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Accutane - 4th month

I cannot be happier with my skin right now. I just started my 4th month. My entire face is smooth and soft, and I no longer have to get up an hour in advance to pile on make-up anymore. Every morning I put on sunscreen and use a little bit of concealer to cover up redness , and I'm ready to go! My face doesn't get oily at all, and unlike so many people who are on accutane, I do not have dry skin problem. Cetaphil is a great moisturizer - it literally saves my life.

I will  continue to be on Accutane for three more months. I'm half way through the treatment, and I am already very satisfies with the results. However, in order to reduce the possibility of acne coming back in the future, I will have to power through the next three months. 

Now I when I look into the mirror I see the woman I truly am. This was my dream three months ago, and it came true. I am happy. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

06/26/2017

Last Reply:
07/01/2017

 

2nd month with accutane - DONE!

This past month literally flew by. It was insane. I'm graduating from college in ten days, and - I can't believe I'm saying this - I have perfectly smooth, acne-free skin now. I cannot believe it. This is too good to be true. Today I had to film a video with a bunch of friends for a class, and I was scared to death when sitting in front of the camera in a so well-lit room. I thought my skin would look horrible, but it didn't. My skin glowed in the video. I am so happy.

I defended my thesis last week. Standing in front of all the people from our department, I was fearless. I knew I was beautiful, and after I was done, so many people, including professors, came to me and said, that was a fabulous defense. 

Side effects really haven't gone too bad. I was on 40mg/day for a month, and 60mg/day for a month. In the second month I started getting gum bleed everyday when I brushed my teeth. There's was not too much blood at all, and I know that this is normal, because accutane is known to cause inflammation. My lips are chapped, but not too severely. Other than those, I do not have any negative side effects at all. I am so happy with the drug, and I'm getting my 3rd month refill (60mg/day) tomorrow. 

If you're reading this, I assume that you're either on accutane, or considering going on accutane. This drug literally worked wonders for me, and I 100% recommend it. However, do check with your doctor, and be serious about it, because this is a really harsh drug. Everyone reacts to it differently, and I'm just lucky to have a body that could handle it with ease. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

05/18/2017

Last Reply:
05/23/2017

 

Accutane 1 Month

I cannot believe that I have not been to this site for over a month. I was really super busy with work, and honestly I was not so worried about my skin anymore. I just started my second month of accutane. Now I have only one active breakout on my entire face. One. It does not even hurt. It's just a big lump on my left cheek. I guess it was probably meant to be a full-blown cyst, but since my oil production was curbed, it did not break out as it normally would. 

I am so amazed by the result so far. I did not have an initial breakout. Or maybe I did not notice because my acne was just horrific when I started accutane and any initial breakout would have just looked like any ordinary breakout that I used to have. My skin now feel so smooth. I even enjoy washing my face now. I cannot stress enough how great it is for my face to not hurt when I wash it. I love the fact that my face would not produce nearly as much oil anymore. I love it dry. I normally would slather on ceraphil in the morning and then sunscreen then some concealer to hide my PIH and redness, and the makeup would not slide because there's no oil to "wash" it off. 

The doctor bumped up my dosage from 40mg/day to 60mg/day. I'm excited about seeing more positive changes. I'm also ready to deal with any potentially serious side effects, since it sure is a pretty harsh drug!

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

04/16/2017

Last Reply:
04/26/2017

 

Beginning of isotretinoin

I cannot believe it has been one month since my first visit to the dermatologist. I remember crying in my room on a Saturday night because of my ugly face and not being able to get any work done. I went to see the doctor on 2/8. I told her right away that I wanted to be put on isotretinoin. She looked at my face and said, I think it will work for you. But you will have to wait for a month to begin.

Here I am, exactly a month later. The needle wound on my arm from doing the blood work two days before is still a little sore. I'm headed to the dermatologist's office in two hours. My accutane journey will soon begin. I am very, very excited to start taking this drug. Although my acne now is not as bad as it was a month ago, I want to eliminate any possibility of it flaring up really badly again. I have been suffering for seven long years. It has done enough damage to my self-esteem and self-confidence. I am not going to let it beat me anymore. 

Will update on this site as often as needed to record my journey. Sometimes I would go back and read those posts that I wrote previously when I was using BP and natural remedy. I sounded so hopeful back then. I thought they would work with minimal damage to my body. But now I'm disillusioned. There's a price to pay. There's no way I could get clear skin without trading my health away. Fine I'll do it to counteract my cursed genetics. No big deal.

