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Pre-Accutane, through Accutane...

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WGng26

For any of you who followed my blog throughout my Accutane progress, you'll notice I had an air of skepticism throughout the whole thing...it was just went TOO well. No side effects other than the dry lips, fast results, and what seemed like a permanent end to my years of acne turmoil.

So tell me....WHY IS MY ACNE COMING BACK ALREADY??? I finished my treatment in October, and the derm was all proud and said that I did remarkably. However, only a few weeks later, I started getting that horrible "chicken skin" like acne around my lower lip once again. The derm said it was only temporary, and my skin was still adjusting. However, it's only gotten worse since then. My skin is oily; I'd like to say it's less oily than originally, but I really can't. It looks exactly the same: Red, irritated, incredibly greasy. I'm back to concealing fucking tiny little dots every single fucking night.....I hate this so much. Why, when so many people get permanent results, would I relapse almost instantly after finishing my course? It's not even like my acne was uber-severe, it was moderately severe. I don't know what to do. I went shopping this weekend and I couldn't hide my dots, they stuck out from under my makeup just like the olden days. I bumped into someone from high school, who looked like a supermodel, and I wanted to die. I wanted to hide. I forgot what it was like to feel this way again, I thought this whole stupid fucking acne chapter of my life was finally closed. I don't know what to do. Plus Accutane I believe was pulled from the market, so I wonder if I can even do a second course. I never imagined I'd be wanting a second course of something so harmful for your body. I hate my life. Please, has anyone else relapsed so quickly and feels as disheartened as I do????

WGng26

So I haven't updated this thing in a really long time, haha.....I just finished a really intense graduate course last week that took up alot of my time and energy. Now I can relax for the rest of the summer :cool:

And now for my skin update:

1. Skin looks wonderful; so clear and dry. I haven't had anything to squeeze in the longest time, it's so weird. There's no more "nubs" in my pores to dig out. I love it.

2. My skin does get red and sunburned looking. My grandmother commented yesterday that I was very red, although she was sure to quickly add that my skin texture was lovely. I'm too lazy to apply sunscreen (not wise at all, don't follow my example) plus I really just can't stand the feeling of anything creamy or non-translucent on my skin. I've been avoiding the sun directly and popping on floppy old man hats whenever I sit outside.

3. My arms stopped flaking, and the bloody, rock hard lesions in my nose went away too (finally!). The only annoying thing left is still the lips; they are literally bruised from all the constant peeling skin. I'm so excited to wear lipstick again.....red lips were kinda always my thing, lol. Two more months and I can full fledge crack into my makeup drawer again.

4. I haven't used any kind of heavy cream in over a month. I use witch hazel every night, and use this amazing gel moisturizer by Clinians that I found for 5 bucks awhile ago at TJ Maxx (unfortunately, they don't make it anymore. But if they did I probably couldn't afford it anyway). Since I'm running out, I bought a Biore serum that's "detoxifying," but all I really cared about is that it's a gel, noncomedogenic and hypoallergenic. It works nice, but isn't tingly like the other kind. I wash my face with Cetaphil for oily skin and Dove soap in rotation. Sometimes I don't even wash my face in the morning, which is great.

5. I had a piano lesson on Wednesday, and my teacher called really early that morning and asked if I could rush over because she forgot she had some appointment to get to. Well....I had exactly 10 minutes to get out the door. I didn't have to wash my face or apply ANY makeup.....SO liberating!!!

6. I stopped taking birth control pills for this past month :silenced: I know, I know...it's a huge no-no when taking Accutane. But I broke up with my boyfriend of 3 years right around that time, and I was late picking up my pill from the pharmacy. The combination of those two events led me to the mentality of "I'll take a pill later." I never did, so now I'm off the pill. I really, really hope my derm doesn't find out, because she'll likely get pissed and not give me another round of Accutane. But seriously....I'm SO not sleeping with anyone for a really long time; definitely not in the time frame I have left for taking Accutane, anyway. I just got out of a relationship, plus I'm living at home for another year before I graduate....I don't think I'll be getting much action. But even if I DID theoretically meet someone, it's not like I'd be stupid enough to have unprotected sex. I've seen the illustrations of deformed babies on the Accutane pack...plus I'm not a moron.

I do worry constantly that once I stop Accutane, the acne will come back. I read about it all the time on the message boards. It must be such an utter disappointment, I can't even imagine. I don't know what I'll do if I have to go back to being "herpes mouth" and "sweaty face" once again. I'm so happy with my results and am so excited to go back to work as a hot teacher instead of a horror movie character.

