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TheBigLebowski

A Bro's Accutane Journey: Means To An End.

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Hey Everyone,

This is my first post on Acne.org and decided to make an accutane log of my journey after reading so many on this website. To kick off this embarkment, I'm a 23 year old male who has been battling acne since I was 15. I've never had cystic acne, nor do I consider my acne severe, but I've always had moderate persistent acne. Like most people who decide to go on accutane, I have tried every prescription and OTC medication:

  • Doxycycline

  • Minocycline

  • Benzoyl Peroxide

  • Salicylic Acid

  • Differin

  • Retin-a

  • Tazorac (2 times)

Along with those I have tried many natural remedies such as Honey, Egg masks, baking soda, lemons, green tea, Apple Cider Vinegar, etc. (I think you are catching the drift)

Nothing has worked to stop my persistent acne so I saw my dermatologist last Thursday to discuss with her taking Accutane. She said since I have tried all the other medications without prevail, that made me a candidate for accutane. Like I said, my acne isn't severe. I have a handful of hyperpigmentation marks on my face from my losing battle with acne and about 7 active pimples at the moment. I tend to mostly get my pimples between the eyes and sides of my face by my temples. I have alot of blackheads on nose (due to large pores) and then I'll get a few on my cheeks here and there.

Anyways, while talking to my dermatologist, I asked about dosages and what she would recommend. I weigh 200 pounds, so she recommended that she starts me out with 80 mg a day. She said that dosage is calculated by prescribing 1mg of accutane to every 1 kilogram you weigh. 200 lbs is about 90 kilograms so 80 mg is just about right. As long as everything goes according to plan, my course should only take 4 months, 5 months at the absolute latest which I am not too upset about.

So after taking my blood tests, the blood work came back good and I just picked up my first month prescription of Accutane (which I am now refering to as Claravis). I am ready to start my journey as it is a means to an end of my persistent acne (hopefully!), but I am worried about some of the potential side effects such as the dryness, initial break out, and dry lips. I work your typically 9-5 work week doing Marketing for a company and meet with people everyday. I already am self-conscience about my face and having it get worse before it gets better is going to make work tough for a little while having to interact with people all day, but it's a means to an end. I can't wait until I have clear skin and no more acne!

That's all I really have to say for now. Not feeling very talkative as I'm beat tired and will be taking my first 40 mg pill of claravis tonight. I'll keep everyone updated with my journey and I would love to have any type of feedback whether it be questions, comments, recommendations or whatever.

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Your situation is quite similar to mine. My acne's not too bad, but I'm 26. I finally reached a point where I said "This is ridiculous" and went to the dermatologist. You can feel free to check out my log. I'm at day 17 right now. CANT WAIT TO HAVE THIS DONE!!!

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Mine situation was quite similar. The only time I had anything close to resembling cysts was a couple of bad pimples on my head that broke out at the typical 3 week in breakout. By 6 weeks later I was not having any new acne develop and by the 3 month mark I was completely acne free. Good luck bro.

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I appreciate the comments and love from everyone!

SD85 - I read through your accutane log and I want to wish you the best of luck. Our cases seem pretty similar so i'll definently be checking to see how your are progressing

Ski8585884- Like anyone else, I want my IB to come asap and finish asap. I can't wait to start seeing some results. I'm happy to hear of your positive results.

Now on to DAY 2

So I took my first 40 mg pill last night and woke up today with nothing new. Just feeling optimistic that this process has begun and ready to start living a fully optimistic lifestyle. I took another 40 mg before heading to work this morning and just took another one right before starting to writing this. With starting on such a high dosage I'm being sure to take every precaution to minimizing all the side effects. I'm making sure to stay extra hydrated during this process, which really isn't a problem because water is the only thing I drink. Back in my Frat Daddy days that was a little different with all the alcohol consumption and living the dream, but after graduation I didn't really like drinking alcohol or have the urge which is absolutley wonderful. Seeing as how alcohol consumption is a big no no while on this medication and some people seem to struggle with not being able to drink while taking the tane. Besides pumping H2O into my body, I am using cetaphil moisturizing cream in the evenings, cetaphil wash in the morning and evenings, and using aquaphor for the lips. If anyone has any suggestions on what has worked well with them for fighting side effects, I would love to hear it! I'm gearing up for battle!

