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Will I get worse? Too good to be true.

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tiffy_macd

1st course of tane done

Ugh....I went to my derm today thinking that MAAAAYYBEEE I'd be finished accutane for awhile or even get a lowered dose, but no, my hopes were dashed.

I was given another prescription for 2 more months.

Oh, and worst of all, my white blood cell count is still "funny". Which means, he wants me to see my family doctor to get more tests done to determine why its like that. I asked what it could possibly mean and he said, "Well....it could point to Leukemia, but then again, you're not sick right now."

Fun shit to hear eh? Especially when leukemia and cancer in general runs in my family.

So now I have to schedule another visit with a doctor, get poked and prodded even more besides my regular derm blood work and then sit around waiting to see if I have some other fucking disease that I have to deal with.

I'm still on 80mg. My next appt. is April 25th. My bloodwork is scheduled a month from now.

Oh, and I got my monthly "friend" a hell of a lot earlier than expected. I'm not supposed to get it til around March 17th - so now my Depo shot is going to get fucked up. You're only supposed to take it within a week of being on/ending your period - which is stupid. But I guess thats what I gotta do to prevent a 'tane baby. This actually also explains the crop of new zits that have come up - I've gotten 4 within a week.

My hormone tests came out normal....so that doesn't really explain my hair loss (started before the 'tane). I guess its just genetics or something.

I'm not in a very good mood right now.

I really just want it to be over.

tiffy_macd

Reeeeally bad insomnia

Is it just me or has someone else out there been experiencing insomnia or a mild case of it?

It seems like everytime I try to go to bed, I take forever to fall asleep, and when i do eventually fall asleep, I'm not completely "under" and never really reach a REM-like sleep. I seem to be sub-consciously aware of things going on around me - like noises from my neighbours upstairs or my cat meowing.

I wake up after maybe 1½-2 hours of real sleep, then wake periodically no less than 5 times throughout a 7-8 hour sleep period. My last hour of sleep (before my alarm goes off) is usually greeted with me just lying there with my eyes closed relaxing until it does go off. And then when that happens, I've reached such a comfortable level of rest that I don't even want to get up. I have to hit my snooze button atleast once or twice before I haul my ass outta bed.

My eyes are also very blurry - not when I get up, but all throughout the day.

I feel like I'm old and pregnant - the aches, pains, and sore back have really done its toll...

But HURRAH!

I'm done 'tane in 6 days....thats how many doses I have left (would've been 2 days if I hadn't screwed them up and forgot or neglected to take them).

My appt. with my derm is at 9:30am Monday morning....so excited.

I want to bring him my before and after photos....it'll be sweet!

tiffy_macd

I've got a cold!!!

Yuck...I feel like crap.

And I hate having to ASK permission just to take over the counter cold medicine. It said on the box that it can cause liver complications (Benylin) and since Accutane does the same, I was like, Greeaaaaaaaat, now I have to call the pharmacy to ask if I can take it.

BAH!

I was told to try my best not to get sick because my immune system is already weak from the tane, but when you're a cashier and have to deal with dirty money and germy people, then its inevitable.

I'm pretty sure I got it from touching my mouth to put on lip balm.

That's another thing too....my lips are peeling like a snakes skin! Its so nasty. These big huge peelings come off or just like, hang there. My lips feel horrible...they sting too.

I'm done tane in a week! Yay! My first course is almost finished, then I go for an appt. on Monday to discuss what will be done in terms of dosage or if I stop it completely.

It'll be nice to get my life back. I hate feeling so old and useless from the side effects.

tiffy_macd

Picking myself apart

Seems as though once I get one negative thing out of my life (physically) then I start on a new one.

I totally beat myself up over my acne my entire life. I thought it was gross, extremely embarassing, an inconvenience, a nuisance, and downright invasive. It took over my entire being. I hated looking in the mirror. I hated wasting money having to buy all these products that never seemed to work. I hated feeling that I could never, ever leave the house without make-up on. I was incredibly critical of myself, even now.

I may be acne-free physically, but I'm not acne-free emotionally, psychologically, or mentally. I still think of myself as the girl with the disgusting acne-filled face.

Now I find myself picking apart other things.

