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I went on accutane 40mg for 3 months about a year and a half ago. It didn't work, my skin only got worse and instead of upping my dosage my doctor took me off it.

My skin was ok, but after moving from a dry climate to a humid ocean climate, I broke out all over my face and had so many red marks I have no choice but to try this stuff again!

Since I've been on it before, I know what to expect in terms of side effects and how to help them subside, so this time I'm using that knowledge to PREVENT all those crazy awful side effects.

Hopefully it will work for me and so you all can follow the same preventative measures I use and avoid the most unpleasant effects of the drug.

Lets get through accutane gracefully!!!

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The Ten Commandments of Accutane:

1) Thou shall not exfoliate, no matter how dry and peely your skin gets. EVER.

2) Thou shall not use products that contain retinoids, benzyl peroxide, salicylic acid or any typical acne fighting agents. Our skin is no longer acne-prone, it is sensitive!

3) Thou shall purchase cetaphil gentle skin cleanser and use it from day 1 of your accutane treatment

4) Besides cetaphil, the only other face products thou shall use are a gentle, heavy moisturizer (I like aminogenesis but cetaphil is also great)

5) Thou shall put a lotion such as Glaxal base up your nostrils every night before bed

6) Thou shall put thick hand lotion on every night before bed and if a rash develops, thou shall buy and use a hydrocortisone cream twice daily even after it is gone. Putting it on and wearing gloves to bed keeps it where you want it.

7) Thou shall drink at least 2 litres of water/decaf tea every day and avoid diuretics such as coffee or alcohol

8) Thou shall not feel like you must wash your face twice a day, wash at bed time and re-apply moisturizer to uncleansed skin in the morning

9) Thou shall switch from a powder foundation to liquid, I recommend MAC liquid foundation with SPF and then you can gently pat a mineral powder overtop and voila! your makeup wont make you look flaky and your acne is totally hidden!!

10) Thou shall follow these commandments religiously EVERY DAY.

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I have started back on the 40mg per day, I'm not sure if being on it before has decreased the side effects or if my regimen is really working, but I am 11 days in and haven't had a huge breakout like I did last time.

A few small pimples popped up around my mouth, but my cheeks (which were the worst part) are wayyy CLEARER!

My eyes are quite itchy though, I went out and had a few beers at a bar with friends and I think that the combination of staying out late and drinking alcohol is what dried my tissues out. Today I will drink 3 litres of water instead of 2. Hopefully this goes away soon.

I also saw my eye doctor yesterday, he said 75% of his patients who take accutane need to switch the type of contacts they use after a few weeks because their eyes are too dry.

He also noticed a small change in my prescription and a slight difference in my left and right eye's optic nerves. I had to take that eye test where they blow a puff of air into your eye and it freaked me right out! The doctor had to hold me down to do it. Pure hell, pure hellllll.

My optometrist also told me if I noticed any big or sudden changes in my vision to contact him RIGHT AWAY or else it could be irreversible. So everyone take note!!

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I cant get over how much I love the combination of MAC liquid foundation with a little mineral makeup over it.

I NEVER wear liquid foundation while off accutane because I don't think it looks as natural, but the girls at the MAC store matched me up with a perfect colour and the mineral powder gives it that super natural, blended-in look I love. I will actually probably keep using these 2 steps even after I'm off accutane!

If you need more coverage from your makeup or your skin is very dry there are a few things you can do.

LAYER PRODUCTS.

Put on your thick moisturizer, then you can choose to layer any of the following products to build moisture:

-a serum such as a brightening, vitamin c, vitamin e serum

-a sunscreen

-a tinted moisturizer

-a thicker liquid foundation

-mineral powder

You may also want to switch your blush to cream blush or your eye shadows to cream based products.

PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOUR SKIN IS FLAKY TO USE MOISTURIZING PRODUCTS.

Skin heals slower on accutane and it will be very difficult for your skin to regain enough moisture to heal once it is dried out, especially if you up your dosage.

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Has anyone experienced pigmentation changes while on accutane?

I always use sunscreen when I'm outside, but I noticed I got more freckles and tanned unevenly last time I was on accutane.. coincidence or legitimate concern?

I just don't want to age my skin from these pills but maybe this are just natural changes that would have happened anyway... ??

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BLISTEX HYDROCARE.

best. lipbalm. ever.

some make my lips burn.. this one doesnt.

also ladies, do not EVER use plumping lip gloss while on accutane. the irritants in it will make your lips crack even if you use it just once.

im speaking from personal experience here =S

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Is anyone else taking Clarus as opposed to Accutane Roche?

I'm on Clarus and I like the packaging better because it's small and doesn't say what it's for. It just has a picture of a pregnant girl with a big X through it, so if people see it in my purse I just tell them it's birthcontrol!

