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Stella Blue

Accutane for valentines day

After 3 years of moderate cystic acne, I've decided to take the plunge and start accutane. Ironically enough, my 30 days from registering in the iPledge program is valentine's day. Go figure. Guess that's what I'm giving myself this year.

I'm going to try and keep a detailed journal, so I can remember this experience and give other newbies some input.

History:

I'm a 29 yr old female. I was blessed with beautiful skin till I hit 21. I've tried everything to get it under control: Detox diets, vitamin therapy, homeopathic remedies, cleocin T, differin gel, retin A, doxycycline, minocycline, and erythromycin. I currently use proactiv to keep the little problems at bay, but it doesn't touch the 2-20 cysts I get each month.

I'm really worried about the initial breakout while on accutane. I have a grad school admissions interview two weeks after starting, and I'd really prefer not to look like one big zit when I go down. What a great first impression. I have to keep reminding myself that they want me for my brain and not my skin.

Any ideas how to keep the initial breakout under control? Also, I'm prone to eczema inside my nose (only place I've ever gotten it) and I'm wondering if anyone has a similiar problem and can tell me how to keep it from getting severe. Dry nose=eczema, so how do I keep my nose moist?

Also, I'm a pretty earthy girl, and like using all natural products and lotions (avalon organics, jasons, aubrey's etc) which I haven't been able to use in years since my skin hates me. any suggestions on good dry skin products?

I've been oily all of my life, so I'm looking forward to the morning that I don't have to wash my hair without looking like a 1950s greaser.

It's been great seeing all of your posts. It makes me happy to know that life will go on while on accutane, and it may not be as bad as i thought.

Here's to great skin, I hope.

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Hi Stella Blue, it sucks that you already have a dry nose because it's going to get a lot worse! I had to put Aquaphor up there quite frequently (anything with a Vaseline-like consistency will do the trick). I'd start as soon as possible because you might be able to avoid the bloody noses if you keep it really moist.

There's also a chance that your eczema will spread to other places. But the good news is that as soon as I stopped taking the pills was over all that eczema went away!

Hope I haven't scared you too much, I love Accutane! After all these years of failed treatments, it's going to be a huge relief to finally do something in 4-6 months that may cure you forever (and if not forever, than at least for a while). I finished on Dec 21st and my skin is absolutely flawless now. I can't even remember when I had my last zit. I don't even have blackheads. It is truly amazing. Congrats and best of luck, ~Heather

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Thanks Heather. I appreciate the encouragement and info. I'm going out today to buy some aquaphor. Everyone seems to swear by this stuff.

It's good to know that accutane has worked for you. I'll keep you posted.

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Make sure you get some Dr. Dan's Cortibalm! If you can't find it in the pharmacy you might have to order online (I bought 5 tubes and that was more than enough). I never had a problem with my lips once I started using that stuff.

Some people have asked their derm for another prescription to control the initial breakout (antibiotics). I didn't do that and suffered with an IB that seemed to last for months. I guess I believe that it had to come out somehow, better to get it over with and "purge" the skin if you will. If you've already run the whole course of those (doxy, mino, etc.) then they might not work anyway! There is no good time in life to be covered in cysts, not many of us have the luxury of taking months off of work so I hope your IB isn't too terrible.

Have a clear day! ~Heather

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I've got the dr dan's. Saw people liked it, and I ordered two tubes on line. I haven't tried it yet though, because for now I'm still a burt's bees lover. I'm glad to hear that it helped a lot. I was worried about the cracking lips. As for the antibiotics, I'm still on the erythromycin, and it isn't doing jack shit other than upsetting my stomach. I've been on it for six months now with minimal effect. It helps increase the healing time of the cysts (from 6 weeks to 3), but it doesn't stop them from forming :-(

I guess I'm worried about the IB a lot, because right now I only have four active cysts and two healing ones which are relatively easy to hide.

I really wish I would've taken accutane about 5 years ago. then all of this would be over. I guess we all wish for that though, don't we. I want the next 5 months to fly by. 5 more days till accutane. Blood work again tomorrow. I'm so ready.

I'll keep you posted. It really helps to have input on all of this from someone who knows.

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I really wish I would've taken accutane about 5 years ago. then all of this would be over. I guess we all wish for that though, don't we.

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2 days to go......

Only 2 more days until I get accutane. I can't wait.

