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Ms. Awesome

Accutane VS Acne: The Epic Battle!

In the beginning, there was... ACNE! It pillaged and plundered the face of an innocent young woman, engaging in various acts of dermatological debauchery, raping hapless young skin cells...

UNTIL ONE DAY...

... a mighty warrior arrived from a distant pharmaceutical land, vowing to destroy the vile acne and restore peace and harmony to the village!

:lol: Ha ha, okay, I'm done with that. Where should I begin? Okay, my name is Jenny and I am 20 years old. I've had mild/moderate acne (depending on what week it is) for years, gaining no relief from topicals, antibiotics, or oral contraceptives.

For the past couple of months, zits have been straying to my back, chest, and neck, which has never happened to me before. Red marks often last for up to a year and I am worried that, if the breakouts aren't stopped, I may wind up scarring. My skin has caused me no end of troubles, as I am horribly self-conscious about it. I never allow anyone to see me without make-up, which gets extremely tiring. I've become uncomfortable around others because of my skin.

So, after a month of excited anticipation thanks to the sexist demands of the iPledge program (which assumes that women are inherent liars and that lesbians don't exist, but I won't get into that :sick: ), I took my first capsule of Sotret (generic Accutane) two hours ago!

I am 115 pounds and the plan is to take 40 mgs for 5 months. I've bought Cetaphil gentle cleanser, Cetaphil Moisturizer with SPF15, and Aquafor for my lips. In addition, I'm taking a joint supplement, B-Complex, Vitamin E, and Flaxseed Oil capsules to help alleviate possible side effects.

I'll update as the battle continues. Wish me luck! :dance:

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hey jenny!

congrats on starting! (that one month of waiting on that stupid iPledge thing was/is soooo long!)

you're two days ahead of me so i will definitely be following your log!

good luck :)

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Hey Ms. Awesome, you really are awesome. That mighty warrior thing is worth the sotret clearing you up immediately just for your esteem towards it :D

Anyway, you mentioned taking a 'joint supplement'...is it the B-complex, Vit E and such or a distinct 'joint supplement'? I know its kinda absurd but you never know :P

I'm going to be starting Isotretinoin one of these days so I'll follow your progress (and *should be* success) even if I don't have much time to come here because of the BIG exams in abou' 2.5 months! I want to enter medical school so I have to work, but anyway I'll find time.

Good Luck with your course

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That was a really nice introduction!

Acne is persistent. You think you finally find the right regimen to battle, but the acne goes into remission, and strikes back stronger than ever. I don't like when acne takes forever to decide what it wants to be. Does it want to be mild, or does it want to be moderate? I wish it would make up it's damn mind already, and stop with the unwelcome surprises (severe breakouts). I was able to get clear with the use of antibiotics and topicals, but we'll see how long my freedom lasts.

I think you have all the supplies necessary for Accutane. Throughout the course, be sure to moisturize your hands. Update soon!

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Replies to posters:

ciaobella: Thanks for the support! We can check each other's progress. :)

Daniel :D: The joint support supplement consists of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Good luck on your med exams!

M0RTALS1NN3R: I know what you mean! I have weeks that I call the "Week of False Hope", where my skin looks like it's getting better and everything is mild. Then, BAM! A breakout attacks! :mad: It makes it so much harder to deal with, because it builds up your hope and then dashes it, leaving you with a bunch of red marks as reminders afterwards. And yes, I'm making sure to keep my hands moisturized.

DAY 6

Not much to report, really. I have a little bit of dry skin on the tip of my nose, but other than that, everything is pretty copacetic. No new zits at all... in fact, the ones I had have shrunk to just red marks. My lips are just a touch drier than before (which isn't saying that much, because winter always tends to dry lips a bit). My "T-Zone" still tends to be oily by the end of the day.

I've been taking my supplements, which makes me pee highlighter ink. This pleases me. I don't know why. I'm just that easily amused by vivid colors. :lol:

Spring break is this week, but my professors are of the cruel variety and have assigned various research papers to be completed. One even put our midterm exam online and is having us complete it over break. Pretty sadistic. No topless shenanigans in Tijuana for students at my school!

Sorry, I know I don't have much to update on. I'm just feeling a little antsy because I fully expected to be drying up a bit sooner. I'll just be patient and thankful that I'm not a peeling mess yet.

On another note, Jergans self-tanning lotion was on sale at the drug store, so I bought some. I'm a pretty pale little thing and thought this might be a fun experiment. I got it for body and face (the face lotion is oil-free and non-comedogenic). However, I got the body lotion for "Fair" skintones, but the only one left for the face was for "Medium" skintones. I guess I'll just use a little less of it. I'm thinking this will help blend in red marks while they heal.

Okay, I'll leave you alone now and come back when I have something to say. :doh:

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DAY 10

Well, my skin has now started to dry out. I moisturize two or three times a day. I've got flaking going on and my lips are especially dry. Oddly, this makes me very optimistic. I see it as a sign that the accutane is being absorbed properly and is doing its work. So, hurray! :dance:

As for acne itself, there is not much going on (again, hurray!). I've had two new zits since being on accutane. Since they were early in the treatment, I went ahead and gently used my comodone extractor on them and cleaned them well. There seems to have been no negative repercussions of doing so.

I ran four miles on Tuesday (which is great, because I normally run 3.5 miles in the same amount of time). I always go running on Tuesday, and was worried I might have joint soreness from the accutane. So far, there is no serious problem, which I am very glad for because I probably wouldn't have stopped anyway.

I had a filling replaced at the dentist yesterday, but I have to go in to have a crown put on it later this month. I've never had a crown before. This should be interesting.

