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Hope's (now!) Accutane journal

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Day zero!

Hello everyone!

First of all... I am soooo excited to finally create my log! I’ve been (like most of you... I know...) stalking this site and all these logs for a while... over a year! I keep coming here looking for encouragement, courage, motivation, and all those things I will need to start this journey.

I am going to be turning 30 in October; I’ve been dealing with this crap for way too long! Like most of you, I’ve tried everything! They all work for a while, but then it stops. Even proactive kept my skin great, for a little while at least. I did hate the fact that all my sheets and towels where getting discoloration spots due to the BP :evil:. Although my skin is not always bad, at least every 3 weeks I will get an array of cysts, and they honestly completely bring me down. I will have pretty good skin (on my world that means no cysts) for 3 weeks and then boom! I will get from 1 to 3 cysts, all on my chin... its horrible! Did I mention I am almost 30? It is really time for them to go away! I am in the military and now I have to mentor people, give briefings, inform the commander... and its all great, until I wake up with a huge cyst on my chin and then I don’t even want to go to work... which is not an option, since like I said, I am in the military :naughty: Gosh, I remember when I was in college... I would just not go! If only...

Anyways, after a year visiting the derm, and trying everything, he agreed that accutane is the next (and last) step. At first he was hesitant (as I was) because he felt my acne is not bad enough, but really... my mom is 55 and she is still getting the monthly cysts! I cant live my live like that, scared all the time that the cysts are just going to show up at the worst possible moment... as they usually do. You have no idea how many times I’ve had to canx on my dear friends because of a pimple... they don’t understand, so I have to make excuses... and then I feel horrible, one because I am a horrible friend, and two cause I am really missing out in some wonderful stuff.

Tomorrow is my appt and should be getting my prescription... wish me luck! I am 5’1 and 120 lbs. He wants to start at 50mg, which is super high IMO, but military docs don’t care much about aesthetics, just get it done. He said there is no point on gradual increase... whatever, I am just glad I am getting it... I will let yall know how everything goes.

Ok, so I got some cetaphil wash, aquafor , chapsticks and iron pills.... is there anything else I must have? Please help me through this journey... I will need the support from all of you.

Edited by hop3
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Wishing you the best of luck with your course! I am sure Accutane will clear up those cysts in no time.

Looks like you are all prepared for your course already but I have one piece of advice. Try using jojoba or emu oil. They both feel great on the skin and work wonders.

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Congrats on starting Accutane, and welcome to the club! :)

In addition to the iron pills, I am taking Omega 3's, Glucosamine (for the potential Accutane induced joint pain), Vitamin Es, and Vitamin Bs. I noticed that you didnt mention a body lotion..I have Eucerin body lotion for severely dry skin.

Before resorting to Accutane, one of the many things I tried was seeing a naturopath. During that phase I remember reading that you should consume half of your body weight in ounces of water per day - so, for example, I'm 115lbs so I would have to consume about 58oz of water per day. Now that I'm on Accutane, my goal is to drink double that amount (I have a tendency to self diagnose and try to solve problems on my own, so this drinking double idea is something I concocted on my own...not sure if it's enough or not :shrug: )

Anyway, the point of my story is: make sure you're drinking enough water. I'm still new to Accutane (only 5 days in), but I'm trying to incorporate things in my daily routine to try and avoid or minimize size effects before they start (hence, taking the Glucosamine from now).

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Be sure to check out my log as I'll be posting everything I've noticed in my skin whether it is good or bad..It may help you anticipate changes throughout your personal journey

Best of luck - I'll keep checking in on you and monitor your progress :)

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hey girls! thanks for posting :dance:

calabi: got it, oil for the face

angela: got it, i didnt even think of body lotion! i try to self diagnose/fix myself too... every time i get a pimple i go crazy analyzing why... what i ate, what i had on my hair, how long i slept, the weather.... its insane sometimes, but i will drink lots of water... just for you!

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Good luck with your Accutane course! We're starting roughly around the same time... I'm two weeks in. Though, in a couple months, that won't make much of a difference!

