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obfl2010

My Accutane/Claravis log

Hey, long time reader, first time poster.

My name's Johnny, and I've had acne since I was in seventh grade (about 11-12 years old). Back then it wasn't really a nuisance, and I was an idiot and didn't even wash my face because it was a "phase everyone goes through and gets over with over a few years). Eighth grade onward (I'm a senior in high school now), it just got progressively worse and is now on my upper back and starting on my chest.

Stuff I've tried (that I remember...there's some stuff I used for like a day and never tried again) and how well it worked, if at all:

Proactiv: All this did was piss of the acne and make it come in faster and stay longer. It would occasionally clear up my face a little bit, but I never had the results I wanted.

AcneFree: I didn't expect much with this, but it was pretty much Proactiv that I could buy at the store for a lower price. Again, it didn't help. I then noticed they had an AcneFree Severe Acne Treatment for about $10 more and tried that, and it just made my acne even worse.

Minocycline: In October 2008, I was fed up and asked my parents to set up an appointment with our family doctor about my acne. He prescribed me minocycline. For the first month, my acne got worse. In the second month, it cleared up a little bit, and I thought I would finally be done with acne. Then in the third month onward (stopped using it a week ago, more on that later), it went back to normal and didn't help much. I guess it made my breakouts not as severe, but it didn't get rid of any existing pimples.

Tazorac: Oh good God, I HATED this stuff. I was prescribed this a month after minocycline, and in the first month it made my face break out a LOT and it would burn and itch and make my face really dry. I kept on it until August of this year, and it was pretty much the same as the minocycline: slowed down breakouts, but did nothing to existing acne.

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, Maximum Strength 10% Benzoyl Peroxide: I bought a tube of this in August and began to use it on the worst-looking parts of my face. For about a week my face looked better than it had in years. And then it went back to normal.

Then, one night in the middle of October as I was looking in the mirror and counted 7 very painful cystic pimples(and proceeded to nuke them with the benzoyl peroxide), I decided that I wanted to go on accutane ASAP. I was finally seen on November 17, and I've been taking the pills since the night of November 21.

I'm 17, male, and taking two 40mg pills a day (once after I wake up, and once at dinner). I'll be on accutane for six months.

Day 5

Cons:

Back Pain: This could just be from my horrible sleeping posture last night, but when I put my shoes on earlier, I felt a lot of pain in my lower back.

Dry lips: Not really a problem, just when I wake up. I just have to put some carmex on a couple times a day, though I'm sure it will get much worse.

Acne has worsened: More specifically, around my nose, aka: one of the most painful areas to get pimples. I really hope this initial breakout is done and starts clearing up by the time Thanksgiving break is over.

Dry, flaky face: I didn't care much for this until the flakiness started, now I'm applying moisturizer a few times a day and it seems to be helping.

Dry eyes: A few times a day, my eyes will feel really dry. This started when I was at work Tuesday. I just blink a lot and it gets better. My mom bought eyedrops, but I really hate eyedrops so I'm putting that off as long as possible...I'm sure it'll get bad enough for blinking to no longer help, but it works now.

Back and chest are breaking out a bit: Mainly along the shoulders. My locker is nowhere near any of my classes in school, so I haven't used it all year. Instead, I carry my backpack around with all of my books. Tuesday was HELL every time I had to put my backpack on to go to the next class. But at the same time, I noticed in the shower this morning that the existing acne around my shoulders has started to clear up a bit.

Slight depression and stress: I'm not sure if this is the accutane causing it, or the fact that I broke out a lot and really don't want people seeing me like this.

Pros:

The dermatologist said that if I'm a week in and notice absolutely no side effects, it's not working as intended. So...it's working.

I'll try to update every five days, and I might start posting pictures of my progress once I find the USB cable for my camera.

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Day 6

I broke out again overnight. This is easily the worst breakout I've had on this stuff, maybe even the worst I've had in the past few years. I really hope the breakouts stop or at least slow down by the end of Thanksgiving break. Going to school looking like this will probably stomp on my self-esteem (which, to be honest, has already been slowly deteriorating ever since I met my not-so-friendly friend acne). Nothing else bad has happened...I don't notice the back pain anymore so it must have just been the way I slept the other night.

How long does this initial breakout usually last?

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I've noticed that any new pimples during the breakouts turn into whiteheads a lot faster now. I've stopped breaking out around the nose (for now, but I'll welcome that few hours of painless smiling) in favor of breaking out around my chin. I should have shaved yesterday.

Edited by obfl2010

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Day 7

I haven't taken the first pill of the day just yet, but I figured I'd make a quick update...

This morning I woke up to another breakout. It wasn't around my nose like usual (there were maybe two or three there), but instead about an inch below my mouth. There's nine whiteheads in that tiny area.

My back's been breaking out a lot too.

