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Adventures In Accutane

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#1 kadykat

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:05 PM

Week 1, Day 1:  New Beginnings

 

Well I'm finally doing it...two things actually.  1)  After creeping all over these forums for the past few months I've decided to journal about my experience with acne; and 2)  I've taken the plunge and popped my first Accutane pill.  I couldn't be more excited and I don't think I could have waited another day.  Acne has been dominating my life in a major way for the past few years, and I'm happy to finally put it behind me once and for all.  I'm 25, and whether it was hormones, starting law school, a bad reaction to birth control, or something else, my face just exploded a couple years ago and I haven't been able to regain control ever since.  

 

I had always suffered from minor to moderate acne from the time I hit 12 or 13, but these past few years I have had severe, cystic acne, mostly along my jawline, by my ears, and on my temples.  In fact, when I walked into my dermatologist's office a month ago without makeup on and announced that I was there about my acne, he quickly replied, "I can see that," and proceeded to tell me that Accutane is made for people like me.  Well, I'm glad that there is something out there for people like me, because dealing with acne has been one of the most frustrating, demoralizing, emotional experiences of my life.

 

I'm also excited to get this treatment under way because I'm getting married next summer and want to feel beautiful and confident when I walk down the aisle in front of all of my family and friends.  That's the other thing - I've noticed that over the past year I have avoided spending time with people I care about or going out in public when I don't have to, because I don't want people to see my awful complexion.  I know that it seems so much worse to me than it is to anyone else, but I've felt so embarrassed and ashamed that I try to avoid everyone - I know it's not my fault, but it's easy to tell yourself that and impossible to believe it when you look in the mirror.

 

Anyhow, I don't want this to get too long, and I'm sure I'll write about things I have felt before and feelings along the way as I chart my way through this wonder drug, but I wanted to get something down and join this community.  This website has been extremely helpful and comforting to me, and I know it will continue to be as I experience the ups and downs of Accutane.  And hopefully journaling about my own experience can help someone else.

 

Here's to new beginnings!



#2 HeftyMug

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:46 PM

Congrats on taking the plunge! I'm about 20 days into my accutane treatment and so far everything is going well. Good luck to you!



#3 zzz123

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:28 PM

Hey just wanted to say good luck on your course :) I'm about 2 weeks in let's hope it goes super quick

#4 ShyDatabase

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:48 PM

You sound like you're exactly where I'm at!  I will be starting Accutane on Monday and just joined this site yesterday =).  I'm hoping and praying for new beginnings as well...



#5 Like Moonlight

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:54 PM

Hope your course goes womderfully and you get the results you are expecting! Remember to hang in there and have patience. Acutane is a very trying drug. There will be times you question if your making the right decision being on this medication. There will be times where you feel like a 80 year old woman who is out of shape. There will be times the side effects are sooooo bothersome you want to curl up in a ball crying. It's a difficult drug to be on, but to keep with it remind yourself that it will be worth it in the end. The drug really is amazing, it clears nearly everyone! The only thing that's up in the air is how long you will have results for. For me it e only 3 months after a 7 month course. I hope you get long term remission. What dosage are you on? And what is the length of your course?

#6 ShyDatabase

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:16 PM

Like Moonlight:  Can you take Spiro and accutane together?  I have really bad inflammation and right now the derm has me on prednisone.  Starting accutane on Monday.



#7 Like Moonlight

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:28 PM

Like Moonlight:  Can you take Spiro and accutane together?  I have really bad inflammation and right now the derm has me on prednisone.  Starting accutane on Monday.


My dermatologist didn't want me doing anything acne related while being on accutane. She just told me simply to use CeraVe face wash and CeraVe cream and that was it. So that is what I did.

On the other hand though I've seen other logs on here while girls are taking spiro and accutane together. Since spiro has quite a long wait for it to kick in (usually 3 - 5 months ) that's when most ladies start to see the real good results then after that it is smooth sailing. So I know lots of girls on accutane who have hormonal acne want to start spiro while being on accutane so it is in full effect by the time they are off accutane and they can just enjoy clear skin for as long as they continue on with the spiro. I think that is smart too. So if you know your acne is hormonal and you are using accutane as a way to just clear your skin and then you want to keep clear with spiro afterwards then I would def get put on spiro and accutane. You can try for endocronigist for this if you have one. Or you derm or your obgyn, here is the US only dermatologists can prescribe accutane but any of the other doctors I mentioned will prescribe spiro. Maybe your derm will prescribe both. I'd give it a shot for sure if your acne is hormonal. Spiro is great it keeps me clear and reduces the oil. Not like accutane gets rid of the oil but spiro reduces it to a nice amount.

