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Claravis Experience

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jennuhhfurrx2

Week 20: Day 138

I AM ON MONTH 5!!!!! I can't freaking believe it! AHH! I went to the dermatologist a few days ago and have been in month 5 for 4 days and I am super duper excited! I asked my dermatologist about my red scars and he informed me that they are not scars, they are just hyperpigmentation from treatment. So, this means that they will fade a lot once I'm off Accutane, according to my dermatologist :] I don't know that there is much more to update on, although I do need to take more pictures and add them to my video slide show. Other than that, my only side effects are really red eyes and dry skin on the sides of my mouth. But, I am still on 120 mg a day to finish out my treatment. I am going to continue taking pictures and blogging sporadically on here to update. I think that is all and I'll blog again soon.

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 17: Day 113

I am on month 4!! :D I am completely clear on my right cheek as well as my left cheek! I still have a really red skin tone and a lot of scarring :D But, the red hue should go away after I get off the medicine, and the scarring should fade over time. I am now on 120 mg a day. My dermatologist decided to up my dose to just fully kick this out of my system the last 2 months. I had a HUGE problem getting my prescription this month, though. Without typing it all out, basically I have to take 3 pills in the morning and 3 pills at night. But eh, no big deal. The only annoying thing is that in order for me to go back in 30 days, that week my dermatologist is on vacation, so I have to go the next week. That means that I had to figure out how to stretch my 30 day supply of pills an extra week. This meant that I had to take only 80 mg the first week or so and now I am taking 100 mg which means i take 2 pills in the morning and 3 pills at night. In a few days, I'll be fully up to 120 mg a day. Which I guess it's good that I'm stepping myself up to the higher dosage. Anyways, everything is still progressing and getting better and I'll update before my next dermatologist appointment!

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 13: Day 89

Wow! I didn't even make a post when I ended month 2? I have definitely been slacking on posting on here. Well, I have my dermatologist appointment in 4 days on Friday. That will be my checkup for after month 3. I can't believe it. Next week I'll be starting month 4! My brother, his girlfriend, Kaitlyn, and I planned a cruise (A CRUISE!) in May. I'm so freaking excited. I better be off this medicine by then!!! I should be ending in mid-March. So, even if he decides to put me on an extra month I'll still be done by the end of april and I'll be able to go tanning for a month before we go on the cruise to the BAHAMAS!! So now an update on my face, my right cheek is completely clear to the touch but still has all the red spots :( My left cheek is smooth to the touch besides about 3 cysts on my jawline :( My temples are clearing up and my nose is free up blackheads still and my forehead is still clear ;) My chin is doing pretty good. I have one large pimple but that is going away now. My skin has such a red hue to the skin tone that I am still wearing makeup to cover my face. I am going to ask my dermatologist about maybe something I can do or take for it to not be so red. Overall though, I am getting happy with the results and hope they continue!

i just looked at picture from week 2 and 3 and holy crap! There has been a HUGEEEE freaking improvement! Really getting optimistic now!!

I will update after my dermatologist appointment this Friday! <3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 10: Day 68

Wow! I haven't updated since December 14th?! That's amazing. I went to the dermatologist on December 30th, 2009 and he said that my blood work was still coming back beautifully and that he was going to keep me on 40 mg twice day, 80 mg each day. I just started the third month today and I need to take some more picture as well. My right cheek is completely smooth to the touch but looks worse because of the red marks. I'm hoping those fade soon. As far as my left cheek, it's smooth to the touch except about 5-6 smaller pimples that I've had for awhile that started as cysts and now they're drying up, slowly, but they're drying up! My forehead is completely clear, as well as right under my eyes, next to my nose. Also, my chin is clear and just underneath my chin was still breaking out quite a bit and that seems to be clearing as well. I have a really dry patch of skin on the right side of my mouth thats quite annoying but oh well. Also, on my left temple, I have a persistent pimple that does not form a head so I cannot pop it, and it just never seems to go away. It's the same story on my right temple too. On my right temple, it's more in my hairline almost and on my left temple, its right in the middle of my temple. My nose is pretty much clear of the huge blackheads, thankfully! I have the rash on the back of both of my hands which is annoying but my dermatologist gave me some sample eczema cream and that has really been helping. Also, since it's so windy and cold out, I've been trying to have my hands covered when I go outside. I definitely look better than when I first started Accutane, but I'm still looking forward to having no bumps and the red marks fading. Staying positive now that I'm seeing good results! :]

