Today I went to see my dermatologist for a follow-up on my skin.
It's been about two months using Atralin (topical tretinoin gel), and for the first month I was on minocycline.
I also switched back to Neutrogena face wash at the derm's request.
My face is sore, itchy, dry in some places, oily in others, and my acne is not improving. It turns out I was supposed to refill my prescription of minocycline for another month (this wasn't made very clear to me, just a miscommunication I guess), but I'm glad I didn't. It didn't sit well with my stomach. According to the derm, I could try using antibiotics for 6 to 9 months, or just go on isotretinoin (accutane). I decided that using antibiotics for that long was a worse idea than isotretinoin.
I asked all the questions I could think of about isotretinoin, and my dermatologist answered them all effectively and was very reassuring. He said in all his time of prescribing the drug he's almost never seen any severe physiological reactions or side effects, and no instances of psychological side effects.
So, that's that, I'm registered on iPledge and everything. I'm a little nervous about this, but I think I'm making the right choice. Hopefully this will be the solution I've been looking for, rather than a source of new problems.
I go in for my preliminary blood work next Tuesday. I'm starting with 40 milligrams per day, but I'll eventually be taking 60 to 70 milligrams a day assuming I respond well to the initial treatment level.
My plan is to keep using the Neutrogena face wash, as well as Dan's AHA+, until I actually start taking the isotretinoin. Then I'll probably switch back to Dan's cleanser and moisturizer.
If anyone has any tips about good products (especially lip balms, eye drops, or sunscreens) to use while on accutane, I would greatly appreciate your input.
Wish me luck,