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Day 1

Sooooo I just took my first pill (Claravis, 40mg) about four hours ago. I definitely hadn't planned on making a log, but I though about 1) how much reading other people's logs on this site has helped me to make a positive, informed decision over the past couple of months and 2) how it's probably important for me to track my progress throughout the next couple of months- even if no one reads this and it doesn't help anyone, I think it will be really helpful for me to "gather my thoughts." :)

So, a little bit of background- My name is Sophie and I'm 22 (almost 23) years old. I always broke out here and there in high school, and then a little more in college- but never anything too bad (although, in my head, it was always a thousand times worse). My senior year of college, I went on the pill and started student teaching (so, so, SO much stress) and my skin freaked out. I broke out all over my cheeks in big, red, painful cysts. I've always been (or at least try to be) super healthy- I'm a runner and a swimmer- and I've always taken really good care of my skin, so I was really, really upset. I tried Proactiv and every other OTC anti-acne thing I could find but nothing worked. Finally, I made an appointment with a dermatologist for the first time and went in to express my concern. My dermatologist prescribed me with Differin (0.3) and Acanya gel and Solodyn (80mg) and within a month, my skin was clearing up wonderfully. For the next year, I used the Differin/Acanya combo at night (I stopped the Solodyn after a few months), and it worked really, really well- even through graduation, applying for jobs, and starting a new teaching job. I was at least 95% clear for a year. This past February, for no reason, I started breaking out again- this time, in my lower cheeks and on my chin. I don't get whiteheads or blackheads, just painful red cystic acne/papules, and I literally (almost) only get them on my lower cheeks and chin. It was still much better than it was senior year, but I made another appointment with my derm (who I love). He prescribed me with Aczone and Plexion wash in the mornings (to go along with the Differin/Acanya gel at night) and wanted to get me back on the pill or on Spiro, but I really didn't want to take anything with hormones in it after my last experience on the pill.

My skin was still bothering me by March so I asked my dermatologist to go on Accutane. He signed me up with iPledge, I went through the month-long wait period, and then I decided I didn't want to do it after all for the following reasons:

-the hair loss thing really freaked me out.

-the initial breakout freaked me out.

-the fatigue things freaked me out- I'm a full time teacher and a gym rat and my boyfriend and friends always joke with me about how I'm already constantly tired.

-I love being outside- especially during the summer- and the idea of terrible sunburn following me around wherever I go isn't too exciting

-I'm not a HUGE partier but I definitely enjoy wine/beer and going out with my friends on the weekend, and although I can go without it, it's still nice to have the choice and

-my friends, family, and boyfriend all told me I was nuts for wanting to go on it- my skin truly isn't that bad at this point, but it's bad enough that I don't feel comfortable with people seeing me without concealer.

In the end, I went back and forth and back and forth and finally decided for once and for all to take it. I don't like makeup and like being natural (except for a few swipes of mascara here and there) and everytime I break out, it leaves behind red marks for weeks or even months that I have to cover up with concealer to feel confident. Even when my boyfriend and friends tell me I look pretty, I feel ugly and the only thing I see when I look in the mirror are the spots on my face. I think about acne wayyyyy too much and the idea of people seeing me without concealer on almost throws me into a panic. I know I would think someone sounded INCREDIBLY vain if they talked/thought about their skin as much as I do, but anyone who has acne- especially adult acne- knows what I'm talking about. I read so so so man people's logs on this website (seriously, it was like a crazy, sick obsession) and reading about how much it helped people- even with the bad side effects- helped me to make the decision to take Accutane.

So (if you are still reading this I'm so sorry! so boring) I'm on 40mg a day of Claravis for my first month and my dermatologist said we'd figure the rest out as we go. I'm 5'6" and weigh about 130 so it's a low dose, but my derm wanted to avoid the IB as much as possible and see how I respond to the medicine before we do anything drastic. I'll update every couple of days or whenever I'm bored (or realllly fed up with side effects). I'm washing my face twice a day with CeraVe foaming face wash and using CeraVe moisturizer with SPF during the day and then just keeping to my normal make-up routine of mascara and Revlon Blemish concealer. I'm also taking 5000mcg of Biotin a day for my hair and I did just put on the Differin/Acanya (out of habit) but I know I'll have to stop this pretty soon or else I'll be dealing with chemical burns on my face.

Sorry that was so long! Anyway, I do feel better after writing all of that out. Have a good night!