I search my skin for so long staring at scars, staring at any imperfection that might erupt and ruin my new face. I look at my features....is my nose too big? Am I getting bags under my eyes? Do they have dark circles under them? Is my face too round?

I find I'm starting to focus on everything else I don't like about myself and its driving me crazy with self-consciousness.

The long-term affects really screw with your head later on.

Its like nothing is ever good enough.

tiffy_macd

Does anyone actually know of a person with severe acne who took Accutane and never suffered from acne again?

I keep reading stories and blogs from people who are on their second of third course after YEARS and then having the acne come back even worse than the initial course.

That really scares me.

I know after reading everything that Accutane isn't a cure, even though my dermatologist made it out to sound that way.

I've come such a long way and to think that my skin could end up being worse than it was is horrible. The way I see it, I WAS at my worst before I started. My skin has never looked that bad in my life. Anything worse ....is just unbearable to think about.

I mean, I'm taking this STRONG medication that effs with my body so bad....and I STILL get whiteheads. If those whiteheads can come through even though I'm on a high dose, what happens if my dose is lowered or if I go off of it completely?

I don't even want to think about it. Acne had ruined so much of my life so far already.

tiffy_macd

Aside from the heel pain I've been suffering immensely from recently, I've also been having strange dreams and crazy nightmares. Usually, I don't remember my dreams, but these dreams are so vivid, I wake up and tell my boyfriend about them in amazing detail....scene by scene.

I've also woken up screaming my head off - something I have rarely ever done (and only after going through an extremely horrible personal life issue, ie. a family death)....and crying no less.....only to be comforted by him....and still be extremely upset, unable to completely be aware that it was a dream. I take longer to "snap out of it" when I wake up.

I've also had some pretty bad fatigue lately....and I get plenty of rest, but then again, its not undisturbed sleep. I usually wake up after 5-6 hours and then fall back into a sort of sub-conscious for another 3 hours - lifting my head to check the clock pretty much every ½ hour til I have to get up. Its horrible. And even then, I'm groggy for atleast 3 hours after I get up and then tired again before my shift is even over at work. And I get anywhere from 7-9 hours of rest everyday.

My eyes are becoming blurred. Almost feels as if there's something in my eye - like some sleepiness-crud (aka eye boogies), but it happens even after I've been up for awhile. I read that Accutane can mess with your night vision and I work nights, but hell, can florescent light cause it too? Anyways...more fun stuff happening to my body.

I've been skipping doses recently too....not on purpose, but because I frikken forget to take my Clarus during my lunch break.....or because I don't have water to take it with. Its happened atleast 4 times now. I don't know if my skin is reacting to it yet. I feel flushed all the time and I look like I'm constantly red. The scars are slowly fading, especially on my neck.

The two plugged pores on my cheek are still there....stubborn effin things. I don't want to squeeze anymore. I'm still suffering the consequences from the first time.

Everyone keeps saying I look great now. I got a lot of compliments this past weekend....almost sad in a way. One friend in particular was like, "Omg, your skin looks SO much better than it did before....we were talking about how much better you look".

Ouch.

Oh, and I had to take out two more piercings. Bastards wouldn't heal.

More photos following shortly.

tiffy_macd

I never get Fridays off...I work all the frikken time...so I took lastnight off for my birthday "party". My birthday isn't for a few days and on a Sunday no less, so I can't exactly party then.

Bah, anyways...

Went out lastnight and decided to get completely shit-faced - classy! I don't even drink all that much to begin with....before lastnight I can't even remember the last time I had a drink! I skipped my Clarus...didn't need the extra crap destroying my liver along with the alcohol. Jeez...I drank quite a bit too. Horrible. My best friend is such a bad influence! hahaahaha

I had a bottle of wine before we left for the club, then once there, all hell broke loose. My friends were everywhere - buying me drinks left and right. I had 3 vodka/cran/gingerales, 4 screwdrivers, 2 shots of tequila, a TRIPLE vodka/redbull, and an apple Smirnoff cooler...in the span of 2 hours.

I haven't been that smashed since....god knows when.

I went to bed at 5:30am and got up at 7:30am...still drunk. I took a shower, drank my weight in water, had 2 tylenol, and a bottle of flat gingerale....I also got post-drinking munchies at 3am and had a cheeseburger, 2 bites of a mars bar, a powerade, and some all dressed chips. I feel like a piece of great big poo right now...

