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SteveLewis

Well, it's time to take the plunge

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I started getting acne sometime in high school. I don't remember exactly when but for some reason it didn't bother me that much in high school. Sure, I was apprehensive about it and didn't really have that much confidence due to the acne but I wasn't as affected by it as I became later on. Well, I started off using some OTC medicines, cleansers and the like but those didn't really help. In fact, they seemed to aggravate my acne. I tried the usual OTC stuff; Benzoyl Peroxide, Salycilic Acid and the like in many forms whether it be creams, cleansers, soaps or on the spot treatments. After that, my acne became progressively worse. My mother suggested that I go visit a dermatologist so we made an appointment.

I was nervous about it. I didn't really know as much about acne as I do now so I didn't really know what my options were. I had heard of accutane but I was pretty much afraid of it. Well my appointment came and the doctor was the usual nice self asking me "How long you've been walking around with that mess on your face". Real nice stuff smile.gif. He immediately suggested accutane but I didn't want to take it. I wanted to try other things first because I heard of the side effects that usually come with Accutane. Well, I went through the motions. First came Sulfur, nothing. Next came BP(Duac), nothing. Next, he started me on antibiotics, nothing. We kept with the antibiotics as I moved to Retin-A Micro, nothing. This brought me to about a year, year and a half ago. I was in College already and should have been having the time of my life, right? Well, instead, I was stuck at home not wanting to go out with my friends because I was so embarassed about what was on my face. Needless to say, my acne wasn't getting any better. It was then that I decided to try the diet route. My derm laughed it off as usual saying that diet has no effect on acne at all and prescribed me Tazorac, nothing.

Still, during the time I used Tazorac, I started eating healthy. I cut out Milk and Wheat products and that helped a bit but I still broke out. It was then that I started reading more and more about the effect of food on acne. At this point, I was starting to get desperate so I started removing foods from my diet the moment I heard they might be causing acne. After a few weeks, I was eating really bland food and I continued this way for a while thinking it would help my acne. I also started to read up on things such as liver flushing. I started doing bowel cleansing, liver flushing, parasite cleansing and candida cleansing and well, my skin started getting better. It was probably the first time in a few years when I didn't have cystic acne on my face. I kept at it, doing flushes biweekly, eating well and excercising and my acne was getting better.

Well, things were decent. I still had breakouts on my face and they still made me apprehensive about social situations but it was a far cry from where I stood a few years before. Still, there was room to improve. Well, I continued with this diet for almost a year now but it was starting to get to me. The foods that broke me out were many and I just couldn't keep up with the diet. It was too expensive, too stressful and too difficult to follow. I still stuck with it though as I would do anything for clear skin.

Unfortunately, I didn't count on the effect of stress on my acne. Well, I still had acne and it still bothered me...a lot. So much in fact that I was skipping class and my grades were dropping. When I did show up for tests, I always kept my eyes on the floor and I just knew that people were staring at my acne. This annoyed me but it also made me break out more. After tests, after any stressful situation really, I would get cysts on my face. This all exploded a few weeks ago when I had a few finals in a row. My face broke out as badly as it has in years and my face was covered in cysts, spots, white heads and pustules. I just couldn't deal with it anymore. I decided to go on Accutane.

Still, it was not an easy decision. I had an appointment a few days ago and I was worried. I didn't know if I actually wanted to go on it or not. The appointment day came and I cancelled. I thought I'd give this diet thing another month to work..maybe that's all it needed, one more month and I'd be clear. A few hours passed, I passed a mirror and I realized. I have been telling myself..just one more month on this(medication, diet, whatever) and I'll be clear for years now..and I just wasn't clear. I called my derm. My appointment was already filled but they had another I could come to the same day so I went.

The derm looked me over and asked yet again 'how much does it bother you'. He always asked me this at every appointment and I always said 'not enough for Accutane'. Well, that day, I said 'enough that I want to go on Accutane'. He seemed glad, said I should have gone on it ages ago and talked to me about the side effects and what I should do to combat them. He wrote the prescription, put the yellow sticker on it, gave me blood work papers and told me not to start until the blood work came in.

Well, this morning, I had my blood drawn. The prescription still sits downstairs. I haven't taken it to the pharmacy yet but I shall when I go to stock up on my anti-side effects stuff(refresh liquigel, aquaphor, burt's bees, etc.). Right now, I'm between two feelings really. I'm excited to finally be on something that may end my problem once and for all but I'm also worried about the side effects.

Therefore, I'll be keeping this log just to see how I'm doing over the course. I'll probably post an update every day as I don't really have much to do anyway. I just hope that it finally gets rid of my affliction and maybe if it works quickly, I can even enjoy some of this summer with clear skin instead of being holed up at home with embarassing acne. Thanks for reading, I'll try to attack some pictures of my problem areas later on if I can get them.

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May 10th - 0 days into Accutane

Well here are some pre-accutane stats.

Dose : 60mg(20mg in the morning, 40mg with dinner)

Current acne : 3-4 whiteheads, ~7 red spots, and 2 cysts which are healing and much smaller now on chin, 1 cyst where face meets neck(left side of face), 1 cyst where face meets neck(right side of face), ~8 pustules on left side of forehead(covered by hair), 3-4 random spots on cheeks on both sides. Forehead itself has one or two red spots and is relatively clear.

