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Isotretinoin (Claravis) Week One 12-10-11



Hello all,

I am a 22 year old female. I have been struggling for many years with acne and after waiting for a very long time and trying everything else I could, I decided to start accutane. All through High school I had very nice clear skin with very few pimples at all. Around the age of 18 I started breaking out with lots of black heads and white heads. Over the next few years they gradually got worse and worse. Over the past year and a half I have plagued with cystic acne along with white heads, black heads and small bumps all over my cheeks and forehead.

I have cystic acne on my temples, very badly on my chin and sometimes my forehead, I always have small bumps on my cheeks and forehead, and white heads on my chin VERY BAD and scarring and black head galore on my forehead.

Things I have tried since I was 18 yrs old (my routines over the last few yrs)

-over the counter face washes, masks, scrubs and facial wipes

-proactive solution face wash, lotion and astringent

-An assortment of vitamins including zinc, vitamin E etc.

-Benzoyl Peroxide 8% (for over a yr)

-Minocycline prescription pills (DO NOT recommend, turned my teeth an ugly yellowish color and didn't help)

-Cetaphil face wash+vitamins but nothing with acne medicine in it

A little over a year ago I decided to go to the doctor to see if I could try accutane and she told me that I should try a prescription pill first. I was prescribed Minocycline. The First two months were okay, my acne seemed to clear up a bit (mostly the cystic) but not all the way. I noticed that after those few months were up my acne started to get worse. My skin was itchy on my cheeks all the time and always looked red and irritated, then I noticed that I was getting little bumps everywhere on my forehead which was odd considering I had never had acne there before. One day I noticed that my teeth looked very yellow and had some spots that were different colors which was odd, but I didnt think anything of it at the time. Finally I decided to look on the internet to see what the side effects of Minocycline were and was surprised to find that alot of other people had issues with the coloring of their teeth. After that I stopped it right away, not only was it not working, but now I had yellowish tinted teeth :( not sure if this can be reversed because it happened from the inside of your body, it was not just stained.

Then I used Cetaphil face wash and vitamins and a healthy diet (tried to clear it up the natural way) and this did not work either. At this point I was fed up because my acne was getting worse by the day. And the cystic acne came back, worse than before. I went back to the doctor and was told to be seen by a dermatologist to start my accutane.

I went to the dermatologist and after talking with her she decided that I was a good candidate to be on accutane without hesitation. The first day she discussed the side effects and told me that I needed to be on two different forms of birth control. I took a pregnancy test and received a booklet for ipledge program (birth control program) that any female who is able to get pregnant must use. You basically have to go online before you pick up each prescription to answer questions about how not to get pregnant while on accutane. She made another appointment for a month later to come back. I had to get my blood taken to make sure my liver was okay to start the meds before my next appointment. A month later I went back and my blood test was good, so I had to take another pregnancy test and then she gave me my prescription.


Went online to fill out ipledge questions and then picked up prescription from pharmacy.

thankfully my insurance covers accutane, so I only paid $10

took my first pill (YAAYYY so excited to be done with acne)

*I did ALOT of research on accutane before starting because it is a very serious medication. I read alot of blogs and customer reviews on it and found some great pointers and advice. I would like to share that with you :)

**things to consider**

-You will have very dry skin, lips, eyes, and possibly joint pain

-should be taken with a big meal and milk is great as well because vitamin A is best absorbed with fatty substances

-I read a blog where a guy said he took accutane and that it didnt work very well for him and that he had to have a second round started, he said that after doing research he found that vitamin A was absorbed better with fatty food and that was his mistake. He only took it with a glass of juice the first time, and said that after the second attempt he took it with milk and it worked wonders :)

-Lots of lotion is recommended by people reviewers

-Cetaphil face wash because it has NO benzoyl peroxide or sacyllic acid which can be too harsh while on accutane

-EVERYONE said chapstick, and I found that alot of people recommend Aquaphor healing ointment (doesnt say for lips on the tube but it works great)

-Very moisturizing face lotion-Cetaphil or I use CeraVe

-eye drops

-lots of water, your body will be very dry. Keeping yourself hydrated will help

-humidifier for your room

-Accutane basically slows down your oil glands ALOT to prevent them from clogging which causes acne. It will dry out pretty much everything....inside your nose causing nose bleeds, lips (could cause them to crack and bleed) your eyes might feel dry, you might get dry patches on your hands or arms and your acne will get worse before it gets better. Everything will come to the surface which will be your "initial breakout" which I hear is pretty bad. Alot of reviewers say that it starts about two or three weeks into the treatment and last for a few more weeks. (might be very frustrating considering your probably already fed up with your acne, but I truly believe that if I do this right the first time my skin will be clear hopefully forever after this) You should not pop your pimples while on accutane because your skin will be very sensitive and it can leave worse scarring since your skin is in such a tender state.

Okie dokie people now for my journey so far.......

****Day one:12/5/11****

-I took my first pill with a large meal and milk to be safe (dont wanna have to do this a second time)

-Used my Cetaphil gentle face cleanser which is thick and moisturizing before bed

-Used my CeraVe face lotion before bed

-Started using my humidifier (its winter anyways so why not start early eh?)

-Drank a big glass of water before bed

I am now on day six of accutane and I have not noticed much of a change (as far as being dry) yet.

My face actually seems a bit better, but im not sure if it is all the lotion I have been using. Usually I cannot use face lotion because my face is oily on its own that my vision will get blurry mid day and ill wipe my eye lids and their is grease. UGH gross and irritating. Alot of the cystic acne isn't as bad as normal and the ones that I had popped before starting accutane are smoothed out and feel much better.

Yesterday I woke up and my face was a bit dry but nothing bad at all just looked a bit "peely". My face is not nearly as oily as usual which is very nice as well.

I will be updating frequently to let you guys know how it is affecting me (mood, dryness, clarity of skin, and any other side effects) and to give you advice that I think might help if you decide to start this medication.

I will also be putting up pics along the way so you get the full effect

:) well ciao for now


Hi there! Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story! I'm starting my 6 months of isotretinoin today and have been feeling a bit apprehensive despite my detailed research of the medication as well. I hope it works for you and look forward to hearing your updates! Thanks again for sharing! -amber

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No problemo! :) I did research on accutane for a little over a year before my cystic acne was too painful to bear. After reading tons of blogs and customer reviews I talked with my dad about it because he had pretty bad acne when he was younger too. He told me that he took accutane about 10 yrs ago and that afterwards his skin cleared right up, and he has not had any long term side effects. Thats when I knew I wanted to make a change! Another reason I started this blog is because I noticed that my derm wasnt very informant about all the small side effects (she was just big on the whole birth control thing) and alot of the small decisions I made (what kind of face wash to use, makeup, face lotion etc) I learned from the reviews. I dont mind putting my flaws out there as long as it helps someone else. Whelp we are on the short journey to smooth beautiful skin :) SOOO excited woot woot!!

Thank you for reading and I hope you are happy with your results

Ciao Rina

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