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In search of hope?

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I no longer count the days or weeks. Its taking less time to get ready and I no longer stare at my face in every possible reflection. I am extremely happy with the progress in this month.

What makes me laugh is that when a new spot comes out, a tiny spot and just one; I get angry. You have to realize what you have gone through and how far you have come. You have to remember how bad it was, how many you had and how bad it looked because that one tiny spot is nothing in comparison to what it used to be. I look back at one particular picture and cannot believe how much progress there has been.

I still have the dry lips and eyes. Perhaps it will never go away but I'm honestly ok with that and will take that over acne any day.

Be grateful for how far you have come!


As I was on vacation I missed two blog entries!

I am now at the 3 month mark. Although I am not completely in the clear yet there has been significant improvement. I keep looking back at one particular picture to remind myself of how far I've come and how much improvement there has been! I am very happy with how the progress has been going.

I had absolutely no spots when I went on vacation but after being there for a few days I started to break again, a new one almost everyday. Just little ones, nothing major and they went away quickly. It most likely had something to do with being in the sun everyday, sweating, wearing makeup, change in diet and not drinking nearly as much water as I should have been (all inclusive :) ). On a side note: Be VERY careful in the sun, wear lots of sunscreen! This medication will make you more sensitive! I used Neutrogena as recommended by my dermatologist.

I now only have two spots, small, and they are already healing. The redness has gone away considerably and it doesn't look as scarred as it did. I'm still spot treating with benzaclin.

Here's to moving forward, feeling hopeful and further progress :)


Week 10...

Had a friend tell me that she could really notice my skin clearing. I almost cried. What an amazing thing to hear.

There has definitely been a lot more progress since week 9. I have a couple of small spots on my right side but they're small and bearable compared to what it used to look like. They still come out, which is annoying but I have to be very happy that it isn't even close to being as bad is it was. There is still redness and red spots from the previous breakout but I can deal with this WAY better than before. I started spot treating as per the recommendation of the derm with Benzaclin (used it before) really dried out and flaked my skin but it did help with the healing process.

I haven't been applying as much lip balm or eye drops which has also been nice but I know both symptoms may stick with me for a long time.

I'm still having trouble with having more confidence and not hiding my face as much but hopefully in due time when I'm completely clear I will feel much more confident to face the world!



I remember a quote that has stuck with me for as long as I can remember. "in order to get to the rainbow you have to put up with the rain". Well ain't that the truth.

I went to the dermatologist on Monday for a check up. He told me that I'm past the worst of it now. Then the next day my left side broke out. Ah the irony. However, I cannot complain. He gave me benzaclin to spot treat. I've had it before. It ruins your towel, sheets & clothes. I remember it all too well. He also told me to be patient :)

The wretched right side is finally, slowly drying out. It's looking much better than it has been I have to admit. It's not as red and not as infected & bumpy. It's slow but it's progress. I'll take it.

I still get upset I won't lie. I hid in the bedroom closet and cried the other night. When my left side broke out I felt defeated. You just end up staring at yourself wondering when it will just end. I got up, brushed away my tears and reminded myself to keep going as I've been doing.

So on I go into another week.

No new symptoms. My nose is super dry on the inside and constantly bloody. Dry lips, dry eyes.

Stay positive :)


I have reached the 2 month hurdle... and over it we go. I am still staying positive and fighting with myself daily to be patient :)

I admit, I am very surprised by the length of time it is taking for the healing and clearing to begin. I assumed that because my acne wasn't very bad to begin with that I would be glowing by now. I understand that the whole idea of this medication is to change your skin starting from the inside and moving outwards; while pushing everything to the surface before it starts to clear. I cannot believe how bad it got. Its true what they say, it does get worst before it gets better. WAY worst. I have never in my life seen my face so badly broken out before. It was/is just the one side, as its always been (hormonal), with a small breakout on the other side.

This is where patience comes in. I still count the days, as I always have but as I said in week 7, you have to stay positive.