By the way, the tanning lotion is working pretty well. :) I like the new color in my skin!

On a side note, my mother had surgery this morning to have her gall bladdar removed. Poor lady! She's always having organs taken out. I don't think she's going to miss this one, though.

Not much more relevant information to report. I'm very optimistic and looking forward to better skin to come! :wub:

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Hey awesome. Here to say that I hope your mother gets well. Glad your skin is doing better. Also, running is one of my hobbies. Relieves stress after a bad day, and does get my mind off of acne for a while.

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DAY 20

Seeing as I am exactly two-thirds through my first month, I feel kind of obligated to update. My lips are pretty damn dry, but Aquafor is very helpful. I just rub a bit more on whenever they get uncomfortable and I'm good to go for a while longer. I can't leave the house without it in my bag, however!

My skin is pretty dry, but nothing intolerable. As long as I moisturize at least twice a day and cleanse with Cetaphil at night, it really isn't noticeable. However, I've decided that it would be best if I switch make-up. I usually use a talc-free mineral powder, which looks great on my normally oily skin. Now that my skin is dry, however, it makes me look extremely dull and dehydrated. I bought an oil-free, noncomedogenic liquid foundation with SPF20 today. I haven't tried it yet, but hope it will look better.

As for acne, I have a couple of newer bumps going on. They are not too bothersome (except for the annoying three on my forehead and the one on my left upper lip... they are in such obvious places!) and seem to be healing fairly quick. I do spot treat them with salicyclic acid, which helps speed up the process.

A lot of my red marks have faded off very fast, which I find rather amazing. Red marks usually last for months on me before they even begin to really fade, so this is an odd but exciting event. I doubt it is the Accutane, as that actually tends to slow healing. Maybe it's the Vitamin E? If that's true, why didn't it help me when I was taking it a couple months ago in a multivitamin? Could the flaxseed oil be helping? This is my first time taking that. Either way, keep it up! :clap:

Life is pretty stressful right now, so I'm glad I don't have any really bothersome side effects. I'm a full time college student and part time page at a library, so I currently live with my parents. Well, my father's VA disability money has just been cut off... that's $36,000 a year of our income gone forever, beginning this very year. My mother was forced to take a paycut at the dentist she works for (everyone there did) because of the bad economy. On top of it all, UAW is doing badly and can no longer pay for my college tuition. And with all of these horrors going on, I have a massive research paper to do and I'm going to be forced to drop a class tomorrow because I missed a huge exam that I can't make up. :(

I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel like I'm at the end of my rope right now.

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Life is pretty stressful right now, so I'm glad I don't have any really bothersome side effects. I'm a full time college student and part time page at a library, so I currently live with my parents. Well, my father's VA disability money has just been cut off... that's $36,000 a year of our income gone forever, beginning this very year. My mother was forced to take a paycut at the dentist she works for (everyone there did) because of the bad economy. On top of it all, UAW is doing badly and can no longer pay for my college tuition. And with all of these horrors going on, I have a massive research paper to do and I'm going to be forced to drop a class tomorrow because I missed a huge exam that I can't make up. :(

I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel like I'm at the end of my rope right now.

Heyyy! I'm a full-time college student and a circulation desk clerk at a library. We're also very close to the same weight, age, and dosage. You copying me?

Don't let go of the rope. Good luck. :)

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Heyyy! I'm a full-time college student and a circulation desk clerk at a library. We're also very close to the same weight, age, and dosage. You copying me?

Don't let go of the rope. Good luck. :)

ACTUALLY, I am looking at you right now. I spend many of my nights at your window, watching you sleep. Mmm... yes, my pretty, sleep...

Ha ha, I'm joking, of course! That's cool that we have such a close experience. Good luck on your 'Tane! :)

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DAY 43

Wow, it's been a while! My life has been really hectic and my zit-blog was the farthest thing from my mind. It's time to update!

My doctor upped my dosage to 60mgs and I'm on Claravis now (instead of Sotret) because that's what the pharmacy had in stock. Since I've been on the 60mgs, my lips and skin have been extra dry. Lots of moisturizer and lip goo help keep me comfortable. The other night, I didn't apply more Aquafor when I clearly needed to (I was busy). I yawned and split my bottom lip! Ouch. I learned my lesson: slather on the goo!

My hair is pretty dry, too, but I'm using a leave-in conditioner now that helps a ton. It's pretty cool to not have to wash my hair as often, though.

As for acne? I'm fairly clear right now. I have two zits on my forehead that are almost completely dried up and gone and one on my left check that is following suit. I have a gross scaly mark on the right side of my chin, though, from a zit I had to pop (with a sterilized comedone extractor!) because it was so painful. It's healing, however slowly. It just looks like a have a tiny little scab or something.

Times are pretty stressful right now: I'm trying to get together the money to go to Kent State University this fall, which my father thinks is impossible ("Join the Air Force!", he keeps saying). I have a lot of papers for school due and finals are next month. I'm hardly keeping my head above water right now. I'll be so relieved when this semester is over, because it has been a horrid one. And it is almost over! Thank goodness. Just a couple more research papers, presentations, and exams to go... ugh.

Either way, it feels good to be in the middle of my second month on accutane/sotret/claravis/whatever. Just under four months to go! It's great because I have been a ton less worried about my skin lately. I suppose it's because I finally feel like everything that could possibly be done to heal my acne is being done. It's a good feeling to know that my acne could be pretty much history by the time this is over. It's one less thing to stress out over.

Go, accutane, go! Ra ra ra! :dance:

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