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Hello everyone!

Well to start off I want to say since finding out I will be (hopefully !!) closing the acne chapter of my life with Accutane- well optimism is key right?- I have been lurking around the message boards, in particularl these logs. On the most part, it has been a totally uplifting and hopeful read. Seeing the beautiful skin transformations people have undergone and hearing their treatment experiences has eased my own hesitations about undertaking my own course and really has been a crucial source of information. I hope my log can offer the same personal information of my experience that will help others on and deciding upon the treatment.

The story so far...

I am 23 years old and acne has been a problem since around 18 years. Throughout high school my skin was not an issue, I had the minor pimples most teenage girls have. It was not something that I ever gave a second thought about- I really should have savored those days more.

Out of school I noticed the pimples were changing in nature. They were becoming more persistent, deeper and painful, overall, much more angry. Around 19 years old it was clear my acne was cystic and hyperpigmentation became a big problem due to my medium-olive toned skin. I became very self conscious- it was hard not to when working part time at a supermarket checkout, constantly face to face with customers and kids would point to your face and say "muuuuum why has she got red dots all over her face"- pretty soul destroying. While it would negatively effect some decisions I'd make in my life, I tried not to let my skin interfere too much on my social life and overall happiness.

I took myself to 'medispa' clinic (thats what they called themselves) in my area that had acne treatment. The doctor there prescribed me an antibiotic- forgot the name- and Dianne birth control. As well as this I had regular extractions and microdermabrasions. My skin was gorgeous during this time. It was the most happiest and content I've been with my skin.

The following year I went off the pill and my acne slowly came back, much less aggressive but cystic and enough to cause problems. I was put back on a course of antibiotics by my GP and skin calmed down again. However, the exact same pattern followed when I started and stopped the pill again.

Then beginning of last year my skin was really great, I was back on the pill again and another short course of antibiotics. 6 months went by and I decided to go off the pill because I experience extreme and erratic moodiness while on it and this was becoming very unfair for my boyfriend. About 4 months after going off I saw the signs of my acne returning and at the start of this year went on Yasmine -I'm sure the amount of jumping on and off the pill I've done is not recommended! very crrrrrrazy inducing!-

The first 4 months back on the pill were horrid. I broke out badly, mainly cystic, and it just tore me down more than it ever had. I'm 24 this year and still battling acne. While I know this is not uncommon- here we all are! ;) - it seemed this time I was hit the hardest emotionally. I had already felt somewhat embarrassed about going back to university to do another degree instead of pursuing 'Life' and the dreams I'd long talked about. Also none of my friends ever had the least bit of problem with their skin. However unjustifiably, I felt ashamed and embarrassed and really disconnected myself from a lot of people I love.

I went back to the medispa after not having been for a year and a half and as soon as the doctor saw me she said I need to get you to a dermatologist STAT! She really recommended I considered accutane. I cried. To which she replied "what are you waiting for?!"

So my dermatologist is really nice, normally I don't take to male medical practitioners but Dr M listens and was reassuring. He agreed that I would benefit greatly from Oratane (form of accutane) because of: my age. Persistence. Nature of acne- being considered at times moderate into severe due to cysts. The frustrating ease of hyperpigmentation scarring.

He did not map out my treatment course completely, but said he expects to have me on for 12 months at a low dose, which I am happy about.

So that brings me to this point!

I was never expecting to go on a treatment such as this and to be honest it really shocked me. All I knew and had heard about accutane were negative, so it took a lot of soul searching and research to totally decide. While I suspect my acne is largely hormonal based, I've decided to go ahead with this as Dr M says it will indeed help. I can explore in more depth the hormonal impacts later down the track if need be.

Two weeks between my first derm appointment and my second, in which I got my blood work done, he put me on emycin to transition me to oratane. My skin is at the best its been so far this year, I assume the Yasmine pill finally kicked in end of April.

The past 6 years of inconsistency, moving back and forth from clear to problem skin, various birth control, antibiotics and topicals have led me here to Day 3.

I'm sure like most of you, all I want is to feel confident. To have the skin freedom and happiness that will contribute to an over all confidence. I don't want the state of my skin to be a factor in future decisions and hold me back from doing the things I love and being the person I know I am. Whatever happens, I hope this is the mind frame I will achieve and maintain.

Sorry this has been a bit of a yarn. I've never been concise. But thank you for reading.

I'll keep you posted.

