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sevinw0rds

Carlos' Claravis Log

Hey guys! Just a new user who was enthralled enough by other success stories, and decided to post a log of my experience with isotretinoin. I'm currently on day 19 @ one 30 mg pill a day, 27 years old and I weigh about 145 pounds.

My battle with acne is fairly recent. Throughout high school I honestly can't remember a single breakout, and in college I remember a few spots here and there, but it didn't really become a cause for concern until summer of 2006 when I moved back home to Miami after an 8 month stint in Los Angeles pursuing a music career. I'm not sure if I was just a late bloomer, or the stress of the move coupled with overpowering disappointment about where my life was got to me...who knows, but it got pretty bad. So I went to a dermatologist who put me on a month of Oracea, with Retin A in the AM and Erythromycin at night. This worked like a charm, and my acne then was much worse than it is now cause it was on both cheeks and all along the jawline. But it was all gone in about two months if I remember correctly. I stuck to the two-cream regiment for about 3 years with a spot of pimples here and there, but nothing consistent that really frustrated me until about August of this year when I noticed that all year my right cheek was under attack from a stubborn clump of cysts that would not go away. I'd have a week or two of relief and then the cycle would start all over.

So I scheduled an appointment with my dermo a couple of weeks earlier than I was due, and he put me back on Oracea. This seemed to work really well for the first two weeks, but after that those pills may as well have been placebos. I made it to near the end of the third bottle before making another early appointment with him and asking if we could try Accutane, something he'd mentioned about halfway through the Oracea treatment, but he said he wanted to see this through just in case. The side effects kind of unnerved me, but I was ready to go by then (mid-October) even though he told me to be patient.

So I started on November 19th and here I am at week 3. No heavy side effects aside from the lips and a bit of dryness on the face, although that's only been on the actual area where the acne is, meaning my inner right cheek. I started using Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense moisturizer, but it leaves a lot of white marks and I'm not sure if this is something I should do everyday since it isn't my whole face that's dry. Compared to some of the other photos I've seen, I think I may be one of the more fortunate ones, yet these things are pretty big and will not give up the fight so I feel justified in using isotret to try and curb it. It sucks cause I have a few great things going for me in my life now in terms of a music career, and a wonderful girlfriend who just so happens to be moving in with me tomorrow, and this constantly puts a damper on my days. She's from San Francisco and over her past few visits she's seen me during my breakouts. She says she doesn't mind it at all, but it is wholeheartedly embarassing and I want it better. For her. For my family. For myself.

I'll try and post some pictures a little later tonight. I went through what I think is my initial breakout right at the beginning of week two, and since then a good number of them started to pop on their own and maybe even heal, but now a group of those same cysts kinda clumped together and it's got me on edge because I can't tell if they're healing or gearing up for another go. The color is lighter, but there's still a bit of that annoying stinging associated with an active cyst.

Hope to hear from anyone out there brave enough to read my rant!

Edited by sevinw0rds

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I'm a week behind you and just like you I started my initial breakout a couple days ago (beginning of my week 2). It sucks! Good luck with your course, I look forward to following your progress!

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Thank you, Megan! Please keep me posted on your progress as well, the support is definitely a mutual thing while going through this. Best of luck to you!

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I can tell I'm gonna get pretty addicted to posting here, just cause it really is as therapeutic as most say it is.

So my IB isn't gonna let me go as easily as I hoped it would :wall: My main problem that led me to start taking isotret wasn't a widespread affliction, just that any cysts that would die down would consistently regenerate, always in the same spots with a few exceptions. Of course once I started week 2 and began breaking out, they spread a bit, but not too much and still just on the right cheek. I was hoping that I was in the healing process as of this weekend, but as I mentioned yesterday, a few of these looked/felt like they were gearing up for another go and I woke up to find that one of them had gone supernova overnight. It was stinging before bed and this morning it was pretty painful. Took a shower, washed my face in warm water and luckily that seemed to kill it off. I know it's hella gross, but so much crap came out of that thing (it was a pretty big whitehead) that I was cleaning it up long enough to be five minutes late to work. There's another one in the immediate vicinity that seems to have regenerated as well, but I can already see the head so hopefully it won't be another saga. Ugh...I hate this so much.

Still having my doubts about what to do with my Cetaphil moisturizer . First and foremost, I hope it's not contributing to me breaking out, even though I've only been using it for two days. It's non-comedogenic, but I get paranoid easily, and being on these pills makes you anxious enough. Should I only use it at night since it leaves so much residue on the acne? Still no other side effects apart from dry lips and very flaky skin, but only on the acne spots. For years I've been asking for Miami to get a real winter in time for Christmas, and of course this is the year it finally happens...when I don't need dry weather!

Picking up my girlfriend from the airport today and she officially moves in. Hopefully some of that anxiety will go away once she's finally here and has seen me. As excited as I am for the possibility of having clear skin again, I'm nervous that she'll be here while I go on this journey through both the good and the bad. Again, she doesn't seem to care, but it's rough. Taking my 20th pill with lunch today!

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I think you're doing a great job hanging in there and keeping a positive attitude. All the bad will go away quickly and you'll be left with such a great result afterward. Just stay positive, and don't worry about the girlfriend, being a girl myself I can tell you I rarely notice acne on guys, even when it's kinda bad. I don't know why but I always notice it on girls and not on guys :) Maybe it's cause we're so judgmental of our own species!

