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FloridaGal11

The Beginning of the End, Finally!

So I guess I should introduce myself, I'm Christina and I began accutane 2 days ago.

I've struggled with acne since I can remember but to be more exact, I was 12. It was just a pimple here or there, it was never bad. It just remained constant. Throughout high school it got worse. More frequent and just plain aggravating. I tried everything over the counter, creams, rinses, EVERYTHING! Some things would work but not for long. Then I started the dermatologists, prescription after prescription but nothing helped.

I am now 21 and in college. I STILL have acne. It's not bad, bad but I feel like with each new breakout there are more and more scars being left behind. I really want to stop it before it gets worse. Having to deal with acne for years has had a huge impact on me in so many different ways. I haven't been swimming in years, like under the water, not having to worry swimming. I have horrible self-esteem and no self-confidence. It has caused me problems in past relationships and has prevented me from forming new ones. I can't even look at people in the face for fear that instead of listening to me, they are staring at my face.

I really want to just be able to not have to worry about my face and if my makeup is still there. I want to not have to wear makeup at all. I want to swim and I definitely want to be able to look people in the face. So I finally decided to take the leap.

I have heard about accutane a couple of years back but I never thought I would need it. Unfortunately, I have no other option. So after moving out west in August from Florida, I decided it was time. I made an appointment with a dermatologist out here. First appointment I expressed my desire to be put on accutane. He told me that my face is not that bad and I should try something different first. I explained that i have tried everything under the sun and I am tired, just plain tired. I want it to end, so he agreed.

I heard that accutane could be VERY expensive if insurance didn't cover it but could be very cheap if it wasn't. Of course, my Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance (PPO) DOES NOT cover it. Really? God's joke on me right? So I called CVS and they told me that for Claravis 40mg once a day was $580 a month. WOW. I am on student loans and trying to live. I can't afford that. So I looked online in forums for information about getting the drug cheaper. No dice. So I called my dad and told him that because of his sucky insurance I can't afford to do this. He agreed to pay for it! Wooo.

So I got my prescription and decided to drop it off at the Walgreens closer to my Apartment. Went to pick it up and found out that it was only $230. Still a lot but definitely a lot better than $580. Once I got home from class I took my first pill. I was so scared. To be honest, I still am.

I did my research on accutane and it seemed like the cons outweighed the pros. I heard good things and bad. As I go through this process I decided to keep a log. I thought this was a good idea because I had looked at so many people's logs on here and it gave me hope. It made me feel better about my decision. So I thought that if just one person stumbles upon this and finds enough courage to go through with accutane, keeping this log would have been worth it. So here goes nothing. My start date was Monday, November 23, 2009.

DAY 1

Took my pill at dinner time. Decided that since it is usually the only full meal that I eat, it would be better to do it then. Plus, i've always taken my meds in the evening to reduce the side effects and for the meds to work while I sleep.

After I took the pill, I was sooooo scared. I heard to drink lots of water with the pill so I literally drank 8 bottles of water before I went to bed. ha

I felt fine the rest of the night after I took the pill except for getting a headache, don't know if it's related to the accutane.

Day 2

Took the pill at the same time, with dinner. Lots of water. Still haven't had anything but a headache. I'm almost positive that the headache is from the accutane. I rarely get headaches and it happens shortly after I take the pill. Nothing I can't deal with though.

Decided to start taking Vitamin E and Fish Oil. Lord, I did not know how bad those pills smelled. I hate seafood, I hate the smell so these pills are going to be the end of me.

Day 3

So I have yet to take the pill today, but I will shortly. Since it's the day before Thanksgiving I will be flying home to Florida. Since I will be leaving here at 4 pm and arriving in Florida around 11 pm I will not have a full dinner so I am going to take it with lunch. I'm sure i'll be fine but a bit nervous.

I still haven't had any side effects of any kind yet, oh the anticipation. I'm not worried about the dry skin, eyes or lips. I can deal with that but seriously if I start to lose the hair on my head or my eyebrows i'm going to freak! I can't handle that. Hopefully that won't happen though.

Oh, one of my classes that I was suppose to give a presentation in today was cancelled and rescheduled for next Wednesday. I will have been on the pill for 10 days by then, will my face be peeling off by then? Sighhhh

Anyways, I'm going to try and update this as much as I can. I'll also post some pictures as soon as I can.

Have a good Thanksgiving!