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

03/08/2017

Last Reply:
03/10/2017

 

Antibiotics for transition to Accutane

After a major mental breakdown about two weeks ago, I finally went to see a derm and asked her to put me on accutane. I told her that I had never been on anything prescription-strength, but I wanted to go on accutane right away because I had had enough of this dirty face. The doctor did not decline my request, but told me that I would have to wait for a month anyway for two negative pregnancy test results before I could start taking the drug. She prescribed Doxycycline - an antibiotics, and told me to wait patiently until one month later. 

I started taking Doxy a week ago. I noticed that those giant cysts on my face have been calming down. I'm under a lot of stress lately, and could not resist the temptation of drinking coffee. Good news is, I have not gotten any major breakouts after having a cup of coffee or two. I think the antibiotics is working, but I understand that once I stop taking it, those pus-filled giant cysts will soon come back. Last night I looked into the mirror and thought, maybe I don't have to go on accutane? My face now is nowhere near clean. There are still cysts, whiteheads and marks, but less painful. I'd be kind of happy for it to just heal slowly like this. However, I know that this is only a band-aid solution. Doxy is not a cure. I will have to go on accutane eventually, and I'd rather do it soon. This is my last few months in college. I can choose to suffer through these few months and the summer, and have a new self the I start grad school in the fall. 

Anyway, I've become much more social even after my face only cleared up a tiny bit. I'm actually head out for dinner with friends tonight - which never happened before with those people. I'm genuinely happy. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

02/15/2017

Last Reply:
03/10/2017

 

Another week - another cycle of depression

It's been as week since I updated last time. Actually I felt pretty okay about my face during the day - I guess the tinted sunscreen did hide some of my acne really nicely. However, I was literally looking at hell's pit after I took off the sunscreen with make-up remover. Every single acne mark, active spot, and pinkish-turning-to-cyst-like bump looked so, so bad. I have at least 3 cysts on my chin, 2 on my left cheek, and 3 along my nose right now. I also have a ton of acne marks and whiteheads on my forehead, and along my jawline. I look like a mess.
I started researching on accutane as soon as I got out of the bathroom. I've been on a strict diet, a bunch of supplements, and this Chinese herbal medicine, and birth control pills for 2 months now. Pretty  much nothing has changed. I literally got 4 new breakouts during these past 2 days and I have no idea what I did wrong. I am seriously thinking about taking accutane...I'm so scared. I hate my face. I hate thinking that I'm ugly and that my face looks disgusting. I hate waking up and running to the mirror and seeing new, giant breakouts on my face. I am so tired of pretending that I don't care, that I am confident, that I am comfortable the way my skin is... 
I am not okay. I am so tired. I've tried literally everything but accutane. This seems to be my last resort, but I am scared of all the possible side effects. My health is kind of brittle the way it is, and I have no way of foreseeing how my body is  going to react to accutane. 
Sorry friends. I'm making no sense even to myself right now. I need to calm down and chill with some music. Will update maybe in less than a week to see how things go... 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

02/04/2017

 

A minor mental breakdown

So it's been about 10 days since I truly started healing acne naturally. I swear it got better for a few days, and today, bam - tens of pimples on my chin, so many whiteheads popped up on my left cheek, and a bunch whiteheads on my forehead. Maybe it's the stress? The two cups of coffee I had yesterday and today? I vegetable oil I cooked with today? I don't know... all of a sudden my face feels painful to touch again, and I look absolutely detestable. 
I know that lows are to be expected. Sometimes I just find it extremely hard to deal with. I've sacrificed my social life so much. Now because I've adopted this crazy vegetarian diet without any food that could possibly irritate my gut, I can't even go to restaurants with friends or study in a coffee house anymore - my only means of socialization, gone. I make my own food three times a day, and lock myself up in my room to get work done. 
During the past few days, I had the illusion that my acne was getting better. I even went to the gym and sweat as I used to years ago - a true luxury. Now I feel like hiding away again. I hate looking into the mirror, but I can't help but staring at my face whenever I walk past the bathroom. I hate this.
Never coffee again. Never vegetable oil again. Stick to the diet. At least when it went wrong, I can tell myself that it was not me. It was just my body acting against me for no reason. "This will pass soon." said mom. No mom. This is the genetics that I got from you and dad. You both had bad acne 20-something years ago. It has nothing to do with my way of life. I can become a vegan bodybuilder who never drinks/smokes even stays up late, but still have this ugly face... Don't tell me this is going to be alright. You don't know that.
Enough rant. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

