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gamarwil

My Second Round of Accutane!

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Well, here I go again....I am 34 years old and have suffered from cystic acne since the birth of my first child in 1997. This is my second time on Accutane, the generic form actually. My first time was from Feb. 04 - June 04 using Amnesteem. My "then" dermatologist wasn't a big believer in the generic but my insurance wouldn't cover the brand name. So, I was on an average of 60mg a day for 20 weeks. My acne didn't totally clear up, but the oil was gone, and the few pimples I DID get came and went rather quickly.....at least until 6 months later, when I started breaking out with cystic acne again. I'm a little nervous about doing another round, you know with the side effects and risks, etc. But, thinking back, I really never experienced many of the side effects to the extreme that most have. Yes, my lips were chapped, my skin felt waxy, my eyes were a little dry but I was able to wear contacts with no problem. I never experienced nose bleeds, headaches, depression, or anything else really. In fact, it makes me wonder just how much isotretinoin existed in those little yellow capsules I was taking......? Anyway, my dermatologist didn't want to prescribe generic again, and my insurance company wasn't going to pay for anything but generic, so I ended up changing dermatologists. And this time I'm trying the other generic, Sotret. My pharmacist says it's a newer generic, so maybe I'll get lucky this time.

My regimen basically has been washing with PanOxyl 10% bp soap two times a day, then applying Clearasil Adult Acne Cream (with sulfur). I also exfoliate with Clinique 7 day scrub or Clinique Exfoliate two to three times a week. I know I will have to change this regimen as I continue with the Accutane therapy...I've already stopped exfoliating because I'm afraid it may be too harsh for my skin. I have my Aquaphor, Gen-teal eye drops, sunscreens, moisturizers, and positive attitude at the ready! I started the Sotret yesterday. Tostart, I'm taking 20 mg twice a day. I hope someone will be interested enough to read my posts and comment from time to time, but I guess I'm really doing it for me....I only kept a handwritten journal last time and didn't participate in the message boards....So, I'm switching things up! Well, until next time.....

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Guest TylerD

Im reading just keep it up no matter how rocky the first while is just keep goin it will all be worth it in the end. biggrin.gif

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eusa_whistle.gif Well, day three......

Maybe it's just in my head, but I swear it I'm already feeling some effects from this Accutane.....I did a *little* yard work yesterday and felt like I had dug a whole new yard. Also, my scalp and my eyes are feeling a bit dry. Maybe this time WILL be different.....

As far as my acne, I still have existing cysts and bumps along my jawline but it seems like they may be drying up a bit. And I'm noticing little "waxy balls" coming to the surface...fun, huh? biggrin.gif

Anyway, I know it's early and I have a long way to go. I've started taking a Vitamin B12 Complex with Vitamin E and Folic Acid. It's a women's health blend... it doesn't have Vit. A, so I figured it would be ok? Maybe the vitamin E will help with the dryness.....

Thanks TylerD for the words of encouragement!

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Best of luck to you , Im sure Accutane is going to clear u up this time !! eusa_clap.gif

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ninja.gif Hi guys! Yes, I'm still around.... it has been officially one week (7 days)since I started accutane (sotret)....I am now beginning to experience the dry tingling lips, especially at night for some reason. My skin is less oily than last week and I've noticed some new "friends" .....so I guess the stuff is doing its job. So far this week I've experienced the following symptoms:

Dry lips

less oily skin

Definitely more pimples/cysts

Tired Feeling

Itchy Nose

Watery Eyes

I'm not sure what the itchy nose is about......as I said before, I never experienced any nasal problems with the first round of accutane, so this is new to me.

I'm looking forward to the initial breakout, though I could be experiencing it right now. I usually only break out along my jawline, but I now have pimples on my temples, around my mouth and the center of my upper lip (just below my nose) OUCH! Pretty, huh?

And just for the record folks, there will be no photos posted. That's just way too much..... eusa_hand.gif

My regimen has changed too. I'm no longer using PanOxyl 10% soap and Clearasil Sulfer. Now I use only Ivory soap, along with Neutrogena Healthy Skin Moisturizer 15spf just for the sun protection. My skin doesn't feel dry, yet.

Thanks dnc for the support!!! Until next time......

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rolleyes.gif Well, here I am at day 12. Ho Hum. Maybe it's because I've already been through this before, but I feel like I'm moving at a snail's pace. I'm breaking out with new pimples everyday, much like I have been for about 6 months before I started my second round. The new ones seem to come and go and I'm so used to throwing on the makeup and just carrying on with life that really these "newbies" aren't upsetting me too much. I think I'm more depressed about all the rain we've gotten lately...I mean, it's like it's winter again or something. It has rained for 4 days straight. And with school being out, my kids are driving me nuts being inside all the time! So maybe my new pimples are from stress?

