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sassy561

Sassy's Accutane Log (start date 11/17/05)

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MY STORY: :boohoo:

I am 27 yrs old and have been dealing with Acne for about 14 years or so. It has always been relatively mild; however I have often been plagued with cysts. I have never considered accuatane in the past, as I have never been covered in cysts, usually only one at a time. After failures with antibiotics, topicals, etc., I was able to "manage" my acne for several years with the use of Proactiv, and had been satisfied with my results. Well I got greedy this past August, because although my skin was 98% clear 98% of the time, I was unhappy with the general texture of it. I have some mild ice pick type scarring on my cheeks as well. I visited my dermatologist for suggestions and she put me on finacea (in the am) and retin-a micro (in the pm). I had to stop using the Proactiv. Well talk about initial breakout! I started to get multiple cysts which I had not seen in years and I started waking up in the morning with a face like an oil slick! Of course I panicked and decided to go back to Proactiv, but it has not been able to help me thus far. I still have a stubborn persistant cyst (7 wks old) from that bad breakout - I have had two cortisone injections for it, to no avail. And a new cyst surfaced about a week ago. In addition, I notice that my chest and back are breaking out a bit with some mild bumps. *sigh*

MY DECISION TO TRY ACCUTANE:

Last week I was talking to an older friend of mine on the phone while I was on the way to the derm's office for cortisone injection number 2. I was describing my situation to him and he could tell I was distraught. He said, "if you are getting cysts, ask them about accutane". I had never really considered accutane before, but my face has never really this bad before. So I asked, and she said she would start me on a low dose and we could see how it goes! She said she doesn't expect me to get worse before I get better (yeah right, thanks for getting my hopes up) I did my blood test last Friday and have an appt for this Thursday, so hopefully I will be on my way to clear skin very soon! :clap:

I have found the logs on this board to be absolutley wonderful and very informative. These past few months have been absolutley devastating for me, and although I would not wish this condition on anybody, I am happy that I am not alone in this. Nobody in my life has skin problems, so they don't understand how traumatizing it can be. I will begin my log here in hopes that it will help someone, as I have been helped by reading others' experiences.

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Welcome Sassy!

We're all here to help each other, so glad to see your log is started.

By... April? May? We'll have this awesome, clear, flawless complexion.

yay :dance:

Jules

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Went to the dermatologist today for my perscription and to make sure my bloodwork was good. Asked her about my cholestorol, she said she didn't test for that :think: She said she would add that test to the next bloodwork.

She also told me AGAIN that my face would not get any worse, just better. Why must she me toy with me like that?

I will be on 40mg for 4-5 months depending on my progress. I figured out that based on my weight (103 1bs) (47kg) that 40 mg a day for four months will put me in that "long remission" dosage range, so hopefully I wont have to go longer than 4 months.

DAY 1

Just took my first pill of Claravis (Accutane was $50 more with my ins.)

Active Acne:

I have 1 7week old cyst on my cheek.

I have 1 1week old cyst on the side of my chin.

And I probably have 4-5 small meaningless little pimples in various places.

Side effects: Uh none yet; however, I am very neurotic so I'm sure I'll be feeling something here soon.

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DAY 5:

Well I woke up this morning and was still pretty oily, although perhaps just a tiny bit less than ususal. Nothing significant though. I washed my face and later when I was putting on makeup, I noticed some flakes on the tip of my nose. Could just be a coincidence since I still have oil and my lips are still normal. No drastic changes in my skin yet. No new zits yet but the zits that I started with still linger.

I must say that I cannot wait to experience the accutane "short life span" zit that I keep reading about in other peoples logs. I'm quite fascinated with the concept of a zit coming and going in the same day or overnight. Even the tiniest little zit on me will stay forever.