01/27/2017

Last Reply:
01/30/2017

 

It all comes down to healing from the inside, hopefully

The other day I logged in and browsed the forum as I always did, and I suddenly noticed that my membership status changed from "member" to "veteran." Wow. It has been five months since I joined this community, and I've gone through a long difficult journey. 
I still have acne. Unfortunately everything that I have tried so far - birth control, dairy elimination, and BP - the one that gave me so much pain and cost me so much money and time - did not work by themselves. However, I have to keep trying. I am not going to settle with crappy skin. Now I do believe that acne reflects malfunction of organs inside of my body. I cannot ignore the signals that my body has been sending to me. I need to listen to my body and figure out what is wrong. 
I saw a number of holistic personnels this past month. One thing that all of them pointed out for me was that there may be chronic inflammation inside of my body, due to high stress level (breakup, internship application, grad school application and simply getting around with a pizza face - of course), unsuitable diet and lack of good sleep. It probably has little to do with my facial routine, because I have been washing my face with a gentle cleanser all along, and have been using moisturizer and sun protection religiously. My skin just felt abnormally oily seeing the past year for no reason, or in other words, for reasons that I did not know.
A doctor gave me a list of foods that I should not eat anymore. Lo and behold, dairy is only a small part of it. I saw chicken, beef, lamb, shrimp, ginger, garlic, scallion, leek, curry, mango, coconut... mostly foods that I've always enjoyed. It made no sense at the beginning, but the more i think about it, the more reasonable it seems - my body simply does not tolerate those foods. Even though I never eat junk foods, those seeming harmless, even healthy foods can cause inflammation inside my body, which inevitably shows up on my face. My acne kept coming during this past year, because I've been eating those foods literally every single day. How could I not have? I love going to the gym and making my own healthy meals. Those "healthy" meals were constantly irritating my gut. How could my face looked so bad even after I quit dairy and so many desserts that i used to love? Well I guess that explains it. 
So here comes my new regimen:
Eliminate all foods that were possibly causing the inflammation in my gut: tropical fruits, shellfish, chicken, beef, lamb, dairy, any processed food, hot spices, alcohol, coffee
Take turmeric and l-lysine on a daily basis - those two are great anti-inflammatory supplements
Eat a lot of leafy greens for breakfast and lunch, use only salt, soy sauce and a little bit of olive oil when cooking, no other spices
Eat a lot of grains and beans to increase fiber intake - basically replace all simple carbs with porridge packed with fibers
Snack on bananas, apples and berries instead of crackers, cakes and well, basically everything I used to love
Drink a lot of water
Sleep for at least 8 hours a day
Workout at least 5 times a week in the morning
Try to stay positive and relaxed - high stress level may further mess with my already-wrecked hormones

I've been adhering to this regimen for about 5 days now. I do feel that my skin has calmed down a bit, and that my body feels really light and healthy. I do not miss feasting on a ton of meat at all. Leafy greens do not taste that bad. I really hope that healing from the inside will work for me. Will keep updating. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

01/21/2017

Last Reply:
01/24/2017

 

Time to really stay away from BP

A week ago I promised myself that I'd definitely go back on BP this week, because of all the whiteheads on my lower cheeks, forehead and the cysts on my chin. I took a pea-sized portion of BP, and very carefully put it on spots on my forehead, lower cheeks and chin. I went to bed. Six hours later I got up, and saw GIANT red patches on my lower cheeks. The shapes are irregular, and I can tell that the redness definitely came from applying BP - and I put on the finest amount! I immediately washed my face and decided that I'd never ever use BP on my face again.
I remember when I started on BP four months ago, this did not happen. My face did get dry and red, but nothing so drastic like this. I think it might have something to do with the eczema outbreak I had towards the end of my BP treatment. My skin has been incredibly sensitive since. My forehead and chin still look normal, because the oil production in those areas is really abundant, which protects my skin from being irritated.
I am freaking out. I immediately moisturized my face, and those red patches feel really warm under my moisturizing mask. The only console I have is that they don't sting or itch. I guess right now it's just an initial warning that my skin gave me. 
I will just stick to the Chinese herbal medicine regimen. I came across a supplement called L-lysine online. I ordered it and will give it a shot when it arrives. Ugh. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

