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rayodeluz's accutane journey

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Hi all,

I'm a 21 yr old student, and home for the summer, which is the best time to do Accutane, cuz I certainly wouldn't want to deal with it and classes at the same time. Unfortunately, I don't go to school close enough to home to have been able to set up iPledge earlier. So I got it set up when I got home, and I'm starting in 25 days. Boys, be happy you don't have the ability to carry a baby, because iPledge sucks.

The only other problem is that I'm going abroad in August, but my derm is going to prescribe me extra pills, so I can keep them and have it add up to one full extra month while I'm gone, assuming everything is going ok. So I'll only be taking it for 4 months, but my acne isn't cystic and severe. It's mild/moderate, with severe hyperpigmentation, so hopefully 4 months will be enough to kick its butt. And I have to get pregnancy tests while I'm gone, so it can meet the iPledge requirements, so I'm going to get bloodtests done as well.

I plan on using Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and the Moisturizing Cream. And I'm going to try the Olay Regenerist SPF lotion that I have, but if it's too harsh, I'll try the Olay Complete SPF. Any other suggestions for SPF lotions?

Well, there's not much else to say, I guess I'll update in a very long 3 weeks! Good luck to all of you who are dealing with this ish!

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Not much of a tane update cuz I still have 12 days til I start :(, but a life update I guess, having to do with acne.

First, I've been browsing the cosmetics&style forum here, and it recently got me into trying mineral makeup. In my quest I've ordered samples from EverydayMinerals and SignatureMinerals and have some coming from AubreyNicole and MeowCosmetics. I'm hesitating to throw away all my other crappy liquid/greasy/gross makeup, but I guess if I'm going to be going on tane and have dealt with this ish for so long, I want my skin to be as healthy as possible.

Second, my parents are retarded. My dad works away all week and we never really interact so he has no idea of the issues I have with my skin. No idea of the creams, lotions, gels, BCP's, BP, antibiotics, makeup, etc. So I guess my mom told him all the crap with iPledge and how she's worried about side effects and stuff, because he came into my room yesterday and said, "Hey, you should try Proactive because my friend's teenagers use it and it works for them!" I just stared at him and told him to get out of my room.

Then my mom, who's seen all my dealings with acne told me tonight that my face looks much better with all the makeup I'm wearing, and am I sure I still want to go on Accutane. OMFG! I said yeah well the f-ing point is to not have to wear all the makeup, so of course I still want to go on it! Ugh. OK, end rant.

Third, I've decided I want to try aloe vera gel for my hyperpigmentation. If anyone knows, I have some questions about it: Is it OK to use it while on Accutane? And would it be used before or after a moisturizer? And does it get absorbed into your skin enough so I can wear makeup over it?

I plan on taking "before" pics soon, so watch for them.

Thanks if anyone knows the answers about aloe vera

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Hi, just want to say that I dealt with the same thing with my mom. She was freaked about the side effects and at first refused to discuss it. Then she said didn't I want to try a few other things before accutane ( I've already been on at least 15 prescriptions) to see if it would get better? I told her point blank that I wanted to take care of it once and for all and not keep on with the wait and see method. I sat down with her and told her all my reasons for wanting to do it and reassured her about the blood tests etc... She still asked me a few times if I was SURE I wanted to do it, but now that I'm on it and not a mess she seemes ok with it. As for your dad.... I just want to slap people who ask me if I tried proactive. Hopefully your parents chill out. Good luck and please post about how the make-up works out, I'm always looking for new stuff.

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This is a picture from September 2005. As you can see, I don't have really bad actives, but the hyperpigmentation is horrendous. Right now it's not that bad, but the pigmentation is always black like that at first until it finally fades.


These pics are me a couple months ago with a ton of makeup on...hopefully soon I'll look like this without makeup!



laindenver - my parents were worried about the tane but they know I'm determined to go on it, so no worries. Thanks for telling your experience though :). Your log sounds like you're doing well with your course. Good luck!

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Oh yeah I also got my other samples of SignatureMinerals today. One of the shades is basically perfect for me, but unfortunately the coverage isn't that good. It doesn't hide all of my hyperpigmentation :(. Other people on the cosmetics&stlye forum have said the same thing about SM, that while the colors are good, the coverage is too light. Hopefully the other brands will be better, and if the colors don't work I guess I'll just stick with SM because hopefully soon I won't need as much coverage anyway.

