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28 year old starting Roaccutane for the first time.

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Day 37 (With Pics)

Two new developments: I haven't had a new active in 10 days! And I've decided to go back down to 20mg, and not continue on 40. I was on the new 40mg for about 4 days and it was all I could endure. My skin got a lot redder, instantly drier (flakes/hard to put on foundation/painfully dry lips/strange new breakout on chest where I never get spots), more severe headaches/nausea/fever spells and emotionally I just started feeling a lot more disoriented and like I wanted to cry at random intervals. So I figured it was ok to make the executive decision to drop back down to 20mg a day before I see my derm again in a couple weeks. I'm also starting school next week and thought I'd make things a little easier for myself. My system is so sensitive to medication that within a day of dropping back down to 20mg, all of the above side effects basically disappeared (except for the usual dry lips, occasional headaches and feeling warm). But yes - I can't believe I haven't had a new active in 10 days. Feels amazing and I continue to be more confident in social interactions (not having to cover whatever new breakout with carefully placed hair or hand gestures). I am still dealing with leftover scars, but big whoop, it's fine. There has been a new redness in my t-zone area, but again, nothing too concerning. I've posted pictures I took yesterday. Question - looks like my dry lips are here to stay - I've been using vaseline and extra intense Nivea - anyone have suggestions for quality lip balms/moisturizers that have worked for them? Skin No new actives in 10 days Skin a bit redder in t-zone area Cyst near eye completely flattened, just leftover red mark now Leftover red and brown scarring, fading very slowly Side effects Dry lips persisting Occasional headache Occasional fever

tamerlane

tamerlane

09/13/2012

Last Reply:
09/17/2012

 

Day 32

One month officially down!! Now I'm into my second day on the new dose of 40mg (20mg previously), taking one in the morning and one at night. Stupidly didn't realize my prescription cost would be doubled, that was a bit of a bite out of the wallet, but hey, may mean I won't have to be on it as long. I'm definitely noticing the effects of alcohol on my skin. Not that I've had a whole ton of it, but, my coloring definitely goes down the toilet if I partake in a couple beers for an evening. I get lots of little red marks along my cheeks and just generally don't look as clear. But even so, the sheer *swiftness* of how fast it's restored is still something I've to get my head around. Only other new development: yesterday I got a ton of red spots on my chest (where I've never broken out), but sure enough, save for one, they're all gone today. AND it has been 5 DAYS since I've had a new active on my face. Not even something small on my chin, nothing! I've been able to enjoy the VAST WONDERFULNESS of going outside without putting my makeup on. Sure, my skin ain't flawless yet, but I'm confident enough to be able to venture into the outside world with nothing but my moisturizer on and it feels *amazing*, I can't even tell you. I feel less stressed these days, not having to constantly worry about the state of my skin or what new spot is developing while I'm out in public. I'm looking people in the eye more too without getting that shrinking feeling that they're having to look away from whatever recent breakout. Hope to god this continues and that the new dosage works out ok. Skin No new actives in 5 days Color continues to even out (except for days when I drink) cyst near eye only slightly raised, but still red Side effects the odd headache lips pretty dry

tamerlane

tamerlane

09/07/2012

Last Reply:
09/13/2012

 

Day 27

So I haven't updated in awhile - but that's only because the only thing to report is that I'm continuing to have stellar results!! I was gloomily anticipating the third week initial breakout that's apparently common, but have had no sign of it. I'm starting to wonder if that Day 7 horrible breakout was actually my initial breakout. I do react to medication quite quickly, so that may be the case. Since Day 18, my last post, I've only had two or three new actives, but they were quite small and went away very quickly. I'm not getting as many side effects (less headaches and less trouble playing tennis) and the state of my skin continues to just amaze me. I wake up looking as though I have makeup on - almost completely clear and my color continues to even out One bit of news is that I've been upped to 40mg from 20mg for this next month's pill pack. Seeing as how I am generally very sensitive to medication, I'm kind of dreading getting worsened side effects - specifically really dry skin, which I haven't had to deal with too much (just dry lips really, but nothing horrible). I'll keep you all posted. Have to say I feel rather lucky that Roaccutane has worked so quickly for me! I cannot articulate enough how wondrous it has been not having to deal with daily mass breakouts - especially the eradication of white heads on the chin area. It's really already made such an impact on how I interact with the world these days. Skin Thicker texture, no signs of oiliness or over-dryness 1 new active, barely visible, on cheek cyst near eye continues to lessen, pretty much just a red spot now color continues to even out Side effects The occasional headache Occasional fatigue/bone pain when playing sports

tamerlane

tamerlane

09/02/2012

Last Reply:
09/02/2012

 

