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gwennybear

My little accutane log!

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Hello everyone :D

First up i'm Gwen and from Wales, UK. I've been battling with acne for about 9 years. I've gone through topical treatments like isotrex and differin, antibiotics like minocycline, doxycycline, lymecycline and minocycline again- all antibiotics worked wonders apart from lymecycline. Starting 2007 I also went on Dianette which I am still on. Problem is, every time I finished an antibiotic course my acne came back like never before!! My doctor said it was time to put an end to this once and for all, so I ditched minocycline in favour of roaccutane!

I'm not sure how to describe my acne.. :think: I have a LOT of blackheads covering my nose, large pores either side of my nose.. erm, I generally get non-cystic but quite large whiteheads most of the time, mainly on my cheeks and jaw. No acne at all on my forehead but still have large pores there and occasional blackheads. I also have pin-prick like scaring on both of my temple areas, and dark marks on my cheeks from where nasty whiteheads have scarred. I'm also prone to breakouts along my jaw area. I have no acne anywhere else- used to have bacne but the good old antib's seemed to sort that out! :dance:

I went to my dermatologist on Tuesday 13th July '10, with fairly good skin- but this is only because of minocycline of course! Anyway, i'm taking a 20mg tablet twice a day, and started on that day. I know it's taken me a while to set up this blog but i've been keeping track of whats going on:

Day 1

Only took evening dose this day! Had already eaten a few hours before so I thought I should take tablet with milk which was quite annoying as I cannot stand the stuff! :snooty:

Day 7

By the end of my first week I had already begun to notice the dreaded dry lips, and begun religiously applying carmex. No change to my skin really, apart from i had one or two TINY, miniscule little whiteheads on my chin- nothing major. Dry lips were much worse by this point and I had also noticed dry, pink, scaly patches on both of my arms. To combat this dryness on my arms I pinched some of my mum's prescribed 'dermol' excemza cream, which actually worked wonders! Another thing I noticed around this time was oiliness on my skin.. every time I put on make-up, before I went out, I would catch myself in the mirror and notice my face looked really shiny! Booo. Also, during the 17th of july-24th (when I was on holiday.. days 5-12 of log I think?) I noticed my hair getting greasy far more than normal. One time I washed it at 1pm, woke up the next morning and it was really very greasy! Panicing about when my IB is going to arrive..

Day 14

EXTREMELY dry lips- peeling everywhere, and I kept on picking the skin off which made them red raw! Infact, around day 11 I woke up one morning with a massive black circle on my bottom lip. Turns out it was where my lip had bled in the night and then dried up, eurghh! :shifty: Day 14 was my last day of using carmex. I read up on the internet about it to try and work out why it wasn't working and apparantly it has an acid in it which promotes peeling, which is why it's often used when people have cold sores. So I switched to the good old vaseline!

Day 17

Something amazing happened yesterday (day 17). I got up, went to the mirror, and almost as if by magic, the purple coloured scars on my left cheek (created by breakouts I had from the last 10 months) had faded a ridiculous amount! I suspected they'd been slowly fading for a week or so, but yesterday I noticed a hell of a difference, as if it had happened overnight! Seeing as I have very few (if any) active spots present at the moment, this is the area i'm most trying to combat, so i'm very happy :) I still have very bad scarring though, more or less all over my face. Still incredibly dry lips, resisted picking them more though to stop them from going red raw and bleeding, which i've done loads of times (ouch!), and having to apply vaseline more or less every half hour. Vaseline is doing a much better job than carmex. Took 2 days of using it a lot to notice a difference though, so my advice to anyone using stuff for their lips would be to stick with it! Also noticed skin peeling off my nose? :think: I don't know whether it's because my nose is going dry, or if it's some sort of residue from my blackheads. (sorry, TMI!) So would be good if someone could shed some light on that for me! Dry patches on my arms seemed to have settled a bit, but still there nonetheless. Still have a relatively shiny/oily face which is a bit annoying! Also noticed a sore throat on day 16 and 17, but all is well now *touch wood*!

So those are my 17 days so far :) I'm still have yet to have an initial breakout.. do you guys reckon this means i'm safe? My derm said there wasn't much under my skin to break out in the first place.. but I saw so many accutane logs here where people started off with very good skin and still got IB's :wacko: Also seeing as I've been on dianette and minocycline and god knows what else, it's possible that i've already had my initial breakout(s).. right? I look forward to hearing from everyone here! :D

EDIT: Should probably mention.. a lot of people here seem to have a neverending list of products they are using during their accutane courses.. I'm only using moisturiser on my face before I apply foundation, and of course vaseline. Not sure overloading your face with different products is the best thing to do but maybe i'm just lucky with my side effects..