01/17/2017

 

Almost 2 weeks - herbal medicine, herbal bath and diet

I am seriously considering slowly introducing BP back to my current treatment. Herbal medicine may be helping me regulate my internal health, but it sure does not do anything to help my face clear up faster. Right now I still have a bunch of active whiteheads on my forehead (painful), tens of whiteheads on either side of my jaw, and a bunch of other whiteheads scattered all over my face. Those PIH marks make my face look worse than it actually is. Sometimes even I mistake acne marks for actual acne lesions. But oh well. Looking into the mirror and seeing your own face covered with red pots, some of them raised and painful, is not fun.
Based on my experience with BP, it should be able to take care of whiteheads fairly easily. Only this time, I will start very slowly, and take extra care to keep my skin moisturized. Last time I broke out with eczema, which looked much more scary, and felt much worse than having moderate acne. 
It's been a long time since I dined in a restaurant last time, or enjoyed a cup of warm milk before bed, or had a cheeseburger, or had a crepe cake, or even drank a cup of coffee - and I'm a college kid trying to get all A's. I miss having clear skin. I used to bike in mountains all day, run in the city on hot summer days, go to the gym and sweat all I wanted without worrying about my face getting cakey. I used to live my life. Now I don't even know how to live it.
Anyway, I will not stop search for a cure. There's got to be a way for me to stay clear. My body cannot play this dumb demonic game forever. I do not believe in God, because I believe that I could be in control of my own life, and all the suffering I am going through now is building me up for the day when i eventually deserve to live a happy life. Dear fellow acne suffer - I assume you are one because you are this far down this senseless blog post - you are beautiful and brave. You seek help and comfort as I do. You want a cure as badly as I do. Keep on fighting and taking care of yourself. We will eventually reconcile with ourselves by either curing acne, or loving ourselves so much that nothing skin-deep matters. Either way it'll be fantastic. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

01/06/2017

Last Reply:
01/10/2017

 

6 Days Herbal Medicine

It's been 6 days since I started taking this mysterious herbal medicine. The acne on my lower face exploded. I don't what the cause was. Changing of the environment? Herbal medicine? Herbal baths? Stress? Delayed response to BP withdrawal?... I can't imagine two weeks ago my face was mostly clear....Now when I wash my face, I can feel tiny bumps everywhere, like needles, poking at my fingertips. This is devastating. 
A few minutes ago when I was washing my face, mom walked by and asked, are you upset? I said, no. But of course deep inside I just wanted to cry. She said, good, don't be upset. It'll get better soon.
I didn't say a word. I was afraid if I did, I'd break down and cry.
Nothing is working for me. Everything I've been using makes the situation worse for me. Ironically, I had the least amount of acne when I was suffering from eczema a month ago. There was not a single pimple on my face. Now my face is literally a minefield. 
I am currently on break. School starts in 3 weeks. I don't see the situation get any better in 3 weeks. Ha. Mom keeps saying, it'll be alright by the time you go back to school. Well how would you know? What if it keeps getting worse? What scares me the most is that acne appears out of nowhere. My face turned from a presentable piece to a horror movie within 3 days...and as it is slowly healing, more lesions keep popping out. If this keeps happening, soon my confidence will be back in the toilet, like it was for the majority of this year. 
I'm scared of going back to school. I hate wearing makeup. I dread putting on even the least amount of BB cream or concealer. My skin dose not like makeup. I mean how could any unhealthy skin like being covered up by greasy thick synthetic shit? Mine turns into a shiny mask of grease and dirt within 2 hours of applying any makeup at all. BUT, how could I present my face to the whole world to see given the state it is currently at? I hate this. I hate looking at my face and thinking 50 steps ahead. I hate listening to my family telling me "it's not that bad" or "it's getting better" or "nobody cares, just live your life." I would trade acne with depression, or asthma - something not visible on my face. I feel the whole world is against me, especially after my attempt at the regimen failed miserably and I am now back to square one, maybe even a free more steps back, square minus three. 
Last night I went on a walk with mom and talked to her, for the first time, about the psychological toll my skin problem has been taking on me, ever since ten years ago. So many people have said mean things about my acne, including my "best friend" in high school, who asked me to put on more concealer during dinner. I put up with those, but recently I can't hold up anymore. I am my own worst enemy. I cannot bear looking at myself anymore. If other people's mean words are swords, then my own negative thoughts are nukes. I feel like I am slowly falling apart, and this feeling is the strongest every morning when I have to go through my routine of cleaning my face.
I just got accepted to one of the best universities in the US for a PhD in chemistry. I should be happy! Happy! But how could I give my peak performance when I'm daily drenched in self-hate? 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

