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My Accutane Journey

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Well, i have completed month two of 60mg a day and am now half way through month three with the same dosage.

Month two, at the beginning... it was just the same. Still breaking out however the breakouts were smaller and not so inflamed. I started to notice that in the last week of my second month, my skin started to clear up and only had 2 or 3 small breakouts on the side of my face. I was very excited for month three.

Now, half way through month three, I am happy to say that I have been pretty clear for the majority of it. Apart from one small break out on my jaw when I was on my period. Other than that, I have been absolutely thrilled with the results and that I no longer need to worry about where I am breaking out next.

Something that really helped me out during my second month on Accutane, when I felt really unsure about my skin and the products I was using was Mrs. Hirons and her skin blog.Everyone should go check out www.carolinehirons.com, she is absolutely amazing and has really changed the way I look at skin care and cleansing. She is a british "skin expert", with many qualifications and a good understanding of the beauty industry. If you're curious or simply a skincare junkie such as myself, so check her out.

My clarisonic has also been so helpful throughout this entire process. And no, I don't use it everyday. I use it about once a week or maybe even once every two weeks. I just need to see what my skin needs. There are times throughout the month where I feel like my skin just needs help getting rid of the dry/peeling skin especially around my nostrils and in between my eyebrows. One quick cleanse with a clarisonic and it helps stop the flaking/peeling for about another week or so. Followed up with my daily routine of Fresh Seaberrry Face Oil (this stuff is amazing, so hydrating!) and some Cetaphil moisturizer and all is well again.

Issues that I have been suffering with so far:

-the Accutane rash on my hands. It comes and goes. Some days it is perfectly clear while other times it simple comes back so red and sore. I know there are prescription creams and stuff, but honestly, if I can go without it then I'll will. My dermatologist says that it should completely go away after I stop my Accutane treatment, so for now... it will just be my amazing Eucerin cream.

-Working out has become sort of an issue. I love working out and really pushing myself... but I find that it has become really difficult while on Accutane. Two reasons for this.. the first one being that I get so red in the face after a workout and it stays like that for a while afterwards. Secondly, i get really sore after a run or workouts that I have never really had an issue with in the past. Specifically my back and my knees. Doing my research about the medication, I knew about the joint pain and stuff were common issues ... but i seriously did not think it would impact me so much.


So now, I feel like I need to shift my focus. I no longer need to address active breakouts but evening out my skin tone. I'm pretty lucky that my scarring is really not that bad but now improving the condition of my skin is the next goal.

I'm so happy the first month is done for me! I keep reminding myself of the promised three month mark where I'll notice the most difference. I'm almost there!

In regards to how my month went... well I have definitely noticed the redness in my face go down and it doesn't look so irritated. In regards to breakouts, I've cleared up a bit, but I am still breaking out along my temples and a little on the cheeks. But still this is much better than the initial breakouts that I got once starting the Accutane.

In regards to side effects:

-DRY MOUTH, this has become a big problem for me. No matter how many water bottles I drink, I still have a dry mouth. Obviously this isn't the best because a dry mouth leads to bad breath. But I have found something that helps me cope with it. The company is called "TheraBreath" and it creates mouth wash, toothpaste and lozenges specifically for people who deal with bad breath and dry mouth (primarily due to medication). I haven't tried the mouthwash or toothpaste but the lozenges are a total lifesaver!

-Dry lips, not as bad as other stories that I've heard. As long as a I put some aquaphor one them, everything is alright. There isn't any crazy peeling, painful side cuts. I really don't have much to complain about my lips

-Dry hair, when I first noticed how dry my hair was... I was excited? Because that means I could go longer without having to wash my hair. The reason why I got so happy was because I thought my hair would be beautiful and healthy and not frizzy because I wasn't going to have to wash it every other day. However, now, I need to put an oil in my hair in order for it to not feel so frail and dry. Now, I just use some India Oil and it does the trick. However, I feel that once I start the second month of Accutane, I may need to look into doing like a coconut oil mask for my hair in order to give it some moisture back.

-The Accutane rash, its on my left and right hand. This varies in severity, some days it is a little painful (like a bad sunburn kind of pain), sometimes it is itchy and sometimes it seems like its hardly there. I just put some aquaphor on it and it seems to calm the rash down. I'm okay with it... if it means that I'm going to have clear skin.

Other then the breakouts... my first month has not been so bad. I definitely don't think that I have it as bad as some other people. I hope that it continues this way for the remainder of the treatment.

I've been on break from school, spending more time with family and friends over the Christmas break.

Granted, this is the first Christmas I've spent with Accutane, and it has definitely been something completely different for me.

