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Perrine

My Roaccutane experience: F/30

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Hi everyone.

I've posted here and there but I think it's time for a log. I don't know how often I'll be posting, but I want to share my experience.

About me: I had moderate cystic acne from 12 to 18, that's when the derm put me on birth control pill. Worked very well for both an ovarian problem AND my acne. But, before I turned 29, I decided to quit this hormone thing. It had been 10 years and I felt it was time to give my body some time to breathe on its own. I was aware I might be getting acne again, with breakouts (10 years of no hormone activity and suddently unleash them, wow) but I was also ready to try other alternatives to fight acne.

I stopped my pill in August 07, by December the spots started to appear on my face. My hair started to get SOOO greasy, oily, with lots of dandruffs...I used doxycycline and it helped greatly. Until last summer: June 08, I had the worst breakout ever on my back. I stopped doxy because there was no use going on since it wasn't working anymore. My face had acne, but not that bad. It was mild. And not too noticeable.

I spent the summer trying to get rid of it through tea tree oil, lotions, topicals....and so on. But nothing worked. I tried a healer twice in August 08 and in October08 and it really helped my back. They started to disappear. But not on my face. And I still couldn't wear a tank top.

So, after thinking about it a while, I decided to give roaccutane a try. It was now or wait for another year because of summer and sun and all.

I took my first pill on November 29. Today, will be my 16th pill.

The first week was tough. I am on a 20mg/day treatment, probably for the first 3 months the doc said, but I had lots of side effects. Fatigue and headaches, nausea, feeling faint twice at work (I teach in high school and that's quite embarassing). As for my skin, my lips started being dry after two or three days but with lip balm all over the place it's totally unnoticeable to others but me. My face started being dry after three or four days, I use a good moisturizer at night (cold cream) and it feels OK. I wash my face and body with the soap free cold cream bar.

I don't think my first week mood swings were due to roaccutane but to all the changes and stress it triggers. Now I feel totally identical as before, if not even more upbeat. Cool.

My hair has felt very dry, I am actually going to take care of that as someone on the site suggested, so that it doesn't fall out. My skin, although I had more spots after a week of roaccutane, is dry, so at least there's that! Spots but dry skin.

The best, I think, is how my back has cleared out. There are lots of red marks now, where the cysts used to be, but I haven't even completed a month and already, it feels like a lot of positive change.

For my face, I think there isn't MUCH of a change because of the break out, I had cysts all over and they are only starting to go away. No new one, at least.

==>So far, so good! The side effects I mentionned lasted 10 days (to be thorough) and now I think my body has gotten used to the medicine. I want to start exercising again today too. I take dance classes and these haven't caused much soreness. We'll see if running 4 miles makes me sore.

To all of those out here debating on whether taking roaccutane or not, my first two weeks of it would lead me to say: be positive, and give it a try. Really.

'Till later everyone!

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Good luck with your treatment! I also just started Accutane (Sotret) and its nice to read of people who are going through this process with me. Keep up that positive attitude and you'll be clear in no time. Congratulations on your improvement thus far!

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Hey!!

Glad to hear you're my age. I feel less old.

Right now, I feel good. No side effects almost. Just in the middle of a face breakout, but I handle it. My skin is no longer greasy, yay! so it makes all the cysts all right to handle.

What does sotret mean? is it another kind of generic accutane? I am under "curacné" which is generic roaccutane.

Good luck to you, what is your dose?

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Day 19

Today, I feel like crap. I had three huge ones on my back yesterday, big, wide and painful. My face is also breaking out like crazy. I am sick of all those cysts not going away and which keep growing. I seriously beat all of my students facewise. Good thing classes end Friday.

I think I have also gained weight. I am going to keep a close watch on that because I don't like it.

My hair sheds a lot too. I don't have a lot already so this is stressing me out.

Ok, I guess there are bad days. Only positive thing: it has snowed a lot and everything is white outside. Which is beautiful!

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Day 21

I have the same old cysts. They seem to be growing each day...on my left cheek, they even grow together, joined, forming one big mountain cyst. I do not know how to make that go away. Should Ijust wait patiently? Then, how long? I have one on my chin that won't go away and it's been there three whole weeks with no change!!! I have to style my hair so that they cover my left cheek so no one can see.

My back is breaking out too. When do beakouts occur? What about other people's experience about breaking out and how does it last?

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Day 30

I have nothing much to say about changes...my skin looks the same. Ugly cysts still there, lots of mini black spots too, but with good makeup it's OK. My back is healing, except for some nasty cysts in my upper neck. I can't really say in fact if my face looks better or worse. I am trying not to pick. I haven't done it much lately. One thing is certain, it no longer is oily.

