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So, after years of lurking on Acne.org, I finally decided to make an account and post. Hopefully, after sharing my experience (sorry if the posts will be a little sparse; last sem in college!), I will be acne free.

So, I'll let you know a little about my myself. I had acne starting around 15. It wasn't that bad, and it has slowly become worse over time. My previous dermatologist has put me on tons of treatments while I was in high school. I have taken most antibiotics available (amoxicillin, erythromycin, tetracycline, minocycline, doryx), retinoids, and topical clindamycin/bp to name a few treatments. Long story short, my dermatologist decided that my acne was not bad enough back then to justify isotretinoin.

Towards the end of high school, I found this site. Knowing I would be in college soon, I was looking for a program I could maintain on my own without frequent access to a derm (sorry, but like most universities, no car until sophomore year at least). I used Dan's regimen religiously through my junior year, and it worked very well. Although I experienced a lot of flakiness, after that initial hardening period, my skin really clear up. For those few years, I thought I might get through this period.

About a year ago, I started to notice that my skin started getting chemical burns from the bp. I originally though this was just a fluke, but after a month or so, it only worsened. I took a break; perhaps my acne finally cleared up. For a few weeks, I only used cetaphil and moisturizer with spf. Once my acne came back (with a vengeance - I had only 3 white heads on a good day, more like 6 on average and I had tons of blackheads), I decided to try some other methods. Some methods included caveman and ocm. These, unfortunately did not work, so I returned to bp after 6 or 7 months. Again, I experienced a burn even after a month of using bp, so I realized I couldn't use it anymore. I went back to the derm to discuss my options.

He recommended isotretinoin. My past regimens did not clear me up that well; and he did not view antibiotics as a long term solution to treating my acne (he thinks I've progressed to adult acne). Furthermore, I was beginning to scar; I already had a few scars on my back. He also mentioned that my face looked like it was on the verge of breaking out (indeed, it did feel that way since I stopped using bp). After discussing my options at length, we decided that Claravis was my best choice.

In case you're curious:

I am a 21 year old male taking 60 mg (30 mg twice a day). I weigh 160 lbs.

So here I am finally making a user account and beginning my own log. Times are busy, so I might be able to post only once a week or so. I am really hopeful that this works. Let me know what you think; I'll try to respond in a timely manner!

Edited by NorthernTiger88

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Day 3

So, I'm getting dry lips. Carmex seems to fix this pretty well. Also, I'm getting some dry skin on my elbows, knees, and the top of my shoulders, but any moisturizer works (I think I'm using some Suave moisturizer or something like that - a family member bought it on discount a while back). My face feels drier, but not in a bad way. I feel as if it is no longer an unsightly oil slick - perhaps for once I don't look too gross, lol.

My cysts are really drying up, and I have a few white heads that popped up on my face. They do feel like they are pretty dry and will heal within the next few days. My back is slightly breaking out - I assume this is the IB. I only started with only 2 or 3 cysts, but now there's 5 on my back, and the ones there before are now larger. That being said, I think they'll heal in a few days.

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Hey NorthernTiger88!

I'm Sara, nice to meet you!

Your log already sounds so positive - hopefully the IB clears up fast and your course goes smoothly!

Wishing you luck!

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Hello! It looks like we are only a day apart...I'm on day 3 today! Good luck to you. This sucks, but we are so close to gloriously clear skin! I know I can't wait.

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@Roxy - yea, it's funny you say that - my IB started today after I finished my fifth day. Not too horrible; I'll live through it, although I'm hoping it only lasts a week or so.

@winter - I'm really excited too. After the derm explained everything to me and I read all the information he provided, I was worried about the side effects. I really wonder how many people have mood issues simply because the packaging and warnings have convinced them that they'll have problems (don't think for one second I'm marginalizing people with mood disorders - many of my close friends suffer from such problems. I do know, however, how powerful the mind is when it comes to this issue and sometimes all it takes is suggestion to alter how a person thinks).

It's my sixth day of treatment, and my face is starting to break out. I suspect this is the dreaded IB. I have four white heads on my forehead and in middle of my brow ridge (like a bull's eye?) and a bunch of white heads around my nose and mouth. Other than those areas, however, my face is beginning to look good. It certainly seems smoother and clearer along the side of my face where I've always had issues. Now that I've said that, I have a feeling that'll break out soon too :doubt: .

Overall, I'm feeling pretty good about this. I've had acne for a while, and compared to my breakout during finals last semester, this is a walk in the park. A few more months won't make a big difference. Anyway, I have a busy week coming up. so sorry in advance if I do not post for a little bit; I'm doing some traveling before I go back to school.

