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headtrip_honey

Clear skin by summer! Now with pictures!

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Hello all!

I've been a frequent lurker of Accutane logs since I joined acne.org. It seems a little voyeuristic, but I was so mesmerized by the transformation people seemed to go through. I've desperately wanted to go on Accutane for two years now, and it appears my time has come!

Some history:

I've had mild acne since I was 11/12. I got my first spot when I was 9, but it was just like one or two here and there until I hit puberty full-on. Then it was pretty much mild all through junior high, high school, and into college. I tried different products, but nothing really helped. I was extremely self-conscious about it. I hadn't gone without makeup since the age of 13. I realize now, looking back, how much my skin ruined my self-esteem. Draping my hair ever so subtly in the hopes it would distract people from my spotty appearance. But I was loathe to do anything about it, because I was a teenager - I would "grow out of it."

Ha.

College is when it really hit the fan. A little over two years ago, my mild (but annoyingly persistent) acne exploded into moderate bordering on severe. In my mother's words, "Your poor face!"

So I went to the dermatologist for the first time, and was sent away with antibiotics, Retin-A Micro, and Benzac, with the promise that if that didn't clear me, we could consider Accutane.

Well, minocycline cleared me - for about a month. Best month of my life. I went outside without makeup! Such a luxury clear-skinned people don't realize they have. In the last month of my course (I was only on it for a couple of months), it stopped working, ever so slowly. A spot here, another there...I was still fairly clear at the end of my course, but depressed because I could literally FEEL the acne returning.

My dermatologist, though puzzled that it was already coming back, was confident we could maintain it with Retin-A and Benzac. Ha.

My skin never got used to Retin-A. I peeled, I flushed, and it never really cleared me. Just made me oilier, if anything.

So he added Duac into the mix. Which worked fairly well for a few months...until it didn't.

By this point I had changed insurance companies, and my dermatologist didn't take my new insurance. So I said good riddance and decided to do it alone.

I managed to keep things moderately under control with a BHA, BP, and occasional exfoliation.

My skin was more or less mild, with breakouts on my chest and shoulders in addition to those all over my face. About once a month, though (gee, guess when?), my face would go over to the moderate side. And I would retreat. I called in sick to work, stayed home from parties.

Over the last 6 months or so it's gotten progressively worse, to the point that my GP recommended a new dermatologist who was setting up his office in her healthcare complex.

I made an appointment, and walked out with approval for Accutane! He didn't even let me get through my entire history before he told me my options, basically saying it was between Solodyn, Spironolactone, Differin, or Accutane. And since he assumed I was sick of having to maintain a regimen every day of my life, he recommended Accutane.

So, here's where we stand. I'm one negative pregnancy test down. I can take my next test on January 8th. And then, Deity willing, I will start what will hopefully be a life-changing experience for the better!

I'm prepared for the negative side effects. I'm a pessimist by nature. I always say, expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed. I hope that that will carry me through.

My birthday is June 8. I'm turning 24. 24 has always been my lucky number. How fortuitous that I should be able to start my 24th year with the best birthday present ever!

Edited by headtrip_honey

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Hey Headtrip! I just wanted to say good luck with everything! I just started tane 13 days ago so we are almost on the same schedule! I am going to be on for about 5 months.. but I know that the first 30 days are the worst -- and by the first 30 days I mean the BULL shiv wait they make us go through w ipledge.. ughh that was the longest month. But I was sooooo excited to start that no amount of dryness or threat of IBs could detour me!

Stay strong!!

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Hey Headtrip! I just wanted to say good luck with everything! I just started tane 13 days ago so we are almost on the same schedule! I am going to be on for about 5 months.. but I know that the first 30 days are the worst -- and by the first 30 days I mean the BULL shiv wait they make us go through w ipledge.. ughh that was the longest month. But I was sooooo excited to start that no amount of dryness or threat of IBs could detour me!

Stay strong!!

Thanks for the comment!

I got all signed up with iPledge last night. Glad to know that part's done with.

I am hoping to be one of the few, the proud, those who don't have a major fuckup because of iPledge. I'm not holding my breath, though.

I'm trying to be super nice to my face right now so that it's in the best condition possible when I start Accutane. But since it's winter, my face is of course extra-irritated. And yet it doesn't seem to bother me like it used to. Probably because I know the cure is coming!

I am so excited to be done with this shit. (having bad skin) To be able to just roll out of bed and go somewhere is my ultimate goal...because I am so lazy and spending time doing my makeup is just agonizing.

