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BeatriceSANK

It Was Fear of Myself That Made Me Odd

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So – I’ve decided to start an accutane log on day 83 which would make it roughly three odd months into the course but nevertheless – I’m committing to something. It’ll be a good venting ground, since I think my mother just tunes me out now when I start complaining about my skin issues.

A LITTLE INTRODUCTION TO THE CESSPOOL THAT IS MY FACE:

I’ve already been on accutane once before but due to circumstances that were my fault and the fact that I have freak, mutant hyper-sensitive skin, the zits came back – every accutane sufferers worst nightmare. Before accutane, was on tetracycline for roughly two years (which apparently, isn’t very good for you either) but then was diagnosed with epilepsy and apparently tetracycline + epilepsy = no no because it lowers the “seizure threshold.†So I went on accutane in the summer of ’07 for four months, it cleared up, and then it returned with a vengeance. I’d say about as bad as before, only a different kind of bad. I didn’t get anymore deep, under the skin cysts, but a lot of red marks and scarring, something I seldom got before. The pores on my cheeks got super-clogged and I started breaking out there and I never broke out there before. And these zits were like mutant spawn boils, I say. They’d start out as a blackhead that got a little inflamed and then BAM! Full blown gross zit that wouldn’t pop and became progressively and progressively larger until they were roughly the size of a pencil eraser (that includes height, width AND depth) so massive and enormous that I could feel it move when I walked. I went back to the doctor (no dermatologists where I come from, the nearest one is three hours away, gotta love small town life) and she gave a prescription for minocycline after telling me that since I my epilepsy was under control I could take it without having a seizure. Three months later and… NOTHING. I had four of those devil zits on my face then, plus numerous little ones above my upper lip and PLENTY of marks – red, purple brown, all those lovely colours that make you look like a bruised piece of rotting fruit – so I went back to the doctor. I was done with this clowning around. I kept telling myself every time I broke out, it would be the last one but pfft, who was I kidding? I’m almost nineteen and I’ve still got explosive acne! I got a different doctor this time, since you get whatever doctor’s on call that day. I think it was busy in the clinic that day, because all I got was this sheet saying what I was here for, which I angrily wrote “Just look at my face!†and then when the doctor came in, I could tell he didn’t want to put me on accutane. He told me to double my dose of minocycline and prescribed me some BenzaClin (however you spell it). I proceeded to tell him that my skin freaked out when it went near benzoyl peroxide and he just gave me a sceptical look and sent me on my way. The next day, I called into the doctors office yet again, fed up with it all, but I got a very nice doctor that day who was almost emphatic to put me on accutane. He gave me the prescription and paper for bloodwork, I got it filled and got my bloodwork done the next day and I was on my way to a life where, one day, I would not cringe every time I saw my reflection, or looked at someone’s nice skin and be overcome with envy or grudgingly look in a mirror every morning to see how many white heads and red lumps sprouted up over night.

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DAY 83:

Greetings all non-existent readers! I love and respect you all. Last day of the long weekend here, which is a good thing, since we get many a out-of-towners that don’t seem to know what a crosswalk is, moving around the town in herds. My skin has been okay lately – not good, not horrendously oh-my-god-I-can’t-look-in-the-mirror bad. All the little zits that liked to pop up on my upper lip, leave marks and overall give me a “pimple ‘stache†cleared up within the first two weeks of starting accutane again. I love it when I first started the treatment and every little zit I got, I wouldn’t care about because I knew that it was all about the process. It was like “C’mon you fuckers – get out of my face!†The only difference I noticed from when I took accutane the first time was this horrible redness and when anyone asked at work, I told them I got burnt by a toaster oven, since it was the end of February then and it wasn’t plausible to get a sunburn in minus ten weather. The redness went down, now my whole face just sort of has this pink tinge to it and I’ve noticed that in pictures, my skin doesn’t look exactly human.

