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Moderate Acne & Low-Dose Accutane

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Here it is... the update you've all been waiting for!

It's been one year since I completed treatment and I do not regret it. I basically had ZERO acne for 2-3 months after finishing treatment. I was clear for my wedding day! Since then, it has slowly returned. It is not nearly as bad as it was pre-Accutane. Some other members have recommended that I try out Spironolactone to help treat the acne that has returned. I have a physical with my doctor in a couple weeks and I will ask about getting a prescription. Don't get me wrong--I would take Accutane again without hesitation. However, I don't feel like having to jump through hoops to get a prescription. I understand that Accutane causes birth defects... I don't need to be forced onto birth control like a teenager.

Anyways, I am happy with the results. But I need a round 2 or something...

I have been 100% clear for more than a month. It's probably been 6-8 weeks since I've had anything even resembling a pimple.

My energy has been down lately. My joints ache--especially my heels. However, my skin is actually significantly less dry than it was. I have been wearing sunscreen everyday. I can tell that my face would burn after just 10 minutes in the sun if I allowed it to. My "scars" are still healing. Maybe they will never go away completely. I've been applying Mederma Gel every night and will continue doing so. My goal is to someday not need to wear any makeup to cover up my spots.

So far, I do not regret taking Accutane. The confidence I feel now is something I've never had before. I feel so much gratitude.

I only have one week left on Accutane. I've been really anxious about finishing up my treatment. I can't wait for the dry skin and lips to be over. But honestly, I'm also a little afraid of finishing.. What if my skin just goes back to breaking out again? I don't know what I'll do.

Fingers crossed.

My dosage has been increased to 60mg for the last 45 days of treatment. I've been on the 60mg for 11 days now, and I haven't had any increased side effects or anything. Just one month at the high dose to really nip this nightmare in the bud.

Tomorrow marks one month left of treatment. My face has been clear since my post weeks back. I only have one pimple to report, and it was my own fault.. I found this tiny little whitehead (not a pimple, it was not red or inflammatory). Just a little whitehead that no one else even knew existed. And I decided to try extracting it. Apparently all I did was irritate it because it swelled and turned red. It wasn't quite a pimple because it never came to a head or anything. It just swelled and then dried up. It's still a light red mark on my left cheek, but that's ok. Aside from this moment of weakness, I've been really good about not picking (mostly because there is nothing to pick at!!).

I am so grateful to be waking up everyday to clear skin. Like I've said before, it's still not perfect. I have the hyperpigmentation spots that are still fading. I have heard that once you get off of Accutane the spots really go away quickly. Accutane supposedly slows down your body's ability to heal itself.


A random side effect I'v been experiencing is my hands have been so sensitive to friction. I mean if I mop/sweep for 5 minutes, my hands are convered in blisters. It's really gross.

One more side effect-- my face flushes really easily. Like if I'm even slightly embarrased, I can feel my face turn bright red and hot. I know other people can see it too because I've seen it happen in the mirror.

I went to the beach last weekend. Since I know my face can burn with just about 10-15 minutes in the sun, I applied SPF 70 in the morning, and again around midday. I also wore a ball cap. And I did not burn at all :)

I'm a runner, but I've been doing all of my running on a treadmill recently to avoid the sun exposure. It will be nice to finally be able to run outside again.. although I don't know if I'll still want to come July!

Today is Day 224 of Accutane. I'm getting ready to jump into my last month. I've been just about 100% clear for a month or so. I think I had one pimple in the past month, but it healed quickly.

I've become a pro at combatting the dryness. I know that I cannot wash my face in the morning or my makeup gets all dry and flaky at midday. I have to wash (preferably oil cleanse) at night and apply a heavy moisturizer. Sometimes I even mix my foundation with lotion, which makes it apply so nicely on those dreadfully dry days :)

I'm really so happy and grateful that my skin is finally clear. My hyperpigmentation spots are slowly healing. I can't wait for them to be gone! Hopefully there isn't much true "scarring" behind it all.

Lately I've been feeling really great. No headaches, joint aching seems to have subsided. I've been taking glucosamine, although not regularly. Also drinking plenty of water, and getting in some extra electrolytes, which has been making a world of difference.

