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Holy Isotretinoin Batman, It's Another Accutane Log!

first time accutane accutane log pictures

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#141 GetMeTheResults

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 09:40 PM

I agree- Megtree should do advertising for some high-end skin care line, no kidding :)

I'm surprised she's still lurking around here lol 

 

Thank you! It makes me feel good to know I made someone's day! I know pictures like that helped me get through the hard times on accutane, so I thought I'd pay it forward. 

You made my day too! I can not wait to finish and have beautiful skin! I will probably be nervous like you to finish treatment but your skin is seriously gorgeous!



#142 PersnickityChick

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:05 PM

Meg, your skin looks AMAZING!!! It must be a huge boost for you to look in the mirror now. I look forward to hearing how you are doing in the future. 



#143 megtree

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:06 PM

I agree- Megtree should do advertising for some high-end skin care line, no kidding smile.png

I'm surprised she's still lurking around here lol 

 

 

Thank you! It makes me feel good to know I made someone's day! I know pictures like that helped me get through the hard times on accutane, so I thought I'd pay it forward. 

You made my day too! I can not wait to finish and have beautiful skin! I will probably be nervous like you to finish treatment but your skin is seriously gorgeous!

 

Meg, your skin looks AMAZING!!! It must be a huge boost for you to look in the mirror now. I look forward to hearing how you are doing in the future. 

You guys are awesome, thank you.

 

I wanted to do a quick update.

 

Unfortunately, I am still breaking out. The breakouts are not bad - but my skin does not look as good as it did while I was on Accutane. I am not freaking out *yet*, because the acne is still significantly better then it has been in years. I see my dermatologist again in September, and he assured me that he will consider another round of accutane if I am ok with it and my cholesterol is back to normal, as my case was "unusually persistent". *ominous music*

 

I do have one cyst, and this is very sad. It never got as big as they usually do - but it also never came to a head and has been hanging around for about a week. Other then that little monster - my skin is "ok", but I am noticing a few tiny closed comedones here and there, and itty bitty little red barely noticeable blemishes that I don't even want to complain about because I would have smacked myself in the face for even noticing 6 months ago. My skin is pretty much back to a normal level, neither oily nor dry. 

 

I am not experiencing any long-term side effects, and in fact - my lips have already returned mostly to normal. I would say they are "normal people" chapped, not accutane peeling off in chunks-feeling little pieces of paper stuck to my lips-industrial strength chapstick- kind of chapped. But like, "Oh I guess I need some lip-gloss" kind of chapped.  So that is good. 

Also, weirdly, after stopping isotretinoin, I lost like 6 pounds and haven't gained it back yet, I have a couple of theories regarding this:

(1) I always ate a really fatty meal for dinner because I wanted the iso to absorb well - maybe I am not compensating for those calories anywhere else?

(2) absorica has something to do with fat metabolism?

 

Also to note, I have always noticed a correlation between how much I weigh and what my skin looks like. The thinner I am, the worse my skin seems to be.

I have a feeling this is a behavioral thing - when my skin gets worse, I compensate for that insecurity by intentionally (but unconsciously) losing weight. Perhaps a left-over dysfunctional habit from my ED days. OR there is some acnegenic mechanism tied to losing weight that I don't know about

 

In any case, I am ok with my skin at the moment. I wish it was clearer, but I am still ok with it. 



#144 Kim28

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 10:22 PM

Hey Meg, try not to worry. I think everyone's skin goes through a bit of adjustment post-Accutane. I remember always being shocked when I would get a tiny bump and then it didn't turn into a huge cyst, because I always expected it to. And if you have to do another course, no big deal! There are great odds that a second course would seal the deal if it comes to that.

I wrote you a reply to your questions on my log that goes into more detail.

 

And I thought your weight thing was interesting! I also lost a few pounds since I've been off the 'tane! I gained weight when I went on it, but I also went back on the pill around the same time, so I assumed it was that. I was happily surprised to lose a few of them! So I think you might be onto something.



