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andrea

Andrea's Accutane Journal

Day 24/Week 4:

Thanks spongebob for the birthday message :) and to bboy, how right you are! I've gotten 3 new bumps since yesterday - nothing horrible, just noticeable to the touch. I'm slightly discouraged, but I know nowadays, bumps disappear as fast as they appear. I hope that in a couple of weeks I will bump-free. I may ask my derm for a higher dosage of 60mg. I'm dealing with the side-effects pretty well..I just want to get this over already!

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Day 26/Week 4:

I went on a major popping spree last night on my forehead :D# It hurt like hell, but now my forehead is on a faster track to healing. I notice now that once I a pimple falls off/pops, it heals right away afterwards. I was so sick of seeing 6 whiteheads on my forehead, and after washing, most of them were coming off anyway.

I can't believe it! The entire right side of my face is completely smooth (well, except for some layers of dry, flaking skin). The blemishes along my jawline have reduced about 60% in size too. My left side is also healing, with only 2 bumps left. My chin is also very smooth. Lately, the area under my nose has broken out, which I'm almost positive is due to the vaseline I put up my nose and on my lip. Pimples there hurt like no other =; Luckily, one of them I picked off and only the smaller one remains. My forehead is now full of scabs, but personally that's better than whiteheads. There are NO big papules or cysts left, only 2 small bumps.

Even I have to admit my face is so much better. I could maybe even venture out into public now, but only if I slather lots of moisturizer on my face. My face is still incredibly red - I'm not Miss America, but I'm not the girl with 50 pimples like I was just 26 days ago. 8-[

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Day 27/Week 4:

GOOD LORD MY BACK HURTS. :? And I'm talking about H U R T. If I stand on uneven ground or stand for too long, I get a sharp pain in my lower back. I've got to talk to my derm about this b/c it's pratically unbearable.

As for my face, certain places continue to get better while others like to diminish my joy and get worse. My forehead is a lot less inflamed, with about 5 blemishes left. My cheeks are ok, with one whitehead and 2 bumps on the right side and ONE (that's right, ONE :D ) small bump on my left. This morning, I woke up with 2 whiteheads on my chin (knew that smoothness wasn't gonna last forever :roll: ) Overall, my face has 15 blemishes. Not bad.

What makes it appear worse is the scarring, patches of dry skin, and redmarks all over my face. At least there are a LOT fewer bumps...I'm trying to look at the bright side here :-s I may venture to the mall today since there is a huge sale....but I'm sure all acne sufferers know what the mall means: huge mirrors, horrendous lighting, and 438276438926478 people. Hm...on second thought, maybe not. :oops:

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Day 29/Week 4:

*** 4 WEEK UPDATE ***

4 weeks on Accutane already? Amazing. My skin has gotten dramatically better in 4 weeks. The dryness on my face has overtaken the blemishes. Overall, I have nine blemishes left. HOLY COW!!!!!!! NINE!!!!!! :lol: Compared to 50...that is amazing. And I'm only 4 weeks in. :(/

My forehead is finally clearing up. It seems to be clearing from the outter temples in. So the area between my eyebrows has about 4-5 papules. My cheeks have been relatively clear for sometime now. One whitehead on my left cheek and one on my right. The one on my right just grew last night, so I'm hoping it disappears as quickly as it came. My chin is clear (only 2 stubborn pimples beneath my jawline).

The texture of my skin isn't that great. There are red marks everywhere, and a bunch of scars. Dry, raised patches of dry skin add to the uneven texture. The embarassing part of going out is no longer the multitude of pimples everywhere, but the fact that my face is peeling off! :shock: Everytime I talk my face cracks somewhere new. Yikes. Also, because my face is as red as a stop sign, it draws attention from miles away. Praying for the day I can start wearing makeup again.... [-o<

Oh, the backpains I mentioned 2 days ago went away. Weird how my body goes insane and then the symptoms vanish in a matter of days. Everything went well with my blood test results, so I just received my next 30 days worth of Accutane. BRING IT ON! :(

Overall:

My face has only 9 blemishes left! No cysts, mainly papules on my forehead and a few tiny whiteheads. My main problem is dry, cracked skin and 894316547813564891375 red marks all over! :roll: Since I've seen an 80% decrease in pimples, I'm hoping the progress continues and I'll be pimple free in another 3-4 weeks. Then I'll only have the red marks and dryness to conquer......

