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smileygirl

My Fabulous Accutane Log

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So, if you've read any of my other posts since I've been on and off for the last 2 years, I'm finally on this board because I've decided to take the plunge once and for all. I'm just about 28yrs old. I need to get on with my life... my skin has been the main story of my life for the last 3 years.

Its never been great. I did run a course of accutane when I was 19 while in college. Strangely enough, I don't remember my skin being that bad before it though (but had used tetracyline and retin A all through high school). It worked with no major side effects. It stayed clear for about 6-9 months after when it got worse. Antiobiotics got me through the rest of college. I don't remember if a 2nd course was recommended. Spironolactone got me through my first 2.5 years of real having a real job. Then I stopped it thinking I must have outgrown the acne at that point. By about 3 months after, my skin was so crazy oily and breaking out consisently. Back to the derm I went and tried spironolactone but without the same success I had the first go. I can't remember exactly what my mind set was, but I refused to continue derm treatments and for the last 3 years I've been trying to deal with it on my own using Murad, Paula's choice, iQ Derma (not bad actually), basically a very strict daily skincare regimen (I am a slave to washing my face and my routine and putting on makeup in the morning). I changed my diet for a while and even completed a 12 day Master Cleanse (yes, I drank water, cayenne pepper, lemon/lime juice, and maple syrup only for 12 days straight).

Clearly, I cannot manage it on my own. I have oily skin (really oily in the summer), I have really congested pores all the time, and breakout with these cyst like big bumps that rarely come all the way up on my cheeks and sides of forehead and jawline and take forever to go away (and then leave a mark). And now my back breaks out. Gross, just what I need. I exercise and am trim. I know that my stress levels agravate it. I work to manage it daily. At this point I think my skin interferes with my career too. I'm in sales and it certainly doesn't enhance my image. Good thing I'm charming. ;)

So, to get to the point. I finally got my pcp to refer me to a derm (I had one before, but then opted to a cheaper insurance plan and have to go this route). I went and immediately w/o barely a second glance he's signing me up for iPledge. I was amused... in the back of my head I was secretly hoping he would say its not that bad and recommend something else (heck I hadn't been in 2 years-- i went back to the same derm). not so much. (What the heck is this silly iPledge thing? Last time it was here's your script off you go...) Anyway, I start on Sept 3rd. yay! I'm secretly excited. :) I really really really really want pretty skin. I want to wear a ponytail with no makeup and be able to leave my house. I want to go on a trip with girlfriends and not be embarrassed when I take off my makeup. So here'll be my log. Follow along if you like. If I'm feeling brave, I'll post some pics along the way.

Edited by smileygirl
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I'm so sorry that your acne came back, but it's good to hear that you're going to fight it!

The same thing happened when I went to my derm! I was kind of hoping he'd be like, "well, there's one more thing you can try..." but instead he said "you're out of options, want to try accutane?" And yes, iPledge is super annoying but it's kind of necessary. No one wants to give birth to a kid with like 8 eyes or 3 heads. (:

Since you've already gone though it once I'm sure you'll be better off for your second treatment. Buy some Aquaphor and lotion! I'll keep tabs on your log, and take some pictures! I know the last thing anyone with acne wants to do it take pictures, but it really helps to see how much progress you've made.

Good luck! (:

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Thanks for your support! Its funny, now that I know I'm going to go on Accutane, I am way less stressed and my skin is actually moderately ok... for skin that's bad that is. lol. I think its b/c I know the end is near-- at least for a while. :0)

I've been completely captivated by everyone else's logs too. We are a brave bunch aren't we? Go us for taking control of the situation.

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Ugh, can this month go any slower? I'm starting on 9/3/09 and this month is dragging. I'm just feeling down today, feeling mad at myself that I let my skin get so yucky before deciding to go on accutane... it doesn't help that my boyfriend totally yelled at me saying how could i let it get this bad... he's kind of schmuck anyway but that is another post. I wish I had just gone on accutane the first time the derm suggested it for the second time (2 years ago). Sadly, my skin is worse than some of the pictures I've seen posted here, mostly b/c I have more redmarks and scars... Its embarassing. I went to the beach this weekend (and have been tanning to help hide it). But getting out of the water sucked-- but it was so hot I couldn't handle it. (good thing I look cute in a bikini) ;)

September, Please hurry up... looking forwad to starting 'tane and having this all be behind me. My skin's condition is hormonal b/c spironolactone worked well in the past... and now that I am back on birthcontrol it is less oily. Hopefully the 'tane will tone it down. Just needed to vent a little today.

