BreakItOutNow

Accutane: Let's Do This (40 Mg/day Claravis)

137 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

I'm a 21 year old male and I get acne. I don't get BAD acne. If I had to put a label on it, I would say "mild to moderate" acne. At any given point, I usually have maybe 4-8 actives on my face and shoulders/back. The edges of the forehead, upper lip, and the cheeks are of particular concern (the cheeks are relatively recent. Gotta love the whimsical, unpredictable, ever-changing nature of acne!) but I'm not immune to zits on my chin, nose (those are a blast and a half) and even got one on the earlobe the other day! Seriously acne!? Is nothing off-limits?!

So let me tell you the story of how I tried to fix my face an gloriously failed. I've gotten zits since I was maybe 15. Nothing awful, but I would usually get some kind of deep, under the skin cyst that I would just pick at until it bled and then look ridiculous for a few days. It would go away, I would move on with my life, and frankly, I didn't care. At this point I had also tried some kind of cream (I want to say it was a BP? It was prescribed by my doc at a check up and I figured, why not? I didn't notice a change and it just stained all my pillow cases).

Fast forward to my third and final year of college and, while taking the GRE, I got a MASSIVE cyst right between my eyes. That sucker HURT! I called the dermatologist and, one month later, managed to get an appointment. My skin had deteriorated, but it was still probably just moderate acne. The derm prescribed me Differin (0.1) gel and minocycline. The Mino worked MIRACLES but as soon as I was done, my acne was back. I tried tanning to conceal it, and that worked wonderfully until I started getting awful hyperpigmentation (which I NEVER got before). Moral of that tragedy is DO NOT TAN ON DIFFERIN (duh...). Seriously, it was awful.

So, during the height of my PIH fiasco, my derm prescribed me Accutane. Most people I have talked to have said they were surprised I got a prescription for it, but I did. And I'm going to use it. I've held off until after graduation and there doesn't seem to be a better time in my life to try this. I have a flexible job, I have no real obligations for the next few months. It just seems like the stars aligned well for this (although it would have been nice if they could have aligned a little better and not given me acne in the first place, but go figure...).

I became really obsessive about my skin over the past few months and I'm ready to make a change. I'm sick of checking mirrors nonstop. I'm sick of wearing more concealer than my girlfriends. I'm sick of waking up every morning and dreading the new blemish on my face. Five months of misery seems like a small price to pay for some peace of mind. As for the long term side effects, I'm just going to hope for the best and talk with my doctor if I notice anything beyond the regular joint pains or dry skin/lips/eyes.

So, here's the plan: 40 mg/day Claravis for the first two weeks (may push it to three weeks) then 80 mg/day after that. I weigh about 160 lbs.

Questions: I've been on Differin for 6 months. Any chance this could help me avoid the IB? I'm hoping that since they are similar medications and my acne is not severe, maybe my skin doesn't have as much crap to get out? I'm preparing for the worst, but really hoping for the best!

I'm nervous, excited, and paranoid. But I'm ready to take this on. Sorry for writing a novella, and I'll keep you posted along the journey! In the mean time, any words of encouragement/success stories would be GREATLY appreciated!

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Day 2:

Hey everyone. So, I don't think I'm crazy, but I think I'm seeing effects already. Very minor, but noticeable.

Face condition: I've sort of been in a small but manageable breakout this week (post-graduation, family in town, lots of stress, but that doesn't always seem to matter. I was fine during finals week...). Anyway, today, my lips felt a LITTLE bit drier. My face is noticeably less oily. I usually have a "shine" at all times and I just don't really seem to have that much oil. This is a little concerning for me because I'm only two days in and I'm supposed to double my dose at the two week mark. Am I even going to have skin when that happens or is it all going to shrivel up and blow away like the fleeting sands of the Sahara? Time shall tell! I should mention that some of the dryness could be due to the fact that I applied Differin gel last night on accident. Old habits die hard!