Anyway, my skin doesn't really feel that dry, but my lips are getting drier. My skin still has that waxy/oily look, with a tinge of redness. In the first journal I kept, that look seemed to go away in the third week, so maybe it'll go away next week. Hope so. I also noticed a drastic reduction in oil on my face in the third week last time. So, something to look forward to?

I've noticed that I'm bruising a lot easier, so I bought some Vitamin K cream. Hope this doesn't interfere with the accutane. And I hope it is ok healthwise to use. Anybody out there have any luck using it?

Until next time...

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Hi, there! Thanks for visiting my journal yesterday. It's great that we're almost on the same day of treatment and that our situations are similar in other ways. I know everyone's progress is different, but it's nice to compare notes.

I agree that it feels like the days are going by at a snail's pace!!

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wacko.gif Hi MeganP! Sorry it's taken so long to post, but with school being out I spend most of my free time entertaining the kids....I barely get a moment to myself these days! Sometimes I think time goes by faster when I only post once a week or so...I only posted once a month in my first journal. Anyway, thanks for posting in my journal, and I'll be sure to check in to see how you're progressing!

Well, I'm in my 3rd week....and I have to admit, I am seeing less oil on my face...the waxy look is fading out!!!!!!!! eusa_dance.gif That is such a freaky look, huh? I still have the acne, but I'm used to dealing with that, right?

Anyway, my joints have started to act up. I never really experienced problems with my joints during my first round of accutane. Today, my right elbow hurts so badly I can barely lift anything with it. The pain sort of radiates from my elbow to my wrist. I go in for my next checkup next week, so I'll be sure to ask my doc about it. Also, and I hesitate to mention this-but I want to stay true to my journal and report all experiences/reactions.....I've noticed that if I don't drink a TON of water everyday, I start to feel like I may be getting a uti (bladder infection). I've only had one before and it was pretty painful, so I'm drinking water like crazy now. Anyone else have that one? I'm also taking vitamin B complex, vitamins C & E....so maybe that has something to do with it? Anyway, something else to ask the doc about I guess....

Other symptoms include the dry lips (but not bad), stuffy nose (but no bleeds), and itchy scalp sometimes. Nothing too major. Maybe next week the doc will up my dose and I can really start complaining confused.gif Actually, it's progress, right? So, progress on......

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evil.gif Well, I do believe I have grown the biggest pimple-cyst-whatever EVER. It just appeared overnight on my NECK, which is the worst place to get one. It is truly the size of a dime. OUCH. And whenever I get a zit on my neck it seems to take forever to go away. FOREVER. UGGH.

I really should be thankful because otherwise I'm doing pretty well. Only my right elbow hurts when I attempt to use that arm (thank goodness I'm a southpaw). cool.gif My lips are still dry, but that really is the only symptom I'm experiencing consistently. I go to see my derm tomorrow for my monthly checkup so we'll see what he thinks. After, I'm headed to the beach! Yeah, I know, pack the sunscreen! I'll be sure to post my doc's reaction to my progress upon my return!

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End of week 5:

Well, I've been sitting around waiting for something to happen, and boy has it. I'm not sure if it was the FL humidity, or that my derm upped my dose to 60mg per day, but my face has exploded with acne. I don't think I've ever seen this many large cysts. And they're quite difficult to get rid of. I know it's part of the process, but good grief. Anyway, no problem with the sun and my skin.

So far, I'm experiencing dry lips, dry eyes and minor joint pain. My right elbow doesn't seem to ache as much. My derm said things seem to be going fine and that I won't see any real results for another month or so. She did explain more about the difference between the generic and brand form of this drug, which made me feel better. It's nice that this new derm seems to be more optimistic about generics than my last derm.

My regimen still includes simply washing with Aloe Ivory twice a day and moisturizing as needed. I also use Ultima II Under-it-All spf25. And of course, I'm using the Aquaphor more, alternating with chapstick. I'm also drinking tons of water.

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week 7 (day 47)

Well, I still have the acne explosion. It seems that some are healing and flaking off, finally. But for the most part, I still have enough cystic acne on my face for people to do a double-take. And I'm sure the heat and humidity of summer are only aggravating my condition. evil.gif

Anyhoo, it's been a while since I've posted, so I browsed some other posts and discovered there are quite a few of us post-30 year olds suffering with acne. The reality that there are many of us out there makes it easier to get through this. I can really relate to the stories of wanting to hide from the outside world instead of enjoying life. cry.gif

So far, I'm still on 60 mgs a day. I have dry lips, dry eyes, dry scalp and so far I've had no problem with the sun. I make sure I have on sunscreen when I go out to the pool or play with the kids. One negative though....I've been forgetting stuff lately and it's scary to think it may be 'tane related. Of course it could just be me "overly multi-tasking it." I'll mention it to my derm at my next visit.

