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20 Year Old Female Accutane Log

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Hi everyone, my name is Sarah and I'm 20 years old. I've decided to start an Accutane log because I'm really in need of support right now and everyone on this forum seems very friendly!

I might as well share my whole story with you, just in case anyone is interested.

In my early to mid teens, I did not have any problems with acne. I had a small pimple maybe once a month that last 2-3 days. I never had any self-esteem issues, in fact I was very very happy with my appearance. When I was 18, I noticed I had at least one big pimple on my forehead all of the time. Since then, it's progressively gotten worse and worse. My forehead is the biggest problem, however to some people it wouldn't be deemed "severe" acne I suppose. It's hard for me because I feel so unbelievably unattractive and that's something I've never dealt with before. I've become severely depressed, had to quit my job, avoid hanging out with my friends, and my 5 year relationship is under a lot of stress due to my acne. I currently have 4 active pimples on my forehead that have stuck around the past few days.

Other treatments I've tried - with no success:

-Birth control pills (Yaz, Yasmin, Diane 35. I believe taking these made my acne worse in the long run.)

-Dozens of drugstore acne products

-Clindamycin

-Retin-a-micro

-Dalicin T

-Tea tree oil

-Complete diet change (no dairy, no sugar, no processed foods, ect.)

-Minocycline

Over the past few months I've been on Minocycline. It seemed to help a little, but when I would breakout it would be just as bad if not worse than before. The past week my skin has been terrible so it clearly stopped working altogether.

Dosage:

Doctor recommended I go on 30mg but I expressed my anxiety about side effects and IB, so I pretty much asked if I could start on 10mg and see how it goes. He agreed. I weigh 110 lbs.

I took my first pill last night at dinner, so I guess today is day 2?

Day 2:

4 active pimples, no sign of them healing any time soon. My mood is terrible, I'm so desperate for this medication to start working so I can get my life back on track. Today I have to go to the drugstore to pick up moisturizer, lip balm, and eye drops. I am also dreading a phone call I have to make to my boss to tell him I'm not coming in to work ever againunsure.png

Side Effects:

None.

Any words of encouragement, advice, or comments would be very deeply appreciated. This medication scares me to pieces and I'm praying that I'll at least feel somewhat better by the time college starts up again on September 4th.

Nice to meet you all.

-Sarah

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Hey Sarah! Just some background on myself: I'm 22 and i've struggled with acne for about 9 years. I've tried everything on your list too, and none of them got rid of my acne to my satisfaction. I finally decided to give accutane a shot, and am currently on my 30th day! I weigh around 110lbs too and started off with 30mg/day, and am about to take 50mg/day starting tmrw. I was HORRIFIED of the initial breakout that many people seem to experience, and low and behold...i did get an initial breakout. BUT, what you have to realize is that it's going to suck while on accutane no matter what. I'm super self conscious about my acne, I hate going outside in the daytime when you can see everything more clearly, I avoid social outtings, I never leave my house without makeup on...and when i do go out to meet people, i try to hide my acne with my hair, and it's uncomfortable for me to talk to people close up. TRUST ME...we are not the only ones that suffer from this problem. The most important thing to acknowledge is that you WILL be acne free at the end of the treatment. You have so much to look forward to! Yes, it's going to be crappy for the next 6(ish) months, but hey, 6 months out of your entire life that you have ahead of you is nothing. And what's even more promising is that most people see results within 3 months. I would recommend that you take a higher dose so that you can finish the treatment ASAP. I was scared to up my dose straight to 50mg but whatever...i'm going to keep my head up and follow through so that I can get this over and done with. By the way, i'm a month in and i'm already seeing a slight improvement. Have faith, be confident, and power through.

Follow my accutane log! I just wrote my first entry :)

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Hi there!!! Thanks for the support and advice it's greatly appreciated!