However, since my acne has gotten a bit worse, I've come to the realization that people have no idea what it means to have acne, especially when they have had clear skin or for the most part, trouble-free skin.

It is really hard for me to sit and listen to all my family members try to help me and give me advice on how to help with my skin. Each person giving their two cents about what they think I'm doing wrong, what I shouldn't be eating, what I should be eating, etc. etc. Some family members also question my reasons for going on Accutane, saying that I took the "easy-way out".

Hearing that, actually makes me laugh because there is nothing easy about being on Accutane. In my situation, I did try everything else before deciding to take Accutane. If anything, it wasn't the easy-way out but what I had left to try. Deciding to take a drug with such harsh side effects and potential risk is not something I consider to be the "easy option".

That is why, I am so so thankful for the community here on acne.org! So supportive, I can really learn a lot from other people's experience and opinion. It is a reminder that I am not this alone and that there are other people going through the same thing I am, even though I may not see it in my daily life.

So, today is the end of day 11.

So far,

-I finally am getting the dry lips that everyone keeps talking about. Like, my lips are cracking on the sides and I'm re-applying Aquaphor every hour.

-Its is becoming a real issue to wear eye contacts for more than five hours. Just so dry and I don't always have eye drops around. I think I need to convert to glasses for daily wear and turn to contacts for when I'm going out.

-I can't be certain that its from the Accutane, but there js a dry patch on my left hand. I'm not sure if I had a reaction to some of the makeup I was trying on my hand while at Sephora OR it is from the Accutane. But its red, and really dry. Not impressed.

In other news… I hope this is the worst of the Accutane.

I have broken out so bad, especially along my cheeks. Not my jaw and my forehead isn't that bad-pretty clear for the most part- and I just am trying to be patient and understanding. But its really really hard. I don't know if the fact that I'm on my period just makes this situation even worse, but its sucks so much.

Picture the finish goal-clear skin. Thats all I desire at this point.

The only okay part is that the breakouts heal faster then they usually would. The cystic/deep ones are not as bad as they usually would be (when I was not on Accutane). Regardless, I want to just fast forward to the promise of three months and see nice skin!

So, as the title suggests, I've been on 40mg of Accutane for three days now.... and I have already noticed some things.

1) My eyes are getting dry because my contacts are becoming more and more irritating to wear for long periods of time. I'm going to have to get a hold of some gel drops to help with this problem....... or.... comit to wearing just my glasses. Which right now, isn't such a problem because I'm mostly at home (finals are done! yay:)) and don't have to be a work and whatnot.

2) I have a breakout on my neck.... of all places. 99% of my breakouts are on my face, with the occasional one on my chest. But never have I broken out on my neck. Just a big, painful, pesky little bugger right on my left side. All I'm going to do is put some tea tree oil on it and hope it heals.

In terms of dry lips.... it hasnt really happened yet. But regardless, I've been layering on the chapstick/Aquaphor in order to start getting in the habit of it.

So far, the hardest thing for me is not being able to put on any topical cream for acne on my face. My dermatologist said that once I start Accutane... that I can't use the creams anymore. This having partially to do with the fact that my skin is going to dry out and to not make it worse...

But since I have not really experienced the dry skin...yet... I find it hard not to apply it in order to feel like I have some control over the healing process of the breakouts on my face.

My Current regimen:


sulphur soap

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo

Cetaphil moisturizer


sulphur soap

Tactuo cream (but.... I need to stop using this)

cetaphil moisutrizer

Let's hope I don't have to go through the initial breakout phase...(fingers crossed!)

Going on Accutane has been a big deal for me. I have been proposed the idea by my dermatologist before, but I was too hesitant and decided to try every other method before considering going on Accutane.

So my acne started somewhere around 13 years old, and I am now 21.... so yeah its been quite some time. I have hormonal acne, and it doesnt help that over the years I have developed a bad habit of popping by breakouts (bad.. bad.. I know...).

I have given so many things a good try but nothing has been successful.

In regards to face washes I've tried: Clinique 3 step system, ProActive,AcneFree, Sulphur Soap, REN clay cleanser, Cetaphil cleanser, and any of the neutrogena face washes

In terms of topical gels: Differin, Tactou, Clindoxyl

In medication/oral-administered medication: antibiotics, Diane35 and TriCyclen Lo

And then in an attempt to try the hollistic method, I saw a Chinese naturpath-type doctor who prescribed me special herbal teas to drink which were suppose to target and control my hormone levels. This worked for a bit.... but then the acne came back.

And so not long ago, I finally said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and started researching everything I could about accutane and just really put into persective all the potential side effects.

So with talking to my dermatologists and different things I had to to (blood test, pregnancy test, etc.) I have finally been prescribed Accutane...........AHHHHHHHH.