Now it's off to bed, where I'll catch a family guy re-run on tv before hitting the hay. Good night!

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DAY 3

Everything with my acne is still the same. Can't tell if it's getting better or worse yet. I did notice my face looked a little oily today, which is change because I don't have really oily skin. Although I think it may be from the cetaphil moisturizer cream I put on last night because that stuff is really thick. I don't think my face will ever go dry using that every night! I may not have washed my face well enough this morning and may have left some of the moisturizer behind. So tonight I'll be sure to make gently rub it in good and wash really well tomorrow to make sure. I am also noticing my face is starting to become a tiny bit smoother which is nice. Still no signs of dryness on the face or lips yet.

I have been noticing that I'm getting a little itchy on random parts of my body. Mostly the arms and back, but it's nothing unbearable and stays for just a bit. Anyone else experience anything similar?

I'm still staying extremely hydrated and have been drinking a few cups of green tea each day. I've used it before as a natural remedy to try and cure my acne. It seemed to work well for about a month with drinking it and using it as a toner, but then it seemed to stop working after that. Now i just consume it for all of its healthy benefits. I figure it can't hurt and could only help with the process.

SO happy it is the weekend! Ran a few errands after work and I am chillin like a villin the rest of the night. Popping in a movie and looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!

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DAY 5

Initial outbreak may be starting......Yikes! I've been getting pimples around my mouth the last 2 days, but it looks like they will keep on coming. I have a few come to a whitehead and ended up popping those with needle and gently pushing out the gross stuff. I couldn't resist doing it! I also have what looks to be a potential monster coming in on my forehead. Still not feeling any side effects, but the occasional itch which still isn't even that bad. No dry skin or lips yet, doing everything I can to stay hydrated and moisturized. Hoping for the best in the morning! Good night!

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DAY 7

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later." Mitch Hedberg

Watched some old Mitch Hedberg stand-up routines at lunch today and have his one liners stuck in my head. Mitch was/is the man (R.I.P.). ANYWAYS, now I am one full week on accutane and am still doing alright. As far as acne is concerned, I had a nice pimple pop up on my forehead the other day that I ended up popping and now it isn't looking to bad. There is just a little bump and a pink mark there, but it looks so much better than the raised pimple with a whitehead coming out of it! I'm trying to avoid popping them at all costs, but some are just too unavoidable for me. Besides that monster, acne is still mostly the same on my face. Looks like most of anything new that pops up is around my mouth area.

What I have noticied though is some acne on my back. I've never really had a problem with bacne, just some pimples here and there that appear on my shoulders. Looking at my back yesterday I noticed a cluster of about 7 pimples in the center of my back which was odd. I have never had pimples there in my life! I don't mind because no one will see them now that winter is approaching and if i am having an initial break out I would much prefer the wrath of it attack my back rather than my face. I'm cool with that. I always heard that the IB could turn up pimples in places you aren't accustomed to seeing them pop up.

That's about it for acne, as far as side effects go, I am still a little itchy in random places, but still isn't bad or bothersome. This morning my nose was showing some dryness and had a couple really really tiny flakes on it. My lips are starting to feel like they are becoming dry, but I'm keeping those moneymakers lubed up in aquaphor so they are doing fine.

I think that's about it for where I stand 1 week into treatment. No complaints yet, it has gone better than I have thought thus far into the process (knock on wood). Best of luck to everyone else out there on accutane! Keep on keepin on and clear skin will be in our future in a matter of months!

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Still reading your words... :) It seems like we're going through just about the same things with Accutane these days...and you're one day behind me, so we're pretty close. I'll keep following you! Best luck to the both of us, I hope!

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And I'm still reading your words :). Ironically I just posted on your log and when I came back to my log I saw you posted on mine. CRAZY! Best of luck to both of us and when we are done with our journey we will look back and be so glad that we fought the bad to get to the good!

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I. Feel. You.

I've been on every drug you mentioned with no success.

I think I've been on Accutane just a few days more than you and had similar side effects.

Good luck! Continue to keep us posted.

