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rachelll1995

Accutane Journey

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Hi everyone!

My name is Rachel, I am 18 and I just started using Accutane today (40 mg/day).

My acne story:

It all started in middle school. It was never really bad (just regular pimples all over my forehead) and it stayed for a couple of years...however I managed to clear up quite a bit and kept it under control up until my first year of university (this year).

My skin was extremely good until the stress of midterms, my poor nutrition, sleep deprivation hit around this past November. I started breaking out along my jawline, temples and some on my cheeks (was not cystic though). It annoyed me a lot which made me commit one of the worst mistakes of my life...Proactive.

My sister used proactive and cleared up dramatically, however, this was not the case for me. After a couple of weeks on Proactive, i broke out horribly (with cystic acne) in places I never got pimples, and this scared me A LOT. I knew about the potential initial breakout of Proactive but this just did not seem right. I had to quit using it.

Since then, my skin has been pretty awful. it covers the sides of my face and the cystic pimples on my jawline really hurt. I was prescribed Accutane by my doctor and although I am really scared for this process, I am also excited and ready.

Products I will be using along side Accutane is cetaphil gentle face wash, cetaphil ultra face moisturizer, and aquaphor (for lips and face). I will add more products when I need to so if anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate your feedback!

I will be updating weekly, on my journey! Feel free to update on your acne journey too!! I would love to share our experiences! Good luck to anyone who is also going through Accutane I just cannot wait to have clear skin again! God Bless~

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hey rachel,

good luck on your journey, I'm on 1 2/3 months and i already see a huge difference. i have nodular cystic acne and it was really bad, like to the point where my face and neck was swollen. but now my cheeks are flat and my neck is still healing but better than when i first started. still got like 5 more months to go but just gotta be patient. even though its hard. I'm using all the products you are using too! just be aware you will get really thirsty so drink lots of water to stay hydrated. also i used proactive in the past too. back when i had like regular mild acne. proactive didn't do anything… just dried up my skin. probably why you broke out when you used it because you skin was probably trying to compensate for the dryness by producing more oil. good luck!

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hey rachel,

good luck on your journey, I'm on 1 2/3 months and i already see a huge difference. i have nodular cystic acne and it was really bad, like to the point where my face and neck was swollen. but now my cheeks are flat and my neck is still healing but better than when i first started. still got like 5 more months to go but just gotta be patient. even though its hard. I'm using all the products you are using too! just be aware you will get really thirsty so drink lots of water to stay hydrated. also i used proactive in the past too. back when i had like regular mild acne. proactive didn't do anything… just dried up my skin. probably why you broke out when you used it because you skin was probably trying to compensate for the dryness by producing more oil. good luck!

Good Luck!

Thank you both for the encouragement!

AsianyJ, I appreciate your feedback :) and it is hard being patient...especially with acne. Good luck to you too!! I can't wait to start seeing results myself. Did you experience an initial breakout? And when did the dryness all hit?

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hey rachel,

good luck on your journey, I'm on 1 2/3 months and i already see a huge difference. i have nodular cystic acne and it was really bad, like to the point where my face and neck was swollen. but now my cheeks are flat and my neck is still healing but better than when i first started. still got like 5 more months to go but just gotta be patient. even though its hard. I'm using all the products you are using too! just be aware you will get really thirsty so drink lots of water to stay hydrated. also i used proactive in the past too. back when i had like regular mild acne. proactive didn't do anything… just dried up my skin. probably why you broke out when you used it because you skin was probably trying to compensate for the dryness by producing more oil. good luck!

>Good Luck!

Thank you both for the encouragement!

AsianyJ, I appreciate your feedback and it is hard being patient...especially with acne. Good luck to you too!! I can't wait to start seeing results myself. Did you experience an initial breakout? And when did the dryness all hit?

well honestly my face was really messed up before i started accutane so i didn't notice new ones cuz it was already like a shotgun to my face. how can you notice something bad when things are already at its worse? lol but most people do get initial breakouts. shouldn't be too bad. dry lips start within end of week 1 going to week 2. after that you start noticing dry skin. but its not that bad.

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Day 4 (and a half, since i started wed night)

Nothing really changed...my face is kind of blotchy though...but this might have been b/c of other reasons. lips are not really dry, face is still oily..however I do think my hair is a bit dryer (could be placebo effect lol). I also have to note that my face feels very rough...(also not sure if accutane caused this b/c ever since i started using cetaphil face wash tiny skin coloured bumps appeared all over my forehead! It used be pretty smooth...I really hope this all goes away).

Ive been using Nature's Aid Skin Gel as a spot treatment sort of thing and Im starting to feel a stinging sensation on some spots...not sure if i should stop using it?? (it contains aloe, vitamin e, witch hazel, rosemary and tea tree). Any opinions? Ive been using it for quite a while now but I dont remember any stinging...

