I've been on the Acne.org Regimen a couple of times, in addition to Retin-A and various antibiotics... at this point, I'm back on the Regimen. I'll stick with it as I think it will take longer to work, especially with a night-only application. I've also been shaving with a blade razor for the past couple months, so I feel like that might have something to do with the pseudo-acne I've been getting (might actually be ingrown hairs / folliculitis, as they all form on hair follicles and get very inflamed / filled with pus). I've recently switched to an electric clipper, and I've also started using bentonite clay / ACV masks. Hopefully the combination of BP, careful shaving and clay masks will be enough to keep my acne at bay.
Just wanted to update this in case anyone else on Accutane finds it useful.
Basically, my acne has been getting progressively worse since I've gotten off Accutane around a year ago. Right now I'm at the point where I have about 5-10 red pimples on my face at any given time. I've been trying to combat it with a night-only BP Regimen (I used Dr. Song's BP for about 6 months, and have been using Acne.org for about three months and a half now), but I just keep breaking out. I'm not sure if Accutane made my acne more resistant, or what... I'm still on the hunt for an effective anti-acne regimen.
I don't want to discourage anyone from taking Accutane, since the results are different for everyone... I'd say Accutane was still worth it for me, at least for the moment, since I don't really have that many breakouts on my back now (used to break out quite a bit there), and my acne is pretty much contained to my cheek / moustache region. Plus, my skin isn't as prone to developing annoying conditions like seborrheic dermatitis.
Haven't updated in a while... basically, since my last derm appointment, I've been moved down to 20mg. I'm supposed to take 20mg daily for two weeks, then 20mg every other day - and that is supposed to be the end of my course.
When I had my appointment earlier his month, I barely had breakouts (it was due to this fact that the derm decided that the coming month would be my last on Accutane), but since then I've been having more and more. A lot of them are around my chin / mouth area, or on my upper forehead. My cheeks and cheekbones have stayed more or less clear. The pimples aren't cystic like before, they seem to all be comedonal, but get inflamed and turn into whiteheads nonetheless. In addition, my oil has come back - maybe not as bad as pre-Accutane, but it's still bad.
Hence, since I don't intend to continue Accutane for much longer, I've been future-proofing. I've started looking up post-Accutane skincare products and already have a regimen lined up. For the last couple of days I've been using a 10% BP wash (Oxy Maximum Action) which I had lying around, and it's made things somewhat better. Even though it's only been a couple days, my breakouts have subsided somewhat. I'm eager to see whether a 10% BP wash, day and night, will be enough to keep my minor breakouts at bay. Since Oxy is apparently being taken off the market, I'll be replacing it with Topix 10% BP wash, which is a better deal and only has four ingredients. If a wash doesn't prove to be enough, I'll hop back on the Acne.org regimen but restrict it to night-only use (seeing as how one of the main reasons I did Accutane to begin with was because I like to lead an active lifestyle, and running around sweating with BP dripping down my face is not a pleasant experience... plus it's ruined a LOT of shirt collars). In addition, I'll moisturize day and night with Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, which has been my go-to lotion for a while.
Accutane's been a heck of a ride, an expensive one at that. It's definitely tightened up my skin, but in the end, I haven't stopped breaking out - although acne is a lot more manageable now. Hopefully it doesn't get even worse in the coming months.
40mg is going well, derm appointment early next week. Don't really have any acne anymore. Haven't had anything new on my face in ages, and I got maybe one or two clogged pores on my back this entire month.
So here's the deal. I missed a bunch of days on my last month of 80mg, because I was trying to stagger it last until I figured out where my last month was heading.
Anyway, turns out 30 days of 40mg was only $100 this time, so I'm still on Accutane. Started yesterday. I have to say, it feels comforting to still be on the medicine. Especially so because I've had more breakouts than usual on my chin area in the last week or so - small, painless ones, but they still get really red as they emerge.
Well I still have a couple actives on my face. My forehead for the most part. Yesterday, my derm told me that she wants to taper me off (40 mg this coming month, then 20mg)... but I told her if it was too expensive then I'd prefer to just stop cold turkey. She said she'd write out the prescription anyway, and I could see for myself if I wanted to go through with it or not.
Anyway, she also told me that after I stop the medicine, they want me to wait three months before I use any other acne medication (this includes topicals / creams). So yeah. If I had unlimited funds I'd stretch the course as long as I needed to, but unfortunately, I don't
Still getting small clogged pores on my nose and around my lips that get red and inflamed for a short while due to the sensitivity of my skin. Other than that, one big-ish painful pustule left on my forehead, and a really sore, slightly smaller one on my left temple. Long story short, month 7 coming to an end and I'm not clear.
