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maebytonight

A Girl's Journey with Accutane (with pictures)

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Hello all,

Like most of you, I share the horror that is acne. I'm 22. I've had mild acne throughout my teen years and within the past couple of years, it has developed into some pretty harsh stuff. My skin also scars very easily, so it looks ridiculous. I have tried topicals / antibiotics with no success and my dermatologist has finally put me on Accutane.

I will try to keep this updated but as you all know, it is a long journey. I have just started so hopefully through progress this will give other potential Accutane patients a glimmer of hope.

==================================

Day 1: Taken at dinnertime, as instructed, around 8 pm.

Day 2: No noticeable side-effects except for a bit of chapped lips.

Day 3: Woke up with some sore joints and felt thirsty. Dry lips were aided with constant application of lip balm and my scalp began itching a little bit. Tomorrow maybe I will get some Head and Shoulders or something. My acne has also not improved (I didn't expect it to) and I have also switched my makeup to Jane Iredale - Amazing Base.

Day 4: Lips are beginning to feel more dry -- no cracking yet, but I can definitely feel the difference when there is nothing on my lips. Right now I am using CO Bigelow's SPF 15 Mentha Lip Balm Stick from Bath & Body Works. It's ok. I'm also kind of really disgusted because I just took some pictures of my face (I guess I was supposed to take them from day 1, but day 4 is close enough) and I am so gross! The majority of it is a bit deceiving because I have a LOT of red marks on my face. Overall, while I'm wearing makeup, my skin is quite even and is fairly smooth but I just got out of the shower so my face is also very red from the steam.

I'm also currently using Clean & Clear Benzoyl Peroxide 10% gel all over my face after I put on Cetaphil. I was advised to stop using all products altogether except for gentle face wash and moisturizer, but so far my skin is still very oily during the day and I am hoping the BP will keep the initial breakout at bay. I would say I have been experiencing the "initial breakout" since day 1, but who knows, maybe I just have bad skin.

I have also heard good things about Eucerin's Aquaphor, but I can't seem to find it in any other size than a large almost 1-lb tub. I think eventually I will have to settle for it if that's all I can find. It's supposed to be very good for the lips and it's what I need. I am also noticing my eyes are definitely drying out. I haven't had to break out the eye drops yet but I find myself having to blink my contacts back into place during the day.

Day 7: Had a nose bleed again when I woke up this morning -- it seems to happen when I wash my face right after I wake up. I assume it's because my sinuses are beginning to dry up. My face is also breaking out in disgusting amounts and the oil doesn't seem to be going anywhere ....

=======================

That's been the first week so far. The pictures I have attached are painful to look at but I know I'll be thanking myself later when I look back after my six-month course. These were taken on Day 4 after a shower and as I mentioned, there are a lot of red marks. The left side of my face is also much more broken out than my right side.

Looking forward to talking with you guys soon ...

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try to use qv lip balm have spf 20 too .it works for me..have extremely dry lips ;)

Hello all,

Like most of you, I share the horror that is acne. I'm 22. I've had mild acne throughout my teen years and within the past couple of years, it has developed into some pretty harsh stuff. My skin also scars very easily, so it looks ridiculous. I have tried topicals / antibiotics with no success and my dermatologist has finally put me on Accutane.

I will try to keep this updated but as you all know, it is a long journey. I have just started so hopefully through progress this will give other potential Accutane patients a glimmer of hope.

==================================

Day 1: Taken at dinnertime, as instructed, around 8 pm.

Day 2: No noticeable side-effects except for a bit of chapped lips.

Day 3: Woke up with some sore joints and felt thirsty. Dry lips were aided with constant application of lip balm and my scalp began itching a little bit. Tomorrow maybe I will get some Head and Shoulders or something. My acne has also not improved (I didn't expect it to) and I have also switched my makeup to Jane Iredale - Amazing Base.

