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Trying Accutane: A Fling, A Friendship Or A Love/hate-Relationship?

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Ok, so here goes.

I just turned 27 last week, which means I am not willing to have horribly bad skin all over my face anymore and accept the terrible scars that already shows on most of my face.

I want to live a life, where I can leave my apartment without make up on. Where I can say hi to people without considering if my cysts show again. And where I can no longer peel dead skin off my face, because it's so oily underneath that it never heals.

I know this new relationship will be hard. Nobody said it was easy. But I've tried all the rest. I'm so ready for Accutane now.

I have had acne for just about 7 years. Never really during my teenage years, but after great hormonal ups and downs they appeared around 20-21. At first they were mainly small pimples, but during the years my skin has changed, so I have less pimples and blackheads but then I usually have 4-5 major cysts around my mouth at the same time and it can take them up to 6 months to heal up (because I pick them and they heal badly), there keeps coming clear fluid from them 24h a day (which means they are impossible to cover with make up) and they leave horrible, ugly scars, which means I never show my face without make up to anyone. Not to my closest friends, my family or my boyfriend (which I don't have now - many times I feel like my insanity about my skin kinda ruins those relations time after time).

I've tried everything: Clindamycin, BP, Tetracycline, Doxycycline, BC pills...plus the rest.

My derm wouldn't let me have Accutane for about 5 years. She said it was too strong with the side effects.

Last week I started a new derm and she handed me the drug right away. Said it was the last option.

So...I'm starting it.

Actually I started yesterday.

My derm wanted me to take 2 x 20 mg a day, but I talked her into letting me go on a low dose with 20 mg a day at least in the beginning, because I'm scared of the side effects and hear that good results have been seen with low doses... What is your experience?

I took the first pill yesterday and this morning my cysts are dry (yeah! :) and I have a slight back ache. I heard that can happen...

I'm excited.

Wish me and Accutane luck. I hope it'll be a giving relationship not too complicated...

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We're on the same page! I know exactly how it feels. It would be amazing to just wake up and go out without having to worry about covering your face up, hoping no one would notice the acne.

I just recently started taking Accutane, same dosage as you and I'm on my 19th day so far and have noticed a few improvements. As I've heard within a month you will hopefully see some good results and it will hopefully keep getting better from there. It is possible to break out a bit at the beginning but that's normal, it won't be major acne attack, just a few small ones (may or may not happen).

Best of luck to you! Let's hope this a good, strong, and long relationship!:)

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Thank you, guys! I am so happy to have this forum and your support. We'll be there for each other... :)

Ok - so this was my second day.

And seriously; is it supposed to work this quickly?? I already feel like my skin is improving drastically!

I can definitely feel that my skin is getting thinner. It's like there are more small black heads showing although nothing big.

It seems like the horrible wounds that used to be wet and oily all the time and wouldn's heal for six months because of the infection are actually starting to dry out and heal.

They're pealing but in the good way. When they're dry and pealed they are easier to cover with make up.

I try not to pick my skin. I must try. It's a terrible habit and this time I hope to succeed in breaking that.

So on the plus-side today is:

My wounds from my more or less permanent cysts are pealing, drying out and seems to be healing.

My scars are significantly less red! Yay :)

On the side effect-side:

Today I've been itching a bit. My scalp, my back and my legs specifically.

My lips are a bit dryer than usual, but it could be the weather change. It's starting to get really cold and almost freezing during the evening and night time.

I do feel like there are a few small cysts on my jaw which have started to grow under the skin today - but then again they may disappear as quickly...

I've heard about people who have almost experienced "wonders" during their first couple of days and then - bang! - had a crazy break out!

I have no idea if it'll happen to me. However I do expect friday or saturday this week to be the huge side-effect awakening. It seems to hit more or less on day 5 if you read the logs in here...

We'll see :)

So far - I'm in a happy mood. Almost happier than before. Strange ;-)

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Its a great feeling the first time you look in the mirror and see a clear face. That crazy breakout happened to me, exactly 3 weeks in, but every week after that I had less and less acne and by 2 months after that breakout I was virtually acne free. And the side effects seemed to come along gradually, it took about a month and a half before I really felt dried out for the first time.

