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So here I am! After having trolled acne.org boards for years now, I finally registered and am starting my 'tane log!

A little info about me: I'm 19 years old, Asian female, weigh around 127-8 lbs. I started having acne around 13 if I remember correctly. For the first several years it was very mild, then it got worse when I hit 15/16. Anyhow, for the past few years it's been cycling through good and bad periods, but i've always had pretty moderate acne throughout.

Needless to say, I've tried nearly everything for my skin. Of course I've tried everything over-the-counter, and The Regimen was what got me acquainted with acne.org in the first place. I used it for awhile with a fair amount of success, but then it stopped working. In the past several years I've been on antibiotics on three separate occasions - they helped, but then they stopped working and the acne came back with a vengeance. I've been on Differin, Retin-A and Tazorac... The only thing I haven't tried for my skin is birth control, which I know sounds silly but it's a personal thing: I've never liked the idea of fooling my body into thinking it's pregnant haha.

For years I was scared of Accutane because I heard horror stories about crazy side effects, like all of you have I'm sure. I wrote it off as a drug that only people with extremely severe acne take. Then, about three or four months ago, I started getting cysts on top of the moderate acne I've had for the past five years, and it was a confidence-destroyer to say the least. Being a girl and having had acne for years, I know how to cover up acne very well with makeup, but there's honestly nothing you can do about a huge, angry cyst on your skin. It's just there, looking awkwardly not-hidden despite my evident efforts to conceal it. Sigh.

Furthermore, I'm kind of at my wit's end with my skin. For me, my skin has become a huge complex and breaking out / having a bad skin day (or week... or month.......) really gets me down. My friends and family are kind of like, "Just get over it, it's not that bad" BUT NO DUDE STFU all I want is to have perfect skin! Is that honestly too much to ask? I WILL NOT leave the house without a thick layer of makeup because even if I only have a handful of active pimples that day, I have so, so, so many red marks and pigmented scars from all those years of having bad skin. I just can't bring myself to not hide my skin under a layer of foundation and concealer.

I'm halfway through college now - in September I'll be a junior (I'm young for my year) - and I'm one of the only people I know at school that still has acne. Every year on my birthday I would think, "Is this the year I grow out of acne?" Sadly, not only has that time never come, my acne's just gotten worse. I'm so f-cking sick and tired of having to take my arsenal of heavy-duty foundation, concealer, setting powder, oil-based make-up remover, cleanser, blahblahblah when I'm sleeping over anywhere just for the night. I'm sick and tired of being ashamed of my bare face when my friends see me in the morning when I've just woken up, or being ashamed to take my makeup off and see people. I'm sick and tired of feeling shitty about myself before going out on the weekend because my skin looks like crap despite the makeup. I'm sick and tired of hating seeing people in bright sunlight (especially my past boyfriends) because my skin, though it looks passable indoors under all of that makeup, looks fuggin disgusting in the sun, where there's no room to hide. I want to be able to wake up in the morning and go to the gym without feeling bad about myself - either because I'm sweating through foundation and because I wasted twenty minutes putting on makeup I'm going to wash off after my workout, or because I don't have makeup on and feel like a monster. I'm so effing done with wasting nearly a half hour EVERY SINGLE MORNING to put makeup on to hide all my flaws.

Wow, that was some serious ranting... But fo real, I'm SO OVER IT.

Anyhow, I'm in Seoul, South Korea until the very end of August. This works out great cause I generally don't drink alcohol here (my parents rarely let me go out), whereas I'm your typical college alcoholic when I'm at school (I go to college in the greater Boston area). Plus, I don't have to deal with the iPledge system, which honestly sounds like a bitch and a half. Like orly guys? Yeah man, I'm definitely tryna get pregnant while I'm on this medication that has a 100% chance of causing serious birth defects! LOL! Fucking America... Happy Fourth of July though! Hahaha. In Korea, isotretinoin's as pretty much as easy to get as Differin or Retin-A, and it's so nice to not have to go on the pill just to be on it. But dermatologists are generally more cautious in terms of dosage, it seems. When I talked to my derm, she initially wanted me to be on 20mg, but I pushed for 30mg and she gave me a two-month supply. I think even 30mg is kinda on the lean side, but we'll see how I'm doing when I've been on it for a month.

I started on isotretinoin exactly a week ago! So far the only side effect I've had is dry lips. My skin and hair are insanely oily though, so it'll be exciting when they dry up a bit. I've always taken fish oil and other supplements because my mom is a nutritionist, so I doubt I'll have any joint pain? Even if I do eventually, I think it'll be mild. Also, I habitually drink a shitload of water so that's working in my favor.