Will update when more changes occur <3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 7: Day 45

I am surprised that I haven't posted in quite some time! I think that I am finally starting to see some REAL results!! YAY. I realized that tonight my right cheek only has 3-4 active cysts and the rest is pretty much redness from the dryness and red mark from scars. :/ about the scars but I think we're finally getting somewhere! My left cheek is still breaking out but the cysts that have been there for awhile are getting dry and flaky so I think they're going away. I am starting to really get excited! My friend Kaitlyn told me tonight that my t-zone is looking awesome and even my cheeks are looking a bit better. It's only my 2nd week of month 2 and I'd say the little results that I am starting to see isn't too shabby. My "goal" was to have some major clearing by the end of month 3 so I'm getting excited but trying to stay calm. The only side effect to update on is that the rash on the back of my hand has returned and with a vengeance. :wall: It has spread to my fingers and it looks like my pores exploded. haha It is really dry and hurts so I try to put lotion on as much as possible and try not to rub my hands dry after washing them, rather I try to pat them dry. I think that is all that I really have to update on. Waiting for more results :]

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 6: Day 40

So I am realizing more and more dryness with the larger dose. My arms look like a molting snake. I have found that putting lotion on right after I get out of the shower helps seal in moisture and helps the flakiness. As far as my face, I think I am starting to see results. On the left side, my breakouts are really scabby and dry which will hopefully disappear completely soon. Other than that, I havent had any other side effects I don't think... So I guess that's all for now. Update more later.

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 5: Day 33

Some side effects have started occurring. The mass of pimples that I've had to the left side of my mouth that I always call herpes (it's not obviously) is starting to dry up. YAY :wall: although its big circles of dryness, I am just glad that they're finally starting to clear up. Every day I look at my face with no makeup on and see the redness of skin from the medicine and the dryness and then I see all the huge pimples that I still have. I feel discouraged but I have to remember that I just have to get over that initial "hump". I watch the videos of this one guy on youtube and he has acne that seems to be similar to mine and in the same places as mine. It took him until month 4 to start actually seeing results. I am hoping though that I may be a bit sooner like month 3 because he was only on 20 mg a day for quite some time because his body apparently couldn't tolerate more than that. He is currently starting his 6th month and his skin looks awesome! So I watch his video and feel re-encouraged (if that's even a word...) that I will in fact eventually have clear skin. The only other side effect that I've had is slightly sore knees but it's totally bearable. I don't think that there is anything else to update on. I'm about to go shower and wash my face now so I will probably go ahead and take some more pictures because I wanna stay on top of that so that I can see how much it's changed. I have a lot of pictures from month 1 but most of them I have makeup on so my skin looks a ton better than it actually was on that particular day. So, I have been trying to take pictures after i get out of the shower right after i moisturize and I feel that gives a good marker to where I am. I think that's it for today. Will update if I experience more side effects or start to really see some clearing!

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 5: Day 31

So I went to the dermatologist yesterday and he upped my dose to 40 mg twice a day, so 80 mg a day total. So I am just waiting for the side effects to be multiplied by two. lol I just took the first pill this morning so obviously nothing would really be happening quite yet. Just wanted to make sure I put in here when I started 80 mg a day instead of 40 mg a day. Will update more when side effects occur.

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

End of month 1 !

Friday was my final day of pills for month one! It's exciting except that my face isn't very clear. But, I need to stay positive! I go to the dermatologist tomorrow so we'll see how that goes. I'll post on here what he says about upping my dose and whatever. I have my last week of school this week then finals week and I only have one final so pretty much I just need to worry about studying for my last biochem exam on friday! then i'm done with my first semester! Update tomorrow about the dermatologist!

