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KeepSmilingThrough

Wanna know a secret Acne? I hate you.

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Hii! My name is Ashi (rhymes with “kashi†- that brand of organic stuff I never eat)

Obligatory dramatic sob story: :boohoo:

Real quick: I am an 18 year old female, 5’5â€, and 113 lbs.

I have been suffering from acne since I was 12. I hate it. I hate waking up in the morning and seeing the angry new bumps destroying my face. They drive me crazy, and I think about it all the time. I am vain, incredibly vain. I want to be able to walk into a room without worrying how my face looks in that lighting. I want to stop hiding my face under layer upon layer of foundation. I want to be happy with my skin!

I tried every over the counter thing I could think of, and nothing worked. When I started college this past fall, it seemed to get even worse. So I finally went to see a derm. He told me that accutane was probably my best bet, but that I could start with solodyn/tazorac (which didn’t work…nope…not good at all).

So now I have started this journey. I know it will be rough…(especially the peeling everyone speaks of. I hate the way dried out skin looks, flaking off like shredded coconut)…but I am going to do this and [hopefully] rid myself of this acne plague. I am going to keep a log solely for the reason that everyone here will understand! It is something no one else I know will understand, all my friends were born with miraculously perfect skin and complain about the slightest blemish on their face (this is the moment where I wish to punch them in the face...and I am not a violent person)

So whether anyone reads it or not, I will feel as if someone is there to listen to the trials and tribulations I have to fight in my battle against acne. And I know that you will all be here cheering me on!

Anywayys...I will get to start Accutane near the end of January! Right now I am just dealing with [and cursing] the iPledge process (oh iPledge, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways!). So for now I am just going to lurk everyone else's logs, and be insanely jealous that you guys have already started.

So this is how the end of this log thingy is going to work. Every time I post, I am going to tell you a random fact about myself, and post some song lyrics that correlate with my life. Yess you are very lucky, because you are going to get to know me better a little bit day by day!

Random Me Fact: I like snow. Let me re-phrase that. I am passionately, head-over-heals, in love with snow! I love playing in it, snowball fights, building snowmen, and catching snow flakes on my tongue. Winter is also my favorite season because of the cold and the beautiful, wonderful snow.

It's not that I don't know beauty is only skin deep

Just the skin I'm in, not the girl within

But one imperfection takes away my grin

Not that I think I'm ugly but

Acne throws me for a backslide

I won't go outside

Makeup can't hide how I feel inside

Some days it's hard to be a one girl revolution

-Superchic[k] “One and Lonelyâ€

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I just started 6 days ago, so the torture of iPledge is still fresh in my mind. It's definitely hellish. But at least you can experience the 'tane vicariously through logs and stuff... I felt like that simultaneously dulled the pain and made it so much worse.

Anyway, good start to the log! I'll be watching...

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There is hope

I have been reading alot of the blogs on here, a few of them made me giggle, some made me sad, and some gave me an over whelming feeling of empathy.

In November 2008 I got a large, cyst-like spot on my chin. It wouldn't go, and typically, also refused to be covered. No amount of concealer would take away the beacon-red colour of it, nor the mount everest style lump that protruded from my face. It drove me insane, but I comforted myself with "it will be gone soon". I have suffered with spots since the age of about 19/20 (never when I was younger than that).

To my utter astonishment (and disappointment, lets be honest), just before my new "friend" shrunk and almost disappeared, up sprung another, and then another, and then another. These were all around my jaw/chin/mouth area. I couldn't figure out what was going. For a while, I let it continue, it wasn't jaw droppingly obvious (at least thats what I told myself), but I could have done without it, I had just gotten into a new relationship, and acne wasnt on the agenda.

By February, things had gotten much MUCH worse, the few lumps turned into many painful fire-engine red cysts that, with or without some form of treatment, were going no where. Aside from the vanity factor (i'm a 24 year old girl, give me a break wink.gif ) they hurt to high hell. It hurt to eat, to smile, to brush my teeth, to even gently clean my face.

