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Accutaneanonymous #2



Day 15

Hi guys! So today marks the halfway point of my first month! Time is flying by! (That is most definitely a joke, time is dragging)

At the time of my first post, I was so engulfed in my emotions of starting this process, so today I really want to get at the status of my skin. Although it has only been a little over two weeks, I can see differences from when I first started. Actually before I get into that, can we talk about these crazy side effects?

Holy cow I think I bathe my entire body in moisturizing lotion and cream multiple times a day. Sometimes there are areas, like around my nose, that gets so dry its painful to put on lotion. But you gotta do it because later it will be exponentially more painful when your skin is dry. Also, I don't think my lips will ever remember a time when they weren't coated in aquaphor. I won't enter a new room in my house without this stuff in my hand or pocket because, my God, I think I apply the stuff on my lips about ten times a day (I'll be sure to actually count the numbers of times and let everyone know, I know you all are super curious). I think those two are the most common side effects that EVERYONE gets, but onto the more individual specific (that may or may not be the cause of Accutane).

Whenever I'm on any kind of meds, I always try to pass my laziness as *insert specific medication* induced fatigue. These past four days I have been so tired! I didn't even want to go to my CPA review lecture, and I skipped the gym (whoops). So, not only am I starting to get tired and require more sleep, my muscles are starting to ache. I've been pretty consistent with the gym (except for today), and I am finding that I haven't had the will or means to push myself as hard as usual at the gym. Then, the next morning my muscles are uber sore.But then again, the fatigue could be from PMS (sorry if there are any guys reading this, but according to my pack, its gonna come soon.) That is a whole other topic in itself with me, periods and birth control---not really appropriate in this forum. But, it was necessary I disclose that piece of info, because what some don't realize is that these monthly cycles can really effect women beyond just being "emotional". In fact, I get severe insomnia right before it. In college I once went 36 hours without sleeping because of it. I pulled an all- nighter for my auditing exam, tried but failed miserably to take a nap afterwards, then went and partied to celebrate my graduation with friends. As I digress...

I am experiencing side effects I wasn't anticipating, and I really hope this tiredness goes away. I do speculate it may be due to Accutane because I've read other blogs where others have experienced it. If it doesn't go away, I will suck it up and deal with it--by doubling up on coffee. Also, its became obvious to me that your body on accutane requires more water then what you would normally need. I've come to realize that there is direct correlation to your actions and your health that you can observe. There are so many factors of life, its hard to attribute what is the cause of what. However, as I learn more, I find it fascinating to observe my body and its functions, and be able to pinpoint why it is the way it is. And you can manipulate it in your favor. The simplest example I can think of is, you can tell your body is dehydrated by the color of your pee. If you drink water, the next time you use the restroom-- depending on how much you drink, your new elevated hydration level is now clearly evident right before your eyes. Obviously, there are many more ways in which your actions control your body. This brings me up to a good point. I have been hyper-aware of the amount of dairy and refined sugar I have consumed ever since my dermatologist told me there is a connection between your consumption of the two and acne. Do I believe my acne was caused by my diet? No, because my diet has only gotten better since my acne journey. But, I am looking to find alternatives to these things. Any little bit helps, right? If I can avoid one pimple, I think it might be worth it. Its kinda hard though, not gonna lie, ahh food.

So to the main course, my skin. Redness and inflammation has significantly decreased, which makes me really happy. It is easier to conceal my acne because I don't have to deal with the redness. Also, do any other girls notice that when you are using foundation and concealer for inflamed pimples, it kind of makes that area look purple? <--annoying. That's just something I have noticed. I can also see a significant portion of my skin on my right cheek that is clear of acne, where there was once crop-like growing acne. This makes me happy because I feel like the Accutane is doing something. However, they did leave behind scars. But, I'll take that little personal win, and ask my dermatologist what I can do about scars later.

Unfortunately, I feel like I am in the midst of the "initial breakout." I am starting to get cysts in areas where I haven't previously. For example, I had a huge pimple right by my nose, that has since died down, but nonetheless for the days it was here, it made its presence known. Also, I have one right between my eyebrows---big, painful, and annoying. I am starting to get random ones on my forehead. These guys are tiny, but they sure do pack a punch. This is both comforting and frustrating. I'm happy in that because this is to be expected, in my eyes, Accutane is doing its job. On the other hand, why am I having issues where there was a smooth untouched canvas??? AHH! I have a pimple right above my lip, its kinda cute. If only it were a Marilyn-inspired beauty mark..

My jaw and cheek acne, as the old are leaving me, new crops are gravitating toward my chin and mouth. Fortunately, they have been less painful. Their appearance doesn't surprise me, I just hope they leave just as quick as they came. But, I doubt it because I still have any area on my left jawline that has been camping out since DECEMBER. They are leaving scars that look like purple dots. In the past, I don't remember ever having scars from acne, maybe redness that would eventually go away, so I think these spots are kinda cool to look through my magnified mirror, if I'm being honest. Don't get me wrong though, I would still rather not see them at all.

With all of this being said, I am finding it easier to go out in public without worrying about my face. If someone has a problem, they can get over it and not look at me. I am looking forward to a weekend trip for St. Patty's day with my two best friends from college. We are running a 5k, with free beer afterwards. This is the first time I've been in a bar setting since my acne journey began. It's going to be hard being away from home, my mom and my sister have gotten use to my face, but my friends haven't seen "the new me." They know I have issues going on with my skin, but not to the extent. I love my friends dearly, and I'm not worried about walking around the hotel without makeup (I lived with them through all of college, so they have seen me in more compromising states...it is what it is) But, I hope they don't initially stare. Going to a bar is gonna suck when you aren't 100% at your game, but I'm gonna keep my head up.

Hopefully what little progress I have seen does not reverse by my next post! Until then, :)


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