Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

I'm a 30 year old female, and I began taking Accutane yesterday. I've had moderate acne all my life, however in the past year I have been having serious problems with acne on my back and face. Since I didn't have insurance I never was able to consult a dermatologist. I tried everything, Salycilic acid washes, Benzoil peroxide, Cetaphil, Proactive, Murad, tea tree oil, etc. etc. etc. Nothing has worked for me. I was hesitant to take any hormonal birth control, or Accutane, for fear of fertility issues, general body chemistry, side effects, bio rythms, etc. The dermatologist told me I have nodular cystic acne - and that nothing will help it. The acne is so deep down inside my body that topical treatment will not help. So, I started taking 30 mg of Oratane a day (3 x 10mg capsules). My doctor suggested a 5 month course of treatment, and made me promise not to get pregnant (easy considering my sweetie is 15,000 km away from me!)

I was really hesitant to try this drug - it seemed like such a harsh and potentially dangerous course of treatment that is for something primarily cosmetic in nature. However, having just begin work on PhD, I realized that at presentation, conferences, and academic events, I want to be taken seriously, not as the girl with bad skin. My dermatologist also told me that all of her 3 daughters had taken Accutane - and she would never have prescribed something risky to her own daughters. So, I will continue to post here with the results. I'm really looking forward to having clear skin...

post-128707-1273306483_thumb.jpg

post-128707-1273306483_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 week of Accutane

Thanks for all the good luck messages. Anyway, it's been 1 week, today, that I began taking 30 mgs of Oratane a day. Honestly I can say absolutely no differences in my body at all. No side effects (dry skin, back pain, etc.), no change to my face or back, no initial break out. It's like I'm not even taking anything! Anyway, I will post again next week.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 weeks of Accutane

Hi, It's been over 2 weeks now I've been taking Oratane... nothing seems to be happening. No dry skin, so side effects, no changes. I'm still having break outs, no better or worse than I was having before I started taking the drugs. I guess I just keep waiting....

Nicole

Edited by baberahamlincln
Link to post
Share on other sites

3 weeks

3 weeks of Oratane... not much to report. No major changes in my acne. My skin is feeling drier, especially my lips which are requiring more lipgloss than usual, and my eyes are also feeling dry, but I still have a number of cysts on my back, including recent ones that are still coming up. My face has been kinda clear but no better than it would occasionally be before treatment. Other than that, no sever side effects or success to report.

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 weeks on Oratane

Side effects starting to be annoying. Very dry lips, cracking, peeling, painful to eat salad with vinaigrette, anything with lemon juice, etc. Dry nostrils, scabs inside my nostrils. My face and back are still covered in zits. I'm also breaking out on my chest which has never happened before. Though my skin is feeling drier, it's still breaking out. My eyes are dry too. I use eye drops and various lotions and potions, creams and salves on my face. My cuticles are also dry and painful. But, I have not lost hope. So far the side effects aren't extremely serious, though for sure smooching my sweetie would be painful these days. Good thing I won't see him for another 10 weeks. Hopefully I'll have a perfect complexion by then!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The side effects are a killer. My lips ALWAYS hurt so bad. Use tons of chapstick (lip gloss, I guess? I dunno, I'm a guy; you said you noticed a heavier use of lip gloss). I, as well as most people here I believe, used Cetaphil for my skin moisturizer. Then I used a saline nasal spray twice a day to stop the nose bleeds - they happen, they're annoying, and they hurt, but the nasal spray stops them if you use it enough and correctly.

Anyway, click my gallery link in my signature. It has about 4 pictures with my serious acne and one more with clear skin (uploaded a recent one today but it has to be approved). You can also click the Accutane log link in my signature; I updated the first post with pics from June 10, 2010, almost two years off 'tane.

GOOD LUCK TO YOU! =D Be sure to update all the time. Well, I didn't, but that's what everyone else says... >.>

Edited by PatDaniels
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck baberahamlincln!

i have the same amount of back acne as you, same type and all, just with a lot more mini clogged pores and white heads.

i hope accutane will do us both wonders.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Week 6

Ok, I have been taking Oratane for 6 weeks now. For the past week or so my skin has definitely been drier, and I have been having almost no new pimples, and absolutely no new cysts in at least 2 weeks. Until today. I just noticed 2 new cysts on my back. This definitely goes along with my menstrual cycle - normally I would probably have more than 2 new cysts at this time of the month, and maybe a few during the rest of the month. So, I think the Oratane is working, maybe next month I won't break out at all the week before my period?

Anyway, in addition to having dry cracking lips and nose, my neck has been really stiff for the past week. My joints and bones are creaking and cracking more than they ever have in my life. I am sure this is a result of the Oratane, and so far not really too bothersome, however I am concerned about my knees, since I do jog 2-5 km a day. I haven't noticed any knee pain yet, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed I'll be able to continue exercising. I might have to switch to the elliptical machine or something... what else?

Oh yeah, I also am taking a variety of supplements, which I was taking before I started the Oratane anyway, including about 2,000 mg of fish oils a day, a multi-vitamin, and a Vit C & E with I think 500 mg of Vit C and 400 IU or whatever of the Vit E. I was taking an ACE "Antioxidant" supplement before, but I figured I'm already overloading my system with Vit A, so I have switched to just the C & E.