If you're on Accutane and not seeing the results yet, just hang in there. It's so worth it. For the first time since high school, I am beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin. I will probably cry with joy when i've finally swallowed my last pill.

If you're going through Hell, keep going!

Hi all.

My face is still clear. Still healing. BUT I am so dry today.. It's the kind of dry that has dead skin ALL OVER MY FACE. I am on my lunch break now and I just looked in the mirror and saw how flaky my whole face was so I tried to rub the flakes off.. BAD IDEA eusa_doh.gif

I think this is stemming from three things: 1) I spent too much time in the sun this past weekend. Normally I don't burn at all. I didn't burn this weekend but my face was slightly red at the end of the day (but gone by the next morning). I think this may have caused my top layer of skin to shed. 2) Last night I thought it would be a good idea to use a facial scrub. I used it so gently but it has clearly made my face so much worse. I used the sea salt scrub by Lush. Worst idea ever. For the record, I normally like this scrub when not on Accutane, and some people report that it has actually helped to completely clear their acne. I should have just used my oil cleanser. 3) I've been using some BB Cream (it's like a light foundation w/ sunscreen and healing properties--check it out!!) since I don't need all the coverage of my regular foundation anymore. However, you have to really rub the BB cream into your skin for it to blend and that really just made my whole dryness situation that much more obvious. Plus I bought this BB cream back before I started on Accutane--back when my skin was OILY. I believe this BB cream is only good for oily skin. So, I'm a dope. I just want to go home and oil cleanse right now to get all this crap off.

Anyways, I'm in my office on my lunch break and now I just want to go home because my face looks terrible right now. Yes, it's 100% clear (and I am so grateful for that) but it looks so disgustingly dry and appears as though I've caked on a bunch of makeup, which I haven't.

Boo hoo. Poor me. eusa_wall.gif


I do not have even one pimple on my face! Not one! I have loads of healing "spots", but no actual pimples. My skin feels smooth and I feel happy.

That great big ugly thing that appeared on my left cheek last week never "came to a head." It just dried out and has now joined the other few dozen healing hyperpigmentation spots. If it weren't for that spot on my left side, I could just about not wear makeup on that side of my face.. lol. My right side has many more healing hyperpigmentation spots than my left for some reason. I'm still using my Murad spot lightener stuff which seems to be working. I have about 2.5 months lefts on this crap and I think that will just about nip it in the bud!

This week is my lady week and along with it came one great big pimple on my left cheek. It hasn't really surfaced but it's red and it hurts.. Could also be because I was super tired on Saturday night and didn't properly wash my makeup off before bed (I used a wipey thingy though!). Other than that, I've been on the right path. You know, the one that EVENTUALLY leads to clear skin.

Maybe I haven't been great at remembering to apply lip balm lately, because my lips have been so dry. Even drier than usual. Like visibly dry and peeling. It doesn't bother me too much. Also, the backs of my hands have been dry and rough and occasionally itchy. My scalp was so itchy last week that I scratched it and caused it to flake or something because one of my (rude) co-workers approached me and told me I have dandruff. Jee, thanks a fucking lot. I wanted to tell her that she's old and fat and to get out of my office. :)

Anyways, I just ordered another 2700mg of Accutane (30mg x 90). They didn't have my 40mg pills in stock. I'm going to 60mg for my last 45 days. But I still have around 35 days left of the regular 40mg dose before I get to that.

I've been pushing myself trying to get back into my regular running routine. I have a few races to train for, but I'm having a hard time staying consistent with my training. I'm so tired and it seems to be taking me longer to recover after my runs. This will all be done by summer time though, with any luck..


It's happened! The results are here! I haven't had a new pimple in days. My face is in ultra healing mode. I'm so good at fighting the dryness that my face doesn't look dry at all. I'm so thrilled. I have around 47 days of Accutane left and now I have to decide if I'm going to order more or not. I would really like to have one completely clear month before stopping. That is how the derms decide to stop their patients' course of Accutane. Oftentimes, a person will go one completely breakout-free month and then take ONE MORE month after that just to nip it in the bud. I want this part of my life behind me. I hate hiding behind a face of makeup. I just want to be myself.