Day 18

So I did have two new actives today and my color wasn't as great as yesterday - BUT - I'm not complaining. Still miles better than even 10 days ago (as you can see from the pics). I think this little flareup (tiny, really) - is owed to my recent laziness. I've been going to bed without washing my face (for shame!) and have even indulged in a little bit of alcohol and no-no foods like pizza and movie popcorn - but damn it I deserve a little indulgence! At this point - not that I'm going out of my way to make risky skin decisions - but I've rationalized it a teensy bit in that I'm now officially engaging in the last resort to fighting acne - taking roaccutane. It is *insanely* nice to wake up, knowing that I've not washed my face and even ingested some naughty drinks and not be horrified at my reflection in the mirror. So my color isn't as even and so I've a couple tiny new actives. It's alright. This is all to say that I won't be regularly drinking or eating naughty skin foods or not washing my face before bed-time. I'll go back to my usual puritan-like habits....tomorrow. Btw - thanks for all the words of encouragement guys! Skin 2 new small actives - one near eye, one on chin Color not as even Tad bit of oiliness Chapped lips (am trying out Blistex Deep Hydration at the moment, so far, so good) Side effects Pronounced aches after playing tennis

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/24/2012

Last Reply:
08/28/2012

 

Day 17 (With Pics)

Skin continues to look good. A couple minor new actives, but nothing to write home about. This positive progression has gotten to the point where I may only update on this blog when something relatively interesting happens, haha. No new side effects today- continuation of lips starting to get dry, but nothing major. I've posted 4 pictures. The first two were taken on the morning of Day 7 (the day of the film shoot). The last two were taken today, Day 17. All pictures are me without a stitch of makeup (yikes) - right after having washed my face with Cetaphil and moisturized with Aveeno Positively Radiant. Not the best quality pics, but you get the idea: improvement! Have to say that I feel rather lucky having already seen some positive results from roaccutane. I feel wary saying that cos I don't want to jinx myself and wake up tomorrow with a horrific IB! We'll see how it goes... (Can you guys let me know if you can't see the photos?) Skin 2 new actives in chin area Color still looks good Old scars fading more Cyst near eye still red, but smaller Side effects Dry lips, but nothing horrible Having to drink more water to feel balanced

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/23/2012

Last Reply:
08/24/2012

 

Day 15, 16

Skin continues to look great. While I did have 2 tiny new actives (one of them those annoying ones that's just above the lip and the other by my nose) - they were small to begin with and are almost completely gone now anyway. The new thicker texture to my skin has me looking A LOT less greasy. It seriously looks like I have new skin - especially when looking into mirrors with natural light. I kind of can't believe it. The red and brown scarring has also been fading dramatically... The newest development is that I've just begun my journey with dry lips. There'd been no noticeable difference til Day 15 when I woke up and my lips were completely chapped and felt like they'd tear if I smiled too wide. Of course I somehow misplaced my vaseline, so am going to get carmex today and see how that works. Other than this, side effects continue to be minimal - save for whenever I engage in rigorous sport (which isn't that often, haha) - I feel the aches of an 80 year old afterward. But I can manage that just fine. Oh and I've definiely had to up my water intake lately. Skin Color and texture continue to improve 2 small new actives Cyst near eye has dramatically gone down Skin not greasy at all Side effects Start of dry lips Body aches after physical activity more pronounced Having to drink more water

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/23/2012

Last Reply:
08/23/2012

 

Day 14

Not much to report. No noticeable side effects today. Had one new active, but very manageable (in chin area, where my bad breakout last week was). I've noticed that my skin's texture seems to be changing - as if it's thicker somehow. When I walk around outside now, it feels as though I've an invisible mask protecting my skin- whereas before, it felt completely susceptible to any environmental irritant and I could feel a new breakout forming. We'll see how this progresses. One other thing - I now only take my pill after dinner - have noticed the side effects are lessened if I do this (though this may of course be coincidental). Skin 1 new active in chin area Color continues to be evened out Skin feels thicker Less greasy today Cyst near eye continues to shrink Side Effects None today

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/20/2012

Last Reply:
08/21/2012

 

