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brownbag

I Declare War on Acne!

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Tomorrow is my last day because I had to skip a few days to recover from a cold.

It's been really fun exchanging makeup recommendations with someone else with the same skin issues as me. I swear I'm the only person I know with an acne problem, which made me feel like a freak. It's so nice to have our confidence back isn't it?! I prefer to wear makeup, but if I can't for some reason, it isn't the total tragedy it used to be.

I can be called in at any hour of the day or night for work and it was utterly humiliating when my acne was at its worst and I was called in in the middle of the night. I have 30 minutes to get there from the time I'm called, so there was no time to hide my face. Now I know I won't look my best, but no one will notice because, like you said, most people are more concerned with themselves anyway.

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Pill 172.

Entering my 7th month!

My derm is keeping me at 80mg for another month because I'm responding so well to the dosage and my blood work came back awesome. I don't know how but I managed to lower my triglyceride back down to 229 despite not running regularly and not really watching my diet during my travels. I might give my body a little break though and take only 40mg for 2 days just so my lips can stop being super annoyingly peely.

I did a quick scan of my logs to see when my last breakout was and found it to be the begining of November. I haven't had a cyst for 4 months? Incredible! I still get some tiny clogged pores/grain-sized bumps around my period time but they're flesh-colored and go away quickly so I don't really count them. They really, really are not a big deal at all but I think it's important to mention them for future reference.

It's been 6 months already so I suppose my treatment should be done by now but I wanted to do another month on 80mg to help my skin from having a relapse. I will start to taper off in the next month making my grand total a prolonged 8 months. Why am I putting myself through 8 months of this medication when I've been active free for 4 months? To quote Hunter S. Thompson, "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right." Accutane is definitely not something I want to half-ass.

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West Papua, Indonesia

Edited by brownbag
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Pill 177.

So every since that cold, dry weekend in New York, my skin has been super dry and is still recovering. I've always had a rash on the back of my hands but after being in the cold it started to spread all the way up my arms. Eucerin just did not cut it anymore so I had to ask my derm to prescribe me some 2.5% hydrocortisone lotion which worked great! My rash/ dry patches went away in one night.

I'm kind of concerned about these small little pimples(?) I'm getting. I'm not sure what to call them because they are not like the normal red, lingering, sometimes painful pimples you get. No, they look more like clogged pores that just needs to be squeezed out(I don't touch them though), not red or even noticeable, just a tiny, tiny bump. I only get them around my period time so I know it's related to that but shouldn't accutane get rid of those too? I'm worried that once I'm off the medication these tiny harmless clogged pores will turn into real zits. The horror.

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Those bumps you are talking about might be dryness/irritation bumps. Your skin has been more dry, so that is probably what it is; don't panic! Be extra gentle with your skin and moisturize generously to see if that helps calm it down. I know that seems like the opposite of what you want to do, but try it. You have been on 'tane for awhile and are on a high dose; I highly doubt those bumps are acne. Mine had a weird flareup on my chin a week before I finished my course and I nearly freaked out, to be honest. I figured out that I had an irritation reaction to a bad tube of sunscreen I bought (it was separated, I never should have used it). I put some Vanos (prescription, sort of like a strong cortizone cream) on it and it went away quickly.

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Those bumps you are talking about might be dryness/irritation bumps. Your skin has been more dry, so that is probably what it is; don't panic! Be extra gentle with your skin and moisturize generously to see if that helps calm it down. I know that seems like the opposite of what you want to do, but try it. You have been on 'tane for awhile and are on a high dose; I highly doubt those bumps are acne. Mine had a weird flareup on my chin a week before I finished my course and I nearly freaked out, to be honest. I figured out that I had an irritation reaction to a bad tube of sunscreen I bought (it was separated, I never should have used it). I put some Vanos (prescription, sort of like a strong cortizone cream) on it and it went away quickly.

So nice to hear from you! I thought you had left us and won't be back for a while. Yea, I'm going to be super extra gentle to my skin and maybe just use cerave only instead of all the Naruko skincare stuff. I suspect it might be doing more harm than good. Less is more when it comes to skincare.

How is your skin doing so far? Is it weird not having to take accutane anymore?

I just tried Nars Lhasa eyeshadow and it's great. Perfect for the socket or doing a cut crease look.

