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thewindycity

thewindycity vs. Acne. let the battle begin

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tomorrow I go in for bloodwork and get my script filled for accutane. Technically I cant fill my script until Thursday due to a mix-up so this log is a bit premature but I had a free minute so why not start early.

Background Info:

I am a 22 year old make who has had acne since the age of 13, although there were spots of freedom here and there. My family is pretty clear including both my parents who never really had any acne. My older sister dealt with it in HS but has since cleared up and my lil sister never really had a huge problem. I was clear in HS but got it as I got older. Sucks for me eh? Anyways, I had what can be described as mild to moderate acne which was controllable with OTC products during the first few years of college. When the acne got worse, I started using different products including Proactiv which worked well for awhile and then quit on me. I even tried the CRS but it left me looking like a 70 yr old man and I started to sweat white lotion which was slightly disturbing. I have also been on Doxy, Nicomide, Klaron lotion, tazorac, user lasers and tried a ton of different regimens and products. These products were all prescribed to me by one derm who considered my acne non-cystic and I was told accutane was not an option for me. After doing his BS and getting results for exactly 1 month before my acne came back worse than before, I went to a new derm who was younger and understood where I was coming from. Thus, my journey into accutane begins.

Summary:

Gender: Male

Age: 22

Weight: @150lbs

Accutane: Eventually 80mgs (5 months) but will start lower as to stop a huge initial breakout.

Other Products:

None so far but I am thinking about buying some vitamin E, omega 3 supplements, some form of body moisturizer but not sure which one and facial moisturizer, and cetaphil soap.

Other Info:

This accutane journey will take place as I move to a new apartment (next month); possibly look for a new job and age one more year to 23. I will also witness a graduation, see one of my sisters off to grad school, go to 2 weddings, possible attend a 5 year HS reunion, and basically watch another year fly by.

Well that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by. Words of encouragement, tips, advice, interesting stories, dirty limericks, funny jokes and anything else are always welcome here. For those starting this journey with me – here’s to clear skin in 6 months or so.

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Hey! I am starting on thursday too!! And Im 22 too... going to college and suffering with ugly acne lol... we are on our way to clear skin yayyy! :dance: I look forward to checking your progress :cool:

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Howdy, just thought I'd wish you GL on the 'tane! If you're worried about an initial breakout, it doesn't really seem to occur to everyone - I don't think I really had a period when my acne was much worse than before, to be honest.

You sound pretty similar to me - I'm 23, almost the same weight, very similar acne history and severity - and accutane worked wonders for me, cleared me up by the end of the 2nd month. Hope you get similar results, you should be looking good in time for the summer!

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Decided to edit this a bit:

And we are off to the races...

So, today I got the results of my blood test back which was good and I was given the green light to pick up my accutane prescription. Apparently the derm's office took care of all that iPledge crap which is awesome. In fact, I am impressed by how well they treat me there considering the first derm I went to was a quack.

In any case, I went to CVS after work and picked up my script - 20mg a day for 30 days. Eventually I will move up to 80mg but the derm likes to start slow to prevent a nasty IB. I actually was overcharged by almost half so I have to go back tomorrow and get my money back. Pharmacies, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are thieves I tell ya. FYI - I have UnitedHealth at work and apparently the CEO of the company made $1.6 billion last year ($55,000 an hour for a 40 hr work week) and yet here I am paying more than I should for prescriptions. Bastards.

Anyways, I also bought some aquaphor and blistex and I already had Eucerin skin renewal from my failed experience with the CSR. I will probably go out this weekend and buy supplements, more moisturizer, different shampoo, body soap or wash, and some more cetaphil cleansing bars or purpose. Not sure yet, guess Ill go by price. Anybody have any specific product suggestions - shaving cream for guys, vitamins, etc?

Ordered a pizza (yea unhealthy but I was lazy and tired) and popped my first pill after eating. Obviously there was no effect although it did feel like the pill lodge in my chest for a bit.

I am pretty excited and anxious about starting. I do hope this works, but there is a part of me thats saying it probably wont. I guess its from all the other products I have tried that have failed on me. After you get burned a few times, believing in anything is tough. Well, better get some sleep - got a long weekend of gambling at the casinos ahead of me.