Day 4: Lips are beginning to feel more dry -- no cracking yet, but I can definitely feel the difference when there is nothing on my lips. Right now I am using CO Bigelow's SPF 15 Mentha Lip Balm Stick from Bath & Body Works. It's ok. I'm also kind of really disgusted because I just took some pictures of my face (I guess I was supposed to take them from day 1, but day 4 is close enough) and I am so gross! The majority of it is a bit deceiving because I have a LOT of red marks on my face. Overall, while I'm wearing makeup, my skin is quite even and is fairly smooth but I just got out of the shower so my face is also very red from the steam.

I'm also currently using Clean & Clear Benzoyl Peroxide 10% gel all over my face after I put on Cetaphil. I was advised to stop using all products altogether except for gentle face wash and moisturizer, but so far my skin is still very oily during the day and I am hoping the BP will keep the initial breakout at bay. I would say I have been experiencing the "initial breakout" since day 1, but who knows, maybe I just have bad skin.

I have also heard good things about Eucerin's Aquaphor, but I can't seem to find it in any other size than a large almost 1-lb tub. I think eventually I will have to settle for it if that's all I can find. It's supposed to be very good for the lips and it's what I need. I am also noticing my eyes are definitely drying out. I haven't had to break out the eye drops yet but I find myself having to blink my contacts back into place during the day.

Day 7: Had a nose bleed again when I woke up this morning -- it seems to happen when I wash my face right after I wake up. I assume it's because my sinuses are beginning to dry up. My face is also breaking out in disgusting amounts and the oil doesn't seem to be going anywhere ....

=======================

That's been the first week so far. The pictures I have attached are painful to look at but I know I'll be thanking myself later when I look back after my six-month course. These were taken on Day 4 after a shower and as I mentioned, there are a lot of red marks. The left side of my face is also much more broken out than my right side.

Looking forward to talking with you guys soon ...

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U seem to me that u wont get any scars after the treatment...U are very lucky on that!

I am on day 6 of accutane and i haven't felt any side effects like break outs or dry skin/lips...i am just normal with 25mg per day.

Stay cool and never look back.

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Day 8

Thanks for all the support! It's nice to share this with other people considering all of my friends and family have gorgeous and perfect skin. I am convinced that my boyfriend was genetically engineered without pores.

Anyways day 8 here. No new noticeable breakouts and my skin is still pretty oily. My nose has begun flaking a little bit (but it just looks like I have been blowing my nose alot, which I haven't). Otherwise, nothing really significant to report. My lips are also less dry than before thanks to Aquaphor.

Just as a word of advice, I couldn't find Aquaphor in a tube here -- only a tub. So, I got the pharmacist to scoop out some and put it into a smaller cream prescription container (they use Aquaphor as a base for other compounds) and they just charged me according to the percentage of how much the giant tub would have cost. It's a great size and convenient for me to carry around!

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lol...is your boyfriend being supportive? mine has like perfect skin too...i feel so ashamed for him to see me without makeup...i feel ugly...i want my model skin back..whats your history with acne?

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Hey! Your acne looks exactly like mine except my redmarks are a bit more worse. My redmarks take some years to heal too. I'll be starting Accutane this coming Monday, and I'm so excited! My boyfriend did a course of accutane last year so he's told me what I should be expecting. He's never seen me without my makeup on, and I don't think I would ever take it off until I see a vast improvement in my skin. lol The only thing I'm worried about is how I won't be able to do anything for my redmarks since your skin is fragile and you can't use things even after the course is over for awhile. And while on accutane, the healing process is extremely slow. :( Anyway, I'll be checking up on your posts, thanks for posting!

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Hey! Your acne looks exactly like mine except my redmarks are a bit more worse. My redmarks take some years to heal too. I'll be starting Accutane this coming Monday, and I'm so excited! My boyfriend did a course of accutane last year so he's told me what I should be expecting. He's never seen me without my makeup on, and I don't think I would ever take it off until I see a vast improvement in my skin. lol The only thing I'm worried about is how I won't be able to do anything for my redmarks since your skin is fragile and you can't use things even after the course is over for awhile. And while on accutane, the healing process is extremely slow. :( Anyway, I'll be checking up on your posts, thanks for posting!