So the places where I got acne the most cleared up, but then every single whitehead, blackhead and clogged pore decided to come to the surface. The blackheads on my nose just sort of rose up, giving my nose the illusion of a small forest, then eventually came out. But the terrible, big, deep blackheads on my cheeks are another story all together. The blackheads feel the need to get big, red, inflamed, then spawn a yellow head that I’m afraid to pop or else it’ll scar. And when I look at the number of blackheads I’ve got left, I die a little inside because the healed ones are leaving red marks even though I don’t touch them. Then there’s the matter of the whiteheads (not sure if they’re classified as whiteheads exactly, they’re sort of little bumps under the skin) that cover the corners of my chin. I think there’s been about fifty or so of them all together and I think they’re almost all finished purging. As of now, I have “only†five on the right side of my chin, all scabbed over, and a fresh one along my jaw line on the left side, but other than that, I think the volcanic, Io-like landscape that was my chin is almost gone. There’s also three of those pustule blackheads on my left cheek. Hopefully, things will calm down enough for this wedding I have to go to this weekend. I hate meeting old family and friends that I haven’t seen for a while with a nice red face full of zits and have them think “Oh yeah – there’s the one with all the zitsâ€.

And yesterday at work, where I just want to go and crawl under a rock and DIE instead of having to work the tills all day and have everyone see me, well there was this one guy that I rang through. He kept looking at my face funny and then at the end of the transaction said, “I don’t know if you’ve tried this, but I put hydrogen peroxide on my pimples when I was younger and they’d be gone overnight.†I felt like screaming at him that I already did that and that I’m on heavy-duty shit that will hopefully clear me up, but he actually was nice about it, like he cared and wasn’t just trying to be mean and I wanted to hug him instead of ripping his head off (must be that time of the month because I usually am opposed hugging). So that was nice, being totally self-conscious about my skin for the entire day as I got to ring through all these sunscreen buying, towel-slinging out-of-towners with their leopard-print flip flops and sunglasses. I love people. Any who – I’m off to watch Canada’s Worst Handyman and then perhaps take my dog for a walk. Toodles!

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Day 84:

Good news first – all the little scabs on my chin fell off sometime while I was asleep and now I have only one active on my chin. I don’t think I’ve seen it this clear since at least a month and a half ago. I got this nasty-ass rash on my arms that seems to be going away as well. However, the rash on my hands is staring to flare up again. I think it likes to do this when I do the dishes and the water is too hot and the skin gets all agitated.

I had a revelation last night about all of the redness and blackheads and general grossness that are my cheeks. I never moisturize there. I never did before accutane and they never got dry when I started accutane, but then I started to think that maybe the lotion could maybe “suck out†some of the clogged pores, so last night I mixed some jojoba oil in with my moisturizer and slapped it on my cheeks and this morning, I swear about half of the blackheads were gone after I washed my face. (That is the biggest run-on sentence on history right there, folks.) All the little blackheads are gone, mostly. The big, gross ones that with develop into pustules are still there, but at least I managed to get rid of some of them.

And my brother randomly told me today that I look angry when I put on lip chap, so now I’m aware of it every time I put it on.

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Day 114:

Okay - so got back from the doctor's. So far, my acne is slowly but surely going away. It's all the blackheads and clogged pores that are giving me a hard time. Anyways, the doctor raised my dose to 80 mg/day, which is sort of high, considering I weigh 110 pounds. I'm supposed to stay on it for two months, and then hopefully my course will be over and all this fucking acne will be GONE. I'm already starting to dry out more from the 80 mg, even though I've only been on it for two days. The redmarks on my face are slowly fading. There's two clusters around the sides of my mouth where I had about a month-long acne explosion, and they're only obvious if I go really close to the mirror. I have two big red marks on my left cheek where there was a clusterfuck of blackheads that are a little les red and then a sort of line of red marks that look a little like the outline of Finland on my right cheek. Only two actives today, although I can feel some more wanting to come to the surface. At least I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Day 122:

My skin is finally getting clear! Currently, I only have two spots on my right cheek and I scab beside my nose. I bought some mineral makeup online because I need something to cover up all these red marks. They're not as bad as they were, but I'd like them covered and the makeup had free kits online. All I had to pay was like, 3 bucks or something for shipping and it doesn't even look that bad, considering I've never worn makeup before. I just hope these red marks go away when I'm off this stuff because I don't want to be using coverup my whole life. Too much of a hassle.