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Day 2:

Geez I guess I am already having an initial breakout which sucks. I thought being on 20mg would stem that but apparently not. I am also breaking out on my chin which is normally very clear. This sucks big time but I do hope that it comes and goes quickly. I am still spot treating with BP to hopefully calm some of this down. I

Also, I dont know about you guys, but I always seem to break out at the end of the week meaning my weekends suck. I spend the entire week trying to get heal my skin only to break out on Friday. Ironic eh?

I just really really hope that this accutane works. The pessimistic side of me sees this breakout and wonders if its worth it. The optimistic side of me tells me that I need to give it time.

Did anyone else start breaking out right away or I am a "lucky" individual?

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People seem to get an IB at different times, some right away, some it took a couple of weeks. I was very fortunate, and I'm not sure why, but I didn't have an IB. I think it is because I was taking a sulfer drug right before to try to clear my skin. It was working, but not clearing me. It improved my skin quite a bit but I still was not feeling good about my skin. So that is how my accutane adventure started. I started to get really dry and feel side effects after about 2 weeks. I hope your progress continues and you get what you want out of accutane. Good luck and keep posting!

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Day 3

No major update I guess. Face still looks like crap but I am resigning myself to the fact that its gonna get worse before it gets better. I am just hoping it doesnt get too bad cuss that would be very discouraging.

I didnt make it to the pharmacy today to buy more supplies but I am planning on buying some vitamin E pills, omega pills, fish oil, advil liquid gel caps, cetaphi cleanser, eucericn moisturizer, carmex, some sort of moisturizing shampoo and some sort of moisturizing soap for the shower and some body moisturizer. I also need shaving cream - anyone know of something good to use? I think I am still going to use a razor since I hate electric shavers. Now that I look at that list Im figuring to drop some major cash on this stuff. Guess its worth it to be clear eh?

No major side-effects except for feeling exhausted but I am not sure if its the accutane or the fact that work is kicking my ass leaving me with only 4hrs of sleep a night. In fact, I got called in today, the one day of the week I like to sleep in, and had to work all afternoon. Ah well, as long as they keep paying me Ill keep doing as Im told I guess.

Lets see, only 4 (5?) months and 27 days to go. Its gonna be a long summer ladies and gents.

Saw Thank You for Smoking last night. Good movie and highly recommended.

Thats all folks.

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Hey I am breaking out in tiny whiteheads on my chin too and it is usually clear also... accutane can do some strange things huh? My face looks like crap too... the redmarks from before are like bloodshot red and my skin is starting to get drier... well tomorrow is a new day! Have a good night :D

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Day 4

Skin Update: Skin has gotten worse, especially on the right cheek. However, the acne I get now comes to a head relatively quickly which is substantially different from the big red lumps that take weeks to go away and would never come to a head so I guess I cant complain.

Side Effects: I was feeling pretty tired yesterday and had trouble waking this morning. I also have some dry skin, but nothing bad. I think 20mg is a pretty low dose so next month when I am bumped up to 40mg I guess Ill have worse side effects.

So, being the Excel nerd that I am (I do this for a living mind u), I created a spreadsheet that charts the costs of my accutane course. So, assuming I go through 1 bottle of moisturizer, 1 bar of cetaphi, 1 bottle of Omega3*6*9, 800IU of Vitamin E a day, and $40 in misc costs a month for things like bandages, neosporin, etc. I figure to spend between $150 and $200 a month including my accutane prescription and derm visits. This is figuring that I steadily increase my dosage until I hit 80mg which I figure will cost twice as much as 40mg. Thats a lot of money so heres, hoping this drug is worth it. Oh and FYI, I am taking the brand name, Roche, but if I take a generic, my costs decrease significantly but I just want to make sure I am taking the best out there. I am also used to spending around $100 a month for antibiotics, etc so I guess another 50-100 to actually get clear is worth it. Besides, my booze fund can now go to my accutane fund.

Nothing else to report. I hope you all had a good weekend. Heres to another week of accutane.

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Day 5

Skin: Although it doesnt look better, it is feeling better. Maybe it is the moisturizer and the fact that I am not applying layers of creams on it but it def feels bit smoother (besides the bumps...haha).