As for exercising, I went running yesterday for 30 minutes, I feel fine today. Not that sore. I am not too tired either, I've been drinking too for Xmas and family gatherings, it was the same as usual. I am going to cut down on fatty food but overall, nothing much has changed. It's going to be a month of accutane...wow...I am hoping to see my cysts disappear in the following weeks. If the treatment is to last 6 months, then I don't expect being clear too soon. I hope it's a good sign.

My nose bled the other day but quickly stopped. I have dry skin on my face (which is not that bad really when moisturized) and I use sunblock every morning. I also moisturized my legs today, but I could have expected much worse as far as dry skin. My hair is really dry which, also, is great :))) I take care of it, try not to blow it dry and I don't massage my scalp when I wash it. I can go 3 days easy without washing it. I lose less hair than at the beginning, I think it's because I go easy on them. So: to all of you who see their hair getting dry, who lose it and all, do NOT massage your scalp! I mean, do not go with your fingers and massage the skin hard, try to just globally massage once the shampoo is on the whole hair, very gently, use warm water (not too hot) and use very gentle shampoo (head and shoulders for sensitive scalps is great) and don't comb your hair too often either. I've manage to reduce my hairloss a lot with being gentle.

So, that's about it. Till next time.

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Day 35

AN update on my skin: I have mainly stopped picking at my face, especially on the cysts. And it turns out, they are a lot less swollen, less red. I am feeling upbeat. I have a few new blackheads, but they're not too visible. Since my skin is not oily anymore, it looks soft where there are no actives.

My back is unchanged, quite a few actives and still these huge cysts on my upper back, I try not to touch them.

I had a lot to drink for New Year's and it didn't feel unusual with accutane, so I'm happy. I have been drinking herbal tea though, to soothe my liver which is probably suffering anyway.

I went running 5 miles and I wasn't sore after, so it's great.

My lips are very very dry so I constantly apply lipbalm. But manageable with it :)

My eyes are dry but I have drops.

This update sounds much like the others after all...despite a small improvement on my face.

Till later

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Day 41

Update! Yay!

I realised I forgot about the bood tests...so I HAVE to go tomorrow morning, I was supposed to do one on day 30...

My skin is slowly healing. I still have a few cysts, still the big ones, reducing though. No picking, better skin! I've been good about it. The thing that seems to change is the nature of my skin. Of course it's still very dry, and I keep using tons of moisturizer each night, but I don't see the pores as much as before. And people think I look healthy, they say I have a good color. So that's really cool.

As for the side effects, I am currently experiencing back pain, but don't really know if it's due to stress or roaccutane. I'd say both because I never really have back pain and I'm under higher stress than usual.

All in all, the most disturbing side effect is vision. I can't look at something for a long time without needing to close my eyes a lot. I can't focus for too long, and that despite the eye drops. I have a blurred vision when I look at something further away, too. We'll see what the doctor says. I find it harder to drive at night, too.

That's it for today!!

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Is anyone sure why Accutane makes some people have bad eyesight?

I've been taking Hyaluronic Acid pills because HA makes up 95% of the fluid inside the eye. I figure Accutane drys out your eyes just like everything else. I haven't had any eyesight problems with Accutane, but I'm not sure if it's related or not. I sort of just take it for good measure :).

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Day 51

I am experiencing heel pain, walking is becoming painful and I don't even want to go running anymore. I keep taking dance classes because it feels bearable but I was wondering if anyone under accutane or sortret or any equivalent had already experienced that. I feel it is very weird!

Other than that, my skin is slowly improving although I still have a mild breakout on my back still. But no active ones on my face! It takes time for the cysts to heal though. But my foundation is not 100% necessary anymore!! There we go.

I need to go get my blood test results and see if my body is not being hurt too much by that.

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That's great that your skin is starting to clear up! I can't wait for the day when I don't "have" to wear foundation. I'm not really sure about the heel pain, I'm sorry you have to go through that though. Hopefully your dermo will have some advice about it. Good luck!

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Yeah, I still need foundation but it definitely feels different because my skin is not like it used to be two months ago: no rash, no oily skin, so what shows now is only the red where the spots are healing. Those red marks seem to take a very long time to fade away though. But as long as there is no white spot....

I think I spend less time in front of the mirror too. I try to avoid time in the bathroom so I am not tempted to pick or examine my skin too closely.

