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Alexandra1204

Is this normal? Having a really rough time on Accutane

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Hi guys,

I just really need to know if other people are experiencing this and that this medication is worth all of the problems it's causing me. I'm on day 16 of 60mg/day Sotret, split up in three 20mg doses. I have bad cystic acne all over my face. Some of the acne on my forehead and between my eyes is starting to go away, but everytime something disappears, another pops up somewhere else. It will look better in the morning and I'll get my hopes up, and then by lunchtime it will look twice as worse. I'm always in pain from the cysts and the itching is unbearable. I get bad headaches sometimes, and my lower back aches.

It just makes me really sad...I keep getting my hopes up and then they get shattered. When is this going to go away? When did other people start to see consistent improvement? This is so difficult...if anyone has any advice or encouragement, please speak up. Thanks :(

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Hi -

Yes, the first month or two (or more depending on your acne) is a purging and clearing stage. The more mild your acne and the lower your Accutane dose the lesser your IB (initial breakout will be). The more moderate-severe your acne is and the higher the dose the purging may last longer. It really depends on how much acne is under your skin (not visible). My acne was mild and my IB lasted a few weeks only and then I cleared from there. Normally, you will purge (more acne) then you will clear. You will see blackheads (if you have any such as on your nose) become darker as they will clear out too. After that, low and behold, smooth and soft skin. Your dose is a little high starting out - be cautious of such a high dose. Your skin can get too dry and red, and if you experience lots of flushing or lasting redness, then talk to your Derm.

Good luck.

Yvette

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I'm no doctor, so take this with a grain of salt.

I'm guessing you're a female. I'm a male, and my doctor started me on 30 mg/day for the first month. I had more or less no breakout. Then he upped me to 60. I'm doing great still. I know full well that a breakout could be coming up, but so far, it has been great. I truly think starting of on a low dose is key here. 60 just sounds too much to start throwing at your body.

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Hi guys,

I just really need to know if other people are experiencing this and that this medication is worth all of the problems it's causing me. I'm on day 16 of 60mg/day Sotret, split up in three 20mg doses. I have bad cystic acne all over my face. Some of the acne on my forehead and between my eyes is starting to go away, but everytime something disappears, another pops up somewhere else. It will look better in the morning and I'll get my hopes up, and then by lunchtime it will look twice as worse. I'm always in pain from the cysts and the itching is unbearable. I get bad headaches sometimes, and my lower back aches.

It just makes me really sad...I keep getting my hopes up and then they get shattered. When is this going to go away? When did other people start to see consistent improvement? This is so difficult...if anyone has any advice or encouragement, please speak up. Thanks :(

The best advice I can pass along is to be patient....I just finished 6 weeks and am still breaking out. Not as badly as in the beginning, but I know accutane takes time and many people don't see significant changes until sometimes the 3rd month (and some take even longer). A lot of people experience an initial breakout and day 16 is still pretty early on. Your skin is purging all the clogged pores. So hang in there, it's not fun, but think about how much better things will be in the coming months. Good luck!

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My derma told me that he did some experiments with the drugs with some patients and he found that when the bacteria in your body reduced the less breakout you get.

So, he perscribed an antibiotic (name Zinnat .. 250 mg ) for 14 days then I started using accutane after 1 week (40 mg) and guess what I got very very minimum breakout

He is so smart, even he told me that you're suffering from rhynophyma ( big nose due to excess sebum) and your nose should get smaller , which I went to other many derma and they didn't recognize that. On my next day it got two times smaller !

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Hey, Iv started about the same time as you. The first couple weeks was hell for me. Dry skin, cyst popping up everywhere, headaches and sunburnt face. Its calmed down now but still bad.

What I recommend is MOISTURISING with a good moisturizer. The first couple weeks I was using different moisturisers testing it out but now Im settled on E45 cos its the only one that doesnt sting me and soothes my face. Iv noticed now my face is now more comfortable and the spots are healing up quick. Iv still got active actne but it has lessen somewhat last few days which is a good sign. I hope this is the end of my IB now!

msg me if you have any questions.

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Hi guys,

I just really need to know if other people are experiencing this and that this medication is worth all of the problems it's causing me. I'm on day 16 of 60mg/day Sotret, split up in three 20mg doses. I have bad cystic acne all over my face. Some of the acne on my forehead and between my eyes is starting to go away, but everytime something disappears, another pops up somewhere else. It will look better in the morning and I'll get my hopes up, and then by lunchtime it will look twice as worse. I'm always in pain from the cysts and the itching is unbearable. I get bad headaches sometimes, and my lower back aches.

It just makes me really sad...I keep getting my hopes up and then they get shattered. When is this going to go away? When did other people start to see consistent improvement? This is so difficult...if anyone has any advice or encouragement, please speak up. Thanks :(

The best advice I can pass along is to be patient....I just finished 6 weeks and am still breaking out. Not as badly as in the beginning, but I know accutane takes time and many people don't see significant changes until sometimes the 3rd month (and some take even longer). A lot of people experience an initial breakout and day 16 is still pretty early on. Your skin is purging all the clogged pores. So hang in there, it's not fun, but think about how much better things will be in the coming months. Good luck!