Day 11, 12, 13

Been a busy last few days so haven't updated since Day 10. As it goes with journal writing, part of why I haven't written is because I've been quite happy - my skin's been *amazing* the last few days. Day 10 was really my last flare up - since then, I've only had 1 new active, which wasn't much to worry about. My color has been a LOT more even - to the point where it almost looks like I'm wearing foundation when I wake up. And even on the couple days where I was out and about in town, I didn't have the usual 'face the music moment' when looking into a public mirror and expecting to see whiteheads all over my chin and mouth area. I cannot even articulate how good it felt to see a clear (well, mostly clear) face looking back at me in those moments. I've had mild side effects, save for a really (really) bad headache on Day 12 - I just drank a couple strong cups of coffee to get rid of it (so I didn't have to take meds) and general feelings of overheating, again on Day 12 - when for a few moments, it felt like I was having hot flashes. But even in the midst of all that, it was all ok cos I didn't have to worry about my skin. I realize that all this wonderfulness can be easily dashed by the onset of an IB - or, really, anything - but it feels so damn good right now! Fingers crossed... Skin (over the last 3 days) 1 new active Skin tone more even cyst near eye a tad smaller Side Effects Mostly nothing, except for Day 12: on and off fever, extreme headache Feel the need to drink more water

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/19/2012

 

Day 10

One pack down! In other news: I think I may have jinxed myself when I mentioned how maybe not having side effects anymore meant that it wasn't working anymore - cos boy - today was chock-full of 'em! While my skin was a bit better today - I still got a couple (very painful) new spots on my chin. But even more painful was the swollen lymph node on my jaw line and the on and off earache and headache I had throughout the day. Was also majorly fatigued throughout most of today and had a slight fever to boot. What was pretty discouraging was - throughout most of the day, I felt like my skin was getting better - I can always feel when a new breakout/whitehead is forming - and so it came as a great shock when - coming out of a movie and looking into the public bathroom mirror (GAHHH), that there was a spate of very conspicuous whiteheads on my chin. I *always* know when they're forming, and I'd no idea. So, that was pleasant. : ( Anyhow. I am one pack down and haven't had a horrible breakout yet, so am trying to focus on the positive. 10 days in is hardly anything too - I just want to fast forward this whole damn process! Skin 2 new actives on chin 2 remaining actives a few spots that are fading away a sudden flare-up of whiteheads on chin in the afternoon cyst near eye a little more tender/slightly bigger cos I accidentally punctured it yesterday tad drier than usual Side effects Slight fever General Fatigue Right lymph node under jaw line swollen and painful Right earache for some of the day Headache for some of the day

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/16/2012

Last Reply:
08/17/2012

 

Day 9

Skin gradually getting better, but had a bothersome new spot in my danger zone. My chin is still breaking out a lot with whiteheads (sigh) and the lymph node directly under my chin is sticking out because of it. Oh joy! Other than that - no other news. Side effects continue to be nil (because of which, I'm strangely starting to wonder if the meds are already not working!) Skin 4 new actives (1 large) cyst near eye the same skin a tad bit drier than normal Side effects not much to report

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/16/2012

Last Reply:
08/16/2012

 

Day 8

Hallelujah - my skin didn't feel like it was burning today! First time since Day 4. While I had a couple new actives - the ginormous spots on my chin calmed down a bit and I think they'll be totally gone in just a few days. Even though my skin still looked pretty bad today, I was able to go outside with a lot more confidence, not having to deal with that constant face-on-fire/my-entire-face-is-breaking-out feeling. So - definitely think the jojoba is just not for me (though I'm willing to use it on my scalp if I face dryness problems later on). Back on Aveno with SPF 15. Also realized that I haven't felt that dry mouth/need to drink more water feeling in a few days either. Virtually felt no side effects today, with the rare flare-up of that burning feeling, but NOTHING like the last few days. Skin 2 new actives 6 remaining actives cyst near eye scabbing over a bit more a little more oily today Side effects Almost nothing

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/14/2012

 

Day 7

One whole week today!! Trying to be excited about it in the midst of my skin gradually getting worse and worse. Those 3 cysts are in fact not cysts - just really deep spots that keep turning into whiteheads - SIGH. Today's film shoot was an exercise in humility and tolerance - my skin today didn't feel like it was burning so much as one big festering open wound. I could feel myself breaking out everywhere - the extras for the film were made to wait in a VERY well-lit restaurant and it was all I could do to look someone in the eye. Of course no one said anything and I was probably imagining them staring at me in off moments - but it was dreadful. Hours passed at a snail's pace (we started at 6:30am) - and by noon I had to ask if I could go home, feigning an allergic skin reaction. I doubt they'll be calling me back any time soon... Thing is - I don't even think this is my initial breakout - I think it's just that I've been a bit more stressed this last week and haven't been getting much sleep - which yes, has always exacerbated my skin problems, but not ever to this extent - I know it's being doubly aggravated by the accutane and changing moisturizers. But this gets better right? All I need to do is be patient and just hope for the best, right? :-/ Also - quick question - does anyone have any suggestions for good makeup foundations to wear while on this stuff? I'm starting to get the nagging feeling my current one is now aggravating my skin (it's an Irish non-comedogenic foundation) Skin 5 remaining actives 3 new actives Cyst near eye the same Side effects Burning feeling on face (and now, the kind of burning that feels like I'm breaking out everywhere)