I kind of want my face to start drying out now just so I feel reassured that the pills are working lol.

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all the best! im on day 20 so nearly 3 weeks in already- time has flown! ive had dry skin lips scalp hair. but no other major side effects really. drink loads of water as it does help keep side effects down i find. im currently going through a black head purge(icky i know!). but i just want clear skin so badly now!!!

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all the best! im on day 20 so nearly 3 weeks in already- time has flown! ive had dry skin lips scalp hair. but no other major side effects really. drink loads of water as it does help keep side effects down i find. im currently going through a black head purge(icky i know!). but i just want clear skin so badly now!!!

Thank you!! You as well

Time really does fly! I CANNOT wait till 6 months is done! when did your dryness hit??? I dont feel dry at all yet....almost day 6 now!

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i would say anytime from day 6 to day 12 the dryness tends to kick in. thats what i found anyway. :)

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finished one week of accutane! yay!

update: not much change in acne.....got a few new cysts and regular pimples as well as clogged pores (kinda itchy) but not much change from the usual breakouts. Didn't expect much though.

However, my acne is drying up pretty quickly! Ive still been using spot treatment (sulfur mask, nature's gel) but it never dried up quite like that before.

lips are more dry than usual, skin is dry around the nose. My hair is not as greasy! But i had quite an amount of hair fall out in the shower! I hope this stops..I dont even have that much hair in the first place lol.

i think i am developing a minor rash on my one hand....I only noticed it today...it might be from the cold but I always wear my gloves!

To sum up, I am seeing a bit of side effects but not to a great extent! Not much change in acne. One week flew by!

-Rachel

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Hey rachel what does your rash look like, I'm just over a week in and I noticed a couple of weird bumps on my hands though it's already healing, maybe it's because I'm washing plates with really hot water!

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Hey rachel what does your rash look like, I'm just over a week in and I noticed a couple of weird bumps on my hands though it's already healing, maybe it's because I'm washing plates with really hot water!

Rashes are relatively common with Accutane. Do you have eczema on your hand(s)?

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i have the rash on my hands too. one more than the other. its more of an exma rash for me and has cracked a little and bled-but that is because i didnt moisturise it i think- oops

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Hey rachel what does your rash look like, I'm just over a week in and I noticed a couple of weird bumps on my hands though it's already healing, maybe it's because I'm washing plates with really hot water!

thats EXACTLY what i have! i think it kind of went away already! i put a lot of moisturizer on it last night.....it was a very minor rash, couple of tiny red bumps that stung a bit when I moved my hands. but yeah same already healing!

but oh my gosh my scalp is like super itchy in the night when im trying to sleep! its so distracting lol! its weird b/c its only during bedtime :P

my lips are starting to peel on the edges.....stings on the corners of my mouth..but not a big deal :)

lalaland24: ouch!! sounds painful! hopefully it goes away with lots of moisturizer!

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Hey rachel what does your rash look like, I'm just over a week in and I noticed a couple of weird bumps on my hands though it's already healing, maybe it's because I'm washing plates with really hot water!

thats EXACTLY what i have! i think it kind of went away already! i put a lot of moisturizer on it last night.....it was a very minor rash, couple of tiny red bumps that stung a bit when I moved my hands. but yeah same already healing!

but oh my gosh my scalp is like super itchy in the night when im trying to sleep! its so distracting lol! its weird b/c its only during bedtime

my lips are starting to peel on the edges.....stings on the corners of my mouth..but not a big deal

lalaland24: ouch!! sounds painful! hopefully it goes away with lots of moisturizer!

This is going to sound really weird, but have you tried putting Saran wrap on your face at night? Some people have done it so the moisturizers don't rub off on the pillow cases. (Must've taken a lot of trial and error!)

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Michelle Reece: no i havent tried that! my face is not too dry atm...but i know it will be very soon :P how do you breathe with the saran wrap on your face? lol. i guess you could make little holes for your eyes and mouth haha. anything to get rid of that dryness!!

my face just stings atm. i dont know why..rash thing is pretty much gone..

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Michelle Reece: no i havent tried that! my face is not too dry atm...but i know it will be very soon how do you breathe with the saran wrap on your face? lol. i guess you could make little holes for your eyes and mouth haha. anything to get rid of that dryness!!

my face just stings atm. i dont know why..rash thing is pretty much gone..

Stinging is sensitivity-related. Sometimes, nerves are weird like that. It could also be sun burn/damage!

Apply sunscreen with SPF 30+. 1/4 of a teaspoon suffices. The stinging, redness and irritation could very easily get worse when Accutane kicks in!

Yes, people cut holes for the eyes and mouth, and they sleep on their back. It's pretty "extreme", but it works. Some even use that trick to make sure their topical retinol or tretinoin treatments work better!