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Hey Guys -

I appreciate all of you taking the time to respond, but I have to be honest...the more I read the more scared I become. I hope my IB doesn't last for 3 months. I'm not sure how much longer I can wear my hair down with a hat and stay in my apartment all the time..I'm starting to get cabin fever. I still have a few more questions, but I should probably tell you a little bit about my acne. I used to have really great skin...small pores minimal to no pimples at all...I barely broke out around my time of the month (tmi?) anyway last yr I ended up having a few issues with pimples on my back...nothing major, but they were cystic and they hurt so I went to a random derm and he prescribed Doxycyclin. The medication gave me such bad heartburn I had to go the the hospital twice so I stopped mid treatment and one morning woke up with the worst acne I have had in my entire life...and it just never went away. So, now I am on Accutane and am experiencing the 2nd worst outbreak I've ever had in my life and it may seem shallow, but I want my face back. I have been feeling so sad lately not because of the Accutane just because I'm so humiliated by how my face looks. Do you guys have any tips on how to hide the acne? Or do you recommend using anything topical while on Accutane? I've been reading about this Klandel Gel (sp?) have any of you used it? Has it worked for you? Is there anything I can do to speed up the initial outbreak process? Should I ask my Dr to put me on antibiotics as well? And I guess my last question is...when you have HUGE whiteheads due to the IB is it ok to pop them or do I really have to go to work and class with enormous whiteheads??

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Yes I feel the same.

I'm on my 20th day of Roaccutane and my face is sooo itchy.....

At first I was really oily...actually I still am...but my face gets really itchy. And my acne hasn't gone down. I have a lot of redness. And I'm of ethnic background as well, so a lot of dark spots from where the cysts used to be. When one cyst goes down, another comes up. And my cysts hurt like hell - I want to put an ice pack over my face all day.

Sometimes I accidentally scratch itchy areas and my cysts hurt (some bleed) like hell.

I actually have given up hope because I'll either:

1) Have to live with this for the rest of my life. And possibly walk around with a paper bag over my face.

or

2) My acne will clear up and have a scarred face. And possibly walk around with a paper bag over my face.

:rolleyes:

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Yes I feel the same.

I'm on my 20th day of Roaccutane and my face is sooo itchy.....

At first I was really oily...actually I still am...but my face gets really itchy. And my acne hasn't gone down. I have a lot of redness. And I'm of ethnic background as well, so a lot of dark spots from where the cysts used to be. When one cyst goes down, another comes up. And my cysts hurt like hell - I want to put an ice pack over my face all day.

Sometimes I accidentally scratch itchy areas and my cysts hurt (some bleed) like hell.

I actually have given up hope because I'll either:

1) Have to live with this for the rest of my life. And possibly walk around with a paper bag over my face.

or

2) My acne will clear up and have a scarred face. And possibly walk around with a paper bag over my face.

:rolleyes:

It takes a lot to share something like that...I really appreciate you putting yourself out there so I don't feel alone. Not to give you false hope or anything, but I have really pale white skin and before I had acne I had scarring from an allergic reaction, and I used this system called Obagi (a bleaching for all skin types) and it worked little by little to get rid of the scars. I know they make different treatments for different skin colors...maybe something you can look into.

Today is day 18 for me...some days are bad and some are okay, but what my fiancee keeps telling me that is helping keep me through it is that no matter how you get there - the end result is clear skin. And either I suffer from the sides, and maybe get a few scars that fade - or I stop the accutane, and I am left with the same skin problem every single day, except now without any hope for treatment. Sometimes I get really angry and can't stay focused on that...but at the end of the day it really helps me. It's just so hard sometimes dealing with this. I hope things get better for you, hang in there :comfort:

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Hi there, I just saw this and wondered how things are going for you now. Have the IB and rest of the side effects calmed down a bit for you now?

I've just done my first week of accutane, but I can relate to the tough times you're going through. I've come across people on here who probably have just as bad acne as everybody else yet seem to take it in their stride, going about their day without any makeup and not caring what anybody thinks. I truly admire that and wish I could be like them, but the truth is that at my worst, I've woken up in the morning, slathered on tonnes of makeup only to decide that it still wasn't good enough and so i've burst into tears and called into work (a proper career job, that is) sick. Then as well as feeling ugly and undeserving, I feel guilty beyond belief as I rarely even call in sick even when I am unwell.

Years on end I've felt hopeless in terms of how my acne has made me feel, the things it's prevented me from doing, and that was exacerbated by the fact that absolutely nothing seemed to make it better. Whilst I can't pretend to be able to relate just yet to the side effects you're experiencing, I do know that personally a few months of temporary hell will be worth an almost guaranteed cure, particularly when the only alternative is a guaranteed longer period of hell.

