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x-joannarama-x

Smells Like 'tane Spirit

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You can't blame the snow! blink.png Snow is awesome! I know someone who is currently in Glasgow visiting friends, having flown over from Australia last week. He was hoping to experience some snow and he arrived just in time - quite amusing to see a grown man behaving like a little kid.

Anyway... it looks like your acne is pretty contained in that one area, right? I guess that's a bonus. Might as well look on the bright side! I know how hard that can be though because we tend to look at ourselves and focus on that one issue and blow it way out of proportion. I can certainly recall that whenever I had a breakout in one particular area, I never thought to myself, 'Oh well, at least the rest of my face is looking alright so I'm happy with that'. The funny thing is, having experienced it myself, I just don't see it as an issue on other people. I see it and think, 'It's not so bad, it's only acne'. I suppose acceptance and understanding in that respect are good things, but it's strange how the mind works. rolleyes.gif

Doubt it will be too long before you start to notice change happening, fingers crossed the Accutane does its thing and helps you clear your skin. Sure you'll get there before you know it! smile.png

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Haha usually I'd agree that snow is awesome, but not when you're walking into it face first! Freeeeeeezing!

Yeah it's about 90% around my chin/mouth area. I also usually have quite a bit on my forehead but it is actually looking pretty clear at the moment. I also had a fringe cut in to hide those ones so I'm not too bothered about them anymore! lol.gif

Yeah I totally know what you mean about focusing too much on it. I think it upsets me more that my cheeks are almost totally clear because I can see what the rest of my face could look like. That being said, I've been in good spirits recently because the bad areas are looking better than they have in years.

How are you getting on with your diet regime anyway? Hopefully it's still working well for you :)

J x

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It still really interests me how so many people can end up thinking and feeling the same way about their skin. There's a degree of comfort there I reckon, in not being alone in it after all. For many years, I was in my own little bubble, thinking I was the only one trying to deal with it and the only one experiencing certain feelings because of acne. Exactly like those instances you described where you were able to see what things could look like - we'd end up in this weird situation where we feel worse because parts of our face clear and show that potential.

It's good that you're feeling positive, that's half the battle sometimes. It always seems so easy to start feeling bad about it or to be upset at what we see, but it's not like doing so is actually of any use or helps matters.

I'm doing alright, thank you. No active acne at the moment, haven't had a breakout for a few weeks. One tiny pimple popped up on my left cheek at the weekend but I've paid no mind to it. The silly thing is that it has the potential to annoy me or make me feel self-conscious, such are my insecurities about my appearance. I guess my exceptions have now been raised quite a lot because there was a time when I'd have been deliriously happy to have just one single, solitary spot.

The only thing I don't seem to have totally gotten a handle on is the eczema which I've had on and off for several years. Of all the places to get it, I get it on my eyelids and it's so annoying. I never really paid much attention to the number of times I blink on a daily basis until almost every time made me wanted to scratch! So I'm trying to work out what it is that's triggering the eczema. Sure I'll figure it out, it's probably something stupid and seemingly innocent.

I'm tapering off a course of Doxycycline at the moment and I'm down to just 100mg every four or five days for another few weeks, so if the diet changes aren't quite enough to keep my acne at bay, I'm sure my body will soon let me know, but I'm crossing my fingers that won''t happen and that things continue to remain clear.

smile.png

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Oh I 100% agree that there is comfort in finding out others feel the same. None of my friends or family have bad skin at all and I never feel like they 'get' it, so it's nice to speak to people on here who do understand.

Oh good i'm glad you're still doing well, it's awesome that changing your diet has helped you so much :) I really believe that diet plays a huge part in acne (to me it stands to reason that if a pill can help you clear it up, then anything else you put into your body also has the potential to affect it) but unfortunately I've tried various diet changes with only limited success. The eczema doesn't sound too good though, can you use any creams on your eyelids or anything to help get rid of it?! I used hydrocortisone cream for eczema when I was young but if I remember right it thins the skin so it might not be a good choice for the eyelids!

