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Halifax's Second Course of Accutane

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This is my second accutane course. My first went from August 2009 - February 2010. I had many whiteheads and blackheads with very few cysts, but my acne was starting to scar. I tried everything, cyclines, retin-a, etc., nothing worked. Went on accutane and I was clear from Jan. - September, then slowly started breaking out again. So.. I was clear for 8 months.

In September I started breaking out on my chest and jawline (where I broke out before accutane). The breakouts werent as bad and the pimples were smaller though. I went on doxycycline for 6 weeks, it helped clear my chest up a little bit but my face progressively was getting worse so I decided to make the plunge again.

I am going to hopefully do quicker course this time as I'm diving right in at 90mg/day. I plan on upping to 120mg for months 2 and 3, and hopefully do another 15 days of 120mg before coming off the medication.. so a 3 1/2 month course with a cumulative dosage right around 120mg/kg (my first course exceeded 150mg/kg)

Day 14

Technically, tomorrow is day 14, but anyway..

My face is definitely shinier/oilier than before I started. The blackheads are purging themselves on my nose and t-zone, and I remember this happened during my first course as well.

I believe I am having an IB as I got a two small cyst like pimples on my left cheek, and I normally never get these. I have also gotten several small whiteheads since beginning accutane.

My chest acne has gotten worse (My chest is covered in blackheads) but I believe this is more from coming off of the doxycycline and less a result of the accutane.

Lips are very dry but I've been using Dr. Dan's Cortibalm religiously and they have been OK.

I've been spot treating my pimples/whiteheads with neosporin. Not sure how much it is helping but it makes me feel better.

I'm also trying to take more supplements this time. It might sound like I'm taking an excess of things, but all of these things (except for one) are in a standard multivitamin, but since we're on accutane we can't take vit.a and most multivitamins.

I'm taking:

5,000IU of Vitamin D3 since I won't be in the sun much

1,000IU of Vitamin E I've heard it is beneficial and helps overall skin health

50mg of zinc Supposed to be good for acne prone individuals

1,200mg of Apple Cider Vinegar (pills) Supposed to be good for red marks and help reduce acne!

All of these things have other benefits, promote cardiovascular health, joint and bone health. I didn't take any of these things during my first course and I believe they could help alleviate or lesson symptoms. Hopefully they help!

Edited by halifax
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Have you asked your derm about the vitamins? Did he/she say it was okay? I've heard you aren't supposed to take ANY vitamins? I'd love to take some vitamin E :)

And good luck with your course! I will be following for sure :)

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Hey borntorun, I didn't ask my derm specifically about taking those vitamins, but my derm told me the only thing I should avoid is supplemental vitamin A .. so I guess you can look into that as you want. I took that as her saying taking other vitamins/supplements was OK, but I do plan to ask her at my next visit. I have also researched a lot online and found that many other people take vitamin E, zinc, and D vitamins with the approval of their doctors while on accutane and they are fine.

Side notes about my skin:

Definitely more oily - Just examined my face in a magnified mirror and my blackheads on my nose are pushing themselves out and it has the texture of sand paper. I also see a few small bumps along my cheeks and I really hope they just go away and don't turn into whiteheads/pimples.

Products I'm using:

Cleanser: Cetaphil Cleansing Bar

Moisturizer: Cerave Moisturizing Lotion

Lip Balm: Dr. Dan's Cortibalm

Spot Treating With: Neosporin Ointment

I'm also consciously trying to drink a lot of water because I do think this makes a big difference in overall dryness.

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hey there, i started about a month ago. Hope everything goes well. Another Canadian it seems heh. Just wondering, when you bumped your dosage how bad was the breakout if you had one? I should be upping my dosage to 40mg really soon. Peace man

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hey there, i started about a month ago. Hope everything goes well. Another Canadian it seems heh. Just wondering, when you bumped your dosage how bad was the breakout if you had one? I should be upping my dosage to 40mg really soon. Peace man

Hey keiko, I did notice a slight increase in acne when I upped my dosage, but it wasn't anything like the first initial breakout. It was less severe and went away quicker from what I remember. All of the side effects you experience are elevated for a short time when you up your dosage, i.e, skin will be dry for few days/a weekish, etc. I also remember it took a few days to a week of being on the higher dosage before I noticed the increase in side effects/breakout.

Day 19

The clock is about the strike 12, so I'm considering this day 19:

My skin is definitely dryer and has a slight redish/pink tint to it. I'm doing my best to stay moisturized and am taking the supplements I listed before to hopefully help my skin out. I am also on 20mg of Prednisone a day. My doctor gave me the RX and I didn't use it at first, but I developed a few small cysts that were somewhat painful so I began to take the prednisone and it seems to be helping. I feel like I am going through a small breakout right now on my face as I have a few actives.