In other girly news, I went for my "annual" at the obgyn today, and my dr. asked about medications and I told her I was taking Accutane. She said, "why in the world are you taking accutane, your skin looks great!" I told her about the cysts that I get, yada yada. It was nice to hear something like that from someone meeting me for the first time rather than my family, friends, etc. You always assume your family is just trying to comfort you and make you feel better. I guess I can start leaving the house again LOL. Until the breakout begins anyway. :shifty:

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DAY 5:

Well I woke up this morning and was still pretty oily, although perhaps just a tiny bit less than ususal. Nothing significant though. I washed my face and later when I was putting on makeup, I noticed some flakes on the tip of my nose. Could just be a coincidence since I still have oil and my lips are still normal. No drastic changes in my skin yet. No new zits yet but the zits that I started with still linger.

I must say that I cannot wait to experience the accutane "short life span" zit that I keep reading about in other peoples logs. I'm quite fascinated with the concept of a zit coming and going in the same day or overnight. Even the tiniest little zit on me will stay forever.

In other girly news, I went for my "annual" at the obgyn today, and my dr. asked about medications and I told her I was taking Accutane. She said, "why in the world are you taking accutane, your skin looks great!" I told her about the cysts that I get, yada yada. It was nice to hear something like that from someone meeting me for the first time rather than my family, friends, etc. You always assume your family is just trying to comfort you and make you feel better. I guess I can start leaving the house again LOL. Until the breakout begins anyway. :shifty:

That's always encouraging!! It's so true, though, that other people don't see a tenth of the flaws you see in yourself.

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DAY 8:

I've read some stuff on this board about the "waxy" look, and today I don't necessarily think I have the look but I have the "waxy" feel. THe oil is not a light oil but more of a waxiness if that makes sense. No new zits but the cheek cyst I had injected on my first day of accutane has risen from the dead :wall: BUT the good news is that the cyst is actually a little tender and I am hoping that means that the accutane is affecting it in some way. It has never been tender before.

Lips are a tad dry but nothing crazy yet. No other side effects to report. Happy Thanksgiving!

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DAY 9:

:pray::pray::pray::pray::pray:

Ok my cheek cyst (the whole reason I decided to go on accutane) is definitely inflamed today - more so than it ever has been and I am actually happy about that becasue it means SOMETHING is happening. (i hope and pray) :pray::pray::pray:

It has been on my cheek for two months with no signs of change so if anybody is reading this, please :pray::pray::pray: for me that accutane is working on it. I need all the help I can get.

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DAY 13:

BIG DECISION TOMORROW

Well I haven't brought this up yet in my log becasue I wanted to remain optimistic; however, tomorrow I will be visiting the derm and will be facing a big decision.

The day I started Accutane I was at my derm's office to pick up my scrip and to get injections into my two cysts. (Cheek cyst and side of chin cyst) Just to remind anyone who may be reading: my cheek cyst has been on my face for 2 months now. The other for about 3 weeks. These are they type of cysts that do not get really inflamed and do not come to a head (no possible popping)

Well I asked my derm (Half kidding -looking for reassurance) as she was injecting them, "I'm not going to have to get these cysts cut out or anything, am I?" To my HORROR she replied, "we can discuss that after you've been off of Accutane for a while". (I though WHAT?!?) :redface:

I said, "Isn't the Accutane going to kill them?" She said, "Well Accutane impedes healing so we'll probably need to keep injecting them." (COMO?!?) :confused:

It may sound really superficial, but the reason I wanted Accutane was to kill these two cysts. The rest of my acne is super mild and not inflamed and can be controlled by other means. Now you may ask, what about preventing future cysts? Well I truly believe in my heart that these cysts formed due to the change in my regimen (Starting retin-a micro, which frequently comes with a horrible initial breakout) Prior to that I maybe got one cyst a year, but they always healed within a week or two.

Well I've had a week and a half to sit and think and let this stew, and I am going to the derm tomorrow morning for another round of injections, and I will discuss the matter with her again and possibly stop taking Accutane.

Why would I go through 4 months of this drug because of two cysts that very likely will be there after all is said and done? THEN I would have to wait 6 months to do anything surgical to them? I have the finest thinnest hair of anyone I know, I can't afford to lose one strand really (even if it's only temporary) But I was willing to bite that bullet to kill these guys on my face. UGH!!!!!

