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Isotretinoin Journey Begins!



I have been using BP for years, and tretinoin for about ten years. I've tried proactive too. More recently, I was on Doxy, but then switched to Minocycline three months ago. So frustrating to still be breaking out. I hate it. It taken so much from me over the past 17 years, which is more than half of my life! Its time to take the next step.

I've been going to my GP for the past few years, but now that I have insurance I finally can see a dermatologist. Today is Friday September 27, 2013 and I have an appointment to see the Derm on Friday October 1, 2013 to see if I am a "candidate" for accutane. I believe I am. While its not as bad as some of the cases I've seen online - it is definitely persistent and hasn't responded to other forms of treatment. It has also caused scarring - both physical and emotional. I'm have one more semester to finish law school and I know it has caused delays for me in reaching my goal of becoming an attorney. Who wants to have a lawyer with bad skin? Its terrible but I know people judge. I'm so sick of it. Sick of waking up and seeing it. Sick of dealing with it. Sick of obsessing over it. Sick of wishing for clear skin and never having it.

From what I have read, I have to my blood work done, get registered with iPledge, take the quiz and then I can get accutane. Since my Dr. is two hours away, I hope she will work with me and allow me to get it that same day. I know you have to wait 30 days if you are a woman with the potential to get pregnant, but thats not me. So I hope to start my accutane journey next month, and to be in starting my fourth month when I go back to law school in January. I'm thankful I have some downtown while I am on a leave of absence. i just hope and prey the Dr. will give it to me and won't make me try more topical and/or antibiotics.


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There is no way you will get it on your first visit. You are required to be in the iPledge program which requires:

To start isotretinoin, you need to have 2 negative pregnancy tests. They can be
urine or blood tests. You will need to plan with your doctor when and where to
take your pregnancy tests.
• You take the first test when you decide to take isotretinoin.
• You take the second test in an approved lab during the first 5 days of the
menstrual period right before you start isotretinoin. The interval between the
two tests must be at least 19 days. You must use 2 effective forms of birth
control together all the time for at least 1 month before you can take this
second test.

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Im a guy so I don't have to worry about getting pregnant.

I know there will be blood work. My biggest concern is that the Derm will want to try another antibiotic and/or gels.

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From what I read the blood work can take a couple of days, which concerns me because my Derm is a two hour drive away, so I really don't want to have to go back to pick up the medication. I so hope my derm gives it to me. Guess I'll just try and have patience.

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So I went to the derm today for the first time and I explained my situation: that I've been dealing w/acne for the past 17 of the 32 years of my life and have tried OTC and prescription topicals and Doxy and Minocycline but still get acne and its not improving. Also mentioned how it effects my emotional well-being and confidence.

She got me signed up with iPledge, I read the information book, signed the release and she came back with a script. I went for my labs and then went to the pharmacy and got my Isotretinoin (Clovaris) by 5 p.m. She said not to take them until she gets my results, which she said will be by tomorrow - and then will clear me to start taking 20 mgs twice a day.

I'm so happy that she was willing to get me started ASAP and didn't try to waste my time with more topicals or a different antibiotic. I cannot wait to see how this medication works. I hope that this clears me up for good and that in six months I will no longer be suffering with this condition. I hate it! Thank you Dr. Hawkins!

I was shocked when I saw that if I didn't have insurance, I would have had to pay $1,300 for 60 20 mg capsules. I also would have had to pay for the derm visit and the labs. So grateful that this will be paid for.

So I got my Cetaphil foaming oil-controling cleanser, some Oil of Olay moisturizer (oil-free for acne-prone skin) and some Aquaphor. Ready to do this. I'm hoping for the best and just trying to be patient.

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Its day four and I've started to see some dryness along my chin and jawline. I haven't experienced the extreme dryness that I have read about, but I'm expecting it, especially when my derm ups the dose to 80 mg per day. I also notice that some of the small break outs are starting to dry up. It feels weird to not put on topicals in the morning and at night, I'm so used to doing it, I've been doing it for the past 17 years. I hope to take some pictures and post them here soon.

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The initial breakout has begun! I have new zits along my jawline and chin and on the sides of my face, also a few on my neck where I never broke out before.

How long will this last? When will I start to see progress?

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Day 38 and I'm starting to see improvement. My Dr. increased my dosage from 40 mg per day to 60. i was going to go up to 80 but my triglycerides are high. She said if it continues to be high I will have to take meds for that too, but she doesn't want to stop the treatment.

It is amazing to not have oily skin. I hope it doesn't come back when I stop taking isotretinoin.

The initial breakout is going away and my skin is starting to look smoother. I'm so thankful that I finally am getting this treatment.

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I'm about to finish my 3rd month and it seems like time has flown by so fast!

My skin has no bumps! I'm so happy with the results so far. I still have achy joints in my legs, feet and back. My lips are still chap. But I'm not as dry and my skin seems to have peeled and peels everyday, revealing fresh new skin. The scars seem to be healing and my pores look smaller. Also, I no longer have oily skin, which is amazing. My triglycerides are high and I'm trying not to eat junk food. But you have to take the medicine with fat-containing food, so maybe this is why I have a lot of fat in my blood, and I have gained weight! I really need to start to exercise. So I'm clear, but fat!

My derm had me at 40 the first month, 60 the second and third, and then I'm gonna go down to 40 for the next 7 months for a total of 10 months. She said this is better for scarring and will minimize the side effects. Also, it will help to train my skin to stay clear and said that I will get to a cumulative dose of just under 150, but that it will take longer at the lower dose. I'm okay with it.

So after 3 months, I am so grateful that I am finally treating my acne with something that works. I love not having greasy skin and not having any bumps. It can only get better from here.

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