Edited by FloridaGal11

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Hey! We started the same exact day, so I thought I'd stop in and say hi and good luck! I also give a huuuuge presentation next Wednesday and am dreading the thought of a possible IB during it. Haha, if it happens, it happens, I guess. Looking forward to seeing wonderful results for the both of us :)

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DAY 8

Definitely seeing some of those horrid side effects, luckily they aren't too bad yet.

I have some awesome chapped lips and as odd as it is, dandruff. Yuck. I had a little bit of it when I first moved out here since the change in climate but it was never this bad. My scalp literally hurts and I can feel my scalp flaking off. Awesome! Plus the chunks of scalp are so big that they are visible in my hair. Also, my ankles and knees ache, BAD. My right hip also aches and prevents me from putting any weight on it. So aggravating. The 5 hr plane ride yesterday was hell. I'm pretty sure i'd rather have my wisdom teeth removed again.

I also think I might be going through my IB but I can't tell. Since my face wasn't bad at all when I started I can't tell if this is just a regular bad outbreak or my IB. I'm breaking out around my mouth, chin and my jawline. Since I NEVER break out along my jawline it leads me to believe this is the IB. I hope so cause I can deal with this.

So I went home to Florida for Thanksgiving and I almost forgot how much I despised my stepmom, the psychobitch from hell. But then she reminded me. I really wish I was exaggerating but unfortunately, I'm not. Since I have to pay for my Claravis out of pocket, well my dad is, he told me that I couldn't tell her because she would flip out that he is giving me that much money for something I don't NEED. (Keep in mind my Claravis is $230/month) So we were shopping yesterday before I left and the biatch went into a store called True Religion and bought 2 pairs of $450 jeans. I was like are you serious!?!? UNREAL. Anyways, my entire trip there she proceeded to tell me that my face looked horrible and I should learn how to take care of it better. I had to literally stop myself from stabbing her with nearby objects. This is coming from the lady that refused to take me to a dermatologist when my face was bad. I had to wait till I moved out. My dad said that she thinks that if I get the proper treatment for my acne i'll be too pretty and i'll get into trouble. Seriously?

Well besides me almost going to prison for stabbing bitchface, my Thanksgiving was lovely. Hope ya'll had a great one as well.

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Hey! Just wanted to say good luck and hang in there alright :) Don't give up and I really can't believe your stepmom!! That's soooo..... :/

How crazy is the stepmom? haha And thank you for your support, it's much appreciated!

DAY 11

So nothing really new, just my faces looks like a battlefield. Lovely!

The actives on my chin are huge and hurt soooo bad! I've never had them this big. Hopefully this is almost over, the IB that is. The rest of my face is not bad at all so hopefully this will be it.

So, I can't even explain to you how freaked out about the hair loss/ thinning thing. That freaks me out WAY more then the depression or suicide. Is that bad? :/ My scalp is soooo dry and flaky, it's disgusting. I really don't want my hair to fall out, it's almost as bad as the reoccurring nightmare that I have of my teeth falling out, yikes! So I figured that I would be more likely to tell if my hair was falling out if it was short, so I went and cut it this morning. With my hair being long, 2 inches past my shoulders, it was hard to tell since I shed so much as it is. Now my hair is to my chin, so hopefully it will put my mind at ease for a bit.

I seriously can't wait to be done with this, I wish it would hurry up already!

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My hair is shedding a bit, too. I feel like I should be freaked out about this, but I'm really not. Haha! I feel like a lot of the "symptoms" I think I'm seeing have been there all along, but I'm just noticing them now because I'm looking for them, ya know? This could totally be normal for me to shed this much.

I can't believe your stepmom! Kudos to you for not exploding!

We have battlefield faces together, sister! Haha, just think... if this is our IB, it should be uphill from here. :)

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My hair is shedding a bit, too. I feel like I should be freaked out about this, but I'm really not. Haha! I feel like a lot of the "symptoms" I think I'm seeing have been there all along, but I'm just noticing them now because I'm looking for them, ya know? This could totally be normal for me to shed this much.

I can't believe your stepmom! Kudos to you for not exploding!