Once again, I know this may sound dramatic for two cysts when people have faces full of acne - but most people get zits that come and then heal and then come and then heal and so on. Imagine having something on your face for two months that doesn't show any sign of healing, even your own derm doesn't seem optimistic. It's terrible to not know if something is going to go away, especially knowing that the longer it sits there, the more likely it is to scar.

So tomorrow I shall discuss this with her some more and will make a decision. AS for the status of my accutane progress/side effects:

No change in acne and no new acne, chapped lips, I had my leg bent up while I was sitting for a while and experienced some weird pain/ache in my knee for about an hour afterward.

If anybody's reading this please offer some wisdom. Forgive my novel, but I needed to get this out.

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Hi Sassy,

Are those two cysts acne cysts or some other kind of cysts? (sebacious cysts, for instance?). Cystic acne is supposed to be cured and cleared up by Accutane. I've never heard a derm say otherwise... (Nunca!!) ;)

I understand your frustration, and would wonder if the hell of Accutane would be worth the possibility of not taking care of the issue you were hoping to tackle in the first place!!!

Let me know what you decide,

Julie

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Hey Jules,

I've been wondering the same thing - if they are a different kind of cyst, like a sebaceuos (sp) cyst. I have looked up some info on the net and can't really find any way to differentiate myself - although I would expect that my derm should know (and should have told me by now!) I will certainly ask her tomorrow, I'll post an update tomorrow.

Hope you are doing well and have a great time on your trip! Hopefully someday I'll be up to seeing and visting friends again, geez.

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Hi sassy,

Just my two cents, but I've heard from others on this board that sometimes the injections impede the cyst from fully going away. They work (from what I understand) by reducing inflammation, which is your body's way of dealing with infection, and sometimes the inflammation returns when the injection wears off. I've also heard that injecting cysts while on 'tane can also increase the chances of the cyst leaving a scar.

I've had a few cysts pop up while on 'tane, but I let them go naturally and you can't even tell they were there (w/the exception of one little pit on the left side of my chin). Anyway, something to maybe research/think about before getting another injection if you think you might need one.

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Carys,

Thanks for your reply! There is so much conflicting info on this it's hard to know what to do. My derm tells me injections are good because they reduce the inflammation which could lead to scarring. I would be perfectly ok with leaving it alone if I knew it was going to go away someday, but I know my body and I have never had something this persistent before. I got the impression from my derm that if was persistant before accutane, accutane isn't going to help it.

I'll talk to her tommorrow about it...I can't stand this.

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Hey Jules,

I've been wondering the same thing - if they are a different kind of cyst, like a sebaceuos (sp) cyst. I have looked up some info on the net and can't really find any way to differentiate myself - although I would expect that my derm should know (and should have told me by now!) I will certainly ask her tomorrow, I'll post an update tomorrow.

Hope you are doing well and have a great time on your trip! Hopefully someday I'll be up to seeing and visting friends again, geez.

It's rough to keep hearing all those conflicting pieces of information!!

It's a good thing that I'm visiting a dear friend who luvs me no matter what's on my face. :angel:

Back in October when I was BREAKING OUT LIKE CRAZY I went to Peru for my Grandfather's 90th birthday celebration and I had to be seen by the entire extended family (after not having seen them for a while) and take tons of pictures. THAT was horrible. They were probably wondering what the hell was wrong with my face. :( One "not so subtle" aunt let me know that she thought it might have been my "liquid foundation" that was causing the acne. Geez, thanks for the insight. I don't even wear liquid foundation on my oily skin. But I didn't argue with her... I just told her I was seeing a dermatologist and I was going to get rid of it. :wall:

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One "not so subtle" aunt let me know that she thought it might have been my "liquid foundation" that was causing the acne. Geez, thanks for the insight.

Don't you just love unsolicited advice? I was at this consultation for laser hair removal (yes, in addition to acne I am blessed with some unwanted hair on my upper lip) and told her I couldn't start the sessions until 6 months after I'm off Accutane. She said, why don't you try doxycyline? HELLO

My boyfriend also suggested that make-up might contribute to my acne. People that don't have acne just don't understand that we/us who have it (sorry, miss english teacher) go to such great lengths to prevent it. We put nothing on our face that isn't oil-free and non-comedonegenic and non-acnegenic.

