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My Accutane Log (19, Male, Moderate Acne).

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So I just started my course of accutane today. I'm male, 19 and live in the UK. I'm 5'11" and 74Kg ~~ 160lbs ~~ 11.5 stone. I've had acne since around 13/14, have been on various antibiotics and topicals. Despite this, my acne seems to be getting worse as the years go on. I also have a mild case of psoriasis, so I'll be interested in seeing how the accutane affects this - hopefully it will improve, I've read it can be good for psoriasis.

I've been started on 35mg a day, to be taken all at once, which I will be taking at dinner time, as it's the only meal that I have at the same time most days. I will be bumped up to 70mg a day in around 6 weeks if I have taken my current dosage well. I'm also currently taking probiotics in the morning and omega 3 fish oil capsules in the morning and with my accutane at dinner time.

My skin care regimen will be:

Morning: Wash with Cetaphil gentle skin cleaner and apply Simple kind to skin protecting light moisturiser SPF 15.

Evening: Wash with Cetaphil and apply Simple kind to skin hydrating light moisturiser.

Also I'm using Aquaphor healing ointment for my lips and Neutrogena T Gel (extra strength) for any scalp psoriasis that flares up.

I will try and update my log as often as I can, including pictures. Here are some pictures to show the condition of my skin at present. Currently it's not too bad but not great either.

Expect an update soon! Wish me luck!

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Day 3: no noticeable changes yet. Have stopped using the Heliocare sunscreen as it really just doesn't go on well - I've opted for a sunscreen by Simple instead.

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Day 5: no major changes. Skin isn't becoming quite as much of an oil slick as usual, but still gets oily. Getting breakouts as normal.

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Day 8: I've been noticing small changes in how my acne heals. If I've popped a spot it takes less time to heal over and dry up.

I've also noticed a few side effects beginning to creep into the picture. My lips are starting to get dryer, my back is starting to ache more than usual and also whenever I need to go to the toilet to urinate it feels as though I'm more desperate to go (I haven't changed my fluid intake). But these are all pretty minor things and I'm dealing with them pretty well so far.

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Day 10: have been noticing a couple of new side effects, although I guess it's all the same side effect, just in different places... Firstly the inside of my nose is starting to feel a bit dry and irritated (I've read that putting aquaphor or something similar up there can help) and also the skin on the back of my hands is starting to feel drier too (easily solved by using some hand lotion). Will probably post some more pics on my next update.

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Day 17: Urgh, been one of those days where I'm super paranoid and depressed about my acne. Still not a whole lot of difference with my breakouts. Lips and inside of nose getting pretty dry now. Also I don't know if it's just me but I really don't like applying sunscreen to my face, I've yet to find a decent one that doesn't either flake/rub off or make my skin look really shiny. How important is using sunscreen? I mean it's not been that sunny here recently and I'm not really out in the sun much except on my way to work.

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Day 30: had a cold last week so didn't really feel up to doing an update, almost into month 2 and will be upping my does to 70mg on the 16th.

I've noticed that my skin is getting nowhere near as oily now. I'm still breaking out, but they aren't quite as inflamed and it's slightly less often. I've also noticed that some blackheads are starting to "harden" and come to the surface, which is good.

Now onto the negatives. I've been using Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser since I started my course and I like it because it's quite light; however just recently my skin has been feeling tight and I'm starting to notice some flaking, especially around my mouth. So I'm looking for something a bit heavier/more hydrating. Does anyone here use Cetaphil Moisturising Cream? It's got a lot of good reviews but also some bad ones. I've been using this Simple moisturiser for so long I forgot how much of a hassle it is to find a moisturiser that works for you and I don't want to use anything that will cause me to break out.

I've also got a slight rash (looks a bit like hives) on the left side of my jawline for about a week now, which has gone now for the most part, but I'm wondering what's caused it. It could be shaving irritation since my skin will be more sensitive now, or could be because I had a cold last week?

My knees have been a bit more sore than usual recently, my back is the same as ever though. The skin on my body isn't any drier than it was when I started. However, I have noticed that the inside of my nose and ears are well and truly dry now.

Will update with some pics soon.

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Nice log! I can definitely see some improvement already.

