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Isotretinoin, First Try, 24Yo Female, Cystic Acne.


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#1 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 01:39 PM

Hi everyone!


So, I guess this is where I'll keep track of my progress (crossing fingers) and document my first, and hopefully last, round of Isotretinoin. I just started, taking the first dose today. My derm wants me to start very softly, so to begin with I am only taking 20mg every other day for about a week, then increasing to 20mg every day for a while. And then we will see how it goes after that.
I do not really weigh a lot so I can't go on more than 40mg a day, although hopefully I won't need to do that.
 

Before this I've tried everything, everything, but lasers and burying something at a crossroads. I am really nervous though since I've read so much about the side effects of this drug, and am also a little unsure whether or not my acne is hormonal, and if the Isotretinoin would help that. 12 years of acne, please let this work!

A bit of a headache, but I think that's the christmas shopping, not the drugs!



#2 CWR24

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 05:52 PM

Good luck!



#3 Joy4ever

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:45 AM

Good luck on your course! Acne can't and won't stop you

 

Merry christmas



#4 PersnickityChick

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:44 AM

Good luck.  I hope it helps, and that you will be cyst free soon! 



#5 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 03:05 PM

Thank you CWR24, Joy4ever, and PersnickityChick!
 

I hope everyone is having a good Christmas.

 

So, today is day 8, and I am really starting to notice my skin drying up. My regular moisturizer just isn't doing the trick anymore, and regardless of how much I slather on and how often, it still gets flaky. Dead skin will not be moisturized, I guess. Have been having extra dry lips, but nothing too bad. Other than that, no side effects worth mentioning. A spot under my lower lip is itching like crazy, but I am not quite sure why.

Negative of the week; the megacyst/zit-business-meeting or whatever that conglomeration of "why, universe, why" things that made an extra chin on my chin was, broke when I smiled, and when I tried to gently get the goo off my chin, the whole "lid" came off with it, so now it's still big, still sticking out, and looking like a fleshwound. I'm not kidding, it looks like somebody shot me in the chin. Last week, it was my temple. At least I could hide that with my hair.

Using a drop of tea tree oil on the most irritated cysts and zits, it is the only thing that calms it down/keeps it from exploding.

Now I'm going to eat pudding and all other christmas desserts, probably not good for my face but, damn it, (can I say damn it here?) it's christmas.



#6 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 12:17 PM

So, it's day 10, and as of yesterday I am on 20 mg per day. Skin is drier than usual. My megacyst/zit/whatever lost its bloody scab in the shower and is now retreating! Usually those take forever to go away, so I am a little ... I don't know, confused? In other news I've somehow developed a mirror-acne symptom of sorts; whenever I break out on one side of my face the other soon mirrors it. This happened on my chin and where my cheekbones are most prominent, so I have pointy, rosy, cheeks. glare.gif seriously?...
In the weird news department; my hands, which have been really cracked and dry and horrible, are getting smoother, softer, and not itchy! Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, but what?!

Because of the time of year, new years and wishes and hopes and stuff, it's been one of those reflective days. I don't know what my face looks like. I don't. I've had acne since I was a kid, and now I'm in my mid-twenties. And to be honest, it makes me mad. I hate that I have never seen my face without acne and scarring. And now I have more scarring than I will probably ever get rid of. And it just feels so unfair. I know I sound bitter, and I probably am, a little bit. More than anything I want to be able to go out, smile and look people in the eyes, and not have them look at my breakouts or say something hurtful.

 

Now, back to being positive! There are good things. wiggle.gif


Edited by Petrichor Murmurs, 29 December 2013 - 12:18 PM.


#7 CWR24

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 01:46 PM

So, it's day 10, and as of yesterday I am on 20 mg per day. Skin is drier than usual. My megacyst/zit/whatever lost its bloody scab in the shower and is now retreating! Usually those take forever to go away, so I am a little ... I don't know, confused? In other news I've somehow developed a mirror-acne symptom of sorts; whenever I break out on one side of my face the other soon mirrors it. This happened on my chin and where my cheekbones are most prominent, so I have pointy, rosy, cheeks. glare.gif seriously?...
In the weird news department; my hands, which have been really cracked and dry and horrible, are getting smoother, softer, and not itchy! Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful, but what?!

Because of the time of year, new years and wishes and hopes and stuff, it's been one of those reflective days. I don't know what my face looks like. I don't. I've had acne since I was a kid, and now I'm in my mid-twenties. And to be honest, it makes me mad. I hate that I have never seen my face without acne and scarring. And now I have more scarring than I will probably ever get rid of. And it just feels so unfair. I know I sound bitter, and I probably am, a little bit. More than anything I want to be able to go out, smile and look people in the eyes, and not have them look at my breakouts or say something hurtful.

