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First, my history. My dear father had severe acne, and I guess it was just genetics that I ended up with it, too. I began with very mild acne in elementary school, (!) which progressed to moderate acne throughout junior high and early high school, with frequent cysts and nodules. Saw a useless dermatologist in high school, and I can’t even remember what he did for me. Saw a new dermatologist in college and began antibiotics and assorted RX topicals, which were mildly successful. When I went on the pill in my early 20s, it really helped my skin, and I didn’t have much of a problem until after the birth of my son in my late 20s. I developed severe hypertension and was no longer able to go on the pill, and then, my acne flared up substantially. More antibiotics, more topicals, none of which were very successful in the long-term. My new dermatologist (who herself had adult acne and is very sympathetic) would not give me Accutane because I couldn’t be on two forms of birth control. What’s ironic is that I had asked my college dermatologist to give me Accutane when I was in my early 20s, and on the pill; he said my acne was not severe enough to warrant it. My new dermatologist agrees that 30 YEARS of acne is pretty severe. She has put me on 40 mg once a day, and wants to up it to 80 mg after a month.

So, after I had to have a hysterectomy this year, I was finally able to go on Accutane. I have mild to moderate acne, with frequent cysts and nodules. My skin also seems more prone to scarring now that I’m older, and I can’t tell you how bad it sucks to be still battling acne when I’m also starting to get wrinkly. (I'm assuming I'll have to stop my Botox now that I'm on Accutane? I forgot to ask my dermatologist.) I’m really praying Accutane will be the answer for me. Because of a long history of anxiety disorder and depression, my dermatologist has asked that I consult a psychiatrist during at least the first few months of my treatment. The psych said that he has never encountered a patient on Accutane whose anxiety or depression worsened dramatically, but because of the remote possibility of this occurring due to my history, he has put me on a very low dose of Wellbutrin and Clonipin.

Day 1 (started October 13)

Took my first one. Gosh, drinking the whole glass of water with the darn thing made me nauseated! Within the first minute! Ugh. No, I’m really fine. I’ll get used to that. It shouldn’t have been cold water; maybe that was the problem.

I had four inflamed spots this morning--- one an old healed nodular one, weirdly coming to a head after being nearly gone, and three non-nodular small ones. I’m going to be very honest about my spots each day so I’ll be able to really track my progress. I have several healed-but-red peeling spots, but this morning, only four inflamed spots.

I’m fearful of side effects. Not so much the depression/anxiety, because I’m quite self-aware and will realize that it’s happening, but the excessive peeling, joint pain, etc. It’s a powerful medication. I hope it works for me. I want this to be gone.

First side effect (maybe, not sure): dry eyes. They’re sort of itchy.

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(Let's see if this shows up as a separate post or pops onto my original. I'll figure this out yet!)

Oct 14—Day 2

No changes, for good or bad. My face is still quite oily. My pimple from yesterday, the old nodular one, ended looking like a burn last night. It really looked bad, and although I am not supposed to pick, it’s very hard not to when you have this weird scabby thing that makeup won’t even stick to. So, I got the crusty part off, and now it’s red and weepy, but at least is flat. I don’t have anywhere to go today so I can look awful and it won’t matter much. I’ve put some Neosporin on it.

Oct 15—Day 3

Still no changes yet. Spots healing at last; still a bit scabby, but at least I can get makeup on. Nothing new, no dryness. Perhaps it won’t be so bad on this low dose? I can only hope.

October 17, 2006—Day 5

Still nothing. Everything healing nicely, and some peeliness around my nose, but I always have that. Good grief, to think I could have started this over the summer! Darn it.

October 18, 2006—Day 6

I finally have my first change. I noticed last night that my lips were tight---not dry yet; just that tight feeling they get when they’re getting wind-chapped. I put on the Aquafor, which, happily, lasted through the night. (I still felt a slight greasiness of it this morning when I woke.) I’ve put on more this morning, and will see if lots of creamy lipstick will do the trick today.

Other than that, things are fine. The spots are all healing so well, and nothing new brewing.

(Later in the day) Trouble ahead. My lips are definitely chapping. I keep feeling like licking them, so I know. I need to be more diligent in keeping the Aquafor on. AND, just now in the shower, the skin on my face was burning, and continued to sting once I was out of the shower and putting on the Cetaphil lotion (with sunscreen--- do I have to use that all the time? What do I use? Confused.).