12/31/2016

Last Reply:
01/02/2017

 

A new regimen...I don't know where this is going

Of course my mother took me to a doctor who practices traditional Chinese medicine. He wrote me a prescription consisted of more than ten herbal medicines, and asked me to drink it twice a day. It's been only two days, and my jawline is covered with new whiteheads. I'm 90% sure that all this came from the medicine I've been taking. "It's purging." Said my mom. Oh my god I don't even know. My mom for sure doesn't know. She trusts that doctor. She said the medicine will help me get rid of the toxin that has been building up in my body by purging it out of my "weak" spots. Great. When will it stop? Will those tens of whiteheads eventually turn into giant cysts? How the fuck does the medicine work exactly? There's no answer. My mom got upset because I felt uneasy about my new breakout. She said something like, I spent so much money and effort on your face can you just put away your attitude and be happy? 
HOW COULD I? It is literally making my skin worse.... and I can't stop because it's only the 3rd day. I can't imagine what my face would look like in a week. I don't even want to think. 
Every time this happens I would think to myself what my life would be like if my face was clear. I'm not even dreaming about smooth, crystal clear. I just want some-what clear. I wouldn't mind three pimples here and there from time to time. I just don't want a face covered with literally more than 30 whiteheads all over the place... I get stared at in public. I'm a woman in her 20s. I have self-esteem.
I've been extremely socially-withdrawn throughout my college years due to my bad skin. I never go out on weekends. I don't wear make-up, drink, smoke, or even stay up late. I live the healthiest life a college kid can afford, and yet I have a skin condition that make people question my lifestyle - do you eat a lot of junk food? Do you drink too much coffee? Do you stay up too late? Do you....not have a boyfriend? Yeah thanks for getting the last one correct. I hate it when some girl with clear skin says to me with pity: aw don't worry I used to have bad skin as yours but it somehow got better. Like that would help. I've been fighting acne since the age of 13. I don't even remember feeling beautiful and confident. You tell me this is monster that I've been fighting against for 10 years will somehow go away on its own soon? That would take a miracle.
Anyway, I'm depressed, and I can't talk about it at home. I don't have any friend with the same problem so I can't really talk to my friends either. This site is my only comfort zone. I just want to hide and sink into a coma and wake up with perfect skin some years later. 
Life is unfair. 
 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

12/28/2016

Last Reply:
12/31/2016

 

The pain is unbearable

I went to a beauty salon today to get my whiteheads extracted. I know that with proper equipments, you can do it at home, but I was so worried that I'd make mistakes and make my face look even worse. The lady at the salon really hurt the hell out of me. She managed to get those white heads out of my skin, but afterwards my face is covered with red angry marks that sting like a mofo. She told me that I produce too much oil, and the way to deal with it is to keep it moisturized - like I don't already fucking know! The problem is that I have school during the day and it's impossible to apply toner+moisturizer every 30 fucking minutes! I don't understand why those people who work at beauty salons assume that people don't have anything else going on besides caring for their acne... 

I don't know what to feel every morning when I look into the mirror. I go to bed every night hoping that my face would look better next day, that this and that whitehead would disappear after a good night's sleep, but it never happens. I get new pimples everyday. My mom said if I get a boyfriend, my skin will get much better. "It's all about having a balanced hormone." She said. But how in the hell could I find someone with this acne-littered face? I rarely talk to people outside of the classroom, or hang out with people for fun. I'd rather stay by myself most of the time because this is the only way that I don't feel nervous about my skin. I don't believe that guys would want to get to know me after seeing my face, despite the fact that I am a nice person. Sigh. 