I should also mention that over the years, I have been to my doctor on numerous occasions for some sort of help. She always refused me a referral to a dermatologist, told me I just had "a few spots", fair enough, at the age of 19/20, it WAS few spots, but it was a sure sign of things to come. I was certain that when I went to visit her with a bright red face with more bumps than a pleasuremax condom, she would refer me. I was wrong. She told me she was "certain i didn't have acne". I wouldnt accept this, and my GrandParents very kindly paid for me to go private. Two weeks later, I was in Harley Street, with a confirmed case of 'severe' cystic acne and a prescription for Roaccutane (Accutane, if you happen to be outside of the UK).

Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel, a possible cure to what had started to make my life a misery. Even now, when I speak to people about it, they say "i can understand how you must of felt" and I always say politely, but firmly, "No, until you have had acne, you have got no idea how awful you feel in your own, lumpy, painful, unsightly skin" and its true. How can anyone with normal skin possibly understand how it feels to feel like a prisoner in your own skin, covering your mouth when you talk to draw attention away, or avoiding social gatherings altogether.

That said, Roaccutane wasn't an easy ride. I would get headaches, backaches from time to time, it made my joints uncomfortable and affected my vision. And, without sharing too much information, a chronic bout of thrush which lasted throughout the course of the treatment.

The thing is, even if somebody had told me all of the those symptoms would have accompanyed me without fail for the entire duration, I still wouldn't have hesitated to take it.

FYI, I started on 40mg for my first month, and after a succesful blood test, I was bumped up to 80mg.

Anybody who tells you that your skin will get better straight away is either lucky or lying. A friend of mines skin started to improve straight away, my own took a couple of months, and even got worse before it got better. It will "purge" so to speak, and will bring ALL of those bad boys to the surface. Don't get downhearted, like I did. Don't compare yourself to other peoples progress with Accutane, everyones skin is different. My own skin started to improve in June 2009, as I left the UK for a holiday, i had one cyst left, just below my lip. I forgot about my skin for the week, and was overjoyed to find that on arrival back home, my skin was clear, the lump had gone, and there were no more in sight.

It was from then on that my skin didn't give me anymore problems. I was able to enjoy make up again, and, provided I exofoliated and moisturised (accutane dries you out), I was fine.

I finished my course in October 2009, and, touchwood, have had no further problems. I get the occasional pin-prick sized spot, but its nothing, in the grand scheme of things.

To all of you, just starting out with roaccutane, or feeling like you have been on it for years with nothing yet -DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE! It will help you. I have attached some pictures below.

post-93445-1262477884_thumb.jpg

post-93445-1262477884_thumb.jpg

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silverangelx - I hope it works for me too!

Rachiepie - Thank you! I have a feeling if I can survive iPledge, I can survive anything else Accutane may dish out.

crystal_clear - I can not thank you enough for your post! I am feeling very hopeful right now (once I can actually start anyways...) I am imagining clear skin for this summer. It's a happy thought!

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No problem, my skin has been clear for quite a few months now and i wanted to share it with other acne sufferers, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

i would happily answer any questions about roaccutane.

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Good start, you seem to have a good attitude about this whole thing. Now that I've started my course and I know I'm doing something about it, it's easier for me to laugh at my acne. My advice going into it is to acknowledge that there will be side effects and probably breakouts, but try to laugh about it whenever you can. And be safe, of course. :D

It took me forever to finally get started (I think the first two pages of my log are about trying to find a doctor who would prescribe it and then getting past the dreaded iPledge), but it was worth it for me. I hope it will be worth it for you. Good luck!

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DAY ONE

Hello all my fellow acne sufferers (or conquerers...),

I finally made it through the dreaded iPledge. I got my blood drawn for the first time, I thought I was going to cry before hand (I hate needles!) but the nurse that did it was quite good and I only felt a slight prick and it was all over. Soo I got my prescription, and took my first pill tonight. Yes I know you are all very proud of me! :D I am very happy and nervous all bundled into one package right now!

So let the aches, dryness, pain, come on. Though initial breakout...you are not welcome here!

Amazingly, my skin has cleared up some on the tazorac. But I am figuring I will have to go through another period of blechy skin on accutane. (Fingers crossed and prayers that this will not happen!)

So as far as my personal life goes, this past month has been quite chaotic. Some people would say I have bad luck. Hmm lets see, I managed to lock my keys in the car twice, and my car battery also died. I also broke my arm but not really...meaning that the doctor completly screwed up my xray and made me wear a sling when it was never broken in the first place! So I found out I hadn't been able to wear my frickin coat sleeve, and had been so cold every day walking to school just because my doctor made a "little mistake"!? Some doctors can be so lame...