I can’t believe there are no new spots. That’s great

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Hey Mrs.N

Its 'cool' i guess to see someone older than usual on the Tane.Its interesting to see what the treatment does to you and all the usual stuff.Just wishing you all the best of luck and hope you get satisfactory results

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Thanks very much! I think of so many things I missed out on--- I skipped one of my high school reunions because of a bad flare-up, I would lie to my husband and tell him I didn't feel like going out to dinner when it was really because I was so embarrassed about the way I looked. etc. Good grief, having to wear full makeup when out doing yardwork because I was nervous some neighbor would stop and talk to me. Even avoiding (ahem) intimacy because I knew my face had nasty topicals on it, or I was worried about a spot on my back. I'm so excited for all you young people because you won't have the years of struggle I've had. I've had acne since before most of you on these boards were even born! I had spots in my 4th grade school photo! :(

Again, thanks for the well wishes. I hope good things for you, too.

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October 21, 2006—Day 9

Well, I had two little tiny pimples on my chin, one yesterday and one today, both easily dispatched, but now I’m getting a rather larger one (cystic? Just underground?) near my nose that’s pretty sore and slightly reddened. I’m just leaving it alone. My lips are definitely dry all the time and need the Aquaphor, which I’m truly growing to despise. Gluey and disgusting. My regular skin on my face feels OK, though, and still slightly greasy. Odd.

October 23, 2006—Day 11

Well, the cystic one near my nose definitely got worse. It started getting hot and sensitive in the evening of Day 9, and progressed through today. On a scale of 1-10, it’s about a 5, and I can get makeup on it. I’ve left it alone, and it’s sore and red, but seems to need to be left alone. The two small ones on my chin are already healed and finished--- very fast healing. Dryness getting a bit worse, but with Aquaphor and lipstick, it doesn’t look too bad in public. I’m just waiting for other areas to get dry and peely, and then I’ll have something to worry about. Since I’ve been on this nearly two weeks, I’m guessing this is as bad as I’ll get on this dose. Next month will be worse.

OK, perhaps a psychological side effect. I have burst into tears three times in the last few days. We DO have a lot going on right now, but I honestly think I’m a little more weepy than normal. Let’s see if things calm down.

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LOL at putting on makeup to work in the yard. I put on makeup to take out the trash ever since my neighbor caught me and decided to say "hi" one day before I spackled. Usually I look up and down the street to make sure I won't have to see anyone but somehow she snuck up on me. :ninja: Never again.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by my log. We might be the oldest ones on this board. I know there is another 41yo out there and a few older 30's.

Platinum

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Hi Mrs. N! Welcome to the board :angel: I put makeup on as soon as I get up in the morning and I don't take it off until right before I go to bed at night (no lights on, just the tv as my husband might see how bad my skin looks.) I honestly don't know why he married me, my skin is soooooo bad sometimes. Oh well, I'll get through it. I'm in my mid 30's and just now getting ready to start accutane for the first time...so I'll be watching your log with interest. We can lend each other support as you'll be only about a month ahead of me. Hope all goes well for you.

Beagle

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Hi Mrs N

Just wanted to drop by and wish you luck. I am 38 (almost 39) and just started a low dose for rosacea and mild acne. My skin looks good - but I feel horrible. I must be a wimp because I am only on 10 mg a day!

Best!

K

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Welcome Mrs. N!

Platinum suggested she and you were the oldest ones here, but I'm 48 and I started my Accutane almost a year ago at age 47. I was completely clear after two months and the results have been very positive. I'm now five and a half months post-Tane and have experienced a few small pimples, but nothing compared to the cystic stuff I had pre-Tane.

I think you'll be very happy with your results. There may be a few bumps on the road along the way, but the folks at acne.org will help you through it.

P&W

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Thank you for the welcome, Beagle, K, and P&W! Everyone here is so welcoming and supportive! And P&W, how great to hear your positive results! My husband, who doesn't even have as bad acne as I do, is so interested now in my results he's considering trying it, as he's been getting some really bad scalp and neck acne, with occasional spots on his face. And in his teens and 20s had that condition where his beard hair would grow inward, and he has some scarring from that along his jawline. He never really had bad acne, but now that he's in his 40s, it's been bothering him a bit more. I'm just so amazed how well this is working for me, and he is too, that he wonders if it might be good for him to nip it in the bud.