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I broke out some more around my chin area and my nose. Shaving this morning was extremely painful when I went over some of those areas. >_<

The left side of my face appears to be clearing up, (rant begins in 3...2...) though I'm almost positive that I'll be going back to school tomorrow looking and feeling like shit. It just sucks walking through those halls and seeing all the people with clear faces. It sucks overhearing conversations like "OH MY GOD I GOT ONE PIMPLE ON MY FOREHEAD THERE'S NO WAY ANYONE WILL WANT TO TALK TO ME!" all the time. Big deal, it's one pimple, and for people with acne like yours, a single dab of benzoyl peroxide will probably get rid of it and you can go back to being perfect while people like me scrub the hell out of our face, nuke it with benzoyl peroxide, drink tons of water and eat healthy foods, and take antibiotics only to have more acne when we wake up in the morning.

I've noticed people looking at my face and not my eyes when I speak to them. I try to maintain steady eye contact with everyone I talk to. I smile a lot, and love smiling because it shows people the real me: a friendly person. But sometimes the acne gets so bad (like right now) that I can't smile without feeling sharp pain from the pimples and the dryness from whatever medication I was using at the time.

I got my senior pictures back several weeks ago, and they were retouched to hide my acne...which is when I made the final decision to go on accutane. I don't want to sound conceited, but I look damn good with a clear face.

I miss those times when to get ready in the morning I just had to take a five minute shower, take a couple minutes to get dressed, go eat breakfast and then go brush my teeth. Now I add in about half an hour to try and take care of my face to reduce the pain and the dryness and the flakiness. I miss the times when I could wake up with a big smile on my face and not feel a sharp pain because there were three new zits on the edge of my mouth.

Five months and three weeks from now, it will all be done with and I can finally stop choosing to stay in rather than go out with friends because I didn't want anyone seeing my face. I can go out to enjoy myself, and not always worry "how are those people seeing me? Are they even listening or are they just silently scrutinizing my face?"

:\(end rant)

Also...could someone tell me what this "IB" is that I keep seeing in the logs? I feel like I should know about it but...I don't. I don't remember hearing the derm say anything that it could be an acronym for, nor do I remember reading anything.

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Day 8

Beginning week two.

-Lots of back pain.

-Dryness...everywhere.

-Breaking out alot on my forehead (thankful that my hair covers it) and the lower right portion of my face.

-I've had an annoying headache at least once a day since day 5.

-The combination of dryness + painfully positioned pimples has made it difficult to open my mouth very far for eating without feeling like someone took a chainsaw to my mouth.

Is anybody reading this?

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Also...could someone tell me what this "IB" is that I keep seeing in the logs? I feel like I should know about it but...I don't. I don't remember hearing the derm say anything that it could be an acronym for, nor do I remember reading anything.

I think "IB" is the acronym for initial breakout.

Yes, I am reading your log, has been helping me out since I just started Accutane on 11/24.

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Oh, initial breakout sounds right. I guess I got "lucky" since mine has been so early....at least I hope this is the initial breakout and not just the reaction to not using minocycline anymore. >_>

One of my thoughts for IB was "internal bleeding" and it freaked me the hell out. Glad to see I was way off.

And thanks, glad to know someone's reading. Good luck on your course!

---

I'm on the school bowling team and we have a tournament tomorrow. My upper arms and back are really sore, so this should be fairly interesting.

Edited by obfl2010

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Day 9

You know how you sometimes get that feeling that people are staring at you? I got that 10x worse than usual today. My day...

5:45am - Phone's alarm went off, I hit dismiss.

6:15am - Phone's second alarm went off, I hit snooze.

6:20am - Ph (too detailed?)

6:21am - Looked in the mirror and saw that the breakout around my chin area wasn't as bad, but it was really dry and scabbed over so it still hurt to smile because of that. I had a couple new pimples in the mustache area and one new cyst on each side of my face beginning to form.

Ate breakfast (which was kind of difficult since my face hurt so much when I opened my mouth. Should have used thinner toast.), then went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and try to take care of my face. This was about 7:05. I usually leave for school at 7:30. I spent roughly 25 minutes trying to moisturize and everything, and it just didn't feel right. I tried smiling and the scabbed/dry patch below my mouth started to slowly bleed...so I put some hydrogen peroxide on it. Ouch. When I noticed it was 7:30 and I still had to go get my shoes and bag, I pretty much just said "Fuck it" and gave up on the face.

I got my bag and my shoes, made sure everything was there, saw that it was about 7:35. School starts at 7:50 and I've been late to my first hour four times...five means detention. So I go outside and realize it's November 30th in Nebraska, meaning <20 degree weather and completely iced up windows on the car. I quickly blasted the heat in my car and used two scrapers, and the cold was NOT helping my face at all.

