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betty cherry

Betty's Accutane Log with Photos

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Hi, thought I'd drop in and say hello. I'm from the UK too and I've also started on 30mg. My derm decided to start me on a low dose as I was so concerned about the initial breakout. He told me that that hardly ever happens. Blimey, he is such a liar! I've had the worst skin I can ever remember having. My face looks like a burst sausage and I'm really really unhappy about it.

I'm only on my 9th day so I'm reading your log avidly to find out what's going to happen to me next so keep posting and I wish you all the luck in the world and I'm sure you'll come right in the end. Sorry to hear about those tossers at your uni but there will always be ignorant nobbers out there who mock what they don't understand. Don't let it bring you down though as you’re so much better than that.

Keep it real for the UK massive. Or something. Am I too old to be street now or what??

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Whaddup dawg, you's neva too old ta be street. Or something. I need a cup of tea now...

How old are you anyway, you never said?

Thanks for your reply! I get soooo mad about derms saying it's unlikely you'll get a breakout. Every single person on here bar about 2 has had a breakout and I am sure that's why people get depressed when on Roaccutane or Accutane - because their expectations are set too high by the derms and they immediately feel like it's not working if they get one. They should just tell the truth and I'm sure most people would say "OK, I can deal with that as long as I get better in the end" and then they'd be prepared for what's coming. Grrrr. It winds me up proper.

Anyway, glad you said hello. It's always nice to know people are tuning in so to speak! I wish you the very best of luck with your treatment and if you have any questions or worries, feel free to talk to me about them.

DAY 73

Oooh, that's a nice surprise! I have woken up with skin that looks like it's healing. Not much more to add to that really. Still feeling a bit rotten, but skin starting to improve again. Fingers crossed! A friend is coming over later with a digital camera so I will post pics when I can.

BC xxx

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Whaddup dawg, you's neva too old ta be street. Or something. I need a cup of tea now...

How old are you anyway, you never said?

Thanks for your reply! I get soooo mad about derms saying it's unlikely you'll get a breakout. Every single person on here bar about 2 has had a breakout and I am sure that's why people get depressed when on Roaccutane or Accutane - because their expectations are set too high by the derms and they immediately feel like it's not working if they get one. They should just tell the truth and I'm sure most people would say "OK, I can deal with that as long as I get better in the end" and then they'd be prepared for what's coming. Grrrr. It winds me up proper.

Anyway, glad you said hello. It's always nice to know people are tuning in so to speak! I wish you the very best of luck with your treatment and if you have any questions or worries, feel free to talk to me about them.

DAY 73

Oooh, that's a nice surprise! I have woken up with skin that looks like it's healing. Not much more to add to that really. Still feeling a bit rotten, but skin starting to improve again. Fingers crossed! A friend is coming over later with a digital camera so I will post pics when I can.

BC xxx

You are so right! Derms should NEVER promise good results from the very beginning!!! My derm told me I should be clear in a MONTH - Yes, she acually said that! Then, at the next visit, she said after 2 month! Hahahah... it took my butt 5! Oh well... Just know, it WILL get better, eventually. :)

Glad to hear your skin is looking better! :)

Laurel

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I'm 31 but then if you had checked my log you would've known that. God, so bloody rude!

Glad to hear you're having a good day. So am I actually. Well, not great but OK. well, OK compared to the horrors of yesterday....OK, it was a pretty bad day again but at least I'm trying to be positive.

I've got my next derm appointment which will be at the end of a full 2 weeks. It should have been at the end of 4 weeks but I put off starting the 'tane initially as I thought my skin was getting better on its own. Yeah right.

As I'm only on 30mg, I was thinking about asking to have my dose doubled for the rest of the month and then properly ramping up to 70 or 80Mg after the first 4 weeks. What do you reckon? Is that just asking for trouble? my initial breakout seems to be easing off and the last thing I want to do is re-ignite it but at the same time I don't want my dose to be too low and end up having to stay on it for longer or even having to do a second course.

Anyway, all the best and I really hope you continue to see success.