Maybe my derm just likes to give high doses, but 50 mg doesn't seem too bad. I'm 128 lbs and I'm on 60mgs a day. That's just under 60 kgs, so he's going with the 1mg/kg body weight per day formula. I have heard of most people being started off at half their max dosage to get their bodies used to the Accutane, but I guess we get to jump right in! :)

Thanks for commenting on mine, and I'll be sure to follow your log as well! Take care!


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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.

Good luck!! Check out my log and let me know if you find any solutions to my side effects, or if you just want to vent about yours!!

It will totally be worth it in the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Day 1! :dance:

I cant believe how easy it was for me to get my prescription... I keep hearing about issues with ipledge and derms and I have to say I feel very lucky! I saw my derm and he asked me, "are you ready?" and I said yes and that was it! He entered the info in ipledge while I was there with him and then he gave me a prescription... He told me to log into ipledge, answer the questions and then to take the prescription to the pharmacy... so I did and that was it! Crazy huh?

He decided to put me on 60mg from the start... I feel thats too high, but I am no doctor. I only took 30 mg this afternoon, and after tomorrow I will go twice a day. I am super excited and super scared at the same time. My skin is looking pretty darn good right now, and I wonder... what if... it is looking so good the derm asked me... are you sure? But it is not the first time my skin looks good, just to go crazy later on. I had 3 medium cysts on my chin a couple weeks ago, so I was not backing off :snooty:

I am posting a pic I took last night... You cant see any blemishes at all! I do have really poor skin, and have a thousand blackheads and white bumps all over my chin and nose, that you cant really see on pics... and the oiliness is unbelieveable! Plus I have been on Bactrim and retin A for 4 months now... They have kept it under control. I am prepared to hear that I dont need this medicine, but believe me, I wouldnt put myself through this if I didnt think it was the only and last choice.

Well my friends... 1 pill down, a zillion to go! No side effects yet, but then again, its only been 20 mins :lol:

I really hope this works... :pray:

Edited by hop3
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Hey good luck with everything! Your skin looks really good in the picture, but I know what you mean because my skin used to go through phases too between being clear and breaking out (although my clear stage stopped coming.. hence why I am starting accutane next week!). I need tips too so I'll probably be checking out your log in the future.. those ten commandments are a pretty good start :)

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Congrats! I'm on week six and also on 60 mgs a day. I weigh 120 and am 5'8. The first week or two goes by really slowly, but then time flies! I have had dry skin and dry eyes. I would recommend putting in eye drops before bed if your eyes start feeling dry. I ignored the dryness and woke up with 3 styes a few weeks ago. Now I use eye drops before bed every night and haven't had a problem.

The ten commandments are great. Keep up with the Aquaphor. It's the BEST!

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Hello tidalwaves & karma! hello boys!

Day 2!

Well, what can I say, it is day 2 and everything is the same. Actually, today is the first day that I have taken the full dose, since yesterday I only took the night dose. So we will see tomorrow. I want to know about weird dreams... I have read here before that the medicine will give you crazy/weird dreams, and last night I had one! There were some mean trees coming after me! :shock: It was the weirdest thing... I never even remember my dreams and I just kept waking up, maybe cause I am scared shitless :think: ?

Really, not much more to say, so instead I am attaching a couple of pics of my acne... here you can see what I am talking about, my skin is mostly clear and then I will get these bad cysts, and never just one! You can also see how I have a thousand blackheads all over my chin...

Alright! Yall have a good day!

Edited by hop3
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Guest CynthiaS

Hey Hope! Congrats on getting started, I hope things go wonderfully for you. =)

Just wanted to add my two cents to the "Ten Commandments" and you can take it or leave it... not to be a naysayer, but I (and my dermatologist) disagree quite a bit on a lot of those rules. Sorry Missy, I just want to offer a different perspective. It could be because I live in Florida and we have some ridiculous humidity or it could be that I'm naturally very oily, but I'm not nearly that gentle on my face, I'm only 61 days in, and I'm having great progress.

First, my derm has me using Cetaphil DAILY cleanser, not Gentle.

