Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Ruddy Mouse

29yr old female taking Accutane (Claravis) for the first time

Recommended Posts

Hi!

I'm on day 5 of my first week of Claravis.

Some background about myself:

I'm a 29yr old professional in the technology industry. My job requires travel, public speaking, long hours and a lot of hours clocked in front of a computer. I have a long term boyfriend, and we were engaged in February. I've just recently moved to my current west coast city to live with him after having lived in another city for two years. I'm physically active as a party of a roller derby league. I've been doing this for 4 years and my ability to play is extremely important to me. Typically, my physical appearance ends up low on the totem pole when it comes to priorities. Obviously I keep myself clean, I get waxed and regular hair cuts, but any routine above that is difficult for me to pay attention to. I wear makeup on special occasions (mineral based). I'm a social drinker, and have at times over the last 10 years been a heavy drinker with 3 or more drinks in a night several times a week. I'm now more of a 1-2 drinks when friends, or one drink at home with dinner or to relax after practice. I have suffered from depression in my past, as well as having been overweight with a family history of obesity and mental illness. I'm not currently depressed or overweight. In general I am skeptical of western medicine in the US, and prefer a more holistic view of the body and treatment rather than focusing on treating a symptom. I think exercise, diet, vitamins and sleep can cure most ailments. That said, I'm finally taking the plunge and beginning a 6 month treatment for my acne with Accutane.

My acne history:

I've had mild to moderate acne on my face, neck, back and chest for about 15 years now. I've tried anti-biotics, retinoids, Pro-active, gentle cleansers, harsh cleansers, clarisonic brush, benzoyl peroxide, sulfer, facials, peels, diet, water, etc etc etc. I've had moderate success with most treatments for the time I'm using them - but when I stop I break out again. Also the tone of my skin is generally rough and while I don't have severe cysts on my face, most people would describe my complexion as "poor." My main tipping point for choosing to move to a more severe form of treatment is related to the chest acne. I love a low cut shirt, but I'm embarrassed about the acne there. I have 5 siblings, two of whom have also had severe acne. My youngest brother took Accutane and had good success. The other sibling eventually grew out of his acne. My skin is generally very oily, and I've got a combination of white heads, black heads, "bumps" on the forehead, a bit of scarring, and more cysts on my neck, chest, back and occasionally on my face. I break out around my mouth, on my temples and my forehead.

My treatment plan:

Although I haven't take birth control pills for 10 years, to get a prescription I have begun to take Yaz. I've been on that for about 6 weeks now. I also have Tazorac to use on spots now that I've begun the 'Tane. I was using it all over my face, neck and chest for one month prior to starting. I will continue to use the Clarisonic brush (with soft bristles) with Cetaphil cleanser. I'm still working on a moisturizer I like but I seem to be leaning toward Aveeno Moisturize with 30 spf in the morning and Cetaphil Dry Skin moisturizer at night (before applying Tazorac). I'm taking the following supplements to help with side effects: Vitamin Bs, Milk Thistle, Fish Oil, Vitamin E, Folic Acid, and MSM. I've been prescribed for the first month 40mg of Claravis, 20mg in the morning and 20mg at night. This will go up to 60 (most likely) in the second month. I take my morning pill following a bowl of yogurt with fruit, flax seeds and granola (for the good fat!) and in the evening I take the pill after dinner and with a Fish Oil pill. In general I avoid eating food cooked in vegetable oil, and use coconut oil and olive oil in my own cooking. Lots of water!

My concerns:

10 years ago I found myself susceptible to depression and mood swings on birth control, so that has been a concern now both for taking birth control again and for how sensitive I can be to the Accutane side affects. I'm also worried about joint pain or any decrease in energy for playing my sport (roller derby). As a drinker, I'm concerned about any extra pressure on my liver (though all of my tests came by healthy for cholesterol/lipids). I'm hispanic and have always had oily skin, so I'm worried about dealing with dry skin for the first time in my life. And of course I don't want to lose any hair! To help deal with all of these concerns I'm making sure I eat well, sleep well, drink lots of water and regularly journal so I can track my moods. I'm also making sure my boyfriend is aware of all these side affects so he can help check in if I start to sound (more) crazy! I'm also worried about not being able to get waxed as I do grow a lot of hair and I hate plucking and shaving! That one is going to be rough for me, and I may try threading again for my facial waxing.

Anyway I hope to keep this updated with changes. Thanks for reading and I appreciate your comments/advice/suggestions or concerns!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 5 report:

Now that I've posted my background, I wanted to give a report on day 5 results. On my 3rd day I woke up with 3 painful whiteheads on my upper lip. Since then they've multiplied and I have about 6 now. I'm using the clarisonic brush on them, tazorac and moisturizer. They hurt when I kiss my boyfriend (he has a mustache). Otherwise the rest of my face doesn't appear to have any new blemishes. While I've had whiteheads on my upper lip before, I've never had this many appear so fast and be so painful at once!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ruddy Mouse -

Our stories should very similar - I've also had mild to moderate acne for years, and have had some success with various treatments but nothing that cleared everything. I'm hoping accutane will change that!

