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Starting Amnesteem (Accutane)

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Sarah99

T-10 Days

10 Days

1 Bubble Pack

AND I'M FREE!

I know that many people don't want to stop accutane because they're worried about recurrences, but I have been on this for 6 months, and I'm so so so ready to be DONE!

Yes, of course I'm concerned about what may happen, but I want to be free.

I want to know what it is like to NOT have perpetually chapped lips.

I want to NOT have my looks, energy, mood dependent on a little red pill.

10 daaaayyyys!

WOOHOO

Sarah99

100% clear.

Did you hear that?

100% clear!

I have been wanting to write that for so long, but another beauty pops up just as I say it. Tomorrow I may suffer for my celebration, but right now I will celebrate!

At my last appointment the derm gave me a prescription for 40 mg 2X per day so that I could do 2 months at 40 mg without having to go back---I'm glad, it saved me a lot of money...well $30, but still every bit counts :|

I'm so happy.

I finished the semester strong, have clear skin, and am going home in a few days!

OOOh and also, I went to have a physical and the doc was like, You're on accutane? I've never seen anyone with skin that isn't dry!

I attribute this to jojoba oil that i mix with my moisturizer as well as Carlson's fish oil (5 capsules=1 tsp per day). It works wonders!

Any questions, just ask.

I'm not in love with accutane, but right now i'm thoroughly thankful for it!

Sarah99

Day 100 You are Here!

Wow Day 100, can't believe it! So that puts me on week 14.

The derm predicted 6 months for me so lets see...80 more days? More than half-way there! Seems like a long way to go, but these 100 days have been fast enough!

And GUESS WHAT!? I haven't broken out in over a week--that is a record my friends!

I am not 100% clear, due to those stubborn patches that I have mentioned before (between eyebrows and near ear on each jawbone) but no new pimples makes me happy :shhh: and even the stubborn patches are cooperating so my face is pretty happy!

I have been noticing the dryness a lot more now--luckily my allergies have calmed down so my eyes are not constantly blood shot, but as far as my body is concerned I wish I could get a bathtub full of moisturizer to soak in! I'm sick of that prickly feeling all over my body!

However, despite dryness, I am looking up :shhh: I am feeling more myself now too now that I'm not on yaz--the medication of death or at least despair. I have never felt more insane than those 3 months of hormonal hell!

So with hormones under control, and a clear face I bid thee good night!

Sarah99

Day 87 Pros and Cons

Everyone is returning to campus from spring break today. One friend commented, "Your face is so clear, your red marks are nearly gone and you are just glowing!"

Later, another friend (who isn't aware of my accutane) said, "ARE YOU OKAY! Your eyes are so red!" I sheepishly replied that they were dry...

Such is this journey--clear skin. But red eyes, thin brittle hair, etc etc etc.

My results are so encouraging, but to tell the truth I don't think that I would put myself through accutane again, even if my skin got bad again (though, it is unfair to say that in a clear skin moment).

I have a love-hate relationship with accutane. I'm not going to go on a rant about it but I'm also not going to sing its praises!

This week ends month 3 for me! I will get my blood test tomorrow and have my check-up on tuesday. Hope all is well!

We'll see what the next few months bring :D

Sarah99

Day 63

So my derm is giving me the "go ahead" to stop birth control based on my commitment to abstinence. Even though this is what I wanted, it does make me slightly nervous, and I know that my body is going to take a while to readjust so I may be a bit off for a while.

My skin is relieved to be back on accutane I think, and so am I.

On a different note, Shaun White = amazing!

I LOVE snowboarding! Can't wait to go home and be back on the mountain in a couple of weeks!

Sarah99

There have been a few bumps in the road since my last thoroughly optimistic post.

I'll try not to be a debbie downer, pinkie swear.

So after my appointment on Friday I had iPledge problems as usual--it never accepts my login on the first try and then locks me out. The doctor got pissed at me after and briskly ushered me out of the examination room.

After getting that figured out, I called the pharmacy to see if my prescription was ready and they said I didn't have insurance and it would cost $700......WHAT!!!!! So apparently my insurance company screwed up everyone from my dad's company and no one had insurance for the weekend, and seeing as it was a long weekend for president's day I had to wait until tuesday to get it figured out.

FINALLY I got my prescription for $10 as usual but I had a 4 day interim of no accutane so I feel a breakout festering and I have a full blown cyst on my jawbone.

