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and a couple months after that...

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Week 12Ish, Round 2


[*]1st checkup with derm today for my 2nd course
[*]Had been on 30mg for a month but went back down to 20mg to stretch pills before this appointment
[*]Talked to derm and we decided to stay on 20mg for atleast 3 more months
[*]20mg minimises my redface amoung other side effects
[*]Redface status: Mild
[*]Skin status: 90% clear, approaching what it was like when I finished my first course
[*]Need to wear more sunscreen cause i got some sweet sunburn the other day, which though has become a nice tan colour is too dangerous to play around with
[*]Only real concern right now is that I feel my hair is thinner than pre-accutane (14 months ago), asked derm about it and he said to keep an eye on it and if it gets worse/bad it may be a sign to stop

Week 5, Round 2


Doing these in short form from now on:[list]
[*]1 month on 20mg
[*]Minimal side effects
[*]Likely intial outbreak as I broke out constantly
[*]Redface status:minimal
[*]Upped to 30mg (20/40) as of last friday
[*]Increased side effects (more dryness)
[*]Redface status: Moderate
[*]Breakouts slowing down?
[*]Thinking of staying on 30mg until my next derm appintnment and asking to be on either 20mg or 30mg throughout
So to keep it in short form:[list]
[*]Finished my course around the 20/8
[*]Cumulative dose of atleast 150mg/kg
[*]Was about 95% clear when i stopped
[*]Derm recommended I stay on until i was 100% clear (To clarify 100% clear for a couple of months then go off, I was say 100% clear for a week then I'd get a small one then not have another for another couple of weeks during the last couple of months)
[*]Stayed 95% clear for about 5-6 weeks
[*]Stressful period started to break out again, maybe one or two for a couple of weeks
[*]Booked a derm appointment
[*]By the time my appointment came around, about a week ago, i had ~5 actives on my face
[*]Discussed options
[*]Now back on Accutane on a smaller dosage of 20mg, derm thinks 40mg is a good dosage
[*]Been back on for a week, breaking out the worst I have for a long time, maybe an initial breakout?