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Kaz - Sorry my lovely - if you had a link to your log in your signature or something, I would definitely have checked it out. Post a link for me so I can read it! As for the doubling your dose, I stayed on 30mg for the first 2 months cos my initial breakout was so severe. Upping your dose will almost certainly bring you some degree of breakout again, but it has to be done at some point. So, I guess if you haven't had too bad a breakout in the first month, bite the bullet and up your dose! Yes, you feel a bit like you're going backwards when you see new zits, but if you never up your dose, you'll be on this stuff forever (unless you are very small or light, in which case, you will need less tane overall). I don't know what your derm is like, but I left all the decisions down to mine, but I made sure she knew all the facts and all my concerns so that she could make the best decision for me.

Laurel - I know! Man, it makes me so mad. Their psychology is all screwy. I was considering producing a leaflet about what really happens on Roaccutane and standing outside my local hosptial handing them out to spotty people lol. Seriously, though, I think someone needs to show people when they are starting out what will really go on. I'm sure derms think they shoulsn't worry people, but that's just stupid.

DAY 74

I am still exhausted all the time, have headaches a lot and generally feel pretty crap, but guess what? My skin is starting to look good. I do have a confession to make though - the past couple of nights, I have been spot treating with BP. I had a few cysts pop up and I could just tell they were the type to burst and then cause loads more zits, so I put some BP just on them and they seem to have started to shrink a lot, without coming to a head. Thank God. I know you're not really supposed to, but hey, if it works, I am going to do it.

Generally, my skin is really smooth and what's interesting is in the right light, my skin looks gorgeous now. But head on, you can see all the red marks and it isn't gorgeous at all. But at least I have an idea of how it might look and it's gooooood.

I am into the whole rockabillly and 50s look and the hairstyles that go with that tend to be up-dos and off the face, but while my skin has been so bad I have been wearing my hair straight down to help hide my face. last night I was playing around with some different styles and I cannot wait to wear it up off my face again in public. Funny how acne can take away little pieces of your identity like that. Also, I can't wear red clothes or lipstick, as it brings out the spots on my face and I love to wear red! So, when my skin is clear, I am going to wear bright red every day for a month :)

Keep on keeping on...

BettyCherry xxx

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ive been following your log with interest since the start and im happy that you finally seem to be showing mprovement. im dying to see photos of you cos we have not sen any in so long.

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I assume that when you said Kaz, you meant me? My name's Simon though. Or am I just getting myself confused?

Secondly, I've got no idea how to provide a link to my log although you're not missing much. Just me moaning and whinging really...

Anyway, not much more to say than that at the moment. I just wanted to drop in and tell you how offended I am that you don't read my journal and then you go and get my name wrong!

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I am still exhausted all the time, have headaches a lot and generally feel pretty crap, but guess what? My skin is starting to look good. I do have a confession to make though - the past couple of nights, I have been spot treating with BP. I had a few cysts pop up and I could just tell they were the type to burst and then cause loads more zits, so I put some BP just on them and they seem to have started to shrink a lot, without coming to a head. Thank God. I know you're not really supposed to, but hey, if it works, I am going to do it.

i feel exhausted all the time as well. i felt like that before accutane though. guess its just the life of a college student...tiring. im happy to hear ur skin is starting to look good. mines cleared up a lot since my initial crazy break out. i did have 2 cysts and a couple little zits that i treated with BP. i know we aren't supposed to, but i swear if i didn't they would hang around for an xtra couple weeks. go ahead...as long as u aren't using 10% BP i think that it's safe to do so. :) have a good weekend.

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Sorry SImon, I am totally confused! If you want to post a link to your log though, just go to it, copy the address from the address bar above and then paste it into a post on here. Or you can you to your profile and change your signature so that it contains your link.

DAY 77

Today is not a good day, no siree bob. I woke up in crippling pain to my stomach and feeling very sick and haven't been right all day. My head is killing and I have severe pains in my back, where my kidneys are. I think I might have a stomach bug or maybe food poisoning - I ate some mussels at a restaurant on Sat night and they came out of their shells and everyone knows you should get them in their shells, so you can tell whether they are cooked properly. Anyway, I ate them and maybe they caused this. I feel awful. Boohoo.

Another bad thing was when I looked in the mirror and realised that my entire face was peeling really badly, like I have eczma all over. It might be because I am ill, but it looks awful and I am scared to moisturise too much in case it causes another breakout. My hand/arm rash also came back while I was out on Saturday and I have been itching all over.