Edited by jasmine.d
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Hang in there! I'll definitely be following your progress. Make sure you maintain that optimism, because it'll do wonders when/if you get the intial breakout. It'll all be worth it! Best of luck. :)

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I'm sure Accutane will work like a miracle for you and you'll be free of acne in no time! I would love to see some progress photos! :) Best of luck!

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Day 4.

Thanks for the well wishes guys! I do hope to get some pictures up soon, I took some with my camera phone but the quality is ridiculous. Will have to borrow a camera cause I do think its nice to visually look back on the progress.

So it's only day 4 on the 20mgs. There really is no change in my skin or overall well being.

At the moment my skin is probably the best its been all year, responding to Yasmin and the emycin. 3 weeks ago I also had a whole face extraction and an enzyme mask. This has helped greatly. I hadn't had extractions done by a professional for nearly 2 years and I have no idea why I didn't?! It hurts like hell and you look pretty close to that afterwards, but it really does just give that extra clean out that you just can't do yourself perched in front of the mirror- despite how profesh you think you've become in extracting.

I don't have any actives atm. What I do have: hyperpigmentation.

-3 cysts from around 2 months ago that have gone down but i can feel the bumps of blocked pores that just won't budge.

-lots of action under the skin, black heads, white heads, lumps, bumps and the like which I can see are just bursting to join the party.

Last week I tried to squeeze one of these old cysts, nothing came out and instead i caused a scab. I must say, scabs are probably one of the most unattractive things to have featured on the face.

When my IB hits I know its gonna be those under the skin popping up all over the place, as long as its not cysts, I will be able to handle this. Cysts were all I got for ages and they just hurt too damn much.

On a minor note, I had a gym session yesterday and was fine today. Went again this afternoon and I feel really fatigued tonight with sore lower back. When I exercise I am not excessive, so I don't usually feel this way. Going to the gym 4x a week has become really important to me, I probably hadn't done anything remotely considered active for the past 2 years but joined the gym this year to see if it would help with my mood swings when going back on the pill. And its been the best thing ever, who'd a thought exercise makes you feel good. So I really don't want to loose this outlet. But I'm not going to put it on the accutane just yet, seems a bit too soon. Pretty sure I'm jumping the gun with the worry.

Ok so wrote too much again about not really anything :naughty: I'll report back when I have something substantial to say! hehe

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Yay! heya matey! yep oratane seems the way to go for us. the brochure/pamphlet my derm gave to me kind of made me excited- the company made it look attractive and fun with the good looking people throughout. i was like 'yeaha im gonna be just like them!'. are you on oratane? or thinking about it? also i've noticed in aus, the derms seem to opt for long term treatment rather than the shorter course times in us/uk. interesting.

im just going to keep referring to oratane as accutane cause i'm use to it.

Also just want to add my vitamin intake- I think its made me feel the healthiest I have yet.

Fish Oil

Primrose Oil (taken these two for about 2 years now)

Multivitamin- its a teenage womens variety, even though i'm no longer a teen, thought id benefit from the formula. (this has 2mg of betacarotene which the pharmacist assured me was safe because it was such a small dosage- hope she's right)

Biotin- I'm paranoid of accutane effects on hair

Vit E

Zinc/Vit C- help combat colds and wound healing.

My dad thinks i'm over doing it and i probably am. i asked my derm about taking vitamins whilst on treatment he didn't seem to think it made much of difference. however i'm pretty sure its been making me feel happy and energetic.

Skin wise: woke up with an active on my chin!! yay! i'm really happy because i haven't had an active for nearly 3 weeks and this to me means the accutane is slowly but surely doin its thang. its not cyst thank the gods. i dont know what you call it, kind of like it should have a white pus head but doesn't- i'm sure that baby will come. i saw this one under my skin for maybe a week and half, so yep am expecting more to surface from the others i've spotted hiding.

also, bought emu oil yesterday. seems to have soften some scars and my scab. too soon to tell its efficacy.

Edited by jasmine.d
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Yay emu oil! I've heard great things about that. I'm also in love with vitamin supplements lol. I take 2 fish oil capsules a day and find that it helps with normalising facial oil production.

And nope I'm not on Oratane, but I was recommended it by a derm a few years back. I'm considering it, though! *hence my tendency to lurk in this section of the board*

It sounds like you're undergoing the IB already. Hopefully since you're keeping your body so healthy, it will be manageable and wont last long. :)

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Guest Scarlett Skies

My skin problems are mostly hormonal as well and I seem to be responding well to Accutane so Good Luck to you as well with your course!

My face was a nightmare for a month and a half and then BOOM all of a sudden it just got better within a few days.

