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shanghaitane

American f/25 living in Shanghai on Accutane

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I am a 25 years old woman from the US currently living and working in Shanghai, China. I have had moderate acne since I was 12 and have tried countless perscription and over the counter medications. Some would make things better for a few months and then my acne would come back again full force. Over the years it has been sugested that I take Accutane by difrent doctors but I always declined bacause I was scared of the side effects and the IB. I always thought my acne would eventually go away on its own.

Since I have moved to China it has gotten a lot worse and so has my picking. I have no idea how people keep themselves from popping and picking their pimples, I find it impossible. I pick and pick until I get something out, sometimes making myself look as though I have leisons on my face. As I get older I realize the long lasting effects this could have on my poor skin. I finaly decided clear skin and peace of mind is worth the four months of side effects Accutane can cause.

I figured now would be the best time for me to take Accutane for a number of reasons:

1. I am in China and do not have to deal with ipledge. I hate birth control!

2. I am living on the opposite side of the world from the man I love and dont have to worry about getting pregnent. Also he will not be around to see the potential IB.

3. It is a lot easier for me to not drink alcohol here as the Chinese are not big drinkers

So I went to a dermatologist and got the Accutane. It was quite easy. I weigh 50kg and am starting out at 30mg a day then moving to 60mg next month. I am doing all the blood tests myself at a nearby hospital. I have researched all the things to be tested and what the normal ranges are.

I am actualy a bit late starting this log as I am already on day 19. Things are going alright so far. However, my picking problem and accutane are proving to be a bad comination and I really must throw away my magifyng mirror before it is too late.

My skin is super flakey and easily ripped/torn. My lips are very chapped and they do not sell Aquaphor here so I have had to use Vaseline. Also my nose is dry but that isabout it. I am not tired, depressed, or sore. My skin has been breaking out but not any worse than usual. I do see all the blackheads around my nose comming to the surface which is amazing. Every pore is filled with dirt and I have been picking at it everyday. I know I need to stop. Anyone have any tips for not picking you face?

Anyway, hope everyone is getting clear. I will try to keep a continuous log of my experience.

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I am a 25 years old woman from the US currently living and working in Shanghai, China. I have had moderate acne since I was 12 and have tried countless perscription and over the counter medications. Some would make things better for a few months and then my acne would come back again full force. Over the years it has been sugested that I take Accutane by difrent doctors but I always declined bacause I was scared of the side effects and the IB. I always thought my acne would eventually go away on its own.

Since I have moved to China it has gotten a lot worse and so has my picking. I have no idea how people keep themselves from popping and picking their pimples, I find it impossible. I pick and pick until I get something out, sometimes making myself look as though I have leisons on my face. As I get older I realize the long lasting effects this could have on my poor skin. I finaly decided clear skin and peace of mind is worth the four months of side effects Accutane can cause.

I figured now would be the best time for me to take Accutane for a number of reasons:

1. I am in China and do not have to deal with ipledge. I hate birth control!

2. I am living on the opposite side of the world from the man I love and dont have to worry about getting pregnent. Also he will not be around to see the potential IB.

3. It is a lot easier for me to not drink alcohol here as the Chinese are not big drinkers

So I went to a dermatologist and got the Accutane. It was quite easy. I weigh 50kg and am starting out at 30mg a day then moving to 60mg next month. I am doing all the blood tests myself at a nearby hospital. I have researched all the things to be tested and what the normal ranges are.

I am actualy a bit late starting this log as I am already on day 19. Things are going alright so far. However, my picking problem and accutane are proving to be a bad comination and I really must throw away my magifyng mirror before it is too late.

My skin is super flakey and easily ripped/torn. My lips are very chapped and they do not sell Aquaphor here so I have had to use Vaseline. Also my nose is dry but that isabout it. I am not tired, depressed, or sore. My skin has been breaking out but not any worse than usual. I do see all the blackheads around my nose comming to the surface which is amazing. Every pore is filled with dirt and I have been picking at it everyday. I know I need to stop. Anyone have any tips for not picking you face?

Anyway, hope everyone is getting clear. I will try to keep a continuous log of my experience.

