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hennie11

This is My Accutane Story

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When deciding whether or not to go on Accutane, I found it very helpful to read others' Accutane logs. I will be recording my experience here in hopes someone else will find it useful down the road.

I'm a 24 year female with somewhat fair skin on the oily side. I had great skin until age 19, when the acne first appeared. Since then I've had persistent acne - though there have been periods where it’s been better or worse. I've been on antibiotics and topicals off and on for the past 6 years. After seeing a new dermatologist this spring, she suggested a five month course of Accutane and here I am :)

This is day two, and I'm currently on 20 mg/day. So far I haven't noticed any side effects, though I was exhausted this morning. I'm attributing this to the fact that I was out of the town this weekend and didn't get home until after midnight - but it could be the Accutane. I've been applying chap stick like crazy in hopes of preventing (or at least lessening) the dry lips everyone has mentioned. I'm also a tad sunburned at the moment, so I hope that won't speed-up any possible drying of the lips/skin. I'm crossing my fingers!

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Good luck, hennie!! My acne sounds similar to yours - persistent, sometimes mild, sometimes moderate. I hope we both get great results. =]

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Day Four

Well the IB has started - I honestly didn't expect to start breaking out this soon. I noticed a few new small ones last night, and then several more this morning. There are a couple slightly painful ones on my upper lip, which I hope go away soon. At least this means I know the medicine is working!

As for side effects, the only thing I've really noticed is that I've had some trouble sleeping. I'm hoping changing the time of day I take the accutane may help - though it also could just as easily be from anxiety or stress.

I'm still applying chapstick (burt's bees) and mosituzer (alba green tea & aloe) like crazy, but haven't noticed any dryness yet.

Instead of taking supplmental vitamins, I've tried adding extra vitamin e to my diet by eating lots of dark berries. I'm a vegetarian and a fan of the idea that eating the right foods can help prevent and fight (though not always cure!) many health problems.

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Day 6

So far the only side effect I've noticed is fatigue - first it was I had trouble getting to sleep, now that has passed but for the past two days I've just been dragging. Most of the time I feel like I'm moving in slow motion! I really hope this will pass as well for else it is going to be a long five months.

All of the IB I mentioned the other day are on their way to healing, and I've only had one new spot since. Perhpas this wasn't an accutane-related breakout? As I feel an accutane-realted IB wouldn't have cleared up so quickly. Who knows? I'll just have to wait and see what happens. :)

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Day 9

Wow - I feel like the first week moved so slow. The side effects have defintely started to increase. Dry lips, dry eyes, fatigue, and dry, itchy skin. I'm also always thristy!

The one that's really killing me is the fatigue - any one out there have suggestions on how to combat that (besides lots of coffee!)? I feel like I'm moving in slow motion most days.

The IB that disappeared for a couple days is also back in full force. No big spots or cysts, just dozens of little active whiteheads. I'm really hoping they clear as quickly as the first ones. And to answer the question - no, my face seems about the same level of oilness as before I started accutane.

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Day 11

Well my side effects are all the same: fatigue, dry lips, dry eyes (just a little). It's the fatigue that's really affected my day to day life. I usually go to the gym in the evenings, but yesterday all I could do was pass out on the couch and that was after I showed up an hour late to work because I just could not get out of bed!

I've switched to using aquaphor for my lips, as burts bees just wasn't cutting it. The alba green tea moistuzer is still working well though.

The active breakout I mentioned last entry is healing, though not that quickly. I ended up picking at a clogged pore last night (I just couldn't help myself!), I expected a red spot but this morning it looked fine. I can defintley see more raised clogged pores, so it looks like the accutane is working!

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Day 13

Over the past couple days I've noticed a lot more non-active spots popping up. I wonder if these will turn into whiteheads or just disappear back into my skin?

Side effects still the same: tiredness & dryness.

I'm starting to get a little worried as I'm going on vacay next week to a yoga retreat in Mexico; I hope I won't be too tired to participate!

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awh i hope your ib clears up soon, im kinda still going through my a little with whiteheads popping up sometimes, im only on week three tho.

I hope your not too tired when your on vacay!

good luck with everything, and have fun in mexico!!!!

xoxo,

live2sing

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Day 16

Halfway through month 1 - yay!

Thanks live2sing for the well wishes. It's strange because parts of my face are looking pretty bad, for instance there is one huge non-active sport on my forehead, but my cheeks, which usually have a few spots on them, are nice and smooth. I'm feeling very postive about accutane at the moment, as I can see it is working (though I know there is a long road still to go).

