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Hey all, reading about your experiences through this site has been invaluable to me. So I thought I'd document my own journey as well, and maybe someone out there will find it useful.

The Backstory

Like the description says, I'm 24 right now. I've had mild-to-moderate acne since I was in middle school. I've been through the topicals in my early years - proactiv, benzamycin, differin and they seemed to work a little bit at keeping things under control, but never permanently though.

Things started to get progressively worse in '05, and when I got settled into a career in New York a year later, my new dermatologist put me on a combination of antibiotics (minocycline) and Retin-A gel. The minocycline did wonders, and I was living the (mostly) clear life for half a year, with the occasional nodule that probably came from me missing a few doses.

During minocycline:

post-65932-1196133765_thumb.jpg

Anyway, a couple months ago I started waking up in the mornings feeling nauseous - kinda like acid reflux - and that's when I took a good look at my situation and realized I didn't want to be dependent antibiotics if there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

So I stopped taking them. And of course, I had some really bad flare-ups. My acne was the worst it'd ever been. But my energy was way better and I had no intention of going back to the antibiotics.

Stopped Minocycline:

post-65932-1196133788_thumb.jpg

At the next possible appointment I could get with my doc, we mutually agreed that accutane was the way to go.

The Tools

40mg Sotret

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer

Chapstick

Fish oil/zinc with meals, and one daily multivitamin

Today

So here I am. Today is Day 12. The chapped lips started a few days ago and I'm still going through the initial breakout I've read so much about. On my personal scale of 1-7 (with 7 being absolutely terrible), I was at a 5 when I stopped the minocycline, and I'm probably at a 7 right now. I'll post a pic as soon as I can, but there's inflammation on my cheeks and forehead, and a bunch of little whiteheads, a couple pustules and nodules. It hurts when I smile, but a little pain's not going to stop me :D

12 Days into Sotret:

post-65932-1196133798_thumb.jpg

I try not to agonize over it. It is what it is and I'm optimistic for the future!

post-65932-1196133765_thumb.jpg

post-65932-1196133788_thumb.jpg

post-65932-1196133798_thumb.jpg

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Thanks. I forgot to mention that during days 7-10 I had a few nosebleeds. I haven't had one since, so hopefully they stop. The last time I had frequent nosebleeds a few years ago, the doctor told me to apply a little K-Y Jelly to the inside of my nostril. It seemed to keep things under control.

Day 13

Yesterday was my first day using the Purpose Wash and Cetaphil Moisturizer. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Kiehl's Yerba Mate Facial Wash and Facial Fuel moisturizer I used before was causing some irritation. Anyway, the left cheek is about the same as yesterday, and there are a couple new actives on the right cheek and forehead. I didn't get much sleep last night, so I'm making up for it by heading to bed a couple hours sooner.

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Three Weeks: Chunky Ragu

... that was what my face looked like five days ago. Major redness, lots of big and little bumps, and some scabs too. The good news is that most of those scabs have fallen off, and the big bumps are shrinking quickly. There's quite a bit of peeling, but the Cetaphil's doing its trick. Even though I've been stressed out more than usual because of work, my skin feels smoother and healthier by the day.

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Three Weeks: Chunky Ragu

... that was what my face looked like five days ago. Major redness, lots of big and little bumps, and some scabs too. The good news is that most of those scabs have fallen off, and the big bumps are shrinking quickly. There's quite a bit of peeling, but the Cetaphil's doing its trick. Even though I've been stressed out more than usual because of work, my skin feels smoother and healthier by the day.

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good to hear things are looking up for you. im actually in the somwhat in the same position as you, except this is my 2nd course of tane. im 24 and just want the damn acne to go. anyways good luck.
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Good luck for everything I am Jack's Zit ;) Strengh for your heart bro

Look i will have the opportunitie to go to a dermatologist this month.

Cause a friend of my brother became a dermatologist few months ago and he said to him that i could go to his clinic that i would pay always only 5€! Its in fact very cheap and have so luck to have this opportunity with him!

So...i attend to go and beg him for acutanne. See picture to see how my acne is nowadays.

I just want to ask u, if u think its possible for me having 60mg of acutanne for 6 months?

I have 62kg and 1.77cm tall...

And other question. What do u use for moisturizer for the flaks, for you lips and before bed?

Thanks!

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Good luck for everything I am Jack's Zit ;) Strengh for your heart bro

Look i will have the opportunitie to go to a dermatologist this month.

Cause a friend of my brother became a dermatologist few months ago and he said to him that i could go to his clinic that i would pay always only 5€! Its in fact very cheap and have so luck to have this opportunity with him!

So...i attend to go and beg him for acutanne. See picture to see how my acne is nowadays.

I just want to ask u, if u think its possible for me having 60mg of acutanne for 6 months?

I have 62kg and 1.77cm tall...

And other question. What do u use for moisturizer for the flaks, for you lips and before bed?

Thanks!

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Hey Jack,

Awesome progress! I started accutane a week ago, and seeing your progress really helps. Good luck on the vegetarian thing, and make sure you're not sensitive to iodine in seafood. Some ppl claim that it cause their acne. I'm not sure for mine.

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Thanks Juin! Glad I could help.

Three Months: Out of Mind

The doctor's visit went well. He said things were looking good and kept me going on 60mg. My veggie diet is over, but thanks to weeks without meat, I've gained a new appreciation for leafy substances. My diet overall is a bit more balanced now, and I haven't really been craving red meat like I used to.

It's been weeks since I've had any new spots. I hardly ever think about my acne anymore. Let's hope it stays that way.

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So here's what it looks like after finishing my 5-month course:

post-65932-1209044103_thumb.jpg

You can't see that much scarring from the photo, but it's definitely there. Oddly enough I had a couple more small zits appear a day or two before I was totally done with the medication (you can see one on my chin).

post-65932-1209044103_thumb.jpg

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Major improvement! Congrats on clear skin(besides that one on the chin haha)! I still have a looooooong way to go to reach your result haha

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