Interesting experience today though: when I checked the mirror this evening, I had what appeared to be some form of zit (white head, maybe just a clogged pore) on my cheek. It didn't seem like the usual type of zit I get. I did my usual "apply pressure" but it didn't pop well. Left a red mark and it didn't seem like the type that would do that. Lesson learned, Accutane.

I also noticed my chest had two small red pimples, which is not a common place for me to break out. I'm assuming these were just there earlier and I either didn't notice or didn't care. Back isn't looking great, but just small red pimples on the top half (maybe 4?). Not awful. My back used to be a lot worse, but I will say the antibiotics actually cleared it up pretty well a few months ago and it hasn't come back as bad as it was.

As for other side effects, nothing noticeable. I have had a slight headache but I think that could be due to allergies. Mood is fine, all things considered. Feeling a little anxious about the impending storm over these first few months but ready to get it done with. Additionally, I'm trying to make peace with my skin. I can only stress about this for so long before I just need to let it go. So I'm going to do just that. Skin, I can't fret over you anymore. Accutane, do your job and wake me up in 5 months when I look pretty again. Thanks.

I don't think I have much of a following yet, but if anyone noticed similar effects early on in the course, I'd love to hear from you. I'm writing this log mostly for me, but any words from other users would be helpful. Thanks everyone!

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Hi!

I am starting accutane for the first time also tomorrow!! So...I will be right along with you, I am a female, but have somewhat similar acne. Mine has always been mild to occasionally moderate...but always there no matter what topicals I have used. It got pretty bad a year ago when I moved, and I got it under control with Spironolactone (guys cant take it) and topicals....and now it is back to being mild, but I always have a few pimples or pimples forming no matter what I do and super oily skin. So...my dermatologist finally prescribed me accutane. I, like yourself, have been using differin and retin-a-micro for a few years, so I am hoping that will prevent much of an IB...I am going to start tomorrow on a low dose (I am small too) so we will see what happens the first week! Keep me updated. My log is here -


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Hey lifeinfaith, thanks for commenting! Good luck on your course! I'm actually feeling excited about this. I know it could be a bumpy road, but I think I've got a good support network ready to go (I've told most of my close friends about this and they are all super supportive) and while a bad IB would suck for sure, I have come to peace with the fact that it wouldn't be the absolute end of the world. That doesn't mean I'm not going to cross my fingers and hope my skin just gradually improves....

I'll be sure to check out your log, but keep me posted on your progress anyway. I'll be excited to hear if you notice any effects right away. I'm still not sure if I can attribute mine to the medication or if I'm just hyperaware right now, but either way, it is kind of interesting to notice the changes happening (in a terrifying, apprehensive way...). Good luck again!

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Hey breakitoutnow ,

You sound very similar to my situation. same age same type of acne with random bizarre breakout outs in weird places. I'm about a month and some change ahead of you right now. I'm also taking claravis however, i started with 20mg per day for the first month. Now i'm on 40 and will be staying on 40 for another 2 months and than switching to 80 for the remainder, a total of 5 months.

For me the first week I didn't notice much of anything. Than after that I started to breakout pretty badly for my version of bad that is. Since then I've had periods of being clear or periods of breaking out. I've sadly maintained at least 2 actives on my face during the time. I'm fortunate enough to have never had a problem with back acne or chest. I mean, I've certainly had a pimple or 2 in those places in my life, but other than that they're clear.

side effects for me have been dry/chapped/cracked lips. Dry skin, and some lethargy despite daily exercise. Nothing of these I can't handle.

but ill check in on your log to see how you do. I also weigh 60 lbs.

Good luck!

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Hey tyrionlannister, thanks for sharing your experience. I go back and forth between being terrified of the IB and confident that I can take it on. I have to lead meetings for work this Sunday and next Tuesday, so if I didn't look RIDICULOUS, that would be a plus. I also keep hoping that I am one of those people who take Accutane and my skin just gradually improves, but I'm not even sure those people exist. Seems like it is a roller coaster for everyone.

Took my third pill this morning. Nothing to update since last night obviously so I'll let everyone know if I see changes later today.