As for side effects: still the morning fatigue, dry lips and just yesterday I started to notice small ares of skin peeling on my chin. Nothing too bad yet though.

I leave for Mexico tomorrow, and my fingers are crossed I won't come home red and peeling!

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Day 25

Almost a month! I am actually so pleased at how my skin held up while on vacay. I was in Tulum (so beautiful!), at a fairly rustic place. So with no proper showers - I was covered in sweat, sand and salt all week.

I was very careful about sunscreen and covering up - even so I've got a nice brown glow but no sun burns!

The blackheads on my nose are starting to purge, and I have maybe 3 small actives on my chin and forehead. I had a large spot (that never came to a head) on my forehead all week, but is on its way down. I've also noticed my face is a lot less oily - I'm not sure if that is from being dried out from the sun or because of the accutane.

The only side effect I'm noticing at the moment is dry lips. The fatigue that had been plaguing me is much better. All in all, things are looking great :)

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Day 30

It's hard to believe I'm already on month two. Starting tomorrow I'm moving up to 40 mg a day (20 mg twice a day). My derm said to expect more side effects the first couple weeks, just like the beginning of month one was a bit rough.

My face is still breaking out - black heads on the nose, non-actives on my forehead and several actives on my chin and cheeks (a bit strange because my cheeks are normally the clearest area of my face).

As for side effects just dryness - eyes, skin. No major peeling yet (crosses fingers :)).

My hair has definitely changed though - it is way less oily and more lackluster. It's fairly long at the moment (a couple inches below the shoulders) but I'm thinking of chopping it off (probably at or above the chin) for the rest of the accutane course. I know the girls out there can sympathize! I love my long hair but it is looking very dull and wispy at the moment, so perhaps if there was less of it, the unhealthiness wouldn't be as obvious.

I'm preparing myself for more side effects and more breakouts with the dose increase but still very positive about the outcome!

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Awesome outlook hennie! Just think, in a few more months you'll have a completely clear face and a whole new life ahead of you! Keep it up with the positive thoughts. :D

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Day 34 (I think I got a little messed up with the dates earlier this week)

Well, the same as when I first started my sleeping pattern has been way off. The past two nights (since starting the higher dose) I've just have the hardest time sleeping at night. I'm not as tired during the day as I was at the beginning of month 1, but its still not great. I hope my body will balance this out soon!

My skin, eye, lips are also much drier. Earlier today I went out to lunch and realized I didn't have any chapstick with me. I could just feel my lips cracking until I got back to the office and my trusty tube of burts bees :)

Still alot of smaller breakouts, and the overall dryness is making my skin a bit redder than usual and the complexion a bit more uneven. I usually wash my face twice a day, but I may try going to just once a day as I've read some people have done on here, and see what happens.

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Day 37

Not much to report. My face is still looking a bit red, and there are a couple bumps appearing under my skin that aren't coming to a head. They just absorb back into the skin.

I am feeling dry all over - skin, hair, eyes. My hair is looking so dull! I really just need to chop it off. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to spend a fortune on lotion and moisturizer by the end of this!

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Aww, don't chop your hair off! Get a really good conditioner. May I suggested the brand Kiss My Face called Miss Treated. It's really potent. I used it since I dyed (read: overprocessed) my hair but it's done wonders. Since starting tane, I put it in my hair more than once per shower (twice) and my hair is nice and pretty now. Give conditioner a shot before you cut your hair :) Take care and good luck1

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Day 39

I expected to have another IB or a surge in side effects by now since I'm about a week and a half into month two and a higher dose, but none has come. I suppose my side effects have steadily increased, but nothing unbearable yet *crosses fingers*. Does this mean my IB is over and now it will just get better? That would be amazing, but I'm trying to be realistic and level headed during this whole process.

Thanks for the suggestion, jd. I've been using Aussie's 3-mintue conditer but I may give your suggestion a try before calling my hairdresser.

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Day 39

I expected to have another IB or a surge in side effects by now since I'm about a week and a half into month two and a higher dose, but none has come. I suppose my side effects have steadily increased, but nothing unbearable yet *crosses fingers*. Does this mean my IB is over and now it will just get better? That would be amazing, but I'm trying to be realistic and level headed during this whole process.

Thanks for the suggestion, jd. I've been using Aussie's 3-mintue conditer but I may give your suggestion a try before calling my hairdresser.