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Day 22

Every pore on my face is filled with dirt and it is all coming to the surface right now. Ofcoarse I picked and now my skin is ripped in so many places. I look atrocious. After reading everyone elses logs I was prepared for this. It really helps to know there are others going through the same thing and I am not alone. My lips and skin continue to be very dry. My body is now starting to get very achy but it is not that bad as of yet. I feel fine mentally. All in all I am happy with the Accutane because although I look like crap I know the drug is working and I am so excited by the thought that this could all soon be over.

Thataznkid: I guess you are right. I didnt think of that before. Thanks

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GET RID OF THE MAGNIFYING MIRROR.

I am serious. You can do some real damage to your skin that might make going through the accutane process moot. I am a reformed picker. I used to keep a mirror on my night stand just so that I could pick my face before bed. I felt like if I picked I might be helping. But I truly was not. It spreads the bacteria and can cause scarring, especially on accutane.

Once I got on accutane i vowed not to pick. It was almost freeing in a way, to know that I couldn't pick. Accutane was the last resort and has worked miracles for my skin. My skin looked bad in the beginning and I wanted to pick so badly, but I had to accept my face as it was at that time. After a few weeks of not picking my habit was pretty much broken

I hope I'm not being too harsh, I know where you are coming from. It's hard, but it was worth it in the end because it made me start to accept myself as I am and not worry about acne so much. And, the good news is, that in a few months you'll be clear and picking will be a faint memory.

Good luck!

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Cystbegone- You are so right. I am throwing the magnifying mirror away today. It has become so out of control and I really need to stop. What am i going to do without that mirror though? I carry it around with me everywhere. If you did it I can do it. I think it will actualy be kind of liberating not to have it but really weird at the same time. Thanks

This has been such a crazy year. I quit smoking after 12 years of heavily smoking which was really hard. I recently stopped drinking alchohol due to Accutane which has not been easy either. And now I might actualy stop picking my face. Wow that would be amazing!

I am def having the ib now. This week is going to be hard.

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Day 23

I woke up this morning with two large pimples. One on my jawline which came to a large whitehead. The other is on my left cheek. They both hurt pretty bad. My lips were less dry today for some reason. My eyes are more dry than they used to be but still managable. I wear contacts during the day but take them out when I get home at night. My body was sore over the weekend but not anymore. I am not experiencing any tiredness or flushing. However, I move up to 60mg in 7 days and we will see what happens then. I guess this is the ib. I hope it does not last too long. I was expecting this so I am OK.

It is amazing to go a whole day without blotting the oil off my face!

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Glad to hear you threw away the mirror! You will be so glad you did in the end. I quit smoking about a year and a half ago, so I totally know how you feel about needing some sort of vice. But if you can quit smoking, you can do anything.

Living in China sounds like fun! What kind of work do you do?

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I am a 25 years old woman from the US currently living and working in Shanghai, China. I have had moderate acne since I was 12 and have tried countless perscription and over the counter medications. Some would make things better for a few months and then my acne would come back again full force. Over the years it has been sugested that I take Accutane by difrent doctors but I always declined bacause I was scared of the side effects and the IB. I always thought my acne would eventually go away on its own.

Since I have moved to China it has gotten a lot worse and so has my picking. I have no idea how people keep themselves from popping and picking their pimples, I find it impossible. I pick and pick until I get something out, sometimes making myself look as though I have leisons on my face. As I get older I realize the long lasting effects this could have on my poor skin. I finaly decided clear skin and peace of mind is worth the four months of side effects Accutane can cause.

I figured now would be the best time for me to take Accutane for a number of reasons:

1. I am in China and do not have to deal with ipledge. I hate birth control!

2. I am living on the opposite side of the world from the man I love and dont have to worry about getting pregnent. Also he will not be around to see the potential IB.

3. It is a lot easier for me to not drink alcohol here as the Chinese are not big drinkers

So I went to a dermatologist and got the Accutane. It was quite easy. I weigh 50kg and am starting out at 30mg a day then moving to 60mg next month. I am doing all the blood tests myself at a nearby hospital. I have researched all the things to be tested and what the normal ranges are.

I am actualy a bit late starting this log as I am already on day 19. Things are going alright so far. However, my picking problem and accutane are proving to be a bad comination and I really must throw away my magifyng mirror before it is too late.

