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Gypsy

Gypsy's Accutane Journal

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A little background: I'm 23, have had acne for almost 7 years. I made an album with a couple of pre-accutane pics. My acne has always been localized on my cheeks and nowhere else, but it can be really severe and painful (cystic) and has been leaving scars.

I can't believe I'm doing this, I have been adamantly AGAINST Accutane ever since I heard about it. The idea of taking such a powerful drug seemed scary to me. But after trying everything else including a host of crazy diets, I've decided to go for it. I'm so tired of eating like a monk while everybody else I know eats what they want has perfect skin!! Plus, seeing the results it had on my cousin -- she's been crystal clear for the past 2 years after 6 mo. on Accutane -- I'm optimistic.

This is my second day, and I'm taking 40 mg/day. I'm totally freaked about the side effects, mostly the possibility of joint pain (I hate pain) and depression. The dryness I'm prepared for (I think). I'm addicted to lip balm as it is.

Other than that, I'm glad that I'm finally on something that may work!!! This has been such a thorn in my side...Even though my acne is somewhere in between moderate and severe, its made me feel so bad about my appearance--especially the little indented scars I keep getting. The scarring is the main reason I've decided to do this. Even if this doesn't keep me permanently clear, I'll be happy if my acne is lighter and less likely to scar in the future.

Will post and update pics as thing starts to kick in!!! ~~Gypsy

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Words of advice from someone on Day 41, 60mg/day:

Take Vitamin E. It helps a ton with the dryness - the only dryness I experience is my nose... and I'm going to find some aquaphor for that... and I only moisturize once a day.

I have not experienced any depression, so don't worry yourself. The joint pain is very tolerable... I just notice that when I lay down to sleep at night I need to allow myself to get comfortable a little more slow than normal. No big deal.

Good luck and hope to see you updating your journal with your success!

Derrick

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Hey.

Im on day 48 on accutane and it sounds like i have similar acne to you.. Predominantly cystic acne on my cheeks (also a little on chin)

I wouldnt worry about the side effects, honestly..i have dryness but thats managable and i only get a little joint pain (mainly in back) when i go to bed, alike somehopeleft.

Best of luck with the accutane..i hope it works for you.. I *think* its working for me..slowly but surely.

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Thanks so much for the tips and for the encouragement!! I will definitely get my hands on some Vitamin E capsules...I'm glad to hear the joint pain might not be that bad, some people have described it as pretty bad in their journals. Auuuugh but I guess its worth it, if it works!!

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Day 5

Things are going pretty well so far, I've been popping Vitamin E pills. No sign of dryness or ANYTHING actually. I haven't experienced any side effects...I'm hoping it doesn't take a turn for the worst.

My skin has been looking pretty good the last few days but it could be a coincidence with having hormones settle down this week. There's no way the Accutane could be working this fast.

Will report again after I finish my first week...

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Day 6

I don't know why I'm updating, maybe hoping that it will magically do something. My lips feel slightly drier than usual but nothing really major. The rest of my skin is pretty much the same. Cysts still in place...yuck, sometimes they hurt when I press my face against my pillow at night (should remind myself not to do that!!) Well I'm hoping this stuff will do something...at least things aren't getting worse, cross my fingers.

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Day 11

Lips are getting pretty dry without chapstick, but by applying lip balm continuously they've been okay. Skin has been getting MUCH worse however. Lots of painful cysts on both cheeks...although I'm not sure if this is an initial breakout or the result of me no longer using topicals + eating whatever I want the last few days. It's really bumming me out. sad.gif But hopefully the Accutane will keep on doing its thing.

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Day 14

Things are definitely starting to get a bit drier, most noticeably my lips but its not that bad...just a little annoying.

Yesterday my face broke out like crazy and today it cleared up fast. Accutane really dries those suckers out fast. It's like my skin is cycling rapidly--bad breakouts that heal fast, even by the end of the day! It's really weird, even my boyfriend has been noticing...

The only thing that worries me is the potential long-term consequences, including the stuff that's been posted on this board. I avoided taking Accutane for a long, long time and I have the unfortunate scars to prove it. I didn't want to be taking it, and it still freaks me out. But I'm 23 and it shows no sign of going away otherwise!!! Acne really cuts into my life in so many ways. I'm worried about applying for jobs when I'm done with graduate school. I have no interest of dressing up or going out because its too frustrating to look in the mirror and still see acne even under the most carefully applied makeup...I probably wouldn't be taking it if it wasn't for the scarring.

But I am still worried that 10 or even 20 years from now I'll suffer some kind of unforeseen consequences. I guess for now I should just see if its working or not . . .

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hey Gypsy,

Someone asked me a question about my feelings towards the side effects of accutane in my journal and this is my response.

It does worry be a little. What worries me most is the joint ache..it seems a little bit of an extreme side effect if you know what i mean. I have read so many horror stories on the net about side effects, but i try to sort of block them out of my mind..The majority of the time..the people who suffer majorly post accutane are more likely to write on the internet and feel the need to do it than people who are straight down the line.. Plus..lots of people are against accutane..there's so many sites out there designed specifically against accutane and will blow all sorts of things out of proportion so im a little reluctant to read things at face value.

Im also SoO bloody desperate to get rid of this at the moment that not much could stop me at all.

Ive read up a lot about the side effects..the joint ache is caused by calcium deposits in the joints. I dont know the absolute ins and outs of it though. (science is not my strongest point.)

I hope ^ explains my view on it all and my advice would be..just to try and put it to the back of your mind a little and dont dwell on it. Accutane is considered a contraverisal drug but i dont think it would be so widely used if the side effects were long term and common.