I started on the 5th Aug - i'm guessing you're on the NHS because that's my plan too: start at half dosage for 6 weeks (25mg) then bump up to 50mg for the remainder of the 19 weeks. Yeah I'm pretty tiny haha (16/male)

That's a really good sign with the blackheads- for me they were literally poking out and then they disappeared a few at a time and now I've only got a couple which should hopefully go soon. It's satisfying because the dermatologist nurse told me it wouldn't do anything for blackheads, haha. Still breaking out pretty bad on my cheeks though :(

As for the moisturiser I'm using the rich version of your Simple moisturiser. It doesn't feel that rich to me but it hydrates sufficiently and will probably be an improvement from what you're using at the moment. I was advised by the nurse to use lotions rather than thick creams. I'm using that in conjunction with Simple's green gel cleanser (forgot its name) which is nice and gentle. It's all about what works for you and your skin I guess.

All the best! Will be following your progress.

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Hey there,

Cetaphil's moisturizer is heavy to some, which is why it got the negative ratings, but you can apply it at night and use something else during the day that doesn't leave a residue.

Aquafor has Petrolatum (41%) as its active ingredient, so any product with it will help you. http://www.aquaphorhealing.com/mobile/?p=how

Edited by GetMeTheResults
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On 9/7/2014 at 3:49 PM, the=entertainer said:

Nice log! I can definitely see some improvement already.

I started on the 5th Aug - i'm guessing you're on the NHS because that's my plan too: start at half dosage for 6 weeks (25mg) then bump up to 50mg for the remainder of the 19 weeks. Yeah I'm pretty tiny haha (16/male)

That's a really good sign with the blackheads- for me they were literally poking out and then they disappeared a few at a time and now I've only got a couple which should hopefully go soon. It's satisfying because the dermatologist nurse told me it wouldn't do anything for blackheads, haha. Still breaking out pretty bad on my cheeks though

As for the moisturiser I'm using the rich version of your Simple moisturiser. It doesn't feel that rich to me but it hydrates sufficiently and will probably be an improvement from what you're using at the moment. I was advised by the nurse to use lotions rather than thick creams. I'm using that in conjunction with Simple's green gel cleanser (forgot its name) which is nice and gentle. It's all about what works for you and your skin I guess.

All the best! Will be following your progress.

Oh cool, so we're pretty much taking it at the same time. Yeah mine's on the NHS too and I'm pretty sure my plan is exactly the same, just with different dosages. Also I don't know about you but after my next appointment, my following appointment isn't for another 3 months, which I thought was a bit odd because people are always saying you need to get monthly blood tests...

Yeah I've definitely noticed a decrease in blackheads. Same here, still breaking out, but it's not really been any worse than when I started and (touch wood) I haven't gotten the dreaded IB. Has yours gotten any worse or just not gotten much better?

I will have to check that out, is it this one here you're talking about? I do trust Simple products more than most so it would be good if I could stick to one of their moisturisers.

Thanks, would be good to know how you're getting on too! :)

On 9/7/2014 at 6:56 PM, GetMeTheResults said:

Hey there,

Cetaphil's moisturizer is heavy to some, which is why it got the negative ratings, but you can apply it at night and use something else during the day that doesn't leave a residue.

Aquafor has Petrolatum (41%) as its active ingredient, so any product with it will help you. http://www.aquaphorhealing.com/mobile/?p=how

Yeah I mean that's the thing with skin products, what breaks one person out will be a miracle product for someone else. I mean for now I've ordered some and I'll probably apply it to a section of my face for the first couple of days to see if I break out at all. Thanks for the advice! :)

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Oh cool, so we're pretty much taking it at the same time. Yeah mine's on the NHS too and I'm pretty sure my plan is exactly the same, just with different dosages. Also I don't know about you but after my next appointment, my following appointment isn't for another 3 months, which I thought was a bit odd because people are always saying you need to get monthly blood tests...

Yeah I've definitely noticed a decrease in blackheads. Same here, still breaking out, but it's not really been any worse than when I started and (touch wood) I haven't gotten the dreaded IB. Has yours gotten any worse or just not gotten much better?

I will have to check that out, is it this one here you're talking about? I do trust Simple products more than most so it would be good if I could stick to one of their moisturisers.

