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3 Month Mark

Hi readers, I apologize for not updating in awhile, but I hadn't had much change to write about until now. I just entered my 4th month on Zenatane and have noticed a few new things. First off, my skin is about 99% clear right now! Its a wonderful feeling to be able to just walk outside without any makeup on and feel confident. I have noticed some minor scaring and a few very tiny ice pick marks but I am trying not to be too concerned about them because I know isotretenoin can make scars more noticeable while on it. Second, the fatigue. I started noticing an increase in how tired I am lately. I get adequate sleep but seem to be worn out a lot faster throughout the day so I have been trying to push through it and stay active to combat the tiredness. Third, my skin is very thin right now. By this I mean it gets irritated very easily. I wore a halter dress the other day and the strap rubbed against my collar bone and now I have a pretty noticeable red spot from it. I also tried popping a pimple prematurely and the skin started peeling from the pressure I applied. Bad idea, just do not pick, seriously, dont. Fourth, I have gotten some blurred vision here and there. Nothing too alarming but sometimes even with glasses or contacts in my vision will blur for a quick second then go back to normal. Current Products: 1. Cetaphil Daily Facial Wash (night & day) 2. Aveeno Creamy Moisturizing Body Lotion 3. Cerave AM & PM Facial Moisturizers (I like layering both during the day) 4. Aquaphor Lip Moisturizer during the day 5. Vaseline Lip Care at night 6. Organic Tamanu Oil for the random eczema dry patches (this oil is great for dark circles and scars as well!) 7. Organic Lavender/Tea Tree Essential Oil (I like dabbing a small drop of this on pimples to speed up healing) 8. SPF 50 Waterproof Sunscreen (I buy the generic drugstore versions, I make sure to get nongreasy formulas) 9. Carol's Daughter Moisturizing Hair Palmade (I started using this because my hair felt drier than usual and this stuff is packed with essential and carrier oils to condition hair) -R

ScarletBegonias

ScarletBegonias

09/08/2015

 

Weeks 6 Through 7 (Almost 2 Month Mark)

Hey guys! I'm so glad to be getting some feedback on this blog from you! I am more than willing to answer any and all questions you wanna ask me, so please never hesitate to leave comments! Anyways, I'm approaching my last week of month 2 and I'm starting to see some real results...hooray! After increasing my dosage to 60mg, I did experience another initial breakout which was a bit disheartening but totally normal. As of now, my forehead is a bit of a war zone again but below my eyebrows I'm clear! I feel that the skin on my face in the areas that are clearest has started to calm down and isn't as flakey throughout the day either. I started layering the Cerave daytime moisturizer over the nighttime moisturizer during the day and it has really given my skin that extra hydration to prevent a lot of flaking I'd get when I moved my face around too much (which is impossible really ha). So I highly recommend layering the two lotions as a morning routine. Other than dry skin and very dry lips, I still haven't experieneced any severe side effects. I did notice yesterday that I skipped body moisturizer for a day and then got a slight rash on some dry spots on both my arms but after applying lotion last night they look a little better today. I'm going to ask my dermatologist about it tomorrow when I see her so I'll post an update on that afterwards. Other than sensitive, dry skin and chapped lips, I can't say I've had anything scary happen to me. I truly believe that the myths surrounding Accutane are just that...myths!! Yes its got a lot of potential risks, as does any drug really (even advil!) but I really do think that as long as you take care of yourself and eat well while on isotretenoin, you'll make it through! I will say one small concern I've started to develop is worrying about scarring. A few pimples on my forehead have left those small ice pick marks (little pin holes) in the skin and while they aren't very noticeable, I'm worried they won't eventually start to fill in and go away. If anyone has any insight on this I'd really appreciate it, please share! Cheers! R

ScarletBegonias

ScarletBegonias

07/26/2015

 

Weeks 4 Through 5

Hi there! So I finally completed my first month on Zenatane woo woo!! My blood work came back looking great so my dermatolgist decided to increase my dosage to 60mg. I'll admit, I was a bit nervous of what side effects way arise when the dosage was upped but within the last 2 weeks I haven't experienced anything drastic or scary. However, my skin has gotten A LOT drier since taking 60mg daily. I've been able to continue wearing foundation but it tends to flake really badly if I move my face around a lot, especially when eating or smiling hah. Anyway, I suggest carrying a travel sized bottle of Cetaphil lotion with you if you have a similar issue. The skin on my arms and legs have gotten a bit drier as well but nothing some moisturizer a few times a day won't fix. I have noticed that on occassion I wake up in the morning feeling a little nauseous. This could be because I take my final 20mg pill at night before bed, but it tends to subside after being up for 10 or so minutes. Other than that, I have the usual bad chapped lips. Never in my life have I gone through chapstick so fast. The minted Rosebud Salve is awesome for this because it has a cooling sensation if your lips feel like they're burning. I'm also more sensitive to sunlight since increasing my dosage. I am already naturally pretty fair and burn easily so I really did not what to chance it on this stuff. One day recently, I did sit outside in the sun for 30 minutes during my lunch break and for an hour after that my skin was extremely itchy. One super awesome, positive side effect of Accutane is less oily hair. Normally I wash my hair every other day or my scalp will start to feel very greasy. However, since being on Accutane, within the last few weeks I've noticed how dry my scalp feels, and I'm able to go 3 or more days without washing my hair and it looks totally clean. If you have long hair like me, this is a god send. I'm still breaking out but it is definitely not as severe as the first few weeks were. The pimples also seem to pop up suddenly and quickly come to be whiteheads which makes for easy extraction. I also haven't had a bad, painful cystic pimple in about 2 weeks and some that I had for over a month before starting this treatment have finally started to dry up and flake off. Good riddance to them! Until next time, R