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 4: Day 28

Only 3 more days of pills until month 1 is over!! I do not want to jinx it but I sort of think my cheeks are starting to clear up. :D I was looking at my face yesterday and my cheeks are starting to dry up (kind of gross with the scab things but hey, it'll be gone soon enough. hopefully) I don't think that I have much else to say. I think the next update will be next week after I go to my dermatologist on Monday. So this is a short update but I do want to keep track of every single thing that I can. Update more later.

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 4: Day 27

ALMOST THERE! I am almost done with month 1... I went yesterday to get my blood work and I take my last pill of month 1 on Friday and then I go to the dermatologist on Monday. I am hoping that he thinks my progress is good... it'll be my first time going out in public with out makeup on. I feel that it's necessary so that he can see what my face really looks like. I haven't been having too many other side effects which makes me think that I'll probably be put on a higher dose on Monday. My chin has dry spots but its not flaking nearly as badly as last week, actually exactly a week ago when my entire chin was falling off. haha The breakouts on my cheeks are starting to dry up and scab over and I'm trying to my hardest to not pick at my scabs because I'll get scars and what not. The middle portion of my forehead and my chin are pretty much clear! So maybe by the end of the 2nd month my cheeks will be clear? Also, ALL of my blackheads on my nose are gone. My nose and the sides of my nose and the cheek area on either side of my nose is soooo smooth. I love it! I bought yet another tube of carmex moisturizing lip balm and putting on tons of vaseline at night to keep the skin from peeling off of my lips. I think that's all of the updates that I have for right now so I will update more in a few days!

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 4: Day 23

I'm at week four of my first month! WOO. I go to get my blood work on Monday, November 23 and I have my first dermatologist appointment since I started Accutane on November 30. The updates that I have are that washing my hair every other day is doing wonders for my dry scalp, and the best part: my hair DOES NOT get oily! I love it. Also, I have not blotted oil off my face in over 2 weeks which is also awesome! My chin has been mostly re-moisturized thank god! I have a few pretty dry, flaky spots on my chin still but much better than what it was on Tuesday. I have a painful spot in the right corner of my mouth. I think it may just be really dry skin that cracked open so I caked on the vaseline and we'll see how that moisturizes throughout the night. I am just so excited that I'm on week 4, mostly because I have successfully taken every single pill that I have except one time I missed it and it was too close to squeeze it in before my night time dose. I am curious to know what my dermatologist will think of my progress so far... I wrote a list of questions and side effects I have to discuss with him. I am going to ask him if he's going to up my dose or not and a few things that I've read about that have helped people to see if they'd be right for me. I do not want to start taking vitamins and using products that I read about other people using before checking with him to make sure that they don't mix in the wrong way or whatever. Here is my list to take to my dermatologist appointment on Monday:

side effects:

1.dry scalp (started during beginning of week 3)

2.back pain (started during week 3)

3. knee/joint pain (sporadic, not real concerned about it)

4. rash on the back of my hand (this occurred during 1/2 week and went away)

5. blood when i blow my nose (this started during week 3)

products that other people have used:

1. emu oil for acne scars

2. taking vitamin E to combat dryness

3. taking vitamin D for joint pain

4. taking vitamin B to help prevent hair loss

various questions:

1. will you be upping my dose?

2. how long will I be on it?

3. will blackheads clear up (i can already see a pretty big improvement on this)

4. whether I can exfoliate my skin or is my skin too sensitive?

I believe that that is all that I have to update on. Will post again in a few days

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 3: Day 21

Oh my gosh I wanna give up. I know I can't but I want to. My cheeks are breaking out SO bad and my chin is peeling off. I know that I should just apply moisturizer as much as possible but the problem is that I'm addicted to makeup coverup foundation powder and putting moisturizer over it makes it cakey. ugh. I need to be brave and not wear coverup but I really don't think that I can do it. Over thanksgiving break and Christmas break my plan is to not wear it...the only thing that sucks is that I do have work so I'll wanna wear makeup...we'll see how it goes. I'm just looking forward to the end of month 2 because that's when I'm supposed to start clearing up and stop getting these bad cystic acne breakouts. I cannot wait to wash my face with my moisturizing and hydrating face wash and deep moisturizing lotion. It feels great to get my skin hydrated again. Ughh

