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Hey! So I decided to start keeping a journal about my Accutane experiences on here because I think it's gonna be helpful to talk to people who understand and are going through the same thing. (my friends just don't understand!)

Just as a background, I'm a 23f who has had acne for 6 years. I've had good days and bad days but right now my acne is getting worse. I moved to Boston a couple months ago and I don't know if it's the weather change, the stress or the water, but something here is making me break out like crazy! Before I moved here I was doing alright and now that I'm here I've had persistent breakouts on my face, the kind that stay there for weeks and then scar. argh! It doesn't help that Boston is super busy, I'm always on the go, and taking public transportation is the worst! They have those horrible fluorescent lights that make you want to hide your face! It was weird because about a month ago I was going back and forth on whether to start Accutane and my husband told me he thought I was depressed by it and I should go on it. I think that was a wake up call for me because I never really thought of myself as depressed. (I mean, I'm a happy person and all but I complain a lot about my face and have cried about it too) Anyway, I decided to give Accutane a try and I'm on day 11 now. I'm taking 60mg Sotret/day.

So far, I've experienced the usual side effects of really chapped lips, dry skin, the occasional headache bla bla bla. I'm usually exhausted by the end of the day, so sleeping hasn't been a problem, but when I wake up in the morning it feels like I haven't slept at all! (cuz of dry eyes) My breakouts are really dry too and so it's hard to cover them up with makeup. Oh yeah, and last night when I was watching TV it was hard to focus on any words, but I wasn't sure if that was cuz my contacts were in for a long time or what. It was weird......

Anyway, I'm working up the courage to post pics! I know that might seem crazy cuz here I am on an acne website where we're all in the same boat. Its just that I've always had those friends who had "perfect" skin so I've hidden that side from them. I guess I should stop hiding on here and instead look to you guys for support! So, that's my story for now!

Oh and as far as my regimen goes, I use this face wash called Paula's Choice (from online/catalog) twice a day as well as Cetaphil moisturizer. I've been the girl who uses a million products on her face at once (obviously that didn't work out!) but now I'm just trying to keep it simple. I do wanna try other stuff out though (maybe a new moisturizer??) so any recommendations are welcome!

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Day 12

My face actually looked better this morning! I don't want to jinx anything though so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed......my face feels softer though and even my husband noticed, yah! I'm still getting breakouts but they are smaller, more of the whitehead type than the big red spots. I can handle those cuz at least I can pop them (I know I shouldn't, but they are gross!)

Does anyone have recommendations for a self tanner, especially for the face? I have sensitive skin and broke out from the Jergens self tanner for the face but my dermo said I don't have to worry about putting new products on my face because of the Accutane. So I dunno but I'm getting paler by the minute haha

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Day 15

so I have literally been on the go for the last few days and really haven't been paying attention to my face. I've been so tired, all I do is go to work, go straight from there to meet with my group that is working on this grad project, back home, eat dinner, go to sleep. I was so tired this morning that I fell asleep behind the wheel! I've been having to wake up at 3 and 4am for the past few days to work in a kitchen for this internship I'm doing. so, I really haven't been caring about my appearance but just now I was looking in the mirror and omg, what happened to my face!?? I've broken out all over, I usually breakout around my jawline and that's it but now it's on my neck, on my cheeks, on my forehead.........oh yeah and still on the jawline haha. I'm having the worst day today anyway (Boston is really getting to me) and now I'm getting my IB when I have this presentation to give on Mon and I'm starting a new part of my internship next week too. I know this is all part of the process so it's not like I was surprised to have more breakouts before things got better, I guess I've been walking around half asleep and forgot to even care. totally having a bad day......

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Day 15

so I have literally been on the go for the last few days and really haven't been paying attention to my face. I've been so tired, all I do is go to work, go straight from there to meet with my group that is working on this grad project, back home, eat dinner, go to sleep. I was so tired this morning that I fell asleep behind the wheel! I've been having to wake up at 3 and 4am for the past few days to work in a kitchen for this internship I'm doing. so, I really haven't been caring about my appearance but just now I was looking in the mirror and omg, what happened to my face!?? I've broken out all over, I usually breakout around my jawline and that's it but now it's on my neck, on my cheeks, on my forehead.........oh yeah and still on the jawline haha. I'm having the worst day today anyway (Boston is really getting to me) and now I'm getting my IB when I have this presentation to give on Mon and I'm starting a new part of my internship next week too. I know this is all part of the process so it's not like I was surprised to have more breakouts before things got better, I guess I've been walking around half asleep and forgot to even care. totally having a bad day......

its ok! have faith itll work! im waiting for my IB...but maybe the wierd sleeping cycles have brought along some bad effects, try to get more sleep though if you can.

