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barb9000

Barb's Accutane Log

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Hello all - I have been a member of acne.org for almost a year now but have only been lurking in the accutane forums recently... My acne story is very long, I will try to keep it as short as possible. Began to get acne at about age 12 (I am 29 now) - it has fluctuated from mild to severe over the last 17 years - mostly being moderate. It came to the point where I just figured I would always have acne, as I could not, cannot, remember having a clear, beautiful face. I did try the CSR/DKR with great success up until September/October 2006 - after about 4 months of gorgeously clear skin my face just rebelled against BP suddenly and I have been breaking out ever since as nothing else has ever worked at controlling my very persistant acne...

The current state of my skin is quite bad - it's basically just one big red mess with spots of varying sizes... I will have my husband take a picture tonight and I will try to post it...

It had become so bad lately that I decided to make an appt with a dermatologist that was recommended by a model my husband was taking photos of (he is a photographer). She said she had horrible skin but used accutane prescribed by this derm that was great. Her story along with many others of people I know finally convinced me to give this drug a try - the lure of clear, beautiful skin is too great! I know my skin will never be perfect, in terms of scars, etc as I have had this condition for 17 years, but just to dream that I might not have acne after accutane is wonderful.

I had my appt this morning. I was prepared to basically demand accutane as I wanted it so badly - but it turns out I didn't have to as he suggested it right off the bat after hearing what I've gone through. This dermatologist is the best I could ever hope for. He spent 1 whole hour with me discussing my history and even some of his. 1 hour. Incredible. I must note here that I live in London (although I am American) and he is a private dermatologist (not on the NHS), so the visit did cost £200 - but it was well worth it. I only waited 3 days for my appt, and walked out with a scrip for 30mg of roaccutane per day which I filled at the pharmacy down the road for £70. So I have actually taken my first pill already, which is virtually unheard of in the US or via the NHS here in the UK.

I am so happy to finally have some hope. I have done a lot of research on the side effects etc - I am just going to try and stay positive and pray that this finally gives me a normal life. I will post pics as soon as possible to show where I am starting from...

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Hey Barb9000,

Good Luck to you! I am looking forward to following your progress! I 24 and have had issues with acne since a teenager and tried everything else as well! I am now on Day 11 and so far so good. There are side effects for sure(see my log) but I can put up with them in the hopes of clear skin. The initial break out is not nice....but hang in there it will get better! On the road to clear skin!!!! Yay!

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Day 2

Ok - so this is my second day - nothing major or new to report, which I suppose is fairly obvious. I felt yesterday that my lips were already getting chapped, but as my lips are nearly always chapped as it is, maybe it was just me being more aware of that...

Anywho - no real change in my skin at all yet... can't wait for stuff to start happening.

I am going to try to post some pics that my husband took last night with his ultra high powered digital camera - yikes - I am not sure if you are going to be able to see the detail - but in the files I have of these pics and can zoom in and basically see every pore / blackhead on my face right up close, it's amazing and disgusting. I have soooo many more blackheads than I ever thought I did.

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Oh my GOD - those pics came out pretty good on here (meaning, you can see how bad it is) - sorry guys, you'll get to see my skin in all it's post-shower, exfoliated glory. Nice and red! Sweet. I gave myself one last farewell scrub last night as I know I'm supposed to be gentle now.... but man, did it feel good.

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Hi, are you taking roaccutane or accutane? Aren't they two different products?

Good luck with the new medicine though! I hope it does you wonders. I'm about to start accutane myself but I have to wait that darn 30 day period. :mmkay:

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Peridottie - I am taking Roaccutane, which I believe is just the UK name for Accutane. Good luck with the waiting period... try to be good to your skin, drink lots of water, don't eat too much sugar or dairy, and get ready for the medicine that will help you! Also, take the time to stock up on the products you will need like lip balms and moisturisers...

I am going to try to post pics each week, or when something amazingly good or bad happens. With the great camera, you can really see EVERYTHING.

I am going to try not to get down if I break out.... I know my skin is quite bad and I have lots of clogged pores... I am just going to try and see it as the first days of the rest of my life! Good luck to everyone else who is starting out like me...

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Accutane! woooo.

My current regimen is working great but if it stops working I'm going to finally go see about accutane, though my skin isn't bad enough and usually fine. hmm

How did you go about it Barb

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Hey Maverick! Thanks for the post! You've followed me on some journeys through CSR, Paleo Diet, etc... yeah - now it's Roaccutane! I just had to try it.

I have this amazing private derm here in London - if you were to call today, you'd probably have an appointment sometime next week. The visit would cost about £180-£200... but in my opinion it was worth every penny, especially when you hear of people who have derms who don't even speak to them.

If you want his name and number, just PM me.

