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emmygirl

Round Two. Fingers Crossed. 27/f

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Well, here I am again. Taking my first pill today. I am 27 and have had mild - moderate acne most of my life. It's genetic, my mom and sister both had horrible cystic acne and I was no different. About a year an a half ago I got the worst breakout of my life. No exaggeration it was all over my face. Cheeks, chin, forehead, the works. Check out my first log if you're curious! So my last course ran December to June and within three weeks of the treatment I was clear. I remained clear (not just like clear skin, like so clear there was nothing on my face at all, no PIH, no active acne, no clogged pores, nadda. Let me tell you it was pure bliss. I was so happy. Until last December when it slowly crept back into my life. I attribute it to severe stress (finals) change in the weather, and using a horrible product that I shouldn't have. However here I am late March still struggling with breakouts. It's no where NEAR as bad as before. It's moderate, but some cysts and scarring were occurring regularly so I told my dermatologist "I'm not doing this again, I need a second round!" She agreed. I had tried Cephalexin for two full months, nothing. I tried Proactiv (yikes I know, but it was my old standby that always helped) nadda. I also tried several other things like Epiduo (which DID help but not completely). I also tried vitamin D, eating healthy (I'm always eating healthy but regardless I know someone will ask what my diet was/is) and yes I also tried cutting out any dairy. Mine, isn't diet related and never has been, it's genetic. So, needless to say, it was time. My skin isn't getting any quicker at healing! So here I am, day 1.

(Also quickly those of you who are taking Accutane, PLEASE always, always, ALWAYS take it with a meal, on a full stomach. It will not absorb if you don't and it will be a waste) Unless you're on Absorbica, in which case, lucky you! That is why my doctor thinks it came back so quickly. I know it is stupid, I know in hind sight what the hell was I thinking, but I often took it in the morning on an empty stomach.

I'll try to do a weekly log of my progress, because I found second round logs helpful when I was strongly considering it. Wish me luck! Here's to clear skin.

Edited by emmygirl

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Day 8

The first week is done and I have to say, it's been incredibly uneventful. I feel great, no real dry eyes, lips, nose, the only thing that has been significantly less oily is my hair which I absolutely love. I have noticed some of my obnoxious closed comedones disappearing or being pushed out easily with NO redness or inflammation, which is AMAAAZING because these things have been living in my skin for months! I have only gotten one small pimple on my forehead since starting Amnesteem and it was there the second day, so in no way to result of the medication. No IB to speak of at this point, *knock on wood* but I know if you are going to get one it is usually the 2nd or 3rd week so we'll see. I did use Epiduo for a month prior which may have helped to unclog pores as well as taking an antibiotic for a few months before.

-So far so good! :)

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Day 14

I think I'm experiencing my IB right now, which is such a bummer because I am on Spring break with the in-laws. I got a fun cheek zit that actually only lasted a couple days and is still kind of healing (dry peeling skin with a pinkish tint). I did however get a few new ones over the last few days. I got a tiny one on my chin near my mouth that is also just peeling and mostly healed. I also got this massive sucker on the lower part of my left chin, almost on my jaw and this one has been a serious pain in my ass. I have had a small bump there for about two weeks, but of course while I'm on vacation it decided to triple in size and cause some anxiety. Otherwise my skin is looking pretty good. My eyes have been pretty dry, my lips are a little dry but I have been pretty active on applying lip gloss, eye drops, and moisturizing twice a day so it's not too bad. The only REAL issue I am still having is this spot on my right lower lip - upper chin that has about 4 clogged pores and they WILL NOT come out! They have been there for seriously 3 maybe 4 months and will grow into an inflamed irritated pimple, pop, heal, and then return. I have tried, in desperate times, to extract them and sometimes it works but is mostly awful, doesn't pop, and leaves a bump and red mark, and they always manage to come right back. When I put makeup on it it doesn't look too bad, you can barely notice actually, but once I wash it off I can see those small obnoxious bumps and start going insane again! Does anyone have any tips for this? I don't know what I should try, if I should put some Retin A on the spot, or if I should absolutely not because I'm on Amnesteem. Should I just continue to leave it alone? Ugh, is Amnesteem going to push these little shits out anytime soon!? Other than that things are good I suppose. I'm feeling a little discouraged but know that it will get better and I just have to keep hanging in there. I think at my next appointment I will ask for a higher dose, I was on 60mg the entire course last time and did fine, and am currently on 40mg and am just not feeling like it's working completely. Thanks to anyone who read this, not sure if anyone does, but it does help me keep track of the experience :)