Also, I missed two BCP pills in a row so I was a hormonal emotional hellish wreck. This is my 3rd month on birth control and I HATE it! I wrote my derm an email saying I have already committed to abstinence, have not even kissed a boy in over 6 months (since my ex boyfriend and I last saw eachother) and don't want to put my body through hormonal trauma anymore.

Anyway, the bcp decision is still pending and I have my accutane now so once i get through this breakout then hopefully it will be all clear from then! I'm feeling positive, but still slightly anxious!

I'll be honest, I'm tired of this, but I'm definitely trying to focus on the upside= CLEAR SKIN!

Life is good. I hope you all know that! No matter what, Life is good!

Sarah99

The Beauty of Optimism

Again I am in an interim. Yesterday was day 60 and hopefully tomorrow will be day 61 when I get my prescription!

I was going to start this post off on a negative note about how frustrated I am with ipledge and doctors, but then I read some negative blogs and I decided I wanted to be positive :D :D :D

So i'll focus on the good things:

Perfect Blood Tests again

Another month of 40 mg...they wanted to boost me, but I expressed my concerns about hair thinning etc so they decided to keep me where I am.

hmmm...

oh so yaz is making my boobs grow haha. I'm still an A-cup, but they are def growing, but super sore! I'm really not that into my body, but ya know, they haven't grown since 8th grade and I'm now a college sophomore so its kinda a big deal!

Anyway, skin is stable...hair is thin but manageable, and hopefully I'll get my prescription tomorrow!

clear skin to all and to all a good night!

Sarah99

Day 60 Ups and Downs

Well I finished month 2 today and go back to the derm tomorrow! I had my blood test this morning, so I'm praying that everything is good again!!!

So where to start...I have just been tired and down in the dumps the past week. I'm feeling so much better today though--and it was sunny!

Sunshine in Rochester NY is something that should make any person, vitamin D deficient or not, smile.

I've had a few new breakouts and my scarring looks terrible. I know I know in my last thoroughly optimistic post I said I was 95% clear...well I meant actives, and I have more now. My face is still about 80% scars.

It seems like everyone says the 3rd month shows the most results so I'm holding out.

Right now I am SOOOO concerned about my hair. It has gotten so thin and dry and brittle...I have such fine thin hair anyway, I can't really afford to lose any! I honestly can't let myself stop accutane now though--I've come to far, been through too much, and haven't yet grasped the results that will make it all worth while!

Anyway, I'll let you know the prognosis tomorrow! Say a little prayer for me

Sarah99

my skin feels like silk.

smooth

soft

silky.

I am now about 90% clear with only 7 actives (since when can I count pimples using only my 10 fingers)

I have 1 active between my eyebrows that is stubborn but going down. 1 or 2 under each ear (not visible thank god) and another couple on my cheek.

I just got out of the shower and my face looks rosy and clear.

My fellow accutane sufferers, you may be wondering how my skin can be anything but dry and taut at this point. Again, I must sing the praises of jojoba oil. I mix it with my moisturizer and have had no dryness issues. My lips on the other hand KILL.

I also take 3 fish oil capsules with my accutane in the morning and I've started taking a tablespoon of hemp oil at night (though I don't like the taste).

My hair is getting so thin :( that is my only major complaint right now.

But life is SOOO Good :(

Sarah99

So my skin is looking all right...still some actives along jawline and on forehead, but SO much better than before!

Now for the topic above. I guess this journey does not have to be just about my skin but my everyday interactions.

At the end of october my boyfriend of 1 1/2 years and I broke up...It was emotionally rough and that is when I started breaking out again pretty badly. For the past 4 months I just haven't felt anything for any guys. Just no interest. It took me until a few weeks ago to really embrace my singleness and feel comfortable within myself. I really like that sense of empowerment in and of myself.

Now, OF COURSE it would just so happen that a really cool, sweet guy comes into my life. All the feelings I thought were on hold came out again. We are just getting to know eachother, having great conversations...nothing that would suggest a potential relationship. But OF COURSE my mind has already taken us way past the just friends stage.

I want to enjoy the NOW not the THEN. But again, I miss that connection I had with my exboyfriend and I just long for sweet kisses and hugs, handholding, understanding...I'm a very simple person. But I am complicating my life once more with BOYS gotta love them, but man they mess things up.

So of course here I am wondering if I'm being too overbearing, sending the wrong message...w/ev but I have myself convinced that nothing will happen, and that makes me want him even more! We have only known eachother a few weeks, so I shouldn't even be thinking like this!

