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Hi everyone, my name is Matt, I'm 27, and I just started accutane (Claravis). 40mg, twice a day. I'm Korean, so I love using the Seoul puns.

I don't really follow the forums here, but I have been reading some of the accutane blogs to see different peoples experience with it. I decided to document my own journey here because there is so much support here and I hope that when accutane works for me, my story will be able to help someone else.

I decided to take accutane for a few reasons.

First, I've had acne ever since I was a teenager, and nothing I've tried seems to have worked. I did take accutane when I was in my early teens with no real success. Since then I've never really tried too hard to get rid of my acne, I just bought whatever off the shelf cleanser and BP product and use that daily. In the past few years, I've been taking things more seriously, trying different cleansers, different moisturizers, toners, scrubs, etc... even tried a lot of homemade remedies, but nothing seemed to really help. The only thing that I felt like really helped was my Clarisonic, but it still didn't fix everything.

Second, acne is really started to effect my psycologically. At work I feel like people are paying more attention to what I look like than what I'm saying. If I go out, I'm really concious of people looking at me and what they're thinking. Even touching my skin I get sort of depressed knowing that a lot of people my age don't have to deal with this.

Currently, I have some acne on my forehead, but it's not much. The main problems are around my mouth, where I have a lot of pimples and the area is very red. I also have a problem on the back of my neck at the hairline (which I don't think is folliculitis), and I have moderate problems with my neck, back, and chest. I till try to post pictures of my face later so I can document the starting point of my accutane journey.

In addition to my accutane, my daily plan is as follows:

- Wash face with Basis, using Clarisonic on neck, forehead, and cheeks only. Wash neck and mouth area with hands

- Use 10% glycolic AHA on neck area

- Use Eucerin Redness Relief moisterizer at night, Ambi Clean and Clear during the day

- Plenty of chapstick

- Take Vitamin-A-less multivitimin, vitamin E, omega-3 (fish oil), and zinc supplements

- Plenty of water, and try to get 8 hours of rest a night (usually only get 6).

Anyways, I will probably post weekly updates, since I don't want to get excited about changes that may or may not happen everyday.

-Matt

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Hi Gleinz,

Glad you are restarting your accutane treatment. Like you, nothing really worked for me, or I felt too down to actually give anything else a long trial. I just bought something and if it didn't work in a short time I just felt crap and stopped using it altogether and gave up. That's basically the story of my life lol :eh: I have no patience, and the acne problem certainly doesn't help.

It's cool you are from Korea, I'm thinking of going to Korea next year to teach English and hopefully learn to speak the language :)

Good-luck!

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Matt: I understand what u mean by acne affecting u psychologically. I'm way more self-conscious than i was in the past.. always worried about the "stares" i get from people and comments like "Have'nt u been drinking enough water?? Did u see a doctor?? is it an allergy or something?? Did u use the wrong products??"

These are comments i get constantly from friends and even my own family members.. I've since been so paraniod about my skin and i get emotional very easily.

Only people who have had acne, would understand what it meant by being plagued by the acne god...

Do moisturise, put on your chapstick and drink plenty of water while on accutane.. it is a v strong acne medication. Hope u will get well soon.

Take care!!

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@lendmeurears - Thanks for your comment. I decided that I'm willing to take 6 months of my life of taking these pills everyday, if at the end of the 6 months I can be free and clear of acne. I've been too lazy to do much about it besides try new cleansers, and I would never really check on the status of my acne; I'd just look in the mirror and either take note if I looked worse or better than usual. Oh I should also clarify that I'm not actually from Korea, but a Korean living in the US... I'm also hoping to go back to Korea within the next year!

@fel_han - thanks to you as well for your comments. The people I usually interact with aren't the type of people that would speak up about my acne, but I know they are thinking it. The worst part is when one of my friends as a really small pimple or two, and they complain right to me about how bad it is, and they wonder if something like Proactiv can take care of it. I just have to sit there and smile, when really inside I just want to tell them to shut up because I have it much worse! Anyways, thanks for the advice... I've been reading on your log too, your progress is looking good and I hope it only gets better from here!

Day 2 Update

I know I said I'd update weekly, but I figured I'd give a first impression since I've taken 3 pills so far.

Basically... nothing much has changed! Which was expected with the acne, but I thought at this point I would start to see the dry skin and the chapped lips at least. I'm actually seeing the opposite... I think my skin is getting a bit oilier than normal. I've also noticed that the some of the pimples around my mouth have gotten a little bit bigger... I don't know if this is reaction to the Claravis or if that would have happened anyway. So I guess my point is I don't think it's made any effect yet, but hopefully something will have started to happen when I update next week.

-Matt

Edited by gleinz
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Day 8 Update

Acne - it has gotten slightly worse, but nothing outside the range of what it normally varied when I was not on Claravis. I have a few active ones on my forehead, and a few on my chin, but the major one is right on the bridge of my nose! This has got to be the worse spot... because it's sticking out like a sore thumb on the middle of my face. When it first started forming, I got pretty bummed about it, but then I realized it's going to be there, and I already have acne so I already don't look great, so what's the big deal? It'll go away in a week or so, so just let it heal. So I'm not letting it bother me too bad, but it's hard when I can see it in my peripheral vision lol. Aside from my face, I did have one on my chest that came and went and two on my back that were pretty bad, but are starting to disappear now. Again nothing out of the ordinary for me so I'm not really concerned.