We have battlefield faces together, sister! Haha, just think... if this is our IB, it should be uphill from here. :)

I think I am doing the same thing, convincing myself that I am losing hair when in all actuality i've probably always been shedding this much. Ah! Now I think my eyelashes have been falling out, haha how paranoid can I get? Hopefully by the end of this we won't be bald! ha

We better be uphill from here because my face is getting a little ridiculous. Where is it all coming from?!? :)

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Wow, your stepmom is NUTS! I would have exploded on her. Good for you for keeping your cool! What a crazy bitch!

My scalp is going nuts too. I was always shedding beforehand though, so it's not really bugging me now. I guess that's what I get for dyeing my hair for the past 6 years. Don't worry, you won't go bald or anything, lol.

Are your muscles still really achy? My back and ribcage have been KILLING me!

Good luck w/ everything...I'll be checking in often!

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Hello Floridagal!

Just checked out your log, seems like its going alright for you so far...

As for your questions...I actually looked all over the claravis boxes to see where I could find alcohol warnings, and I came up with nothing. All I saw were warnings telling me not to get pregnant, which shouldn't be difficult.

I do in fact still take Epiduo nightly on my face and chest. Sometimes it is a bit irritating, but I feel like its prevented an IB thus far...considering I am in my second month without one. I'd recommend putting some on at night...but start small to see what your face can handle without becoming irritated like mine did. I made sure it was ok to take, even after the second visit to the derm, I asked him again if its ok to use Epiduo (which he prescribed in addition to Claravis) and he assured me it is.

Aaaaand the drinking, my favorite topic. Thus far I haven't experienced any issues really, and I can say I drink more than "a little" on occassion. Over thanksgiving break back home I went out almost every night and put down a few. I am responsible though, and I know that if I feel any effects (other than normal drunkenness) I will stop. Also, I am continuously clearing up (slowly but surely), and if I weren't clearing up like I am, I'd probably stop drinking to see if that was the contributing factor.

Anyways, keep us updated! Good to hear from you.

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Wow, your stepmom is NUTS! I would have exploded on her. Good for you for keeping your cool! What a crazy bitch!

My scalp is going nuts too. I was always shedding beforehand though, so it's not really bugging me now. I guess that's what I get for dyeing my hair for the past 6 years. Don't worry, you won't go bald or anything, lol.

Are your muscles still really achy? My back and ribcage have been KILLING me!

Good luck w/ everything...I'll be checking in often!

My stepmom is nuts! This is just a tad bit of her craziness. I can't wait to go home for Christmas for 3 whole weeks! Scary really.

My scalp is ridiculously dry, and it just started itching. So annoying. I chopped my hair off to make it easier for me to see if I am losing hair, how crazy am I? haha

My body aches bad! Its more so my ankles and knees. My hip also bothers be. I constantly have to change the side I sit on or lay on because it hurts after awhile. I feel like i'm 75.

Hopefully your aches don't remain constant. It's really a pain in the butt but hey if it's the worst side effect I get I'll take it!

Gov't Guy- I swear I'm not crazy, I swore it was on the box, but you're right. It's not. I even looked in the little paper packet in the box. Nothing. Thinking about it now I did come across it online when I researched the drug before deciding to get on it. My dermatologist and pharmacist also made sure to tell me. As far as reading it somewhere, it was the prescription info. that is attached to the box from Walgreens. Looking at it now it says "DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL while you are taking this medicine as it may worsen side effects or increase the risk for pancreatitis". I knew I wasn't crazy. I find it odd that it's on the pharmacy info. but not in the drug info. from the manufacturers. Weird. Glad you haven't had any negative side effects from it.

And as far as epiduo, hopefully I can start using it. I'll see what he says next week!

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DAY 12

So I woke up with really sore lips, not that chapped but dry. My battlefield seems to be going down, but it's still horrible. They are leaving really bad red marks behind :( I'm still really achey, especially in my ankles. I feel like i'm 75! Other then that nothing too bad.

I chopped my hair off so I can monitor my hair better. With long hair it was hard to tell the difference between normal shedding and possible hair loss. I know, i'm paranoid. Guess it's better to be safe then sorry.

Other then that there really isn't anything new. I took some pictures. They are horrible. My face looks awful! Please keep in mind that this is 12 days in, my face was not 1/4th as bad as it is now. And it's definitely way worse since I pick! Bad habit I know but I can't stop. gah. Anyways here they are...

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post-117257-1259964807_thumb.jpg

post-117257-1259964838_thumb.jpg

Edited by FloridaGal11

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DAY 8

My dad said that she thinks that if I get the proper treatment for my acne i'll be too pretty and i'll get into trouble. Seriously?

