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I've been reading so many posts on this site and finally decided to write my own. I'm not sure if its to share my experience or make me feel any better about everything I've dealt with with acne but its something. I can't remember not having acne. I started getting pimples in the 6th grade. I was eleven. Of course at that time no one cared, and by that I mean the people that surrounded me in my life, which were a bunch of other 11 year olds. When I started middle school I was already heavily invested in make up. Luckily, my mother had already taken me to the Clinique counter and got me hooked up with the good stuff. It wasn't blue eyeshadow or purple lipstick (it was the 90's) just the basics to cover my blemishes. I started feeling the embarrassment and self loathing pretty immediately thanks to the fact that kids are cruel. It was a small middle school compared to most. There were 800 kids in all. The pretty "popular" girls (who of course somehow through puberty had flawless skin of course) would always comment on my skin. I never wanted anyone to see me without make up. The redness and blemishes already had caused some scarring. I wore makeup everywhere. Everytime I left the house. You can fast forward through high school with the same life. Some days I went to school just mortified. I would hide in bathrooms during lunch, when I got my car that was my safe space. I formed a habit of not looking directly at people when I spoke to them because I didn't want them to look at my face for too long. A habit that has lasted in to adulthood. None of my friends had the same skin problems I had which made it hard for them to understand a lot of what I was going through. I went to different dermatologists on and off. I tried everything. Every cream, every antibiotic...nothing worked. I wouldn't say my acne at this time was SEVERE but it was definitely moderate. After high school I moved to Texas and just dealt with it. Lived it with it like I was used to. I wouldn't let anyone see me without make up. At least not in public. It took quite a while with a new relationship to let them see with my bare skin. My roommates did of course. I was still really self conscience about everything but It was just something I was used to. I could sit here and go into the break downs I've had, the frustrations, the ridiculous way my vanity has ruined events or relationships but for anyone reading a post on an acne related website, you already know. OK, lets jump to today. I am about to 30 at the end of the summer. I do not "look 30" thank god, however the worst was yet to come. At 28 I started to get those deep huge cystic acne nodules on my face. I had only had 1 or 2 in the 18 years I've had acne but suddenly they were popping up all over my face at the same time. On my chin, my cheeks, my forehead?! Ouch. I researched derms in my area and found a highly recommended one. He again tried a few different antibiotics and came to the conclusion that Accutane was the only thing that was going to work. I had had this suggested to me once before, although I didn't remember it. When I called my mom to let her know about my reservations of going on Accutane, she told me that the first dermtologist I ever went to at 11 told her that Accutane was the only thing that would ever clear up my skin but at the time she didn't want to put me on a medication that was so severe. Well turns out that dermatologists wherever she is was completely right, good job lady, honestly. So, after the blood tests, iPledge program, promising not get knocked up, paying a ridiculous of money for it, here I am 14 days on accutane. Heres the fun part. I was also prescribed Prednisone. It is now March? I have been on and off Prednisone over the past 3 months to keep my stupid face from exploding into the valleys and craters of pimples and cysts. For the most part hell yea it works MIRACLES. It will take that acne and supress the hell out of it. In like 3 days. I was sold. Lets do the Accutane and stay on the Prednisone to keep the breakouts at bay everything it gonna be awesome! No. No its not. Now not only am I taking the Accutane which currently is causing a new wonderfully all face covering breakout, I have Moon Face. Moon Face if you don't know, is when you've been on the steroid long enough to make your face swell out to a VERY VERY Round shape. I cannot see my cheek bones or jaw line and my cheeks look like a chipmunk. It doesn't even look like me. I look in the mirror and I don't know who the person is looking back at me. This is the absolute worst I've ever looked or felt. So now on day 14  lets recap, I have Moon Face, a terrible breakout, 4 very painful cysts that feel like golf balls under my skin, and a self image that has been thrown through the woodchipper. All on the eve of my 30th birthday. So in a move of some sort of therapy, I'm going to continue to document this journey on this post. As negative as all this may sound I am thrilled to be doing this. After all this time and heartache I have taken the first steps to rid myself of  this for good. I am looking forward to all the dryness and peeling and probably some more awful breakouts because at the end  (fingers crossed) I'll be done. I'll be posting my progress and little tips or tricks I learn along the way.  And try to share was actually happens because I haven't found anyone who has shared  the day to day  process of this. Hopefully it'll give me a way  to express how I'm feeling while helping anyone else who is going through this all well. Until the next update....

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Good luck on your journey. Im on my second course of accutance. This time around my acne wasnt as bad as when I went on the first time. Im hoping this does the trick. 

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Thank you AcneProne22. I'm very nervous about the next 6 months. My skin has broken out even worse than when I started the Accutane. Also the whole moon face from prednisone is so attractive! Its hard because I'm a bartender and deal with very judgmental people on a daily basis. I'm really hoping this is all worth it.
 