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DAY 10

"I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!"" Mitch Hedberg

So it has been a couple of days since I have provided an update on here, but I have had some changes in side effects. The most bothersome thing I am experiencing is a dry itchy scalp and it is REALLY itchy! Which means anytime I scratch my head i'll have flakes of dry skin come out of my hair. I purchased some selson blue dandruff shampoo for itchy dry scalp (which I know dry skin is different from dandruff, but the product contains a handful of different mositurizing ingredient) and that has helped a little bit with the itching. It is quite the annoyance itching and having to check my shoulders constantly for flakes of dry skin at work! If anyone has any recommendations on how to moisturize the scalp, PLEASE let me know as it would ge much appreciated!

My lips are definently drying. Not chapped or cracked, just needing to keep them moisturized with aquaphor which is definently helping combat the dryness. I make sure to have it on me 24/7! My face had started to peel a couple of days ago, nothing crazy or noticeable though. I moisturize with Cetaphil cream at night and cerave lotion in the morning to fight this dryness and it's doing quite well. Actually today there were no signs of dryness on my face which is great!

My back seems to be taking the majority of any sort of IB I may be having at this point. Like i've said previously on updates, my back hardley gets acne. If I do, it is usually a few pimples on my shoulders. Since I've been on accutane I have had 10-15 pimples sprout up around the middle of my back which has never happened. If this is the dreaded IB, I can only hope it affects my back. Definenlty better than the face!

As far as how my face is holding up, no real changes. I like to think it's looking better or at least not getting worse. I haven't really had many pimples pop up (knock on wood).

Overall mood on accutane? Still positive :)

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DAY 14

"My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana. I said 'No, but I want a regular banana later, so... yeah.'" Mitch Hedberg (Absolutley loved his comedy)

@Restrictions Thank you! I thought the quotes would add a nice touch.to the log. I like how you have the videos posted on yours!

Face: Has gotten a little worse with a few more pimples, but still nothing that has me really worried or freaking out yet. Lips and face are doing well not drying out. I always have aquaphor on my lips which has helped me sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. I can't recommend the it enough! My right ear was starting to get dry and flake, so now i am moisturizing my ears every night. So far that has seemed to subdue the problem. The backs of my hands are starting to get a little dry and I have a small dry spot on my right hand. I haven't moisturized my hands much, so i'll see if that will fix that problem.

Back is looking a little better. Didn't see any new pimples forming.

Itching of my scalp is still there, but has gotten a lot better which is a huge relief because that was the only side effect really bothering me. I used Selson Blue for itchy dry scalp and it has seemed to minimize the itching well enough

I've done pretty well these last couple of days not thinking about my acne and enjoying life. Went out with a friend to a bar last night and had 2 blue moon drafts (Only alcoholic beverages I've had since starting Claravis. I'm not much of a drinker anyways). I'm such a fun, outgoing, and likeable guy when my acne isn't making me self-conscience, so I felt like myself for the first time in awhile last night. I can't wait to get rid of that self-conscienceness that comes along with acne!

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I'm also on 80mg and on day 6, have you noticed your skin becoming more flaky or anything? My skin is normally really oily, but now my skin is so dry it actually physically hurts haha. I keep up with your log! :)

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@Discosteve

I just read through your log so I could get a better idea of your acne situation. I never really had oily or dry skin with my acne, just stubborn persistent acne that couldn't get treated with any sort of medicication. I noticied my face began flaking a little bit after the first week during the day and that is when I was just moisturizing at night. I use cetaphil moisturizing cream at night which does a great job of preventing flaky skin and cerave lotion in the morning to keep my face from drying out in the day. That along with staying hydrated, I haven't had my face become flaky since! What type of moisturizer are you using currently? I think since your skin is so use to being oily, the dryness that comes with accutane is something your skin is not use to reacting to. It's probably trying to produce more oil to counteract the dryness, but it's not able to effectively becuase of the accutane preventing it. This is where moisturizer will do wonders, because I'm guessing you never had to use one with your skin being so oily. Try looking into cetaphil or cerave mositurizers. They have a lot of positive feedback on this site and I have had nothing but positive things to say about both brands. I wish you the best of luck on your accutane Journey and I'll continue to follow your log as well. We will both be acne free in no time!

