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Alright, some quick background information. I had mild acne in high school, but it only started around the time i was 15 or 16 years of age. I hit puberty late and by the time everyone elses skin was clearing up, mine was heading into a warzone. By the time I left high school I had horrible skin and it was around the moderate-severe mark. I went on Accutane and it worked wonders and after an 8 month course my skin was perfect for a period of about 8-12 months until the acne came back, albeit much, much milder than before.

Cut two years later and after a whole different range of products and treatments from Tetracylcine, Proactiv, usless topicals to simple herbal and vitamin supplements and I'm back on Tane. Finally. Off the top of my head here's some of the stuff I've taken.

Tetraycyline

Keflex

Doxycycline

Minocin

Spiro

Liver Flush (Try this if you want to see what dying slowly feels like)

Lemon Detox (Another big mistake)

Saw Palmetto

Vitamins A to Zinc

Proactiv (Bad, bad news. I wouldn't recommend this to my worst enemy)

Wheatgerm (Tastes like a pet store)

Wheatgrass

Green Smoothie (Tasted like crap and did nothing)

Home remedies (everything from toothpaste to honey topicals. Smelt bad, waste of time)

So many different topicals it makes my head spin.

The acne is mild but constant so I'm hoping this time it will be gone for good. I'm in week 1 and off to a good start. Last time I was on it I only had chapped lips so I'm hoping that's all I'm in for this time too. I'm on a lower dosage so I hope that won't slow down the results?

Anyway, for those so inclined you can see my journal here.

http://accutaneatemysoul.blogspot.com/

I'll try to update it whenever there's any significant changes if not every week.

Adios.

:boohoo:

Photos

Week 6 - http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/4449/week6scarsos7.jpg

Week 8 (Left) and Week 12 (Right) - http://img240.imagevenue.com/img.php?image...k_122_451lo.jpg

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A recap of the last 2 weeks...

Week One; In the beginning

After a few years off Accutane I've finally bitten the bullet and gone back on it. I've tried countless products and nothing seems to have had an effect. From toners and cleansers, to topicals and face washes, scrubbers and antiobiotics. From things you put in your mouth to things you put on your face, nothing seems to have had an effect.

I tries going on vitamins and supplements which seemed to work temporarily but lost their potency after a mere month or two. I should add that I'm a very active guy. I jog 20-30 minutes every night, 5-7 days a week. I swim, I don't eat junk food, lots of fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water, don't drink alcohol, booze. So I really do embody a healthy living lifestyle so it should be strange that it still happens. I also get anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep every night and I rarely, I stress, rarely, go out on the weekends. So why do I still get acne?

It's the million dollar question and one that I've never been able to provide an answer for. It's true that it's extremely mild, but the problem isn't that it's mild, it's that it even happens in the first place. So I'm going back on the "wonder drug". Hopefully for the last time. I hope this time will be the last, because whilst I know I don't get many of the side effects, the things like balding and depression don't sound too appealing to me.

Well, it has started. The wheels of change are in motion and here's hoping they never stop. I'll try to update this every week or so with some updates. I'm due to see my Dermatologist in about 2 months for a checkup, but until then, it's smooth sailing. I hope.

Week 2 - Out of the frying pan...

I promised myself I'd update this thing weekly so here goes...

Well, the first week was actually pretty eventful. I think it's safe to say that I've started getting the dreaded initial breakout. My face is sore, like, the sorest it's been for a while. On the plus side, that means it's working and working fast. I have't started getting the side effects too badly just yet, though I can feel my skin drying up slightly. I've had maybe between 10-15 pimples over the last week and I've tried to get rid of every one of them. I've found squeezing them gently then soaking my face in hot water is the best way to get rid of the inflammation and actually doesn't seem to be doing much harm.

I'm on 40mg a day currently and I think that's the dosage I'll be staying on. Currently I have 2-3 active zits and some scars that are dried out and healing up nicely. I'm remaining confident and eating right, getting my Z's and lots of exercise so as far as I'm concerned it's really just a matter of waiting for it to clear itself up.

