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Journey Back to Clear Skin and my old self!

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Rach1219

Day 42. Hey All. It's been a while. I haven't had a huge pimple in about 2.5 weeks. I have still been getting very small tiny whiteheads or red dots that seem to pop up, look large for about 24 hours, and then they sort of dry off. I still have some flesh colored bumps along my forehead and upper cheeks. My pores are still rather large. In fact, the only thing that's freaking me out is my pores. I have what look like tiny pricks in my skin (not complete ice pick scars, but almost tiny pricks from a needle that look like holes). Some are very visible and they are concentrated on my cheek area. It really bothers me, and I feel like my skin will never look the way it did before. I never had acne on my cheeks or my forehead EVER until 4 months ago (only on my chin and area in between my nose and mouth), so to see my cheeks look like these holes will never close or go away depresses me significantly.

My nose and cheek area exploded in blackheads around day 15 and A LOT of them went away, especially on my nose, by Day 35 or so. Now there seem to be more again, and the ones in my cheeks WILL NOT BUDGE. It's super annoying. I'm actually still on 40 mg this month. I also have about 12-15 clogged pores on my chin still. You can't really see them unless you're inspecting my skin, but clogged pores always lead to breakouts so I want them gone! Again, about 4-5 of them are deep blackheads that will not go. I still have post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (i.e. red marks from past breakouts). Some are mild, but I have 5-6 from cysts that are still quite dark. Those I know will go away. It's these DAMN HOLES in my face that I'm freaking about.

The indent from the cortisone shot has started to fill in, although I think there may be hypopigmentation around it (white circle) and I definitely think there is a small scar in the red mark. I do have shallow scarring on my forehead too. In general, I'm just pissed that I have scarred because I don't have severe acne. I had good skin until the age of 22, and now this. I'm pissed at acne! I wish it would never have happened to me.

Anyway, dryness is very minimal. Body is not dry at all. Face is only dry where I spot treat a pimple, and I still use a salicylic acid face wash twice a day, which is something I never thought could happen on Accutane. My lips are the only thing that is dry. A new layer peels every week or so. Some days they are fine, some days I want to rip them off because they are so peely. My face is also kind of itchy at times. I think that this happens when I spot treat. Otherwise, things are okay. I finally feel OKAY, instead of mortified, about being without make up in front of the guy I'm dating. I'm still embarrassed in front of other people because of the discoloration of my skin, and all these holes in my face. I wear make up at the gym still, even though that's a no no but I can't help it.

Good luck on the 'tane journey everyone!

Rach1219

Day 15

Day 15...acne is still there! Ha, I wasn't expecting a miracle or anything. So about 5 days after my derm attacked my chin with extracting tools, most of the scabs and little whiteheads had fallen off and my chin smoothed significantly. I got a HUGE cyst by my hairline on my left side, and it left a nasty red mark but thank god it was by my hairline so its not so visible. I have two actives brewing on my forehead, one right above my right eyebrow and one smack in the middle of my eyebrows, cute right? I also have an enormous white head on the right side of my lower lip that has now scabbed over but is still very large. I think there's still gunk in there (eww gross). The pores on my nose and cheeks are still HUGE and seem to be filled with a million little blackheads. Red marks are still there of course. Honestly, some of the bad ones left from cysts will take at least 3 months just to moderately fade, I know that much.

I saw my derm again today, because I think I got an indent from a cortisone shot and she wanted me to come in and get it injected with saline to try and plump it back up. She also attacked my chin again so there's about 5 scabby marks now. They'll heal in a couple days.

I have NO dryness at all, no symptoms, nada. I have moderately dry lips, but not any drier than I have gotten before accutane on a cold winter day in the northeast. My derm says we will probably bump my dosage to 60 mg next month, which I was happy to hear. With 1 month at 40 mg and 5 months at 60 mg I will definitely hit well above my cumulative dose (I'm 5'6" and 135 pounds).