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 3: Day 20

Alright to begin, not to self: do not use topical treatments while on accutane. Oh my gosh, my chin is seriously falling off. My face doesn't feel dry but man is it peeling all around the breakouts i once had. I had painful cysts a few days and they felt like they may be coming back again so i put some of my prescribed Tazorac cream on them. BAD IDEA I knew I would probably regret it but I did it anyway...I would put moisturizer on my chin but it mixes with my foundation powder and turns all cakey. Go figure... Well I don't think anything else needs updated on. Still have lower back pain but the yoga moves are helping. Scalp is still itchy but I've been washing my hair every hair other day and that seems to be helping. Also, I found a moisturizing tip online on youtube. Once you get out of the shower, apply lotion within 5 minutes. This allows the lotion to soak in before the water completely evaporates. This has also really helped. That's all for now, I'll update more later.

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 2: Day 17

Wow I surprisingly haven't posted in a few days. The only thing I really have to update on is the annoyingly itchy scalp. It's right around the crown of my head and feels like it's sunburnt. Luckily, I haven't started flaking aka dandruff (ew). Other than that, still super dry lips. My breakouts under my mouth are pretty much gone it's just right around the sides of my mouth that are broken out now. Makeup kinda makes them looks worse but I put it on anyway, I don't know why. So I think that's it. Oh, still have a tight feeling back so I've been putting a heating pad on it and I found some yoga moves on youtube that help relieve lower back pain and those seem to be helping a bit too :D

I'll update more later.

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 2: Day 14

Today has been exactly two weeks finished! Woo! I am currently laying in bed with a heating pad on my back on high heat. This whole back pain thing is really getting annoying. It hurts to bend over! It's not even like a pulled muscle pain, it's more of a tight muscle spasm sort of. I go to the derm in two weeks so I'll ask him about it. I looked up back pain while on accutane online and it said that it's a serious side effect and that you should stop taking accutane and consult your doctor but I think I'm just over reacting. My back has always hurt a little from standing at work all night and carrying around a thirty thousand pound bookbag around campus. Okay, so it's not that heavy but you get my point. I have been having the painful cystic acne but it seems to be subsiding a little each day *knocks on wood* Ah the heating pad is finally heated up and my back muscles are starting to relax! :D

I don't think I've had any new side effects besides chapped lips and the back pain. I really haven't been that terribly dry on my face. Now, don't get me wrong, my face is no longer oily and I don't have to blot it during the day. But, it's not flaky dry like I thought it might be. It doesn't even feel tight after I wash it. I am also noticing dry scalp. Hopefully no dandruff, but its definitely itchy. I have cooled my shower water to a bit warmer than luke warm just so I don't freeze to death but tonight I decided not to wash my hair and I'm going to see if it's greasy in the morning. If it is, I'll just put it up in a ponytail, but I think washing every other day might help my scalp keep the little moisture that's left up there.

Hmm, what else to say? I had a good talk with my friend who was on accutane about 1 1/2 years ago and it worked wonders for her. She had really bad acne on her back and chest and just some on her face. She said that she started to notice her skin clearing up around the middle of month 3 and that I need not get disheartened after only 2 weeks. I know it's only been 2 weeks so my body is still obviously adjusting to it and drying out the oil glands, but I feel like I should be able to tell some difference. Patience is definitely a virtue, and I have little to no patience when it comes to these things. I need to just take it one day at a time and maybe when I least expect it, my skin will start to clear up! *crosses fingers*

Ah the heating pad feels so good on my back! Maybe I'll go out and buy some of those icyhot patches that they claim keeps working for hours and I can stick one of those on in the morning and maybe not be so miserable. I should add that to my grocery list right now. Other than the back pain, the side effects are totally bearable! The chapped lips just requires that I keep a good conditioning lip balm/chapstick on them pretty much 24/7. When I wake up in the morning, the very first thing that I do is put on my lip balm after not having it on all night.

