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carmelle

31, Afraid and Starting Accutane

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Hello,

I have suffered with acne for 22 years and spent thousands on peels, creams, antibiotics, BCP, ect to no avail. My derm prescribed 40Mg of accutane and I am so afraid of the IB and side effects. I am currently on meds for anxiety which is pretty much under control and depression related to my acne and a divorce that I am going through.

I have mild but very persistent acne which for the past year has turned cystic. At the moment my skin is peppered with dark marks and a couple of small cyst. I may take my first pill tonight or tomorrow morning and I am so afraid of everything I have read on this board about the possible permanent effects.

I did not want to start at 40Mg but my derm said she wanted me off of it in 5 months but I am wondering if I should take it every other day (Mg) to test how my body will react to it. Btw, I weigh 132 lbs. and I am 5'6" tall.

My question is: has anyone suffered permanent side effects on my dosage? if yes, what were they? (I do not think I will go higher than this no matter what my derm says.)

I would love some support and guidance through this becsuse I am such a chicken butt about this.

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I am also on 40mg... and just started a few days ago. I think its hard to say how your body will react without taking the plunge. I have been drinking a ton of water since starting and i think that has helped with the headaches and such.

As far the IB goes... after 22 years of acne, whats another bad few months?

And the side effects can be scary, but there are side effects with everything in life- its just whether or not you are willing to take the risk.

good luck if you decide to go through with it :)

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Take it from me...

I have been on accutane for 14 days and experiencing the IB right now.

I am taking it day by day, knowing that it should subside within the next week most likely.

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I started on 20mg a day for 4 weeks, and then 40 mg for the next 4 weeks which i'm currently on and half way through...I didn't notice any side effects on 20mg apart from dry lips and dry hair. But, as soon as i changed to 40mg a day i noticed headaches and achey joints for about 3 days on 40mg but after them 3 days nothing at all apart from dry lips and dry hair...i think everyone has there ups and downs on this drug but my experience has been good so far i dont think this drug is half as bad as what its made out to be! I think your body just needs time to adjust to the dosage like when i stepped up from 20mg to 40mg i did notice some side effects but as i say after 3 days this all went so i'm just assuming them 3 days were just my body getting used to it...

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I started on 20mg a day for 4 weeks, and then 40 mg for the next 4 weeks which i'm currently on and half way through...I didn't notice any side effects on 20mg apart from dry lips and dry hair. But, as soon as i changed to 40mg a day i noticed headaches and achey joints for about 3 days on 40mg but after them 3 days nothing at all apart from dry lips and dry hair...i think everyone has there ups and downs on this drug but my experience has been good so far i dont think this drug is half as bad as what its made out to be! I think your body just needs time to adjust to the dosage like when i stepped up from 20mg to 40mg i did notice some side effects but as i say after 3 days this all went so i'm just assuming them 3 days were just my body getting used to it...

I started on 20mg a day for 4 weeks, and then 40 mg for the next 4 weeks which i'm currently on and half way through...I didn't notice any side effects on 20mg apart from dry lips and dry hair. But, as soon as i changed to 40mg a day i noticed headaches and achey joints for about 3 days on 40mg but after them 3 days nothing at all apart from dry lips and dry hair...i think everyone has there ups and downs on this drug but my experience has been good so far i dont think this drug is half as bad as what its made out to be! I think your body just needs time to adjust to the dosage like when i stepped up from 20mg to 40mg i did notice some side effects but as i say after 3 days this all went so i'm just assuming them 3 days were just my body getting used to it...

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Thank you for all the replies. I decide to take pictures and I was shocked. I have more actives and marks than I thought all over my face. I decided to take it in the morning. My family don't approve but they all literally have great skin so have no idea what I go through. I am the 13th out of a family of 14 and I am the only one with bad skin!

I guess I will actually be starting my journey tomorrow. Until then...

