Maybe I'm imagining it, but I feel like last time I was on Accutane I saw more improvement at this point. Today is the end of Week 3 and while my hair and skin is less oily, my lips are on fire, my acne remains very much present and angry-looking. Last time I was on 60mg; this time I'm on 50. Maybe the difference in dosage really makes that much of a difference. No side effects, aside from dry lips. I have a blood test coming up on Thursday and I'm dreading it. When I was on Accutane the first time, I had the easiest time getting my blood taken. They were always able to find a vein in my preferred arm, and by the end I was so used to it that I'd often not notice when the needle was removed. Then about 6 months ago I tried to donate blood (and prior to this had never donated blood on account of exotic travels and medication restrictions), and it went terribly. It was a huge challenge to find a vein, they told me I had tiny veins, and about 5 minutes into the withdrawal, my body went into shock. I was urging them to continue until the bag was full, but they had to stop. So cut to about a month ago for my first Accutane blood test and the same shit. Again, trouble finding a vein. I had 3 different nurses try. Again, being told my veins are too small. Finally, getting a hold of one and my body goes into shock. I had uncontrollable cold sweats and apparently went pale as a ghost. I also still have a bruise on my arm from it I am so confused by what changed between then and now. Before, I never had an issue with blood withdrawal. Now, everything in my body is against it. Was it the first course of Accutane that changed my veins? Or is it just bad luck these last few times?
Recap: 20mg in the morning; 30mg in the evening. Female, 32, cystic hormonal acne. Second time on Accutane. My skin hasn't improved at all, in that there is still a stead influx of breakouts, consistent with before I started the medication. What has changed is that the breakouts are far less painful and shrink more rapidly. I can have a massive cyst form on Day 1, and by Day 3 it's already on its way back down. My oiliness has remained consistent with pre-Accutane, so I continue to use my Anthony glycolic facial cleanser and witch hazel toner. I'm also continuing the use of Drunk Elephant l-ascorbic acid to reduce redness and wrinkles. As an aside, it is just my favourite thing that I'm battling acne and wrinkles simultaneously. Otherwise, no side effects - dry lips excluded.
I started on Accutane last week, 3 years after my first round on it. My dosage is 20mg in the morning and 30mg in the evening. I'm also taking 30mg of Cymbalta. My lips started chapping by Day 4 and today, Day 8, I'm married to my lip balm. I am still using the Anthony Glycolic Cleanser I was using prior to starting, but have noticed dryness around my mouth as of today, so I'll probably scale it back to every other day and eventually phase it out with a less harsh cleanser. I recall from the last time I was on Accutane that I never experienced the full-body and full-face dryness that many people experience, which attests to how oily my skin is to begin with. Added to it that I was on a 10mg higher dosage. My skin is still hot garbage, and I'm currently experiencing the infamous beginner's breakout. Typically I only get cysts, but over the last few days I've had a number of whiteheads appear. It's so weird to get "normal" people acne for once. It's so much easier to manage and not even half as painful as the cysts. I have abstained from alcohol all week, and plan to do so as much as possible. It goes without saying that the best approach is zero alcohol during the treatment, but I have made rare exceptions in the past, while limiting myself to no more than 2 drinks at any given time. For those who are looking for de-alcoholized drinks, I suggest Partake. They're a non-alcoholic beer brand based in Toronto. I had some last night and it helped me trick my brain into thinking I was kicking back with a beer on a Friday night, which has previously been my routine with the husband. I'll be bringing some more of it to a party tonight.
Almost exactly to the day I first started Accutane, I am starting my second round 3 years later. My acne disappeared for about 2 years - not a single breakout during that time. My oil production started creeping back pretty fast, though. Then about a year ago, there was a gradual and steady increase of cystic acne on my chin and cheeks that has only gotten worse with time. I tried the standard things that I'm sure everyone here has tried (changing my pillowcase more frequently, pulling my hair back, trying every cleanser no matter the cost, etc, etc) but I might as well have been rubbing duck fat on my face for all the difference it made. So here we are, round two, and hopefully the last. About me: I'm 32, female, Canadian, moderately active, eat a mostly plant-based diet, lactose intolerant, and occasionally eat beef or chicken. I got the depo-provera injection today as my birth control method. I am happy to answer questions about my experience with any of the above items mentioned but kindly ask that you do not make any suggestions for these items/lifestyle choices. I have discussed each of them extensively with my physician and am not interested in external opinions at this time. There are message boards on this website that offer you that space in abundance. Attached is a picture of my skin on Day 0. Starting it tomorrow.