The left side of my face is still looking so pretty (to me). Sure, it has some hyperpigmentation marks, but they're getting lighter every day it seems. I've been using my Murad Skin Lightening serum every night before moisturizing and it's working. I feel so confident that this is going to work. I'll be done Accutane by summer and moving on with my life.

I know the pictures below don't look like much, but most of the ugly spots you're seeing are old marks that are fading. The pic on the left actually is the left side (and right side on the right, obv). You can see what I'm talking about when I say my left side has been getting consistently clearer while my right has not lol.. Doesn't my forehead look fabulous though?


My left side of my face still has not had a pimple. It has been around 2 weeks. It is slowly but surely getting very clear over there :) My right side currently has 3 pimples that are in the dry, healing phase. One of them was that whopper I was dealing with last week. The other two were smaller. As far as I can tell, there are not any pimples about to surface. Hopefully once these three are gone, my right side will start catching up to my left. It's strange having one side be clear! I find myself trying to position people on my left side when I'm in social/work situations. It's actually sort of glowing :D I'm feeling so optimistic lately. It's as if I'm actually starting to like myself..


My face has been very sensitive to hot water for some time now. I have to very careful to use luke warm water or my face turns tomato red. My joints are mildly achey. Mostly my achilles right when I wake up in the morning. It goes away in literally one minute.


My routine is the same as last week. I started adding a little bit of oil cleansing at night. This has really helped with flakes. Only using my Clarisonic about twice a week right now.


Two weeks ago (Day 154) I reported that the left side of my face was very clear while the right side was still "catching up". I have not had any [major] pimples on the left side of my face since writing that. The right side of my face has since had a pretty ugly breakout 1-2 big-sized pimples that are still healing.. One of them is a real eye sore, right in the middle of my cheek. It's in the middle of drying out right now. For once though, I don't even care. It doesn't bother me. I keep having the urge to squeeze it but I haven't! I'm a popper/picker so this has been a real challenge for me. Although it's a huge nasty thing, it will be almost gone by the weekend (today is Wednesday) and it's THE ONLY PIMPLE ON MY WHOLE FACE!!!! I'm feeling so hopeful lately. I just really, REALLY want to be clear for my wedding (in 6 months).


Okay, so I've become an absolute freaking professional at combatting dryness! My whole adult life I've been constantly blotting oil and trying to "mattify" my skin. It's a nice break to be doing the opposite. I have the absolute best routine right now and my skin is serisouly starting to look almost kinda pretty :) My routine is below... Anyways, aside from my newly glowing skin.. It has also been a little red lately. When I wake up in the morning it's fine. It seems to turn a little red around midday. When I say red I don't mean like a tomato. It's like a lovely blush red. I have always been a foundation & blush girl but lately I've been skipping the blush since I seem to be naturally blushing by lunchtime, lol..


So I've recently added a scar/pigment lightener. Now that I'm not breaking out for the most part (at least on half my face) I'm starting to attack those ugly hyperpigmentation spots that are left. Nast little things. Secondly, I've added pure 100% Vitamin E oil (the Jason natural brand) to my nightly routine. My face was getting really flaky and the Vitamin E oil has made this go away almost completely. I also figure it can't possibly hurt my scarring.



Clinique Superbalanced Liquid Foundation (just a little--that's it!)


Origins Checks & Balances Face Wash (pat dry)

Murad Spots/Pigment Lightening Serum (let air dry)

First Aid Beauty Ultra Healing Cream (let air dry)

Vitamin E Oil (I apply this just as I'm getting into bed. It feels gross but has kept the flakes at bay!)

For some reason, the left side of my face has become much clearer. It's still not even close to "clear" but for me, it's a major improvement and I feel so encouraged. If only my right side would catch up!! I'm seriously starting to think things are turning around for me. This is the clearest I have been since beginning Accutane, 154 DAYS AGO! Ridiculous.