I'm going to actually try and hold up on updating until Day 30. Again, like I said before I'm pretty obsessed with acne and this website, which is just not good for me. I really need to just stay away and stop thinking about my skin so much.

See you at the end of month 1!

Rach1219

Day 10

I made it through my first blister pack, yay! Only 17 more packs to go, haha. Anyway, nothing too new to report. I showed the bumps on my chin that had spread very significantly (to about 20-30!) to my dermatologist on Monday. She took two of her extracting tools and literally just attacked my chin. She was able to get a bunch of the whitehead stuff out, but I have about 10-15 little scabby dots on my chin from where she pricked my skin. Two or three of the ones she extracted have turned into smaller white heads. But I think I would rather have a few little scabby dots and whiteheads that will last a week hopefully, then some huge big whiteheads that will give me some big nasty red marks. I think by early next week all those scabs will have fallen off and cleared up (keeping my fingers crossed for that one). From far away, it doesn't look really bad but up close you can see all the scabs and little red dots, it's pretty gross. Make up doesn't really cover scabs that well I've learned!

So far no new breakouts on my cheeks or forehead, although I still do have some bumps under my skin on my forehead that could come up and two smaller actives that might be forming on my cheeks that I am hoping just go away! No change in blackheads on my nose and cheeks.

I still have no symptoms. No dry skin, no dry lips, NOTHING.

Keeping my fingers crossed that I don't get a horrible initial breakout. I really just want to skip that part, but then again so does everyone. I feel like some people do actually get initial breakouts in their second month too (like between weeks 4-6), so I honestly won't feel comfortable about bypassing an initial breakout until week 8!

I definitely know I won't be happy with my skin at least until month 3 because I loathe old marks, and I have a bunch of those and they need to fade. I know they usually take at least 6 months to completely go away, especially the bad purple/dark red marks! I will probably complain about them in every post until they're gone, haha.

Oh yea, and my goal of not visiting acne.org for 5 days...yea, that did not work. I am still going to try and post every 5 days, and limit my time but I just know until all signs of acne go away I think I'll still be pretty obsessed with acne.org.

Rach1219

Day 5

Today is Day 5. Absolutely ZERO side effects. I have still been using my Neutrogena acne face wash, and I think I will continue to use it until the end of Week 1 or Week 2 (until I see any excessive dryness). I moisturize my whole body at least once, sometimes twice a day. I have always been obsessed with Vaseline, so that has not been a problem to just coat that on (or Aquaphor) every hour or so. I also moisturize my face two times a day, after I cleanse, with Neutrogena oil free moisturizer, although once that runs over I think I'm going to try the CeraVe AM and PM Moisturizers which I bought before Accutane.

I think the bumps underneath my chin are definitely spreading. I have seen more bumps spreading, but no huge actives yet. I also picked at an active coming up, and it kind of bled (I plopped some aquaphor on there to help it heal). I HAVE TO STOP PICKING! Still about 7-10 bad red marks spread out around my face (and by red, I mean 3-4 are dark purple from cysts which sucks!). I am really really really nervous about the IB. I just kind of want all the under the skin bumps to just disappear without coming up! I don't think I'll be so lucky.

I'm seeing my derm on Monday. She wants to see me pretty often, because I have struggled with depression (completely as a result of my recent outbreak of acne!). So far, I'm fine though, and I don't believe this medication contributes to depression at all.

I am going to try and update every 5 days. I think I'm going to try and start limiting my time on acne.org, because I am just too obsessed with acne. I need to stop thinking about it so much and just live my life. So tonight will be my last visit to acne.org for at least 5 days. In 5 days, I will be done with my first blister pack too, so hopefully I won't have had a huge eruption of acne either!

See you soon!

Rach1219

Day 1 of Accutane!

TODAY IS DAY 1. AHH!