This is the beginning of my 4th month on Mononessa. I don't know how long it si going to take for me to get clear. Maybe I will be stuck with this face forever...? 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

12/24/2016

Last Reply:
12/24/2016

 

Feeling hopeless

I had to quit the regimen because it ruined my skin my overdrying it. It's been three weeks. My forehead and nose now are covered with tens of whiteheads. I don't know what to do anymore. It seems that no matter what I do, how careful I am with my diet and skincare ritual, pimples keep popping up. I'm so tired. Mom asked me why I wouldn't go shopping or hang out with friends. I'm 21 and I'm still in college. I stay at home whenever I'm off school or work. I never go out. I'm afraid any dirt/heat would make my acne worse. The truth is, it gets worse no matter what. I just can't face myself anymore. 
I just washed my face. I looked into the mirror and got totally frustrated and depressed. I went to the farmer's market with my mom today. Everyone I saw there had clear skin. I just wanted to hide. 
I've complained a lot on this site I know. There's nowhere else for me to talk about my feelings. Acne is an unspeakable disease and it literally kills people slowly from inside out. "You'll grow out of it." Says everyone. No. I'm stuck with it thanks to my genetics. Nothing I can do will ever give me a good-loping face. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

12/20/2016

Last Reply:
12/20/2016

 

The regimen brought disaster to me

So this is my 7th week. My relaspse has been slowly healing, and I was happy until the beginning of this week. I woke up with two red patches under my eyes on Monday, which I did not worry too much about, because something like this had happened before and it went away as I increased the amt. of moisturizer. However, three days later  - yesterday, the red patches had gone so big and noticeable that I could not longer conceal them with tinted sunscreen. I did not apply BP last night. I put on a lot of moisturizer and went to bed. This morning I woke up with massive rash all over my face. I mean all red, small bumps, and they make my face feel like sand paper. 
I could not just hide in my room all day and sulk. I have work to do. I put on moisturizer only and sunscreen and headed out. It was alright in the morning, but now my face is itching like a mofo, and I can see countless tiny red bumps all over my face under the tinted sunscreen.

I have no idea what is happening. I am not allergic to BP. I have been using it for seven weeks and thought dryness/redness/flaking had occurred to me before, nothing serious like this had ever happened. Now I have trouble concentrating on my work because of the excessive itchiness. I don't even know what to do anymore. I've been asking for help on the forum, but no one helped. I will no longer be using BP from now on, and I want to see if the god-forsaken side effects go away within the next few days. 

I don't know which one's worse. Acne or skin rash. They are both noticeable and emotionally debilitating. I hate this. 
I don't understand why so many people can go so smoothly with the regimen, whereas my skin goes crazy every two weeks.
I am so tired, and yet I am not allowed to even stop for a day and really think about my problem. I have too much work and too many responsibilities. 
Please. I need a miracle. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

11/25/2016

Last Reply:
12/11/2016

 

Week 6 regimen

So today is the last day of my 6th week on the regimen. I don't know how to feel about it. Last week I freaked out about a severe breakout on my left chink, which is still remaining today. It has calmed down a lot - still very visible, painful to the touch, but better. But yesterday I got three new breakouts out of the blue, and they are all on the front of my face. 
So the breakout I got last week was on one side, and you probably cannot tell if I talk to you face-to-face. Now I have a giant, red pimple on the tip of my nose (how pretty), under my right eye (great), and under my left eye. Three of them. Red and painful and big. Plus a big one of my forehead and a big one near my left temple. Oh and maybe five alone my jawline. 
I have not changed a thing in my facial routine. I don't know what the fuck is going on. I just keep getting more and more acne even though I'm still on the regimen. The veterans keep telling me that I have to be patient. Well hell no how could I be when I'm spending all this time on my face and seeing it going back to where it started a month ago?
I'm scared. What should I do? The only thing left would be Accutane which I never ever want to take. I'll for sure stick to the regimen for 3months and see if things are still bad. Seriously my life is so affected... It takes me 3x longer to get ready in the morning compared to other people. This is unfair. 
Alright enough rant I need to get work done now. Exams and thesis!! Glad my brain works like a wonder otherwise I'd really want to disappear from this world.

