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liz on isotretinoin

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long time eh?

It's totally right what they say about people with acne. When everything seems to be going well, you won't see them posting much anymore. Well, coz they are not obsessed with their zits anymore!

It's been more than a year since I last posted. I love the effect the Iso had on my skin and yes, my hair. I had stick straight and very well-behaved hair while on it. I told my derm about this and she found it weird as none of her patients experienced the same thing. Anyway, I think I stopped taking it around mid year last year, maybe around June or July. I forgot. My skin was impeccable by the around end of 2nd month, although I did still get one or 2 bumps once a month. But they never reached the point of getting cystic which was awesome.

My skin was pretty much clear a few months after that. Well, to be fair, it was clear enough that I didn't need injections for more than 1 pimple until around probably February this year, 2009. So considering I stopped around June or July, the Iso worked inside my system for about 7 months -- I did take a capsule or 2 each time I had a huge zit even after the treatment phase, to the dismay of my derm :D

And now, it's been more than a year since I stopped the Iso, and the zits are back. They are not as worse but they are bad. I have them near my mouth, basically, on the lower half of my face. I've been pricking them coz I hate seeing them :dance: bad me! But each time I pop one, another one appears in about a day or two, so imagine my anxiety.

So finally, I went to the derm last Saturday. I'm currently living far from my hometown, so I have a different derm. [i love my old derm and wouldn't trade her for anyone else if I had a choice :dance: ] I told my new derm way before, the history of my beautiful face :D and I've also told her before that I am not interested in any treatment anymore and I just need my zits injected :D

So when I went back to her last Saturday, she was very happy to learn that I admitted that I needed help. However, I think she was too ecstatic and started prescribing me all sorts of products which was a bit too overwhelming for me. Good thing I didn't bring much cash so I only ended up buying the soap lol. Well, as mentioned earlier, I am having problems with the lower half of my face and I needed injections. When I counted the zits that needed to be injected, it was about 9 or 10 in all -- yes, I have that much :lol: . But she got injection-happy and injected (based on the payment) a little over 20 zits. Some of which I never knew existed and some of which I knew where already flat coz I just pricked them 2 days before. And what's more, she wasn't even remotely done! I was the one who told her "enough", coz my face was hurting like hell. She gave me a discount though, but heck, some of the zits were not even meant to be injected!

So anyway, she also prescribed f2f capsule, which was pretty expensive, just a tad cheaper than my Iso. I haven't bought it yet coz as I said, I didn't bring much cash and she doesn't take plastic [my old derm accepts plastic, I miss her :) ]. Has anyone tried f2f? How is it?

And yeah, I still love the injections coz they make my zits disappear ever so quickly! If only there's a much less painful option..


DAY 45

.. same painfully dry lips even with petroleum jelly.. i have to baste it on my lips every 30 minutes or so.. well, i drink lots of water and the PJ on my lips usually sticks on the cup ;)

about the bumps on my lips mentioned before, i got it again last dec 31st, on my 38th day. they were on the edges of my lips this time and multiplied in quantity by jan 1st and worsened even more on jan 2nd. was hellish coz the bumps were so annoying and made my lips even more painful. they started to die down by the evening of jan 3rd though and only the ones on the edges of the upper lip were left. and finally, they all disappeared by the evening of jan 4th.

i applied watermelon frost to the affected part starting jan 1st. i'm not sure if it helped or not, but it made me feel better to actually be doing something to help it get better, even if the effect was only psychological!

i think i have milia, PK or was it KP (i forgot) and some unknown skin disorder on my chin and lower cheeks. i'm not sure if it's because of isotretinoin though. it shouldn't be.

..jan 7..day 45..


DAY 37

yes, day 37 already. i'm just too scared to know the results of my bloodwork in january. it's december and it's time to feast, both healthy and unhealthy tempting food is around ;)

i got few new zits, about 4 small ones probably. only 1 is left now and i think it will go flat tomorrow after i squeeze out the dried up yellow thing later.

i forgot to take one of my doses, and i'm not sure if it's the reason why i got the zits? i've read somewhere that i should not combine the doses if i forgot to take one, so i just decided to continue on, leaving one tablet behind. i'm not sure if it's the right thing to do though...

went out with friends a few days ago for some karaoke :wall: and since i had no real exercise for the past few months, i decided to jump up and down the couch and did some stationary jogging while singing, hoping to do some cardio exercise. the next day, my knee joints ached so much when i stood up after sitting down for a few minutes.. i don't know if it's the effect of me getting old, or me not having proper exercise, or if it's bcoz of isotretinoin.

..dec 30..day 37..


DAY 27

day 27? wow, it's been almost a month already? time really flies, fast..

had my bloodwork done 2 days ago and went to my derm yesterday. bloodwork showed an increase in everthing, including HDL (which is a good thing), but all still in the normal range except for my total cholesterol level wc was 15% higher than normal. derm told me to monitor my diet, no meds yet as the level should still go down after i told her of my unusually high fat diet during the past 2weeks. my derm does not believe that i should gorge down fatty foods for isotretinoin to work. peanut butter is enough. she told me that i can go back to drinking my non-fat milk when i told her that i've switched to whole milk because i thought i needed the fatty content for the meds. i'm rather skinny -- ideal weight for my height is 140lbs and i'm around 125lbs only, so i didn't think that whole milk and non-fat milk would make much of a difference. i just normally drink non-fat bcoz i feel like i'm clogging my arteries with ordinary milk.

another thing. i have these tiny red bumps on my lips -- looks like something with clear liquid in it. they are so gross. i have them since 3 or 4days ago but a whole lot fewer now. they hurt when my lips are dry, meaning no water touching it or petroleum jelly applied to it. i asked my derm and was told that it's a kind of herpes -- as there are different types of herpes. i was horrified when i found out coz herpes just don't leave a good impression on anyone. my derm told me however that it's just a viral infection and should go away, she didn't even have to give me meds for it. she also said that if the body is too dry, there's a higher tendency for this infection showing up.

as for the rest of my face, it's still dry. my nose started to peel. i have started to use moisturizer now. lips still painfully dry.