Thanks, would be good to know how you're getting on too!

Yep, mine isn't until December either! This surprised me too because I'd been reading on here about monthly blood tests and getting confused. I asked the nurse and she said that if any damage is done to the liver it will have been done by the 5th week so there's no need for constant checking. I also found it weird that I would only see my derm once (for the consultation back in July, can't say I'm not glad to see the back of him) and everything would be dealt with by the nurses, including prescriptions etc. It's a really efficient, airtight system; can't fault it at all.

I think it's about the same as when I started. I didn't get a massively noticeable IB but I've been breaking out significantly more in different areas in quick bursts, so at 2 weeks or so I got loads of spots on my left cheek which have basically all cleared and gone and now I'm getting the same on my right cheek. I'm hoping that once this one goes away the breakouts will slow down overall. The red marks from spots I've got from Roaccutane are fading really quickly, which is nice, so everything seems to be healing up. I've never had cystic acne (though I did get a wannabe cyst looming on my cheek about a fortnight ago... ) but it's reasonably moderate and worse than most of my friends', so after millions of other treatments it's time to say goodbye. I was on Differin+Lymecycline for 8 months so these 4 months will be nothing :P

Yes that's the right one, but you can get it cheaper at Boots - I guess it does what it says on the tin so I'm happy with it. I do get a bit of temporary irritation but my skin is so sensitive that water alone irritates it so you probably won't find this to be the case.

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Been using the Cetaphil Moisturising Cream for a couple of days now and I quite like it. It does a much better job at moisturising my skin than the Simple one I was using. It does make my face look a bit shiny, but not enough for it to bother me. So it's gotten a thumbs up from me for now. Now I just need to see if it will break me out over the next few days, it feels pretty good going on to my skin and it doesn't really feel heavy so I'm hoping it won't...

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Let's see, month 2 day 10:

Had my 2nd appointment yesterday and my blood work was perfectly fine and so my dosage was upped to 70mg - haven't really felt any differences yet.

Still using the Cetaphil moisturising cream for now (will probably look for something lighter for during the day).

Right now my main concern isn't active acne but more my complexion. I've noticed that red marks from previous acne are a lot more red and noticeable now, which makes my complexion look awful. It's mainly on my cheeks. In terms of active acne, my chin is pretty much clear which is great, although that's not been a huge problem area for me for a while, compared to how it used to be. My cheeks are still breaking out, but not as much. I've also noticed that the small beneath the skin bumps that I had on my left cheek are coming up as well (about time). I've been trying my hardest to absolutely not squeeze any acne that does come up. Before accutane I usually waited until it was all right at the surface and then squeeze it, but I don't want to risk it now and I've actually found that it does leave less of a mark and less redness (I've always been sceptical as to whether that's actually true or just a myth).

That rash I mentioned on my previous entry (the one on my jawline) is being a bit stubborn. When I spoke to the dermatology nurse about it she said she couldn't notice anything, which wasn't very helpful, and said to keep an eye on it and take a picture if it gets bad again (it's a bit calmer now, but still there). Using the Cetaphil moisturiser has helped and I think the reason I got it in the first place is because my skin was too dry from using only a light moisturiser all the time. Because when it first came up it was very itchy, but now that I'm moisturising properly it's stopped itching and feels less irritated. Anyway, I've (very sparingly) applied some OTC hydrocortisone cream to where it is, and I won't use it for long because I'm too afraid of side effects, but I feel like I need something to kick start the recovery of it.

Also got a small (pencil eraser size) crusty eczema-type thing on my hand but that went away after about 3 days after applying the Cetaphil moisturiser onto it.

Back pain is the same as ever, not much more than what I usually get. I have noticed that It's slightly harder to focus and stay concentrated, but only by very little. Not noticed any hair loss. Not got dry eyes. Inside of my ears are a bit dry though. I haven't felt any increase in the number of headaches I get, I just get one every now and then, but I usually do anyway.

Oh and I probably should have mentioned this in my first post; but I'm also using a lotion on my body (I used it before accutane anyway due to dry skin) which is E45 Intense Recovery Lotion, which is great and I would recommend it to people on accutane who feel like the skin on their body is drying up. It has helped big time mainly with dryness on my arms - I've noticed some small rashes popping up but then soon going away.