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I will tell you that the 30 day waiting period is pure hell for us women. I just started my course on 8/14 and it seemed like forever before that day came. Of course, I vascillated between whether or not to take it - fear of the side-effects and spending time on these boards reading horror and success stories! I am only on day 4 - but am trying to take it all in stride and let it run it's course.

Good luck and don't let your guy get you down. Honestly, if we could control the situation we would. I think it's worse being an adult woman with this embarrassing problem!!!

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Hello everyone. I'm so excited. I just took my first pill of my treatment. I'm taking 40mg/day of Claravis. i'm 28 year female. 135 lbs and 5'8". My derm said I'll go to 60mg for 5-6 months. I really hope this is the end of all this nonsense. So far so good. I can't even believe the rediculousness that is iPledge. I went yesterday to the derm right at 9am. Got my scrpit then went to the lab to get my blood work done where I had to wait an hour. Then had to wait till 4:30 today for the results to be review and input in iPledge. The questions on iPledge were completely silly. I never even opened the book and got them all right. They clearly think we are all idiots. Then to CVS where I had to wait another hour for my prescription. Low and behold the most gigantic prescription box I've ever seen. Not to mention the pregnant woman picture with the X through her covering every pill. K, got it--don't get pregnant. Took my first pill at 6:30 tonight. Switched all my skincare to dry formulations already. And am ready to get on with life. :)

I wish I could post some pictures, but I don't know how to make my files smaller.

Edited by smileygirl
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Smileygirl, good luck! You already made it through the first hard part of waiting 30 days! Reading your log, I had to smile at all the similarities to my story! I'm about 9 years older than you though.

But I'm 5'9' 130-135 lbs, just started 40mg of Claravis on 8-24 (will be going to 80mg month two), took a round of accutane about 11 years ago, managed things for a while with antibiotics and spironolactone and other products until now. Mine has also just gotten worse since I tried to stop taking the oral meds. Tried to start on spiro again with out the same result....and know exactly what you mean about wanting to be able do things/take trips with friends and not be so self conscious!

I wish you success this time around and will be interested to read how you are doing!

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Thanks, indygal. Its nice to know someone has a similar path. Even harder when we are not 19. Best of luck to you too.

K, Day 10. I had really good intentions to log everyday or at least every other day. And here we are at Day 10 already. I can't really say too much is going on. I had a headache for the first 2-3 days. It seems to have subsided now. However, I can't be sure it wasn't from the wine I was drinking. Note to self, don't start accutane on a holiday weekend. I probably shouldn't have been drinking, but it was Labor day weekend and everytime I turned around there was wine. oh well. Drink more water.

The biggest change is that my lips are crazy dry already. Within like 3 days I could feel a difference. At first my regular lip balm was fine, but I had to up the anty already to Aquaphor, as long as I don't let it totally dry, then I'm good. I scooped it into several litte jars and put them all over so i won't be without. My acne is going well I feel. I've had really minimal breaking out even for me (w/o expecting 'tane to really be working yet). And what does come up goes away quickly. And the stuff comes out of them much more easily. The black heads on my nose are forcing themselves up. And what I thought was interesting was that my nose was all peely the other day. Like layers of dead skin were just peeling off. Its kind of weird b/c I don't feel like my skin is really dry yet, just kind of flakey (and only on or at the corners of my nose). Overall my skin feels soft and I love feeling my cheeks with no bumps. And seems crazy but the redmarks are almost starting to be less noticable.

So, so far so good. Although, I suppose I should mention one other thing. I'm not sure if it is accutane related. I got upset the other day and I was crying. Like really crying. More easily and more than I ever cry. I wondered if it was the accutane making the sad situation seems worse than it was... but no worries, all is good now.

I will update again soon.

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Day 13. Almost 2 weeks yay! My lips are exceedingly dry already... I can't be without aquaphor for more than like an hour. I'm sorry anxious they are going to get crazy chapped and peeling. I don't want cracked lips. I was at all day workshop the other day and I seriously I was pulling out the little tub every hour. I wonder how much I've eaten already?

otherwise not too much to report. I seem to be developing this glow... kind of like my face is tan, buts its not--my makeup seems a little light almost. Perhaps i'll get the next shade. Not really dry on my face eather, just a little flakey. Healing rate is awesome... things come and flake away. Although there was one spot on my cheek I messed with prematuraly and it made a huge scab, but the scab already came off and i was like crap that is going to be a friggin' awesome scar, but its already way less red than normal and may not scar at all. My hair seems to be not as oily either. Awesome. Its nice to not have to wash and blowdry everyday--i like dirty hair, its textured, like bed hair.. its hard to have sexy bedhead hair when its oily b/c then it just looks greasy. Have one spot/cyst on my cheek that came up a couple of days ago it is neither coming or going and I am not sure what to do with it. I wish I could stop breaking out already, but that wouldbe too easy. however, i already feel good about the progress that's happening, so I'm optimistic.