October 24, 2006—Day 12

Well, I missed a pill somehow. I was late taking it yesterday, and when I counted, I had missed one. I think it was Sunday. Anyway, the bad one under my nose still looks awful, and I got a small one near my jawbone yesterday, and then this morning can feel a new medium sized one on my chin. Maybe this is the IB coming, I don’t know.

October 28, 2006—Day 16

The big one under my nose healed much more quickly than they usually do. In fact, everything is healing fast. Very flaky around my nose and the healing spots, but they really do look better. BUT, what’s weird is my blackheads seem to look worse, sort of prominent. Some of them can be scratched off with a fingernail, that’s how close to the surface. It’s odd. Maybe they’re working their way out? Who knows.

October 29—Day 17

Yes, my blackheads are definitely looking worse. Millions of little tiny ones. Ugh.

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November 1, 2006—Day 20 (is this right?)

Oh yes. Oh my LORD the blackheads. It seems I have blackheads in EVERY SINGLE PORE on my face, especially around my nose, mouth and chin. A million teeny dark dots. You can squeeze them, but my God, I can’t get them ALL. I’ve only worked on the ones that look really large, and they’re filled. There’s just nothing I can do about them. It is SO hard not to pick, but my skin seems very fragile and I just can’t end up with scabs all over my face. The dryness is about the same--- my lips are very dry, but not cracking at the edges yet, nor bleeding. But I’m sure that’s coming. I can’t believe I’m going to look so horrid for the holidays but it cannot be helped. I can only hope that I’ve avoided the major huge breakout, and will only have the peeling and dryness to deal with, and that nothing gets significantly worse with the higher dose in a few weeks. If I scrub ever-so-gently with a washcloth and the Cetaphil, then moisturize right away and get my foundation on, I can keep the peeling away from the sides of my nostrils (where it seems most prominent) for about 3 or so hours. I didn’t look so bad at the Halloween party last night, and just kept the lipstick on every half hour or so, so I wouldn’t have the greasy lip look.

November 3, 2006—Day 20 (THIS was Day 20, I was off somehow.)

Flaky spots healing. I have to be VERY careful with my picking and squeezing, because my skis is so fragile it just breaks and I end up with little scabby spots. Right now I just accidentally knocked off a little light scabby thing and now it’s bleeding. I just have to leave everything alone.

Very weepy day yesterday, and still not really sure if it’s due to this or just these circumstances of life coming to a breaking point. I AM aware of it, though, which is the main thing. And I have no sense of overwhelming despair or despondency. Certainly no thoughts of hurting myself or others. Just a little quick to tears.

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November 5, 2006—Day 22

Still nothing new. Everything healed, no huge flaky bits or scabbies, and even my blackheads seem a little better, although GOD is it hard not to try to “get†them. And they are EVERYWHERE, in places I never had them before--- between my eyes near my eyebrows, up high on my cheeks. It just goes to show how oily my face was that all this stuff is moving out.

November 6, 2006—Day 23

One thing I noticed yesterday, in the lighted 15X mirror, (which I highly recommend getting if you don’t already have one) is that my skin is slightly blotchy. In the regular mirror it just looks slightly pink, but in the magnifying mirror you can see that it’s slightly mottled. The texture is the same though, and it all feels very smooth. But, the main thing is, a ton of my blackheads were gone this morning! An area where I get them a lot is in the crease just above my chin, and when I looked in the mirror this morning, it was all smooth! Still a lot on my chin, and cheeks and nose, but those just below my lip and all in that crease were gone! A miracle!

OK, all caught up on my log.... now I'll just be updating as things change.

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November 7---Day 24

I'm so weepy. I burst into tears at everything. It's really not like me. I'm also having some joint pain, my ankles and wrists, and my lower back hurts a bit. I just thought I'd add this. Might be helpful to someone.

One great side effect---- I only have to wash my hair every four days or so. I usually wash it every other day (it's long and thick, and takes forever to dry), and even then it doesn't look dirty, but my gosh, it still looks great today and the last time I washed it was Saturday! Still clean bouncy and shiny. I guess I'll save money on shampoo. :lol:

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Hi Ms N! I enjoy reading your log - sounds like you're keeping a sense of humor through it all. I hope accutane does the trick for you!

Best of luck :wavey:

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Thank you, Royalredus! OMG, if I didn't have a sense of humor I would absolutely have been carted off to the asylum years ago, with the rest of my freaking family. We are all totally insane. I can't even begin to tell you all the really weird traumatic things that have happened in our lives. You just have laugh your way through it, and have a good cry every now and then.

