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Little Ghost

Little Ghost's Search for Clear Skin

Hi everyone!

I've spent a lot of time on these boards and have enjoyed reading many of your journals. Since I am now starting my own course of Accutane, I decided to join to chronicle my experiences and hopefully help others in the same way that your journals have encouraged me.

My battle with acne has been a long one (about ten years now). No treatment has yet been effective, so I have hidden my face behind makeup pretty much since high-school when I entered the "real world." It is embarassing to go into work every day with a terrible complexion, and so difficult to let coworkers look at you when your appearance is on your mind every minute. I could not allow myself to be in a relationship with anybody for the longest time. Even now that I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half, I still can't bring myself to go without makeup, even while sleeping next to him. This is a condition that affects pretty much my whole family. My brother is now on a second round of Accutane. The first round cleared him completely and noticeably improved his self-esteem, but then it all came raging back. I hope for him that this time he can retain his gorgeous complexion. It's so hard to see my beautiful, wonderful, loveable brother battle it too.

The damage to my skin doesn't even compare to the damage done to my self-confidence. My skin is now better than ever, but I still get many cysts and blemishes over my entire face. Even where I am not broken out, my pores are visibly congested. After my latest treatment (doxycycline), I asked my dermatologist about Accutane, and to my surprise, she agreed to prescribe it to me (I know many have had trouble getting their doctors to prescribe Accutane). So finally, after a month, I have started this medicine which I am hoping will cure me for good! I am also absolutely terrified about it after reading all the literature that came with the medicine. I knew of all the side-effects before, but re-reading it all has got me pretty scared! Oh well, here goes!

m.

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Ah-i'm here with you- my complection is on my mind 24/7 in every light, temperature and perspective. It's like it eats at you all the time no matter where you are. I hope you find good support here and things will work out for you well.

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Hey girl, Good luck on your course, don't worry about the side effects, the most common are dry lips/face and achy joints. Just make sure to take Vitamin E & Omega 3 supplements and have plenty of lip balm around you at all times :D

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Thanks for the support guys! I think I'm really gonna need it.

Day 1 (Yesterday)

I took my first pill with lots of water after eating a fairly heavy dinner. Though I know I'm supposed to read all the literature relating to the medicine before I take it, I think it was a bad idea to do it right before since it put me on edge for the rest of the day/night. Every itch, tingle, pain, pimple, etc. drove me crazy because I was certain it had to do with the medicine. I really have no clue how fast it's supposed to take before I start feeling its effects. So anyway, after all this, I ran out to CVS to buy vitamins and lotions and all sorts of good things to stave off any ill effects. I returned home with chapstick and a big bottle of vitamin E. (I have since bought calcium and omega 3 online). Hopefully I won't have to deal with a major onslaught of symptoms by starting this stuff early.

Because I'm so bad, I popped a sub-skin pimple later in the evening. Nice. I was all worked up about it the rest of the night. I don't want any crazy scars from it or anything, yuck! My boyfriend got off work around 10 p.m. so I went to his place and watched TV before we went to sleep. When I was showing him the stuff about the medicine I wanted to cry! I have no idea why. (Sometimes I think I'm just crazy...sometimes?!) So anyway, after I had been asleep for a couple hours, I suddenly jerked out of sleep and had the distinct feeling my upper lip was bleeding (where I had gotten the zit). I ran to the bathroom to check...but it turns out it was only some drool. Haha! So this stuff has me seriously paranoid.

Other than that, not much to report. I'm hoping for the best.

m.

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LOL....maybe it is paranoia...seriously girl relax on worrying so much.You know alot of your physical side effects are gonna be worse if you worry to much bout them mentally.When i started my Tane for the first week i didnt even give a shit bout it.I just popped it and carried on with some other things to do.When i got my chapped lips then i knew it was kicking in :P so dont be paranoid.It aint gonna ruin your life.It WILL give you some wierd side effects but if you want your acne gone that bad youl take the pain ;)

Good Luck

Matt

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Day Two

Okay, so all's well today. Work was fun and actually fairly relaxed. My boss just had her baby on Friday (the 13th!), and so she'll now be out for about three months. Crazy! I love my boss, but I have to admit it will be a nice three months. So anyway, took my pill at lunch with my Subway sandwich and I feel fine!