(I also like this turtle guy, so here he is :turtle:)

WGng26

Week 6 1/2 (about)

So it's around the middle of week six, and everything is doing great! My face stayed totally clear this time around during my period, which I was relieved about since last time I got a bunch of mega cysts. The purple scab from where I picked last week fell off, and the scar is almost faded. Didn't wash my hair for a week and three days, which was super convenient because my first session of summer courses end this week and I had TONS of papers and projects to hand in. Didn't really feel like bothering with blowdrying my hair in between (it's so long now and ridiculous, I need to cut it but I'm lazy..)

I'm totally clear at the moment, except for some really tiny nodules that are invisible but you can feel them along my jaw line. I've always had these and used to squeeze them constantly, but now I just don't care since everything is clear and not oily. Because it's been so incredibly rainy and humid here, I've been taking moisturizer breaks at night and just using witch hazel. My skin appears to be loving it!

All cracks/splits on my lips and nose are healed. The inside of my nose is still dry with bloody boogies, but saline spray a couple times a day helps alot. That's really about it......

WGng26

Week 5 1/2

Sorry I haven't updated on time....I've been so ridiculously busy and swamped with work the past two weeks; I almost fell asleep at work today (the kids were watching a movie) and had to try hard to not nod off.

Anywho...here's the updates for the past week and a half:

-Inside of nose became unbearably dry. I bought saline nose spray which helped a little, but my right nostril cracked and bled for about 4 days. Hurt like a bitch....but it went away after applying Neosporin diligently three times a day.

-Right side of mouth cracked and bled, but is also slowly healing.

-Eyelids are incredibly itchy. I have to put eyedrops in now every morning and before bed.

-Skin is all clear except for a honker that popped up on my left cheek. I couldn't resist popping it and now I have a purple scar and a scab. But makeup covers it, so I can deal with it as it heals.

-Still no dangerous side effects other than the annoying cracking skin, which although is a pain is really not all that bad. I'll take a cracked nostril over going bald any day!

-Which reminds me, I'm so not bald. I'm losing the normal amount of hair in the shower, nothing extra.

-All my blackheads literally fell out. My cheeks and nose are completely blackhead free, which means no giant nubs for me to squeeze out anymore.

-Saw the derm a week ago, she said I've made very significant progress and everything was normal in my blood test. She kept me on 60mg again for this month.

On another note, I switched back from the really rich moisturizer I use every night to Aveeno Clear Complexion. It has such a teeny tiny amount of salicylic acid in it that it won't irritate my skin at this point. It's also helping to smooth out any uneven textures and scars since I can't use my grainy scrubs anymore.

That's about it....still no catastrophic news like in other blogs! Hope everyone else is doing well in their journies O_O

WGng26

Week 4

One month down...not sure how many more to go!

But I will find out tomorrow, since that's my first derm appointment since I started Claravis. I'm really digging how my skin is looking lately; it's just so dry and clean and pretty!! The only annoying thing is the blackheads, because when they dry up they stick out like a porcupine (which no one else can really notice but it's still gross). I also hate how some really ancient blackheads I've had for years are like, stuck, and turn into red bumps. I had one on my cheek and one on my forehead. I popped both, which will leave red dots but hey, as long as makeup hides them no biggie.

Again, no side effects other than dry, peely arms (applying lotion in the morning is now a must) and dry inside of my nose, which kinda hurts but it's not unbearable or anything. No joint problems, no headaches, and best of all no hair loss! I washed my hair 2 nights ago and literally 5 hairs came out. I was so happy! Plus my hair looks the best it has ever looked; I don't have to wash it for a whole week so it stays all glossy and thick. Not having to wash your hair is very liberating I do say! O_O

I've found some great products that I'm in love with. For one, Pink Dove is incredible, it smells sooooooooo good and it leaves my skin so soft and moisturized. I also asked my derm to recommend a day lotion with SPF that won't clog my pores and make me feel yucky; she told me to get Loreal Skin Genesis. It's great, it's so light you don't even feel like you have on anything but it wards off flakes all day. Plus it's got little sparkles in it which makes your skin look more even, which is nice.

So that's all really; I'm just waiting for the pesky three dots on my face to go away; other than that I feel like for the first time in my life I have normal person skin that's 95% clear, I'm digging it!

WGng26

Week 3

So I think I had the dreaded IB this week, but it still wasn't nearly as bad as the IBs I've had in the past from topicals. I got two GIANT cysts on my forehead, like the size of big sized marbles, all red and swollen. I don't usually get large cystic acne, only tiny lesion type kind, so this was a pain in the butt, and reallllly hurt. Couldn't really cover them with makeup either, because they looked like two giant horns growing out of my head. I got another one, much smaller though, on my right cheek. I popped it today and it's now drying up. The other two monsters did go down last night, which was nice, but I made yet another problem for myself: Like a stupid idiot, I decided to squeeze some black heads on my chin, in that same spot where I told you my skin was super dry and flakey. Well....little did I know, the whole dry patch peeled off like an orange skin, and all the oozy, red tender skin is exposed. I was so upset because I had plans Friday night at a bar with a friend I hadn't seen in forever, but luckily I stuck some foundation on top of it and the lighting in a bar is dark, so it wasn't noticeable. Still, it hurts like a bitch, and it crusted over last night but the crust yet again peeled off when I washed my face....I really hope this heals soon, I should have realized how thin you skin gets from Accutane.

