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redtwo

After 7 years...took the big step

Hi,

I wanted to get this log started. Finally! I am 30, F, VERY fair skinned, and have had acne for about 7 years...it has been cystic acne. I'll spare you the list but I have been through topicals, antibiotics, and the injections. It helped slightly. Yesterday, the two blood tests, I took the first accutane pill!

Thank you to the "senior class" on these logs! I have been reading all of the posts and have received great information that helped me take the step.(Yes, every doctor eventually recommended it to me). It seems like there are some other "freshmen" who have just started the logs so this process will be interesting. I welcome all replies and suggestions!

I was given the generic Amnesteem. I know others have said their doctors did not feel this works as well so I figured I would give it a month and see what happens. Has anyone taken this generic and then tried another brand? Did you notice a difference?

You all may think I am crazy but about 6 hours after taking my first pill, I got this dry/prickly/stinging rash on the top of my hands. It reminded me of the dry skin that I get in the winter when it is 10 degrees out and the wind is blowing. It stung to wash my hands under warm water so I have been using the moisturizer that all of you recommended and it has calmed down. I don't know...strange.

As for the current state of the face:

About 20 red bumps - 10 on the chin, 5 around nose and forehead, 5 on far side of cheeks.

I am trying some of the different products now - so far I like the carmex that is in the grey lipstick looking tube, and aquaphor...my lips are always chapped.

I'll talk with all of you later.

Red

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Hey Red! Congrats on that 1st pill. I am waiting until sometime after 8/11 to begin this journey. What dosage did your derm prescribe for you? Good luck and stock up on those supplies. Keep us posted on your progress!

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I was given the generic Amnesteem. I know others have said their doctors did not feel this works as well so I figured I would give it a month and see what happens. Has anyone taken this generic and then tried another brand? Did you notice a difference?

I wouldn't worry about it, the company that sells Accutane has decided to stop selling it since all the pharmacies give out generics anyway.

Good luck with the course!

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Id70 --- Thanks for the reply

I forgot I am tall and 159lbs. The doctor started me on 40mg. He said it is not that much so we will see how I do.

Nikkia --- Thank you also for the info, that is really interesting.

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Hey it seems we are starting at almost the same time. I would be interested in seeing your picture progress as well if you have the chance to post them. Good Luck

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Day 3

Today my skin and hair are slightly more dry. I noticed all of the blackheads on nose and down around cheeks just below the eyes are slightly bumpy. I have one spot that has blown up just below my lip. It is somewhat drier but is also red. I still have all of the red spots and cysts from three days ago.

I am going to play around with setting up this log but can someone tell me how to put the footer information into this? Do I have to do it as and attachment?

Thanks so much!

Red

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About the footer/signature: click on on "MyMenu" just below the "Welcome back, redtwo" on top of the page and then there's a menu incl. a link to "Edit Signature" under "Personal Profile" :)

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Ok...its Day 5

I really have been thinking about rockin' the spots during the day...it's still early on so I am going to try and pull it off tomorrow but each day.....

I wake up and find a few small whiteheads seem to come from no where. My skin seems slightly drier so the spots I started with are dry but still red. Also, the cysts that are below the skin are coming up a little more each day. They are slightly raised, red, and hurt. I have also noticed my hair is slightly more dry and the body is slightly more dry. Just a note to myself ( and whoever else is reading) when washing my hair, some of my hair came out but it was not any more than normal. I am not worried about it but just thought I would note it any way.

As far as care, I am drinking tons of water, like 96oz throughout the whole day and I am being really proactive with the moisturizing hands, face, arms, and back ( as much as I can get). I just feel a little achy after exercise but this is very minor and I can easily ignore it. I may just be thinking too much because this process is a bit wild and I seem to be looking at my face and body each day. I am just going to have to chill out and move on. I am doing a good job at keeping the picking to very little.

Later people. I am loving the logs. You are all so helpful.

Dawn 13- Thank you for the directions, I hope the footer shows up here.

Till next time.