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I filled my prescription around the corner from his office as soon as I left my appointment for £70 (28 day supply of 30mg per day). He told me where to go to have a blood test done when the 28 days is almost up (also near his office) and they send him the results directly, but I am unsure of 2 things - how much the blood test will cost, and how much each follow up visit with the derm will be. I really hope that each follow up (once a month) does not cost the whole £200 of the initial consult I had, although I am willing to pay it if it means that I will finally be cured of this acne - even if only for a year or two before it comes back. As soon as I know how much the tests and follow-ups are, I'll post...

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Initial prices seem ok but I must admit I'd be a little cautious of follow up sessions etc.

If you find out, please let me know, because otherwise it seems great.

I'd just have to stop using my current regimen for a few weeks, atm my skin looks fine, but I'd rather not be doing this for the rest of my life.

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SO - I thought earlier today that it might be a while until side effects started kicking in due to my relatively low dose - but I have definitely noticed that my face is MUCH drier than usual - to the point that I am itchy... I like this change as it shows things are happening! only my nose was oily after work today, when normally my whole face is an oil slick... gotta go moisturise now!

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Oh, I didn't know it was called a bit differently in the UK. I'll definitely follow your journal. I wish us both good luck and good skin. :angel:

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Well, it is 4.54am and i am up because I just could not get back to sleep after waking up with an itchy wrist (very mild rash-like bumps - don't itch now that I applied moisturiser).

So I guess this is technically Day 4. Skin is still less oily, although my nose and T-zone do produce a little. Nothing like before. Face is red, patchy and itchy, but I'm not getting worried about it. I'm just trying to be as gentle as possible and keep it moisturised. I am not sure if my excema/dermatitis patches are getting worse or staying the same. I wish those would go away more than the acne itself! Argh

I am not going to keep an extensive log of each and every spot that pops up - just the big ones. I currently have one nice nodule/cyst on my chin, and I can feel one of those painful underground ones surfacing on my upper lip - ah, my FAVORITE place to get them... Other than than I have loads of smallish/medium ones everywhere. I can definitely notice clogged pores coming to the surface.

No major side effects yet - I wonder if they will get more pronounced in a week or two. If so, I really don't mind. I just want the drug to do it's thing - I think I can ride out anything.

I'll try to post more pics today...

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Barb, is there any chance you can find out the follow up prices?

I'm really interested in going down this route, despite my skin being OK, I'd prefer to end the constant maintainance.

Not sure how I'll manage with the initial breakout, eek!

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I have noticed that over the past two days my lips are not chapped at all. I am not sure if this is due to the balm i am using (Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Immediate Repair Lip Balm). This is definitely the best lip moisturiser I have ever used. My lips are ALWAYS chapped no matter what I use. I have not applied any of this balm since before bed last night (and even then my lips were not dry) and they feel great. I wonder if i should stop using it for a while to see if the Roaccutane is making my lips dry or not. I guess it might take another week or two before the true dryness really sets in.

I took an antihistamine pill an hour ago to see if it would help my excema patches... I looked up possible drug interactions with Isotretinoin and nothing was mentioned about antihistamines - if anyone has heard or knows that it is bad to take antihistamines, please let me know.

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Hey Maverick - I realised that the pharmacy didn't give me my entire prescription, so I need to call my derm tomorrow. I will ask about the follow up prices and I am going to call the blood test place as well and see how much that will cost - I'll let you know...

But as for the prescription itself, it's going to be more like £100 per month as they left out a box of pills on Thursday... Yes, it is going to work out to cost quite a lot, but in the end, if it works, it will be more than worth it. I am not rich by any means, I am using all the savings I have to battle this problem, and Ill even take out a loan at the end if I can't afford to continue. I just couldn't bear doing it through the NHS. And my derm said it would have been a PROPER nightmare going through them, which I believe based on stories I have heard on the accutane forums here.

But yes, I'll let you know tomorrow...

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So, I am a bit down today as my eczema or whatever the hell it is (very red, itchy, somewhat dry and scaly patches) on my face has seemed to flare up in the past couple of days. My face is soooo red in those spots, it bothers me more than my acne. I just can't believe that I now have ANOTHER skin problem on top of the acne. Sometimes it's all too much.

I don't really know what to do about them as I have never had eczema before... there is pretty much no OTC product to use on the face besides moisturising creams. I am using E45 Itch Relief cream and it does make the itch go away - but the redness is so bad. And they seem to be getting worse. I don't think the dryness caused by the Tane is helping.

When I was at the derm, he said they would go away on their own, but I am just not sure. So, my good mood at finally being on Tane is pretty much gone because now I feel hopeless regarding this new problem.

As far as the Tane goes, this is Day 5. I feel really exhausted today and my eyes are a bit dry... I still have the two big spots... and I really don't care about them, it's just the redness of my eczema that is bothering me.

