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4321mot

Isotretinoin (accutane) log- time for a new life!!

Hi everyone, Well I have been on this site as a guest for a while now and thought it was about time to 'come out of the shadows' and become a member! yay.

Anyway, a little bit about me:

I have suffered from acne since the age of about 16. Thinking back, my acne then was pretty severe and scarred me lightly on the jawline. Since then I have tried literally everything under the sun, including the usual OTC products, aswell as Doxy, Lymc, and Ethrim. All had varying success rates, and the Erythramcin (spl?) worked best but didnt completly clear me.

My current state at the beggining of the year was that I had limited spots, and only broke out occassionally. However what was left were red marks and some light scarring on my jawline, and red marks and the odd spot on my forehead. Hard to imagine, so I will get some photos on here perhaps one day.

After a few visits to the doctor and dermotologist, I am now finially on Isotretinoin (aka accutane). I started on March 21st on 40mg a day (2x20mg tablets).

Since then I have seen the following results: My skin has definatly dried out, as I used to have oily skin on my nose and forehead. Within the first week or so this stopped. My lips are quite dry, but I am using Carmex which is a great help. Also my eyes are pretty itchy and dry, as is my scalp.

I have hardly had an IB, nothing more than one or two spots (horrah you might say), however I am finding the BIGGEST problem is this contstant redness , the so called 'tane burn', that I am experiencing. Mainly on my cheeks, it is usally a pink colour but flares right up to really red when I am embarrased, in a warm room/building, or in the sun. It litterally feels like I am flushing, and occassionally during the day it will just happen to parts of my face, usually one part of my cheek.

So.. to cut a long story short. I went to see my derm a week ago who wasn't hugely helpful. She said the redness would go, but I have brought my dosage down to 20mg a day as my acne is moderate and I am hoping the redness might die down.

Anyway, I shall keep everyone posted, but would love to get in contact with people also on accutane and especially those who are having similar sideffects.

So..hello to day 55!

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This was very helpful because I'm considering going on Accutane very soon. I'm glad to hear that you didn't really have an IB...thats awesome :)

So I have a question...if you had to do it over again, knowing exactly how your skin would react, would you do it again, even with the "tane burn?"

And I would love to see pics because I consider my acne to be similar. It's mild, only occasional mainly hormonal time-of-the-month breakouts.

And I love that you say "colour" from the UK, it adds some culture :)

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haha thanks very much. Does it really add culture?

Anyway, in answer to your question: Yes, I think I would still do it. I am still very concerned about the powerful nature of the drug, and would only take it at a particular period in my life ( I am on a post uni gap year at the moment, working and living from home until I get a job in the autumn). Also I would do it in the winter and not the summer like now! Less heat and sun!

I think the tane burn is a nightmare, but it wasn't helped by that fact that a) I had slightly red cheeks anyway before and b) I used to use Isotrexin gel (similar to Retin-A), and I used it far too liberally especially on my cheeks, and I think this may have contributed.

In short, go for it! You have got nothing to loose, just take it slowly and don't be afraid to say No, I want a lower dose, to your derm. They are far too liberal at handing it out over in the UK

Oh and I will get some photos up sometime, when I have the courage! Hope this helps,

Tom

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Yes you add culture. I live in an area with only white people and rednecks...I hate it lol

I've been on all the retinols in the past, currently I alternate my nights with Atralin and Tazorac and I use too much too. Even though I've learned my lesson over and over because the next day I'm super flaky, I'll still do it occasionally.

Thanks for your advice!

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Day 57....

Well yesterday was pretty warm- first bit of our summer sunshine. NOT good!lol. Working a lot outside, and so the sun was playing havoc with my skin- going red

Today, nice and cloudy! No new 'friends' appearing, except on my forehead I noticed that lots of little bumps have come to the surface over the last few days. Any thoughts? It was really quite dry yesterday, and it looks like some of them might have dissapeared over night after I piled on the moisturizor.

Apart from that, skin is still quite red with red marks where the scars are. Looks pretty uneven. Does anyone know if accutane will help level out previous scars?

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Hey mot, going to follow your log if you continue to update it as im also 22,m,Scotland (40mg)

My skin would be described as only moderate acne but sometimes can get very oily, only been on accutane for 8 days now and skin is alot drier, especially my lips, they start bleeding now and then and sting when I eat salt n vinegar crisps lol.

So the lip balm stuff you use...it the shizz lol?

My derm told me to buy aveeno moisturising lotion cause it doesnt block pores, best stuff ive ever used infact, light, non greasy and works. got from Boots.