I was supposed to go for my blood test today, but felt too bad, so hopefully i will be up to it tomorrow. I have my next derm appointment this friday and I was supposed to get them a week in advance. Oops. I can't believe how quick this month has gone compared to all the others, but I have to admit, i was expecting more from this month. i really thought I would be clear by the end of month three and it just hasn't happened. Let's hope month four brings better news.

I didn't get the camera off my friend in case you are wondering - they forgot. I will endevour to get on asap.

Urgh, I feel soooooo bad. :boohoo:

BC xxx

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hey betty cherry

how's it going ??? hope you're feeling better. Damn those mussels (but they're sooo good!)

anyway, skin wise how do you think you are ? i'm at pretty much the same point as you (though a lower dose). Am starting to get alittle frustrated. I know for some it is slower but i'm just about starting my 4th month and if i don't see some real improvement i'm going to be gutted.

I have definately improved since my IB, but that was bad. I feel i am only about pre-accutane skin now after 12 weeks (but not half as clear as when i was on antibiotics last summer!).

Sorry just wanted to air my frustrations with you cos i know we're pretty similar - partners in crime (or to clear skin)!

anway in the words of silapp "lets keep on truckin"

kaz

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hey Kaz, yeah I know what you mean. 4 months in and my skin still looks worse than it did before starting Roaccutane. It's pretty frustrating. But today my skin is actually looking pretty good. I moisturised last night quite a lot, despite my fears and today I spent a looooooong time looking for non-comedogenic moisturisers and found two! I was so pleased! The one I bought was Nivea Visage Oil free moisturising fluid. Nutrogena did one that was non-comedogenic too. I also found out that all Clarins foundations are non-comedogenic, but the one I wanted was £24!!!! So, I had to leave that for now. Maybe I will treat myself at the end of my course.

laurel - I hear you are clear these days!?! That's so great. Gives me a lot of hope, because I know it took you longer than average to get there, yet get there you did! Thanks for the kind words of support.

DAY 78

Today is a GOOD day :) I am pretty sure I got ill because of the mussels, because I was violently ill yesterday and almost completely fine today, so it has to have been something I ate. As I said above, my skin is also looking pretty good after my major moisturisation and hopfully with my new moisturiser I can do it every day without fear of clogging my pores. My makeup isn't sitting right on my face at all, because it's so dry, so I need to sort that out.

I got rid of my hand rash again with plenty of Dove rich body moisturiser, so that's all good. I have noticed that I am starting to get a mini breakout in all the areas I usually get less acne in, like my forehead and back and shoulders. I guess all the really deep seated stuff is starting to come out now and the acne on my cheeks is running out! Haha, that's how I like to look at it anyway...

So, skin is pretty smooth in general, not many cysts or zits really. A few little whiteheads, but they are v small. Yes, today is most definitely a good day!

BC xxx

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Evening

I’ve dashed home from work to read your log today as I wanted to see how you’re getting on as you’re on a pretty low dose as well aren’t you?

I had my derm appointment today and he’s only upped my dose to 40mg!! I was expecting at least 60 or preferably 70mg. He’s told me I’ll be on 40mg for at least 8 weeks and probably until the end of the course. Doesn’t sound right to me especially as I’ve not had any real side effects. Or at least, not ones that are anything to worry about.

Have you heard the formula that says that you should be aiming for an accumulative dose of between 120 and 150mg per Kg of body weight? I asked my derm about it today and he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. I’m just a bit concerned that my dose is too low and isn’t going to work…

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Hello Simon - Yes, I think you are right there with your measurements. Some derms prefer to keep you on lower doses and then have a longer treatment, to keep the side effects to a minimum.. But if your derm doesn't even know about the weight to dose ration, I think I would be a bit concerned. Take a look at this site and maybe print it out and take it with you next time http://www.dermnet.org.nz/treatments/isotretinoin.htm

DAY 80

Well folks, DRAMATIC improvement has been seen in the past 2 days I have to say. It's pretty amazing. Since I started moisturising, my skin has improved 100%, so if anyone out there is shirking on the moisturisation, buy yourself a non-comedogenic moisturiser and get it on, you'll be amazed at the results.