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I got bumped up last Tuesday also - 50mg per day. Since Wednesday I've had a pretty horrible breakout on the lower part of my face which (I hope!) is starting to go away and was definitely because of the increase. Everything's suddenly a lot drier and I had my first nosebleed last night...only 12 weeks to go now!! Everyone else is trying to forget that Christmas is coming but I'm looking forward to it because Christmas hopefully means coming off these tablets...!

Good luck - please keep updating this!

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I got bumped up last Tuesday also - 50mg per day. Since Wednesday I've had a pretty horrible breakout on the lower part of my face which (I hope!) is starting to go away and was definitely because of the increase. Everything's suddenly a lot drier and I had my first nosebleed last night...only 12 weeks to go now!! Everyone else is trying to forget that Christmas is coming but I'm looking forward to it because Christmas hopefully means coming off these tablets...!

Good luck - please keep updating this!

I've also got a pretty nasty breakout right now, including two massive spots on my forehead where I never usually get any acne. Oh no, I still haven't had a nosebleed yet, was it a heavy one? Yes, I'm just looking forward to having clear skin!

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Month 2 day 21:

After my does was upped I did break out a bit and like I mentioned before, my complexion was looking quite angry. Since then things seem to be calming down now, my complexion isn't as red - things seem to be evening out. In terms of active acne, I have one small-medium pustule on my left side, relatively inflamed though. Apart from that, everything else is healing. Chin, upper lip and nose have been clear for a few weeks now; although there is still quite a few blackheads to come up on my nose.

Side effects wise. it's not really been that bad so far. Lower back has been a bit more sore recently, but nothing major. Dry lips and skin are easily manageable.

I might post a picture next time if I'm feeling up to it.

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Hey, how's your course going? Any news? Hopefully your lack of updates is a good sign...after all who needs acne.org when acne's gone?

I'm still waiting for my miracle moment...everywhere is still breaking out awfully. It just won't go away. Way, way worse than when I started and getting worse every single day. Sucks cos I have a very significant week-long event in two weeks where I'll be in front of a lot of important people. I guess miracles can happen...

Thinking of you man! Hope all's dandy.

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Hey, how's your course going? Any news? Hopefully your lack of updates is a good sign...after all who needs acne.org when acne's gone?

I'm still waiting for my miracle moment...everywhere is still breaking out awfully. It just won't go away. Way, way worse than when I started and getting worse every single day. Sucks cos I have a very significant week-long event in two weeks where I'll be in front of a lot of important people. I guess miracles can happen...

Thinking of you man! Hope all's dandy.

Hey, I'm sorry it's been so long since my last update!

Yeah for me, I've only really started seeing decent improvements the last week or so. It had been getting worse for me too until fairly recently (which was partly why I didn't feel like updating for so long). Right now I'm only getting one or two spots at a time, but some of these ones are still quite red and inflamed when they come up which is annoying.

Thankfully the redness on my left side is starting to improve now though.

I would say that my nose, chin and forehead and pretty much clear right now; it's just my cheeks/sides that are breaking out here and there.

Also I've noticed that the acne on my shoulders has improved quite well too, although it wasn't that bad to start with.

In terms of side effects, I've definitely noticed an increase in the number of headaches I'm getting and also my eyes feel a lot more irritated and sore - which is partially solved by using eye drops/gel. Also, I'd say that the dry lips are definitely not as bad as some make it out to be, I've found it easily manageable. However I have found my nose getting quite dry and congested with bloody snot I guess you could say, only in one nostril though oddly enough.

Also I took some pictures today as it's been a while since I included some. Although looking at them now, the lighting makes my complexion look better than it is. It's actually a bit redder than in the pictures, especially on the sides.

My next appointment is around December 15th and by the sounds of how they worded it at my last appointment, that's when they'd usually end someone's course, but I'm going to try and convince them to let me stay on it for another month at least, because I don't feel like I'm 100% there yet and I'd rather have the larger cumulative dose to make sure my acne doesn't come back.

How are you getting on now? Hopefully things have started getting a bit better?

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Hey, how's your course going? Any news? Hopefully your lack of updates is a good sign...after all who needs acne.org when acne's gone?