Month 3-8 Summary


[b]Month 3-8 Summary[/b]
[b]Dosage:[/b] From 40mg - 70mg a day, 60mg/80mg daily alternating.
[b]Weight:[/b] 79kg, did hit 80kg for a couple of months but back down to 79kg as of now.
[b]Cumulative dosage:[/b] 12000, at least 150mg/kg. Up from my initial prediction of 9600 for 120mg/kg. 
[b]Months left: [/b]<1, should be done in a couple of weeks.
[b]Other:[/b] Self upped my dosage to 60mg due to lack of side effects. My derm had floated the idea early on but never really went to up my dose. I asked her about it and she said I would probably hate the increased side effects, my blood work was coming back okay and I wanted to finish faster so upped it myself to see how I coped and haven't looked back. 
[b]Skin Status:[/b]
Borderline clear fo the last couple of months, last real pimple was about three weeks ago but I had been getting small codones around once a week prior to that. In the last three weeks I've had one small one in my eyebrow (during my course I've had an increased number in this area) and a couple of clogged pores on my forehead. They were tiny though. So 90% clear for the last couple of months maybe even 95% over the last couple weeks.
[b]Side Effects:[/b][list]
[*]Dry Lips
[*]Slightly dry facial skin, increased with dosage increase (corners of my mouth are wheres its worse, especially after eating and wiping my mouth)
[*]Dry skin rashes on hands/arms if I don't moisturize
[*]Multiple nose bleeds
[*]Red Face, mostly on cheeks and nose (Still the worse side effect thus far)
[*]Slightly moody
[*]Blush much easier
[*]Somewhat lethargic, never feel as if I've had enough sleep, gotten into the bad habit of taking a nap before dinner.
[*]I seem to lose my train of thought a lot easier, I'll go to get something then forget what I wanted and have to retrace my thought process.
[*]More achy after exercising.
[b]Expected Side Effects Haven't Occured:[/b][list]
[*]Dry eyes
[*]All the severe ones
[b]Routine: [/b][list=1]
[*]Wash with cetaphil
[*]Pat dry
[*]Moisturize red area with aveeno redness relief
[*]Mix acne.org moisturizer and aveeno redness relief and apply to rest of face
[*]Day only and recently: Apply Eucerin Redness relief on red areas.
[*]Paw Paw ointment on lips at night or Burts Bees during the day. Pawpaw leaves a residue.
I don't wait very long after drying to apply moisturizer but I try to let the moisturizer dry before applying the Eucerin, at least 15 minutes if I can.
[b]Random Thoughts:[/b][list]
[*]Time has kind of flown, feels like yesterday I was seriously torn about taking this drug, even with the increases from how much I thought I'd be taking
[*]Redness has been the worse side effect and some days I thought it was worse then the acne, it wasnt, really hoping that once I stop it goes away fast, would hate it if I got some kind of Accutane induced rosacea. I personally think my redness increase when I increased my dosage and lessens/worsens depending upon my sleep quality.
[*]I'm scared of finishing because though I've reached cumulative dose of 150mg/kg I'm not 100% clear like my derm wanted. Excited too cause I'm sick of redface and feel like I've been on this drug for ages. If I have some kind of breakout before I finish I may contemplate doing another month. I also didn't talk about what I'll do after accutane with my derm and by the time I finish she'll probably be on maternity leave.
[*]If it wasn't for redness I'd just moisturize in the morning and apply chapstick during the day and you wouldn't be able to tell I'm on accutane
So I haven't updated in ages, had the best intentions to keep track but in the end I really had nothing to write about.
Firstly I'm going to talk about my redness, its pretty much the only side effect that I currently care about as the others are all the minor manageable ones. As I've stated, explained, complained and bitched about previously I look sunburnt all the time. I started tane in the summer and just blamed being sunburnt but now we're in winter. I know people notice and most dont really comment but to those who do I've recently being telling the truth and said its cause of something my derm put me on, especially with people I see on a regular basis.
But this past weekend a kid, around 5, asked me flat out why my face was so red. I was pretty surprised cause I didn't think it was overly noticeable that day and I was wearing Eucerin redness relief which masks it abit. Having my new prepared answer I told him that I had gone to the snow and gotten snowburn/windburn/sunburn whilst snowboarding. He didnt really understand but his mother interjected, she also seemed somewhat surprised his question, and took him away. I actually find it kinda funny, moreso at the time as I thought I only had a week or so left on my course, more on that later.
So today I went to my Derm hoping that I would be told that my course was over. I'm currently on my 9th pack of accutane and when I finish this I will have taken 10800mg and for my bodyweight of 79-80kgs that's 135mg/kg. She seemed happy enough with my skin but asked if I still got pimples, I replied yes because I still get a small one here and there and she said we'd keep going until I was clear for atleast a month, meaning no new pimples at all. I was a little disappointed due to having reached a sufficient cumulative dose. I asked her about cumulative dosage and she believed that whilst a minimum was required, 120mg/kg, she kept her clients on until they were clear for at least a month but hopefully two (note she prescribes at 40mg/kg). We talked for a couple of minutes and she gave me a new three month prescription, THREE. I told he i didn't really want to go over 150mg/kg and she said it was upto me but would recommended i was clear for a month atleast before stopping.
So here I am, with another packet of accutane to take (wont take me a month because I've been taking 50-60mg per day instead of 40mg so that it goes faster)