The blackheads are purging on my t-zone/chest and I think I may be getting over the hump so to speak: I think the worst is behind me, but the one thing I've learned about accutane is one week you can clear up and have 0 actives one day only to get 5 overnight. My lips are very dry but I am using Dr. Dan's Cortibalm as much as I can. My arms and chest are slightly dry as well.

I plan on upping my dosage to 120mg/day in about two weeks when I see my doctor. Hope everyone is doing well!

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Day 24

Going through some kind of initial breakout. Notice a few new whitehead type things each day. Skin is dry, a little red and I flush sometimes. Chest has a bunch of blackheads and my back has some too that I can feel. Lips are very dry, but Dr. Dan's Cortibalm works pretty well for that.

I'm starting to mix an aloe vera type moisturizer in with my cerave moisturizer and am going to see what that does for the redness. I also have jojoba oil and I may try mixing a few drops in with my moisturizer and see what that does.

I also have random ankle pains in my left ankle. I tore all of the ligaments in it/broke it a few years ago but it hasnt hurt since then. Idk, maybe I hurt it in the gym or something and am just blaming it on the accutane, but it is something I'll keep an eye on

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Day 34

Definitely going through an initial breakout. I woke up today with several new spots.. I think about three whiteheads and two bigger/redder pimples (not cysts, but not whiteheads)

My blackheads are pretty much entirely gone and have been for about a week.

Skin is dry and a little flaky around my jawline. I'm going to start using the jojoba oil I got mixed with my moisturizer when I go home from school in a few days.

I notice I have a few new spots on my chest, overall it isn't too bad. My back appears to be pretty clear but I can feel a few tiny bumps near my upper back/shoulderblades.

My dermatologist also upped my dosage to 120mg/day and I'm starting that today.

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Dude I'm just about to finish my first month and my blackheads are far from gone. How did you manage that?? Have you had your blackheads for a long time? These little black dots are bothering the shitz out of me.

I did notice that you are on a much higher dose though. 0.4mg/lb vs. my 0.23mg/lb. Maybe that's why the IB is still kind of going on?

Good luck on your course mate!

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Day 39

Thanks for following borntorun, though I don't post as much as I should, I've been following you too! (and i mean that in a non-creepy way haha)

Noseey - I had a ton of blackheads on my t-zone before my first course of accutane. They all went away after I finished, though I still had some larger pores near my t-zone than the rest of my face. My acne came back, enough to start a second course of accutane, and my black heads were back as well though not as bad. They got worse in the beginning then went away kind of all of the sudden. I remember this happening during my first course and I bet you will notice all of the sudden one day the blackheads aren't as bad, and over the course of a week or so they will almost completely disappear

Acne Update -

I recently started using jojoba oil at night along with my moisturizer because my skin was beginning to get dry and flaky along my jawline. I also put the jojoba on my lips at night, let it dry/set in, and then slather on the dr. dans cortibalm. I also began putting emu oil on the pink marks I have on my face.. hopefully those will fade soon.

I have been getting new whiteheads almost daily recently. There are a lot of red/pink marks from the recent acne on my face and I really hope this Initial Breakout / the marks stop and fade away soon. My lips aren't too bad, they were chapped but I've been trying to put more lip balm on when I can and I think the jojoba is helping.

Right now I would say facially my acne is worse now then it was before I started. The acne on my chest appears to be clearing at a reasonable pace. I still have a few bumps but I can't really complain. My cheeks and jawline are my real problems. Like I said there are a lot of pink marks and they really don't look too good :/

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Day 40

Definitely breaking out badly :/ I've got a bunch of new actives.. I'm not going to use the emu oil tonight, but I don't think that really has anything to do with it.

This really sucks.

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Day 46

So, breakouts are kind of calming down. I think I'm now entering the point of my accutane course where I still am getting new spots but they are fewer in number and smaller. I broke out last week, that has since calmed down even though I'm left with a few pink marks. Things were quiet for a few days then I got some new spots, but like I said they're fewer and smaller.

Lips are still chapped but I put jojoba oil on them once or twice a day and use the dr. dans cortibalm.

Facially I'm doing better, still dry, probably fewer than 10 spots but I have some pink marks. I recently upped to 160mg/day so I'm kind of going through a purging process or sorts again.. usually happens when you up your dosage. I can see some blackheads near the corners of my nose have slightly come back since this increase, otherwise they're all gone. I have some really small spots on my forhead that look like theyre "purging out" .. at least I hope thats what it is haha.. i never normally breakout on my forehead.