That's great you didn't get an IB. I'm terrified of it, that's really the only thing I'm worried about during the process. The dry skin and other side effects I can deal with. In fact, I actually sit around hoping for my skin to dry up! Were you by any chance on an antibiotic before starting the Accutane? I heard that taking antibiotics for a few months helped people avoid the IB for some reason.

I am still thinking about going up to 20mg sometime soon. I probably will after week 3 or 4.

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Day 3:

3 active pimples. Nothing new to report really, I have just been hoping to see side effects so I at least know it's working.

Side Effects:

None.

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Day 4:

3 active pimples. Last night I noticed that my skin felt more dry than usual!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited. I never thought I'd be so unbelievably happy to get dry skin! At least I know that the Accutane is doing something, despite being on a slightly lower dose. I hope by tomorrow I'll be even more dry. I haven't needed to moisturise yet.

Side Effects:

Skin is slightly more dry than usual.

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Day 5:

2 active pimples. (I caved and popped the 3rd one..oops). Face continues to be more dry than usual.

Side Effects:

Skin slightly more dry

Irritable/Angry

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I've Moved you topic to the Accutane Logs thread where it will receive more views and responses.

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Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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I've Moved you topic to the Accutane Logs thread where it will receive more views and responses.

Thanks!

Update:

Yesterday I noticed some small red bumps on the back of my hands. I thought nothing of it, but today they have become bigger and very itchy!! I read that this is a side effect. I am going to apply some hydrocortisone ointment which hopefully helps. Praying it doesn't spread to other parts.. neutral.gif

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I've Moved you topic to the Accutane Logs thread where it will receive more views and responses.

Thanks!

Update:

Yesterday I noticed some small red bumps on the back of my hands. I thought nothing of it, but today they have become bigger and very itchy!! I read that this is a side effect. I am going to apply some hydrocortisone ointment which hopefully helps. Praying it doesn't spread to other parts.. neutral.gif

Yep that's a very common side effect from Accutane, due to drying/dehydration of the skin.

If over the counter hydrocortisone doesn't work, you can get a stronger prescription strength steroid cream from your Dermatologist.

Good luck

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Day 6:

2 active pimples but they're actually healing now.. Skin looks decent today. I am curious about something though - I've seen a lot of people say that in the first couple of weeks their skin gets oilier and this is normal because the Accutane is pushing all the junk to the surface.. But I haven't gotten oilier, I just went straight into dry skin. Maybe this means I won't get a huge IB.. Hoping and praying..

Side Effects:

Dry skin

Little itchy bumps on hands, legs, and feet.

Dehydrated despite drinking 3L of water every day.

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Day 7:

2 active pimples - slowly healing. A couple of very small bumps around my nose which is unusual for me. Feeling pretty good about my skin today, but at the same time I'm waiting for another breakout to happen... I cannot believe how thirsty I am! I drink 2-3L of water and I still feel dehydrated! So weird.

Side Effects:

Dry skin

Itchy bumps on hands, legs, feet, and arms. Not improving despite applying hydrocortisone.

Dehydrated

Headaches

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Day 8:

2 active pimples. A couple of smaller zits as well. Today I feel more depressed than usual. Not sure if it's caused by the Accutane. The depression is making me really negative and I've been worrying about if my acne will come back after I'm done this treatment.. I don't think I could handle that.

Side Effects

Dry skin

Itchy bumps on hands, legs, feet, and arms.

Dehydrated

More depressed (?)

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try cerave sa on your itchy bumpy skin...it's great! make sure you buy the cerave SA not the regular...safer than hydrocortisone

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Good luck! I'm on my second course now, but I never really had an IB the first time (at least I don't remember having one, just gradual clearing), so you might not either. :) It'll be worth it anyway!

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try cerave sa on your itchy bumpy skin...it's great! make sure you buy the cerave SA not the regular...safer than hydrocortisone

I have Cerave cream already, do I really need the SA one? What does SA mean?

Good luck! I'm on my second course now, but I never really had an IB the first time (at least I don't remember having one, just gradual clearing), so you might not either. smile.png It'll be worth it anyway!