Side Effects: Dry skin and thats about it.

Got into a major argument with my insurance company. I swear ever since my company switched to a different provider I have had to pay twice as much as I used to for everything. Damn cheapass company.

I am still looking for a shaving cream that works well. I am currently using some cleasil shaving cream which is ok, but I am looking for other suggestions. But apparently, I have few readers so I prob wont get much feedback. In that case, I will go to the store, close my eyes and point and wherever amongst the shaving creams it lands I will buy, even if it is cheap foam.

The days seem to moving slow right now and I just wish I was at the end already. Patience has never been one of my virtues.

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Regarding the shaving cream, you might want to try Aveeno's Theraputic Shave Gel. I use it and it's good stuff. It helps to moisturize and it's designed for sensitive skin. It's also noncomedogenic and has no fragrance added... in other words, you won't smell all girlie. ;)

Good luck!

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Arista: Thanks for the suggestion.

Day 6

Skin: Worse. I am getting small breakouts but thats normal for me. Also, I feel a bit oily which is odd since Im generally dry.

I really think that 20mg is too weak. It seems like my skin is just as it was before. Granted I should give the accutane more time to work, but I thought I would feel something by now. I dont even have real side effects cept for possible drowsiness.

Speaking of drowsiness, today I got so tired around 3PM that I almost passed out at my desk reading cnn.com. I drank a bunch of diet coke and tried getting up and walking around but that didnt really work. Man I was lucky my boss left a bit early today so I could jet home before 8PM for once.

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Patience was never one of my best virtues either.. Accutane teaches you a lot of life lessons! Like patience, and that someone else always has it worse than you, and it teaches you to be more compassionate and empathetic towards people! Grateful for acne? No... but grateful for what it teaches you, yes!

Good luck with that drowsiness! When I first started tane I seriously needed to sleep 12 hours a night! :shock: Hope you don't deal with that!!

The oiliness is normal. AmberLynn and I both got significantly oilier before drying up. That's okay! It will go away soon, don't worry!

Good luck with the breakouts! Hopefully they stop soon! But remember, that's just your skin purging the nasty stuff and you want it to be gone so that's okay!

Hope everything else goes well!

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Thanks T-girl.

Day 7

Wow one week already.

Skin: Still looks and feels like crap. I really want to go to the derm and ask her to bump up the dosage now, but she seems to favor this slow approach. I just hope it works. Do you guys think I should pop a zit that sorta came to a whitehead today and is all hard or let it be and does BP actually help anyone on accutane or make things worse?

Side Effects: I have some dryness in my right eye, but that is also a left over effect of Nicomide. SOB former derm and his stupid recommendations.

The pain in my right eye goes from mild to really bad sometimes so I am forced to wear glasses on a regular basis. Now, I have not worn glasses unless I am at home since I first got contacts in HS. In fact, the last time I wore glasses on a regular basis was when my ex-gf said she liked me in them. Yea yea, Ill do nething for a pretty smile I guess. I really find glasses to be annoying and constricting but if I have to wear em for 5-6 months, so be it.

So today as I walked onto the elevator headed out to work a bit late, I ran into a very attractive female (most likely eastern european and I love eastern europeans) who proceeded to say hi. Being the retard that I am and also the fact that I was a bit drowsy (I am not nor will I ever be a morning person. In fact I am quite grouchy until my first cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage) I mumbled a hello and went about finding a playlist in my iPod. As we got off the elevator I realized that the girl was pretty hot and I could have talked to her. In fact, I could still have started a conversation as we were walking in the same direction. But then, my acne popped into my head and I realized that she could see it and possibly was looking at me to stare. Damn u acne...playing games in my head now. Where da hell did my confidence or in the words of Austin Powers "mojo" go? I wish I could go back about 2 years ago when my acne was calm and I had the confidence to approach girls.

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Do you guys think I should pop a zit that sorta came to a whitehead today and is all hard or let it be and does BP actually help anyone on accutane or make things worse?

Whatever you do, DON'T PICK IT! Just let it be and let it run its course. I've found that picking at it only makes things worse.

