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hopetrumpsall

Rachel's Accutane Log :)

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Tonight I’m going to wash down dinner with pill number six!!!!!!!

Even as I’m writing this, I kind of can’t believe it. It’s been one hell of a journey to get her, but I doubt I have to tell anyone on here that. You all know the drill – over the counter, antibiotics, topicals, anything and everything to clear those nasty little buggers. And then learning that inevitably accutane is probably your last hope.

My dermatologist broke this particular bit of news to me back in January and I should have been all over it – making sure I got those pills asap. But the truth is, I’ve spent the last six months agonizing if this was really the right decision for me. It’s not so much that the side effect scared me, it was just hard to ignore that nagging voice in the back of my head which keeps asking WHAT IF THIS DOESN’T WORK???? But after some serious pushing from my parents and reading all of these lovely logs, I decided to take the plunge. After all, what exactly is it that I have to lose?

So where to start…..

Um…I think I started getting the occasional pimple when I was thirteen, but never more than one or two at a time (though at the time I thought this was the end of the world of course). And then at sixteen it turned into full-blown acne (ughh. I hate that word. I almost never say it out loud and even writing it is making me slightly nauseous). I remember I woke up one morning and there was this itchy clump of red marks on my right cheek and I stared into the mirror wondering if a particularly aggressive bug had bitten me. Oh, to be young and naïve. The breakouts got worse; I went to the doctor and then the other shoe dropped. After being prescribed a low dose of benzoyl peroxide, I woke up to find my eyes swollen almost shut, my lips three times too large (and not in a sexy, Angelina Jolie way) and pretty much everything else slightly puffed up. Yup, I am horribly, horribly allergic to bp. As if the universe didn’t hate me enough. But other than that everything was normal. Some things kind of work, some things work for a little while, some things just make it worse. It’s a dirty, dirty game and acne usually wins. But hopefully this is one fihgt I’m going to win!!

DAY 6

So my derm stared me on 30 mg of Claravis. According to him this should help prevent against a major IB but I’m still expecting the worse. I feel like preparing for the worst is the easiest way to get through this – yes, I’ve obviously always been an optimist.

Everything is going surprisingly well so far though. I’ve been trying to stay as hydrated and moisturized as possible – tons of water, tons of chapstick (I’ve always loved soft lips so that’s what I’m starting with) and tons of moisturizer (I’m using a clean and clear because it has a spf of 15 and won’t be too clogging in the beginning). So, so far there hasn’t been any real drying – just the occasional dry skin flake every now and then. I don’t know if this is weird – but I’m actually looking forward to my face drying out. So far, I’ve never met a medication that can truly accomplish the task!

I’ve had a couple of headaches over the past few days – but nothing that stopped me from going out or doing anything. I think they mostly came from being in the sun and not drinking enough water when I was out there. I know I should avoid it as much as possible, but its summer and a beautiful one at that! I also had a sore throat the first couple of nights after taking the pill and some nausea but everything seems to have settled down and I feel pretty good.

I’ve been a tiny bit run down but I kind of attribute that to the fact that I’ve been doing slave labor (*achem* interning) for long hours each day and getting up extra early on my days off to exercise. So it’s hard to know if it’s me being run down or the ‘tane. I guess only time will tell…

On a side note, I’ve been getting these really vivid dreams for the last few days. I actually wake up and remember all of the details. This side effect however, is one I think I’m going to enjoy!

Anyways, hope everyone has a good Monday and has an easy week!

Edited by hopetrumpsall

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It looks like we started our treatments about the same time, I'm on day 7 today! (Although I did forget to take my pills yesterday.. seriously, already?) I am taking 60mg right away though because my derm didn't think I'd have any bad initial breakouts. I hope he is right!

My side affects sound similar to yours as well. I also feel the same about the dry skin... I might regret it later, but I cannot wait for my oily skin to become dry!

I'm looking forward to seeing how your side affects compare to mine!

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DAY 7

So there's not too much to report today.

I love spinning and I went to my usual Tuesday morning class. Normally it's a hard class but today it was an effort to get my body to cooperate. It took me twenty minutes to feel warmed up and even after that, it was as if every time I pedaled it was a struggle. Since I've been going to this class for a while, I kind of believe it has something to do with the accutane. The weird thing was that my muscles haven't hurt since then...