ScarletBegonias

ScarletBegonias

07/10/2015

 

Weeks 1 Through 3

I've never been one to blog but felt compelled to share my experience on Accutane after reading countless blogs and reviews from others. I feel that other people's stories about being on Accutane has helped me enormously during my own experience with it thus far so I feel it is my duty as a fellow acne suffer to share my story in hopes of helping others who are either starting or contemplating starting the 'tane! First let me give you some background information about my personal struggle with acne. I literally remember the first pimple I ever got. I was about 14 and it was a cyst right under my lower lip. Since that time up into now (I'm 25) I have been battling with moderate cystic acne. I've tried countless presciption creams, antibiotics, over the counter products, homeopathic pills, vitamins, changes in diet, cortisone injections and even multiple types of birth control. You name it, I've probably tried it. At times my acne has seemed manageable, mostly in college. However, once I graduated and entered into the real world my acne seemed to get worse, perhaps because of stress from adult life or hormonal changes as I get older. I get pretty shiny in my T zone and tend to breakout in white heads, comedones, and the dreaded cysts mostly in these areas. Acne is somewhat genetic within both sides of my family, and while my parents never really suffered from it, my cousin, aunt and grandpa have dealt with acne as well. This year as I hit my mid twenties, I started realizing that my rationale of "everyone gets pimples not just you" wasn't really applicable anymore when I noticed that my co workers and friends had relatively normal skin. My anxieties about letting my family, friends, and boyfriends see me without makeup increased and I felt like all I ever worried about more than anything else was breaking out. Now, I know this may sound superficial to some, but tell that to any acne sufferer and they will understand. The feeling of literally not being comfortable in your own skin is just awful, especially when you feel like you have no control over it. To make matters worse, I found myself feeling so conflicted between leading a relatively natural, healthy lifestyle but then still packing on the foundation when I'd do thngs such as camping or going to yoga. After doing research for months, I decided to finally throw in the towel and pursue getting prescribed Accutane. I felt it was my absolute last resort after 10 years of a losing battle. Fortunately, my dermatolgist took one look at me after hearing my story and agreed that I was a great patient to have it prescribed to. After the routine bloodwork, pregnancy test, and iPledge registration I started Accutane and have been on it for 3 weeks this Wednesday. Here is my experience and products I'm using thus far: Week 1: I felt that I had the "initial breakout" fairly early within starting Accutane (I'm taking the generic brand Zenatane which is covered under my insurance provider. I highly recommend calling your insurance company to find out which brand they cover so you pay the least amount, after all it's all the same stuff, isotretinoin). I am on 40mg a day with the end goal of bumping up to 60mg within the next few months. My skin was already in pretty bad shape when I started it so the intial breakout wasn't too disheartening plus I tried to mentally prepare for it the best I could since I knew it was inevitable. Other than that, the only other side effect I experienced was a slight change in moods. I felt a little more emotional, but knew this was normal of Accutane and would eventually pass, as it did. Week 2: I was still breaking out, mostly on the bottom half of my face and jawline. My lips started to get slightly dry. Nothing too noticeable however. The mood swings also started to subside. Hooray! Week 3: As I approach the end of week 3 I do notice some significant changes and side effects. I did get slight lower back pain as well as random twitching pain in various parts of my body. For two days a joint in my left pinky really hurt which was sort of strange but it eventually went away. My lips have been getting fairly dry, not flaky but if they don't stay moisturized they start to hurt and feel chapped. My skin has been dry on my face but not too bad, mostly after a shower. It has started to flake throughout the day but only at spots where there was a pimple that has now started to heal. I've noticed that my pimples start out feeling cystic but either come to a head within a day or so which makes popping them easy or they simply dry up and then flake off. My scalp has been a little itchy too. The breakouts on the bottom half of my face have started to subside but I've had a somewhat bad breakout on the middle of my forehead (the worst!!) that is finally starting to clear. For those who are curious about partying while on Accutane, I did have more than the recommended 2 beers in one night (I drank 4), however I spaced them out and drank lots of water in between and was pretty much fine. I'd just stay away from liquor if you must drink. I am excited to go into weeks 4 and 5, I heard that this is when Accutane users have started to see some results. Until then, I am staying optimistic and not stressing about the purging cycle too much since this is completely normal. Plus, what is one more breakout with the potential to never breakout ever again 5 months down the line?! Current Products: Cetaphil Daily Facial Wash Cerave PM Facial Moisturizer (I use this both morning and night since it is a heavier moisturizer) Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as s body moisturizer Vaseline Lip Therapy Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour Makeup (this stuff is the absolute best for long wear, even coverage makeup!) The Beauty Blender sponge (I dampen this before stippling my foundation on my face and it helps not only give flawless coverage but doesn't rub your skin to make it flakier and has SPF in it) I have also kept neosporin on hand for a few pimples that got a little too scabby. Until next time, R

ScarletBegonias

ScarletBegonias

06/23/2015

Last Reply:
07/26/2015

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