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Day 18

Ugh. So I was going to post every week but things have been rough, I keep breaking out. They are small breakouts and to be honest are breakouts I've been expecting. Nothing really NEW just clogged pores so it's all good, but it's still hard to deal with. Right now I have a massive zit on my lower lip that hurts, I have another small one on my left lip and I have a few weird spots on my left cheek. I have about three of those weird white small zits along the top part of my upper lip and I also have this weird, almost microscopic outbreak of black heads on and around my nose. These are completely expected and can only see them if I get really close to the mirror without makeup on. My lips are starting to get really dry, like the gross peeling, flaking dry. I don't know, I guess I'm just feeling a little down today....but I have to keep remembering that things will get better and it's a good thing to sort of flush all of these suckers out.....right?!

-Does anyone read or follow this?! Haha! I hope someone can find some help or hope in this log, especially as things progress :)

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Hi! I'm definitely following your log. We are about the same weight (110-115 here) so I'm interested in what dosage your dr has you on and what maybe side effects I could expect at such a dose. By the way are you on birth control? I can't take it anymore so just wondering..

Good luck on your journey! :)

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Well, I tried to upload pictures but it is just not working :( nm.

Edited by emmygirl

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Hi! I'm definitely following your log. We are about the same weight (110-115 here) so I'm interested in what dosage your dr has you on and what maybe side effects I could expect at such a dose. By the way are you on birth control? I can't take it anymore so just wondering..

Good luck on your journey! :)

Hey anotherstar! I'm so glad you are following :)

Ugh I am on birth control and like you can't really take it anymore. The only birth control that did wonders for my acne and didn't make me gain weight or feel sick is YAZ, it's too expensive though and I'm skeptical about generics. I am just on some free type that I got at the health department. Birth control and I do not get along, I wish when I was younger I would have just gotten the non-hormonal IUD, but with my age and husband and I wanting kids in the next 2 years it wouldn't make sense...sigh. I'm so sorry to hear your skin has been acting a little crazy with BC, I totally understand.

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Day 24

Well I'm a little off schedule but that's okay. Nothing really new to report. Dry lips and nose, but nothing too bad. Big gross ugly zit right in the middle of my left cheek (that seems to be a problem spot) and some red spots and odd skin textures. Otherwise pretty good. My skin is much less oily and is feeling smoother every day. My one month appointment is on Wednesday. That first month went so fast!

That's all for now! :)

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Day 25

I woke up this morning with a zit the size of a marble under my lower left lip. This thing is a serious zit! I want to cry about it, but am actually laughing simply because....why not!? Why not grow another monstrous pimple! It actually hurts really bad, like deep down in the skin it is throbbing. Oh well I guess....? I'm trying really hard not to get discouraged because I am only in my first month, but it's starting to get hard. I also have a new friend on my lower right lip, so it looks super weird having zits on both sides of my lower mouth, basically symmetrical. Lovely!

Can't wait for this nightmare to be in the past, and talk about my acne in past tense. That will be the greatest day! :) I just need to keep my eye on the prize!

