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29 Y/o Female, 110Lbs, Just Started On 60Mg Accutane Per Day!

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#1 Brownilocks

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:07 PM

Hey everyone!

I am a 29 year old female, 110 pounds, and I just started on 60mg (30 mg twice a day) of claravis (accutane).

I have had acne for a long time and have tried pretty much every acne treatment on the market.

Started mild to moderate as a teen. Right after I finished college (age 23) I suddenly developed moderate to severe cystic, hormonal acne, mostly on my chin and to a lesser extent on my forehead.

Used prescription topicals regularly and antibiotics (mostly minocycline) on and off to control it 75-95% most of the time.

For the last 3 years I've used tazorac cream and rosula face wash and still got blackheads, but rarely ever a large cyst or anything more than a small whitehead pimple that was barely noticeable and quickly resolves itself. My face looked great from the time I started the tazorac until this September, save a few occasional cysts, then all hell broke loose, literally....

This is the the worst acne I've EVER had in my life and literally came up in a matter of days. I changed nothing about my diet , exercise, meds, etc. I've done everything right and by the book. I will say that for about a year leading up to this my face has been extremley oily, like wet looking and nothing I do could/would control it.

The acne this time is severe, inflammatory acne with pustules, cysts, and sinus tracts. Still affects the same places though (face only, most severely in the chin and mouth areas and mod to severe on the forehead and hairline with clear cheeks and only minor, barely noticeable blackheads on my nose. My back and chest has never had acne).

This time it itches like crazy and throbs/hurts a lot. It burns when it pops and crusts over if it drains and this process just keeps repeating itself.

I've broke down and decided to start accutane after years of resisting it for fear of the negative hype that it gets, but frankly, at this point I really don't care anymore. I have to have some relief so I can stop hurting and living like a hermit! Fingers crossed for now!

Does anyone else have any experience with severe, itchy, inflammatory acne?

How about accutane? Good experience or bad? How long til you started to notice any improvement?

I know I'm on kind of a high dosage for my weight/height, I'd be interested to know if there are anyone else who started out so high. What was your dosage in relation to weight?

I appreciate any helpful comments, product suggests, personal experiences, and encouragement offered, as well! Here goes!! Wish me luck!!! Posted Image

************
Accutane by the weeks:
Week 1: No change really, good or bad, maybe a little oilier. IB slowly starting at end of week.
Week 2: IB starts and gets really bad. Cysts coming up and old spots getting worse. Oil seems to be purging out. Hair drying out a little bit. Face sore and itchy. Slight "sunburn" look. Old cysts getting large and draining then scabbing.
Week 3: Full blown IB at beginning of week subsiding by end. Begins with large cysts that were not there before, some coming to a head and popping themselves. Sore and tender in old spots and larger, redder, scabbing. Minor dry lips. IB stops spreading as bad. Hair only needs washed every 2 or 3 days.
Week 4: IB calming down at beginning of week, smaller and scabs going away, but still there. Getting muscle and lower back pain. Had first headache in middle of week. Chapped lips and dry skin starting to come on. By end of week forehead looking a lot better.
Week 5: Skin drying out more and needing moisturizer. Getting new spots but not as bad as initial IB. Mostly in same places as before. Drier lips and nose feeling dry inside. A couple small dry spots on arms. Back and muscle pain subsiding a bit. Most scabs gone, still several cysts around chin, but forehead is improving quite a bit.
************

Edited by Brownilocks, 03 January 2013 - 08:33 PM.


#2 Brownilocks

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

Update: Day 6 and it seems that there is a little bit of improvement, though mind you it is very, very mild. The large cystic "clump" of inflamed skin on the right side of my chin/mouth is a bit flatter and more pink than red/purple today with a few less pustules. I've got 2 new spots near my hairline, but they are not as bad and angry as the other cysts and nodules I have. My large cysts are developing white heads in them, not sure if that is a good thing or not but at least one seems to be drying up and getting kind of yellow/brown like before they "die," for lack of a better way to define this nasty type of situation, lol. Keeping my fingers crossed! I want to be able to at least get to the point of being able to wear a little makeup soon to regain some normalcy after 2 1/2 months of this severe, crazy stuff that is severe, hormonal acne! grrr...

Edited by Brownilocks, 07 December 2012 - 11:40 AM.


#3 Brownilocks

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:40 AM

Day 8: new cysts and whiteheads... Posted Image Guess this is the IB coming out. My face hurts at this point too. I still don't have a bit of dry skin or dry lips or anything else to suggest I'm on the med. If anything my skin is oilier. The only side effect is that my scalp is less oily and itchy right now. I hope this passes fast. I'm so tired of the pain and inability to go out in public like this... Trying to hang in there...

