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Noseey

Accutane + Cynergy laser blog from a uni student

Hello all,

Just popped my first Accutane pill a minute ago after coming back from my first Cynergy laser session earlier in the day. Here's to starting a 6 month journey to cure myself from our little friend acne.

A little bit about myself:

I'm a 19 year old university student in Toronto. I started to get minor acne in Grade 9 and it has progressively gotten worse up until today. I started seeing dermatologists about 2 years ago and have went through differin XP, benzamycin, tetracyclines, and retin-a all to no avail. In this last month I developed the largest dime-sized cyst I have ever had. That marked the turning point in my regimen to get this crap off my face for good. I made an appointment with a new dermatologist, got my prescription for Accutane, and signed up for Cynergy laser sessions at his clinic. I had known about the benefits along with the serious potential side effects of Accutane for some time and was dead set on the treatment. The Cynergy laser was something new and very expensive. I was informed at my dermatologist's clinic that it is a vascular laser that targets the post-acne redness that remains after a pimple disappears. Normally this slowly fades over months but I had noticed that mine were persisting for years. I started the treatment today and it was a breeze. The technician went over my face twice (instead of once) with the laser as my skin seemed to be very tolerant (probably because of all the other shit I have been putting on it). The treatments are spread about a month apart and follow my course on Accutane. Some of you may be wondering about the safety of doing a laser procedure while on the drug. I also had this inquiry and was told that constraints only apply to laser that are ablative and cause for the skin to potentially scab. Vascular lasers do not do this so it is safe to proceed with them.

Wow that was long.

I'll let you guys know how the acne is progressing along with the side-effects probably about once a week. It's way too easy to spend all my time on this site going over other people's blogs if I'm writing every day.

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Week 1:

Well technically week one isn't over yet but oh well. It's much easier to write a post on the weekend than on a Monday.

There isn't much to report really side effect wise. My lips are a little dry but too bad. I had prepared for ridiculous cracking so I've been using some La Roche lip product when at home and its keeping them decent.

My skin has dried a bit but my nose is still greasy? Any general time frame I should expect for this to disappear?

My first 2 pills though I had some weird stomach aches that have now disappeared. I'm sure I was just psyching myself out about all those ridiculous side effects.

In terms of my acne, the first 2 days were bad. Any small little whitehead that I had exploded into a large pustule, especially one on the right side of my nose. It has recently calmed down but has not yet completely disappeared. I'm not sure if that was an initial breakout or if it is still to come. Let's hope for the former.

What bothers me so much more though are my red marks. All the pimples that I've had seem to leave red marks. All these red marks are combining into a grand exhibit of the aftermath of my acne. My goal is that by the end of this accutane course, my acne, along with my red marks, will be gone. I'm hoping this Cynergy laser does its trick because I know my body can't do it on its own in 6 months.

Anyone have any real success getting rid of their stubborn red marks?

I've also decided that it's probably a good idea for me to write about how I'm progressing mentally. Gotta get some good ol' catharsis going.

Where to start...

Let's just get to the heart of the problem. My acne has really deterred my efforts to look for a girlfriend.

I'm someone who never really had a problem talking to people when I've had acne, as long as they were friends or acquaintances. I'm a pretty friendly guy. Back before I had acne, I was always chatting up girls and doing the do ya know? After I started to get acne, I thought to myself this is probably the time when I shouldn't think about girls too much since 1) they don't like guys with acne 2) some ancient physiological mentality I got into my head that acne exists so that you focus more on self development and less on sexuality.

Anyway so I just stopped thinking about girls sexually and more as friends. I didn't see anything wrong with it at the time. The problem is that that was 5 fucking years ago. Slowly I've come to realize that I've been missing out on just growing up in general. Not having a girlfriend for so long takes a drag. Well I'm exaggerating a little bit actually. There was this one girl that was a summer fling. But it's besides the point.

Now I'm stuck in this limbo. I never seem to really like anyone. There's this TA that I think is cute and there's definitely been some flirting going on. I'm expecting there to be this huge urge for me to start something with her. But there isn't. I'm thinking I've got it STUCK in my head that girls still aren't important. I don't know how to get the idea the fuck out.