My skin is super flakey and easily ripped/torn. My lips are very chapped and they do not sell Aquaphor here so I have had to use Vaseline. Also my nose is dry but that isabout it. I am not tired, depressed, or sore. My skin has been breaking out but not any worse than usual. I do see all the blackheads around my nose comming to the surface which is amazing. Every pore is filled with dirt and I have been picking at it everyday. I know I need to stop. Anyone have any tips for not picking you face?

Anyway, hope everyone is getting clear. I will try to keep a continuous log of my experience.

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Day :catdance: 28

So this past week wasnt that bad. I had a few actives but they have all gone away by now. So right now no actives and my face is healing quite nicely. There are still many black heads coming up around my nose and on my chin. My face is still flakey and my lips are super chapped but I have learned to deal with it. I couldnt find Cetaphil cream or Aquaphor any where in Shanghai so I ordered them online and am waiting for their arrival.

My skin is sooo thin and even scratching an itch can tear is open so from now on I have to be more careful.

I go for my blood test today and if all is well I will move up to 60mg next month.

Cystbegone and Seven_Star_Glory: I am teaching 1st grade English. It has been a great experience so far and I would def recommend it to anyone thinking about teaching abroad.

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Day 30

I am starting to experience more side effects now. I woke up this morning and my body was pretty sore but it is still not a big deal. I went to work without washing my face and I looked Ok. However, I just came home took a shower and washed my face. My face is now bright red but only in certain places like around my nose and all my scars and red marks are 10 times redder than usual. It doesnt look so hot. From now on I think I will only shower/wash my face at night before I go to bed which for the first time is Ok because my skin and hair are not super greasy. Oh and I cant make it a full day in my contacts anymore. It seems everyday around noon they become really dry and no amount of rewetting drops will soothe them. I end up having to take them out and wear my glasses for the rest of the day. My mood and concentration are normal.

My blackheads are starting to dissapear which is really nice. My skin also feels super soft. I ordered Cetaphil cream and Aquaphor ointment online and they were delivered yesterday. The Aquaphor seems to work really well on the lips and the dry skin around my nose. As of now my skin has no actives but there are a few under the skin which seem as though they could become inflames at any second.

I am expecting everything to get a lot more intense from here on out because I am moving up to 60mg.

I tried to get my blood tested last Saturday but it was a huge mess. I dont know how to communicate things like Cholestorol, Tryglicerides or liver function in Chinese and they were just really confused. I could go to a Western hospital but it would be 10 times more expensive so I had one of my Chinses friends write everything down in Chinese and I am going to go back this Saturday and try again. I will wait to start the 60mg until I get the results.

Hope everyone is doing well with their Accutane!

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I have not taken Accutane in 9 days. Ive been really pissed off about it. I had some complications getting a doctors appt. Anyway I finaly have the appt scheduled for tomorrow so I should be able resume my treatment.

The side effects went away really fast. My eyes are still a little dry but I have been able to wear my contacts all day which I wasnt able to do for the month on Accutane. The oil on my face came back too. Whithin 4-5 days of not taking the pill I became really oily again. Crazy.

Anyway, does anyone think it is a big deal that I missed 9 days? Will it effect my treatment?

I really hope everything works out tomorrow. If it does not I am going to flip out.

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I am soo happy! I finaly got my pills today. I will be taking 60mg a day now. I guess I will have to take Accutane 10 day longer than I expected to make up for the lost time. I hope the missed days does not effect my tratment too much overall.

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Day 40 (would be day 50 if I had not missed 10 days)

I am on 60mg now and have not been experiencing too much more as far as side effects go. My face isnt even that dry if I moisturize correctly. I was having problems with dryness before but then I ordered Cetaphil cream and Aquaphor online and they work so well. The only thing that really bothers me is not being able to wear my contacts all day.

I think I might be one of those lucky people who doesnt get the ib. I mean I did break out on Accutane during the first month but it wasnt that bad. Now I am almost completly clear. Although I have a small zit above my lip and some other things brewing under the skin's surface it really isnt that bad.

I am certainly not experiencing any depression. I have been taking antidepresants for years so maybe that is why. I have been feeling extra anxious lately but I can deal with it.

I love Accutane!

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Day 40 (would be day 50 if I had not missed 10 days)

I am on 60mg now and have not been experiencing too much more as far as side effects go. My face isnt even that dry if I moisturize correctly. I was having problems with dryness before but then I ordered Cetaphil cream and Aquaphor online and they work so well. The only thing that really bothers me is not being able to wear my contacts all day.

