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A 35 Year Old Women's Journey on Accutane

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Hello World,

I began Accutane or the generic form, Claravis, 12 days ago. I have been doing just fine until recently and that is when I looked online to find out about other people's experiences. I am so glad I did! The information has been so helpful. Most of the blogs I saw were written by people in their 20's though...So, I thought it might be nice to have someone... a little, ahem, older put everything out there.

I have never had severe acne, but when I turned 30 it seems my whole body chemistry changed. My skin and hair became extremlyoily and I began to get the cystic acne in few spots. So, of course after trying everything else, my dermatologist and I finally decided to give Accutane a try. 40mlg, twice a day.

So, things began fine. I read everything, asked all the questions. I knew I was going to dry out BIG TIME and was actually excited about it. (I have been an oil slick for years now and I am very tired of it.) I did get the headache the first week and just drank more water and by week 2, headache was gone. Starting on about day 7 my lips started to get very dry. So, I put vaseline and Bert's Bees Pomegranate oil chapstick on all the time...which quite frankly I did anyway. Now on day 12 my lips are extreamly chapped and cracking and very uncomfortable. I did go buy chapstick's overnight treatment and I put it on every 30 min: and it does help, but I think it will be 5 months of painful, chapped lips...C'est la vie.

However, my lips may be totally drying out, but my face is still an oil slick and my chin has errupted with many painful deep cysts and white heads. I never had horrible acne before, so this is very disturbing and I am wondering if this is just part of the "it gets worse before it gets better" stage?? My face is even peeling around my chin but it is still really oily...how does that happen? Last night I did decide that maybe I am not moisturizing my face enough and my skin is adapting by making more oil. Still the Accitane works by not letting your galds make the oil, right? So, I still don't understand why I am still so oily and breaking out?

Anyway, here is my regimen right now and I am very open for any advice or suggestions along this journey...

1. Wash face day and night with vani-cream bar (recommended by dermatologist b/c I have sesitive skin and it is free of dyes, parabens and lanolins.)

2.Moisturize at night with Vani-cream (very thick)

3. Moisturize during the day with Neutrogena oil free moisture...(until today when I mixed a little of the vani-cream and neutrogena together....I am thinking maybe I need to moistureize more than I have been and maybe that is the problem.)

4. Use whole body lotion morning and night (always have) <br>5. Using Dove moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. (I do think my hair is drying out some. Which as I stated before, I am fine with due to the excess oil)

6. Constant lib balm!!! (Right now my choice is Chapstick's overnight treatment. (obviously I am not using it only at night. I will be trying to find what hydrates my lips best for 5 months, I am sure!)

OK, that was horribly long...but now that my story is out I will try not to be so long winded on my future updates :P

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Hello Kimmy!!!!

First of all congratulationns on starting the accutane. Secondly, yes this is most likely the worst before it gets better. I started to break out badly about two weeks into the course and continued to break out until almost month two. I did call my derm and got a prescription for prednizone which really helped the cysts not get out of control. I took that for about 1 1/2 months and then wasn't breaking out very badly after that.

Totally hear you on the lips, my boss came in about half way through my treamtment and glanced over at my desk and I seriously had about 10 different kinds of lipbalm sittng on my desk :-), I really liked aquafor but you'll just have to try a few out and see what works best for you.

As far as the peeling around your chin I dealt with this throughout my entire course - and I finally started putting a thing layer of vaseline on my chin after my night moisturizer and that really created a great barrier and in the morning the flakiness wouldn't be nearly as bad.

I hope this helps. Good luck and just keep the end in mind - your on your way to clear skin. I looked in the mirror this morning after finishing just last week and it hit me - I HAVE CLEAR SKIN! I wanted to just jump up and down!

Oh one last thing is possibly try adding some good fats into your diet - like taking fish oil and vit e. I found those really helped.

sorry this was SOO long!

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Hey there Kimmy35 and welcome!

I've never done it myself, but good luck with the tane.

Have you tried cutting out dairy or citrus foods? After 20 years of acne I found these foods affect my acne the most.

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Thanks So much Altagirl and Wannabeacnefree for the support and advice! I am totally going to look into the Aquafor b/c you are not the first person to mention it. I was worried that by putting something like vaseline on my face it would make the breakouts worse b/c I would then be clogging my pores? Sounds like it will be 5 months of a lot of trail and error. I truly hope this makes my oily skin go away!


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Hi Kimmy,

I started my course of Accutane 16 days ago, so we are only a few days apart. I'm a 28 year old female who, until my mid-twenties, never had a serious problem with acne before. Sure, I went through the awkward acne thing when I was a teenager, but I thought that I had grown out of it after college. My skin was reasonably good for a few years. Then, I started breaking out with cystic acne in my mid-twenties. My face was always super oily and even on the Accutane, it still is oily at the end of the day. I'm taking 30 mg once a day right now, and am hoping that when I move up to 60 mg a day next month, that will take care of the oil. I'm using Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream morning and night, and have not had a problem with dry skin yet. Aquaphor has become my new best friend. I used to use the Burt's Bees Promegrante Oil chapstick, too, but found that it didn't stay on my lips for very long and would sometimes make them feel even dryer. I think someone else mentioned taking vitamins. . . I'm taking Vitamin E, a B-Complex Stress Formula vitamin with folic acid and biotin, as well as Calcuim and Vitamin D (not so much for my skin, but for my overall health).

So, I hope this information helps you and good luck on your journey!!! It will all be over before you know it :)

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Thanks so much osugirl. I actually was going to go look for Aquafor today but just ran out of time. I am doing it tomorrow though! I am taking fish oil right now but I am going to pick up some vitamin E too. I appreciate all the advice I am getting! I am so glad I decided to write about this.

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Hey There!

I just wanted to say hello. I'm 37, and I, too, am experiencing all the fun that is Accutane. You'll love this site. You'll find so many encouraging and helpful posts. I'm just finishing up my 4th month. My top three helpful hints (for whatever they are worth!) Keep Aquaphor with you always. It's the only thing that saved my lips. Drink your water (my skin was extremely itchy if I did not drink my water) and third . . . well, I guess I just have two helpful hints. The thing I've learned it that Accutane affects everyone quite differently so read up on everyone's experiences. You'll find a lot of great info.

I love the fact that my hair doesn't look wet by the end of the day due to excess oil. I love the fact that I don't have to reapply powder every hour and I love, love, love the fact that I have not had a cyst in over 3 months.

OH and if you have not already checked out Everyday Minerals make up. Do! I found out about it from this site and swear by it! I've always had a prob finding a natural looking make up and it's environmentally friendly and free from animal testing! No, I'm not a sales person for the stuff, I just love it that much. If you're in the market for a new or better make up, check it out! The best part is that they send you free samples so you can find just the right shade!

Hang in there. It will SO be worth it!


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