Hi Everyone -
I've had a roller coaster week in making this decision and dealing with so many unknowns, but I have decided to stop taking accutane. I have been on it for 43 days (28 days on 30mg/day and 15 days on 60mg/day). On 30, I noticed the dry lips, dry eyes, and mild grumpiness. Annoying, but manageable. However, 60 was a whole new ball game for me. The existing symptoms increased in strength and I added hair loss to them. My ponytail has decreased by about 20% at least. I have discussed this with my dermatologist and she pretty much left it up to me to decide what I wanted to do. I am hoping this is temporary, but I also know that accutane stays in your system for a while even after you stop taking it, so I know the shedding won't stop anytime soon, but am hoping that by April, my hair will be what it was. Has anyone stopped their course early because of this, and is it more likely to grow back having not completed a full course? Any feedback would be great.
Thanks! and good luck everyone!
Hello All -
This week has been super busy, but I managed to save a few minutes at the end of the week to post something. It's day 36 of my accutane journey (29 days of 30 mg/day, 7 days of 60 mg/day) and since I went up in dosage, my side effects have gotten progressively worse. My eyes are SO dry! They feel like they are lined with sandpaper and on fire! My lips feel swollen and sunburned (even though they're not). This makes kissing and doing anything intimate with my boyfriend painful and annoying. I am applying aquaphor every second my hands are free. Those are pretty much the two side effects that I notice consistently throughout the day. I am trying to be super diligent about drinking enough water - up to about 9 8-oz glasses/day.
I'm not really sure what to make of my face. My oily slick of a face is no more but it's not really dry either. It just kind of looks dull, has a pretty bad uneven texture and tone to it and just looks gross... I have no new active cysts or anything - but a lot of old ones that are still raised and red. They are old cysts that I left alone, and they look like they can still be popped if I try hard enough. I will leave them alone, and let them exit in their own sweet-ass time!
This past weekend I went canoeing/camping and I totally forgot to bring my concealer and mirror. I mean, this normally would send me into a deep panic - how can I be around my boyfriend for 2 days without a mirror? What if I get another pimple, or start peeling? I hate how having bad skin can make you SO preoccupied and shift foucs from other important things. Anyway - just to report, the world didn't end as I thought it would. I just put on my 55spf and got in the boat!
I am hoping that after one month of 60mg my side effects will be better and that the tone/texture of my face improves. I may not have may actives, but my skin still looks awful.
Keep your chins up! (I will...)
Hello All -
It's been a bit since I logged last - I guess I was waiting for something really exciting before I wrote another entry. But alas...... nothing exciting to report...
My skin has gotten progressively drier. I have given up my blotting sheets! I used to use two packages a week. It was bad. But I haven't even used ONE in about a week now. I can still use my clarisonic to feel like I'm getting my skin clean. I am still using my oil free moisturizer at night with a couple of drops of jojoba oil mixed in for extra moisture. I wake up and my face isn't the puddle of oil it once was and I am getting fewer cystic breakouts. I do still have a few that are healing, but they are not bad at all and can be covered with some tinted moisturizer and some extra cover up. Today I actually left the house and went in public without washing my face first. I don't think I've done that in over 10 years! I got up, threw on some tinted moisturizer and went out the door. That would have been completely unheard of a month ago.
I am really happy with my results and experience so far. The side effects for me aren't bad at all. I have really dry eyes which makes me feel more tired than I really am, and I can't wear my contacts for more than 8 hours.. if that. My lips are dry, but no cracking or anything crazy. Mentally, I'm in a good place. I am not constantly worried about my face anymore, but I am always paying super close attention to every ache and pain, watching every hair that comes out of my head.... Reading about the more serious side effects has done a number on how sensitive I am to any change in my body. I am trying to relax about it.
Speaking of hair, I only wash my hair about once a week these days. Pre-accutane I could go 2-3 days without washing my hair (some people would be really grossed out about that) but now, I go the full seven days. And even then, I don't wash it because I need to, I just do it because I think I should.
I am still exercising as I did pre-accutane with no trouble. I got my blood work for next month's supply this morning and have an appointment Wednesday to see my derm. If my blood work is OK, I'm guessing she will up me to 40 mgs. I don't think she will want to go higher than that though. I am 5'1", 110 lbs.
Carry on fellow 'taners!