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HCS - Thanks for the encouragement! I wouldn't be surprised if my breakouts got worse because of lack of sleep, I NEED to sleep soon or I'm gonna go crazy (or crazier haha) :wacko:

Nothing else is new except I'm feeling a little better today. Yesterday was really bad, I couldn't stop crying! Today my breakouts are the exact same (bad) but I keep telling myself this won't be for forever!

Side effects:

Dry lips

Flaky skin (mostly around my nose and forehead)

Mood swings??

A lot more breakouts (the whitehead kind, I keep popping them and they are all red and crusty now, gross)

Is it really alright to use Aquaphor on your face?? I would never think of using it before Accutane but I don't know how much I have to worry about trying out new products on my face now. Oh yeah, and posted are a few pics of my face about a week before starting Accutane. I have some scarring as well as actives. Now I have a bunch on my cheeks but my chin/jawline is doing better. When I get pics of that I'll post those too.

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Day 18

Have 3 HUGE breakouts on my face, I am the witch with the wart on my chin, the mole on my cheek and throw in an extra bump on the forehead to complete the pretty picture. They are definitely the biggest I've ever had!! But I just did my presentation and I'm still alive so what can I say? Will post some pics from the other day soon but I'm exhausted so it's time to get some shut eye......hopefully I won't be waking up with more breakouts tomorrow (don't you hate that? I always feel my face in the morning when I wake up to see what's "new")

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haha,just3or4pimples on ur face in ur pic.i think ur ib wont be serious even though you would have got one!just a little bigger than usual,tuff it out,the perfect skin is coming...

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hey hun, thanx for your comment :). love the encouragment on this site ay! i totally know what you mean about the lack of sleep thing, iv just had 3 weeks of exams which just ended and i was going insane from lack of sleep so much so that my eyes were contantly red and sore n i was gettin real emo n just wanted to scream lol, yeiks!! anyways, i think what you have to do is just cancel all your appointments and take a sleep day. the day after my exams i had so much stuff id put on hold but i cancelled everything i had planned otherwise i felt like i was going to collapse from exhastion. u were lucky that u wern't hurt falling alseep at the wheel!! take care of yourself k, and tell everyone to get lost cuz you need sleep lol. and dont worry about the IB, itl be soooo worth it when this stuff makes your skin flawless!

Carol xo

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Carol - thanks for the post, that was encouraging! Good idea about canceling stuff haha, I'll have to try that once I write this paper due on Monday....after that I could REALLY use a day off! It's crazy how you always have so much more to do around the holidays!

Day 21

Um, I don't actually remember if I took my pill this morning. I remember taking it out and walking around with it to get some water but then after that.......haha I'm going crazy. My face hasn't really changed much over the last few days. I had several whiteheads on my cheek which I popped right away and now they're red marks. I thought they were supposed to go away faster on Accutane but they're definitely just sittin there. Also, the 3 big ones I talked about earlier are still there too and haven't budged. I tried popping them but they aren't that kind so I guess I'm just going to have to deal. Side effects still the same and actually I was just wondering........

.....are products with glycerol ok to use? Someone once told me that it's an alcohol based product and it's really drying and can even make you break out more, is this true?

Ok and posted below are some pics around day 16 or 17, I can't remember. Definitely plan on using that imageshack next time but I'm on a time crunch right now, so until next time...

oh and just a note, some of these pics aren't really showing what my face looks like because of the lighting, my face looks more like the first of three pics

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Day 24

I feel like my face is at a standstill right now. There have been no new breakouts but the ones I've had for the last 2 weeks haven't gone down at all and I'm afraid they're going to scar. I really thought that things were supposed to heal a lot faster on Accutane but maybe that's not true or else I'm just the odd one out haha. I was also thinking it might have had something to do with adding in an exfoliant to my regimen, and maybe my face is just reacting to it. Anyway, side effects are:

dry lips

dry face, especially around the lip area and nose

more breakouts that aren't going away

REALLY dry hair (I've been using Head and Shoulders but I need to find something stronger cuz that's not helping much)

So yeah that's about it for now, I'm going to see my dermo on Tues for my second month of Accutane, I can't believe how fast this month has gone by! I'm ssooo glad I decided to go on Accutane, having great skin finally seems achievable after almost 7 years of misery. I dunno, it's just starting to look better since there is an end in sight finally. I just wish I tried this out a long time ago!