Edited by Brownilocks, 07 December 2012 - 11:54 AM.


#4 Brownilocks

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

Day 10: new pustules and cysts. Most of the new acne is on my forehead this time, between the eyes. Large, itchy, and painful throbbing sensations. The redness on the chin has faded a very, very little bit to more of a dark pink than a red so I'm guessing that's a good thing. Still no dry skin and no need to moisturize or even use lip balm yet.... At my weight, shouldn't I be seeing more side effects at this dosage by now?? I did notice that after running I have to stretch more or my muscles get kinda tight... WANT TO SEE PROGRESS SOOOOO BAD!! Posted Image

Edited by Brownilocks, 09 December 2012 - 01:06 PM.


#5 BMarieWantsNoAcne

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

I know what you mean! I am ready for progress. :P I am on day 19, and am getting new zits all the time. I am noticing my blackheads are looking bigger, which I am taking as a good sign!

#6 ughhhhh

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:25 AM

You will! I'm you going through the same thing as you, severe hormonal acne that came on in what seemed like two weeks. I fought with it for too long but now I'm on day 21. My husband says my face is starting to return to its normal shape which is nice haha. I got new cysts from day1 to a couple of days ago, but I think it was pretty mild and I'm afraid of a bump in dosage but I want to get it overwith. Three weeks flew by which was surprising! Good luck!

#7 Brownilocks

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:38 PM

Day 12: Maybe a little bit better, but I'm afraid to claim that and jinx myself! It is a bit different now. I am still getting new spots, but they are by NO means as large as the dime and nickel sized cysts I have on either side of my mouth. The red inflammed area (interconnected, puffy, crusty, and with pustules that come an go and drain) that is on the right side of my chin seems to have shrunken a little. The red areas seem more bright pink than red and the cysts and inflammation seems to be going down a bit with things getting slightly flatter. The new zits I've been getting are smaller overall and not as painful or itchy. Around day 10 I had 2 medium sized cysts between my eyes near my left brow come up to massive heads and pop and drain. This is what happened to the other cysts on the sides of my mouth that were really big before they flattened out a little bit. They came to heads and popped and started to drain and I gentlely coaxed them out. They are scabbed, but not as bad as before. I definetely think the accutane has something to do with this, because I've had varying degrees of cystic acne for the last 6 or 7 years now and they almost NEVER come or have came to a head before (maybe like 1% of the time before, now all but 1 has!). I hope this is progress and that I continue to see some improvement. I still have no major dry skin or lips. Got a few tiny flakes on my nose and chin after my shower, but I gently rubbed them off and they never came back. I stopped using my moisturizer a few days ago because I didn't need it and if anything it made me look really oily again. As I mentioned before, scalp is definetely a bit less oily and I only have to wash my hair every other day now, which I am LOVING! Only crappy side effect so far is that, I'm a runner and when I get done with a workout, my calf and quad muscles with cramp up a bit if I sit down too soon and don't walk and stretch out a little more than usual. It's not bad though, just a minor annoyance that I can totally live with to get rid of this unsightly crap on my face! Seems like my face is getting a tiny bit less swollen too (it wasn't real bad to begin with but around my lower chin I've had some swelling). I'm still trying to muster up the courage for a few pics... Maybe soon... Fingers crossed for now!!! Posted Image

#8 Brownilocks

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

Coming up and draining more today. Still getting new cysts though... Got my first tiny bit of dry skin on my forehead today, still not enough for moisturizer, but I am glad to have it since I'm hoping its a sign that the meds are kicking in? Hope stuff continues on a good path from here... Posted Image

#9 Livetoregret

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  • Interests:finished taking Roaccutane December 2010.
    Takin this drug has been the worst decision I have ever made and I have regretted it every day since.
    Doseage: 60:40 mg alternating daily for 11/12 months
    Sideffects:None till course was over.
    Now - SEVERE dry/brittle hair.
    HAIRLOSS - lost at least 70% and continues...acne came back in July, worse than I ever suffered from it. I now have back, chest, neck & cheeks that are covered.
    So now Im bone dry with no natural hydration with horrific acne. As a 31 YO woman with now destroyed skin & hair.
    My side effects include: Chronic Dry mouth
    Severe dry,tight,dehydrated, ashy,mottled,discolored (yellow & red),wrinkled,scarred poorly healing skin
    Facial fat atrophy - fatloss. Hollow eyes & cheeks
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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

You may not care about side effects now if you think acne is the worst thing you could have but you are wrong.
Please think long & hard and read of others experiences AFTER taking it....I wish I did.