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Have you started an Accutane survival kit yet?

I know it sounds funny but it wont be when your skin starts to dry out.

Aquaphor, Vasline and/or Aveda lip saver for your lips. Do not use chap stick or lip balms, epically flavoured ones.

A good moisturiser for your face and body.

Spectro intense moisture for eczema. (comes in an aluminium tube) For eczema break outs or really dry skin spots.

And seriously... I cant stress this enough... drink a lot of fluids. Water, Gatorade, Fruit juice.

If your peeing yellow while on Accutane... your not drinking enough.

Edited by Zraden

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Woohoo Congrats! We're all here for you in this community! I'm on day 17, or 18 I can't remember, but we aren't too crazily apart. I'm on 80mg, 110 lbs, 17 years old and doing absolutely fine, I do admit, the dry lips are hell, BUT you will love the dry face, moisturize if you want when it gets dry, I'm not just cause I break out from all moisturizers, my skin is sensitive to everything I swear :/. I'm sorry you started breaking out after being clear for forever, but after this course, you'll be clear again forever

:) I'm sorry you gave cysts! I used to, but was on Accutane for 2 months and never had them since, I went on that first course 2 years ago and still don't get them. Since insurance ran out on my parents, I had to stop, but now I have it again so I'm in for the actual full course, and 8 times the amount (I was only on 10mg before)! I just have the little red pimples that are all over my cheeks, and of course, we are our worst critics. We will be clear together :) Mine's been drying up with no IB, people can have the bad luck of getting it, and some are lucky, right now I'm lucky, we'll see.. but either way, both roads lead to being clear, keep that in mind. Don't focus too much on your skin during your course. Try to think of it has you being sick for 6 months, baby yourself a lot. Get sleep, focus on everything else BUT your skin, take baths and light candles, and relax. If you happen to need to vent about your skin, or flip out, go ahead, we all have done it, and we're all here to support you!

Have you started an Accutane survival kit yet?

I know it sounds funny but it wont be when your skin starts to dry out.

Aquaphor, Vasline and/or Avada lip saver for your lips. Do not use chap stick or lip balms, epically flavoured ones.

A good moisturiser for your face and body.

Spectro intense moisture for eczema. (comes in an aluminium tube) For eczema break outs or really dry skin spots.

And seriously... I cant stress this enough... drink a lot of fluids. Water, Gatorade, Fruit juice.

If your peeing yellow while on Accutane... your not drinking enough.

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Guest *Spiro*

Hi! Welcome to the accutane boards! I love the CeraVe product line! All of it is wonderful! Once you start to dry out CeraVe makes a great moisturizing cream, it comes in a big ol tub and lasts forever. I am just about to start my 3rd month of the medication and my tub is 1/4 gone if even and I use it 2 or 3 times everyday.

I am also on 40 mg and have been experiencing a IB the entire course. I am hoping to move to a 60 or 80 mg dose next week, maybe that will help clear me. So far 40 mg hasn't helped me. I am 26 years old so trust me I know how terrible adult acne is. Mine has been its worst over the last 4 years. Guess I am paying for being clear while I was a teenager lol who knows!

I wish you the best of luck!! If you need any advice or have questions let me know! Also get something for your lips! They will dry out very quickly, within the week probably. Vaseline or aquaphor are probably your best bet.. Personally I use vaseline. I also take biotin because I am terrified my hair will fall out of break left and right. I must say I'm not losing any hair knock on wood and my hair grows at the speed of light.

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I learned the hard way about flavored chap sticks, they BURN.

Dam do they ever. Im sure I screamed the first time I use it. Never again badgrin.gif

Also.. its so counter productive because you just want to lick your lips, tasting

what ever flavour it was you applied thus drying out your lips even more.

Edited by Zraden

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I know what you

I learned the hard way about flavored chap sticks, they BURN.

Dam do they ever. Im sure I screamed the first time I use it. Never again badgrin.gif

Also.. its so counter productive because you just want to lick your lips tasting

what ever flavour it was you applied thus drying out your lips even more.

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Hi, Sophie! Just wanted to say good luck! I'm getting my Accutane prescription next Monday, so our start times will only be about a week apart. I look forward to reading your log! :)

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Hey Sophie! I just started Claravis (20mg) today, so our schedules are going to be really similar. I know for a fact that there's no way I'll go six months without a drink, so I've accepted that I'll just have to deal with it! I'm also not a HUGE partier, but I completely understand wanting to go out with friends on the weekends and relax with wine or a few cocktails. I started taking a milk thistle supplement every day--it's supposed to be amazing for your liver function, so hopefully it'll help those of us who want to enjoy alcohol every once in a while.