And there's so much more but I'll leave it to other weeks.

Good luck peeps on your courses!

Edited by Noseey

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WEEK 2:

Hey guys.

Its been a long and busy week. Ton of stress as finals are coming up and projects are coming due. You know how it is this time of year.

On to the acne...

Good news guys, the major cyst that was on my cheek popped (albeit with my help) and it's healing very nicely. I don't think I released all of its contents but most of it for sure and its size has dramatically decreased. The funny thing was that it never developed a white head yet it still popped. Hmph... even now it just looks like another red mark but I know that it really is a smaller sized cyst.

And that brings me to my red marks. Holy bejesus guys I really think this laser is doing its trick. My skin has taken on a much clearer tone in last 2 weeks. Don't get me wrong, all the red marks that were there are STILL there. But they have faded drastically. They are not as distinguishable from my natural skin tone.

One thing that I have been using is this anti-inflammatory cream that I found lying around the house. I had bought it years ago when I thought my acne was over and I just had the red marks to treat. Normally I think this cream would make someone break out as it creates a film over the skin when you apply it. But with me being on accutane I think its stopping the formation of any pimple that would have otherwise formed. Here are the ingredients:

Water, Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Seed Oil, Sorbitol, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Rosehip (Rosa Affinis Rubiginosa) Oil, Sesame (Sesamum Indicum) Seed Oil, Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil, Beta Glucan (D-beta 1,3-Glucan), Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetrahydrocurcuminoids, Xilytol, Luteolin, Liquorice, Quercetin, Boswellia Serrata, Polypodium Leucotomos, Andrographis Paniculata, Centella Asiatica, Cyanocobalamine, Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) Seed Oil and Astaxanthin and Tocotrienols and Lycopene and alpha D-Tocopherol and Thioctic Acid and Lutein, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Diazolidinyl Urea, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Whatever is in it, I think it is also helping.

The side effects are the same btw. No change. My right eye gets itchy randomly. Is that a sign of dryness?

About my life....

I'm going on a date with my TA this weekend. Well actually we're meeting at a coffee shop to talk about my project but hoping that it turns out to be more than just that. Wish me luck guys!

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WEEK 3:

Holy mother of mercy there is this cyst on my right cheek and it has taken over the world ... (of my skin .... fuck and my life really). No but honestly the cyst is ridiculously huge, 3 pimples all in one place. I've had it for over a week and only now is it finally starting to subside, LITTLE by LITTLE. The last time I had a cyst like this it scarred pretty bad, so I'm hoping this accutane shit will stop that.

Remember that other cyst that ended up popping (.... which I helped), well I still feel that there is some guck under the area that just won't come out. C'MON ACCUTANE!

Other than that.... my blackheads on my nose are turning yellow. It's weird. I've always had tons of blackheads on my nose (long before I started to get inflammatory acne) and it just seems like they've multiplied and risen to the call of this drug. Let's hope they keel over and die soon time.

Skin is getting real dry. The skin on my face and lips especially. No rash though. Red marks aren't doing too much, just cruising.

And now its time to get back to the books before I get killed by statistics.

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I think it's because they are coming to a head and being pushed out of the skin? I'm not sure though.

Does anyone know how long it takes for blackheads on the nose to vanish?

Mine are really deep. Like half an inch deep I would say given the experience I've had using those blackhead extractors..... ugh what I would give for clear skin right now.

Also here's a little advice: Do not take Accutane with home-made pumpkin pie. Pumpkin has a TON of vitamin A and let me tell you last night was not pretty. Stomach was killing me for hours.

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I'm on this site instead of studying for my exams. Skin is decent though except for blackheads. Will update for official 1 month soon time.

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Hey! I used to have crazy blackheads on my nose and cheeks, and I feel like the only good thing accutane's been doing so far is getting rid of those! The 3rd day after my shower, I decided to take a go at them and they literally just slid all out with barely any pressure, it was really weird. and they're not coming back! Maybe try, right after a hot shower, to squeeze them VERY LIGHTLY (so you don't get all red/bruised) and see if they come out easily :) Everyone's different tho.

