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Daily Updates on My Accutane Experience

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Stoper54

Anniversary of Accutane

8 Months Post Accutane

Hi everyone. December marked the anniversary of when I started Accutane so I thought I'd give everyone a hopeful update. Outside of an occasion red blemish, I have had perfect skin. Now, I only have to worry about dry skin from the Chicago cold :) Anyways, stay positive and hopeful and know that it only gets better from here.

Stoper54

Two Month Update

Week 9 Post Accutane

I've crossed the two month mark and the scar and red marks are definitely healing. Depending on the light, there can be no scars or a few. I've also feel that my skin is more clear than when I was even on Accutane. My journey home has been epic; hiking in Denver and New Mexico; BBQ in Kansas City. I'm definitely enjoying the journey.

Now that two months have passed, I'm going to give monthly updates.

Stoper54

Homeward Bound

Week 8 Post Accutane

The temperature in Yuma has approached 115 degrees; the kind of severe weather which contributed to my issues to begin with. Tomorrow I start my 10 day trip home. Skinwise, marks are fading, scars are minimal. I have a microscopic whitehead every now and then but otherwise perfect skin.

Stoper54

Week 7 Post Accutane

I had a checkup appointment with the dermatologist today; he didn't even charge me :pray: He told me my severe hyperpigmentation will heal probably in 6 months as the accutane leaves my system and my body learns to heal itself again. He also commented that there is some real minor scaring but it is too soon to know how it will turn out. If he was me he wouldn't do anything until at least a year has pasted. If things keep improving I don't think I will

I've had a few microscopic whiteheads every now and then but overall, I'm very happy with my skin.

Stoper54

Growing Up

Week 6 Post Accutane

I've started to see real improvement on my forehead. While there are scars the redness is fading. The best part is that I no longer feel the need to look in a mirror all the time to see progress because I know it is happening. I'm getting ready to return to Chicago after my two year adventure in Arizona. Between my acne and other obstacles of life I have grown up so much in two short years. I was naive when I came out here about life and who I am but being on my own has shown me lives lessons. I'm all grown up.

Stoper54

Survey of the Damage

Week 5 Post Accutane

Now that the redness has started to fade away, I can start to survey the damage the acne did to my forehead. There are some small potential scars; both ice pick and boxcar. I scheduled a follow-up appointment with my dermatologist before I move home. I'm going to find out if I should expect the scars to be permanent or temporary. But without the acne, I almost don't care if my skin is perfect when looked at closely.

One thing that helps your skins appearance though is sunblock. Any red spots I have fade more quickly when sunblock is applied.

Stoper54

Normal Skin

Week 4 Post Accutane

My skin is normal! Not oily; not dry; just normal. This week I noticed that my skin was starting to look a little oily. Nowhere near where it was before but it was noticeable. I stopped moisturizing and now my skin is nearly perfect. I still have some red cheeks but they continue to get better.

I no longer use anything but Cataphil Gentle Cleanser and Purpose soap on my body. For those who are still waiting to finish up Accutane keep the faith; the results are worth it. For those waiting for the side effects to disappear, by week 2 your chapped lips should cease; your redness should start to fade by week 4.

Simple really is better.

Stoper54

Week 3 Post Accutane

Things are going great. I can definitely see some scars on my forehead when I look closely but hopefully overtime those heal. I've started using moisturizer again. My face is still red and the moisturizer helps sooth it. But besides the redness, all side effects are gone.

I'm going sky diving this weekend to try out my new skin.

Stoper54

Post Accutane Week 2

Side effects are disappearing and so are my red marks; at least I think they are. My lips are no longer chapped and I've put away the Vaseline. I've stopped using Cerve moisturizer and just the Eucerin Redness Relief since my face is still red. Overall, no issues.

I've started planning activities I couldn't do while I was on the medicine. I'm going skydiving over Memorial Weekend and the beach in June.

Stoper54

So Far So Good

Post Accutane: One Week

My skin is glowing. Everyday it starts to look better and better as though the Accutane was holding it back from its full potential. I have a microscopic red spot every now and then but overall no problems. The redness is start to fade as are the red mark. My lips are still chapped but no where as bad as they were a week ago.

My current regimen is

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser

Cerve Moisterizing Cream (little less each day)

Neutragena Sun Block

So far so good.

Stoper54

The Final Day

Only 1 Day Left

Clear!