So today as I walked onto the elevator headed out to work a bit late, I ran into a very attractive female (most likely eastern european and I love eastern europeans) who proceeded to say hi. Being the retard that I am and also the fact that I was a bit drowsy (I am not nor will I ever be a morning person. In fact I am quite grouchy until my first cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage) I mumbled a hello and went about finding a playlist in my iPod. As we got off the elevator I realized that the girl was pretty hot and I could have talked to her. In fact, I could still have started a conversation as we were walking in the same direction. But then, my acne popped into my head and I realized that she could see it and possibly was looking at me to stare. Damn u acne...playing games in my head now. Where da hell did my confidence or in the words of Austin Powers "mojo" go? I wish I could go back about 2 years ago when my acne was calm and I had the confidence to approach girls.

I feel your pain. Hang in there. Let the 'tane do its thing and one day, we're both going to be clear and feel much better about our skin! We've just gotta believe!! Oh, and be patient. ;)

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I used BP in the first month or so of accutane and to me, it worked like a charm. If you MUST, pop only up to the one month mark, otherwise, your skin is so thin you could scar, have forever remaining red marks, or scabs that can last a month.

Haha, you are so funny. I am sure that girl would not even notice your acne. I never notice it on guys, only on girls for some reason. Hmmm. I am sure you will get your confidence back very soon. I started getting mine back to the pre acne confidence at about month 3.

I hope you are doing well today!

-Amber

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Arista: I will try not to pick or puncture my zits. I rarely did anyways, but some areas, like between the eyes and above the eyebrows really suck to have zits on. Also, I do hope this drug clears us up, but with so many let-downs on other meds, I have to be partially pessimisstic just in case it doesnt work. I hope building up my hopes to see em deflate.

AmberLynn: Month 3 eh? Man that seems so far away right now. I see that your progress has gone well and hopefully I get the same results.

Day 9

Skin: Well at the moment my face looks bad. I got a zit between the eyes where I rarely get em and its angry red like its been bitch slapped. Seems like its gonna take a bit to go away. Also, I have some big suckers on my cheeks, not very numerous but still, they stand out like a tourist in NYC. I also got 1 or 2 big suckers on my back and a scattering on my chest. Again, I never get acne there. What really annoys me though is the zit right about my right eyebrow and the other one growing in the middle of my left. I mean wat kinda place is that for a zit? I cant BP it cuss Im afraid Ima bleach my eyebrows. I dont know whats worse, partially blond eyebrows (amongst black hair) or a zit. Haha.

Side Effects: Nothing major unless you count lack of motivation to go to the gym but I'll use anything as an excuse.

So its been 9 days and obviously I am going through the dreaded IB. Even on just 20mgs and using taz before I started, I am still breaking out at a good clip. However, I dread to know what would have happened had I not used taz and had my prescription been high from the get go. Man, what happened to my boyish good looks?

In other news: I saw Mission Impossible 3 today. Good movie. In fact, this summer is chopped full of good movies which is good because I dont wanna go out while my face explodes and hey, its dark in a movie theatre.

Oh, I got some login info for iPledge which I have no idea what to do with? Do I call it or do I tell my derm to call it? I got my first script filled without having to call and do this crap. And what does this do? My derm said since Ima guy theres not much I have to do. You gotta love how the government makes this a horribly complicated system. At least its not as bad as the tax code....

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Hey Hun, Don't worry... its the IB your getting and its completely normal! Just think that your pores are cleaning out themselves :D I promise you accutane will work for you so dont be pesimistic... be positive and ambers right.. i know it seems forever but you have to be prepared for it to be like this for a couple of months.. who knows it could clear up next week though :dance:

Yeah arent they movies great for accutane outings? I hate to be seen in bright lights.. it makes me so uncomfortable. Also clubs are great but its not fun when your sober (trust me) last saturday i ended up just sitting on the side of a couch watching my drunk ass friends... now i know how stupid i look when i drink hahaha :lol:

As far as ipledge goes.. the user ID is your number on the card they gave you... if they didnt give you a card (i dont know if its only for girls) then i would just call them.. they will walk you through it, but do it asap because that program is known for screwing people and causing them to miss out on a couple of days of pills if something goes wrong.

