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Beginning of month 5

First off, I am so sorry that I haven't been on in about 2 months. Last I wrote I was in the middle of month 2 on accutane. What has changed is this... my breakouts continued until the beginning of month 4, as to why I had no reason to update. For month 4 and 5 I was prescribed Absorica, which absorbs better than other accutane brands. I switched to this now because even though It is more expensive, our insurances deductible was going to be spent this year anyways. So might as well get the good stuff! 

Side effects include:
dry skin (I use coconut oil after my shower as moisturizer)
dry eyes (lubricating eye drops "artificial tears")
peeling lips (aquaphor all day everyday)
bloody noses (around once a week, aquaphor helps)
Heel tendon pain after getting up from relaxing
some lower back pain

The dry eyes have been pretty bad lately and I had a stye in my left eye, probably caused by the dryness. After about 3 days I started to feel one start in my right eye. I researched home remedies and I found using coconut oil helps with lubrication, and the antibacterial benefits along with it helping with swelling has totally rid me of both styes within 1 day! I just take my eye makeup off with the oil and then put some by the corner of my eye and let it melt into the eye. This causes blurred vision but I do it at night so it is fine. 

I was pimple free for the majority of moth 4, then about a week ago when I started month 5 I had one larger pimple and a smaller one. These are healed now but I hope those are the last of them! I only have 27 days left of my 5 month treatment (40 mg 2x a day). Im really excited but I am more nervous to stop treatment. I do not want to relapse like last time I took accutane a few years ago. That would lead me with nothing to do about my acne, which is a very scary thought. My mom had bad acne into her 30s when she decided to go on accutane. 

If anyone has questions about the treatment feel free to comment below! 

Attached are pictures, My red marks are acne scars that my derm said will fade eventually. 

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

03/22/2016

 

Day 72

Hello everybody!

So my skin is pretty much not changing a whole much. I'm still breaking out. I missed a few doses since I had a stomach flu, but plan on making those doses up in the future. My dreams are not as frequent or scary, but still weird. I am having trouble combatting dryness on the tops of my hands. This is like a constant battle and I've been using my steroid cream on it that I use on my eczema. Yesterday I cut my finger pretty badly so we will see how long that takes to heal. I have found that I also get knicks really easily on my hands. I haven't had anymore bad joint pain, it's mostly only after getting out of bed. If anyone has questions feel free to ask! Also, I won't be posting until either my initial breakout is diminishing or another side effect has changed. Otherwise assume that everything is the same. 

Attached are are pictures of my hands. 


AlyMarie

AlyMarie

01/26/2016

 

Day 50/ Initial breakout still

Happy 2016 everyone!    So I remember some side effect I forgot to mention on my last blog.  My achilles tendons (backs of heels) kill when I first get out of bed. Walking hurts until they seem to stretch out a little. I remember this happening last time I was on accutane.  Hips and knees hurt sometimes after sitting for awhile THE NIGHTMARES. So last time I was on accutane I believe I had nightmares quite frequently. Now i'm noticing that i've been getting them again more often than normal.  Headaches sometimes   I still am breaking out quite a bit and believe its still the initial breakout. Can't wait for it to end!     

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

01/04/2016

 

Day 45/ Initial Breakout?

So I have taken a little break from my every 5 day posts. Sorry, Christmas is keeping me busy! So since my last post some side effects that are most notable are that my eyes get dry and water a lot, my eczema is stronger and I had bad rashes on the tops of my hands when I used a scented body oil. Do NOT use scented! My lips are not bothering me if I slather on aquaphor before bed and a few times throughout the day.  One big side effect that I have noticed more of is headaches and exhaustion. Im not sure if the headaches are caused by dehydration and the exhaustion is caused by all the holiday bustle, but it is noticeable.  Not sure if all the pimples I have been getting is the initial breakout, but since my last post i've had a pretty steady occurrence of them around my mouth/chin area, as seen in the pictures attached. This is the worst that its been so far during my treatment and I hope it stops soon! I guess these breakouts are in similar quantity as my breakouts before I started accutane. This time they are just more concentrated around my mouth/chin.   

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

12/29/2015

 

1 month/Pics

Hello all So today is day 31! No new side effects except some headaches. My monthly 'friend' came and she decided to bring along some unwanted pimple friends. So attached I have a picture of the 4 pimples that popped up around my mouth. HORMONES SUCK! They seem to be healing really fast and I think they will last about 3-4 days total until they are completely gone.  Insurance drama is also a problem right now. So my family is switching insurances January 1. My derm doesn't accept the new insurance so we are trying to find a new dermatologist. This is a pain! after 2 hours on the phone with a handful of different offices, none could get me in until the end of February. This obviously doesn't help when I need monthly on the dot appointments. So, we are going to stay with my current derm and just pay out of pocket.  So, if any of you try to switch just know to schedule it months in advance haha.  I also have a question for the time frame for getting appointments and prescriptions. How many days before our prescription runs out can we get our appointment? Im confused on the timeframe that ipledge will let you do. Ideally I don't want my appointment on the day my prescription runs out. I'm only home from college for a few hours and they never get the info onto ipledge on time for me to pick up the prescription before I have to go back to class. Comments about this would be greatly appreciated!    Until next time. 