Speaking of lame doctors, I switched derms. Same office, different derm...mine was a man that seemed nice, but didn't seem to care about me at all. I felt like a specimen or something. He had called in sick, so they had me meet with a wonderful older lady, and I made an appointment to meet with her again! I liked her much better!

So good luck to me, and good luck to you! We are going to fight this nastiness off together!

I'll write again soon and keep you updated on my face!

(btw I am on 40mg of clavaris for month one)

Random Me Fact: I can’t walk in a straight line. I veer off to the right. If you walk on my right side I will continually run into you. Promise.

And I don't wanna look inside myself cause

Then I'll have to change somethin' else and

I don't want to live, like someone else

I'm Happy in my skin, bein' myself

Let's dance

-Hawk Nelson "Let’s Dance"

Edited by KeepSmilingThrough
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Congrats on starting! I'm about two weeks ahead of you, same general feeling. I'm so much less stressed about my skin right now, because I know that I'm doing something permanent about it!

Random Me Fact: I can’t walk in a straight line. I veer off to the right. If you walk on my right side I will continually run into you. Promise.

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AhMyFace - Yes, I do feel better about it now that I know that there will have to be some improvement within the next five months. It makes it more managable emotionally. I do some work as a photographer, so I have access to photoshop and I like to airbrush myself and think "thats what I am going to look like before long"

headtrip_honey - I am majorly excited. Though I am living in fear of the IB. I am just waiting for it to happen, anticipation is even worse when you are dreading it.

Blehin - I hope your skin looks less red, and I hope it works miracles for you :D (Hmm lets create an acne medication that has no side effects, then become millionares! Sound like a plan?)

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faithinhim - Thank you! I'm gonna need that luck!

DAY THREE/FOUR

So today I take my fourth pill, does that make it day four? I don't know.

Anyways, is it possible to see side effects already? My face isn't drying out, but my lips are incredibly chapped all of a sudden. My mouth often feels dry as well.

Side effects wise I seem to be hitting it really hard emotionally, I am not sure if this is because I am sort of going though my first heartbreak, accutane, or a combination of both. I just have been crying a lot since I started it. This is weird for me, because generally I am more of a laugh it off kind of person. (By the way, warm showers and crying is the BEST therapy in world. Don't even argue it. Feeling down about your face/life/boys/relationships? Take a shower and wash it all off!)

So far not hugely bad in the breaking out department. I have a huge whitehead on my chin, and I feel another forming on my forehead. But other than that it looks okay. Though I swear my skin is pushing out more oil then before. My skin almost feels like it has a thick film of oil (gross I know!) I had oily skin before of course, but it seemed more like a wet oil...its hard to explain.

Random Me Fact: If you haven't guessed, I love the color purple. It rocks my socks. I love it. I always use purple pen on my english assignments, and my teacher doesnt even look at the name anymore. I'm like harold with the purple crayon, but Ashi with the purple pen (now if only I could draw my own world and step into it!)

If it doesn't break

If it doesn't break

If it doesn't break your heart it isn't love

No, if it doesn't break your heart it's not enough

It's when you're breaking down with your insides coming out

That's when you find out what your heart is made up of

-Switchfoot "Yet"

Oh, by the way...just so you have a little bit more of an idea of who you are talking to..this is me. It's a farther away picture for a reason. But you'll get the idea of what I look like.

I'll post pictures of my face later, once I get over my trust issues and know you guys won't hurt me ;)

post-118324-1264697602_thumb.jpg

post-118324-1264697602_thumb.jpg

Edited by KeepSmilingThrough
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When I was on day 3-4...or something like that, I had some random crying spell that kind of freaked me out. I was so concerned that it was the Accutane and that I was bound to spend 5 months in a depressed mood. Luckily it was just for a day or two! I'm back to being positive and spunky! I hope the same will happen for you. A heartbreak is difficult either way. :)

Nice photo too!

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Hey!

You look so gorgeous in your pic!