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So update, for redness and dryness Aveeno Ultra-Calming Nourishing Night Cream. I've used it a couple nights in a row now, and let me tell you, this stuff works! Not that the redness is gone, but much better and it provides excellent moisture for the dry skin. My skin hasn't been nearly as dry and flaky when I wake up. Invest! I got it at CVS Pharmacy but its sold everywhere Aveeno is sold Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens etc.... invest. $20

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Last night I finally left the house. The initial breakout has calmed down a little bit since I got my new prescription of prednisone (moon face still going strong though :( ) It was just to go see a movie with my boyfriend and I figured hey dark room no one to see me really...fine. However we both manage at the same bar and he wanted to go by and check on everything. Ugh. I hadn't properly prepared myself to see ANYONE let alone anyone I knew. I reluctantly agreed to go preparing myself to sit in the corner and hide my face for the next hour or so. My co-workers of course are no big deal, they know whats going on but god every regular we have were there. Luckily they were preoccupied with doing whatever people do in a bar and besides a hi and wave they didn't really come over to me. It was high anxiety from me. I was so self conscious I couldn't stand it. I seriously felt like I wanted to cry. I know thats the vanity talking and I am probably over thinking it. But when I look in the mirror I don't even recognize myself. I have a big round broken out face and I just don't want anyone else to see me in this state. Luckily another one of my coworkers came in for a drink and we ended up just talking and hanging out,   and for a little while I forgot about it and just had a good time. When my boyfriend and I left and got in the car I realized I had just had a pretty good time, no one commented on anything and I actually just went out looking like I did and didn't die from embarrassment or crippling depression. So maybe this isn't the worse thing to happen to someone ever. (sarcasm)

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Today was my appointment for my second month of Accutane and I'm happy to say my dermatologist upped my dose from 40mg per day to 60 mg per day. I'm hoping this starts working a little faster. Also we discussed the wonderful side effects from the prednisone and came up with a regimen to taper off of it. All in all I feel a lot better about what is going on and hopefully this moon face will start subsiding and the Accutane will kick in so I can start to feel like my normal self again. I am a bit nervous that some of the side effects will start to pop up a little more, but I know this is all worth it and I just need to suck it up and get going.

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Okay so 1 month and 1 week in, and looks like the Accutane is starting to "kick in". Its not anywhere near good or even great but I wake up every morning and can tell the difference. Although I'm very dry and my lips are chapped beyond belief I think the initial breakout is over (fingers crossed). I would hope, if I don't have another breakout, that the worst of it has passed. Also since my dermatologist is now tapering me off the prednisone my face seems to have started to to stop being so round and swollen and the moon face is starting to subside. So its finally something. Even if its a little bit of progress. I have been having minor headaches which my doctor said I would but nothing a little bit of ibuprofen can't fix. It is annoying tho. Other than that nothing of the severe side effects. I hope that anyone who reads this and is looking for a solution to the hell that is acne, would not be too afraid of Accutane or more clearly Isotretinoin. Everyone is different and will have a different experience/journey through this regimen but I can honestly say that as I'm writing this I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. I would say go for it. They are going to do blood tests every month to make sure your body is handling it correctly. The depression or mental health issues associated with this drug are clearly a risk as it will affect every person differently but I feel as though having Acne and living with it and the self esteem issues, loss of confidence and just not feeling good in your own skin can make you feel the exact same way if not worse. I do not have insurance. The brand I'm getting is Myorisin though Costco and its 188.00 dollars cash per pack (30 pills). Since my dosage went up this month it is now 350.00 a month for 60 pills. Its only for 6 months and after the 18 almost 19 years of this I am finding a way. I also found out at the pharmacy today that most insurance companies don't even cover it. So my point is, you want something that works, you want a basically permanent solution to the problem of acne, Do it. Don't hesitate. I waited 18 years of my life for this. To see Accutne stat to work EVEN START and see this burden being lifted off my shoulders is a miracle. Don't be afraid of his medication. Be smart, honest with your doctor and yourself and know that it can possibly do wonders for you. Anyway more updates to come, also I know in the world of Social Media everyone wants to see pictures. I have a series of pictures I willl upload soon. I have plenty of before and hopefully soon AFTER pictures to upload to my computer and then to this ...blog? Or anyway to this post so ya'll can see for yourselves. Here's to optimism and a new chapter in my life ....update soon.

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Congrats on getting this far in your treatment, your earlier posts made me smile and like you have have adopted many a tactic to avoid looking at people or for people to see the spots before me. Its good your starting to see progress even if it is small, its baby steps with this treatment because its long haul. Im about 10 weeks in to 2nd course and have been getting 1 or 2 breakouts now but overall tone is better and its very dry no matter what intensity the face cream and I've begun to get eczema on my wrists which is something I remember from the first go. 
Im wishing half the year away already as Id like to get off this stuff and enjoy a large glass of wine, don't worry too much about not celebrating your birthday how you would've liked, after your treatment you can plan a 2nd event to really celebrate. Best wishes for the rest of your course. x

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