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(With the website going under "upgrade" I have had to post this a few different times... sorry!)

I am very excited to start sharing my experience with everyone, especially with a topic so emotional. Acne has been emotional with me, to say the least. I have had acne since about 5th grade (10 years old). At around age 14 I started getting the painful cyst. At age 16 my parents finally decided to take me to a dermatologist. For about 3 years I had been on many different topicals and antibiotics. I was on solodyn for a very long time because it worked and I was finally happy again. However, good things always have to end. I no longer had insurance once I got married and could not afford the $600 a month for the medicine. I was ok with that since I had clear skin and didn't think the acne would come back since I was almost out of my teen years. I think it was about 8 months that went by with clear skin and the bumps came back and then finally the cyst again. The cyst were so much more painful this time! They would appear on my jaw lines and under my chin for weeks, for almost a month at a time! I now have insurance and decided to go to the derm and get this under control. I went to the doctor not looking for accutane at all. After telling my doctor everything I had used in the past and of course just looking at my face, she told me my last resort would be this medicine. After the paperwork, blood test, and research, I am now on my first day of Claravis!

I know there is already a ton of information on these message boards and that is awesome how much feedback and support everyone has, but I have a few questions (I get overwhelmed trying to read everything!). Right now I have very oily skin and use Clinique's Acne Solution liquid foundation and I know I should probably change this, so what has been the best foundation for you? At what time (week, month, day, whatever, haha) did your skin and lips start to become dry? I want to include pictures, but I think I need a little more time for that!

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So today is my second day on Claravis!(9-18-11)  I took my first pill Friday September 16th at 11pm, but count the 17th as my first day.

This morning I woke up with eight small/medium whiteheads over my face, mostly between my nose and lips, some on the sides of my nose, and one on my chin.  I have never had this many whiteheads in one morning, but I will take them over a new cyst.

I am taking 40mg once a day for the first month.  Next month I will be taking two pills a day... I am guessing the same dose? My derm didn't explain the dose and I was almost too excited when she handed me the prescription for my brain to function and ask.

As far as products that I am using, I guess these are trial and error until I find something that works for me...

Morning

Dial white bar soap for body and face (Will probably change this soon! Suggestions?)

Baking soda on my face while in shower

Neutrogena daily moisturizer for combo skin (Will probably need to change this too)

Neutrogena healthy skin liquid foundation (Not too impressed with this)

Clinique's translucent powder to set foundation

Night

Wash face with bar soap

Cetaphil lotion for my face

Vaseline for my lips

Chapsticks

Neosporin Lip Health Daily Hydration Therapy SPF 20

Lypsyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer

Vaseline

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Day 3

​Sleeping was very difficult last night. The cyst on my back had become swollen and every slight move put me in pain. I guess this was the medicine, oh well. Through out the day I got a few new whiteheads, this is something I am not use to. I am prone to the large, under skin cyst. I actually do have a few cyst that seem to be drying up! Not sure if it is the pills or just their time to go since they have been there for weeks...

I have been putting the Cetaphil lotion on my face at night before bed, but I think I will stop for awhile. It is just too heavy for my oily skin. I know I will appreciate it soon enough, haha. I will probably just apply my daily moisturizer.

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Hey there! Congrats on starting accutane, I just started as well and I'm on day 12.

It seems like you're still doing quite a bit of stuff to your face, and it's suggested not to do anything then wash with a basic non comedogenic cleanser (I use the Cetaphil Daily Cleanser), then moisturize with a non comedogenic moisturizer (I use the Cetaphil Daily Lotion). I know you think the lotion is too heavy for your skin, and I completely understand where you're coming from but I reccomend staying on it. Maybe even using just the cetaphil and not another moisturizer. All the chemicals can irritate your skin and make things worse. I think staying simple is the best way to go. I apply it pretty generously at night, and let it soak in over night since I was my face again in the morning anyways so it doesn't matter. Then in the morning i just use a little bit and focus on the dry problem areas.

Also, you should probably go off the neutrogena healthy skin makeup, as long as it's the kind that has the salicylic acid in it. My derm said no salicylic acid at all while on accutane. It's just too harsh for the thinning skin. Plus I used to use that makeup and I wasn't a big fan of it either. But I highly reccomend the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup. I think it has good coverage and is easy to apply and helps leave a matte-finish and makes it not so shiny and oily.

Anyways, i think i covered everything I was going for! If you have questions feel free to ask me, although I'm not too far ahead of you. Again, good luck (:

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Hey there! Congrats on starting accutane, I just started as well and I'm on day 12.