Thank you!!! After hearing so much about IBs on this website, I was fully expecting it. I've taken my 8th pill and so far I just have had little zits that come and go in a matter of a day or two.

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Day 9!!!! Wow. Time is flying by.

2 semi-active pimples. These ones are very stubborn, been hanging around for almost 2 weeks.. The past 2 days I noticed a lot of very small pimples around my nose - not a common area for me to breakout - but today they seem to have faded almost completely which is good. I was worried they would grow. I've been wanting to test my sensitivity to the sun, because I absolutely love sitting out in the sun and while on Minocycline everyone warned me to wear sunscreen but I never did and I didn't burn. So yesterday I sat out for 15 minutes, no burn. Today I sat out for 30 minutes, I'm curious to see if I wake up tomorrow with a red face.

Side Effects

Dry skin (no dry lips yet...weird)

Itchy bumps on hands, legs, feet. They are improving slightly I think.

Dehydrated

Fatigue

Depressed (?)

Edit: I forgot to mention I've also been experiencing join pain in my elbows and knees. I take fish oil but it doesn't seem to be helping much.

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Day 10:

2 semi-active pimples. My joints feel a bit better today. I am also happy to report that although I have been out in the sun quite a bit I haven't burnt at all! I guess being on a low dose doesn't have much of an effect on sensitivity to the sun. I'm happy that I haven't gotten an IB - other than the little tiny bumps around my nose - hopefully it just continues to improve. I'm still really conflicted about my dose, I think I should start taking 20mg soon and see how that goes. But I would like to avoid an IB from upping the dosage so I might start with 10mg one day and 20mg the next, alternating for a few weeks. Thoughts?

Side Effects:

Dry skin

Itchy bumps on hands, legs, and feet. Improving.

Dehydrated

Joint pain

Anxious

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Day 11:

2 semi-active pimples. The area surrounding my nose is definitely purging I think, because it feels very congested and kind of painful because there are a lot of little whiteheads. If this is the only form of IB I get, I'll be a happy camper. I can definitely deal with small spots for the time being.

Side Effects:

Dry skin

Itchy bumps on hands, legs, and feet. Improving a lot.

Dehyrated

Joint pain

Anxiety

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When I was on tane I had joint pains as well. I took fish oil which helped to a degree, but not well enough. I started taking glucosamine supplements which are alittle pricey but they helped me a lot. When I look back at my course and I think of the must products I used that is one of them. I know it saved my joints a lot of aches and pains. So it might be something that you should look into and give a try because I really do think it is worth it. It's a wonderful supplement.

I was constantly thirsty during my course too and I drank about a gallon and a half of water a day give alittle take alittle. I was drinking water at all times. The fact that you are having headaches makes me think that you probably are dehydrated. A good way to find out if you are dehydrated is if your urine is yellow then you arent drinking enough, if it's clear then you know you are properly hydrated. That's what my dermatologist told me! I find it to be true.

For the itchy bumps and the red rashes you are getting make sure to apply hydrocortisone cream multiple times a day. They are usually from your skin drying out. Most people can just load on body creams and with persistent application those rashes go away. But since they itch I would go ahead and use the cortisone, another thing that I used a lot while on my course was neosporin cream and I used it as a spot treatment. Since accutane lessens your body's ability to heal at a normal speed. It is important to keep any raw acne moisturized and clean of any bacteria. It also helped avoid getting nasty Hyperpigmentaion all over the place.

If you are feeling depressed and experiencing anxiety now that you are on accutane, make sure that you really keep a eye on that. Accutane can cause major mood issues where someone prior to accutane was a happy individual and once taking accutane people have taken their own lives. So please keep a close eye on your emotions. Make sure that you tell someone you are on a medication that can effect your mood and ask them to let you know if they notice anything unusual with your mood.