 

Now, back to being positive! There are good things. wiggle.gif

Dont worry by the end of your course youre going to have completely clear skin and be able to do all those things you mentioned  



#8 Kim28

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 05:36 PM

Better days ahead!

I am in such a down spot about all this crap on my face too. I had a lot of clear years after Accutane the first time and I know what a huge difference it made in my life. I can handle the scars, I just can't handle the constant war on my face. I'm at home while my husband and kid are out with family because my whole face hurts. It's all swollen and yucky.

Even so, it really isn't as bad as it was a couple weeks ago, so I am trying to look at the big picture.

"Accutane works" - that's what my derm said when I saw her last, so I am holding onto that.

I've gotten this far already and it isn't as far to go as I've been, I think. Same for you.

We can totally get through this last bit of crap, because it will be the last.

Yay for that.



#9 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:08 PM

Thank you for the support CWR24 and Kim28! Encouraging words mean a lot when there's no one else around me who's going through the same thing.
Biiig family, everyone else has perfect skin. Like everyone. Perfect. rolleyes.gif

Wasn't going to update again so soon, but I have to whine a little. My head hurts. I thiiink it's coming from my neck. And I don't know if I can take painkillers. sad.png I know, I'm a crybaby. Whine over.



#10 CWR24

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:02 PM

Thank you for the support CWR24 and Kim28! Encouraging words mean a lot when there's no one else around me who's going through the same thing.
Biiig family, everyone else has perfect skin. Like everyone. Perfect. rolleyes.gif

Wasn't going to update again so soon, but I have to whine a little. My head hurts. I thiiink it's coming from my neck. And I don't know if I can take painkillers. sad.png I know, I'm a crybaby. Whine over.

I know how you feel Im the only one in my family who doesnt have clear skin.. lol

 

I got headaches around the same time your having them now on the course im currently taking but they went away by the second week. I think its just your body adjusting to it. Make sure youre drinking a lot of water too that will help as well. 



#11 PersnickityChick

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 04:49 AM

I hope things start to smooth out for you soon, and that you will get some relief from the headaches, and the pain. I asked my derm about pain relievers while on Accutane, because I was aware of the headache issue.  She told me I could take tylenol, or ibuprofin.  So far I have had only a couple of days of headaches.  Honestly, though, I didn't attribute them to accutane.  Silly me. :P 



#12 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:32 PM

It's day 14, people! Two weeks on accutane and something is definitely happening. Headaches are gone, some random pains have popped up every now and then, my skin is dry. It was probably a little bit on the dry side before the isotretinoin, but now it's a desert. The overall number of zits popping up have reduced noticeably, no giants, the ones that have been there seem to be hanging around, neither retreating og going into a complete hissyfit over the cavalry of pills. A few new ones have now popped up, and a few of the biggest, red, and most irritated ones have faded, so so far I think I love this medicine. No IB yet, but ya never know!

 

The only thing that is just annoying the (insert suitable word) out of me, is the no scrubbing/no exfoliating rule of accutane. EVERY, EVERY, EVERY, EVERY single pore on my nose, and the middle of my forehead is clogged. Blackheads and giant blocked pores galore, making my skin so rough and course that any makeup just makes it look sooo much worse. Whyyy? What can I do? Can I use a wet cloth and rub the worst gently off? I do not want to go back to uni with this.

cry.gif



#13 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 10:53 AM

It's day 18, no big side effects except dryness. A few new spots here and there, but nothing much and they seem to go through the stages pretty quickly.

Just to mention it, if you're going on accutane of some kind, or you just started. When people say they can't live without their lip balm, it's not an exaggeration. Twenty minutes with no moisture and lips become scabby, flaking, cracking, and no fun to deal with. And you'll pay the price for days. Get lip balm!



#14 MISSanta

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 05:47 PM

Good luck with your treatment! uhh the thing with the lip balm you're so right! I've put one lip balm on all of my handbags just in case i switch them :P  I'm in a similar position here. I think we might have the same kind of skin cause I'm experiencing everything you mentioned on specific days! I'm on day 6 right now. Just waiting to see if any blackheads and blogged pores start to happen on day 14 :P 



#15 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:22 PM

I hope things start to smooth out for you soon, and that you will get some relief from the headaches, and the pain. I asked my derm about pain relievers while on Accutane, because I was aware of the headache issue.  She told me I could take tylenol, or ibuprofin.  So far I have had only a couple of days of headaches.  Honestly, though, I didn't attribute them to accutane.  Silly me. tongue.png

 

Thank you, luckily the headaches stayed away for the most part!