I think I'm going to start a countdown until my next dermatologist appointment. Maybe that can make the time go faster. I do know that my first 2 months should go really fast because I should be ending my 2nd month by about New Years time. I am definitely looking forward to the holidays and I'm trying not to think about accutane all the time. Also, my first month should go fast too because I finish acctuane a few days after Thanksgiving!

I think that's all that I have to say besides that I'm excited that tomorrow is my second to last day working at Subway! I got a new job and I start that on November 23 for training. I feel like not working at Subway anymore will also help my skin because as weird as this may sound, Subway makes my face really greasy. It's mostly when I'm baking bread and using the proofer (which is full of humid air to help the bread rise before baking) and using the toaster oven with sandwiches that have pepperoni, salami, or bacon. The grease from those being heated in the toaster seems to love to cling to my face. I know that it's disgusting, but it's true. Well, I think that's all for now! I will update in a couple days, as usual

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 2: Day 13

Its almost been two full weeks since I started my accutane/claravis treatment. I have seen some clearing but their are bumps on my nose, on my cheeks next to my nose, and in between my eyebrows that look almost like white heads of stuff coming out of my pores so i guess that's good. I've been carefully exfoliating those spots to try to help it. Also, I am still getting the painful cysts that are red and painful to touch. I am still hopeful that by my dermatologist appointment on November 30th that I'll be a bit clear. The back pain is still quite painful and I noticed a slight rash on the back of my hands right by thumb. It looks like my pores exploded. I know that sounds wierd but that's the best way I can explain it. Not much else to report. My skin really isn't that terribly dry, yet. My legs and arms feel pretty itchy but I just lather on lotion after my shower and reapply throughout the day if neccessary. I will report back in a few days.

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 2: Day 11

So today is day 11. i have finished two packs of my Claravis. I have a few new side effects. I've been feeling pretty bad back pain and moderate joint pain in my shoulders and hips. My skin isn't very dry but it's kind of itchy. My chin is still breaking out and then the breakouts are drying out...it's kind of a roundabout process. I am seeing a bit of improvement although I am still getting the big cyst type pimples, a couple new ones each day. I have such a bad habit with picking at my face and I know that I should stop it but it's such a habit now. I am anxious to get to day 30 and see how much my skin has changed in a month. I think that's it for now and I will check back in, in a few days. Oh, I forgot! One more thing, I went Ziplining today with my college's outdoor adventure group with my best friend and it was really fun but I was in the sun for about 4 hours and my skin is feeling tight and itchy. Just wanted to add that to my side effects. That is all. Talk to you later :D

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 2: Day 8

So I feel like writing another update. I am so dry I just want to vigorously itch my face but I'm trying my hardest to not even touch it. Itching it just makes it flake and get more itchy so I am not going to touch it. My legs and arms are really itchy today too. I think that's good though because that means that the Accutane is really getting in there and drying out my oil glands and such. I have been experiencing back pain as well but I could attribute that to the fact that I have to carry a really heavy bookbag across campus all day, 5 days a week. I have been watching youtube videos of people's journeys on Accutane and it's helping me remain hopeful but then I get kind of distraught when I reliaze that the 5th and final month of my journey is very far away. I am trying not to focus on this fact and just keep living life though. I am very proud of myself for taking every dose of my medicine twice a day so far. I have been prescribed other medications such as antibiotics for my acne from the dermatologist and I would honestly forget to take it for days at a time. My mom claims that this is why they didn't work but I think that if they would have worked, I wouldn't be Accutane right now waiting for results. If they would have easily cleared up with antibiotics, I think accutane would already be clearing me up and it hasn't.

As far as side effects, I sort of already mentioned the dryness I'm feeling over a good part of my body, not just my face. My skin is peeling off in those strange sheets to right side of my mouth around where I'm breaking out since starting Accutane. I'm feeling a bit distraught because other people claim they broke out badly when starting the medicine and then once they were about 1-2 weeks they already saw clearing. I have seen nothing but more of the painful pimples forming, mostly on my chin. I am hoping it starts to clear up even just a little bit here soon. I am trying to be patient. I went in my planner calendar for school and numbered the weeks until my last dose of Accutane. It looks like my final does will hopefully be on March 11, 2010. Now while that seems far away, I continually tell myself that it's not as far away as I might feel it is.