Month 2 Summary


Pretty late with this, I'm in week 11 or so...
[b][u]Month 2 Summary[/u][/b]
[b]Dosage:[/b] 40mg, 20mg twice a day.
[b]Weight:[/b] 77.5kg, up a couple kilos since starting but trying to gain weight.
[b]Cumulative dosage:[/b] 9600, at least 120mg/kg.
[b]Months left: [/b]6
[b]Other:[/b] Was on Bactrim during this time
[b][u]Skin Status:[/u][/b]
Acne mild, no initial breakout, one or two new pimples a week but generally smaller.
[b][u]Side Effects:[/u][/b][list]
[*]Dry Lips
[*]Slightly dry facial skin
[*]Dry skin rashes on hands/arms if I don't moisturize
[*]1 Nose bleed
[*]Red Face, mostly on cheeks and nose (Worse side effect thus far)
[*]Slightly moody
[*]Blush much easier
[b][u]Expected Side Effects Haven't Occured:[/u][/b][list]
[*]Dry eyes
[*]Sore joints/muscles
[*]All the severe ones
[u][b]Routine: [/b][/u][list=1]
[*]Wash with cetaphil
[*]Pat dry
[*]Moisturize red area with aveeno redness relief
[*]Mix acne.org moisturizer and aveeno redness relief and apply to rest of face
[*]Day only and recently: Apply Clinque redness solutions protective base on red areas
[*]Paw Paw ointment on lips
I dont wait very long after drying to apply moisturizer but I try to let the moisturizer dry before applying the Clinique.
[b][u]Random Thoughts:[/u][/b][list]
[*]Has been 'simpler' than i thought
[*]Redness is the worse side effect as everyone asks if I'm sunburnt and working on lessening it
[*]If it wasnt for redness I'd just moisturize in the morning and apply chapstick during the day and you wouldn't be able to tell I'm on accutane

Week 7


So I skipped week 6 due to slackness and lack of anything to really write about
[u][b]Week 7:[/b][/u]
So not much happened during week 6, the most exciting thing was that I accidentally used AHA instead of moisturizer, had to wash if off and was worried that it would make my skin redder which I dont know if it did.
This week everything generally stayed the same, had a few pimples pop up but they were small and sorted themselves out in a couple of days. Lips still look a little funny, mostly around at the corners but the dryness is manageable. (Using pawpaw when at home and burts bees when out due to the appearance they give to my lips). Facial dryness is minimal as long as I moisturize after washing my face, no touch ups needed and face doesn't feel tight like in the beginning. Nose gets dry and bit bloody.
Only real thing I want to complain about, and have been, is the redness in my face. A few people this week asked me if I was sunburnt, I just say yes but how long can someone stay sunburnt, pretty sure not for 6 months. I'm working on the redness and if I could rename this blog it would include the words 'battle with the redness'. I was trying emu oil but ran out so I may get more to try in the future, I didnt notice a huge difference but didnt use it that long. I also ordered some Eucerin redness relief stuff off the internet cause we dont sell it here in Aus and am now waiting for it to be delivered to try that. Since starting tane I've spent atleast $200 on random stuff to help deal with the side effects (moisturizers/lip balms/sunscreen/etc). The Eucerin stuff was $50 due to paying for international shipping. I'm also going to go look at some stuff tomorrow for skin redness and who knows, between my impatientness and impulse buying I may waste more money tomorrow. 

Week 5


So I've been slack, havnt done my week 5 update and also wanted to do a 'one month summary' entry aswell, maybe I'll do that another day.

[b][u]Week 5: [/u][/b]
Not much change which I perceive as good. Redness still annoying but I think it may be slightly improving. A couple new small pimples on my cheek. The oiliness of my skin is reducing though which is good, before I'd have to blot my skin atleast once a day, usually after a few hours, now though I can get through the day without needing to, depending on conditions (weather, what I'm doing) I might only get a little shiny. Another thing which has been improved is the blackheads on my nose, during the first couple of weeks I felt like there were more/more noticeable but now i know that they were being pushed out because I currently have barley any. Now only the pores remain and I'd guesstimate I had around 50, (they didn't really bother me) but now i can count on one hand how many are left and I'm pretty sure they'll all be gone in a couple of weeks.

The only other real annoying side effect, along with he redness, is that I'm more prone to blushing. Prior I was generally an easy blusher in embarrassing situations and not only would i blush but I'd feel myself blushing and make it worse. Now when i do something stupid like being clumsy, example would be trip when I'm walking, I can feel my face start to blush when in the past I'd just shrug it off. This being said I havnt had the chance to actually see if it looks like I'm blushing, though I can feel it, or if its noticeable with my already red face. My lips also went a bit crazy this week, they started to get these random bumps on them and a small 'rash' appeared around my lips making them appear larger, especially at the corners. Think the jokers lips on a much smaller scale. I believe this was because i tried 'blistex intensive repair lip balm' and irritated my lips, I stopped using it and the lumps have gone away and the 'rash' reduced though not completely gone. Paw paw ointment and vaseline it is. I did buy a chapstick though because when I'm doing stuff paw paw/vaseline make my lips way too shiny. The chapstick i bought was burts bees beeswax chapstick and it works well enough, lips dont feel dry with it on and my lips look somewhat normal and not shiny, I'll only use this when i have to and slather my lips with paw paw ointment when I'm not doing stuff.