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So.....went to the doc today to get my accutane prescription and apparently the medical assistant forgot to register me in ipledge when I came in and did my initial test a month ago....so I have to wait another month before I can start. They told me there was nothing they could do except lie and say I have had a total hysterectomy...so that is a huge bummer. They comped my office visit today and told me I wouldnt have to come in next month, they would just call me and tell me they had filled the prescription. Grrrrr :/


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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lifeinfaith: That completely sucks! I really don't envy the women trying to get Accutane. I can't begin to understand how ridiculous the whole process must feel and how inconvenient it all must seem. Here I am complaining about how I have to get labs done. I guess just give it another month. In the grand scheme of things, a month isn't that long to wait, but I know how much we all just want to get this over with. Hang in there. In the mean time, you can read all about my presumably horrible side effects and IB and be thankful that Accutane isn't ruining the first part of your summer!

Ok so, Day 3:

I still think I'm noticing effects, but I could be wrong. Generally, my skin just feels tighter and a little drier. It was warmer today so it was a little more oily, but still not awful. I'm sitting here typing and my eyes feel a little dry but that probably has more to do with the fact that my contacts have been in all day and I've been staring at a computer screen for work. Lips haven't felt too bad.

Skin condition: Still have a red mark from the weird zit incident yesterday. I have what I think are small cysts around my hairline and on the side of my forehead (maybe 2 active and two healing?) I don't mind them too much because my hair more or less covers them or I can wear a hat or something. But they seem drier than my usual breakouts (which would make sense given slightly drier skin...duh). I'm not sure. Not thrilled with the state of my skin, but I haven't been for weeks. I'm certain that these are all just zits that were forming before I started the drug and now they are maybe a little angrier. It seems WAY too early for an IB, but how nice would it be if this were the worst of it? Ha. Yeah right.

As I mentioned, I have ups and downs when it comes to my confidence with this drug. In particular, I'm worried about the IB. I keep praying that it won't hit that bad, and then I have brief moments of clarity where I say, "so what if it does!? This is a step in the right direction!" I'm curious though, is the severity of the IB proportional to the severity of the acne initially? I never had really bad breakouts, so should I expect this stuff to consume my face? I know it is different for everyone, but I'd just be curious to hear what others have come across. Also, is it true that 80 percent DON'T get an IB? I've come across that statistic a couple times and I'm really not sure I buy that. It seems like EVERYONE on here battles some form of IB. Part of me wishes they had just kept me in the dark on Accutane and not told me anything. I wouldn't question anything and would remain blissfully ignorant until I had clear skin in 5 months. Oh well, that didn't happen :(

So, not much else to mention. I may not update every day unless I start seeing more changes (I'm assuming you all aren't interested in every last detail of my skin). But like I said, I'm writing this log more for myself and to make sure I'm documenting my process. Thanks everyone!

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I asked my dermatologist today about the IB and she told me it usually occurs in people with severe acne who were already breaking out terribly. Se told me she doubted I would have one, just maybe a few more than usual. So... At least that's some hope. Something I keep in mind is that everyone on this board is here because they have bad acne,are really concerned about it or are posting about their weird experiences. The IB rate for people on acne.org is probably much higher than in the general population.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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lifeinfaith: Thanks for the encouuragement! While I know my derm knows what she's doing (she's part of a very established practice in town) she also doesn't seem to want to take time to discuss anything with me. I feel like each time I'm in there for maybe 2 minutes! It's a little crazy! But I appreciate your help. I agree, I think acne.org is full of people who are really sensitive about their skin and will probably share every small blemish with everyone. I'd like to think I'll just get a few more actives popping up (so far they appear to be in areas where I wasn't using the DIfferin i.e., along the hairline, upper forehead) and then they will just stop. Fingers crossed!