As for the heel pain right now it's OK. I've just been very tired lately and I need to rest. I am hoping the side effects will also decrease when I get to rest more. But I am really upbeat on the whole. I seriously encourage the people who are still hesitant to start (ro)accutane, because the benefits overpower the side effects. My blood test came out all clear! so that's a good beginning. On January 29th, I will have completed 2 months out of the 6. YAY!!!

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I can't wait when I can say that I have no actives! Dropped by to see how you were doing and I am happy that you are seeing results. Are you still on 20mg or did the doc bump you up?

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Still 20mg...I have an appointment when I reach three months. The blood tests show no suffering on the liver! Yay! We'll see. But I think my doctor will put me on a higher dose in a month.

Be patient for the results: greasy hair and skin going away is the first change you'll really notice.

Take care!

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Update! I am no longer counting the days, but months now.

I am finishing my second month. On March 1st, I will have completed 3 months. Which will mean, I'll be halfway done!!!!!

Nothing has changed that much since my last post. I have rested a lot for the last 10 days, being on break. I feel less sore. Yet I still have sore feet all the time, there are even some shoes I can no longer wear. This will be discussed soon when I see my doctor. I quit running but I still practice dance classes.

My face is almost totally clear! There is only a gathering (I call it a gathering because it truly looks those guys chose that spot to get together...) of former cysts. I count 5, they used to be all swollen together and make one huge thing. Now, they are ending their life on my cheek but I can still feel the little bumps. NOTHING like it used to be, really. I am so happy. All the actives have turned into dryish spots kinda like black spots, but not black. When I pick at them, they go out easily, and I don't even do it that much anymore. I have given my facial skin some needed rest. Good side of accutane, I have almost quit picking!! But...

My skin is dry and sensitive. It was a problem the other day when I had to wear lots of makeup for a performance I was in, a few seconds on my skin and it started burning so bad...my skin had definitely become oversensitive. I had to wash my face and put lots of moisturizer, my makeup was approximate but oh well. I had no choice. At night I put layers and layers of moisturizer, I look like I'm a big butter but I don't care: my skin needs it.

Only reservation about the product's efficiency: my back is still in pretty bad shape. It even looks like I had another breakout. It kinda sucks. I wonder if my doc will put me on a higher dose, which I would not be happy about considering I'll have to get used to it and it takes a while. Oh, we'll see. I still have another 3 months to go.

So that's the update! Oh, and also, I only wash my hair twice a week now. This is sooooo great! Much better, I lose less hairs and they don't have to undergo the hairdryer that often.

OVERALL==>accutane rocks, almost totally. Fingers crossed for the time remaining and the long-term effects....

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Wow, that is great news! I am truly happy that you are seeing such great results.

Do you take anything for your body aches/pains? I hope your doc doesn't push a higher dose on you considering the aches you are getting but remember you can always say no. It is your body and you are the one who will have to deal with the side effects. With that, I hope you continued good luck with the rest of your treatment.

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Hey Carmelle!

No, I don't take anything for my feet pain. My other pains are gone now, and they were related to my illnesses (I had the flu +t tracheitis + sinusitis two weeks ago) for the most part. I don't want to add too many medicines on top of roaccutane.

Last week I also had to deal with constant headaches. They're also gone now. I wonder if they were caused by roaccutane or not. My sister who's a doctor said they can be related to a number of things and that we cannot be sure it's the medicine.

But anyway I know I may say no to higher dose. I just wonder if my back not clearing as fast as my face is really normal. Thank God it's winter so I don't have to wear tank tops....

What about you, Carmelle? Still on the "clear" path? You were so worried at the beginning...are you through with your IB?

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Pictures:

I should have taken some from before I started. I'll see if I find some. But here is my face today, with just a very very think layer of foundation: (hope it works...first time attaching pics)

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post-89540-1235060568_thumb.jpg

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Today==>8 days till 3rd month is completed!!!

I am having bad zits on my scalp....on the right side. They are even painful when I sleep. I used to have lots before I started accutane, with dandruff and greasy hair, but it's weird they should come back now. I used henna the other day, I know it's good for the hair and scalp, but I wonder if those zits are here because of it. We'll see how fast they go away....

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TODAY ===> 3 months completed!!! YAY!! Halfway done!!!

I saw the doctor yesterday and had my blood tests results. She is not changing my dose: I'm staying on 20mg. She says I respond quite well to the treatment, so I'm in for another 3 months. She says she'll push up to 4 if my back isn't completely cleared.