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Day 27

Went and saw the dermatologist today for my 1 month check-up. Everything went great and the best part is she's upping my dose to 60 mg. I was on 60 mg the entire course last time so I think it should be tolerable. Still have this massive zit under my lip (left side) I don't see this guy leaving anytime soon, it's kind of like a cyst I suppose....no head...massive...red...and painful! I also have some weird little zits along my upper lip as well that don't seem to want to go anywhere. However, my forehead and cheeks are smooth and pretty darn clear which is really nice! My problem area is mostly around my mouth, which sucks because my skin peels and cracks anytime I talk or eat so it looks like a damn mess everyday...but oh well! I am so grateful my blood work looked perfect and I am moving up to a higher dosage...I just want to get this over with :)

Good luck to all of you out there on the same path, it's rough but will get better :)

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Day 29

I'm going insane. My skin is not happy at the moment and it's breaking my heart. I will have a week where my skin is pretty clear and then WHAMO a breakout. I still have that large zit on my lower left lip, it's gone way down, but still there. I also have this huge, irritated one under my left nostril...it's lovely. I have some other clogged pores that are working their way out but man, it's getting discouraging to still look this way. I know I have to be patient, I'm only just starting my second month....but it's hard. I have a huge interview for a dream job in a week and a half, two defense presentations in two weeks, graduation coming up in a month, and then a trip to Maui the end of May and with all of these huge events I'm just hoping for a miracle to have somewhat okay skin for these occasions. (I already talked to my doctor about sun protection) I'm just sad I guess. I want normal skin...I've been breaking out consistently since December it would be so nice to have a bit of a break :) As I'm sure everyone here would agree! Oh well, it is what it is, I just have to keep taking this day by day and hoping for some improvements.

One other thing....my pharmacy has messed up my prescription every time. My doctor will send it and they will say the haven't gotten the script yet, so I'll call my doctor they say they sent it, I'll call my pharmacy again and it goes on and on. I only have SEVEN days people, get it figured out. - Sorry just a rant because it's always a problem! Does this happen to anyone else?! I think I should switch pharmacies..... :/

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Hey

My Dr send my script to the pharmacy (shop rite) and I never have a problem

My only issue is the pharmacy doesnt keep the meds on hand so must order them and they wont do that until I do the dumb ipledge crap on line

So I usually come home and do the ipledge right after my appt and contact the pharmacy to let them know..takes 2-3 days for them to get the meds

BUT i still feel a time crunch

Last mnth my Dr was supposed to call in 60mg but they called in 75mg instead and shop rite already ordered that dose..so I just took it...afraid if i didnt and there was an issue I would miss my window

as if this course isnt stressful enough!

Im almost done with mnth 5 and it is draaaaagggging

I really thought 5-6 mnths would breeze by!

GL

sending you happy clear skin vibes

kim

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Day 27

Went and saw the dermatologist today for my 1 month check-up. Everything went great and the best part is she's upping my dose to 60 mg. I was on 60 mg the entire course last time so I think it should be tolerable. Still have this massive zit under my lip (left side) I don't see this guy leaving anytime soon, it's kind of like a cyst I suppose....no head...massive...red...and painful! I also have some weird little zits along my upper lip as well that don't seem to want to go anywhere. However, my forehead and cheeks are smooth and pretty darn clear which is really nice! My problem area is mostly around my mouth, which sucks because my skin peels and cracks anytime I talk or eat so it looks like a damn mess everyday...but oh well! I am so grateful my blood work looked perfect and I am moving up to a higher dosage...I just want to get this over with :)

Good luck to all of you out there on the same path, it's rough but will get better :)

I'm going up to 60mg too! (But not for another week..)

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Kim, isn't is such a nightmare. I said that exact same thing to my husband yesterday....people don't want to take Accutane and those of us that are taking it don't need this added stress to our already unfortunate situation. Well....yesterday I got more bad news because my dermatologist changed my dose they needed to change the brand so now I need pre-authorization AGAIN and my doctor didn't call me back Friday (I called twice and left urgent messages) so now I have to wait until Monday to hopefully get the forms to my insurance who will hopefully get it done by Tuesday...yikes. Lesson learned, I will call my pharmacy the second I leave to make sure they are paying attention because I might miss my window... I'm pretty bummed out about it but my insurance is great and they can put it in as urgent to have it done within 24 hours. I just can't believe how completely unaware all of these professionals are. Losing prescriptions, not calling back, it's incredibly stressful and sometimes I feel like it's not worth it. I'd almost rather have the acne than deal with this every single month.....almost. :)

Good luck on 60 mg Jessa! Hopefully I will be too....