I don't know if I can gauge what effect the Accutane has had on my skin yet cause my skin is always pretty temperamental, but right now my skin looks pretty much as bad as it gets: I have visibly clogged pores basically everywhere (not too normal for me), and it's blackhead city on my nose, much more so than usual. There's this large, healing zit under the right corner of my lip (I ripped a layer of dry skin off it this morning, great call on my part) and this monster cyst that emerged like two days ago on my right cheek. And of course, there's a cluster of disgusting whiteheads on my upper chin under my lip I've had for years that you can only really see when I pull my bottom lip back towards my mouth. There are a handful of small active zits scattered in random places on my face and my jawline is ominously bumpy.

I think that about wraps it up, hopefully someone made it through all of this rambling. Please drop a line for me, beautiful people! I will be needing your support these next few months, and especially while I go through the initial breakout. I feel so good about finally posting on the boards!

Much love & happy Fourth!! Wish I were in the land of the free and the home of the brave :)

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Oh my gosh, I felt like I was reading something I had just wrote! My skin has officially gotten to the point where I wont even go to the gym. Sorry-I just can't do it anymore. I wont even go running outside, heaven forbade someone see me! Boy do I miss running. I am here to support you. I will be starting July 15th, so unfortunately I still have awhile before I start. Ugh!

I am a little concerned about when you come back to the US. How are you going to get accutane then? And I also feel like that is a really low dose. Feel free to read my blog that I started, it gives a little more background to my acne history. It's not too long since I have yet to start. I just want to make sure that if your going to do accutane, then definitely do it right. I mean why go through all the side effects if the end results aren't going to be perfect?

I will be reading your log to see how your doing. Wishin you the best!

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Hey girl, we started at like the same time, and we're both Asian :)

You're really lucky you're doing something about it earlier, trust me, your skin is going to turn out amazing at the end, you won't have scarring issues! *so* jealous.

Anyway, keep us updated, i'll follow your log.

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Oh my gosh, I felt like I was reading something I had just wrote! My skin has officially gotten to the point where I wont even go to the gym. Sorry-I just can't do it anymore. I wont even go running outside, heaven forbade someone see me! Boy do I miss running. I am here to support you. I will be starting July 15th, so unfortunately I still have awhile before I start. Ugh!

I am a little concerned about when you come back to the US. How are you going to get accutane then? And I also feel like that is a really low dose. Feel free to read my blog that I started, it gives a little more background to my acne history. It's not too long since I have yet to start. I just want to make sure that if your going to do accutane, then definitely do it right. I mean why go through all the side effects if the end results aren't going to be perfect?

I will be reading your log to see how your doing. Wishin you the best!

When I come back to the US it'll be fine because I can get several months' worth of accutane :) Thanks for looking out for me! And I'm so glad you feel the same way... It's time to beat acne for good!!

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Hey girl, we started at like the same time, and we're both Asian :)

You're really lucky you're doing something about it earlier, trust me, your skin is going to turn out amazing at the end, you won't have scarring issues! *so* jealous.

Anyway, keep us updated, i'll follow your log.

Hey there! I know, when I started getting cystic acne I was just like ummmm F THIS. It'll be really exciting to follow your log as well! I think you're starting with a little more severe acne than mine, but it'll be amazing to see your progress! I'll be following your log too :)

Edited by whateverclever

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Hey! Found your log. HOLY CRAP. It's like you took a page out of my (non-existent) diary and typed it up on here. We even had similar IBs! I'm also about to be a junior in college, and it SUCKS that almost all of my best friends have FLAWLESS skin, while most days I have to pile on makeup just to look presentable. They all poke fun at me for being high-maintenance (whereas they all literally roll out of bed in the morning and are ready to face the day), but they don't understand just how degrading acne can be. Just wait. In a few months, we'll both be able to run around college with no makeup and not have to worry about our skin just like everyone else.

Also, you are so lucky that you don't have to go through the iPledge thing. It really is a pain in the you know what.

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Hey! Found your log. HOLY CRAP. It's like you took a page out of my (non-existent) diary and typed it up on here. We even had similar IBs! I'm also about to be a junior in college, and it SUCKS that almost all of my best friends have FLAWLESS skin, while most days I have to pile on makeup just to look presentable. They all poke fun at me for being high-maintenance (whereas they all literally roll out of bed in the morning and are ready to face the day), but they don't understand just how degrading acne can be. Just wait. In a few months, we'll both be able to run around college with no makeup and not have to worry about our skin just like everyone else.

Also, you are so lucky that you don't have to go through the iPledge thing. It really is a pain in the you know what.