My blood tests are very good, liver/cholesterol, it's all perfect.

Still nasty heel pain, there's nothing much to do about it, just rest and take it easy. It's OK I can deal with it.

My face is clearing fast now. I am going to attach a picture taken yesterday. I don't suffer too much from dryness either, because I take all the necessary steps before being annoyed.

As a conclusion: no great change, my back seems to be on the way to clearing but it takes time.

post-89540-1235821395_thumb.jpg

post-89540-1235821395_thumb.jpg

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TODAY ===> 3 months completed!!! YAY!! Halfway done!!!

I saw the doctor yesterday and had my blood tests results. She is not changing my dose: I'm staying on 20mg. She says I respond quite well to the treatment, so I'm in for another 3 months. She says she'll push up to 4 if my back isn't completely cleared.

My blood tests are very good, liver/cholesterol, it's all perfect.

Still nasty heel pain, there's nothing much to do about it, just rest and take it easy. It's OK I can deal with it.

My face is clearing fast now. I am going to attach a picture taken yesterday. I don't suffer too much from dryness either, because I take all the necessary steps before being annoyed.

As a conclusion: no great change, my back seems to be on the way to clearing but it takes time.

hi perrine! your skin looks beautiful!! i was wondering which birth control pill you took that had helped keep your skin clear for so long? also, did your doctor mention anything about taking accutane / having kids one day? i am thinking about going on accutane for a third time but worry about its effect on my system and ability to have kids etc. any thoughts would be much appreciated! thanks!

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Hey Tennisgirl

The treatment that I took for 10 years was extremely effective for acne. My derm mixed cyproterone (=Androcur) Estradiol (=Provames). There may be different names in the US or UK, those are french names.

It took 3 months for my skin to clear out. However, the drawbacks were mainly due to a total lack of libido. I think my morale was also lower. But since I took that for 10 years I did not notice it until I stopped in 2007. It does affect your morale, to some degree. But, if you've suffered from acne for so long and have also done accutane 2 times, well, it may be something worth trying just because it really clears you. Because I would also tend to believe a third course of accutane is a lot.

These hormones were prescribed to me both for acne and also to preserve my ovaries. That means it is going to stop your ovulation. Not many doctors allow this treatment in the US because there are side effects, but not as many as accutane.

My doctor did not mention anything about the ability of having kids and accutane. She said that I'd have to wait at least 6 months after completing accutane before having children adding that a year would even be better.

I hope it has helped you! Keep me updated if you do switch to hormonal treatment instead of accutane. Good luck to you!

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4 MONTHS COMPLETED....yay!!

I have mixed feelings as regards the results on my skin: my face is almost totally clear. No active ones. Just the cysts that are not totally flat, but I have a 6-month treatment so I am hoping those will have disappeared by then.

But my back, is BAD. Still active ones scattered on my upper back and even lower back area. They still hurt. They still turn white...has anyone had the same problems? My doc said, we are going to extend the treatment by one month or more, if my back hasn't cleared. She has not upped me. (is that english?) , I am still on 20mg. She says that since I handle it well, there's no reason to make it worse for my body to tolerate it, she says it's already quite aggressive so no need to go on a higher dose.

Side effects now, well, there are few, actually!

- the constant use of lipbalm, which is really not that bad. I have one almost everywhere: car, handbag, locker at work, pencil case, desk, bathroom, bedroom, in the pillow....

- dry skin pretty much everywhere, but winter was harsh too. I don't blame roaccutane only.

- easily sore

- much better with heel pain: it's almost gone. I can feel they're tense but I stretch and it goes away.

- blood test perfect

- did not gain weight

- liver OK

- tired, but if I get enough sleep I am perfectly normal

- absolutely no mood swing

- SUN now: it's baaaad...I have to put TONS of total sunblock!!! and constantly!! and even though I don't get red, the skin is so thin and dry that it reacts to sunlight and after a day in the sun, no matter how much sunblock I put, it HURTS. I am a little worried as spring and summer are coming fast. And the sun is back here in the Alps.

==> So I hope my back heal fast so I we can get over this roaccutane!! I cannot wait to be off it just because of the sun. And I would love to be able to wax again....

Other than that, I'm good :)

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hello perrine

i am happy that your face is much cleared now, and hope to progress for your back

i am taking isosupra for 2 weeks now, ( my dermo says it's like roaccutane ) but i have concerns about it, i am afraid that my face will not improve, or it will return if it cleared up.. my lips are dry, and my hair is less oily, my face started to be dry, but still with breakouts..

any advices? !

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