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Jessa48

Over The River (33/f, Claravis, Nyc)

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Hi everyone :)

I've been a long-time lurker here -- years -- and have appreciated all of your blogs and posts. Now, it's my time to join in!

I've suffered from all sorts of acne since I was a teen, which means it's been almost 20 years of this. Sometimes, my acne has been severe & inflamed, sometimes it's been comedonal, mostly it's a combination of both. I've tried everything (Antibiotics, retinoids, sulfur-based agents, BP, glycolic/mandelic acids), and had achieved clear-ish skin through a course of Minocycline + Adapalene for a few years. Then I got a new job, stress increased, and my skin started to flare. A second trial of Mino/Retinoid didn't help, and while my face has been generally okay, once my dermatologist saw my back flare-up (& scarring) she offered Iso. I'd always been curious about it and decided that given my genetics, it was worth a shot.

So here we are! I'm on Day 9, 30mg of Claravis (I'm 55kg/120lbs). I've decided to take the approach that this is a science experiment and am excited to press on and await the results.

I think I'm definitely seeing some of the initial breakout on my face at this point: my blackheads look like they've popped up above the skin, but are still encased in a protective bubble (weird); there are some other tiny bumps that appeared out of nowhere; my skin feels like sandpaper; my lips are chapped; my scalp is itchy. But other than that, I'm feeling good. I've been really aware of taking my pill with a meal containing at least 20g of fat, which is much harder than I anticipated, but nuts and avocados are delicious so no complaints.

I'm excited to share my journey with you all and hopefully get some support along the way and try to pass the time more quickly. Has anyone else ever had these blackhead bumps? I kind of popped a few (so wrong, so wrong) and some solidified sebum came out. They are so tempting....HANDS OFF JESSA, HANDS OFF!!!

Will try to update as much as I can!!

xoxo

Edited by Jessa48

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DAY 10!!!!

No major updates. Face still bumpy as hell, and I have about four tiny red things popping up on the way outside of my cheeks. I can feel what may be a cyst or a nodule forming on my forehead -- we'll see what happens when I wake up tomorrow.

The oil does seem to be subsiding and my lips were not as chapped today for some reason...maybe it's the Dr. Dan's balm?

Also when I was coming home, I suddenly got this extremely tired and weary feeling...achey. I hope this isn't related to Iso...

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Day 11

Ugh. Nodule central on my forehead -- luckily you can't really tell it's there, but boy can I feel it. Going to the derm a week from today, so of course it will likely be gone by then. The urge to pop it (even though there is no head) is huge. Not to mention there are some little ones on my cheeks that could be popped. WHY IS THIS SO HARD TO RESIST???

Lips feel good today, my face is definitely less oily too, so that's some progress...

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DAY 12!!

- face bumpy and uneven -- all under the skin right now

- last night's nodule is smaller than expected

- everything else is the same

First follow-up appointment with my derm is Tuesday. Her plans were to raise my dose. I imagine she will bump me to 60mg.

So far, so good.

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Day 15.....

Ahhhhh I am so bad at this. Ever since those raised bumps/blackheads started appearing i've been compulsively trying to pop them. This is a TERRIBLE habit to get into. I'm sure this is only going to make things worse but it's hard to break...

My lips are getting dryer; my face is not horribly dry but well on its way.

I had this awful cyst on my ear for several days -- right on my earlobe. I could FEEL the hard thing under my ear and that sucker hurt. Was planning to get it injected on Tuesday, but it came to a head this morning and one little squeeze and it was all over. (Graphic? TMI? Hopefully not....)

Is anyone actually reading this?

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I'm reading your log :) I'm on day.... 24 I think so just a little ahead of you. You're experience is very similar to mine!

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Ah yes! Glad we are having similar experiences!! :)

Day 16 -- just seeing more blackheads/filaments getting pushed nearer to the surface of my skin, which makes me very excited. Wow....I'm such a nerd. I'm enjoying this a bit too much!!!