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wow, today I was sssoooo tired!! Definitely it was the Accutane cuz I got a bunch of sleep last night. That's going to suck if it keeps up like that. So I have this whole "emergency" kit I started in my purse. It includes moisturizer, makeup, tylenol, eye drops and accutane itself. It's definitely helping when I'm out for a long time cuz my face has been getting crazy dry throughout the day. (what else is new?) I started using Aquaphor on my face in certain areas like my nose and around the lip area and that seems to help. I would recommend it to people who are getting dry patches. I saw my dermo on Tues. and she is keeping me on 60mg/day for at least another month just to see if things improve. They haven't improved so far but I mean, that's sorta expected anyway. I didn't want to go on 80mg/day anyway because I'm traveling and seeing family for Christmas. so that's about it for now, ciao.

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Day 30!

ugh, I've been so frustrated because after reading these blogs, it seems like everyone is seeing good (or better) results after month one. If I were to compare day 1 and day 30, I'd say they were the same. I have the same amount of breakouts on my face, only now my face/lips/scalp is super dry. I guess I shouldn't complain but it makes me wonder if the Accutane is really working. It's not even like I'm taking a small dosage, I'm on 60mg/day. My scarring is more pronounced now and I have breakouts where I normally don't get them (normally it's just all over my jawline but now it's on my neck, cheeks and forehead). I can feel LOTS of bumps under the skin too which I'm hoping don't all decide to pop out at the same time! So, I'm not too happy after one month....

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Day 30!

ugh, I've been so frustrated because after reading these blogs, it seems like everyone is seeing good (or better) results after month one. If I were to compare day 1 and day 30, I'd say they were the same. I have the same amount of breakouts on my face, only now my face/lips/scalp is super dry. I guess I shouldn't complain but it makes me wonder if the Accutane is really working. It's not even like I'm taking a small dosage, I'm on 60mg/day. My scarring is more pronounced now and I have breakouts where I normally don't get them (normally it's just all over my jawline but now it's on my neck, cheeks and forehead). I can feel LOTS of bumps under the skin too which I'm hoping don't all decide to pop out at the same time! So, I'm not too happy after one month....

Hi there,

I know how you feel. I am at 23 days and have the same feelings but I have read so many blogs and everyone seems to have different speeds. I keep thinking that it has to be doing something if I no longer have a drop of moisture in my face!! It's funny you mention the hair because I thought I was losing my mind. My hair feels like it did when I was younger and I used cheap hair color or swam too much in chlorine. Yuck. I used to wash my hair every morning and now, I just rinse it and condition it. It's the only thing that has made it somewhat manageable. I am on day 3 now which sounds gross but it's sure improved how itchy my scalp was. Thanks for taking the time to post your blog, it is so helpful. Though you probably don't realize it, for those of us who don't have instant results, it is so nice to read about real people who's skin is not perfect right away. I would be so discouraged without logs from all experiences because on day 23, my looks terrible!!

Good luck!

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Nike73086 - The aquaphor helps supplement my Cetaphil moisturizer but I'm wondering if I need a stronger moisturizer overall. At least it hasn't made me breakout and I've been using it for about a week now so that's a plus! I don't use it in the morning though so my face gets dry throughout the day. That's why I was thinking of changing my regular moisturizer. Thanks for the encouragement, maybe I'm having a late IB which sucks since it's the holidays and I'm visiting family. But there is always something going on and at least this stuff has an end in sight!

CDN MOM08 - Hey whatever works for my hair, I'll do it, even if that means not washing it for a couple of days! Actually I heard that was healthier anyway (I have a friend with gorgeous hair that only washes it twice a week!) so I might try that. I started using T-Gel but that stuff reeks. My husband didn't want to go near me! Good luck with your course! I hope things get better for you, I know how you feel but it'll get better soon!

Day 33

The Accutane is kicking in on my emotional side, blah. I started crying last night because of something stupid and then I couldn't stop! Didn't buy all my Christmas gifts, cry. I'm tired, cry. I don't have enough clothes, cry. I'm on Accutane, cry. Yeah, my poor husband had that deer in the head lights look. And yeah, it is the Accutane, not other things haha. So anyway, let's hope I'm in better shape when visiting my in-laws tomorrow!