Anyway hang in there and good luck. We sound like we're around the same time. You're a few days ahead of me :D

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I think you're doing a great job hanging in there and keeping a positive attitude. All the bad will go away quickly and you'll be left with such a great result afterward. Just stay positive, and don't worry about the girlfriend, being a girl myself I can tell you I rarely notice acne on guys, even when it's kinda bad. I don't know why but I always notice it on girls and not on guys :) Maybe it's cause we're so judgmental of our own species!

Anyway hang in there and good luck. We sound like we're around the same time. You're a few days ahead of me :D

That really did make me feel loads better, thank you. I think you'd be the perfect person to ask this cause I read through your log and, seeing as you're into running, how have you noticed sweating affects you while you're taking isotret? Even though I'm a rather skinny dude, I love hitting the gym for cardio and sit ups, but I'm scared of letting sweat run down my cheek while some of these things are sore. I've also made it a point of controlling my sweat while drumming over the past couple of weeks but during shows that's inevitable with the lights, energy and all.

Thanks again!

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Day 21

Oh, IB. I think I'll give you a name, IB...Irvin Brackermosh. And if you were a real person, Irvin, I'd call you an asshole and subsequently kick you in the balls. The good thing about Brackermosh is that the zits that crop up because of him don't seem to last too long before popping in an exuberant and rather disgusting manner. The peculiar thing is that it's basically the same ones I had in the first place just reforming, which is the problem that led me to take isotret in the first place. Anyone else have that experience? And that's not to say that I'm not partly thankful, cause if this were to spread I would probably have a bit of a heart attack. Eeeshhh, dreading that possibility...

I called my dermatologist's office to see if they could recommend a facial lotion and he told me to pick up Vaseline Clinical Therapy, but I can't seem to find that stuff anywhere. The only reason I'm weary of using my Cetaphil moisturizer is that a couple of the cysts that popped have light scabbing and when I apply the lotion to them I look like a little kid who haphazardly applied sunblock to his face. If someone out there knows of an alternative that won't do that, I'd truly appreciate it!

I remember meticulously reading through the packet that came with my Claravis box looking for info on the potential side effects and the initial breakout. It said something like "your acne may get worse before it gets better, but this should only last a short while." I wish there was a better way to define what "a short while" entails considering most of the logs I've read seem to have it continue into the second month. Which sucks. But we all make the best of it, I guess. Noticed a couple of new small pimples on my forehead, but these don't even bother me. I just want my right cheek to heal soon. My mindset is that if you can't see it in the average picture, I really don't care. I'm a dude.

Exceptionally dry lips right now, and still only dry/flaky skin on the healing acne. Good or bad?

And my girlfriend is officially my roommate now, so that's pretty damn amazing.

Onward!

Edited by sevinw0rds

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Yay on the new "roomate". That's gotta pick up your spirit :) as far as the sweating goes, I haven't had any "sore" ones on my face since I started the medication so not sure what to tell you about that. BUT, my face IS incredibly sensitive and stings when sweat hits it. For me, I just run out side with a hat on (the hat keeps the sweat from my forehead runing down my face and being outside with wind kind of keeps me a little dryer). Is it possible to put a small fan facing your drumset? Any kind of breeze REALLY helps with the sweat "beading up" and falling down your face. AND wear a sweat band :D

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Yay on the new "roomate". That's gotta pick up your spirit :) as far as the sweating goes, I haven't had any "sore" ones on my face since I started the medication so not sure what to tell you about that. BUT, my face IS incredibly sensitive and stings when sweat hits it. For me, I just run out side with a hat on (the hat keeps the sweat from my forehead runing down my face and being outside with wind kind of keeps me a little dryer). Is it possible to put a small fan facing your drumset? Any kind of breeze REALLY helps with the sweat "beading up" and falling down your face. AND wear a sweat band :D

I do use a fan from time to time from the side, so I think I'm gonna make it a point to have it on me during every show while I'm on this thing. And a sweat band would look pretty killer! Haha

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Day 25

Well, the acne I have left on my right cheek is basically flake city right now. Everything is pretty flat and just super dry, which I hope means I'm clearing that major hurdle, but I don't wanna get my hopes up. Even typing this out feels like I may be jinxing it! :eh:

Had a pretty hectic weekend and just tried to live life not thinking about this whole thing for too long, and it actually worked, so that was pretty rad. My girlfriend found a job immediately after moving here so we've been busy with that and finding a way to accommodate her plethora of clothes into my place. Good times.

My next dermo appointment is Thursday afternoon and I hope he decides to keep me on the same dosage cause I'm really not too stoked on the idea of bouncing up and having to go through another adjustment period. But the man knows best, so we'll see what's up!

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Day 29

Had an appointment with my dermatologist yesterday, and he's bouncing me up to 40mg a day beginning on Sunday. He said he sees improvement, and I agree, although I'm very hesitant to do so based on the fact that I haven't really read any logs where that's to be expected after a month. I have one newbie coming in a bit below the rest of the activity on my right cheek. But everything else is considerably lighter in color, and overall it's looking pretty flat and things seem to be slowing down. I hope the rough part of the IB is over cause it's been one hell of a ride just one month in.

Lips and face are still pretty dry, although nothing that causes me any real discomfort. Not much else to say right now really. Here goes nothing...

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Hey I've been on 30mg too and I'm going up to 40mg tomorrow as well so.... we can deal with it together! =]

Good luck!

AAAAHHHH, you as well! I get the feeling my body and my skin are pretty used to it by now, so hopefully it only continues to improve from here!

I wonder if there's a way to change my thread title since I'm now on Amnesteem as well ...seems kinda goofy to keep Claravis in the title, even though I know I may go back to that brand in the last month or two.

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