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Andrea, I just read all of your posts and I want to emphasize to you how important it is that you do not pick at your skin. Accutane does not cause scars. Picking your skin can. I know how frustrating a face full of pimples can be, and how much we all want quick results, but you have to be patient. Accutane is a 5 month course of treatment--don't expect perfect skin after just a few weeks. Be patient now or you might have scars to deal with when the Accutane is over.

Be gentle with your face. It should not burn or feel firey. Use gentle cleansers and keep it moisturized to prevent scabs that turn into scars. The Accutane will dry you out sufficiently; using harsh cleansers and not moisterizing will only make your skin condition worse and more susceptible to scarring.

Also, I don't know how you are applying the vaseline to your nose, but I found that putting the vaseline on a Q-tip and inserting it inside my nose was very helpful. As for the lips, the various chapsticks/vaseline caused my lips to break out, too, and weren't even very effective at moisterizing. But I found something that works miraculously: lanolin. I just used some lanolin hand cream on my lips and it restored them to perfect condition with no irritation or breaking out. You may have to order it off the internet (I did)--and I didn't get lanolin chapstick. I went straight for the pure lanolin in a tube for skin and just put that on my lips. The chapsticks sometimes contain other ingrediants that aggravate my skin.

Good luck with your treatment! The first time I was on accutane, I didn't get results until about month 3 or 4!

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Day 32/Week 5:

I can't believe it - my entire face is almost clear! The only problem area left is my forehead, with about 5 whiteheads and my jawline, with 3 whiteheads. Other than that, there are NO blemishes on my face - no whiteheads, no cysts, no papules...NOTHING.

I am really happy with the progress my face has shown. This morning, my boyfriend ran his hands along my cheeks and there were no bumps - what a great feeling. :)

Ok gotta put some vaseline on my lips now..thanks to all who keep track of my journal and offer words of encouragment. If anyone has questions, feel free to message me or post!

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Day 34/Week 5:

I spoke too soon on being clear on my cheeks. Reality sure likes to come back and bite me in the butt. Yesterday 1 whitehead and 1 papule appeared on my left cheek. My right cheek got 1 red papule, and my chin was blessed with 2 whiteheads. Beneath my nose, a small whitehead appeared. Man...what a mess. I'm hoping this is a result of the soda I consumed in the last 2 days. NO MORE SODA FOR ME! Luckily, my forehead is clearing. There is only one noticeable whitehead left, and a few small bumps. Other than that, my forehead is relatively flat.

I shouldn't complain, since my face has only a total of 6-8 blemishes in total on my face..a far cry from 50. so close yet so far from a clear complexion.

I saw a friend who I havn't seen for about a month, and she said my face has gotten a lot better...She even said my cheek looked very smooth..AND I LET HER TOUCH IT! That's how much my confidence level has gone up in 4 weeks! I keep hoping every morning I wake up that my face will be bump free...How much longer before my prayers are answered? :?

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Day 36/Week 5:

*** 5 WEEK UPDATE ***

Ok now it seems as though my face is exploding. I am once again very discouraged. The total number of blemishes is up to 11, 3 of these being papules on my left cheek and one whitehead. This is extremely frustrating because this area was PERFECTLY CLEAR two days ago. ](*,) My right cheek only got a little worse with one whitehead. My chin/jawline has 4 whiteheads total. My forehead, although clearing in the middle section, has broken out on the sides. I now have three whiteheads along the left side. The cherry on top is the fact that my face is RED :oops: I don't know what the sudden cause of this breakout is..but whatever it is..I HATE IT :D

Overall:

My face has gotten worse from last week, and my face is extremely unpredictable. One moment an area will be perfectly clear and the next day new blemishes will appear. I just want my face to level off and for these damn pimples to disappear. [-( I'm just getting so hopeless once again...... :(

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I'm entering my 5th week of treatment myself and I am still breaking out. Don't worry, I think it is normal. There are many people out there whose treatments don't seen improvements till the second month, or even the third. Some don't see anything until they're OFF accutane.