I'm still fuzzy....and I work in 9½ hours....ugh.

Now...I'm waiting on a few giant zits to pop up on my face within the next few days for what I just put my body through....I mean, its only fair right?

tiffy_macd

My damn feet are soooo sore! It's horrible....mostly the heels. They ache so bad. I was never like this before the Accutane and now its getting to be pretty painful and unbearable. I had to buy two sets of insoles for each shoe to try and cushion them a bit more. Yuck. I get so stiff if I sit for too long - lastnight was the worst I've ever been. I'll blame it on the fact that I forgot to take my dose a few days ago...so the hours between each dose were screwed up for a few days - resulting in more Accutane being in my body than normal.

My back was sore too - haven't had too many back aches, but lastnight I just wanted to hunch over all the time - straightening up was difficult. I had to take some Robax Platinum for that.

I also talked to my pharmacist about taking MSM for the joint pain and soreness, but he doesn't think its a good idea to put more crap into my body - basically just Tylenol and Ibuprofen on alternating days to try and alleviate my pain.

I really hate this stuff, but love it at the same time because my face has never been clearer. Hopefully when my follow-up visit with my derm comes up, I can switch my dose to a lower one - even skip a few days inbetween if its possible. 80mg is way too much I think.....40mg did wonders in the first 2 weeks, so I don't think I need to be on 80mg all the time....this is getting pretty ridiculous.

My immune system is also retarded. I've lost 3 piercings so far because they get infected easily and refuse to heal - hence the white blood cell count that they do during the course of Accutane - it weakens it. Number 4 is on the way....its so gross and it upsets me quite a bit because I've invested so much time, energy and money in them. What a waste.

I also had some skin abrasions on my cheek that stung pretty bad and have scabbed up - I basically noticed some blackheads and tried to squeeze - but I guess since my skin is so sensitive to peeling right now - it just broke the surface instead. So now I have this weird-ass scab beside my nose on my cheek.

I've been getting dry again recently - so my make-up does this weird thing where it separates.....I dunno. I'm not oily anymore (used to do it a lot when I was oily), but then again, I sweat while I'm working sometimes. Could be the weather too - it changes constantly from freezing to just slightly cold or wet - even humid....humid in the winter....ugh.

I've gotten 4 tiny whiteheads since my skin has cleared....I'll blame that partially on my diet...and the fact that I really need to be more persistent when it comes to washing my face properly before I pass out for bed.

I just really hurt and ache and it sucks....

tiffy_macd

This week has been pretty crazy. Its been a bit over a month now since I started Accutane and I've gotten the typical side effects - sore bones and joints, scaly skin at the beginning, etc. Nothing too serious.

Now, especially this past week, I've been extremely paranoid. I've had some anxiety - thinking someone is going to die. Its so weird and scary. My patience has been wearing thin a lot too - I work in customer service and have really had to bite my tongue recently when it comes to rude and nasty customers. I can't let stuff slide off my back anymore.

Lastnight was particularly bad - I almost punched out a guy that produced a receipt for a bogus cash refund (he picked it up outside on the ground - then came in the store and stole the product to get a refund).....of course I couldn't prove this, but it was obvious (crumpled receipt, couldn't tell me what else he bought with it - womens deoderant and sleeping pills - even though it was a few hours previous, empty space on the shelf where it was supposed to be). I gave him a hard time and had to talk to my supervisor 3 times before he told me to just do the refund. I was so pissed. So I did and the douchebag insults me after I gave him the money. I swear, I almost leapt over the counter and clocked him.

My agressiveness and feelings of physical violence are slowly starting to escalate. My boyfriend jokingly hugged me with a package of cheese that was really cold - touched my bare back with it and my first instinct was to smack him - which otherwise would've been just laughed off if it wasn't for the medication.

My feet are hurting so bad - my heels in particular. I feel like I'm 80 years old when I get out of bed. And I'm not sleeping well anymore either. I wake up atleast 4+ times before my alarm goes off. I usually have to smack it 1-3 times before I get up and even then I force myself.