By the way, I go to school full time and work, so my schedule can get a bit crazy. I'm hoping to keep up with this journal, but not let it cut into my study time... too much (need those grades to transfer). This whole initial breakout thing has got me nervous since I'm exposed to so many people through work, school, and just trying to have a good time! I have this nightmarish vision that I'm going to wake up with no skin at all like something out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Yikes! Hopefully it won't be too bad. *Fingers crossed!*

Part of the reason I'm so anxious about this process is that I have a history of depression and I'm not really interested in falling down that hole again. I'm on an antidepressant that has kept it in check, but I am uncertain how the Accutane will affect this. Anyone have any experience with this? I hate taking the risk, but the thought of clear skin is too big of a draw!

That's it for now! Goodnight.

m.

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i have a history of depression also. i take a natural anti-depressant and it helps while accutane, but if I slack on taking it i notice i have definitely been easily swayed back into feeling bad. if you are on someting you should be ok. accutane has made me more sensative and volatile. just be aware if those feelings come up that they are not real and may be accutane induced. i try to focus on something else like you said in my log. good idea.

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Day Three/Four

So far I've noticed...nothing. I know it's early, but I thought I might be a little drier by now. My face is still slick city. I've got some back pain and I'm super-tired, but honestly, that's not out of the ordinary for me.

Yesterday was cold and rainy around here. I didn't feel like getting out of bed so I skipped two of my classes. Bad, I know, but it's the first I've skipped all semester. Then I drove to DC to get my hair cut. (BTW, my hair is not as short as it is in my picture anymore. I've been growing it for a year so it's about shoulder-length now.) I don't know what it is, but a haircut can put me in the best mood ever!

Since it was still rainy and cold when I got home last night, my boyfriend and I decided to stay in, eat pizza and watch...The Little Mermaid! I know you're jealous! I loved that movie as a kid, and it's crazy how I can still remember every single song. So good! (Yeah, I'm a freak...)

Today I went to Annapolis for a work conference thingy. It ended up being a cool time since it was a gorgeous day. We ate lunch on the waterfront and did a little window shopping to break up the day. Good stuff. Like others, I'm waiting for some side effect (like dry lips) to let me know the medicine is kicking in. It's crazy--I found out I'd be getting on Accutane before my brother did, but when we were talking on the phone last night, I found out he'd already been on the meds for a few weeks! Crazy how much more annoying the process is for "Female Patients Who Can Get Pregnant."

Anyway, I have class in a little bit, so I'm gonne head out now. Laters!

m.

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Day 11

The dry skin and lips are here! It's kind of a relief, because for a second I thought nothing was happening. But it pretty much sucks now that I have to deal with it. And worse, my skin is not only dry and flaky, but somehow it still manages to be really oily and greasy. Don't ask me how! And of course it would happen to me! It makes it extremely difficult to get my makeup to cooperate in the morning. So yeah, glad it's working, but I wish it wouldn't completely disrupt my current skin regimen (which took forever to get right...there's no way I'm going to be able to find a new perfect regimen since my skin will keep changing as the medicine takes its course!)

Has anyone else had this problem? I need to find a good moisturizer that will help with the dryness, but won't add any grease to my already oily face. Plus it needs to act as a good base for makeup. Suggestions anyone?

Other than that, I've been dealing with fresh breakouts, which happen to all be occurring in the most painful places! I have a few cysts along my jawline, but worst of all, I have one almost inside my nose, and one in my ear trying to come out, both of which hurt like hell! I'm hoping the initial breakout periods aren't too long or terrible, but I won't hold my breath.

The dryness sucks, and I seem to have chosen the worst time to start Accutane, since I normally get a little dry in the winter, and I can only imagine the combination of dry winter air and this medicine are going to wreak havoc on my skin.

Anyway, will write more later!

-m.

:ghost:

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"I need to find a good moisturizer that will help with the dryness, but won't add any grease to my already oily face. Plus it needs to act as a good base for makeup. Suggestions anyone?"

I like Clinique CX Soothing Moisturizer. It's super expensive but lasts FOREVER. I use a tiny tiny tiny amount, and it heals dryness and controls oil for me. I used to think I had oily skin, but then one of my friends told me that I might just have sensitive skin that I was over-treating. When I stopped using lots of acne products and just started using the Clinique sensitive skin line, my skin improved leaps and bounds -- like, a few pimples a month. Then my life got super stressful and my skin was shot to hell...But I digress....the point was, you might like the Clinique CX Soothing Moisturizer. A lot of times if you go to a Clinique counter and ask, they'll give you a week's supply sample so you can try it out before committing. Good luck.

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