I would like to be able to wear makeup because it makes me feel pretty, not because it makes me feel normal.

Oh, and I would like to say that my avatar pic was taken almost 3 years ago - before my skin got really bad, when it was still just "mild". I'll be updating this log with pictures when my course starts.

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Hey HT!

We practically have the same story - I'm 23 as well, and uni is when my face decided to go mental on me, although my acne started when I hit puberty. Nevertheless, I also have the same goal of going all out on my 24th bday in April :D I think we deserve a little fun after all that time avoiding people..haha. I started the tane in Nov, and I'm getting great results, so I'm sure things will work out swimmingly for you. Keep the positive spirit alive and just think, in less than 7 months..your whole life will have changed!!! Good luck girlie.

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"I would like to be able to wear makeup because it makes me feel pretty, not because it makes me feel normal."

STORY OF MY LIFE! Haha

I can't wait for the day I can wake up and not spend 20 minutes on concealor, foundation, powder, blush, etc. One day I will be able to focus more on the rest of my face instead of dedicating my entire morning to hiding my breakouts & scars.

Good luck with everything!

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Wow, we are on the exact same plan, I get my next preggo test on Jan 8th and then I am supposed to start accutane on Jan 11 if everything goes as planned. I am also 23 and have basically had some form of acne since I was 12. The worst part is that its gotten worse not better.

All of my friends out grew their acne and have great skin and then there is me, always putting on makeup and afraid to be seen without it.

I am so excited about this and really hope it works, and I am willing to put up with all the side effects (good thing I just had a big breakup)

Cheers to the last Christmas with acne!

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Wow, we are on the exact same plan, I get my next preggo test on Jan 8th and then I am supposed to start accutane on Jan 11 if everything goes as planned. I am also 23 and have basically had some form of acne since I was 12. The worst part is that its gotten worse not better.

All of my friends out grew their acne and have great skin and then there is me, always putting on makeup and afraid to be seen without it.

I am so excited about this and really hope it works, and I am willing to put up with all the side effects (good thing I just had a big breakup)

Cheers to the last Christmas with acne!

Cheers indeed. I'm hoping to start on January 11th as well. I don't know if my dermatologist will be in the office over the weekend to enter me in....Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to deal with this crap? I mean, I understand the pregnancy tests, but I wish they weren't so strict about the time frames and all.

I would just like to say that although I am trying to be super nice to my skin right now, it's not making it easy.

I have a GIANT HEADLIGHT in the middle of my forehead that is begging to be squeezed. It hasn't come to a head, it's just one of those painful underground kind. Luckily I was able to cover it up well, so it's not too noticeable.

Today is my last day at work until after the New Year, so I'm looking forward to being able to go without makeup and take extra special care of my skin while I'm off. I should be able to resist picking if I don't have to stare at my face up close to put on makeup.

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Ahhhh, so it's been a while.

In a week I should have my final pregnancy test to get the go ahead and my prescription!

Super excited.

Also super excited that my skin seems to be cooperating. If you saw me now, you'd be wondering why the heck a dermatologist prescribed me Accutane.

I don't know if it's a combination of less stress (I've been off work for two weeks...going back Monday, though, ugh), more sleep, and Dan's BP (I just got it, and I'm actually able to wear it all day, versus just at night, which was how I usually did BP), but my face looks great right now.

Still a lot of redmarks on my jawline, and still TONS of blackheads (it really amazes me how the little buggers are able to just fill up in a day), and I've no doubt that my skin will start looking cranky again soon enough, but for right now I'm enjoying it.

Anyway, I'm hoping that with my face looking as good as it does right now, that'll mean a milder IB.

::fingers crossed::

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Good luck to you!! I ended my course back in August..no acne since May! Feel very good about it, no regrets.

I am worried the acne will come back..I did a course 10 yrs ago and it did creep back. I help onto my last months worth of pills and take 1 a week per my derms approval. At least I'm keeping a maintinence dose in me.

Be forewarned; week 2 is a motherfucker! Maybe I'd say 2-4. I broke out like never before..

Just plan accordingly..don't make big plans for those weeks..plan on doing a little hiding at home with some good movies ;)

Good luck on your journey, hope you have equally as good results!!