It seems like you're still doing quite a bit of stuff to your face, and it's suggested not to do anything then wash with a basic non comedogenic cleanser (I use the Cetaphil Daily Cleanser), then moisturize with a non comedogenic moisturizer (I use the Cetaphil Daily Lotion). I know you think the lotion is too heavy for your skin, and I completely understand where you're coming from but I reccomend staying on it. Maybe even using just the cetaphil and not another moisturizer. All the chemicals can irritate your skin and make things worse. I think staying simple is the best way to go. I apply it pretty generously at night, and let it soak in over night since I was my face again in the morning anyways so it doesn't matter. Then in the morning i just use a little bit and focus on the dry problem areas.

Also, you should probably go off the neutrogena healthy skin makeup, as long as it's the kind that has the salicylic acid in it. My derm said no salicylic acid at all while on accutane. It's just too harsh for the thinning skin. Plus I used to use that makeup and I wasn't a big fan of it either. But I highly reccomend the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup. I think it has good coverage and is easy to apply and helps leave a matte-finish and makes it not so shiny and oily.

Anyways, i think i covered everything I was going for! If you have questions feel free to ask me, although I'm not too far ahead of you. Again, good luck (:

Thank you so much for the feed back!

I have always done alot of "work" to keep my face clean and trying to make it look better and I still feel the need to keep the routine. Letting go of some steps would be a nice change. I am thinking of giving the lotion another try tonight.

For the makeup I just picked up the healthy skin at the last minute, not the skin clearing with the salicylic. Before this foundation I was using Clinique's Acne Solution and knew I could not use this while on the pills. What foundation do you use?

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Thank you so much for the feed back!

I have always done alot of "work" to keep my face clean and trying to make it look better and I still feel the need to keep the routine. Letting go of some steps would be a nice change. I am thinking of giving the lotion another try tonight.

For the makeup I just picked up the healthy skin at the last minute, not the skin clearing with the salicylic. Before this foundation I was using Clinique's Acne Solution and knew I could not use this while on the pills. What foundation do you use?

Okay, I completely understand how it feels to try and keep it all under control. Hopefully when it comes time that your face starts to clear up, you can make your routine simpler (:

I use Covergirl Advanced Radiance liquid foundation and the Healthy Skin Powder Compact makeup over that. I've been using the covergirl makeup for quite some time and I like it, but I think it's time for a change. I've heard really good things about the Physicians Formula makeup so that's my next route!

Edited by tothatesacne

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Day 4

The dryer skin is starting to kick in. The creases under my nose are really bothering me and most of my old pimples are getting dry skin over them. Of course my larger cyst are still hanging on. Oh, and hello dry lips! I caught myself applying chapstick every thirty minutes.

Good news- I'm down half a box!!

I am waiting for Saturday to get new foundation. I will probably just go to Clinique and have them set me up with something. I need someone to match my color because right now I look like a ghost with the foundation I picked up from CVS, haha.

I have already lost my Neosporin chapstick... I haven't even used it yet!

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Congrats on starting :)

Not so sure what to do about the dry skin, I'm on my 2nd month and not really having much luck finding relief for my face :\ but I've been using Clinique perfectly real makeup liquid foundation (the name is something like that?) with a Loreal loose mineral powder foundation for a few months now and it still works really welly, it's a great combo and using both is nice bc you can save a bit on the Loreal instead of a Clinique powder... plus Lancome makes Loreal anyways right? Same stuff basically :P

Unfortunately no foundation looks good with peeling skin haha, so I'm still trying to figure that out.

Good luck!!!

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Day 6

I finally decided to put up pictures! These are from last night and my skin is actually a little worse than day one. I guess these are good starting pictures. I have many cyst under my chin, but could not find a way to take an attractive angle. The pictures I took looked so strange. I didn't see the need to post pictures on my forehead since that is pretty much always clear. My problem areas are definitely my chin, under chin, jaw line, and sometimes cheeks.

Nothing new for side effects, except for the worst combo of oily and dry skin I have ever had!

post-158115-0-49466900-1316749001_thumb.

post-158115-0-14599000-1316749017_thumb.

post-158115-0-49466900-1316749001_thumb.

post-158115-0-14599000-1316749017_thumb.

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Day 10

It has been awhile, but I am back with a small update. My skin is starting to look clearer after a horrible last few days. Friday was the worst I had swollen cyst on my right cheek/jaw line and chin. I couldn't have my IB this early, right? I did not want to be at work. I am a preschool teacher and when my children ask why I have "owies" on my face, it just makes me so depressed. I have no idea what to say... Luckily, today I felt pretty even with the down pour of rain we have had all day and the horrible frizzy hair, but my skin was clear! It was clear with the help of my superbalanced makeup I got from Clinique, I am so pleased with it. I still have tight lips, but I have been very good about applying chapstick. My eyes have been looking pretty red lately, but not dry. Does anyone have psorasis? I have it in my scalp and it gets worse during the winter. I was wondering if it will get worse or better while on the medicine, or if it will affect it at all.