Does anyone know if you can dye your hair while on accutane? I need to color my hair, and wasn't sure if I should do it before starting accutane.

Also, does anyone know of a good nose moisturizer? I would prefer not to have vaseline up my nose. Sounds pretty awful.

I'd love input.

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I hear hair dying is fine to do on accutane - I'll be doing it myself in about a week.

I like moisturizing saline by otrivin (the nasal decogestant brand). I wasn't a fan of the vaseline idea either!

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Is there a moisturizer specifically created for inside the nose? hahahaha I never found one! And I have major problems with dry nose and boogers throughout my course. I was blowing my nose constantly, which led to more nosebleeds. Awful.

As far as hair dying goes...people recommend not doing it while on 'tane simply because it's drying and your hair is already going to be VERY dry. If you can dye before you start and then wait, that would be ideal. If you have to do it during your course, don't worry because your hair won't fall out or anything, but it might feel like straw for a while.

Good luck tomorrow!

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Thanks for the advice. I will look for the saline spray for the nose.

I now understand everyone's frustration with the ipledge program. My doctor called today to reschedule my appt for Thursday. It seems I have 2 more days to go until the 30 day waiting period is over. AHHHHHH..........

That's okay, only 2 more days then I'm on my way to clear skin. My appt comes at a great time since I have 3 new cysts that are in need of massive amounts of cortisone.

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:dance:

I went to the derm. today, and I got two cortisone shots and 3 boxes of accutane.

I now understand why everyone hates the ipledge program, it totally sucks.

I called and tried logging into the system, but I kept getting a message that my login name doesn't match my password. I tried 5 times before I got fed up and decided to wait 30 minutes for the operator. We cleared everything up and I'm ready to go. I'm on 40mg once a day. Wish me luck. I'm cooking my high fat (vegetarian so still super healthy) dinner, so I can eat and pop the first pill.

Here's to clear skin!

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Thanks Haylie, I appreciate it.

I took my pill about 18 hours ago, and I must say I don't think I have any real side effects yet. When I woke up, my skin was about the same except for some dryness around my temples. This was odd, because I'm never dry anywhere. As today progresses, I'm noticing a little bit of inflammation that wasn't present yesterday. It appears some of my numerous blackheads are pushing up and becoming inflamed. I really hope the IB comes on very soon, since I have a 3 day weekend from work and can hide till it clears a bit.

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Day 2: Well, day 2 passed with minimal problems. I think the IB has begun. I'm breaking out in places that I usually never do: Middle of the cheek and above my lip. Two painful whiteheads.

Day3: No new dryness one new cyst forming. Fun, fun.

Day4: Today is going well. I must admit I was bad, and performed minor surgery on the two whiteheads (they were huge, I had to). I took a sterilized needle, puncutured both, got out the nasty white stuff and applied h202 and neosporin. As the day progresses, they are healing nicely, and all that's left is a red spot. Easy to hide with makeup.

The cyst is still staying nicely under the skinl. Hopefully it will never arise. I'm still using proactiv, but have every intention of changing face wash tonight, because my skin is getting flaky and I don't wanna make things worse. My lips aren't dry yet, but feel a little funny. So far so good.

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Day5: Yesteday was a great day. I went snowboarding, and my skin actually looked better.

Day6: Today is a different story. My body aches from yesterday. More than it usually does. No new acne, but my face is as red as a strawberry. It hurts too. When I scratch anywhere on my face, it feels like I'm going to peel layers off. I'm going to buy some ultra sensitive face wash and moisturizer. Hopefully this will help. Blackheads are definitely working their way out. It's kinda cool to see.

As for side effects:

1. Red face

2. Fragile skin

3. Achy muscles and joints

4. Peeling lips. I'm applying lip balm, so they aren't cracked and bleeding, just peeling nicely.

My nose seems to be doing okay. I'm running a humidifier at night, putting unpetroleum jelly up inside my nose, and cleansing with a neti pot in the morning. I think it definitely helps.

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I hope I get to go snowboarding soon! I haven't been yet this winter, but love it!!

I'll definetly let you know if I find anything that helps with the red. I don't usally wear much make up but I have just been using a light powder before I go off to work in the morning, but by the middle of the day the redness is back in full swing!

I have also been using a humidifier at night, I really think that helps, especially since it's so cold/dry out.