Oh yeah, I did break the no drinking alcohol rule while on my course. Not getting bombed, but I did regularly have a few beers on weekends during the summer..like every weekend. :shhh:

Happy New Year

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Oh yeah, I did break the no drinking alcohol rule while on my course. Not getting bombed, but I did regularly have a few beers on weekends during the summer..like every weekend. :shhh:

Happy New Year

Thanks for the well wishes! I'm not a big drinker anyway, so I think that if I did drink I'd be fine. I drink like, MAYBE one drink every couple weeks.

So, second pregnancy test? Check.

Waiting for results (Which better be negative, because then otherwise my body has some 'splaining to do, considering that I just had my period and I've not had sex recently)....then, ACCUTANE!

Although I must say, I hardly look as though I need it right now. I chalk it up to increased sleep and reduced stress. One of my New Year's goals has been to get more sleep, and I think it has been beneficial for my skin.

I'm still breaking out mildly on my back and on my chest, but I really only have 2-3 actives on my face, aside from millions of blackheads. This is so weird, because normally my face goes NUTS during the winter.

This is how bizarre my face is; a month ago when my doctor first agreed to put me on Accutane, I DEFINITELY looked like I needed it. Actives everywhere, red, angry. Painful. Now I'm on the mild end of mild. So weird.

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Stillllllllll waiting. I called my derm's office Friday to let them know I'd had my second pregger test so that they could look out for the results.

No response yet. Doc's probably gone for the weekend...likely won't hear anything by Monday. Will call them Monday morning and ask what's up. Arrrrgh. Being a girl sucks.

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Yayyy!! As soon as my pharmacy has ze Accutane I can pick it up!

I was stuck in "hold" hell trying to contact my dermatologist this morning to ask why my program status hadn't been updated with the latest pregnancy test. I was tooling around while listening to chintzy music from the 1930s, and clicked "refresh" on iPledge...and it had been updated!

So I promptly hung up on the chintzy muzak (not that it wasn't pleasant, really), and got excited!

Going to call my pharmacy soon to see what's up.

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Good luck with the pharmacy! I just started Accutane on the 8th. I'll be keeping up with your progress!

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Oh, my god.

So, I'm not having any problems with iPledge right now.

What I'm having issues with is the PHONE SERVICE at my dermatologist's office, which is located in a larger general healthcare center.

I was on hold for half an hour today. All because I needed to give my dermatologist the number of the pharmacy to send my prescription to. (Even though it is on record in my file - I totally saw it on the screen last time I went to see him)

Being on hold wouldn't be that bad, except they kept interrupting the mildly pleasant muzak every thirty seconds to give you various tips and pointers as to how you can avoid being on hold in the first place (ie, all you insane hypochondriacs who are worried about TEH SWINE FLOOOOO, do not call the receptionist, dial 6 from the main switchboard WHICH WE STATED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE AUTOMATED PROCESS, YOU DUMB SHITS. Ahem.). So every thirty seconds the muzak clicked off and your spirits lifted, thinking you were finally getting a human being.

As if. (Can I still use that phrase?)

Finally got the receptionist and told her to tell my doctor (Who I shall now call Dr. Z, since his name, like mine, does delightfully begin with Z. A kindred spirit who knows the agony of waiting in alphabetical roll call!) the number, as he was out to lunch. Lucky bastard.

Hopefully all goes well.

Another good thing today! My new glasses are in! My boyfriend broke my glasses New Years Eve by showing off his yoga prowess - or lack thereof - in my bathroom, whereupon he knocked over a heavy, stainless steel hand mirror which landed rather forcefully on top of my poor defenseless glasses.

With a little ingenuity and a lot of superglue, I was able to piece the frames back together, so I've not been sightless. The lenses were undamaged, because I always get the supernice lenses that would survive a nuclear holocaust.

Luckily bf felt guilty and bought me two new pairs. Well, not really. It was buy one get one free, so he bought one pair and I got an extra spiffy pair for free!

Uhhh...that's about it, really. The search for isotretinoin continues!

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I don't understand people sometimes.

I called my pharmacy last night to see if my prescription had been called in (unbeknownst to me, Dr. Z had left me a message at home saying that he had called it in), and was told that it hadn't been.

So I am left to decide who was lying. Did Dr. Z not get around to it? Or did the pharmacy lie to me?

I'm putting my money on the pharmacy. The kid who answered the phone (I say "kid" confidently because I know the pharmacy workers pretty well by now, and I knew exactly who it was that answered the phone...he's definitely in the 18-20 age range) only asked for my birth date, not my name, before telling me they didn't have it.