J x

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If the eczema is sore, I tend to put a small amount of Sudocrem on it. If it's kind of dried out, I dab a little bit of Jojoba oil on there. The Sudocrem creates quite an interesting look - I feel rather bold when I wandering around the house with super-white eyelids! lol.gif I have used Hydrocortisone for eczema before but I hadn't thought of it in this instance. Although, like you say, might not be the best choice for that particular area.

It's really only a tiny patch of eczema so it's not a big deal. I suppose the reason I'm paying attention to it is because of how learning about my intolerances has changed my way of thinking. These days, I'm considering that there's a reason behind it; that it's being triggered by something and that it's my bodies way of trying to let me know. That's exactly how things were with my acne and I think I've solved that, so I'm sure I'll get to the bottom of what's started triggering the eczema too. smile.png

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Good stuff Paul, sounds like you're doing great so far so I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it smile.png

Day 4

Ok so last night I thought I was getting 2 cysts coming through on my forehead and above my lip. I thought they were going to be bad ones as they were huge, red and sore, but this morning they were completely gone! I've never had that before, but I'm definitely not complaining. I also had a few tiny red spots around my mouth area, but they were gone this morning too confused.gif Strange! Other than that there have been no side effects so far. I haven't noticed any dry skin or anything yet, but I'm hoping since I always moisturise my skin (face and body) every day anyway that I might keep the dryness at bay for a bit longer. We will see though...

In other news, I've realised my girl's holiday this year is booked for 2 weeks after I am due to finish my course (provided she stops my treatment after 4 months like she said). I don't tan at all anyway so I'm not bothered about sunbathing, but I am a bit worried that even if I try my best to keep out of the sun as much as I can, it will still be unavoidable sometimes. Do you think using a high sunscreen will be enough to protect me for 2 weeks in Gran Canaria?! I'll deal with the issue of not drinking nearer the time.... neutral.gif

J x

Edited by joannarama
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Day 7

So that's me 1 week in and I'm actually starting to see an improvement. The spots I have are not as red and much less inflamed, plus no new break outs! Yey! I'm starting to hope I have maybe escaped the dreaded IB, but I'm trying not to get too excited because I know it can take a while to appear.

In terms of side effects, I have had none at all so far :) it is very early days though so only time will tell I guess....

J x

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Hey! Good luck joanna, i think the side effects start a couple days later, i started feeling stronger dryness around day 9, but it's worth it i hope! Also do you know if the red marks go away after the treatment?

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Day 10

Things are still going really well with me (so far anyway - touch wood!). My nose has started to look a bit dry and flaky but it still feels oily which is a bit weird. I guess this must be the start of the dryness? I have also had a new pimple develop on my chin, but that is the first new one I've had since I started my treatment. Looks like the IB might be on it's way too... Other than that, my skin is actually clearing up really well, I'm super pleased! :D

I'm also getting my hair highlighted on Saturday. The hairdresser thinks it will be ok to do this as my scalp doesn't appear dry at the moment, but if anyone disagrees with this please let me know!

J x

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Hi love,

I think you'll be fine to do your hair, I've been home dying mine since I started the course with no problems... I think you know yourself what will be ok! Glad your happy with progress so far... Is your acne mostly chin-based? x x

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Hello lovely, hope you are well today?

Thanks, that's what I was thinking too, although I'm starting to feel like my scalp is getting a bit itchy now so I might have an issue with dryness towards the end of the course. I'll post an update once I've had it done anyway, just incase anyone else is asking the same question :)

Yeah the chin is definitely my worst area, I basically have a beard of acne most of the time! Everywhere else is affected to an extent, but it's usually just one or two huge cycts at a time. Because of that I do have a lot of red marks but they can easily be hidden by make up so they don't bother me as much.

