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emmekitten's adventures in 'taneland

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Hey everyone!

I'm a 19-year old girl from the Netherlands. I like Zelda, Mario Kart, Final Fantasy, the Harry Potter books, Death Note, Japanese fashion, Japanese tattoos (I don't have any tattoos though, not yet ;)), make-up art, "scene" hair... I really wish that was all I had to tell. What follows is the [tl;dr] part...

I've struggled with mild, but extremely stubborn acne since age 14. It's steadily been getting worse in the past few months. People tell me it's not much of a problem but it's been putting me down quite a bit. I get mild acne on my back, chest and neck and some horrible cystic stuff on my chin (during that time of the months). Also, I've got tons of blocked pores and blackheads. I often skip classes on those "bad skin days". I get paranoid about "stuff" staying under my skin (though I know it makes no real sense) and feel a compulsion to pick at spots. I'm trying to break the habit and pop those zits that are just begging for it (yeah, I know it's gross). On good days I feel pretty confident, as long as I'm wearing some make-up, but on bad days I just want to look myself in my room and cry :boohoo:. I'm afraid acne will scar and ruin my skin if I let it ruin it's course.

Like many of you, I've tried lots things to get my acne under control:

Clearasil facewash with salycic acid (worked quite well until I got my period back and started getting zits on my chin)

Eucerin facewash and gelcream with salycic and lactic acid (worked quite well, easier on my skin than Clearasil)

Birth control - Yasmin, if I'm not mistaken (gave me headaches, made me feel down all the time and did NOTHING for my skin)

The Regimen (I turned out to be allergic to benzoyl peroxide, 'nuff said.)

Antibiotics - (the infamed stuff sort of died for a while, but the blackheads remained)

Zinc supplements (made my skin a little less oily, did nothing for the actual zits)

My derm felt like I was a good candidate for low-dose 'tane because my acne, though pretty mild, greatly affects my social and emotional life. Also, my acne is just as stubborn as I am. We'll see who wins!

I just got my prescription today. I will be taking 20 mg/d Roaccutane for the next 6 months. That's low-dose but, considering I'm just 1,60 and 45kgs it's not extremely low-dose. I'll pop my first tab tomorrow after dinner. I fear I'll be getting a horrible IB. Wish me luck guys!

I'm keeping this journal to keep track of my progress. I hope I'll be able to make it a more or less fun and interesting read for you. I dunno, it might help those who're considering low-dose 'tane. Please feel free to comment and/or ask questions.

All the best,


Day 0

Skin Surprisingly good. No actives. Just a few marks and some blocked pores.

Side-effects None, obviously.

Mood Anxious.

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Yay, a Death Note fan ^_^. Death Note was what got me hooked on anime and ive just recently been downloading whole series' and watching them. Finished Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star and Gurren Lagann, currently on episode 103 of Bleach!(yeah, I have alot of free time lol)

I promise to read your log!

good luck

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Great to hear a fellow Death Note fan will be reading this =).

Just on the day I had to pop my first pill the acne.org boards were down! The horror :boohoo:.

Here's yesterday's story. I finally took up courage and popped my first 20mgs after a nice plate of whole-grain spaghetti (with organic veggie sauce and a bit of gorgonzola). Don't panic! I was a teeny bit afraid that it would turn me into a Vogon overnight...

Well.... I'm still somewhat scared, but I've survived the first night.

Day 1

Skin A sweet little cystic thing has nestled itself on my temple. Other than that, things don't look worse than usual. Those marks and blocked pores are still there...and the eternal black heads, the unextractable kind. Well, the kind that you keep extracting only to find them returning in a few days. I really hope 'tane will banish of those for good.

Side-effects None still. What would I expect? I noticed that I got extremely tired about two hours after the first pill. I normally stay up till about 2-3 am and get up late (here's to just 6 hours of college a week :dance:), but this night I was asleep before midnight. Not sure if this is because of 'tane though.

Mood Happy! I got my copy of the (magnificent) new Dutch translation of H.P. Lovecraft's stories. I've read most of his works (except for the letters :P)

in English, but I'm curious what the Dutch translation will be like. So far, I'm really enjoying it.

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Another uneventful day. Took my 20mgs again; this time with a meal of veggies, mexican beans and potatoes. Didn't feel scared this time. Yes guys, I plan on updating this daily.

Day 2

Skin The spot I referred to as this "sweet little cystic thing" turns out to be not quite cystic at all. It doesn't hurt anymore and appears to be drying up or so *knocks on wood*. Now isn't that terribly interesting to read? My skin feels normal, dry nor oily and looks better than usual.