I was a little confused but didn't think about it until later. But apparently there's no way there was more than one person in their system with the same birthday.

So I called this morning, was told that it HAD been called in, and I just needed to bring in my card and they could fill it.

Hopefully they MEAN they can fill it, as in they have the stock on hand, and not just that "once we see your card we will legally be able to fill it but I have no idea what our stock looks like right now."

So, I want to post pictures, but my face looks really good right now. So what's the point? I guess it would still be nice to see progress. Am frightened by the backlash of OMG WHY ARE YOU ON ACCUTANE YOUR SKIN IS PERFECT. Will people believe me when I tell them that when I was approved a mere month ago I had a couple cysts and acne all over my face?

And there's no way I'm taking a picture of my chest region to show you the acne that persists there.

Ah, me.

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Hey!

Yay you get start today/tomorrow :D (hopefully, fingers crossed... on both hands lol). I feel your pain about the pharmacy, it seems like they higher the dumbess, smart ppl they can! I mean you should have at least have half a brain to be doing all that crap but I swear the other half the must have traded to get into pharmacy school :P

I had to deal with a bunch of idiots at my pharm, everytime I go the assistant asks me if I've been on accutane before.... as he holds my drug history IN HIS HANDS. And without failure, everytime I say YES I HAVE. He proceeds to call over the pharmacist who gives me an hour long lecture on the proper procedure for taking my teany tiny little pill. I mean I think I got it at this point ... Take out, put in mouth, swallow... don't barf up. CHECK! lol But hopefully after all your insanity you get your script today!

Are you starting on 20 mg? has your derm told you how long you'll be on your doses for?

Goodluck! And don't worry about idiots that say things about you having nice skin and not needing accutane. Those ppl don't even belong on this site bc if they really had an acne problem they'd realize no one knows how bad your skin is except yourself. And if they do give you a hard time then you can have a little fun bitching them out :D

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I had to deal with a bunch of idiots at my pharm, everytime I go the assistant asks me if I've been on accutane before.... as he holds my drug history IN HIS HANDS. And without failure, everytime I say YES I HAVE. He proceeds to call over the pharmacist who gives me an hour long lecture on the proper procedure for taking my teany tiny little pill. I mean I think I got it at this point ... Take out, put in mouth, swallow... don't barf up. CHECK! lol But hopefully after all your insanity you get your script today!

OMG. I am hoping to avoid that insanity. Luckily I am pretty good at giving people the stare down if they start treating me as though my IQ was as low as theirs.

Are you starting on 20 mg? has your derm told you how long you'll be on your doses for?

If I understood his voicemail yesterday, I am to take 10 mg once a day for the first week, then 10 mg twice a day for the next three weeks. He will probably increase my dosage the following month. He wants to start me out at a low dosage to minimize a severe IB. He has said it will be for six months, so that's what I'm planning on.

Goodluck! And don't worry about idiots that say things about you having nice skin and not needing accutane. Those ppl don't even belong on this site bc if they really had an acne problem they'd realize no one knows how bad your skin is except yourself. And if they do give you a hard time then you can have a little fun bitching them out :D

Heh, thanks. You know, I tried taking pictures when my skin looked really bad, but I could never get good lighting and the pictures turned out dim and unfocused (I somehow never thought to take pictures when the sun was out - the urge only hit me once it was night).

I could try to post those, anyhow. We'll see. :)

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Today is officially Day One!

And I got my dosage wrong. 20 mg for the first week, then 40 mg for the rest of the month.

Very little hassle at the pharmacy, surprisingly.

Was handled by the aforementioned "kid", who once again tried to tell me that he did NOT have my prescription (after I'd had the opposite confirmed by the much more competent lady pharmacist this morning). I could fricking SEE the entry for Sotret on his computer screen. It was highlighted in red. Red, as in, WE NEED SOMETHING BEFORE WE CAN FILL THIS.

After I watched him fumble painfully on the computer for a few moments, he was helped by the senior pharmacist who rather flippantly told him we just need my card, which I had out and ready.

15 minutes later, I walked out with my month's worth of Sotret.

I have to admit, I find the number of Xed out pregnant ladies on the boxes hilarious. There were, all told, 33 on one box. (3 on the larger, outside box, then 10 - one for each pill - on the three packs contained within)

Like a good girl, I took my pill with dinner (a glorious mound of baked potato, chili, and cheese. Truly, manna from heaven). However, I think I overdid the eating thing in my anxiety to give the pill enough company to absorb well. Because now I have massive heartburn and I keep burping eau d'chili.