I somehow made it to school and got to class with three minutes to spare without speeding, but I couldn't move or feel my face. Throughout the day people noticed that I was a lot less cheerful than I normally am. I could tell people were looking at my face in the halls. I passed out in English class apparently, because one minute I was listening to the teacher read something off our worksheet and the next I was lifting my head from my arms(skinny forearms = bad pillow) and 10 minutes had passed. During lunch I tried my best to avoid seeing the girl I'm into, which isn't easy as we usually sit together at lunch, and I felt bad for it but I really don't want her seeing me like this...and it still hurt to smile, and I always smile when we're together.

After school I went home real quick to take care of my face which I hadn't seen since the morning...and I had another damn breakout during the day. I took care of that, grabbed a bottle of water, and went to work. (I work for my dad at a medical billing company...I don't get many hours, but it's convenient. I'll be applying for a real job after I'm done with accutane) No problems there. Two hours later I left to get ready for the bowling tournament. During this time I developed a bad headache.

Got to the bowling alley about 30 minutes early...and at 5 minutes til the practice started, I was the only person on my team.

Bad headache in a god damn bowling alley: Check

Sore upper arms and back: Check

The rest of my team: Unaccounted for

Thankfully they showed up a few minutes before everything started, and I bowled surprisingly well (150 and 137 :D). Left, and now here I am typing up what is probably going to be my longest entry ever.

About to go eat dinner and take my next pill. The breakouts have been getting better each day, so hopefully tomorrow I'll just have a couple new spots.

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Hang in there, and keep us posted. I just finished day 7 and my side affects so far are dry lips, face peeling, and weird dreams. We just got to make sure that we stick with it.

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Hello! I just came across your log. Just wanted to wish you good luck! :D You sound like a really friendly and nice person! Hang in there alright :) Things will get better I'm sure, don't give up k :)

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Day 10

(will update again before I go to bed)

I woke up with a really sore throat today. It hurts to talk, so I decided to not go to school...good thing too, because a couple hours ago I noticed I'd had another big breakout. Lots of bright red bumps around the right side of my mouth and my right cheek.

Thank you for the encouraging words! I'll get through this...feeling like shit for awhile will be a fair price to pay to have an acne-free face and get my confidence back.

And I still can't find the cable for my camera. I took a few pictures at day 2 and then I think at day 6...

But I do have a picture from about a year ago. Not the best picture of me but there's a dog with devil eyes in there. My face doesn't look nearly as bad in the photo as it did before I started accutane. I believe this picture was taken when I had been on minocycline for two months and tazorac for a month.

post-117324-1259696810_thumb.jpg

post-117324-1259696810_thumb.jpg

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Just wanted to stop by and say Hi! I am about to start Accutane today, so of course have been reading posts on acne.org more than I get on facebook! lol

Your dog is adorable! Keep your head up and good luck with everything!!

-M

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Day 10, continued

I've washed my face three times today and haven't really noticed anything new in the breakout department. Now it just hurts to smile because of the dryness, the scab inbetween my chin and mouth ripping open (no blood anymore though O_O), and the three pimples in the mustache area.

Took my pill with dinner about two hours ago, and now I'm about to go to bed. Fingers crossed that I'll actually wake up a little clearer tomorrow. Bowling practice after school, and there's a 99.9% chance I'll talk to the girl there. I would prefer to be closer to what I was at before the accutane started. >_<

And if I do have horrible acne in the morning, it doesn't matter. I thought about it, and I don't care if people see me like I am now. It just means they'll really notice the difference once it starts clearing up, and if my prayers are answered I'll go back second semester with a mostly clear face.

Edited by obfl2010

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Don't be surprised if you still breakout worse in the coming weeks. After two weeks I didn't have any IB and thought I was one of the lucky people who wouldn't get one. Then BAM, it hit me hard, and it was worse because I wasn't expecting it. I've learned that you should set your expectations low so that if you do better, great! But if you're still breaking out, you don't get as down about it.

Good luck!

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Day 11 so far

I had a few new whiteheads this morning, and a couple of the cysts that were forming are either done forming or close to it. I moisturized a LOT this morning and I was still really dry all day. My eyes are really dry right now too so I came home after school really quick to wash my face and put some eyedrops in...can't find any eyedrops here though. :(

Lots of red bumps, but the very light breakout today compared to previous days is bringing my optimism back.

EDIT: Cyst on the left side of my nose is still there, but it has shrunk quite a bit and no longer hurts to touch.

There are however, two cysts very close together (may be just one oddly shaped cyst) about two centimeters away from the right corner of my mouth. I just washed my face and now whatever the hell it is looks angry...like it may swell up to golfball size come morning. lol.

Took my second pill for the day about an hour ago.

Edited by obfl2010

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Ugh...so dry.

I'm using neutrogena face lotion "for men" and it's not working well. Do any of you recommend a better moisturizer?