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Day 2

Hi everyone! I hadn't planned on posting until I'd had any changes/side effects (which obviously aren't going to be showing up only an hour after my second pill) but everyone was so supportive I just wanted to say hi and thanks-

Zraden- Thanks for the advice- that's cute, "accutane survival kit" haha. I drink A TON of water- my friends actually make fun of me because they say they never see me without a water bottle in hand, but I'll keep that in mind and drink even more. My derm gave me a bunch of Aquaphor, when do the "dry lips" usually start? I HATE having chapped lips and hate putting anything greasy (like chapstick or Vaseline) near my face- I'm a huge weirdo like that- but I'm sure I'll be loving it by the end of my course.

Taylor- You are too sweet! I DEFINITELY hear you with the moisturizer thing- until I started Claravis, my derm told me to stop using them all together because I'll break out or get a weird rash or something equally attractive. That sucks about your parents' insurance running out- I was soo nervous it wasn't going to be covered by my insurance but I'm only paying $15/month which is nice considering I (hopefully) won't have to waste tons of money on stupid OTC products that don't work anymore- but I'm glad you're back on it- from what I hear from my friend who has been on it and from what I've read, it's a miracle drug for a ton of people. I obviously don't take the side effects lightly, but I hate when people tell me how dangerous it is- if you're on this medicine, you've definitely researched it to death and you're going to be responsible with it. I hope I have the same luck with the IB- I didn't get one on Differin but it's obviously completely different and with my luck I'll probably get it.

BeautifulDisasters- I've just started CeraVe- for a year or so when I was on Differin I literally would forget to wash my face and would be completely fine, but then my skin decided to go haywire on me again :/ I'm so sorry you're still getting the IB, but from what I read, it's all uphill after month 2 and you're almost there! And yes, agreed about the nature-getting-back-at-us-for-having-good-skin-when-we-were-younger thing- people have always told me I look super young for my age and right now I definitely believe them, but not in a good way.

AnalogHeart- Yay! We can be Accutane twins haha. I wish you plenty of luck and it'll be nice to have someone who is so close timing wise.

veruca salt- Again, it will be really nice to have someone so close timing wise- I wish you a ton of luck and hopefully we'll both be clear in no time. I actually asked my derm about the drinking thing, and he said it's completely fine to have a couple of drinks- I'm like you, I'd much rather cut back a little than all together, especially considering that it's almost summertime!

Anyway, thanks again for all of your support! I haven't had any side effects (obviously, I would REALLY be freaking out if I was getting them after one pill!) but I will let you know as soon as anything changes :)

Oh and also- on a completely unrelated note- could the packaging of the Claravis pills be any more terrifying? I mean I get where they're coming from but as if iPledge isn't enough of a reminder not to get pregnant.

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Guest *Spiro*

hahaha the packaging is insane isn't it? I pop all my pills out and put them in a container. I usual end up with war wounds too. Damn boxes!

To answer the question of when do the chapped lips start. Usually around the end of week 1 unsure.png

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^^^^^^ Yep. Week one for me as well with dry lips which sucks cause im a chronic picker.

I've picked them till they bled with out even realizing it. That is , until a friend of mine started putting

this stuff on me that's suppose to stop women from biting there nails.

If ever my nails get anywhere near my lips..... oh man .... that stuff tastes awful. eusa_sick.gif

I started taking a milk thistle supplement every day--it's supposed to be amazing for your liver function, so hopefully it'll help those of us who want to enjoy alcohol every once in a while.

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Ahhh two things/questions!!

1) Does anyone know when the Accutane side effects are supposed to start (i.e. back pain, dry skin, initial breakout, headaches, hairloss...)? I'd imagine it's not this soon (I just took my third pill) but just thought I'd ask and

2) How long should/can I keep using the Differin/Acanya at night? I'd planned on just using it til my face got too dry but I don't know

Thanks!

