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  1. I never cleared up completely until after stopping the drug after a 5 month course of 80mg/day (first course). I was completely clear for 6 months and then the acne started creeping back in. I went on a second course to try to get in front of the problem and I'm close to clear after 9 weeks. I expect this course to clear me up since there are large portions of my face that have yet to breakout since the first course. I really just have problem areas near facial hair and my forehead. If you have an experience like mine your breakouts will get smaller, dry up quicker, and sometimes not come to a head. DON'T POP. I've popped a dozen whiteheads during this course because some have to go, but if you don't you'll be better off.
  2. 1) is it common for Accutane to make your face ten times worse for such a long time? -Everyone speaks of an initial breakout, I had mine, but from what I've heard from my doctor a 20mg course is short-sighted. A lot of patients see clearance with a low-dose treatment but many doctors prescribe 1.0-1.5 mg/kg daily. So you should have taken 60 or 80mg. 2) could there be some reason I am reacting this way? -No clue and it's sad that a dermatologist can't find a solution. There's no disease like acne! 3) does anyone understand any of the above story? -My feelings are that you had a much worse underlying problem than originally thought. A lot of people have cystic acne lying under the skin, not necessarily causing red marks or any visible sign. The one thing I'm positive about with Accutane is that it transforms your pores and literally pushes shit out of your face. If there's anything under the surface, you're going to see it. Now, why you haven't been able to fight back in 5 months of medication is a mystery. My guess is the low-dose. That seems to be a maintenance only technique. Good luck! I had to take a 2nd course but did have full clearance after 5 months of 80mg a year ago. 6 months later I relapsed but I'm already close to clear on the 2nd course after 3 months of the same dose and hoping this course will hold.
  3. Week 9: Great week 9. Picked up my third month of boxes. Still pretty excited every time I see $25 ring up on the register instead of $300. The breakouts from week 8 have diminished and I only have one small active on my cheek-bone. It's the waxy type and I expect it to dry up instead of pop. I have noticed a lot more pimples that would usually come up as liquidy white-heads, have now come to the service looking like sebaceous filament. They either dry up or I squeeze out a solid guck and it heals. Face is still red a few hours each day and I have the accutane glow most of the time. Water brings down the redness so I'm staying hydrated. Oil came back a bit this weekend but I think it was, again, due to the weather. It was 70 degress in February, whereas it's usually in the 0s here. I'm never going to worry about oil again after this course. I'll use blotting sheets 5 times a day if I have clear skin. I'm not sure if my doctor will have me complete 5 months for a 150 mg/kg course or stop me at 120 mg/kg after 4 months. If I do go for a 5th month, i'll probably take 120mg a day to finish the course before summer gets here. Need my photo-sensitive skin to go away so i can go get a tan.
  4. Hang in there...that's awesome that your oil production has dramatically decreased and you're only 2 months in. Maybe the redness is a sign you need to start moisturizing more? Also, what kinds of supplements are you taking right now? Tumeric is a great anti-inflammatory for pain, redness, etc. I just came to provide an update and I appreciate the post. To answer your question, I moisturize more than enough. I use Ceravae and plenty of it. It takes a while to soak it but those of you on Accutane know it's necessary so we don't get cracked skin. I'll look into Tumeric. I'm not huge on supplements, other than vitamin D in the winter, so I'll do some research. Anything to help with redness would be GREAT. Hell, if Tumeric helps with muscle inflammation from workouts It'd be worth a shot. Thanks again. Back to my update. I wrote a discouraged post yesterday morning. If you've been on this drug for a couple months (sometimes earlier), 24 hours can make a huge difference in your appearance. My forehead spots have shrunken and don't seem to be coming to a head. The spots on the side of my mustache are diminishing too, but they've already come to heads and popped so they did their time. The spot on my temple is gone. Take the bad days with the good days and stay dedicated to the process. Drink water. Eat healthy. Workout. Do all of the things that you did before Accutane and never helped clear your face. Surprisingly they all benefit other parts of your life. Then in a few short months you'll be acne free, 10 lbs lighter, and happier.
  5. Week 8: Week 8 sucked. I broke out in a few more spots; the sides of my mustache (3), forehead (3), and temple (1). These seem to be my trouble areas and the fight is waging a lot longer than it did on my first course. Not very happy with the results at this point. I was feeling excited after getting thru week 7 without too much of a disaster and thought I'd be on the up-and-up. This isn't the worst I've looked, still better than when I started, but it's the worst since week 4-5. To top it off, redness is worse than ever. If I eat, I'm red. If I go outside, I'm red. If I exercise, I'm less red. Don't understand that one. The only positive I have now is that oil is gone and it's week 8. Picking up my 3rd month boxes today or tomorrow.