Anyways, hang in there! It will be so worth it in the end... i took it 4 years ago and even though im back facing acne.. it still one of the best decisons i ever made. I wouldnt be here again on accutane if it didnt work! Have a good weekend :cool:

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Hey there. Just wanted to check in with you and tell you to hang in there. I understand your reluctance to get your hopes up, but I really think this will work for us!

I'm sorry you're having to deal with an IB, but it won't last forever... even though it probably feels like it will.

Hang in there, windy! *hugs*

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Arista: Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Day 11:

Skin: Decided to split this into two subsections:

Face: Getting more zits and the ones I have are lil persistant suckers. I am going to take the high road and not scratch, pinch, pick, prick, pop, etc. any of em and just let accutane do its thing. I just really want the one in between the eyes and the ones near my ear gone. I've dealt with acne on my cheeks ever since I can remember, so that doesnt bug me as much as the new areas do.

Chest/Back: Chest has gotten better but the back got some big bumps out of nowhere. Man, I hope this isnt a sign of things to come. Sometimes it even hurts when I roll around in my sleep.

Side Effects: Lips are getting drier. I also like to bite my lips and its prob making em worse. Its a bad habit I cant seem to get away from and I tend to bite my lips more when I am stressed which is what work is doing to me these days.

I take my accutane pills pretty late at night- 9PM or so because I tend to eat late dinners or eat at work and get back from work pretty late. I think I may start bringing the pills with me. Does anyone know if consumption of soda shortly before or after taking the pills causes reduced effectiveness?

Other news: Got the keys to my new apt and will be moving in the next 2 weeks. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing - its an awesome location near the nightlife with tons of lookers in one of the best areas in Chicago. Bad thing - its near nightlife (bars, etc.) I cant go to and the area is filled with good-looking people with flawless skin. I think Ima stick out like a midget in the NBA.

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hi thewindycity

yeah, just dont touch them because the marks is going to be woser and take more time to heal... i did some experiment on my face... i poped one and left the other... the one i poped have a mark and the one i didnt is gone... so better not pop or pick any... i want to wish you goodluck!!!

me off...

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Other news: Got the keys to my new apt and will be moving in the next 2 weeks. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing - its an awesome location near the nightlife with tons of lookers in one of the best areas in Chicago. Bad thing - its near nightlife (bars, etc.) I cant go to and the area is filled with good-looking people with flawless skin. I think Ima stick out like a midget in the NBA.

Congrats on the new apartment! I always found moving to be a bear in general. You never realize just how much 'stuff' you have until you have to pack it all up and move it. Ugh.

As far as the 'pretty people'... I've always thought, "pretty is as pretty does." Some people are just pretty on the outside. It's more important to be pretty on the inside. ;)

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Day 13

Skin: Some of the big suckers are going down a bit. BP has helped. I still feel oilily but I dont know if thats cuss its humid here or cuss of my skin.

Side Effects: Right eye def hurts more. Other than that, nothing at all.

Wow, almost 2 weeks. Lets see, only 4.5-5.5 months to go. It seems like a long way to go, but Im sure it will fly by, especially considering how fast this past year went.

For anyone in college, cherish it cuss ur life becomes a blur when you get out.

In other news: When you move, you realize that you accumulated waay too much crap. I guess moving helps you purge all that unnecessary stuff. Also, changing addresses on all my subscriptions to newspapers, mags, the address listed on my checks, re-routing credit card and other bills, setting up electricity, internet and cable tv is all such a pain. These are the times I wished I had an assistant or an unbelievably benevolent friend.

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When you move, you realize that you accumulated waay too much crap. I guess moving helps you purge all that unnecessary stuff. Also, changing addresses on all my subscriptions to newspapers, mags, the address listed on my checks, re-routing credit card and other bills, setting up electricity, internet and cable tv is all such a pain. These are the times I wished I had an assistant or an unbelievably benevolent friend.

Agreed! It SUCKS! That's why I'm glad I am in college and can list my parents' address as my permanent and use my school one just for current bills :D Yay!

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Day 14

Two weeks on the tane summary:

Skin: more little bumps everywhere. I got a few new ones on my left cheek and near my left eyebrow and two new buggers on my right chin, one of which is on my jaw and hurts.

Side Effects: None really.

Going to get a checkup on May 25th when my dosage will be upped. Hopefully the upped dosage works better than the 20mg.

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