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Thank you, Ski... :)

All right. Day number 3.

Symptoms today:

My eyes are starting to dry a bit. And itching. And feeling a bit puffy.

I've got a couple of cysts on their way on my jaw line... I shouldn't pick them. Otherwise than that there are small white pimples spreading on m cheeks and in my scalp. Also some on my legs where I used to shave them... Strange... Maybe it's the beginning of my IB. Maybe not.

My skin on my body is definitely getting more dry. I have to put on a really good moisturizer to try and make it more smooth again...

Strangely enough It's also been feeling like my lower stomach/liver area has been aching a bit today. Weird.

Besides from those things my skin in general feels better. The huge wounds are starting to heal and it is soooo nice!

I'll update again soon. I'm so tired.... Couldn't sleep last night. I have no idea if that's a side effect...

Talk to you guys soon :)


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Ok, so...fourth day.

My skin is getting more sensitive. I was walking in the sun earlier and it felt a bit like burning on my cheeks. Not so nice, actually.

Also I'm itching, because I'm getting more dry. Especially my eyes feel itchy.

And my body seem to be a bit swollen. Has anyone of you guys tried that?

Besides from that I am feeling a bit more tired and dizzy than usual...but my moods are good :)

My wounds are still healing and getting less noticeable, which is great!

I do have an IB starting, I think. A few cystlike pimples are growing under my skin on the jaw line... I just have to not pick them. Oooooh, but it's so difficult!!

So far, though - I like Accutane and we can still be friends :)

We'll figure out a giving relationship, I'm sure...

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Sounds like so far things are going good with your treatment. I am currently on day 3 of my treatment and I'm currently taking 2x40mg pills a day. I talked to my derm about starting out with a low dose so I can avoid side effects, but she insisted with my moderate persistent acne that I would see better results if started out at the recommended dose and I would probably be done in 4 months if everything goes according to plan So far I've had a couple pimples pop up, but nothing I would so out of the ordinary yet. No dry lips, dry skin, or dry eyes yet for me. Although I started feeling a little itchy yesterday just on a few random places. Not sure if that's from the tane or my mind playing tricks on me. Anyways, I wish you the best of luck and I'll be keeping up with your progess since our treatment dates are almost identical.

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Thank you smile.png It's great to have somebody to follow on the way to a pimpleless future!. Do you have a log as well?

This evening espeically one cyst has grown to become quite huge. And I picked it. I so shouldn't have! Now I'm hoping for it to calm down during the night...

I find that my treatment is going well so far - but then again I am only on day 4. Who knows which surprises will appear in my weeks to come...?

I am so ready... I think keeping up the positive attitude and hoping and believing in the best to happen will make the process easier and hopefully make it all go well eventually smile.png

Btw - I will up my dose in a couple of weeks to 40 mg a day. That'll be interesting.

Once again - thank you for the support !

Edited by Riosha
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Day 6. Whoop whoop.

Small pimples growing under my skin on the jaw line.

I don't know if the IB could eventually get worsened by drinking alcohol? Does any of you know about that?

This week I have had one drink on three of the nights and three drinks on the first night I was on the pills... So all in all about six drinks over the five days. Ugh.

It's mainly because I've been off work (I only have one weekend off work every month) and my friends are...well...those kinds of people. Next week will be different for sure as I work just about every night including the weekend. So there's no chance it'll be as much.

My skin is drying out for real. I have this really dry spot under my lip. And my scalp is itching so bad! Also my arms, feet and legs seem to be much dryer than usual...

I had a bit of a knee pain yesterday. Strange. I don't really feel extra tired after having started the Accutane, but then I went off the doxycycline pills a week ago and was on tetracycline before that and somehow I am realising it made me more tired than these do...

Exciting what to expect for the next weeks to come!

I feel ready... :)

I hope you're all good out there...

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Ugh. My face is getting extremely oily and extremely dry and peeling at the same time... Weird!!

Do you guys experience that??

And what do you do, when it peels? Do you remove the dead skin that's just "hanging there"...?

I did, but now it's bleeding and really sore... Ouch.

I have some strange and sore red spots around my mouth now... Ew. I know this won't improve over the next 6 months...