For now, that is about all I have to update on so I will probably write again in a few days, if there are any updates... :D

<3

jennuhhfurrx2

Week 1: Day 2

It's only been a day since my last post but I feel like posting again. Today when I took my pill in the evening, it marked one week since the start of my claravis/accutane treatment. I am starting to feel back pain now every once in awhile and my face has quite a red hue to it. The cold wind makes it very tight feeling and my lips are more chapped than ever. The lip balm I purchased is helping a lot though! I am still seeing a lot of the big, red, painful pimples which are mostly on my chin but also the blackheads on my nose are coming out really bad as well. I was told today that my forehead is already looking better so that gave me confidence to keep thinking positive and just wait for results. I am hoping by week 6 to see some improvement. If it's before then, I will seriously do the cheesiest happy dance known to man. The day that I can walk out in public without coverup/foundation on will be the best day ever!

One week down, only 20 to go!! Should go faster than I think!

jennuhhfurrx2

First Week

I started my first dose of Claravis (generic brand of accutane/isotretinoin) on October 29, 2009. Today is November 3 and it has been 6 days so far. I am on 20mg twice a day, so 40mg total each day.

The first few days were just me taking a pill. No side effects occurred. Starting about day 4 I started to really feel the dryness. Now, it is day 6 and my chin and around my mouth has starting to peel. My skin isn't really dry like flaky, it's more peeling off in sheets of skin. It sounds gross but it's the best way that I can explain it to you. The other side effects that I'm feeling is dry lips. They aren't terrible, yet. I just bought Carmex lip balm in the tube thing so it's really thick and moisturizing which is perfect. I apply moisturizer every night after cleansing and every morning after cleansing and before applying my makeup. I use Cerave hydrating cleanser and Cerave moisturizing lotion. They both can be bought at walgreens or other drug stores and are relatively cheap, about 12-13 dollars each. As far as my hair, I use Biolage hydratherapy shampoo and conditioner which is really helping the dryness of my hair. I have always had dry hair and I am currently not attributing the dryness to the use of accutane.

Hm, I'm trying to think of what else to update on so far. I have read so many personal blogs about being on accutane and also watched a lot of youtube videos about side effects, etc. I mostly started my own blog just to keep a personal diary for myself about the changes I've experienced during my 5-6 month treatment. 6 months seems like a very long time but I'm hoping and thinking that'll go by faster than I know it. If I did my math right, I should be finishing up my last dose of Claravis in March or April, depending on if I do 5 or 6 months of it. I am really happy that this is before summer and such because accutane makes you very sensitive to sunlight and such.

Even now, I can tell that my skin is sensitive to the sunlight even though it's fall/winter time. The cold, blustery winds also affect my skin. When I look in the mirror after being outside for more than 10 minutes, I can see a red, lobster-like tinge to my skin, even though I'm wearing makeup. While I am on the subject of makeup, I am thinking that pretty soon my skin is going to be peeling so badly that it will make me look so much worse if I try to put on makeup over it. This scares me simply because makeup has been my security blanket when going out in public for so long.

I always had really clear skin in middle school and once I was in probably my freshman year in highschool, I started to get a few minor breakouts and such. It then just got worse and worse from there. By my junior year in highschool, I had a pretty broken out face and I went to the dermatologist for the first time. He has since prescribed me every cream there is out there and had me try different antibiotics and one sulfur like pill. Some of those worked average and then my face just broke out again.

Accutane has been talked about between me and my dermatologist for awhile now and I'm excited to finally be officially on it and see what happens! I am trying to remain positive even through all this peeling and "it gets worse before it gets better" business. I am definitely seeing the latter part. I have many big, red, painful pimples that are coming out and I think I'm entering the "breakout" part and then hopefully it will start to clear up.

Sorry that this is such a long first post but I wanted to get background information out there and cover my first week on Accutane. :D

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