There is only one pill remaining in my last blister packet and tomorrow morning will be my last experience with Accutane (hopefully). Although the side effects are severe, I highly recommend Accutane. The benefits far out-weigh the costs. It's a character builder which will test you from the initial outbreak to the beet-red face but it is worth it to not to have to worry about your face even if it is only temporary.

I'll continue to update weekly on my progress but this marks the last daily entry in my journal. As I think about the 150 entries I wrote, it is amazing the myriad of emotions I've felt through this experience. I hope this blog continues to be viewed and that people find the hope they need to get through this process.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Namaste (the best in me honors the best in you).

Stoper54

Lessons Learned

Only 2 Days Left

Clear!

This second to last entry, will be the top 10 lessons I learned

1. MOISTURIZE. This is a three parter

a). When you think you've put too much on, put even more on.

b). Moisturize immediately after a shower; don't wait to dry. This is huge.

c). Moisturize everywhere. Don't just moisturize your face; moisturize your legs, back, arms, even your genitals and ass.

2. Don't touch your lesions. Your skin is extremely sensitive while on Accutane and pumping zits will result in potential scaring.

3. Traveling makes the days go by much faster. Getting out of your routine and doing "something special" makes time fly by.

4. Where there is sun run; the sun become extremely powerful while on Accutane. Make your time in the sun limited and if possible hibernate from it.

5. Hell is other people. Accutane would be easy if we didn't have to see anyone we knew or cared about. Questions about what is wrong with your face are the most difficult part.

6. Juice is a food. When you go get your blood test, don't eat anything!

7. Eucerin Perfecting Lotion is a Godsend. The cleaners and night cream are alright but the Perfecting lotion is what makes the difference between looking like you got some sun and looking fried.

8. See what lessons you can learn from acne. Everything happens for a reason.

9. Lean on your friends, family and love ones. Don't face this ailment alone.

10. Acne is only temporary. .Don't let acne prevent you from living your life.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Only 3 Days Left

Clear!

This month was mostly characterized by countdowns. I returned to Yuma on April 12th and was extremely anxious for the end to be there. I wanted to enjoy my new skin and never take it for granted again. For the longest time, my thoughts were acne and my skin. Now I can worry about other things...like finding a job.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Only 4 Days Left

Clear!

Month Four represented my return home. During month one, I had to face family and friends in my condition but in month four I was completely clear. Minus the side effects, it was nice having all my confidence back.

It was also during this time, that I became aware that I would leaving Yuma and my job situation became uncertain. I learned there are more important things than your skin like how are you going to eat. I also learned that my sister is having skin issues and is debating going on Accutane. I was able to give her the advice she needed.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips.

Stoper54

Only 5 Days Left

Clear!

Month three is where I became clear for the first time. Toward the middle of the month I started feeling less bumps on my forehead; while this had happened previous, this time news ones didn't replace it. While I was clearing, I was also left with devastating red spots which were extremely visible.

It was also at this point that I started realizing how my condition allowed me to relate to other people who were sick. I had a friend back home and I was able to comfort her. The biggest lesson I learned is that you have to find meaning in you life situation. Just because the world is shitting on you doesn't mean there isn't a reason for it. Learn from your experience.

Crossing the half way point of my treatment, I remember thinking this will never end. It was at this point I started keeping track of the remaining days and found them fly by.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Only 6 Days Left

Clear! However, every now and then there are little red marks that appear and then disappear.

Month two was difficult but knowing the breakouts were starting to slow made it easier to deal with. It was about the 2nd week I was back in Yuma that people started commenting on how red my face was. It was at this time that I realized how strong the side effects were going to be. My face was so red that I began to become uncomfortable about that part. It was also toward the end of month 2 when I realized I had three more months of this!

It was about this time, that I also started thinking about my situation philosophically asking myself why I cared so much about my face and the torture of mirrors. It was around this time that I stopped caring so much about my skin and focused on just life.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips.

Stoper54

Only 7 Days Left

Clear!

The next five entries will be a reflection on each month.

My first month was difficult if not awful. As I mentioned in previous entries, my skin became extremely sensitive in July 2009. After trying many harsh topical with little to no improvement, I tried to return to the regimen I used in high school which cause the worst outbreak of my life. It was at this time that my dermatologist recommended Accutane. I said no but he wouldn't let me leave until I agreed.