Edited by gwennybear
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I havent had an IB per se... I am on day 25 and ive had 6 pimples so far. I was on spiro before and that make me break out horribly, then switched to bactrim and that kept everything semi under control before i went on accutane. so what you say may be right, since i already went thru the IB with the other medication, there wasnt much under to begin with... i like your theory! lets hope for no IB!!!

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I love this theory but not geting my hopes up as if i prepare for the worst I will be ok when it happens!

As for the nose peeling - i have read this alot! My skin also feels a little more oily, my make up looked crap today!

You didnt say how old you are? As for lips - if you can get to the body shop they have a HEMP lip balm which is fantastic so far, just for daytime use. I read about it in another log and bought it right away! Also, holland and barrett have a manuka honey lip balm which helps with healing. And just so you can have another product - aquaphor healing ointment, get it online...this is what everybody swears by!!

Best of luck and I will be keeping up!

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I havent had an IB per se... I am on day 25 and ive had 6 pimples so far. I was on spiro before and that make me break out horribly, then switched to bactrim and that kept everything semi under control before i went on accutane. so what you say may be right, since i already went thru the IB with the other medication, there wasnt much under to begin with... i like your theory! lets hope for no IB!!!

Haha, well i'm pretty sure I actually read that theory online a few days ago, so maybe it does have some truth to it..? We can only hope!!

I love this theory but not geting my hopes up as if i prepare for the worst I will be ok when it happens!

As for the nose peeling - i have read this alot! My skin also feels a little more oily, my make up looked crap today!

You didnt say how old you are? As for lips - if you can get to the body shop they have a HEMP lip balm which is fantastic so far, just for daytime use. I read about it in another log and bought it right away! Also, holland and barrett have a manuka honey lip balm which helps with healing. And just so you can have another product - aquaphor healing ointment, get it online...this is what everybody swears by!!

Best of luck and I will be keeping up!

Ohh i did, my bad, i'm 20 :) Ahhh glad to see nose peeling isn't unsual then! I know exactly what you mean about the make-up looking crap, I hate looking shiny! Thanks for the recommendation on lip stuff, love hearing about good things that i can actually get in the UK. I've heard about aquaphor many times, but i've also heard that it's pretty much the same as vaseline, which *touch wood* seems to be doing the job so far! But that will probably be my next move :) Whereabouts in wales are you from, if you don't mind me asking??

Day 18

Today i've noticed a LARGE amount of small dots on my forehead, far more than were there before. They look like pores.. although on closer inspection some of them look like blackheads, so I guess they're all being pushed to the surface or something? Anyway, good job I have a fringe to hide them with! Also noticed a small cluster of blackheads below my lip that weren't there before. Hopefully the blackheads are the only things that need pushing out as I can handle that. So tempting not to squeeze them.. I will probably give in later! Lips are raw again today but that's probably because I keep picking at them.. very very bad habit that needs to stop! Will try and take some pics of my forehead later. Also had an itchy scalp earlier, very annoying but gone now!

Edited by gwennybear
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Im in carmarthen - where are you?

As for the blackheads, if u really want to leave them alone, put sudocrem on them - just a blob so you cant see them when you look in the mirror! works well for me!!

My scalp is really itchy today, driving me mad already!

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Just down the road then!! I didnt wash my hair tonight so hoping that will help! Fingers crossed!

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Hi Gwenny!

I also had loads of black dots on my skin, still have some now (mainly on my nose) and I'm on day 52. Whatever you do, don't pick!! I know it's tempting but I picked my nose blackheads and one time the skin peeled off and I created a scab which looked awful, even under make up so I couldn't even cover it! It was on the tip of my nose as well lol. They will go in time :)

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Hi Gwenny!

I also had loads of black dots on my skin, still have some now (mainly on my nose) and I'm on day 52. Whatever you do, don't pick!! I know it's tempting but I picked my nose blackheads and one time the skin peeled off and I created a scab which looked awful, even under make up so I couldn't even cover it! It was on the tip of my nose as well lol. They will go in time :)

Ahh, reassuring to know that someone else is in the same position! I'm more tempted to squeeze them i think.. a lot of people on here talk about them 'falling out' but I just can't see that happening!? But thankyou, i'll try to avoid doing that now! Sounds nasty! Good luck with the rest of your course.

Best of luck to you on your course!

Thankyou, you too!!

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Day 20

Well not a huge amount to report, but i'm now in the 20's so why not! Dry nose has kind of stopped flaking but blackheads are still there. Also, this is going to sound SOO minging, but yesterday I kind of noticed a few small hairs poking out of some of my nose blackheads, EURGH! I'm sure they werent there before. I hope that means they're being pushed out!

