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Lauren from NY

Please work oh please work oh PLEASE work

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Hi everyone!

I can't believe I'm finally posting - I've been lurking for so long, but for some reason I had this fear or establishing an account. Like I didn't want people "from real life" to figure out it was me. Luckily I've overcome that fear - these people know I have some skin problems, who cares if they read my posts here - and I'm at last ready to introduce myself.

Here are the basics, I'll include more information at the bottom for anyone who is interested.

I'm a 19 year old female and I'll be starting Accutane probably on January 11th, 2007. This is INCREDIBLY frustrating for me, though, because I was originally supposed to start on December 22nd but couldn't fly home from my final exams in time to make it before the derm's office closed. So now I have to wait. And mind you it's only 3 weeks, but my skin is NOT doing well right now and I'm not handling it well emotionally - the sooner I start, the better in my mind. I'm so sick of this.

About my skin: I'll be doing a 6 month course of 40mg/day. Like everyone else here, this has been a long struggle. I've been having acne problems since I was 13 and I'll be 20 in February. I've tried everything: Retin-A, RAM, Differin, Cleocin, Benzaclin, Minocycline, good old BP and over the counter stuff, Duac, Plexion, etc. etc. My routine is currently absurdly complicated and involves 2% BHA, Duac, salicyclic acid, BCP (I was put on Yasmin for my skin - it helped at first, now I think it's causing a monthly cystic pimple on my skin, as I have now. Lovely), and Doxycycline. One of the things I cannot WAIT for is to not have to spend 30 minutes putting a gazillion products on my face at night, or blotting about 10 times a day. I am a frying pan I'm so oily.

My acne is generally classified as mild-moderate, but NOTHING is working and when I went to see the derm over Thanksgiving, he immediately suggested Accutane. I had this whole speech prepared about why I needed Accutane and didn't even need to say any of it because the first thing he said was, "Well, I guess it's time for Accutane then."

The good/bad thing about my skin is that there have been plenty of periods when I have been 95-100% clear. What seems to happen is that these products will work and then quit. The period of time they work has ranged from 2 months (like the stuff I've recently tried) to about 2 years, right when I first got acne and was "cured" by Retin-A. Of course having clear skin is wonderful, but the downside to having these good periods is the emotional impact when you lose something so good. The ups and downs of going from clear to bad skin are brutal. It's hard knowing what it's like to be clear and worrying, each day, that it's going to end (which it inevitably does).

My acne has never been cystic until last month. Then I got my first ever cystic pimple on my chin right before my period (again, I think it may be the Yasmin). This just happened again a few days ago and I'm currently dealing with this ginormous monster on my chin, right across from the scar from last month's. It is hideous. Oh yeah, the other thing about my skin is that I scar from EVERYTHINIG. It's super.

Right now my skin is moderately broken out. I'm insanely oily, have blackheads all over my nose, a few tiny scattered pimples and then Mount Everest II on my chin. That may not sound horrible but again, I've run out of options and the type of acne I'm getting is now changing.

Other things: One of the main reasons I've been coming here is because of the supportive atmosphere. My parents have not been so great - they're trying, but my Mom is an anxious MESS about this which, of course, is not helpful. She keeps talking about how in the long run, I am going to end up a 60 year old post-menopausal woman with Sahara-dry skin and (LOL) a shriveled up vagina because of the Accutane. She's also obsessing about the liver effects. My Dad, who had awful acne throughout his 20's, thinks I should just deal with it like he did. Since my acne is not severe, he thinks I'm being superficial and "obsessive" by wanting Accutane. So yeah, getitng the support I need has been hard.