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Personally, starting on this drug is one of the best things I have ever done. I was also 31 when I started and I'm now 4 months into the course. I was also terrified by the horrorstories. No so much of the IB, but more of the sideeffects which I read in some cases could be nasty and even permanent. Reading the logs in here helped a lot. As it turned out, most people only have minor sideeffects such as dry skin and a little joint pain every now and then. The same goes for me.

In my case the first 2-3 weeks were by no means fun and the IB made me look worse than I've ever done before, but by week 4 it actually looked pretty good, and the improvement has continued ever since. Apart from the beginning, my course has been a walk in the park.

My fears were what held me from using this medicine years ago. That's my only regret right now. I have tried so many other regimen, few had any effect and those were only shortterm.

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Thank you for that, I really needed to hear that.

Day 1

I popped my pill after breakfast before heading out to work and my heart was literally thumping with fear. Why would I if I was that afraid? This past year I have basically stayed away from my friends and stayed cooped up in my room. As a teacher it is so uncomfortable to just stand there and have my students staring up at me. I am desperate to end my long battle with acne.

Any case, on my way to work about 20 minutes after I took my pill I had a panic attack, haven't had that strong in months!- not because of accutane but just thinking about if I just not only put my health in jeopardy but my daughter's future who is only 7. Gosh, am I selfish? I understand all of the risks and yet I am moving forward.

Side effects:

- I have been itching my forehead but maybe because I am paying so much attention and waiting for side effects.

Told you guys I was a chicken butt.

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Hey there! Don't worry about the side effects- expect to have some, but try to roll with the punches. Millions upon millions of people have taken this drug since the early 1980s, and the more serious side effects are rare. The only reason it is so heavily regulated is the birth defects, really. Just as long as you get your blood work done every month you will be fine!

I fluctuate between 115 and 120 and have been on 60mg per day for the past 11 days and haven't has any side effects other than a little bit of dryness... which I like on my face (used to be super-oily) and lips (easily combatted with Aquaphor/chapstick).

Good luck and don't stress!

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Hey there! Don't worry about the side effects- expect to have some, but try to roll with the punches. Millions upon millions of people have taken this drug since the early 1980s, and the more serious side effects are rare. The only reason it is so heavily regulated is the birth defects, really. Just as long as you get your blood work done every month you will be fine!

I fluctuate between 115 and 120 and have been on 60mg per day for the past 11 days and haven't has any side effects other than a little bit of dryness... which I like on my face (used to be super-oily) and lips (easily combated with Aquaphor/chapstick).

Good luck and don't stress!

You are right and my reaction to it today was much better! :D

Day 2

-lots of new but usual actives, now underneath my chin and neck (I doubt that it is the onset of IB because I have been breaking out like this this past month- I am wondering how much worst it might get for me?) I woke up with 4 cystic bumps on my left cheek and 5 smaller lumps on my right side with lots of tiny small pimples scattered on my face. Gosh, I just hate the condition of my skin!!!!!! I can't wait for this to start working.

-No anxiety attack and no itching of the forehead that I had mentioned I had on day 1.

- not even the itching of the forehead I mentioned happened on The first day.

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I noticed you started about the same as me. Good luck to you. I can understand the whole psychological 1st day thing...thinking something's gonna happen when in reality, nothing will happen. That's how I go about it.

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method11- yes, the second I took it I just felt that something horrible was going to happen to me.

Day 4

Last night I woke up with a low fever, my throat itching and couldn't fall back asleep. The previous day I had an allergy attack and took my allergy med for it. I am allergic to dander, dust mites, tree pollen and have had asthma since I was 16... I know, I am like all F-up but I don't take it all too seriously, except for my anxiety disorder.

But get this: A few minutes later I was salivating like some dog! seriously. This happened to me when I was pregnant with my daughter for the first two months of my pregnancy and then again when I tried taking BCP. When I told my derm a couple of months ago that I had to stop the BCP because I couldn't handle the constant over production of saliva she said that she never heard such a reaction to BCP. Well, whatever because I was not going to stay on it. But wtf! it is a bit disgusting that I was basically drooling like this. It got a bit better later on at work but when I went to the nail salon, it was terrible. Right now it is ok. Is this some side of effect of accutane I never heard of or maybe it's just this strange fever that came on me last night. Oh, and the fever did not last til the morning. My throat still bothers me but I feel much better than I did last night.