To be honest, I am actually really nervous. I am on 40 mg of Amnesteem, and should be on that dose for 6 months, according to my dermatologist. This medication is so serious, but I am so fed up with acne that I just want it done. I think I'm more nervous about the initial breakout than anything else. I get really bad post inflammatory hyper pigmentation (i.e. bad red, purple, brown marks!!!), and every large pimple I get pretty much leaves a mark that takes 3-6 months to fade. It's so annoying, so I'm praying I'll be one of those people who magically skips their IB and gets clear in a month or something!

I actually don't have any active acne right now. That's how my skin has been going the past 3-4 months though. I'll break out super badly, especially during my period, with 1-2 cysts, small whiteheads, and a nodule or two. Then I'll have 1-2 weeks of recovery where I still get small pimples or nothing huge. But then it's back to the same cycle.

Current status of my face is that my right cheek has three bad post- acne marks from cysts. In one, it's flat but there's actually still gunk in there or something, and my derm said that Accutane should take care of it. It's high on my right cheekbone, so at least it's not smack in the middle of my face. Above my lip, I break out often which is annoying especially for kissing purposes! I have about 4-5 smaller red marks fading up there and a ton of clogged pores. My chin has a lot of under the skin bumps and white heads that I have a feeling are going to just come all out in the next month with this med. My left cheek has 2-3 red marks fading from cysts this past month, and a couple smaller red marks from recent whiteheads. The cheek parts right next to my nose have a lot of blackheads and so does my nose (I really don't care about blackheads that much, but they'll probably be gone which is nice). My forehead has one really big red mark smack in the middle that is so annoying and about 4-5 other smaller fading ones.

Right now, my face is just about 5-10 really bright annoying red marks! I hate them, and the worst part is knowing it will be a long time before they go.

I'll update more as I get more side effects, because I just took the first pill an hour ago so obviously, no side effects yet! Hopefully, all will go smoothly.

Rach1219

My official start date for Accutane is now February 6. I was supposed to be starting this Saturday, so to me this is really disappointing because I had so much hope that my struggle with acne would be over sooner than later, but now I have 17 days to wait AGAIN. I've been bumped up to 200 mg of Doxy for the remaining 2.5 weeks. I am going off Finacea in the morning, because it makes my skin so so so itchy. I have been using Glytone Face Wash for 2 months now, but I am switching back to Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash because my skin has just gotten worse over the last two months. Even though I know its probably not the face wash, mentally it will make me feel better to go back to my tried and true product with Neutrogena. My Tretin X (.025%) is really running out, so tonight I am going to start using the samples of Veltin that my derm gave me. Veltin is essentially the generic of Ziana, which is 1.2% clindamycin phosphate/tretinion .025%. Maybe in 17 days before Accutane I'll see some progress. Doubtful, because my period is coming in two weeks and the week before my period the last three months I have gotten at least one cyst and lots of other pimples.

Honeslty, even after Accutane, I don't think I'll ever stop using Tretinion. That made me skin freakin' beautiful for a good 2 years, and very clear for 4 years. And when I mean beautiful for 2 years, I mean flawless, porcelain skin. I had a woman stop me, who I'd never met before, and say "Oh my god, I just had to tell you, you have the most beautiful skin I have ever seen." That is why my struggle with acne now is so annoying, because I struggled with it already and felt like I conquered it. I felt like I had won the battle over acne, and now at 22, I am back fighting this battle again. So annoying. I'll post if I see any progress over the next 17 days, if not, I'll start posting once I start Accutane!

Rach1219

SETBACK!

So, let's just say, I am beyond pissed right now. I finally got a letter from IPledge, I go online to log in, and its say's that my first day on Accutane is going to be February 6. I called my derm, and she wasn't in the office today but the nurse said that they did not register me for Accutane until January 7, when I actually took the pregnancy test and did all that crap on Dec. 22. I was supposed to start this Saturday, and now I may have another THREE WEEKS to wait!

I am so frustrated, because I feel like I have been waiting soooo long to start. I had a mini-meltdown, because I just want to get my clear skin back and I want to get the initial breakout over and done with already. Now, I get to enjoy another three weeks of acne off Accutane.

