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About this blog

Journal of a 23 year-old woman on Accutane for the first time.

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I just need to post a bit to get it off my chest - the scars on my face are driving me MAD!!!!!!!!

I just had to do my makeup outside, in sunny, natural light, where I NEVER look at my skin too closely, and I want to shrivel up and die.

Honestly, I don't even do my makeup much anymore because it's somehow less depressing, if that makes sense?

The thing is, all this has only happened within the past year, my skin was totally normal - not perfect, but normal - before last Fall. And now, yes, the acne is improving with Accutane, and I know my skin will be clear soon, but what am I left with? Huge pores, ugly pitted scars, completely uneven skin tone, redness everywhere. And who knows if the pitted scars will even go away with laser. And how long for the rest of it? My skin will never go back to the way it was.

I'm only 23 and I feel like one year has ruined my skin for the rest of my life.

I'm ashamed and angry and it's just really, really, really not fair.


Accutane Day 75

Hello internet,

I guess today I am halfway through month 3. There were a few days last week when I had no actives, but then I got two, one on each cheek :( I have been really good at leaving them alone though, so right now they are just red marks, healing. If it weren't for that, I would have no actives. Just a lot of scars and redness. So I'm pretty happy about that. Definitely seeing progress. I am able to go out with just a bit of cover-up on the worst parts of my cheek, where there are a lot of marks from previous breakouts. I can definitely see that my skin will be clear in a couple of months. I am just so worried about the scarring. I can't wait to get laser! I will definitely do it, as soon as I can.

I am still okay on the dryness front. Only my lips give me problems, and maybe my eyes in the mornings. My skin seems to be thinner though; when I scratch too hard, I sometimes tear my skin.

My biggest issue right now is iron-deficient anemia. I got my blood tested at the beginning of this month, and they said my iron levels were pretty low. They were normal before I began Accutane. Must be a correlation. Anyways, maybe that explains why I have been feel so crappy. I am on special supplements now, so hopefully that will help.

I have been having mood swings, anxiety, and not depression, but feeling 'low.' My husband said I have not been myself lately. I know it's a side effect of the drug, but I have also been under a lot of pressure having two of my stepdaughters staying with us for the summer. Anyways, I figure I would rather feel bad knowing that it will end and I am fixing my face, than feel bad because I have acne and there's nothing I can do about it!

I think I just need to work on overcoming my emotions and pushing through the bad moods. I feel sorry for my hubby, it's really not fair. And he's been so good about everything.

I think it's also possible my bad moods have also been caused by the anemia. So hopefully the iron supplements will fix it?

Birth control also doesn't help. Ugh, so many pills every day! I just want it all to be over. It seems so frickin unfair, honestly.

Anyways, as I said, things do seem to be improving, so I have hope. I am going to ask my derm to up my dose from 40 mg to 60 mg when I see him in 2 weeks. I know it will just make my side effects worse, but I want this to be over.

I will post pictures soon.

Accutane Day 51

I haven't been able to write for a while as I was on vacation.

I bumped my dosage up to 30 mg for the second month, so I have been on that for about 20 days now.

I will be seeing my dermatologist next week and I want to go up to 60 mg a day, which would be about my max, and would mean I could finish my cumulative dose by October. I know that low dosing provides less symptoms, but I do NOT want to be on this stuff for a whole year. We want to get pregnant next year, so...

There has definitely been improvement. I have had no cystic acne since about my first week, and now the pimples I do get are quite small. That being said, if I so much as poke one, all hell breaks loose. There was a point where I had some serious scabs on my face. Leaving my skin alone is so hard! But seriously guys - Do. Not. Pick. It's not like with regular spots where picking actually makes them go away faster sometimes. It is not fun having a bunch of scabs on your face, and they are not easy to cover. Plus, I assume they scar.

Although I am still getting acne on my cheeks (especially) and forehead, it seems to have stopped almost completely on my chin, my temples, and also between my eyes, which was always SUCH an annoying place!

I experienced much more dryness while I was in Canada, including some eczema, but now that I am back in the Caribbean, I can't even put on moisturizer in the morning, my face gets too greasy. It is too damn hot/humid here, so I guess that's good.

Side effects:

- Still dealing with dry lips, absolutely cannot go anywhere with lip stuff

- Muscle soreness

- My nose is really rough; I thought it was dry skin but I'm beginning to understand that it is actually hard stuff coming out of my pores ... like, sticking out kind of. Is that normal? Sounds so disgusting, but is really only noticeable to the touch, or when I am wearing makeup and it sort of gathers.

- Eczema while I was in Canada... also a rash on the back of my right hand, which I assume is because I drink a lot of water, therefore pee a lot, therefore wash my hands a lot.

Products I use:

- Biotherm oil cleanser to remove makeup

- Marcelle toner (if I feel like I still have some makeup on)

- CeraVe cleanser and lotion

- Pure raw shea butter for lips and dry spots (Works SO WELL, , especially overnight)

- Blistex Simple for lips

- Bioderma for body lotion

- Tarte cosmetics

Anyways, it seems there's not much to say except that things are improving slowly but surely... the only downside to seeing the actual acne go away is realizing all the scars left behind sad.png There's the obvious redness/hyperpigmentation that I know will fade eventually (and at least it is easy to cover it with makeup, although it's pretty much too hot right now for makeup)... but there is also the pitted scarring. Not major, but enough to feel crappy about. Added with the enlarged pores, etc, I think it's going to take a while before I feel good about my skin.

Is it possible since my skin is young it will go away on it's own? I will get laser resurfacing for sure.

Anyways, I'm going to be brave and post some pictures.