YAY for you starting Accutane! I hope it goes well for you and you don't have too many side effects to deal with. I understand the crying thing! Did you just start Birth control too? I had that problem with the birth control right before I started the Accutane! I swear radio commercials could make me burst out in tears :P my fiance thought I was a nut case lol

Your log is really fun to read! I look forward to keeping up with your progress! Good Luck and keep on smiling (you have a nice smile)

PS - I share the love of purple pen! I use to use it everywhere until about two months ago. I went to Jamaica and used a dark purple pen to fill out my customs forms.... they didn't take to kindly to that lol REALLY! They pulled me and my fiance aside and kept us in customs for an hour before making us completely fill out our forms again ... in black ink :P lol now the purple pen stays in the safe zone that is my office lol

:)

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michellemac - Thank you for saying I am gorgeous! It means a lot. I have low self-esteem thanks to acne...gotta hate that stuff. Such a downer! And no, I went the abstinence route. So no birth control. Who knew there could be downsides to the purple pen? Gasp! I would be very destroyed to not be allowed to use it!

mercyunbound - The crying seems to be over for the most part. I was also quite worried I was going to be depressed for months!

DAY SEVEN

Well look at that! I made it to day SEVEN! Who woulda thunk it?

My favorite part of taking my pill every day is seeing the large pregnant woman they put on the paper over each and every pill. She has a big red x through her. Just in case I forget that I am not supposed to get pregnant, there's a little reminder!

So far my lips are drier than they have ever been in my life. Like desert dry. Aquafor has been my oasis, and I wish the amazing feeling it gave me lasted more than twenty minutes or so. Then my lips are back to feeling chapped and nasty.

My skin is staying pretty clear so far...still waiting for that dreaded IB. No big pimples, just little pin pricked sized ones! I am not sure how I feel about my skin over all, but I'm not completely hating it. I am just really hoping that with the absolutely horrible, unbearable initial breakout I suffered on tazorac will save me from one on clavaris. Overall, tazorac was much worse as far as making my skin oily and dry all at once, and the clavaris is so much easier...just take one pill daily!

Random Me Fact: I am quite scared of fish. I am not really sure why this is, but I don't even really like to eat them. The way they flip flop around makes me nervous. My sister bought me a beta in hopes to get me over my fears, but rather I live in constant fear he is going to die and that I am going to have to try and figure out how to get him out of the bowl without throwing up. Yep. I don't like fish much.

They won’t pay a cent to hear you laughing

They might pay a little to hear you cry

If you do it long enough they might even pay attention

But they still won’t pay respect until you die

-Broken From the Start, Jon Foreman

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I agree about the Aquaphor. My lips feel great right after I put it on. But, they just dry out so quickly.

Congrats on finishing your first week! It won't be long and you'll be celebrating your first month!

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TAKING PILL TWELVE TODAY!

So today I am taking pill number twelve. Doesn't 12 seem like a good number?

Anyways, the skin is doing a little worse. I have a cyst at the corner of my nose that isn't very sightly, and one started to come up on my nose, but I seemed to stop it from growing at least with some tazorac. My skin usually is worse this time of the month though, so I am not entirely worried about it. Fingers crossed it is not the beginning of an intial breakout!

As for side effects, my lips are drier than I have ever experienced in my entire life and constanly in that state. My skin seems to be looking drier in certain areas, but still not real dry. My lower back is just slightly sore. I also have been tired a lot. Is that a side effect? I feel like I could sleep for days!

It snowed here today! Lots and lots of it, so that made me happier than I have been for awhile! I tried eye makeup for the first time today, so that was an interesting experience. I am proud to say I was able to apply it without resulting in me looking like a hooker!

Random Me Fact: I like lime flavored things. I was the odd kid that liked the lime flavored popsicles. I like “Mint Mojito†gum even though I can never find it anywhere…and I have lime lip gloss that is the most amazing thing in the world!

And all this time saying you were fine

And everyone still to blame

Well there you are

You and your broken heart

It's written all over your face

Don't you know

Don't you know that you're beautiful yeah

-Seabird “Don’t You Know You’re Beautifulâ€

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Well here are the acne pictures I am sure you have all been wanting to see haha.

It looks better in the pictures, mostly because my webcam is just really crappy and blurs some of it up! I currently have about 18-20 actives, but they are all pretty small. Except for the cyst that is still coming up by my nose (thank goodness it doesn't look too bad right now) I have a LOT of whiteheads right now. Which are almost impossible not to want to pick at. They are just begging to be popped. But I am refraining for now.

