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My Skin Needs Help! : My Journey On Low Dosage Accutane

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#1 LittleMsSunshine

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:59 PM

Hi guys :)  Soooo I have decided to go on accutane! I've been (mentally) documenting some of my progress Lol but I've decided that from now on I would share it on this message board :) Some of the logs (2-3) i will be posting are previous ones that I kept on my computer. My intention is not to influence anyone to start this drug. I'm just here to offer encouragement/support/answers to those of you who are already on this journey. It's a little scary, well at least I was scared to start it, so I'm hoping that starting this blog will be beneficial to some :) It will definitely help me :)

Background
I'm 24 and I've been suffering with mild to severe acne since I was 15. That's almost a decade! I never thought this would happen to me. I guess I always assumed I would "grow out of it". Yeah didn't happen. I've tried everything to get rid of this acne that has haunted me for far too long :(  My face was always extremely oily. OTC products helped a little with that but only for a few hrs. I always had mild acne. It was just a combination of white/blackheads. I seemed to get a new breakout every morning. Mainly around my jawline and lower cheeks. I would also get hormonal acne, so once a month my mild acne would turn to painful severe cystic acne. I kind of learned to live with it. I would use a ton of products to control the shine, BP to help dry out my breakouts and I know it's bad but I would constantly pick at my skin! I could not leave my house with any whiteheads! I have some scarring from that but I would use makeup to cover that up...

So I did a lot of research on this drug and I was scared by all the side effects. It just seemed so horrible to me. I don't think I would have ever considered this drug but ((and this is the only reason why I decided to go on accutane))... Body acne! Omg it's terrible :( Around the age of 16 I started getting mild bacne. Occasionally I would get it on my chest. How can some of us be so unlucky!? Anyway it was horrible and now at the age of 24 it's gotten pretty bad. On the scale of 1-10 I would say its a solid 10 and the scarring oh gosh :( its so depressing. I'm so uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel like acne took away what should have been the best years of my life :'( and that's why I have decided to go on accutane! My skin needs help :(

I will be posting my progress soon....

my skin needs help! :

my journey on low dose accutane

http://www.acne.org/...hp/topic/320393


#2 LittleMsSunshine

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:12 AM

So I was prescribed 20mg a day. I'm 5' 8" and  weigh 110 lbs. I know it's based on weight but I'm not sure if they take ur height into consideration? I really think they should.. Maybe use BMI or body fat % anyway I'm no Dr so I'll stop Lol. During the course of the first few weeks I felt like the side effects hit me at full force! Here they are...

Less oil production on my face :)
Chapped lips (ouch) I've never had dry lips like this so this was new for me
Dry /cracked nose (on the inside) 
Occasional nose bleeds
Dry/peeling skin on arms/legs  (my skin felt tight/sun burned)
Extremely dry eyes ( I wear contacts and it became pretty painful)
Dry/itchy scalp
Extreme fatigue (no matter how much I slept I was soooo tired)
Pretty bad backaches/muscle soreness/joint pain
Constipation: Oh how fun :(

I felt horrible during these weeks especially because my initial breakout, well broke out.
Here's the breakdown...

FACE:
My face was really red and my breakouts looked inflammed. Overall it was just painful/sensitive.
Forehead/nose: clear as always :)
Right cheek:  Around 5 new whiteheads (pretty big ones)
Right jawline: Terrible! A lot of cystic.. painful :(
Chin: 1 or 2 whiteheads
Left cheek: 2 or 3 small ones. 1 cystic on cheekbone
Left jawline: some cystic
 
* my right side seemed to break out the most but overall my acne was the worst I had seen it. EVER*

BODY:
Chest: clear! Didn't have any when I started and thankfully haven't gotten any
Right shoulder: clearing up. No newbies
Left shoulder: clearing up. No newbies
Upper back: clearing up. 1 or 2 new ones
Mid/lower back: broke out pretty badly.. Really painful

During these 4 weeks I really questioned if I could make it thru 6 months of this. I felt horrible. I didn't feel like going out because my initial break out had me so depressed. I work in sales so i see people everyday and honestly I just wanted to crawl in a hole :( My skin was so bumpy/red and I couldn't use cover up because my skin was so sensitive. I was always tired, my body ached and I never wanted to do anything. <=== I would say that was the worst side effect of all!!  I couldn't sleep on my side because the acne on my face was painful, I couldn't sleep face up because my bacne was painful and sleeping face down has always hurt my lower back. It got to the point where I didn't feel like myself. All I wanted was clear skin.. I never thought it would make me feel this horrible :( it was turning my world upside down sooooo i did the unthinkable... I decided to stop taking it! 