I am happy to report that at least the time is going by fast on this stuff! I am on day 19 now and I haven't noticed any significant side effects that I'm worried about. The list is normal and expected.... dry lips, dry eyes, minor irritability, drier skin, flaky scalp - that's pretty much it. My initial breakout is still going on (I suspect). My two cysts healed within a week, but 3 more popped up to take their place. Most of them are healing faster than before accutane which is good. They appear quickly and then exit somewhat gracefully. My face is a lot less oily which is really nice! I only have to blot about once daily - this is far cry from two weeks ago when I was blotting at least 5 times a day. Some things that have helped...
I am mixing a drop of jojoba oil into my moisturizer every other night before bed to help combat the dryness. I am pretty oily (pre-accutane) so my skin hasn't had any extreme dryness so far, but I am guessing my dose will be increased next week after my derm appointment so I'm expecting more dryness then.
I am drinking a ton of water and moisturizing my body with a heavy duty glycerin cream I got in Utah a couple of years ago when I was there for vacation. I order it in bulk online. It's AWESOME!
Contacts come right out the second I get home. There's just no getting around it.
I was outside playing tennis all day yesterday in the blazing sun and I don't even have the slightest tinge of color anywhere (I use spf55 on my face every day and 15 everywhere else).
I like to get all the gunk off my face that is coming out of my pores, so I am still OK to use my Mia Clarisonic every morning and night. Using this with Cetaphil is not causing any kind of irritation at all. My skin texture has become rough since accutane - I think it's just the stuff coming out of the pores though. They do look a little smaller. Even though I have some new cysts, the rest of my face does look better. It's not so shiny and uneven looking.
Something I have noticed is that I'm more irritable. Admittedly I am a little more cranky a couple days before my period, but I have noticed a different underlying "snappiness" towards my boyfriend. I am trying to combat this with a sense of humor and making fun at myself for it along with apologies. I am hoping this goes away. sigh... poor dude...
Happy Monday everyone!
Well, I am happy to report that I only had to use my Clean and Clear oil absorbing sheets twice today as opposed to 20! That alone is pretty exciting to me. My lips aren't that big of a deal, but my scratchy eyes are a bit of a pain. For about an hour in the morning and then starting at about 6pm, my eyes get pretty squinty and dry. I take out my contacts the second I walk in the door. No other side effects worth mentioning. I am trying to just think about other things and not worry too much about it. My boyfriend asked why I am so bothered by my skin when it's not that bad. It's worth noting he has flawless skin! Just goes to show that we are all so hard on ourselves and others don't see our flaws like we do. I think that's hard to keep in mind when you think you look terrible, but it's necessary.
I still have the two active cysts that are getting pretty painful, but I am trying not to mess with them at all. No new break outs though.
Hello All -
I have been using this forum off and on for the past 5 years as my skin has gotten progressively worse. I'm not really sure how or why it got bad... maybe going off the pill, maybe going into a second puberty at 37.... who knows. I have tried over the counter creams, natural remedies, prescription antibiotics, prescription topicals, retinoids, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Tazorac gel and doryx helped somewhat, but I figured if I was taking something every day and dealing with the peeling of the tazorac, I should be at least 80% clear and this was not the case. I don't have the small whitehead kind of acne. I am blessed with the large cystic kind that lingers for weeks and weeks. I also have large pores and melasma (hyperpigmentation) most likely caused by sun damage and the birth control pill. Pretty, huh? I was almost not recognizing myself in the mirror anymore. OK, time to bring in the big guns...
And so starts the Accutane. I was hesitating starting a blog because I think about my skin so much already, I didn't want something else to prompt the already borderline obsessive distraction. BUT, this board has already offered me so much support and advice, and if I can offer any support from my own experience, I am happy to do it!
So... the first week or so I am not noticing anything out of the ordinary. Dry lips (kept at bay with lip balm), scratchy eyes (I have contacts and eye drops once/day has been adequate), and some new cysts. Not too bad, but I am trying to stay positive. Has anyone else on here went from Tazorac to Accutane? I had to stop everything while on Accutane and my face is getting pretty bumpy. Even though Tazorac did not work 100%, it still kept the part of my face that wasn't breaking out pretty smooth, and now that I have stopped that, the bumps are coming back. I am hoping the effect of the Accutane will kick in before the bumps get too bad.
My system is pretty simple at this point.
Cetaphil face wash with Clarisonic 2/day
30 mg Accutane
BWC Oil free moisturizer (when I need it). I'm pretty oily, even at day 10, so I'm hardly using it.
Aveeno Positively Radiant tinted moisturizer (spf 30)
Laura Mercier oil free tinted moisturizer (when I need additional coverage).
I will try to update about once/week.
Thanks for listening!