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betty cherry

Betty's Accutane Log with Photos

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Hi Chosen Few,

An OCD is an "obsessive compulsive disorder" - it's where people are compelled to do things repetetively. The most common and well known is probably the cleaning one - where people become obsessed with hygiene and wash their hands over and over. If only I had that one - I would probably have great skin! Lol. But seriously, it can be a horrible thing to live with, but mine is quite mild. I have a thing I do with words in my head, and the face picking and I CAN control the face picking if I really try. Most people have a mild form of OCD in some way - maybe you need to do everything three times to feel happy about it, or maybe you have to go a certain route to work/school, because it is "lucky". There's lots of different forms.

Aaaanyway, now that I sound like a mentalist, I'd like to thank everyone for their support and kind words. valintheville, good luck to you too and let's hope it works out well for both of us. It's the best thing about this site. I have my derm appointment in an hour, so wish me the best!

BettyCherry xxx

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END OF MONTH ONE

Wow, what a nightmare that was! I was in the hospital from 10.30am until 12.45! First I had to wait for a bloodtest, get that done, then wait another half an hour til I was called into another room - another 15 minute wait, then I was taken into another room, another 15 minutes and finally my doctor arrives. "Did you get a pregnancy test?" No! How was I supposed to know that?! So, off I go to be forced to pee into a cup while a nurse waited - no pressure then. Then she took my sample and just left me there and I had to find out where to go. Thn my derm finally came back. After another 10 minutes..I won't bore you with the wait for the prescription, this is more than enough!

So, it turns out that when I had those big groups of zits that got together, that was very very bad and I should have been put on steroids to combat them. Nice of them to tell me that now. How the hell was I supposed to know that if they didn't tell me?! So, there's a tip - if you have a bunch of zits that group together to make one massive cyst, call your derm. If I am scarred for life now because of that, I will be so pissed off.

I always seem to underestimate how bad my skin is. Like when I started this blog I put "mild to moderate acne" and yet my derm said to be that I have "very severe" acne. I think it's because it looks so much better in the photos than it does in real life! She has decided to keep me on the low dose of 30mg, so that I don't get any more of those massive cysts - if I upped my dose, I would have another breakout, and would almost definitely get the mega cysts again. This means I will be on it longer than most, but I won't be too scarred or have to go on steroids. She said we might up my dose a bit further down the line, when my body has got a bit more used to the tane, then I won't get such a bad reaction. I totally trust her judgement, so I am fine with that. I'm glad really, as I'm not sure I could have coped with another breakout just when things were starting to improve.

Right now, my skin looks awful. I have quite a few manky spots with heads, lots of dry flaky bits and scabs, big red marks everywhere and general horrible tone. I have started to have a 1.5 litre bottle of water with me every day and I am trying to drink the whole thing throughout the day, to help rehydrate my body, keep my liver healthy and flush out all the toxins more quickly. I am doing everything I can to make this work, but I know I sitll have a loooong way to go. Another 4 months at least. But hey, I have done a month! That's pretty amazing! Let's do a rundown of the month...

SKIN CONDITION: The first 2 weeks were hellish - my skin broke out in huge groups of cysts that I now know should have been treated with steroids. Then I started to see a slight improvement with the size of cysts and number reducing. I even had 2 days without any cysts. This was shortlived however and a couple of cysts have since emerged, though not as large or painful as the ones in the first fortnight. I still have most of the blackheads I started with, though they are now more pronounced.

SIDE EFFECTS: The dry lips have been a constant annoyance, but no more than annoying. It's difficult to keep them moist, but I can deal with it. The stiff, achy joints have been the worst and this is still a problem at times. Headaches in the first two weeks, but these are now gone. My temper has become short, but this has also improved recently. I have a dry, itchy scalp wirth dandruff and my hair has gone flyaway because it is so dry.

EMOTIONS: Although it has been very difficult this past month and at times I have not gone out for a few days because I hated the way I looked, overall I have not been too bad. As a person with a history of depression and anxiety, I was worried about these effects, but so far I have not been unduly depressed. My temper has been a lot quicker than normal and I get annoyed and angry easily, but apart from that, I feel quite positive that I am doing something about my acne and am on the path to recovery.

Here are some pictures to show progress:

IPB Image

IPB Image

Now I think it's time to see some real improvement. Month 2 is supposed to be the turn around month for a lot of people, so I am really hoping it will be for me too.

BettyCherry xxx

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Greetings and salutations, ye 'tane user across the pond! The pond of course being the Atlantic Ocean...

ahem, anyway, moving on...you are already looking so much better! And keep in mind, you still have a long way to go. I'm assuming you're going to be on the stuff (I make it sound like crack, don't I?) for another four months or so...you seriously are going to have baby's bottom skin by the end of all this.

