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There Will Be Light

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Sooo I've just spent the last 10 minutes trying to decide whether today is day one or day 2 of my accutane adventure. I took my first pill last night with dinner so I've come to the conclusion that today is my first DAY, being that I am now vulnerable to any of the lovely side effects. Alas, here is my first post!

DAY 1:

Well, I'm in a bit of a pickle already. I started Dianne 35 about 2 weeks ago as kind of a last ditch effort to avoid accutane but I've ended up with a RIDICULOUS IB (like, my face hasn't been this bad since I was a 14 year-old choir geek with braces...killer combo). I realize this is normal but I just thought there was no way I was going through that again if Dianne didn't work so I went back to my derm and decided to just bite the bullet and go for the Accutane. If I go untreated, which I haven't for probably about 6 or 7 years, I'd say I have relatively severe acne. Just NOTHING has worked. So I'm hoping with all hope that accutane does the trick!

So basically, because of the Dianne, I've already started my initial breakout. Has anyone else has a similar experience? Does this mean that maybe the accutane will just start clearing everything or will it do its own thing and cause another braille book on my face?

No side effects as of yet. I mean, it's only day 1.

But this IB thing REALLY is rather sucky. It's my little sister's high school grad (or prom as you crazy Yankees call it, I'm from Canada p.s. so I will have to manage without Aquaphor which frightens me!). Um, what was I saying? Right, little sis's grad! So the whole family is coming over so admire how gorgeous she is. She really is. Her dress is beautiful and she looks fantastic in it. Aaaand she's a size 0 with now perfect skin (she's struggled for a while but it finally calmed down once she went on the pill for irregular periods). So basically, it would have been an ugly duckling day anyway for me, but this terrible breakout makes it so much worse. Add to that fact my perpetual single-ness and her fantastic rockstar boyfriend, I'm just counting down the minutes until the drilled questions from the grandparents about what I'm nearly 20 without a boyfriend. Ever. *siiiigh* Well, on the bright side, I don't have to worry about getting pregnant while on accutane. A silver lining I suppose...

Ok. Well, no use sitting here in my pjs until people get here...I'm going to attempt to cover this mess up. At least I'm home alone tonight while they're all at the banquet so I can wash off all my make up, lather on the Cetaphil, and have dance party by myself. WOOOO crazy Saturday night...

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I wish you a lot of luck! I wonder if you can order aquaphor online?? It really is amazing stuff and works fabulous on dry lips....which will most likely happen in the next few days.

Good luck to you!

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So it's DAY 2!

I don't really know if my hands and lips are actually starting to get dry or if I'm just freaking out and it's all psychosomatic...probably, haha but they feel dryer than normal. The one thing was I did/still have a persistent dull headache ALL DAY. Is this normal? I drank A TONNE of water all day and I just took some advil but does anyone have any suggestions of what works best on these headaches? Other than that nothing to report...

Thanks for the good vibes guys! I don't know, I probably could order aquaphor online but there's going to be taxes if it's cross-border, which blows. But hopefully I'll make a visit to Seattle sometime soon and I can pick some up!

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Wishing you luck on your course. There's a lot of folks here that started around this time so hopefully we can help you during any tough times you encounter :)

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Thanks for the support guys! It really makes it so much easier knowing that other people know what I'm going through, hopefully I'll be sharing my word of wisdom with some newbies soon!

There was nothing to report yesterday really so I didn't write until today :P

Still nothing major to report...my skin has been getting better. I mean, still PRETTY BAD, but at least I'm not embarrassed to walk around my own house with no makeup on. I can feel a lot of little bumps, maybe just clogged pores now, I'm hoping they don't all have to come to head before I'm clear...that would be kind of terrible. I can barely stand the way my face feels, it's SO bumpy. Most of the redness has actually gone down so it's easier to cover up, which is nice. But I couldn't stand it, I has to exfoliate yesterday. I know you're not supposed to while you're on accutane but I couldn't help it! It ended up being fine, i haven't been feeling dry at all yet on my face. I've started to notice my hands and lips as I mentioned before, not sure if I'm just hypersensitive because i know it's coming or if it's legit.

I've been taking fish oils since I started on accutane. I've just taken one in the morning with breakfast, and one with dinner when I take my accutane. Do you guys recommend taking it with my accutane? Or should I take it before? After?