J x

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Day 14

Ok so that's me half way through my first month, and things are still going really well smile.png The huge chin pimple is still there but much less inflamed, and although I have had a few more develop on my top lip they are so small they don't really bother me. If this is all I get IB wise I will be super happy!

In terms of side effects, I haven't had anything major yet but I am noticing more small things. My face is still a weird combo of flaky looking and oily, so I have decided to increase my water intake to see if that helps it. Skin everywhere else is ok. My eyes are MEGA dry now too, but I did have laser eye surgery 4 years ago so I am prone to that. I am using drops in the morning and at night which is helping for now, but if it gets worse I will go to the optician and ask for some artificial tears to help it. Those are awesome!

The final thing I've noticed is tiredness. I am finding it really hard to get up at the moment, but I am also hating my job right now (new CEO has come in and is making everyone's lives hell right now) so I am also thinking it could be the fact I don't WANT to get up that's doing it? Either way, it's not too bad yet so we will see what happens as I progress.

Anyway I better go for now. I hope everyone else is getting on well with their treatment too smile.png

J x

Oh and I meant to say, I got my hair highlighted on Saturday and it turned out fine biggrin.png

Edited by joannarama
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Day 23

Good morning! It's such a nice day outside today, it's just typical that Scotland gets tropical weather at the exact same time I'm told to avoid the sun! Coincidence?! :P

Anyway, just thought I'd post a quick update to let you all know that I am still getting on really well. I had another appointment with my derm yesterday, and provided my blood tests all come back ok I will have my dosage doubled to 60mg per day from next week. Still no IB (infact no breakouts at all in the last week!), but my derm said the increase in dose could spark one so I'm still trying not to get my hopes up.

She also told me that this will be my last set of blood tests and I won't receive any more until I finish at the end of June now. Does that sound right? Maybe I have got it wrong, but I was under the impression that I should get one done every month?? The pregnancy tests are to continue monthly, but that's all....

In terms of side effects, I have started having light nosebleeds and there is more dryness in my eyes, scalp and skin, but it's nothing I can't deal with! I'll just need to wait and see how the dosage increase affects me....

J x

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Nosebleeds? Blegh! Sorry to hear that :(

As far as monthly blood panels go, there'd only be worried of elevated liver enzyme and blood lipid levels. And truthfully unless you have prior liver issues you shouldn't worry about it much.

If you do have any signs of liver failure (dark urine, fatigue) then ask for a blood test pronto!

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Day 25

I have seriously dry eyes today. It's so bad it's actually affecting my vision in my left eye so I'm going to book an appointment with my optician asap. I have had this before (when I got my eyes lasered) so I'm hoping some artificial tears will sort it out like it did then.

Otherwise I am delighted with my progress! All I have is one raised spot, the rest are red marks which are fading more and more by the day. I still have this fear that some sort of major breakout will strike at any time, but I figure I might as well enjoy the clearness I have now while it lasts.

J x

PS - Happy Friday everyone!!

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Hey! Haven't stopped by here for a while. Glad you're seeing good results! My eyes have been a little dry too lately, and more sensitive to light. Oh well, it's a sacrifice worth making I guess :)

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Day 36

So it's been a while since my last update, mainly because of the Easter holidays, but I also have the worst cold ever! I wonder if the 'tane has affected my immune system? Either that or it's the mixture of heatwave/snow we had last week! Scottish weather cannot be explained!

Anyway, that's me on day 6 of the 60mg dose and I have seen a bit of an increase in the side effects now. The first (and worst) one is my eyes/eyelids. My eyes are super dry and really itchy, and my eyelids are swollen and red looking (I reckon people at work think I was on the 'wacky baccy' over the holidays!! lol.gif ) I went to the optician on Saturday and they prescribed me artificial tears for the dryness, but couldn't see anything causing the swelling. Having done a bit of research myself, I started moisturising my eyelids quite heavily (and carefully) and it has really helped it calm down. Hopefully if I keep doing that, I will get rid of it totally and I'll be able to keep it at bay it throughout the rest of the course....