What do you use?

also are you through the nhs? or private?

Cheers, :)

Any pics?

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Day 58... nothing new really. I had a lovely whitehead appear on my right cheeck above the lip yesterday, low and behold though when I woke up this morning it had dried up and gone away- leaving a delightful red mark. Oh the joys of accutane. Been working outside all today, I did find that my arms started to get really dry (not usually the case). also parts of my face , mainly my forehead and right part of chin. strange!!

Hope- lol stay away from the crisps- absolute killer. Yea the carmex stuff is great, much better than vaseline. How is the aveeno stuff working? I am looking at getting some of the eucerin stuff with the green tint- to help with the redness. Currently I'm using some pretty femanine stuff my mother got me lol. By a woman called Liz Earle. It is the shiz though when it comes to keeping my skin from drying out (until today lol!) , and for my arms and body the doc gave me eucerin 10% cream- not bad but too greasy for the face. pics will come soon i promise

On NHS , they are alright down in here in Wales. Nothing amazing though. I don't need a blood test apparently for the entire course.... said the derm last week. Not so sure...

what about you?

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aye good stuff m8, ye the aveeno is really good mate, not greasy one bit, very light.

my lips are a joke at the moment, always dry and bleeding.

Bought some carmex like you said and does seem better but I could do with using something really intense for my lips at night or something cause they are falling to bits lol.

I had one blood test and he said my white blood cell count was low so going back on monday to get another done, hopefully the accutane hasnt bumped it down either further...

strange you havent had one done....

keep it updated. :)

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Day 62

Oh how time flies when you're having fun. Two new nasty little friends just below my left temple. Seem to be drying up though. Everything else on my face though is a red mark or a drying spot. Is this normal at this stage? Still popping just 1 20mg a day.

Has been super hot today, and I've been working on the mower for some of it. Result = Red face / hawt. nice.

I have finally been brave enough to put photos on (hurrah). Any comments would be great , so long as they are constructive!

cheers guys

edit- the red marks/spots around my neck are really wierd. only one of them is a real sort of spot with a whitehead, the rest are just occassionally itchy, and appear when i shave, for a couple of days, or after i do exercise in a sweaty t-shirt!

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Edited by 4321mot

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Day 68

Sorry I have been rather useless at keeping the blog up to date. Things so far are err... ok. I am still on the 20mg , and most of the symptoms such as the drynesss that I had with 40mg have reduced. However I am still struggling with the redness and more importantly being out in the sun. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good suncream thats going to help?

Also, I am worrying myself to death as I have a really important interview board for 3 days at the end of June, which takes place both out and inside! I am terrified I am just going to go bright red, and then won't be able to concentrate etc.. So here's the question: Would I be able to stop my course temporarily for the next 4 weeks, go back to normal me and take the board, and then start back up afterwards where I left off?

My current update on this sixty eighth day is as follows though; A red sunburnt nose (yes I look like rudolph the reindeer!), pink ish cheeks... BUT no new spots! the only ones on my forehead have reduced to 6 fading redmarks, and I have a couple of faint marks on the side of my chin next to the scars. So it is working somehow!

Any answers to my questions guys would be fantastic! Cheers, Tom

ps- what do people think of my photos I posted a few days ago?too red?or coming along ok?

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Heya! Hmm so you get red when you're in the sun right? And flushing regardless of inside or outside? I don't think you can stop the flushing while on treatment, but I have read there are specialised moisturisers that will ease the effect. I'm really sorry but I don't know names, you could look it up or hopefully someone will jump in with recommendations. Hahaha but maybe you could wear a hat while outside?! May not be very professional but might help with the sun. I don't think its a good idea to take yourself off treatment without consulting your derm, however I have read about derms giving patients 'breaks' to go on holidays?? I don't know, seems a bit weird to me.

Anyways I am pleased as punch to see that since you dropped to 20mg your dryness has eased, because at the moment I am on 20mg throughout my course. So that's promising to hear.

Also did you mention you are Welsh? I am half Welsh, well my dad is half Welsh/Serbian. Really hope to get over there one day, I remember visiting when I was little and my dad made me walk for hours on end over countless hills. Its a very beautiful place. All the best mate!