So for 2 weeks I stopped taking it and let me just say I questioned it every day! My acne just kept getting worse of course. I was waking up to at least 4 newbies. It was pretty uncontrollable. I thought it over and decided to suck it up.. How do you ppl that take 40/60 and even 80mg! do it? You have my respect! Lol anyway so now I am doing 20 mg every other day. My Dr wasn't really on board with this.. And I was scared that it wouldn't work especially because of how terrible my IB was but I was more scared of all the side effects I was experiencing. But I mean ppl are put on low doses and it works for them, I wanted to try it out too in hopes that it would work for me as well. Why do Drs have such a hard time prescribing low dosages? Jeez. Well hopefully my side effects won't be as bad but if my acne doesn't respond to such a low dosage I might have to go back to 20 mg a day. ((fingers crossed))

Since I took that 2 week break I started my count all over. So the numbers reflect the days I have been on my new dosage. Here we go again...

*Day 14/week 2*

Lips are no longer dry because of all the aquaphor I use but they sting!
Skin is still dry but my arms/legs stopped peeling
My eyes are still dry (I'm no longer wearing my contacts and using artificial tears.)
Fatigue seems to have gone away :)
Muscle soreness/ joint pain not that bad anymore
Backache still there
Constipation from time to time not like before thankfully

FACE:
Forehead/nose: very clear
Right cheek: 1 or 2 newbies
Right jawline: still pretty bad
Chin: 1 or 2 whiteheads/ 1 really big cystic :(
Left cheekbone: started breaking out pretty badly 
Left jawline: 1 or 2 new ones 

BODY:
Chest: still clear :)
Right shoulder: 2 newbies
Left shoulder:  no newbies since I started; clear :)
Upper back: clear!
Mid/lower back: a few cystic but no longer painful


*Day 16*

FACE:
Forehead/nose: very clear, almost glowing :)
Right cheek: no newbies
Right jawline: clearing up, quite a few bumps
Chin: the 3 very small whiteheads got bigger/ 1 really big cystic (still there)
Left cheekbone: clearing up, some bumps
Left jawline: clearing up, 1 small bump and 1 kind of big one

BODY:
Chest: still clear :)
Right shoulder: no newbies, the ones I got are drying up
Left shoulder:  no newbies since I started; clear :)
Upper back: clear!
Mid/lower back: a few newbies, cystic still there but no longer painful


I will update tomorrow with a current log.. Tomorrow will be *Day 20*

my skin needs help! :

my journey on low dose accutane

http://www.acne.org/...hp/topic/320393


#3 LittleMsSunshine

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 08:14 PM

Products I am currently using:
Cetaphil anti bacterial gentle cleansing bar (chest/shoulders/back)
Cetaphil gentle skin cleansing wash (face)
Makeup removing wipes
Clean & Clear Oil-Free Dual Action Moisturizer
Acnefree 5% BP (used VERY little on whiteheads only)
Vitamin E (56,000 IU) skin oil
Aquaphor (tons of it)
Artificial tears
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Lotion SPF 60: I work indoors and I'm usually never in the sun but on days that I am I use this sunblock. Its VERY thick but it doesn't break me out and it really works!