One more piece of advice needed...I stopped eating red meat last September so I've been taking a multivitamin since then to make sure I get enough iron in my diet. Because I can't take them anymore I'm really concerned I won't get my iron. Has anyone found a multivitamin without vitamin A? Or even just an iron supplement of any kind that's safe for use with accutane? My search hasn't been successful yet...

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Hello there fellow Canadian!

Good luck with your Accutane journey!

I take my vitamins and fish oil when I take my Accutane, but I don't think it really matters if you take them together or not. I find a lot of people like to just so that they can rememeber to take everthing.

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So I tried to post this last night but my internet connection is about as bad as my skin and it crapped out on me and I'm too lazy to change it to the past tense even though the irony of all of this is that this little blurb has definitely taken longer than any changes but whatever.

Tis the end of DAY 6.

I was kind of feeling like my skin was maybe starting to improve and I was thinking I'd HOPEFULLY be through with this initial breakout business soon but this morning I woke up with 3 HUGE whiteheads along with maybe another 4 or 5 normal sized ones...yeah. Pretty rough. At least I haven't got any new cysts since the first few days of being on accutane which is positive. I still can't stand the touch of my face though. At least it's not physically painful anymore, just emotionally I guess...hahaha. I'm trying SO hard not to touch/pick at it, it's taking all of my willpower!!!

In the last few days I've definitely noticed my lips getting dryer. My skin is pretty much the same as usual. I have VERY oily skin. Like, leaves a spot if I fall asleep on my homework oily. The Gulf of Mexico ain't got nothin' on my face! So I'm actually kind of excited for it to dry out. This excitement will probably last 0.5 seconds until I realize that dry skin sucks, but for the mean time I'll just hold onto this 0.5 seconds of glory!

I'm still unsuccessful in my iron supplement search. Whop whaaa (sad trumpet noise? Anybody?) so I don't know what I'm going to do about that...but I've been eating MUCH healthier in the last few days. She said my cholesterol was a touch high when I started so I'm nervous about it going up so I can't keep taking it, I would pretty much be DEVASTATED. I also went for a run this morning before work. I felt so great and energized throughout the day it was awesome! Especially since I haven't been feeling too hot because of this fierce breakout, but I felt really great about myself while I was out there running.

calabi, what lip moisturizer have you been using? I really wish we had aquaphor but then I realized that I didn't have to worry about health insurance when I considered going on accutane! (friendly diss :P I'm half American)

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I am currently using Carmex and Blistex Silk and Shine.

Carmex works really well ( alot of people on thes boards recommended it to me) but has a bad taste, so I like using Blistex Silk and Shine when I go out of the house.

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Ok, good to know! I did invest in a tube the other day, I really like it so far.

ONE WEEK DOWN!! Well, just over a week actually, it's now the end of day 8!

My lips are definitely getting dryer. I basically can't go more than 20 minutes without applying some sort of lip product. I've found my hands getting quite dry too. My face has been much less oily, but not really to the point of being dry yet which is great.

Still going through the initial breakout stage unfortunately. I've been taking one 40mg pill one day, then 2 the next and I find I definitely have more new pimples the morning after I take the two pills. I also feel like a couple cysts may be on their way which sucks! But it may be partially due to stress because I'm in finals right now for summer semester so hopefully it will get better soon!

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DAY 10!

I've definitely been noticing my skin getting less oily for the past few days but today it's started being just dry. It'll take some getting used to because I've never really had dry skin before, but I'm excited because that means that I'm getting more of the accutane in my system!

I think my initial breakout is getting better...it's kind of hard to say. I still have/continue to get more breakouts along my jawline and on my chin, but the ones on my left cheek have almost disappeared since last night. I have acne on my back too that is probably more persistent than any acne I've ever had on my face but I haven't started to break out there really bad like my face. I mean, I've had a few new ones on my shoulders but nothing major. It was kind of sucky though because I just started going to massage therapy because I got in a car accident a few weeks ago, and of course, I have a REALLY HOT massage therapist :) ...but I was really self conscious because of the few pimples I have right now and the scars from any previous ones.

Lips are still pretty dry. I CONSTANTLY have some sort of chapstick on me at all times or else I lose my mind. I haven't noticed any change in my joints yet. I'm really nervous about this because I LOVE to work out, I run every morning! I'm also on a mission to get in better shape before I start the new school in September! Hopefully I will be lucky and it won't be too bad!