I also wanted to comment on the emotional side of this battle..

I'm in the same boat as you, when my acne turned into what it is now (discusting), it turned me off completly. I can barely look people in the eye let alone think about flirting with a guy or accepting date proposals :( Acne really does take over your life if you let it.. But I'm glad to hear you went on a date! Good for you :D I sure as hell can't wait.

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Month 1:

Hey guys! Finally exams are over and I have 3 weeks to just chill. It's been a rough 2.5 weeks. The good news is that normally during such stressful times my skin breaks out like crazy. This time I had only ONE new active. Times are a changin' finally.

The major blob of a pimple is still there on my cheek. It's taking forever to heal. I think I'm going a little crazy sometimes too because at night I feel like blood is rushing directly to the pimple, making it throb intensely. This was especially the case last night and this morning it had transformed into two separate pimples. It really does have a life of its own.

My oiliness? None to speak of. It is really fantastic. I am so happy that I can go out and not have to worry about having a nose/forehead looking like they're ready to cook some eggs. Last night I went partying and well let's say I had a little to drink (school was out; it was a momentous occasion). I woke up to DRY skin for once!

I had a blood work done yesterday before I went out to drink so I'm waiting to hear back from the doctor on that one. I go for another laser session in a week and I'll see him then. Definitely going to increase the intensity of the laser this time.

What kills me is that all last night I was just in awe of one of my friend's skin. It was so fucking perfect that I just got upset with myself. I've never felt that way before to be honest; it was a weird feeling being jealous of someone else's skin. I hope I don't become so vain that I only judge people base on their physical appearance because god knows right now I definitely would not want to be.

Blackheads?? All dried up but not out of my pores yet? GTFO already. My nose looks like it hasn't been cleaned in years.

Good luck on your courses everyone!

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Glad to hear everything is going well! Yay for not breaking out due to stress, it's an amazing feeling right?? =]

congrats on month 1 down!

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I did it. I took my blackhead remover tool and just attacked my nose after a shower like there was no tomorrow. I couldn't stand looking at those huge black dots on my nose anymore. Suffice it to say, my nose looks redder than ever 2.5 hours after the procedure. I hope this will die down quickly. I have been icing it actually to speed up the healing. The blackheads were huge. Some were literally an inch long and wide as can be. BUt those bad boys had been in my nose since I was born. Let's hope they stay out now. I have visible pores on my nose now but they look 100% better than black speckles.

Edited by Noseey

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http://www.manicare.com/view_product.asp?p...ubcategoryid=88

There's a link to the type of remover that I used. Basically I just press the circle end onto a blackhead and apply pressure. The blackhead will just pop out of the pore usually. If not, then I try and shift from equal pressure on all sides to pressure at specific points to see if this will force the blackhead out. It's actually quite effective. The only issue is that you can't be too harsh on yourself which, trust me, is very easy to forget in the heat of the moment. Pressing too hard can lead to scarring, especially on Accutane when your skin is already fragile.

My pores are shrinking now from where the blackheads used to be so woohoo to that! The pores were being stretched from those wide blackheads and now that is finally almost over. The nose is a little bit more oilier now... hmph were those blackheads blocking out the oil?? Who knows~

Merry Christmas everyone! Let's hope that next year around this time acne.org is the last thing on our minds~

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Week 5:

Let the rashes begin! Developed a rash on my two hands. I think it is just ridiculously dry skin.

My nose is much more oily now after doing that extraction. I don't know what's going on with it really. Up until I popped the blackheads, my nose was completely dry and felt like sandpaper. Now my nose is oily. I dunno I'm just going to let it do its thing.

Cyst on my cheek is still there. One month later.... ridiculous really

My lips are also much more inflamed now. My bottom lip looks as if it is lined with red lip-liner. This happened after I ate BBQ chips that STUNG like crazy.

Up until now the side effects really haven't been bad at all. Now they are becoming more noticeable but still easily manageable. I guess it takes time for the drug's effects to really set in.

In other news...