Side Effects - I have noticed that my skin is slightly drier, but with moisterizer you can't really tell at all (I'm not using any more moisterizer than normal). My lips still feel weird and are also drier than usual, and I find myself using chapstick a few times a day. My face has also become a bit more sensative (I can feel it when I apply moisterizer).

Diet/Supplements - I'm still taking Omega-3, Vitamin-E, and Zinc supplements, and I'm still looking for a Vitamin-A-less multi. And I've been drinking a lot more water lately, partly because of how hot it's been in CT this past week (we hit 90 degrees!).

Regimen - I'm still using my Clarisonic twice a day, but I think I'll start doing once a day due to the sensativity of my skin. I've also started on 5% BP for spot treatments, and moisterizing with Ambi Even & Clear Daily Moisterizer and Eucerin Redness Relief.

I'm off to take my weekly pictures!

-Matt

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Day 15 Update

Acne - From last week, things have gotten better. The big one on my nose has almost completely gone away, and there are only a few actives on my forehead. On the right side of my chin I have a few active ones, but the left side is not active right now and actually looks pretty good. The neck looks OK, there is a pretty big one on the right side of the neck and a smaller one on the left side. Nothing drastically different than what I am normally used to, so it's not bothering me too much. I'm just glad the one on my nose is almost gone! Oh, I also did notice that the blackheads on my nose seem to be pushing themselves out... I guess I don't know how else to describe it, but my nose feels sort of rough, and I can see stuff trying to come out of the pores. Visually it's not really noticeable, but I'm glad my nose wants to clear itself up!

Side Effects - I still haven't gotten to the ultra-dry skin phase, but the skin is still drier than normal. And my lips aren't cracking or anything, but I do need to apply chapstick quite frequently during the day. It's the feeling like you want to like your lips all the time... I hope that makes sense. Two other side effects that have appeared this week: on the inside, upper part of my mouth is sensative now. When I use my mouthwash, I can't swish around for 30 seconds now because it burns a little bit, and I have to make sure I rinse my mouth out with water. It's not too bad, but just an observation. Also, on the backs of my hands and some small areas on my arm, I've gotten a slight rash/dry skin. It almost looks like the type of dry skin I get in the winter due to the weather. It's not really bad right now, I just moisterize over it and it feels OK.

Diet/Supplements - I'm still taking Omega-3, Vitamin-E, and Zinc supplements, and I've started taking a vitamin-A less multi vitamin. Still drinking lots of water!

Regimen - I've switched to hand washing in the morning and using my Clarisonic at night. Still using 5% BP for spot treatments, and moisterizing with Ambi Even & Clear Daily Moisterizer (mornings) and Eucerin Redness Relief (nights).

Taking my weekly pictures tomorrow, and I decided I'll wait to upload them until I can show what improvements have been made. I just don't want everyone looking at my ugly face!

-Matt

Edited by gleinz
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I guess my weekly update was an epic FAIL... but here's to trying to get back to it!

Day 63 Update

Acne - Basically at this point, I have pretty clear skin. I have one or two actives right now, which is a huge reduction from when I started two months ago. Also, the other areas of my body (neck, chest, back) have all seen the same reduction in acne. I find it kind of amazing, since some people say they don't even see any results until two or three months, and in those two or three months things get even worse than when they started! I guess I'm just lucky, and I'm very grateful for that! I recently when to a BBQ and saw a lot of friends who I hadn't seen in awhile, and most of them commented on how much better I looked!

Side Effects - Of course nothing is perfect, and I still have some side effect. The MAJOR side effect I'm dealing with right now is milia. It's been appearing under my eyes (very hard to notice), on my neck, and on my chest. My dermatologist said that accutane has a tendancy to push existing milia to the surface (i.e. it was there to begin with, just not visible). Other than scraping at it and possible leaving scars, theres not much that can be done about it. I'm hoping it will recede once I'm done with my treatment, and for now I lightly exfoliating those areas once a day just to clear the dead skin.

Of course I still use chapstick, and the area around my face tends to get drier than everywhere else. I usually just scrub around my mouth a little bit to clear the dead skin, and apply a little moisterizer. Usually it's good for the day (i.e. no flakes during the day!)

Diet/Supplements - I've actually stopped taking my supplements (Omega-3, Vitamin-E, Zinc vitamin-A less multi vitamin) simple because I've been too lazy. I'll probably start at least taking the Vit-E again to help my skin out a little more. Still drinking lots of water!

I did recently (2 days ago) started drinking protein shakes, but I found out that one of the ingredients was Creatine, and after doing a little research I wasn't comfortable with taking it for fear it might be interfering with the accutane. I've stopped since and am just going to look for a Vitamin-A and Creatine free protein shake.

Regimen - In the morning, I hand wash with purpose cleanser and apply Ambi Even & Clear Daily Moisterizer. At night, I use my Clarisonic on my face and neck, and I exfoliate on my chest using an exfoliating pad (forget the name of it right now) with a tar shampoo (I figured it's good for seborrheic dermatatis, so it might help with the milia). I apply Ambi on my face and neck, and use AHA on my chest. I haven't been using any BP for the last month or so, it doesn't seem to do anything while on accutane.

For now, accutane is working GREAT! The results far outweigh the side effects. It's also given me a big boost mentally, because now I know people aren't staring at my acne, and I don't really have to worry too much about how I look when I go out. I'll keep you all posted on my progress :)

-Matt

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Oh, before I forget, I wanted to mention one thing.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER!!!

I drink about 2 litres of water, spread throughout the day. This will help flush out your body, but also hydrate your skin, which will reduce the amount of dryness (which is the ultimate pain of accutane!)

Edited by gleinz
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