Thanks so much for the detailed description! Your fellow users (there I go again...) definitely appreciate it. Keep us up to date, and keep posting all your triumphs/tribulations/rants/etc. We're here for you, despite (for some of us, at least) the time difference. :D

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DAY 28

GODDAMMIT! I have messed up my left side again and I am sure it's all my own fault. I squeezed a couple of zits a few days ago and I think I have spread the infection. Now I have a whole heap of new zits there, which is really upsetting. They hurt quite a lot, too, cos there are so many all together. Luckily there don't seem to be any big cysts yet, just smaller zits.

I've been using Vaseline with aloe vera on my lips and that has REALLY helped - they're not too dry at all now. I'm sure the water I have been drinking has helped with that, too. Other than that, not too much to report at the moment.

Take care,

BettyCherry xxx

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Oh my goodness..I got one of those huge massive cysts that is like 3 pimples in 1. It has gone down alot know but I didn't know I was supposed to let the derm know...I thought it was normal to break out this bad. Oh dear :eh:

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Hi Betty-

I just want to say thanks for your very honest log and pictures. I can definitely see some improvement when you look at all the pictures together. I'm on day 4 so I'm a freshman looking up to a senior! Keep it up.

Claire

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hey betty-i just wanted to comment on when you said you think you caused the big breakout. one night a few weeks ago-i sat in my bathroom,sitting up on the sink and i did what i used to do before tane--i picked anything that may even slightly look like it might become a pimple---BIG MISTAKE! even when i sat and picked, not a lot of junk even came out and boy did my skin look like crap. i was sooooo mad at myself. i totally see why me derm told me not to pick...it was not even like before-my face broke out every place i touched. now, i am very picky where i touch. this sounds crazy but, at night, washing my face and then slathering it with aquaphor really helped me heal well. good luck!!!!!!!!!!

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Keep going m'dear...my cyst breakout has begun in style today (day 7 of roaccutane) and reading your log helped to know i'm not alone.

Keep us posted - good luck!

Mr Tom :D

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Off topic: what do u mean when u say "touch wood" and "knock on wood"

it means that you dont want to jinx yourself, we say touch wood my skin is getting better in the hope that it will not turn around just cos we said its getting better. it must be a british thing lol

betty i hope you have clear skin after all this is over. you have a good log very detailed, keep us updated, its nice to know how others are doing on accutane. i just hope im on it soon.

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Hello acne ridden world!

Yes, I'm back. It's been a couple of weeks, because I was moving house and had to get a new internet connection sorted etc. A suprisingly little amount has happened with my skin in that time. I was really hoping that I would be able to come back on here and say "I"m cured! It's a miracle!". But, woe is me, it's not really much different from the last time I was on here.

It's really frustrating, because every day I think "Oooh, as soon as those few zits clear up, I will be totally zit free!" That's if you ignore the millions of scars, red marks and scabs that are left behind of course. But every day, I wake up to find a few new zits. Not loads, but enough to stop me from being zit free. It's like the supply of crap to my skin is never ending. I mean, where the hell does it all come from!?

I have been really good at not picking recently, though I have found that I do it without even thinking and it seems that when I do pop one, by accident or otherwise, they never stop..erm..how can I put this...you know, leaking! Which is really bad, cos I have to hold something on said zit til it stops, so that it doesn't spread and cause a new zit.

I have had some developments, however, elsewhere on my body. I have developed a delightful red, scaly rash all over the backs of my hands and my forearms, which is just great :( I have seen other people talk about it on here before, so I hope it is just another one of those side effects that aren't that bad. I will attach some pics of the rash for your viewing pleasure! It kind of goes away a bit if I moisturise it, as long as I don't use a perfumed moisturiser - that makes it worse.

Anyway, I have makeup on right now so I won't do face pics - I'll leave them for another day. Hope everyone is doing well on their own journeys and remember to keep the faith!

BettyCherry xxx

IPB ImageIPB Image

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The thing on your hand is from COLD air or an iritable sweather... Try putting hand lottion half an hour before you go out. It'll go away.

For the other thing, put some lotion on it too.. The rash will go away very shortly...

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Hi Betty,

Your log is so inspirational. I have never posted a comment before and it took me like an hour to figure out how to register and use the site, but I know it will be worth it.

I'm currently in the third week of my fourth course of accutane in my life. I'm starting with 120 mg a day this time and I'm sure I'll be going up in dose by the next time I see my doc. My acne isn't so terribly severe (but maybe I'm underestimating here) but it sure is persistent. I'm 29 years old. I'm also in that horrible beginning stage of the accutane experience right now which is why I'm staying home from work today.

