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dimegirl

My Amnesteem Journey: 6 Months To Clear Skin :)

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Hi everyone smile.png

I just started my 2nd course of Amnesteem 12 days ago. Really excited to (hopefully!) have clear skin by the holidays. Starting off on 40mg for the next 6 months. Not sure if my dosage will stay the same throughout my course or increase.

My stats: 24yrs old. 5'4. 130lbs. Have moderate but persistant acne, most of which are concentrated on the peripheral parts of my face---my temples, lower cheeks, and along my jawline. I'm prone to hyperpigmentation and I also have scarring (little depressed ones you can see up close) on both cheeks.

I'm using Obagi-C gel cleanser, Clinique hydrating gel, and Obagi-C night cream. Planning on switching to Cetaphil when my face becomes more sensitive. Also planning to take joint soother and omega fatty acid supplements.

So DAY 12... Face is less oily, skin is thinner (hurts to pick spots so I leave 'em alone---a good thing!) Flaking on my left earlobe, my eyebrows, and corners of my mouth. Definitely experiencing an IB along my jawline. Nothing makeup can't cover but I hate seeing the bumps and the dull look of my skin due to the dryness.

Oh, and I am definitely irritable and moody today.

Goals for this course: Be positive! Stay busy! (Although that's not a problem with school and a job tbqh) I'm pretty active so hope I'll be able to keep it up. Also wearing Invisalign so I feel like I'm going through an ugly duckling phase, LOL.

Looking forward to sharing my experiences and hearing from you all!

Edited by dimegirl

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DAY 13

  • Scalp is ITCHY!!! I will have to buy some kind of tea tree oil-hydrating shampoo/conditioner soon. I'm also going to pick up a moisturizing body wash as my current soap is drying me out.

  • Flaking around my eyebrows, sides of my mouth, and nose.

  • Lips are dry but not chapped. When moistened, I usually just exfoliate them.

  • Took some pictures this morning and attached them below:

L - Right side of my face. Much clearer picture where you can see the texture of my face. Large pores and numerous depressed scarring from previous acne.

R - Left side of my face. Not very clear but you can see how riddled my face is with actives and hyperpigmentation marks.

...Sigh. Demoralizing to look at but trying not to let it get to me. I'm definitely going through my IB stage. Other than classes and work, I just want to focus on exercise and start reading and journaling again. Not going to completely hermit up... but don't really feel like going out all the time either.

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Hi, I am on my second day of Amnesteem and I'm already experiencing joint and back pain. I see that you're planning on taking joint soother and omega fatty acid supplements. I was just wondering if your derm told you to take those? I mean are they okay to take while on this medication? And, if you have started taking them have they helped?

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Hi, I am on my second day of Amnesteem and I'm already experiencing joint and back pain. I see that you're planning on taking joint soother and omega fatty acid supplements. I was just wondering if your derm told you to take those? I mean are they okay to take while on this medication? And, if you have started taking them have they helped?

Hi, you raise a great point. I haven't talked to my doctor yet about taking joint soothing and omega fatty acid supplements. I was specifically told, however, to avoid taking supplements with Vitamin A, so I am assuming that as long as I don't take anything with Vitamin A, I should be in the clear. My next appointment is at the end of this month so I'll be sure to ask my doctor about that. I find that drinking a lot of water each day helps with the aches.

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I'm actually on my 16th Day, must've calculated my days wrong!

  • Still experiencing an IB along my jawline, lower cheeks, and on my temples but they dry up quicker than normal
  • Hyperpigmentation marks are still prevalent neutral.gif
  • Extreme dryness on my neck right under my jaw. No flaking or itchiness but it is flushing red on the area. Just practically bathing the area in moisturizer to keep it hydrated
  • Oiliness is very minimal now, yay! Going to start switching up my skincare routine at this point:
    • AM: Cetaphil gentle cleanser, Cetaphil moisturizer with SPF, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
    • PM: Obagi-C cleanser, Obagi-C night cream, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
    • Lip balm as needed. I have a bunch of Shaka Laka Lip Blaka (LOL) lip stuff that I got for free over the summer. So far, they've been serving me well. SPF on them too!

    [*]Nothing to do with my skin, but I decided to color my hair last night. Color is called "Golden Medium Brown." Made my hair a more espresso color. Really dig it, suits me so much better than black.

    [*]Have decided to forgo Halloween this year... I'm paying for Amnesteem out of my own pocket since my insurance doesn't cover it. Including doctor appointments and lab fees, this whole experience is really taking a bite out of my pay check cry.gif. But I know the beautiful skin I'll get in the end will be completely worth it eusa_pray.gif

Edited by dimegirl

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DAY 19

  • IB still on-going: Temples, cheeks, and along jawline.
  • Blackheads also more prominent on my nose. Pretty sure it's the medication purging out all the gunk on my face.
  • Eyes are prone to dry-ness. A real pain since I prefer to wear contacts instead of glasses. Bought Visine eye drops yesterday to help out with this.
  • Ran my first Half-Marathon yesterday! Taking it easy this week so my body can recover. Just yoga and some dancing this week.
  • ...Other than that, nothing really new to report.