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Your skin actually looks very similar to mine maybe a month ago. I'm curious to see if yours reacts along the same lines as mine did when I started Accutane.

Anyway, hang in there!

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Good luck with the tane....I hope it works out for you...keep your chin up and try and stay positive......

Hugs from Australia, Trent

www.heartbeatland.freehomepage.com

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Good luck, your acne seems to be exactly what I have so I am eager to see your improvement.

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Happy Friday, all!

And thanks for the supportive comments, brentkid, tadah, and bob12! Good to know my acne looks like other peoples' and that I'm not the only one. Scarring easily is terrible as well.

Day 11

So the dryness has begun! It's actually not as bad as I thought it would be (or ... maybe I'm not where I should be yet, heh). I went to the dentist yesterday, which was a bit disheartening because of the harsh lighting in my dentist's office! Cheap, industrial flourescent as well as the high-powered "beam" lights that the hygienists use to do all the scaling and polishing really highlighted the acne/scarring (despite wearing makeup -- I'm convinced the beam light doubles as x-ray vision) along with the flaky skin. The hygienist had asked me if I was on any new medication and I sheepishly said Accutane even though they didn't even know/care that I was on it, haha. It just made me feel kind of better to justify it in the harsh lighting (stupid, I know).

Anyway, about the dry skin. I find it affects the skin between my eyebrows and my hairline over my temple as well as my jawline / around my mouth. I can't really exfoliate the dry skin off so I just have to leave it alone. I'm also finding these zits are immensely painful. I don't know if this is the "initial breakout" portion (it sure feels like it) but they appear out of nowhere, turn into these gross whiteheads, and they hurt a lot! I think it just has to do with my increased skin sensitivity.

I have been washing with Cetaphil cleanser, which is extremely gentle, and I am beginning to feel a bit of stinging when I wash my face with it. It also stings when I put on my moisturizer, which is also quite gentle (Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream). Bah ... I'm hibernating all weekend to finish a project so we'll see how we fare ...

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I wish you all the luck with your continuing journey! :D And that you come out shining like we all deserve to. Just keep your chin up and keep thinking positive thoughts, it makes it all the more sweet when you finally get clear. ;)

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Initial Breakout?

... or just bad skin.

Well, so, I don't know if I've hit this fabled "initial breakout" (IB) period but whatever it is, this is more 'bulbous' acne than I ever got before. It's "worst hit" right below the right side of my lip. Grossness. And, like I said in my last post, they're PAINFUL!

My pictures don't really show the dryness/flakiness of my skin... I just got out of the shower, covered my face in Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, and my face is still really tight. The 'shine' isn't oil, it's just the flash bouncing off my really tight skin :/ I've been told it gets better before it gets worse, but it's also pretty disheartening seeing other peoples' posts where its like "day 10! all clear!" LOL.

:wall:

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I'd say it's the initial breakout. It is supposed to happen anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks in. Personally I got mine in the first and fourth week.

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hey! its so interesting to see your progress, we're about on the same track (im on day 21 today) and same age. the acne that you posted in your last pictures looks a little like some of the cysts ive gotten...i know how painful they can be! good luck with everything! also, i was wondering what dosage your dr. has you on? i started at 20 mg a day so i havent been having too too many side effects! keep us posted : o )

andrea

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hey! its so interesting to see your progress, we're about on the same track (im on day 21 today) and same age. the acne that you posted in your last pictures looks a little like some of the cysts ive gotten...i know how painful they can be! good luck with everything! also, i was wondering what dosage your dr. has you on? i started at 20 mg a day so i havent been having too too many side effects! keep us posted : o )

andrea

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Hey again! It's nice to know we're the same age and on the same 40mg so I can see what to expect although I know each individual will experience it differently. I just took my first pill a few minutes ago. I scar easily so I don't want to have to go through the initial breakout because then it'll just add more scars for me. Your acne doesn't look all that bad, everytime people posts pics on this message board, I always think mine is way worse, but it got a little better since I started taking Yasmin over a month ago and stopped using Aqua Glycolic cleanser. Anyway, this makes me want to start my own accutane log, I think I might in a few days. I'll be coming back to read more, thanks for the posts! :)

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MAGIC!! IT'S MAGIC!

