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Conquering Acne - My Accutane Story

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My name is Charlotte and I've had acne since i was 12 years old. Like most people acne has become my biggest enemy. I wake up every morning and the first thing i do is feel my face in fear of new spots appearing! Over the years i've tried countless treatments consisting of topical creams and antibiotics. Everything seems to work for a while and then after a few months, BAM, i'm back to square one. I'm 19 (20 in April) and in my second year of university. My acne has started to effect my life so much that i've started to miss my lectures and it has stopped me going out with my friends. I hate people looking at my skin. Although i've always had acne it wasn't until last september (2012) that it became noticeably bad and i think that's what frustrates me the most! I've had my fair share of acne so now its time for it to disappear once and for all! After seeing my GP and becoming an emotional mess she referred me to the dermatologist where i was prescribed accuntane. After having the initial blood test (another enemy of mine, i am the biggest wimp ever and manage to faint every time i have a blood test... the next 4 months is going to be extra fun) and pregnancy test I finally started my treatment yesterday. After reading numerous blogs it is safe to say that i could not be more scared. The thought of an initial break out terrifies me but i can't wait to have good skin biggrin.png Part of the reason i started this blog is to document my progress and to compare my journey with others. I have read some terrifying stories but others have been truly amazing. I can't wait to reach to point in my journey when i am happy with the results and can begin to build my confidence levels up again.

So here we go...

I am 5"4 and approx 120pounds. My derm has started me on 60mg for 4 months. Slightly worried about this because the pharmacist told me she expected me to be started on 30mg but hey ho! My acne is mainly focused around my chin area. I am also really bad for picking my spots, i tend to go by the notion that if i can't feel them, then they don't exist (or its easier to pretend anyway).

Day 1: Took the pill with dinner

Day 2: No side effects yet although i did have stingy eyes and a headache... although i'm guessing this is due to the fact i worked 9-7.

I am using Blistex intensive moisturiser on my lips, i thought i would start applying it early in the treatment to try and avoid dry lips. For my face i am using Simple light moisturiser although i expect i will have to change this soon as my skin becomes drier.

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Hey Charlotte

I'm happy that you're on Accutane. It's a rough medication but it truly does wonders. I had severe acne couple months ago and accutane helped me out immensely. I'm going to tell you this. Even if you get the initial breakout (or not, hopefully you don't get it), don't get desperate. Also, if you see that a couple months pass and you see no results, don't give up. Accutane works at different rates for everyone. I, personally, started clearing up end of month 3/beginning of month 4, and it is well worth the wait.

Here's my Accutane Journey

Don't give up. I repeat this because it is that important. Have faith. Hopefully you win the battle over acne for good. If you got questions I'm always here to help. Get better :)

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Hey Charlotte

I'm happy that you're on Accutane. It's a rough medication but it truly does wonders. I had severe acne couple months ago and accutane helped me out immensely. I'm going to tell you this. Even if you get the initial breakout (or not, hopefully you don't get it), don't get desperate. Also, if you see that a couple months pass and you see no results, don't give up. Accutane works at different rates for everyone. I, personally, started clearing up end of month 3/beginning of month 4, and it is well worth the wait.

Here's my Accutane Journey

Don't give up. I repeat this because it is that important. Have faith. Hopefully you win the battle over acne for good. If you got questions I'm always here to help. Get better smile.png

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Hey Charlotte

I'm happy that you're on Accutane. It's a rough medication but it truly does wonders. I had severe acne couple months ago and accutane helped me out immensely. I'm going to tell you this. Even if you get the initial breakout (or not, hopefully you don't get it), don't get desperate. Also, if you see that a couple months pass and you see no results, don't give up. Accutane works at different rates for everyone. I, personally, started clearing up end of month 3/beginning of month 4, and it is well worth the wait.

Here's my Accutane Journey

Don't give up. I repeat this because it is that important. Have faith. Hopefully you win the battle over acne for good. If you got questions I'm always here to help. Get better smile.png

Hey smile.png

I've just read your journey and your skin looks amazing now!! I can't wait to see similar results (fingers crossed anyway). How did you find the side effects such as dry skin? I'm on day 3 now and haven't noticed any dryness but i suppose that's normal. How long did your initial break out last? I'm praying that because my acne is only moderate my breakout won't be that bad. My derm told me she would be surprised if it was so lets hope she's right! When do you start the chemical peels? smile.png So happy for you and your results!