I'm planning a good all-day movie cry-fest this weekend when my husband is away---- trying to figure out my all time favorite weepies to get this out of my system. "To Kill A Mockingbird;" "The Miracle Worker;" "Truly, Madly, Deeply;" "The Secret Garden;" "Shawshank Redemption;"-- plus, HBO has been reshowing "Band of Brothers," and although I have them on DVD, I haven't watched them in a while, so it's time for some WWII tears, too.

Time will tell. I do know that when I'm NOT crying, I'm deliriously happy and seeing improvment in my skin and enjoying life and getting my daily stuff done, no lying in bed in a coma, so that's a good thing, right? :clap:

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One great side effect---- I only have to wash my hair every four days or so. I usually wash it every other day (it's long and thick, and takes forever to dry), and even then it doesn't look dirty, but my gosh, it still looks great today and the last time I washed it was Saturday! Still clean bouncy and shiny. I guess I'll save money on shampoo. :lol:

I hope my hair improves the way yours has! I have a thick head of hair as well. I hate washing it because it takes so long to blow dry, and by the next day it's already starting to look oily. You've just given me one more thing to look forward to!

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LOL Mrs N! Sounds like you will have some Cinematherapy this weekend! Don't forget Terms of Endearment, Brian's Song and Old Yeller - I had swollen eyes for days after those!

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LOL Mrs N! Sounds like you will have some Cinematherapy this weekend! Don't forget Terms of Endearment, Brian's Song and Old Yeller - I had swollen eyes for days after those!

Well, I didn't even need the Cinematherapy! I had a wreck yesterday afternoon, so cried plenty! A woman T-boned me as I was crossing my street; she came out of a driveway and didn't even look my way. I saw the coast was clear, had looked both ways and crossed the intersection, and suddenly she was there from out of nowhere, and bam. My car may be totaled (let's hope!), and all I have is a bum ankle that's really sore and bruised, so I'm really lucky. But I got cited, grrrr, even though I do NOT feel it was my fault. We'll see what our witness says and what the insurance says, and thanks to Google Maps I have a close-up photo of the intersection and can show how I believe she pulled out while I was still in the intersection.

ARGH, it was such a mess. I was SO frustrated. And now I'm so achy and sore, and not sure if it was the wreck or the Accutane!

So, keep fingers crossed that my car is totaled! We were just about to trade it in, too. Good grief.

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One great side effect---- I only have to wash my hair every four days or so. I usually wash it every other day (it's long and thick, and takes forever to dry), and even then it doesn't look dirty, but my gosh, it still looks great today and the last time I washed it was Saturday! Still clean bouncy and shiny. I guess I'll save money on shampoo. :lol:

I hope my hair improves the way yours has! I have a thick head of hair as well. I hate washing it because it takes so long to blow dry, and by the next day it's already starting to look oily. You've just given me one more thing to look forward to!

OMG, ya'll! I used to wash my hair every day because of the oil. Now it's every other day or every 3rd day. Yay! :clap: I never even considered this a side effect.

Cinematherapy

:lol: Love it!

I had a wreck yesterday afternoon, so cried plenty!

OMG! I'm glad you are ok. Was this a residential street? I bet you are sore all over. Even little wrecks can do that.

Still, you should do the Cinematherapy, just cause I love the word :razz: .

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Mrs. N

Hope you are OK, sorry about your accident! If it ain't one thing, it's another... :doh: Seems like you are doing alright with your skin issues for now, except of course the blackheads, yay for no major breakout so far. Hope things continue to go well. Acne can be beaten!

Beagle

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Mrs. N - so sorry to hear about the car accident. The wierd thing is that I was in a car accident on Monday! I was a passenger but it is still so scary! I hope your car is totaled and that you are feeling better. After something like that - the state of your skin and accutane don't seem so important.

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Hello, Loves.... thanks for the well wishes.

Yes, it was a residential street/larger street intersection, with her coming out of a driveway onto the main road just as I was mostly already across my residential street. I was in the very last lane when she hit me, and would have had no reason to see her there or expect her to pull out. I am positive she just looked left, pulled out, and then bam, I was there, and especially if she was going at a bit of a clip, or distracted and not looking at the road, there's no way she would have been able to miss me. I've driven the route a few times since then, looking to see what had to have happened, and the only way she could have hit me was if she hadn't been looking. I definitely didn't see her. It is just annoying more than anything. I'm feeling much better, though. Sorry about your wreck, ksod! Hope you're OK, too. The aches and pains kept coming a few days after---- really sore neck and ribs. I'm really lucky it wasn't worse.