Also, when I woke up this morning my face actually seemed a little bit dry! There were a couple patches of dry skin which went away after I moisturized and my lips felt a little bit drier. I know its only the beginning, but I was a little bit excited! It's the first time I've felt that this might actually work for me! Not that I'm being over enthusiastic or anything... :whistle:

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Good luck on your course! The dryness on the face is awesome, but the itchy dryness all over the body, not so much. Totally worth it though. ;)

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Hey girl! We're on the same dose and the same brand! lol im just a day behind you! I basically have the same side effects. I go for a run/circuit training workout in the morning with my friend and after I was exhausted and still am...8 hours later. But maybe it's because i had 7 hours of sleep and usually get 10, so who knows. Good luck!

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It looks like we started our treatments about the same time, I'm on day 7 today! (Although I did forget to take my pills yesterday.. seriously, already?) I am taking 60mg right away though because my derm didn't think I'd have any bad initial breakouts. I hope he is right!

My side affects sound similar to yours as well. I also feel the same about the dry skin... I might regret it later, but I cannot wait for my oily skin to become dry!

I'm looking forward to seeing how your side affects compare to mine!

Yay us getting to be accutane buddies! Congrats on starting! I'm jealous that you get to begin on 60mg and also super intrigued to see our courses are similar despite the dosage difference. Hope you're enjoying day seven :)

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Good luck on your course! The dryness on the face is awesome, but the itchy dryness all over the body, not so much. Totally worth it though. ;)

Hahahaha oh man, that is certainly not something that I'm looking forward to...

I have no self control when it comes to itching.

And thanks!!!!!

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Hey girl! We're on the same dose and the same brand! lol im just a day behind you! I basically have the same side effects. I go for a run/circuit training workout in the morning with my friend and after I was exhausted and still am...8 hours later. But maybe it's because i had 7 hours of sleep and usually get 10, so who knows. Good luck!

Oh man, I totally understand. My mom wanted to know if I wanted to take a walk with her today and I just couldn't drag myself off the couch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it gets better!!

Oh and CONGRATULATIONS on starting!!!!!!!! I will definitely be following your log and creepily comparing our side effects :whistle:

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Hey girl! We're on the same dose and the same brand! lol im just a day behind you! I basically have the same side effects. I go for a run/circuit training workout in the morning with my friend and after I was exhausted and still am...8 hours later. But maybe it's because i had 7 hours of sleep and usually get 10, so who knows. Good luck!

Oh man, I totally understand. My mom wanted to know if I wanted to take a walk with her today and I just couldn't drag myself off the couch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it gets better!!

Oh and CONGRATULATIONS on starting!!!!!!!! I will definitely be following your log and creepily comparing our side effects :whistle:

Haha yeah!! my scars are looking better, which is weird. do you have any signs of an IB?

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Hey girl! We're on the same dose and the same brand! lol im just a day behind you! I basically have the same side effects. I go for a run/circuit training workout in the morning with my friend and after I was exhausted and still am...8 hours later. But maybe it's because i had 7 hours of sleep and usually get 10, so who knows. Good luck!

Oh man, I totally understand. My mom wanted to know if I wanted to take a walk with her today and I just couldn't drag myself off the couch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it gets better!!

Oh and CONGRATULATIONS on starting!!!!!!!! I will definitely be following your log and creepily comparing our side effects :whistle:

Haha yeah!! my scars are looking better, which is weird. do you have any signs of an IB?

Ok so I've been meaning to ask this question since I started reading these... does IB just mean initial breakout? Or is it something else? Everyone always says they're waiting for their IB... do people usually have a bad initial reaction after starting accutane? I don't think I'd even know if that was happening to me because my skin breaks out all the time anyway.

Hoping someone can help me out so I'm not making up my own meanings for words! Haha :)

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Yeah. IB just means, initial breakout. When people usually start on Accutane they usually experience an IB. I think I had mine on day five but I'm not quite sure if that was my IB or not.

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Hey girl! We're on the same dose and the same brand! lol im just a day behind you! I basically have the same side effects. I go for a run/circuit training workout in the morning with my friend and after I was exhausted and still am...8 hours later. But maybe it's because i had 7 hours of sleep and usually get 10, so who knows. Good luck!

Oh man, I totally understand. My mom wanted to know if I wanted to take a walk with her today and I just couldn't drag myself off the couch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it gets better!!

Oh and CONGRATULATIONS on starting!!!!!!!! I will definitely be following your log and creepily comparing our side effects :whistle:

Haha yeah!! my scars are looking better, which is weird. do you have any signs of an IB?