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Guest *Spiro*

To give you a idea about side effects, mine started all at different times. I had headaches the first few days, bad bad headaches then when I increased my water intake they went away right away. Back pain didn't start until a month and a half in, and it is gone for now. I get sore if I lift something heavy though and it seems to take days to recover rather than a day or soreness or something. Dry skin I still don't have and I start month 3 on Friday. My face isn't dry at all, my arms and legs went through a dry period but that cleared up quickly. Knock on wood I haven't had any hair loss. It's seems like its not very common I read somewhere it was 10% of people experienced it. As far as IB... Ughhh IB IB IB I've never had anything like this before, and yea I am still experiencing the "IB" there is nothing Inital about this. Mine didn't start until like week 3, just when I thought I was out of the woods acne came and smacked me and it keeps on coming. Not everyone experiences this stuff though. Like I was having sore joints, knees and ankles and I have had to start taking supplements for that. Now I feel great with no joint pains. Thank god for those supplements. Another thing I was really tired the first month or so which has now subsided. Around 9 or 10 at night I am ready to pass out though. Which isn't terrible, better than wanting to nap by noon lol. The chapped lips are the real kicker though, such a pain in the ass. There is no helping them I swear, just terrible. I am determined to find something that works for me though.

Your not to far from side effects, I know day 3 doesn't seem long enough to do anything but phyiscally you could start to notice things any day now. Like I said before chapped lips will start like this week for you probably.

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Yeah side effects are all different for people, some people start experiencing it just within a couple days from what I've read. The dry lips starting about a week into my course, and thats about it until now, three weeks in, and my skin is CRAZY dry. It's just it just magically happened too. I woke up a couple days ago and noticed flakes everywhere on my face. Moisturizing time for me! I'll be looking into buying some CeraVe and Cetaphil to test them out, hopefully all is well with them. My lips have gotten more dry, but not painful or cracking like some people. I feel so bad for those who get severe side effects. It sucks what we have to go through to have clear skin. Everyone deserves clear skin! But, we're the strong ones to know the risks of this drug

:) We could make a club.. anywayyy.. my back has been bothering me quite a bit the past few days, but I actually haven't seen that side effect too much. Just look out for dry lips, dry skin, dry everything. OOO that reminds me, about a week into my treatment I noticed my scalp getting veryyyy dry in a good way. I don't have to wash my hair for 3-4 days, I DO SHOWER THOUGH. Hahhah, I'm not some smelly Accutane-user :D. If your hair starts getting flaky and scabby, or dandruffy (like mine), use head and shoulders for itchy scalp with Eucalyptus. It smells amazing and it works very well. My scalp hasn't itched since. Aquaphor is amazing for the lips, but I still notice I have to apply it a ton. For my face, I've always used Dove Soap for sensitive skin and it's a bit drying, so I might switch to Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser which I heard is very good for your skin. As for moisturizer, I still have to test them out, but CeraVe and Cetaphil were recommeneded by my derm. I'm sorry this post is so long, just trying to help out :) And remember, if you get an IB, just keep pushing through! Right now, I actually have a pimple in the middle of my forehead and since it's the only one on my forehead, it's very noticeable. That's what I get for saying "omg my forehead feels sooooo nice." the other day. It seems to be drying out a lot and hasn't even had come to a head so this dry face thing I'm kind of digging. ANYWAYYYY, Sorry for the rambling :) I hope your enjoying your day!

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Thanks both of you! It's nice that everyone is so open and honest on here. I'll keep what you guys said in mind about the chapped lips and start carrying aquaphor around with me in my purse. One more question (sorry!)- does it matter what time of day you take your pill? I'm only taking one 40mg pill and I've been taking it at night but want to switch to mornings- probably dumb question. I took my fourth pill a little bit ago and am still not noticing anything, which is probably normal. My skin has seemed more oily though over the past couple days? I hope it's just my imagination/a fluke because that could get old pretty fast.

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It doesn't matter what time you take it, because it just accumulates in your body and is a long-term effect. I just took my third pill today, and my skin has seemed more oily too! Maybe the oil glands are just overreacting before they finally settle down :)

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Thank you! I think that I was imagining taking a pill at night then a pill in the morning and being bald, achy, broken out, exhausted, etc. by midday so that certainly helps!