I feel as though I am making some progress and it does appear that something good may be happening soon. The spots seem to be drying out, itching and fading. The redness is still prominent and there does seem to be a few small spots that come to a white head but then quickly go away. I am still afraid to say that its working because I honestly cannot jinx this. I do not let myself get excited, not yet. Its still only the second month and the majority of the posts I have read seem to note that results are not really seen till months 3-6. Again, I know, its different for everyone but I just cannot let my hopes up just yet.

I know what you're thinking... how can she preach being positive? I am, and always will have a positive attitude towards this and I cannot let myself down or let it get the best of me. I refuse to be depressed to leave my house and face the world. All I am saying is that I am not ready to let my guard down and admit progress until I actually see more progress than what I have seen.

*Symptoms have remained the same and I feel very fortunate to have had very few: dry lips, dry eyes, dry face.

Here's to hoping for the light at the end of the tunnel, to not looking at my face in the reflection of a steak knife, to feeling confident in the daylight, here's to moving through to week 9


I have surprised myself. I never thought that I would remain as positive as I have been in the past couple of weeks. Although my last entry made me appear to have been very depressed and impatient with the progress I did remain and have remained it seems to have stayed positive.

I get up and go everyday. No matter how I feel, no matter what is staring back at me from the mirror, I still go. I go to work-everyday. I go out on the weekends to see friends. Its all mental and I push myself everyday to NEVER give up.

Of course I still hide my acne with makeup, look in every reflective surface I can to check for progress and watch for lighting it certain rooms (its an absolute obsession!) I still count the days since I've started taking the medication and I still get impatient with myself but I still remain positive. You have to.

So its been almost two months already. I have seen my acne at the absolute worst its ever been in my life. I guess its the medication working. Hopefully. My face keeps changing from very dry, to almost peeling/flaking, drying out spots and then back to feeling moisturized. The right side is still taking a very long time to heal. There are spots that have been there for over a month now. They are drying out it seems and sometimes they peel? Its odd. I will get a spot come to a white head and then it almost flakes off.. that's if I don't pick it. I know. Do NOT pick your face.. and I have.. I have also regretted it after the fact. I have noticed that if you just wait, even a day, it just dries out or comes off.

I don't have any new symptoms. I still have the extremely dry lips, have had that since the first week. I'm still using eye drops for dry, red eyes. I haven't had the nosebleeds that I had in the beginning. My hands did start to get very dry, and were red and sort of bumpy but I started using Aveeno hand cream and it went away.

And on I go...

Stay positive


I am completely overwhelmed with emotion. I am sad. I cry, at least once a day.

I understand that depression is a major side effect of this medication but to be honest the only reason I feel the way I'm feeling is because of how my face looks. I am obsessed with it. I stare at myself in every mirror, every reflective surface. I think about my face all the time, every second of the day. It has consumed me. I go to bed at night and expect to wake up with clear skin. It doesn't happen.

The lower right side and along my chin will not clear. It itches, its burns, it flakes, it dries out, it gets bigger. There is false hope ALL THE TIME. Its taking forever to heal, I don't understand why these spots will just not heal. I'm not picking, I try not to scratch, I cleanse and moisturize and eat right and drink lots of water. I take the medication on time, same time, everyday. Is there something else I should be doing?? I was taking pictures to track the progress, what progress? I've given up.

I don't have any self-esteem or confidence left. I avoid pictures, looking at anyone straight on, being out in the daytime, being seen without makeup, and so on and on and on... it has destroyed me.

I keep reading that its different for everyone, that some don't have an initial breakout, that some have a breakout through the entire course of treatment, that it could be 2 months before you notice a change, or 3 months, or 4 months. I didn't even have acne that bad to begin with but it was bad enough and long enough that this was my final hope. Now its worst than its ever been. I don't understand that. How it can it be worst??

I feel like quitting and I am no longer patient.