Finally during week 5 I went for my 1 month update with my derm. In my last entry I wrote how I was expecting to be bumped up to 60mg or possibly even higher so I could get off this drug faster. Bad news is no change in dosage and she wants me to be on 40mg for my whole course... I can see the pros but this means I'll be on accutane for 8 months. She didnt want to bump me up because of the increase in side effects, the mildness of my acne and the improvement I've had already. I can see how staying on 40mg makes sense and if i get the redness under control I would be much more for it. My side effects have been mild as, and if the redness does go away you could question whether I was even on accutane, as long as I moisturize and keep my lips in check. This being said I still find 8 months a long time and could possibly rather a slightly higher dosage and side effects for a shorter course. Like ripping off a band-aid was how I initially wanted it done. 50mg instead of 40mg would reduce my course by a month.

Week 4


Another week on 40mg and no major changes, the ones that have occurred are slightly my own fault.

So a goal of mine for my skin right now, seeing as I'm not worrying about acne and letting tane do it thing, is to reduce the redness from tane. I'd been putting on emu oil around week when I did my last update and planned on doing that for around a month to gauge any difference however I was out and saw a redness reducing moisturizer I'd researched as another alternative. Being me and burning money, I've spent around 150 dollars on 'accutane accessories' (multiple face moisturizers, body moisturizer, eye drops, lip balms etc), I decided to buy it, Aveeno Calming Moisturizer.

Whilst reading reviews on this people complained about the scent but this one specifically said no fragrance so I'm guessing they changed their formula. I've been using for nearly a week and part of me thinks its working already, could be wishful thinking, though the box says 'noticeable reduction in redness in as little as 1 week', so I'm hoping the improvement is still to come. So with the possible redness reduction, I also like the feel of this more than either the Acne.org moisturizer and cetaphil ones I was using as its less greasy/oily and doesnt leaving me looking oily/greasy, it also has spf 15 which is nice. However it is not as moisturizing as the other and I have noticed my skin more flaky than previously. My lips have also suffered a bit more and been a bit chapped but I have been lax with applying lip balm.

So whilst I don't think I'm getting any drier as opposed to last week because of accutane, I am flakier due to changing moisturizers. I exercised 5 days this past week and haven't had any noticeable extra soreness than i usually do so I'm not affected that way.

I have a derm appointment next week and I'm hoping/thinking my dosage will be increased, probably to 60mg but part of me wants it to be upped to 80mg because that will mean my course will be a week or two shorter. Not a huge difference but if its possible why not.

Week 3


[color=#000000][font=Arial][size=4][background=transparent]Not much change this week, I haven't really been breaking out much anyway, maybe a mixture of mild acne and taking Bactrim. A couple more new pimples this week, small one on my forehead and another on my right cheek which will unfortunately leave a red mark.[/background][/size][/font][/color]

[color=#000000][font=Arial][size=4][background=transparent]Side effect wise its all been pretty tame. Dryness is there but manageable. No real soreness in my joint or muscles and I went to the gym this week and did what i normally do. I did however have a small bloodnose earlier in the week, one tissue handled it. Even though I am prone to the odd bloodnose, especially in the summer heat, I'm disappointed because I'd been preparing for this with vaseline (though I had started to be a little lax with it in the days prior). Also had a couple of dry patches on my arms, which i again caught early and got rid of by moisturizing.[/background][/size][/font][/color]

[color=#000000][font=Arial][size=4][background=transparent]My one issue right now is the redness in my skin. I thought it was improving but at work today looking in the mirrors I looked sunburnt and had raccoon/panda eyes. If I had to number scale it, at the start of the week it felt like a 4, but today at work it looked like a 7, after a shower its a 8.5, when I wake up its a 3 and at the gym for some reason due to whatever lighting they use it barely noticeable. Don't know if the emu oil I've been applying every night before bed is helping or not. The texture of my skin had been pretty weird as well, it sort of feels 'sticky', especially after washing and patting it dry. The extra redness and stickiness could be due to the heat right now though...[/background][/size][/font][/color]

Week 2


So I'm late again, a couple of days this time, but I have decent excuse as i was away...