So hang in there. There's hope for us yet. :(/

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Day 40/Week 6:

My blemishes come as fast as they go. I can't believe it but my forehead is completely clear except for one whitehead and one small papule! :(

My left cheek is smooth with only one whitehead that is slowly drying up. The right cheek is the "worst" area, with 2 papules. #-o My chin is smooth except that horrible jawline area, where whiteheads take permanent residence. Overall, my face is a LOT better..I'd say 90-95%. Thank god for Accutane. I may complain about 5 pimples now, but I used to have 50. Silly me. O:)

The worst part of my face is the redness. And when I say red, I mean STOPSIGN, FLAMIN BRICK WALL red! :oops: People seem to notice the redness more than the pimples..so I guess I'll settle. I just want my skin to be smooth and STAY smooth...that way, I can cover up the redness with makeup and be NORMAL again. [-o<

As for the side effects, it's only the back pain that really stands out as being the most bothersome. I'm used to the dry lips (Vaseline takes care of that), and bloody noses are rare now. My skin is also a lot less dry for some reason, so only a minimal amount of moisturizer is needed. Hopefully my body is getting used to the Accutane, because it's here to stay for another 14 weeks!

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Day 41/Week 6:

I just had to share the good news with you all. Today is the first day I was able to wear makeup in about 3 months. I can't believe it - I look like a NORMAL person. Of course, there are the few bumps beneath my skin..but the redness is completely covered and...God, I just can't believe it. When I finished putting on my makeup, I nearly cried. It was me - the normal me - staring back. The feeling is indescribable. :(

I'm not planning to wear makeup everyday..but now I know when I need to go somewhere and not feel self-conscious, I can finally use the makeup.

One last question to those who have taken Accutane before : When your skin starts clearing, is it semi-clear sailing ahead or might I get horrible breakouts again? I hope that the worst is behind me and my skin only gets better from here.. Keep praying for me please! O:)

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Day 43/Week 6:

*** 6 WEEK UPDATE ***

This week is the closest I've been to clear skin in about 4 months. There are parts of my face that are so smooth it's unbelievable. Even my stubborn forehead seemed to give up under Accutane's pressure and cleared up. Right now, I have a total of 7 blemishes...and ALL of these are small whiteheads. With makeup, they are invisible and I look like a normal human being.

Two problems left to conquer are the RED face and dry, flaking skin. Today was a bit difficult since it was my first day of summer school. As great as my skin is progressing, going back to the "real world" sucks. Seems like everyone out there has flawless skin, so although my skin is 95% better than before, it is still 100% worse than everyone else. :roll:

I'm really trying not to pop/pick at any of my remaining 7 pimplpes, but it's difficult. It's like..I'm so CLOSE to have a bump-free face...why not try to get rid of the last few? But I know the red marks will be a pain in the butt. Hoping the Benzaclin puts these suckers to rest.

To address some of the personal messages I've received, I am currently using:

1) Clinique Scruffing Lotion (Toner) 1 1/2

2) Proactiv Face Wash

3) Benzaclin

4) Eucerin Daily Control & Care Moisturizer

5) TONS AND TONS OF VASELINE

I really believe that my face is making such good progress because I use the toner. Even though my face isn't oily, there is still a HUGE amount of dirt every day. One last problem is that there seems to be pimples coming back in the EXACT SAME place on my left cheek and forehead. Very weird. :-k

Overall:

Much better than last week. Only 7 whiteheads left!!! I'd say there's been a 90-95% improvement in my face since Day 1. Every day I'm still drinking tons of water, which I think really helps with the dryness. I just want my face to be bump free so the makeup can go on smoothly! YES, I CAN WEAR MAKEUP NOW!! :)/ Life's getting a little bit better..I can see clear skin in the distance...I wish I'd just hurry up and get there!!! [-o<

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Day 46/Week 7:

Wowwww..only 3 active blemishes on my face and a few healing pimples. I'm really excited, but I've come to realize that it's all temporary - more likely than not, I will wake up tomorrow with a new "friend". As I've said before, looking in the mirror every morning is like playing the lotto. I may be more clear, I may not. Hopefully tomorrow will be a GOOD day because my boyfriend is coming down to visit me :) There's nothing I like more than when someone who saw me before my treatment compliments on my improvement!!! :) I hope he sees a big difference, because I can hardly tell after staring at my face every 5 minutes. :roll:

One thing that's really getting to me is the back pain. I've been packing my stuff to move to a new apartment, and I have to sit down every 15 minutes or so because the pain gets really unbearable. I'm going to try to calm the activity when my boyfriend comes to help!