Going to the mall sucks. I hate looking at mirrors right now; my skin bothers me. I hope by the end of this treatment I will learn to stop avoiding mirrors. It has something that has become ingrained in my head these last couple of years.

And to avoid thinking about acne too much, I'll be going snowboarding for the rest of the break. Wohooooo!~

Keep your head up guys!

Edited by Noseey

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I know what you mean about looking forward to life afterward NOT being affected by acne. I can't wait to go swimming and not have to worry about my makeup getting messed up!! =]

Sounds like you're doing great :D

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Just got back from the doctors and another session of cynergy. Score so far:

Laser +2

Wallet -750

Red marks ~

The wallet is is definitely losing right now. Red marks an hour after the laser look ridiculously bad. Gotta get worse before they get better right? I made the technician up the power on the machine but still I do not have any bruising (potential side effect). The skin's buff, what can I say? I'm still on the fence about this whole laser thing. I'll update its progress in a couple of weeks when I'm suppose to see the 'progress'

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Week 6:

I'm having a hard time telling my friends that I can't drink for the next 5 months. I generally am OK when I'm at school in terms of not drinking because I always drive to school. During this Christmas break though I have been hanging out with all of my high school buddies and they all drink. I think there have been 3 occasions this break when I have drank more than I should have. Prior to the break though I didn't touch any alcohol. I think there are going to be more occasions when alcohol is going to be a factor and I don't want to stress out my liver anymore than it is already. I'm not sure if it was psychological or not but last night when I was onto my 4th drink I started to get pains in my liver area.

So I think I'm just going to have to tell them that I can't drink because I'm on medication for my acne. You know, it sounds easy, but for some reason I just can't say it. I'm not comfortable with revealing to my friends that I actually care about my skin. All of my other buddies also have acne (some worse, some better than myself) and I doubt they are on medication or have even thought about it. They might think I'm vain. [As I write this, I realized the many flaws of my justification for not telling them... They really are great guys and I'm sure they would be understanding] So I think the next time alcohol comes around I'm just going to tell them the truth. No beating around the bush.

Life is longer than a day. Don't blow it away.

Skin wise:

Mega pimple on cheek is still there but slowly deflating. It is definitely going to leave a red mark that will last for years to come. Oh well... I have some black heads reforming on my nose but not nearly as bad as before I did the initial extraction.

No other active pimples on my face though! Red marks still look darker. Maybe the laser is forcing the scars out?? I frigging HOPE so.

I forgot to mention in previous posts that I have 4 pimples on my shoulders, 2 on each side. I'm judging the progress of this medication by watching the pimples slowly disappear when I have a shower each day.

Edited by Noseey

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Got bored,

Here are pictures of my skin at 1.5 months. See huge cyst on cheek?

post-119335-1294372379_thumb.jpg

Got really bored...

post-119335-1294372642_thumb.jpg

I don't know how to rotate pictures?

post-119335-1294372379_thumb.jpg

post-119335-1294372642_thumb.jpg

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Week 7:

I don't want to jinx it but I am seeing some major improvement in my skin. The surface is feeling baby-soft all the time now. It really is great to inadvertently brush your hand against your skin and NOT feel a bump. Normally I would do this and secretively scold myself for touching my face and making my acne worse. But now I just cannot stop inadvertently touching my cheeks.

My nose on the other hand I think is going through another purging process. After I did the extraction (2ish weeks ago?) I noticed much smaller blackheads reappearing where the larger ones once were. My nose is starting to feel like a strawberry again and we all know what that means... W A R if I have to spell it out for you. I will be bringing out the big guns this weekend when my nose will have some time to recuperate before Monday and school.

I started going to the gym today. It felt really good. I was hesitant because of being on this medication... joint aches whatever... so far so good.

And school was awesome the first day back. It always is before homework starts piling up. I would love to go to a school where you just have lectures but no homework. I love the idea of learning but really could do without assignments.

Really cute girl in my business writing class... definitely will be asking her out with this baby-face skin I'm rocking these days.

Red marks are good somedays and horrible others. Im 1/3 through the laser sessions. I'm hoping the results from successive lasers is exponentially better. :)

PS does anyone even read this blog? feels like I'm rambling on and on with myself lol.

