Good afternoon everyone,
Today is day 46 of me being on Accutane. In my last post, I mention that I was going through the purging period/ initial breakout phase and I am happy to announce that it is over!! It lasted for about 2 weeks and now my skin is definitely clearing up.
As of recently, I noticed I have been really tired all the time. It's hard for me to get up in the morning and the days I wake up earlier, around 7/8am, I am ready for bed at like 6pm. That is totally unusual for me because usually at night I have so much energy that I have a hard time sleeping and never go to sleep before 11pm. Throughout the day I generally feel sleepy also, as if I could fall asleep at any time. I hope that this doesn't continue for the next few months because it has been harder to get things done feeling this tired. Things are still doable, but just that much more difficult. I also noticed that once I get myself moving it doesn't bother me as much as when I am sitting or laying down. Keeping busy kind of distracts from being so tired so I guess if this side effect persists, I will just have to keep moving!! Lol please let me know if you've felt the same fatigue while on Accutane.
Hello acne.org fam,
Today is day 34 and this week I have been experiencing new results. Right now, it is the beginning of my 2nd month and until recently, my skin continued to clear up with each day that passed. This week, however, things have changed for me -- the "purging period"/ "IB" Initial Breakout has began. After going through the first month with no crazy breakouts I totally thought I was in the clear for this!! But now that the time has come I would like to share with you all how I have been dealing with it. First off, I am wearing makeup as least often as possible so that my breakouts can breathe and dry up more quickly. Secondly, I am NOT picking at my skin AT ALL whatsoever. My skin is already dealing with crazier breakouts which, on its own, encourages more scarring, so popping and picking will only make it worse. Lastly, and most importantly, I have been going to see my dermatologist each week for extractions and injections. Even though the injections sound scary they are a complete miracle! After getting them done, cystic pimples are no longer as painful or evident as before. Immediately, the breakouts go down and flatten out. In the long-term, they also prevent scarring because they help these breakouts go away faster. I plan to continue to go to the dermatologist frequently for these treatments until the purging period is over. When I first noticed these breakouts, to be honest, I got a bit discouraged. I went from seeing daily progress to going completely backwards. I even worried that the accutane had stopped working. Thankfully, I spoke to my dermatologist today and she mentioned that this phase is completely normal. All of the bacteria in the skin is rising to the surface and it is only temporary. If you are at this point and feel this way at all, DO NOT feel discouraged! Continue with your routine and remain positive
I will let you guys know how long the purging period lasts for me and how it is going. If you have any questions, please let me know.
It has been about two weeks since my last post, and since then, I definitely have updates for you. As far as my products go, I have been using the same exact ones mentioned in my previous posts (please scroll down below if you are interested). They have all been working perfectly to the point where some days I could almost skip moisturizing. That is a dream compared to my first week on Accutane lol. My skin feels a little dry but totally normal for the most part. I am still breaking out, primarily on my cheeks, which has been my prime break out area since before I started Accutane. However, my forehead, which was filled entirely with tiny bumps and black/whiteheads, is completely clear! The blackheads on my nose (which was also entirely covered with deep-rooted blackheads) are also dissolving and going away as well. They are much smaller and less noticeable than they were before. It is such a great feeling to see progress after less than 1 month!! This progress, however, has come along with more side effects. The first new side effect I noticed is joint pain in the hip joints, knees and ankles. I have felt soreness/pain in my lower back, but it seems that this has spread to the lower joints in my body as well. There was a day that I was in school and I was walking down the hallway to my class. On the way there, my ankle started hurting so badly that I had to pause because I could not put pressure on my foot again. After standing still on the opposite foot for 1-2 minutes, I gently continued my walk, sat in the classroom for about 1 hour, got up at the end and felt fine. Although I ended up being okay for the rest of the day, this was something I took a mental note of. On another day, I had back pain that was so severe that I stayed home and rested to keep weight off of it so that it could recover. The next day I was completely fine. One thing I have noticed about being on this medication is that if I stand for a very long time or am active on one day, I will pay for it the next day. But as long as I am conscious of how much work I let my body handle, I am okay. Before I started Accutane, I went to the gym about 4-5 times per week so it is a big adjustment for me to not being going at all now. I am not the happiest about this change but I keep in mind that these 6 months are dedicated to taking care of my skin and I will return back to it once this process is over. Besides joint pain, I noticed a few small dry patches on my right hand, nothing crazy. My scalp has also felt itchy because it is drier and so is my hair. With all of this being said, overall, so far so good. There have been a few bumps in the road but I am extremely satisfied with my results so far. I am so excited to keep moving forward and to see what next months results have to bring
It's officially the end of my 11th day on Accutane and my skin finally looks and feels completely normal (as far as redness and dryness goes) from continuous use of the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. Today was the first day that I tried wearing makeup while having drier skin on Accutane and I am so happy to say that it was a success! Before taking this medication, my skin was super oily so I was worried about how putting on makeup would go with much drier skin. Being that the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is way too thick, I decided to test out Neutrogena Hydro Boost gel-cream for extra-dry skin to put underneath it. This lotion worked amazingly. It did not leave a film on my skin and after adding a primer on top, my foundation went on beautifully! I was so impressed by how thin, yet moisturizing this formula was. Also, since this was the first time I've worn full-face makeup since I started Accutane, I noticed that there was so much LESS acne and texture showing through it. Pores that have always been visible for me are as if they were never there! My makeup looked so much smoother/airbrushed on top of the skin. Later, I gently removed my makeup by using a cotton ball and my Vitamin E Oil, which worked like a charm. Next, I washed my face using (only and always while on Accutane, lol) my Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and followed that with a thick layer of the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. I think that from now on, this will be my nightly skin routine! My daytime routine may involve using the Neutrogena Hydro Boost gel-cream since it leaves no residue and is not shiny or visible like the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream is.