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

11/16/2016

 

end of 5th week...with regimen

i can't even look myself in the mirror anymore. i face got slightly burnt from applying too much BP. i thought applying more than the usually amt may help me get rid of my new cysts faster. but in the morning after i woke up i still had this cluster of painful red cysts... and the cluster seems to be spreading. now the left side of my face looks like hell. has the BP stopped working? what the hell is wrong with my face? i have not changed anything in my facial care routine...if anything i've only become more careful and been using more treatment. 
i am so stressed. i asked on the forum but i guess people just got tired of me. no one relies. this one girl talked about her own experience but she's been clear for years now. she had her worse breakout in 4th and 5th week, just as i am experiencing right now. but i got clear! completely clear last week! i don't understand why this is happening to me and i just need to get the distress out here. this is so disconcerting. it's getting worse everyday and how can i not think about it when i know that every moment it gets more irritated?! 
maybe i should go on accutane. i don't want to at all because of all the side effects. what else could i do? i don't want to feel ugly for the rest of my life. i hate looking like this. i hate having to worry about my acne first thing in the morning. i hate walking out of the door pretending to be confident. seriously how can i feel good about myself when one side of my face looks like shit? 
i need to stop now. i'm a little beyond myself. can't let this affect my work today. gotta get my shit together and run to the lab.
i really hope that this is just a phase. i really hope that two weeks from now i can look back at this post and laugh. 
we'll see.

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

11/07/2016

 

5th week in the REGIMEN - not happy

It has been a rough week for me, since I'm getting terrible breakouts. My face was completely clear a week ago, and my confidence came back and everything was just great. However, without changing anything, I started getting new cysts on my left cheek. Now I have 5 in total. All painful, red bumps that are exactly like the kind of acne I got a month ago. Every morning I looked into the mirror and wanted to cry. Why? I was clear a week ago!
I read countless posts on the forum to find people with similar experiences. Most of them just posted their questions and never came back to reply. Some people reported having bad breakouts 5 months in, but i don't know what happened to them afterwards. Did they get completely clear? How long did it take for them to get clear?What the hell is going on with my skin? 
I'm now using twice as much BP as I did last week, but I don't think it is doing the job. My painful big cyst does not get smaller or less painful the next morning I woke up, and there's a new one right next to it! 
I really really really hope that in a week everything will calm down again. I'm really going crazy right now because the regimen is my last hope it has to work otherwise I'd be ugly forever........

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

11/06/2016

 

Week 4 regimen and counting

So this is almost the end of my 4th week. I haven't felt so good about myself for so long. All active spots on my face are dead now. All I have now is hyperpigmentation on my cheeks (which are fading) and a raised bump (like a cluster of dead cysts) on my chin that does not hurt anymore. 
It took me so long to realize how detrimental diary can be to my facial skin. I've been off of any diary strictly for a week. No more new cysts in my chin area, chichis awesome. Although it hurts to not eat my favorite desserts, it is worth it. I want a clear fare more than anything and now I'm having a lot of hope.
My face does not look nearly as crystal clear as I want it to be, but I know that this is already a miracle. I'm really looking forward to seeing what it would look like in another 4 weeks. 
 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

10/22/2016

 

Week 2.5 Regimen

I've been pretty lagged behind on updating my blog, mostly because I've been having all kinds of problems during the past week and I've been posting like a mad person on the forum. Here's the current situation:

My cheeks are cleared up. I mean there's not a single active spot right now. Of course there's hyperpigmentation, and those red/dark brown spots are slightly raised, but I'm not too worried. My skin does not scar - thank God. From my previous experience, those spots should fade away in two months if I do not develop new acne. My forehead had one breakout during the past week. Most of it is clear, and with red marks as well. My chin is breaking out like CRAZY. I have five active cysts right now, all of which appeared within in the past two days. I believe it was because of my stress level skyrocketed. It was mid-term week, and I had to deal with my skin problems while trying to maintain a good GPA. I ate a lot of cream, chili, fried food during the past week at the dining hall, because otherwise my cravings would never be satisfied. I've decided to cook for myself from today on. I went to the grocery store and bought fresh proteins and vegetables. No diary, no fast food, no caffeine, and no alcohol - I believe with BP, BCP, and a health diet, my chin should clear up pretty soon.

I've been watching so many YouTube videos made by people with acne to stay strong. I have absolutely no social life, and I shut myself away in my own room as soon as I get home. I don't even hang out with my housemates, because all of them have almost flawless skins. I do not want to be seen without my tinted sunscreen, and I certainly do not want to be seen when my face is red from BP application. I've just finished one application actually. I cannot even look into the mirror because the lower half of my face looks like a tomato. Maybe it's because it's more sensitive? I don't really know. Sometimes I do not get redness at all but when I do, it scares the hell out of me. 