..dec 20..day 27..


DAY 22

go a big zit last night -- it appeared out of nowhere and immediately grew to a size of a small peanut -- and i dabbed on benzoyl 10% and it's less than half the size now. it's great but that 10% thing really stings like a bee.

i'm not totally clear yet, but i love the non-oiliness of my skin, that for me is already a huge improvement :shifty:, knock on wood, i hope my skin continues to be better. the blackheads on my nose are worse than usual though, it's quite annoying. when i was greasy girl, i used to just press my finger on my nose and the blackhead comes out [yeah i know it's gross :ninja:] but now that my skin is drier, they don't come out as easily. and now, i often peel my skin instead of getting a blackhead, ouch ;)

starting yesterday (day 21), my muscles/joints started to feel like i'm a 60yr old lady, bad thing.. and when i woke up this morning, my whole body was sore :wall:, not good. i think i just need to move and flex my muscles more?

..dec 15..day 22..


DAY 20

so, it's been 10days.. and yes, there are changes.. my face is A WHOLE LOT LESS oily, i can probably say that i now have a "normal skin" as opposed to being "very oily". i went 8hours yesterday (day 19 for me) without using face powder again or dabbing my face with tissue or blotting paper. on hour number 8, my skin still looked sooo great, it didn't look dry nor oily although it had a tiny bit of moisture when i touched it. unbelievable. i love it! my lips have charred bad though. since i was out the whole time yesterday, i wasn't able to put on the lip therapy much. hour #8 came and i found an abnormally dry (for me anyway) lips with some bloody thing starting to seep out. gross. but overall, still very happy with this. ;)

..dec 13..day 20..


DAY ten

i just had a zit inside my nose, yes inside.. annoying.. i have some new zits but they are STILL relatively small and pretty insignificant, i just hope they won't grow huge though ;)

..dec 03..day 10..


DAY eight

got 2 new zits hmmmmmmmmm... probably because of the seafoods i ate? but the iso is supposed to help! anyways, i just realized that i've been drinking non-fat milk, i guess i'd better switch to fatty milk ;)

..dec 01..day 8..


just wondering..

i'm probably the oldest one here coz i notice that most posters are in their teens or at most, 20-21yrs old? i might be wrong. i'm also wondering that i'm probably living in the most backward part of the country coz iso was only presented to me only when i was about 24yo, as the risky alternative to hormone pills.. that or my derm was extra careful, which i'm very thankful for. i never knew that it could be prescribed to anybody as young as the people here! i was told about it before but it wasn't really considered as one that i should resort to just yet.

i've had acne since i was 12, most of which were on the forehead. then it spread out to the rest of my face when i was probably around 15 and up. during the hellish stage, i think i went to about 7 or more dermatologists, and everyone gave me different kinds of topical medications, so needless to say, i have tried all topical meds (or maybe, just almost all). then somehow, i went back to one of the derms i went to before and stuck with her since. still, i had a hellish face.

when i reached around 24yo, i was finally allowed to take the hormone pill [long story as to "why only now"]. best decision for my face, i saw results by around 3rd or 4th month. i'd only get 2 or 3 bumps at most, each month during the few days that i need to stop taking it, it was heaven for me. i did it for like a year and a half and i stopped == too complicated a reason. after about 3 or 4 months though, my zits started coming back. although not as bad as when i was in my teens, they were still pretty bad.

so, i tried out a chinese doc (TCM) and did "cleansing of the body toxins", had to purchase a rather expensive med and i was banned from eating anything except for fruits and veggies for one whole week. i almost died by the 7th day ;) after the meds, i still tried to continue on, but with a little meat/dairy/seafoods here and there.. it pretty much worked for me, and when i had new zits, i just stopped eating anything completely, except for fruits and veggies and they'd go away after about 2-3days [mine usually takes about a week or sometimes more, to disappear]. but even if they stay 2-3days only, there's constantly a new one popping out and honestly, i couldn't continue not eating anything anymore. and btw, my zits get worse when i eat seafoods -- even the healthiest and cleanest of fishes..

so finally, more than a year after the TCM experience, i have decided to do the iso.. it took quite long to convince people around me because of the side-effects, but in the end, i got what i wanted and i do hope it's worth it.

state of my face just before iso:

pretty much manageable acne except for several days a month when huge ones pop out of nowehere in groups -- i'm so sick of these and sick of having them treated by injection.


DAY seven

i'm using acnetrex 10mg, at 3doses (30mg) per day. today is my 7th day..

since i started, i had a mild headache on day 3 and my head throbbed the whole day on day 4, the pain was manageable though. but the throbbing turned into a severe case of headache by the dawn of day 5 so i popped in excedrin and the pain went away after about 45minutes. started to feel woozy the whole afternoon of day 5 and my head felt sooo heavy. my lips officially started to get real dry by evening of day 5.


so far, no new zits have popped out and my face is a bit drier than usual, what a great feeling :wall: , i normally have a VERY oily face, not just on the tzone. i don't know if it's psychological but there seems to be mild headache the whole day yesterday and today ;) .

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