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does it matter what time of day you take your pill? I'm only taking one 40mg pill and I've been taking it at night but want to switch to mornings

Try to take it with the most fatty meal of the day,

Its easier on the liver to break it down

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Hey! Yesterday was the start of my 2nd month of Accutane so I know exactly what you're going through with being nervous with the side effects and all that. I wish you the best of luck though and if you have any questions at all feel free to ask me! :)

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I haven't been on the Accutane journey myself, but I know others who have. I wish you luck Sophie and I hope you keep us updated! =)

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Thanks guys :) NeedAMIracle, so jealous that you're already a month in. I'm soooo nervous about my first month but I feel relieved to finally be on the medication after such a long, annoying decision making process.

Day 5

Sooooo I took my pill at lunchtime today instead of at night (what a rebel ha) and feel fine (crossing my fingers). I also had a couple of glasses of wine last night and felt perfectly fine this morning- obviously I'll continue to be cautious, but it was kind of a relief. My skin is definitely more oily than usual- usually it's only like this one week out of the month if ever and it sucks, I am looking forward to m face drying out. So far I haven't really broken out more than usual, just an under the skin red bump every couple of days- but I know that with my luck, it probably won't last for long. Energy-wise I feel fine (again, crossing my fingers- this is the side effect I'm most worried about other than hair loss) and I haven't had any headaches yet but I drink A TON of water. My lips feel a little drier than usual, but that could definitely be my imagination. I would be thrilled if everything stayed this boring (aside from completely clearing up magically) throughout my course haha but talk to me a couple of weeks in.

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I'm on day 4 so right with you. Yea my face feels a bit oily too. Idk if its the accutane kicking in quickly or if its because I'm not using the duac/differn combo. Probably the latter. My lips are dry, but not super super dry yet. I don't feel too tired or exhausted. Everytime i swallow a pill, i always get an uneasy feeling in my stomach, but I'm not worried. My lower back feels a bit tight at times, but then again that could just be me.

I think the best thing to do is not read about all these symptoms because then you start to imagine and get paranoid that you have all of them haha.

btw, are you moisturizing? other than my lips theres really nothing to moisturize. i don't want to moisturize my face especially if all the oil is there because i don't want my pores to get clogged. ill aquafore my entire face once it starts getting dry, which is probably in another week or so.

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Hey!

I haven't been moisturizing really because until today, my skin hasn't been dry at all. I know what you mean about the topicals- I've been afraid to stop using them out of habit but I know I'll have to soon!

Day 6

Sooooo today was the first day I've noticed any changes- and that's not saying much, because honestly, they're not big changes and could just be flukes. My skin was matte almost the whole day and felt reallyy tight when I got out of the shower- still does, in fact, and my lips are a little more dry than usual. It was actually all nice considering how annoying it's been over the past few days with the oil thing. I'm tired, but then again it's been a long week and I'm pretty much always tired after a week of work!

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Day 7 (can't believe I've been on this for a week)

So I woke up this morning and my skin is DEFINITELY drying out- it was a little flaky and definitely tight and this is gross and probably TMI, but the area around my nostrils hurts. Oh well, if you can't say that kind of stuff here then where can you? I moisturized today because I'm spending the day hiking and don't want to get sunburned. As far as breakouts go, I had one flare up by my lower cheek/chin area but that's really the only noticeable thing with makeup, everything else is just those stupid red marks. I'm sure I'll be reading this in a couple weeks during my IB and will be jealous. Some questions, again-

1. My lips are very dry but not chapped yet, so I'll start using aquaphor today even though it looks so greasy. Does anyone know of something other than aquaphor that works for them?

2. I'm sleepy all of the time almost but I've always had low energy, I'm vegan and it's REALLY hard to keep up with working full time and making healthy vegan food. I think I'm going to start taking B12 and Iron supplements- is that okay while on Accutane? Right now I'm only taking Biotin.

3. Is it normal for my face to get dry this early on or just a fluke? I could very easily just be psyching myself out.

Thanks so so much and hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday :)

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Guest *Spiro*

For the lips, it's really hit or miss if something works for you. I like Vaseline over aquaphor because it's not as thick and goopy. I sleep with aquaphor on because that's the only way I can get it to stick on. It's comes off on everything so at night I can use it without issues.

B12 and iron should be cool to take. Just make sure there is no vitamin a in them. Sometimes they sneak that into things and you don't need anymore of that. My dermatologist just told me to look out for that.

The face drying out is possible at this point. I didn't dry out on my skin that quickly but a lot of people do on here. Some people claim the do like day 2 lol so who knows. My lips were dry and chapped come day 6 or something like that so things start to happen pretty quickly on this medication.

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