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Congrats on seeing progress! It's most important for you to see and feel that progress, not anyone else!

Btw, can't really see much of the scars that you are talking about, which means that your laser procedures are coming along very nicely in conjunction with accutane!

Good luck on the rest of your course!

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Hey dude, GLAD to hear you are starting to have improvements ! hopefully it keeps up (:

Anyways how is the gym for you ? all good ? and BTW do you take protein shakes ?

Tc man.. keep it up ! (:

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Week 8:

I went to Queens (another Canadian university known for its partying) to meet some friends from school with a couple of buddies of mine. I told them and myself that I wouldn't drink too much. That was the most untruthful thing I've ever told myself or anyone else. I drank A LOT of alcohol this weekend. For some reason though I probably had the best time recovering from it ever(pre accutane and throughout the last 8 weeks). This may have been because I was VERY diligent in drinking lots and lots and lots of water.

As a result of 2 days of pretty hard partying, I have had 2 pimples show up. Not bad but not great. It's about what I would get when I wasn't on accutane. My friends are thinking about going to another university this weekend. I really would love to do it but I know it will be extremely difficult to not drink. I do have a blood test and derm visit this week. If the results are not stellar then hopefully that will signal to me that drinking is NOT ok and I won't go with them. I just don't know what I'm going to do if the results turn back OK.

In other news, I am going to tell the laser technician to go all-out this session. I don't care what I look like afterwards for the first couple of days, I want my redness GONE. I looked in the car mirror tonight after I got home and saw the full extent of my scarring on one cheek (the side lighting was only on one cheek). I plan to get some sort of laser resurfacing, TCA crossing, and subcision done after my course.

I have been pretty consistent with working out. Today I swam after a 3 month break and surprisingly had the longest endurance that I can remember. Chlorine is horrible for dry skin though. I must remember to bring a moisturizer for afterwards. The redmarks look way worse too after the chlorine too. Looks like exercise is a GO while on accutane. Here comes my goal of weighing 200 lbs! My abs are feeling pretty sore though regardless of when/how I work out. I hope it just is muscle strain!

Another long, rambling post. Good luck to everyone!

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Week 11:

Holy it's been a long time since I've updated.

My face is doing pretty well. I had 2 actives come up on my forehead after starting to use this seabucktorn oil at night time. I heard it was suppose to be similar to Emu oil or something. I think I started by using too much... I've now reduced the amount to half and I seem to not be breaking out anymore. The pimples were pretty red and inflamed; I'm definitely not used to see them anymore because it looked whack on my face. I don't know how I went around with them for so long before.

I also am really starting to break out all across my shoulders. I guess it's true that the rest of the body takes longer to respond to the med than the face. I count 6 pimples/whiteheads on either shoulder. When I go to my derm I'm going to ask for an increased dose.

Blood work was OK, but triglycerides have doubled since I started using the medication. Nothing serious yet though.

The laser tech made my face bruise in a couple of spots... those healed nicely in a couple of days. Next round is during reading week.

Edited by Noseey

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Wow, that's a lot of money you're spending on the laser treatment! Your wallet must be devastated lol.

Just wondering, how long did it take before you notice that your face has gotten better since you started on Accutane?

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[Day 106

My bad for all those who were following this.

I'm happy to say that my face is virtually clear of any active pimples (knock on wood). Red marks are what remain and there are many. But they do look much better.

I can't ascertain how much this laser treatment is helping. I have nothing to compare it to. Overall though my face is looking great.

I have one active pimple left on my shoulder and many "new" red marks from the breakout that happened (about a month ago).

I am still using my blackhead extractor to get out the last bit of gunk that is in my pores on my nose. I'm getting close to complete clearness; I can literally feel it.

On a note totally unrelated to acne, I've noticed that while on this drug my shoulders have widened considerably and I now gain muscle mass much more readily. I'm not sure if that is just my body progressing through puberty or as a direct result of the medication. I also noticed that I am getting much more hairy. Maybe that testosterone isn't going to the oil glands anymore because they've been destroyed? Whatever it is, I'm liking the results.

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