Sorry I'm just a little bit behind schedule here. Lemme recap week 5 on Accutane.
The main phrase to sum up this past week is "slow and steady." For most people suffering from acne, patience is not something that comes easily -- especially if you have tried all sorts of different creams, medications, etc, and are still at a loss. Trust me, I know; I am probably one of the most impatient people you will ever come across.
However, I've learned to just roll with it while being on Accutane. Stressing and nit-picking is not going to make things better or any easier. Like I said -- slow and steady -- that seems to be what my experience with Accutane is so far. Each week my acne is getting better bit by bit, but it's definitely not an overnight instant change (as much as I would like that), but I am grateful that it's at least heading in the right direction.
In particular, the changes I've seen in my skin are as follows: existing break out clusters have died down or healed entirely. I might get the odd pimple here and there, but it doesn't seem to be in "clusters" anymore. On top of that, the healing time of pimples is relatively quick -- but one tip is to LEAVE IT ALONE. No matter how tempting it may be. Just pretend it doesn't even exist. I have a horrible habit of picking, but I have had to throw that out the window during all of this.
My skin hasn't been all that dry, but I do keep on top of moisturizing after washing my face twice per day (once in the morning, one at night. I also wait 10 minutes or so for my face to air dry before putting moisturizer on). I've also noticed that I no longer get pimples on my back/shoulders anymore! All around, my skin feels a lot softer, and my pores are continuously shrinking by the looks of things. The main thing I still notice are the marks or blemishes left behind from previous break outs or even my initial break out while being on Accutane. Then again, they aren't THAT bad in the grand scheme of things, and I'm only a month and a week in . . . so I'm giving Accutane the benefit of the doubt that these marks will clear up further along in my treatment.
No emotional side effects to report. However I have noticed a bit of joint ache/pain every now and again -- in particular, in my lower back (right above the tailbone). I've never had any sort of joint or bone problem in the past, so I assume this is just a minor side effect from Accutane. It's not extreme, but I do notice it if I have been doing a lot of bending or back movement.
I also had a couple of glasses of wine the other night, which I know can be considered not a great idea while being on Accutane (as it can affect the liver). But I drank plenty of water along the way, and did not feel sick or hung over what so ever the next day. I also double checked with my doctor about drinking while on this medication, and he said a few drinks should be okay once in a while. Just avoid the big party nights with tons of shots and hard liquor.
So! That's the update so far! Gotta say, things are looking up. So for all of those who are one Accutane or are just beginning, hang in there! More updates to come.
(Knock on wood) is the worst over?
I don't want to jinx it, but this week has definitely lightened up for me. I still have some clusters here and there -- mainly on my forehead -- which are red, but you can tell they are healing. They might itch every now and again, and are dry, but I know these are all good signs, so I just leave them alone.
Over all though, my skin feels a lot better. The black heads have minimized and so have my pores by the looks of things. My skin (aside from the few break out areas) feels a lot smoother and softer, which is a nice change to see compared to before when my skin almost felt like sand paper!
The dryness has also subsided. Of course I still need to mosturize everyday after washing my face, but I think it's safe to say my body has adjusted to the Accutane, and some of those physical side effects have died down. One side effect I have noticed though is joint pain -- mainly in my lower back area, but every once in a while I'll have a stiffness elsewhere. I do work out and stretch everyday, so I just try to tame things down a bit or go at a slower pace to make sure I'm not going to hard on my joints.
That's the update for month 1! Stay tuned.
It's true when they say nothing worth it comes easy.
The end of week 2 and into week 3 was quite the challenge for me. I believe this is my time of the dreaded Initial Break Out. My skin was very dry in the beginning of the week, but not too irritated thankfully. I only wash my face twice a day (for about 10 seconds with Vichy Acne Prone face wash and warm water), and I moisturize with a thin layer of Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin Lotion afterwards. That is it! The less I put on my face, in my opinion, the better! Needless to say, make up has not been an option so far while I have been on Accutane.
At first, my face almost felt like sandpaper when I would wash it. I had tiny blackheads rising to the surface just about everywhere. Places on my face where I didn't even know I HAD pores apparently had stuff to push out. Not to mention the dry skin texture . . . I definitely know this is because of Accutane, because I have never had break outs quite like these before. I know it's a blessing in disguise; the sooner the Accutane can get this out, the better! I just look a little like shite at the moment.
I have noticed though, that my skin is improving -- even if it's subtle. The blackheads just sort of come out on their own, or are washed off in the shower. So my face is feeling smoother and looking less blotchy. Just gotta keep riding it out. I know this is a good sign!
Okay so let me give a little background on myself! I'm 22, and I'm still struggling with moderate - severe acne. That sums it up! I'll be blogging my Accutane Experience for others to view -- hopefully some can relate, advise or find answers if they are thinking about going on Accutane themselves. I know how painful acne can be in so many different ways, so I'd like to help and support anyone I can going through the same issues.
Right before I started taking Accutane, my skin was starting to break out more than usual. I have always struggled with acne (since I was abut 13 years old), and Iâ€™ve tried just about everything. In the beginning, I used various topical creams my doctor prescribed to me. Those helped minimize my acne, but it never fully went away â€“ and it seemed like, after a certain period of time, it would lose all effect on my skin. About 3 â€“ 4 years ago, I started taking Minocyclene, which falls just short of Accutane. That had little improvement on my skin for the long term . . . so I decided to take a more natural approach since I was apprehensive about jumping into Accutane.
For the past year and a half, I had been using Benzaclin cream, as well as taking the Genuine Health Perfect Skin supplements. This seemed to do the trick for the most part â€“ I still had the odd break out, but it was manageable. However, as I experienced with all other options prior, this did not stick for the long term. More recently, my skin was experiencing some pretty bad break outs and clusters. My forehead was spotted with clogged pores, my cheeks had some red clusters forming, and my chin would develop those painful â€œundergroundâ€ zits.
Despite my efforts with a healthy diet (FYI Iâ€™m a vegetarian), limiting my dairy intake, drinking lots of water, keeping active, exercising, and washing my face properly . . . nothing seemed to matter in the end. I was at the end of my rope. Accutane it is.
WEEK 1 WITH ACCUTANE:
My skin broke out in a big way during my first week of Accutane. I was under a lot of stress however, so that may have played a big role. Regardless, my entire face was speckled and had an uneven tone. I definitely started to notice the skin dryness, itching, and chapped lips by the end of the week. My right cheek had about four medium sized zits gathered in the same area â€“ making it look red and a bit swollen. There were also a couple larger ones on my chin, which started healing and scabbing in a couple of days. Also, my jaw line (which is somewhere I donâ€™t normally have break outs) had little red pimples scattered about.
WEEK 2 WITH ACCUTANE:
With my second week, things seemed to be taking steps in the right direction. The oily texture was minimized, and the break outs were healing more and more each day. By the 14th day, it seemed like minor break outs were coming through again (but not nearly as bas as before). Currently, my forehead seems to be a focus with some whiteheads and little blackheads protruding from my pores. My nose also has those little blackheads rising to the surface â€“ as if the Accutane is causing them to push out once and for all? My cheeks have the odd few, but those pimples seem quite insignificant â€“ I doubt it will take long for them to heal. One thing I am noticing is that whiteheads are healing over quite quickly, which must be a good sign. My jaw line has cleared up a bit, there are definitely less pimples, and the ones that are still there are either drying up, or coming to a head. Over all, things are better than the first week. Itâ€™s just really hard not to pick . . .