If its just a silly little crush It'll blow off no prob, but I'll keep you updated if its more :(

we'll see.

I'm just glad I'm regaining confidence in my image. I still can't help but wonder how he sees me. Does he see my scars? The stubborn pimples? Or does he even really SEE me.

well, we'll see.

Sarah99

I feel like I have orions belt right across my forhead and the milky way stretching across my chin and cheeks.

ugh.

No more breakouts please! Taking a 3 day break was definitely a BAD idea.

Also, now that I'm back in school avoiding alcohol is going to be a lot harder. I've never had much to drink, but i'm shy so having a drink loosens me up a lot. As a result I have more fun at parties, but I am ALWAYS cautious and always wake up feeling equally excellent. Never had a hangover :(

I was just at a really chill party tonight that actually had GOOD drinks, not crappy beer...but none for me. I'm not messing around with accutane!

Sarah99

Day 33 (I guess...)

I got my prescription on wednesday after being off of accutane for 3 days after my first month. The Derm sounded confident when she said that I wouldn't undergo another IB after taking a few days off, but I definitely have some new nasty stubborn bumps.

Well what can you do. I can see that there is going to be a long road in front of me of ups and downs and pimples...and perhaps this is the road to clear skin. I'm sounding negative today--i'm sorry i'm just tired and my eyes have still been weird.

on a happier note, we have a long weekend :( Happy MLK day everyone!

Sarah99

The Good News: I ended my first month on saturday the 9th WOOOHOOO!

The Bad News: Unfortunately I STILL haven't gotten my new prescription :(

The Optimistic News: I had my appointment today so I should be able to pick up my prescription tomorrow.

The WONDERFUL News: My blood test came back "picture Perfect" as the derm put it so that is a HUGE relief :(

oh and for the ugly...my skin is flaky. bleh. I'm over it :(

My spring semester classes start tomorrow, i'm a nerd and excited to learn haha ;)

This semester I am an RA so I baked cookies for my hall and met everyone which was super awesome. I'm kinda nervous about the RA thing, but excited plus I get free housing which is super sweet!

oh so question before i tuck myself in. I weigh about 107 lbs. which is about 48 kg. I've been on 40 mg/day for this month and my derm boosted me up to 60 mg/kg for my second month...this makes me slightly nervous but she says 1.0/1.5 mg/kg is normal and this keeps me within this range. I'm figuring I'll go for it and they can always reduce me if need be. I mean, I've been doing so well on 40 mg i was kinda hoping they'd keep me there, but I'll trust them. However, I've learned the doctor doesn't always know best so i'll trust with caution!

Hmm I said that was a question, but it wasn't haha...I guess I just want feedback. Is this normal? I've read a few blogs where people wanted to be boosted up a dose but weren't and they all were bigger than me! I've also read blogs where people have begged their derm to give them accutane whereas mine had to PERSUADE me to take it. Maybe i'm just weird ;) Needless to say I'm happy with the results I just am not loving the accutane experience.

ANYWAY i'm going to go to sleep so that I'm ready for classes tomorrow

GOODNIGHT world :(

Sarah99

Day 24

Spent the past few days snowboarding resulting in rosy chapped cheeks.

Jojoba oil is a godsend!

I read the recommendation for it on this site, and decided to try it out! I've stopped washing my face all together and I just massage the oil into my skin and apply moisturizer after if needed.

The result: Baby-butt soft cheeks!

I've had a few new spots but they are drying up fast along with the old ones, so over all I'm looking better. My blackheads are mostly gone too! Its crazy, they just popped right out of my nose and chin one by one. Kinda gross, but cool :wall:

With some colour in my cheeks from the fresh air, my scars aren't as noticeable :wall:

I finish my first month on saturday...but don't go back to the derm till the tuesday after (Jan. 9), anyone have any experiences with missing a few days...was it bad?

Here is what is on my mind now:

Blood test: I'm hoping that its normal! I've been eating well and exercising so if it is abnormal I'll know beyond a doubt that it was accutane.

Eyesight: I've mentioned this before. Its not exactly blurry but definitely altered. My insurance covers a visit to an eye doctor which I've never done before having PERFECT vision...but I may take advantage of that to put my mind at ease.

I have this terrible fear that i'll be caught in this horrid irony of finally having clear skin but not being able to see it do to eye damage.

Okay Negative Nancy, enough of that!

Overall I'm pleased with the results of accutane thus far and the only side effect that causes me concern is my eyesight.