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I still check in to see how the people I've been chatting with on here are doing. It's nice not to have to take that pill anymore, plus I have been wearing my contact lenses again! I've also had a couple of drinks since I stopped. I'm taking it easy in the alcohol department because I know the accutane levels are still high in my system. My skin is good. I'm still treating it the same as while I was on accutane because it still feels the same: dry, sensitive. The only difference is that I bought a Clarisonic Mia2 and started using that at night with my CeraVe cleanser. I'm always afraid I'll leave some makeup behind, so I wanted the Clarisonic for awhile because of that. I have the delicate brush for it and my skin feels super clean after using it, so I'm pretty happy with that purchase. Do you still use yours?

Oooh, I like NARS. I have one of their bronzers. I'll definitely check out their eyeshadow. They are also supposed to have amazing blush. Did you see that they just came out with a tinted moisturizer? I haven't tried it; I just saw it on the Sephora website. On a related note, that Stila TM did not work out for me (almost impossible to wash off - my face was red and angry afterwards). I returned it the day I bought my Clarisonic. As for eyeshadow, I'm still really loving the Smashbox ones that I have. I just got some NYX shadow to try out, but I haven't opened it yet.

Hopefully the less is more approach will calm your skin down. I've been sticking with that method to keep mine calm. I find that it gets red pretty easily, so I must be gentle. It's such a different approach than that past beat-the-acne-into-submission method that obviously didn't work out for me in the past.

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Nice, you got a Clarasonic Mia! Yes, I still use mine every night(maybe when my skin gets thicker after I get off accutane I will use it in the morning as well). Like you, I find it comforting know I got everything off my skin even if it's just sunscreen.

Too bad the Stila TM did not work out. No, I didn't know Nars came out with one. Will have to check it out. I only have a few items from Nars and only one blush, Exhibit A. I bought it just because it looked so pretty and haven't really had the chance to use it mainly due to all the redness in my skin still. It would work best on someone with perfect skin or else the blush would bring out all the hyperpigmentation.

I follow Lisa Eldridge, this amazing makeup artist, and she remarked that Clarins is coming out with a fantastic mattifying foundation. Looking forward to trying it as well as the YSL glossy stains I mentioned earlier. They have them at Sephora but I have a Neiman Marcus giftcard I want to use so I have to wait until April for them to carry it. There are so many things coming out I find it very difficult to keep up. I'll just make sure to buy only stuff I really want.

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Pill 180.

I've officially been on accutane for 6 months (180 days) and will now be entering my 7th month. The 80mg dosage isn't even bothering me anymore like it did last month. My lips are only mildly peely and my skin is behaving very well. I still only moisturize at night and sometimes during the day when I feel like it.

Red marks are still there although there has been a definite improvement over the past 3 months. I keep wishing my skin will go back to its original state but there's really no point living in the past. Just thinking about how bad my skin was getting makes me soooo grateful I'd found a solution for my acne just in time before it could get any worse. I'm hoping that when I'm off accutane my skin will heal a lot faster.

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pesky wobot

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Pill 184.

Tonight, I had a very nice business dinner that went very well. I'm pretty sure I wowed everyone there and it would definitely not have been possible without accutane. I'm so much more confident now and extremely comfortable being close to other people without having to worry about them judging my skin.

I wore a light layer of dr jart bb cream on my cheeks, mac foundation powder all over, then dusted guerlain meteorites on top to give myself quite flawless looking skin.

My red marks are fading slowly and I couldn't be happier. Loooove accutane.

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Edited by brownbag
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Im happy that accutane has worked well for you :)

It's unbelievable how much a person can change, and how their lives can change with more confidence.

It's like life's smiling back at you when you smile at it.

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Good for you! You should be really proud of yourself. I know that losing confidence is one of the worst things about acne. It's hard to feel good about yourself when your skin is a mess. Accutane really is a miracle drug because by clearing the acne, we can regain our confidence and feel attractive again. I'll bet everyone was jealous of your radiant, beautiful complexion and just thought you were blessed with good skin.

I will definitely check out Lisa Eldridge; I love learning from the professionals!

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Jesoli and slowandsteady,

Accutane really is a miracle drug and a bringer of confidence. It's unfortunate the medicine doesn't seem to work for everyone.

Pill 192.

Almost 200 days on accutane. What a journey it has been...

While editing some old photos the other day, I ran across some photos I took of my face in its worst state, around the second week when I was experiencing my IB, and it was a rude awakening. I somehow don't remember my skin being THAT bad but it was. I had a huge lip pimple, a cyst on my eyelid (wtf?), a cyst the size of a pinky tip on my temple, many dark marks, rough skin texture, and just so many zits. Now I just can't imagine having ever lived like that.