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Day 11

Ugh, I'm breaking out pretty badly. I have a cluster of painful, deep ones right above my eyebrow and another cluster on my cheek near my nose. Then, there are a bunch of shallow whiteheads (these seem to dry up within two days, so they're not too bad). I try not to think about it since I'm hopeful it will clear up within the next two weeks. It's rather inconvenient, though, since I'll be back at university rather soon.

Furthermore, my skin is dry and peeling like crazy. I'm using three pumps of Aveeno ultra-calming moisturizer (or something like that) twice a day (before and after bed) to keep my face from flaking, but it's still not taking care of it. I'm just using Cetaphil as a wash, so it's not as if I'm using something intensely harsh. I don't remember peeling this badly since the time I got a sunburn back when I used bp. I could have sworn the moisturizer I used had spf in it...

Does anyone have any advice about this? I don't think I should be exfoliating since it might irritate my face, but I guess I'll just look on the forums for an answer.

Edited by NorthernTiger88

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Day 15

So, I think most of the IB is over - or at least the bad part. My face is starting to settle down, although I have a few cysts coming to the surface (three to be exact; one on my forehead and two on each cheek). I can see the acne plugs coming to the surface. Although I feel I could just squeeze it out, I know I shouldn't. I give it a few more weeks until I get clear skin. My back's cleared up very well - I have a few red spots, but the cysts have come to the surface and cleared.

Most of my blackheads are surfacing. My skin feels like sandpaper, and it's tempting to pick at them. Again, I try not to pick, but it's as if they'll come right out. I was wondering if I could use a masque or something to speed up the process, but since I'll be back at school tomorrow, I won't have time (it's a little difficult explaining to my brothers at the fraternity house what exactly I'm doing, so I just won't bother with the masque). Besides, I don't think I'm supposed to do it anyway, since it can be so drying.

I don't know what I'll be posting soon. It seems like the claravis is working well, and posting day after day of "my skin feels like sandpaper and my face and lips are dry" doesn't seem very appealing.

I guess what I'm saying is, how about those Jets? lol, it's both exciting and scary that I'll be going back to my last semester of undergrad. I plan on law school, but I know it's a horse of another color. Everyone I know tells me it's nothing like undergrad. That being said, I've been very studious, so I don't think law school will be more work - I'm already putting at least four hours a day on work (more like five to six). I just think it'll be different. Lot's of reading apparently.

Hope everyone's doing well, and good luck on your journey's! I'll prolly not post for a few more days - posting ever three to four days has been working out well.

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Hey,

I am a few days ahead of you (day 19) and I think my IB is settling down too. My face still looks horrible with rashes of red marks from past pimples. I really hope that i start to see some significant differences in my skin in the next 8 weeks. Good luck, and I hope your treatment goes well. Ps, I gave up drinking while on tane, did you do the same? It is SO HARD to do being a freshman guy in college at a big party school.... Oh well, I would rather have clear skin than a buzz. good luck

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Hey what's going on? What you said about the BP cashing burns, wow! I got that to, like I only used BP on my chin since it was my main problem area and before I knew it like every other morning in the light my chin was bright red, so it looked like I got sun burn only in that area...

Yea how bout them Jets =)

Good luck on your course, and do you know whats the difference between sotret and claravis?

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Day 19

So, it's going pretty well. I have a little eczema; I've never had this before. It isn't too bothersome, though. I'm switching over to a mild cleanser for my body wash instead of the old Irish Spring. I'll keep you updated as to how well this works.

Else, I have chapped lips. The dry, flaky skin has subsided although I still use a moisturizer with SPF. Overall, progress has been noticable and smoother now that the IB has passed (for the most part).

Have to switch derms soon since I'm back at school an apparently it takes a little while to re-register with iPledge. Go figure...

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Day ?

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been getting settled here at school.

I have some unfortunate news. A week or so ago, I had about a week and a half left to my prescription. I figured it would be prudent at that point to find a new derm down here for iPledge. This proved significantly harder than I imagined. First, I couldn't find anyone who took my insurance. Then, I couldn't find one who took my insurance and prescribed isotretinoin (I didn't even think that would be an issue). Long story short, I won't even be meeting with a new derm for two more weeks. I've cut back to 30 mg a day in the meantime, but I will have been off Claravis for a little over a week by the time I get to see the derm.

This is a really frustrating setback. Claravis has been working very well so far, but since I've cut down on my dose, my acne has started to come back. It's not as bad as before, but it was great starting school with an absolutely clear complexion (and not having to obsess over washing my face and making sure nothing touched it). Now I'm back to changing my pillowcase every few nights and making sure I washed my face twice a day. Not awful, but it was cool to feel normal for a week.

Oh well. I know once I get started again in two weeks that it'll work. It's just an unfortunate setback that I did not anticipate.

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Hi! Just found your log on the boards. Ipledge is such a waste of time / complicates everything. How'd you do on your week off of 'tane? Good luck on starting up again and your 'tane course in general.

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