Personally I think that's how my parents ensured I didn't get pregnant in highschool. I was an UGLY kid LOL! braces, bushy eyebrows, long dry bush hair, acne, underweight, farmers tan, no sense of fashion. My mom never took the time or effort to show me anything. She wanted to keep my ugly to keep the boys away! BUt it's kinda sad, i have no pictures of myself from high school, i refused to be photographed.

so for your hair, i would recommend not washing it more than twice a week once it gets super dry, and don't scratch your scalp! honestly, the less you think about it the easier it will be. i used to get oily hair after a few days but i pushed it to four days and my hair was still dry. the front part of my scalp was also itchy but i found when i scratched i created the dandruff, so i stopped paying attention to it and was fine. it's alllll about self discipline :)

good luck with your treatment! and thanks for stopping by my log.

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Girl, I PROMISE that it's not as bad as you think. Your overall skin tone is actually in pretty good shape from what I can see in these pictures. Take it easy on yourself (:

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btw, how often do you exfoliate with baking soda? i was so mad at my forehead this morning i wanted to scrub it off, but i thought i should look into how often others do it so that i don't overdo it.

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Thank you Mallory and Victor for the kind words! Makes me feel better. :)

grade2syndrome- Before I started accutane I would do it every other day but now I'll do it maybe every three of four days. I really don't want to over do it, or make my face worse by any means. How often are you doing it?

So tomorrow is 2 weeks! How lame is it that I'm excited? haha I'm glad I haven't had too many side effects and they haven't been severe. Woo. Watch now tomorrow I am going to wake up with every possible one!

Only a couple more months....can't wait to have clear skin!

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Hey FloridaGal11

I am also using Cetaphil.

And will continue to monitor your progress because your 3 days ahead of me:)

I also hear what your saying about low self esteem/confidence.

I am only 16 and have rejected party invitations and going out with girls because of my condition.

Its horrible.

But were both on the way to recovery.

Wish you well.

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Guest Leajer424

Hey Florida.

I'm 20 days into my round and taking the same as you, 40 mg Claravis/day. I'm

not having as many issues with my scalp but I was using Head & Shoulders for dry scalp (the Target brand "Up & Up" version) before I even started. I took Tane 12 years ago and since then I've had dandruff and have always used dandruff shampoo. I may have had the dandruff before the Tane, but not that I can remember. For many years I used Nizoral, but in the last few months I tried Head & Shoulders and I liked it better (and it's MUCH cheaper!). Anyway, when I wash I put it right on my scalp and rub it to get any loose flakes. (I do the rubbing w my lips in the shower too to get the loose pieces off). I also rub conditioner in my scalp when I put it in my hair, then rinse. I don't usually put conditioner on my scalp...just on my hair, but now that I'm on Tane again, I make a point to slather it on there. My first Tane round, my scalp got so dry that I ended up putting leave-in-conditioner on it. I'm hoping that the conditioner in the shower will help w/ that. I've seen some other people on acne.org start using Head & Shoulders while on Tane and say that it helped w/ the flaking associated w/ the Tane, so I guess it does.

And I just wanted to say...I have a stepmother that doesn't exactly welcome me to my father's house too. I'm 28 with my own child living in a different state tho, so I basically just stay away from her. When I read your post about what she said to you, I was so mad. What right does she have to say that to you? Would she say something obviously hurtful to one of her friends like that? What right does she have to assume that it's because of something you do or don't do that causes your acne? People that don't have to put any effort into having decent skin shouldn't assume anything about those who struggle trying to make it even halfway better. And the money issue....ooooohh that made me mad too. My stepmom is the same way. She shops for expensive things for herself but flips her stuff if my dad spends money on me. Why shouldn't he, I'm his kid! That's just her wanting money for herself. You have EVERY right to do what you can to improve your skin and self esteem. And you DESERVE to have pretty skin, and a chance to build a better life for yourself. I'm sure she never hesitated to take herself to the doctor for any issues she had, and you should get to do the same. I'm really sorry you have someone in your life that's a negative force like that.

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I use it as needed, and so far i need it every other day. i'm only three weeks into treatment so my skin isn't VERY sensitive. thanks for the info, if every other day is too much for me then i'll cut it down to 3-4.