But Jules, as Carys said in your log, you have really beautiful skin and skin tone, etc. You're going to look great.

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Really confused by your derm, you might look into getting another one eventually seeing as they've been misleading you. If they are cysts from acne, they should be going away and new ones prevented by accutane. However if they aren't then the derm shouldn't have put you on accutane seeing as generally your skin seems to be pretty much under control. And with the unwanted advice... people with their perfect clear skin really don't understand squat. How you'll turn down 10 products just because they don't say oil free, non-acnegenic etc. on the back and then if you even so much as suspect your makeup is causing zits you'll swap brands without a second thought. So really... we'll play the ignore them game.

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Really confused by your derm, you might look into getting another one eventually seeing as they've been misleading you.

Alex, you are right. I really like her as a person and she spends at least 10 minutes with me every visit which is nice, but I'm not sure if she's giving me the best advice. If I am not satisfied with the outcome of my visit tomorrow, I may just get a second opinion (I may do that anyway)

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DERM DAY:

Well I went in for my appointment and to clarify what she said last time about accutane. Of course I cried like a baby thoroughout the whole appointment which is real mature, but I'd rather cry there than cry to my boyfriend about it.

I asked her about my cheek cyst first - I asked her if it is an acne cyst or if it could be some other type of growth/cyst. She said she thinks that it started as acne but it hasn't healed properly and she thinks there's some scar tissue buildup in there. I've never picked at or squeezed it, I've done ice on it and sulfur spot treating, but thats about it (other than the injections) She said sometimes the skin cells just don't heal properly -OK. :wall: (cry, cry)

She said they use the same steroid injections for scar tissue that is used for acne cysts, and that it has a 95% success rate in melting it away. (sniffle, cry)

I asked her about the chin cyst and she said that one definitely feels more like an acne cyst (it's a little bit harder) and she feels confident about that one clearing up. (wah, wah)

I asked her AGAIN whether she thought Accutane would help with these two lesions in particular. She said that in her opinion, she did not think so. And that if I got on the Accutane with the hope that it would, I could certainly ditch the tane, but it was up to me. I told her that my biggest priority was these two lesions and I wanted to know how to combat them. She said she would prefer to be not so aggressive (surgery) as that could leave me with scarring. She said she would keep injecting them and possibly increase the amount of solution next injection. (cry cry cry)

She then prescribed my a topical called Aldara to put on the cheek cyst - she said it's like precription strength Mederma (for scarring) I got home and looked it up on the web, it's used for patients with GENITAL WARTS!!! :mad:

Well then I did a search for it on Acne.Org and apparently it is also used for keloid type scarring. I can't wait to drop that puppy off to be filled at Walgreens. Maybe I should start scratching my crotch at the pharmacy just to freak them out - I know, sick. :snooty:

I will be getting a second opinion. My ex boyfriend is a very well to do socialite in Palm Beach and is getting me an appointment with a very good dermatologist who also is his personal friend. It's funny how I can talk to my ex so freely about acne but I don't like mentioning it to my boyfriend. Maybe a derm who knows me (albeit indirectly) will care more and really give me all the options (If there are any)

Will I take my Accutane pill today? I don't know yet. I guess I'll decide when the time comes.

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You know - now that I think about it, my derm may very well be a quack. She never said anything about my cyst having scar tissue the first 3 times she injected it. Hell she never really even looked at it before injecting it. Hmmm

This is the same derm that told me when I asked her about an inititial breakout from accutane - I quote, "That's the great thing about Accutane, it doesn't get worse, it only gets better". Kooky

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Hi Sassy,

I TOTALLY relate to crying at the derm's office. Been there... more than once.

:lol2: funny comment about crotch scratching at Walgreens, by the way.