I have to remind myself that my first 10 days were only at 10mg/day and the 80 days following that were at 20mg/day. In terms of cumulative dosing, I have achieved 4200mg. The recommended cumulative dose for my weight (55kg) is anywhere from 7000-9500mg. My acne would not be considered "severe" because it was not typically cystic in nature. Therefore, my goal cumulative dose is 7500mg. Obviously, every person is different. It may take more than that to clear my skin, or it may take less. Once one completely breakout-free month is achieved, I will then continue for one more additional month and then call it quits. If I follow this 7500mg course, I will be done treatment in 82 days. I think I only have 60-70 pills left.. crap. Still, it looks like I will be done before the summer sun gets here :)


The inside of my nose has been really dry. It helps a lot if I jam some Auqaphor up there before bed. Even better is when I put some Neosporin in there. Either way. I've been pretty consistently breaking out in a minor rash on the backs of my hands. It goes away when I use my First Aid Beauty cream on it though so no worries. And it doesn't itch or hurt.


I have been removing all topical treatments from my regimen to give my skin a chance to relax and play catch up. My regimen currently consists of:


Clinique Superbalanced Foundation applied with damp Beauty Blender sponge

Occasionally, Smashbox concealer where necessary

Light blush (Smashbox bronzer)


Origins Checks & Balances Cleanser with Clarisonic Mia 2

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

I'm still waiting for the morning that I wake up without a new blemish on my face. I don't think that's happened since I turned 18. Some days I'm more hopeful and other days I just want to stay home and cry--not in a depressed/suicidal sort of way but in a self-conscious, self-loathing, frustrated sort of way. It's not fair. I'm trying to plan my wedding but I'm hesitant to set the date until I'm confident that I'll be clear enough to walk down the aisle. I want to be comfortable in my own skin at my own wedding. I'm so embarassed to be my age and have acne as badly as I do. My fiance doesn't even know I'm on Accutane. I never mention my acne and I act like it doesn't bother me when really it's the only thing that gets me down. I wish I had just gotten acne over with as a teenager like everyone does. In high school, I only suffered from the rare occasional pimple. I NEVER wore any makeup and people who knew me envied me for my skin. Where did I go wrong?

On a more positive note, I invested in a new moisturizer (again). Since my face is so dry, trying new moisturizers keeps me hopeful. I picked up a little something called "Ultra Repair Cream", made by "First Aid Beauty". I've used this stuff nightly for near a month now and I can safely say that it's heavenly. It is a heavy cream but not greasy. It comes in a big tub but is also available in a smaller tube. I paid $28 for a 6oz tub and I love it. You can find it at Sephora. I don't know if it was this stuff or the Clarisonic that I've been using almost daily but all of those pesky whiteheads I was getting on my temples are GONE! Completely gone. Wish I could say the same about the rest of the crap on my face. I can't wait to try other products by this brand

I have not had one pimple or blackhead or anything on my back or chest since beginning Accutane. Not one! I don't know why my face won't clear up like the rest of me has. I'm beginning to think that maybe the makeup I wear daily may have something to do with it. I've been wearing the same foundation for years (since my acne began, 5.5 years ago). I don't have the confidence to leave my house without makeup. I HATE putting on makeup and I look forward to the day that I can eventually not need to waste my time and money on it.

Day 148---Negu

NEGU -- Google it. Stands for Never Ever Give Up.

I was about to cry when I ran out of Accutane about a month ago. I didn't know when I would be able to refill my prescription. I was off of it for around 2 weeks. Surprisingly, my skin did not get any worse over those two weeks. My dry lips did go away after about a week sans Accutane.

When I finally got back on the stuff, I had a little IB, which surprised me. It lasted around a week. At this point, I'm actually feeling like I'm improving. But why is it taking me so much longer than everyone else?? I've recently increased fat in my diet, which I've read is crucial for Accutance results since the drug is fat-soluble. That could explain why it seems to be working better recently. At this point, because of my setback, I'm looking at completing treatment around the middle of May. I don't want to be on this stuff forever, and I know that eventually I will have to come off of it even if I haven't achieved clear skin. I'm getting married in the Fall and I don't want to walk down the aisle looking like a pimply faced teenager. Those days are supposed to be behind me!

First off, I am still on 40mg/day. I've been on the 40mg dosage for 2-3 weeks now, so it's a little early to report anything seriously concrete.

