I have read a lot of horror stories on this site, and some positive stories as well.
So I figured I would add my two cents for what it's worth.
A little back ground on me; I am 25 years old and have suffered from some form of acne or another for most of my life.
It has been only in the past 2 years that I have developed the terrible cystic acne. Small zits and blackheads I could deal with, I guess it came with the completely oily skin and hair I couldn't go more than 2 days without washing.
I have tried Proactive (too harsh and made my skin feel terrible), every tetra-type prescription and topical treatment out there. One dermatologist I visited mentioned Accutane, but she never went into detail and seemed to shy away from using it on her patients, so I never considered using it.
I was referred to my current dermatologist by a co-worker, and am so thankful for small miracles! She immediately told me I was a perfect patient for the medicine. I was hesitant to say the least when she starting telling me about the iPledge Program, dry skin/lips, monthly bloodtests, no alcohol, etc.. After long discussion with my boyfriend and parents, I decided that I was sick of my face hurting and what the hell? It's only 5 months!
I wanted to start blogging right away, but I wanted to see how my body handled the medicine for a few months before I jumped to any conclusions. (I mean seriously, I've seen people on here complaining about it after a week.) Give the medicine time to work people!!
Here's what I've experienced:
40mg once a day. I was also put on a 20mg dose of steroid for 2 weeks just to control any inflammation that might have occurred. The steroid I could have definitely done without. I was [i]starving[/i] the entire 2 weeks, ugh! Other than that, I broke out a little bit but it wasn't too bad. I use Cetaphyl foaming facewash for oil prone skin and Cetaphyl Daily Moisturizer 55spf. Blood tests were completely normal, and everything was pretty good. Mildly chapped lips and skin was starting to dry out.
My derm (who have I mentioned is fabulous, love her!) was very pleased with my progress, I was moved up to 60mg once a day and switched my moisturizer to Aveeno Calming Daily Moisturizer, fab fab fab, LOVE Aveeno! And also, Aveeno Positively Radiant night cream with Vitamin B in it. I also started to be completely dependent on Aquaphor Lip Repair with spf 30. BEST chapstick ever! I would be lost without it. Dry lips and dry skin inside my nose, but no nose bleeds, thank god! Also, on a positive note, I discovered that I only have to wash my hair every 3 days, BONUS! Blood tests, still normal.
[b]Month 3 (9 days in..)[/b]
Maybe I'm jumping the gun here with over 2 months to go yet, but according to my derm, and not to brag, but I am apparently a "poster child for Accutane". Good huh? She moved my up to 80mg once a day, since I only weigh 130lb, I won't be going any higher because of odds are my body won't be able to handle any higher of a dose. Works for me. Lips, to say the least are annoyingly dry. The other thing I noticed is that my eyes are getting very dry, hello eye drops! I wear contact so that is a little bit of a pain..
[b][i]Side note:[/i][/b] So as most people my age will agree, I enjoy to drink.. However, as any Accutane patient knows, alcohol in excess is a big no no. Solution: Becks Non-Alcoholic beer, it tastes AMAZING and doesn't make you look like a loser when you're at all of your big summer parties [img]http://www.acne.org/messageboard//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Also, bonus that it has zero effects on your blood work!
So... I am super excited to see what the end result is of my Accutane experience. I hope that someone can take some of the positive things I have had with this medicine and give me some feed back on products you love, how you're feeling, etc..
I will update at the end of the month!