I hate telling people I've had to resort to accutane.. it almost feels like I'm admitting failure.

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I forgot to mention, but my bacne cleared up COMPLETELY from my first round of accutane.

So i know it works, i have such a pretty back now it's the only thing that gives me faith sometimes!!

I wonder why it works so fast on some areas and not on others....

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Hey!

Just wanted to stop by and say good luck on your second course.

I am taking Clarus ( which I do believe is the generic Canadian brand) but I don't have any pregnant ladies with an x through it on my packaging. I like it though, it seems to be working although I am just in month two so it has not run its course yet

Also, I love the list of commandments you compiled, it is genius! Thanks for the info!

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I forgot to put lotion on while my skin was still damp after my shower this morning and I am soo flaky.

But then I went and bought a bunch of stuff at bath&body works, they had a 75% off sale which is pretty useful for those of us on the tane!

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Day 13 and small blisters appeared in the corners of my lips =S

soooo painful, one of them cracked.

The saddest part is that I'm pretty sure it's a result of KISSING haha. The only times I've had a boyfriend in the last 2 years were the 2 times I've been on accutane!!! So unfortunate because I swear they feel soo dry and peely after kissing. But yeah I've got this lovely new bf and he gets to kiss my cracked lips and make them worse. JOY!!!!!!!

I've been using lip balm with SPF and drinking water all the time, so i'm not sure what else to do.. any suggestions? hydrocortisone cream perhaps?

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Hey Missy.J thanks for stoping by my blog & good luck with your course.

Wanted to say about your lips i just got AQUAPHOR it for dry skin but my derm told me to use it on my lips & let me tell you its good stuff

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The Ten Commandments of Accutane:

1) Thou shall not exfoliate, no matter how dry and peely your skin gets. EVER.

2) Thou shall not use products that contain retinoids, benzyl peroxide, salicylic acid or any typical acne fighting agents. Our skin is no longer acne-prone, it is sensitive!

3) Thou shall purchase cetaphil gentle skin cleanser and use it from day 1 of your accutane treatment

4) Besides cetaphil, the only other face products thou shall use are a gentle, heavy moisturizer (I like aminogenesis but cetaphil is also great)

5) Thou shall put a lotion such as Glaxal base up your nostrils every night before bed

6) Thou shall put thick hand lotion on every night before bed and if a rash develops, thou shall buy and use a hydrocortisone cream twice daily even after it is gone. Putting it on and wearing gloves to bed keeps it where you want it.

7) Thou shall drink at least 2 litres of water/decaf tea every day and avoid diuretics such as coffee or alcohol

8) Thou shall not feel like you must wash your face twice a day, wash at bed time and re-apply moisturizer to uncleansed skin in the morning

9) Thou shall switch from a powder foundation to liquid, I recommend MAC liquid foundation with SPF and then you can gently pat a mineral powder overtop and voila! your makeup wont make you look flaky and your acne is totally hidden!!

10) Thou shall follow these commandments religiously EVERY DAY.

Hi Missy.J!

I am starting accutane tomorrow and wanted to thank you for your list of commandments - I'm sure they'll be TONS of help!

Best of luck with your course this time around :)

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So for any Americans who don't know July 1st is CANADA DAY!! and being Canadian I went out and celebrated last night in 4 phases

Phase 1: family dinner

Phase 2: chill with a certain boy..

Phase 3: PARTY have a few drinks

Phase 4: play beer pong

Phase 5: chill with another certain boy

unfortunately during phase 5 i managed to BREAK MY FOOT. i was literally walking like 10 metres from his bathroom to his bedroom and i tripped on a box. it hurt but i thought i just stubbed my toe so i went and lay down and went to sleep.

then when i woke up in the morning i realized i couldn't move my toes or walk on it and the swelling and bruising was pretty bad

so i spent today in the hospital and now i have a cast

hopefully the accutane wont slow my healing... also i wonder if it played a part in the breaking of my bone.. because i've never broken anything and i just stubbed my toe..

weird. so sad. now i cant party much =/

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I have always wondered what the fuss is about accutane and alcohol. I know that both can affect your liver, but the drug information booklets that came with both my Accutane Roche and Clarus pills didn't say to avoid alcohol.

I even asked the pharmacist once and he said I could drink moderate amounts.

Can anyone shed some light on this??

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My contacts keep ripping in my eyes!!!!!! Ugh so annoying. I basically have to go get a new brand from the optometrist EVERY DAY until i find a pair that works.

So far everything has only lasted one day.

Super annoying side effect!!!!!! I dont want to wear glasses all the time the air makes my eyes itchy =S

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At the eye doctor today the receptionist said that she thought they had stopped prescribing accutane because of all the side effects...