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

12/16/2015

 

Day 25/ No acne

Well let me just say that i have zero pimples! A few days ago I woke up to a big white head but it popped easily and totally healed by the end of the next day! I have had no noticeable joint pains  my skin is not horribly dry, just itchy. my lips are peeling now but its mostly in the morning because the aquaphor i use at night makes the dry skin mushy lol so it rubs off. I still take 2 fish oil capsules with each dose of my accutane 40mg 2x a day. Hmm I do not know what else to update on.  I haven't had an initial breakout yet but has anyone had one after their skin has became clear? 

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

12/09/2015

 

Day 20/ Pictures

Hello again! Today is day 20 on 80mg of accutane. I do not have much to update on since my side effects are the same as my last post. I have been going 4 days without washing my hair, which is amazing compared to the usual 1 day. I have seen small black heads surfacing on my nose, and I never have blackheads. So my pores must be pushing out all the hidden gunk. Attached are some pictures of my face from this morning. As you can notice, my only tiny pimples are the ones around my mouth, this might be caused from using aquaphor on my lips and having it clog my pores. The rest of the marks are old scars.  Tomorrow night My roommates and I are hosting a classy Christmas party, so i'm excited that my face doesn't have any big acne!

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

12/04/2015

 

Day 15, Improvements

Hello all! So today I finished my 3rd pack which places me on day 15 of 80mg per day of accutane. I have seen small improvements on my skin. My acne has seemed to slow down and I currently have ZERO noticeable pimples and only a few that are deep down. Hooray! My chin still has clogged pores that seem to want to surface. And I can tell my oil production is slowing down. I was able to not wash my hair for 3 WHOLE FLIPPIN DAYS! This is a miracle compared to it getting greasy before 24 hours. I haven't had bad chapped lips because I use aquaphor frequently and my body isn't too dry but I have noticed my eczema flaring up a bit. Last time I posted I talked about bad back pain, but it is mostly gone and I think it was largely due to sitting for 10+ hours two days in a row doing homework (Yay college).  The only change in routine that I have been doing is taking 2 fish oil capsules with each dose of accutane. So, 4 capsules a day. This is supposed to help with joint health, skin moisture, and actually helps you loose weight (shown in a study with no change in diet or exercise)  I'll update when i'm done with my pack in another 5 days.      

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

11/30/2015

Last Reply:
12/03/2015

 

Day 8, Back pain and dryness

Hello everyone! I thought I would post a quick update. As for side effects my lips have been getting dry, but with aquaphore they are manageable. My face is greasier than normal and I can tell that the clogged pores around the chin crease area are starting to appear bigger and look like little balls under the skin, if that makes sense. I think the skin is trying to push them towards the surface. The worst side effect is my back pain. I have been sitting a lot lately because of the amount of schoolwork that I have been doing this week, so I feel like my hips, knees, and lower back hurt more than normal. The lower back pain is on the left side and it is a sharp searing pain. I remember this same pain from when I was on the high school dance team and just associated it with an injury. Now I think it is the same pain cause from the accutane both times (I did a round of accutane in high school). I am not sure if its too early to start feeling the aches and pains though... Comment if you experience the same sharp back pain! Meanwhile, Wisconsin had its first snowfall so I am trying to combat the dry cold air with lots of cetaphil and coconut oil.  Lots of Love A  

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

11/22/2015

 

Diet for Best Absorption and Skin Update - Day 4

Since I relapsed my first round and want this round to work for good, I have been researching the best way to absorb accutane to the fullest extent, I found some great articles that I feel the need to share! These articles basically say that high fat and high calorie meals absorb accutane 60% better than on an empty stomach. I have decided that I am going to take the healthy approach to fatty meals and stick with coconut oil. Coconut oil is compromised differently than other oils, it is sent directly to your liver to be made into ENERGY instead of being stored as fat for future energy use. Also, coconut oils is said to help with weight loss and have healing properties! Can't beat that! I'll also probably take fish oil capsules with every dose of accutane to increase the fat intake and help with moisturizing my skin and soothe redness.  Today I completed day 4 of my pills, 40mg 2x a day. So far I have seen some side effects but I am not sure if its just my mind playing games haha. I have itchy skin everywhere, yet I use coconut oil or Cetaphil lotion 2x a day. I have noticed my lips have been more dry but they return to their softness with chapstick or aquaphore. I have also been getting headaches, but I am assuming thats because my tetracycline antibiotics are still in my system from last week before I started accutane. These two drugs together can cause headaches. Hopefully those will go away soon enough!  Here are the articles: http://www.facingacne.com/reasons-roaccutane-work/ http://practicaldermatology.com/2014/01/on-dosage-and-diet-isotretinoin-101/

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

11/19/2015

Last Reply:
11/19/2015

 

Past Accutane Experience and Now Starting Again!