Good luck Sarah


Regimen:

AM: CeraVe foaming face wash, 100mg Spirolactone

PM: CeraVe foaming face wash, witch hazel, Acne.org AHA+

Been taking Sprio since 1/2013


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When I was on tane I had joint pains as well. I took fish oil which helped to a degree, but not well enough. I started taking glucosamine supplements which are alittle pricey but they helped me a lot. When I look back at my course and I think of the must products I used that is one of them. I know it saved my joints a lot of aches and pains. So it might be something that you should look into and give a try because I really do think it is worth it. It's a wonderful supplement.

I was constantly thirsty during my course too and I drank about a gallon and a half of water a day give alittle take alittle. I was drinking water at all times. The fact that you are having headaches makes me think that you probably are dehydrated. A good way to find out if you are dehydrated is if your urine is yellow then you arent drinking enough, if it's clear then you know you are properly hydrated. That's what my dermatologist told me! I find it to be true.

For the itchy bumps and the red rashes you are getting make sure to apply hydrocortisone cream multiple times a day. They are usually from your skin drying out. Most people can just load on body creams and with persistent application those rashes go away. But since they itch I would go ahead and use the cortisone, another thing that I used a lot while on my course was neosporin cream and I used it as a spot treatment. Since accutane lessens your body's ability to heal at a normal speed. It is important to keep any raw acne moisturized and clean of any bacteria. It also helped avoid getting nasty Hyperpigmentaion all over the place.

If you are feeling depressed and experiencing anxiety now that you are on accutane, make sure that you really keep a eye on that. Accutane can cause major mood issues where someone prior to accutane was a happy individual and once taking accutane people have taken their own lives. So please keep a close eye on your emotions. Make sure that you tell someone you are on a medication that can effect your mood and ask them to let you know if they notice anything unusual with your mood.

Good luck Sarah

Thanks for your suggestions!! I will definitely look into those supplements. I do like to lift weights and I haven't been able to for the past week, it's quite frustrating.

I drink about a gallon a day, I've been doing my absolute best to drink as much as possible but I still get headaches. My urine is clear the majority of the time. I was wondering if it maybe had something to do with electrolytes (or lack thereof) so I got some Gatorade to have once a day and maybe that will help.

I had issues with depression and anxiety long before starting Accutane (past 10 years) but I had been quite stable for the past year. There are a couple of people who know to look out for any mood changes during my course. I just hope it doesn't get too much worse.

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Day 12:

I had a very bad night last night, not sure if it's all related to the Accutane... At around 9 PM I started having blurred vision, it was very difficult to see things properly. I also noticed I felt slightly sick to my stomach. Then I got a terrible headache, probably related to my blurred vision. I took some ibuprofen but it didn't help at all. I put in some eye drops and noticed an improvement in the vision problems almost immediately, so I guess they were just dry. But my headache lingered long into the night. I woke up at 2 AM feeling pretty terrible, very very thirsty despite drinking nearly a gallon of water that day. The nausea got worse and I vomited around 4 AM. I really hope that I didn't vomit out my Accutane dose from dinner... Again, I don't know if all of these things are Accutane related.. On a side note, my skin looks pretty good right now.

Side Effects:

Dry skin

Joint pain

Headaches/Dehydrated

Itchy bumps on hands, legs, and feet

Anxiety

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Day 13:

Feeling a bit better today. I keep getting small whiteheads in weird places but I can't really complain because they don't bother me as much as full-blown, severely inflamed acne does. I am going to call my doctor tomorrow and talk to him about increasing my dosage - but I don't really want to jump straight to 20mg... Wondering if it's possible to take 20mg one day and 10mg the next?

Side Effects same as yesterday.

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Day 15: (I'm no longer going to update every day, as it's clear no one really reads my log that closely)

I feel okay, side effects aren't bothering me. But I have developed a very big whitehead (I personally think it's a boil now) under my nose. My nose area has been very congested with small whiteheads pretty much since I started Accutane, and while the other whiteheads have faded this one has grown into a monster. It's painful, and has been sitting there for 5-6 days with no improvement. The rest of my skin doesn't look that great, pretty similar to what it was pre-Accutane. My classes start up again in a week, I'm hoping I see some improvement by then.

