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My accutane blog

I'm going on accutane soon, and I will keep a blog here, cause it will probably make me feel better.

I'd like to start by telling why I'm afraid, and hopefully everything will be ok in 6 months time. Ok, here goes:

I never wanted to do accutane, because I didn't want to suffer from any side effects. Plus, I don't really like the prospect of 6 months without alcohol. I'm not an alcoholic, but I am a student, and I do have a social life. (Although it has diminished recently because of my acne.)

I've had acne since I was 14. It kept getting increasingly worse until the point where I could sleep because of the pain of my cysts. Every time I washed my back or face, several cysts would burst open, or reopen. Somtimes I'd get cysts in diameter of 3 cm, and sometimes they would merge on my face to form a really big zit. Those hurt and bled the most.

I have used tetralysal in the past (milder antibiotic) to combat my acne. Twice with succes, and the third time without succes. I had built up an immunity to the antibiotic.

Last year, I had a 5 month period of no zits on my face. (Just on my back) and they were possibly the best months of my college years. I went out alot, and partied and made friends. This is the point when I met my current girlfriend.

That's right, I met my girlfriend almost a year ago, when I had no zits on my face, and I could cover up all of the red spots perfectly with waterbased makeup. Life was awesome. We were both in love, and couldn't get enough of eachother. She is wonderful and she is all I live for.

So months after I met my girlfriend, I started getting zits. No big deal! Just small zits. Looking back at pictures now, it was NOTHING, NOTHING compared to what my face looks like now.

I complained alot to my girlfriend about my zits. I kept telling her they made me unconfident. As a result of acne, I didn't want to go out as much, but that didn't stop HER from going out. Naturally this made me really jealous. After all, I had become alot uglier since we met, and she was going out and having fun. In my head it was just a matter of time before she found someone else.

It's crazy how your mind changes when you have severe acne.

Anyway, I finally went to my derm and she told me to get on accutane. I begged for alternatives, but she had none.

I'm starting my next semester soon. This sunday I'm going out to get drunk and party. Next week on valentines I'm taking her out. Then starting thursday, I'm going to take my very first accutane pill.

The reason I'm waiting a week is because I don't want sudden acne bursts or redness because of accutane. Also, because I realize my life will be horrible while I'm on accutane.

I just pray to god she doesn't leave me before I get a chance to be myself again, like when we first met. I'm tired of promising her that it'll be over soon (even though SHE never complains about my zits, ever).

So you see, my girlfriend is the reason I'm hesitant of taking accutane. Accutane to me means less of a social life, and I'm afraid she'll leave me in the process.

I'll see what happens. I'll post my experience every week starting from next week when I took my first few pills.

My first blood exam was ok. Everything is fine, besides a slightly elevated cholesterol level. I need to eat healthier too! No more fatty foods for me. (Even though I'm not fat. I'm 1.8m and less than 70kg. I actually could use a few extra kg :P)

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Hey man, good luck to you. I hope everything goes well for you and your girlfriend. Reading that was actually kinda moving for some reason. Life on Accutane doesn't suck for everyone, it has done for me, but most only have minor side effects and life goes on as normal. Once again, good luck mate.

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Hey, thanks for reading. Didn't think anyone would, since it's a pretty long message.

I'm not gonna post pictures as of yet, because I don't want anyone to recognize me, but I will after my 6 months. I'll take pictures today, and in 6 months time.

But here's how I would describe it: I'm actually pretty lucky today, as I only have 2 receiding cysts on both of my cheeks. They're about 2 cm in diameter each, and they kinda still stick out, but not as bad as a couple of days ago.

I do have a new active cyst on my forehead (which up until this point has actually stayed relatively clear). Other than that there are a few smaller pimples, which don't hurt like the cysts.

And lastly my red marks which cover more than half of my face. I don't mind red marks as much as cysts though. Sure they may be purple in some extreme spots, but at least they don't hurt! (Also, I can cover them partially with water based makeup).

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Oh yeah, me too. I actually put on alot of makeup, and then wipe it off with cotton makeup remover pads. So in effect, I probably wipe most of the makeup right off, however the small amount that remains on is enough to make my red spots look a bit better. And I keep wiping till you can't tell I'm wearing makeup. You can check under different angles and lighting conditions. Takes me about 5-10 minutes.

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Something positive happened today. I was talking to people from my class (I'm in college by the way), and at one point the sun started to shine right at us. (It was a cloudy day). Someone mentioned that they can't wait until it's summer and hope it'll get warmer soon, to which I replied that I hope it stays cloudy all summer long.

So they ask me why, and I tell them about accutane. So guess what?? All 3 of them took accutane at some point in their lives. One of them even took it for 2 years!

Such a relief. I feel less alone now :) We talked for about a minute about sideeffects, and now I'm more committed to doing accutane. So yay.

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Moving to the Accutane log section, i assume by the title it is going to be your log. If you intended for it to be a general topic about Accutane and plan to make a separate log, PM me and i'll move it to the Accutane discussion area.