It sounds like your experience has been similar to my own. I'm a 23 yr old female. I started on 20 mg, now im entering my third month and im on 40 (soon to be increased to 60). I also have mild/moderate persistent acne. I did get a few really bad cysts (which I usually dont get) in the first two months. By the third month you start to notice real changes...although im still not satisfied...when I started about day 50, I could tell it was going to work. The wait is terrible, and it's incredibly hard to be level headed (trust me, i've had my share of freak outs), but just think...in about two months (probably less) you'll have beautiful skin! I've dealt with problem skin for years and years...these last few weeks seem to drag, but once they're here and I have clear skin, I'll remind myself every day to be grateful for it. Hang in there!

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Day 43

Thanks for the reassurance, Iba. The wait is terrible. Right now my face looks (I hate to say this) disgusting. I have 6 or 7 active whiteheads, and many more just under the surface. One semi-painful one just under my nose. Lots of red marks too - more than normal. I've been very good about not picking for the last few months so I'm not sure where they are coming from. There is a zigzag line of whiteheads going down my right cheek to the jaw line - it looks horrible. And I just tell my forehead is waiting to explode. There are a dozen or more raised spots under the skin, 2 of which have formed into huge whiteheads, I don't even want to imagine what that will look like. Ah!

Ok - I'm done ranting. I just cannot wait to be through the breakout stage. Besides that, the side effects are still pretty minimal. Lots of dryness and still kind of tired.

It is so hard to stay positive, I am trying, and I think I'm doing pretty good with it but I don't know how much longer I can keep it up when I can't even stand to look in the mirror. How nice would it be have to luxury of staying in bed? Just another reason to dislike having to work.

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Day 46 (I cannot keep the days straight apparentley!)

So I am feeling better about this than I was on Monday when I last posted. The zigzag line on my cheek has started to heal, though several bumps/whiteheads are popping up around my mouth. I wonder if I am applying chapstick too liberally?

My forehead still looks like a ticking timebomb...

Since I've started accutane I've noticed a huge increase in the number of red spots/scars on my face. Does accutane cause more scarring or is this old scars becoming more visable? My face is not peeling or overly dry - just red.

Side effects - nothing new. Just tiredness, dry lips and eyes.

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Day 46 (I cannot keep the days straight apparentley!)

So I am feeling better about this than I was on Monday when I last posted. The zigzag line on my cheek has started to heal, though several bumps/whiteheads are popping up around my mouth. I wonder if I am applying chapstick too liberally?

My forehead still looks like a ticking timebomb...

Since I've started accutane I've noticed a huge increase in the number of red spots/scars on my face. Does accutane cause more scarring or is this old scars becoming more visable? My face is not peeling or overly dry - just red.

Side effects - nothing new. Just tiredness, dry lips and eyes.

I'm on day 70ish (I've lost count too). I also noticed a lot more breakouts around my chin/lips. They just kept coming day after day! Basically my derm said that chin and forehead are like the last places to dry out (so the last places to clear up too). I'd keep up with the chapstick, I don't think it will make you break out. I also asked my doctor about the redness of all my breakouts. It seems everything is more red and noticeable (which makes me feel like my face is worse). He said accutane promotes redness in the face and old red marks/new breakouts. lovely. It's something that will go away after the course is over...so it's make up for me for awhile! It's sounds like you're progressing exactly as you should. I can't wait to hear about your amazing results!

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Day 51

Nothing too exciting to report. Still getting new breakouts all over - probably have about 10 or so active whiteheads on my face right now. None are huge though. Still feel like my face is red.

Side effects - dry everywhere. I finally broke down and got my hair cut this weekend. My hairdresser explained that it’s not my hair that was oily before but it was the scalp, and though my hair seemed really dry to me it was just because I was so used to how it was before. In reality, compared to other people's hair, apparently mine right now is not so dry as I think. Anyway, we still cut several inches off and she recommended a product called "kholesterol" to hydrate my scalp if I thought I needed later on down the line.

Iba - thanks for the support and the advice from your derm. I hope your course is on track too!

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Day 53

I popped a large whitehead that had been hiding just under the jaw line by my right ear. I know I shouldn't have but once I realized it was there and how large it was I kept unconsciously reaching up to touch it, so I figured it would be better if it was just gone. There is a red mark there, but so far no other ill effects. Thank goodness!

I'm still getting new breakouts daily, though I think the volume may have decreased a bit (knock on wood). There is a patch of skin on my right check (near where the zig-zag pattern of breakouts had been) that is just covered in pimples and redness. I wonder why? It's maybe the size of two quarters and just will not calm down. Urgh.

Side effects are the same, dry and tired. On another note - I'm finally getting over a cold I've had for not quite a week. It was so hard to find cold medicine that didn't contain acetaminophen (Tylenol)!

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