So you guys are the first people to see me without makeup except for my very immediate family. You should feel very special.

Here is my entire face...right now my chin and forehead are breaking out the worst. Which is odd, since those are generally my clearest areas. My cheeks I have a symmetry thing going on with one larger whitehead on each cheek. Gotta keep it symmetrical right?

http://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w127/La...pg&newest=1

Attempt at getting closer...still not really a clear picture of what it looks like.

http://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w127/La...pg&newest=1

And lastly a picture of me from yesterday with makeup on. Although I don't have many big pimples, you can see that I do have a ton of little tiny lumps and bumps.

http://s175.photobucket.com/albums/w127/La...pg&newest=1

Overall I'm pretty happy though. It was so much worse in September on the tazorac. That stuff was making it so I would have 3-5 cysts at all time on top of the whiteheads. So clavaris - so far you pretty much rock.

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michellemac - Thank you! It's so nice to have people here to celebrate along with me :D

DAY NINETEEN -

Well, its day nineteen! Wow I'm getting there...somedays it seems to be flying by, other days I can't believe its only been a few weeks.

Today my mommy told me that my skin was looking better. Which was a major compliment, because she is a blunt tell you how it is kind of person. She has had to problem in the past with saying "Oh my! You look horrible today!". So I know it must be looking pretty good.

So my back is completely cleared up! My chest broke out a little this week, which was weird since I have never had any acne on my chest. But they dried up pretty quick, my face is still breaking out...but the pimples are drying up really quick for me, so they aren't lasting very long. Overall its looking better. My lips are still dry.

My skin is starting to get dry around my mouth and nose, but my lightweight moisturizer still seems to work...but any suggestions on what moisturizer I should get later would be appreciated.

I went to the gym for the first time yesterday in forever. My stomach muscles hurt when I laugh now. Which I find amusing and makes me want to laugh, and then I start the circle all over again! Yeah, I am in horrible shape...got to get this body whipped into shape to match my lovely skin this summer right?

Speaking of working out and food and such...is there any foods I should be avoiding? I was looking for a generalized list, but wasn't able to find one.

So I had a good time at the park today, I went and played on the playground in the snow. I dragged my sixteen year old brother there, and we had lots of fun! I have an amazing family.

Random Me Fact: My favorite number is 11. I am not sure why that is, I think I just like seeing the two ones. For that reason I get very excited when I see the time 11:11 on the clock. Those are my two favorite minutes of the day! Don’t miss out on them, because they are special!

You're worth so much

It'll never be enough

To see what you have to give

How beautiful you are

Yet seem so far from everything

You're wanting to be

You're wanting to be

-Skillet “Imperfectionâ€

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25?

Okay, so I really don't know what day it is...I think it is 25. Something around there haha.

So I am a little stressed out, because something got messed up and they are trying to charge me an arm and a leg for my bloodwork. Sooo I have to get that mess cleaned up before I get bloodwork done for my next appointment - and that is a week from today. Yayy. I hate when doctors screw up. :wall:

Skin wise it is all wacked out! My skin is getting drier around my mouth - but MY LIPS ARE NOT DRY! :dance: Yes. I am able to wear lipgloss without it looking funky for the first time in weeks. This makes me beyond happy. I am also getting more actives now though. So I would rather have the dry lips. I have one large active on my right cheek, and I can feel four or so coming up on the left. With makeup it isn't looking too bad though, and at least the zits are not lasting horribly long.

As far as my life...

It has been a little bit crazy. Okay, that is an understatement. I am like a magnet for any and all sort of drama. Either that or I create it. Either way, I don't think I'll bog you guys down with all of that.

Much to my great joy, we received a whole heck of a lot of snow this past week. My friend, who is also into photography, took some pictures of me for her project in this environment that I so very much enjoy. So I got to go barefoot in the snow...though I have done this many times before, I had a reasson this time!!! :)

Random Me Fact: People tell me I am “cute†a lot. I am really tired of being cute. I wanna be hot and sexy for once haha. Is sexy a state of mind? I think I am just too silly to be that way. :P

What would you say if I

told you that I'm not givin' up

however long it takes

It's clear that things have changed

since when we started

but we can't just walk away, babe.

-Between the Trees “We Can Tryâ€

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