Hahaha I'm not sure to be honest!! I'm so used to my skin breaking out that I can't tell if the few whiteheads I've gotten since I stared have anything to do with the accutane. If so, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is it. They're very tiny and not painful so I'd say it's a win. How about you?

Also, that's great that your scars are looking better!! It's a great feeling to know that something's happening!

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DAY 8

For some reason it hit me that I'm almost done with my first pack. Two days from now, it will be one done, seventeen to go. Not that I'm counting down or anything.....

So - I believe the dryness is truly beginning. I can my lips starting to really dry up even though I've been chapsticking like crazy. I'm still using my soft lips during the day and vaseline at night, but I'm wondering if i'm going to need to switch to something a little more intense. Also, my face is a little bit tighter and my scalp has been a tiny itchy. It's nothing to write home about, but I'm still excited about it.

I know that I really shouldn't be expecting anything but when I woke up this morning there was this section of my left cheek which wasn't its normal red and bumpy and actually was skin colored and smooth. It's only about an inch and a half in diameter and who knows what it means but it gave be hope!

Also - how will I know when my IB hits? This is probably one of those dumb questions. But I've gotten a bunch of white heads on my right cheek which grew significantly during the day. It's not that unusual for this to happen to me though, so I'm having a hard time figuring out what is just my normal face and what's happening as a result of accutane. Anybody else having this problem??

It down poured today when I was leaving work and I forgot an umbrella. This woman on the street covered me with hers for a little while (i don't know why new yorkers get such a bad rap) and when we parted ways, she told me to get inside quickly so I won't catch a cold. Honestly, because it's summer i didn't even think about it. And then suddenly I got paranoid. I've heard your immune system can be worse on this and now I know I'm going to be hyper aware of my body until I'm sure I'm not sick. Ughhhh.....

The truth is though, it was a good day. I'm still so excited to see what's going to happen over the next six months and I really haven't give up hope. Optimism - gotta love it :dance:

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I started to notice now my skin has about 10 new small small pimples on it. they like dont hurt really. and Im getting some joint pain, but I run and bike every morning...so that might make it worse. My skin is still super oily :(. and the lips are pretty dry. My eyes are actually kinda blurry right now, but i think its cause when i took my makeup off a couple minutes ago, I got some in my eyes...

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DAY 10

Wow. I can't believe I've finished my first pack! More than that, I can't believe that I have seventeen left to go...

I'm feeling frustrated. Nothing really seems to be happening. My lips and face are getting a little dry, but nothing uncomfortable. I'm breaking out - but nothing more than usual. I know this process is supposed to take a while and I'm not giving up just yet, I just wish I was feeling that this was at all worth it. I know, I know - a good dose of self-pity, the perfect way to start a weekend. But it's my best friends birthday today and I want to go out and celebrate with her, but i'm tired and I'll be the only not drinking and i'm just feeling like I wish that I understood why I was giving it up.

Ughh. Let's hope tomorrow's a better day. This experience is already turning into a roller-coaster ride and it hasn't even been a whole month. :boohoo:

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Yeah, I hear ya on the whole drinking front. It's not even like I drank that much, but it sucks that I can't even have one drink for 6 months. I mean seriously!

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Yeah, I hear ya on the whole drinking front. It's not even like I drank that much, but it sucks that I can't even have one drink for 6 months. I mean seriously!

It just feels so weird to be having to say "no" instead of wanting to say no. It's so hard! I have to admit I actually had about three sips (literally) of wine during the birthday toast. I felt horrible about it and kind of felt sick when I got home, so that's a mistake I'll never make again. I don't know if I was just freaking out about my irresponsibility or what but I just realized it's really not worth it...

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Yeah, I hear ya on the whole drinking front. It's not even like I drank that much, but it sucks that I can't even have one drink for 6 months. I mean seriously!

It just feels so weird to be having to say "no" instead of wanting to say no. It's so hard! I have to admit I actually had about three sips (literally) of wine during the birthday toast. I felt horrible about it and kind of felt sick when I got home, so that's a mistake I'll never make again. I don't know if I was just freaking out about my irresponsibility or what but I just realized it's really not worth it...

I have been even worse about it, I had a few drinks at a birthday party as well this weekend. My derm never told me no alcohol, I just kind of figured that I shouldn't and when I looked it up online, I was surprised to see how many people on forums were saying yeaaah it's okay to drink, and one person asked if its okay that he/she binge drinks every weekend and hardly anyone said no! Did you guys get strict warnings from your doctors about not drinking? I felt guilty afterwards and decided my liver is kinda a big deal, and that I wouldn't drink anymore.