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Michelle Reece: my face definitely feels sensitive now...i could almost feel my left cheek gently pulsing? if that makes any sense....it is not as oily too! which is nice atm but i know it will get very dry very soon! I am going to try that saran wrap technique!! I will do anything on this treatment no matter how extreme it may look (my poor roommate who has to witness this haha).

Maybe I should stop the spot treatments now that my face feels a little different...I dont want to cause any damage.

Thanks Michelle!

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Michelle Reece: my face definitely feels sensitive now...i could almost feel my left cheek gently pulsing? if that makes any sense....it is not as oily too! which is nice atm but i know it will get very dry very soon! I am going to try that saran wrap technique!! I will do anything on this treatment no matter how extreme it may look (my poor roommate who has to witness this haha).

Maybe I should stop the spot treatments now that my face feels a little different...I dont want to cause any damage.

Thanks Michelle!

Be careful with the wrap! I don't want you to accidentally strangle yourself. Or that you're allergic to the wrap.

Be very generous with Vaseline or the Aquaphor. And the sunscreen. Pick one with zinc and/or titanium dioxide, because they're more tolerable.

What spot treatment are you using? If you mentioned it, I don't remember.

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Michelle Reece: haha okay i will! and is it okay to put aquaphor on your face?? ive only been applying it to my lips but i think i might also put some on the rims of my nose (very dry there)...i thought it would be too oily for the face and potentionally clog pores. and the spot treatments ive been using are nature's gel? (tea tree, vitamin e, aloe, rosemary, witchhazel) and the proactive sulfur mask (just putting dabs on my pimples)....but i dont think they are doing much for the cysts.....what do you think? should you just leave the cysts alone?

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Michelle Reece: haha okay i will! and is it okay to put aquaphor on your face?? ive only been applying it to my lips but i think i might also put some on the rims of my nose (very dry there)...i thought it would be too oily for the face and potentionally clog pores. and the spot treatments ive been using are nature's gel? (tea tree, vitamin e, aloe, rosemary, witchhazel) and the proactive sulfur mask (just putting dabs on my pimples)....but i dont think they are doing much for the cysts.....what do you think? should you just leave the cysts alone?

Aquaphor can be used on the face, too. :)

Topicals do nothing for true cystic acne. I think you should leave the cysts alone.

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update: I think Accutane is contributing to a late menstrual period....it should have come like a week ago :/ but i heard this is common b/c i am not on birth control and that it goes back to normal once your body adjusts to the drug.

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made the dumbest mistake....ive been using cetaphil ultra hydrating LOTION instead of facial mositurizer for almost 2 weeks now!! can't believe i've been using a lotion all this time for my acne prone face....probably contributed to all the clogged pores ive been getting!

feeling a little depressed but at least i realized this now and not like 2 months later....

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almost 2 weeks!!

i am getting dry. the corners of my mouth sting esp when i eat, even though i put a ton of aquaphor on, my face isn't as oily anymore! which is nice but my makeup is looking a little flaky and off these days :( the rash on my hand did not fully go away and now its on my left hand too! its slowly spreading so i started to use body moisturizer today after my shower. my hair is not as greasy too! but dandruff :/ ew. and its itchy!

my period is very funky. like i dont even know if im on it right now...so weird...its extremely light.

i got a new big cyst on my neck. great. painful too. also currently two big pimples on my forehead, one big extremely painful pimp on my chin. but my skin is feeling softer! esp my forehead. the rest of the acne is healing slowly.

im still using proactive's refining mask as a spot treatment...doesn't seem to be doing much but i can't stand just letting the pimps be....drives me crazy :@ lol.

im praying i dont get an initial breakout..please please please. i got a huge IB from using proactive like a month ago so i hope the purging is less severe.

i want clear skin so bad. more than anything...i get so jealous of anyone with clear skin...if only i could ever have skin half as good as theirs.

oh my gosh this stupid pimple on my chin hurts like a mother. so much pain argh.

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im feeling really scared today....i was watching youtube videos of a girl who went through accutane successfully (she reminded me a lot of myself) and i was so happy to see the end results and such. these videos were uploaded a little over a year ago.

while browsing through the rest of her videos, i found a recent video of her doing an acne full coverage makeup routine..and i thought, "huh, strange" and clicked on it...

her acne came back!! after just 4 months! and not even lightly..

im so scared that this will happen to me...b/c my acne looks hormonal (cheeks, jawline, near the neck)

should i take birth control or something during and after accutane?

feeling a bit hopeless now...even though im barely 3 weeks into accutane.

acne update: a huge stupid pimple (non cystic though) on my upper cheek. so noticeable. clusters of new pimples on jawline. i get SO many pimples on my jawline its ridiculous!!! good thing is a lot of my old cystic pimples are drying up and healing.

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