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Accutane & Hope Log


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I am 23 days into my Accutane journey. I turn 40 in November. My wish for myself is that by my 40th birthday, I am enjoying my life without the daily stress I feel about my skin now. 20-30 minutes to cover-up the red marks on my face before leaving the house. The fear of products, food, certain light. I want to feel like my life doesn't revolve around the status of my skin. I want to feel free and confident, without makeup. Accepting myself and loving myself. Granted, a lot of this has less to do with Accutane and more to do with my mental state. A work-in-progress.

Here is what I notice so far:[list]
[*]My lips are dry but manageable with Aquaphor
[*]My face is dry (was an oil slick before, so okay with this) but moisturizer is helping--still haven't found my perfect one
[*]My scalp is itchy and dry and I have dandruff (new one for me)--need to find a good remedy for this
[*]My nose blackheads seem to be inching their way out and my nose feels very rough
[*]Breakouts are emerging (no more than usual though) but they seem to go away A LOT quicker than before
[*]No new cysts have appeared (and that was my acne type), just "regular" pimples, papules, which for me, feels like a vast improvement. After years of weird, hard, large and painful bumps (in lovely clusters) under my skin around chin, neck, jawline, that would stay around for months, regular pimples are almost welcome, if that makes sense.
[*]I am super, super tired. Less sharp in my head. Less motivated.
[*]I feel bloated 100% of the time, whether I can go to the bathroom or not. Bowels are not active enough despite a healthy diet and exercise and tons of water
I am trying to keep myself from reading the negative Accutane experiences and I even have to be careful about reading too much of the good stuff, only because I obsess and I do believe what you focus on manifests.

I am on only 20mg this first month and the derm wants to increase me to 40mg next time (Mon, 7/9) but I am really hesitant to jump ahead. Everything I am experiencing right now feels manageable and I am afraid if any of the above were to drastically increase, I might really struggle with my compliance. It's a balance I guess.

I am not sure I have the best products for this journey and yet also feel that fear I always have with trying new things. Trying to decide if I should just maintain the best I can without any change. Considering adding Neosporin to my routine to try to heal actives, instead of the more drying attempts I make now (sulphur & mud masks).

Struggling with my need to wear some type of makeup for my confidence level at work (I'm the oldest one there and the only one with bad skin!). I don't wear all over foundation, but I spend a lot of time trying to cover up my red marks or actives. I know our skin needs to breathe but....

Trying to keep my eye on the prize and understand this is not a quick fix, but a journey and no one said the journey would be easy.

I appreciate everyone who posts about their experience and encourages others to hang in there. I am trying to do just that. Have to say though, there are not many in my life who want to hear about this so I am grateful there is a place I can come for support.

I realize I neglected to relate all of the things I had tried previous to trying Accutane. It is important for me to know where I was at before I finally took this step.[list]
[*]Antibiotics, including Bactrim
[*]OTC - you name it, drug store, Sephora, Ulta, all the popular kits, a ton of products, masks, spot treatments, washes, zeno
[*]Birth control
[*]Facials - high end, including light therapy and exfoliation
[*]Scripts - Retin A, Tazorac, Benzaclin, Clindamycin, custom blend of all with Benzo, Aczone, Cortizone shots
[*]Cleanses, detox, supplements, vitamins, homeopathy, naturopath, acupuncture, chiropractic, prayer, meditation, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, tea tree, apple cider vinager, mud masks, aloe, gentle skin care...........
[*]15-16 years ago, tried an unsuccessful course of Accutane that left me with awful keloid scars
[*]I'm sure I am forgetting things. 15+ years of trial after trial after trial and 4 different derms

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54 answers to this question

Posted · Report post

Nothing else new really....just seem to be going through a breakout phase again. How is your rash today? Make sure you moisturize it...that helped me when I started with rashes at the beginning of my course.

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Posted · Report post

Day 39.

Wish I could take my own advice and not pick at my skin. :(

Noticing back pain in AM.

Everything else remains the same.

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Posted · Report post

[quote name='zodistarr' timestamp='1345231777' post='3277708']

That is my vote anyway! As for the eczema… I am using Eucerin Calming Cream


I use this in the AM and then again in the PM…. and then I put shea butter on my hands, feet, knees, and elbows. I am only 2 weeks into accutane but I am doing everything in my power to fight potential side affects before I get them. I was told this cream was great from my derm. So far so good.

Cracking Lips--- I read on another log that you could put generic hydrocortisone cream on your lips over night and it would pretty much cure them… then pile the aquifer on as much as possible. I bought myself a tube just in case I got a crack and didn't feel like running to the store.

Shadylee- I know waiting the 30 days sucks… I used the 30 days to start combating any potential side affects before even starting my first pill! I changed my supplements, started moisturizing, and piling on the aquifer- so far so good. I'm 31 and very very active- so I really am trying to avoid any side affects that will affect my active lifestyle.

Summer hang in there!!!! This could be the miracle cure you have been waiting on!


Thanks so much! I really needed that boost. :)

Sounds like your journey is off to a great start!

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Posted · Report post

[quote name='Summer5150' timestamp='1345151824' post='3277403']
Rash = itchy & red. Called Derm - "it's probably eczema" - whaaaat? Never had that before in my life. Great. So she called in yet another script to combat that side effect. [img][/img]

I will moisturize. Thank you for the suggestion!

Feeling very down about this journey.

Current side effects in order of severity:
[*]Extreme lethargy
[*]Chronic constipation
[*]Sore joints & back
[*]Hair falling out (not noticable to the outside world but my bathroom floor needs daily sweeping!)
[*]Lips - crack, hurt, constant peeling
[*]New: eczema like rash on neck/collarbone
[*]Random headaches
[*]Dry hair
[*]Red face
Oh my word. I need a reality check. I'm only in month 3. Can I put my body through 3 1/2 more months of this?

The good stuff:
My skin is about 95% clear. It hasn't been this clear in years. The breakouts I do get are "normal" - meaning, they are not gigantic bubble-like cysts under my skin on my chin that sit there for weeks and weeks on end. They pop up but heal relatively quickly. I can count on one hand the new breakouts that have appeared in the last month. YES! That is progress. This is what I signed on for.

Cost-Benefit Analysis. Is it worth it?

I think I need some outside perspective...

Awww Summer, I'm so sorry you're experiencing these side effects :( It must be so hard but if you came off the accutane and a few months down the line your skin got worse again, you'd be gutted you hadn't stayed on the accutane. You've come this far so aslong as your not harming yourself in the long run, keep at it!
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