Keep us posted as to how your low dose treatment is going, I'm curious as to whether or not it works in the same way as the traditional treatment.

:)

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Hey good luck with your course, its good to see derms perscribing low dose courses as opposed to daft amounts like 80mg a day.

Im also on a low dose course (5mg every other day) and have been on it for a year a half or so, so feel free to ask any questions!

Also about your vitamin/supplement intake, just be careful with the multivitamins. Ive read that alot of people report multivitamins to break em out but I havent had any experience with them to say. I reckon its better to use individual vitamins so you dont get anything you dont need.

Anyways good luck!

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Day 12

Thanks for the messages guys.

maggipie: It was a tough decision going on oratane for me. I'd say definitely important for it to be your own decision and also to have support. Hope you find the right solution for you.

joebloggs: I was really comforted by going on a lower dose. I think the different dosages have their own benefits but I felt more confident about my treatment knowing I'll be on 20mg (or there abouts). Haven't heard about long term 5mgs before, so that's really interesting. I'll look into more of your experience. And yeah I know what you mean with the vitamins, I'll see how I feel with it, might opt for maybe just talking a B complex formula instead of the multivitamin.

Skin:

Wow so after reading so much about IB experiences, it was exciting for perhaps about 10 mins when I woke up last saturday to bumpy skin. Being on 20mg I didn't think it would happen so quickly because I've read of others on the same dose who took weeks to see side effects. But wam bam thank you mam the change in my skin was literally over night, not just in texture but in the type of pimples.

So yeah the excitement was very short lived, but its ok I'm use to facing the day with my spotty scarred skin. Those blocked pores have risen into flesh coloured bumps, so that when looking at my skin in natural light, i can see them all poking up like speed bumps. Skin has not been like this for a long time. I had a cyst scare on my cheek. For a few days there was a bigger thicker bump under my skin that hurt to touch and then it just went away, of course it has left a dark scar- my annoying skin!!- but I'm happy it didn't wreak the usual cyst havoc. At the moment I have a red bump on each side of my cheek, they look like mosquito bites at the moment, hoping they don't become inflamed. Also I had pimples come up on weird spots of my body. Had three surface on my neck and shoulder however these went away in matter of days- helped by emu oil. I also have one on my thigh and hip- very intriguing.

Skin is much oilier. Lips are dry, not peeling yet, but constant need to apply balm. No dry body- I've always moisturised at least once a day, now two. Been having really dry irritated eyes especially since that it is winter and very windy- but it's winter and sunny and 23 Celsius- I'm very lucky with weather in my part of the world. My muscles are much more sore after a workout, they kind of feel 'tired' all the time but it is no issue. Also, I usually have no problems staying up late or all night to do assignments and with end of semester assessment at the moment, I have felt way too exhausted to stay up past 11 to work. Don't know if that can be attributed to accutane though.

Emotionally, I had an outburst this past Monday. Crying spells are pretty common with me- I'm one those overly emotional crazy women :wacko: But it has been kept as rational as possible lately with the help of exercise. On monday I was feeling insecure, you know... just because... actually most likely pms, and didn't feel like going out to uni to meet my boyfriend for lunch. I was feeling unattractive and didn't feel comfortable being out with him. With some pretty girls around my emotions just disintegrated. I accused him for wanting more than me- very unwarrented!!- I was crying and making a scene, saying we should break up. Oh I am soo embarrassed at my behaviour and I wish I could say this was a one off scenario. I have inflicted much of this on our relationship. I am so ashamed at how immature and uncontrolled I can be and it's scary, but I have been slowly getting better, just got to keep trying. Anyway as always my boyfriend was extraordinary, I am lucky to have him, I constantly battle the mindframe that I don't deserve him- but this is of course whole other therapy session ;) Anyways I think the main reason for including this was although I really don't think it is to do with the accutane, I want to note it just in case.

Okay hope everyone is well. Take care.

Edited by jasmine.d
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OMG! I had one pop up on my thigh, too! I don't feel so bad anymore, ha ha. Nasty little bugger that refuses to go away, too... Grr... Well better there than somewhere on my face where people can see it. ;)

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Best of Luck Jasmine!! I'll be thinkin about you!! I'm finally starting to realize that i am moving on from acne. I can really start to feel and see my life and myself without constant worry over my skin. A freedom i really had nearly given up on achieving. Hang in there with it!! It took about 2 months and 3 weeks for my skin to Really clear. I'm about to post another update on my log so go check that out...thinking about posting some pictures of my bare face to show the world too....= )

BEST OF LUCK girl!

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