Hello! This is my first ever blog! Im excited to share with you my journey of my second round of accutane. This post will be long because I will share with you my first experience, so be patient  

My acne journey started way back in middle school, year 2007. I remember my face was always the oiliest in the classroom and a constant supply of face powder was always needed to "fit in". I was accustomed to going to the dermatologist for my eczema, so we finally started treating my acne when Proactive wasn't helping. I have been prescribed everything imaginable for my acne and nothing ever worked. Medicated toners and washes, antibiotic topical, benzoyl peroxide topical, minocycline oral antibiotics, retin-a, retin-a micro, so on and so on. I have to mention that my minocycline caused me to get bluish black splotches on my shins that looked like bruises that wouldn't go away. I asked my derm about the bruises and it was diagnosed as minocycline induced hyper-pigmentation. This is still visible and will take years to diminish. So be cautious when taking antibiotics and report any increase of 'bruises'! Anyways, my acne, which seemed to flare up during hormonal periods, only calmed down for about a week per month and was causing deep scaring. My mother had been prescribed accutane after she was done having children at the age of 30, so we figured my acne journey would be a long one also if genetics were playing a role in it. My junior year of high school, 2011, was when I was put on my first round of accutane (generic). It was 40 mg 2x a day. I had the usual side effects such as my lips peeling raw almost daily and a few nosebleeds. Surprisingly, I do not remember my skin becoming overly dry or itchy. Other than those side effects I was IN LOVE with my accutane journey. This was the first time that I could go 4 or 5 days without washing my hair. I struggled to reach 24 hours previously, before my hair was too oily to manage. My face was crystal clear from any pimples and I felt more confident than I had ever in my life. As I finished my 5 months on accutane my face remained mostly clear for about a year and then my acne started coming back slowly but surely. 

Now I am a junior in college and I have repeated all the topicals imaginable. These had no effect so I decided to try taking birth control to help balance my hormones hoping it would stop my acne from the inside out. I was prescribed Yazmin and I took this for 6 months along with Retin-a Micro and and Clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide topical. After 6 months on Yazmin I had no decrease in acne, it actually got worse! I was hoping after my body's hormones balanced with the hormones from Yazmin that everything would be magical and my skin would be fixed. Unfortunately, after having 6 months of worse acne and not seeing an improvement I decided to come off of the pill. I, after 8 years of battling acne and never seeing improvements felt like the world was against my skin. Nothing seemed to be helping and I was faced with looking into the mirror everyday and see the scars left from 8 years of acne. What was even worse was knowing the pimples that I had currently would just leave more scars behind like a never ending cycle. To be honest, make up was my one security and I even feel vulnerable around my roommates without that shield. Hearing them talk about how they are "breaking out" and seeing one little skin colored bump, made me wonder how they feel about my face. I sobbed to my mom and she felt my pain, since she went through the same thing I am going through. That is when we decided to start thinking about accutane for a second time. 

I am now on day 1 of Myorisan (generic accutane) 40 mg 2X daily. I hope that this will be my final fight with acne, but I cant stop but doubt that it will actually work in the long run. I'm giving up a lot these next five months in order to hopefully have peace with my skin. Unfortunately, all of my best friends from home : Jake, Jacque, Becca, Maggie, Mary, Lizzie, and all my best friends from school: Tori, Rachel, Trent, and Matt will be turning 21 during these 5 months. ALL 10 OF MY BEST FRIENDS  will turn 21 and I won't be able to drink in celebration on these days with them. Hopefully it will be worth it in the end. When people hear that i'm taking accutane they view it as a negative medication and tell me that no way do I need to take it. But these people see me with my face full of makeup and don't see the real damage and pain that I feel on the inside. I will always tell people that accutane was the best decision that I could have made because it gave me over a year of peace with myself. The morning rituals weren't me seeing what new pimples or scars I now had to deal with, but rather seeing my face and being happy with what I saw. So, I cant wait to start my journey again even if it only gives me another year of peace. 

Stay tuned my fellow acne fighters. 

Attached are some pictures of my face before I started accutane for the 2nd time while I was on my 6th month of Yazmin. And also attached is a picture of me with my makeup as a different reference point.  

AlyMarie

AlyMarie

11/16/2015

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