My skin has been getting really dry again too. I don't have anymore blackheads on my nose and my cheeks are clearing up, but I still have a few on my forehead. I've got dry skin and dry patches everywhere - my arms and hands. My jawline and neck look and feel awesome....so smooth. I got two small whiteheads recently though - I was so mad. They were both by my mouth - one above and one to the side. So frustrating. For some reason I expected Accutane to rid me entirely of any sort of blemish pretty much eternally. Sad.

Anyone know if this stuff lowers your immune system? Because of piercings have been taking a beating lately - my bridge (in between my eyes) won't heal - its infected. And I've got a small keloid beside my nose stud that won't go away. I've already had to retire two piercings since I started. Ugh....so expensive....all down the drain.

I really hope this side effects don't get any worse. I hate being mad and feeling frustrated easily.

tiffy_macd

Hi...found this site through another online forum and through another member.

Well...my name is Tiffany - I live in Toronto (Scarborough technically), Ontario Canada.

I've been an acne sufferer since I was atleast 11. I'm 21 now. Finally got fed up with this crap on my face - it started to take over my life.

I broke out in grade 5. Weird....I was the first one to ever get acne, although it looked more like a rash than anything else and was on my forehead. My parents figured it was because I had bangs - bangs + greasy hair + no air to my skin = zits? That was the guesstimation I suppose. I started pinning back my hair - didn't work. Slowly it spread down to my temples and then I got the typical "smattering" of small red pimples on my cheeks. We all thought it was just hormones and puberty - that it would go away. Only it didn't.

My mother bought me every single thing you could think of when it came to acne products. I had clearsil and those stupid Oxy pads with alcohol. I tried Spectro gel and scrubs with exfoliants. I even went as far as to sleep with an Oxy pad taped to my face to see what would happen. I ended up with a huge purple bruise (I had popped some zits beforehand and they were now suffering the wrath of the alcohol and salicylic acid). I don't recommend EVER doing that!!!

I went on the oral contraceptive, Ortho-Tricyclen when I was 15. I was told that birth control pills can work wonders for your skin. Only I gained 15 pounds within the first 3 months of being on it, so that sucked. I quit taking them.

I pretty much ended up just living with the acne all through elementary school and part of highschool. I went on a trip right after I graduated and bought some of that Vichy Normaderm stuff that I had seen on a commercial. Baaaaad idea. It had perfume in it (fragrance) and I broke out like nothing else. It was horrible. One of my teachers actually stopped me on the street after she saw me and asked what happened. Ugh.

I then decided to give ProActiv a go after another infomercial. I bought the typical 3 step package - Toner, cream wash, and mask. I also bought the moisturizer. It worked, but I flaked sooooo badly. The moisturizer did nothing and I felt like a snake shedding its skin. I found that paying $100 every 2-3 months for the stuff wasn't worth it, plus my skin was clear, so I stopped. My acne then came back with a vengeance. I pretty much gave up after that - besides my step-mother buying me another ProActiv package for Christmas more than a year later. I didn't even use it all.

Moving to Toronto for school (fashion school no less), I became a lot more self-conscious. My skin was clearer, but it seemed to slowly get worse and I really don't know why. I blame it on stress and the pollution, but I seriously don't know why my skin hated me so much.

Stress was a major factor I think. I had a lot of personal problems this past year and its been rough. I was getting desperate. I dreampt of going out with no make up on - but I felt it was impossible because I looked like a monster.

In March 2007 I finally got the balls to book an appointment with a dermatologist. I went in for a consultation right away. He took one look at me and said, "Accutane....I don't know why you didn't go on it sooner". And truth be told, I wasn't sure if it would be covered financially by my status card (I'm Native, so my band covers it). I found out it would be covered entirely. I didn't have to pay a single cent for treatment. I was so excited. I walked out of his office with the Accutane folder feeling so much better. I just needed to have a few blood tests and be done with it. Acne would soon be history.

I never really did get around to having the blood tests done. And then I lost my job in June because we lost our funding. It sucked. I was stressed again and had to find another job, so Accutane wasn't a huge priority at the moment - although my acne is what played a part (I feel) in where I got a job. I felt like it held me back.

Finally, in September I had a particularly bad month and decided, this is it, no more screwing around, I'm getting the tests done. I went...but totally forgot that I had to fast beforehand. I was so mad at myself. I did it finally that night and went back the next day. I called my derm's office in November (after they finally got the results) and they booked me an appointment for Dec 20th, 07.