Back to acne, ooooh, our favorite subject! Three days left on my first month! I won't see the derm until Thursday so will miss a pill, and am praying my bloodwork looks good so I can continue. I would love to stay at this dose because I have only had two cysts and a few smaller ones (one of the small ones on my chin that was nearly gone suddenly decided to rear its ugly head again and got all lumpy last night, but by this morning it was nearly gone again.), and I can certainly live with the flakiness rather than my typical acne. I'm learning to exfoliate slightly with a washcloth just before putting on foundation, and can make it a few hours without new flakes on my nose, and my lips are cracking but bearable. I WILL go on the higher dose if she strongly recommends it, but still afraid of the IB and the other side effects. We can always adjust the dose, I guess.

Did even better than cinematherapy----- shoppotherapy! Bought a beautiful cherry side table from a place that was going out of business, and bought bunch of new silk curtains for my front room, and yummy candles, so I was happy! And spending some really fun time with my Mom, who came up to help me with errands and such while I'm carless and while my husband is off on his poker-weekend with his college buds.

SO, wish me luck for Thursday's appt; I may not check in here again before then, so much going on while carless and dishwasher broken and dog with strained shoulder muscle. Oy.

Take care, all! Hang in there---- we'll ALL get this beat!

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Day 30

Well, I'm extremely happy overall. I go back to the derm tomorrow, and am going WITHOUT MAKEUP, gasp, to show her how well it's working. I got some Joppa minerals after seeing the glowing reports here, and I'll post my review of those over on the other board. It's a nice fine coverage of powder foundation that looks SO much better than my old foundation, and I believe the derm will be able to get a really good idea of my skin improvement without me feeling completely naked.

My big cyst under my nose kept scaling up over and over again, and I couldn't resist that picky feeling, and ended up scabbing it up so many times! It was quite frustrating, and it's still red and looks a little like a healed burn. Great. The large one on my chin that came back up healed better, and is only slightly red, and a little concealer takes care of it, but I'm not putting anything on tomorrow so she can see. My skin is still slightly mottled and pink, and when I first put the Joppa on I caked it on a bit much, and boy did it sink into my old empty blackhead holes on my nose. It was really weird looking. My blackheads are so vastly improved as to be truly unbelieveable. I am SO happy to be on this Accutane, gosh, I cannot tell you. Wish I could say it was worth the 32 year wait, but at least I'm here now, at 42, and on my way to clear skin that lasts.

No side effects that I could see other than the dry lips. My mood is good (but that may be the prophylactic dose of Wellbutrin), I don't have body aches that I can tell (although I was pretty achy after the car accident. Oh, and my car WAS totaled, yay, so that helps us out greatly in buying the new car.), and nothing else seems too awful. I'm sure my derm was expecting to up me to 80mg, but I may discuss the possibility of only up to 60mg, so my side effects aren't so bad through the holidays. I would like to look pretty and not so flaky when I go to parties, and shopping, etc.

Thank you guys for bearing with me through this truly boring log. I am thrilled there wasn't that much to report!

In short, for the first month:

Blackheads came on fast and furious in the first two weeks, but no IB. Blackheads are all nearly gone now after one month!

Skin dry but manageable with tub Cetaphil cream. Lips pretty scaly and it's hard not to pick at them, but I keep the Aquaphor on, especially at night, and they're tolerable.

On to month 2! Let's hope for good bloodwork tomorrow! And good luck, all of you! We'll make it through this!

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What, me bawling my head at every little thing? :wacko: Well, you're very sweet. I guess my log isn't as well-hit as others because I'm just an old Granny and who wants to read about that? LOL! I have been cracking up laughing remembering what it was like to be in my 20s, when going without drinking would have been a pretty big deal. Not that I was a sot, but I went out with my friends and we drank, and it would have felt pretty weird to be the one NOT partaking. Now I just couldn't care less, and hardly drink at all anyway, maybe a beer when we're out for Mexican or German food, but I never drink at home, so skipping the alcohol temporarily and saving my liver is very well worth it.

How are you doing on your regime, Royalredus? Do you have a log going?

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