#8 Feelin'SomeRhythm

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:09 AM

Good luck with your course! I'm due to start in a month's time (such a long wait!), so I'll be following your progress. I also totally get what you mean about starting law school and stress: I'm just finishing up a law degree here in the UK and my acne has never been worse than it is now.

 

Again, best of luck with the course! :)



#9 ShyDatabase

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 10:19 AM

Thanks for the info Moon Light nod.gif !  I'm going to look in the spiro option when I see my derm on Monday...



#10 kadykat

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

You sound like you're exactly where I'm at!  I will be starting Accutane on Monday and just joined this site yesterday =).  I'm hoping and praying for new beginnings as well...

 

It's very exciting, isn't it?  I'm very happy for you that you'll be starting Monday - hopefully we'll be able to ride this out quickly and be back to clear skin soon enough rolleyes.gif

 

 

Hope your course goes womderfully and you get the results you are expecting! Remember to hang in there and have patience. Acutane is a very trying drug. There will be times you question if your making the right decision being on this medication. There will be times where you feel like a 80 year old woman who is out of shape. There will be times the side effects are sooooo bothersome you want to curl up in a ball crying. It's a difficult drug to be on, but to keep with it remind yourself that it will be worth it in the end. The drug really is amazing, it clears nearly everyone! The only thing that's up in the air is how long you will have results for. For me it e only 3 months after a 7 month course. I hope you get long term remission. What dosage are you on? And what is the length of your course?

 

Thanks, Like Moonlight.  I think it's very important to keep things in perspective and to understand how difficult it will be at times, before I go into this...that way I can remind myself how much I've been wanting to go on this drug and how badly I want to have clear skin.  When you say that your skin was clear for 3 months, do you mean that your acne came back pretty badly again?  Or is it much better than it was before you started Accutane?

 

Right now I'm taking 40mg of Claravis once a day, but I think my dermatologist will up my dose when I go in again next month.  I'm doing a 5 month treatment.  Thanks again!

 

 

Good luck with your course! I'm due to start in a month's time (such a long wait!), so I'll be following your progress. I also totally get what you mean about starting law school and stress: I'm just finishing up a law degree here in the UK and my acne has never been worse than it is now.

 

Again, best of luck with the course! smile.png

 

Thank you very much!  Waiting a month was so difficult, and even now I think about how much progress I would have made already had I gotten the drug right when my doctor gave me the go-ahead.  Oh well, I guess it's just part of the process.  I hope this next month flies by for you rolleyes.gif

 

Yes, law school has definitely taken a toll on my skin...which definitely makes everything all the more stressful.  I've been working at a firm here in the city this summer, and my acne has gotten even WORSE, so I'm hoping it has time to clear up at least a little bit before I start up school again in August.  We shall see... 


Edited by kadykat, 20 July 2013 - 01:27 PM.


#11 kadykat

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 01:59 PM

Week 1, Day 2:  Bring it on, b!tches!

 

I suppose it's technically day 2 for me, but I take my pills at night so I'm still in the initial 24-hour period.  I think I'm still on a high from taking my first pill, and just really want to get this ball rolling!  I woke up this morning and was kind of bummed that I had to wait all day to take my Accutane (especially since I dreamt about it all last night), but from everything I've read, the big lesson here really is patience.  I'll try to remember this eager feeling down the road when I'm wishing more than anything that I could make this whole process stop.  Although I hope it doesn't get that bad...

 

As a preliminary matter, I figured I would write down the "routine" I have planned out for myself.  Warning:  I think I went a bit overboard, but I figure it's better to be over-prepared than desperately needing something in a pinch.  Here goes:

 

40 mg Claravis after dinner (I'm on a 5 month course and will probably up my dosage next month)

 

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydrating Gel (hoping to continue using this as my day moisturizer, but we'll see how my skin deals with it)

Neutrogena Clear Skin Sunscreen Lotion, 55 SPF

Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Bar Soap

Lubriderm Advanced Therapy (body lotion)

Aquaphor and Carmex

Refresh Eye Drops

Simply Saline Nasal Mist

Jojoba Oil

Marrakesh Oil (for hair)

...and some Vaseline and Triple Antibiotic Ointment, for good measure

 

For Makeup:

Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation

HD Microperfecting Primer

Tarte Cheek Stain

 

Supplements (this is a little ridiculous):

Fish Oil Omega-3

Super B Complex

Glucosamine with Vitamin D

Zinc

Biotin

Milk Thistle

Phillips' Colon Health Probiotic Supplement

 

What are everyone's thoughts on Vitamin E?  I've read conflicting reports on that one.  I'm also trying to find a good body sunscreen and nice moisturizing shampoo/conditioner.