Not a huge amount of change this week. Oil is slowly starting to decrease, especially on my forehead (Mostly have an oily t-section) I can moisturize my face in the morning and not feel like I need to blot my face after a couple of hours. My lips are definitely starting to dry out, if they go an hour without something being put on them, using paw paw and carmex right now, they start to feel and look dry, moreso in the part where the lip and upper lip skin meet. I also had some weird skin rash, might have been eczema form the dryness but I'm not sure cause I've never had anything like it before, I caught it early and started to moisturize my arms and hands and its since settled and is going away.

I did however miss a pill this week, had a quick moment of panic and OHNO! but quickly calmed down after a Google search and realizing its not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

The only other side effect I have and have mentioned before is my face being red, tane-burn. I'm fairly confident its not sunburn now because it hasnt acted like sunburn does by becoming darker and peeling. Depending on the light it can range from pretty red and making me look sunburned/blushing to just having a mild pinkness to my skin, a couple people have brought it up so it is noticeable. I'm going to look for a way to reduce it, emu oil is first on my hit list and maybe some 'redness reducing' moisturizers later, but for the time being i can just deal with it and say I was in the sun too long. I am taking extra care to put spf on my face now though.

Breakout wise I had a couple of pimples near my left forehead/temple. I haven't really had a pimple in this area for the best part of 3 months but one was small and the other dried up pretty fast and is now healing.

Week 1


Even though I'm actually on day 8 as i type this, this will be my first week update.

So my first week was pretty tame. I haven't experienced any extreme dryness either on my skin or lips but i have been taking preemptive action just in case. The sides of my cheeks and around my chin do get a little tight after a few hours of not moisturizing them (If I'm at home I'll generally 'touch up' moisturize my skin and lips whenever i feel the need). My face is red though and looks like its sunburnt (it might actually be a little sunburnt,i have to pick up some kind of sunscreen soon for when I am out in the sun). It is annoying but I'm probably over scrutinizing myself and overall I think its not as red as when it first appeared, which was a couple of days in, but it does get pretty red after a shower/ moisturize. My skin is still oily so my skin gets pretty shiny throughout the day because I've moisturized aswell, but I cant really dab it off like i use too because I'm scared my skin will become dry.

My current regimen is just washing with cetaphil and the moisturizing, generally the acne.org moisturizer but I'm experimenting with others to see if I can find one that doesn't make my skin shiny/oily and might help with the redness. I've had a couple of new pimples this week but nothing out of the ordinary. I've also gone to the gym my usual amount and haven't had any additional noticeable soreness, I don't do alot of cardio though.

Day One


So today I started accutane. 40mg a day for the first month and likely 60mg after that for the rest of my course. (74kg's)

If we're being technical this is actually sort of day two, as I took one tablet (20mg) yesterday to gauge my body's reaction over 24 hours before starting my prescribed dosage, but I'm going to count today as day one.

I never thought my acne would be bad enough for me to ever have to take accutane, and to be honest it probably isn't even now, but after alot of consideration and nothing else working its come to this. I'm haven't 'grown out' of my acne like i thought i would have by now (I'm approaching my mid twenties) and my acne is starting to cause minor scars and PIH because i generally break out in the same areas repeatedly.

I am apprehensive, the minor things I can handle, dryness everywhere, muscle and joint soreness but its the possible severe and long term side effects that worry me.

Short acne info for those who haven't read any of my other blogs before:
Mild acne since teenager, used SA and BP to control it (Clearasil, Proactive, Regimen)
A year ago allergic reaction to BP so had to stop
Experimented for a couple of months with home remedies but skin started to break out more and scar around Feb this year
Went to Derm on 4th of July, given Bactrim for 5 months, minimal improvement
Ummm'd and aaah's over taking accutane
Here we are

I'll update this likely on a fortnightly or so basis but I'm also starting a log which I'll update more often with littler things that come up.