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Awww Barb, big hug.

You know think of it like this, you're all red etc but only because the tane is kicking in and starting to work. Right now it sucks but you've got lots to look forward to!

I think you should use something a little better than E45 though, there are a few products out there for dry,itchy skin and of course prescription stuff too.

Maybe Allergenics Intensive care? 'a Naturallly effective emollient suitable for soothing and moisturising chapped skin conditions including reddened and sensitive dry areas associated with eczema and dermatitis'.

Also remember that your skin won't be producing much oil, so how about Jojoba oil to replace the oil in your skin?

Finally I'd stop using whatever face wash you're using, even if it claims to be mild, it may well be causing a reaction, some ingredients can cause real issues for some people. How about trying the dip regimen?.

Keep your chin up Barb, you're on the right path and we're here with you.

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Wow Maverick, thank you so much for that amazing support and advice. It really makes me feel better knowing that I have that support - you are right, things will probably get better, I just need to hang in there. The problem is though that I was already red before starting Tane due to BP use (I believe it gave me either allergic contact dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis - not sure which) - so now the red patches are getting even worse...

I really want to try that Allergenics range - do you know if it is possible to buy it in stores, or do I have to order it online?

I am also going to try using just water to wash when possible... although I have to cake the makeup on to hide the red patches, so I will need to use a cleanser at night. I might try the Allergenics wash too.

Gosh, thanks again! I feel a bit better now!

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I really want to try that Allergenics range - do you know if it is possible to buy it in stores, or do I have to order it online?

You can buy it from Boots, my friend had some sore, dry, chapped skin on the inside of his leg that he couldn't seem to get rid of, it was due to chaffing from his trousers, he bought some of this and it worked wonders and healed in a few days. (he'd tried normal moisturiser and then Eucerin, neither helped).

I love Johnson and Johnson top to toe baby wash as a cleanser, it's gentle and cheap, I recommend it above all cleansers.

Have you tried Jojoba before? It should really help with dry patches and replace the lost oil. I absolutely love Jojoba.

Another moisturiser range I love is Boots Lutsine, if you're looking for a lighter moisturiser for day use then this is great and guess what? they actually make a special anti redness moisturiser which is great.

First thing I'd do is try the face wash change and try the Toe to toe it's £2.60 in boots for ***500ml*** it's amazing value.

Second try the allergenics and Jojoba to combat redness and dryness.

Also Barb are you certain that you've not developed an allergy to something in your makeup?

The best thing I've ever found to cover redness is Estee lauder Maximum cover lightweight foundation, it's incredible.

Though you're already forking out a huge sum for your accutane treatment, so if you're really wanting to budget then just try the hot water.

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Hey there - I will check out Boots today for the Allergenics - although I just ordered a few of their products online (I just could not wait!) haha. I will also check out the Johnson's top to toe.

At this point I am not sure why the patches have not subsided, as I believed BP to be the cause and I have not used any in weeks. I have started to suspect my laundry detergent, my cleansers, my cat, everything.... There was actually one day last week, Monday I believe, when the patches were much lighter and I thought they were going away - but then BAM they just came right back full force.

I am going to try to use as few products as possible. I have used jojoba oil in the past - when the DKR was working for me I used it everyday and loved it - but since developing my itchy patches, it only seems to make me more red and itchy... so I'm going to avoid that as a potential trigger as well.

And as for my makeup - oh man, who knows. I could try to switch, but then again, I don't want to change too many variables at once.

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Oh, and Maverick - I just checked with my derm regarding the cost of follow-up appts - the price only goes down to about £160-£180... :redface:

So, that is quite steep! But, on a good note, I was wrong about the pharmacy screwing up my prescription - they had just stuck the extra capsules in the 1 box, so I got them all - so price for 1 month (30mg/day) was £70.

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Thanks Barb.

I just have this hunch right now that it's your makeup.

On your good day, I don't suppose it was before make up application? and then afterwards BAM?

Can you get a day or two off work and stay at home to have no makeup on your skin?

I absolutely recommend the Estee Lauder, it's water proof, sweat proof, rub proof and covers redness brilliantly.

Let me know if you have any more Q's, you're in London right?

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Well, the reason I don't think it's my makeup is that I have been using mineral makeup for about 3 years or more, and have not changed anything there - and that day when the patches looked better was actually right after I had washed my face after having makeup on the whole day... The red patches really seemed to erupt slowly in response to my hard-headed application of BP. I can remember the last time I used it - it made my face BURN so badly, I rinsed it off right away and ever since I have had these patches, that are now getting worse.

Over this past weekend I hardly wore makeup at all and the patches were worse than ever. If none of the other things I am going to try work out - I will look into the Estee Lauder makeup for sure.

Yes, I am in London - I work in the West End and live in Stoke Newington...

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