Edited by kadykat, 20 July 2013 - 02:01 PM.


#12 lionheart88

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 02:07 PM

I've just started too, on my 4th day/pill. I was surprised at how quickly the side effects kicked in, just hours after my 1st pill I ached so much I felt like I'd done a 2 hour gym session! I've had quite a lot of muscle aches and pains and general stiffness, I've also woken up in the night and taken over an hour to go back to sleep each night after starting- this is extremely rare for me so maybe another side effect. Tonight I'm noticing my eyes are dry and my lips feel like they are at the start of drying out. I'm not looking forward to the IB, but it's nothing I haven't dealt with before.

Good luck to us both!

#13 ShyDatabase

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 03:57 PM

You sound like you're exactly where I'm at!  I will be starting Accutane on Monday and just joined this site yesterday =).  I'm hoping and praying for new beginnings as well...

 

It's very exciting, isn't it?  I'm very happy for you that you'll be starting Monday - hopefully we'll be able to ride this out quickly and be back to clear skin soon enough rolleyes.gif

 

 

>Hope your course goes womderfully and you get the results you are expecting! Remember to hang in there and have patience. Acutane is a very trying drug. There will be times you question if your making the right decision being on this medication. There will be times where you feel like a 80 year old woman who is out of shape. There will be times the side effects are sooooo bothersome you want to curl up in a ball crying. It's a difficult drug to be on, but to keep with it remind yourself that it will be worth it in the end. The drug really is amazing, it clears nearly everyone! The only thing that's up in the air is how long you will have results for. For me it e only 3 months after a 7 month course. I hope you get long term remission. What dosage are you on? And what is the length of your course?

 

Thanks, Like Moonlight.  I think it's very important to keep things in perspective and to understand how difficult it will be at times, before I go into this...that way I can remind myself how much I've been wanting to go on this drug and how badly I want to have clear skin.  When you say that your skin was clear for 3 months, do you mean that your acne came back pretty badly again?  Or is it much better than it was before you started Accutane?

 

Right now I'm taking 40mg of Claravis once a day, but I think my dermatologist will up my dose when I go in again next month.  I'm doing a 5 month treatment.  Thanks again!

 

 

Good luck with your course! I'm due to start in a month's time (such a long wait!), so I'll be following your progress. I also totally get what you mean about starting law school and stress: I'm just finishing up a law degree here in the UK and my acne has never been worse than it is now.

 

Again, best of luck with the course! smile.png

 

Thank you very much!  Waiting a month was so difficult, and even now I think about how much progress I would have made already had I gotten the drug right when my doctor gave me the go-ahead.  Oh well, I guess it's just part of the process.  I hope this next month flies by for you rolleyes.gif

 

Yes, law school has definitely taken a toll on my skin...which definitely makes everything all the more stressful.  I've been working at a firm here in the city this summer, and my acne has gotten even WORSE, so I'm hoping it has time to clear up at least a little bit before I start up school again in August.  We shall see... 

 

Excited wouldn't be the word I would use but yes I'm hoping accutance does wonders for me & I get my clear skin back.  I've been on the fence about taking Accutane since March when I was originally supposed to get on it.  I did the whole month wait and everything then didn't go through with the appointment, ugh.  I'm so mad that I didn't go through with it then.  I siked myself out after looking at horror stories of people talking about accutane.  My skin is in horrible condition and the three derms I did see told me "You need to be on it.  This drug was made for people like you".  I'm 33 and my skin has been pretty clear up until this year.  So going through this sudden cystic acne breakout has been hard.  The scarring is what has made it hard sad.png .  Thanks for sharing your story!  



#14 HeftyMug

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 05:11 PM

I did the same thing! I was suppose to start accutane in April but I scared myself out of it with all the nasty side effects I read about. So instead I tried "exposed skin care" (same idea as proactive I guess) and it made my skin 10 times worse than what it ever was before so I ended up starting accutane anyways at the end of June. If only I would have started in April I would already be 4 months deep!