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Back again. I've been in a bad mood lately, not posting cuz of it, just working a ton, drinking/partying enough to make up for 4 months without (hardly any) alcohol, missing DC, and waiting for the summer to be over so I can go back to Chile. But now that it's THREE days til tane I'm feeling better :dance:

About a week ago I started using a mix of jojoba oil and aloe vera gel for a moisturizer because it's natural and the two bottles will last forever and will hopefully fade my marks...and now my skin seems like it's clearing up! :| I haven't used my Taz since starting the jojoba/AV mix. But I'm still determined to go on tane because my skin sometimes randomly clears like this and I think things are getting better, and then I have a ton of pimples a couple weeks later and it sucks. So now I have to find something to do with my Cetaphil moisturizer that I bought; ugh I have so many creams and lotions that I buy, and then other people like to give that stuff as gifts too...No more!

I've been using my Cetaphil gentle cleanser mixed with some baking soda for a really gentle scrub, but I'll prob stop with tane, judging on how sensitive and thin my skin gets. Maybe like once every two weeks or something, is what I've heard is OK. I also bought Aveeno Ultra-Calming foaming cleanser, because it takes off makeup way better than the Cetaphil. Makeup-wise, I got the rest of my mineral samples, but Signature Minerals is still the only one I've found so far that has a good color match for me. After I spent some time really figuring out how to apply it right, I decided that the coverage is OK, and will hopefully be just fine in a few months. So I'm going to stick with it. I'd rather have a little less coverage with a good color match than more coverage with a color that makes my face look really off (more than it already does). Laindenver, thanks for the optimism, I'll stop by your log later. I'm off to watch The Illusionist with my mom. :wub: Edward Norton.

And 'tash, thanks for the good luck! Good luck with the Cetaphil/AV reg...although I've heard FOTE isn't as good as people think it is, check the AV posts in the scar forums, it has a couple bad ingredients or something.

I guess that's all for now...my derm is (supposedly) set to enter my info/BC stuff in iPledge, the pharmacy (supposedly) has tane in stock, so (hopefully) I'll be on tane starting Friday! More updates soon.

Also, if anyone knows a good AV gel without vitamin A, could you let me know, cuz the current one I'm using (Lily of the Desert) has added vitamin A, which I know will be a no-no on tane. Thanks

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I definitely jinxed myself by saying my skin was clearing up. Now I can feel a couple of mofos coming on. Blah. Oh well, tane will get them eventually!

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Just posted the following in the accutane posts, if anyone has any advice it'd be great thanks :)

So I'm starting tane in 2 days :) and my iPledge birth control methods are the pill and condoms. However, I've been on the pill for 7 years and really want to stop taking it. It's worked great for me and never made me more emotional or moody than normal like what happened to some of my friends, but I just want to get off the hormones.

But since I started it so young, I don't even really know if it had that much of an effect on my acne. If it had a good effect, I'm hesitant to go off it, but since I'm going on tane, maybe it'll be OK...what do you guys think? And if I did go off it, would it be better to do it while on tane (so if my skin were to go crazy, at least the tane would be there to help) , or after I finish my course?

And for those of you who might ask , I would probably replace the first number one method or whatever it's called for iPledge with a copper IUD (no hormones).

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So...tane tomorrow!

I tried to go on the iPledge website and answer the stupid questions and since the questions add other questions when you answer the right one, the list gets longer and the "submit" button disappears and I couldn't submit the answers...so I had to call and listen to that retarded voice and answer the questions there and it took forever. *Insert many swear words and rants about iPledge here* :wall::mad::angry:

When I'm abroad, what if I happened not to get the ending pregnancy tests? Can they arrest me or something? Cuz honestly, this ish is sooo dumb and completely unnecessary. If they want to monitor us taking tane, they should be doing a big brother on basically all women to make sure they don't drink/smoke/do other retarded things while pregnant.

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Hey there =) Good luck with starting tomorrow! Yeah, I have noooo idea what happens if you dont do the pregnancy tests and such..Honestly I think iPledge is just a waste of time and money..If you are serious about clearing your skin up, I think you will take all the precautions you can about not getting pregnant..You dont need someone breathing down your neck about it!! Just thought Id drop in and say good luck though! Keep in touch =)

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Hey Kiwi thanks for the good luck. I'm just logging in really fast to post this note, I'll write more later and stop by your log.

So I had thought my derm was gonna put me on 40mg one day, 20 the next, which would basically be 30mg a day, which is lower than 1mg/kg a day (I weigh 39kg). So I thought that was fine cuz I don't have severe acne and figured it'd be enough. Turns out she meant it to be 40mg one day, 80 the next, for an average of 60mg a day. I'll be on it for four months. Since I can't get a fifth month in, maybe she thinks a little higher dose will be just as well. It comes to 1.5mg/kg. I read that between 0.8mg-1.8mg/kg is normal. So I guess it'll be OK...right? I just don't want really bad side effects. I guess if I do get bad ones, she'll lower the dose. Anyone else do 1.5mg/kg and be fine?