Other than that I did notice that my bumps and lumps have calmed down somewhat. No real dryness that I can notice but I decided to finally apply a thin layer of Aquaphor this morning. I hope applying it this early in my treatment does not break me out further. I think tonight that I am going to apply a little bit of my Proactiv mask to my actives.

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Day 5

-My throat no longer bothers me and the strange salivating issue pretty much stopped. The two actives I smeared the Proactiv mask is now looking crusty but not so swollen as last night.

-no side effects.

I take accutane pill early in the morning and I think I read somewhere that you shouldn't take it with milk or orange juice. Need to find out because I love my cereals.

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I've actually heard to take accutane with (1-2%) milk or peanut butter because they have fats in them and accutane is more easily absorbed into the blood stream with the fats present.

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Thanks. I just read on this site on how to take it and it does say with a tall glass of water or milk.

I just check in real quick- I feel like shit! my brother came over for a visit and he was shocked at the condition of my face. He was like " What happened to your skin? You need some zinc."

I saw him last on Christmas so I guess my break out after that was worst than I thought. What the hell, I was just saying and looking into the mirror saying how I feel a bit better about how my skin looks. What if he saw me a few days ago with my angry cysts.? He probably would of fallen over with shock. I thought I have been tough on myself but I guess maybe not.

I took some pics the day I started accutane, so now I am thinking I should post it. I will try to do so tomorrow, I am tired and going to sleep. Not feeling so up beat right now.

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Here are some pics of me now, with less cystic bumps then I had before starting.

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Here are some pics of me now, with less cystic bumps then I had before starting.

Hey there!

I am your age pretty much: I'm 30. I started roaccutane 2 months ago (it will be 2 months Jan.29th) and I would like to really encourage you in this process.

You can check my posts if you like to see what I said about my experience.

I am 107lbs, I take 20mg a day. One thing is for sure: the first 15 days were the toughest for me, but try, really try not to listen to your body too much. Once you starts seeing the results, you'll feel so good you won't even see many side effects that much any more. There are some, true, but they are totally bearable when you know what's at stake: CLEAR SKIN!! Don't you think it's high time, when we've lived way past teenage, we get clear skin? Nobody knows how hard it gets as we grow old. But us.

So keep your head high, don't let anyone discourage you and you'll see. It's gonna work for you too!!!

Take care, keep us updated :)

Perrine

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Perrine- thank you for your encouragement because no one in my family supports me with this which makes me still struggle with doubts. I don't blame them but they will never understand wht it's like to live with acne, especially adult acne. I am definitely ready for clear skin!!! tired of being uncomfortable, staying home and away from people, and feeling embarrass in front of my students.

Day 7 (1 week)

Wow, I know I have a long way to go but I am happy to have week one down. So far, no IB. As a matter of fact my skin is noticeably smoother. I had a lot of little bumps under the skin and most are gone. However, the cyst I have on my forehead is still there and I have a new one (a bit smaller) on my right cheek and better not be the onset of an IB. I am still happy because just one week ago I had several of them bad boys on the sides of face.

My face feels a bit oily today and so I am thinking of skipping the aquaphor in the morning. My lips on the hand, is DRY, people. Although I apply lip balm it still feels dry as if I applied foundation or face powder on my lips. The aquaphor actually feels more uncomfortable because it just feels like I have been eating some greasy chicken, not cool.

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Day 8

Oh boy, I think I am experiencing an IB. The small bumps I had on my left cheek which is typically my good side has increased in size and they are itching. The big painful cyst on my forehead is still there. But the skin around the blemishes is smoother and softer looking than it was like week. I had a lot of small actives on my neck, especially by my ear, which are almost all gone. I have no new back acne since I started. Is this an IB or not? I see some improvements with certain things but yet I am breaking out. The tens of tens of tiny little bumps that covered my face have smoothed down a lot but I do have about 7 small cyst like bumps (no head and they are a bit hard but no pain) on my left cheek and one on my Right cheek. ?????