My skin was dry & flaky even before upping the dosage. I had been using the Clinique Moisturizing Gel with a few drops of jojoba oil nightly, after washing my face. I would not wash or do anything to my face in the morning.. just apply foundation & concealer and out the door. This was not working for me. Half way through the day I would be flaky and gross. So now I'm using the CeraVe Renewing SA Lotion. I bought it at Walmart for $16. This is serious stuff! It is very thick and I do not recommend applying it in the morning because it does look greasy. It has not made me break out. I'm normally a Sephora snob when it comes to skinscare products but this stuff works better than anything I've tried for Sephora.

I've noticed that my face has been getting a lot of whiteheads--you know, the kind that you can't pop/extract, they're not red or inflamed. But I can feel them with my hands when I wash/moisturize. They are mostly on my temples, which is weird because I almost never ever have any acne there. I don't like it :( So, since I'm a naughty-naughty bad girl, I decided to go against the popular advice and go ahead and invest in a Clarisonic Mia 2! I bought it on sale online at for $120. I have now used it for 3 days (just once a day, at night) and I already have less whiteheads. I'm still using it with my Origins Checks & Balances foaming wash. I love that stuff.

I bought a Beauty Blender at Sephora for about $20 and this little thing has made applying my foundation a DREAM! It's just a little sponge for aplpying liquid foundation. I've always used my fingers for applying makeup but this has made my makeup appear more dewey, which is impressive for dry skin on Accutane. I've also seen knock-off brands at Marshalls for like $5. (Kicking myself!)

I am not using any topical treatments, no BP or sulfur. I've just been very gentle these past few weeks. However, the new CeraVe lotion I'm using does have salicylic acid (hence the "SA" in the name), but it's not very much and it's only meant to help shed dead skin. So far it seems to be doing just that.

I don't know how long I'll be on Accutane for. I recently talked to someone who was on 40mg for 7-8 months! Her skin is perfect now. Since I was on 20mg/day for the first 90-ish days, I'm thinking another 90 days on 40mg/day might work.

Fingers crossed.

When I started Accutane 90 days ago, I was so hopeful. Sure, my skin and hair are now dry (in a good way) and my lips are oh-so-parched. I know the Accutane is working, because I'm experiencing all of these side effects. Unfortunately, it is not clearing my skin. I would say that my acne has transformed to a different kind and is now on different parts of my face than it was before. But, I am still breaking out so consistently. I have new pimples every day. This is why I am increasing my dosage from 20mg to 40mg. If I were going by the U.S. dosage standard of 1mg/kg of body weight, the "standard" dosage for my size would be about 50-55mg, so I am still on the lower end of dosing. My acne is moderate so I don't feel the need to take a "standard" dose.

Before starting Accutane, I did SO MUCH research about low dosage courses of the drug. It seems like the majority of people who suffer from only moderate (as opposed to severe) acne have been very successful on low doses of the drug. However, 90 days is much too long to have not seen any positive results. I was going to discontinue the drug after a 160 day course of 20mg/day. Instead, I will be going 180 days, with the last 90 days at 40mg. I don't know what else to do.

Today will be my 4th day on 40mg. I am anticipating an IB, but we'll see. Hopefully in another month I will be happy to report some results. In the meantime, I really want a Clarisonic for Christmas.. lol I know they're supposedly terrible for delicate Accutane skin, but a lot of people seem to have had good luck with it. At this point, I am exfoliating almost every day because I am so dry (and loving it). I recommend the Lush brand sea salt scrub. It's quite abrasive yet not loaded with chemicals.

I get so much hope from watching Youtube vids of Accutane blogs. I wish I was brave enough to make one. I always pretend I don't have acne. I have all sorts of lotions and potions that I use for my acne and I'm always so careful that my fiance doesn't ever see me using them. I feel too old to still be covering up spots. I was 100% clear in high school and didn't start getting acne until college. I wish it had been the other way around like everyone else.

Thanks for reading my vent.. is anyone else out there in the same boat?