So that's me. I didn't want to start spouting any advice without introducing myself. But after reading your posts, I wished I could just drop by your home with a gift that would change your life: an extremely expensive humidifier for your bedroom. My dermo flat out told me that if I didn't wake up every morning with thick condensation on my bedroom windows from the humidity level in the room while I was sleeping, then he'd fire me. Haha.

I thought my mom had lost it when she heard about this and went and bought me some incredibly fancy humidifier that must have set her back at least $200 from what I can tell. I thought she might have gone insane since you can buy a humidifier for $30 at the drugstore. The brand of the one she bought me is called Air-O-Swiss. Just apply a heavy layer of Aquaphor to your lips before you go to bed, crank this sucka up, and you will see major, major improvement in your lips and hair!! It works a thousand times better than the drugstore humidifiers like Vick's and it truly changed my accutane experience.

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I have excema on my hands like that too. Ask your doctor about a steriod cream to help with it - if I put it on my hand at night, its gone by the next morning. I also have small patches different places all over my body. :(

Good luck w/ your skin - you'll get there!!! :)

Laurel

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Haha, the joke is that in merry old England, I DO wake up every morning with thick condensation on the windows - so much so that we have to mop up the water off the window sills! Believe me, with all the rain, mist and fog, we don't really have a humidity problem! But thank you so much anyway for your suggestion - it makes total sense. I just wish it were that simple :)

BettyCherry xxx

Laurel - you must have posted while I was writing! Thanks for the message. It's nice to know I'm not alone! I will def ask my derm about some cream for it.

BC xxx

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Ooooh, this morning was quite exciting. I am terrified of jinxing it, but when I woke up, I didn't seem to have any new zits. My skin also feels very smooth, like there aren't any cysts waiting underneath. I am really hoping that this is the turning point and from now on I can concentrate on healing. Forgot to take pics before makeup again, but will def do them soon - promise!

BC xxx

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Oohh.. I got those nasties on my hands as well... I just put moisturizingcream on them and it went away over the night. Seemd to be the standard reaction to people here ... hehe...It probably came from the cold weather here... -20*C ... At first I thought I had ringworm or something, as small itchy red dots are a symptom of that.. but I guess it isn't :)

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I too, am in the UK and with "mild to moderate acne" and was prescribed 30mg in the same way as you (1x20mg; 2x5mg); though I started on the 20th of December.

I had a breakout in the 4th week (only last week) but things haven't got worse since then. Possibly due to the stress of my uni finals.

My side-effects are: dry face and arms, cracked lips and a couple of nose bleeds.

Any UKers know if the E45 moisturising lotion is safe to use? i.e. doen't aggrevate acne?

Apologies for hi-jacking your log- I'll race you to see who notices improvement first.

Ready.

Steady.

Go.

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Hey everyone,

Argh, it's so annoying - my camera is broken! I have to send it off to fuji to get fixed. If anyone is considering buying a digital camera, don't get a fuji, they break after 18 months, without fail!

What's more annoying is that I am finally making some progress and I really want to show you all! My skin is starting to clear, I only have about 4 active but very small zits and my skin feels smoother and has a much better tone. If only I could show you! Amazing how much we rely on technology these days.

There seems to have been a spate of before and after photos on here recently and they are incredible! Really gives me hope for the future and makes me remember that it's all worth it. I wish I could be clear for Valentine's day, but I think that is a bit ambitious, so I am aiming for my birthday in March instead. When that comes around and I am a full quarter of a century old,I want to be able to look in the mirror and look like a sexy young woman, not a greasy teenager!!!!!

I was just wondering if I could scan my face...lol. Might work!

Haha...that totally doesn't work. Will have to think of something else!

BC xxx

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hi betty, wanted to let u know not to get discoraged. I was on accutan 4 times. Although my acne was mild it was extremely persistent. The first time i was on it it took a month and a half to work,but then second time it took 2, and the third time it took almost 3 months to work. Yhank god the last time only took a month again. I always remain clear abt a year after i finish but slowly it comes back i wanna go on it again, but my derm is hesitant because my skin is very mild. But its extremly persisten. Im thinking abt photodynamic laser. Well just wanted to let u know accutane does eventually work it is a miracle!!

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OH MY GOD...

:dance:I"M CLEAR!!! :dance:

Yes, that's right folks, I currently have NO active zits. I am officially pimple-free, sans spots!

My skin feels lovely and smooooooooth.

I still have all the red marks and so on, but hey, what's a face full of smooth red marks after a lifetime of acne!?

The rash on my hands has gone, too.

Ooooh, I'm feeling gooooood. I have a deadline though, so will write more later!

BettyCherry xxx

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