  6. Week 7: Week 7 on my second course was, unfortunately, not as great as week 7 during my first course. I had no breakouts this week on my first course and now I've dealt four unique, nasty whiteheads this week alone. By time they are noticeable it takes around 2 days until they burst and leave small red spots. 2 more and they're gone. So I'm left with 2 actives and a few red spots at the moment. Unfortunately, one is on my forehead but other than that one I'm dealing with a smooth forehead and very happy with that. Redness is bad. Especially about an hour after i take a pill, if i go outside into the cold for more than a minute, and when I eat. I usually eat in an office and don't see anyone but yesterday I had a lunch meeting and was asked why i was so red. I joked that my food was spicy..it was a caesar salad. I can deal with the breakouts pretty well since they've been around my whole life but the redness is awkward and people feel the need to ask about it since it looks like a burn or you're sick. Oil is still gone. I've gone a few days without blotting at all. That's a treat in itself. Today is day 50. I'd like to report back on limited breakouts this week and a reduction of redness but I won't get my hopes up yet. Let's just get rid of these actives.
  7. Week 6: I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is forehead-gate. There is a single red spot above my eyebrow and everything else is drying up and healing/almost unnoticeable. I had an incredible breakout free week 7 during my first course so I'm crossing my fingers that will be the case again. I don't mention it much but the breakouts continue under my beard. No one can see them but this week there were a couple painful ones that I put some pressure on a exacerbated a bit. I had a couple whiteheads at the edges of my beard pop up in 12-24 spans. They were a couple millimeters in diameter, so they look nasty. I popped one and let another sit (a test) and the one I left didn't improve over 2 days. I ended up putting some pressure on it and the head came off. It does seem to be healing faster than the spot I popped right away but not too much of a difference. I vote for pop. Oil is gone again. No blotting and dryness hasn't been too bad. Redness is still bad, especially while eating and after being outside in the cold. I'm over it. Bring on week 7. If I start to see the improvement I saw during my first course, I may cut down on my entries. I doubt anyone cares to hear about a breakout free week. Let's hope that's the case.
  8. Redness, yes. Soreness, no but if you have a lot of cystic acne I imagine that could mean it is all pushing to the surface and the pressure is bringing you pain.
  9. Week 5: Forehead-gate rages on. The new spots from last week have lingered for almost the entire week and a couple new ones after surfaced. The forehead is a real bitch considering this is a place I never had acne problems. Once a spot does dry up or pops while cleaning, it leaves a red mark for a week or more. It's almost like a bruise. Forehead skin must be thinner/more sensitive to scarring because elsewhere on the face where I've had to pop, I'm clear in just a few days and the red mark leftover is barely noticeable. Considering the lack of progress, I'm not seeing my forehead presentable for a couple more weeks. Oil came back a touch but I think it had to do with some unseasonably warm weather. The cold combined with accutane sucked any moisture my skin would have and I got a bit of that back. Nothing too serious and I'm still barely blotting. Redness is still present and noticeable at most times. I remember redness being less noticeable in the 3rd month so a few more weeks if that stays true for my 2nd course. I finish the first box of my 2nd month today and I'm feeling positive. Very excited for the coming weeks as they were very positive during my 1st course and I'm already in much better condition with the exception of my forehead. Not sure what's going on there.
  10. When I first checked your log, I thought it was my face but I didn't post photos on my log..same issue on my end but i hit a full 150 mg/kg. 26 (now 27) year old male with the exact same type of acne. We both seem to breakout along our beard lines/temples (i never had forehead breakouts until now) and the course cleared me up beautifully. I did do a higher dose course of 80 mg/day and hit the full 150 mg/kg after 5 months and ended up being clear for a full 6 months. These were the best 6 months of my life so when my forehead started breaking out and i got one whitehead on my cheek, i went to the derm. She was a new derm so I got to plead my case whereas my old derm might not wanted to give me accutane again. I'm now starting the second month of my second course and it is WAY better. Not much of an initial breakout, just my forehead working itself out and the rest of my face is settling back into being clear. I'm back on 80mg and the only problem is dry lips and facial redness. I'll probably do another 4 months but based on my progress i may just do 4 months total and hit 120mg/kg. Good luck getting on a second course. I'm sure you know already, but it's truly the only option for the emotional warfare that comes with acne. But I do hope whatever topical you are prescribed helps. I heard your skin reacts differently to topicals after your first course.
  11. Week 4: Forehead is still a nightmare. Last weeks spots have either popped or dried up and I have a couple new spots. The active + red spots make for the worst look yet. I would like to pull my hair back but I'm stuck keeping it on my forehead to mask the spots. Lucky for me these are the only actives on my face. I'm hoping another week or so to heal the actives and bring the redness of the old spots down. My nose is now getting that classic sandpaper feel but it's not blackheads, since I don't have any. Must be sebaceous filaments and each night I give a gentle exfoliation to smooth it down. By morning, it's rough again. Redness and lack of oil are consistent with last week. Other than my forehead, I'm VERY happy with the results so far. Once I clear on the forehead, I think it's smooth sailing whereas the first round I had breakouts all over the place until week 8-10, and smaller spots for the rest of the course. I went to the doctor yesterday and I'm currently awaiting my refill. I have 2 days of pills left so hoping they can transfer the order and have it ready for pick-up soon.