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Day 6:

Hey everyone, thought I would update you on the progress so far. Not a lot new to report. Skin feels a little drier. Still breaking out but nothing really out of the usual. Things do seem like smaller, whiteheads, kind of like the skin is just getting rid of stuff. My left temple/eyebrow has been of particular interest lately, with three or four small cyst/papule things (I'll be honest, I don't know my types of zits very well. They all just suck). A few small small small things around my mouth and still dealing with two sizeable red marks on my right cheek from earlier zits in the past week or so. I'm noticing a small cluster of clogged pores on my left cheek so I'm hoping that doesn't become a major issue. I also have the most frustrating breakout on my forehead! Certainly not awful, but I'll get a zit (maybe a small cyst. It feels pretty deep) right at the hairline. I didn't mind because I could cover it with my hair. Then, as soon as that one left, I got another one just below it, a little tougher to hide with my hair. Then, same thing, with another one just below that. I'm not on the fourth one and it's like they all just went in a diagonal line. Thankfuly, each has been less "angry" than the last. My nose has also been pretty sore lately with little whiteheads forming, but nothing has really become a full-blown zit yet. Just bright red. And that, my friends, is why we have concealer. When I write it all out, it certainly seems like a lot, but it hasn't felt unmanageable yet. I think I'm just incredibly aware of my skin condition at the moment, so anything that pops up, I record.

As for side effects, not a lot to mention.. Drier skin for sure, and I may be noticing a little flakiness on my upper lip but not too severe. Lips are feeliing progressively drier, as are my eyes (this may have more to do with allergies though). Other than that, no joint pain (and I've been running a fair amount), no rashes, no depression (although talk to me when the IB is in full swing...)

Tomorrow will be the one week mark. After that, just 19 more to go!

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Day 7:

Hey everyone. So I'm not sure if I'm experiencing an IB or what, but I've been waking up each morning with little whiteheads here and there. Possibly just part of the purging process? I had a nasty battle with those clogged pores on my cheek that I mentioned. Managed to clear out whatever was forming but not before leaving a trail of devastation. It was on an area that already had a dark mark too so it is even more noticeable. I can probably count on this one taking a solid week or two to heal. Feeling pretty sexy.

The frustrating part is, I can't even tell if this is the initial breakout or just normal "bad week." It truly has not been awful, but I definitely feel like my skin looks pretty bad and I'm a little concerned that it is going to take a turn for the worse over the next few weeks. Did anyone out there encounter the IB in the first few days? It seems really soon, but I do feel like I'm noticing the other effects too (nose is peeling a little, dry lips and eyes). Could it be working this quickly?

Today is the first week down. I know people say your time on Accutane goes quickly, but I have to be honest, I feel like it's sort of creeping along. I'm just anxious to get the IB done and start seeing results. The sooner I can let my mind worry about something else, the faster the time will go.

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Day 8:

The battle scars from the epic clogged pore purge of 2014 on my left cheek are pretty bad. I wound up picking off the dead skin (I know, I shouldn't pick but I already messed this one up enough that it kind of doesn't matter anymore). I don't really know whether it looks any better or not. I thought it did last night when I picked it off. This morning, not so much. But the good news is I don't think it is going to take 2 weeks to heal. I would venture to say by Thursday it may be healed over and while there will be a dark mark, it should be concealable. Unfortunately, I have to lead a meeting for work today and I will be looking a little ridiculous.

Still breaking out a little. Finding whiteheads every morning that I had no idea were forming. Have a small something on my chin forming that I initially thought was going to be a sizeable cyst and actually wound up breaking into three small things. Two came to a head this morning and I would venture to say the other will be there by tomorrow. Despite the fact that I am breaking out still, it has not been unmanageable and (with the exception of the massive red blotch the size of a quarter on my cheek), I would say my skin even looks smoother and a little healthier. I'm not sure if this is the 'tane working or if it's because I have gotten a little sun the past few days (not intentionally. I've been wearing an SPF moisturizer and hats but I can't completely avoid the sun) and I feel like I always look better with a tan.