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Day 7:

Yeah!!!! I have made it through week one on accutane. Thank goodness. That was pretty quick. Yesterday wasn't so great, but today seems good. My face is a little less red and bumpy today. Skin is pretty clear, only a minor cyst on my chin that is quickly drying up and a few more bumps on my jawline. I don't mind any of these so much because you can't see them unless I look up at the sky.

My lips are peeling like crazy, and when I woke up they were a little swollen. I know this may seem like a good side effect, but my lips are already pretty full, so I feel like I have angelina jolie lips today. It's weird, my lips aren't chapped since I apply lip balm like crazy, but they peel which is a little uncomfortable. Does anyone know if this will get better as time progresses? if it doesn't, could you please lie to me so I feel better ;-)

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Im happy to hear your skin is good. I heard the IB starts a week or 2 in but some hardly get one! fingers crossed.. i heard the swelling goes away but i dont know about the dry lips

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Thanks for responding Stella; i snowboard too!!! i love it but havent gone in awhile but i remember last year i could only go snowboarding once a week because my body was SOO sore i could hardly move the next day. Yea i heard girls have to jump through many hoops for accutane, i feel sorry for the ladies that got pregnant and had to find out what happens while on accutane.

Carl

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:dance:

Life is looking good today. It's day nine on accutane, and my skin is getting happier and happier. I'll be so sad if I get the IB now, because I'm almost clear. I have a few whiteheads along my jaw line, and one small cyst that developed a large head this morning. I must admit I was bad. I drained it using a sterilized needle then applied H202 and neosporin. After I got out of the shower I checked out the damage, and surprisingly it looks great. It's reduced in size, redness, and painfulness. I think it may actually go away. Woo hoooo.......

Last night I felt my chin, and I thought I was developing two new cysts. They were becoming red and raising up off my skin. I woke up this morning, and they are virually gone. They are no longer visible, and I can only barely feel them. This totally rocks.

As for side effects:

Lips: I started using dr. dan's cortibalm, which tastes awful, but really works wonders. My lips aren't dry, swollen, or peeling today. I'm gonna use this stuff throughout my course. it's definitely a god send

Skin: I've stopped using moisturizer, because my skin is super oily right now. I'm gonna restart when the drying begins. I'm blotting my face every hour to remove excess oil, but it keeps coming back. I'm almost clear. the red hives are finally dissipating as is the itchiness.

That's about it for me.

I got my hair cut and dyed last night, which always makes a girl feel great. I had my hair dyed to my natural color so I can leave it alone for the next 6 months.

I'm so glad it's friday.

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:D

Day 10:

so far so good. Today is the first day I've woken up without hives on my face. They were always faint and looked like a red rash, but today they are gone. Yeah...... Skin is still oily, although not quite as oily as it has been . Still no IB. Everything is clearing up and drying nicely. At this rate, my skin may be clear in a week. I'm trying not to think about it, because i'm still concerned with the dreaded IB that I have yet to experience. Maybe I'll be one of the lucky ones. Here's to wishful thinking.

Side Effects:

Nose: Pretty dry, but tolerable as long as I put unpetroleum up there

Lips: Weird feeling, but no longer dry or peeling today. Thank you dr dan's lip balm

Body: Not achy or dry or anything.

Overall, today is a good day.

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the itchy bumps went away after day 20ish, and the itchyness really settled too after day 30. I do not think that I will get an IB because my skin was actually already clear when I started because I did a test round of an antibiotic before hand and I had absolutely no stress, and plenty of sleep and water for a month before starting. hopefully, you won't get an IB either. good luck.

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Day 11 and now Day12:

Well, I think the IB may be starting. Nothing severe, but I'm noticing my face is purging some of the nastiness inside. I woke up yesterday with a few microscopic bumps. You can't see them unless you look very closely, but they look like mini-whiteheads. Also, my blackheads (ones I didn't even know existed) are popping up. My skin is still oily, and my lips still look like prunes. As least they're not chapped, just wrinkly. my red rash is back. I think it may be from my moisturizer. I hadn't moisturized in about a week, but I did yesterday so I could go outside (need the spf). Today I woke up with a small rash. I'm not going to moisturize for awhile and see what happens.

Other than that, no side effects. i feel like I'm starting to get used to this stuff. My first week sucked, but my second week is going much better.

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