  12. Week 3: Week 3 was headlined by forehead bumps coming to a head. Luckily I have long hair now so they don't show but my forehead was the worst it has ever been half-way thru this week. I'm starting to notice my skin turnover rate is speeding up a bit and a bad day can quickly be followed by a good day as red marks clear and whiteheads dry up. I'm pretty hopeful that my forehead will be clear by the end of this week given the progress so far. I have also broken out in those classic dry areas next to my mouth, beside my nostril and under my beard. I moisturize like a mother fucker and am not noticeably dry but can't help but assume these are trigger areas because they get more irritation than most. Skin is still pretty red throughout the day but it fades in and out. I think I'm still in the process of getting used to the medication and the redness will continue to fade after each pill. Oil is GONE completely. I never got rid of it completely during the last course so I'm happy to see I'm so matte this far in. I know accutane isn't a long term solution for oil (based on what my doctors have told me) but I hope it continues to help my skin regularize and heal from years of topicals. Overall, I'm very happy with the results so far. I don't FEEL like I'm on any medication, probably because I've done it before, and this makes the days go by much faster. Next week will be 20-25% complete, depending on if i go for 120mg/kg or 150. I can handle a few more months of this.
  13. Week 2: This course of accutane is progressing much different than the first course. I mentioned the lack of blackheads pushing out in my last post and that continues. Not getting much in the form of sebaceous filaments pushing out either. My skin tone on my nose and forehead was a little off/bumpy the first few days of week 2 but today both were quite smooth. Only one spot on my forehead came to a head and was promptly removed. It could not have been removed more gently but left a small bruise where the pimple once laid. The sensitivity of my skin is the same as last course. Redness throughout the day and looking like a raccoon is the same as last course as well. Another similarity is the feeling that I may soon break out in various places throughout my face (blind pimples). Last course, not many of these came to be actual pimples so fingers crossed. I broke out in one of those spots above my mustache but it looks like it won't come to a head. It's just red and angry but doesn't have any white in it. Could be a blackhead... I'm feeling as though I'll be much clearer through this course than the last one thanks to the progress of my first course. My acne never came back as bad and it seems I'm still unable to break out in the same large or cystic acne I had before. 1/10 of the way through. I can do this 9 more times.
  14. Week 1: Fairly uneventful first week. I've felt the dryness on the sides of my nose, very similar to last course. My forehead has broken out in 4-5 spots and 1 on my chin that was coming up before the course. Im feeling the beginning stages of sebaceous filaments pushing out of my skin (no blackheads left from first course) so I'm excited that I won't go thru the redness of blackheads pushing out of my skin throughout the course. The turnover rate of my skin skin hasn't picked up quite yet so the pimples on my forehead will probably take a week to resolve themselves. Otherwise smooth sailing. Very happy with progress so far.
  15. Sorry to hear your acne returned so quickly. I just went thru the same thing (luckily had about 6 months of remission). I did the full 150mg/kg deal taking 80mg a day for 5 months so maybe just bad luck like me.. I just started the second course even though my acne is less severe (5 total actives and 3 are under my beard). Looking forward to hearing what you do next.
  16. Day 1: $20. Mind blowing. I paid over $300 per month during my first course for medication alone. $200+ for the doctor visit and blood tests. Now..$20 medication and $20 co-pay at the doctors office. I just picked up my first pill after waiting a day for insurance authorization for the medication. Basically the doctor signing off that I have serious acne and have tried a topical and antibiotic. Check. Check. Today I have a few actives on my forehead and some red spots on my cheek and chin. Very excited to be starting again and will do my best to practice patience this course. Huge weight lifted off my shoulders having started and my savings account staying in-tact.
  17. UPDATE: I went to the dermatologist today, explained my case, and was promptly prescribed my second course in all of 10 minutes. I had doubt and honestly have been anxious for weeks because of the fear mongering on this community that my doctor would not prescribe me accutane. Of course, if you've never tried antibiotics or topical retinoids doctors will want to prescribe a step therapy. The drug is serious but if you've gone through hoops to get rid of acne a doctor will have no problem prescribing accutane. It's not irresponsible. It's a safe drug with some nasty side-effects. There aren't too many drugs that cure a disease out there without serious side effects. Luckily, I have better insurance this time around but I am awaiting authorization from my insurance company before CVS can fill my prescription. If for some reason I'm denied, I'll go back to Walmart with the GoodRx card and pay $300. 5 more months for a chance at remission is a drop in the bucket for a possibility at a lifetime without acne. I didn't follow up much on the psychological benefits of accutane (or moreso the lack of breakouts/acne). I've been an anxious person for as long as I can remember. When I completed my course and saw clear skin for almost half of a year, I found I had no worries. Everything stemmed from the fact that I had a pimple (even one) on my cheek or felt the pain of a cyst under my skin. I wish something so small, so insignificant in the grand scheme of things would not affect me to such an extent but to no avail. Especially as I near remission once again, my patience for acne is GONE. If I had to deal with topicals and antibiotics again I might have a panic attack. For now, I'll take a deep breathe, knock out drinking for a few months, and cross my fingers for success. I'll write an update once I get pricing and my first pills. I plan to update once a week or so on the second course.