 

Thank you for the support CWR24 and Kim28! Encouraging words mean a lot when there's no one else around me who's going through the same thing.
Biiig family, everyone else has perfect skin. Like everyone. Perfect. rolleyes.gif

Wasn't going to update again so soon, but I have to whine a little. My head hurts. I thiiink it's coming from my neck. And I don't know if I can take painkillers. sad.png I know, I'm a crybaby. Whine over.

I know how you feel Im the only one in my family who doesnt have clear skin.. lol

 

I got headaches around the same time your having them now on the course im currently taking but they went away by the second week. I think its just your body adjusting to it. Make sure youre drinking a lot of water too that will help as well. 

 

Nice to hear other people have/had the same side effects as me! Well, not nice, but you know. Took your advice concerning the water and I think it helped.

 

Good luck with your treatment! uhh the thing with the lip balm you're so right! I've put one lip balm on all of my handbags just in case i switch them tongue.png  I'm in a similar position here. I think we might have the same kind of skin cause I'm experiencing everything you mentioned on specific days! I'm on day 6 right now. Just waiting to see if any blackheads and blogged pores start to happen on day 14 tongue.png


Hi MISSanta! You just might be right about the similar skin and all. Hope the treatment has treated you well so far and that you don't have to suffer the wrath of the clogged pores. tongue.png

 

So, it is day 31, technically, anyway. Has been a while since i wrote here because there's been a lot of stress with school starting back up again and on and on.

Anyway, I'm so tired I can't even form sentences in a uhmmm... don't know the word, manner.

Acne-wise I have had a few big ones that are so stubborn it has almost made me cry. Frustrating, and yeah... Still mostly pretty good, a few more now, possibly because of my monthly. Very sore, sensitive skin, but that's to be expected. About a week ago I developed a rash on one of my arms. Super dry, and painful if not moisturized, spread quickly to both arms. And at first it came on really quickly, one minute nothing, the next; rash!

 

Oh, and the eyes! When I woke up one morning they were burning like somebody put itching powder in them. It sucks, especially when I have to study. So happy I have my eyedrops. Okay, better updates next time and on. Going to go rinse, moisturize, and sleep.



#16 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:09 AM

So, it's day 44. About.

 

Saw my derm yesterday, got bumped to 20/40 alternate days. Took some blood, discussed side effects thus far and generally decided it's working so let's just roll on.

My derm is fairly laid back with the security around the drug. She prescribed me a hundred pills the first time before I had gotten the test results back and as long as i promised not to be reckless I didn't have to use any birth control. Which I'm thankful for.
When I asked about dry, flaky skin, and exfoliation and scrubbing she got a slighly panicked look and "no"-ed me quite firmly. I already knew that but I had to know the limits so I could get the flakes off my face.

General condition. My skin is getting slightly less dry than it's been, but that will probably go back now I've bumped up. My hands, wrists, arms and partly my chest get a rash that is fine if i lotion it properly. Missed two doses, but it seems to have gone okay. My hair is dryyy, which is still kinda nice. My nose is sore and bleeding, hurts when I get little scabs/wounds. On the outside my pores seem to be getting a little bit smaller. And my eyes are really dried-out. Acne-activity is for the most part at a stand-still. Some sore, hard pimples, nodules or cysts, I honestly don't know, I don't think they know, that just keep blowing up, and imploding, and blowing up, and imploding on my temples. My face is still doing the weird mirror thing. If it's happening on one side, it's happening on the other. No big breakouts, happy about that, hoping I won't get one with the change of dosage now either.

Sidenote: I HATE downlights! I hate them. Everything looks worse standing under them. And with lots of big pores and indented scars, I just haaaate it.

 

In other news; found what I thought was a recurring cyst on my chin, but now suspect is a patch of normal, healthy tissue surrounded by deep, old, big, cratery scars that has made the supporting flesh break down. cry.gif

 

Signed up for 70 ECTS this semester. Why...



#17 megtree

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:54 AM

So, it's day 44. About.

 

Saw my derm yesterday, got bumped to 20/40 alternate days. Took some blood, discussed side effects thus far and generally decided it's working so let's just roll on.

My derm is fairly laid back with the security around the drug. She prescribed me a hundred pills the first time before I had gotten the test results back and as long as i promised not to be reckless I didn't have to use any birth control. Which I'm thankful for.
When I asked about dry, flaky skin, and exfoliation and scrubbing she got a slighly panicked look and "no"-ed me quite firmly. I already knew that but I had to know the limits so I could get the flakes off my face.

