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Thanks ladies! Couldn't have done it without you! Seriously.

I'm well into my sixth month now. Still planning to do a seventh.

My skin is great. Great for my skin, anyway. I have been able to reduce the amount of makeup that I wear, which is nice. I like makeup, and I would probably wear foundation even if I had never had acne. But I didn't like the feeling of wearing so much when my acne was at its worst. Instead of primer and full foundation, I am just mixing a little bit of foundation into the primer and done. Feels good to feel like I am just evening things out a bit instead of trying to create a mask.

Had a great day out for coffee with friends, didn't even think about my skin.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

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Kim - AWESOME news! So glad things are going well! Not feeling like you have to hide your skin is a wonderful feeling. :)

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One thing I noticed is that inspecting my scarring potential causes me to notice my aging more.

Thanks, life.

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Argh - me too. Maybe having a face like a pubescent teenager (no offense meant to ANY pubescent teenagers reading this log) had it's perks.

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It was my birthday yesterday! Unfortunately, I became another year older. THIRTY SIX!! What the hell happened there? Sheesh. Accutane makes me have little forehead wrinkles I didn't have before. I hope they go away when my skin gets a little less dry. COME BACK IN FOUR YEARS WHEN I'M READY FOR YOU!

Also - after just 15 short years of being together and one five year old son, I finally got a proposal! So I guess I get to plan a wedding or some sort, which is pretty exciting.

Skin update!! Still super clear. I have about a month to go. I still have more redness than I would like, but rumour has it this should subside after the course is over.

Hopeful that I'll get some long term results and be able to continue living my normal life. Also being realistic that this is always a struggle for me, but I know I have options and solutions available.

Summary of course so far for anyone reading this just getting started:

First week: Why are all these weird things happening?

Second week: Feeling normal, chapped lips have begun.

Third week: Here comes the IB

Rest of month 1, 2 and 3: And keeps coming . . .

Month 4: A few random final battles

Month 5 & 6: Calm / Joy

Month 7: TBA

After course: ?????!!!!!!

Hope everyone is doing well, esp. my ladies persnickity and megtree.

Edited by Kim28

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It was my birthday yesterday! Unfortunately, I became another year older. THIRTY SIX!! What the hell happened there? Sheesh. Accutane makes me have little forehead wrinkles I didn't have before. I hope they go away when my skin gets a little less dry. COME BACK IN FOUR YEARS WHEN I'M READY FOR YOU!

Also - after just 15 short years of being together and one five year old son, I finally got a proposal! So I guess I get to plan a wedding or some sort, which is pretty exciting.

Skin update!! Still super clear. I have about a month to go. I still have more redness than I would like, but rumour has it this should subside after the course is over.

Hopeful that I'll get some long term results and be able to continue living my normal life. Also being realistic that this is always a struggle for me, but I know I have options and solutions available.

Summary of course so far for anyone reading this just getting started:

First week: Why are all these weird things happening?

Second week: Feeling normal, chapped lips have begun.

Third week: Here comes the IB

Rest of month 1, 2 and 3: And keeps coming . . .

Month 4: A few random final battles

Month 5 & 6: Calm / Joy

Month 7: TBA

After course: ?????!!!!!!

Hope everyone is doing well, esp. my ladies persnickity and megtree.

Hi! I hope you're doing well! I haven't been back for a while, things have been a little crazy. I am so glad to hear you are still happily clear!

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The last few days have arrived. My 7 month course somehow took about 8. This is because I missed a week once, and a few days another time, due to rescheduled appointments or having to order in my prescription. I also admit to some laziness in the past month or so, skipping a day here or there.

My grade total dose will be somewhere around 132 mg/kg, which I think is a darn good attempt.

I'll be glad when the chapped lips go, which I learned happens within about a week when I took that week off.

It's pretty scary out there in 'no magical pill that keeps your skin clear' land. Hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst.

I'll keep y'all updated.

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Done! Off for about three days now.

My lips are still a bit chapped. This in between phase is almost more annoying than when they used to peel off every day.

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Guest GetMeTheResults

U lucky sexy b^*&% :) Are you going to post before and after photos ?? I want to seeeeee

Done! Off for about three days now.

My lips are still a bit chapped. This in between phase is almost more annoying than when they used to peel off every day.

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Hi Kim

What is your skincare routine now you are off the tane? Sending good vibes your way that you stay 100% clear. Also I am curious you mentioned about day 75 of your course that you had some small cloggers/comedones that were not getting inflamed but just sitting there. Did these ever disappear or are they still there? Reason I ask is that tane seems to have had minimal effect on these for me. My forehead and cheeks especially have lots of these just sitting there that rarely get inflamed and come out, nor do they clear up either.