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Day 7 it is!

Seriously - I know I'm asking this again, but what do you guys do when it peels? Do you remove it...? I've heard you cannot exfoliate...

Ha ha - I feel stupid for asking this if nobody's reading it, but then at least I'll have my log here to eventuallt look back at how the process - and hopefully progress - was... :)

And speaking of progress - I feel like my skin is nicer looking now and the redness around the scars/wounds are fading, but I'm sticky, sticky, sticky!!!

My skin is super-oily, which it never ever used to be. It used to be quite dry actually but with enormous cysts.

Now it's just about the opposite. It's sticky and I seem to develop many small pimples, cystlike zits and more clogged pores than usual, but they start peeling quite a bit and then they disappear quickly - all of them. I like it actually!!

My face is extremely oily, though...and dry spots especially around my lips...and on my arms, back, everywhere actually, lol. The dry spots look kinda strange.

My eyes still get swollen and my back and knees hurt a bit. I'm also quite tired, but then again that might be because I am the lady in red this week... ;-)

My moods are goooood - so I'm still happy about the pills. From tomorrow week 2 starts. OOOOOH - the week known to be "side-effect-opening-show". Exciting!

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Riosha, we're on the same day! I'll definitely be following your blog. Yeah, about the peeling - can't stress to you the importance of leaving them alone. Your skin is about to get paper thin and peeling will reveal raw skin that should not be exposed to the elements. You'll just have to 'grin and bare it' ...lol.Glad you are seeing progress this early on - it will help prepare you for the long and unpredictable months ahead as Accutane is like a new boyfriend - things start out great but honestly, you don't know the guy that well. Give him a few weeks and his true personality will come out (you still pray for the best though) eusa_pray.gif. Hoping you don't experience too many side effects and good luck with everything


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Ha ha - Accutane IS my new unreliable boyfriend as the one I had just left me... O well - I was stressing a lot about my skin and I was quite annoying to be around at times, I guess, so no wonder... Seen as I am currently taking a break from guys after this, Accutane will have to play that role ;-)

I like it so far as I don't have to stress about covering up the worst parts and keeping my make up on as I go to bed, while I'm in THIS new relationship! I have to reveal myself completely to Accutane - and we'll hopefully have a giving relation... I'm counting on it, but don't you always have to in order to make magic happen?

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Hmm, feeling a bit moody today. Most likely to be caused by the final break up yesterday. Happy to have Accutane as my substitute...

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Day number eight.

Today's side effects from yesterday's horrible final break up with horrible (ex-)boyfriend through a year:

- Devastating heartache.

- Tiredness.

- Moodiness

- Anger.

Today's side effects from new lover, Mr. Accutane:

- Extremely dry and itchy scalp

- A minor break out beginning on my jaw line and front head - eww

My mood is really bad, but I'm not sure which category that would belong in.

So - I would say winner of the day is Mr. Accutane! Congratulations! Accutane, my new fling, substitutes old boyfriend brilliantly!

On the positive side my lips don't really seem to be drying out that much. That's strange, I was expecting them to...

I'm wondering if I should double my dose soon, so it'll be 40mg a day? That was what my derm suggested and I am supposed to up my dose anyways after my next appointment... I just feel like I'm ready to go all in with Accu now...

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Sorry to hear you have hit a relationship rough patch in your life! I know how you feel as the same thing has happened to me recently. I had been dating a girl for a year and it's kind of been a long distance thing for awhile now since graduating college, but it's been now two weeks since I have heard from her after getting her voicemail twice. Not really sure what has come of that, but I must say I'm not really heart broken though. I knew it would eventually dissolve over time so it is what it is. Stay Positive and hope for the best! We are going to have so much confidence with our clear faces that we can move on to something better!

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Your analogies are hilarious. Be glad to be rid of the drama that are men....lol. At least Accutane doesn't pretend to be something that he's notcool.png . But seriously, you're entitled to be sad about the ending of your relationship but don't let an unsupportive ex live in your head rent free. Don't worry - lips will start drying out like the sahara pretty soon and its so not pretty. If after 2 weeks you're fine with the side effects, then up your dosage if your doctor ok's it.