#145 megtree

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 11:38 AM

Hey Meg, try not to worry. I think everyone's skin goes through a bit of adjustment post-Accutane. I remember always being shocked when I would get a tiny bump and then it didn't turn into a huge cyst, because I always expected it to. And if you have to do another course, no big deal! There are great odds that a second course would seal the deal if it comes to that.

I wrote you a reply to your questions on my log that goes into more detail.

 

And I thought your weight thing was interesting! I also lost a few pounds since I've been off the 'tane! I gained weight when I went on it, but I also went back on the pill around the same time, so I assumed it was that. I was happily surprised to lose a few of them! So I think you might be onto something.

Yeah, I also gained weight when I started (not very much, about 3-5 pounds). Now I am one of those lucky people who's weight fluctuates on a daily basis between 3-5 pounds, so for me, "weight gain" counts as "weight that doesn't fluctuate down to a certain number anymore". For example, if I normally weigh between 117 and 123 (I wish!), on absorica I might have fluctuated between 120 and 126. Now, I fluctuate at a lower number than the low number I started with, if that makes sense. 

 

Anyway, I am trying not to be too concerned. My skin seems to be balancing out and I am trying to be less obsessive about checking every 10 minutes for a new clogged pore, but it's still not something I was prepared to worry about again for a little while. Sigh. Still SO glad I did my course though. 



#146 megtree

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 11:54 AM

Hello everybody! 

 

So, just thought I would update - it's been about a month since I stopped accutane, and actually *knockonwood*, things have been ok. My skin seems to have leveled out, and I am not noticing any new clogged pores or other skin shenanigans. There are two little "cloggers" I am keeping an eye on, one on either side of my face. I suspect they may become inflamed at some point in the future, but it hasn't happened yet (I expect, since I am posting this, it will happen tomorrow). I just had my monthly visit from mother nature, and I survived it without any weird hormonal inflammation. I am still incredibly paranoid, however I am following a mild regimen to keep things at bay:

 

1) I am using aczone at night. Yes, my dermatologist told me not to use anything on my face until he sees me at the 3 month mark, but honestly, F that shiznit. I have read more articles than I can count stating that a maintenance regimen post-accutane significantly reduces relapse rates, so Poo on him. I decided to refill my aczone script and use that over BP because it does not irritate my skin or cause redness. Whether or not it is actually doing anything, I have no clue. But I do know that it makes me feel better to do something, so there you go. 

 

2) Yes yes I do realize that these articles stated that a RETINOID regimen significantly reduces relapse. I was not willing to take the risk of a flare-up, so just Shush. Ssssh. 

 

3) I dropped the argan oil from my moisturizing regimen, except around my eyes. My skin has not gotten 'oilier' per se (although my skin was only ever oily when I was using topical tretinoin), but it is no longer dry (it has returned to its lovely combination state). Additionally, the weather is MOTHER F'IN HOT AND HUMID AS SHIZ (excuse my profanity, the heat brings it out of me) so extra moisturizer is overkill, and just feels uncomfortable on my skin.

 

Lasting side effects:


None, as far as I can tell. I have had some tummy issues (i.e., irregularity) but I attribute it to stress(new job). Nothing high-grade probiotics and some smooth-move can't help.



#147 DawgDaze64

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 12:52 PM

Hello everybody! 

 

So, just thought I would update - it's been about a month since I stopped accutane, and actually *knockonwood*, things have been ok. My skin seems to have leveled out, and I am not noticing any new clogged pores or other skin shenanigans. There are two little "cloggers" I am keeping an eye on, one on either side of my face. I suspect they may become inflamed at some point in the future, but it hasn't happened yet (I expect, since I am posting this, it will happen tomorrow). I just had my monthly visit from mother nature, and I survived it without any weird hormonal inflammation. I am still incredibly paranoid, however I am following a mild regimen to keep things at bay:

 

1) I am using aczone at night. Yes, my dermatologist told me not to use anything on my face until he sees me at the 3 month mark, but honestly, F that shiznit. I have read more articles than I can count stating that a maintenance regimen post-accutane significantly reduces relapse rates, so Poo on him. I decided to refill my aczone script and use that over BP because it does not irritate my skin or cause redness. Whether or not it is actually doing anything, I have no clue. But I do know that it makes me feel better to do something, so there you go. 