Supplements/herbs I am taking:
B complex 50mg/day
Triple strength fish oil (900 mg total of omega 3)
Kyolic aged garlic 1200 mg/day
Probiotics (1 billion) 1 or 2/day

Bc pills:
Lutera
I was soo not happy about having to start bc pills :( In the past I had really bad experiences with each one that I tried so I said never again! But welll... Now I have to but thankfully these have been good to me! :)


I'm going to update my log at least once every week but I will be on here a few times a week.. If any of you have any questions please feel free to ask! :) Stay strong guys :) and good luck on your journey :)

my skin needs help! :

my journey on low dose accutane

http://www.acne.org/...hp/topic/320393


#4 Jay1993

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:49 AM

Stay strong keep it up I know it's hard but just think about the future how your skins going to look :) also we are kinda close in days I'm on day 21

#5 LittleMsSunshine

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 11:33 PM

Stay strong keep it up I know it's hard but just think about the future how your skins going to look :) also we are kinda close in days I'm on day 21


Hi jay! Thanks for following my post :) How's your journey going? What mg are you on? It iis hard, especially getting thru the IB. Has that set in for you? I really didn't imagine it would be like this but I know in the end it will be worth it so that's what keeps me going!

my skin needs help! :

my journey on low dose accutane

http://www.acne.org/...hp/topic/320393


#6 LittleMsSunshine

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:52 AM

Day 21

A few newbies this morning.. nothing big but enough to make me uncomfortable at work

FACE:
Right side: 2 pustules (new)
Bottom of my right jawlines: still quite bumpy and red
My chin broke out. It's not new acne tho.. the little ones I had are just getting big/worse. I have some pustules on the right side and on the bottom of my chin. I also got quite a few on the left side. That's probably my biggest break out right now. It's inflamed and looks horrendous Lol. The only reason why it makes me so uncomfortable is because its so close to my mouth and I can see everyone starring ugh.
Left side: like 3 medium size bumps. I can feel they're deep in my skin.. no new breakouts though. I can see it clearing up.

BACK:
My chest, both shoulders, and upper back are clear! :) I have some scarring but no active breakouts.
Mid back/lower back: around 5.. they are in the process of healing and other than that everything else has dried out. Scarring in this area is pretty severe.


Question:
I wear contacts and even before accutane I had dry eyes.. Now I no longer wear them and I use artificial tears all the time but my eyes are still really dry!! Sometimes blinking gets painful. If anyone has any suggestions as far as eye drops or something I would really appreciate your input. I am taking fish oil/omega 3 and that seemed to help my joints but no improvement with my eyes :\

my skin needs help! :

my journey on low dose accutane

http://www.acne.org/...hp/topic/320393


#7 Jay1993

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 01:26 AM


Stay strong keep it up I know it's hard but just think about the future how your skins going to look :) also we are kinda close in days I'm on day 21


Hi jay! Thanks for following my post :) How's your journey going? What mg are you on? It iis hard, especially getting thru the IB. Has that set in for you? I really didn't imagine it would be like this but I know in the end it will be worth it so that's what keeps me going!

I'm on 20 mg a day goin to 60 mg Adam next month. I really don't know if I got one because my skin was already messed up :/ . My treatment is goin good I was finally able to go outside.

How's your goin? Have you had the initial break out

#8 LittleMsSunshine

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 01:23 PM


"I'm on 20 mg a day goin to 60 mg Adam next month. I really don't know if I got one because my skin was already messed up :/ . My treatment is goin good I was finally able to go outside. 

How's your goin? Have you had the initial break out"



Speaking of going outside! It's been so hot lately! "real feel" 100* degrees?! Too hot for me! Lol thankfully I stay cool at work most of the day.

Things are going a lot better for me! The only symptom that is bothering me at the moment is back pain.. I started off on 20 mg too and got my IB probably like 2 weeks into it. I was a mess. My acne was the worst I had ever seen it and my skin was so sensitive it was just really painful..  After a month of that I started on 20 mg every other day and i would say like 2 weeks in was when I started feeling better about my skin. My IB didn't start clearing up till recently. My acne seemed to migrate Lol. First my right side would flare up then that would start clearing up and bam! my left side would flare up *ugh really*  Lol but yeah right now my problem areas are around the bottom of  my jawline and chin. All in all I would say my IB was in full force for 6 weeks then started clearing little by little :)
Hope all is well.. Goodluck Jay

my skin needs help! :

my journey on low dose accutane

http://www.acne.org/...hp/topic/320393