Red

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Hey Red,

Your story seems similar to mine: I'm 29, been dealing with mild/moderate acne up until 2 months ago and now it's a mess of painful nodules and cysts. You're starting about a month before mine, so I'll be following your log to get an insight of what's to come for me. Good luck with the Amnesteem!

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The last two days i have also had lots of little white heads that just popped out of nowhere. Its hard not to pick at them...control, control

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Hi,

I need some help or info from the "senior" accutane users.

It is DAY 6 and it is the first day that I can say I have significantly noticed that I am drier. I had to use chapstick (Nivea Kiss of Moisture, white tube is the best!!) at least one time per hour. The thing is that I started with a brakeout which have developed into whiteheads over the 6 days and the usual cystic spots are coming up as the usual red bumps. THEY HURT! Some of these whiteheads and larger cysts (which have become dry at day 6) will break when I gently wash my face at night. Is this normal? I have not picked anything but I thought that having them break may cause scars. Does anyone have any experience with this?

The second question is that since I am becoming more dry, these spots that have broken become dry scab type bumps (no blood, just the clear stuff) and there is flaky skin around these bumps versus my normal/better skin. Is this normal?

I hope this makes sense. I am still drinking tons of water and keeping the aquaphor, sunscreen, and all other moisturizing stuff going.

Thanks for any thoughts and your replies. This is a great website. Everything else is good for me.

Red

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Hey Red,

Your story seems similar to mine: I'm 29, been dealing with mild/moderate acne up until 2 months ago and now it's a mess of painful nodules and cysts. You're starting about a month before mine, so I'll be following your log to get an insight of what's to come for me. Good luck with the Amnesteem!

Rede4bed,

Thanks for the message. I hope I can help. I am glad you are going to take the big step. I figured that at our/my age, if it is not going away that it is time to do something and move on with life. So far it is not as bad as what I expected but it is only day 6. I don't know about you but the cysts are strange.

Although at this time, I don't choose to post pictures, I don't think they would really show much. My cysts are just painful bumps that can range from the size of a pea to a marble and they are deep. It is wild because they are just like painful red bumps. I have lots of blackheads but have never had the huge breakouts of pimples that others here talk about. I did have to go to a doctor when I was traveling because a cyst got really close to my eye and this doctor termed it a "dermatologic emergency." I was embarrassed but at least I knew I was not crazy for making a hasty trip to the dermatologist. He recommended accutane at that time along with every other doctor I have seen.

I look forward to reading your log also.

Red

I'll definitely be following your log.

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One Week Down, Day, 9

Hi,

If anyone can help me with a few questions from below, it would be really helpful!

Summary: Not as bad as I thought. I am still drinking tons of H2O and moisturizing. Yesterday, I did not have any new spots and my face was pink overall. They cystic spots were pink also. I still looked blotchy but handled it without makeup. (Looking at it in another mirror during the day...I should not have done that) TODAY - More Cysts have come up. This is a wild process they hurt, whitehead comes around, it seems to break, and it seems to dry but I still have slight bumps. This process is repeated or will just stay dry.

Cysts/pimples-all over chin

Blackheads-all over nose and under eyes. They now seem like hundreds of harder little bumps.

Cysts-aka "third eye" in the middle of eyebrows and up onto forehead ( Yes, i have to have some type of fun with this!!)

WARNING TO NOT DO AGAIN - My eyes were slightly dry BUT I accidentally got sunscreen in them and I could not get it out and it stung like HE**. I did not have as many tears when I would blink to try and help this problem. What a lame excuse to leave work, "UH, I have sunscreen in my eyes and the bathroom sink is just not working."

QUESTIONS FOR ANYONE THAT CAN HELP (I'll ask my Dr. but am curious about others)

1. What has been your IB? Pimples and they go away, leaves red spots, cysts pop up and stay for weeks? I ask this because I really have had pimples that came up, then the cysts are now coming up. All of this has happened in the first week. I am definitely drier but not like skin is flaking off my face. I am shocked all of this is in the first week. Most of what I have read here is like the IB happens around the 2nd-8th week if not at the very end for some people.

2. If there are whiteheads that have broken naturally, has that left scars? I have not picked. They come up, I wash my face and on the second day, there is no white part but still a red bump.