I do not have unrealistic expectations of this drug and will be ready to fight the big fight again should I need to. Fortunately, I know there is something that can give me at least a year's relief from acne.

My lips felt better after I decreased my dosage from 80mg to 40mg for those two days but they're currently back to being kind of dry and peely. I think I've gone through two jars of Carmex and 5-6 tubes of Aquaphor by now. Yikes! Aquaphor just feels so good. My back is aching for a fabulous massage.

Present to myself for getting into film school.

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Pill 180.

I've officially been on accutane for 6 months (180 days) and will now be entering my 7th month. The 80mg dosage isn't even bothering me anymore like it did last month. My lips are only mildly peely and my skin is behaving very well. I still only moisturize at night and sometimes during the day when I feel like it.

Red marks are still there although there has been a definite improvement over the past 3 months. I keep wishing my skin will go back to its original state but there's really no point living in the past. Just thinking about how bad my skin was getting makes me soooo grateful I'd found a solution for my acne just in time before it could get any worse. I'm hoping that when I'm off accutane my skin will heal a lot faster.

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pesky wobot

how is it that you are at 80 mg for a 7th month, and iam still stuck at 40mg and you are so much lighter than me. errr!!!

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jhonyguy04, how are you handling 40mg? Your derm could be keeping you at 40mg for a number of reasons - triglyceride levels are high, experiencing nasty side effects like depression or headaches, or your acne is not that bad. I'm not experiencing any side effects besides dryness but I was kept at 40mg for two months before I lowered my triglyceride. It's not a bad thing to stay at 40mg and do a longer course. Speed is not always your friend. However, if it's really bothering you then you can always find a new dermatologist.

slowandsteady, I'm working on my website at the moment. Will let you know when I have it up, hopefully soon. =)

Pill 195.

I got two tiny bumps (looks like milia) near my jaw. I haven't been sleeping well lately, usually 3-4 hours a day, so that might be the reason why. At least I hope that's the reason...I just find it strange I'm getting more of the tiny bumps than last month. Thankfully, they're so miniscule that it's not noticeable at all and they go away in a week.

The YSL glossy stains are finally at Neiman Marcus! I picked up no. 15 and no. 16, rose vinyl and pourpre preview, along with Clarin's limited edition instant light blush in no.2. Rose vinyl is a gorgeous pink perfect for summer and pourpre preview is just an awesome magenta/ fuschia color.

I'm trying out the editing software, snapseed, on the ipad. It's okay and easy to use but I don't really like it. Too hard to get what I want.

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I really enjoy playing with makeup.

Edited by brownbag
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Pill 199.

I lowered my dose to 40mg for the past 3 days just because I was getting really annoyed with my super dry peely lips. I couldn't help but pick at the skin which just made my lips bleed. Yuck! They're much better now and I will return back to 80mg tomorrow.

Almost done with my 7th month and I can honestly say I feel exhausted with his medication. 7 months of dry lips is really getting to me. I think I have reached my accutane endurance limit. However, I'm not quite done yet. I won't be stopping accutane abrupty but will be tapering off. I will find out how my derm wants me to do it when I see her next week.

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Monkey Forest

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Pill 199.

I lowered my dose to 40mg for the past 3 days just because I was getting really annoyed with my super dry peely lips. I couldn't help but pick at the skin which just made my lips bleed. Yuck! They're much better now and I will return back to 80mg tomorrow.

Almost done with my 7th month and I can honestly say I feel exhausted with his medication. 7 months of dry lips is really getting to me. I think I have reached my accutane endurance limit. However, I'm not quite done yet. I won't be stopping accutane abrupty but will be tapering off. I will find out how my derm wants me to do it when I see her next week.

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Monkey Forest

Let me know how your derm tapers you off. I went for my final derm appointment today, and thankfully I will just be finishing up the pills that I have!

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Pill 203.

Today will be my last day on 80mg. I will only be taking one 40mg pill a day until my appointment with my derm next Friday then I will find out how she plans on tapering me off.

I'll be traveling to Vietnam at the end of April so I want to have enough pills to last me until then. Don't want to spend my trip worrying about whether my oil will come back or if I will start breaking out again.

Other than that I am just happy to be so near to finishing. Still no new acne so that makes it about 4 months since my last zit. =)

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Guest *Spiro*

That's great no new zits in 4 months!! I can't wait for that. Vietnam should be so fun!! I hear it is just beautiful there!!

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Pill 213.