The other thing is that like most others, I do NOT deal well emotionally when I break out. I basically try to hide. This is going to sound horrible and conceited and I apologize in advance, but I'm a relatively attractive person and when my skin is clear, I can be quite pretty. However, because I get all sorts of positive feedback about my appearance, it feels like there's added pressure to be pretty and have clear skin. I'm almost embarrassed to show my face when I'm all broken out because I know people will be thinking, "Woah, what happened to her? She used to be hot." So yeah, that's another issue and is particularly bad at school. I am so, so, SO scared about the initial breakout and about how long it's going to take for me to clear. I can just tell that I'm going to hide in my room and avoid everyone, which is terrible because when my skin is clear, I'm a very social person. Also my birthday is February 24th (so about 1.5 months after I start) and I'm terrified that I'm going to be a pimply mess for it. :(

Wow this post is getting long so I'm going to call it quits, but I just wanted to introduce myself and distract myself as I wait for the Accutane. I can/will post more non-skin related information if anyone is interested, and until then, if you made it this far WOW and thank you for reading!! Hopefully this will be over as soon as possible, I'm just dying to start.

Thanks for reading!!

Lauren ;)

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Oh before I forget, first:

MERRY CHRISTMAS, happy holidays!

(I'm Jewish so I almost forgot that it's Christmas Eve Day! We're going out for Chinese food, as per family tradition haha).

Second, what products do you recommend I use while on Accutane? Already know I should get:

Dr. Dan's Cortibalm

Aquaphor

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (I actually already use this)

But what do I wash with? What about body lotion and a daytime face moisturizer?

Also, I think I'll take Vitamin E and Flax Seed Oil with my pill. Any other recommendations?

Thanks!!!

Lauren ;)

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HI and congrats on getting accutane! I don't think you're conceited at all and unlike your father, I don't think you should have to "deal with it" just because he did. I'll think you'll get great results!

As for a cleanser, I use Johnson & JOhnson head-to-Toe Baby Wash and it's wonderful. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO gentle and removes makeup as well. Plus-SUPER CHEAP! :dance:

For daytime you just need a moisturizer with SPF. I use Clean n Clear Morning glow at the moment. As long as it's not irritating your skin (I tried Moisturel once and I was on FIRE-my whole face turned BEET red within minutes!!!) So yeah, as long as it doesn't do THAT! lol! Even my boyfriend noticed soemthing was wrong (and he never notices anything :rolleyes: )

Personally, i don't take anything with my pill, I just eat it with dinner which usually has enough fat in it for absorption purposes, but others have said good things about supplements.

Ok-good luck, the side effects are not that bad and I bet your parents will be so glad you took it when they see you in 3 months-you're going to look FANTASTIC! Your mom will be jealous!

(this is my second time around and I never got a dry vagina :lol: )

Anyway-have great chinese food! Happy Hanukkah!

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HI and congrats on getting accutane! I don't think you're conceited at all and unlike your father, I don't think you should have to "deal with it" just because he did. I'll think you'll get great results!

As for a cleanser, I use Johnson & JOhnson head-to-Toe Baby Wash and it's wonderful. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO gentle and removes makeup as well. Plus-SUPER CHEAP! :dance:

For daytime you just need a moisturizer with SPF. I use Clean n Clear Morning glow at the moment. As long as it's not irritating your skin (I tried Moisturel once and I was on FIRE-my whole face turned BEET red within minutes!!!) So yeah, as long as it doesn't do THAT! lol! Even my boyfriend noticed soemthing was wrong (and he never notices anything :rolleyes: )

Personally, i don't take anything with my pill, I just eat it with dinner which usually has enough fat in it for absorption purposes, but others have said good things about supplements.

Ok-good luck, the side effects are not that bad and I bet your parents will be so glad you took it when they see you in 3 months-you're going to look FANTASTIC! Your mom will be jealous!

(this is my second time around and I never got a dry vagina :lol: )

Anyway-have great chinese food! Happy Hanukkah!

Thanks, Foomph! I think I'll pick up that Johnsons and Johnsons and give that a try. Also going to get Head and Shoulders, just in case.

So my routine will be:

Johnsons and Johnsons

Moisturizer with SPF

40 mg Accutane

Vitamin E, Flax Seed Oil, Biotin

Then Johnsons and Johnsons

Cetaphil Cream

Head and Shoulders + Dove Conditioner and some kind of body moisturizer

Eye drops, saline nose spray, vaseline in nose, aquaphor + Dr. Dan's on lips.

Anything I'm forgetting?