Funny too, that we can talk to friendly exes about things that we would have probably never discussed while we were dating them. It's especially good to stay friendly with the exes who have influence, such as said Palm Beach Socialite. ;)

Hang in there! Once you see a "non-quack" derm, you may get a better idea of the cyst situation!

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OK so I stopped taking Accutane as of my last post 2 wks ago. I went to the new derm to have him look at my cysties and told him the history and the injections and asked him if it was scar tissue. He said he couldn't really tell but it didn't matter the injections should help it. He asked me the concentration of the injections and I told him 2.5 mg. He said "lets use 10 mg this time". :shock: I got very nervous about that because I know that too much cortisone can cause atrophy. But he said he always starts with 5 mg in his patients anyway.

The other smaller cyst like pimple he thought he could extract so he performed a little surgery apparently -interesting - a strange person squeezing your blemish, no wonder it costed so much. :lol2: It seemed to help a bit that one is now just a tiny bump under the skin and I don't care about it right now.

Well 10 mg of kenalog didn't give me atrophy and it didn't do it for the stubborn cheek cyst :evil: went down a little but still very much alive and well. So I went back today and he used a 5mg solution since I just had the 10mg last week, so we'll see! I asked him if this thing will be permanent and he said no so I feel reassured. :dance: He said I can come in whenever I want to (my other derm though I was neurotic and the last time she injected me she told me to be patient and come back in 6 wks)

Unfortunately he does not accept any insurance ( I guess rich people don't need health insurance) so my first visit with him cost $253, today's $123!!!! At this rate I hope he cures me fast because I won't be able to keep that up

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Hey sassy.. I wish I wouldv come across this log sooner bc I had the same sort of cyst as the one you're talking about.. It wasn't really inflamed, it felt like scar tissue and it was VERY stubborn.. I remeber it so well bc it was the first real cyst I ever got.. Junior year.. And boy did it drive me crazy.. It was on my cheek and I think I had it for about 4/5 months, and then after that It still left a red mark.. I would say that about six months after that all the redness or hyperpigmnetation had completely vanished so that it left no traces that cyst had even been there in the first place.. I actually ended up getting another 1 on the opposite cheek but it wasnt as big.. That one lingered for 3 months and went away on its own.. as for the big cyst, I never got any cortisone injections for it, BUT one day when I went to go get a facial, because with the exception of that cyst, the rest of my face was pretyy clear like yours.. So neway, the facialist had punctured/extracted that cyst with some sort of metal instrument during my facial(I never saw it, I only felt it lol) I had no idea she was gonna do that...and although the cyst looked worse for a couple days after, it immediately started to heal.. I honestly don't kno how much longer it would've taken that cyst to heal if it were not for that blessed facialist.. Also, altho it did heal rather quickly after that, it stil left a deflated bad red/purple mark, so then my derm prescribed me some mometasone furoate cream which helped it eventually go away.. And yea the hole thing was a bitch, but thank god it didn't leave a scar.. Alrite well I hope this helped.. My advice would be to go to a facialist that performs those.. I wish I had done that much earlier.. O yea and like I said the other 1 I got that was very similar to that went away by itself.. So don't worry they DO go away lol.. K good luck.. Oo yea and as for the accutane.. I do have to say that the entire healing process was a bitch in itself so if accutane is gonna hinder that even more, I'd say not to take it, just my opinion.. GOOd LUCK and don't fret.. I regret spending way too much time worrying abt those lil things when the majority of my face was clear.. I'm sure you notice them a lot more than anyone else does.. take care :)

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Hi Kat,

You are so sweet for sharing that story, thank you! Yeah I know I probably shouldn't worry so much about it, it could be worse. I can feel it when I wash my face and put my makeup on so it's just hard for me to forget it's there.

I think what the facialist used on you sounds like the same thing my derm used on me with the tinier cyst. I just don't know if there is anything to drain/extract in my cheek cyst. It really does feel like just skin tissue at this point - doesn't seem like there is any pus or anything in there(Gross - I know, sorry)

Anyway, thanks for sharing and we are "cyst-ers" now so I will continue to monitor your log and wish the best for you!

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