I know I know. It's so hard to be surrounded by people with perfect skin - people who literally don't spend two seconds thinking about the condition of their skin on any given day. I hate that I'm forced to wear a thick layer of makeup and execute a complicated makeup routine every morning just to look somewhat presentable / not feel like a leper. I breathlessly await the day I can roll out of bed and be like oh HEY skin, you look good. Just thinking about it makes me want to jizz in my pants hahaha

I know, I can't even believe the iPledge program! Like, really? I understand the motivations behind it of course, and isotretinoin isn't a drug to be taken lightly, but it's really silly that the government doesn't trust us enough to look after ourselves. OH WAIT JK the thing I want more than clear skin is a super-deformed baby, of course.

(Siiiiiiiiiike)

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Day 10!

No new side effects to report, really. I still don't have dry skin, though there's definitely less oil on my skin. I wake up looking glowy, not supergreasy like I would normally. Very noticeably dry lips, but nothing my chapstick can't handle yet. My legs have started to feel like they need lotion, and though I normally put lotion on my legs every day, it used to be more because I wanted moisturized skin and not because they felt really dry. Eyes get dry at random points through out the day - like three or four times - but a few hard blinks and they're fine. My hair is a little less greasy too, though I still wash it every day for now. I did notice a few days after starting on accutane that I've been snappier with my parents, which is sad... But I do catch myself and apologize. No depression or anything like that, and no joint pain! Yay! If anyone is having joint pain / aches, I suggest taking fish oil to combat it, and to make sure to drink a ton of water. I've taken fish oil pills for as long as I can remember and I habitually drink an absurd amount of water so I'm certain the two habits are why I've avoided that particular side effect.

As for my skin, it's taken a rather violent turn for the worse since I last updated three days ago; I'm definitely broken out more than usual. I've developed a lovely cluster of huge zits - almost cystlike - on my jawline. It's on both sides (matching........ sweet) but it's worse on the right side. Then there are a handful of really big, painful ones elsewhere on my face. Also, I have a whole slew of smaller actives scattered in various places on my face and if I were to actually count them it's probably like 15~20 good-sized zits and wayyyy more whiteheads that are just chillin'. Ewwwwww. With makeup on I don't look too too bad unless you're within a foot of my face and then the blemishes become pretty evident. Last night I extracted a bunch of whiteheads after a aspirin mark which made me feel like I was successfully preventing those particular spots from becoming massive zits in the future. My skin is normally pretty resilient and I can pretty much do anything to it, but for the first time ever the aspirin mask stung a little bit... Something tells me my skin won't be able to handle aspirin masks in a week or so. The extractions were performed with minimal amount of trauma (I'm not like, crazy OCD and scarily picking away at my skin hahaha) so my skin was fine :)

Also, I've developed a few clogged pores / zits on my back, which has been clear for at least a year now. I never had bad acne on my body, but there was a period a few years back (in high school) when I'd consistently break out on my chest and back if I didn't religiously use a salicylic acid scrub in the shower, and then SA toner after drying off.

I don't know why I'm not more depressed about how my face looks right now (if I weren't on accutane and my face looked like this, I'd be having a pretty shitty day), but I feel pretty positive about the whole thing. My actives have been, on the whole, fairly quick to heal / dry up, which is encouraging. The weird thing about being on accutane is that zits seem to emerge out of nowhere - for example, while I was out yesterday evening I noticed that I had a deep, painful zit forming under my nose on the left side, which definitely hadn't been there in the morning. And then they kind of self-destruct.

On the whole, I'm happy I haven't been having any real side effects! Although my skin looks like poop right now I have a feeling it's going to get worse before it gets better. I can't wait until I have to cancel dates with friends because my skin is so terrible... Not. But the sooner I get my IB over with, the sooner I can start wearing less makeup and worrying about my skin all the time! One day closer to freedom from acne.

Hope everyone else is doing well and staying positive! If you happen across this log, do drop me a line :)

Edited by whateverclever

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Hii

I'm watching your thread, I should be starting accutane in just over a month,and im in a similar situation to you, but im 18, female, asian, always have moderate acne.

Good luck!

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Day 17

I'm halfway through my first month! It's gone by faster than I would have imagined, but not as quickly as I'd like. Oh well, in the end it'll definitely have been worth the wait.

My skin is doing ... ok. This past week was rough, I'm pretty sure I had my IB, but on top of that I'm due to get my period soon so that didn't help. Things are looking up as of today, though - phew! Currently I have around a dozen dying pimples. I've been using a honey and aspirin mask to help my skin through this rough period, and it's been working somewhat. My skin isn't too sensitive yet (I have skin of steel) but I'm guessing I'll need to baby it later on in the course.

I definitely have way less oil on my face than I used to. Still not bone-dry, but it's a miracle. I go to blot my face during the day and I barely have any oil breakthrough to blot. I experienced some scalp itchiness due to dryness so I've been washing my hair with water and then conditioning. This seems to work pretty well between shampoos (now every two or three days). This is absolutely ridiculous considering that I used to have to wash my hair every morning so as to not feel like a nasty, greasy mess. I haven't noticed hair falling out more than usual. Lips are dry, but my natural lip balm made from a bunch of oils takes care of them just fine. No painful cracking or splitting... yet.