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Yeah, I hear ya on the whole drinking front. It's not even like I drank that much, but it sucks that I can't even have one drink for 6 months. I mean seriously!

It just feels so weird to be having to say "no" instead of wanting to say no. It's so hard! I have to admit I actually had about three sips (literally) of wine during the birthday toast. I felt horrible about it and kind of felt sick when I got home, so that's a mistake I'll never make again. I don't know if I was just freaking out about my irresponsibility or what but I just realized it's really not worth it...

I have been even worse about it, I had a few drinks at a birthday party as well this weekend. My derm never told me no alcohol, I just kind of figured that I shouldn't and when I looked it up online, I was surprised to see how many people on forums were saying yeaaah it's okay to drink, and one person asked if its okay that he/she binge drinks every weekend and hardly anyone said no! Did you guys get strict warnings from your doctors about not drinking? I felt guilty afterwards and decided my liver is kinda a big deal, and that I wouldn't drink anymore.

When I went to get my prescription, I asked my doctor about it. I told him that I had just turned 21, that I was in college, that I was surrounded by people drinking every day. So I asked him if I could have a drink every now and then. And he simply looked and me and said no. He told me that I have the rest of my life to drink and that it wasn't a gamble I should take. And when I called my cousin, who's a pharmacist and has given me the best advice about this, she said the same thing. I know that there are a lot of people on here who drink and are fine, and I can't promise I won't slip up again. But I agree in the fact that its a pretty powerful drug, the livers pretty important, and there are some things one just shouldn't risk...

Even if sucks sometimes :confused:

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Hoptrumpsall & Ingaa-

Yeah, my situation is a little different. I am actually just choosing not to drink to be safe. This may come as a surprise, but my doctor actually said that drinking was fine-not a problem. I then asked my pharmacist and he said, "Yup! Not a problem, just limit yourself to a few times a week." Then, when I got home I read all the stuff that comes with the accutane and it said to avoid alcohol, which is why I decided to not risk it.

I find this to be quite hard. I don't have a drinking problem, but I really miss my glass of red wine during dinner a few times a week. :( I keep on telling myself that at least I'm saving lot's of calories. Hey, whatever works I suppose. ;)

Edited by Again!

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Hoptrumpsall & Ingaa-

Yeah, my situation is a little different. I am actually just choosing not to drink to be safe. This may come as a surprise, but my doctor actually said that drinking was fine-not a problem. I then asked my pharmacist and he said, "Yup! Not a problem, just limit yourself to a few times a week." Then, when I got home I read all the stuff that comes with the accutane and it said to avoid alcohol, which is why I decided to not risk it.

I find this to be quite hard. I don't have a drinking problem, but I really miss my glass of red wine during dinner a few times a week. :( I keep on telling myself that at least I'm saving lot's of calories. Hey, whatever works I suppose. ;)

I seriously admire your positive outlook! I should try and adopt it in my life...

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DAY 13

So, I haven't been updating - mostly because there hasn't been that much to say. I've been feeling pretty good. I still feel a little bit tired, but I'm getting back a lot of my energy. I do notice however that if I do something a little bit more 'strenuous' than normal, I can feel it. My sister's getting ready to leave for her first year of school in a couple of weeks so we spent a lot of the day out shopping and then putting things into boxes and organized piles. It wasn't anything crazy, but by the time we were done - I was ready for a nap.

Also, the drying on my face seems to have stopped :confused: I have no idea what this means to be honest. I bought a vitamin e face moisturizer which I love so I don't know if that's just been working really well or what, but no flakes, no dry spots. It would be a little disconcerting, but my face seems to be getting a little better. I'm still getting breakouts - a few big ones, but mostly tiny ones which go away pretty quickly.

I think I've been having some joint pain in my left arm. My hand feels tight and sore as if I'd been typing for too long, which was a super pain when I went to go to a spin class tonight. Also, my shoulder hurt for a while today. It's not too bad and it went away quickly so I'm not too concerned, but I am wondering what it means for the next few months.

Lips = dry. Ouch. I could feel them splitting today so I've been obsessively applying chapstick. Hopefully that's going to help!!

I know it's only day thirteen, so I'm not particularly concerned - but I wish I had a better idea of when I was supposed to see results. It just is a weird waiting game - waking up each morning and wondering if today's going to be the day.