General condition. My skin is getting slightly less dry than it's been, but that will probably go back now I've bumped up. My hands, wrists, arms and partly my chest get a rash that is fine if i lotion it properly. Missed two doses, but it seems to have gone okay. My hair is dryyy, which is still kinda nice. My nose is sore and bleeding, hurts when I get little scabs/wounds. On the outside my pores seem to be getting a little bit smaller. And my eyes are really dried-out. Acne-activity is for the most part at a stand-still. Some sore, hard pimples, nodules or cysts, I honestly don't know, I don't think they know, that just keep blowing up, and imploding, and blowing up, and imploding on my temples. My face is still doing the weird mirror thing. If it's happening on one side, it's happening on the other. No big breakouts, happy about that, hoping I won't get one with the change of dosage now either.

Sidenote: I HATE downlights! I hate them. Everything looks worse standing under them. And with lots of big pores and indented scars, I just haaaate it.

 

In other news; found what I thought was a recurring cyst on my chin, but now suspect is a patch of normal, healthy tissue surrounded by deep, old, big, cratery scars that has made the supporting flesh break down. cry.gif

 

Signed up for 70 ECTS this semester. Why...

I can so relate to your complaint about lighting. I'm on day 40 today as well...all I can say is...I just haaaate it too :( It's weird how consistent accutane can be with it's side effects, reading over your logs - I can see I experienced some of the same side effects around the exact same time you have! It can be very comforting to know that what we are experiencing on this drug is very normal (for this drug, anyway). Good luck and thanks for keeping us updated!



#18 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 02:22 PM

I can so relate to your complaint about lighting. I'm on day 40 today as well...all I can say is...I just haaaate it too sad.png It's weird how consistent accutane can be with it's side effects, reading over your logs - I can see I experienced some of the same side effects around the exact same time you have! It can be very comforting to know that what we are experiencing on this drug is very normal (for this drug, anyway). Good luck and thanks for keeping us updated!

 

Thanks megtree, and you're right, it really helps to hear that what one is experiencing is something "everyone else" goes through on this as well. It's easy to freak out a little sometimes, and I am sooo glad I found this forum before I started. Say "my lips are killing me" to someone with no experience with accutane and they're like "okay? put some chapstick on or something..." Say the same thing to a fellow accutane-user and "I know what you mean, you know what works well?" smile.png

 

So, day 46. Forgot to mention how I got to the derm my last appointment. Basically, I payed for a taxi because I just didn't want to walk the streets looking for a building with no makeup on. It's scary. shifty.gif

My complaint of the day is that I lost my eyedrops, the pharmacy is closed, and though I consider myself fairly limber there are stil places on my back that are pretty hard to lotion. Sometimes I feel like a bear, standing with my back against the doorframe trying to scratch my own back.
Really, really nervous about a possible IB. I didn't have one yet, and I'm really scared I'm gonna have one now when the dose has been bumped.
Otherwise, worrying about how I'm gonna get rid of my scars, or improve them. I know, it's way too early to think about that, but I'm a worrier. As soon as I fix one thing, I'm worrying about the next potential problem. 

 

Loving my face right now, despite the redness and the scars and a couple of spots it definitely looks better than it has in a while. No cysts really, just a couple spots that look like nodules on my jaw, but that doesn't really hurt much. Also, it looks better in the morning, like my skin calms down when I sleep. Going to try to post pictures when I figure out how to get them from my camera to my computer. (Moved, and lost all wires and cords.)

Going to set up an appointment to get my hair cut and highlighted. Treating my hair as nicely as I can, considering how dry it is.



#19 PersnickityChick

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:36 AM

It looks like we started on exactly the same day, and have been going through things at relatively the same pace.  I don't think my dose will be changing at all, since I am already at the max dose for my weight. My derm did tell me recently to go to 40mg every-other-day, because of the rashes and such.  It is hard to take a step back though, when I feel like I might be making progress. 

 

Good luck on your class!



#20 Petrichor Murmurs

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 01:31 PM

Let me tell you a tale of horror, of darkness and despair.

 

'Tis a cyst that lives on a young womans face. A beast that arose from the depths, a mountain of red towering on the apple of her cheek, wrecking chaos on the only untouched piece of her face. With evil intentions and an army of inflamed pores it came in the night, masking itself as an innocent zit. When it showed itself in that grim mirror image that reflected its mistress that fateful morning, a cry of terror was heard throughout the building, the likes of which I hope you never have to hear. 'Tis a cyst that lives on a young womans face. A beast that arose from the depths. And its presence will, I assure you, leave its mark deep on her flesh long after it has gone.

 

True story.

 

Day 58.

 

As well as the mythical creature I have just described I also have the pleasure of treating two other little bumps on my face. One on my chin, and one, that seem to be receding, on my temple. I have more too! But these are the ones that keep me slightly nervous.

Still sore eyes, still lots'a rash, well, not lots, still dry hair, mood up and down, some very good days, some pretty bad ones, moods just seem intensified, it's a bit exhausting, not much appetite, nose as dry as the sahara desert in a drought.






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