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I am officially losing my mind. I had to wait an entire week for my prescription to be filled for a pre-authorization that I ended up NOT NEEDING. So now I've missed my window and am waiting for the doctor to re-enter my prescription. My doctor, pharmacy, and insurance company are all completely screwing me over and now I am a full week behind schedule and STILL don't have a prescription. I'm starting to panic too because my skin is already getting oily. I'm so tired of calling these companies over and over again and no one ever does what they say they are going to do..... :( I'm so sad and so frustrated right now!

I'm just waiting at day 30 until these people can all get there act together and do their job. Sheesh!

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Oh crap!
what a nightmare..I am sooooo sorry!
I agree that this entire situation is stressful enough..you did nothing wrong and now you need to follow up with people and babysit them to get your prescription

sooooooo frustrating!

so sorry!

kim

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Oh crap!

what a nightmare..I am sooooo sorry!

I agree that this entire situation is stressful enough..you did nothing wrong and now you need to follow up with people and babysit them to get your prescription

sooooooo frustrating!

so sorry!

kim

Thank you so much Kim! It's so nice to hear someone else say it, sometimes I feel like maybe I'm overreacting but it's such a pain! It's been so frustrating but it will eventually get worked out, I hope.... I have seen time and time again from others on this site about how the iPledge system has cause an incredible amount of unnecessary stress! Well hopefully today I can go pick up my medication, otherwise I will just keep waiting. :) Thanks for the support lady, it means a lot!!

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Well now I'm having a similar struggle -- apparently my pharmacy didn't get the script???? It was sent on Monday. My window closes Sunday! I feel you on this babysitting thing....

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Right?! It seems like it can never go smoothly. Ugh I'm so sorry you're going through a similar thing Jessa..I don't think my anxiety has ever been so high. It all worked out though and I picked up my meds today only 9 days after I should have picked then up... Whew... it's such an ordeal every month.

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it sounds like such a pain to get the medication if your stateside!

well i'm glad it worked out for you :cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:

hopefully you skin is doing well.

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Thanks Jay! :) It was an incredible hassle....I thought maybe it was the doctor and nurse I was working with specifically, but it does sounds like so many people experience these same issues.

Day 36

This should be nine days more, but because I had to wait forever to get my medication, I am only truly on day 36 of actually taking the medication. My skin is okay. I only have one zit currently, and it's a doozy. It's on my upper left cheekbone but it's massive and really angry looking...but it seems to be healing and hopefully on its way out soon. I do have quite a bit of PIH and some shallow scarring, but does anyone know what some white lumps under the skin are? They are not clogged pores at all, it's only when I stretch the skin out with my tongue that I have white, kind of oblong lumps...? What the hell are these things and how do I get rid of em'? I will try to upload a photo but it never works out, they are always so fuzzy. I hardly have any symptoms since I moved up to 60 mg, just dry lips as usual. So things are good, but not as good as I would like them to be. I know I have to be very patient so I'll just keep trucking along. :) Good luck to all of you out there going through the same thing!! We will all be clear soon.

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Thanks Jay! :) It was an incredible hassle....I thought maybe it was the doctor and nurse I was working with specifically, but it does sounds like so many people experience these same issues.

Day 36

This should be nine days more, but because I had to wait forever to get my medication, I am only truly on day 36 of actually taking the medication. My skin is okay. I only have one zit currently, and it's a doozy. It's on my upper left cheekbone but it's massive and really angry looking...but it seems to be healing and hopefully on its way out soon. I do have quite a bit of PIH and some shallow scarring, but does anyone know what some white lumps under the skin are? They are not clogged pores at all, it's only when I stretch the skin out with my tongue that I have white, kind of oblong lumps...? What the hell are these things and how do I get rid of em'? I will try to upload a photo but it never works out, they are always so fuzzy. I hardly have any symptoms since I moved up to 60 mg, just dry lips as usual. So things are good, but not as good as I would like them to be. I know I have to be very patient so I'll just keep trucking along. :) Good luck to all of you out there going through the same thing!! We will all be clear soon.