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DAY 15

"My ex-girlfriend had a really weird fetish. She used to like to dress up as herself and than act like a f*ckin' bitch all the time" - Bo Burnham

I hadn't really noticed this before because i've been more focused on pimples popping up, but my nose feels like sandpaper with all the blackheads. Can i get an Ewwwwwwwwwwww Grooooooooosssssss? As I am typing this, I just put on one of those nose strips that extract blackheads, which i know is probably a completely bad idea with my skin drying and thinning, but these blackheads are getting under my skin! (no pun intended). It's not the whole people looking at my nose thing that is bothering me, it's the sandpaper texture of my nose that literally gives me the chills anytime i touch or think about it! My nose is definitely purging right now which in retrospect is a wonderful thing because it's pushing out all the dirt there, but boy does it just feel gritty!

Besides my nose, nothing else has changed since last post. Got a small whitehead on each cheek, a handful of noticeable red pimples, and then some tiny bumps underneath the skin that probably no one would notice unless they were looking for them. At this point I'm still fairly happy with my progression and minimal side effects while taking claravis. Just wish I would have started this treatment sooner in life, but all the side effects, stories, and lawsuits with accutane freaked me out at the time.

Now for the big moment, peeling off the nose strip now and........................................................SUCCESS! Got rid of a majority of the blackheads on my nose and it is soooooooooooooooooooo much smoother now! Had a couple really tiny flakes of skin come off, but other than that I feel much better!

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DAY 18

No fun quote tonight, I am exhausted, watching some Sunday night football and ready to hit the bed. Had a fun Halloween weekend which resulted in little sleep and has kept me from updating the log.

Overall i'm still doing well while on accutane. I'd say the only thing i'm really facing is dry lips, but i always have aquaphor on me so they never get chapped or cracked. My itchy scalp has improved tremendously and my skin really isn't peeling. The back of my right hand has a dry spot on it, but that's about all I am facing with side effects. Maybe I am getting use to my dosage? Still a little ways out until my next derm appointment, but I would imagine if things keep going like this I'll get my dosage increased.

My acne is alright. Got a couple nice sized pimples on my cheeks and then some around my lower lip that are a little bit smaller. I"m getting a fair share of pimples right below my lower lip. I wonder if it is from the aquaphor?

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DAY 22

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill

I've been soooooooooooooooooooooooooo busy with different things in my life going on right now that updating my log has worked it's way down to the bottom of my to do list. In a way my life being hectic has been good and bad. Good because I don't worry about the appearance of my acne and bad because I've been exhausted the last few days. Right now in life I am stuck in a rutt and working on getting myself out of it, but luckily I'm an optimist and can keep my mind right (somewhat at times).

Acne update:

I still get a pimple here and there on my face, but overall I think my face is doing quite well. My trouble spot seems to be around my mouth with new pimples. I don't know if it is from lubing up my lips with aquaphor or from dryness. I stay well moisturized and I don't have dry flaky skin, but sometimes when I wake up i'll have a couple of flakes around the corners of my mouth which is the only place I seem to get a little dry. I looked at my back last night and it looks like it's broken out a little bit again. I could care less about my back breaking out since no one sees it in the winter.

I'm not experiencing any other side effects (Thank goodness the itchy scalp ended last week). Not sure if my body is getting use to the medicine or I'm just extremely blessed with not experiencing anything major. I believe my derm appointment is the 10th of this month so I will see what she has to say about my first month. I'm assuming she will probably want to increase dosage if the side effects are minimal and non-existent.

Anyway, the dude is out!

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DAY 25

The accutane journey may be on a bumpy path at the moment. My face is starting to look at little worse as I have 2 big pimples on my right cheek, with some pimples around the mouth. Not sure if i'm on the path to my official initial breakout or perhaps with the weather getting colder it's messing with my face. I don't do so well with cold weather. However I'm happy that I almost have a month under my belt on treatment. Hopefully only 3 more to go which seems sooooooooo long, but in retrospect I feel like this month has flown by. I don't have any side effects bothering me. Lips are doing quite well maintaining moisture with the aquaphor and face isn't doing bad with dryness. My back still has some acne in the middle and shoulders. Wish I had more exciting or new results to talk about, but unfortunately nothing is new except my face might be taking a turn for the worst. Looking forward to the day when I don't have to worry about my acne and can live free without it controlling my life!