My back is clear and my chest has a few spots but otherwise it is clear. Body has been pretty dry I noticed after I was at the gym the other day a rash kinda thing on my upperback/top of my shoulder area when I was getting out of the shower. Started moisturizing this more and taking shorter showers.

My hair is dry.. might start throwing some moisturizer in it haha. I'd shower every other day but I go to the gym almost everyday and thatd be kinda gross..

PS, the reason I'm on such a high dose is b/c I want to end my course quickly. I'll have met my target dose, 130mg/kg by day 100. I want to end it sooner than later and take a higher dosage bc I think I'm experienced enough to handle the sides and I know what to expect since I've been on this high of a dose before, and because I'm going on spring break and want to be off the medicine for a few days before hitting the beaches. (I know I'm still going to be sun-sensitive don't worry)

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Day 48

Bleh.. such is life with accutane.

So.. I'm this is my 4th day on 160, maybe feel a little bit dryer, but I got a few new spots and there is gunk coming out of my nose and t-zone again. It is mainly on the sides of my nose, but stuff is definitely getting pushed out/coming out.

My lips have been really dry, but I guess that is to be expected.. it's the winter and I'm on accutane. I've gotten a few new spots on my chest, and I have a pimple on my back. I don't normally breakout on my back, and my chest had been real clear except for an occasional spot, so I'm going to put this on the increase in dosage.

My eyes are a little dry I think I might pick up some eye drops.

These next two weeks will probably be up and down as my body is getting used to the increased dosage. I notice whenever I increase the amount of accutane there is always a little initial breakout and it usually happens about 4-5 days after you up the dosage and lasts about a week and a half/2weeks. Hopefully I stop breaking out.

Also, my skintone is pretty bleh. I have a bunch of pink marks from recent acne and a bunch of enlarged pores.

edit: I'm also getting some spots I don't normally breakout in like my forehead.

Edited by halifax
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Day 50

Had a few new spots that I regrettably picked/prodded at and now I have some red spots. I have two healing small spots on my forehead and one on my hairline (can't see this one tho so I don't really care)

I shaved the other day and got an ingrown on my neck, first time I've gotten one in awhile. Mostly just healing spots now but I've got some pink marks and blackheads/enlarged pores. Not that greatest of complexions right now.

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Day 50 (cont... well technically 51 since its 12:30 :])

I think one thing I've fully grasped with accutane, and I would encourage others to, is that some days are much better than others. You might take two, even three steps forward only to take two or however many back. You might look better than you have in months one week or for a few days only to look worse than you have in months. It usually gets worse before it gets better.. people go on accutane for months, not weeks.

So.. as my previous post addressed I have a bunch of reddish/pinkish marks, some look pretty fresh because I picked some spots. My skin also has a pinkish tone. Gunk is still being pushed out of my nose / t-zone. A few small spots on my forehead where I don't normally breakout. Hopefully my breakouts stop soon I've been on 160 for 6 days, Tuesday will be my 7th. I guess I knew what I was getting myself into though.. I'm just trying to acclimated to the increase in side effects and hopefully get over this breakout before I go back to school.

I also notice shortness of breath at times. Could be because I have a cold right now, but its been on and off for about a week now. Something I'll keep at eye on.

In anycase.. I'm halfway done with my 2nd course (pending any bad blood tests or an intervention from my derm)

I play on being accutane for just under 3 1/2 months, (100 days total) and getting a cumulative dosage of 132mg/kg

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Day 51

A few new spots. A lot of redness and I'm very dry. Gunk is still coming out of my nose / t-zone area.

These red/pink marks are killing me they look awful. I have two patches of dry skin by my chin that I'm really trying to get go away but they seem pretty persistent. I also feel kind of run down with a cold, and my eyes feel pretty dry.

I really hope things start going better because my face looks worse today than when I started, imo. I really feel like I could cry with the way my face looks

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Day 52

Seems like I am getting dryer, both facially and on my arms/chest area. Today is my 8th day on the increased dosage of 160mg. I plan to drop down to 150mg for the rest of my course on Day 61 (Friday the 14th!)

I really hope I start seeing better progress in the coming days as I hope the breakouts and increase in side effects are associated with my bump up in dosage. My derm, as well as many others from the amount of research I've done these past few weeks, like for patients to be clear for at least a month before they finish (though, obviously, a fair amount of people arent clear until the end if at all and actually clear during the months they're off the medication - I just think I'd feel better knowing that I was clear for a month before I got off.. anyway..)