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/13/2012

 

Day 6

Bad news. I've got 3 new cysts on my chin. I've a feeling it's the jojoba oil. I went back to aveeno yesterday and my skin (while still feeling like it was burning) didn't break out this much. I figured it'd be ok to go back on the jojoba since the burning feeling didn't go away - but I've broken out more on both days I've used it, so I think I'm going to have to rule it out. Sigh. I had to go and buy some new clothes for tomorrow's film shoot - which brought me face to face with those delightful overlit changing room mirrors. GAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I seriously looked like a burn victim. Or someone that's recovered from a recent skin peel. To be honest, I was still fine with the redness and even the painful burning feeling cos I didn't have any new actives - AND THEN - got home, washed my face and realized I had 3 new cysts on my chin. Painful too, of course. I don't know how I'm going to do this filming tomorrow - which really sucks considering how much I've already prepared for it - I doubt there'll be any close ups on the extras - but my skin's so bad right now I'm genuinely afraid that when I show up to the set they're going to tell me to go home. Skin product changes: I stopped putting on my isotrexin (powerful topical gel) since my skin's felt so dry the last couple days. And needless to say - going back on the old Aveeno tomorrow. Skin 4 new actives 3 new cysts on chin old cyst by eye a tad smaller skin dry, but not flaky Side effects Face still feels on fire

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/12/2012

Last Reply:
08/14/2012

 

Day 5

My face was still burning this morning. Finally figured out that it wasn't the jojoba oil - it was being in direct sunlight for several hours yesterday - somehow didn't put two and two together about that - I suppose because it's only every full moon Ireland has a sunny day. So yup - it was sunlight. Have pretty sallow skin - so this is a new feeling... Skin continued to burn throughout today - switched back to aveeno today as I had a rather large function to go to and didn't want to risk jojoba having possible adverse effects. Most of the new actives from yesterday went down, however, a few others popped up to take their place - again, mainly in the chin/nose/mouth region. There were several points today where they all came to a head (oh joy) - and I had to slump off to the nearest bathroom to take care of them in between talking to people, which is always such fun. Can I just mention HOW RELIEVED I will be when I can face a public mirror without a sense of impending doom/horror????? Just the worst feeling. Sometimes I think maybe I'm being too hard on myself and my skin is better since the last time I checked a mirror - and I'll be feeling more confident and talking to people more - only to find out, when next I do look in a mirror, that I was mistaken and the retroactive embarrassment hits me like a ton of bricks. Anyway - the burning feeling continued throughout the day, whiteheads came and went and my skin's started to feel very itchy. Tonight's the first time I've my skin starting to get dry - that tight, hot feeling when I move my face in any way... may have to take the plunge with jojoba oil tomorrow. I'm going to be an extra in a film on Monday and so am PRAYING that my skin gets better before then. Not only am I afraid that someone in hair/makeup will comment on the state of my skin - but am also terrified of not having access to a proper mirror to fix my face between shoots. Wish me luck!!!! Skin 4 new actives (whiteheads that went up and down throughout the day) other spots going down red/brown scarring the same Side effects Burning feeling from getting sun yesterday Tight/dry feeling starting to arrive

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/11/2012

Last Reply:
08/12/2012

 

Day 4

I woke up this morning with several whiteheads on my chin and the area around my nose feelng quite painful (because of new spots forming there). I tried using the jojoba oil for the first time today - it felt very greasy going on and my face felt like it was burning for most of the day, though strangely was less oily than usual. Towards evening, my face felt like it was on fire and as if I were forming several new painful spots... I've had to amend yesterday's post re: side effects. I went to a tennis lesson last night and felt *exhausted* after about 3 minutes of running around. Like - to the point where I was about to faint. I also couldn't see very well and my spatial reasoning was really off (couldn't connect the ball with my racquet at several points). I know they say to not engage in vigorous physical activity while on accutane - but I wasn't expecting it to be that severe that quickly. While my skin was worse today, I didn't feel any other side effects. Skin: 5 actives Cyst near eye still scabbing, but not getting smaller Lots of red/brown scarring Side effects: Skin felt like it was burning, but this may have been caused by the jojoba oil