As for side effects, not a lot to mention. Lips are dry but not awful, skin is much less oily (LOVE THIS) and eyes are a little dry. Lower back hurts a little but I think that has more to do with the fact that I didn't sleep particularly well. Anyway, I'm debating whether or not to continue with the log at this point. It's not that people aren't reading it (as I said from the beginning, it is mostly for me. I'm kind of happy that people have better things to do than obsess over my skin) but I'm thinking the log may be causing me to look for every flaw on my face and I'm not really sure that's healthy. I'll think about it, but I may just update once every few days or weekly unless something really big happens (Please, skin gods, don't let something really big happen!)

If you are in the States, hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend. Good luck to everyone out there!

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Day 13:

Hey everyone, just thought I would update since it has been awhile. I think I am in the IB right now. I can objectively say it isn't THE WORST, but I was pretty down about it last night/this morning. The red mark from my clogged pore battle last Saturday is noticeably better, but still very present. I commend anyone who resists the urge to pick on Accutane. My skin has dried out tremendously in the last 24-48 hours and it leaves it very brittle and marks very easily. My main problem right now is dark red marks that are a major pain. Healing seems to speed up for me on accutane, but everything seems to be marking much easier. Knock on wood, my forehead is very clear. Main problem area is mouth and some on the cheeks. This seems normal for the IB, am I right?

I really hope this is the IB. I've read a million logs, but at 40 mg does day 12-13 seem appropriate for an IB? I'm also noticing several side effects, though none have really been debilitating. Dry skin on the face for sure (which I think heals any breakouts faster, but makes anything I picked at look horrendous), dry eyes and headaches. I had to do a 12 hour drive last night and by the time I rolled in at 3 a.m. my eyes and head were killing me. Also noticing joint and back pain, but I've managed to run 5-10 miles most days on Accutane and it hasn't been a HUGE issue.

My derm originally said to bump up to 80 mg after two weeks, but I think I'm gonna do 60 mg instead until I'm a month in. If anyone is reading this, given my dose and side effects and that I had mild to occasionally moderate acne, does this seem like the IB? I know everyone reacts differently, but I'm just wondering if this is a regular breakout and I can expect it to get much worse or if maybe I can start to look for signs of clearing over the next few weeks? Any insight would be appreciated it!

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Hopefully your IB is over! Wish I could tell you how my experience was going... But I have 18 days left.

My dad gave me this supplement the other day and swears by it - pantethine. He took accutane in his 30s but is currently still trying to control oil in his 50s. He thinks I should try it before accutane .., but I have tried countless supplements and spent the better part of a year making my decision to take accutane ...so I am going to take it until I start accutane just for kicks to see if anything happens. So far pretty much the same.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Hey lifeinfaith, thanks for the suggestion. I can say that if this IS the IB, it's not awful. It's just a few more than usual and things are leaving marks REALLY easily. I'm certainly not in a "my skin looks 3xs worse than it ever has" mode, but I'm anxiously awaiting positive results and they aren't here yet. Patience is a virtue I suppose.

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Did your dermatologist advise you of whether accutane could help with shallow scarring? It seems like some say so but some disagree.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Day 17:

Hello everyone! So I have no idea what my skin is doing. Red marks seem to be healing and everything is drying out. It looks and feels ridiculously smooth, but I basically don't trust it. Had a whitehead pop up on my left cheek (which has been an area of interest lately given the massive mark I made last week, which is more or less gone by the way). It's frustrating but by no means devastating. Dryness was really bad this weekend but seems to have mellowed out a little.

With the exception of two sizeable red marks on my right cheek, I felt like my skin looked good this morning! But I know I am definitely not in the clear from a bad IB. As I mentioned, this weekend wasn't great in terms of a breakout, but I don't think it was really severe enough to call and IB. I'm still waiting for massive cysts on my face and they aren't here yet. It's terrifying.

I also upped my dose so I'm expecting a rough week. I'm going from 40 mg/day to alternating 40/80. I'll probably do this for 2 more weeks before going to 80/day for the remainder of the course.