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DAY 21

Today, as I started my third and final box of month one, was a horrible day. One of those days where all you want to do is crawl into a hole and never come out.

I'm spending my last two weeks of summer working at a camp for kids with special needs. I've been doing it for years so I know most of the kids. Today one of my favorite campers who wasn't able to come in yesterday, greeted me enthusiastically in the morning. She filled me in on her life, asked me a million questions about mine and then getting distracted, she stared at me for a long moment. "what's that?" she asked, reaching out and touching a spot on my face. I knew exactly what she meant and I just didn't know how to answer, luckily my beautiful (who I might add, has perfect skin) sister jumped in, laughing "a face, silly" she said. But this girl wasn't deterred by this answer and shook her head, "no. your pimples. why do you have them all over? were you born with them?" I don't really remember the answer I gave her, I think I just kind of laughed. But inside I was kind of dying.

Now, obviously she doesn't know better and I don't blame her at all. But having people point out my face is my worst nightmare come true. And you know the crazy part? It happens ALL THE TIME. Does anyone else find this?????

The first time I can remember this happening was in high school when my spanish teacher pulled me aside and asked if i'd heard of a medication, because it had worked really well for her son and his skin was very similar to mine. That was back when I was first starting to break out badly and I was mortified. I remember telling her that I had a dermatologist but thank you before rushing into the bathroom and crying as I stared at my face. I never told anyone that this happened, even now writing it feels raw. No one likes to have their imperfections pointed out, especially not a vulnerable sixteen year old.

But people seem to think its their right. I once had a man stop me at a train station and tell me that I really needed to wash my face with cold water. A perfect stranger! I just wanted to scream at him and be like don't you think if that's all it took - I would have done it???

So that was really a rant that has nothing to do with accutane at all. So I'm really sorry. I don't know, its just my biggest pet peeve. I already feel so self concision that realizing how noticeable my face is just eats away at me. And now, that I'm on accutane - "my last resort" - I think I just feel even more sensitive. Its hasn't even been a month, I know, but I don't feel like things are getting better. I'm just discouraged and upset and I'm getting anxious to go to my dermatologist next week.

I know I've said on here before that my biggest fear wasn't the side effects, but of that nagging voice in the back of my head that keeps asking what if this doesn't work and that voice is so loud at the moment.

Like I said, its been a bad day.

On the update side:

I've been obsessively putting vaseline on my lips and that seems to be working really well. They're really not too dry, although I totally feel it if I go too long without putting it on.

I've been washing my face with cold water (ironically enough) and then putting vitamin E cream on it right away and that seems to be working really well too. My face is actually pretty soft and I haven't seen any real flakiness or dry skin.

I will say however, that this weekend I certainly learned why everyone tells you to stay hydrated and out of the sun. I went on a day trip to an outdoor museum with my family and little cousins and I had breakfast, drank water before and because it wasn't too hot out - I felt fine for most of the day. Then I got a little headache, ate a granola bar, went to one of the indoor exhibits and started to feel better. Well apparently food is not a good substitute for water. Because ten minutes into being inside I started to feel really tired and nauseous and then I passed out. It was completely embarrassing - they tried to take me to the hospital and when I refused tried to insist I spend the rest of the day in a wheelchair. I declined, naturally. I guess its important to say that fainting is not really unusual for me. I sometimes pass out at shots, blood tests, in doctors offices, in situations that freak me out basically. But I've never passed out from dehydration before...I think its safe to say that I've learned my lesson. I will drown my body with water before I will let it become that dehydrated again.

Also, I'm still continuing to get some pretty big whiteheads. I'm hoping that it's just a relatively mild IB.... :wall:

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The first time I can remember this happening was in high school when my spanish teacher pulled me aside and asked if i'd heard of a medication, because it had worked really well for her son and his skin was very similar to mine. That was back when I was first starting to break out badly and I was mortified. I remember telling her that I had a dermatologist but thank you before rushing into the bathroom and crying as I stared at my face. I never told anyone that this happened, even now writing it feels raw. No one likes to have their imperfections pointed out, especially not a vulnerable sixteen year old.

But people seem to think its their right. I once had a man stop me at a train station and tell me that I really needed to wash my face with cold water. A perfect stranger! I just wanted to scream at him and be like don't you think if that's all it took - I would have done it???

People are dicks. Just smile and ignore. I am surprised I haven't encountered that before.

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That sucks. I know how it feels-I've had my share of comments from people. None of their buzzness!

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