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Ugh...so dry.

I'm using neutrogena face lotion "for men" and it's not working well. Do any of you recommend a better moisturizer?

I started Accutane 11 days ago and bought CeraVe moisturizing cream... the derm's assistant recommended it (she's at the end of her Accutane course) and I LOVE it! It works really well without being heavy feeling. It looks and feels like it will be a little greasy, but it goes on almost matte. It's kind of expensive... I think I paid $15 for a big tub, but I feel like the tub will last me at least 3-4 months because you don't really need to a apply a ton. Anyway, good luck!

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Day 12

I found some moisturizer in the bag full of samples the derm gave me. Seems to work a lot better, though it did sting a lot when I first put it on.

Water is starting to taste like that flavored water. And not the good flavored water.

This morning I didn't have much of a breakout in the usual area. Just a few new whiteheads around my cheeks, which were quickly disposed of. My face was extremely dry. I used that neutrogena stuff (a LOT of it) and it didn't help at all. I left the house very pissed off at my dry and red face, and stepped out into the freezing cold wind and snow. Wonderful. My dad was kind enough to scrape my windows for me as I was washing my face since I was running really late, so I was only two minutes late to my first hour.

I went through the day, once again unable to smile without feeling pain due to dryness. As I was going to my table at lunch, something happened that I had been trying to avoid ever since the IB started...the girl called me over to her. I instantly made eye contact and noticed that her eyes never left mine throughout the entire conversation, so no worries about that...maybe the lighting didn't make it look so bad. My smile had to look strange though since I probably had a pained expression behind it. >_<

My back still hurts a bit, and my joints are still a little sore. Mainly on my right arm though, from bowling practice yesterday(bowled a 175, 127, and 122 :D). I have a tournament this Saturday. :(

The spots in the area off the right corner of my mouth appears to have cleared up quite a bit since this morning. My face hasn't felt so bad since I got home, so I've been happy about that.

(Nothing new about the Accutane from this point onward, just a story that's helping me out a bit)

But my level of happiness went through the roof when I got a phonecall from my oldest sister. This year was looking to be my first Christmas as the only child in the household. My oldest sister(Sara) has lived in Georgia since mid-2007 (but has been able to visit for Christmas since then) and my other sister(Melissa) moved to Arizona with her husband and two kids. Melissa and her kids visited for a month in mid-October, and her husband flew in for the first two weeks of November before they all left together. Sara and her boyfriend flew in for a few days in November too. Since both Melissa's husband and Sara are in the military, they can't exactly take vacations every month. I figured they wouldn't be back.

So Sara called me earlier and said she's driving up for Christmas.

From feeling like shit this morning (face on fire, etc), things have only gotten better. I hope this rising awesomeness stays. (another sidenote: Firefox doesn't recognize "awesomeness" as a misspelled word. Happiness +1)

EDIT: I've noticed when showering the past few days my hair feels really...strange. Like it already has the shampoo in it. Makes it kind of hard to tell if I rinsed all of it out.

Edited by obfl2010

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Ugh...so dry.

I'm using neutrogena face lotion "for men" and it's not working well. Do any of you recommend a better moisturizer?

Try using Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion with 4 drops of Jojoba oil. Your face will feel very smooth and flake free.

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Ugh...so dry.

I'm using neutrogena face lotion "for men" and it's not working well. Do any of you recommend a better moisturizer?

Try using Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion with 4 drops of Jojoba oil. Your face will feel very smooth and flake free.

Yeah, that's the stuff I found in the samples bag. No Jojoba oil though. Just used the Cetaphil.

Day 13 (oh teh noes)

Progress today: Face looks a lot worse, but feels a lot better. And to be honest, I'd rather have the bad looks than the pain...it sucks enough to be in emotional pain because of your acne, but when it starts to physically hurt, that's when life just blows. You know how I was saying the sides of my face looked like they were clearing up about a week ago? Well now they're broken out. Three cysts on the left, four on the right. Lucky number :D

All the little bastards around my mouth and nose are either gone or going, and I can now smile just as big of a grin as I could before I started this stuff.

Not many problems with dryness today thanks to the Cetaphil, but my face was beat-red today. A lot of people asked me if I was feeling sick, so I just told them yes. It's strange, but I prefer talking about my acne to a bunch of strangers on the interwebz to talking about it to people I've known for years. lol

Back still hurts, joints feeling better. I've had a lot of water the past few days so that probably helped. And when I say a lot, I mean it. I had to fill out my passbook almost every class today to go to the restroom.

Edited by obfl2010

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glad to hear your skin is getting better, dude !

your skin isnt that bad and accutane should clear you up REAL good.

keep with it man, and remember, we all know what its like, so feel free to ask questions !

PS: Cetaphil is great ! i use Cerave though, just as good

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