My regimen has changed a bit. I'm now using Clinique Antibacterial Wash (and I can't believe it doesn't dry my skin out, but it doesn't) and I've been using some Murad Acne Spot treatment (sulfur) on the really bad cysts. It seems to help, but it could be all in my head? I also still use the Ultima II spf 25, but only when I go outside or use makeup. I try to keep a clean face unless I go somewhere. But even staying home with my "unmadeup-acnefied" face can get depressing. Maybe it'll get better from now on. Week 8 is just around the corner......

Good Luck to everyone!

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Hi there, I am on Sotret too, am post 30, have acne (at 58) again. I am on 10mg of Sotret per day.

So far, I have had several huge-o cysts, and some plugging come to the surface, waxy balls. Oddly, the cyst now is on my temple, where I had a patch of dermatitis which is going away.

I'll be here to give you support! Take care. It will get better, they say....

Hugs

Kaiser

P.S. I have been on 2 1/2 weeks....for rosacea/mild acne, 10mg/day

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Im on Amnesteen. I hear there is no real difference between the generic and the non.

Good luck anyhow

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Hey there gamarwil, grettings from a fellow Floridian! Whereabouts in FL are you located? I'm in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Isn't this sticky heat a killer?!! I don't feel comfortable without makeup on, and if I'm outside for a few minutes I start to sweat, and there goes the "illusion"!

I'm also on my second round (60mg/day as well), and also a little bit older than most on this board (26). I've been on for 2 weeks today and so far, so good. I'm just waiting for the initial breakout to hit (I would never think I would be so lucky as to bypass it). But right now my face is doing pretty decent. I'll even put my hair in a pony tail at work now! I didn't do that for about 2 months because I was using my hair to hide behind.

I hope your initial ends soon! Sounds like it's doing better if the cysts are starting to dry up and flake. You're almost at the 2 month mark, things have got to get better soon! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you...

Beth

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Beth maybe youre lucky

I started my break out RIGHT AWAY. Day 3. I'm still batteling it but on the flip side, pits and some cystic acne is going away. Now I have 3 white heads and some black heads which is annoying but my pores are starting to get an even feel and look.

Day 11.

Maybe youre not going to go through it at all... that would be nice smile.gif

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I started my break out RIGHT AWAY.  Day 3.  I'm still batteling it but on the flip side, pits and some cystic acne is going away. 

AZ79

When you say 'pits and cystic acne is going away" did you mean pits as in holes/scars??? It just seems tht my face changes everyday; somedays a pit looks smaller and some days its huge! Im hoping they'll be gone one morning.

Gamarwil--Im a southpaw too! You sure know how to look for the bright side of things --at least the elbow pain was on the right side...he he..

I 'know' exactly how that feels abt people doing a double-take on the cystic acne!

Please keep writing and updating! Im in my late 30's and Im only on Day 8......

Cat

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wub.gif WOW! I haven't been posting as much lately 'cause it was getting kind of lonely, so imagine my surprise to see so many of you had posted! Thanks so much Kaiser, AZ79, Beth and Catmin! I feel bad that I haven't responded to your comments!! I'll be sure to visit your boards and catch up on your progress!

As for me, it's day 60, about week 9 (yes, I'm counting) neutral.gif

I went to the derm yesterday and she said I didn't look much different from last month, but I was quick to fill her in about my explosion over the past few weeks. She said I looked great (referring to dryness) and that usually she has patients with severely chapped lips on just 40mgs/day (I was on 60). So, she upped my dose to 80. She worried that my massive breakout might have been due to upping my dosage from 40 to 60 per day and that I might experience ANOTHER massive breakout going from 60 to 80. GRRreat. On my last course of accutane, I took a max of 60mg per day for 5 months. My old derm thought it was best not to go any higher. So, I'm kinda in "unventured" territory? For me anyway. And unventured might not be the word I'm searching for, but my brain is slowly fading out, remember? wacko.gif

So, I still have the mildly dry lips, using aquaphor mostly for that. My eyes are mildly dry, using Gen-Teal drops for that. And I have no other problems, and even my elbow is feeling better. eusa_clap.gif

But, I did go to Six Flags yesterday and I'm really feeling it today. Remember how fearless you were when you were in your teens and 20's? Well, I said little prayers as I got on each ride...and even after riding all the rollercoasters the scariest ride of all turned out to be the SWINGS! They call it the "Gotham City Crime Wave".....I was terrified.

Yeah, go ahead and laugh....

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Hi Gamarwill,

Hmmmm I use to love those rides...now Im chicken and force myself to do it for the kids. They think its soooo funny tht mom's freaking out.

Glad you're back posting--there's quite a few of us 'older' girls here.

keep posting!