Check out my thread, I've had white lumps under my skin too! I uploaded some pics of mine. Could possibly be the same thing?

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Day 42

I'm feeling a bit discouraged. I think that because my first course was so quick, within a month I was clear, I am starting to feel frustrated. I shouldn't do that because each course is going to be different, but I had unrealistic expectations. My skin is actually doing okay, I only have 1 or 2 active spots that are healing up nicely but the PIH, scars, and uneven textures are making me a bit depressed. I have bumped up my dose from 40 mg to 60 mg nearly two weeks ago and the only real difference is super dry lips. I have no joint pain, no headaches.... but my lips are actually in pretty rough shape. I got two lip zits last week that were pretty big, but mostly incredibly painful. They are healing but make my lips look horrendous as they are red, dry, and peeling but also have to red marks on both sides of my upper lip. My guess is the chap-sticks I've been using are causing some issues. I use carmex and nivea soft lips and they might be clogging up pores around my lips. It's super frustrating because I absolutely can't not use chap stick but all the brands I'm trying are breaking me out. I have also been using healing ointment like aquaphor but am not sure which of the three are breaking out my lips. Frustrating. I am so sad that my skin was flawless last summer and fall and with this 6 month long breakout I've managed to develop some pretty big, deep scars that will take a long time to go away. It's just sad to watch your face go from clear and smooth, to broke-out, to scarred, back to clear (finally) then broke out, and even more scarred. You always hope that this will be the last phase, but they just keep coming. I'm almost 28 and still dealing with these endless cycles. I really hope the Accutane starts to work soon, as I am still getting zits and clogged pores. My mind needs a break from these little suckers, it would be lovely to go a few days without a new, painful pimple popping up. I am going to keep trying to stay positive but just not feeling it lately... :(

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Day 42

I'm feeling a bit discouraged. I think that because my first course was so quick, within a month I was clear, I am starting to feel frustrated. I shouldn't do that because each course is going to be different, but I had unrealistic expectations. My skin is actually doing okay, I only have 1 or 2 active spots that are healing up nicely but the PIH, scars, and uneven textures are making me a bit depressed. I have bumped up my dose from 40 mg to 60 mg nearly two weeks ago and the only real difference is super dry lips. I have no joint pain, no headaches.... but my lips are actually in pretty rough shape. I got two lip zits last week that were pretty big, but mostly incredibly painful. They are healing but make my lips look horrendous as they are red, dry, and peeling but also have to red marks on both sides of my upper lip. My guess is the chap-sticks I've been using are causing some issues. I use carmex and nivea soft lips and they might be clogging up pores around my lips. It's super frustrating because I absolutely can't not use chap stick but all the brands I'm trying are breaking me out. I have also been using healing ointment like aquaphor but am not sure which of the three are breaking out my lips. Frustrating. I am so sad that my skin was flawless last summer and fall and with this 6 month long breakout I've managed to develop some pretty big, deep scars that will take a long time to go away. It's just sad to watch your face go from clear and smooth, to broke-out, to scarred, back to clear (finally) then broke out, and even more scarred. You always hope that this will be the last phase, but they just keep coming. I'm almost 28 and still dealing with these endless cycles. I really hope the Accutane starts to work soon, as I am still getting zits and clogged pores. My mind needs a break from these little suckers, it would be lovely to go a few days without a new, painful pimple popping up. I am going to keep trying to stay positive but just not feeling it lately... :(

This is creepily similar to me- it could genuinely be me writing this. 60mg, super dry lips with no other (huge) side effects... but most importantly, the bit about feeling disheartened during second round. I was clear so much faster on my first round. I remember feeling exactly the same as you around day 40-ish bit i'm nearly at day 80 now and things have definitely improved for me. Things took a good turn for me at approx day 65- my skin started getting much flatter and i've barely broken out since. But my skin texture, scars.. all those things you mentioned are getting me down too. My 13 year old journey with acne has certainly left it's mark (literally) on my face. All over it actually. You aren't alone!

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