Just finished my first box!!

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Hey Rebecca, proud of you for putting up pictures! I'm working on getting to that point myself..

Glad to hear that you were feeling nice and clear today:) also congrats on finishing your first box. I just finished my first box a couple days ago and it was an encouraging feeling! but I'm taking the 40 mg twice a day instead of once so obviously I'm going to go through them quicker.

We're on our way!:)

-Colleen

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Day 18

I never thought I would put vasline all over my face! My face has been so dry and flakey. My chin and nose are the worse, and my cyst have large dry skin flakes over them. Which does not help with my picking problem... My lips have a rough edge around them where I guess I have not applied the chapstick up and down far enough. My nose has been sorta dry too, enough to have slight nose bleeds. Sorry for all the complaints, but I am really starting to feel the accutane now! Bittersweet... I still like the appearance of my skin though. Mostly calm and not alot of redness.

Thank you Colleen for your kind encouragement!

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Day 31

Went to the doctor today to get my new prescription, dropped it off at the pharmacy, went to go pick it up... $550 after insurance :( Last month it was $280 after insurance, but I have a savings account through my insurance that paid for it. I only have about $150 left in that account. My new prescription is 40mg twice a day instead of once. Is there any way my doctor could change that around for me? Has anyone had to do this before? I almost had a break down in CVS after I looked at the price... I don't want to give this up. My skin is looking so great, my self esteem has improved so much.

Can someone please help me with this?

Update on skin: I only have three activities! They are all in one area on my cheek bone by my right ear. It is very easy to hide with my hair so my face looks amazing to me, especially after I apply foundation. No oiliness, but I apply moisturizer like crazy. Dry lips, but not cracked. I do have the arm rash, it showed up around day 23. I thought it came from making paper mache with my children at work, but I still have it.

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Day 31

Went to the doctor today to get my new prescription, dropped it off at the pharmacy, went to go pick it up... $550 after insurance sad.png Last month it was $280 after insurance, but I have a savings account through my insurance that paid for it. I only have about $150 left in that account. My new prescription is 40mg twice a day instead of once. Is there any way my doctor could change that around for me? Has anyone had to do this before? I almost had a break down in CVS after I looked at the price... I don't want to give this up. My skin is looking so great, my self esteem has improved so much.

Can someone please help me with this?

Update on skin: I only have three activities! They are all in one area on my cheek bone by my right ear. It is very easy to hide with my hair so my face looks amazing to me, especially after I apply foundation. No oiliness, but I apply moisturizer like crazy. Dry lips, but not cracked. I do have the arm rash, it showed up around day 23. I thought it came from making paper mache with my children at work, but I still have it.

It sounds like you have a high deductible/major medical plan rather than a regular group plan. Do you know what your deductible is? Usually when you get to a certain amount (Say $2,000 or $1,000) everything after that is free.

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It sounds like you have a high deductible/major medical plan rather than a regular group plan. Do you know what your deductible is? Usually when you get to a certain amount (Say $2,000 or $1,000) everything after that is free.

I have United Healthcare through my husbands work and the deductible is $3,000 I believe. We just transferred to our new insurance in June of this year. Will every cost go towards the deductible? Say my doctors visit is $200, but I only have to pay $40 co-pay, will the $200 go towards the deductible, or just the $40? Sorry, I just really do not understand how insurance works.

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It sounds like you have a high deductible/major medical plan rather than a regular group plan. Do you know what your deductible is? Usually when you get to a certain amount (Say $2,000 or $1,000) everything after that is free.

I have United Healthcare through my husbands work and the deductible is $3,000 I believe. We just transferred to our new insurance in June of this year. Will every cost go towards the deductible? Say my doctors visit is $200, but I only have to pay $40 co-pay, will the $200 go towards the deductible, or just the $40? Sorry, I just really do not understand how insurance works.

Hmmm.. I am not sure if all the costs go towards the deductible, but I don't think so. I am pretty sure that it is only what you actually pay. However, it sounds like you have an HSA, so you should be using that to pay any medical costs that you have. If you are able to contribute money to your HSA through your husbands paycheck, then that is what you should do. Right now you are using after tax dollars to pay for healthcare, and with an HSA, money is deducted before taxes, thus reducing your tax bill. Basically most people end up getting a 20-40% 'discount' by using pretax dollars.