My main problem areas have always been my chin(real bad) and the sides of my forehead. I also break out a lot where my neck meets the face(right where the bone is)

Regimen

Morning and Night : Wash with Dr.Bronners Tea Tree Oil Soap, Spray on Aloe Vera juice and wait for it to dry a bit then moisturize with jojoba oil.

This might change as needed if my skin is too try or when my lips/nose/eyes get dry, I'll add lip moisturizer, moisturize the inside of my nose and use eye drops.

That's about it for now. Got the blood work done today and will wait for results before taking my prescription to the phamarcy and buying the usual stuff for Accutane use.

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Congratulations on the Accutane journey!!!! I want to go on it, but am also scared. I have an appt coming up, too- And I don't know what I'll do if she offers it.. yet i'll be upset if she doesn't offer it.. ya know what I mean?

Anyway.. Good luck with your course. It's pretty exciting, isnt it?

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Congratulations on the Accutane journey!!!!  I want to go on it, but am also scared.  I have an appt coming up, too- And I don't know what I'll do if she offers it.. yet i'll be upset if she doesn't offer it.. ya know what I mean?

  Anyway.. Good luck with your course. It's pretty exciting, isnt it?

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Congratulations on the Accutane journey!!!!  I want to go on it, but am also scared.  I have an appt coming up, too- And I don't know what I'll do if she offers it.. yet i'll be upset if she doesn't offer it.. ya know what I mean?

  Anyway.. Good luck with your course. It's pretty exciting, isnt it?

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Well, I took the prescription to the pharmacy yesterday. They told me it'd be ready today. I also called my derm to check the results of my blood work and they called me to call back today around 12. If all goes well, I'll be starting tomorrow.

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Well, it came in. The insurance company naturally allowed the generic brand but I don't mind. I'll be paying a quality $10 per month which isn't bad at all. I'll be starting tomorrow I guess.

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Well, picked it up. The packaging is nice smile.gif although they sure want to make sure you know not to take it if you're pregnant. Warnings are all over the place.

My co - pay was $10 but get this, insurance covered $444.98. Wow, I'd never be able to afford this without insurance.

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Day One, 20mg down overall

Took my 20mg already. Obviously no change yet, my skin is feeling a bit odd as if it's shrinking in places. Not really troublesome but odd.

I'm drinking a load of water. It's only 10AM and I've put in over a liter already. I've always been a heavy water drinker so this is not a huge change for me.

Acne report : Well, my chin looks like crap. I have about 10 lesions on there overall, a few small cysts and two or three being red pustules. They itch a lot too at times especially at night. There are about 5 small pimples on my cheeks and I have two cysts that are dying down where my face and neck meet, on that bone. I also have two or three small zits on my forehead. Yup, my face looks terrible smile.gif.

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Day Two, 80mg down

Well, first day is down and my skin actually looks better. All the actives on my chin have dried considerably and either shrunk in size or become whiteheads. This is a good thing, I think, as I rarely get whiteheads so that must mean something is being pushed out. I also have two or three new pimples on my face that aren't too noticable and they're pretty dried out as well. My skin isn't dry at all yet.

Side Effects : Well, my lips are getting a bit dry, nothing terrible but I did put some aquaphor on them last night. My eyes are a bit itchy and I might put in some eyedrops in later if they persists. I did have some very mild and short bone pains yesterday but nothing today.

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Here's a picture of my chin as it looks now. It's my worst area and I do have random zits on other parts as well but here it's more localized. [attachmentid=1256]

post-6077-1116191886_thumb.jpg

post-6077-1116191886_thumb.jpg

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Day Three, 140mg down

Well, side effects aren't too bad. Some mild bone pain every once in a while, my lips, nose and eyes are a bit dry and I have a new zit that seems to have made my face swell up a bit. Well, I think the initial breakouts have started to begin too. I have a few new ones on my face, there's some swelling on my face too.

Acne : Well, my chin still looks crappy, probably worse than before since I have a few new zits there and some swelling on my left cheek near my mouth where a new zit resides.

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Day Four, 200mg down

Well, 1 packed of the stuff is done. Side effects are mild, mild pain here or there, mild dryness here or there. Picked up some burt's bees lip balm, that's quality stuff. Acne's pretty much the same, chin still looks awful and a few new red pustules around. Good times so far I guess, most of the stuff on the chin has become a whitehead and dimished.

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Day Five, 260mg down

Well, I had some chest pain last night and today but it might just be a cold coming on. I have that a cold is coming feeling right now and a cough is developing too. Hmm, I wonder if it's related to the Accutane at all although I have been running around in next to nothing lately.

Acne still looks terrible and all that good stuff. My pace is sort of painful and smiling isn't too exciting as my chin is covered with big cysts that hurt and itch. It's all very excellent.

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Hi SteveLewis. I believe I've seen you on askshelley.com. Isn't she fabulous...I really like a lot of her basic eating guidelines. I, like you, have not found a solution in eating right and cleansing. Though I didn't give it a full six months and I cheated a lot. I'm thinking diet could work..it's just that it is like a fulltime job. Anyway, tomorrow is my derm appointment and I think she will be recommending accutane. I have been giving it a lot of thought, and I mean a LOT of thought and research, and I am very afraid. It's like how I took antibiotics for years for my acne and that was sooooo dangerous.....I just feel like another drug (that might not work with just one course) is not the solution. I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. Anyway, I was hoping you could update...as it seems like you were in a similar situation and also have similar concerns for your health. I would like to hear your stance on accutane. Thanks Steve!

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