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Hey good luck with your treatment.. Im hoping to start my 2nd course this weekend (fingers crossed).. You look really pretty, I hope your acne clears up.. Oh and a personal question. Is birth control enough of umm a prevention of pregnancy? I have been on diane 35 for about 7 years, and I wondered if I should be using an additional prevention. Did your dermo give info regarding that? My dermo said the pill is good enough, but Im still scared since I read bout the horrible birth defects that can occur.

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Day 1 - nothing, obviously. I had little patches of raised bumps near my temples, they weren't quite pimples, but not really whiteheads either.

Day 2 - nothing. I had a couple actual pimples and I just couldn't resist putting Taz on them. I figured, the second day, it won't kill me.

Day 3 - felt kinda funny. The pimples got smaller, but my face got more sensitive overall, so I'm done experimenting with Taz for this course.

Day 4 - my lips started getting drier, aquaphor is great and the non-whitehead, non-pimple things have gone away :)

Day 5 - today. I'm sure it'll just be my lips getting dry again, and my contacts have been a little drier too. I'm supposed to go to a lake today, so I'm def gonna put sunscreen all over.

I had an appt. yesterday with an OB-GYN to talk about non-hormonal contraception, and we made an appt. for July 16 for me to get a copper IUD :) Now I just have to check with my derm to make sure she thinks it'll be OK, and I'm set.

I'm also going to ask her about the dosage, if it'd be better to take 40mg for 4.5 months instead of 60mg for 4 months (if I lower the dosage, I'll be able to fit 4.5 months exactly).

The bad thing about copper IUD's though, he said my periods will be heavier and crampier :( But I've never had cramps before, ever, so maybe my "crampier"-ness will be like normal cramps. And the heavier flows will suck after really light ones on the pill, but oh well. I just want to get off the hormones already.

I'm not entirely sure what to eat but I've been making sure to eat a litttle extra fatty foods when I take it. Which kinda blows, having to eat more fat, but I figure since I'm not drinking (which also really sucks), maybe the calorie-intake will end up balancing out.

That's about it I guess. I will take a picture later today before anything major happens so it can be my before pic.

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Leily - If you live in the U.S., for iPledge you're supposed to be using two forms of birth control. A primary form, which is the pill, and a secondary form, which can be condoms and spermicide. There are others if you check the list.

If you don't live in the U.S., well lucky you for not having to deal with iPledge. If you're only using the pill and no condoms, just make sure you take it on time every day and if you're taking St. Johns Wort or antibiotics, use a condom too. Althougth, while on tane, I'd use both just to be safe.

Good luck! Do you have a log too?

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Day 7 - My face is getting really dry and sensitive and my lips are even drier than before. I really need to start drinking more water. I'm breaking out a tiny bit, a few small pimples on my forehead, but nothing major. But the other day I wore sunscreen and went swimming, but hadn't put waterproof sunscreen on my face cuz it was just some crappy all-body brand and not a nice one for my face. So I got a little sunburned, but only on my nose. It doesn't even hurt, it's just peeling alot. I've never had a sunburn before...should I just treat it like regular dry skin? I can't really exfoliate anymore, which sucks cuz my skin is flaking. It makes even the Cetaphil gentle cleanser sting if I do. Oh well. Small price for good skin. I just got my first mineral makeup kit in the mail today :), so tomorrow I will definitely finally take pics, with and without it.

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Yeah, just slap on some moisturizer on your burnt skin, or even some aloe. A moisturizer with spf is soooo clutch when on accutane, especially the summer. I prefer ones with zinc oxide or titanium oxide as the the spf ingredient. They physically block the suns rays, plus I know zinc oxide is good for irritated skin and promotes skin healing as well. All important things when on accutane.

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Today is day 9.

I've been too lazy/busy to get pics, but will def have some up by Wed. cuz I'm going on vacation with my friend.

Last night I got a bad headache and I don't know if it was from the tane or not, but I NEVER get headaches, so I'm assuming it was from the tane. So of course my mom started getting all worried again. Blah. It was gone this morning. Today I'm supposed to take two 40mg pills, but I might just take one. And I want to talk to my derm about sticking to a 40mg dose, it seems to work just fine for other people that also don't have severe acne, and who also weigh much more than me. Other than the headache, my face is OK. Minimal breakouts, no IB yet.

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Hi Ray

I started 3 days ago and having a constant headache so Im thinking of leaving accutane.. Im scared at what it's doing.. Did you have any headaches so early?

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Glad to hear you're doing well. I wouldn't worry to much about one headache though your dose does seem kind of high to me but from what I've heard some derms really like high doses and some don't- go figure? As long as you're feeling okay right? Hopefully the dreaded IB doesn't come. Have a fun week.

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Day 14

I just got back from Boston and I just took some pics today, finally, so here goes:

Taken 12 July, I just got home from work so my hair's a mess, but no makeup and natural light. I can't be bothered to put a black bar across my face, who the hell cares, we all look(ed) like shit at some point and it's an ACNE site lol.