... are they going to stop?!!!! Because I want to finish my course and haven't heard these rumors before... to me it seems worth the minor side effects that are most common.

Hopefully it was just medical gossip!

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We all have those days where we just feel down on ourselves. I'm definitely having a lapse in my self-confidence tonight =S

I do think I'm pretty, but after i washed my face tonight and saw all the red marks and acne I kind of felt hopeless.

Like even after I finish accutane, I'll have red marks. Even after they fade, I'll have small ice pick scars. Even if I get fraxel laser to help get rid of those there will still be a few.

No matter what i don't think i'm ever going to have "nice" skin, and i just wish i was one of those girls who could be comfortable with how she looks without makeup.

It sucks not wanting to go swimming with your friends or camping because of how your skin looks exposed.

I actually made excuses to not move in with my boyfriend until it's in a better condition.

which i know sounds RIDICULOUS but i feel like it would be showing everyone i'm not so great after all

=S

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Hi Missy.J.-

From what I understand, the reason we are told to avoid alcohol while taking Accutane is the strain the medication is already putting on your liver. Drinking too much alcohol isn't good for your liver either so they say it's best to not drink at all while taking Accutane.

Sorry to hear you broke your foot. I can't imagine having a cast on during the summer especially. :wacko:

My dose was just upped to 60 mg a few weeks ago and my lips have become extremely dry as well. I have to keep Aquaphor in the corners to help with cracking.

Keep your chin up! It will be over before you know it and you'll be left with gorgeous skin!!

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Hey! good luck with your second course. One was enough for me and I hope it remains that way lol. I took 40mg like you, but for 6 months. I wonder why your derm only kept you on it for 3 months the first time because in my case I didn't stop breaking out until at least month 4. Anyway, I'm pretty confident your second course will do it for you. I wish you all the best and stick to it, it's so worth it in the end.

ps: If it's of any interest to you, I'm almost 2 years post accutane and my skin is still 99% clear except for the odd pimple (maybe 1 per month). I'm telling you that just so you know that not everyone's acne come back (which seem to be the case on this site) It's just that people who stay clear usually don't hang around here anymore :P Well good luck again with your course!

Edited by LaChesis
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Hey! good luck with your second course. One was enough for me and I hope it remains that way lol. I took 40mg like you, but for 6 months. I wonder why your derm only kept you on it for 3 months the first time because in my case I didn't stop breaking out until at least month 4. Anyway, I'm pretty confident your second course will do it for you. I wish you all the best and stick to it, it's so worth it in the end.

ps: If it's of any interest to you, I'm almost 2 years post accutane and my skin is still 99% clear except for the odd pimple (maybe 1 per month). I'm telling you that just so you know that not everyone's acne come back (which seem to be the case on this site) It's just that people who stay clear usually don't hang around here anymore :P Well good luck again with your course!

That gave me a lot of hope!!!! Right now my skin is doing the whole breakout thing, which is super annoying. Its hard to deal with that phase for so many months but at least now I know it does eventually get better on the 40mg if you stick it out. I'm still hoping to get raised to 60mg soon though!

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So i finally found contacts that work and don't rip in my eyes (yayy!!!)

The brand is called harmony, they are a lifesaver!

And in regards to the blisters on my lips, I started taking iron pills and in ONE DAY they were gone. I really don't know how I would cope without some of the advice I find on here!

Yesterday I was at the Calgary Stampede, which is like a huge outdoor rodeo and amusement park. I got sun rash on my foot (the other foot was covered up in my cast). I hate how sensitive accutane makes my skin to the sun but at least hydrocortisone will clear this up lickity split.

Hang in there everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I picked up my second box of Clarus pills today.. i'm 29 days into accutane!!! its gone by very fast.. i thought it would feel like forever and be hellish but my initial breakout is finally settled down and drying up.

it's getting better, but there's still a long way to go.

does anyone know if you have another "initial breakout" when you UP your dosage? i may be going up to 60 in the next couple weeks, and have never taken that dosage so i don't know what to expect.

also i went to the Body Shop today and they had a good deal on body butters (buy one get one half off, buy 2 get 1 free). you can never have enough of the stuff !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Has anyone experienced pigmentation changes while on accutane?

I always use sunscreen when I'm outside, but I noticed I got more freckles and tanned unevenly last time I was on accutane.. coincidence or legitimate concern?

I just don't want to age my skin from these pills but maybe this are just natural changes that would have happened anyway... ??

I've been getting that as well! I havent been getting burnt but all these freckles and even larger brown spots keep turning up.

Did yours fade from last time you were on accutane?

Edited by Paperboy Bike
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