I am also taking a few supplements to ease my course - Biotin, because I am terrified of the possibility of hair loss/thinning...Zinc, because...well, I can't remember the specific reason but I remember researching it rather extensively..possibly another weapon against hair loss...and Vitamin E. Also a multivitamin sans Vitamin A, and glucosamine...which I should be taking every day ANYWAY, I am just lazy.

I need one of those old fogey pill dividers. At this rate I'll be taking 7 different meds a day...9 pills total once I start taking 2 Sotret a day.

Ah, well.

Onto tomorrow!

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YAY congrats on starting!

The pharmacy kid doesn't sound like the brightest star in the sky but I'm glad you got it all sorted out! It's great your starting on a bit of a higher dose too! My big changes didn't really pop up (literally in some cases lol) until I started 40 mg.

Question - what's the glucosamine for?

Goodluck, looking forward to updates!

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YAY congrats on starting!

The pharmacy kid doesn't sound like the brightest star in the sky but I'm glad you got it all sorted out! It's great your starting on a bit of a higher dose too! My big changes didn't really pop up (literally in some cases lol) until I started 40 mg.

Question - what's the glucosamine for?

Goodluck, looking forward to updates!

Glucosamine/Chondroitin helps the cartilage in your joints. I already have mild joint and back pain (thanks, genetics!) so I should take them every day anyway. My issue with them is that they are freaking HORSE PILLS and I gag trying to get them down.

But I'm hoping taking the tane will give me the motivation to take them as well.

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Yay! Congrats on starting your Accutane! I still have some time before i start on my course.

Best of luck to you! I'll keep checking in on your log. :)

btw, i'm glad i'm not the only one that laughed at the X'ed out pregnant women on the Accutane packaging haha. :D

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Yay! Congrats on starting your Accutane! I still have some time before i start on my course.

Best of luck to you! I'll keep checking in on your log. :)

btw, i'm glad i'm not the only one that laughed at the X'ed out pregnant women on the Accutane packaging haha. :D

Yeah, and actually my count was wrong.

There are 35 per box. Wow. Not to mention the CAPSLOCKED exhortation, DO NOT GET PREGNANT.

I mean, with all the hoops we have to jump through with ipledge, you'd think we'd get the picture by now, right? I guess not. Guess we're dumb! (Some people are, sadly)

Thanks for responding, everyone! It's nice to know I'm not in a vacuum.

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Yay! Congrats on starting your Accutane! I still have some time before i start on my course.

Best of luck to you! I'll keep checking in on your log. :)

btw, i'm glad i'm not the only one that laughed at the X'ed out pregnant women on the Accutane packaging haha. :D

Yeah, and actually my count was wrong.

There are 35 per box. Wow. Not to mention the CAPSLOCKED exhortation, DO NOT GET PREGNANT.

I mean, with all the hoops we have to jump through with ipledge, you'd think we'd get the picture by now, right? I guess not. Guess we're dumb! (Some people are, sadly)

Thanks for responding, everyone! It's nice to know I'm not in a vacuum.

Haha so true. In case the idiots don't get the hint from ipledge, here's a pregnant stick figure to scare the shit out of you! :) Maybe now they'll get it. Seemed to work with that whole lawsuit with the hot coffee spilling on some guy so they put a "warning hot drink stick figure" on the cups.

Crisis solved!

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Yay! Congrats on starting your Accutane! I still have some time before i start on my course.

Best of luck to you! I'll keep checking in on your log. :)

btw, i'm glad i'm not the only one that laughed at the X'ed out pregnant women on the Accutane packaging haha. :D

Yeah, and actually my count was wrong.

There are 35 per box. Wow. Not to mention the CAPSLOCKED exhortation, DO NOT GET PREGNANT.

I mean, with all the hoops we have to jump through with ipledge, you'd think we'd get the picture by now, right? I guess not. Guess we're dumb! (Some people are, sadly)

Thanks for responding, everyone! It's nice to know I'm not in a vacuum.

Haha so true. In case the idiots don't get the hint from ipledge, here's a pregnant stick figure to scare the shit out of you! :) Maybe now they'll get it. Seemed to work with that whole lawsuit with the hot coffee spilling on some guy so they put a "warning hot drink stick figure" on the cups.

Crisis solved!

We could solve the crises of the world with stick figures.

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