Today is Day 73. I don't feel any clearer than the day I started. I am almost halfway done my course.. I thought that by now I would be pretty much clear! I am already starting to dread the possibility that this treatment just might not work for me. I am still only on 20mg, but plenty of people have had great results on 20mg. Plus, I'm a smallish person (55kg) and my acne is only moderate... so why isn't anything happening??!!!!! I don't want to take 40mg, the side effects are hardly tolerable as it is. What are my options when this crap doesn't work? What do I do once I've wasted my liver and my face still looks disgusting? Accutance is the "last resort" drug, and it's not working for me!

Yesterday was the two month mark, and tomorrow marks 40% of the way through treatment.

I haven't seen any sort of results in the past month. Sure, my face and lips have dried up (not terribly), but I still have acne on my face. I'm ready to wake up and be clear like everyone else...

My face is dry and a little flaky. I keep getting cystic acne. It is definitely at its worst the week leading up to my lady time. I know I keep saying that I think my acne is "getting better" and "hopefully it's all downhill from here" but it just isn't happening for me yet. I know that this is the way that Accutane works. Most people don't see real results for at least 2 months, right? Well, it's been 2 months now and I'm ready!!! If I hit the 3 month mark without any results, I don't know what I'll do. I can't quit now.

On the bright side, my chest and back have been 100% clear for some time now. Those areas cleared up almost immediately. Although, the acne I used to get there was mild (but persistent)..

Today marks Day 37, and I'm 23% done my treatment. I am officially DRY! I never thought I would be happy to say that! cheer.gif

I finished up my 10 day antibiotic course last week, and it definitely calmed down my IB. Hopefully it's all downhill from here on out.

My forehead has been just about completely completely clear for a few weeks, with the exception of one ugly little bugger that appeared, but we'll blame that one on PMS!

My cheeks, which have always been my biggest problem area by far, are healing. There are still the post-acne marks but the active pimples are small and to a minimum.

My chin and jawline are the only places that have been breaking out. This was NEVER a problem area for me before so I'm calling this the initial breakout. It was worse a couple weeks ago, so it's definitely improving.

I always write my blog posts during my lunch hour at work. I have a mirror in my office and I typically glance over at my face for a moment or two before I report my progress. Usually, when I glance over, I see a shiny, oily face that badlt needs blotting. But, today, NO SHINE!!! No oil. When I look up close my cheeks are actually very dry and a teensy bit flaky. I love it. Ha!

I'm still using the same regimen. However, I've begun only taking my Accutane at night. So just 20mg, once a day. That's it. I've been using the AHA+ less frequently--maybe 2-3 times per week, compared to once a day a couple weeks ago. My face is simply too dry for it. I've instead been using my Clinique Moisturizing Gel mixed with the Jojoba Oil, which is great by the way. Thanks Daniel Kern! tinydan.gif

If you're not using Jojoba oil, you're seriously missing out.

Until next week!


Three weeks of Accuatne under my belt!

This time last week, I had about a dozen cystic pimples! Most were about a dime's width and pretty red. After doing my Proactiv sulfur treatment as a spot mask for 3 consecutive days, most of these giant pimples disappeared and/or decreased in size. They were painful! I've also begun an antibiotic course (on Day 3 now) which has really helped to zap the buggers. I'll keep up the antibiotics for a week and HOPEFULLY this horrible cystic initial breakout will have subsided by then!

Other than these cystic, underground, unpoppable monsters, I've also been getting tons of CLOSED COMEDONES!!! After all I've been through, I feel silly whining about whiteheads.. but, really?? Hopefully this part of an IB or purging process.

I haven't had any side effects to speak of. Just very minor lip dryness and mild backache. No wild psychotic thoughts, no hair loss, no weight loss, nada! I have had virtually no plain olf inflammatory pimples like I'm used to getting. I really feel like the Accutane is doing its thing. Hopefully after these antibiotics my IB will be over and I'll be in the clear!