Second, I don't use a heavy cream or moisturizer, I use a very light lotion called Neova Body Therapy every time I wash and it works wonders. No peeling or flaking or anything aside from a very short period in the beginning.

Third, I religiously wash twice a day and have noticed that when I miss or skip a wash my skin is a little more congested the next day.

Fourth, I never put anything up my nostrils, bedtime or otherwise. I've been told by my derm to do that if and only if I start to have a problem with nosebleeds or my nostrils feel painfully dry, and thus far I haven't had an issue with that.

Fifth, applying hydrocortisone cream when you don't have a rash is really bad for your skin. It should be used very minimally and only to improve or control, not prevent. Occasionally a little rash pops up on the backs of my hands and all I do is apply a thin layer of Aquaphor to them twice a day. The rash goes away just fine in a couple of days, no topical steroids needed.

Sixth, I drink 3-4 glasses of caffeinated tea a day. The health benefits of tea are tremendous, and more so for caffeinated over decaffeinated. If you're really that worried about dehydration, just follow that tea/coffee with an extra cup of water.

I tell you this because I just don't think it's necessary to be THAT fanatical about your body when you're on Accutane, especially if you're just being preventative. I prefer to pay close attention to my body and then make slight adjustments to my routine as necessary. Here are my rules, if you care ;-)

1.) ALWAYS take your Accutane with 10-15g of healthy fat (a serving of nuts is great) and a full glass of water. This ensures that your body is actually absorbing as much of the medication as possible. If you don't take it with fat, there's no point in taking it at all.

2.) Wash and moisturize twice a day, with whatever your personal dermatologist recommends for you. Always use barely warm water (never hot), pat dry, and never ever EVER pick.

3.) Keep Aquaphor on your lips at all times. You'll find it doesn't take long for them to dry out and crack if you forget about it.

4.) Use a good rich body wash in the shower (I use Oil of Olay Body Butter) and a good quality fragrance free moisturizer on your body every day. I think you'll find that your arms and back will dry out more quickly than the rest of your body. I got little splotches of eczema here and there but they seem to respond very well to a thin layer of Aquaphor twice a day.

5.) No alcohol. Yeah we all break that rule. Ok keep it in moderation as much as possible haha. =) And try to keep the saturated fats to a minimum to keep your triglycerides down.

That's it, it's pretty simple and doesn't interfere with my life in any way. Honestly most of the time I hardly even remember I'm on Accutane. But I'll step off my soapbox now and tell you again... best of luck! Looking forward to seeing your progress!

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cynthia: thanks for the suggestions :)

Day 3:

Really, nothing to report. Nothing has change and nothing feels different. But I feel weird... feels like the quiet before the storm :unsure:

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Congratulations on starting! Your skin looks fabulous in your pictures, but I believe you when you say that you need it because nobody would put themselves through a course of Accutane if they didn't have to. I read most of your log and people have great input. I figured I'd post my recommendations, too. You will find a method that works for you soon enough!

First of all, let me start by saying that PRIOR to Accutane my skin was normal/combo and SENSITIVE. I also live in a very, very humid and hot area.

I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser in the mornings and/or at night, when I haven't worn makeup during the day. I wouldn't suggest washing twice a day with any face wash besides this one or Purpose. Because you are starting on a high dose, the side effects of dry skin will probably hit you kind of hard. I found the Daily Cetaphil Cleanser to be drying before Accutane, so I wouldn't suggest it once the dryness hits, but it totally depends on your individual skin needs.

When I have worn make up during the day, Cetaphil does a terrible job of removing it (my opinion). Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths for Sensitive Skin have literally saved me. I'm able to LIGHTLY scrub my face with the cloth and it's non-irritating to my hypersensitive skin. I would also suggest a cloth like the one I suggested because your skin WILL get dry and flaky, which is the worst! I desperately needed some kind of very gentle, very light exfoliation because my skin felt rough and was flaking everywhere! They're also very sanitary vs. a wash cloth (unless you use a clean one everytime).