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Day 1:

I didn't realize the side effects would kick in so soon. My lips are definitly drying out. Other than that, my moisturizer can handle the extra dryness of my face so far. I was extremely nervous taking that first pill. There's no going back now. I'll see what happens in a week.

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Day 3:

I woke up with a couple of whiteheads this morning. The first I've had in a long time. My cysts are all going down, but it's probably not because of the accutane. (They were already going down before I started taking).

My moisturizer can still handle the dryness, and I apply this lip moisturizer 10 times per day. Apart from that, my throat feels a bit dry from time to time, but I'm not sure if that's related.

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Day 4

I slept 10 hours as a "beautysleep". It didn't help as much as it usually does. I woke up with tons of tiny whiteheads, mainly on my chin. They're not so bad, since it's just my chin, but I really really hope I don't get the same on my cheecks! I'd hate to have whiteheads on top of my huge red spots...

Also, my face is terribly itchy!! My back is slightly itchy. My back doesn't seem to get an initial breakout yet. I hope these whiteheads on my face are the initial breakout, cause I don't want cysts during my initial breakout :(

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I just shaved, and wanted to share with all you what I currently look like:

post-17965-1171798494_thumb.jpg

post-17965-1171798502_thumb.jpg

As you can see, I'm pretty lucky right now. I have no cysts on my face, so it feels relatively smooth. My red marks are a problem however.

I'm starting to regret taking accutane. After all, right now all I have is red marks. What if I just reached a point in my life where I wouldn't get another cyst ever? Then the accutane would just slow down the red spot healing process... Oh well, I guess I can't take chances, right?

post-17965-1171798494_thumb.jpg

post-17965-1171798502_thumb.jpg

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Day 5

ARGH!!! I woke up with even more whiteheads on my chin, and it's working it's way up. My chin feels like sandpaper now! Also, my face has a very unpleasant and stretched feel to it. Also, my entire face and back is itchy!! I refrain from scratching it, but it's annoying...

So far accutane has not done any good for me...

EDIT: Oh yeah I forgot to mention. One of the cysts on my forehead that was supposed to be almost gone, has now come back, and has started hurting again :(:(

Later that day: Well, moisturizer is starting to burn, is this normal???

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Well my derm said in some extreme cases, you can have your face go worse and worse and worse for 4 months straight. Let's hope I'm not an extreme case.

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Day 6

Last night I had my first nosebleed in the middle of the night. It woke me up.It stopped bleeding after about a minute. I hope this doesn't happen too frequently... How come some people can take accutane for 6 months and only experience dry lips as a sideeffect?? At this rate all of my hair will fall out in a week...

I woke up today with even more whiteheads on my face. These are bigger and harder than before.

Oh yeah, does anyone know if I can take zinc supplements with my accutane? I know zinc helps my skin heal faster, and I could really use that right now.

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Good. And is there any specific time that it's best to take them? Is it ok to take them right after I take my accutane pill for instance? I don't want it to cancel the effect or anything.

Anyway: Day 6 continued: I feel like crap. I'm FAR worse off than I started. I can no longer cover up my face with makeup. The newly formed whiteheads are HARD and skin PEELS right off around them. This not only hurts and limits my facial mobility, it makes me look like I have fungus on my face. Like it wasn't bad enough I had cysts. The less different colors I have on my skin, the better. Obviously this makes me feel like crap mentally.

In a few hours I have mandatory social interaction. Don't feel like it. Wish I could fall asleep and wake up in 6 months, with perfect skin.

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Good. And is there any specific time that it's best to take them? Is it ok to take them right after I take my accutane pill for instance? I don't want it to cancel the effect or anything.

Anyway: Day 6 continued: I feel like crap. I'm FAR worse off than I started. I can no longer cover up my face with makeup. The newly formed whiteheads are HARD and skin PEELS right off around them. This not only hurts and limits my facial mobility, it makes me look like I have fungus on my face. Like it wasn't bad enough I had cysts. The less different colors I have on my skin, the better. Obviously this makes me feel like crap mentally.

In a few hours I have mandatory social interaction. Don't feel like it. Wish I could fall asleep and wake up in 6 months, with perfect skin.

Hey no-namer,

I think you should sit back and relax a bit and realize that this time will fly by. In six months when you have a whole new face you will inevitably look back and realize that you worried all too much and almost gave yourself an ulcer. I have acne as well, and am also on accutane, but when I popped my first pill it was quite relieving. I understand this is a hard time, because I am going through it as well, but in the end you will be better off if you just let the medication do it's job and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. If someone is going to think you have a fucked up face, then you're better off without them because they are the fucked up ones. And about your girlfriend, trust me..my ex-boyfriend had pretty bad skin until he went through this whole accutane thing not once, but twice, and I loved him more than anyone in the world. Our breakup had nothing to do with the fact that he had bad skin, or the fact that I have moderately bad skin. People who love you don't look at those things, and if they do then like I said before, they fall into that whole fucked-up-people category. Just stop worrying about what others think about you, because in the end, you only have one thing; yourself. Everyone and everything else is just a good or bad add-on in your life.

Moving on, what type of facial lotion do you use?