Side effects: dry face (looked pretty ugly the past few days), dry lips, dry nose, joint pains (not severe), headaches and fatigue. May have noticed some eczema between my fingers earlier today (a place I used to get it as a kid). Given that I seem to be experiencing the normal side effects and I'm noticing improvement in my skin, I keep hoping that last weekend was the worst of it. I'm very sure the worst is yet to come though.

Lifeinfaith: I have no idea about scarring. I've beard accutane makes scars look worse while your skin is dehydrated, but they look better when it's done? No clue of that is true or not. Just two more weeks until you start!

Day 17:

Hello everyone! So I have no idea what my skin is doing. Red marks seem to be healing and everything is drying out. It looks and feels ridiculously smooth, but I basically don't trust it. Had a whitehead pop up on my left cheek (which has been an area of interest lately given the massive mark I made last week, which is more or less gone by the way). It's frustrating but by no means devastating. Dryness was really bad this weekend but seems to have mellowed out a little.

With the exception of two sizeable red marks on my right cheek, I felt like my skin looked good this morning! But I know I am definitely not in the clear from a bad IB. As I mentioned, this weekend wasn't great in terms of a breakout, but I don't think it was really severe enough to call and IB. I'm still waiting for massive cysts on my face and they aren't here yet. It's terrifying.

I also upped my dose so I'm expecting a rough week. I'm going from 40 mg/day to alternating 40/80. I'll probably do this for 2 more weeks before going to 80/day for the remainder of the course.

Side effects: dry face (looked pretty ugly the past few days), dry lips, dry nose, joint pains (not severe), headaches and fatigue. May have noticed some eczema between my fingers earlier today (a place I used to get it as a kid). Given that I seem to be experiencing the normal side effects and I'm noticing improvement in my skin, I keep hoping that last weekend was the worst of it. I'm very sure the worst is yet to come though.

Lifeinfaith: I have no idea about scarring. I've beard accutane makes scars look worse while your skin is dehydrated, but they look better when it's done? No clue of that is true or not. Just two more weeks until you start!

You can tell I wrote this on an iPad. Autocorrect fails.

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Day 20:

Hello readers (if any are out there)! So, today marks 20 days since the Accutane journey began. Part of me feels like the time flew by, and another part of me feels like it is taking it's sweet time! I'm just ready for October so I can get off this stuff and enjoy my (hopefully) beautiful new skin! In the mean time...

My face looks better. I have a moving dark mark on my left cheek that just won't fade. It started with that "clogged pore" battle two weeks ago (seriously, why did I do that?) and while it certainly has healed considerably, little whiteheads pop up in that area every few days and seem to stop the mark from healing, but rather just shift it to a new position . If I could get a solid week with no breakout there, it would be perfect. But that hasn't happened, so I keep battling it. Other than that, I've had a few small things by my mouth, but not a big issue. I got what I THOUGHT was going to be a cyst on my forehead Wednesday night and wound up being a small whitehead, but it still left a mark and now it's all peeling and stupid. Really, the sooner I can get this picking habit under control, the better. I currently have a "good" cheek and a "bad" cheek, so that's awesome (not). All in all though, I've actually received compliments on my skin. I'm here telling you about EVERY little thing, but the pores are noticeably smaller, most of the blackheads on my nose are gone, and two of my friends have told me they see quite an improvement. With that in mind, I'm expecting a mega-breakout in the next few days. It's tough to be optimistic in these first few months. I just know my skin could completely turn on me in the next few weeks and it could get ugly. Bracing for impact....

As far as side effects go, I'm noticing them a lot more and while they are becoming a little more than irritating, they aren't unbearable. Dry lips are certainly here but they aren't AWFUL. I find myself having to apply Aquafor every 2-3 hours or so. I'm noticing white, dry patches of skin on my forearms which means it's probably time to start moisturizing my body and not just my face. Some areas where there had been a zit became recurring dry patches, so I just make sure to keep them extra moisturized. Unfortunately, the two worst side effects have been headache and joint/back pain. I noticed these a week ago but I have noticed them more this week after bumping up my dose to ~60 mg/day. Headaches are pretty annoying but not a "lose all focus must go to bed" thing. Back pain seems to be omnipresent throughout the day, but more in the morning and evenings. I LOVE running (I have forever) and generally run about 40 miles a week. I haven't put that off with the Accutane yet, so I'm sure that is contributing. It's been warmer here too, so I'm sure I'm battling some dehydration (but I keep water with me at all times!).