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/10/2012

 

Day 3

Today I woke up with the strangest of feelings: it felt like I had no new actives and that my skin wasn't oily at all. And sure enough! I only have 1 new active and the rest have already gone down dramatically from yesterday - not used to such rapid diminishing! That said, I had two quite painful headaches yesterday (of the pounding head variety) in the early afternoon and late evening - made sure not to take anything for them so I didn't overwhelm my liver. Today's been a bit better in terms of headache - but am absolutely already feeling the constant need to drink water. The texture of my skin feels different today as well: as though it's thicker somehow - less sensitive. The areas that are not plagued with spots have excellent color and smoothness. So all in all - things are looking up! I bought jojoba oil in preparation for my skin getting drier. Skin 1 new active Other spots have gone down quite a bit The cyst near my eye has started to scab over Looking/feeling a lot less oily, but not yet dry Side effects Dry mouth Low grade headache Extreme fatigue/dizzyness while playing tennis - decreased night vision

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/09/2012

 

Day 2

Hi Jay - thanks for the comment! I'd heard of the eye dryness side effect - just didn't think it would take effect so soon! Though it's calmed down already since yesterday. Day 2: woke up with 2 new active spots in my 'danger zone' = the sides of my nose and chin- as these are the most fertile breeding grounds for spots to grow roots. I meant to say that I'm also on Dianette - a birth control specifically designed to help with skin issues - which I've been on for the last 10 months or so and has majorly helped my skin. Spots that I do get now don't get very big and don't last as long - HOWEVER - this morning's additions are unlike the ones I've been used to lately. Redder, bigger and meaner. This spells trouble... Aside from random spikes of eye tightness/dryness, my skin is still very oily (of course, only Day 2!) and a bit more broken out than usual (though this is most likely because of getting very little sleep last night). I'll be posting no makeup pictures hopefully by tomorrow. Treatment: Roaccutane: 20 mg over 6 months Isotrexin at night Cetaphil gentle cleanser Aveeno moisturizer Skin: 4 active spots (3 from yesterday went down) skin very oily 1 cyst near my eye lots of red/brown scarring

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/08/2012

Last Reply:
08/09/2012

 

Some More Background Info

While I never had severe cystic acne - like I said, it's been a ongoing, persistant problem for the last 17 years. I was never able to get an accutane prescription in the States - it was only til I moved to Ireland that my doctor suggested it because of the continued scarring (duh!) Of course it took a lot longer than I hoped to actually get the darn prescription here - much better than not getting it at all. My GP referred me to a derm back in January - my first appointment was then in April (there are hardly any specialist doctors in this country). Then I had to get a psychiatrist clearance (protocol, sigh) - which took yet another 2 months to schedule. Then finally, when they'd triple-checked I wasn't pregnant and that my liver was ok, finally got the go ahead this past week. Cost: No idea how much this stuff costs in America with/without insurance (anybody? just curious) - but I've no insurance here and it cost about 40euro (about $55) for a 30 day supply. Was expecting much worse. My derm said my course will take about 6 months, since I"m only on 20mg. If this means less side effects, I'm all for it. At this point, what's another half a year, blah blah. I'll just have to be patient. I cannot wait for the day when my first thought waking up is not about what state my skin is in and what kind of day I'll have because of it. Now - it has only been several hours since I took the first pill but I've already found my mouth drying up - and wanting to drink more water. I've also, for the past 6 weeks or so, have had problems with my left eye watering too much- and this is the first day it's been dry. This could totally be unrelated - especially since I think I drink way more water than others, but I guess we'll see...

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/07/2012

Last Reply:
08/09/2012

 

Day 1

Hello there. I'm a 28 year old woman starting Roaccutane for the first time. I figured I'd document my course of treatment to track my progress. I've mild acne, though it used to be much worse. I've had acne for 17 years now and am just kinda done with it! Though my skin's gotten better throughout the years - thanks in large part to this site - I still suffer daily breakouts and go through life constantly thinking/worrying about my skin. I've been put on 20mg and today is Day 1. I'm a bit scared (terrified) of suffering those 'rare' side effects, especially after reading endless online entries about the horrible things this medication can do to a body - this medication that was originally meant for cancer patients! But I am optimistic and can only hope for the best. I only just took the first pill a couple hours ago and so have nothing to document so far. Skin: 5 actives, mainly in chin/mouth area 1 cyst near my eye that's been there for 2 weeks Lots of scarring, inactive acne

tamerlane

tamerlane

08/07/2012

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