As far as moisturizing goes, I use jojoba oil and LOVE IT! I apply a small amount everywhere and then apply a light lotion before bed or Cetaphil Cream (once again, depends on how dry I am). I definitely moisturize A LOT at night, to the point that my skin looks super greasy, but by morning it's dry again! Haha. During the day, I'll apply Olay facial moisturizer for sensitive skin and that's about it. However, if my skin has been exceptionally dry, I'll apply Cetaphil Cream to my face in the mornings or at night (mostly at night). Cetaphil Cream and jojoba oil can definitely be too greasy for daytime.

I live in an extremely humid area and have found that I have needed to use a cream because lotion has not always been enough. This has been especially true during the first few weeks I started Accutane and after my dosage was upped. Please keep in mind that my skin was not very oily to begin with, though.

Your hair will become dry and brittle so avoid washing too often, if possible. I will sometimes only apply a conditioner in the shower. Invest in a good deep conditioner and maybe a hot oil treatment? You won't regret it.

I weigh about 112 lbs. and am on 50 mg. I'm almost done with Month 2. The first, say, 3 weeks are interesting. I had a crazy dream/nightmare just about every night for the first week. I was scared to sleep at one point, but they have gone away for the most part! I got them again for a day or so when my dose went up to 50 mg from 30 mg. They should go away for you, too!

Your mouth, nose, eyes (especially) will start to feel very dry all of a sudden, but, with the exception of my still dry nose, the dryness has subsided.

Now that I've written a novel...good luck!

OH and moisturize your EARS. Haha! Not the inner ear or anything, but my ear lobes started to flake and I've heard that other people have the same issue.

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hey cutiie! hopefully my nightmares will end soon, cause it is very weird! My skin is doing good right now, so I will definitely adjust products/etc depending on its behavior. I know, its looking good... hopefully it will stay that way forever! i was actually taking bactrim and using retin a for 6months before accutane, so it was pretty controlled, minus the cysts.

Day 4:

I think I am getting super oilier... the whole day i felt like i had a film of oil on my face. however, it is actually pretty hot these days here in England (military/station in england), plus the a/c on my car broke... so i dont know, it could be just that? :doh: also, i am always sleepy, it is getting really hard to stay awake... and... i am hungry all the time! what?!? i thought people actually lost weight on accutane cause?

anyways... am i the only one that has a really, really hard time getting those pills out of the blister pack? i am using claravis... i dont know if they are different from others, but i find it really difficult to get them out.

have a good weekend!!!

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Guest CynthiaS

No I HATE those packets!!! I mean I know it's REAAALLLY important to be reminded everyday that I'm not supposed to get pregnant... heck, usually by the time bedtime rolls around I start looking at my husband and thinking "hrmmm, maybe we should get pregnant tonight!" but thankfully those little pop-out pictures remind me! =P

I cut them all out of the packaging the first day and put them in an empty pill container, so much easier to deal with.

Oh and I think I'm only losing weight because I force myself to be a lot more active, but I am definitely consuming more calories.

Edited by CynthiaS
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Day: 7 (Week 1 down :dance: )

Hello IB! Well, maybe? I am definitely breaking out, but it could also be because I've been extremely stressed out, been eating like crap, been sweating like crazy or because I was just due... regardless, I am getting a few new ones, and i am not happy :(

I managed to get my lazy butt out of bed this morning and went for a run. It felt great! I need to keep it up, because I think I've gained like 2 lbs already and I am so short, it looks like lots more.


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Hi Hop. If it is your IB, I hope its not too severe for you. Just power thru it. I shouldnt be giving any advice since I definitely dont practice what I preach, but thats the best I can offer :) 1 week down; here's to an easy 20-something more :dance:

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Day: 8

I know I shouldve been prepared, but breaking out sucks! It doesnt matter how much we plan for it, when it gets here its devastating :(

Also, this week is full of appts and meetings. And I have to volunteer on a car fair, so I have to be out and about directing people for 8 hrs on Sunday. I am already freaking out, cause I just dont know how much worse my skin is going to be...

bleh :doubt:

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