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Life on Accutane

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Lips: Aquaphor. Just like so many others agree it's the best!! When I got my last tattoo it was recommended and I've since used it on my elbows, feet, and cuticles, never thought to put it on my lips but it feels awesome and seems to be doing its job for now anyway.

**Just discovered Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm! I'm in love!! I have been obsessed with their moisturizer and this smells just like it and feels amazing!

Body Moisturizer: Johnson & Johnson cocoa and shea butter baby oil gel. I use it after I get out of the shower when my skin is still wet and I don't have nto worry about dry skin. Again, at least for now!

Face Cleanser: CeraVe Foaming Wash. It's not what I'm used to, but it seems to be doing ok. I don't have anyting really remarkable to say about it one way or another.

Face Moisturizer: Cetaphil Face Cream. I switched to this, because the CeraVe PM Moisturizer (pictured) stung badly and I just couldn't get used to it.

Also Pictured: I use the Benadryl when the itchiness gets to me. The Biotene does wonders for dry mouth!

I'm open to any suggestions that any other Accutane users have concerning their favorite products. I also wonder if anyone uses or used their Clarisonic during treatment? I am addicted to mine (there's worse things to be hooked on!!) and obviously I am no longer trying to use it twice a day, but I would think it would be beneficial to use it maybe twice a week for 30 seconds with the gentle brush head.

First Two Weeks...

I've been on accutane for 2 weeks today (20mg twice a day). I'd say the first week was the most exhausted I have ever been in my life (and I used to be in the military and survived boot camp and a desert deployment)!! I'm fairly certain 2/3 of that time I was asleep and no amount of caffeine or excitement could rouse me from my accutane coma, trust me I tried. At 2 weeks, I still tire easily, but not nearly as bad. I'm not experiencing any super dryness anywhere...yet, but it could be that I've become overly obsessed with putting aquaphor on my lips, especially the corners of my mouth where I hear is a fairly common area that will dry and crack. I've had that happen from the dentist who ignored my protests on using one of those things that keep your lips off your teeth in adult size. I told him it needed to be a kids size, but every one always thinks they no better, nevermind that I've known me for my entire life! I digress. Back to side effects these past 14 days. I haven't had any increase in thirst, I'm a big fan of water to begin with. I have noticed I itch my arms, scalp, and face almost constantly. I read a fellow accutane user say they also itched and thought their coworkers must view them as a junkie, I must look like one too! My back aches slightly as do my legs, but it's not intolerable. My derm recommended I drink gatorade for joint soreness, personally I think gatorade is too sugar laden and I once read that it's bad for the enamel of your teeth so I only take small sips through a straw here and there, I'm not going to confirm or deny if it helps or not. About 5 days ago, I developed a migraine worthy headache. I was in such pain that I could barely sleep through the night and when I woke the next morning it felt like I had a hangover, but I didn't have any of the fun that usually results in such punishment!! I alternated between Aleeve and Excedrin Migraine and kept a frozen washcloth over my eyes and forehead, but for 2 days it was impossible for me function. Once that pain subsided, a new side effect has joined the party. It began with the upper right side of my mouth where my wisdom tooth would be is inflamed and sore, the teeth themselves do not ache. It has now spread to my lower jaw and it sore enough that there's pain to touch the area, eat, yawn, and the throbbing pressure from bending over or laying on that side is almost too much to bear. I've been breaking vicodin in half just to make the dull ache tolerable. Even this shall not deter me from continuing accutane. It's been such a miracle for so many that I swear my arms would have to fall off for me to give up, wait...there's usually a certain amount of time docs have to reattach limbs so nope, not even my arms falling off would do it!

The Accutane "hoops"

Where I live, there are very few doctors that will prescribe accutane. I made my appointment, and of course they initially tried to talk me into another random cleansers/topical/antibiotic. I was prepared this time around with a dermatologist and had armed myself with a list I compiled of ALL things I had done for my acne over the last decade. I was given instructions on what had to be done prior to beginning accutane and off I went. After acquiring hormonal birth control, I was entered into IPledge, given my blood work paper, and the clock began ticking on those annoyingly pesky 30 days. Once the month elapsed, I arrived back at my dermatologist's office with my 2 negative pregnancy tests, blood work, and left with my long awaited accutane prescription!!!! Now, I should mention I am self-pay throughout this whole process. I got my bloodwork done at Quest Diagnostics and it was $200.73. My prescription for this month is 20mg twice a day so 60 capsules in total. I priced this at CVS, Walgreens, Publix, Sam's Club, and Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart was the least expensive at $519.23. When I dropped off my script, I was told I would have to wait 24 hours since they did not have it readily available. That's something for you to think about and me to keep in mind. I plan on giving them a heads up from now on to make sure I don't end up having to skip any doses. I am also still actively searching for a more affordable way to attain these meds. If it's $500 for clavaris (generic accutane), I don't want to know what brand would cost!!

Let's see...I suppose the onset of my "adult acne" was around 10 years ago. Since then I have tried in vain to end, or at least manage the suffering from this awful condition. Between the MANY MANY OTC lotions and potions, laser resurfacing twice, and of course the topicals, cleansers, and oral antibiotics prescribed by multiple dermatologists my parents and I have spent around $25k. Throughout all of that, I am still left with painful cysts, blackheads, large pores, and oily!! I should also mention I'm a "picker" and though I'm terrified of scarring I cannot keep my hands off my face. Half the time I don't even know I'm doing it, I have even been told I do it in my sleep. The only thing I have found that stops me is to have an acrylic overlay on my nails. The added thickness to the nail makes it nearly impossible and eventually my subconcious figures that out and my habit ceases. So if any of you females have a similar problem...try that out. When all those aforementioned items yielded little results, I went holistic on my acne. I took boitin, vitamin A, E, prenatal, Mega Red fish oil, zinc, and aloe supplements every day, exercised every day, quit smoking, cut out alcohol and caffeine and gave up meat (except for bacon on occassion, I mean, what kind of psycho gives up bacon??) I did this for almost 2 years and these lifestyle changes did nothing for my breakouts. Next, I decided it must be related to stress, most of which I tend to create myself as I'm a bit over dramatic. I got a divorce and a prescription for Xanax...there's less stress now, but not less acne. I'm nearly 30 now and still walking around teenager skin. Those of the older crowd can understand how this feels and I sympathize with you I really do. I'm rational enough to know that my skin isn't as bad as others I have seen, but to me it's crippling. I cannot stand it when someone tells me, "it's not that bad" or "I've seen worse". These are the people who usually have never had more than 1-2 blemishes the size of a pin head around their cycle or never had any at all so for them to offer their unsolicted opinions is irritating. After exhausting all other measures, I made the decision to began accutane (clavaris) as a last ditch effort. I'm a major researcher of things before/during/after and after reading other threads I have decided to create this blog to detail my experience and hopefully I can provide help to someone in the future with their accutace adventure! Fingers crossed that I'm successful in mine.....

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