I've been doing fairly strenuous yoga every day, but despite this my joints and muscles have been completely fine. No soreness or tightness - I'd probably give credit to fish oil pils and other supplements. Though I think I may bruise easier on 'tane, cause it's normally very hard to bruise my skin but I have one on the base of my neck from doing an advanced yoga position.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my progress so far, and though the cluster of huge zits I got on my jawline last week was really not fun, it cleared up fairly quickly! I do want to bump up the dosage next month- perhaps to 50 or 60mg. For those who ramped up their dosage from when they first started, did you have a second breakout after starting the higher dose?

Thanks all! Hope everyone's skin is doing well and spirits are high :)

Edited by whateverclever

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Hii

I'm watching your thread, I should be starting accutane in just over a month,and im in a similar situation to you, but im 18, female, asian, always have moderate acne.

Good luck!

Yay! So exciting that you're finally taking the plunge! Good luck with your course, and keep me posted on how you're doing. I'll be posting probably every week but I'm trying to stay away from posting more frequently than that, or at least until something really dramatic happens! x

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Sounds like you're doing well! You're probably through your IB, which is great. As you know, I haven't personally upped my dosage, but I have heard that doing so can give you another IB. If you know this is gonna bother you but you still think the higher dosage will be worth it in the long run, my recommendation would be to ask your derm for prednisone to help control any bad breakouts.

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Day 43!

Hey guys, don't know if anyone's been checking this log but apologies about the lack of posting. It's been almost a month since my last post - it's because I've been really busy. I landed a great internship and was busy slaving away at that for the past month.

About three weeks in (day 21) my skin was looking pretty great. Of course I still had clogged pores, blackheads and whiteheads, but no noticeable, angry actives.. It was amazing. Then I decided to take the plunge and up my dosage after seeing my derm. I started taking 50mg on day 27 (I had been taking 30mg before). I was terrified about another IB and asked my derm if she could prescribe me prednisone, but she said that taking steroids orally wasn't a good idea unless you really needed them, and to come in for a cortisone shot instead if i really needed to. A bit of a bummer but overall health is more important than my skin!

So It's been 17 days of taking 50mg, and 43 days on 'tane, and man I'm going through the IB all over again right now. I have 6 or 7 massive, painful zits across my jawline that are just starting to get better. It's weird, my jawline has taken a huge beating with the isotretinoin IBs, no idea why. Elsewhere, I have a bunch of very clogged pores across my cheeks, and lots and lots of large whiteheads / small actives elsewhere on my face. Tons of blackheads on my nose... it feels really bumpy. I used a biore porestrip a few days ago and it got some of it out, but it still looks pretty blackhead-y. Overall I would say I have like 15 actives on my face right now... It's a little upsetting to be sure, but I'm staying positive. Once this breakout clears up I really hope I'll be in the clear!!

In terms of side effects, I definitely have more since going up to 50mg. The most notable one is tinnitus (ringing in the ears) which is slightly disturbing... I'll be chilling somewhere and all of a sudden I notice a quiet, very high pitched wailing haha. If I hadn't known tinnitus was a side effect I would've thought I was going crazy.

The achyness is only noticeable in my back / ribs when I shift positions suddenly, like laying down to sleep. Once it got almost unbearable in yoga when we were doing a position with legs over the head (with the torso on the mat) and when I rolled my legs back to the floor to resume a normal laying-down position the pain was almost intolerable. But after a few seconds it completely goes away so it's fine.

My eyes have been getting dry, some days much worse than others - most days I don't need to put drops in, but in heavily air-conditioned rooms my eyes do get very dry. I carry little disposable synthetic tears with me so I can use 'em if I need.

The dry lips have gotten bad, but aquaphor fixes it all.

Hair stays un-greasy for like, four or five days between washes. It's aweeeeesome. But I still shower everyday obviously, but I've been skipping the body wash and been washing with water instead. It seems a little less drying for my skin that way. I've been using a mint and tea tree shampoo which doesn't make my scalp itch, which is great.

I have been noticing that my hair has been falling out more than usual. But then again, my hair is normally really strong, to the point where it rarely sheds even when I wash it, so it's alright, I don't think my hair will thin out.

My skin (all over my body) actually gets really dry now unless I moisturize it. Crazy.

Nose is peely, and so are all of my healing actives.

Skin is way fragile. My skin is normally super resilient, but it's way easy to cut myself with the slightest friction / sharp tip, etc.

Overall, going well. I'm not depressed, and each day that goes by I'm happy that I'm one day closer to clear skin!! If you read this post, drop me a line! Would be happy to hear how the rest of you are doing. Mad love ya'll

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