I'm going on a 10-day vacation at the end of this week, and will post pics when I get back. I hope to return with good skin-related news eusa_pray.gif

As the title suggests, I've been experiencing a huge increase in cystic acne. Normally, my acne is non-cystic, but still inflamatory (it turns bright red and almost always comes to a head). Over the years, I've typically had one cystic pimple maybe every month or every other month. Meanwhile, I always have dozens of red "active" pimples, some brighter than others, and loads of post-acne marks. I suppose I don't really have any true scars--just post-inflammatory marks. My acne is so constant and relentless that the post-inflammatory marks are never-ending. I know that right now I really need to get the pimples from surfacing in the first place, but I dream of the day when I can really focus on fading my post-inflammatory marks rolleyes.gif

I deleted all of the pictures that show my whole face. I got to thinking how mortified I would be if someone I knew came across my profile on here. I don't talk to ANYONE about my acne--not even my boyfriend, whom I've known for 8 years and lived with for almost 3. Sure, he sees me without makeup, but he doesn't say anything about my acne and neither do I. He had pretty bad acne when I first met him in high school and he went on Accutane and was seriously cured. He never had acne again after that and has perfect skin now, which makes it difficult for me as I feel so ugly when I look at his perfect complexion.

I spend a lot of time researching about the experiences that other people have had with Accutane. I'm staying extremely positive (unusual for me), because I have seen what happens when people start to lose it cry.gif

I can't lose it. I won't let myself. I am thinking back to days when my entire face was covered in spots. There was more redness than there was my actual skin color. I hope the Accutane doesn't bring it back to that. I hope that this cystic acne I'm having is my initial breakout and that after this it will be smooth sailing. It could happen, right?

I'm having a really hard time with keeping my hands off of my face. Once I get home after work, I find myself in the mirror for twenty minutes extracting things left and right, until my face is bright red and angry. I know that this just makes it worse, but I can't help it. Yesterday, I willed myself not to pick and, instead, I gave myself a little spa day. Boy, did it pay off!!! I was so tempted to squeeze this cyst, but I didn't.. and I woke up this morning to it being only about half the size that it was :) Here's what I did:


Got into a nice hot bath (but not too hot)

Created a little exfoliating mixture from my Origins Checks and Balances & Clinique Exfoliating Scrub

Used this mixture to gently exfoliate my face & jawline for about a minute, and rinsed (duh)

While my pores were wide open, I caked on some Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask (LOVE THIS STUFF)

Wait for it to dry, then rinse off.

Globbed the Proactiv Refining Mask on all of my active pimples and left that for about an hour

I mixed some AHA with Jojoba Oil, rubbed that all over and went to bed

Happy Friday!

Today is Day 10. I won't go so far as to say I'm frustrated, but I am really digging deep to find some patience nowadays. Ok ok, I shouldn't really be complaining since my skin has definitely improved. But, I won't be able to report results for sure for a few more weeks when I'm certain that these results are actually from the Accutane and not just my normal cycle. I've mentioned before that it's normal for me to have a bit of a clearing period for a few days each month, so that could be all that this is.

Results: Today I'm posting my usual "progress pictures". I'm going on vacation in 2 weeks and I'd really like to be clearer by then. But with my luck I'll probably finally experience that "initial breakout" that everyone keeps talking about. I'm up to 20mg per day now and I don't plan on going any higher. I've been on 20mg/day for a few days now so I'm anticipating the IB. I've stocked up on some AHA+ (to prevent the IB) and jojoba oil (for dryness, if it ever gets here). I'm still pretty oily every day and haven't seen a huge difference in that area. At this point I would almost welcome some serious freakin dryness! The biggest change that I have noticed is that the location of my pimples seems to be changing. They're been popping up along my jawline and chin, where I'm normally used to getting them primarily on my cheeks.

Side effects: Very mild lip dryness, mild lower back discomfort. Nothing harsh.

Regimen: The only change I've made to my regimen is that I've added AHA+ to my nighttime routine in place of the Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion...


Accutane: 10mg

Wash: Neutrogena Stress Control Power Clear Scrub

Toner: Clinique Clarifying Lotion 4

Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different GEL

Makeup: Clinique Superbalanced Liquid Foundation


Accutane: 5mg 10mg

Wash: Origins Checks & Balances

Toner: Clinique Clarifying Lotion 4

Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different LOTION AHA+

I've got my fingers crossed, and I hope you do, too.

I'm seeing an improvement! I upped my dosage to 15mg/day 2 days ago. The highest I will go is 20mg/day. People who use lower doses of Accutane see the same long-term results as those who use higher doses of the drug--the only difference being that low dose users will have to be on the drug for longer. I will likely end up using the drug for 5 months.