I'm still waiting for my miracle moment...everywhere is still breaking out awfully. It just won't go away. Way, way worse than when I started and getting worse every single day. Sucks cos I have a very significant week-long event in two weeks where I'll be in front of a lot of important people. I guess miracles can happen...

Thinking of you man! Hope all's dandy.

Hey, I'm sorry it's been so long since my last update!

Yeah for me, I've only really started seeing decent improvements the last week or so. It had been getting worse for me too until fairly recently (which was partly why I didn't feel like updating for so long). Right now I'm only getting one or two spots at a time, but some of these ones are still quite red and inflamed when they come up which is annoying.

Thankfully the redness on my left side is starting to improve now though.

I would say that my nose, chin and forehead and pretty much clear right now; it's just my cheeks/sides that are breaking out here and there.

Also I've noticed that the acne on my shoulders has improved quite well too, although it wasn't that bad to start with.

In terms of side effects, I've definitely noticed an increase in the number of headaches I'm getting and also my eyes feel a lot more irritated and sore - which is partially solved by using eye drops/gel. Also, I'd say that the dry lips are definitely not as bad as some make it out to be, I've found it easily manageable. However I have found my nose getting quite dry and congested with bloody snot I guess you could say, only in one nostril though oddly enough.

Also I took some pictures today as it's been a while since I included some. Although looking at them now, the lighting makes my complexion look better than it is. It's actually a bit redder than in the pictures, especially on the sides.

My next appointment is around December 15th and by the sounds of how they worded it at my last appointment, that's when they'd usually end someone's course, but I'm going to try and convince them to let me stay on it for another month at least, because I don't feel like I'm 100% there yet and I'd rather have the larger cumulative dose to make sure my acne doesn't come back.

How are you getting on now? Hopefully things have started getting a bit better?

I'm really glad to see you're improving - the improvement in the images is fantastic. Not long to go now.

For me it's been on and off really - every time it shows sign of improvement I always think "yep, this is the one" and the day after it goes back to how it was before... on the other hand, as predicted, each breakout has been slightly less extreme and my cheeks have been clear for about a week, my chin for months. My chest and back get like 1 spot a week, which is definitely an improvement, and I'm confident that once my breakout on my forehead (always the worst bit of my face) is gone I should be - nearly - home and dry (no pun intended). I get you with the redness, but the marks seem to fade quicker than pre-isotretinoin for some reason - I'm guessing it's the added exfoliation with constantly shedding skin. Dryness is nothing a bit of moisturiser can't fix, which is surprising given the freezing temperatures where I am!

I have an appointment on the 16th but I'll definitely ask for the extension as I'm certainly not there yet, and although I was motivating myself with the whole "clear by Christmas" thing I've given up caring now and taking the tablets has just become a daily part of my life. It's sort of annoying really - I guess you could only class my acne as moderate so I was expecting improvement sooner, but I suppose severity doesn't automatically define stubbornness. Either way, a month or two is nothing compared to a lifetime of clear skin.

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Just a quick update. I'm still breaking out, although not much and not very often. Since my last update, the active acne you can see in the pictures has gone and I broke out with 2 spots a few days ago (one on my jawline and one on my neck, which is relatively rare). So it's definitely getting better and better, just not 100% still.

I had my appointment today and I'm staying on it for another 5 weeks for now, so hopefully this will be the magical last stretch that really gets me clear. But if not I'm sure I could convince them to let me stay on it for another few weeks if necessary.

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Okay, so I just had my next check up and I've been given another 5 weeks worth of Roaccutane for now - still at 70mg daily.

I am still breaking out; although it keeps getting better gradually. I've noticed that most of my breakouts now are due to blackheads coming up, which is reassuring as I was starting to lose hope. The redness on my left cheek is starting to fade nicely now and although I thought my right side was virtually clear, this is where most of my new breakouts have been. My nose, chin and shoulders have remained clear since my last update. I've had a few; but not that many new spots come on my forehead.

Side effects wise I've noticed that my skin has been getting more flaky these past 2 or 3 weeks. I've also had a strange red mark on my neck for the past 3 weeks or so. It kind of looks like a spot, but it's more like eczema. I keep using moisturiser and emollient on it but it doesn't seem to get worse or better. I showed it to the nurses at my check up today and they said to just keep moisturising it. It's only small so it's not severe or anything, just a bit bothersome. Apart from that it's just been the same old dry lips etc.

