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20 Year Old Female Accutane Journey (Pictures)

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#1 readytolive

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:55 AM

Hello! I am a 20 year old female college athlete, and I am sick of my severe acne, just like everyone else! To be perfectly honest, I should have started Accutane back in high school when my dermatologist highly reccommended it because I truly had the worst cystic acne back then, but I was just too scared. It has left so many scars now, and my pores are freakin huge! My acne now is a lot better as far as the cystic and really painful stuff goes, but it is by no means good. There are sooo many bumps and irregularities of my skin, the pictures really dont do it justice, especially with my pore size and scarring. In these pictures, note that although some of the red marks are scarring, most of it is active lesions and bumps, so this is why I have finally decided to start Accutane. Even my small bumps are quite painful (sometimes itchy) and leave terrible scars that dont go away. I have yet to truly live my life, and I am in the prime of it! I want to enjoy the rest of my college experience. The reason I have decided to start this log is because I have been creeping on acne.org since 7th grade when my severe acne took its toll. As a college cross country and track runner, I also want to post my journey for those afraid of the side effects involving joint pain and muscle pain because that was my main concern and reason for not starting it back in high school as I was an avid runner and wanted to get a scholarship in college. I do not have insurance, so my mom is paying for this treatment out of pocket! She said she would do anything to make me feel happy and confident about myself because I have NEVER felt this way because of my severe acne. I am really hoping that this journey will be successful because I would hate to throw this money down the drain and continue to suffer with my face. I have put both myself and my mom through too much trouble over the years, and its time for it to end! I will try and update as much as possible as things change. As of now I am on Day 4 of Amnesteem 40mg. Of course, nothing has changed yet, as it is too early to really see any difference or feel any side effects, but at first sign of side effects/dryness/clearing/initial breakout I will make another post! I posted some before pictures. Once again, thank goodness my really severe cystic stuff from high school is gone, but as you can see there are many red bumps, and my face is sooo greasy. I feel gross about one or two hours after washing my face because my sebum production is out of control. Good luck to all of you considering/on Accutane, and please keep me in your prayers as well. Its a tough journey but I hope that all of us can one day see acne as a thing of the past and focus on living the wonderful life we were blessed with! 

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#2 readytolive

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 11:05 AM

Day 7 Update:
my lips feel really weird. like dry but in a different way can't really explain it..they almost feel smoother but I keep wanting to put on Chapstick. I'm also super super tired, I almost died during my 10 mile run today and i had a bad race this weekend (slowed down 10 seconds from last weekend) but I wouldn't blame this on the amnesteem yet bc I'm always tired this late in the season. acne and facial oiliness is still the same as always. will update with pictures at first sign of difference!

Edited by readytolive, 14 April 2013 - 11:16 AM.


#3 readytolive

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 02:11 PM

Also, if anyone has any suggestions or comments about my skin please contribute! I'm really worried about the scarring afterwards, and I know I have to wait for a long time after Accutane treatment before I can do anything about them, but I'm so afraid that once my acne is gone, my skin will still look terrible because of the rolling scars, hyperpigmentation, and red marks that just wont go away because my skin sucks and scars so badly and never goes away on all parts of my body whether from an acne lesion or a big cut. Any insight or advice would be appreciated!



#4 Miss Soloist

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 05:21 PM

I feel your pain. I also scar and hyperpigment easily too just like you do by the sounds of it. There are all kind of treatments available for scarring and redness on the scar treatment boards, it's just about finding the right one for your skin type.

 

Some people do things like subsicion, there's lasers (although these can be risky), fillers and various resurfacing techniques. I'm quite interested in ReCell myself. I went to see the pioneer of ReCell and he told me that accutane sometimes has a nice smoothing effect on scars in some individuals, so wait and see how it is after. With no active acne your skin will get a chance to heal and it might improve over time along with the pigmentation. Just be aware though that accutane will make your red marks look a lot worse for quite some time although it will fade.

 

I'd say focus on getting rid of your acne first and then worry about the scarring otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy worrying about it.

 

The good news is that in modern times like these there are plenty of things which can be done to improve these sort of problems. My advice is to always test patch whatever treatment you go for though.


Finished Roaccutane!


#5 readytolive

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 11:37 AM

thank you so much that was very informative!

#6 readytolive

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 07:36 PM

Day 8 Update: I am RIDICULOUSLY tired. It takes 3 times the effort to do normal things anymore. Still don't want to blame it on the amnesteem yet, but I keep thinking about it. My coach thinks I might be anemic, so Im going to start taking some iron supplements and see if the tiredness calms down. If this is truly being caused by amnesteem, let me just say this will be a miserable journey, so Im really hoping not. I cannot imagine racing again this weekend feeling the way I do today.



#7 readytolive

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 05:53 PM

Day 9 Update: Still feel like Im dying. Cried the last 3 miles of my run because I was so tired and hurting all over but I couldnt stop because I was that far out from my dorm. Ended up walking some of the way and even taking a sit down break. I really hope this is anemia and that taking this iron is gonna make this stop. I have seriously NEVER felt this tired in my life. I usually run 6 to 7 miles on easy days with ease at 7:30 pace...I was dying today at 9:30 pace and getting slower. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Please tell me this is most likely anemia and not accutane related because I really want to finish the course and get my acne gone.



#8 Miss Soloist

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:05 PM

Be careful with the excercise hun, it's well known that accutane will effect your joints and muscles; it's advised that you should limit intense or hard training whilst you are on this medication.


Finished Roaccutane!


#9 readytolive

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 12:37 PM

Day 10 after taking liquid iron twice a day along with some b12 I feel a little better today although I'm not sure if it was iron related or if I was just experiencing a tired bug the past few days. not completely better but I felt normal during my run today. unfortunately I cannot take it easy on the excercise right now as I am in mid season and may is nationals :/ hopefully I'll be okay. skin still hasn't changed still greasy as usual although I have one new huge nodule on my cheek but it doesn't really bother me surprisingly. lips are kinda dry but nothing a little Chapstick can't handle.

