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I took my first Claravis 20 mg pill this morning.  It was quite the process getting it - I wanted to get put on Absorica so there wouldn't be a need to meet a "fat content" requirement for my meals.  My insurance didn't approve prior authorization for me to get Absorica (and that awesome $5 coupon).  The delay in hearing back from insurance was an issue - I missed my first 7-day pick-up period and then had to wait 19 days from my first pregnancy test to start the process again (iPledge locks you out of the system for that period, it's their stupid policy).  So, now I'm going to be paying about $300-$350 per month for the medication plus $86 per monthly doctor visit.  But it's all worth it, right?  To be done with acne forever! Also, it was weird, but my doctor changed her script from 20 mg a day to 40 mg a day - not really sure why, but I don't mind.  Initial breakout is probably going to be crazy, but that's okay - better to be done with accutane as soon as possible :)

I've had acne since 9th grade, so that's about 12 years now.  I honestly can't even remember my face without acne.  Can't imagine my face without it.  But can't wait to be without it!  Hoping this works.

I have attached pictures of my face a month before starting Claravis (when I thought I was going to start taking the medication) and pictures from "Day 1."  As of now, I have maybe 5 active pimples (but I've been popping the ones I get - bad, I know - I wanted to get rid of them before not being able to pop them while I'm on Claravis).  From what I've read, accutane slows down the skin's ability to heal, so popping them while I'm on the medication is not possible.

As far as products I'm looking into using - I'm very much into the organic and natural skin products (why would I load up my skin with cancer-causing chemicals when I'm trying to make my skin better???).  I got aquaphor and some of those travel size plastic containers to put the aquaphor in while I'm out and about. I'll be using vaseline as well. I ordered Era Organics Natural Face Wash (about $20 for 8 oz bottle - not cheap!) which had good reviews written by people with acne and dry skin.  We'll see how that works (Cetaphil, as recommended by the doctor, has parabens and sulfates, ick!). I also use Thayers Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel - it really helps reduce scarring and keeps skin hydrated after washing - highly recommend this!  I have alba botanical sun screen that I'll use for my body when I go out (if that's needed, not really sure).  And finally, for makeup, I use basically all Physican Formula and Bare Minerals products - I want to limit the amount of makeup I wear.  I got the Physician Formula green concealer to hide redness and the BB cream which has SPF in it as well.

I plan on doing weekly updates!  In the pictures below, "Before" means 1 month before starting accutane.



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