CAT

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Hey gamarwil,

Thanks for the post in my journal! I was reading a post you wrote in someone else's journal about how you have melasma on top of acne. I wanted to let you know that you're not the only one! I've got it on my upper lip sad.gif .

Of course there's nothing I can do about it while I'm on Accutane, and in any case, I've noticed that the creams basically just turn me red (like you mentioned happened to you). There's a great melasma forum where people discuss different treatment options and offer each other support. After Accutane, I plan on trying one of the treatments that quite a few people there have had success with. But for now I just make sure I'm diligent w/the sunblock and try not to stress about it once I put my makeup on. One thing at a time!!

Beth

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Thanks Beth for the melasma link. I really need to read up on that and other options. My single minded former dermo really was "old school" and only offered up the melenex. I still have some leftover, but like you said, one problem at a time! My old dermo had me mix it with cleocin T so it would attack the melasma and the acne. Didn't work so well.

And Cat, it sounds like you totally relate to my six flags experience. All I thought about the whole day were the countless news stories I'd heard about rollercoasters flying off the tracks, people getting killed at theme parks, etc. Actually, it kept my mind off my acne, so maybe that was a good thing?

Speaking of which, I took a good look at my face today. Why did I do that? eusa_doh.gif I could not believe how many cysts and red scars I have on my face. I could barely see any flesh colored skin. It's all in the lower cheek area, along my jawline, temples area. I'm sure being upped to 80 mg has caused the flareup, but maybe it's also caused by that time of the month?

Oh well, I'd hoped there was some truth to your skin looking better after the second month. Not true in my case, as I'm in the first week of my 3rd month. I just hope it starts looking better soon. And what happens if next month my dermo decides to up me again? Do I have yet ANOTHER massive breakout? UGGH. Does it ever end? I'm pretty sure I didn't experience this much cystic acne during my first course. Maybe it's working this time? Hope so.

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Hi Gamarwil,

Im so sorry to hear tht you're still breaking out in month 3! Im only in week 3 sad.gif

My derm always says 6 months till you clear ; I'm praying its sooner and tht he says tht so tht I don't feel discouraged if I don't see improvements every week.

I've been getting cortisone shots to help with the big painful ones and they're helping (me cope somewhat) last week he added erythromycin for me to start taking to help calm things down abit...maybe something you can ask your derm abt?

I hate going out with the bumps... sad to say I look forward to my weekly derm appt for those shots!

I hope we get better soon! (it sure is affecting my daily life!)

CAT

p/s any hair loss problems last time or this time? not sure if you've mentioned

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I'm in week 5 (I think!) Down to 3 zits and a boil (staph). Heaven help us all. Actually, I guess this is par for the course.

I am so impatient!!! Ready to have clear skin. It is smoother though.

Back later. Someone at door!

Hugs

Kais

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Back now. Say, I forgot to mention that I am in week 5 (I started June 17). It seems longer than that, though.

Where is Six Flags in Florida? When I was last there, we went to Lion Country Safari, which I'd always wanted to see. Very interesting! We should all get together during some part of this course. Only a pipe dream I know, but it would be fun.

I do feel isolated with this. I look at my friends' faces; no one has this problem I know, and sometimes I feel panicked that things aren't getting better by now. But everyone says, hang in there!

You're all in my thoughts and prayers

Hugs

K

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Where is Six Flags in Florida?  When I was last there, we went to Lion Country Safari, which I'd always wanted to see.  Very interesting!  We should all get together during some part of this course.  Only a pipe dream I know, but it would be fun.

K

Only if I can design the Tshirts ...Thumbs up accutane... cool.gif after all....what a sight we make as a group wub.gif

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WOW Cat! You visit your derm weekly? I only see mine once a month (which has been twice so far)...and all they do is look at me, nod, then ask a bunch of questions about symptoms and that's it. Don't get me wrong, we're all REALLY social and all that (the derm anyway), but they all act like this is the norm and all is progressing normally. I did have a super huge cyst on my neck about a month ago and I made the comment that I really wanted to get rid of it...my derm whipped out a needle and said she'd take care of it, but I just backed away and said no thanks. eusa_hand.gif I didn't mean I wanted it to disappear in an instant, just eventually. I'll see a different derm in the office next month (my current one is moving), so maybe he'll recommend something if my skin is still this bad. It does seem like the cysts are going as fast as they're coming, so maybe that's a good sign. I mean, 80 mg a day of this stuff HAS to be doing SOMETHING, right?

Kais-there's not a six flags in FL. I live in Georgia. I visited FL last month to see my mother and that's when I had my first massive cystic flareup! evil.gif I love FL though! Anyway, six flags of ga is just outside Atlanta. It would be cool to meet up one day and have a sort of "post accutane reunion"....it would be interesting to see the different age groups this stuff affects.

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