I think I might be one of those lucky people who doesnt get the ib. I mean I did break out on Accutane during the first month but it wasnt that bad. Now I am almost completly clear. Although I have a small zit above my lip and some other things brewing under the skin's surface it really isnt that bad.

I am certainly not experiencing any depression. I have been taking antidepresants for years so maybe that is why. I have been feeling extra anxious lately but I can deal with it.

I love Accutane!

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This is weird.

When I went from 30mg to 70mg I thought my side effects would get a lot worse but they seem to be getting a lot better. I can wear my contacts all day now and my skin isnt as flakey as it was on 30mg a day. My lips are still chapped but more managable. Is this normal?

Ive been worrying that maybe my new pills are fake or compromised in some way. It just doesnt make sense to me that my side effects would be so managable on such a high dose (I weigh 110 Ibs/ 50 kg).

Did anything like this happen to anyone else?

Maybe I should stop worrying and just be happy.

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I def need to stop worrying and enjoy the fact that for the first time in my life I didnt break out when I got my period. I think it just all seems to good to be true. I still have some stuff under the skin surface but no actives. Amazing!!!

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I have a huge cyst on my chin. My skin was so nice for about two weeks and then right when I got my period I broke out like I always do. Usually I break out during the rest of the month as well but it always gets really bad right about now. I know Accutane takes a long time to work and the course is full of ups and downs but now I am worried it has stopped working or there is something wrong with my pills.

When I was taking one 20mg pills and one 10mg pill a day my side effects were much more noticable. Now when I am taking 2 30mg pills and one 10mg pill I hardly feel as though I am on the medication. I keep thinking what if the 30mg pills are fake. Or what if they were exposed to cold or heat before I got them and are less effective. What if I think I am taking 70mg a day but I am really only taking 10mg a day. I know the 10mg pills are ok because I have been taking them from the beginning.

I know this might be a little crazy but I opened 2 of my pills to see if what was inside was different in the 10mg pill and the 30mg pill. I just have this feeling that the 30mg pills are not working. What if I am wasting all this time and money for nothing. Anyway, inside was orange grainular liquid which seemed to be in an oil base if that makes sense. The inside of both the 10mg pill and the 30 mg pill looked the same but smelled and tasted different (I only put the smallest amount on my toungue). I dont know anymore. I think I am making myself go insane. Maybe it is because I am in China taking the Chinese version of Accutane which no one on this board is taking and my pharmacist doesnt even speak English. Im freaking out.

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Day ?

Ok so I bothered my poor doctor until he gave me a new perscription of Accutane because I insisted that something was wrong with the pills I was taking.

Now I have new pills ( I started taking them about two weeks ago) and my eyes are still not dry but my arms are super flakey and itchy. My face is breaking out here and there with strange pimples that are crusty and yellow.

I now realize that there was probably nothing wrong with the pills I was taking before and I was just being crazy. I think Accutane is like a roller coaster of ups and downs and trying to make sense of it can sometimes be frustrating.

For a while my face was super dry and not oily at all but for the past three days its been oily again. Im not stressing out about it because I know that Accutane works in mysterious ways and I am just going to have faith that it is working and be thankful that I am finally on it.

I have been feeling a bit depressed lately and it might have something to do with the Accutane but it could also just be me being slightly depressed which has happened before and will probably happen again. Ive learned how to deal with it and I am trying to think positive.

I think I will be on Accutane until the end of July but I leave Shanghai the end of June (going to Hong Kong and Macau for a week or so before heading home) so I will have to get some extra from my doctor here. I guess when I get back to the states Ill just go see my family doctor for a final blood test and any follow up cremes etc.

My side effects are:

dry crusty lips

dry, flakey, itchy arms

skin is very easily torn or broken

maybe slightly depressed but dealing with it (also getting a little homesick)

dandruff

Hope everyone is doing well with their courses. I love reading your logs! Its quite addicting actually.

P.S No more blackheads!!!

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I woke up this morning with no new actives but then around 1pm I felt a big one comming out next to my nose. It is huge and in such a horrible spot. I look like crap and I dont even feel like leaving my apartment. I thought the worst of it would be over by now but the pimples I have been getting in the past week are really bad and they just keep comming. Please let it be over soon.