Side-effects Dry lips. I'm not sure if this is the Accutane already... could be just the cold, dry weather. I bought 3 tubes Labello of heavy-duty lipbalm (it's called S.O.S. lipbalm and smells well, hospital-like).

Mood Happy clappy again. I handed in the assignment on Laurence Sterne (I hate him and his stupid Sentimental Journey with a passion. - He was probably just an emo kid without the shiny haircut. I bet he wore tight pants though. Come to think of it, we might have made a nice couple...) I'd been working for the past few weeks. I'm so glad it's finished! Went out shopping with my best friend to celebrate.

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Yet another day.

Day 3

Skin Pretty much the same as yesterday. Unblocked two tiny congested pores. No new actives. Nothing to worry about. Yeah, objectively speaking... I felt horrible about my skin today.

Side-effects Labello S.O.S. works like a charm; no dry lips! I've got a pretty bad headache though.

Mood I went to Amsterdam with a friend. I tried on a jacket in some preppy shop... dressing room lights are the worse. It was horrible. My skin looked dull, sort of dry and oily at the same time. Pretty bad red marks and dark circles under my eyes even though I was wearing make-up. I got a little paranoid about it and just wanted to go home and cry. Pathetic, I know.

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hey goodluck with your treatment, im on 20mg a day to, and have been on it for almost 3 months now. Alot of my acne has cleared, i am left with about 4-5 pimples left. Though the after red marks look just as bad as the acne did :(

Hope all goes well for you.

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It's fun to know people are reading this :).

Trent, please don't worry about red marks. They will fade eventually. It's a good thing they aren't real scars. You might want to try a concealer in the meantime. I have those days

(like yesterday lol) that they really put me down but the idea that (at least in most cases) they won't be there forever somewhat helps.

Day 4

Skin Pretty decent. Just two tiny non-inflamed things. They didn't even left a mark after popping. Also, no dark circles worth mentioning :dance: .

So much for the face. My back and chest look horrible. Zits (both superficial and deep) galore and tons of red marks.

Side-effects Headache time again. I noticed that I flush easily. I was kind a flushy person before 'tane so it doesn't really worry me. Labello does a good job keeping my lips hydrated.

Mood A lot better than yesterday.

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Hi thanks for dropping by in my log. You are sooo like me, I also started having acne at 14 which was controlled by antibiotics till somewhere at the age of 19, it just went out of control. Mild acne that was stubborn and got progressively worse. I hope it works out for you, this is my final month before I say goodbye to accutane.

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Thanks for reading my log, Madeline. I've read yours and found it pretty inspiring and uplifting. Great to hear your course ran so smoothly :). I really hope you'll stay clear after you stop taking 'tane. You'll be fine I'm sure =).

Our stories are indeed similar. I had been breaking out pretty badly in the past few months, getting some nasty stuff in places that had always been clear, and I was afraid that my skin would get out of control. I was (and still am) afraid I'll end up with scarring. I'm glad I'm finally trying something that works... at least in most cases.

Day 5

Skin Decent. One new painful bump on the side of my forehead. I hope it will just die down without coming to a head. Of course, the small black heads and bumps are still there. I hope they'll leave my face anytime soon. No new actives on my body :). Hope that doesn't jinx on me :lol:.

Side-effects No headache :). I was a bit flushy. Nothing I didn't experience before 'tane so it doesn't worry me.

Mood I was tired and wasted my sunday playing Pokekon Ranger.

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Day 6

Skin Bump on my forehead is still there but appears smaller. Some tiny whiteheads around my mouth. Picking will make them look worse so I'm trying not to touch them. Blackheads are coming to the surface. I could just - yeah TMI - scrape some of them off . I sooo hope they will all clear up soon. Body acne hasn't changed. No new actives on my chest but I've still got a few painful cysts (?) on my neck and back.

Side-effects Luckily, headache and tiredness have subsided. Lips are a bit dry but chapstick still works well.

Mood Yet another wasted day.

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Seeing I've got too much time on my hands I might as well annoy the hell out of you and update this everyday. Anyways, here's...

Day 7

Skin Dry and peeling. Spot on my forehead is drying up. Two new tiny spots on my temple. The whiteheads around my mouth have magically disappeared :S. There was just one left that I could easily pop.

Still no new actives on my chest. Back and neck are still misbehaving but I couldn't detect anything new.

Side-effects Yesterday's comment must have jinxed on me... I felt tired all day.

Mood Skipped one class but managed to pick up some courage and attend the other. I don't want to get back into my old pattern of skipping <i>all</i> classes...

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