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Good to hear your doing well, I just got bumped to 80m/g on the start of my month 4.. and I am feeling a bunch more dryness and stuff atm. Did you get another breakout after you got bumped to 80? And how long until your skin started to clear once you were bumped ?

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Just wanted to stop in and say hi, I enjoyed reading your log. Well, enjoyed is probably a bad word for it. I guess reading what you have to say is kind of cathartic, ha. You are a very brave person. I wish you success in whatever you set out to accomplish.

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Day 128:

Happy Canada Day, Eh?

Buwahaha. People have actually read this. Thanks to everyone who left comments. Very cool.

I was out of town for five days to check out where I'm going to college and where I'm living. It just sucks that where I'm living is an hour-long bus ride to the campus, but I can't drive because of terrified of it. I worked at a golf course a couple of summers ago and effectively managed to crash the caddy-mobile into the clubhouse five times, drive into a stone wall and sprain my pinkie and take a chunk of siding out of a shed. If I'm on the road, I'll probably end up on Canada's Worst Driver. Anyway, I'm way off topic. Usually whenever I travel, I break out like crazy, but I only got one tiny pimple, which was a white bump that was already there, so it was expected. The only problem is that the zit ruined my Finland-shaped red marks. I also got sunburnt on my which I know isn't good on accutane and I developed a nasty rash on my hands from not having lotion, but it's going away.

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Day 129:

Still clear. There's two bumps under my skin on my right cheek that don't seem to want to go away or surface, so that's just slightly annoying. One odd thing I've noticed though is that I'll get really red around three or four in the afternoon. My nose gets red and my ears turn blood red and get really warm and they'll stay like that for a few hours. This happened sometimes before accutane, so I'm not sure if it's related or not. It usually happens after I drink something hot like tea or coffee. I also have this rash on my arms, legs and hands that keeps going away and coming back, but that could just be from allergies. Again, I don't know whether to blame it on accutane or not.

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Day 133:

Well, well, well. So I went to the eye doctor's and aparently I have blepharitis, which is just an inflammation of the eyelids and a general pain in the ass. I already had it last year, but its probably worse due to the accutane drying up every orifice in my body. He said I could take flaxseed for it but I read opposing statments on the internet that flaxseed can either aid in hair growth, or make it all fall out. That's a litle terrifying, since I'm already shedding like crazy, but I guess if more falls out, I'll just stop taking it. Happy times.

On a more positive and completely unreleated note, I just realized I get to see No Doubt in less than three weeks which I'm super excited about because Gwen Stefani was my idol when I was about five. There's even a picture of me dressed like her with a tank top and yellow pants. I wish I still had those pants...

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Day 134:

Vell, vell vell. The dry spell is over. I have three zits on my face as of now. Tiny zits, but still traumatic after not having them for a while. They were already former blackheads, so they weren't a big shock or nothing. I still have three or four blackheads left on my face that'll most likey come to a head, but after that, I think it's done (knock on wood.)

And I also managed to give myself a black eye today when I was moving a piano bench out of the room. I lifted it up and then the leg smaked against the doorframe and bounced off my face. I keep telling people different and contradicting stories about how I got it. That's kind of fun.

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Okay - so more of a rant than an update.