I've become a bit of a recluse lately anyway, so the temptation to drink, smoke and be out in the sun isn't something I'm going to be doing a lot of. Australia Day is coming up soon and I'll probably end up spending it at home. Well, I guess that's all to report for this week. To sum up what has happened:

- Initial breakout already begun!

- Face is slightly sore around active areas.

- 4-5 current active pimples, several scars and red spots, which are fading.

- Face and lips starting to dry up slightly.

- Australia is probably going to lose the test against India.

Until next time, you stay classy, everyone.

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I've considered going on it a 2nd time but the side-effects are just not bareable again. I never had an initial break-out - I just broke out through my entire course!!

After six months of clear skin (once I finished my course) my acne started to return just not as servere.

Anyway, I think you are brave going back on the medication but what confirmation do you have that you won't have to go it a 3rd and 4th time#?

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I've considered going on it a 2nd time but the side-effects are just not bareable again. I never had an initial break-out - I just broke out through my entire course!!

After six months of clear skin (once I finished my course) my acne started to return just not as servere.

Anyway, I think you are brave going back on the medication but what confirmation do you have that you won't have to go it a 3rd and 4th time#?

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How would you know what a petstore tastes like :lol: Sorry your acne came back. Im glad it didnt come back in full force though. Maybe after this course is over, just use retin a or differin from your derm and wash your face with a mild cleanser once or twice a day and of course moisturize with a mild moisturizer

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Week 4

----

So I've arrived on week four on my accutane journal and it was quite a confusing week I've just had. My skin was almost clear with some scars and dryness healing up and one small active zit on my chin and then on the weekend I broke out for some reason. It wasn't as bad as the first week but it was still a breakout and I've got maybe 5-6 active pimples now and one of them is pretty big. It's kind of strange to have this sort of mild relapse into the treatment, but it's still early days so I'm concluding it's just part of the process. I'm always confident though because I know this stuff works it's just a matter of being patient and letting it all happen.

Having said that, on Friday evening I did drink a bit of alcohol and smoke some cigarettes so perhaps it is a result of that? I know Accutane isn't to be taken with excess alchohol, but what I had was only 2-3 standard drinks so I would hardly call that excess. Or maybe I'm just looking for something else to blame? The little yellow lump things I get under my skin (comedone maybe?) have thinned up, though there is still a few loose ones hanging around.

On a side note, the side effects seem to have either become extremely tame or stopped completely. My skin isn't particuarly dry anymore and the chapped lips has been taken care of thanks to some very strong and helpful lip balm. I'm using one called Carmex©. And if you really want to you can check out their website here.

Diet wise I'm doing the same thing I always did. Lots of fruits, vegetables, no soft drink or junk food and lots of sleep and exercise. I'm past what my Derm called the "initiation period" which now means it's all down to waiting. I know I say that every week but now I'm past the first echelon and moving to Improvement City. So to speak...

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Week 5

Well, last week sucked. Plain and simple. I had another breakout and it pretty much lasted all week. It wasn't limited to one side either, it was pretty much my lower cheeks on both sides and was of moderate to severe intensity. I'm hoping that's the last breakout I will get for the entire program. I've still got a couple scars from the breakout but they seem to be healing up now. On a plus note, I've no longer got the little white bumps (which I still believe are comedone) under the skin. Normally when I get these it means a pimple is definitely going to form in its spot.

So currently, I don't appear to have any active pimples just scars and red marks from the ones from last week which I anticipate to heal over the final few days of the week. I've also come quite close to finishing the first pack of the pills and will have to get them replaced soon. I've got 3 repeats until seeing the Derm again which isn't until next month, so in a couple of days I will be on the 2nd repeat. How exciting.

My skin is a bit dry again, but the lips are still fine thanks to the lip balm. I was in a really shitty mood for the past few days but I've also had a few altercations with some family members, so I don't know if the depression and anxiety was caused by the Tane or from the arguments themselves. We'll see...

Oh yeah, it's also my birthday today. 22 years young. Go me!