no soreness really. still running. i did mad squats today and my legs are really achey now... but i think its more b/c i haven't done them in couple weeks. My appetite seems to be down a little too... not that I mind. Perhaps b/c I've been drinking so much water. I've laid off the booze for a couple days and have been trying to not drink coffee... but that is really hard. Wouldn't it be nice to have a leaner, toned body to go with my clear skin???

still trying to figure out how to make my pics smaller so I can load them

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Day 14. Sorry yesterday's post was day 13. Holy crap my legs/thighs are sore. Sorer than usual. Walking down the 3 flights of stairs in my building is killer. Perhaps it is the accutane; I haven't been this sore since track workouts back in college; i didn't do that many squats. And last night I didn't over moisturize and my skin was very flakey this morning. I had to dose it in jojoba oil before i went for a run and my skin just drank it right up...

The one other thing I wanted to note is that I am sleeping like a baby at night. like out, like a light for a full 9 hours and not having any trouble fallin asleep either. That is a big plus if you ask me. Some dreams are happening, but nothing bizarre or out of the ordinary.

otherwise all is okay. this afternoon my skin is really staying matte. no shininess showing up. Its a nice change to not have to blot midday... :)

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Day 15. all is good. leg soreness is going away. Skin is matte all day. I wish the flake-i-ness wasn't there. foundations does not look good with flakey skin. I had a good sale at work today so I guess its not that bad. ;)

I found another lip balm that is seems to be less "balmy" than aquaphor. Its the Neosporin lip care with spf. Its thicker and not as greasey and is working well so far...

all for now. I really want wine and am feeling like I should abstain. but I probably won't-- haha.

I wish I had pic to upload but I don't even really have any recent ones and I certainly don't want to ask my b/f to take one.. the avatar one I finally figured out how shrink was taken in early august and clearly from the distance you can't see much. but its weird pictures really don't show anything up much if I have makeup on. up close sans makeup it would be another story... i feel like my acne has been worse, but my skin is so marked from it. even if there was not one pimple cyst or blackhead i would have to wear makeup to cover up teh redmarks and scars... :( i hope the scars will go away.

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Hi Smileygirl. We have similar situations. I am 30 yrs. old and also 135 lbs. I was on 40 mg. for my first month, but then my derm. put me on 80 for the remainder of my course. It was rough that second month - the side effects hit me hard. Now it is the 3rd month and I am starting to get used to them.

I noticed that you posted about jogging in another log. I also run and the claravis has made this pretty difficult. I've really had to slow down/shorten my runs due to fatigue and joint pain.

Be sure to take pics. I wish I had done so before I started my course so I could compare, but I was too ashamed. I did take month 1 and 2 pics and it is nice to compare them.

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still trying to figure out how to make my pics smaller so I can load them

Ok. I will try to help you out. It is actually very easy thing to do.

1. Go to imageshack.us

2.You will see 2 buttons there, cancel and Browse. Hit browse, window will pop up then you should navigate to the folder or wherever you saved the picture. Choose the picture you want to upload.

3. Put checkmark in "Resize image?" checkbox and choose 640x480 size

4. Hit Start Upload.

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thanks icyfox. ... I figured out how to do my avatar and now for some pictures of my face... still I need to get a camera to take some. I am down to two choices and will get one soon. i need one for work anyway, so I might as well.

Anyway... day 16. all is dry and flakey. the few baddish breakouts that came up around day 12ish are clearing. I totally messed with them and made the biggest marks. I really must stop. My eyes are getting really dry. I have to put in TheraTears 3 times a day now too. I didn't realize that's what it was at first either, they just felt itchy and like the skin around them was dry. nope, its them. now I know. i had a bad headache tonight-- worse than usual and w/o good reason that I could see. I think I will blame that one on teh accutane. I don't know what else I could have been.

anyone have a good foundation for dry skin?

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Day 19

My skin is looking clearer and less inflammed everyday. Finally the flaki-ness is gone. One thing about oily skin is that makeup just glides right on. Not so much with dry skin. No slip whatsoever. Still looking for a good foundation that doesn't look powdery or feel dry.

Also, my face seems very pinkish/red. I guess its the "accutane glow." I don't remember this from the first course. I wish it wouldn't look this way.