Edited by dimegirl

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DAY 21

  • IB still wrecking havoc all over my cheeks, jaw, and temples. Argh. I keep having to tell myself that this is temporary. Hopefully in a month or less, all this gross purging will be gone.
  • Red marks all over my temples and cheeks cry.gif . The Obagi-C night cream I've been using is a skin lightener so hopefully that'll take care of the hyperpigmentation. If my face gets super sensitive, I'll have to discontinue its use but so far, so good.
  • Good news is that any sort of oiliness on my face is gone! Best part so far. Never have to worry about foundation or make-up sliding off my face or looking like an oil slick an hour after I wash my face.

Can't say I'm legit depressed but I've been having lows this past week. I cried in my car on the way to work. Just feeling a general unhappiness about the way I look and things that have happened that I wish I could change. I wish my skin were clearer (Everyone here can relate!), I wish my nose were smaller, I wish my teeth were straighter, I wish my legs weren't so thick. I wish I had stayed home for college so I wouldn't be saddled with student loans like I am now. I wish I could forget my ex-boyfriend and I also sincerely wish that we were the right persons for each other.

Anyway... All these regrets are keeping me from being me and it's definitely time to switch perspectives. Time to be grateful for what I do have. The way I'm trying to look at it, all these set-backs are opportunities to practice patience and to move forward with foresight gained from past experience.

Really, all I want is to just be comfortable with who I am.

Edited by dimegirl

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Hi your story is very similar to mine. I am considering amnesteem. Right now, I'm on retin-a micro, BP, and doxcycline. I've been on the regimen almost 10 years. However, I stopped about 6 months ago and went on obagi system, but ended up break outing badly and now, unfortunately, have some acne scarring. So I returned to my old regimen 2 months ago, and my acne has improved but I still have quite a bit of hyper pigmentation. I'm fed up with the regimen though - the dryness, the intermittent breakouts, the less than desirable results, etc. So now I'm considering amnesteem. the price is also another factor - I also will have to pay out of pocket. Could you give me some information about it and maybe some important factors that I should consider before going on it? Also, I'm starting to lose my hair and have heard it can make you lose hair. So anything will help? Thanks and good luck.

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Hey dimegirl...!

I just read your entire log and I can completely relate.

I am 11 days behind you on the same dose (40mg a day) and I am very much experiencing the exactly same symptoms as you do;

An extremely itchy scalp, dry eyes (but not so dry lips), an IB that's making things less bright... Oh and then the whole feeling depressed part.

I have been sooo moody lately. I've had days when I've felt like nothing mattered in the whole world or in my entire life. Like everything is just...nothing. I've been crying a lot about my life, my job, my ex-boyfriend... I hope once I get used to the drug I won't get this sad side effect anymore.

Anyways - keep up the good spirits! You know it's all gonna be worth it in the end.

I will be following your entries from now on... :)

Riosha

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@DoubtingTom: Hi! Paying out of pocket is a really draining commitment, but I decided that the trade off would be worth it in the end. I'm lucky to have a job and I also live at home with my mom so that helps to save on costs. Still, I have to cut corners elsewhere; no eating out, limited shopping, etc. I know many believe appearances are superficial---and to a certain extent, I believe that too---but I decided that my quality of life would be bettered if I went on Amnesteem. That means more confidence in my appearance which would extend to other spheres in my life and less energy and time worrying about my skin. I fully believe that how you feel in the inside and the attitude you decide to put on really influences how you live. Personally, I want to live the best life I can and I feel like clear skin is a part of that.

There is a lot of information out there on Isotretinoin/Amnesteem (Other brand names are Claravis, Accutance, and Roaccutane). Here are just some information straight from my packet but the best information you can get it from consulting with your doctor.

  • Your acne may get worse before it gets better. This is called the "Initial Breakout" and it is very true in my case. They do heal fairly quickly though as your sebum oil production begins to lessen. Sebum oil = perfect environment for breakouts.
  • If you live in the US, you will have to do a blood test every month, and if you are female and able to reproduce, you will also have to take a pregnancy test. Triglyceride levels tend to rise on Isotretinoin so you may have to change your diet and lifestyle if you tend to eat a lot of processed, fried, and/or sweet foods.
  • Isotretinoin thins the skin and will increase the chances of you scarring so it is very important to baby your skin while on treatment. No using harsh skin care products and any cosmetic procedures such as chemical peels and dermabrasions will have to wait until 6 months to a year after your course.
  • Avoid sunlight while you are on Isotretinoin as the medicine will increase your sensitivity to light. Wear sunblock. It's a good idea to limit skin exposure to the sun in general anyway.
  • Possible side effects: headaches, dizziness, back/joint pain, blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, depression, etc.

