane for my future. Yeah, the regimen may have worked for a while, but it wasn't a cure. It just sucks because my face was destroyed during the month of November when I got strep throat and went on penicillin. Right after starting this antibiotic I began to breakout out of no where (and I had been doing pretty good prior to that). Even after I went off the penicillin nothing would stop the breakouts and basically in the matter of a month and one really bad/long breakout my face was destroyed with scars and MAJOR hyperpigmentation dots ALL over my cheeks. I am tired of fighting acne and I am tired of getting new scars. My doctor said he usually never has to do a third cycle on anyone so I am praying this second round will be my cure as I was not so lucky last time. I also am seriously thinking about getting a glycolic peel once this is all done and over with. I am planning on using this blog as a guide to foresee symptoms that are heading my way so I can try to prevent or lessen the effects as best as I can. I am going to start out on the same dose as last time (40 mg per day) and then we'll see what the doctor says. I am also planning on buying jojoba oil to help with the dry skin (esp. once I get those dry patches/eczema on my arms like last time) as I have heard many wonderful things about it. It stinks that it seems like all the amazing products are only sold online or in stores you have either never heard of or don't have near you. Although, I did find out GNC (found in many malls and other places) sells jojoba oil, emu oil, tea tree, lavender, and all kinds of stuff. So I may check that out.