 

2) Yes yes I do realize that these articles stated that a RETINOID regimen significantly reduces relapse. I was not willing to take the risk of a flare-up, so just Shush. Ssssh. 

 

3) I dropped the argan oil from my moisturizing regimen, except around my eyes. My skin has not gotten 'oilier' per se (although my skin was only ever oily when I was using topical tretinoin), but it is no longer dry (it has returned to its lovely combination state). Additionally, the weather is MOTHER F'IN HOT AND HUMID AS SHIZ (excuse my profanity, the heat brings it out of me) so extra moisturizer is overkill, and just feels uncomfortable on my skin.

 

Lasting side effects:


None, as far as I can tell. I have had some tummy issues (i.e., irregularity) but I attribute it to stress(new job). Nothing high-grade probiotics and some smooth-move can't help.

Glad to hear you're doing well!

 

Interesting, your mention of retinoid use post-Accutane to keep relapses at bay. I have three tubes of Tazorac in my drawer (each script is two tubes, for some reason, and I filled a script late December in anticipation of my insurance rates going through the roof), all with expiration dates of 2015 and 2016, just waiting for me when I'm through with my course in December. Of course, now I'm also wondering if it does more harm than good, as several folks on these forums seem to indicate. I was really piling on the Tazorac once my skin started misbehaving back beginning of this year.

 

Then again, shouldn't a topical retinoid act somewhat like an oral one? Gah. It's all so confusing.



#148 Kim28

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 03:59 PM

F**k retinoids, my skin hates them topically so there is no way I'm going there. They were what ended me up back on Accutane in the first place so I'm not playing around with that. On the other hand, my skin loves BP, so I have been continuing to use that. I think we all just have to go with our gut instinct on what to do 'after-Tane', and try to keep it simple.

I did SO much research on relapse (due to having one!) and learned that basically there isn't anything you can do. As long as you take your whole course and end it being clear, the rest is in the hands of the universe. High dose, low dose, taking dose while riding unicorn, none of it makes any difference.

 

Anyway - SO glad to hear things are going great! Things are great over here, too. I've actually gotten some work done on my thesis, and am heading to Jakarta in a week for my brother's wedding - not even worried about my skin! Gotta love the freedom this drug creates.



#149 megtree

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 08:53 PM

Hi Elk - I wanted you to know that my eye- circles have gotten markedly better since being off accutane. I don't know if it was dehydration/dryness but I am noticing (and other peope have commented) that I look less 'tired' and 'stressed' (both code words for "WHOA LOOK AT THOSE BAAAAAGS".  So yeah.

Megtree~

Did you by chance notice any other the eye skin thinning on Accutane? It's one side effect I don't want. I already have thin transparent under eye skin and don't need it worse to show it off even darker. But I am sick of my skin and we're around the same age. Also my pores are huge, presumably from constant salicylic acid use to try and control my acne. I have one scar on the right side of my face that's noticeable and don't want to scar on Accutane, but acne has drained me the life out of me. Thank you for this log. I would be grateful if you happen to still frequent the forums if you were to dispense some advice, although I know you have a lot already.



Kim - I fully believe retinoids brought my face to the point where I needed accutane as well. I did not have cystic acne until after I started retinoids. However, retinoids did do amazing things for the quality of my skin outside of acne (i.e., wrinkles, tone, and uninflammed cloggers), so as in life, there is a tug and a pull...yunno "turn turn turn" and all that whimsical nonsense.


So if it's not too personal, whacha doin' your thesis on? I finished my M.S. about a year and a half ago, and I am getting ready to dive back in for the full monty... And goshdarnit when I get it I AM gonna make people call me doctor just like I made people call me Master when I last graduated.