I have definitely noticed that my skin is healing much slower. I got a blister on my heel from a pair of shoes I wore literally 3 weeks ago that hasn't healed yet. My face is looking kind of red and any blemishes I did have, when they start to go away, are a quite angry red color for ages.

I read some posts about people having joint pain for the rest of their lives from taking Accutane and got seriously scared. I e-mailed a friend of mine who took Accutane when she was in high school, and she seriously recommended I don't take it! She said it made her body very dry, and didn't even work forever, she is getting starting cystic acne again, 10 years later.

I also went to an osteopath today to see what can be done about my stiff neck, since it hurts for me to look over my shoulder on my bicycle I fear I will get killed by these crazy motorists in Wellington. He strongly suggested alternative medicine, getting my chakras aligned and whatnot, and said that can cure most hormonal issues. I don't know how effective these kinds of treatments are, and also, I would have to pay for it myself, rather than my insurance, who pays for my dermatologist and Oratane!

So anyway, I feel like I have already made a significant enough commitment that I will stick it out for another few months and see how it goes. I have a appt with the dermatologist in 2 weeks. I'm wondering if I should request a full blood work report, since I didn't do one at the beginning of the prescription. I'm also debating whether or not I should go on birth control from the time I will be in North America with my boyfriend in September. Somehow I got out of even taking a pregnancy test when I first saw the dermatologist... maybe it's because I'm 30 and fairly intelligent and the dermatologist trusts me, or maybe I just have a really shitty dermatologist? She actually told me that with her patients who are on birth control, 2 have gotten pregnant and had to terminate the pregnancy, whereas none of her patients who relied on condoms as their contraceptive method have had any pregnancies. She also told me that she's happy to take my word for it that I will practice safe sex with the understanding that if I did become pregnant, I would have to terminate the pregnancy. Anyway, that's my life for the time being.

All of this is making me concerned for future generations. If Accutane is so hard on the system, how can I prevent my children from having to go through the same thing I do? I guess I lot of it is diet 7 nutrition, but it is also genetic. My mom told me she had bad acne when she was young, but it went away when she had me, because her hormones changed. But she passed down the gene to me! Anyway, I was listening to this "Stuff You Should Know" podcast about epigenetics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics) and and article in the New Yorker about carcinogens in plastic and I am really thinking about how I need to eliminate toxins from my life. I went out and got a BPA free metal water bottle yesterday! I should really stop eating refined sugar and probably dairy... but I love candy and cheese so much!

Why does a healthy lifestyle have to be so demanding?

Anyway, I have procrastinated far too long, back to reading academic journals.

Link to post
Share on other sites

8 weeks on Oratane

So, it has now been 8 weeks. I went to see the dermatologist today. It seems like everything is fine. She said I was "drying out nicely" and my side effects were normal. I still have cracking at the corners of my lips, but no nose bleeds. My neck joints are also still sore occasionally, but I started taking Glucosamine whih seems to be helping. I don't really have much else to report. My face is still red and I'm still healing slowly... she told me this was normal, the Oratane makes the skin heal more slowly and it is more fragile, she said this also will make my feet blister more easily. She also told me I really have to try hard to stop picking. It's totally an unconscious habit, though I will put in extra effort to stop.

I don't have any active cysts, and maybe just one or 2 active spots on my face. The rest are old ones that are still healing... slowly.

She did mentioned that Accutane can make the vagina dry, and they have trouble inserting tampons. I haven't had this problem, because I use a Diva cup. If anyone is experiencing this problem, I really wholeheartedly recommend getting a Diva Cup or Moon Cup - for a number of reasons. They are awesome. Good for your body, the environment, etc. etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

9 weeks of Accutane

Ok, sorry, I keep meaning to take pictures but forget. Anyway, now it has been 9 weeks, and the side effects are still pretty mild. The skin on my hands and arms seems to be very sensitive and sometimes painful. I have red bumps all over my forearms and the slightest scratch feels really painful. I think I'm also getting a callous on my finger from knitting... which has never happened before, and I've done a lot of knitting in the past.

Anyway, still a few active spots, though my skin is really dry, especially around my nose and cheeks. The corners of my lips are still cracked and just won't heal. It's been like this at least a month.

I'm experiencing a really low-sex drive, or lack of libido. Luckily it's not a huge issue since my boyfriend is 15,000 kms away right now, but I'm worried about what will happen when we see each other in 6 weeks. I also got a prescription for birth control that I'll start taking later this month.

So many drugs... one little problem. Why? I hope all of this ends up being worth it.

Edited by baberahamlincln
Link to post
Share on other sites

10 weeks of Accutane...

And I'm halfway done!

My skin is not looking great these days. I have a few active cysts, probably hormonal, and it's red and angry looking.

Anyway, I took a new picture of my back, as you can see, not much improvement. Let's hope things get better soon.

post-128707-1279315777_thumb.jpg

post-128707-1279315777_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×