On a more positive note, my skin is so bone dry and clean now; I love it! I look in the mirror at work and all my makeup is still on, and I feel like for the first time in my life I can really see my face, not just oozing piles of sebum and oil. Plus I don't have to wash my hair for almost a week!!! LOVE it! No more oily roots and icky scalp; it's all dry and lovely!

3 weeks down, almost a month! O_O

WGng26

Week 2

So.....remember when I asked all you people to cross your fingers for me that my skin would stay pretty? You guys did not cross hard enough O_O

My skin broke out again all this week, which sucks because my boyfriend came down to visit for the long weekend and I had been raving to him how perfect and smooth my skin looked...and then I got a crop of under the skin little pimples on the right side of my face (none on the left, strangly) near my mouth and chin, that same freaking spot that I've always had the biggest problems with. I also got a small one above my eyebrow and like an idiot I picked at a couple of spots on my cheek; two are now crusty and will take forever to go away and the third turned into a pimple which I popped. It was so nice not having to pick, pop or conceal for almost a week and a half....I knew the results were too good, too fast at first! I did get my period this weekend, so it's very likely that had something to do with triggering the pimples, but in the past menstrual breakouts have never been an issue for me. Dunno.

My lips are sooooooo dry right now; I had a big bloody crack on one side but the scab thankfully fell off and is getting better. Man though, people weren't kidding when they said you have to have a chapstick EVERYWHERE or you'll go nuts! My lips absorb Aquaphor like it's water; I bought a whole bunch of Blistex sticks and use them constantly. The skin around my nose and under my lower lip is also extremely dry and so crusty; I put Aquaphor on the patch under my lip and I think it's what caused a big cyst to form there. I'm still so skeptical about using moisturizer because of how fast my pores clog, but at the same time at this point I can't do without it. It's a pain.

My scalp is also so itchy I can't stand it; I also hate the paranoia that I'm losing hair. I've always lost lots of hair in the shower, so I can't tell now if I'm losing extra hair or a normal amount or if my part has always been so white....it's driving me crazy. My hair also got really brittle, which isn't good if you have thick, kinky hair. I did a hair mask tonight and used a rich shampoo, so hopefully that helps.

Skin is far less oily, but I'm not enjoying how fast I get red in the sun now. My face, arms, and parts of my back got super burnt this weekend at a flea market; I was stupid not to have worn sunscreen. I absolutely have to be more vigilant now.

Hopefully next week is a better week, with less breakouts...will let you all know!

WGng26

Finished week 1!

So today is officially one full week on Claravis, 30mg twice a day. It's a big dose for me, but my derm said she wanted to start me on a higher dose and then eventually cut it in half. Well let me tell you....it's worked WONDERS so far! I mean really, every annoying, inflamed, itching, painful lesion I had literally dried up and crusted off by day 3. Best of all, I've had this big, red flaky patch on the right side of my face since about February (caused by f*ing Retin-a Micro). It looked almost like a giant strawberry birth mark but it would also make tons of whitheads randomly by the end of the day. It's now GONE; unfortunately there is a scar and I knew there would be, but all the actives and bumpy, uneven skin are history. My face is so smooth and clear it's incredible; I just wash with Dove in the morning and night and only use moisturizer at night (my skin is still oily; not nearly as bad as before but oily non the less. But there's no pimples, so something right must be going on!). It really is so amazing to go to bed at night and not worry about waking up the next day with a new mess to spend an hour covering up. I can just dust on minerals and leave the house! And it's only the first week; I can't imagine how much better this will keep getting! Plus after all the horrible, terrible, embarrassing and physically uncomfortable IBs I got from literally EVERYTHING prescribed to me (Taz, Retin-a, Benzaclin) it's remarkable to have finally used a product where I have had no IB and just fantastic results!!

As for side effects, I have had nothing serious whatsoever. My lips are dry but Aquaphor and medicated lip balm take care of that. As long as I use moisturizer only at night and Dove as a face wash, my skin has not terribly dried out. In fact, it still gets rather oily by the end of the day. But it's only the first week so I assume the oil glands will continue to shrink in time. I've been really sick all week with a cough, chest cold and fever, but that had nothing to do with the Accutane. Also have not had any headaches, joint aches or hair loss. I do think my night vision has gotten a bit worse, but as long once I turn on a light or night light it's fine; my day vision is exactly the same. Overall, this drug has been a miracle for me!! My only regret is that my old derm (who was a complete and utter moron) didn't put me on this sooner instead of giving me products that continued to aggravate my skin further, because I do have many scars. But other than that, I'm so excited, and I feel like a pretty girl again (yay)!

