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Accutane (Claravis) Journey

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I'm a college sophomore(18F) in NY that has had acne since I was 9 years old. I react well to antibiotics, but after a year exactly, without fail, their effects always fade and my acne comes back worse each time. I have hormonal acne, both cystic and composed of white heads. Currently it is concentrated on my cheeks, but in the past it's always rotated around my face. Like before it's mainly been on my nose and before that my chin. I break out more when it's around my period, or when I eat junk, or if I am around too much smoke (cigarettes, pollution...), basically EVERYTHING breaks me out. And then, especially on my nose, painful pimples that NEVER head come out, that are so ginormous I can see them on my nose just by looking straight ahead, leave huge lump scars that don't ever fade. I've had them for 10 years now and I'm only 18. Hopefully I want to see the actuane reduce these decade-old scars also. 

Today was my first dose. I'm on 60mg a day (day of 40mg and the next day 80mg= a weekly average of 60mg a day), and hopefully since my acne isn't that stubborn (since it does clear up temporarily with antibiotics) the acctuane will work quickly. My twin sister did claravis last year when the antibiotics (Minocyclin) didn't work on her, and her IB was really bad and lasted 3MONTHS... I'm terrified it will be the same with me. Hopefully since my acne is less severe than hers it will be different with me and the IB will be less severe.  All in all, though my sister's IB was pretty bad, she has flawless, soft skin now that I am looking forward to having soon! I'll try to update every week. 

I also have several ever- reoccurring pimples. I'll note wether the IB brings all these out also, or if new ones show themselves. My twin sister got angry/irritable on claravis, and she had pretty bad joint pain, so I'll keep y'all updated on the physical symptoms. 

I've stocked up on:
-First Aid Beauty gentle skin cleanser
-Cetaphil cream moisturizer: face and body
-Kiehls midnight recovery concentrate oil
-Smith's lip balm

Edited by ABad
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I'ts my third day today, and I already have symptoms. I usually have dry/ peeling skin on/ around pimples. However today my whole face was dry/ peeling (only when you looked up close though, so it doesn't look too bad). I'm remedying the situation with a peel face mask. Hopefully the mask won't irritate my face.

However, I don't think new pimples have come out yet. I have some pretty bad ones that have been here already since before I started the meds. Other than those, I still have crappy, painful skin... still looking towards the light at the end of the tunnel though! It's my third day today... I'll update again soon. 

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Ok dudes, this is week 1 OVER.

Today I woke up with DRY SKIN AND LIPS. Maybe environmental factors contributed to this, but usually I wake up an oily mess, this is a first for me. No peeling or pain/ rawness in my skin yet, so hopefully  thats a good sign.

I have a lot of small bumps emerging on my face that come to a white head in about 24 hours. They are annoying, but if this is all the IB is going to do then I'm all for it. But these are hard to cover in makeup...I hope, hope, hope I don't IB in cysts :(. 

I moisturize daily with a quarter size of cetaphil in my hands and 3-5 drops of face oil, Before today, this was a bit overkill because I hadn't been dry, but today this feels appropriate. I'm also going to start sleeping with aquifer all over my lips. I had done this once before, but since my lips weren't dry, it just felt weird and gross, but now I really need it. 

I haven't had any physical side effects, thank god, but as a precaution I've been taking fish oil pills in advance because they are supposed to help with joint pain. 

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Hey dudes, 

A little over a week has passed, I am breaking out in small pimples all over my face, which are ugly, and annoying, but hopefully worth the pain. I hope my IB does not last long. Like I said, my sister's IB lasted 3MONTHS but hopefully mine will be shorter because my own acne isn't as severe. I started this journey with a bunch of dormant pimples that I could feel but not see, as of now, nothing has happened with those, only new pimples have shown themselves. My IB has spread from my cheeks to my chin, so I have maybe a dozen of these small pimples with new ones coming out regularly. 

My skin isn't too dry, I'm still oily AF but the skin on my lips did peel for the first time yesterday. And my joint pain is terrible and I've only just started this journey :(. Hopefully time does go by quickly. If anything I'll take the joint pain and dryness if my IB will only go by quickly. Then again, I haven't even felt the brunt of the side effects yet....

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Hey y'all 

ok, so though I don't have the dozen pimples on my cheeks that I had before, the number has dwindled to 3 on my cheeks and three around my hairline, though the hairline ones might be due to the heat in NY now....

The scarring is still really bad, so it's not like I'll be going out without makeup anytime soon, but I'm just glad that my face base is going on way more smoothly now that the extreme bumpiness is less... well.. extreme.