Edited by jasmine.d

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Heya! Hmm so you get red when you're in the sun right? And flushing regardless of inside or outside? I don't think you can stop the flushing while on treatment, but I have read there are specialised moisturisers that will ease the effect. I'm really sorry but I don't know names, you could look it up or hopefully someone will jump in with recommendations. Hahaha but maybe you could wear a hat while outside?! May not be very professional but might help with the sun. I don't think its a good idea to take yourself off treatment without consulting your derm, however I have read about derms giving patients 'breaks' to go on holidays?? I don't know, seems a bit weird to me.

Anyways I am pleased as punch to see that since you dropped to 20mg your dryness has eased, because at the moment I am on 20mg throughout my course. So that's promising to hear.

Also did you mention you are Welsh? I am half Welsh, well my dad is half Welsh/Serbian. Really hope to get over there one day, I remember visiting when I was little and my dad made me walk for hours on end over countless hills. Its a very beautiful place. All the best mate!

Hey Jasmine, thanks for your help. 20mg is definatly the way forward for some! I tried to explain to my derm that I don't see the reasoning with giving the same dosage to people who have varying acne problems despite being the same weight... she didn't really help though. Yeap one step ahead of you, already wearing the hat! I find though that anything that reflects heat like water or bark (i work in outdoor adventure), is much worse .

I have just got off the phone to the derm, who said I can come off it a week before, like you said people do for holidays, before my interview board. I tried to get her to confirm that the symptoms would dissapear in time, but I am still sceptical!

I will do a proper update later today, but it seems my skin is just sort of the same. It still looks pretty fragile and very uneven with redness, but the only 2 spots I have had are tiny little whiteones. delightful!

On another note, I suppose I am sort of welsh. Its a fantastic place, especially on the border .Get yourself over here one day!

Tom

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Day 75

Well.... not a huge lot to report. It has been absolutly roasting over here, and consequently I have been going tomato red in the sun again, lovely. despite suncream....!

I have had a few little friends pop up on my face, 2 tiny ones on my cheeks that dissapear over the next 24 hours or so, but the realy b****r are the two really red and big angry ones on my forehead! Put next to the previous red marks left from others and its not a nice site lol! I have noticed over the last day or so that they are reducing ...slowly.! Oh well, best keep at it

Sideffects have not really changed: moderate dry skin, dry lips, itchy scalp sometimes, and redness./ massive redness in the sun! Ouch.

I keep thinking to myself that if the redness and dryness were to suddenly dissapear, then I would actually look pretty good! To bad I am stuck with it for the moment!

Does anyone know what sort of stage I should be at day 75?like should the odd spot be still popping up?

Cheers guys!

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DAY 79

Hmm I have come to the conclusion that my log might not be the most interesting, judging by the lack of replies compared to other ones lol!

Well anyway, day 79 and I don't seem to have any new spots .good stuff.

However , plenty of red marks, especially on my forehead where the remaining spots are. There is one really persistant one on there that seems to be hardening up ?is that possible? I have been slightly naughty in applying a tiny amount of Isotrexin gel to it at night.

Another thing I have started to notice is that my pores seem more obvious, especially where blackheads on my nose used to be, and in general on my cheeks. Yet if anything my scars below my mouth on the cheek look slightly better? Any thoughts anyone.

Symptoms so far still:

Dry lips, Dry eyes (not so bad anymore) Itchy scalp (getting better), red skin (much better since i dropped to 20mg, but still goes red when I drink beer!), sun sensitivity (still really bad!) Being very tired for random points during the day, Occassional muscle pains.

Have uploaded some latest photos, let me know what you think guys:

thanks,

Tom

ps- I can't upload lots of pictures for some reason, so I have created an album on the sites accutane gallery for all to see! http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...amp;album=10909

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Edited by 4321mot

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at least the sun didnt last long!! back to the rain for a bit now!!

My doc has suggested that my next step would be isotrtinoin, if minocycline doesnt work.....I am terrified of it though. read so many horror stories but then have seen so many positive results! Good that you didnt have an IB, do you think that was because you were on a relatively low dose compared to some people?

xxx

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mercyunbound- Thank you thank you! unfortunatley the camera is having its way again, as in some of my other photos you can see the scars.eek.

Del- Yes very true, the rain never leaves wales for that long lol! Good news for me though. Hmm not too sure about why I didnt have an IB, but I don't think it was the dosage. I started on 40mg and stayed on that for 8 weeks, before coming down to 20. I think if you started on 20mg, you would be much less likely to experience one. Also though, I had been using isotrexin gel for some time along with ethrymcin (spl!) tablets, so my skin was pretty blitzed already!

Definatly give it a shout though, just take it easy and don't think that neccessarily a high dose is a best dose!

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