I get my blood work done within the next few days and have a derm visit next week. Wish me luck.

My course is going to look like this (at least if all goes according to plan and everything)

Month 1: 90mg/day = 2,700mg (DONE)

Month 2: 120mg/day for 15 days and 160mg/day for 15 days = 4,200mg (DONE IN 8 DAYS)

Month 3: 150mg/day = 4,500mg

Month 4: ONLY 10 DAYS!! 150 x 10 = 1,500mg

TOTAL: 12,900mg My weight 212lbs (96.36kg) Cumulative Dose: 133.87mg/kg

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Day 54

Got my bloodwork done today, find out the results at my derm appointment which is in a few days. I anticipate everything will be fine I have been avoiding alcohol (only drank once in the last month or so) and have been eating healthy and exercising regularly.

Still getting new spots. Skin is definitely dry, lips still chapped, my arms/wrists are noticeably feeling dryer.

I have had a cold for about a week and my throat has been very sore. It feels very dry, not sure if its related to accutane but w/e.

Had an incredibly sore left ankle a few days ago. I didn't go to the gym the day before so it wasn't from that, I just woke up with a terrrrribly sore ankle. Starting to feel better though, I've been taking flaxseed oil pills over the past day and 1/2 and they are helping I think.

I'm going to start moisturizing with Emu Oil mixed in with my moisturizer at night to help alleviate the redness/marks/pinkish tone my skin has started to develop.

Just trying to keep on keepin on, only 46 more days hopefully.

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Day 54 (cont.) Even though its technically 55 now..

I'm breaking out along the sides of my neck now. I also have a few new whiteheads along my cheeks and jawline, and the redmarks don't look awful. I can still see my nose purging some stuff out.. This really sucks.

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Day 55

Still getting new spots specifically along my lower jawline/neck area. I have had the same pimple on my mustache area for literally a month and it keeps coming back, now there are two and they are both like, hard whiteheads. I had a spot on my chest, but my chest and back are pretty clear and have been for awhile. I really hope the redness/pink marks/pinkishness goes away soon, the drag of accutane is really starting to take its toll on me.

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Hey man, good luck with your course! Seems like you're doing an accutane "crash course" with that dosage, haha. Are your side effects more intense with the higher dosage?

Hey thanks for stopping by. The side effects are more intense I would say, but not by a ton I guess. I've been on accutane once before so I kind of know what to expect, but yeah I think you're correct in labeling it a "crash course" haha.

Day 56

Face: A few new spots including one on my mustache area. Yesterday it literally was a tiny bump that you couldn't see but I felt it. By last night it was a small whitehead. By this morning it was one of those crusted over yellowish hard looking white heads. Hopefully it goes away as quickly as it comes. I still have a bunch of actives, mostly along the bottom of my jawline/neck, but I do have a whitehead above my eyebrow and the other one/two on my mustache/upper lip area (they're pretty much on top of each other so it depends on how you want to look at it haha) My face also seems redder/pinker today, and the marks on my face seem darker/more noticeable which sucks. There is still gunk coming out of my nose and t-zone area. I have some enlarged pores in that area.

Body: I am definitely feeling very dry. I noticed a few red blotchy spots on my arms, might be a little eczema, so I threw some hydrocortisone cream on it. I have two new spots on my chest and I had a pimple on my shoulder. I haven't had a zit on my shoulder in ages.

Eyes: A little dry, not too bad

Other Side Effects: I feel tired/fatigued a lot during the day, but I have trouble falling asleep at night. I'm sure not sleeping well at night has something to do being tired during the day, and I can't completely blame this on accutane b/c at the end of the day I really don't know, but I think it could be related.

Sore Throat: I definitely have a cold but my throat has been sooo sore. It feels really dry and I doubt the accutane is helping (not suggesting it is the cause of my cold) - I cough a lot when I try to go to sleep which definitely doesn't help my fatigue.

All in all I'm doing alright I guess. I would've loved to see better progress at this point, but I did recently up my dosage and I hope that by going down to 150 my body gets acclimated to the drug a little bit better and this breakout goes away. I guess I can't be surprised I'm breaking out still haha.. my first month I was at 90mg/day and this month I'm now at 160mg so I'm probably still going through some kind of initial breakout. I just hope I'm done breaking out by day 70 (preferably before of course!)

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I wish I could get my mind off my skin but its soo hard being home on break from school..

My complexion is absolute shit right now. My red marks look so red for some reason, and I think my blackheads are more noticeable. This SUCKSSSSS.

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