So far, so good. I have my first derm check-in in about a week and a half and labs at the end of next week. I really keep praying that I avoided the IB, but I know that I'm really not in the clear for that yet and I am expecting the worst. Bring it on! (But really, please don't....)

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Hang in there, you'll make it, we all will!

I'm on day 53 right now. My experience was a large breakout around day 15 followed by smaller breakouts every week after up till today, I'm hoping there are no or very few breakouts left

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Well...I take my lab again Wed and then start on Thursday!!!

As of right now most of the bottom part of my face has really calmed down the past few weeks...but my forehead has an endless parade of breakouts. I don't know what the difference is with those areas acting differently, but for the past 4 months my forehead has never really cleared up no matter what I do. It's the worst when I get out of the shower then calms down. Hoping the accutane will take care of that.

So far, do you feel like the tane is affecting one area of your face more than others?


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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Day 31 (first dermatologist check-in):

Hey everyone! I know it has been awhile since I last updated (I'm making a point to do this less often. It really just contributes to the obsession I have surrounding my skin). That said, I think there is value in tracking my progress and keeping others posted.

I had my first dermatologist appointment today. I broke the news to them that I hadn't taken 80 mg/day at the two week mark and instead alternated 40/80 for the past two weeks. They didn't seem to mind and said I could continue on that for another month if it would bring me peace of mind (which it would. I think it would make me less likely to flare up, even though I know that at 5 weeks in it could still happen at any point). But they said I need to get to 1 mg/kg body weight for 5 months, so I may be looking at a 7 month course, which sorta sucks. I'm going to see the progress my skin makes and then reevaluate at 5 months. By my calculations, bumping up to 80 mg/day at the two month mark would still get me to my minimum cumulative dose at the 5 month mark, maybe I'll stay on a month longer for good measure, but 7 months seems excessive. Whatever, this is a lot of logistical stuff that doesn't really matter.

Anyway, at this very moment, my skin doesn't look great, but I'm not too down about it. I don't actually have any actives at the moment and my skin is pretty damn smooth, but I have stupid red marks that literally go nowhere. I used to get red marks that would last a week or two. I swear some of these have been around for three weeks and they don't seem to heal, they kind of just change shape. This weekend, I felt like my skin was the best it had looked in a long time. But then I keep getting small whiteheads (that I pick at, of course) and get left with a big blotch. I talked with my derm and she said that healing usually slows down on Accutane so, yay Even though the healing seems slow though, one thing I have to keep in mind is how quickly my skin seems to change on this stuff (bit of a contradiction, I know). One day I'll look great, then I'll look up and not so great, but it works the other way too. Seems to sort of be going in weekly cycles.

Anyway, so far I do not regret taking Accutane at all. I do think I am certainly seeing an improvement in skin texture and while today isn't so hot, I think there has been gradual improvement (I really hate the thought of jinxing all of this). My derm said it's going to go up and down, but I generally should see a positive trend. I will say that lately, the breakouts I have been getting have been smaller and "shallower" (more on the surface). Can't complain about that.

Side effects have been pretty manageable: dry skin, dry lips, dry-ish eyes (still wearing contacts though), sore lower back (this kinda sucks but has gotten better), headaches (these have gotten A LOT better), eczema on my hands (again, a place where I was prone to it when I was younger). Nothing unmanageable but enough to be annoying. Generally though, not awful. My blood tests were excellent. Apparently I have super low cholesterol (which I never knew. Thank you genetics!). My derm claimed they gave me a baseline blood test before starting. They definitely did not, but, as she told me, "Whatever gives you peace of mind..."