Oh and Mount Everest II on my chin resolved itself thanks to Tazorac spot treatment, but now I have bright red patch of raw skin. What should I do? It can be covered with makeup but as soon as the concealer slides off (as it does after like 5 minutes - yay for oily skin!) it looks awful. Is there something I can do to fade it/heal it more quickly?

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas everyone!

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hmmmmm...I get the res blotches too, where the skin has peeled off...I use a cortisone cream to help speed the healing. You can try that or neosporin as well. For covering it, make sure you use some powder over the concealer to help it stay put. Personlly, I haven't had much success with covering them etiher. :doubt: Looks like you're good to go!

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Quick update-

STILL waiting to start (1 more week, hooray!) and so frustrated.

Finishing up my shopping: So far I have cetaphil cream, super moisturizing shampoo/conditioner, tons and tons of Aquaphor, Dr. Dan's lipbalm, eye drops (I wear contacts) and saline spray for my nose. I'm going to buy Fish Oil too, although that may be unncessary if I'm taking Flax...??

Any thoughts about a daytime moisturizer? Cetaphil? Purpose? Oil of Olay? And what about face soap - trying to decide between that Johnson and Johnson head to toe wash or Purpose Cleanser. Any thoughts?

Also, 2 questions:

1) I very very rarely break out in cysts (I've had only a few in my entire life). When I start Accutane, is it likely that I'll break out in cysts or not so much because I very rarely do?

2) Also, when does the IB generally come? I know it varies for everyone, but is it closer to 2 weeks to 1 month? Just trying to prepare myself.

Thanks!!!

xox :)

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Hi Lauren!!

I just read through the beginning of your log and I am psyched for you to start accutane! It sounds like you are a good candidate for it (with everything not working and the acne persisting). I was similar to you in the sense that some products would work and I would be clear for a little while but the acne would always come back! So I'm hoping accutane will work for you.

About a daytime moisturizer...I use Aveeno Calming Moisturizer with SPF 15. It helps reduce redness (which can happen on accutane). It's important that you use a lotion with SPF in it (even though its not summer) because your skin will be SO sensitive to the sun...even small bits! I have found that this lotion calms my face, especially when I get out of the shower and my face is a little agitated. So that is what I would recommend. As for a facial cleanser/soap...I have been using Cetaphil Gentle cleanser...it is nice and gentle on your face...exactly what you need!

As for your questions:

1. The whole cyst issue...you might or you might not? Accutane effects everyone differently so there really isn't a yes or no answer. I didn't really get cysts that often before accutane and I didn't get any more than normal during my course. But that's me!

2. Most people usually see an IB within the first month. I didn't necessarily get an IB...I just continued to break out the same for the first 2 months...it didn't increase or decrease. If you have been using other medications or products and then stop and use Accutane...its usually that time when you stop is what makes the IB come on...again, it depends on the person!

I hope this helps you out! I know I was feeling just like you before I started...wanting to know what products were the best etc. OH! And I wear contacts too and I use Refresh Tears for Contacts...they work great! I have had extremely dry eyes but have never taken my contacts out...but I use the Refresh tears every morning and it makes things more manageable. Again, I hope this helps you out!! I'll stop by and see how things are going :)

Kristen

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Hi there! Welcome to the accutane family! Your story sounds so much like many of ours... a lot like mine! I had a really bad IB and hid for a long time, so I completely understand that feeling. I think my IB came on so strong was my drastic change i products that I used on my face and like sundance32 said, stopping what you were using (which was helping the acne somewhat) and waiting for the accutane to kick in. Plus I started out at 80mg right away. I think you will be fine as you are easing into it.... Try to think positively. I sound like a hypocrite there because if you read my journal, I was not so positive just recently actually...

We will all have clear skin!! Good Luck to you!

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I'm going to buy Fish Oil too, although that may be unncessary if I'm taking Flax...??

Any thoughts about a daytime moisturizer? Cetaphil? Purpose? Oil of Olay? And what about face soap - trying to decide between that Johnson and Johnson head to toe wash or Purpose Cleanser. Any thoughts?