Accutane-Week 5

I thought that perhaps I might not even add an entry as I end week 5... as noted before this has been more of a mental struggle than anything. Perhaps the medication is actually getting to me and I am having the depression side effects. Or maybe its the thought of how my face looks that makes me feel depressed?

I cried so much a few nights ago. I'm having such a hard time with dealing with this. I know, I get it, patience, probably won't see results for another couple of months? or more..

You just read so many posts about how someone never had an initial breakout, that their face cleared within a couple of weeks or a month.. how awesome for you. Then there are others that have had to wait almost the whole course of treatment and broke out the entire time.. please don't let that be me...please.. I just want to touch my face and feel it being smooth. To look in the mirror or catch a glimpse of my reflection and not see any bumps. To have someone look at me and not look directly at my acne.

My right lower side just will not clear, its breakout after breakout. I am however thankful that all of the blackheads that were all over my nose are finally gone. There are few that came to surface on my chin but they are starting to disappear as well. My back & chest no longer feel like sandpaper but I do still have a few red spots on my back.

As for the other side effects: The same dry lips & dry eyes occasionally. Oddly enough my skin isn't overly dry, it flakes every now and then but it isn't terrible. I actually had a small piece of skin that flaked off, made me feel sick, it felt like I was literally shedding my skin. I suppose that's normal?

You think about giving up on the drug or keep hoping that a miracle will happen.


Accutane-Week 4

Its funny how you start counting days when taking this medication. Every single day matters now because you just keep looking for and wanting results. I'm hanging in there.. The most frustrating part is that just as soon as you think its really starting to clear up you get a new spot, or 3. I had this one area on my right cheek and it was awful, huge. Every time it would heal a new spot would form right in the same place. Right now I have one bigger spot on my chin and the rest on the right side is all red marks, nothing new. Again, not getting excited, it just keeps breaking out over and over.

I keep wondering when it will just start to clear. The only good part is that my face has dried up significantly. No more oily, shiny face or need for powder. Its also amazing how many blackheads came to the surface on the sides and top of my nose and middle of my chin. The actually come out so much that you could start brushing them away. Gross. I feel that I've been lucky so far with my side effects, they haven't been too bothersome (knock on wood).

Same symptoms as before:

-dry lips

-dry eyes


For me so far and I know, only a month in, but it has been a huge emotional journey. Its about having to deal with it daily, how often you think about it, how often you stare it at in the mirror and how many times I see others look at it.


Accutane-Week 3

Week 3:

-Dry flaky skin on and off, mostly around my mouth. I gently scrub it with a facecloth in the shower and it works. I'm using Cetaphil cleanser & moisturizer.

-Lips are still dry but don't seem to be as bad as they had been-Carmex has saved me.

-I've had a few really bad nosebleeds in the last couple of weeks.

-Every possible blackhead has been brought to the surface on my forehead, sides of my nose and chin. I assume this goes away eventually?

-My eyes no longer feel as dry as they had been

-My lower back, both sides feels so rough, like sandpaper. I have been exfoliating my chest, gently with Aveeno and an exfoliating cloth, in the bath and it has been helping.

-As for the breakout. I'm not getting excited at all or thinking positively but the spots I had seem to be slowly going away. I have a feeling this won't last and am expecting another big breakout again soon. I'm only getting small spots however, no cystic spots so I guess that's a good sign. Again, not getting excited yet.

-I have had some horrible mood swings, depressive episodes and feelings of panic but it was only for a couple of days

-I'm drinking 3 liters of water a day and that is not only for my skin but for my kidneys (had kidney stones in the past).

And on we go....


Accutane-Week 2

I am trying to be patient. I admit, after taking that first pill I expected to wake up the next morning to beautiful skin; wishful thinking.