I have no new spots coming up, about 3 old cysts that have nearly cleared and my skin is very smooth. The main improvement has been the red marks, which are very much still there but much less noticable and also the general condition and tone of my skin. It is looking and feeling so much better. I have been amazed at how much change there has been in the last 2 days alone. Unfortunately, I went to borrow a digital camera from my boyfriend's mum but she can't find her USB cable so I can't transfer them. Bloody typical! I might have a friend coming over later with one though, so fingers crossed :D

That's all for now, but I am officially happy!

BC xxx

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hey BC

I am so pleased for you. I'm always keen to hear how you are getting on. I'm still abit frustrated but trying to stay positive. Am being a wee bit obessive at the moment and looking in mirrors lots which is stupid as s over-checking is just leading to disappointment.

I will however try the moisturing thing. I have been skimping abit. Am using Eucerin moisturiser at the minute as i know alot of people recommend it but not sure if it's non-comedogenic or not.

Anyway great news and hopefully i'll be just behind you

kaz

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great news, so what moisturiser are you using. im using eucerin to but i dont think its non-comedogenic. i never found a good one cos there are to many of them, but the eucerin is great for dry skin

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DAY 83

I'm so confuuuuuuuused. I thought my skin had started to get a lot better, but then my friend came over with a digital camera and I borrowed it and the pictures were so horrible it really upset me. My skin still looks worse than ever before, even though I know it's getting better because I can feel it healing. To the outside world, it looks awful. Make up is getting easier, however. I found that Max Factor's colour match sits on my skin really well now and gives me really good coverage, so that's something I guess! I went out last night and almost looked clear because my makeup was so good.

I had my 3 month derm appointment on Friday morning and that confirmed my fears. My derm looked at my skin and said "It looks about the same as it did last time I saw you", which was kind of depressing! But I guess this month has been weird because it was my first month of 60mg and my skin had another small breakout and is still recovering from that. She also said that 60mg was the top end dosage for me, which really surprised me as I am not a small lady! I am 5'11" and weigh 70kg. Hmm, I just looked it up here: http://www.dermnet.org.nz/treatments/isotretinoin.html#dos and I guess she is telling the truth, sort of. The recommended dose is between 0.1mg per kg and 1mg per kg, putting my top dosage at 70mg a day. I guess I'm not far off after all! So, if I am on the top dose for my weight, I better start seeing some proper results soon. I asked her how much longer she thinks my treatment will be and she said that normally she would be looking to take me off in about 4 weeks to 12 weeks, but she's pretty sure I will need to stay on it for the 12 weeks, if not a bit longer, because my stupid skin is being so goddam stubborn and refusing to clear up.

Aaargh! I was so sure I was getting better, now I don't know any more! I kind of don't want to post the pics, because they are so bad, but I am doing this for a reason, so I will post them :( Sorry it's not the progress you all wanted to see. I sure as hell wish it was.

BettyCherry xxx

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hey BC

good to hear from you. Sorry you're feeling alittle disappointed i know what you mean. I am still worse than pre-accutane but i am better than my bad initial break-out. I can see from you photos you do have quite alot of red marks (me too) but you do not have as many actual spots and they do not seem as inflammed as previous photos so i do think you're on the right road - it's just a long one?! - Sorry hope that doesn't make you feel worse.

I actually have a theory - it's a case on "2 steps forward and 1 step back" - so you have great days, skin looking good, feeling confident. Then up pop a couple of nasties that hang around and make you feel disheartened. So the in the longer term - gradually improving but day to day there are fluctuations.

Plus - close-up photos are harsh on anyone - even with good skin!

take care

kaz

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Hi Betty Cherry! I'm new here, and I just wanted to say that I love reading your log! You are very open and honest, and it is much appreciated by newbies such as myself. I absolutely agree with you about derms not telling us about the initial breakout, I asked mine about it, and he looked at me like I was crazy! I am bracing myself for it, though, as I am at 60 mg a day, and only on day 6. Still hoping I am a rare breed and don't get it though! :pray:

By the way, your earrings in those pics are really cool, they look like ram horns! :) Your skin is looking better, just look at the light at the end of the tunnel, it *will* be worth it! Have a great day! :)

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Thanks for the support guys. I am having another good skin day today - it really is amazing how different my skin can look from day to day. I could probably go outside without makeup right now and not feel like a freak, yet those photos are horrendous! Very strange indeed. Bella - welcome to the circus! I hope reading my log helps you in your own quest for clarity because that's the whole reason I started it :) I would be very happy to think that someone has benefitted from my ramblings! Thanks for the compliments on the earrings! The "rams horn" one is actually made from wood.