As well as that, I have also developed an itchy rash all over my chest and arms. Again, that seems to be responding well to the moisturiser though, so I am hoping that was also caused by dryness.

In the last week, I have also had two new pimples appear. Still no major IB, but the higher dose has just started so it could still happen. Still too scared to hope I won't get one, but I will admit I have been so lucky so far :)

J x

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Day 43

Wow day 43 already, I can't believe how quickly my course is going!

My side effects have calmed down a bit since my last post, but I do have 2 new actives :( I am also really struggling with the corners of my lips now. They have been cracked since the very beginning, but everything I was using to manage it has stopped working. Not a good look! Any suggestions to help this will be much appreciated.

Finally, since I go on holiday in 3 months I have decided to start on a proper exercise plan to get myself beach ready. I haven't done much exercise at all since I started so I'm not sure how it will affect me. I'll keep you posted ether way, and I'll also try to post a new pic this week too...

J x

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Any news? Sounds like it's going quite well :)

Wish I had some advice about the lips but I don't I'm afraid. I've always used Carmex and that's worked well for me, I guess the low dosage has meant my lips aren't quite as bad as other people's.

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Day 53

I've had a bit of a breakout this week sadly :( It's in really weird places too, like under my chin and on my eyebrows! Overall my face is still so much better than before I started, but I am gutted I've started getting breakouts now when I've had barely any so far. I'm going to try not to let it get me down though, I still have a long way to go...

On the side effects front, my skin rash is back all over my arms. I didn't moisturise properly yesterday because I slept in (anyone else SOOO tired?!), so I'm fairly sure that's why. On the plus side, my lips have improved a lot. I've been putting LOADS of blisteze lip moisturiser on before I go to bed and it's really helped. I do feel sorry for my poor boyfriend though, he has to go to sleep next to a crazy white lipped chick! lol.gif

J x

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glad you're seeing good progress.... keep up the good work, there will be so many ups anddowns but you're on the right track!! x x

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Day 64

Things are looking up again :) No new break outs since my last post, plus I seem to have got my rash under control since then too. This accutane business is such a rollercoaster eh?!

Side effects are still manageable apart from my eyes which are still super dry right now. They are really sore and red (especially in the morning) and the viscotears aren't really cutting it any more. I might need to go back to the optician again cause I feel like I am squinting and struggling to see a lot of the time.

Oh and one other thing - make up! It just won't stay on my face! I have been using my usual foundation since I started my course (I know I probably shouldn't have been but I really couldn't have gone without it - I'd be mortified) but recently I can't get it looking good no matter what I try. It just kind of slides around my face without sinking in at all, then I give up and wash it off! I think it's because my skin is more raw and shiny than usual, but it's a real pain! If anyone out there has any tips to get round this please let me know :)

Hope you are all good btw!

J x

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Day 84

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been a bit quiet lately, I've been super busy with work. So I'm on day 84 now and I have 3 new actives as of yesterday :( Stupid things, they go away for ages and just as I get my hopes up, come back with a vengeance!! It almost seems like they plan it just to spite me...! Aside from that though, the rest of my face is looking pretty good. A lot of my red marks have cleared up almost completely (unless you look REALLY closely) and because of that everyone is telling me my skin is looking much better. I don't totally agree myself yet because to me the new actives are disgusting, but I'm trying to keep being patient with it. Side effects are pretty much the same as always: major dry lips and eyes and random skin rashes that come and go as they please.

On a different note, I spoke to my derm again last week and she said she wants to finish my course at the end of this month (making it a 4 month course as originally planned). That means I won't have reached my miminum dosage by the end though, but she didn't seem to know what I meant when I mentioned it to her. Does anyone on here have any links to good reports that prove this is the way to go? Or indeed any that show it doesn't make a difference...

Thanks guys, speak soon :)

J x

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