My goal for the new year: A positive attitude and NO PICKING!

I was reading an article about anxiety (which I suffer from) and it listed skin picking as an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder along with anorexia and others...I thought I was such a rational person--I've always been happy with my size/weight but once again acne is the menace taking away any will power I have to maintain self-esteem and deter self-obsession. Time to be broken of this! I also need to get over my anxiety about taking accutane cos I know that will make any side effects worse due to psychological impact!

I can be my own worst enemy.

Sarah99

Today my skin is looking worse again. I have a lovely beastie on my chin and the spots on my cheeks (which I had thought were fading) are becoming re-inflamed. The BIG zit in the middle of my forehead still persists and another one has popped up on the end of my nose making me feel seasonally appropriately like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer!

I am not even going to classify this as my initial breakout because I initially thought my initial initial breakout was the dreaded initial breakout but this one is even worse. Instead of classifying these hellish occurrences, I am just going to accept them a day at the time knowing (HOPING) that accutane will best them in the end.

Oh accutane. I STILL haven't come to grips with the fact that the super health conscious holistic outdoorsy me is putting 40 mg of isotretinoin into my body EVERYDAY!

Oh accutane...please just work and let me be done with you! I shouldn't be talking like this...I'm only 2/3 through my first month! There is a long road ahead of me.

On a happier note, I had another glorious day of snowboarding. I still swear its a beautiful life!

Sarah99

Day 18

Today my face is windburned from snowboarding!!! A small sacrifice for a fun day :wall:

My skin hasn't been too dry, though my lips are not too happy and I have to constantly moisturize my hands!

If you are suffering from a terribly dry face try Burt's Bees Essence of Orange face wash--it is very moisturizing and leaves your face feeling clean as well as moisturized.

As far as my skin is concerned:

I have a ton of active/under the skin bumps between my eyebrows

There are still a few active pustules on my cheeks (slowly reducing though)

My nose is COVERED in blackheads which I haven't had in a while...but they are starting to go away too thank God!

I still have some pre-accutane bumps under my skin along my jaw-line that I know are just waiting to pop out and say hello...hopefully they'll get it over with sooN!

Well my time o the month is ending so hopefully the breakouts will too! Though my skin is better than the first week and I'm going on my 3rd now so thats encouraging!

Question for Accutane veterans: For those who are/were on birth control while on accutane, did going off of birth control after your course was finished spike more acne? I just don't want to go through this just to have more hormonal probs later. I'm not too fond of being on birth control now cos I'm not planning on being sexually active anytime soon...well things may change, but just curious.

Sarah99

Day 16

People are right when they say this goes pretty fast...i'm actually in the double digits in days (can't wait to make that weeks!)

my skin has cleared up considerably, but I feel like my forehead is festering and ready to BURST out in lovely acne bumbs...can't wait for that fun!

I'm still experiencing some paranoia about taking accutane! I think everything has been fine so far, but I'm anxiously awaiting my first blood test to confirm (hopefully) that all is well within my body.

I think the worst possible thing that could ever happen would be vision problems (not that a blood test could say anything about this)...I've always had 20 20 vision and to think that could potentially change within my control is horrifying. My vision does seem strange lately, not blurry but the way I see light is aggravating. Hard to explain...it could just all be in my head.

well i'm hanging in there...send an encouraging note if you get a chance :wall:

Sarah99

1 Week!

Ok, so finals are over, the added stress is gone, and I'm feeling much better!

I took pictures this morning so that I can compare my results over time...except I don't know how to upload them...help anyone?

I don't think my skin has really improved...though the pimples seem to be coming to a head, I'm guessing accutane amplifies everything first so I hope this counts as my initial breakout. Only time will tell! Though I realized I'm going to have to go off of accutane 3 days before my next appointment. The derm said this was fine, but I'm a little nervous. Thats not for a few more weeks, so I'll deal with that when the time comes.

I'm going home tomorrow! Can't wait :wall:

Sarah99

Pressure Headaches--Day 6

As I mentioned before, I've been having these strange pressure headaches. They are mostly at the front of my head/around my eyes. My vision is fine, but its weird, when I close my eyes the pressure increases and it feels as though my eyes are too big for my eyelids. I know this is a weird description...but it is an equally weird sensation.

Can anyone else relate?

I called the doctor about it and he said to keep taking accutane but if the pain persists or worsens to get brain imaging done by my primary care provider...hopefully this isn't necessary, and he didn't seem too concerned so I'll try to take peace from that!