Also, I've noticed that when I get out of the shower, I get these red rashes on my chest area and on my hands. They last for about 10 minutes, but they're pretty itchy. I'm going to have to start moisturizing my whole body...something I've never done in my entire life!

But again, these are all small prices to pay for clearer skin. I really want to start taking Vitamin E to help with some of the red marks, but the original pills I got were 1000 iu and I think this dosage is a bit high. I'll consult with my derm when I have an appointment with him on Aug. 20.

Just one last thought: Don't you hate it when complete STRANGERS feel they have the right to comment on your face??? They act as if we didn't notice it was there or something. Or even worse, when they start giving you "tips". PUH-LEEZE. : :)

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Day 50/Week7:

*** 7 WEEK UPDATE ***

:D:D:D I feel like I'm in a dream. My face is getting more and more smooth by the day. There are about 2 small blemishes left, but all that's mainly left is a pink face! I can run my (very clean) hands along my cheeks and not feel a bump. It's amazing. Even my forehead is clear, with only one healing blemish. To make things even better, the intense dryness has calmed down, and I no longer have to slab on moisturizer in order to talk. My lips are still incredibly dry, and the back pain is still there...but WHO CARES!!! :D/

And to update on last week's post, the first thing my boyfriend said to me when he saw me was : Oh my god! You're face is so smooth!

Yay :D

Overall:

Only 2 blemishes left. Please tell me I'm heading towards CLEAR SKIN! About a 97% improvement since Day 1. Can't believe 50 days flew by so fast. Looking forward to my next derm appointment so I can WOW him! Did I mention....I LOVE ACCUTANE!

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Day 53/Week 8:

Damn. A massive cyst with two little friends popped up on my forehead. It's one of those painful ones - ouch :? Another large whitehead developed beneath my jawline...It is definitely poppable but I'm leaving it alone. A cyst is also developing on my left cheek...AHHHH! Tiny tiny whiteheads are sprouting on my right cheek too. WHAT THE HELL?! I have a hideous red mark above my lip...a rememberance of a whitehead that was once there but came off when I washed my face. Man, this sucks. The rest of my face is smooth, just very pink (as usual).

I knew I shouldn't have gotten too excited 3 days ago... :roll:

Thanks matt for the encouragement :D

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Day 56/Week 8:

***8 WEEK UPDATE***

Things are looking a bit better since my last entry. The massive cyst on my forehead dried up and is now just a patch of dry skin. The two whiteheads next to it went away yesterday. The cyst on my left cheek turned into a whitehead, so I'm waiting for it to dry up and flake off. The whiteheads along my right cheek are either dried up or smaller. So....the total of blemishes is... (let me go count....) THREE! WOW. =D> Right now it's just this enormous whitehead on my left cheek I'm concerned about. It looks like a monster. :D

I've noticed that the texture of my skin is so much smoother. Not just because there are no bumps in most areas, but because my skin feels like silk! It's soft and not full of dry patches like a couple of weeks ago. The redness is also fading slowly. It used to be FLAMING red, but has now subdued itself to a dark pink. It only gets red when my face is hot or cold (from icing).

My derm appointment is in 2 days. I CAN'T WAIT! I hope things are in order, and I get my new prescription ASAP. Mostly, I can't wait to show my derm my improvement! Oh, and I just realized today...I've never missed one pill. Not one in 56 days! I'm a trooper :D

Overall:

One whitehead on my left cheek and a healing cyst on my forehead. One last whitehead under my right jawline. The texture of my skin is getting so much better...most of the areas are so smooth it's unbelievable! Just afraid of those blemishes that come and go and ruin my day. [-( 12 more weeks left...patience is a virtue, right? :-s

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Day 59/Week 9:

I had a derm appointment on Wednesday. Good news and bad news. The bad news is that my derm has finished his residency and no longer works there :D The good news is that I got my new prescription with no problems...YAY! :D