 

On the bright side I'm a little over 20 days in on 40mg/day and have yet to experience any of the more harsh side effects. So far just dealing with dry skin/lips, random small patches of eczema on my arms and being more tired than usual.



#15 Like Moonlight

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 10:40 PM

When I say that my acne came back it was coming and spreading quickly. Started on my forehead and after fore head acne it showed its ugly face on my jaw then 2 other sit on the other side of my jaw and then a pimple on my cheek and I said to hell with this. If I were to have givin it another month I can bet you large amounts of money that my acne would have been moderate. And in no time after that I would be a candidate for accutane again. Once I got accutane I said to my self that I would never take that medication ever again.

#16 ShyDatabase

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 10:35 AM

I did the same thing! I was suppose to start accutane in April but I scared myself out of it with all the nasty side effects I read about. So instead I tried "exposed skin care" (same idea as proactive I guess) and it made my skin 10 times worse than what it ever was before so I ended up starting accutane anyways at the end of June. If only I would have started in April I would already be 4 months deep!

 

On the bright side I'm a little over 20 days in on 40mg/day and have yet to experience any of the more harsh side effects. So far just dealing with dry skin/lips, random small patches of eczema on my arms and being more tired than usual.

That's what I kept thinking...I could been had four months out of the way!  UGH!  But nothing I can do about it now but to start tomorrow.  Still apprehensive but every derm I've seen told me I need to get on it.  After Easter, I thought I could get it under control by eating a "clean diet" but that just made my skin worse.  It exploded.  Very anxious/scared for tomorrow...



#17 kadykat

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 07:10 PM

Week 1, Day 6:  Dryness Creeps In

 

So over the past few days I've noticed little things which might be side effects, but could easily be chalked up to something else.  I've been breaking out around my chin and ESPECIALLY under my chin above my throat area.  I'm not sure if this is from the accutane, however, or from stopping my course of doxycycline (which I was on immediately before starting Claravis).  I've also got some acne popping up on my forehead and on my cheeks, closer to my hairline.

 

I've noticed pain in my right knee if I sit for too long, but I had been having some problems with that knee before, so who knows...maybe the accutane is just exacerbating it a bit.

 

What I've really noticed is how chapped my lips are getting.  I've been trying to stay on top of this one the whole time, but they're still feeling pretty dry.  I busted out the Aquaphor today, and that felt really nice, so I'll probably stick with that from here on out.  My friend (who's done accutane twice) noticed me putting on Burt's Bees ultra moisturizing chapstick on today and told me to stay away from it because it had dried out her lips - she said the normal Burt's Bees chapstick worked much better for her.  I've also been using Carmex, but I heard somewhere that the different chemicals in there can dry you out.  

 

The one obnoxious thing is that my face is still really oily.  And the fact that I've been moisturizing like hell means that it's much more noticeable oiliness by the time afternoon rolls around.  I don't want to stop the moisturizer though, for fear that the dryness will hit and my face will be unprepared - I guess it's all about finding that sweet spot!

 

I've had a few headaches here and there, but nothing major, and they usually go away pretty quickly.  I've noticed I've been a little more tired, but again, nothing I can't handle.  I'll take any of that stuff over nausea, so I'm a happy camper cool.png



#18 kadykat

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 02:38 PM

Week 2, Day 13:  Initial Breakout Hell

 

The past week, and particularly the past few days have been rough, as I can only presume that I'm going through the initial "purge".  My skin is sooo bumpy and gross, I have whiteheads appearing along my chin and jawline and on my throat, and cysts near my ears and one by my eye.  Ugh.  This really really sucks.  Not even makeup helps, because the texture of my skin is just ick.  I really hope this doesn't last long, and I hope it doesn't happen again when my derm ups my dose next month to 50mg/day.  I'm especially bummed because my fiance's parents are throwing us an engagement party this weekend and they're going to be introducing a monster to their family/friends...not exactly the time I want to be the center of attention.  

 

Aside from the initial breakout, the other side effect I've been experiencing is chapped lips.  No matter what I do, I can't seem to kick the dryness, and I constantly have lip skin peeling off.  Surprisingly, the rest of my face is fine, and even seems too oily for being two weeks in.  I'm not looking forward to painfully dry skin, but at least it would indicate that this drug is working.

 

My head has been pretty itchy, and I appear to have very minor dandruff, but there's nothing driving me crazy here.

 

I'm on vacation at the beach right now, so I've been slathering on sunscreen like crazy, and I've been able to stave off any sunburning.  I got a little color in my face, but nothing painful or horrific-looking.