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My Life Flipped In The Last 7 Months.

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Hi there, I'm a 26 year old male from India and as my log title suggests I have just finished a 7month course on accutane and would love to share some of experiences during this period. To start off I started getting my initial acne at around early 20's but they were not severe cystic type and would go away in a day or two and I always believed that ignoring them was the best way out (assuming it will subside with age). But it was after I turned 24 that the real acne trouble took off, I started getting cysts on regular basis mainly on the shaving zone of my cheeks which would later on spread all over my face. During this period I got my first job and it was an unpleasant feeling going to the workplace with a messed up face. I could see people of my age with perfectly clear faces and yes it put me through a lot of depression at times. None of the prescriptions, home remedies or diet checks were working and for an year I didn't bother to see my face in any of the mirrors at workplace. It was only when I got back to home each day that I would check my face and apply a zillion different topicals, pop in pills and then go to bed hoping the next morning will have me wake up with my old face. This went on for about an year, a good enough time to ruin my face with scars and red spots and to top that an uneven skin tone. Since, last one year or so I was having moderate but persistent acne not as bad as I went through earlier but good enough to keep my morale down. In last September I decided to change my derm and in the first consultation he prescribed for accutane. So, from Sep'11 to March'11 I was on the drug for 20 mg/day. During the first month or so my break outs increased but they were mostly whitehead type and thankfully I was on a month's off from work as I was preparing for GMAT at my parent's place,so I didn't have to handle the 'What happened to your face' look. Also I noticed back pain during the first three weeks of the medication and I decided to go off weight training for a while. Along with these I had seriously dry lips all the time, I also read that accutane causes depression and suicidal tendencies but I think this has helped me uplift my confidence so cannot comment about that. So, cut to month two I rejoined my workplace and I was greeted with compliments. I was happy that the drug was working and the only downside was now I had to keep a moisturiser and a lip balm all the time. I restarted going to the gym some time around in the second month and listened to my body by not lifting heavy and also I refrained from using any supplement other than the old school whey protein. One thing which I did was to keep my nutrition balanced which helped me gain strength over the time and my lifts were improved if not the same as they were earlier. It was during my third month that I cleared up completely. After that for the coming four months my derm kept me on the same dosage and I also didnt insist to increase it as I was already seeing results.

On the whole I would say that my body responded well to the medicine with minimal side effects may be because of the low dose and self discipline. For those who are just starting out here are few tips:

1) Do not go harsh on your skin as it becomes too fragile during the course. My derm prescribed me for a high SPF sunscreen, cetaphil cleanser and a moisturiser. Consult your derm for such essentials and do not experiment with different products like you may be doing earlier.

2) If you do weight training then avoid going to gym in case there is a persistent back pain or body ache and let your body get used to the

changes. Try not to lift heavy initially and help your body recuperate from these side effects . Avoid taking supplements for a while, only protein powder should do.

3) Hydration played an important role during this course. Since, I'm an active person I used to drink a lot of water but while on the drug I felt the need of more water. So, I was drinking around 4-5 ltrs of water. Make sure you are taking good amount of water.

4) I avoided junk food or anything which had excess oil which helped me maintain my blood test reports quite well.

Right now I'm exactly one month off accutane and nothing has seriously changed. I could feel that some oil has come back to my skin but it is as good as nothing, I dont go shiny as I used to. I do get a white head in a day or two but Im okay with that. My derm also prescibed for Retin A topical during the first two or three months of the course and I got some great results as far as improving the skin tone is concerned . So, for now as a maintenance measure I'm applying a little bit of it at night and I think that its working fine. I think my life really has flipped in the past 7 months.

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