~M

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It's not like I've had remarks about my facial condition or anything. In fact, people treat me pretty much the same as they did before I had acne. But it doesn't mean I'm comfortable in my own skin.

As for what stuff I use, I'm european, so I probably use stuff that you haven't heard of. But if you really must know :P :

I use La Voche-Posay Effaclar, a soapfree cleanser. Then I apply papustil gel (against my redness I think my derm told me. It's some kind of hydro-alcohol in any case). Then I apply La Voche-Posay Effaclar K, which a great moisturizer if you have acne. And after that I apply this makeup-like stuff that contains trace amounts of SA, and is fully water based.

As for my girlfriend, she's been going out alot without wanting me to go with her. Not because of my face, I'm sure of that, but because she wants more freedom. Truth be told, she has dreamed of a bachelor life in college ever since she was little. She hasn't ever really been single. She has told me a couple of times that she finds it a shame she met me now, and not the last year of her college year. We talked about marriage and kids and stuff before, and really, we'd have a great life together. But for now she wants to experience the freedom of being single, without losing me. (Or at least I hope)

Obviously I'm not happy with this, but my feeling is that the best thing I can do is give her that freedom and hope for the best. But you have to understand, she means everything to me. I don't want to be without her, I wouldn't know what to do. She IS perfect for me, and I'm hoping this freedom thing is temporary.

Day 7

Even more whiteheads, even more dryness. Had another nosebleed today. I could swear my beard isn't growing as fast as it did before. This might be good, seeing as how shaving would be a real problem.

So I look worse than I did yesterday. I hope this is my initial breakout. The cyst on my forehead is still painful and growing. My back is doing a little better though. Feels a bit smoother, though looks a bit redder.

Oh, and I'm definitly having moodswings. At one point I can get angry real fast, at other points I'm bursting out into laughter with my friends. I don't know if this is related.

On a side note, I have discovered a new sideeffect: Time seems four times as slow while on accutane. I guess counting down days isn't healthy...

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I felt like pouring my heart out again.

Day 7 (Evening)

My face hurts like hell. I'm having an initial breakout. I've got a huge cyst on my forehead, and and one next to my mouth (Same place I had a cyst a few weeks ago. So now I guess it's revived or something.). Other than that I have a few nodules around my mouth. At this point I don't know what hurts more, the newly formed acne, or the extreme flaking of my skin.

I can't believe it's only day 7. It feels like I've done a month...

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Quick question:

Would I benefit from an oily moisturizer? I remember my pharmacist told me (when I was off accutane) I need a non-comedogenic moisturizer, so it wouldn't clog my pores and cause zits. But she also told me these type of moisturizers weren't as effective as the really oily ones.

So I'm wondering, since I'm on accutane anyway, wouldn't it be better to get the pore-clogging moisturizer that is more effective?

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Hey you, I think you should invest in a new moisturizer. It's only day 7 for you, and although people are already dry/start to become dry, yours seems like an extreme case. Your skin is already burning! Try using cetaphil moisturizer. I'm not sure if they have it over there in Belgium (I think that's where you're from), but you should look around. If they don't, then you should order over the internet. It really does work. As far as the oil moisturizers, my assumption would be to not use one. If they clog your pores in the first place, why take the chance when you're moving forward to clear skin. I would think it would slow down the healing process from the accutane by clogging your pores more so than they need to be. Like I said, try the cetaphil.

<3

~M

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I'll look into it. Cetaphil is an american product, but I should be able to find some kind of european equivalent. I think I'll give my derm a ring.

Day 8

My initial breakout continues. My face burns. I can't open my mouth all the way without the corners of my mouth ripping open. Still hurts.

HOWEVER, I noticed today a large portion of the blackheads on my nose dissapeared! Wow! Ofcourse, they were nothing compared to the large cysts I'm having right now, but it's a sign of improvement.

Also, accutane seems to revive old zits for me :S My initial break out litterally is just red spots turning back into acne. Weird...

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Day 9

Today I woke up with a new cyst, and new whiteheads. My face dried out alot tonight. About to take a shower.

I got a new moisturizer. Maybe it's better. I'll test it out today.

Also, maybe I should only wash my face once a day to reduce the drying out a little?

In any case, I look even worse than yesterday. So far, accutane for me has been one steady slope downwards. I just wish I knew when I hit the bottom, and can start working my way up toward improvement. All these new cysts will obviously leave new red marks, so that's not good...

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I've already talked to my girlfriend about my acne. Lots of times. I don't want to keep repeating myself. Bottom line is that a few months ago my acne was FAR FAR worse than I just showed in these pictures. These pictures are the resulting red marks of months of having cysts and nodules.

She knows I take roaccutane, and she told me she would do the same thing in my situation. I also know that she wouldn't leave me simply because I have acne.

But the situation is not that simple. Like I said, I'm not really myself when I have acne. Last year she fell in love with ME, and I've changed alot since then. Not just my appearance, but also my confidence. I don't want her to leave me because of someone who I'm not.

And don't talk about my girlfriend like she's a horrible person or something, cause really, she isn't.

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