#10 readytolive

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 09:03 AM

Day 14 Update: Back to feeling normal as far as tiredness goes thank goodness! My lips are dying now though. When I open my mouth the corners are cracked and hurt :/ but vaseline and carmex have saved my life. I also got a little sunburn at the race yesterday from being out in the sun all day on my cheeks and right below my eyes, and it's pretty sore. I used sport 70spf sunblock but I guess the accutane might be making me sensitive too. No difference in skin yet. Still oil, still red, still ugly lol Just a little redder at top from sunburn now.



#11 readytolive

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 11:22 AM

Day 15 update: starting to notice some dryness around my forehead and nose. it itches a little bit and a small amount of flaking. moisturizer for the most part takes care of it. corner of mouth is better but I am putting Vaseline on my lips 24-7! skin still looks the same for now, cannot wait til the day my acne is gone!

#12 readytolive

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:45 PM

Day 17 Update. First nosebleed today. Like first nosebleed of my entire life! I always wondered what a nose bleed felt like...it just kept gushing out..so weird.



#13 readytolive

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 02:02 PM

day 21 update
I feel like I'm really starting to handle all the side effects pretty well now. the dryness of my lips is completely manageable now as long as I have my tube of Vaseline, my skin is only slightly dry and still has its greasy parts so no problems with that yet, I only got one more nosebleed later the night of my first nosebleed then no more, and although I'm tired it has more to do with staying up late studying for finals everyday than it does anything else I don't feel like I'm dying anymore. no real improvement in my skin yet but hey it's still early. I'll probably post a picture after one month just so I can look back at this journey and see how each month looked.

#14 readytolive

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:34 AM

day 27
have some new active breakouts along my jaw that are really annoying...also I don't even feel dry anymore like my lips basically feel normal now I guess I'm getting used to it.

#15 readytolive

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:31 PM

day31.png day31-2.png day31-closeup.png day 31
switched to claravis 40mg instead of amnesteem 40mg bc cheaper since I don't have insurance. going to update with pictures since its a month in. no real difference in acne except terrible jaw breakout. posting a picture of it close up but I have bad lighting so you can't really tell how many lesions there really are but you can see the really ugly leader of the pack. a huge pus filled zit that's not very easy on the eyes sorry guys lol dry lips and a little tired again but I can manage it all fine

 


Edited by readytolive, 09 May 2013 - 12:47 PM.


#16 readytolive

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:04 PM

day 32
huge zit on my cheek right beside my nose about as big as the picture I posted of the big one on my jaw :/ no pus but it's an ugly red bugger. hoping it will go away soon since its smack in the middle of my face.

#17 readytolive

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:29 PM

Day 36

I know I'm still early in treatment but i seriously see no improvement and my side effects are basically all gone too...my lips are only somewhat dry and my skin is still greasy. Is 40mg a high enough dose for me? I'm a 120lb girl, 5'7"...I'm not complaining that my side effects aren't bad bc who would complain about something like that, but I am concerned that if I'm not feeling them that it wont work...I'd rather feel pain now and have beautiful skin later than not have any results or minimal results. I want dramatic improvement so I can start to live my life!! Any thoughts anyone?



#18 Tyrean

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:39 PM

Hey readytolive,

 

As far as side effects going away, that can happen. I'm on my third month and was just bumped up from 60 to 80mg/day and I noticed my lips are actually getting less dry, however other side effects like lower back pain are kicking in so I wouldn't worry too much about side effects going away, its only a plus!

 

For your weight of 120 pounds, for the low end of 120mg/kg you'll want about 6,500 mg of accutane in your system. For the high end of 150mgkg, you'll want about 8,100 mg of accutane. 40 mg a day is fine for you for a 5-6 month course, I don't know exactly how long you were planning to stay on it, but you can definitely crunch some numbers from those totals to see if you could get done quicker. Just know it's not the daily dose that matters, but it's the cumulative dosage.

 

Things will get better for you, you just gotta hang in there. I was in the same position you were, hating life after the 1 month mark because I felt like NO results were coming at all. In fact, my face was worse than before getting on this drug. It all started to get better around the Week 10 mark for me. I do have one stubborn pimple right now on my cheek that's inflamed, but it's my fault for popping it neutral.gif ...with a few other areas that are annoying like my neck, not to mention a lot of red marks/redness from pre-existing acne, but it is getting better each day!

 

So hang in there and days will start flying by! Best of luck



#19 readytolive

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 04:05 PM

thank you tyrean that was encouraging and makes sense as well! I guess I should feel blessed to not be suffering from side effects so much!
Day 37 update
terrible mouth sore under bottom center tooth. this actually appeared about a month ago but it is severely ulcerated now and the past couple of days it's been hurting like crazy! it also looks my gum is receding :/ my dentist gave me a corticosteroid cream today so hopefully it will clear up soon. I even asked him if accutane could be causing this since I have never had anything like it before but he doesn't think so. just wanted to update with this info anyway and see if maybe anyone else has experienced something similar or if it's just a coincidence? my teeth and gums are generally very healthy everywhere else and I never get cavities but this thing is scary with the gum degeneration!

#20 readytolive

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:29 PM

Day 39

My skin feels really smooth when I wash it, I love how it feels! I just hate that it doesn't look any different :( and I still have breakouts on my jaw which are not smooth and a few bumps on the side of my face but my very front cheeks feel so good although they are pretty red. Also, that corticosteroid cream for my mouth sore is a miracle. The pain is completely gone, and I can see the gum tissue working its way back up hallelujah!