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Thanks for your reply Frankie, I really appreciate it. I read somewhere that over 2 million people have taken Accutane since it first came out. That's a lot of people! And we haven't yet heard of any widespread epidemic as a result (fingers crossed).

Anyway, thanks for your support...I will try to keep that in mind.

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Day 16

Had a HUGE headache yesterday, probably is Accutane-related as I rarely get headaches...took some advil and went to sleep and thankfully it was gone this morning. Might also have been the Thai food I ate!!! It had a lot of salt in it...anyway, I was scared for awhile but everything seems to be okay. I don't want to stop taking Accutane so I've decided I'm going to eat super healthy from now on to make sure my liver is okay.

Other than that, things are going well. I'm somewhat clearer right now. I break out and then Accutane dries those suckers up right away. It's really amazing. I'm starting to see the scars that are left behind from previous breakouts...makes me wish I had done this sooner sad.gif Oh well, better later than never...

I have pics but website wouldn't let me post them...will try again later. ~Gypsy

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Day 19

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and casually scratched an itch on my nose to have it start gushing bleeding!!! I had to sit up for awhile to make it stop and now I'm dead tired aaauuuugh...oh well, at least its Sunday. I just TOUCHED it this morning to see what was going on and it started bleeding a little again.

Okay, so I'm starting to see why doctors don't want everyone with acne on Accutane. That was a bit scary.

Skin-wise, things are looking good. I got two pimples yesterday and they are already vanishing today.

One thing though, I'm still reacting to eating lots of sugar. So I've decided to focus on cutting out the sweets. I went a little crazy the last two weeks because I was thinking, "Well I'm on Accutane now, just screw it." But I think if I keep it up my acne is bound to come back especially when I'm off the drug...okay well, if anybody has any suggestions on how to prevent these nosebleeds, I'm all ears!!!

~Gypsy

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Day 24

Went to see my dermatologist today...she's awesome! I had such a terrible dermatologist the first time I went several years ago that I vowed never to go back--bad move. My acne got worse.

In any case, she's been so nice and helpful in answering all my questions. She says that things are look good so far. I still have a few pimples and some small cysts but my face no longer HURTS when I wake up!!! That has made me so happy. I don't have those pimples that bleed anymore...thank goodness.

So I'm going to continue on the 40mg/day...bloodwork is all good so far. Derm says I should be pretty clear in time for the holidays! smile.gif

Side effects: chapped lips (slightly worse than before), dry facial skin

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I am going through the same thing right now. My face is no longer exhibiting those huge cysts but I still have smaller ones and pimples. I agree that it is nice to wake up in the morning without being in pain.

How long have you been on the Accutane? Is your face red, dry and irritated? Do you notice any scarring that will be left behind after the treatment is complete?

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I am going through the same thing right now.  My face is no longer exhibiting those huge cysts but I still have smaller ones and pimples.  I agree that it is nice to wake up in the morning without being in pain.

How long have you been on the Accutane?  Is your face red, dry and irritated?  Do you notice any scarring that will be left behind after the treatment is complete?

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Day 31

I've noticed my face is really red. Also I get little cuts on my hands/arms and don't have any idea where they come from. Seems like my skin is getting thinner/more fragile and you can see more of the blood underneath. Weird because I usually have a very yellow tint to my skin because of my coloring.

Seems like Accutane is speeding up my skin--if I get a pimple, it will go through the same cycle it probably would have anyway but ten times faster.

Still getting small cysts on my face. I'm not looking too hot at the moment to be honest--I can see how large my pores are in the places I break out, redness everywhere, dryness and peeling...but I'm feeling okay. I'm just focusing on my work, knowing that I'm doing what I can about the acne.

I gotta get back on track diet-wise though. I'm still going a bit crazy, eating the foods that I had been avoiding for so long. But I'm worried its going to come back if I keep that up.

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I am almost CLEAR today and its really weird because this is the week when I would have expected to have a massive hormonally-related breakout.

I can't even believe it...my face has not looked like this in a long, long time!!! I know I'm probably on a down cycle though...will probably break out again soon, but I know the accutane will suck it up again! Woo hoo!

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I don't remember what day I'm on...I think its 37...I am CLEAR! I wore makeup today for the first time ever. I have a meeting and I feel confident about it...if this keeps up I will be the happiest woman a live.

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I think I'm starting week six...I broke out a little bit in the past few days. The only thing that really bums me out is that one is a cyst that I can't get to heal...oh well, the clearing before is still a sign that this stuff is definitely working.

I'm going for my blood test today, keep my fingers crossed...god, I want clear skin.

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About 7 weeks in and went to the derm again...things aren't improving as much as she had hoped but instead of upping my dosage she is going to keep me on it for a month longer with the lower dose.

I feel and look like crap today, have two big zits on either side of my face. But the fact that I was clear for awhile is keeping me going--had to have been the Accutane as I have never had that clear skin in over a year. I've been really stressed so it could be the culprit...damn I just want to have normal skin on my face one day.

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Things are slightly better...only have one major pimple right now although it sucks. I have a lot of red spots...feel like I look like crap and tomorrow I have to give a presentation sad.gif

Thank God for makeup.

I read on the boards that accutane is less effective for people who have naturally dry skin which is definitely me. Now I'm bummed sad.gif

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I'm starting the first week of my third month (can't remember which day), and I'm completely CLEAR, once again!

It seems miraculous, just as before. But I'm not counting on it staying this way. I'm just about to come upon a very stressful time with lots of travelling, and I'm already starting to freak out. I bet my skin will too.

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Woo hoo! to being clear! Don't stress about the stress, just breath and relax and remember that if things do seem stressful its only because you're taking them that way. you have a choice on how you want to view/feel things. I can so related to stress-triggered breakouts. Keep posting, im reading smile.gif

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