And, lastly I'm beat. I just feel sluggish and sore from things that normally wouldn't make me feel tired or sore... like a 20 minute jog. So, I really wasn't expecting this side effect b/c I'm in good shape. But this afternoon and I lied down and I could've slept until dinner (of course I couldn't though). My appetite is way down too. I mean really down. I have to watch this.

Otherwise all is good in my world. Clear skin=a happier life.

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All the best to you. I started on September 4 as well. I use the clarisonic skin brush on a low setting and follow up with withhazel or rosewater as a toner. I think that helps with the flaky skin.

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Day 23. Clearer and clearer everyday. My face is so red. so red. I made the huge mistake of being outside all day on saturday... it was crystal clear, not a cloud in the sky. I had sunscreen on, but only spf 15, and re-applied, mid day, but still my face is still got burned and my chest and my friggin' part. wtf? Anyway, got it...more sensitive in the sun.

Otherwise, breakouts are not gone, but way less severe and not as clustered. Just got a bump on my jawline and neck area, yuck. also on my upper cheek on left side and one of right side.

Skin is really dry... need to still yet drink more water. My hands are dry and my eyes.

Only my family knows I'm on accutane, not even my bf... he is an all natural freak and clearly that route didn't work for me. I'm sure I will have to explain the dryness at some pt. or do I?...

I hate talking about my skin. I did in the beginning, but now its like a re-run. I hate when people say wow you're skin is looking better... wtf? it does not. well there were moments when it was improving over the last 3 years, but never permanently. I saw a girl on the T today and her skin was really bad and I felt badly for her. You want to share the accutane secret, but i know i would never want anyone to say anything to me... What do you guys think?

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Day 25.

All is looking clearer and clearer. I have a big pimple on my neck/underneath chin area. Its awesome. No, its not, its gross. But otherwise, things are coming less and less and the ones that do, leave quickly. My neck area (farther down than the breakout area) is really dry. Today it had all these tiny rash like bumps on it (they are not red so you can't see them). I moisturized my neck, and immediately they seemed smoother. I wonder how its that I've missed moisturizing my neck all these times?

Otherwise, life is good. skin is clearer. nothing is really better than that. besides maybe a million dollars. that would sweeeeet.

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Day 29. I know I must have missed a day here or there. my next appt is on tuesday. I will run out of claravis Monday. Must get my blood test tomorrow too.

I had my 7.3 miles race this morning. It was tough... I wasn't that prepared, but I finished at a respectable 10min mile pace. Even though I am feeling better overall about my skin, it was still tough to be out there with everyone who has perfect skin and no makeup on. I had no make up and a pony tail and was very self conscious. I wanted to run away afterward, but had to hang around to wait for my perfectly complexioned sister who was running the 1/2 marathon. it was no fun.

neck rash is slowly going away with regular moisturization. I found a makeup that goes on easily and looks normal on my newly dry skin. It is the covergirl aquasmooth creme-to-powder makeup with spf 15. i got it in a shade that has a more pink undertone.. still a tad light but I've been dusting it with a light beige loose powder. What I love more than anything though, is the fact that my makeup stays put all day and I don't even need to touch up. not even a little bit. fantastic!!!!

all for now. next time I'll report what the dr says after my checkup.

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Hey Smileygirl...just wanted to drop by and say hi and wish you luck on your course. It sound like Accutane is already working well for you. I am enjoying having my make up stay on all day...this has never happened to me before...it used to slide off before noon.

Good luck at your doctor's appointment. My first follow up is Friday, I hope my bloodwork looks okay. :D

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Thank you so much LisaDawn. I appreciate your support.

I totally screwed up. Crazy crazy life happened (I mean like crazy last couple of days where my whole world has been turned upside down) and I missed my appt on Tuesday. ugh. The derm's office was not happy and now can't see me until next Tuesday. So I have been with out Claravis since Sunday. All is fine. no breakouts or changesreally. But I know my dosage is going to be upped so I hope I don't get more dramatic side effects after a 10 day break. ugh.

besides trying to wait out the extra wait. all is okay.

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Thank you so much LisaDawn. I appreciate your support.

I totally screwed up. Crazy crazy life happened (I mean like crazy last couple of days where my whole world has been turned upside down) and I missed my appt on Tuesday. ugh. The derm's office was not happy and now can't see me until next Tuesday. So I have been with out Claravis since Sunday. All is fine. no breakouts or changesreally. But I know my dosage is going to be upped so I hope I don't get more dramatic side effects after a 10 day break. ugh.

besides trying to wait out the extra wait. all is okay.

Hi there, just wanted to wish you best of luck with your course. I started the same week as you, on the same dose too. I am 25 years old and around the same height and weight. Great to find people on here with similar stories :)

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