People should seriously have to take an IQ test before they take accutane. You have to get pregnancy tests done and blood work done, but really, an IQ test would make the most sense, because some people are stupid as shit. Here's the story:

I went to my friends party last night and there were some people from high school there. This one chick that I was never really close to, but sort of hung out in my circle of friends mentions that she's on accutane. So it's like "Oh great, me too, hope you have success with it" all that crap. Then the meathead proceeds to crack open a cooler and drink it all in about two minutes. And then a minute later, she's doing whiskey shots. Smart one. So I told her that she could really wreck her liver doing that shit and she gives me this look like Quit acting like my mother, bitch. It was great because literally ten minutes later, she noticed a red thing on the side of her mouth and then broke out in an entire body rash, which was actually an allergic reaction to the booze she had. Then she decided to drive herself to the hospital while she was hammered, but I hid her car keys on her and got someone sober to drive her. Fun night.

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Okay - so more of a rant than an update.

People should seriously have to take an IQ test before they take accutane. You have to get pregnancy tests done and blood work done, but really, an IQ test would make the most sense, because some people are stupid as shit. Here's the story:

I went to my friends party last night and there were some people from high school there. This one chick that I was never really close to, but sort of hung out in my circle of friends mentions that she's on accutane. So it's like "Oh great, me too, hope you have success with it" all that crap. Then the meathead proceeds to crack open a cooler and drink it all in about two minutes. And then a minute later, she's doing whiskey shots. Smart one. So I told her that she could really wreck her liver doing that shit and she gives me this look like Quit acting like my mother, bitch. It was great because literally ten minutes later, she noticed a red thing on the side of her mouth and then broke out in an entire body rash, which was actually an allergic reaction to the booze she had. Then she decided to drive herself to the hospital while she was hammered, but I hid her car keys on her and got someone sober to drive her. Fun night.

Good for you! I could not agree with you more when it comes to the IQ test. Great log!

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Start of Month Six!!!!!!!

Yes! Just went and picked up my last prescription. Only one more month of sitting here like a dried-up piece of apple. Currently ZERO actives on my face, although there is a sort of lump thing on my cheek that just doesn’t want to surface or go away. I never thought I’d actually be able to say that there are no zits on my face. The fucked up thing is, there were a couple of blackheads that got a nice yellow head on them, so I popped then out of frustration and they didn’t leave a red mark, yet the zits I just left alone and didn’t pop DID leave a red mark. What. The. Fuck.

My skin is sensitive to EVERYTHING, though. I even had an allergic reaction to my tabletop so now when I type, I have to wear a hoodie or succumb to the rash. That’s fun in thirty plus weather. I also have a rash on both legs and contacts bug my eyes, but glasses dig in on my nose and ears. So basically, everything’s acting up but my zits, but I’d rather trade a rash on my legs for pustules on my face. I started putting bio-oil on my red marks about a week ago, although the stuff kind of scares me. It’s like a chemical stew in a base of mineral oil. Although, it helped fade a mark I had from a nasty bout of impetigo I got hit with last year. If you don’t know what it is, click this:

http://www.uv.es/~vicalegr/CLindex/Clpiode...is/impetigo.jpg

Attractive, I must say.

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I've totally lost track of the days. It's around the first week into month six. I feel like the freaking alligator man from Thinner (Stephen King book, where a guy just keeps on growing scales). My legs are REALLY gross with lots of red patches. I was tempted to go to the doctor, but they seem to be getting better and drying out. I just keep putting massive amount of Nivea cream on them. It didn't help that I scratched my leg and the itch part literally started oozing... hello hydrogen peroxide. That was gross.

Alternatively, my skin is still clear, just lots of red marks. I can't tell if the red marks are fading or not because in the morning they're faint, but sometimes they look really bad in the afternoon or in certain mirrors. Sooo.... I just tend to avoid mirrors unless it's absolutely necessary. As long as I can't feel any zits on my face, I tend not to think about the red marks and generally feel better overall because I'm not obsessing about my skin.