Done! Off for about three days now.

My lips are still a bit chapped. This in between phase is almost more annoying than when they used to peel off every day.

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Hey JJ!

So far so good. The side of my nose was a little sore yesterday, so I spent the better part of the afternoon looking for a zit, but couldn't find one. I think it might just be from getting a bit sunburned at the beach the other day. So, skin is good, but paranoia is still high!

I have basically returned to the routine I was using before this second round of Accutane. That and an anti-androgen kept me clear for a lot of years, and I've realized that my skincare doesn't make as much of a difference as my hormones. The only piece of it that I really think is a bit helpful for me is using a tiny bit of BP morning and night. It was when I stopped doing this to try a tretinion cream that things really went bonkers and landed my back on Accutane. So maybe I'll be a slave to it forever, and maybe it will make my skin drier or whatever, but I'll take that over acne returning any day.

Here's my routine:

- Wash with a mild cleanser. (I like spectrojel. Not sure if they sell this outside of Canada, but cetaphil or cerave would be similar)

- Mix a pea sized amount of BP with two peas of moisturizer and apply. (I like moisturel, but again cetaphil or cerave would be similar, and for BP I use the proactiv one because it is less tacky than most and wears well under makeup - possibly not a concern for you!)

I wear foundation - but just a dab mixed with sunscreen. For sunscreen I am picky. I use MD solarsciences 50 spf because the ingredients are things that agree with me and it has 17% zinc oxide, which I think helps with my redness, and is supposed to ward off inflammation.

In the PM I also remove my makeup first with bioderma sensibio, which is a micellar water that takes off makeup beautifully. Again, probably not a concern for you.

That's it. I really think less is more with this acne deal. People put so much crazy stuff on their faces, and it really only seems to just irritate and make things worse, at least that has been my experience in the past.

I tend to think that a big piece of what kept me clear for so long after my first course was using an anti-androgenic form of birth control. It was only when I went off that for a good while that I started getting really oily skin and a few zits here and there. Trying to fix that by changing up my routine and adding all sort of topicals was what landed me back on Accutane.

To answer your Q about the 'cloggers' (damn those cloggers!). Most of them turned into little whiteheads right before I cleared up. One of them just disappeared, which I thought was rather a miracle. I do still have a couple little white bumps under the skin here and there, but I think most of them are scars from prior bumps.

I have come to accept that my skin will never be 'perfect'. And really, when I look around at my same age peers (late 30s), I don't think I'm doing too badly. It's not like I'm 19 anymore, so I don't have the expectation of perfectly smooth baby skin. I still have some redness that I hope will fade with time. All I really want in life is to not have painful spots on my face all the time. I can handle a few little blackheads or cloggy pores, I just hope to avoid cysts and other types of big ouchers. If I can do that I will be a happy girl.

Looking forward to reading positive updates from you. We have been through a long journey together, and it really gets my goat that you're not where you want to be yet.

Thinking of you.

Edited by Kim28

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I am so happy to hear you are staying clear! One question: How are you dealing with the paranoia that your acne might come back? Like...I am ok with having a spot here and there like everyone else, but it's eating me alive thinking that one spot here or there will lead to 30 spots and how do I know the difference between 'normal' breakouts and relapse? I know you probably don't have the answer to that question, I am just wondering what your thought processes are in dealing with that fear.

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Meg, I am not good with the paranoia at all!

With my first course, it just took time. If it is truly not a relapse, then eventually you just get used to not having terrible acne anymore and it stops being the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning. It probably took me about a year after my first course before I stopped worrying every day and with every tiny spot. Over the ten years I was clear I would get a tiny spot from time to time and a bigger one about once a year (always in the spring - no idea why). And every time I would be a little bit afraid, but less and less as time went on.

The thing that is helping me now is that I can do another course if I need to. The worst did happen - my acne came back. But I survived, and if I had just gone back to Accutane instead of trying out topicals and various OTC products, the 'relapse' experience would not have been that bad.

So I guess the knowledge that Accutane is there for me if I need it (my derm has suggested a long term low dose course if trouble happens again), and that a relapse doesn't mean I'm stuck with acne forever (clear right now!) helps a lot.

To answer you second question, I knew I was relapsing when my skin got super oily again and I started always having a cyst or two. Not like I had one and then nothing for a while - like I was always covering something up and worrying about something. I started going through concealer way faster, when previously I usually threw it out barely used just because it was old.

When my acne first came back, prior to my topical debacle, it was not as bad as it had been and in fewer places. But, it was bad enough that I worried about things like if a big event was coming up - would I have a giant zit for it? I started not wanting to make plans and thinking about my skin all the time, and that's when I knew I had to do something. I did the wrong thing at first, but I learned from that and I guess that's the best I can do.