I was told my tests were a bit "funny" - meaning I had a low white blood cell count - but that he'd put me on it anyways (after constant gruelling about not getting pregnant and using two forms of birth control). I felt so good...I filled the prescription right away and started it on Dec 22nd. I was told to take one 40mg dose for 2 weeks, then after 2 weeks, up it to 80mg daily.

My face dried out so much and I started experiencing side effects right away (sore bones, joints, aches, pains, etc). My lips were so chapped and the insides of my nostrils hurt so much too because they were dry and cracked. I peeled quite a bit and had to buy some expensive moisturizer from our Beauty Boutique (I work at Shopper's Drug Mart). It worked so well (its called (Clean-Ac by Avene or Trixera by Avene- both were great).

I never really had a point where I got worse - maybe the initial few days, but nothing afterwards. Its all been healing up nicely and I rarely get any new zits. I had a lot of white heads before - especially around my mouth and below my nose on that really sensitive skin. My chin seemed to flair up at times too - but its now nice and clear. The most significant improvement I've seen is my forehead. It never really was problematic (since I was younger anyways), but its so smooth and bump free.

My neck, jawline, hairline and behind my ears took a beating. I've never had acne that sore, pussy, and swollen. It hurt so much. But even that is slowly clearing and healing. Its only been a bit over 4 weeks since I started and its pretty unbelieveable. I haven't been this clear since I was a kid!!!

The only real problem I have is the hyperpigmentation from scarring, some minor divets in my cheeks and temples (but even those are less bumpy looking now), and my neck. I noticed that I've got this sunburned look now too - not sure if thats from the treatment or from the years of damage to my skin over time.

Time will only tell.

tiffy_macd

First Week (40mg) dose daily:

Joint and muscle pain seems to be staying. Dry chapped lips that crack and peel. Skin is flaking like crazy and moisturizer doesn’t seem to be helping much. Zits are completely drying out and peeling off my face. I wake up with less white heads and sebum production is slowly diminishing at night (when I wake up, normally my skin is super oily). At the end of the week, started waking up to bleeding gums.

Second Week (80 mg) dose daily:

Joint and muscle pain stays. Now I have weird shooting pains in my muscles – specifically, where my thigh meets my buttocks. Stiffness after sleeping has become more apparent and the chest pain where my sternum is has become more apparent as well. If I lie on my stomach, the ache lasts for about 10-15 seconds after I switch positions – same with if I have poor posture or lean over for too long – restriction of my diaphragm makes it ache. Nosebleeds have started. My skin is still flaky and my lips peel. I also now have pretty severe dandruff/seborrhoea on my scalp (it can bleed if I scratch too much). I also broke out behind my ears and on the back of my neck along my hairline. White heads are coming less and less (usually a lot around my mouth area) and my forehead and cheeks have seen a noticeable difference (even commented on by other people). I now have maybe 3-4 active pimples on my face. They are still a huge problem along my jaw line and neck. Some slight vaginal dryness during intercourse ( haha, felt kinda dirty writing that :)). My patience level is getting a bit lower and I’ve had some slight moodiness. Bleeding gums started.

Third Week (80g started) dose daily):

Really sore joints and muscles in the legs. Heels really hurt. Broke out on my back. REALLY dry nose – lots of boogers (Ew). Face isn’t super dry anymore. Every single time I brush my teeth, they bleed. Its weird.

Fourth Week 80 mg dose daily:

Well I'm still experiencing the really sore joints and muscles. My heels are killer - same as last week. I actually need my boyfriend to rub them for me. Probably doesn't help that I'm constantly on my feet at work. I take the subway home for about an hour. Sitting doesn't seem to help because when its my stop, I have to literally hobble off the train like an old gramma. My fatigue isn't as bad as it was. No real other side effects mentally or emotionally. There's a history of depression in my family, so I really gotta watch myself. My back started getting a little sore again - same with my neck.

All in all, great skin improvement. I got a zit behind my ear again the other day which I thought was really weird considering they had all cleared up. And my skin peels so easily - like...in strips! I know your skin is super sensitive, but this is kinda of gross. I have to be careful even when I scratch!!!

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