This one is from a month ago:


But here's me two days ago with my new mineral makeup. I love it, whoever wants great makeup should consider it!



So basically, I still have dark marks that are slooowly fading (they're worse in real life than in the pics), and I haven't gotten that many breakouts. Still no IB yet. Still reducing my dose to 40mg a day (I still have to talk to my derm about it though) I haven't had any more headaches. My lips are insanely dry now and the skin just peels off. Which is good for my marks I guess, I hope the same happens to my face. My night vision is definitely worse. On Tuesday I had one drink, because I was on vacation with a friend and one drink won't kill me right?

Oh I also bought the kind of aloe vera gel that people drink because it's much more pure than the kind for skin and had no vitamin A. It was still by LotD though. It's thinner, but still works I think. Plus it's much cheaper (huge bottle for price of about two regular AV gels).

That's about it I think, not much else to say...My IUD appt. is on Monday but I still haven't talked to my derm, damn she's hard to get ahold of! Hopefully I'll talk to her later today.

Good luck to everyone!

Oh, I forgot to add:

My scalp is sooo itchy! I bought Head and Shoulders, but doesn Neutrogena TGel work better? Will the tar make it worse?

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Day 18

So I finally talked to my derm on Friday and she OK'd the IUD, which I just got done with. It hurt like a mofo when he was putting it in. I've never had cramps in my life. Now I know other people's misery. I'm kinda crampy now, not that bad, but hopefully it'll get better as time goes on.

My skin is doing well, I have only a few really small pimples that are more like just bumps and aren't inflamed and some little tiny white bumps that are smaller than little whiteheads, just clogged pores I guess that haven't turned into anything. I think I've finally learned my lesson about picking, because my cheeks were nice and smoothing out and the discolorations were fading until I picked two little pimples, which turned into big marks, which looks worse on clearer skin because they stand out even more. Ugh.

My derm also told me to bring my dose up to what it normally was (40mg, then 80) and drink a lot of water. If I keep getting headaches, I can lower it. I've drank a TON of water in the last few days, and I haven't had any more bad headaches, which is good, but I have to pee all the time. Hopefully my bladder will get used to it soon. But I still want to question her about the dose, wouldn't it be better to do a lower dose for longer time than a higher dose for shorter time? I'll see her on Wednesday so I can ask her then. Also, I get some minor aches and pains sometimes, which is normal, but I only get them on my right side...?! Am I going to have a stroke or something??

So to conclude, my skin is clearing amazingly, no IB yet, side effects are dry skin, lips, and eyes, mild headaches and pains on right side. I hope going off the pill will be countered by the tane well enough :unsure:

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Hey there! Good to hear youre clearing up so well already! Ive been trying to drink a lot of water as well, but really I just cant..Its like if you drink too much you feel sick! Good luck with the rest of your course =) Keep in touch dear

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Day 25

Long time, no write. Lots of shit going on and of course I had to devour the new HP book...I knew it would end happily! (well, mostly).

That little bump I wrote about absolutely erupted the next day, and since I'm a dumbass, I couldn't resist picking it, so now it looks sooo bad...

But, more excitement, my face is exploding even more, in a good way. I have white clogged pores on my chin. I've always had them and could see them when I stuck out my chin, but I could never get them to go away. Now they're just coming out by themselves, although I did pull a few out, and they're hard too, it's weird. It's happening on my nose as well, exploding with blackheads I never even knew I had...which is good cuz they're coming out. Hopefully they'll stay gone from now on!

My lips are just peeling everywhere now, and I've been drinking as much water as possible. My skin is healing kinda funny now, scabs in general are flatter which is better, but the healing process is taking more time, I assume cuz my skin is more fragile.

I bought some tea tree oil to try, after I wash my face and put on aloe vera gel (I finally found the Fruit of the Earth brand) I put a tiny amount on a cotton ball and swipe it over my T-zone. Then I put on jojoba oil. And SPF if I'm going out. But since I'm usually going to work which is inside, sometimes I don't bother cuz I'm in the sun for about 30 seconds while I walk inside. The tea tree oil hasn't really made that much of a difference that I've seen, but it hasn't hurt either by burning my face or something, which I've heard can happen. It just makes me feel cleaner and I've heard it can help with exfoliation.

Since I can't use AHA's or retinoids or anything right now, my derm prescribed hydroquinone cream. But I've heard it can cause cancer...is this true?? Also, if exfoliants are best because it renews the skin layer, isn't hydroquinone just sort of hiding the marks (by lightening), until it renews? And by the time it actually lightens, won't the skin have renewed already?? I'm not sure if it's worth it or not. Any advice?

Hope you're all well

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