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the start of my journey to clear skin



I am a 34 yr old female who has experienced acne, mostly cystic, since my late teens.  I have been on and off birth control and antibiotics and tried just about every topical RX treatment there is.  I don't tolerate birth control well, as it makes me so nauseated and emotional and gives me terrible migraines. In the past two years my acne has been less treatable, and I have felt more concerned about the time I have spent on antibiotics.  Although my acne is considered mild to most people, I feel that I should not have any.  My derm suggested trying Accutane, with the hopes that after 6 months I will no longer need to rely on antibiotics.  
In preparation I began upping my water consumption a month before beginning, as well as starting a daily fish oil and vit E supplement. I ordered the acne.org face wash, moisturizer, jojoba oil, and purchased an aquaphor lip balm for my purse and just about every room in the house so it would always be handy.

I am on day 10.  I have to say I read SO MANY blogs about others' experiences with the medicine prior to starting my own journey, and what I learned most is that it is different for everyone.  What seemed to be the most common side effect was chapped lips.  I have already experienced that! They are not painful, but I do need to apply aquaphor just about every hour if not more. I am anticipating they will continue to get more dry.  My scalp is so dry, and a few days it was itchy, red,  and painful. On those days I put the jojoba oil on it before bed and washed in the morning with head & shoulders and used conditioner on my scalp which is usually a no no.  It helped! My ears and ear lobes specifically are so dry and no matter what I do they continue to peel all day. I just keep them covered by wearing my hair down and load them up with aquaphor. 
I had some pretty bad lower back pain on and off, nothing I couldn't handle though because it comes and goes. I am drinking approx 80 oz of water a day if not more. I was worried about keeping up with the water before starting, however it does not feel like such a challenge now that I am doing it. 
My skin is definetly more sensitive to the heat.  It is late June so avoiding it is not easy.  Even layered with sunscreen, it feels like the sun is just burning me.  I have not yet actually got a sunburn, but it really feels like I am burning so I keep reapplying sunscreen and try to limit my time in the heat, it just is unbearable at times. I have a trip to the gulf coming up in a few weeks and this worries me a little. I like to enjoy the beach with my family. 
As far as my acne goes, I did get several cystic pimples since starting the accutane.  One came to a head and lasted a few days.  Others remained under the surface but were painful.  Some turned red, some did not.  I am not sure if this is from the accutane or if this is because I stopped taking my minocycline which always prevented the cystic acne in the past.  My face feels hot at times. Like that rush of warmth you may get if you are mad or embarrassed, except so far no redness in my skin when I feel it, and its is only on my face.  

I won't be writing everyday, because I think obsessing over every little change or feeling can be harmful more than helpful (mentally).  Hopefully my blog will help someone!  I was encouraged by reading many.  I have never written a blog before but am happy to do it fo rthis topic as it is a big decision to take something that is so uncertain as far as side effects and changes to your body  Good luck to anyone else joining me on this crazy journey! 


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