To be honest, once my skin started getting extremely dry, I got very concerned with what products I should be using and if any products would even help. But after only 11 days of trial and error I have already found my products and established my new routine! I hope that for anyone struggling with a skin routine while on Accutane that this is helpful!
It is now the end of Day 10, and being that I started this blog a little bit later than when I started I would like to update you guys on what has happened between day 1 and day 10 (today).
Day 2 (morning after taking first Accutane pill): I took my first Accutane pill (30mg) on October 17th. When I woke up the next morning, I already woke up with less oily skin and mildly dry lips. I started using Aquaphor on my lips from Day 1.
Day 4: My skin was slightly drier, but not much, and my lips were dry. I started going heavier on moisturizing and used CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. I also continued to use Aquaphor on my lips. I also noticed that my acne had calmed down A LOT, most of my breakouts were dry and flat and I woke up with nothing new on my face. I began drinking a lot of water from here on out as well.
Day 7: My skin was SEVERELY dry and red, to the point where it felt weird to move my face in any way. I tried putting the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream on over and over and within 15 minutes my skin absorbs it all, leaving my skin dry again. It would also make my skin burn more? At the end of the day, I picked up Vitamin E Oil and put that on my face which really relieved the burning/dryness. This worked great, but as you may suspect, using this oil would make my face extremely shiny which doesn't seem appropriate for the daytime. I noticed a few new breakouts as well, but nothing more than what I would normally get. My lips were also severely dry, but as long as I kept Aquaphor on them they felt okay. I started to feel some joint pain and back pain in my lower back, to the point where if I stood for too long it would be pretty painful but nothing intolerable.
Day 10: Although I discovered some relief for my dry skin with the Vitamin E Oil, I knew that it was not realistic for me to use during the day time. Yesterday night, I asked a friend who went on Accutane what cream they recommend and they suggested Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. I bought this cream in "rich" for very dry, sensitive skin and it has worked wonders!!! Putting it on instantly cooled the burning and relieved my skin. It is pretty thick but if your skin is super dry it is exactly what you need. I put it on last night and woke up to a much calmer, and less red face. The redness is almost entirely gone. I have been avoiding standing for long periods of time (especially if I'm carrying a heavy bag) and my lower-back pain has stopped. However, I noticed that my knees are hurting, so I am still feeling joint pain.
Although I have finally found a cream that helps with the dryness, it is way too thick for me to use under foundation or any makeup. Does anyone have any recommendations for very moisturizing lotions that work well under makeup?
My name is Natalia and I have been suffering with acne for about a decade. My acne started off mild, but got worse over the course of ten years. I began seeing a dermatologist when I was 14 years old, in hopes that there was something that they could give me that would help, and they did. However, this topical medicine's magic did not last for long. After using it for 6 months, my acne began to return. I was then given another topical to use. It worked at first, but the same pattern happened over again. And again. And again. I tried every topical medication you could think of until I ran through all of them and there was nothing left to try. After that, I gave 2 different types of antibiotics and 3 different types of birth control a shot. None of them worked the slightest bit. After 2 years of trying, at 16 years old, I was recommended Accutane by my dermatologist. Although the ending result was tempting, I was too worried about the side effects that came with it and refused to try it. After all, I was only 16 years old and thought that I was still young and had a chance of growing out of my acne. Now, I am in my early 20's and I have tried different diets, teas, supplements, you name it. Every option I could possibly try has been crossed off the list, except for one last thing. At this point in time, I have learned that I am not "growing out of it" at all, and have made the decision to try my last resort option: Accutane. Over time, after I was in the dermatologist's office at 16 and was worried to take this medication, I have met over 10 people who have done Accutane and had the common side effects, but overall a good experience with it. On this blog, I plan to document my Accutane experience because I want to help all of the people that felt like me at 16 suffering with acne and being afraid to try this medication. I hope that my experience can help!
Also, below are pictures of my acne BEFORE beginning Accutane (left and right side are included).