So my treatment technically ended on Friday but my derm is having me taper off by taking 40mgs everyday for 3 weeks then one 40mg pill every other day for the final week. I still have 10 pills leftover so it will be about 9 months before I am officially done with accutane. Sounds scarily long but the results have been fantastic. My skin is so smooth, red marks are fading, haven't had a zit in months, and my skin texture is improving. Unfortunately, I have some light scars and that damn old zit that won't flatten out completely.

Comprehensive Review

height: 5'1"

weight: 97 lbs

favorite products: aquaphor, hydrocortisone 2.5% for eczema, eucerin for eczema, clarasonic mia, cerave pm (night moisturizer), shiseido sunscreen SPF 38 (daytime), jojoba oil for makeup removal, neosporin to help zits heal and flatten them out, cetaphil facewash, perricone skin clear facewash

Month 1- 40mg

- no improvement, only a terrible initial outbreak after 2 weeks

- pores on nose are completely blocked with blackheads

- lips/skin dry after 1 week

- small eczema patch on arm

- minor constipation

Month 2- 80mg

- acne didn't start to get better until after week 6, but only marginally so

- back aches, lips are extremely dry, skin is tight and dry

- eczema on arm and back of hands

Month 3- 40mg

- got reduced to 40mg because my triglycerides were high

- acne is improving exponentially

- side effects are much better with the lower dosage

- eczema still there

Month 4- 40mg

- got my last zit in the first week

- started running

- eczema still there

- lips and skin are only kind of dry

Month 5- 60mg

- dosage increase was not really noticeable

- still have bumps from old zits

Month 6- 80mg

- lips are dry and peely from dosage increase

- back kind of hurts but nowhere near as much as the 2nd month

- skin texture is smoothing out

- some tiny bumps (milia maybe) around period time

Month 7- 80mg

- barely have to wear makeup on my skin now

- lips are still annoyingly peely

- mild back pain

- red marks are quite faded

- no tiny bumps at period time

Overall, it's been a great experience and I'm so happy to have clear skin again. Not to say that it was a easy journey because it wasn't. I am sick and tired of accutane and would not be able to do a longer course. The dry lips are getting to me and I just can't wait to be able to use lipgloss again.

I do think it's important to do a longer course, 6 months minimum, at a moderately high dosage just to have a higher chance of keeping acne away for good.

Here's a drawing of a giraffe.

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Edited by brownbag
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Fantastic! I've been your reading your log and it's really giving me hope. I will most likely start Accutane in a month. I've been super scared, but I think it's worth it to not have painful cystic acne after 10 years.

Couple questions: what face wash did you use? I alternate between Cerave hydrating and Cerave foaming, depending on makeup usage / dryness / weather.

Also, did you need to use a separate moisturizer under your sunscreen, or was it hydrating enough?

Thank you and congratulations!

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Great to hear about your experience.

Question: Did the eczema on the back of your hand go away? I have (what I believe to be) eczema on the back of my hand as well, and I think a little on my elbow sad.png. I'm at day 45.

Edited by White Stang
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Fantastic! I've been your reading your log and it's really giving me hope. I will most likely start Accutane in a month. I've been super scared, but I think it's worth it to not have painful cystic acne after 10 years.

Couple questions: what face wash did you use? I alternate between Cerave hydrating and Cerave foaming, depending on makeup usage / dryness / weather.

Also, did you need to use a separate moisturizer under your sunscreen, or was it hydrating enough?

Thank you and congratulations!

That's great you're going on accutane! It may seem scary but if you know what to expect then it should not be a problem. So worth it! I used to have a lot of cysts too so I know how sucky they are.

I used Cetaphil gentle cleanser for my facewash and sometimes Perricone Skin Clear Cleanser because that's what I used to use pre accutane and it helped. Using Cerave PM at night was hydrating enough that I did not need to use a moisturizer with my sunscreen. At times, when I wear makeup, I use Clinique moisturizing gel just to give myself a nicer canvas for makeup to go on but it's not necessary.

Good luck with your course!

Great to hear about your experience.

Question: Did the eczema on the back of your hand go away? I have (what I believe to be) eczema on the back of my hand as well, and I think a little on my elbow sad.png. I'm at day 45.

The eczema goes away in about 3 days if I use Eucerin lotion but it also comes back in about 3 days if you don't continue lotioning the areas. Hydrocortisone 2.5% lotion works a lot better, the rashes goes away in 2 days and stays away for 1.5 weeks without any lotion. Now that I'm only on 40mg again, the eczema is almost gone on its own. It's common to get eczema on accutane so that's probably what you have.

Good luck!

Edited by brownbag
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