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I'm only on Day 36. The dry skin is not fun right now. I went from 40 mg to 80 mg in the 2nd month. It's all flaking and peeling off. And my eyes are super dry. No real breakouts (old cysts from before treatment are slowly going away) But even if I had breakouts, it's hard to look past the peeling skin! Ugh...

Good luck! Check out my forum post (Starting Accutane at 32). :)

Edited by Sherri1225

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Soooooo if my labs are good, I'm going from 30mg once/day to 30mg twice/day. Which is more than 1mg/kg....



I'm only on Day 27. The dry skin is not fun right now. I went from 40 mg to 80 mg in the 2nd month. It's all flaking and peeling off. And my eyes are super dry. No real breakouts (old cysts from before treatment are slowly going away) But even if I had breakouts, it's hard to look past the peeling skin! Ugh...

Good luck! Check out my forum post (Starting Accutane at 32). :)

Ahh yes I have some flaking/peeling on my skin occasionally. I'm just trying to moisturize as much as humanly possible, but it's hard.

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Today was DAY 21....where on earth has this time gone?

I remember being SO ANXIOUS to take my first pill. Now it's like...whatever, Isotretinoin, BRING. IT. ON.

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Aaaand Day 22. The Blackheads have overtaken the majority of my face. Even in places that didn't previously have blackheads, like the skin near the corners of my eyes (nose side). I don't think they're super visible but they bother me and I spent too much time today trying to squeeze as many of them out as I could...it's just so satisfying. Now my face is red and I'm sure I did further damage. :(

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Hang in there missy! I had the exact same thing, they were up under my eyes, sides of nose, and on my nose and I NEVER get blackheads, ever. they are all completely gone now :) just try not to focus on them (I know it's hard) but they will just start disappearing ;)

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Officially confirmed to go up to 30mg twice a day starting next week! Yikes!! At least my lab work was good.

In preparation, I am going on a no squeezing/picking challenge for the next 48hours. I have several active spots on my face and I'm doing myself no favors with them. I am definitely in the initial breakout phase and it's not fun!! But I will hang in there because the only way out is THROUGH.

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Day 27!!!!!!

Slight pharmacy snafu. They're claiming that they didn't get my prescription. Derm's office hasn't called me back. My window closes on Sunday. I'm kind of freaking out.

Other than that, things are things. I made it through my 48hr no squeezing challenge and I need to go on another one.

Right now I only have ONE active cyst...but about 8 million blackheads. They're starting to look like they may just come out of my face any day now which is REALLY exciting. I have some PIH going on and I'm hoping for a quick resolution of it...we shall see.

Side effect report: dry lips, but not too bad (thanks Dr. Dan); dry skin that is peeling/flaking. I went 4.5 days without washing my hair, which was fun!!

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Day 30! Just took my last pill of the first prescription...

Tomorrow I start 60mg!

I never figured out what happened with the pharmacy, but I was finally able to pick up the new prescription without any problems. I think it has to do with not all of the techs knowing about iPledge or not being able to do anything with iPledge? Oh well. At least I know now that they have to be babysat constantly.

Skin status: One cyst healing, one that yesterday was the size of a quarter but is now much better, blackheads still visible but oh well

Side effect watch: My arms are now dry, and my skin is getting super dry, so it's just moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

Here's to doubling the dose!

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Day 35!!! I'm five days in to 60mg and haven't noticed anything drastically different so far.

Skin report: One new cyst forming on my chin, one under my eye brow --- they aren't noticeable. I'm hoping they go away fast. The other cysts are gone and there's just PIH now. Blackheads still everywhere and I've been so bad about squeezing them out. But that will come to a stop soon.

Side effect watch: Skin definitely seems a bit more fragile now. Dryness is about the same. Lips are okay thanks to Dr. Dan, but I am applying really frequently.