Lifeinfaith: I hope that your journey is off to a good start! We seem to have the opposite problem. The lower half of my face is messy, the top half is really clear (cue massive cystic breakout on forehead). I had two things that took awhile to heal on both sides of my forehead (I told everyone I was growing horns) but other than that, not much there. Cheeks have been hit pretty hard, all things considered (which makes sense. This is where I had started having problems when I began the 'tane so there was probably more to bring to the surface). Outer jawline hasn't been great either, but I don't mind those as much as they are off to the side. Also, I think I got a zit on the outside of my fingernail. Like, really? What the hell!? It hurt a lot then I broke the skin and nasty stuff came out. I'll spare you more details, but it was super weird.

Anyway, this ends my novella. I guess today is the start of Month 2. Let's see some magic, Accutane!

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Of course as soon as I said that my forehead starts looking better over the past few days and I get several large swollen pimples on my cheek/jaw area. Haven't gotten ones quite that inflamed in a few months...it might be due to all the stress I'm dealing with right now. Taking an intense 5 week Ochem course and moving this weekend, not been getting enough sleep at all..but who knows. I'm so close to being on the medicine I'm trying not to let that get me down. I really really hope that this one course will clear my skin permanently and I'm not one of those people who have to do multiple courses or it comes back a few months after the course ends.

I have been reading up on initial reaction to accutane and I was wondering what you experienced for the current pimples you have once you started? Did they just dry up and go away or proceed like normal? I have heard some people say it brings hundreds of little black heads to the surface that just fall out...Which is kind of bizarre sounding to me. Have you had anything like that happen? I have a good number of clogged pores so I'm wondering if they will explode or just "come out".

Taking my lab tomorrow!!


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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lifeinfaith: For my initial reaction, I would say my skin almost immediately was less oily (I'm talking like, second day I noticed I didn't really have a shine). Within the first week, I noticed some of the pimples I had were getting a little drier and I vaguely remember thinking that the zits I had going suddenly got a little deeper. My biggest mistake was trying to push things that were forming. Before accutane, I would (often successfully) find a clogged pore and and squeeze stuff out before it could get inflamed. DO NOT DO THIS ON ACCUTANE! Your skin is fragile and it will tear apart a large area around the breakout. That's what made my skin bad the first few weeks (and I'm STILL recovering). I expected my face to really blow up (I still am expecting it, for the record) and it has yet to get too awful. Definitely noticed I wasn't looking so hot around 8 or 9 days in, and the past few days I've been noticing a lot more whiteheads popping up, but nothing too bad. I don't think it was worse than any of my bad breakouts pre-Accutane.

As for the blackheads, I don't think this was that bad. Most people say this happens around weeks 3-5 (I'm nearly halfway through week 5) and I remember my nose getting a little bumpy (but only noticed this when I was washing my face) but thought it could be dry skin. I think in reality, it was blackheads falling out and I was probably rubbing them around in the soap (ewwwww). But I don't remember ever looking at my face and thinking, "What are these big black bumps emerging from my skin!?" It was kind of like my nose looked the same but felt a little bumpier, and then suddenly it looked a little clearer.

Basically, I have gone into Accutane expecting my face to look horrendous for 5 months, then to be good at the end. It makes me paranoid, but it also helps me make sure I don't get too down when I get a breakout. Also, if it is any consolation, when I have been getting my bad breakouts, I've been pretty stoked by how much nicer the rest of my skin looks. It's much smoother and the pores are smaller. The areas that aren't blotchy and discolored are actually really nice, so it makes battling the first few months a little more tolerable.

Good luck and check in here from time to time! It's so nice to hear other stories feel like we're in this together!

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Took my first 20mg pill of Absorbica today!! Here we go.


PM - Clean face with water and cotton rounds. Spot treat with Finacea.
AM- Wash face with Aveeno Gentle Foaming Cleanser and apply Sanitas Oil Free moisturizer
30mg Absorbica for 8 months


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