My face is doing great. No "noticeable" pimples on my face..Unfortunately, I can feel a pimple forming above my lip. OUCH. Pimples there are the worst. I hope it goes away by next Saturday because I have a wedding to attend and I really want to look great. I definitely think it's because of the Vaseline that I constantly break out around my lip region. But what can I do - my lips are like the freaking Sahara Desert! :D

BUTTTTTTTTTT I know I should focus on the good - NO PIMPLES! I've prayed for a bump free face for so long and now it's pretty much here. Yesterday one of my best friends said "Your face is so smooth!" My confidence level is going way up. I don't even avoid mirrors as much as I used to, and I can start looking people in the eye (well...when the lights aren't flourescent anyway! :D )

Uh oh, just yawned and felt a slight swelling feeling in my chin area. Another pimple coming? Damn. Can't that damn acne give up already!?! All I have to say is thank god for makeup and dim lighting. 8-[

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Day 64/Week 10:

*** 9 WEEK UPDATE ***

My face has no bumps!!!!! Wow..FINALLY! I had a pretty nasty breakout last Friday. I had three papules on my forehead, a reoccuring pimple above my lip and two beneath my jawline. I was looking horrendous :D Luckily, those papules on my forehead turned into whiteheads that soon dried up and flaked off (thanks to benzaclin). There is a slight red mark above my lip from the pimple..but no bump. The area beneath my jawline pretty much cleared up, except a VERY small bump on my right side. If I wore makeup right now, I'd probably look like I have normal skin.

I'm hoping there are no surprise breakouts from now till Saturday (wedding to go to!) I am a bit concerned about the red marks/rash that appears randomly on my chest though. Dry skin is definitely spreading to my body, especially my arms. Parts of my arm look like they have patches of dry skin. Oh, and another side effect was a pimple on my chest 2 days ago. I NEVER get pimples on my body, so it was very strange. :-k I put a bit of benzaclin on it and the next morning it was gone.

Everyone remarks on how my face is so clear now. One of my best friends said yesterday that she doesn't notice any pimples, and that the redness has faded 85% (when I'm not hot, anyway). My roomate also said that my face is 99% clear (that's what I like to hear!)

One thing that sucks is my inability to stay out in the sun. Simple summer activities like going to an amusement park or beach is now out of the question. I slather on sun-screen just to go outside. But hey, the amusement park and beach will still be there in 11 weeks!!!!

Overall:

I'm finally pimple-free! My overall complexion is started to smooth out, and the redness is (finally!) fading. I know I'm not out of the clear yet...but now that my face is 98% better I can look people in the eye and go out with confidence. I can't wait till I see my family (I've been away at school for a month now.) Can you believe it...the day has come where I want to show off my face!!!! :)

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Day 67/Week 10:

Today was pretty awesome. My face was super smooth (except for one pimple on my forehead, but that was covered by a side bang) so I put on makeup for the wedding. When I finished, my face looked flawless. I mean, hands down it looked like I had perfectly smooth skin. I was afraid I was hallucinating, but I had FIVE compliments on how great I looked. My boyfriend told me he couldn't even notice ONE flaw (even under the flourescent light), his sister (who hadn't seen me in a month) said, "You're face got 100% clear since I last saw you!" My boyfriend's mom, who was once on Accutane herself and encouraged me to try it, told me my face was fantastic.

I'm noticing how Accutane really effects my lifestyle. I've turned down drinking about 4931487618476 times since I've started the medication. I havn't even had a sip of alcohol, but I know it's worth it to keep my liver running for more important things - like breaking down that Accutane! Another thing is that my eyes are really dry nowadays. It makes me feel tired, but I use lubricating drops to ease the pain.

Overall, I'm EXTREMELY happy with my progress. Anyone who has qualms about starting this medication - give it a try! Honestly, it could be the very thing that changes your life. It's definitely changed mine O:)

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thanks passthejonch and others who have PMed me :) I have a question for all the ladies out there who have taken Accutane : what kind of birth control did you guys take? Depo-Provera ("the shot") is what caused me to break out in the first place. Now, my doc has given me ortho-tricyclen which she says will clear my skin in the long run, but she doesnt know how I'll react to it in the first 2 months. Basically, she doesn't know if it will cause a breakout. And HELL NO will I take it if it causes me to go back to square one.

If anyone knows what I should do, or have any advice, PLEASE RESPOND!!!!

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