Also, 2 questions:

1) I very very rarely break out in cysts (I've had only a few in my entire life). When I start Accutane, is it likely that I'll break out in cysts or not so much because I very rarely do?

2) Also, when does the IB generally come? I know it varies for everyone, but is it closer to 2 weeks to 1 month? Just trying to prepare myself.

Thanks!!!

xox :)

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Thank you all SO much for your helpful and kind responses. I'll take your suggestions. Let's just pray that if I do have a bad IB, it comes and leaves QUICKLY!

Big news - Derm appointment was moved to TOMORROW so I start Accutane TOMORROW! Eeeee. I'm scared but excited.

Will keep you updated.

:)

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Hi Lauren and welcome! Don't stress, Accutane WILL work. I don't think there is a single documented case where it didn't. The problem is just that 1.) it takes a while and 2.) some people can't handle the side effects and quit too soon. My advice is hang in there because the results will be worth it.

I recommend Oil of Olay moiturizer with SPF 30 (sensitive skin) for the daytime. I use Eucerin Clear Skin Formula as well, but that is hard to find because it's been discontinued. Definitely stock up on Dr. Dan's! I would get approx 5-6 tubes for your entire course.

~Heather

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ah how exciting that you are starting tomorow. i was scared too about someone i know finding out i was on this website posting about my acne, haha how embarrasing right? you'll be pretty close to me, treatment wise, since i popped my first pill last night. sounds like you've got everything you need for the course.

goodluck, hope you do well and your skin clears nicely.

btw , where'd you get dr. dans from?

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Day 1

Okay, I just took my first pill. I was supposed to start yesterday, but the pharmacy had to order the stuff. Derm had initially told me 40 mg a day, but he's starting me off at 40 mg every other day for the first two months - I'm not sure how I feel about this. Has anyone else done it every other day? In some ways I think I'd prefer to do 20 mg every day just to get a more consistent dose... do you think this will hinder my progress?

Also, I'm on Sotret (not Accutane). Any problems with this not being as effective? Derm and pharmacist swore it was the same, but again I'm not convinced.

I'm feeling anxious and scared. A piece of me wants to burst into tears, actually, because I'm so afraid of what is coming. Right now happens to be a particularly good skin week for me (of course, Murphy's Law, right?) so I keep asking myself why I'm messing with my skin when it's already doing well enough. Of course, as soon as PMS hits my skin will be a trainwreck again which will lead to more marks, and of course the fact that I go through 10 blotting sheets/day and have a skincare routine that takes nearly 30 minutes every night are reason enough, as is the fact that I've literally tried everything and eventually I know that this antibiotic (minocycline) will quit on me, leading to bad acne flare ups. It's hard right now, though, even though I know this is what I need to do to put an end to seven years of acne problems.

Gah I'm scared guys. How am I going to deal with 2 or 3 months of horrible skin when things have been relatively decent these past few weeks? Granted things were NOT at all decent during October and November, but again I have this problem of only seeing things in the short-term. :(

Anyway just took the pill with Vitamin E, Fish Oil and a big dinner (and a huge glass of water). We'll see how this goes - I guess I'll probably be updating every other day, at least at first.

(PS cutiieoxcakess, I got the Dr. Dan's from my local Eckerds - just asked the pharmacist to order for me, cost about $3.00)

Skin

Obviously the Accutane hasn't done anything, but just as a baseline, I currently have super oily skin, 2 small clogged pores on my cheek which will probably turn into pimples now that I have the Tane in me (they've been sitting there, dormant, for over 2 months), a rather large clogged pores in between my eyebrows that is red because I've been putting Tazorac on it, a whole bunch of clogged pores around it (in between my eyebrows), TONS of horrible blackheads all over my nose, small pimple on my chin and then leftover red marks. So yes, not bad at ALL - this is one of the best periods my skin has seen in ages. Sigh.

Side Effects

None yet, besides feeling scared shitless!

xo

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Sorry to keep posting, but I have a question:

My derm perscribed Cleocin lotion (which did nothing in the past, but whatever) to use morning and night. I thought you could only use gentle soap and gentle moisturizer while on the Tane...?