Later,

Red

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Day 10

Note to the LOG--

Nothing really new except for the weekend, I have not put on moisturizer for the day. My face feels like it has more oil on it. I wonder if this is the accutane trying to get more oil out?

If anyone can help with some earlier questions, that would be great. Like the initial breakout one. I am still getting the cysts that just keep coming up and breaking. This has happened since day one so it makes me wonder what the IB really is or has been for others? I get the impression from other logs, it is like a massive breakout that stops within a week or two. I think the accutane is definitely working but it seems just a bit different for me but just as long as it does the job, I am happy!!

So far so good.

Red

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It must be day 11

ok, I was going to take a break from posting my progress but this day needed to be noted.

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! I HAVE 5 CYSTS THE SIZE OF ERASERS ON THE SIDE OF MY CHIN ( they are in the shape of an arrow, give me a break) AND 5 DEEP ONES BETWEEN MY EYEBROWS.

If anyone has read this log you know I have broken out since I started and have wondered what the IB is for most people. Let me tell my log....this is bad. If I touched any of these, it would be massive scars, I am positive. Then at the end of work today (was inside all day) I noticed my skin was oily but lips are drier. Is this stuff working? It has to be working if these cysts have come up. I have really fair skin so these are red....hence the screen name! My skin is not extremely dry or flaky like I read but just a bit drier. I am anticipating that these cysts will break and dry but I really hope there are no scars.

No way in the world am I exaggerating. It hurts to move my lips and to squint. This is wild and I am definitely hiding in my house. I usually can take some spots but this is BIG TIME. Usually the cysts (before accutane) get large but stay down just a bit. If they get bumpy, they come up a bit, hurt, and are red.

Wow, in a strange way, it feels better to get this down with some people out in computer space who have some idea. I am going to go jog on the treadmill and hope they disappear. I can only wish. This stuff is wild! Later.

Red

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Hey Red. I haven't been on accutane so I can't tell you if this is normal or not. Perhaps you should call your derm to be sure? If it is really severe maybe they can prescribe something to calm it down. I have read where some docs prescribe prednisone. Are you still taking an antibiotic or did you derm take you off of everything. I think you are definitely having your IB. It sucks, I am sorry.

I know you are looking for advice, sorry I don't have any to give you. Just hang in there!!! Good luck and I will check back to see you doing.

(BTW, when I get cysts, mine are VERY red and swollen and nearly impossible to conceal - so I totally understand how you can be freaked out right now)

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I survived day 12

Wow, the numerous eraser sized cysts that have come up are bad and are breaking. I called my Dr. and he said it is normal and I will not get scars so I am happy about that! This has got to be what the IB is. No question, you know when it is.

I hope this is worth it because this has been the most disgusting experience I have had. From all of your posts, I definitely know not to touch the face. I am NOT touching these things. I am going to eat the fattiest dinner I can find and hope to he** that tonights pill is magic and dries this stuff up. It is strange. My chin is horrible and between the eyebrows is horrible but every place else is ok. I just can't believe this experience.

The good thing is:

1.I work in an office and I can close my door. I sympathize with everyone in high school...I can't imagine it.

2. I have not really had any side effects, just a bit of dry skin. (I have lightened up on the moisturizer)

I am off to hide and eat fatty food.

Id70- Thank you so much for the kind message, I REALLY appreciated it

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Nothing too exciting to report-

I made it through another disgusting day of cysts. They are still the size of pencil erasers,they hurt, and look absolutely disgusting. The thing now is that they are getting dry but are still large. I wonder how long these spots will be around? It has got to be a long time.

Overall, the better parts of my face are slightly red and dry. I still feel slightly tired and mildly sore after exercise.

I hope I have better news to report to the log because this is turning out to be the most boring log ever.

Red

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The IB sucks, doesn't it? Zits pop up in random places that you didn't even know existed before. I just read where you said you had cysts in the shape of an arrow, which reminds me of my red marks in the shape of Finland. It's cool to see that other people associate their zit clusters with shapes as well.

