As of tomorrow, I will have been on Zenatane (Accutane) for one week. Prior to starting this journey, I read countless of reviews and blog entries of other peoples' experiences before deciding to take the leap of faith, so I thought I would share my experiences for anyone else who is contemplating whether or not to start Accutane, and to share my struggles with others who are already taking it and are enduring the uphill battle for clearer skin. For reference, I'm 5'5" and my weight fluctuates between 115-120lbs. My dermatologist prescribed me 40mg Zenatane to start and expects my treatment to last roughly 5 to 6 months. I have very fair (almost pale) combination skin and generally use products tailored for sensitive skin. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, I would say my skin is a 7 in regards to the odds of breaking out (e.g., if I: get food on my face at all regardless of wiping it off ASAP, touch my face, take a nap when I have make-up on, sweat, etc.). Needless to say, I am genuinely looking forward to the day I can eat like a slob and not have to be paranoid that I will wake up to new face-demons tormenting me.
Side note: I know Accutane is a controversial wonder drug, and I won't bore you with my insecurities and reasoning as to why I decided to go on it, but I have made my decision and hope that regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the route I chose, you respect my opinions as I do yours.
Let's jump right into it!
· The mild acne spots on my left cheek have pretty much disappeared. Only scarring remains (for now). Currently very happy with this cheek.
· The pre-existing pimples (3-4) on my right cheek have gotten larger and more sensitive. I should really stop picking at them but it's a bad habit I struggle to get rid of. Currently very saddened by this cheek.
· The ones on my forehead have generally disappeared aside from the occasional small (and significantly less irritated) pimples - although I feel that a majority of these exist as a result from my stress.
· I have one new pimple right at the tip of my nose. I look like Rudolph.
· The pimples (2) that were by my neck and jawline have pretty much disappeared as well. They left scars, of course.
· I don't really have acne issues anywhere else on my body, so the rest of my skin is pretty much the same.
· The dryness is slowly creeping in, but my skin hasn't flaked or peeled just yet. I also haven't had a nose bleed yet nor have my lips gotten chapped to the point where they'd crack or bleed. I definitely feel more dry than usual though, because my face will feel sporadically itchy in random places (mostly by my nostrils) throughout the day, and itching it burns due to the sensitivity (and dryness) of my skin. The rest of the skin on my body remains the same. The dryness is mainly only affecting my face at the moment.
· The fatigue is relentless. I usually wake up before my alarm and have no problem getting out of bed whatsoever, but my energy levels are almost non-existent now - especially in the morning. Getting out of bed is such a struggle, and going to the gym is nearly impossible for me. I haven't gone all week. I'm telling myself I'm letting my body adjust, but really, I'm just exhausted all the time.
· I haven't experienced any joint pain yet. Probably because I'm being a potato and haven't exercised in 7 days.
· I'm feeling a lot more bloated, a lot more often. I didn't change my eating habits to see how I'd be affected, but I'm thinking I need to cut some things out of my diet. It's for the best anyway - I eat too much junk food. This is an understatement.
· I hear that some people get depressed when they're on Accutane, but my mood levels are generally the same. I'm trying my best to have a positive outlook on the whole experience, and keeping in mind that sometimes things get worse before they get better. Thankfully, I haven't had many horrible side effects yet, but I'm definitely bracing myself because it's only been a week.
Products I Am Currently Using:
· Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil http://seph.me/1iaTWRH
· Clarisonic Mia 2 http://bit.ly/23JwIqn
· Cashmere Cleanse Luxe Brush Head http://bit.ly/2iu0HCl
· PHILOSOPHY Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser http://bit.ly/2cReYqL
· St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub http://bit.ly/2jNYaEE
· Fresh Rose Floral Toner http://seph.me/2jNTHlv
· Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment http://seph.me/22NOgzG
· Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum http://seph.me/1f5Adly
· Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion http://seph.me/2giSHjG
· Skin Inc. Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask http://seph.me/2ipucSc
· Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion http://bit.ly/2jhmT3p
· Clinique Dramatically Moisturizing Gel http://seph.me/2jNT0ZE
· Now Solutions Jojoba Oil http://bit.ly/2itXlPw
I'm going to make an effort to update this blog monthly since I feel like weekly would be too frequent to note any significant changes, but I will definitely post if anything drastic happens. Keeping my fingers crossed for the best, and wishing you luck on your journey to clearer skin!