When you feel down, just try to remember these things:

1. Six or however many months will literally fly by and feel like nothing in the long run.

2. You've got someone special in your life who presumably loves you regardless and is there to support you every step of the way.

3. What you're going through now may be horrible, but it's normal and shows the drug is working, so try to let it encourage you rather than discourage you.

4. You're your own worst critic. I guarantee there's nobody who judges your face harsher than you judge it yourself. Other people's opinions are always going to more positive than yours.

5. You'll get there, you'll definitely get there one day soon and you'll be happy and proud you did.

In the mean time, if you're not doing this already, find a high coverage oil-free mineral foundation. Personally, I also put on quite bright blush to try to downplay the rest of my redness. I've had plenty of ups and downs with makeup. Read my log if you're interested.

Good luck, hang in there, and I'll be keen to see how you get on.

Edited by Jezika

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Hey Jezika, thanks for replying. Sorry I haven't checked this in a while. I can relate to those mornings before work...so so difficult.

Next week will be the end of week 8 for me and things have gotten better. My forehead was my most active spot and now it is practically clear, maybe only 1 pimple has appeared on it in the past week. My cheeks have broken out more since I started the accutane, which is what is currently bothering me the most. My chin is clear like my forehead but I get breakouts around my jawline which is also a pain. I don't have even close to the amount of cysts that I did a month ago, even though I still get them here and there. I got pretty bad headaches and my joints would ache / extremities go numb for periods of time, so I changed from 60mg/day to alternating 60 one day, 40 the other and that has taken away those sides for the most part.

What's hard now is that even though the pimples are gone on my forehead, all over my face is a ton of redness, even where pimples and cysts have disappeared. My whole forehead is really red. I'm pale-skinned so it makes it stand out a lot. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? Is it something that will go away? I have so much riding on this...I am getting married in July and I need my skin to be clear for my wedding :(

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Hi there, I just saw this and wondered how things are going for you now. Have the IB and rest of the side effects calmed down a bit for you now?

I've just done my first week of accutane, but I can relate to the tough times you're going through. I've come across people on here who probably have just as bad acne as everybody else yet seem to take it in their stride, going about their day without any makeup and not caring what anybody thinks. I truly admire that and wish I could be like them, but the truth is that at my worst, I've woken up in the morning, slathered on tonnes of makeup only to decide that it still wasn't good enough and so i've burst into tears and called into work (a proper career job, that is) sick. Then as well as feeling ugly and undeserving, I feel guilty beyond belief as I rarely even call in sick even when I am unwell.

Years on end I've felt hopeless in terms of how my acne has made me feel, the things it's prevented me from doing, and that was exacerbated by the fact that absolutely nothing seemed to make it better. Whilst I can't pretend to be able to relate just yet to the side effects you're experiencing, I do know that personally a few months of temporary hell will be worth an almost guaranteed cure, particularly when the only alternative is a guaranteed longer period of hell.

When you feel down, just try to remember these things:

1. Six or however many months will literally fly by and feel like nothing in the long run.

2. You've got someone special in your life who presumably loves you regardless and is there to support you every step of the way.

3. What you're going through now may be horrible, but it's normal and shows the drug is working, so try to let it encourage you rather than discourage you.

4. You're your own worst critic. I guarantee there's nobody who judges your face harsher than you judge it yourself. Other people's opinions are always going to more positive than yours.

5. You'll get there, you'll definitely get there one day soon and you'll be happy and proud you did.

In the mean time, if you're not doing this already, find a high coverage oil-free mineral foundation. Personally, I also put on quite bright blush to try to downplay the rest of my redness. I've had plenty of ups and downs with makeup. Read my log if you're interested.

Good luck, hang in there, and I'll be keen to see how you get on.

Your encouragement is very helpful. And also, I just read this and thought...she's me! I'm 24, on my 15th day of Accutane. Christmas is coming up, and because I've used atleast 10 or more vacation days to hide really bad acne flare ups, I have no time left to use around the holiday. Sad eh? I had such a bad break out a few months ago that I didn't leave my apt for a week straight and would need to put tons of makeup on just to answer the door when having take out food delivered. Sometimes I'm so bumpy that I walk with my head down and try not to make eye contact with anyone because I am paranoid that they'll make it back and then notice my horrible skin. Family and friends always tell me I am making a big deal and that it's really not that bad, but obviously it's done enough damage to prevent me living a normal, healthy life, so it's bad enough.

How's your treatment going so far?

I really couldn't agree with you more about being hopeful, there's clear skin at the end of the tunnel. I've been dealing with dry skin, lips and eyes, headaches, and my nose has a burning sensation. But all of these side effects can't come close to what I've felt in the past 12 yrs. I haven't experienced an IB just yet, but I am prepared for it. I'm taking things day by day and everytime I look in the mirror from now on and cringe, I am going to remember that there's medicine in my body working to get rid of this disease that has kept me insecure for half of my life.

Good luck all.

Edited by MissNarNar

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