And no - you're log isn't the most boring log in the world. If it was, no one would be responding to it.

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Thanks for the reply, Red. I was initially scared about Accutane but as more time passes, I am so ready to go on it. My forehead, sides of my nose and all along my jawline are covered in cysts or nodules. They are big, painful (especially when barely touched while washing) and as gross as it sounds, they leak. I can't wait for this stuff to go away and not have stains on my pillow case or worry about eating in front of friends. It will be nice to not cringe everytime I feel a twinge of pain from these monsters on my face.

It's really nice to know there is someone else out there around my age with the same severity. We'll get through this, girl! Before you know it, we'll be enjoying clear skin for the New Year! ;)

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Day 14

I can't believe it has been two weeks. Overall, I am amazed, the logs seem to be pretty consistent and accurate as far as what I have experienced. Give or take a few days around two weeks and the IB starts. I guess the good news is that since I am having the IB, it means the accutane is working so I am just going to have to trust the logs of the experienced accutane users...."this will be worth it."

What have people been told about being in the sun? I know what the package said which was to stay out of it but I may have to be in the sun for about 4 hours straight. Any thoughts?

Update on the cysts

The BAD breakout on the chin aka Arrow- is becoming more dry. Yet, it is still breaking but it is the clear liquid that causes scabs, the next day it will be a bit of infection, the next day it will be some dry skin and this process is repeating.

The forehead cyst cluster is slowly drying but they are still deep.

I now have individual cysts that are becoming more prominent. I am a bit nervous because the really bad one that I would have before accutane that is literally in the middle of my forehead is starting to make its presence known. I hope that the accutane helps by making this not as bad.

Other Update

Blackheads are still there and are still just a bit bumpy. Every morning I will wake up with a few whiteheads that seem to go away after I wash my face

BeatriceSANK- Yeah, I have to have some fun with this so my mind has been racing to come up with something to laugh at and the shapes are the best things.

Rede4bed- Way to go. Let's kick this stuff out for good! I would have done this when I was younger but I was so scared about the side effects but the acne has gotten worse with age. Strange but true. I have got to give people here credit for tackling it soon early. I wish I would have done it but I was just nervous. I really don't thin that I would do it for just a few pimples and none of my doctors would have given it to me. Yet, I am only on week two, have had very few side effects, and am on a smaller dose for my size, tall and normal weight for being tall.

I am just going to hope that things keep drying out.

Red

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Hey Red. Thanks for continuing to post. Just checking in on you. Hang in there!

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How bad does your acne have to be to go on accutane??? I have a mild case of acne but I still want to go on it and is it bad to take it if you are on anti depressives??

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Hi Red,

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be following your log. I'll be going to a new derm on Monday to beg for accutane. Have you tried taking Aleve for a tiny bit of relief for the cysts? I started taking it a few days ago, and it seems like the inflammation is slightly better. Not a miracle, of course, but a little help. Hang in there.

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Day 17

My skin has definitely been drier. The cysts are more dry and not as disgusting. Thin layers of flaky skin are over them and the swelling has gone down. Yet, they are still bumpy like there is definitely stuff in them...I would not be surprised if I get and eruption again because they itch a bit and it is a deep itch, not a dry skin itch. A big warning to the LOG---yesterday, the cyst that is literally in the middle of my forehead that becomes the size of a marble before accutane has become a red bump. Please accutane, keep this one down!!!!!!!

My skin has gotten a slight pink shade to it because of the drying. Unfortunately, I still have to use the makeup because all the cyst spots are coming up. Because I am getting dry, I have the flaky dry spots and the tendency to pick comes out. I hope the picking (slight peeling of dry spots) does not cause scarring. I am not picking deep spots.

SueinLa and Rachel07- Good luck with your accutane efforts. The best thing I can say is be truthful and honest with your doctors. Tell them your concerns, listen to them. and have a good discussion with them. They are there to help you and if Accutane will help you, they will give it to you. If you take a medicine or have another condition where it could be a risk, I would definitely trust their opinion.

Hopefully there is progress to post later. I am definitely starting to see why this is a 5-6 month process. The changes are subtle.

Red

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