Had some really dry skin and excess little bits of skin coming off my forehead yesterday but that seems to have gone. Also had the most tiny whitehead ever in existence below the left corner of my lip but it's gone now.

Still no active spots :) Yay!

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Day 24

Hi everyone! First off, side effects are still the same- pink, dry patches on arms. Haven't spread anywhere else though! And of course very very dry lips and the occasional itchy scalp. Still no sign of an IB, and have only had 1 new spot since being on accutane. No active spots at all :)

However, I have a few patches of blackheads- some old, some new. Forehead, nose, either side of nose, chin, and two small circles either side of just below my lip. When I woke up yesterday all these areas were really flaky- dead skin coming off basically, but nowhere else. So i'm guessing maybe this dead skin has something to do with the blackheads being pushed out? Put a wet sponge on my nose yesterday to get the dry skin off and a blackhead came out :D Just a little hole there now, so maybe they are finally coming out?

I apologise for the pure boringness of my log! My skin's pretty calm because of all the treatments ive been on before... blackheads are the only thing I can blog about! I look forward to catching up on all of your logs though :) I'll try and find a pic of when my acne was at it's peak sometime or something x

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hey there!

i know exactly what you mean :) even tho i've had a few blemishes since i started, it is nothing i would call an IB. the blackheads, the dry/peely skin, and the sensitivity are all there, and thats it. like you, i had my acne "controlled" with previous drugs, so i think that definitely helped. Hey, there is nothing wrong with a "boring" log :) dont we all wish!

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Glad i'm not alone then hope :D hehe

However.... BIG PROBLEM! If there's one thing I hate more than spots, its COLD SORES!! And i've just noticed.. *Sigh*.. I have one. I was expecting this. I've been picking at my cracked and dry lips for 2 weeks now, it's a miracle I didn't get one sooner.. :( absolutely gutted! This is kind of like an IB for me as i'll be in isolation before this goes! YUCK! :(

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Day 31

2 days ago I passed the one month mark!!!

Wooo :) So I had my check-up with the derm (a different one than I had first time). He did a preggers test, read a list of symptoms and made me say which ones I had, and gave me a new box of tablets. From what you guys have all said I was expecting him to check my blood too..? :S But he didn't confusing! He also told me I could take my tablets both at the same time which makes my life much easier, yay!

New side effects:

- Hair doesn't get greasy often. Woohoo! :dance: I normally wash it every other day, but I haven't washed it since Monday and it's fine.

- Dry nose. This one hasn't been too bad and only surfaced the other day, i'm just hoping it doesn't get any worse.

- Get ready for it.. SPOTS!!! Anyone who has read my log will know i've had an extreme lack of them since i started accutane, no IB, no nothing! However. A blackhead on the side of my nose is quite inflamed- it feels like it's quite deep under the skin, and also quite big. Also, what were two very tiny blackheads about 1cm below my bottom lip, have now turned into one of those bigger inflamed red spots. I noticed a tiny white head inside it just now, so squeezed it. Oops :( I bet that will come to bite me back in the arse! I can still tell the actual blackhead is still stuck in there though. Sorry, this is way TMI! So, maybe I haven't escaped the dreaded IB. The derm said on tuesday I had more than likely escaped it as I was one month down, but perhaps not :S hrrm!!

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Day 32 (33 since starting but missed a day out on thurs!)

That spot I talked about in my last log is really getting on my nerves :( It's flat now, which is something, but its BRIGHT red. You know those spots you get are like flat, red, and almost shiny, like there's some sort of thin layer of liquid on top? Probably not.. haha, but anyway, its one of those now. I woke up this morning to find ANOTHER inflamed blackhead on the other side of my nose. I squeezed it a bit, and now it's very red. I also had a whitehead on my chin (formerly a blackhead?) which I squeezed too. So right now I have 4 bright red marks on my face... compared with last week when I quite literally had nothing. *Sigh*. I'm not sure this is an IB, because I can't feel any deep impurities or anything under my skin.. it's all very flat and smooth with the exception of the blackhead areas.

So now i'm wondering, is this how ALL my blackheads are going to disappear? By getting inflamed, red, painful, and taking an age to heal? What happened to them 'falling out' like everyone else said they experienced? Urghh.

So today is probably my lowest day since starting accutane. I know I keep banging on but my lips are truly awful. I wake up every day with dried blood patches on my lips. Sometimes they get so dry I literally rip the skin off my lips until they are red raw and it's too painful to even speak! Some of my friends are like 'hows your lips today?', and whilst it's nice of them to ask that i can't help feeling self conscious that theyve noticed! Ahhh. Whilst the dry skin on my arms hasn't spread anywhere (touch wood), day by day i can't help feeling like they're getting more and more red! All this on top of some drama going on with a friend makes today a truly sucky day.