Side effects:

Still the same.....same dry dry skin and lips, DRY scalp, scarring (I still have a bunch of red marks that won't go away from the whiteheads I got a couple weeks ago) and a bunch of huge ones, waiting to pop out. They hurt and I can feel them but not see them yet. I'm hoping they don't give themselves to me as a Christmas gift. Worst Christmas gift ever.

Oh! I forgot to mention. DRY EYES! So dry that I can't wear my contacts. I went to see the eye doctor on Sunday and he said they are sssooo dry. I told him my contacts felt like they had sand on them and he was like well that's because your cornea has "scabbed" up. I have to put these eye drops in 4 times a day for the next week and NO contacts. They didn't start bothering me until a week ago but I'm wondering if this is one of those side effects I'll have to suffer through for the next 4-5 months (or more??!! aahhh) Yeah add that to the list of why I was crying last night.

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Day 38

So things were definitely crazy for me over the Christmas holidays. Went down to Maryland and my face started breaking out more. I'm also getting a lot worse with dryness. My skin is so dry that I moisturize twice and then put my makeup on. But if I touch my face after that, that's it. I'm a mountain of flakes! My eyes are still bugging me so I've only worn my glasses but they still feel so dry! Blah. Skin is looking no better either. I was so self conscious at my in-laws. (had a bro-in law there too) When I'd wake up, I would wait till everyone had gone into the den and then run to the bathroom before they could see me. That way I could wash up, try my best to work on the dryness problem and put a little foundation on, at least enough to cover up some of the super red cysts. aaahhh, when's my turning point? At least I'd love to see SOME improvement, even if it's a little bit!! Oh and I had some joint pain today which I wasn't even attributing to Accutane until I read some of the blogs here once I got home. Then it all made sense! Still sucks though!

It was so hard remembering to take Accutane on vacation! I forgot one night and most other nights I was lucky if I remembered before I got into bed. Also forgot to bring my BC and so I'm 3 days late starting it which technically means you have to use backup for a week. But you're already supposed to be doing that on Accutane so now I'm wondering what I should do. I'm thinking to play it safe and just wait a week. I guess that's better than running the risk of getting pregnant.

So that's where I'm at right now, not a happy picture but a hopeful one....

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Day 38

So things were definitely crazy for me over the Christmas holidays. Went down to Maryland and my face started breaking out more. I'm also getting a lot worse with dryness. My skin is so dry that I moisturize twice and then put my makeup on. But if I touch my face after that, that's it. I'm a mountain of flakes! My eyes are still bugging me so I've only worn my glasses but they still feel so dry! Blah. Skin is looking no better either. I was so self conscious at my in-laws. (had a bro-in law there too) When I'd wake up, I would wait till everyone had gone into the den and then run to the bathroom before they could see me. That way I could wash up, try my best to work on the dryness problem and put a little foundation on, at least enough to cover up some of the super red cysts. aaahhh, when's my turning point? At least I'd love to see SOME improvement, even if it's a little bit!! Oh and I had some joint pain today which I wasn't even attributing to Accutane until I read some of the blogs here once I got home. Then it all made sense! Still sucks though!

It was so hard remembering to take Accutane on vacation! I forgot one night and most other nights I was lucky if I remembered before I got into bed. Also forgot to bring my BC and so I'm 3 days late starting it which technically means you have to use backup for a week. But you're already supposed to be doing that on Accutane so now I'm wondering what I should do. I'm thinking to play it safe and just wait a week. I guess that's better than running the risk of getting pregnant.

So that's where I'm at right now, not a happy picture but a hopeful one....

Deep breath.... you are going through crap right now but there HAS to be light at the end of this tunnel. Are you taking any Vitamin E or Omega 3's with your dose? I read somewhere that it can minimize your side effects if you do as well as improve the moisture depletion in your skin. I am doing that and I'm sure I would be worse off if I wasn't. I am also taking a complex B vitamin daily as this helps with stress and acne. Not sure if this is true but I cleared it with my doctor before starting accutane. You have had a ton on your plate and your hormones must be affected by it all. This will exacerbate any skin problems or break outs, no matter what you're taking. Not that you have much choice because life is just like that but you have to know that accutane will work and try and ride this nasty storm out. A few things that I did when I was at my lowest with my skin a few weeks ago: bought some ridiculously expensive foundation and concealer called Forever Makeup. Great coverage and I think just having something new on my face, made it look better. Disregarded derm's advice about exfoliating and am using clean and clear exfoliating cleanser morning and night. It scrubs all of the dry skin off and doesn't make my acne look so scabby. I have also been putting polysporin ointment on the real ugly ones at night that are really imflamed and sore looking. I bought some really nice conditioner and am now leaving it in my hair all evening before rinsing it out. Then in the morning, I just throw rollers in my hair and it looks to have some if it's old life back. All of this sounds very superficial and silly but it makes me feel better about myself and that's what I need when my face looks like shit.

