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Didn't think I was actually gonna do this, but, at day 6, things have gotten bad enough that I feel like I need too! I just hope it doesn't get too much worse!

History of acne: I've had acne since I was around 10, and I am now 19. It's gotten progressively worse as I've had it, and I was hoping that it would just go away, but it still hasn't. Around the time that I was 12, a friend of my dad's who is a doctor subtlely hinted that I should take care of it by giving me a prescription for minocycline. The effects were wonderful: instead of having 5 pimples a day, I only had 1 or 2. I was in bliss. Prior to this, I had tried differin, as well as retin-A, and this weird stuff that you rub on your skin with pads, as well as every home remedy listed on this website that was practical for a 10-12 year old to do. Yea, every single one. Of course, I bet that back then there were a lot less than there are now. Around the time that I was 15 I started developing cystic acne, and have had frequent cysts ever since. When I lived in Colorado, my doctor prescribed me more minocycline with a few topicals, and it continued to help a little, but its effectiveness wore off over time. When I moved for college, my new derm prescribed me Doxycycline which has had almost no effect. Then, I went to a new derm (because my old derm was an a**) who suggested that I go on accutane. I was mildly surprised, but not too surprised, because literally EVERYONE in my family has an acne problem, and none of them ever get rid of it unless they wait until they're 30 or go on accutane. And, so, I got the prescription and here i am.

I was prescribed accutane last Monday (120mg/day, but I'm a big guy at 250lbs), and took my first dose that night. By the next night I had already felt some side effects (or I think they were) with some slight skin dryness. By day 3 is was apparent that I was feeling side effects when I woke up with flaky skin, and skin that was so dry I felt like it would crack and fall off at any minute. I'm really not used to dry skin, because mine is usually SO moist. Yesterday, day 5, I started to get what I assume is an initial breakout. It's funny, because I was reading online where someone was complaining about how in their initial breakout they "literally had 12 whole pimples". Well, I was counting, and I literally have 20 pimples on my CHIN. It's truly disgusting, and I never thought my acne could get this bad. Recently (over the past 5 years) when I've not been taking drugs (the kind my doctor prescribes) I have had 10 or 20 pimples on my face at a time. But, I swear, I have at least 40 right now. If it gets any worse, my face will be more pimple than skin. This morning, it was so bad that, instead of popping my pimples, I took a razor to them and just shaved them off. And if anyone's going to say that I shouldn't pop them, well, back off, because I'll take a picture tomorrow morning and you'll see just why I can't do that.

Luckily I haven't experienced any of the worse side effects of the medication, like fatigue, depression/desire to commit suicide, joint pain (despite the fact that I go to the gym daily), etc. However, I know that most people don't get these side effects until they've been on accutane for a while, and that most people don't even get an IB until a week or two in. So I'm still worried that I will get these extra side effects, and that what I'm thinking is the IB might not actually be (which would be horrible!)

But, only time will tell. At the very least, at this point I have not had any cysts since I started accutane. And I'm kind of hoping that, if this is an IB, since it started extra early, maybe it will also end extra early.

I'll start my "daily log" tomorrow, now that I've given you all a rundown of where I'm at right now. If you guys have any advice for me, please let me know! Thanks! - Rob

Edit: Also, no headaches, which surprised me, because I usually get headaches. I've been drinking water constantly... and my throat has been hurting, and it's not the usual kind of hurt you get with a cold, but it just feels like it's drying out. Which is kind of weird, because I thought accutane worked on sebaceous glands, and I never thought that there were sebaceous glands in your throat. Of course, this might be entirely unrelated - I could just be getting sick.

Edited by Robert Rankin
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Thanks Jenny!

So, hopefully you guys will never get to see those pictures I mentioned, because earlier I was to upset by them to post them and right now, at

Day 10,

I think my IB is ending! While my acne is still worse than it used to be, it's no where as ridiculously bad as it has been over the past three or four days. I'm holding out hope this might be the end, and that maybe everything was put on super speed because of my super high dosage.

I think, though, that I may be experiencing some of the depression-type side effects of the medication. Or, that could just be because of the terrible acne. But I will monitor that situation closely and call my doctor if things start to get even worse. No headaches, still, just sill-ily dry skin and lips. Yesterday my face just randomly started bleeding in the middle of class!

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This morning, it was so bad that, instead of popping my pimples, I took a razor to them and just shaved them off.

That comment just made me feel nauseous. I had a problem with skin picking but have since learnt to control the urge to pick, I've gotten a lot better and my skin has healed so much because of it. This may sound odd but I used to put a post-it note on my bathroom mirror that said

One small square inch of skin contains:

-19,000 nerve cells,

-1250 pain receptors,

-19 yards of blood vessels!

-625 sweat glands,

-94 sebaceous glands,

-60 hairs,

-and approximately 19 million cells.

This was to remind me of how delicate the skin is and that popping my pimples would be counter-productive. I got the information from this website


It took me months to feel comfortable going out in public with white pussy heads and just saying that makes me squirm. But now I can go out with my face covered in pimples because I know in the long run my skin will be so much clearer because I left it to heal naturally on its own.

I'm on day 10 being on accutane and its going really well, hope it go's well for you to!

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Thanks for the advice, but it was SO bad, I really just don't think I'd be able to stand doing that.

Either way, it doesn't matter any more, because like I said - my skin is beautiful right now! :) Almost clear. Super excited! I hope this trend continues.

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