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Week 6

It's kind of weird, really. Last week was in a lot of ways similar to week 5. I still had a few breakouts, but it was an improvement on week 5. I've currently got 2-3 active pimples. One thing I've noticed is that the acne is sore. The individual lesions are very painful to the touch, more so than usual. I don't usually mind having acne, but when I can feel it all the time it's kind of a nuisance.

I'm still doing everything as I always did. To be honest, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. The affected areas are dry, but healing. The large white bumps I get under the skin, which usually turn into zits are gone, save for one I currently have on the left of my face, which I plan to squeeze out tonight.

Aside from that though there's not really much else I can say. I guess I'm in the gradual improvement phase now. Where it all just starts to get better as time slowly passes by. In a 3-4 weeks I've got another appointment with the dermatologist. So that will be interesting. I'm not sure what to expect though. I'll try and start posting pictures each week from now on to show the improvement. And I'll also try to find a picture before I started on Accutane for a comparison.

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My journal is kind of useless because so much seems to happen in a week. Since monday, I've had 3 pimples come and go, also had one on my lip come and go. Right now I can count 2 active pimples, one under my sideburns which you can't even see and a small one on my upper lip. I thought I should post a photo, taken only minutes ago.

All the marks on my face are just red spots from old zits. Trust me, I've inspected my face countless times and they're just red marks, nothing more, which is a relief. But in a couple days I could get a couple more. I'm definitely seeing an improvement though. I'll try to find a picture when I started, problem is, I think I accidentally deleted it.

--------

Week 6

http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/4449/week6scarsos7.jpg

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Despite no one giving two fucks about this journal, I continue to update it and shamelessly bump my own thread.

Week 7

I was quite happy with last week. I think over the course of the week I had a few pimples, but they seemed to clear faster than usual. Currently my skin is looking rather nice with only 2 small active pimples and the others are healing nicely. The comedone acne I usually get around my chin and lower mouth is pretty much gone as are the ugly white bumps under the skin.

The side effects are still mild. My lips are slightly dry and the only areas of my skin that are noticeably dry are the areas where I've used my medicated soap. However, as per the Accutane instructions, I've stopped used a harsh soap and now I'm avoiding washing my face with rough soap altogether. I will continue doing it, just not as frequently. It seemed to be doing more harm than good.

I'm happy with where I'm at now. I can see a BIG improvement from last week. Having said that, within a few days of the week I usually get a little outbreak so it will be interesting to see the severity of it this week around. I've almost been on Accutane now for 2 months and in a couple of weeks I'm due back to the Dermatologist for a review. The course is about 8 months I believe so technically we're almost a quarter of the way through and I'm already seeing big improvements.

So once again let's hope all stays on track and here's to clear skin.

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Week 8

Well, I've seen a huge improvement over the past couple of weeks to the extent that the entire left side of my face is clear. I still had a couple of pimples on the right side in the usual places but the left side seems to be perfect. I've stopped using the medicated soap for the past couple of weeks and it has really helped in keeping my skin moisturised and less dry. I'm really happy with the way my skin is looking. It's no longer itchy and flaky and for the past few mornings I've woken up and found no new acne lesions. The best thing about this is that shaving is no longer a death sport and I can shave without worrying about cutting the tops off any dormant zits. Which hurts.

I'm not even halfway into the course so this fills me with lots of confidence and hope. My appointment with the Dermatologist is next week and I need to get a blood test to make sure there's no damage to my livers. Hopefully all has gone well and I can continue the treatment for the full course. I know I saw this a lot, but hopefully I will be able to post photos soon. I've just been so lazy.

To summarize:

- Huge improvement in skin over last week.

- Entire left side of face is clear.

- 2-3 small red scars on right side of face but healing fast!

- Skin is slightly dry, but not as bad as in earlier weeks.

- Breakouts seem to go away faster than before.