Your body is undergoing a tremendous amount of stress and you need to accomodate the changes by slowing down and taking care of yourself.

I can't wait to read your next log and hear that things are finally improving for you. You will get through this..

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CDN MOM08 - That's funny that you mentioned the Forever foundation because that's what I use already! I love that stuff, so much better than my old foundation. Do you like the concealer? I also took your advice about the vitamins (I've been looking for some anyway) and so hopefully that'll help! I totally know what you mean about doing "superficial" things (if you even wanna call it that) and those kinds of things do help. Lately I've been feeling run down and blah and so I'll definitely have to do something about that! Thanks for your post though, it's helpful to read the encouragement and it came at a good time for me : )

Day 46

ai ai ai, my face! wwwwhhhhyyyyy???? I woke up this morning and my face looked bad. I have six new actives along with a bunch of red marks that aren't about to go anywhere. (when does a pimple not become active? haha) This is soooo frustrating right now. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm that person that the Accutane doesn't work for. I mean, can you have an IB for 46 days?? Broke out in a rash on my hand yesterday and now my ears are peeling like mad! I'd love to see some sort of improvement but unfortunately my skin just keeps on breaking out more and more and the remaining red scars are not even going down at all! Anyway, that's about it for now, I'll try and post some pics later this week

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Nutrition, your husband sees the beauty that you are. These pimples are insignificant marks on this fake costume we wear. I understand your psyche is under tremendous stress, but please be aware of the many members that are keeping up with your log. We are here to stay. While the possibility of accutane not working for you is real, some users have gradually seen results over the course. Some come along slower than others.

"Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky". This quote isn't to say you pity yourself. The purpose is to relay a message of hope. What is carrying you right now, neither of us know. But we do that it's doing the job. Who knows, maybe it is you? Best wishes.

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Nike73086 - So even though your quote wasn't meant to be saying that I pity myself, it really gave me a wake up call. I think for the past several days, if not more, I've just been looking at the bad side of things. It's really taking it's toll! So thanks for the encouragement and hope!

Day 48

Ok, so like I said just a second ago, it really hit me that I'm just sorta going along and pitying myself. I mean ok, so once in awhile, it's hard not to get down or maybe even have a good cry about your face. (and I've had my fair share of good cries!) I don't know, I guess my blog was just starting to sound depressing (at least to me) and I don't want to be like that. Has my face changed in the last 2 days? I WISH! But I'm at least going to try and have more of a positive attitude. It's funny how being upset about your face can affect your everyday activities. But I'll say this, I am excited that in 4 1/2 months I should be acne free! So yeah, that's what's going on with me (seeing as we're all dying to know ; ) haha)

Oh and I forgot to mention that I have the hugest blind pimple on my.......shoulder! Never ever have I gotten one there before! But go me, I'm not going to let it get me down (ok ok, so it's winter time and I've got sweaters to cover it!)

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Your skin looks great, keep it up! You are almost to the two month mark, what an accomplishment. Good luck with the positive outlook, it is the only way to approach this treatment because it only gets better from here on out. Good luck!

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Hey thanks Giselle23, I'm still trying to work on the positive attitude : )

Day 56

There's not much to update on but I'm bored so you know how that goes.......Tomorrow I'm seeing the dermo for my second month appt. She said if my face didn't clear up at all after 2 months she would up my dosage to 80mg/day. I'm kinda scared to up the dosage though! My face hasn't gotten better (in fact, it's been breaking out a lot in the last few days) but I still don't want to get another IB. I dunno though, I guess I could give it a go and see if that helps things. My skin has dried up a lot more but I'm attributing that to the weather which btw sucks! I'm not used to this cold here in MA but it's FREEZING! I've been so lazy and not putting lotion on my body and now my skin feels like it's literally crawling. As for the other side effects, I still have everything like the dry eyes and scalp. But it's manageable so that's good. Oh but in the last few days my chest has been...breaking out? I mean, they don't look like pimples but they are little raised bumps. It doesn't look like a rash either though, any ideas what it might be? Alright not only am I bored, I'm bored talking about myself so that's it for now!

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