Kaz - I hope you are getting better results than me! Your theory sounds spot on and it's stopping me from getting too crazy about the whole thing, so thanks again.

I will not be defeated!!!!

BettyCherry xxx

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DAY 86

This sure is a rollercoaster of a ride. More improvements in the last few days, red marks fading some more and only a couple of active zits that are just "normal person" sized. I did, however, manage to split the skin in the corners of my mouth, making it very painful to open my mouth. The side effects seem to have worn off considerably, though the tiredness persists. Not many aches and pains though, which is a relief, and the headaches have also subsided.

Paris is only a week away now, and I would love to have decent looking skin by then. I am still moisturising, though the non comedogenic moisturiser I bought is actually pretty crap. It doesn't seem to moisturise much, no matter how much I use. So I am using an old one that works for now and I will switch back to the non comedogenic once I stop the tane. It seems to really help my skin to moisturise well every night. By morning, my skin looks the best it does all day and night.

So, plodding along, making progress. Just want to fast forward time!

BettyCherry xxx

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sorry to hear that you are not doing so well. the photos do seem to show that you mainly have red marks. they will fade in time and then think how your skin will look. i know its very hard and we are all suffering the same fate here. if i had one wish if would be to make all us acne.org members acne free forever. stick with it and im sure things will turn around for you.

have you seen laras photos, she was still discouraged at your stage and now she has near enough perfect skin, just remeber in 3 months you could be clear, and 3 months is not long after all your suffering.

keep smiling :D

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DAY 87

Skin looking crap again. Got a couple of newbies on my cheeks, int he same spot on both sides. How does that happen!? Got lots of dry bits again and a big patch where I had a zit next to my mouth and it has scabbed up then peeled off, so I have a sort of hole in my skin, where it's the layer underneath the rest. Mmm, boy that's looks hot.

Side effects aren't too bad, but I am starting to think I couldn't ever possibly get clear. I always seem to have new stuff growing and making more and more of those goddam red marks.

Poop.

BettyCherry xxx

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Hi Betty

Sorry to hear that. I’m the same actually. I was doing so well but now, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, I’ve got lots of new ones popping up. It’s definitely unpredictable and not an easy ride by any means.

I’m sure you will get clear though, it just takes time. If I could magic them all away for you, I would.

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DAY 91

Day 91?! Wow, how crazy is that. So, the rollercoaster has taken another turn and I now seem to be ascending again and it's pretty nice up here! I went to my nan's 80th birthday party over the weekend and actually had a really great time catching up with my cousins that I don't see too often. 2 of them are about my age and both have been on Roaccutane. They both had really bad acne, all over their faces, backs and chests. When I saw them on Saturday, they both had the smoothest, most beautiful baby's bum skin you have ever seen! They spent a while reassuring me that I was going to have the same pretty soon and it really made me feel good about the whole thing, because I know that their acne was worse than mine and they look amazing!

So, the next day, after staying up til 6am, talking with my sister and my sister in law, my skin actually looked really good, which was a nice surprise! Maybe a bit of positive thinking helped :)

I did actually forget to take my tablet on Saturday, but I read that it won't make much if any difference to my overall treatment, so I won't worry too much about it.

Here is my current status!

Skin condition

- One zit, no sign of any new ones on the way

- All old zits have healed past the scab stage

- Red marks are now quite pale

- Skin is very very smooth

Side Effects

- Some aches and pains in joints 0 mostly ankles, knees and back

- Dryness isn't too bad as long as I stay on top of moisturising and vaseline!

- Tiredness isn't too bad at the moment

- Mood is good!

As you can see, I am feeling quite positive again these days. I also finally remembered to put my camera in the post to be repaired! So, hopefully, I will have it back soon and you can all see my progress again :)

BettyCherry xxx

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