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DAY 26

"When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade" No idea who said this

I wanted to do a real quick update this afternoon. I forgot to mention on my previous update that my nose seems to be benefitting from accutane the most. All my blackheads are gone and my nose is the smoothest that I can remember. I have about 6 actives on my face with most of them being on the right side of my face. Having some insecure moments at work because 3 of them are pretty noticible. Oh well, I will survive.

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DAY 29

Got my bloodwork done this morning and just met with my dermatologist. It seemed very pointless to meet with her as she just asked if I had any side effects and then went through the list of questions from the Ipledge program (Have you felt depressed? Has your vision been blurry? yada yada yada). Then that was pretty much it lol. Pointless in my opinion. She asked if i had any questions and I asked about upping my dosage. She wanted to keep me at 80 mg as im responding well to it, but I reminded her of my weight and told her that 80 mg is just a tad bit under my recommended dosage, so we are going to bump me up to 90 mg pending bloodwork results of course. I may not know until Monday what the results are seeing as how my derm is only open in the morning tomorrow and the labwork takes at least 24 hours to process. So that's kind of a bummer because I'd be out of pills over the weekend. I have 3 pills left, so I may just take one a day which will last me until Monday. In the future I'll make sure to get my bloodwork done earlier in the week to avoid this problem. Anyways, as long as everything goes according to plan, i'll be on 90 mg for the rest of my treatment. Hopefully just 3 more months, possibly 4. As long as my bloodwork comes back good, I'll be happy :)

Side effects are still minimal. Backs of my hands are getting a little dry, but I know that has a little to do with the cold weather. That's really about it. Still rocking 6 nice sized pimples on the right side of my face. Once those get tinier I'll be even more happy! READY TO BE ACNE FREE!

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DAY 33

"I can't believe that we would lie in our graves wondering if we had spent our living days well. I can't believe that we would lie in our graves dreaming of things that we might have been." Dave Matthews

So I've been practically accutane-less over the weekend. I only had three pills left before the weekend, so I was able to be on 40 mg the last 3 days. I called my derm today for the results of my bloodwork and luckily everything came back alright, at least good enough. My derm said my cholesterol was a little high, but still in an acceptable range, so I need to be on the watch for that. Triglycerides were normal and my white blood cell count was a little low, but in the acceptable range. We found out before I started accutane that I have a low white blood cell count, so it's not a big surprise. Just happy to be able to continue treatment and ready to pick up my prescription!

Now with 1 month under my belt, hopefully only 3 more to go.

Result wise my face is looking pretty good. The left side of my face is active free with some PIH that is pretty light due to them being there months before treatment. The right side of my face was problematic when it broke out a little over a week ago. I had 6 actives pop-up, which are still here, but they are slowly fading and becoming more tolerable. Once those are taken care of my face will be looking really good! My forehead, nose, and between the eyes are acne free, which use to be a problem area. My nose is completely black head free and as smooth as a baby's bottom! Is there anyway to make my pores smaller on my nose? They are pretty big and noticeable, but it is the very least of my concerns. Beats having gross gunk stuck in your nose all the time!

Side effect wise I'm kicking accutanes ass. The only thing that has been drying out are the backs of my hands which I attribute to the cold weater, but it's minimal. As long as I moisturizer them in the morning and before bed I don't have a problem. Hoping for the best now that I'm on month 2 and may have gone through my IB with the right side of my face (and bacne from previous posts). I know things could still get worst before better as my derm said usually around Month 3 is when people start seeing the results, but everyone is different. Now that i'm transitioning from 80 to 90 mg, hopefully I won't be seeing side effects, I wouldn't think so. 90 mg will put me at my exact recommended dosage and seeing as how my acne isn't cystic or severe, my derm thinks 90 mg for the rest of the treatment will do the trick.

Good luck to all of my other accutaners out there!

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DAY 35

"My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana, I said "No, but I want a regular banana later, so ... yeah". Mitch Hedberg

This one is going to be short and sweet. No new acne and the pimples on the right side of my face are gradually looking better. I have some bacne still, but doesn't bother me one bit.

That is literally it.

Good day!

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