As my cholesterol was elevated (higher than before) on my last labs, I'm cutting out dairy as much as possible. Also no more whole eggs for a bit :(

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Jesse, we are basically on the exact same time frame, and both upped our dose to 60 mg! It's nice to have someone to follow that is going through the same thing. Do you have to buy Dr. Dan's online? My lips are insane right now and my 10 different types of chapstick are not cutting it anymore. Thanks lady! I'm so glad things are going well for you!

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Jesse, we are basically on the exact same time frame, and both upped our dose to 60 mg! It's nice to have someone to follow that is going through the same thing. Do you have to buy Dr. Dan's online? My lips are insane right now and my 10 different types of chapstick are not cutting it anymore. Thanks lady! I'm so glad things are going well for you!

I buy it online through Amazon -- I bought a pack of three when I started and I use it at least 10x/day. My lips have their days, but I'm noticing that I'm waking up with so much more dryness lately, so I'm using Dr. Dan's before getting out of bed. lol.

I'm on day 38, not much new to report. A new cyst near my eyebrow today. I'm hoping it comes and goes as fast as the others have...even though they're leaving so much PIH. The discoloration I know is temporary, but I feel self conscious.

I have weird white bumps under my skin too...I just always thought they were super clogged pores. Mine definitely aren't big enough to be milia and they're mostly flat.

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I had a nice post type out and it was eaten. Ugh.

To paraphrase:

I'm so itchy. Everywhere. Face, scalp, arms, legs, back. I had some nice red marks from how bad it was.

I'm wondering if accutane is even going to work for me. I know everyone goes through this period, but I just had four giant cysts pop up on my forehead -- one burst today. I know everyone goes through this phase. I still have these weird whiteheads/clogged pores ALL over my cheeks by my nose, interspersed with blackheads that are not budging. I'm not picking/squeezing anymore because my skin can't take it. I just don't know what all of these tiny white bumps are going to do (they're totally under the skin) and how they will be freed?

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And here I am at Day 50, STILL actively breaking out. Ugh. New giant thing on my forehead, again. It's red, it hurts, and I want it to disappear.

Still about the same side effect wise, no major changes.

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Hey Jessa. Sorry that you're having a rough go of it but its not unusual to break out until much later in the course.

I am from NY too! What part are you from?

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Jessa, I'm sorta in the same boat as you. I've been lurking for years and haven't posted. I'm currently on Accutane as well and plan on doing a complete recap once I'm finished. 5/21 will be the end of my 4th month which so far has gone 40mg, 40mg, 60mg, and currently 80mg. I flared with cysts like no other time in my life during the 1st 30 days, it subsided during month 2 thanks to prednisone (you might want to ask your derm for this), 3rd month my dose was raised and more cysts, and 4th month same as the 3rd but not as severe. Luckily you're on the proper dose for your bodyweight so you don't have to worry about flares from dose increases anymore. Hang in there, it gets better.

Edited by clearje

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Thanks to all of you for your support!! I saw my derm and she said she usually sees the turnaround in the third month...and that she will keep me on for five months minimum, so there is some time. After getting a ton of injections, my face is looking a lot better and hurting less. I'm starting to notice the giant pores even more and the scarring is there...so that's a long term goal.

Day 54 -- nothing major to report. pores still clogged with blackheads, some have little things sticking out of them but they aren't ready to fall out. I'm hoping soon!

Side effects -- Dry lips, dry skin -- really nothing unmanageable.

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Ahhhhh!! I've been lazy with this log, but I'm on DAY 91!!!! Just into my fourth month.

My skin is definitely better. Haven't had any major breakouts within the last several weeks. My pores are definitely still clogged in places, but there's definitely been a significant reduction in blackheads. I have patches of tiny whiteheads(?) that need to come out - they are trapped under the skin and I'm not touching them.

Side effects -- dry lips (ouch!!), dry eyes (just got eye drops).

Hanging in there and hoping for more improvements.

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