The good thing is, the regimen is working. I am so grateful that I can see results within this short period of time. Anyway, will keep working with the regimen. Hopefully I can get clear skin by Christmas. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

10/15/2016

 

Week 2 with Mononessa and Day 2 with Panoxyl

So I just finished my second week of Mononessa. I'd say that my chin and cheeks feel better - much less bumpy, but they do not look better at all. They are all covered with red marks. I mean really, really red in a well-lit room. Thank goodness my room never gets any direct sunlight, otherwise I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror during the day anymore. My face still looks depressing though, I guess partly because some of those cysts had just started to subside. 

I added benzoyl peroxide to my arsenal. Last Tuesday I accidentally clicked on the review section on the homepage. I saw those amazing transformations as the result of using benzoyl peroxide. I spent hours doing research online (which I am good at, since I am a chemistry student getting ready for grad school), and all the information I learned online made chemical sense to me. I even drew the reaction mechanism down to rationalize the effects that the regimen rendered. It all makes sense. I ordered the BP treatment but it has not arrived yet, which killed me a little. I wanted to start so badly, knowing that the sooner I start the sooner I can probably get clear skin. After doing more research, I decided to use PanOxyl 4% face wash as a buffer, now that I cannot start the regimen yet. 

I bought PanOxyl 4 yesterday. Used it for the first time last night. I was really scared after I washed it off of my face, because so many people online complained about the excessive drying effect caused by BP. However, my face did not get burned. It was a bit dry, but I put on a moisturizing mask and everything was alright. I just used it to wash my face again. Accordingly to most people who gave positive comments about the product, it took about two weeks for them to see the change. I will continue to use BP along with Mononessa. I think I will hold onto the treatment for two weeks and just use the face wash and see how it goes. If the face wash alone can help me, I will stick to it. If this does not work well for me, I will start the regimen immediately. I am just glad that so many people have tried BP and given so many positive reviews - this really boosted my hope. 

I have very light skin tone - even for an Asian girl. The downside is that any blemish on my face would look extremely obvious. However, thinking about the bright side, I know that my skin will look gorgeous once my horrible hormonal acne clears up. A month ago I thought that I would never be able to have beautiful skin again this life. However, right now I do believe that if start killing the bacteria under my skin and controlling my hormones, there is still a chance for me to feel beautiful again. 

Anyway, I will keep trying. Will certainly keep updating my blog. If you are reading this and with acne, here's a virtual hug for you. Let's fight together. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

09/24/2016

Last Reply:
09/27/2016

 

Week 1 with Mononessa

I had been on Mononessa for one year and a half. It cured my severe hormonal acne within a year, and my skin looked flawless for another six months. However, everything changed after I switched my birth control brand at the beginning of the year due to my break-up. The new pharmacy I found did not offer Mononessa, so I had to take Sprintec instead. I did not think twice, because they have the same active ingredients. How foolish I was! Especially for a chemistry student. I started notice minor breakouts on my cheeks within a few weeks. I went to the doctor, and she said that I should stick to Sprintec a bit longer to let my body adjust. I did. Four months later I could not leave the house without makeup on. Six months later I realized that there definitely was something wrong with the birth control. Mononessa never made me break out.
I went to the doctor a week ago and asked her to write a prescription requesting exclusively Mononessa. I had to switch to another pharmacy. I quit coffee, diary products, smoking, drinking, even staying up late. I am now living an extremely healthy life. I've developed a simple skincare routine. I'm not using any topical treatment because I'm scared about getting more pimples from those hard chemicals. I do use 15% tea tree oil to disinfect every night before I go to bed though. 
I try so hard to fake confidence during the day. College is hard. It's especially hard because I'm a senior. I'm applying for grad school. I'm under a tremendous amount of stress. I have to talk to a lot of people everyday, mostly people within my department. I co-teach two chemistry labs with a chemistry professor, and I also have my own senior research going on. Sometimes I get so busy that I forget how bad my skin is. However, when I get back to my apartment, get ready to wash the sunscreen off of my face, I start to panic. I hate seeing the red bumps all over my cheeks and chin and along my jaw line. 
I tell myself everyday that I am beautiful despite my physical flaws, that those flaws will go away, that I need to be patient and let the pill work its magic. But it's so hard. I have no one to talk to. All my friends have perfect skins. 

HarleyZ

HarleyZ

09/18/2016

Last Reply:
09/20/2016

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