On a more deep and thoughtful note... whilst i've been literally battling acne for the last god knows how many years, i'm glad at the prospect of this pill ending it once for all. I just watched a truly touching documentary about anorexia (i'm a psychology student at university so i class it as revision ;)), which you can watch here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZm2g9FLrGA...DF7&index=0

.. and it really made me think how grateful I am that all I have to do is take 2 of these little pills once a day, put up with a few side effects that definitely aren't going to kill me, and I may well be free of acne forever. It's just not as simple for these people battling eating disorders.. I need to stop complaining! Sooo I guess i'm ending this log feeling thankful for what i've got! :)

Edited by gwennybear
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thanks for stopping by...my face is weird, bumps come and go just like that, then come back again and go again....think my skin is teasing me....or punishing me for putting harsh BP on it!! either way it is not pleased!! hope you're having a good weekend!

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Day 39 (..took another break day last monday!)

Well I haven't been updating much as I haven't had much to report. My nose blackheads FINALLY seem to be fading, which seems to have had something to do with all the skin flaking off my nose. Sometimes when i'm wiping the dead skin off i'll see a little red dot where a blackhead has just come from- lovely! haha. Also yesterday the whole of the bridge of my nose and a bit further down too was completley red for the day- no clue why. It was like the flushing that some people get on tane, but just on my nose! :think:

Today my skin isn't looking great. The odd thing is, when I touch my skin it's completley smooth and flat- definitely doesn't feel like the skin of someone with acne. But then I look in the mirror and there are blemishes everywhere. Some are scars from previous spots and some are.. well I don't know, just like new little red flat marks that have appeared!? At least that's better than touching it to find a deep spot under the surface waiting to break out, which would have been the case before I started accutane. So there's improvements at least.

The dry skin on my arms seems to be creeping up to my shoulders, and my lips are still dry as ever- BUT not as dry as they have been, might I add! So maybe they're getting better :) Found a half decent pic of my skin in December 2 days ago, so i'll put it up soon!

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hey there!

it seems you are one of those lucky ones not getting an awful IB. your log reminds me of my own... the only exciting things on mine are not even acne related! i am sure thats a good thing, right?

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hey there!

it seems you are one of those lucky ones not getting an awful IB. your log reminds me of my own... the only exciting things on mine are not even acne related! i am sure thats a good thing, right?

Hey hope, i'm glad we're not alone haha. It's a good thing.. although i'm no longer spot free :( so maybe my IB is looming.

Day 43

Hmmm.. well, i'm highly confused right now. :think: For a good few weeks after starting tane, i didn't develop one spot at all (apart from blackheads). Currently, I have a rather big ugly red spot somewhere between my jawline and cheek, a spot brewing right below my nose and to the right (it hurts SO much by there), and a little one on my other cheek. So most peoples skin gets worse before it gets better.. why did mine get better for a significant amount of time before it got worse again!? Maybe it's some trigger like diet or something? Idk. I just hope I don't get any more. If i were to wake up with just a few more spots tomorrow i'd more or less look like I was back to square one :( Also, got ridiculously scaly like skin at the bridge of my nose- highly annoying.

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Day 52 (skipped another 2 days)

Well, something absolutely horrendous has happened!

Due to my dry disgusting cracking lips, ive developed two unsightly coldsores. I know I said this happened earlier on but that turned out not to be a coldsore.

The one on my top lip is absolutely HORRIFIC. I am NOT exaggerating :( My lip has been swollen to 3 times its original size for the last 2 days, leaving me unable to speak or eat. Theres basically a HUGE yellow, pussy vile blister on my top lip, and a smaller one on my bottom lip. I really really think this is going to scar, and its going to scar bad :( I'm so so gutted. I was also meant to start a placement today, but the doc has written me off work for the next 5 days as my cold sores are so bad. Im on meds.

Tomorrow is my 3 month appointment. I do NOT, under any circumstances, want to leave the house. But they don't have any more appointments till october :( I just can't imagine going to hosp tomorrow with this disgusting huge mountain on my lip. From the side, it seriously looks like my lip has protruded like 2cm, disgusting. I fully blame accutane for this. I'm in so much pain. Maybe the derm will be able to give me some more cold sore cream tomorrow, as its only day 1 and i've already used half the stuff the doc gave me.

However, my skin is looking good, at least. The 3 spots I last talked about cleared up nicely and my skin is feeling nice and smooth at the moment. At least I have clear skin I spose- this cold sore + acne would have probably pushed me over the edge. :( I look like a monster!

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