I started Accutane on the evening of December 5th. I had my initial outbreak around December 19th While the side effects were minimal (mostly chapped lips) during the month, my skin was at its lowest point during Christmas. I had to see my friends and family with a forehead that looked like it blew up. I worse a hat even when I was inside. If I was forced to take it off, I would keep my hair (which I had grown out) hanging over my forehead. I learned to rely on my inner confidence since I had no physical confidence.

I kept holding out hope that my skin would clear but every time one lesion disappear another replaced it. I was losing hope by New Year when things started to improve. By the end of the month, however, my face was starting to clear. I continued to break out but the degree seemed to slow.

As I look back on this time of my life, I believe being home was the best thing that could have happened to me. Being around those I loved gave me the comfort and support I needed. During these difficult times, lean on your friends and family. It makes this experience much easier.

Tomorrow: Month 2 Reflection

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

What Now?

Only 8 Days Left

Small red marks on my right and left cheek but already disappearing

Here is a list of what my dermatologist says to expect post-accutane

-2 weeks in all side effects disappear

-Perfect skin for 3 months

-After I will either stay perfect, have minor adult acne, or it will return. I'm confident about not returning

When I finish my last day of Accutane, I'll have weekly updates on my progress post-Accutane.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Was it Worth It?

Only 9 Days Left

Clear!

So the question I'm going to get once I'm done is was it worth it? Was clear skin worth the side effects, changing the very fabric of my skin, and any other effects five months of harsh chemicals does to your body. My face looked sunburn for 4 months straight, my lips and nose were so dry and chapped that they bled, my energy levels were down. But I would definitely do it again if I had to. I'm sure that everyone has a different reason for why they need clear skin and why it is so important to them. For me, clear skin is a metaphor. Things in your life can be going swimmingly but without warning it can fall apart. The path is not always clear; they'll be tears, challenges, and conflicts. But like our skin, it will eventually clear up. Not having clear skin would be like being in a boat in the middle of a hurricane except the storm never ends. Clear skin means that the storm has passed. While another may be around the corner, the sun is shinning today

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Countdown

Only 10 Days Left!

Clear!

The countdown is almost in single digits; so excited! The final 10 days will be mostly reflective entries.

Side effects: Red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Looking Forward To...

Only 11 Days Left

Clear! My face is most back to normal.

Now that I'm nearing the end of my treatment, here is a list of things I'm most looking forward to post-Accutane:

1. Red spots disappearing

2. Sun and being in it

3. Getting a tattoo

4. Not being itchy

5. A simple skin regimen; using a gentle cleanser the rest of my life

6. Swimming without being self-conscious

7. Throwing away my acne products

8. Immense self-confidence

9. Energy returning

10. No more doctors visits

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Epic Journey

Only 12 Days Left

Small whitehead on my right temple and two red marks under the skin.

A little scared that I have some minor acne this late in the game but they are already disappearing. It is probably because I slept with a bunch of gel in my hair and it got on my pillow.

I put together my plan for my trip back to Chicago. Starting in Flagstaff, I'm driving to Colorado Spring, then Iowa City, then Chicago. It is going to be epic!

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips.

Stoper54

Only 13 Days Left

Clear!

In case you haven't been reading my blog, Redness Relief Perfecting Lotion from Eucerin is possibly the most important product to have while on Accutane to prevent redness. The biggest problem with it is it tends to clump up. I recently discovered that by putting it on wet skin it blends better; still extremely effective.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Bad Habits

Only 14 Days Left

Clear!

I've developed some bad habits since I started Accutane.

I used to shave rarely because it caused irritation but now I tend to do it everyday.

Not washing my hair everyday. My hair used to get rather oily after a day but now there is no need.

Not washing my hair at night. I used to wash out the oil and gel from my hair before I went to sleep but not now.

Putting my hands on my face. This is probably the worse one. My face has been extremely dry obviously so I've felt itchy and have used my hands to scratch.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

Stoper54

Obamacare

Only 15 Days Left

Clear!

I've been thinking about the healthcare bill. One of the key funding mechanisms in it is the tax on Cadillac plans. My insurance plan at work would be considered this type of plan and I wonder if I would have been able to afford Accutane if I had to pay the full cost of it. I'm an independent btw and will keep an open mind about the healthcare bill.

Side effects: Moderately red skin and slightly chapped lips

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