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Hmmm.. I am not sure if all the costs go towards the deductible, but I don't think so. I am pretty sure that it is only what you actually pay. However, it sounds like you have an HSA, so you should be using that to pay any medical costs that you have. If you are able to contribute money to your HSA through your husbands paycheck, then that is what you should do. Right now you are using after tax dollars to pay for healthcare, and with an HSA, money is deducted before taxes, thus reducing your tax bill. Basically most people end up getting a 20-40% 'discount' by using pretax dollars.

Wow, I wish things didn't have to be that complicated. Thank you so much for your help. Do you know if I can alter my prescription, after it has already been filled, but not picked up?

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Hmmm.. I am not sure if all the costs go towards the deductible, but I don't think so. I am pretty sure that it is only what you actually pay. However, it sounds like you have an HSA, so you should be using that to pay any medical costs that you have. If you are able to contribute money to your HSA through your husbands paycheck, then that is what you should do. Right now you are using after tax dollars to pay for healthcare, and with an HSA, money is deducted before taxes, thus reducing your tax bill. Basically most people end up getting a 20-40% 'discount' by using pretax dollars.

Wow, I wish things didn't have to be that complicated. Thank you so much for your help. Do you know if I can alter my prescription, after it has already been filled, but not picked up?

What do you mean by alter it?

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What do you mean by alter it?

Can I have my doctor change it to 30 pills instead of 60 pills, to save money?

Right now I am taking 40mg once a day and now she wants me to take 80mg a day (40mg in the morning and then 40mg again at night)

Could I ask her just for the 80mg in one pill? Sorry, if I am confusing you.

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What do you mean by alter it?

Can I have my doctor change it to 30 pills instead of 60 pills, to save money?

Right now I am taking 40mg once a day and now she wants me to take 80mg a day (40mg in the morning and then 40mg again at night)

Could I ask her just for the 80mg in one pill? Sorry, if I am confusing you.

The pills only go up to 40 mgs, so no. As far as I know they only come in 10, 20, 30, & 40 mgs.

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The pills only go up to 40 mgs, so no. As far as I know they only come in 10, 20, 30, & 40 mgs.

Ok, I guess I will see if I can stay on 40 mgs for another month... Thank you again for your help!

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Day 32

I know my days are going to be off from now on since I have been off the meds for two days. Anyway, I have everything settled with my doctor. I am going to continue the 40 mg once a day for this month. It was still $280 after insurance, whatever... I never expected it to cost this much. Glad to know my insurance sucks now, but I don't want to quit. Sorry for the complaining, I just feel sorta selfish for doing this now. My husband is being very supportive even though it seems like we have to sacrifice a little more now.

Face was getting oily today... I am ready to take my pill tonight.

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Day 62?

Crazy, crazy past few weeks. Especially the past three days. I just purchased my third month of Claravis and every time I am about to pay I feel like I am about to have a mini break down. I am still taking 40 mg once everyday, but now on every third day I will take two capsules. Weird schedule, I know, but I am trying my best to increase my dosage without completely draining my bank account. So the crazy part... I went to my doctor to get my prescription and we talked about finding a meeting point on dosage and cost. She would like me to take 80 mg everyday, but I can not afford $550 a month so she decides to prescribe 45 capsules instead of the full 60, I was ok with that but still a little frustrated with how much I knew it would cost. I get to the pharmacy, drop it off to get it filled, a few hours later I get a call saying there was no way to fill 45 capsules when the boxes come in quantities of 10. Why did I not catch that?... And why did my doctor not catch that?! I try calling my doctor and leaving messages and so does the pharmacy and she never gets back to us that day so I miss a dose :( She finally calls me the next day saying she would be faxing a prescription for 50, fine. Get there and my crappy insurance will only cover 40. I feel like since this medicine is causing so much frustration that it is weighing out the hopefully beautiful outcome...

Does anyone know if you can get help with paying for Claravis in the US? I HAVE insurance, but its stupid. Rant about cost and insurance is over.

Sooo about my face... I went about two weeks with very calm and clear skin. I was very happy and felt so pretty I maybe had one or two cyst. I even had one of my preschoolers tell me I was pretty, it was actually the one who originally asked why I had "owies"on my face. Today my face looks gross I have about five painful cyst, a few dry, flakey and red patches, and a few little pimples. I am so ready for this stage to be over. I am going on vacation with my husband next week and I definitely want to feel pretty in our pictures. Oh and our vacation was already paid for BEFORE I started Claravis. If I would have know about the cost, we would not have booked it! But either way, I really want to have a relaxing getaway.

Even though my face looks pretty bad, I think I will post pictures tomorrow.

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