Results: I am trying to not get my hopes up, since this clearing I'm experiencing could just be part of my lady cycle.. It's not unusual for me to have a few clearer days each month. Just in the past week, I've had a decrease in sebum, and my blackheads are coming to the surface. I haven't really had any new pimples EXCEPT for two sneaky giant nodules that showed up along my jawline. These are the kind that are huge but will never surface. I would much rather have these stealth bombers hanging out on my face than the normal red ugliness I'm used to.

Side Effects: So far, nothing terrible. I've had some throat dryness/soreness from just about Day 1. This could just be Fall allergies so stay tuned.. Absolutely no lip dryness yet, but I'm obsessed with lip balm to begin with, so maybe I will completely prevent that one. Just today I'm starting to feel a little tightness in my face. It's not quite dryness but probably will be if I don't stay on top of it. I'm thinking of getting a bottle of the jojoba oil to help combat any extreme dryness that may show up.

Regimen: I have switched up my regimen a little bit so that I wouldn't be using any BP and only salycylic acid in about the 1% dosage. I've been extra diligent with using my toner and moisturizers. My goal is to keep that dryness from ever becoming a problem. I'm also limiting my harsh exfoliants. The face washes I use are interchangeable. So, if my skin is not actively broken out and/or if it's a bit dry, I won't use the Neutrogena wash at all and I'll just stick to the Origins wash.


Accutane: 10mg

Wash: Neutrogena Stress Control Power Clear Scrub

Toner: Clinique Clarifying Lotion 4

Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different GEL

Makeup: Clinique Superbalanced Liquid Foundation


Accutane: 5mg

Wash: Origins Checks & Balances

Toner: Clinique Clarifying Lotion 4

Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different LOTION

On a side note, I realize that probably no one will even be reading my blog. But, I have to say that I'm having a much easier time coping with my acne now I have a place to vent about it. Over the past 5 years, I've never talked to anyone about my acne or how frustrated I am with it. It makes a huge difference to have a place where I no longer have to hide it. If there's anyone out there reading this, know that you're not alone in your struggle with acne. Make an account on or anywhere and vent about your acne. Talk about what works for you and what doesn't. I promise you'll feel better knowing that you have the support of so many like-minded people who are fighting the same battle.

Today I took my first-ever dosage of Accutane. Well, technically it's the generic Isotretinoin. I took 5mg this morning and I will take another 5mg tonight, for a total of 10mg/day. I will maintain this 10mg/day for at least 2 weeks, and possibly as long as a month, depending upon how my body reacts.

Admittedly, my acne is not as bad as it has been in the past. I have always secretly sort of hoped that my acne would eventually go away on its own. But, I'm going to be 23 soon and, honestly, I'm too old for this crap.

My acne first surfaced when I began college (Fall 2008). I was almost 18. The first year was horrible. In high school I very rarely had any acne at all, and never had any reason to wear makeup, etc, so this whole acne treatment thing was new to me. I tried every kind of facial soap on the market that my college student budget could manage, I washed my face 5 times a day. Of course, all of this only made my acne WORSE. So, it took the first year or so before I learned that washing more than twice a day was doing more harm than good.

In the meantime, I've tried a few topical prescriptions that I don't remember the name of. None of them worked. I've tried Doxycycline, which actually worked enough for me to forget to wear makeup a few times. I've tried probably 3 types of birth control. Birth control did not work for me, and I did not appreciate the side effects (mood swings and weight gain of nearly 15lbs).

My doctor has never offered me Accutane. She loves beating around the bush and making me suffer. So, after having a really nasty breakout over the past few weeks, I began doing research on how to obtain Accutane (Isotretinoin) without a prescription. Because I'm technically self-treating, I am taking a low dosage. There has been much research that suggests a lower dosage of 20mg/day is equally as effective as 40mg/day. Plus, my acne these days is more on the moderate side as opposed to how severe it was a few years ago.

It came in the mail yesterday and I waited until this morning to begin. I've got my fingers crossed for something good to come of it. Here goes nothing.

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