It's been about 2 1/2 weeks (17 days) since I started accutane, and things continue to change in the skin department. The dreaded INITIAL BREAKOUT has yet to rear her ugly head! My skin is smoother in general - the texture has improved so much - and while I've gotten a couple pimples here and there, they have all been the whitehead variety that come on quickly, pop, and are gone. The dry patches that are left behind do cause a real "situation" for me cause I'm a picker... Big dryyyyy patches on my face are more than I can resist, so I have a couple of spots that I'm going to regret messing with here in a couple of days. I'm trying so hard, but old habits die hard. :/
My skin is definitely drying out, but not to the level that some have talked about. I have lots of flakiness around old bumps that have dried up, also around the corners of my mouth and under my eyebrows for some reason. I wash with Cetafil Gentle Skin face wash and moisturize with Cetafil Daily Moisturizer. So far that's been able to keep things under control. My face is still pretty shiny by the middle of the day.
The biggest issue for the last about 7 days has been the dry lips. Holy HELL my doc was not joking when she said my lips would get DRY. They have been dry alright. And cracking, peeling, bleeding, swollen, bright pink... Wowzers, a hot a$$ mess. I've spent at least $35 on lip balms and 35 HOURS researching remedies in the last week. Here are some brief reviews:
Aquaphor: Did nothing really, and made my lips feel really mushy. I was disappointed because it came so highly recommended.
Chapstick (green apple, medicated, regular): At first I thought it would actually work, but a few hours proved not so much. Green apple burned so I switched to medicated... it burned too... then on to regular which just didn't have any staying power.
Lipsyl: Mushy lips and it BURNED as they started peeling and cracking.
Vaseline: Nothing special, still dry, peeling, cracking, swollen, bleeding...
Palmer's Coco Butter stick: Nothing special. Same as above.
Neosporin Overnight Relief: I thought this was going to work, but no.
Waxelene: This was highly recommended on one of the sites as a natural, easily absorbed alternative to Vaseline. I paid $12.00 for a big tub and $3 for a little container to transfer some in to so I could use it at work... Lips still dry, dry, dry despite applying it every 3-4 minutes for a full day (while sitting through a conference. I'm sure the people at my table thought I was INSANE.)
All of these products required CONSTANT application - and I do mean constant. I was at the pool over the weekend and I only get in during adult swim (10 minutes). I slathered the Aquaphor on before getting into the water and had to get out before the whistle blew to reapply. I mean come on! Plus these products would really build up until my lips were lined with that gross white stuff - do you know what I mean? They felt both dry and squisky at the same time. So sad.
Enter Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment. The stuff has, over the last 3 days, restored my lips to 99% normal. I have to apply it every 15 minutes or so (I made the mistake of going into a meeting this afternoon without it and was feeling like a crackhead by the end...). It dries into my lips so doesn't make them mushy, just repairs them! No more cracks and no more peeling. No more bleeding when I smile! At night I put on the Blistex, wait for it to dry, then put on about 3 layers of Waxelene. In the morning they feel great.
You may think I spent a lot of time on the lips stuff, but it has been really bad! Really distracting. I have a couple more products I'm ready to try if the Blistex loses its effectiveness. They're things I'll have to order and are more expensive. Next up is Dr. Dans Lip Balm, and the other is Homeoplasmine.
So! Dry lips under control. Stop picking at old spots. Smooth texture. Drying out! Few spots come and go quickly away. No tiredness, headaches, sadness, moodiness, joints are a little achy but nothing to write home about... I'm happy with where things are going with only about 130 days to go, haha. Of course, anything can happen...