Sarah99

Day 5

So i'm on day 5 and feelin' fine.

I really haven't noticed that much difference in my skin. My lips are dry and my back is itchy, but my face is still kinda oily. I guess some of the inflammation has gone down in spots, but overall not a significant change. It almost feels like all the gunk under my skin is surfacing...not a pleasant thought!

It was nice to get half-way through my bubble pack though :wall:

Dear co-suffferers, I need encouragement. Last night I looked through a bunch of old pictures of me when I had beautiful skin, and I couldn't believe how nice I looked! I have always been in good shape and I have some nice features--its incredible how spots can take away from that completely!

However, I am staying strong! I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I am not defined by the marks on my face and that I deserve to have clear skin! Throughout this whole acne suffering business I have refused to wear make-up except for on a couple of occasions. For one it aggravates my skin, and for two I think I would become dependent on it and not be able to bear the site of myself without it. I'm also not much of a girly girl and never wore make-up pre-acne either. Even if I can't put the best face forward, I'd rather it be my face than a powdered mask. Sometimes masks add confidence though...i just don't want to be constantly hiding. I was lucky enough to have an amazing boyfriend when my skin was at its worst--we have since broken up but knowing there was someone who loved me and was attracted to me warts (*pimples) and all was super encouraging.

Well i'm hanging in there...sent in 2 papers, still have another to write and an exam on thursday so wish me luck! Home on friday, can't wait :wall: My skin always improves when I go home too--probably a lack of stress and the food is better than on campus.

Sarah99

Day 2

I shouldn't keep obsessing...but I feel weird today. I didn't sleep well last night and my head hurts a bit. I know there are a million other factors, but is this normal? Does everything regulate after a while? I am procrastinating on my paper that is due monday...ugh can't wait for finals to be over so I can go home and nap in front of the fire and dream of clear skin!

Sarah99

Day 1 of Accutane

Ok so I took my first pill this morning.

If this helps anyone relate I am a 19 year old Female: 5'1" and 110 lbs.

I have moderate/severe persistent acne on my forehead/cheeks (and a little on my back/shoulders but it is pretty insignificant)

My acne treatment history is this:

When I was 16 my acne started getting out of control (I couldn't keep it down with just mild salicylic acid cleanser anymore but it was only on my forehead) so my pediatrician prescribed tetracyclin for me. I was on this for 2 weeks and it did nothing but make me nauseous so I stopped taking it. A friend introduced me to Proactiv which I thought was a miracle! I used it from my junior year of highschool to the first semester of my freshman year of college. At that point my skin became irritated by the benzol peroxide and I started breaking out worse than ever before (my cheeks were riddled with nodules and pustules). I struggled with over the counter medications from december to march and finally went to see a derm. They prescribed Doryx (doxycyclin) which was amazing. 150 mg per day did the trick! I was on that from april to the middle of october, but then I started breaking out agaiN! I guess I became resistant to the antibiotic so they prescribed minocyclin which made me dizzy--I seriously felt drunk for an entire weekend (couldn't even walk straight) even though I didn't touch alcohol. Needless to say I stopped that immediately! After that I filled out the ipledge paperwork, started Yaz (birthcontrol) and am now on amnesteem 40 mg per day. The yaz has helped considerably but I'm hoping for long term control with amnesteem!

So begins this adventure...

I have done so much research into the horror of accutane that I seriously swallowed the pill and sat there as if I were waiting to spontaneously combust. I know, ridiculous, but for a girl who refuses to even take tylenol, taking a drug this potent is scary!

After I got over my initial silliness I had quite a good day! Last day of university classes then I have final exams/papers so I am trying to stay focused (aka not think about acne) for the next week!

Today I had a bit of a headache and backache...these may not even be related to accutane but I'm taking note of them anyway.

Just curious for you veterans--How long did it take for you to see results? I know its different for everyone, but I'm slightly anxious (i was just kinda hoping for all my spots to erase in one magical swoop haha). I'll continue being ever patiently yours truly.

Sarah99

Starting Amnesteem soon!

I have followed various posts on acne.org during my struggle with acne and am now adding to the discussion. I am planning on starting amnesteem within the next few days (have already completed the waiting period/pregnancy tests required by iPledge) and would appreciate support from accutane veterans!

I am a little nervous, but I have seen a lot of positive feedback in regards to this drug despite the scary warnings so I'm being optimistic! I'll update on my progress...

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