Side Effects:

Dry skin

Dry eyes

Joint pain

Dehydration

Headaches

Bumps on hands and legs (no longer itchy)

Anxiety

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Hey Sarah,

I came across your blog right when you started using Accutane while I was googling side effects and contemplating whether I should go on it or not. I'm around the same age as you, and I too as a Student struggle with acne and feel completely hopeless. I found interest in your blog because I could relate to the products you've tried, and your failed attempts to treat break outs. Two years ago my Family doctor prescribed me Accutane, but due to travelling (sun exposure risk) my Parents and I decided it wasn't the right thing to do at the time. I went to an acne clinic in a different city for almost three months to get laser treatments done, which slowly got rid of my acne. Now, two years later I'm back in this position and it's horrible. I started noticing my acne getting worse almost two months ago, but I had switched contraceptive methods thus I thought it was a temporary side effect. I was horribly mistaken, and it took two months of humiliation, dirty looks at work and for me to drag myself into my doctor's office bawling my eyes out explaining how terrible this has been. My doctor previously failed to notice all the attempts I have taken to get rid of my acne, and finally after almost 15 minutes of warning me about side effects he ordered me to get new birth control and get a blood test done within the next week in order to start my first cycle of Accutane. I really encourage you to keep posting, I know exactly what it's like to have people look at you differently simply because my skin. I'm going into my first year of University and I too am very, very nervous about the initial break out. I know it's going to get worse before it gets better, but the psychological effects truly do worry me as well. I want you to know that I read your blog almost every day and I can relate to how you're feeling. Just remember that many medical issues are easy to hide, but to walk around with acne is a huge blow on one's self-esteem. I know first hand. This will all pay off in the end and hopefully everything will go well. I am here for you, and I'll keep you updated next week when I start my first cycle of Accutane. Best regards. C.

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Day 20:

Just returned from a short vacation. I was bumped up to 20mg about 4 days ago. I haven't really noticed my side effects increase since then, weirdly enough. My skin continues to break out but to the same severity it was pre-Accutane, so I wouldn't really call it an initial breakout. I'm getting pretty frustrated with these breakouts and I really want this medication to start working its wonders.. I know it takes time, but the thought of going to school in a couple of days makes me sick to my stomach.

Side Effects: same as before.

Hey Sarah,

I came across your blog right when you started using Accutane while I was googling side effects and contemplating whether I should go on it or not. I'm around the same age as you, and I too as a Student struggle with acne and feel completely hopeless. I found interest in your blog because I could relate to the products you've tried, and your failed attempts to treat break outs. Two years ago my Family doctor prescribed me Accutane, but due to travelling (sun exposure risk) my Parents and I decided it wasn't the right thing to do at the time. I went to an acne clinic in a different city for almost three months to get laser treatments done, which slowly got rid of my acne. Now, two years later I'm back in this position and it's horrible. I started noticing my acne getting worse almost two months ago, but I had switched contraceptive methods thus I thought it was a temporary side effect. I was horribly mistaken, and it took two months of humiliation, dirty looks at work and for me to drag myself into my doctor's office bawling my eyes out explaining how terrible this has been. My doctor previously failed to notice all the attempts I have taken to get rid of my acne, and finally after almost 15 minutes of warning me about side effects he ordered me to get new birth control and get a blood test done within the next week in order to start my first cycle of Accutane. I really encourage you to keep posting, I know exactly what it's like to have people look at you differently simply because my skin. I'm going into my first year of University and I too am very, very nervous about the initial break out. I know it's going to get worse before it gets better, but the psychological effects truly do worry me as well. I want you to know that I read your blog almost every day and I can relate to how you're feeling. Just remember that many medical issues are easy to hide, but to walk around with acne is a huge blow on one's self-esteem. I know first hand. This will all pay off in the end and hopefully everything will go well. I am here for you, and I'll keep you updated next week when I start my first cycle of Accutane. Best regards. C.

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