There are way better resources and information on this forum so I'll leave it at that. Every individual reacts differently and just from observation, at best most people don't experience anything more than dryness on the skin, the IB, some bone/joint pain, and chapped lips. I'm only almost a month in my course but so far, the dryness is tolerable (almost welcomed, actually! I do not miss oily skin), dry eyes, and some "low" feelings---Of course, I think this is in part related to my acne so once I begin to clear up, I feel like these feelings will also lift.

Remember, the hyperpigmentation is not permanent, it'll eventually fade in time. Let me know if you decide to go on Amnesteem. Wish you the best of luck. Stay blessed.

@Riosha: Hi! Is that your real name? It's very pretty! The great thing about this forum is the amount of support you get from reaching out and learning from others' experiences. I'm glad my story was relatable. Here's a quote that has really been resonating with me lately:

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

We may not have complete control on our skin but we do have control over our attitude and perspective. You decided that you wanted to do something about your acne and here you are committing to treatment :). The great thing about pain is that it always passes. You have this forum for support and hopefully, you take the time during your course to pursue and exhaust all options in those people, places, experiences, and things that make you happy. Acne skin and ex-boyfriends will become a thing of the past, I fully believe that. Conquer your doubts and believe in your flyness ;). Keep me updated and good luck on your course. Stay blessed.

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DAY 25:

Wow, almost a month in! Time to make an appointment to see the good doctor this week. Monthly pregnancy test and blood lab coming up too. Oh joy.

  • Most of my IB acne started to come to head last Friday. I gave in to temptation to one active on my cheek and now I have a red mark. Ai! Must resist from now on.
  • No dry patches anywhere. Actually, the insides of my elbows were dry, itchy, and red this morning. Doused it with lotion and now I'm good. Strange, but I've been reading on here that people have been getting dry, itchy patches on their arms so maybe this is a common thing.
  • My eyes now tend to get really dry in the morning. I have this bad habit of sleeping with my contacts on sometimes since I read before bed and I pay for it in the morning. I go to work and class looking like I'm on that kush. No bueno.
  • I've been feeling better, mood-wise, but it's an active process. I started strength-training with my friend and her dad last week which I enjoy. Trying to shed some body fat and gain more muscle and tone. Good endorphins = better moods. Also, muscle and tone = sexy.
  • I did stumble upon a picture of the ex on Facebook which threw me off. It's that literal heaviness in the heart feeling; the one you get when you're left behind. Ladies, it is so important to be believe in yourself and carry yourself like a queen. Be good to yourself. If something or someone gets you down, you should have the confidence and whatever system you built for yourself to get you back up again. I've been doing everything I can to treat myself better. For me that is being active and doing whatever I can to feel pretty.
  • Speaking of which, this is probably a question meant for the cosmetics and style forum but thought I'd throw it out here too: Your favorite foundation? Blush? Eye-liner? Best volumizing shampoo/conditioner? Best hair thickening serum? And how do some girls get their hair so shiny? I love Beyonce's makeup in her Countdown video but I find makeup tutorials so complex. Beyond foundation, which I use to cover up acne and scarring, I have absolutely noooo idea how to put on makeup.
  • Goals for the week and beyond: Drink at least a liter of water, shop for a multivitamin, and learn how to be a "girl"

Hopefully everyone is carrying along great on their course!

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DAY 35:

  • It's been awhile, thought I'd check in :)
  • I have actives on my temples and along my cheeks and jawline. They're never the same ones from week to week though. Just when I think some zits are gone, a couple new ones pop up. Again, they dry up and go away pretty quick. But I just want all of them to be gone for good!
  • My liver levels (...toxicity?) spiked a little. Doctor says it's no cause for concern but if it gets too high, I'll have to be taken off the medication. Nooooooooooo!
  • Doctor recommended Milk Thistle supplements to help with liver functioning. So, will pick those up soon.
  • Now that my half-marathon's over, I'm refocusing my training in Jiujitsu. Oh, how I love it and miss it so much! I use Shiseido's anti-sweat foundation during training but its coverage is not the best. I always feel really bad seeing some of my foundation rub off on other people's gi's after grappling. It's such a close contact sport. But ah, I'm so self-conscious! I can't go out without covering my acne and acne hyperpigmentation. I'm going to love the day I can go out without a swipe of makeup on me.
  • Copped this idea from someone else on here :P Song of the day!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9I1vi26kd80

"You've been through hell and back; that's why you're bad as f-ck"

Keep ya head up, 'Tane users!

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