On a similar note, is it okay to use some of my gentle topicals as a spot treatment until my skin dries out? How far can you push it as far as using acne products while on Accutane?

Thanks!!

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Day 3

Nothing really to report. I'm still annoyed that my derm put me on 40mg every other day. I really wish it could be every day. Ugh. I have some weird suspicion that this low dose is going to hinder my progress - am I totally paranoid? Can I really expect fast and good results on such a low dose? (I weigh about 120lbs, by the way). But anyway I've been diligent about drinking water and using moisturizing gentle products even though nothing has really changed. I'm actually surprised that my face hasn't exploded yet given that my topicals + minocycline were working pretty well. We shall see, I'm expecting a horrible breakout any day now which makes me sad because some friends are coming to visit me at school on February 2nd and I'm convinced that I'm going to look absolutely wretched then. Le sigh.

Skin

Nothing new. The spot between my eyebrows is progressing as usual, but that was coming up well before I started Accutane. One tiny clogged pore kinda popped out but it literally cannot be seen unless you're an inch away from my face. Otherwise, still oily, still have the clogged pores between my eyebrows, some red marks, blackheads, etc.

Side Effects

Since it's only day 3, I'm not that surprised that I haven't felt anything. The first night I took it I was SO sleep really early (very unusual for me) but I highly doubt it was caused by Accutane. Otherwise, nothing yet.

Thanks for reading!

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Day 5

Well, nothing new. I'm a little surprised, I thought for sure I'd be noticing SOMETHING by the end of day 5? Literally haven't seen or felt any changes. Still doing 40mg every other day. Bracing myself for an IB. I go back to school in a week, praying it doesn't come then (but it probably will, right?)

Skin

Nothing new. Spot between my eyes running its usual course. I do have 2 incredibly teeny new clogged pores on my forehead, but they tend to come and go (rarely turn into anything more).

Side Effects

None.

Still waiting/bracing myself...

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hey Lauren!

here to wish you a good luck in return!

your story sounds a lot like mine when i went on accutane the first time. i know it's hard at first and i expected the worst as well, it's tough waking up every morning and running to the mirror to see if any new "friends" have arisen over night.. i know the feeling all too well. but, the way i thought of it is this: if there are spots forming, they WILL come up eventually. while the accutane will bring them out more quickly and within a shorter time span, it also means that down the road things will get MUCH easier. the first course can be hard, mine really was too. i didn't start looking better till probably 2-3 months. but rest assured that you are taking the BEST possible action you can. you've just got to get the tough part over with! you will be SO happy once you hit month 3/4/5 and beyond. as for your dosage, don't worry! your doc is dosing you conservatively yes, you've got that right.. however, many will do this in the beginning to lessen the severity of side effects and most importantly lower the chances for a massive initial break out! so no worries, sounds like you're in pretty good hands. my doc told me that it doesn't matter what your dosage is throughout the course as long as you hit cumulative dosage. that being said, one can opt to take a smaller dosage for a longer amount of time (what i did my first time around) to minimize side effects and IB, or a larger dosage for less time. you should get bumped up soon at any rate! lastly, i can totally sympathize w/ the parents situation.. wow yours sound EXACTLY like mine! my mom freaked about accutane the first time and is still edgy the second.. she keeps harassing me to drink water and this and that. my dad, like yours, is disapproving and at my first course said: "it's your life, if you want to take meds for something natural that goes away anyways, be my guest". unfortunately, things affect everybody differently, and for me, having acne hurt my self esteem, like you i consider myself decently attractive and having spots made me also want to hide. accutane was one of the best decisions i have made for myself, and i am happy that i chose a second course as well! i hope you have the same success!

- Lisa

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ha i always thought i`d have some sort of side effect atleast by day 8, but still nothing! its wierd .. i`m tempted to take a higher dose on some days cuz i want my skin to dry sooner but i guess ill have to weight till around day 14 =/

hopefully the ib comes soon so it`ll clear by the time school starts for us =]

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Thank you both so much for your sweet replies- having support really helps.