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Tommyg67- the low self-esteem/confidence thing is absolutely horrible. We should never be made to feel like that but unfortunately we do. I'm positive that once we get through this treatment we will slowly begin to gain it back. We deserve it :) Good luck with your treatment as well!

Leajer424- I'm glad I'm not the only one with a psycho step-mom. I never understood why they try to make our lives miserable, I mean we're their daughters. It makes me sad because she has put a strain on my father and I's relationship. Oh well, can't wait to flaunt my "prettiness" to her once my skin clears up. :)

We'll I'm sorry that you are on round two but I'm sure you will look magnificent once you are though and hopefully you'll never have to worry about it again! I'm very excited to watch your progress!

DAY 19

So nothing drastic has happened since I last posted. My skin is pretty tight but it's not peeling at all. It hasn't happened yet which I find odd. My lips are dry but not cracked or chapped. I don't have to apply my carmex that often which is good. My face is probably 3/4ths less oily. It's still a little oily but MUCH better. I haven't had any other side effects yet. It almost makes me think that it's not working? My IB is still full fledged. It's only on my chin, and they are CRATERS. They scream look at me, look at me. I can't wait till they're gone. Also all of my blackheads and whiteheads are all coming to the surface. It's actually kind of weird looking and feeling. It makes my skin feel so weird and bumpy. I guess everything has to come out right? I just hope they all don't erupt into massive actives. Gahhh.

I am proud to say that I am NOT losing my hair! (knock on wood) Like I said before, I cut all of my hair off cause I felt that it would be easier to monitor that way since it was hard for me to tell the difference between my normal shedding and possible hair loss. Wooo! I still watch it though.

My dandruff has gotten much better. I wash my hair every 3-4 days now and use selsum blue and some deep conditioning conditioner. Sooooo much better. It also probably helps that I haven't been picking and scratching my head as nasty as that sounds. ha.

I've also been taking Biotin, 5000mg once a day since it's critical for hair and nail growth. I also now take 400mg of vitamin E, 1200mg of fish oil for my joints, 750mg of magnesium and my iron of course. I have been pumping so many vitamins into my system, I actually fell better overall.

So my 1 month appointment is on Monday. I know it's not quite a month but my dermatologist's assistant is an idiot and waited a week after my initial appointment before getting on the pill to register me in the ipledge program so I had to wait an extra 10 days before I could start. And Monday was the only day that I could do it since I leave on Tuesday for Florida. I don't now if they can write me the script and I can drop it off in 7 days or if he's going to call it in. I know you have 7 days to pick up the prescription but is that from the day he writes it or from when you physically drop it off at the pharmacy? I'm a little nervous about my blood work though, I don't want anything messing this up!

On a good note, this semester is FINALLY over! Wooo. I only had four classes this semester but I just moved here to Vegas and I wanted to have an easy semester to get use to it out here. Little did I know I took the 2 hardest upper division psych. classes. I worked my butt off between, 2 10-15 minute presentations, a 12 page paper and a million exams. This is what I got as a result of all that work:

Physiology Psychology- A (94)

Cognitive Psychology-A (94)

Personality Theories and Research- B (88.3) Seriously that close?!?!?! Ahhhh

Social Psychology- A (96)

I hope that professor bumps me up! She said if we were really close she'd bump it up. She better! haha

I'm just glad finals are over. I can enjoy my Christmas break and not have to worry about classes until Jan. 11th. Then the stress from 9 classes will kick in. Lovely.

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Good to hear that your doing well! My chin is gross, too. I guess everyone has that one spot on their face that is their problem child!

I took Physiological Psychology this semester too. My professor was so difficult! But, to be honest, I didn't work THAT hard because it was my last semester and I had already been accepted into grad school, lol. But good to hear about your grades!

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I totally know what your step-mom is like. Mine is the exact same way. She married my dad the summer after I graduated from high school, summer 2004. I call her a psycho-bitch too! She has come between my dad and me too. If you ever need to vent, I will listen. I know all to well what it is like. It's so depressing sometimes, but mostly I just want to stab her. LOL

As for the Psychology classes. I just finished with Abnormal. Well, I can't say that, I still have my final next Tuesday, but my last class was last Thursday when I turned in my 10 pg case study. It seems to me that your a Psych major? I used to be...I switched majors though and took it up as one of my minors. I hope you do well in your classes this coming Semester. 9 classes, right? OUCH!

We started the same day too!!! How exciting. Good luck with your course!

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