#10 ughhhhh

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:52 AM

You need to leave her alone. I know what you're going through sucks, but you were ODed. Your case is NOT normal, and this girl (and I) are suffering and the only thing that helps is accutane. We need to remain positive throughout this process. You are not helping.

You may not care about side effects now if you think acne is the worst thing you could have but you are wrong.
Please think long & hard and read of others experiences AFTER taking it....I wish I did.



#11 Brownilocks

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:19 AM

So... day 16 and IB is going down a little. Face is still worse than it was before starting though DUE to the IB... Hope this recent turn for the better continues... Wish me luck!!

#12 Brownilocks

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:37 PM

Day 18: Not much different than it was on my last update. Maybe a little bit of dryness now, still nothing that needs moisturizer. I thought 1.2mg/lb of accutane was kinda high since most seem to be started on lower dosages, but I wouldn't be suprised if I get bumped up again when I go back to my derm seeing as I'm not dry at all. I do get nauseus sometimes if I don't eat enough or overeat after taking my pills. I don't think it's anything to worry about. Anyone else ever experience this at all??

Hoping the crusty patch on the right side of my chin will go away soon... Has anyone else ever had anything like this? It is not a reaction to the meds. I've had it from the beginning of this severe acne bout that started in September and it had gone down a bit before starting the accutane, but got worse after my IB. My doc says its just a weird kind of acne scab and I might have mild acne fulminans since the scabs are sticky to fabric...

Face definelty looks worse now than it did when I started but better than during the IB (between day 7 and 14). Still getting new spots, but not cysts, just small, fragile whiteheads.

**Added pictures** of day 4 and day 16 to my gallery of the worsts spots. Didn't add any during my IB cause it was too depressing and I didn't want to really record that, even for my own reference. Posted Image The cysts on my forehead and temples are more skin colored and I don't have a good camera, so its hard to get them to show in pics. Got a massive one in the middle of my left eyebrow (such an awkward spot for a zit...) The red spots you see are cystic and much bumpier in person. Camera is pretty grainy and doesn't do it justice...Took me a lot to get the courage to post these pics... Posted Image

Hope everyone else on the accutane train is doing well/better!! Hope by the time I take 30 day pics I'll have more progress to show you! Posted Image

Edited by Brownilocks, 17 December 2012 - 02:07 PM.


#13 annetossy

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

I am very jealous of you not needing moisturizer yet..especially when you started at 60mg! My face is peeling like crazy!

I feel you on the pictures. I didn't post any of when my face was at it's worst (before Accutane) because I didn't have any pictures of it. Why would I want evidence of that! Haha.

Hoping you see progress soon :)

#14 Sasch83

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:15 PM

Hey hun, your skin looks a bit like mine when i did my first accutane course in 2001. The IB sucks and i am going through it in the beginning of my 3rd month/8th week. You just have to occupy your mind and not focus on it as it will get worse before it gets better. I am getting pretty bad inflamation and the itchies on my face this time around but just trying to tell myself that the more i breaout, it means that the accutane is working.

Just hold tight and let your frustrations out. I'm sure you know that smoking is terrible for your skin but in terms of accutane, i've never heard to avoid it though for your general healt, you may want to reduce how much you smoke.
Good Luck and keep taking pictures, it will help you see how far you've truly come

#15 Brownilocks

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:00 PM

Thanks for the encouragment! :) I'm hoping to see some improvement over the next couple months. My doc told me to give it at least 3 to start calming down, so I am trying to. I am just ready to go back to looking how I did 3 months ago..... I am going to ask about corisone shots and/or anything else I can do to help a little in the meantime and just destress and enjoy the holidays until then! I will continue to update along the way! :)

#16 Brownilocks

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:27 PM

Just wanted to make a note that today I am FINALLY starting to get dry skin and lips! :D I know it sounds weird I'm excited about that, but its day 21 and I'm just now getting it! Things have not really gotten much better otherwise. Cysts from IB are getting smaller, but continue to puff up and drain on and off. Getting new spots too, but they are small more like normal whitehead pimples. Hoping this is a good sign?! Getting another crappier side effect too... Muscle and possibly bone pain... Hope that's not serious, anyone know/had this? :(

#17 Sound of Hope

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 05:04 PM

Just wanted to make a note that today I am FINALLY starting to get dry skin and lips! Posted Image I know it sounds weird I'm excited about that, but its day 21 and I'm just now getting it! Things have not really gotten much better otherwise. Cysts from IB are getting smaller, but continue to puff up and drain on and off. Getting new spots too, but they are small more like normal whitehead pimples. Hoping this is a good sign?! Getting another crappier side effect too... Muscle and possibly bone pain... Hope that's not serious, anyone know/had this? Posted Image


My dermatologist said it's common for the lesions to improve shortly after the peeling, dry skin kicks in. This makes sense since less sebum means less chance of the pores clogging.