Charlotte smile.png

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Day 3: Still not noticed any changes but its still early days. At least i've not had any side effects so far so can't complain :) Going out tonight with my friends for St Paddys today. I wasn't going to drink but my derm told me it would be ok as long as i was sensible so i might have one or two and see how i get on :)

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Hi Charlotte, good luck with your treatment. My skin went rubbish when I was in my second year of uni too, so I know how you feel! It's good advice to eat a good diet and drink lots of water during the course. I was like you in that I was worried about what alcohol does to you while on Accutane, I had one small bottle of beer on Friday night and it was such an error. Cue headaches and the reddest face and neck in all of humanity. You'll probably start seeing changes in week 3-4, it takes a while to kick in so don't over-think anything :)

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Hi Charlotte, good luck with your treatment. My skin went rubbish when I was in my second year of uni too, so I know how you feel! It's good advice to eat a good diet and drink lots of water during the course. I was like you in that I was worried about what alcohol does to you while on Accutane, I had one small bottle of beer on Friday night and it was such an error. Cue headaches and the reddest face and neck in all of humanity. You'll probably start seeing changes in week 3-4, it takes a while to kick in so don't over-think anything smile.png

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Day 6 Update: My skin started to feel reaaaaally oily towards the end of the day, it didn't look too bad but it did make me slightly paranoid! My skin also started to itch a little but i don't know if that was because i was conscious of the oilyness?

Day 7: I CAN'T BELIEVE ITS BEEN A WEEK!!! Time has gone so quickly! I have a couple of spots on my cheek, an area which is not normally affected by my acne, so i'm guessing this is part of the IB? They're not that bad though. Nothing a bit of makeup wont hide! When doing my make-up this morning i noticed that my skin has started to get a bit dry, mainly above my left eyelid and on my cheeks. I use Bare Mineral foundation so don't think the powder will help mask the dryness. Also noticed that the sides of my nose has become super super sensitive, it hurts to touch. My eyebrow area is also a tad sensitive but again, nothing major. I'm actually really happy that i'm starting to notice some effects of the Accutane, at least i know its going to start working soon! Still praying and crossing all my fingers that i won't have a bad IB. Hopefully it waits till after next Friday!!

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不错,加油。

GOOD

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Hey Charlotte! :) I too just started my accutane on march 6th I've been on 2 weeks as of yesterday woohoo! I'm a 19 year old male with mild face acne and severe chest and back :( not fun. The acne on my face hasn't been bad just gets red and a lot of baby whiteheads recently I'm guessing cause its pushing all of the stuff out? The acne on my body is drying up SO FAST it's such a relief! I've been so happy to see this. The acne on my body is so sensitive that I can't even wear a white shirt with out bleeding through it in some spots, also wearing a seat belt hurts and even when people hug me it hurts so bad if they pat my back too hard!:( anyways do you guys know any good shower gels to use? I need something good!

Week 1 - no sides

Week 2 - slightly dry lips, shoulder acne flakes off after a shower, face is way less oily!

I use vasaline Chapstick and I use neutrogena blue face wash the cool sensation one - works well!


"be the change you want to see in the world" yinyang.gif


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When did you start taking Accutane? smile.png

I started on the 19th Feb so just over a month. I went for my blood tests today and was chatting to the nurse 'cause she asked if I'd had any side effects, she said she used to work with my Dermatologist and she says 9 times out of 10 if you complete the course, acne never comes back. So that's a nice prospect! smile.png

The alcohol thing, just do whatever you want. There are a lot of people on here who swear it never bothered them, which is fine. Just keep getting regular liver function tests and if nothing bad comes back, you'll be fine having a couple... don't deprive yourself on your birthday!!!

Also you say above what products people use, I spoke to a pharmacist the other day who told me to use Simple shampoos because things like sulphates and parabens which are in cheap shampoo, that makes your hair fall out way quicker.

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Oh shoot :( sorry about your nose! Agh same here but I find that if I sterilize a needle and gently poke it to release the pressure with OUT popping it then it goes away! But I'm gonna stop that it's just whiteheads are so not attractive and people just stare right at them! Yeah! The blemish sorta scabs over in a day?! And yeah I started my iB today I think cause my skin is getting a little worse but it's okay!:) I'm staying strong!