My lips are dry and when I applied my lip balm today, it slightly stung. I am not using aquaphor on my lips so it doesn't feel that I have mud lips. Instead I am using Carmex which is much better. The only thing is now when I step outside into the cold, it feels that I have an icebox over them.

Also, I decided not to use aquaphor this morning. I used CeraVe moisturizing cream which is much lighter but it does its job. If or when my skin begins to get drier than I might have to switch.

One last thing--- I am using Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Shine Free Cleanser. I know I should use something something softer but I don't want an out of control IB. Since I still have plenty oil, I plan on using a light layer of my Proactiv mask for 30 minutes. I can't stand not doing anything, especially when the left side of my face is getting bumpier.

So, besides the slightly painful lips & possible IB, no other side effects.

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I know what you mean about the Aquaphor and the greasy chicken haha. I use Aquaphor and Carmex, but I also use this stuff called Nivea a Kiss of Mositure that comes in a blue tube- I find its less thick and gunky than the others.

It does sound like you are experiencing an IB. I think I read somewhere that most people get it in the first week or so and it lasts about a week or two. I know its hard, but think of it as a positive- the medicine is pushing all the stuff out and making the blemishes surface.

Your skin will dry out soon enough. It took me to about Day 10 or 11 on 60mg per day to notice a decrease in oil production. At first, I was wondering if it was even working. So hang in there!

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From reading all the logs, all I can say about the IB is that there really is no general pattern. The intensity of it depends on the people, but remember: we usually have a long accutane treatment, which means that it takes a while to dry out all the sebum production. It took me a month to see a real change for my cysts. And my back is still pretty bad compared to my face, with new active ones still there along with my hormone cycle.

So, be patient, and also remember that we are the last ones to notice the improvement because we focus on it so much.

Take care, keep us updated!

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kmk621 & Perrine- thank you for encouraging ME to continue because boy oh boy I woke up, looked into the mirror, and felt like crawling back into bed. I need to be reminded that this won't last.

Day 9:

My face is shit! smearing my mask on did nothing but make my skin a bit dry. The seven cyst I spoke about has turned ugly on me. Four of them turned to a head but also grew in size. I tried popping them but nothing much came out. I only managed to make them swell up even more and they begin itching me as if to punish me. Took a warm shower and they seem to be less vicious looking . Wow, I have really reached my IB stage. I just pray that they don't get any bigger than they are. I also have a small one growing by my eye...damn. But I will calm down and keep going. This just means its working... right? :unsure: I shall think "Clear skin, clear skin" and soon enough I hope it will be over.

Now, I have been separated fro my husband for a year now so this past month I decided to date this guy and he always wants to hang. He thinks that I am not really into him because of course I tell tell him no more than half of the times he asks me out, which has nothing to do with him but more to do with the hills and mountains on my face. He is aware that I just started accutane and does not see a need for it but please! He has not realized yet that I say no to day activities and just hang out with him when it involves the movies, a lounge or some place where the lighting is nice to me. Plus my skin wasn't looking THIS bad when I meant him.

BTW: dry lips continue but they no longer hurt when I apply lip balm and they are not chapped. No other side effects. Gosh, please wish me luck on my ending soon!!!!

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Don't worry! It is not going to last forever. But it is a good sign, your body is reacting to the treatment, so just patiently wait. I know how it feels, especially during the breakout your skin is all sensitive and the cysts hurt a lot. Try not to touch them and wait till you really can pop them. But the best is try not to pick because of the marks it leaves afterwards. But I know it's not easy to resist to picking and popping.

As least this is winter now so the days are shorter :)

And I'm telling you: other people don't see what we do, and despite the fact our face looks like a huge cyst to us, oddly enough others don't see it like that.

Give yourself another 2 weeks and you'll see the change. I think my breakout happened a week or so after I started and it looks like the same is happening for you.

Good luck!!! It is a necessary process which has an END !

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