Man, what difference a few days makes! I am living out the remnants of this "IB" I had (there were juicy, red, bulbousy-ish zits before) and this stuff is working fast. My skin is no longer oily at all but the major flaking is still happening, and especially around the zits that are drying out. It feels weird, like they are just shriveling up and falling off (quite literally I am finding that they just ... fall off). They are still around but shrinking by the day. :D:D

(I just took my 17th pill of the first month.)

Perhaps it's the calm before the storm (maybe that wasn't an initial breakout at all, who knows) but I am happy with what's going on so far.

I'm pretty swamped with work right now so I can't post pics but soon!

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DAY 30!!!!!!

Wow, I can't believe it's already been a month. My skin has felt substantially less oily and the flaking has subsided to a minimum. I find I can mildly exfoliate while I wash my face with Cetaphil and warm water ... I use the wash cloth to kind of "wipe" away the excess flaking skin (it's hard to see when your skin is wet but it's certainly there). My skin definitely also dries out towards the end of the day but I just make sure I go to bed with lots of Cetaphil lotion on my face. So far it has been working out decently.

I also haven't really felt any other major side effects other than MAJOR nosebleeds. My dermatologist was going to increase my dosage to alternate between 40mg and 80 mg on alternate days. She held off, however, because I've been having so many nose bleeds. I do try to put vaseline up there, but god, it's so disgusting. It's like adding snot INTO your nostrils. And I find that Q-tips don't really work (your nose just pushes the Vaseline from one side of the q-tip to the other) so I .. use my finger :/ ugh. I wash it after, obviously. But gross.

Anyway I will show my "timeline" below:

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/1258/month1leftul6.jpg

Left Side - as you can tell, I have a lot of red marks still but the humungous acne has totally died down and my skin is smoothing out despite the scarring.

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/7845/month1rightoi2.jpg

Right side - my most recent photo has a lot of redness; I just finished washing my face and "lightly exfoliating" .. but otherwise there is the same amount of incremental improvement as the left side. There is a very stubborn little zit on my jawline (as circled) but the other big huge ones have subsided.

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Wow! You're clearing up!

Good luck with everything.

I start tane in 2 days myself.

It's nice to hear Cetaphil is working for you. I have a huge tub of the stuff and am planning on putting it to good use.

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Hey!

Sorry, haven't had time to post any pictures lately but I gotta say ... leaps and bounds in improvement ...!! My blood work was checking out great while on Accutane, so my dermatologist upped my prescription -- I was on 1x 40mg per day, and now I'm alternating days with 1x 40 mg, then 2x 40 mg, etc.

The nose bleeds have also subsided after using Vaseline up the nose (gross-- but it works). Oddly enough my skin has also really stopped flaking completely, and it almost feels as though my skin type has turned into "normal" as opposed to "really f-ing oily" as per usual. I do get the occasional zit here and there, but I wear much less makeup now and it feels great.

As for the scarring ... that hasn't really faded or anything ... but it's nice to have SMOOTH skin as opposed to zitty skin with makeup clumped on top of it. I've been taking my Accutane religiously and I am so glad that it's been working -- I've definitely heard my share of horror stories online.

Other symptoms:

-Fatigue -- Experienced it for a while but I think it had more to do with me being lazy than the medication. I've started going to the gym again and my energy levels are great

-Sore joints -- Again, experienced it for a bit but now I'm feeling no symptoms

-Thirst -- ok, that never goes away ... water, water, water ... and I have a feeling that the ridiculous amount of water I'm drinking is also helping to clear my skin ...

In addition to gymming and drinking water, I've changed my diet (been watching what I've been eating), taking a multi-vitamin along with my meds, and switching from coffee to green tea (with no sugar/honey/milk/anything in it).

I'll post pics soon ...

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