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My Journey with Accutane

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Accutane-Day 2

Well...it's day two! Yesterday I was really really achy...but I'm not sure it was related to the medicine. I ran a few miles and lifted a lot earlier in the day, so it was probably related to that. I ran a few miles again today and felt fine! :naughty: But since about 2 pm today I've had a horrible headache. I've heard of people getting headaches for the first few days...so it could be that. I've had migraines for as long as I can remember though- so it really doesn't bother me too much. Other than that, I haven't really noticed anything (of course, it's only the end of day two!). I'm just so excited to see any progress. I keep reminding myself that the upcoming side effects may be bad...but in the end...I'll be glad I did it. Hope everyone else that is on accutane is doing well!


Accutane-Day 1

Sept. 13th

I just started Accutane!!! I took my first pill just now. I'm nervous...but really excited, too. Getting my prescription filled was such an ordeal...but at least I'm starting now. I feel like I know what to expect for the 6 months...but I also think it's severity (dryness) is going to be like nothing I've ever experienced. I don't think I've ever had dry skin! I'm taking Claravis (a generic of Accutane), 30 mg twice a day. I've stopped my antibiotics and stopped my differin/benzoyl peroxide. I'm just going to wash with a gentle clinique cleanser and use oil of olay moisturizer. Does anyone know if there is a multi-vitamin that is safe for an accutane user? Perhaps one with no Vitamin A? Well, I'll keep posting about my journey...


Accutane...Here we go

Well...after years and years of struggling with acne (and saying no to Accutane), I've finally had enough. I kept holding out hope that it would just go away as I got older, but instead, it seems to be getting worse. I decided almost a month ago to start Accutane, but of course I have to wait, and I will begin on September 12th. I'm definitely nervous about it. The side effects are worrisome, but most of all, I'm worried it won't work. Accutane has always been my "last resort" and my "someday" solution. Now that I'm doing it, if it doesn't work, where will I be? I guess I'll just have to resign myself to living with acne. But on the other hand, I have to be optimistic and hopeful. My dermo says she thinks it will work wonders for me and I'll wish I had started sooner. I sure hope so. If anyone has any advice or encouragement...or you're going through this too and want to share...I'd welcome it!


After my last entry...I became extremely depressed because my acne got really, really bad...really, really quickly. The month of October was AWFUL. I'm not sure if stress is contributing, but that could have been a problem.

Anyway, I went to a new dermatologist and started a few new treatments. First, I began birth control (I started off with Yaz but it was awful for me, so I switched to Yasmin). She also increased my minocycline to 100 mg twice daily. I began using a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide wash at night. I use the highest strength of Differin at night as well. In addition, I began Levulan Photodynamic Blue light treatments. I am about to have my last treatment (the 4th treatment). I go once every two weeks (on a Friday) and have the treatment. They take off all of my make-up, rub medical grade Acetone (think nail polish remover-yikes!) on my face, then rubbing alcohol, then finally the Levulan goes on. It doesn't sting too badly, but a little burning isn't unusual. I have to sit for 40 minutes and let it activate. I originally left it on for only 30 minutes, but that wasn't working so the doctor increased it to 40. Then I go under the blue light for 12 minutes. Now the fun part begins (note the sarcasm). Since I cannot drive myself home, I have to have someone drive me there and take me home. Once the treatment is finished, I have to stay out of ANY sunlight for 24-36 hours. Literally, I lay the seat down in the car and cover my face with a jacket. The treatment makes your skin SO photosensitive that any sun will give you a severe burn. So I'm stuck inside for the next few days...with a swollen, red, itchy, burning, stingy, peeling face. Sounds horrible (and for 24 hours, it sort of is)...but it seems to be working. It is fairly expensive (not covered by insurance)...but it seems worth it to me.

After the first two treatments, I was disappointed because I didn't think it was working. I have had my third and am going in for my last this week. It seems to FINALLY be working! I even had to wait a week longer because of Thanksgiving. I haven't had any major breakouts in 2 weeks. Sure I've had a few small pimples but nothing in comparison to before. I had been getting big cysts before...none of that anymore. They say the full effects won't be seen for 4-8 weeks after treatments end. So I'm hoping it gets even better!

I also switched to BareMinerals makeup. That seems to be helping tremendously, too. In fact, I had been doing really well until I wore a different brand of blush. I woke up the next morning with a few whiteheads ONLY where I had put the blush (it was even symmetrical). So if you haven't tried BareMinerals yet...try it!

I'll keep you updated on the Levulan treatments!


Starting the Regimen

I have been battling acne for around 10 years. I feel like I have tried almost everything with little to no success. I've seen dermatologist after dermatologist who have told me it is simply heredity and hormones. I stumbled upon this website and decided to see what other people are trying. I started the regimen suggested by Dan two days ago. It feels like I'm not doing enough but I'm going to give it time to work. Hopefully it will...I am ready to have clear skin (something I never remember experiencing). I would love to be confident about the way I look and my skin.

I am washing my face with Cetaphil cleanser twice a day, using Neutrogena on-the-spot) 2.5% benzoyl peroxide), and Cetaphil facial lotion. I also started taking a multi-vitamin (regularly) and Zinc. I've also started taking Yaz in order to combat any break-outs caused by hormones. I also take 100 mg of Minocin a day. For the past few years I've been off and on antibiotics- but I've been taking Minocin for about 2 months now. I am starting off using the guidelines from Dan regarding the benzoyl peroxide. I've been using it for two days and my face is beginning to feel dry.

I am also planning on making some other changes. I'm horrible about picking at my face without even realizing it. It's going to be hard to stop- but I'm going to try my best. I'm also going to stop drinking caffeine. The absence of caffeine isn't as important as the increase in water consumption. Over the past few months, I've started drinking more water- and I feel better. I'm just ready to give up caffeine altogether and replace it with water. I exercise at least once a day- but I usually am wearing make-up. I then wash my face vigorously. As self-conscious as I may be, I need to start taking off my make-up when I get to the gym. I am also going to stop scrubbing my face when I'm finished with a work-out. Does anyone have any suggestions as far as diet goes? I consider myself to be a healthy eater. I rarely eat anything that is really "bad" for me. I hardly ever eat fast food or fried foods. Any suggestions would be welcomed!

Feel free to leave me any comments or suggestions...if I think of anything else I'll update my blog. Otherwise, I'll keep ya'll posted on my progress.

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