Hopefully this next 5 weeks will be the last of it!

On a slight side note, I've just calculated my cumulative dose so far using as help:

So being 74kg, my lower suggested does would be 8880mg and my higher suggested dose, 11100mg.

Currently I've been on 35mg for 6 weeks and 70mg for around 4 months. So if I just round each month to 30 days that gives me a current dosage of 9870mg which is close to halfway between the higher and lower dosages.

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Just thought I'd check in again, seeing as I literally just took my last (hopefully) pills! Feels apt seeing as I just had the fattiest roast ever, haha.

I think our appointments were literally a day out of each other - I went on the 17th Dec and as I was still breaking out a bit we agreed to extend it until the end of January. Even though I was still getting the odd breakout the nurse thought I had improved enough and recommended that I finished off the 3 weeks' worth of pills I had left. So now I'm done and it feels great. Haven't had a breakout for 2 weeks now, and even though the (very noticeable) marks will take a while to fade I'm remaining hopeful that it's finally worked its magic.

P.S. I just noticed you live in Norwich...if you went to the NNH...creepy! Don't suppose you had the nice Scandinavian nurse or a certain Dr M?

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Just thought I'd check in again, seeing as I literally just took my last (hopefully) pills! Feels apt seeing as I just had the fattiest roast ever, haha.

I think our appointments were literally a day out of each other - I went on the 17th Dec and as I was still breaking out a bit we agreed to extend it until the end of January. Even though I was still getting the odd breakout the nurse thought I had improved enough and recommended that I finished off the 3 weeks' worth of pills I had left. So now I'm done and it feels great. Haven't had a breakout for 2 weeks now, and even though the (very noticeable) marks will take a while to fade I'm remaining hopeful that it's finally worked its magic.

P.S. I just noticed you live in Norwich...if you went to the NNH...creepy! Don't suppose you had the nice Scandinavian nurse or a certain Dr M?

That's great news, congrats! It will be interesting to see how long it takes for your skin to stop being dry from the accutane. Yeah I think the main thing for me now is red marks, though they've been showing good improvement recently.

I'm still getting a few smaller spots. I'm not getting any nasty, really inflamed ones at all, just small ones that stay red for a day or two. I'll usually have like a week where I'm clear (like now) then a week where I get a few new ones. But if I have to stay on for another month I don't really mind as I've still not gotten any bad side effects apart dry skin and lips. But overall I'm still very happy with my progress! I'd say I'm like 95% there.

I did go to the NNH, that's so weird! Hmm I don't think I've had either of them, I usually have a different nurse each time I go in lol.

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Okay, I just had my last check up. The nurse mentioned that I've been on it for a while longer than most people are. She said most are on it for around 18 weeks (at least over here in the UK, it might be different elsewhere) and I've been on it for around 28 weeks. So I've not gotten any more tablets and I'm just going to finish off what I have left, which is about 2 weeks worth. Ideally I would have liked to get another months worth; but I can understand why they might be a bit hesitant to give me more. And she did say that people tend to keep seeing improvement even after stopping their course, which I've also read in a few people's logs too. So I'm a little disappointed, but I'm also very happy with the improvement I've seen.

Oh and I was also given a prescription for some kind of accutane but in gel form to use once I've finished the tablets. This was just in case I was worried about the smaller spots, so I might not bother because the spots I do get aren't really that bad. And they've said they'll give me an appointment to see a dermatologist (the doctor, not the nurse clinic) in a few months to see how I'm doing once I've finished, which I appreciated.

I'll come and upload some pictures when I've taken my last tablets and then again a few weeks later to see how things have gone.

Also, just to give an idea on my cumulative dosage so far:

As of now it's around 11970mg in total and in 2 weeks it will be around 12950mg

Now, I have put on a little weight since starting my course. I'm now 77kg, not 74kg. So my lower/upper suggested doses would be 9240mg and 11550mg respectively if we're going with 77kg. So 12950mg is well over the upper suggested dose.

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hey this sounded like my on the first time round.

Your skin will probably improve afterwards as it stays in your system for around 2 months or so.

All the best mate.

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