I had been on a medication that purged my skin a lot right before going on isotrentinoin, so maybe thats why my IB is less extreme. But then again, its only been less than two weeks... so I might break out like crazy tomorrow and it would still be an initial breakout. I'll keep everyone updated. 
The pimples that I've been getting are all on my  cheeks around my mouth and chin and hairline. They come to a pretty big white head rather quickly. And a new update is that since my skin is more sensitive, the pimples feel pretty itchy and irritating... my face does in general nowadays. However, aside from my usual dryness on pimples themselves, my skin isn't peeling or extra dry, but I have been moisturizing with aquifer since the day I started the meds... so that maybe the reason. Though my lips aren't super dry themselves I do notice that I have to moisturize them more frequently. other than that I'm still an oil slick.

I see no difference in blackheads and clogged pores on and around my nose... so i think that means I'll still be breaking out. I'll update if those start going away. 


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Ok everybody, 

So my skin has definitely been getting more dry, to the point where my skin feels like rubber and not skin. It feels gross and I'm constantly looking in the mirror to see if I look as gross as I feel. I wear makeup so I'm not sure how to keep my skin moisturized during the day... any suggestions?

My skin is definitely more sensitive now, my whole face burned when I put a face mask on (I hoped the mask would appease my dry skin) but when I took off the mask my skin burned and it was dryer than ever. I won't be putting any masks on again anytime soon. My skin also itches all day. For the first time in forever my medium- tone skin burned at the beach yesterday. This has NEVER happened. My skin tans, not burns. The actuane has definitely made my skin more sensitive. 

With regards to the recurring pimples that I get, I definitely feel a bump (it does't show yet) where I get one usually. So that's an answer, actuane will bring to a head once and for all those annoying recurring pimples that always go away and come back. I hope it doesn't emerge as a cyst, I hope I don't get cysts at all during the IB. I already have like 6 moderate size pimples with white heads that are dry and don't wanna go away, so I hope I don't get cysts on top of that. 

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So I've been dry and pimply basically. I broke out in cysts around the edges of my face and along my cheek bones. A bunch of raised red bumps that are red a painful. I'd say that there are 10. And though the skin on them peels of regularly, they are literally never ready to come to a head or heal. It's really frustrating and it looks pretty bad. 

However, the clogged pores on and around my nose and chin have been ejecting their contents. And though it looks bad now (honestly, what on my face doesn't?) I'm hoping it means the end of my IB, since my pores will no longer be clogged. However, I'm not sure they looked like that because they've recently been extra clogged because of dead dry skin, or because they really are clearing out. 

I mentioned last time that the cyst in between my eyebrows, me recurring pimple, has shown itself. It has gone from a small skin colored bump, to a angry red mountain in between my eyebrows. They usually never go away without a cortisone shot at my derm's office, so I'm not sure how the pimple will resolve itself while I'm on the meds since I'm currently out of town w/o access to a doctor. 

Currently things are looking bleak on my end. I'll keep you guys updated. 

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So I don't know if this is normal but here goes. I used to have oil slick skin. As in two blotting sheets an hour even after powdering every time. Now my skin is normal-dry. It's only peeling a bit in between my eyebrows and on my chin. I thought actuane was so drying, however, that it would make my whole face peel off. I guess this is still a notable difference, I'm just not sure it's enough. 

Pores are still emptying out and looking gross at the end of the day, but the smaller clogged pores are disappearing whilst the larger ones remain. I guess this means they are gonna become pimples before going away? I still am breaking out in cysts that come to a head in a couple of days. And even when they heal and the redness goes away, I can still feel the bump under the skin. I'm guess that they'll go away once my scars start going away.  

Overall, I'm still pimply and dry. I only had two headaches within the first three days of the meds but now I haven't had any. Peace for now...

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Long time no see!

So my cheeks have cleared up considerably recently, but in turn, my forehead is breaking out. My forehead usually never breaks out, but I guess this is what I get for thinking I was through the IB period. My forehead pimples are big cysts that don't come to a head, but just dry to ugly lumps. My chin also has some withers that are dry and patchy, making the otherwise clear skin still ugly. 

I've come to manage my dry skin better, by using a cream instead of a lotion. The thicker consistently has kept my face from feeling tight. However, like I said, the pimples and fading spots are still crusty. 

My lips are becoming increasingly dry, otherwise I'm having no more side effects. 

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Hi Abad, 

its gets better i promise :) , I was looking for someone else on Claravis and I came across your post- 

I started Claravis 40 mg 7/27/16 so far now I'm on month 2 of Claravis 60 mg and I've  2 HORRIABLE breakouts, face swelling, severe back pain, dry eyes, nose bleeding ( un related) dry month, tingling in hands and legs just aweful but my skin is sooooo much better than before. It wasn't until about a month ago did I find about "noncomgenic" ( acne causing) products so my Dermotologist and looked at all my products and basically throw out everything that would Hinder my progress. 

I deal with my symptoms by using eyes drops and nasal spray daily, otc pain med 3x day LOTS water/tea to hydrate myself. Lips will be SEVERLY chapped I find that best product so far has been smiths rosebud salve balm( available at ulta). 

Just my take, let me know if you wanna share tips I'm always open


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