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Day 73

I had about 5 big pimples and some other smaller zits this past week. They are healing now though. I cant really tell if there is more coming or if this is the end of the breakout. So iguess this was like a second ib. If it was it has been worse than the first one.

I was reading on the Accutane Post forum about getting a crusty scalp from Accutane and I am def experiencing that. This past week it got really bad. I kept picking at it and scratching my head to try to get the crust off. At first I just thought it was really bad dandruff but now I realize it is something different. I even took a picture of the top of my head and zoomed in on my scalp and I could see they were not normal dandruff flakes but something else. On the post I read they recommend you put jojoba oil in your hair and let it sit so I think I will try this soon. Also my hair is in really bad condition. It is not falling out but it is soo dry and there is magor breakage and frizz. I also get highlights every month which I know isnt helping the situation. Anyway, I think I will order the jojoba oil from this site but it will probably take forever to get here. I just hope it works.

Side Effects

Dry Skin

Itchy arms

Chapped lips

Crusty scalp (sounds so gross)

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Day 77

My skin is looking good right now. No actives and everything is healed or healing. I should get my period soon so I will have to wait and see if that brings on a breakout like it normally does.

I ordered the jojoba oil online and cant wait for it to arrive. I will use it on my scalp to help with the dandruff and crusty buildup. I will also try it as a moisturizer. I havnt decided if I will add the oil to my moisturizer or apply it directly to my skin. Anyone think one way is better than the other?

Side Effects

Very smooth skin

Red itchy arms

Dry crusty scalp

My hair is super dry and weak

Dry skin mainly on face and arms

Chaped lips

For me these side effects are very managable and totaly worth it for clear skin.

I say I have no actives but I do have a couple small whiteheads on my cheeks but they dont bother me at all. I just really hate those big red ones that hurt and as long as they are gone I am so happy.

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My skin has been looking really nice. I have my period now and havnt broke out yet but I will have to wait a few more days to see if this is for real.

I continue to be super itchy especially on my arms. I was also attacked by mosquitos last night and that has made matters much worse.

I havnt written about it previosly but I am also flushing a little bit. I have forgotton to mention it because it hasnt been that severe.

So to sum things up

My skin looks great

My arms are itchy

Slight flushing

Skin on my face is flakey but after I moisturize no problems

My hair sucks

I still have not recieved my Jojoba oil in the mail but it has only been a little over a week since I ordered it and I am in China. My hair is in really bad condition. So much breakage and my scalp is so dry and crusty. Everyday I just pull my hair back and hope that it will go back to normal after Accutane.

Soon my contract will be over and I plan to be laying out on the beaches of Macau. I will put sunscreen everywhere and will keep my face out of the sun but is it ok to tan my body? With sunscreen on ofcoarse

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Day 97???

I got a couple small pimples this past week but nothing serious. Overall my skin is good. I guess my hair continues to be my biggest problem. It is so dry and weak. It is all frizzy at the top around my face. I got the jojoba oil on Wednesday. It put it on my scalp and let it sit for hours with a shower cap on before washing it out. I hope this will help. Yesterday I bought some Apple Cider Vinegar too. I have been drinking it in my water and tonight I put some on my scalp. After I washed it out I put on a lot of jojoba oil and I think I will let it sit in overnight. I hope this works.

I am still on 80mg but plan on moving it to 40mg for my last month. I hope this will help my chapped lips and hair. These are the only two side effects that really bother me so iguess it could be a lot worse.

Side Effects

Dry skin

Itchy arms

Chapped lips

Crusty scalp and bad hair

Slight flushing

Oh and this morning i noticed a cut on my neck. I think i must have done this while I was sleeping. My skin is so easily torn.

Also, I have gotton used to not worrying about blotting my face of oil every hour and I will really miss this added bonus when my course is over. However, I will not miss the chapped lips and hair damage.

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Last night when I went to bed I had a couple small unimflamed pimples but this morning when i woke up they had turned into a few ugly red inflamed monsters. Im in my fourth month now and I am finding it harder and harder to keep the faith thet this is actually going to work. I know some people breakout until the very end but my acne is moderate and I just thought it would be gone by now. I have paid for this whole thing out of pocket which will probably end up being $1,000 with the blood tests and doctors appointments and all. What if I wasted all that money and my time.

I know I need to think positive. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

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