Lisa - it's good to know that someone else out there is not only going through the same thing (Tane course,) but also has the same sort of situation with parents, appearance/confidence issues, etc. Thank you for your post! :)

Cutie- I'll hope for both of us that things don't get bad right as we return to school!!

A question for everyone: I hear SO much on these boards about taking the pill with a "fatty" meal. My derm, however, never even mentioned this. Also, what qualifies as "fatty?" I'm a vegetarian so generally my meals are pretty low in fat. Would a bit of hummus count? I rarely drink milk, so that rules out that possibility of having 2% or whole milk with the pill. I'm a little worried about this because I am a pretty healthy eater...

Thanks for any advice!

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hi

so 7 days and no side affects, good to know, it's my 4th day today and no symptoms either

i wonder when will it all start, but i'll know what to expect couse i'm 4 days behind you so all i have to do is read your log lol

i only hope we wont get IB! see you soon ;]

Marcin

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Day 9

Still not much to report, I'm baffled and actually more anxious than ever about this stuff. I feel like this must be the calm before the storm. Granted I'm only doing 20mg/day right now (one 40mg pill every other day), but still, is it normal to have so few results/effects after almost 10 days?

In other news, I go back to college tomorrow (winter break is over, boo hoo) so that should add some nice stress. AND I'm due for my period next week, which means any day now I should be getting my lovely monster chin breakout + a few others... let's just pray I don't get the IB at the same time. :(

Skin

Nothing to report. The one bump between my eyebrows is STILL there and I've realized that it's a very little papule - smaller than a pencil eraser but definitely a papule because there is no head, it's just like a small, hard red bump. (Definitely not a cyst either, this puppy is above the skin and not at all painful). It's been there for ages - is there anything I can do to make it go away faster? I'm getting annoyed.

Side Effects

None really. I've been using a lot of chapstick, but then again I always use a lot.

Oh and I bought almonds and peanut butter and almond butter to take back with me to school in case I need something "fatty" to take my pill with. Had it tonight with stir fry and some walnut halves.

Anyway thanks for reading and for the support, let's just pray things stay calm although I have a BAD feeling about these next 2 weeks... :(

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hey lauren

your topic " Please work oh please work oh PLEASE work"

you mention you have mild-moderate acne that doesn't respond to antibiotics, etc. this was exactly my situation... i took tetracycline and it did absolutely nothing.

im finished accutane after doing 5 months (2 @ 40mg and 3 @ 80 mg)

my faced used to be fairly bad with a few cysts every week.

let me tell you -- since the end of the second month, i have not had a single zit. NOTHING. no cyst/zit/pimple/red spot, anything.

Practically overnight (a period of about 6 to 8 weeks) my acne was completely and utterly cured... I spent 3 months continuing to take the medication to make sure it didnt come back.

i also spent years and had tried everything... everything.... so i know what that's like.

for me, acne was just a pain in the ass. i have no problems with self confidence or anything... but acne was just terrible. since ive been "cured" literally, its just one less pain in the ass problem in my life and now i can put my worries into other problems instead!!!

so hang in there. if your bday is in late february, you will just be clearing before then. My IB was pretty minor but it didnt happen until 5-6 weeks in so hopefully you'll get it before your birthday (if you do get it, but most ppl do get it...) mine, personally was very minor.

also, results aren't typical... my doctor says that i was in the top 25% in terms of response to the medication and that some ppl dont respond as well as others. also, it may take more than 6 weeks for you of course... But GOOD LUCK!!! GOOOO ACCUTANE!!! ITS A MIRACLE DRUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Uniguy - Thank you so, SO much for your response. I really appreciate the support and congrats on achieving such fantastic results.

Quick Update

Back at school = more stress, less time to post. Just wanted to report that I'm finally beginning to experience some side effects - my lips are getting a bit chapped, especially in the corners. Also I am SO thirsty today, but perhaps it's because I flew on an airplane this morning? (always seems to have that effect on me).

This week may be rough with school + period hormones + IB? We shall see. Tomorrow is day 11.

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