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I've been reading other people's Accutane logs and found them so helpful that I decided it'd be worth keeping one of my own. It's great to find such a community for this sort of thing.

I've had acne since I was 14 or so, and it reached a pretty serious point when I was 18. My face was seriously infected, and a doctor put me on Prednisone for a week, followed by Minocycline (100mg, twice a day), with benzoyl peroxide and Retin-A as topicals. That worked for about a year, quite nicely in fact, until a doctor tried to take me off the minocycline. That met with pretty mediocre results, and I was put back on the Mino about a year later. I kept that up, but was clueless to the fact that my moderately bad cystic acne was also very very infrequently being promoted to nodular acne (deep, deep stuff that gave me a few scars). There were only a few of these knotty nodular things; it was still mostly just cysts. By the time I was 22, I was able to move to 100mg of Mino once every three days, but in the recent past, some stressful school stuff has put my acne in a heightened state, and I'm back on Mino once a day, with benzoyl peroxide, selenium sulfide, and Retin-A. My chest is pretty much acne-free, but my back is rough; and if I miss the mino for just a day or two, there'll be a cyst on my face for sure. Even with taking the Mino regularly, I still have a cyst fairly regularly, sometimes a nasty one (or two). Fortunately, the (serious) facial acne has at least been contained mostly to my chin. Plenty of clogged forehead pores, and my nose, upon close inspection, looks like it's been peppered. Sorry for the long melodrama, but this is all to say that at the ripe age of 26, I have been given the encouragement by two derms to begin Accutane, which I did last week, on the 9th.

For the first two weeks, I'm taking 40mg/day, then upping to alternating between 40 and 80. (I weigh 125.) So far, now on my eighth day, I've experienced the common side effects: dry skin (though not too dry yet); chapped lips. The dry scalp was by far the most obnoxious side effect, but I calmed that with an application of honey/milk/olive oil, along with a piece of Saran wrap that made me feel like my grandma getting a perm. My gums bleed just a drop when I brush them--which is never not unnerving, even though I think it's okay. (Right?)

I stopped using my topicals and am just using Cetaphil instead. My derm suggested that I could keep with the topicals, but my acne while on the Accutane, so far at least, hasn't been too egregious, and I was anxious to stop blasting my face with acid every day. (And for the record, I'm on Amnesteem--such an insulting name!)

Okay, well, thanks for reading. Comments and counsel welcome and appreciated. And I won't be so verbose next time, I promise!

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Day 10

Things are clearly bubbling to the surface--at least one cyst, and a number of more superficial things...

I've attached a pic of the most active area, my chin. (Could've used a shave before taking the pic...)


As for supplements, I'm taking about 1800mg of EPA/DHA from the fish oil, and 400IU of Vitamin E. Anything I'm missing?




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DAY 12

Two more days of 40mg/day before I up it to alternating between 40 and 80. I wonder if it'd be better if I was just taking 30mg, twice a day every day. So hard to know when I'm doing what's medically best, or when I'm just doing what my pharmacy keeps on hand.

No serious side effects that I've registered. Other than the usual dry lips and scalp, I'm feeling a little bit of soreness in my joints, and the classic lower back stiffness, partic. at night. Wonder if there's a way to alleviate this...

I'm also wondering if a zinc supplement might help prevent losing hair during all of this. Need to do a little more research about that. Also not sure how much is good to take. I have such sympathy now for my grandmother's clinging to every supplement that she can find.

Still having an IB, which is making me ambivalent about a date I was supposed to have on Monday, but I suppose I can console myself with the fact that this may be the last time I have to try to plan dates around flare-ups...

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DAY 15

The bubbles are rising to the top of the cauldron. As you can see form the pic (taken yesterday), a few serious whiteheads have emerged, but there's some consolation to be found in the fact that they leave pretty swiftly. The red marks they leave behind, though, linger on.

My side effects are much the same as they were. I'm still doing the olive oil/honey treatment daily, which, despite being a bitch to orchestrate, seems to be worth it. I had a couple of days of moderate muscle aches, but this seems to have abated today. Thinking about treating myself to a massage later this week.

Today I began taking 80mg one day and 40mg the next. I'm guessing that it's best to take them about 16 hours apart from each other... I read yesterday that one person's derm. advised her to take both pills together on her 40mg days. That seems really potent to me... I'm just hoping that I won't get another wave of flare-ups since I upped my dose.

Dummy that I was, I took my first week of pills with a high-fat meal--a high *saturated* fat one. I'm surprised my blood didn't congeal. Just so I don't get taken off the medicine (or get pancreatitis), I'm practically on an all-oat diet (plus cashews and a little bit of olive oil) between now and my blood test (two weeks).

Nowadays my regimen is: Refresh Preservative-Free Eyedrops, Cetaphil Bar Soap 2x/day, Cetaphil Moisturizer, Aquaphor (lips), AYR gel (nosebleed prevention), 1800mg fish oil, 400IU Vit. E, SPF30, plus olive oil/honey/milk in my hair.



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