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It's officially the start of my 3rd week on accutane tomorrow! I'm totally managing the dry lips now. Basically I've placed chapsticks and carmex strategically throughout the places I spend any time during the day so I always know where some is if I really need it. Nothing else to report really...seeing a bit more dryness in my skin, but nothing major.

Did you guys find that there was a certain point in the beginning of your treatment where the dryness and other things topped getting worse and just sort of plateaued?

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Hey Broadwaybaby,

Thanks for the post on my blog. I also have trouble keeping track of the days since I started in the evening. :lol: Anyway, you can get plenty of iron from beans, seeds, and spinach. There are supplements out there with just iron but I don't think it's really necessary. BTW, I would not take the fish oil with Accutane because most of them contain high amounts of Vitamin A! That will kill your liver in no time! :shock:

And don't worry so much about how other girls look or what other people think. Just take satisfaction in your life by being the best you can be. ;)

Oh and avocados and excersize should take care of your cholesterol levels.

Edited by CursedSoul
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CursedSoul, I don't think my fish oil has vitamin A in it but I'll have to double check! Thanks for the heads up! I <3 spinach so yeah, I'm trying to eat lots of it.

It's been 3 weeks! I've survived and managed for 3 whole weeks!! I haven't really got any more dry since last week, maybe a little bit in my hair but nothing major. I'm ABSOLUTELY LOVING the fact that my face isn't oily everywhere and my makeup actually stays where I put it! It's fantastic. I really feel like the worst is over. Even thought my skin is still pretty bad (the blackheads on my nose and chin are enough to make me want to jump off the Empire State Building), at least I can cover them up and feel confident that they'll stay that way for the rest of the day. It's kind of heard to say if I'm getting better really. I find it changes day to day. Before it was definitely worse on the days where I took two 40mg pills but now it's more inconsistent. I'm thinking this is a good thing? I feel like I'm getting closer which is good and exciting, but I still have a long way to go! I'm definitely extremely ready to be done with this whole initial breakout thing...it's been over a month now basically because of the Dianne 35 fiasco so now when I wake up in the morning I always think to myself "this could be the last day of my life that my skin is this bad!" and it always puts a spring in my step!

Also, I've really got into the swing of managing things just this past week and the mountains are slowly becoming mole hills! This is basically my routine for the day...

Wake up:

- Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (if it's sunny I'll put some SPF 55 Neutragena Ultra-Sheer sunblock)

- Small amount of Loreal True Blend Concealer

- Then I go for a half hour run. I find sweating REALLY helps to make my skin feel fresh and I always feel really good about myself after/when I run which is definitely needed during the initial breakout phase of accutane!

- Always drink a litre of water within an hour of waking up. Again, I find it helps me feel healthy and fresh.


- Face: Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser

- Body: Aveeno Calming Body Wash

- Hair: Pantene Classic Care Shampoo + Conditioner (I was using Head & Shoulders Sensitive Care but I COULD NOT get it out of my hair. Like, seriously. It would take me 3 days of washing it with different shampoos before it was kinda gone.

For the Day:

- Face: if I'm going to be inside working ALL day then I'll just use Olay Complete SPF 15, but if there's ANY possibility of me being outside for more then 0.5 seconds I'll wear the Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 50.

- Makeup: Loreal True Match liquid foundation (applied with foundation brush from The Body Shop), Concealer: Loreal True Match or Bare minerals, Powder: I can't remember what it's called but just your average mineral powder.

- Body: Vaseline Intensive Care lotion, or basically anything by The Body Shop (do you have this in the States? Maybe it's Canadian...)

- Sunscreen: Neutrogena UltraSheer, Coppertone Sport SPF 50, Aveeno SPF 30

-Lips: Chapstick, Blistex Lip Medex, Carmex <3


- Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (I will confess though, there have been a few times where I've caved because I couldn't handle it and exfoliated with The Body Shop's Seaweed Exfoliant. BAD, I know. But it's actualy pretty gentle and I didn't have any problems. THough I don't reccomend it anyway.)

- Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream

- Sometimes Pure Jojoba oil for a while before bed, but I always rinse it off with water and put on the cetaphil when I'm actually going to bed.

- I'll also put some Vaseline on the corners of/up my nose to give extra protection there because I'm prone to cracking there.

- Lips: Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment (uggh, ointment is possibly my least favourite word in the entire English manguage, it's disgusting! But yeah, the stuff is SUPER gross looking so that's the ONLY reason I don't wear it during the day but it works magic at night!

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