So far, the second month of 80mg has been a real hell for my lips. They dry out SOOO fast, plus they peel constantly - not just the lips themselves, but the perimeter of the lips as well. I've had a reddish ring around my mouth for a while now because of all the dry skin I peeled off the sides. I've also been getting small whiteheads around the lips - whether from irritation, from dead skin buildup or from lip balm I don't know. They don't hurt, just feel somewhat tender sometimes, but due to my skin being so pale and fragile they get very red and noticeable no matter how small they are. As I've mentioned, persistent acne on my lipline was one of the big reasons I took up Accutane, so this is quite frustrating for me.
I also still get the occasional pimple on the rest of my face - maybe one at a time, two tops. These are likewise small and non-cystic, but get quite red.
Other side effects - my eyes are dry (I can still tolerate contacts though) and more sensitive to sunlight, my scalp is dry and flaky, and my joints / muscles ache a lot more (but it's only if I've performed strenuous physcial activity or slept in an unusual position). I also tend to flush around my ears sometime in the late afternoon: my head feels warm and sometimes my ears get really red. Finally, just today I've noticed a rash on my left elbow and a tiny one on my right. This is only the second rash I've had on the medicine: the other one was when I first started on 20mg.
Long story short, I have maybe half a month left, and from there on I don't know - maybe I'll go on an antibiotic. I don't want to do this for another month - it's quite expensive and the side effects are starting to get old. Or perhaps I can go on a cheaper maintenance dose or something. So far, it's not a miraculous cure, but it's close.
Soooo... Since starting month 8 I've gotten 2-3 pimples... I don't know whether it's the absence of prednisone / bactrim or just the last couple bumps getting pushed out by the 'tane, but again, it's frustrating not being 100% clear after 6 months. My lips were also an unholy mess when I woke up yesterday... sooo dry and peely... and after I removed a lot of the peely skin they were super red and irritated. I put a lot of Aquaphor on during the day and during the night, so now they feel better, but on the downside, I've gotten a couple tiny clogged pores / whiteheads along my lipline. Oh well.
It's just a waiting game now... hopefully the Accutane clears me up 100% before the month is over, because I really, REALLY don't want to go on to month 8. This stuff is expensive!!!
Oh snap! Had end-of-6 month appointment today and was informed that I'm going on to month 7, since they want to have a month with no breakouts before they take me off... to decrease the chances of acne returning after I'm off treatment.
Got a haircut recently too. Nice and short. I don't have to try and cover up cysts with bangs anymore, and I can shave / trim my facial hair as much as I want without having to navigate through a sea of pimples.
So... face is staying cyst-free. However, I am not acne-free. I still get tiny red ones, albeit not often (I have maybe 1 or 2 on my face at a time MAX). Plus, they get lost in the sea of red marks that covers my face. In addition to perpetual redness from the hyperpigmentation (Accutane seems to have made any HP from the past year flare up again), I've also experienced some facial flushing.. Although, my skin IS whiter right now than it has been in a looong time, considering I haven't spent much time outside in a looong time as per the Accutane... so I'm thinking getting a healthy tan once I'm off the medicine will help mask the redness a bit.
I believe I have 5 days left of my 6th month... dermatologist appointment this Thursday.
Overall though, Accutane has been fantastic so far. Sure, there have been side effects, but the confidence boost it has given me has been worth it. I feel so free! Hopefully once the red marks heal it will only get better. I'm not sure what will happen after I'm done, heck I don't even know whether I'll be done soon or have to go another month... I don't know whether acne will stay away or come back, but right now I'm trying to savor every pseudo-clear-skinned moment as much as I can.
I don't think I have rosacea. I get occasional eczema in the typical rosacea areas (forehead, sides of nose / cheeks), but that's only when I neglect moisturizing.
Day 179 New breakouts have been almost nonexistent - the only fresh pimple has been a little tiny uninflamed whitehead. Old stuff subsiding / drying up, sloooowly but surely. I've had eczema / dryness / cracking on the backs of my hands but a recent aggressive moisturizing campaign yielded significant improvement.
Trucking along. New breakouts have been minimal. I have maybe 3-4 "actives" right now and the rest are just remnants. However, I do have tenderness just to the left of my nose, so it might be 4-5 "actives" soon.
I'm around the midpoint of month 6 right now I guess, in terms of how much medicine I have left. Where I stand right now is decent, but I wish it could be better - and I'm hoping for further improvement. I have a LOT of hyperpigmentation - some of it is literally blood red. I also have some raised bumps which seem to be cysts that never surfaced. My skin, face especially, is quite dry, red and fragile overall. On top of that I still get occasional acne, which takes forever to heal.