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Week 9

Well last week was slightly bizarre. Firstly, I had the first minor breakout I've had in two weeks and it unfortunately lasted most of the week. It initially started with around 5 active zits on the (once clear) left side of my face. I also recieved a couple of small whiteheads on the bottom right of my face. I put this down to three possible reasons:

1. Shaving - I had shaved earlier in the week and perhaps this aggravated the lesions as I'm sure this has been a cause in the past.

2. Cigarettes - I started smoking again this week and maybe that was related? Although, that has never triggered it in the past.

3. Diet - I ate a LOT of carrots in the early days of the week. The sudden increase in Vitamin A from the carrots may have caused a flare up.

It didn't really bother me as by the weekend the skin had cleared up mostly anyway, despite the fact I got ANOTHER zit on the upper left side of my face. Currently, my skin is looking decent enough. It's not as dry anymore, and aside from the recent one mentioned (and a small one on the right side) the skin is looking fairly neat and clear.

My appointment with the Derm is tomorrow so we'll see how that goes. It should be interesting. Overall I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm starting to regain my confidence too. I had a really good weekend out with friends and despite a couple small ones on my face, my self esteem has really started to improve, which is good. We're getting there...

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Week 10 - Still here...

---------

Last week was awesome. I had a birthday party to go to in the city and my skin was looking clear and clean. It was like my skin knew what was coming up and gave me a break for the night. (Or maybe it was the Accutane doing its thing?) Anyway, I had an awesome time, got lots of female attention and it just goes to remind me how much self-confidence I actually have when my skin is looking good. However, I did smoke, drink and eat a bit of junk so let's see if it takes its toll on my skin. I doubt it will though, as my skin has just been getting better and better every day.

My skin is really starting to clear up. Infact, currently I don't have ANY active pimples. The left side of my face is entirely clear and the right side is also clear, despite having a couple of SMALL scars. I'm really happy with my skin and I hope it continues along this trajectory path. If it continues like this, then I won't really have much to update in this journal except maybe saying how happy I am each passing week. I'm only in week 10 and have so long to go with the course, but my skin has already improved by leaps and bounds.

I will be adding some updated photos when I get the chance.

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Week 11 - Happy Easter!

Well, Happy Easter first off. I had a four day weekend which was great. The other great thing? I didn't get a single pimple all week. My skin has stopped drying up, there's no more bumps and the red marks are slowly going away. On a side note, if my skin continues like this, I probably won't need to update this thing anymore, unless there's any significant changes.

I'm just so glad to have clear skin again. I recall last time I was on Accutane and it took many months before I got clear, and to see results to quickly now, only 10 weeks in is such a good feeling. I also thought I'd include a short list of my daily routines as I'm not sure whether or not that might have something to do with seeing such quick results.

- Excercise either jogging for 5-6km or weights training for 1-2 hours.

- Drinking lots of water and tea (Peppermint or Green)

- Lots of fruit and vegetables, excluding carrots.

- Pumpkin seeds and almonds.

- Avoiding fatty foods, junk food, soft drink, etc.

- Minimal alcohol (Beer if anything)

Well, that's a short list and they seem to be helping keep my skin under control. I'll keep in touch and update depending on what happens next.

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Week 12 - April Fools' Day!

Well well well. We're still steady on track and last week I had 3 small pimples. On the plus side, they healed very fast, going away within 1-2 days. Currently my skin is looking great. There is a 1 small little bump on the right side of my face which you can hardly see and I expect it to clear up within a day or two so I can be nice and clear for the weekend.

I've cut down completely on alchohol and junk food. I'm not in a strict workout regime and I'm feeling and looking good. I'm also taking lots of protein lately and it doesn't seem to be making things worse so I will stick with it. I'm still remaining positive and I've seen such great results. I guess technically I'm now 3 months into the treatment. I've still got another 3 months worth of prescriptions left and I'm sure it will continue to get better.

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Week 13

No new active pimples. Skin slightly dry, everything else fine. Going good. Almost out of pills and have to get a new box soon.

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Week 14

Last week was uneventful really. I had 1 small pimple on the lower left of my face and two REALLY small ones on the right, which went away within a day. My skin has started getting blotchy but I think that's more from the cold weather.

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