Most importantly I guess I learned that I am not a failure for taking it again. It even says right on the product monograph that most people reach sustained clarity through "one or two courses of isotretinoin therapy", so a second course is not the shocker people make it out to be. From reading your posts, you seem to have a great derm that is willing to work with you, and that is the best thing you can have I think.

The fear is hard to kick, and I think I'll have it in the back of my mind forever, but it does get better once you have some sustained clarity. Let's hope we can both find some peace of mind.

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Meg, I am not good with the paranoia at all!

With my first course, it just took time. If it is truly not a relapse, then eventually you just get used to not having terrible acne anymore and it stops being the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning. It probably took me about a year after my first course before I stopped worrying every day and with every tiny spot. Over the ten years I was clear I would get a tiny spot from time to time and a bigger one about once a year (always in the spring - no idea why). And every time I would be a little bit afraid, but less and less as time went on.

The thing that is helping me now is that I can do another course if I need to. The worst did happen - my acne came back. But I survived, and if I had just gone back to Accutane instead of trying out topicals and various OTC products, the 'relapse' experience would not have been that bad.

So I guess the knowledge that Accutane is there for me if I need it (my derm has suggested a long term low dose course if trouble happens again), and that a relapse doesn't mean I'm stuck with acne forever (clear right now!) helps a lot.

To answer you second question, I knew I was relapsing when my skin got super oily again and I started always having a cyst or two. Not like I had one and then nothing for a while - like I was always covering something up and worrying about something. I started going through concealer way faster, when previously I usually threw it out barely used just because it was old.

When my acne first came back, prior to my topical debacle, it was not as bad as it had been and in fewer places. But, it was bad enough that I worried about things like if a big event was coming up - would I have a giant zit for it? I started not wanting to make plans and thinking about my skin all the time, and that's when I knew I had to do something. I did the wrong thing at first, but I learned from that and I guess that's the best I can do.

Most importantly I guess I learned that I am not a failure for taking it again. It even says right on the product monograph that most people reach sustained clarity through "one or two courses of isotretinoin therapy", so a second course is not the shocker people make it out to be. From reading your posts, you seem to have a great derm that is willing to work with you, and that is the best thing you can have I think.

The fear is hard to kick, and I think I'll have it in the back of my mind forever, but it does get better once you have some sustained clarity. Let's hope we can both find some peace of mind.

Thank you so much for that Kim. I think it all makes sense. I know that if I have to, I will go back on it and to be honest - it really wasn't as bad as people make it out to be. The first couple months were not fun mainly because I didn't know what to expect, but towards the last couple of months I almost forgot I was taking it until it was time for my pill.

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Hi Kim

Thanks for the update. Glad to know you are still going well. I like your attitude too - I need to readjust mine because perfect skin I neither have nor will have. My skin hasn't been perfect over the last month or so but you would not notice my acne unless you looked closely. The last decent sized inflamed spot I had was around a month ago. I'm still getting tiny papules, sometimes slightly larger papules and I still have a lot of dormant clogged pores. Oh and I keep getting those ones right at the corner of my mouth on both sides, I reckon it's from the tane though making it irritated. Like you I think I'll just aim to not suffer from any of the large, ouchy visible ones that also tend to leave atrophic scarring.

I've got quite a large clogged pore which has popped up right next to my last big zit so I might get another. Still concerned about what I am going to do long-term. I would be happy to drop down to a maintenance dose of 10mg/day but I'm not sure if that would be a high enough dose to suppress the acne as well as the 30mg. Also wonder in the back of my mind if I should have done a full course and/or reached 120-150mg/kg. Anyhoo no point stressing, I'll keep you updated on my log.

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Just got back from my brother's wedding in one of the hottest, most humid countries in the world. Holy crap, there was no hope of keeping my makeup on. BUT - although it was certainly easier not being around too many people I knew (just family), I felt okay about it. Most of my redness is gone, and the scars I endured have faded so much, I didn't even feel like they were noticeable. It was pretty liberating to not feel like I NEEDED makeup just to look normal. And nice to jump on the sea and not care if my face got wet!

Skin is still doing great. Still paranoid every time I think I feel something, but so far, nothing has actually happened. My nose has gone back to getting a bit oily throughout the day, but I have had a shiny nose for as long as I can remember, so no shocker there. Otherwise, the oiliness has not returned anywhere else, so that makes me hopeful that the zits will stay away too as oiliness and acne generally go hand in hand for me.

Glad I did this second course, and thankful for the results I have so far.

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