Cross your fingers for me this isn't too good to be true and everything goes back to chaos again! Good luck everyone :doh:

WGng26

So I got my Claravis yesterday and took my first pill today. Although I'm super scared for all the serious side effects and what I hear described as "clown lips," I'm also really psyched that my medication only cost 5 BUCKS!!! Our health insurance stinks and I pay up the wazoo for birth control, but apparently Claravis is ridiculously cheap. I'm so relieved, especially since I just emptied out practically my entire bank account to pay for car parts. So yeah, I'm really stoked about that.

I am however scared about losing my hair and having brain/sight problems. But I really trust my derm, and I know she wouldn't hand me a med that would make me blind and bald. I figure that if anything scary starts to happen I will just stop taking the pills. But I've also read so many positive things that I think I will be okay. I can deal with dry lips and skin, in fact I'm looking forward to the dry skin part! Coming home from school and work with my makeup still on and not melting off like "Night Of the Living Dead" will be very refreshing! I also enjoyed doing some bathroom cleaning last night and getting rid of every cleanser, spot treatment and Proactive bottle that hasn't done anything but dry my skin out and clutter my shower and skin. It'll be nice to not be under the pressure to spot treat every dot, because on Accutane you can't!

I will update this thing weekly from now on to report significant changes. As for my current skin state: I have crops of painful little pimples scattered on each temple, between my eyes (which is new), a couple on each cheek though these are clearer spots, and a ton all over my chin and under my lips, plus the corners of my mouth. My mouth/chin area is clearly the worst spot, and always inflamed with tiny little acne lesions. I can't WAIT to be done with them. So good luck to everyone also taking this journey; I'll report back in a week!

WGng26

So here's my story...

I have never in my life had what you'd classify as acne; I only used to get a few pimples here and there like any normal person. I did have a couple of rough moments (specifically, the summer of my freshman year of college, and the middle of my senior year) where I had to see a dermatologist. The first time, she gave me a bunch of crap I never even bothered using because it was too complicated :) I just bought Pan-Oxyl bar soap and spot gel and my face cleared up amazing... My senior year I got witch hazel, and that also cleared up the problem. My face was so beautiful, especially once I started birth control in college, it was dewey, smooth and gorgeous. I was a babe. However, fast forward to a year out of college, and my skin is a mess. I just don't get it...I went from last summer, where I had not a single spot on my face, to waking up every morning and covering tons of little tiny painful whitheads that pop up all around my mouth and chin. That's the only place they seem to harbor; the lower region of my face. Tried antibiotics, didn't work. Also tried Retin-A Micro and Tazorac, now THAT was fun...I literally burnt my face off, and had such a pathetically horrible IB that who the hell would want to stay on that stuff??? It was torture, foundation couldn't even hide the lumps and swelling.

Now, my skin has healed (thankfully!) but I still get sprinklings of these annoying, painful little bumps all over my jaws, chin and around my lips. And my skin is SO dry; I have no clue why, all my life I've had ridiculously oily skin. A friend once lent me a Clean and Clear oil blotting sheet (when they were a new invention) in 7th grade, and she was grossed out by how soaked it was by the film of oil on my skin. Even now, I come home from work with a layer of sebum so thick you can dig your nails in it (sorry to be graphic :doh:). A student even asked me last month if I was "sweating" on my face because it was so shiny. Yet every morning, or after I shower, my skin gets so tight and dry, and putting on moisturizer just feeds the little assholes that are lingering beneath my skin and always popping up. I really can't take it anymore...this has been happening for almost 9 months and I've HAD IT. That's why in a few weeks, I'm starting Accutane. At first, I was skeptical and scared by the side effects, but after hours of sitting on this site, researching every product and having every one fail you or burn your face off, I don't care anymore. I can bear it all: Clown lips, dry skin, moodiness. The only thing I'm really dreading is that thought of losing my hair. I already am unconfident about my looks, having thin hair would just kill me since I love my wild child locks. If any clumps fall out, I'm stopping Accutane. The derm says it grows back, but it would just kill me.

Does anyone else out there have this type of acne that I have? Really imbalanced skin: Incredibly greasy to incredibly dry. Proactive makes more pimples, so does moisturizer...I have given up on everything because nothing works anymore. Has anyone else with this skin type had good results with Accutane? Would really love to know.

Will continue posting once I get on Accutane. Good luck everyone in your journeys to eliminate this awful skin problem

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