1. It is a lot redder/uglier than it comes off on camera. The pictures from May were using my iPad, so the quality of the front camera is quite poor, and the pictures from June are from my iPhone.

2. There is a bigger improvement than what you see. I don't have any 'before' Accutane pics, only starting a couple weeks after beginning my course. Of course, I never made a habit of taking pictures of my worst breakouts.

Day 22

Hey! (If there's anyone actually reading this!)

Thanks for the comment Tristan, you must be so excited to start your treatment. I am really lucky, I got to start the day after seeing the derm. I did a pregnancy test and all my blood tests 15 minutes after seeing him, and within an hour I was out the door with my prescription! Don't have to deal with iPledge crap where I live, but I do have to see my derm once a month.

I am leaving for a 3 1/2 week vacation back to Canada, so I saw my derm this week and he bumped me up from 20 mg a day, to 30. Still so low ( I am 5'8, 127 lbs), but he says he wants to increase gradually to make sure I don't get harsh side effects. Personally, I don't care about the side effects, I just want this to work and FAST!!!

I was so, so hoping my face would be decent to see my friends and family in Canada. They haven't seen my face as bad as it is now, so I am extra embarrassed. I just know everyone will be thinking "what the hell happened to her?!" Thought the sun and sea gave you clear skin? Not for me!!

Unfortunately, my face is still crap. It was getting a bit better, easier to cover with makeup because of smaller blemishes, but I just had a breakout so now I have some lovely little scabs on my face. (Gross).

And my hyperpigmentation is SO BAD! So, so much redness. I wonder if I will have to get laser treatment when I am done ?

Anyways, that's my official day 22 update. Not much change. I know day 22 is NOTHING and it seems like people are not clear until month three, but when you stare at your face in the mirror every 30 minutes expecting a change, 22 days is a looooooong time.

Side effects:

- The usual dry lips, which are easily warded off with raw shea butter

- I am prone to eczema, so that is returning on my arms (shea butter also helps this)

- fatigue, but honestly, I may just be feeling lazy and using that as an excuse


Is anyone here on Accutane a vegan? I am worried because I have read you should not take extra vitamins/supplements because it's a lot of work for your liver, which is under stress on tane. But I am pretty sure I have a problem with zinc, which I know just adds to my acne.

Also, I have been taking a EFA blend (Nutraveg), that is supposed to help skin, right?

*Please also don't lecture me on how being vegan is probably causing my skin problems.*

I am working up the bravery to post pictures soon. I would like to have a noticeable improvement to post! It's hard, too. I mean, it's sort of like caring if you're seen in a lame store, knowing the person who sees you is there too. But I don't let anyone take pictures of me anymore, let alone a CLOSEUP without makeup!!! Gahh!

Accutane Day 11

Hey all smile.png

This is my first time posting on, but I have been obsessively reading the forums for a while now.

Brief skin history:

- I am 23, and I have never had any major skin problems until this year. I never had perfect skin, bumpy forehead, some blackheads, a zit here and there, but nothing like what started 9 months ago

- My skin started flaring up last August, and when I moved to a tropical climate (the Carribean), it continued to get worse.

- I went on birth control in September, to no avail, it just kept getting worse and worse and WORSE. I decided to go on Diane 35 three months ago, but saw little to no improvement (the acne along my jaw got a bit better, but my cheeks began to flare up BAD).

- I finally got put on Accutane, 20 mg, which is what I have wanted for the past few months. My mother had acne into her 20s, and Accutane worked for her, with no major side effects (she had to go on it twice though)

Anyways, I have been reading people's Accutane journals and I thought I would make one myself. Even if it's just to get out my feelings! I had a bit of a breakdown today, bawling into my husbands arms (note: crying on Accutane will make your face turn a particularly frightening shade of red). I am just SO sick of this.

The only people that understand are you guys out on the internet (and I guess my mom). All my friends have flawless skin, so they, and my husband, tell me it's not a big deal, no one notices as much as I do, etc etc. I know it is vain to let your appearance effect your sense of worth, your emotional well-being, and I wish I could smile and move past it, but I can't. Living in the Carribean makes it even harder - I don't even feel comfortable going to the beach because I have to wear so much makeup. Not to mentioned it's 1000 degrees and humid. I can't go swimming with friends, or sailing, or diving. All the things I used to love. I have become a total hermit. I feel sorry for my husband.

Anyways, I'm ranting!! It's been a tough day. Full disclosure: I am PMSing right now, but I usually feel this shitty anyways.

Since I started Accutane 11 days ago:


- No big painful cysts (yay! I can lay down, and hug my husband, without feeling like someone is jabbing at a bruise - you guys know what I'm talking about)

- My hair seems a bit more manageable. I can't explain it, it wasn't greasy before or anything.

- New pimples that do appear seem to heal faster - they stay red, but they flatten, so it's easier to cover with makeup


- MORE small pimples. I think, maybe I'm just extra paranoid now that I am waiting for my initial breakout

- Definitely no visible improvement (ok ok, I'm impatient, I know)

- I have to wear sunscreen all the time, on every square inch, since I live in a very sunny climate. I find it easier to just stay inside.

- Dry lips, I have been using pure shea butter

- Itchy scalp

- Headaches if I don't drink a lot of water (which I am trying to do, but it's annoying having to pee every 15 minutes.)

- A bit of muscle fatigue when I am working out, I've been using lighter weights

Anyways, I know it has only been 11 days, but I am ready for this stuff to get WORKING. PLEASSSSSSE. I am going back to Canada in 12 days to visit friends and family, and most of them have not seen my skin this bad, not to mention Montreal is filled with beautiful people, so I am absolutely desperate to at least look half decent. Is that so much to ask?

Sorry this is so long. Thanks for reading if you made it all the way through smile.png

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