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Accutane journey beginning 1/6/09

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First I guess a little background information. I am a 28 year old female. I have two children, almost 3 and almost 6. I have been married a little over a year to my Prince Charming. I am a full time nursing student. I anticipate finishing my LPN program in March of 2009 and beginning the RN program in April. I had occasional pimples in high school but nothing that really ever bothered me too much. My daughter was born in April 2003 and within a few months I noticed a definite worsening of my acne. My son was born in February 2006 and after his birth something awful happened to my skin. It is constantly like an oil slick, within 1/2 an hour of me washing my face. I started getting cystic acne which is very painful and also horribly embarrassing. After having had a relatively good skin experience in adolescent I am devestated to have to suffer this at the age of 28. I tried every topical skin treatment I could get my hands on. I have had a little success using Neutrogena's Skin ID recently for some of the less painful and more superficial tiny breakouts. Of course nothing is touching the cysts on my face. My acne is more concentrated around my jaw and ear line and my neck. There are always also 1 or 2 major explosions near my lips and nose. Finally I decided to do something about this mess. I made an appointment with a dermatologist. Within a few minutes, and after hearing about the cysts on my face, back, and shoulders that sometimes make sleep difficult she suggested Accutane to me. Having been a former pharmacy technician and a current nursing student I was not unfamiliar with the medicine and even had done research prior to my visit because I suspected that would be the direction the doctor would choose to head in. I have my first appointment November 26 and after the 2 blood tests my second appointment was on January 6.

That was the day I received my prescription for Accutane. I swear I felt myself choke up when she handed me the prescription. I am so relieved to see a light at the end of this tunnel. I started on 30 mg twice a day and she said we may increase to 40 mg twice a day and that I should anticipate being on the course for 5 months.

So far I haven't seen much of anything. Today was day 4 on the course. I may have experienced a little extra dryness on my chin today but it's January in Ohio so it's 29 degrees outside - that may have something to do with my dryness. I have always had a habit of applying chapstick and lip balm so my lips are usually well-moisturized. I've had a cold so my nose has been dry underneath it but more than likely it's from blowing my nose 24/7.

I'm very excited to see what's going to happen with my skin and I really appreciate any feedback anybody that happens on my log has for me. I do have a question for someone. My derm told me I may not use any topical acne medications while I'm on Accutane. I have recently been using Skin ID by Neutrogena which has Salicylic Acid and also Benzoyl Peroxide in the regiment. What happens if I do use these? Would it just dry my skin out too much? I have quit using them the last couple of days and I have broken out tiny little whiteheads in some areas where the oil is building up too much.

Thanks and everybody have a great day!!

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Hey, good luck on accutane! It seems cruel and unusual to suddenly develop acne at 28 - I hope this really *is* the light at the end for you.

I've been on it for a week, and yes, it does feel somehow wrong to not be using acne products! But most ppl on the board can testify that you skin gets extremely dry by the end of the course and to use drying, peeling agents like SA and BP would make matters much worse. The idea is that the nuclear effect of accutane overrides all of that - though I guess it's possible to break out in the first few weeks where that's yet to happen. I'm using dove soap now, and I'm getting blackheads - rare for me. Hope the isotretinoin kicks in soon, for both of us


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Thanks for the encouragement and the insight. I guess I figured using acne meds would increase the drying but I wasn't wondering if there was anything more than that... would I turn blue like a smurf? LOL! Dove soap sounds like a good idea. I started using Cetaphil and I'm surprised it's burning a little when I wash. Does anybody notice this?

So today started day 6 and I guess I notice a slight reduction in oil. Normally when I wake up in the morning I feel very greasy but this morning it wasn't too bad. I always look at my forehead. That's where the oil seemed to be at its worse but this morning I didn't have that shininess. I am a little more dry in my chin area and my lips feel kind of tight and my nose a little dry but nothing serious. I still have about 3 cysts in front of my right ear and one in front of my left ear. (Yep - makes it really hard for a side/belly sleeper to get comfortable) but the pimples that were near my nose are healing and I didn't get any new ones this morning. I have a few deep painful pimples on my right jawline where there is always something and they hurt so badly I hope they heal soon. I'm so tired of my 2 yr old son pointing at my face, looking sad, and saying, "Oh Mommy you have owie."

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We started on the same day, and we will probably start to feel the same side effects soon.

My lips are not chapped, but the skin on my face is getting more dry each passing day.

I used regular Cetaphil moisturizing lotion the first night and I immediately threw that crap in the trash can, and bought Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15.

It is more gentle to the skin on your face as opposed to the regular kind.

It is nongreasy and it looks like I am not even wearing anything.

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Aww, while it's obviously no fun for you, that's some pretty adorable babyspeak. Hope it changes to "mommy you have such an even-toned and enviable complexion" soon LOL

About cetaphil - I personally find that it feels like smushing cooking oil into my pores. But that's the idea, I guess - super-emollient and gentle. But it's odd that you're "burning" - perhaps you're already experiencing skin sensitivity? Maybe try Dove, or what the above guy suggested? I had an oily complexion but one week of dove and the tane and it's been normalized. My face looks so much calmer. Then again, some acne just *hurts*, period. Hey, it's gonna get better!

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