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It's possible that you won't get the dry lips. They say that 90% of people do, but of course that means there's quite a feel people that don't experience dry lips. I have dry lips, but they're pretty minor...no cracking.

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Thank you, guys smile.png

Yeah - I love analogies; sometimes they are good for expressing things in a way so everybody understands and relates to it. And this time I find it very suitable actually!

As you mentioned Sasch - Accutane is like a new relationship with a guy that seems interesting, mysterious and has drawn your attention for a loooooooong time... Maybe he could be - could be! - the one! The one to help you, make you comfortable and happy about yourself (or at least your skin) forever.

But all beginnings are hard as they say...

I think things started out way to easily with my ex. It was head-over-heels love at first sight and a rush of a relationship for almost a year! SO exciting. I was sure that he was the one for me (yeah, that one - and that's kind of a big thing when being 27 and all...)

We never ever argued though and didn't really solve our problems until they had been growing under the surface and then boom! became HUGE! For him anyways...

I guess it's like not washing off your make up when going to sleep well knowing that in short terms it's easy and will make you seem prettier on the surface - but under the surface and in the long run it'll be the ugliest thing you could've done to yourself..!!!!

See - that's exactly what I don't want to happen while I'm with Mr. Accutane smile.png

This time I am ready to believe that it'll work out between us. I am ready for the hard beginning and even the fights and the compromises.

I always clean my face before going to bed, but we have had that discussion about not picking my skin so much. Mr. Accu says it's spoiling his project, but his work kind of provokes me into doing it... I guess he'll teach me why in the hard way.

In his opinion I should cut the alcohol as well... Well... I guess that's an argument we're gonna have to come around to a couple of times more...before one of us eventually gives in to a compromise...

He hasn't made my lips dry yet, but then again our kissing hasn't been too intensive yet - only 20 mg. a day. We might move on to the second base (40mg a day) after my next date with the derm - but yeah, I think it's true I should wait and see how the side effects will be by then... My next appointment is on November 1st.

Whoops - there I went on with that analogy. I like it, though!

Ugh - my scalp is itching...

Thanks for the support, guys smile.png

Edited by Riosha
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Day nine.

Break out begins!

My skin has been TERRIBLE today. These huge oily cysts on my chin has become huge inflammed wounds totally impossible to cover up!

It's has been an embarassing day at work. I haven't felt good about people looking straight at me. I hate those days :(

Maybe my skin is worse due to my mood swings. I had a couple of hours at work when I was just about to start crying over everything in the middle of the office...

I'll be better tomorrow, I guess. I hope so.

Itchy scalp still. No dry lips. Strange.

I hope everything will look brighter in the morning...

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Day 10.

So the status is as follows:

Current side effects:

Dry skin mainly on the body - caused by: Mr. Accutane

DRY scalp - caused by: Mr. Accutane

Horrible oliy cysts on my chin - caused by: Mr. Accutane

Sadness/I-want-to-jump-off-a-bridgeness - caused by: either Mr. Accutane, bad recent break up or issues at work.... Or maybe the combination.

So all in all.... I am still ok with my engagement with Mr. Accutane.

My lips are not really dry at all and I called the derm today and had a talk. She said that if my lips aren't dry it's because my dose should be higher.

So... Now I'm going all in with Mr. Accutane. From tonight I've doubled my dose. 2 x 20mg = 40mg. Every day from now on.


I wonder if it'll push me off that bridge or make me a happier and more confident person.

Hard to tell... We'll see as the future is waiting right around that next corner...

Edited by Riosha
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Sucks that you're going through the IB, but at least it is early on in your course. Usually once people push through that difficult period their skin improves a TON. And don't feel too down, most people won't be judging you by your skin flaring up (I know I never notice it in others). Good luck!

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Thank you SO much! :)

I am so happy to have found this forum before I started, so we can all support each other... It's needed.

Seriously my mood is also maing me worried. It's hard to say if Accutane is making it worse and I did just have a horrible break up with a boyfriend I loved and was very close with for a year, but still... It worries me that I for the past 24 hours have almost had thoughts like nothing matters at all. It seldomly happens - even when things aren't going too well in my life...

I wonder if Accutane is playing with my mind...?

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