I'll have to look that scrub thanks!:)


"be the change you want to see in the world" yinyang.gif


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I hope we're two of the 9 people! The thought of having clear skin makes this whole process worthwhile. I think i will drink on my birthday and then wait until i finish my treatment! Luckily i have exams etc coming up soon so that's a perfect excuse to stop! I will definitely be investing in Simple shampoo smile.png Still washing my hair once a day even though i don't need to, desperately need to break the habit. What moisturiser do you use on your face? My nose has already peeled. Someone asked me today if i'd been on holiday because "its snowing in Scotland so its not possible to have sunburn" I just agreed! How are you finding the whole process so far? smile.png

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Days 8-10: My nose has been driving me crazy the past couple of days! Its been itchy/burning like mad but i woke up today and it had stopped cheer.gif Face is still a little dry, mainly around my chin area where my spots are starting to dry out. Lips are also dry but nothing that a mixture of blistex and cocoa butter won't fix :) I'd say i've definitely started my IB. Getting more spots than normal, mainly whiteheads and those annoying under the skin ones. Luckily my skin doesn't look any worse than normal so don't think people will notice the extra spots too much :) Day 8 i felt a little down and rubbish, don't think it had anything to do with the accutane but its worth noting. So far i've been drinking around 2litres of water a day but i'm going to try and increase this to 3. Also need to stop washing my hair everyday but its sooo hard not to, its something i'm very OCD about. Been reading up on hair treatments though so i'm going to try a couple of the next week or two and see if any help with the dryness :) So far i am loving accutane... Normally when i see my skin i feel so down and ugly but now i just think that the spots are only temporary and in a months time hopefully they have cleared up, woo woo! Accutane is definitely giving me hope!!

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I HAVE A MONSTER ON MY CHEEK!!! Woke up this morning with a massive spot on my left cheek. I can see a head under the skin but i can't pop it. Probably for the best as it'd probably leave a scar. Can't believe how big it is. Although at least it's only 1. Also have the worst back pain ever today. Find it worse after i've been sitting for a while (which i've spent all day doing as i have an assignment due tomorrow, eww) Nothing else to report otherwise.

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Day 14: Feeling rubbish today! IB is in full swing and my face is looking horrible. I have more spots than normal, dry skin and old spots have started to scab. I think i just feel worse because i'm supposed to be going out tomorrow for my birthday :( Hopefully the IB won't last much longer and i'll have clear skin in no time :D

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You WILL have clear skin in no time, Charlotte, don't be disheartened! And happy birthday :)

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加油。

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Thank you electricbetty :)

Day 17: So my love for accutane is slowly fading away! IB has hit me hard, my skin has never looked so rubbish!! :( My derm told me the first month would be the worst and luckily i'm already half way through! I went out on Friday for my birthday and drank way more than i should have, i decided to skip my pills that day so they didn't interact with the alcohol and i didn't have any bad side effects to drinking :) Still suffering from dry skin/lips and a sore back but nothing too bad. The worse part so far is definitely the IB phase but it's got to get better to get worse right?! COME ON ACCUTANE!!!

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Day 19: Does anyone else's nose feel like its full of cement? My nose is full of hard, bloody, boogers... YUCK! What is going on?! Apart from that i think my IB is starting to calm down a little, i mean my face still looks a bit ming but nothing compared to a couple of days a go! Its not as scabby :) A word of warning for anyone starting Accutane... DO NOT PICK! I found that popping spots only makes them scab for longer and makes them red and even harder to cover up. My hand started to crack a little and get really dry but Simple Rich moisturiser fixed that problem for me :) Hopefully things are starting to look up!!!

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Day 22: I spoke too soon! My IB has calmed down on the left side of my face but has flared up again on my right side, mainly on my cheeks. So weird considering i never really get spots there. Loving the fact i'm not having to wash my hair everyday, the extra time in bed in the morning is amazing! The blackheads on my nose have started coming to the surface so hopefully they'll be gone soon and that's the last i'll see of them :) Over all i'm pretty happy with my progress so far, obviously i wish my skin would hurry up and clear but my derm told me i would start seeing results in month 2 and i'm nearly there! Can't believe how quick time is going!!

Does anyone know how to upload pictures? If i click on the image icon it asks for a URL? Seemed to work fine the first time i uploaded pictures :/

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Pics: go to "more reply options" by the "post" button and scroll down and there's an attachment field.

Glad to hear you're progressing, you're nearly done with month 1 now so after that you'll start to see things improving more quickly! :)

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