I'm 30.I cannot even begin to explain how much acne has consumed the past 3 years of my life. I understand that its been longer for others, a lot longer, and that I honestly don't even have it THAT bad, its concentrated on my right lower side; adult hormonal acne. I have spent countless hours staring at myself in the mirror, my phone, a knife...any reflective surface. I have spent an absurd amount of time covering it with makeup, growing my hair long to cover it, wearing the perfect scarf, sitting a certain way... this is a mental disease as much as it is physical. The hurt, the depression, the loss of self confidence and of being anti social; it destroys you. It is literally all you ever see. Besides facial acne I also have breakouts on my shoulders and lower back.

I have tried many treatments in the past and honestly always assumed that it would go away on its own. I am now in my third week of Accutane. I have had an initial breakout and although I'm really hoping this is the only one I fear it isn't as reading other user reviews there will be more, even months down the road. I am finding it difficult to be patient. I am so sick of seeing myself like this, I am embarrassed to be a 30 year old woman with acne. I cried last night, sobbing, tears because of how badly I want this to go away but this breakout has only hindered my spirit even more.

So far I suppose I have had the most common side effects: extremely dry lips, dry eyes, my chin is flaky and dry, my face overall is red and just looks so uneven and unattractive. I have little white bumps that I assume will turn into more acne though I really hope it doesn't. My scalp has been super itchy. I also feel like I might have a yeast infection? Although I can't find anything to suggest that, that is one of the side effects.

I am constantly counting the days and weeks, hoping to get through this one day at a time, hoping it will begin to heal, not only my face but the hurt it has caused me personally.


I didn't even know I had an account here to be honest. The last time I logged in was March of 2012, no doubt at the time in the midst of my reoccurring winter breakout. That's all it ever used to be, living in Alberta having moved from the east the air literally sucked the life out of your skin during this time of the year. And so, I thought oh well, a little dry cold air, a little acne, no big deal, I usually found something to help ease it into Summer when my skin was glowing and clear. This Winter seems to have lasted sadly enough, straight through Spring, and now into late August. I'm 29 years old, I never had any skin issues as a teenager; none. I wouldn't have cared back then, it was puberty, everyone had a pimple it was no big deal you were young. But at this age? I have never felt so embarrassed and upset.

It is a constant struggle to make sure my makeup is applied just so to cover everything, to make sure my hair is curled so that it falls perfectly around my face, to look at myself in a mirror in front of a window to see just noticeable it might be or is it just that I'm noticing it more. If I'm meeting co-workers, I obsess in the mirror about every spot, does it look too dry, should I add moisturizer in certain places, more makeup in this place? ugh, might as well just not go to that work function. I feel like EVERYTHING is centered around how bad my breakout is this week.

It's a complete obsession-it's your face-it's what everyone sees. I have spent so much time 'googling' what to eat, when to eat, what products to use, what should I take..

I've been using Benzaclin topical cream for well over a year now, besides the horrible dryness it did work in the beginning and I still feel like some nights after applying it that something magical might happen and I'll wake up with clear skin. Yeah right. Birth control-doesn't help. So now I've been prescribed Minocycline-which is fun because I always feel like I do after taking cold medication except for feeling constantly dizzy. It's only been day 5, of course my skin is worse, which I was told would happen before it got better but I still dream of magic clear skin in the mornings. I have my doubts about this one too. And cleansers? Well, there are aisles upon aisles or cleaners, moisturizers, toners..how do you even choose if nothing seems to help. Same goes for makeup, I'm pretty sure they're all dirty and clog your pores but somehow you have to cover it over..there goes another few hours of Google.

Now I'm moving on to having my hormones and thyroid checked, not gonna lie I almost hope something comes back just to prove to my face it's something more.

I know, many of you are probably rolling your eyes thinking, oh poor her she has only gone through 2 years of this while its been 5 or 10 for some of you so then I applaud you for being you and having had to deal with this for so long because it takes courage, and confidence and its damn hard some days.

I figure having an outlet would help, after that I can't say I feel on top of the world and I'm cured..so I'll go back in hiding.