I'm hoping when I see my dermatologist on Wednesday, she can pull off some miracle with Ipledge and let me start sooner. Highly doubtful. Oh well, still keeping my fingers crossed!

Rach1219

7 Days Until Accutane!

So I am a week away from Accutane. Right now, my skin does not look like I need Accutane. I had a HORRIBLE breakout during my period two weeks ago. I mean, 2 huge nodules smack in the middle of my forehead. One pimple above my lip, 2 white heads on my chin, and the most painful cyst on my cheek. I have never had a pimple be that painful before! Anyway, my skin has miraculously been calm since that breakout. My forehead has cleared up nicely, although the large cyst on my cheek is still not healing, so I think I'm going to get it injected with a cortisone shot again when I see my derm on Wednesday.

Although I haven't had a huge breakout, I still feel bumps spreading around my face, particularly on my cheeks where I NEVER broke out up until three months ago. These bumps are just breeding grounds for huge cysts that will occur during my period, I know it. I've done a really good job of not looking in the mirror so much and analyzing my face, because that does not help the destressing process at all. I'm still 100% sure about my decision to go on Accutane even though right now my skin isn't horrible.

Girls, I am not somebody who wears a lot of make up. I always prided myself on the fact that I was a girl who looked the same with or without make up, because up until three months ago, I had good skin. I only would wear light mineral foundation powder, some concealer under the eyes and on the occasional red mark or blemish on my face, and then some mascara or blush at night.

I finally caved to the power that is SEPHORA, and let me tell you, I dropped 125 dollars on make up. I hate spending money, let alone on make up, but my friend who also went on Acctuane, said you might as well fake it until you make it and just wear make up to make you feel more confident! And it has really helped. It covers all my red marks, and just makes every day a little easier to get through knowing people aren't staring at my acne.

I bought Laura Mercier's Silk Creme Foundation (Amazing stuff!), Make Up Forever Foundation Primer (a green one that covers up redness), Make Up Forever Concealer for under my eyes and active acne, and a a stipling brush to apply the foundation. Yes this cost 125 bucks! But it was sooo worth it. I feel so much better about myself now, and it will hopefully get me through the first month or two on Accutane until I really clear up.

I am going to be on 40 mg for 6 months, so I'll update once I start on the meds!

Rach1219

I initially started an Accutane log, but I feel like a blog will be easier for me to maintain and keep up with. I am 18 days away from Accutane, and I have never been more excited for anything in my whole life. I believe I suffer from acne dysmoprhia. I look in the mirror and think I have severe acne...the reality is, I am nowhere close to severe acne but what my face looks like now is severe to me. When I treated my mild acne with Evoclin, Tretinoin, and Solodyn four years ago, I have lived with mostly clear skin for four years.

I believe that a prednisone medication that I took for mono flared up my acne, and now I have been suffering from cysts and nodules. I am horrified when I look in the mirror. Accutane is my way back to my old self. I have let acne ruin the last three months of my life, and I feel ridiculous that my acne has caused this much strife in my life but it has. I am terrified of the initial breakout, but my dermatologist basically told me I will see major improvements in one month on accutane because my skin is not bad at all. For some reason, I am not as positive as she is. I think it will probably take 3 months before I am happy with my skin, because of all these damn red marks on my face from past pimples.

Right now my goals are to not look in the mirror as much because I cry every time I see myself. I need to stop touching my face so much, because I am always trying to discover where my next huge cyst is going to come up so I can get it injected with a cortisone shot. And I need to destress. I have developed chronic stress and anxiety as a result of the return of my acne, and I fully believe that this stress is only contributing to an increase in my ance. I also need to start exercising. I used to be an exercise freak, now I can barely motivate myself to get out of bed because of how upset I am about my face.

I swear, I'm a normal person really, but acne has caused me to develop depressive tendencies that I never thought would happen to me. Alas, it has, and I hope Accutane can give me my life back.

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