I kid...I kid...but seriously. Thesis writing stinks sometimes (but sometimes it's also great).

F**k retinoids, my skin hates them topically so there is no way I'm going there. They were what ended me up back on Accutane in the first place so I'm not playing around with that. On the other hand, my skin loves BP, so I have been continuing to use that. I think we all just have to go with our gut instinct on what to do 'after-Tane', and try to keep it simple.

I did SO much research on relapse (due to having one!) and learned that basically there isn't anything you can do. As long as you take your whole course and end it being clear, the rest is in the hands of the universe. High dose, low dose, taking dose while riding unicorn, none of it makes any difference.

 

Anyway - SO glad to hear things are going great! Things are great over here, too. I've actually gotten some work done on my thesis, and am heading to Jakarta in a week for my brother's wedding - not even worried about my skin! Gotta love the freedom this drug creates.


Edited by megtree, 31 July 2014 - 08:56 PM.


#150 DawgDaze64

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 09:47 AM

Yup, that seems to be the double-edged sword with prescription topical retinoids (I have not tried any OTC products with retinols . . . ). They really do work, I think, if your goal is to minimize or help reverse sun damage. While I have bad skin, I have not yet started to wrinkle. This is partly due to years of slavish use of retinoids and sunscreen, partly to genetics, as all the gals on my father's side of the family look about 10 years younger than they are. However, we all have, surprise surprise, acne. The skin gods giveth and the skin gods taketh away.



#151 megtree

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:02 AM

Yup, that seems to be the double-edged sword with prescription topical retinoids (I have not tried any OTC products with retinols . . . ). They really do work, I think, if your goal is to minimize or help reverse sun damage. While I have bad skin, I have not yet started to wrinkle. This is partly due to years of slavish use of retinoids and sunscreen, partly to genetics, as all the gals on my father's side of the family look about 10 years younger than they are. However, we all have, surprise surprise, acne. The skin gods giveth and the skin gods taketh away.

 

So totally true.  



#152 megtree

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:27 PM

Its almost 3 months since I stopped accutane, and I thought I'd check in. All in all, I am still clear and very happy. I did get one large pimple on my cheek during my last period (one of the cloggers I talked about in my earlier post). It came to a head in about 2 days and popped on its own. It's mostly healed now. 

 

A lot of stressful things are happening in my life right now, so I am glad acne is something I dont have to worry about currently. Every side effect I experienced during accutane has resolved itself (my skin is not dry, but I wouldn't say its awfully oily either, living in a very humid area makes it difficult for me to tell what is normal or abnormal). I have noticed a slight increase in the sensitivity of my skin - it seems to flush and get red a little more easily. It doesn't really bother me all that much however.

 

My hair is no longer dry, but it still doesn't get oily quite as fast as it used to. 

No bowel problems. No eye problems. I took follow up labs with my very paranoid primary care physician, and my labs are completely normal. My triglycerides are lower than the normal range, actually - and my LDL is back to normal. My HDL is very elevated (it always has been, I have that weird Mediterranean gene that makes my 'good' cholesterol about 30 points higher than the highest point in the average range) which my PCP is just delighted about (High HDL is very protective against heart disease). 

 

Currently, my regimen is incredibly simple, just cetaphil and moisturizer. 

Good luck to everyone! 



#153 JJ

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 07:45 PM

Thanks for the update. Glad to hear you're going well. I hope it continues that way :)

#154 Kim28

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 11:15 PM

Glad to hear all is well! Going smoothly over here too.

 

And since you asked . . . (and I think your sciency brain will appreciate it), my thesis is on biological complexity as a metaphor for the way disciplines grow and change over time.

My proposal was accepted and I have my advisory panel put together, so I am starting research now. SO NICE to be able to think about what my brain WANTS to think about.

 

Sorry about the stress! Hope you get some time to relax and enjoy yourself soon.






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