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Day 165:

15 days left. One more package and I’m done. I’m super excited to be off this shit. I’ve been feeling really sluggish and lethargic lately and have just been watching tons of movies because I don’t feel like doing anything else. Anyways, decided to compile a list of things I WON’T be missing once I’m off ‘tane:

- The DRY ASS lips. And the consequential layer of skin I have to peel off of them three times a day. Gross.

- The rash on my legs.

- This cetaphil shit. It makes me look shiny, but gets the job done.

- Not having to put lotion on every square inch of my body.

- The nasty, dry skin patches I get on my face midday.

- The redness.

- The red marks (hopefully, they will fade with time).

- Having pictures of me taken where I don’t look like a freakishly plastic, red doll.

- The dry skin I have in the crevasses of my ears. I was picking my ears a friend’s house and she was just looking at me with horror.

- Having allergic reactions to my tabletop while I’m typing.

- Not feeling so sleepy and sluggish.

- Healing quicker (had a black eye that stuck around for a month).

- Not having to treat my skin like it’s antique lace anymore.

- The achy joints and sore muscles.

- The REALLY, REALLY dry eyes.

- Burning ridiculously easy. It sucks having to dread going to the beach for an hour.

- Having to put lip chap on by the hour. And having to waste money on buying lip chap every month. (I’m very cheap.)

- THE HAIR SHEDDING. I’m not bald or anything, you can’t even tell, but when I comb my hair, it looks like there’s about five hundred hairs in there (probably less, but I’m panicking.)

THINGS I WILL MISS:

- Not having to wash my hair every other day. (It used to get super greasy and it’s super poofy so I always have to straighten it, and that’s a pain in the ass to have to do every second day.)

- The guarantee that I won’t wake up with a zit. (It’s great during this last month of accutane to be assured that I won’t have any more zits while on this stuff. I love not having to plan my life around my acne.)

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Day 167:

Random nightmare I had last night: I was in the bathroom, pouring something down the sink and I look in the mirror and there's a zit on my forehead. One with a head. And as I start to look, there's another zit beside my nose and one above my upper lip and basically in all the places where I got zits the most. I actually woke up in fear out of it and was sooooooooooooo relieved when I realized it was all a dream. Acne must really have affected my psychologically for that to happen and obviously I have a major fear of it creeping up on me after I'm off the stuff. It's a little disturbing.

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DAY 180:

LAST DAY. Just popped my last two pills. DONE. All clear except for bothersome red marks.

I think the doctor I went to was a conspiracy theorist. My brother came with my to the doctor's because of his dermatitis and she told him to use half the recommended amount of laundry soap because they just tell you to use more so they can get more money. Also, she said not to use body wash because it's like washing yourself with laundry detergent. And she was sooooooooo deadpan and serious it was hard not to start cracking up.

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Holy shit - so totally forgot about this site what with college starting and moving out of the house. Basically, zit-free. It's been about TWO AND A HALF MONTHS since I got off the 'tane. My dry lips went away in about two weeks and so did the redness. The greasy hair came back (the only thing I will miss about accutane) and the gross dry scabs on my legs have disappeared. I've gotten maybe four tiny whiteheads (like microscopic sized) that clear up in about a day. I'm using retin-a (lowest level) every second night and it's helped clear up my red marks AMAZINGLY. They're still there, but faint and when I put coverup on, you can hardly tell that they're there.

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Well, I thought I'd update for anyone who stumbles across this page. It's been around four and a half months since I've been off accutane. The marks are still there, but whatever. Lately, I've been getting a few more zits then normal, but nothing big, just small ones that are gone in a day or two. I've been getting more than normal lately though, but that may be because my diet has consisted of mainly ramen noodles, pizza and Christmas cookies for the past two weeks so... I'll try and eat better and see what happens then. Dairy is NOT good for my skin, I've established that before.

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Congratulations on your success. :) Definitely eat better! It'll suck having it all come back after going through 'tane.

I love No Doubt's Don't Speak and Underneath It All. Admittedly I don't know much of their other songs. Any recs?

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