It's great that you have someone around to watch out for possible problems with depression as my doctor also stressed the strong possibility of that happening on accutane.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Ruddy Mouse -

Our stories should very similar - I've also had mild to moderate acne for years, and have had some success with various treatments but nothing that cleared everything. I'm hoping accutane will change that!

It's great that you have someone around to watch out for possible problems with depression as my doctor also stressed the strong possibility of that happening on accutane.

Good luck!

Hi Hennie! Thanks for dropping by! I'm going to be keeping a close eye on the depression, and I'm also thankful that I have a lot of activities to keep me busy! Hopefully the 6 months fly by quickly :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 8 update:

So, after a few days I woke up to a whole cluster of nasty whiteheads on my upper lip. I was applying Tazorac on them at night, so in addition to the white heads my skin starting FLAKING. I stopped applying the Tazorac. I'm finding it very hard not to pick at them, or want to squeeze them before I leave the house. I'm very lucky to work from home so these things are not as embarrassing, I've only got my boyfriend to deal with seeing them (and he's understanding). I applied ice one morning. And a hot compress the next day. And I'm applying Cetaphil dry skin moisturizer constantly. I bought some Jojoba oil and that seems to be helping with the flaking and dryness. As of today I've just got red marks and one little whitehead. This is much faster recovery than my pimples usually have, so I'm glad for that.

I had one new big zit on my chest, but otherwise no new actives. My skin seems to be getting clearer, or I'm just wishing it is.

I'm starting to be dry in my nose, lips and my eyes. I bought Ocean nasal spray, and visine for my eyes. They're helping. I noticed a slight headache when my eyes got dry, and it went away after applying the drops. I'm also putting moisturizer on my face in the middle of the day instead of just morning and night. This is new to me, as I have very oily skin and I usually avoid moisturizing except at night.

I went to my first roller derby practice since starting the medication. I didn't notice any issues with muscle pain (more than usual that is) or energy levels. I HAVE noticed, however, that I'm not sweating as much. practice involves skating for about 1.5 hours with few breaks, so endurance is very important. I've got some blisters on my feet that I'm trying to heal after breaking in new skates, and I've been worried that Accutane will make the healing process more slow. I bought New Skin which is basically superglue and put it over the wounds and they're staying closed. If you're dealing with cuts or wounds that aren't healing very fast (but aren't still open) I definitely recommend it! My other worry is that I might be more vulnerable to joint or bone pain from the contact, but I was hit once last night and fell another time and didn't notice any difference in the pain.

The other night I took too many vitamins plus my pill on an empty stomach and after having a glass of wine. I don't recommend this! It only stayed with me for about an hour. Now I'm taking my supplements an hour after the Accutane, and throughout the day rather than all at once at night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other night I took too many vitamins plus my pill on an empty stomach and after having a glass of wine. I don't recommend this! It only stayed with me for about an hour. Now I'm taking my supplements an hour after the Accutane, and throughout the day rather than all at once at night.

I've done this a couple of times, minus the wine. I also don't recommend taking the supplements/ pill late as I took them at 10pm a couple of times.. I was able to keep it down but I was feeling queasy the whole night.

Good luck with your course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm now on week 7 of my Accutane course. This week can be described as feeling like I've hit a plateau.

I've seen pretty great improvements in my skin tone, and the smoothness of skin in general. Last week I started getting a lot of compliments and was feeling really great. Unfortunately this week I've been very depressed, not eating well, and feeling like "is this it" about my skin. I didn't take any of my supplements (vitamin b, vitamin e, MSM, milk thistle, vitamin c) over the weekend and I have to wonder if that is related.

Yesterday was a low day where I didn't think any of this was worth it. I'm constantly tired, and I get tired of being so vigilant about my diet, my pills, my hydration, my moisturizing. I liked it when I didn't have to pay attention :) Sometimes I have days like that, but I look at my skin and realize how much of a difference this is making, how much more confident I feel, and I love not having to worry about how my face looks! But today, I'm worried I hit a plateau and this is the best the medication will do. I've still got 4 more months, so that is absurd, but sometimes it is hard to get past the negative thoughts.

Is anyone else experiencing this kind of depression?

I made the unfortunate mistake of drinking at a party last weekend. I was puking the next day and my lesson was learned. If I do drink, never more than two. Lots of water, don't mix, and make sure I eat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there!

I just read your log for the first time. I definitely feel that way sometimes but its a loong course of treatment and you still have so much time. You'll get significantly better! Im on week 10 right now and have seen some improvements, but Im having a mini breakout right now, but it will pass I know. Just keep thinking about it as work towards the end goal with some bumpy rides.

Hope things continue going well for you! I'll check in on you again soon.

Are you on 60mg now or still on the 40?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes

×