About the muscle aches, I've noticed that occasionally my lower back and neck are uncomfortable, but it's not unlike the feeling of having slept in an awkward position.

#18 Brownilocks

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:41 PM

30 day update!!! Posted Image Just got back from the derm and she advised that I should be staying on 60mg/day throughout the entire course of my treatment unless something with the bloodwork or too many side effects causes her to lower it. I told her I'm not against going up as need be, but lately I've started get some side effects, so glad to be staying on the same dosage for month 2.. Since about a week ago at the end of my HORRIBLE IB (you can tell from my pics things got WAY worse a couple weeks after I started), I'm getting some dry skin and lips now, but its manageable. What's been worse has been sore/cracking lower back and sore muscles from doing anything. I also got my first bad headache last night, but 2 advil knocked it out in a couple of hours. The sore muscles/bones has been slowly lessening since it started about a week ago and my derm said it could continue to get better and go away as my body gets used to the medicine. I hope so cause I wanna work out again soon! Posted Image She also told me to up my water intake by as much as I can possibly tolerate and it should help with any aches/pains/headaches as well since the internal drying effect of the med could be in part responsible for this. I'm hoping things will turn around soon. Old spots seem a little less angry and I had a couple of injections that seem to be helping the cysts a bit. I'm going to have to go without meds for a few days til my bloodwork comes back Posted Image I told my derm it would be about a week from the time frame she gave me, but she said it shouldn't matter. Going to bump up my next month's appointment a few days per her recommendation so I won't have to go without my meds again in the future! Hanging in there and hoping for some progress soon! Can anyone who's taken it before and had pretty severe acne tell me about when they noticed their skin starting to clear? She said about 3 months but not sure if she means to start clearing or to be clear by then and I'm just wondering how it worked from others' experiences so I don't get my hopes up too much... Posting new 30 day pics in my gallery, will start doing them just once a month now unless I notice any major progress to share in the mean time! Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and I will update again in the new year. Posted Image Wish me luck! I'm just hanging in there for now and praying to get my old face back ASAP!.... Posted Image

Edited by Brownilocks, 29 December 2012 - 11:42 PM.


#19 Sasch83

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:37 PM

Hi, when i first took accutane around 2001, i had cysts pretty much all over my face, not as severe as yours but moderate. I didn't notice much of a difference in a positive way till the end of month 3/beginning of month 4. Keep in mind with acne severity like yours may not show progress till much later in your course.


Keep your head up!

#20 Brownilocks

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 07:55 PM

Thanks Sasch, very helpful! Thank you for being honest about the time frame. I hope others will chime in as well with their experiences and I have been looking on some of the other logs also. I do feel a bit better about my acne in general now than I did at its worst (beginning of week 2-beginning of week4) because its flatter, less scaby and fragile and feels a little better now (less pain and itchiness). I didn't do any pictures of my forehead cause my chin's always been way worse and it is actually showing more improvement there than anywhere else. I've got 1 small larger cyst remnant and 2 much smaller ones (pinhead size) going away and some flat small red marks on my forehead. It is MUCH improved compared to the mess of large flesh colored cysts and angry red pustules it was just a few weeks ago, so that makes me feel much better! :) I hope to not get any more major flair ups cause it can be so painful. :( I'm still getting new small cysts and pustules near the same old spots on the right side of my chin, though not quite as angry as before. I guess I will see that for awhile throughout treatment? I'm always scared its gonna take another turn for the worse, but trying not to stress about it since that probably just adds more fuel to the fire that is this vicious cycle of severe acne. Right now I'm just praying it doesn't get to its worst state again and trying not to overanalyze it by studying it in the mirror too much! Its hard... I had beautiful skin right before this for 5 years and in a period of 5 days I got this awful stuff that didn't even look or feel like acne. It is so clustered and scaby. :( Its tough going from feeling good about yourself and self-image for a few years and then getting drug down further than ever imaginable. :( I SOOO want this to work out for me! I am scared but remaining positive and happy going forward! Thank you for your encouragement and I am just gonna keep making future plans for when I get back to being ME again!! :)




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