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asleeper

And So It Begins...

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Well, I actually started my Accutane treatment on August 31th!

I'll keep my backstory short. I'm an 18 year old male college student. I started getting acne around age 13 and ever since then it has continued to intensify. I almost did Accutane when i was 16 but I chickened out. So now, I'm walking around college with a face literally filled with cysts and pustules (like 10+ on each side of my face and forehead). No one around me has any acne, not a single person, it seems.

Anyway, I've been using benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid for this past week until I read here that those aren't good. So now I'm using CereVe facial moisturizer and Cetaphil facial cleanser. Oh, and I'm on 40mg for this first month.

DAY 7

So I'm pretty sure I'm on my initial breakout... I've never had this many cysts, pustules, and whiteheads in my life. But then again, my face was definitely not in good shape when I first started... I've also been popping A LOT this past week, which I now realize I need to stop. Yeah, my face can easily be summed up as a trainwreck.

In terms of side effects, I only just started using chapstick today (Burt's Bees) because my lips finally felt somewhat dry. My face, especially forehead, is still extremely oily, but my cheeks and chin have been peeling a lot... Nothing is too dry yet. I don't really feel any different other than that. Argh. I wish this process didn't take so long! I hear you don't really start to see any improvements until the third or fourth month. This is going to be a long semester...

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Hey, and goodluck! Honestly it flyyss by. Haha I remember being where you are like it was just yesterday, now I'm almost at my 5th month then will be off Accutane in less than 2 weeks. It has worked wonders for my skin, which nothing else would help with in the past 5 years or more. I even did lazer treatments, extractions, took 20 pills a day for it and all this crazy stuff from the derm and nothing worked. Accutane has finally given me nicer skin and its great. Don't listen to any of those horror stories either about this stuff, you're on it already and don't wanna freak yourself out even more. My course has been a breeze for the most part and nothing awful has happened at all to me ha. I am sure yours will do just as good and if you have any questions at all feel free to ask me!

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Thank you for the support! Haha, that's great to hear... I think the less I think about it, the faster the time will go by...

DAY 10

Still on my initial breakout (I think)... My skin is more or less the same from when I started, maybe slightly worse. I popped a TON of whiteheads and cysts yesterday because... I really don't know why I did it. I KNOW it's bad for my skin, especially scarring, but there was something in me that I just couldn't control lol. Anyway, I have tons of cysts and whiteheads on my cheeks, chin, and forehead still, all equally bad. Oh, and there are a few on my upper lip, which has been extremely annoying and unsightly.

I really hoped that this symptom wouldn't affect me but too late -- I've started to have very minor back pains. It only hurts when I first wake up from sleep or after I stand up from leaning over the sink while I brush my teeth. It's a pretty sharp pain, but it only lasts for like five seconds, and once I'm fully stood up, there's no pain at all. My lips have gotten increasingly dry. I'm applying Burt's Bees like five times a day. My head has been sort of itchy too but not really.

I spent five hours in the sun the other day for a school club... My friend told me my face was really red/looked sunburnt. Hopefully once winter comes I can avoid the sun as much as possible. Alright! That's my first double-digit update! Almost at two weeks!!

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DAY 15

TWO WEEKS DONE!

I'm not being overdramatic (okay, a little), but I swear, I am experiencing the worst initial breakout in the history of initial breakouts. Ever. Haha, like you guys don't understand... you might think your skin is bad... but you have not seen me yet. I'm talking 40+ blemishes on each of my cheeks, my forehead, my chin, my neck, my eyebrows, my sideburns. IT'S EVERYWHERE. I haven't bothered to count exactly how many because there's just wayyy too much. My skin is peeling like every hour and moisturizer just makes my face look ridiculously shiny and red. It literally hurts to wash my face or put on lotion because everywhere is so aggravated. Whiteheads just pop up out of nowhere, cysts have become my best friends. I know I said my face was a trainwreck a few days ago, but this... this is just... wow.

I know it might sound like I'm letting this all get to my head, but it's not at all. I try not to think about my face during the day and I don't purposely avoid being with other people, which is good. Sometimes I'll feel really self-conscious, but I know it's just temporary and I just have to be patient. So yeah, mentally/emotionally, I'm doing great, nothing different from usual. My lips are pretty dry, but not that much different from day 10. I think my face has been drying up, but the moisturizer just makes it look super oily all the time... The worst side effect is definitely my back pain! It doesn't affect me too much, but it's just really annoying. If I bend my back for too long, I need to get up extremely slowly in order to avoid the pain. After that, it's fine though.

I can't wait for this medicine to start taking effect! Perhaps my IB will start declining by month 2? #crossesfingers

Edited by asleeper

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DAY 15

TWO WEEKS DONE!

I'm not being overdramatic (okay, a little), but I swear, I am experiencing the worst initial breakout in the history of initial breakouts. Ever. Haha, like you guys don't understand... you might think your skin is bad... but you have not seen me yet. I'm talking 40+ blemishes on each of my cheeks, my forehead, my chin, my neck, my eyebrows, my sideburns. IT'S EVERYWHERE. I haven't bothered to count exactly how many because there's just wayyy too much. My skin is peeling like every hour and moisturizer just makes my face look ridiculously shiny and red. It literally hurts to wash my face or put on lotion because everywhere is so aggravated. Whiteheads just pop up out of nowhere, cysts have become my best friends. I know I said my face was a trainwreck a few days ago, but this... this is just... wow.

I know it might sound like I'm letting this all get to my head, but it's not at all. I try not to think about my face during the day and I don't purposely avoid being with other people, which is good. Sometimes I'll feel really self-conscious, but I know it's just temporary and I just have to be patient. So yeah, mentally/emotionally, I'm doing great, nothing different from usual. My lips are pretty dry, but not that much different from day 10. I think my face has been drying up, but the moisturizer just makes it look super oily all the time... The worst side effect is definitely my back pain! It doesn't affect me too much, but it's just really annoying. If I bend my back for too long, I need to get up extremely slowly in order to avoid the pain. After that, it's fine though.

I can't wait for this medicine to start taking effect! Perhaps my IB will start declining by month 2? #crossesfingers

You definitely have the right mentality, you have to be patient. I have three more weeks of accutane and I will complete the course. It seems like yesterday that I took the first pill. My skin has never been clearer. I wish I had gotten on accutane when I was 18. I will be turning 30 at the end of the year.

My experience has been similar to so many others, but I always tried to maintain a positive attitude. I had a horrible initial breakout, but I was somewhat excited about it because that meant it was working. Some days were better than others. I started clearing up going into my fourth month. I always tried to drink a gallon of water a day, exercised 3 to 4 days a weeks, and started eating healthier since my dr threatened to take me off the medication. I even lost ten lbs while being on the accutane.

Time does fly by. Good luck to you!

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Really admire your attitude asleeper, I'm dealing with a terrible IB as well at the moment and have to remind myself that it is only temporary, clear skin will hopefully will be the prize for all this suffering!

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Woops... Sorry I haven't updated this in a while. School has officially taken over my life. sad.png I barely got any sleep this past week because of midterms and papers, even though I'm like always fatigued from this medicine. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement everyone! I hope your treatments are going well, or at least better than mine.

DAY 29

Wow, I'm nearly finished with my first month... I can't say it's gone by fast though, haha. I feel like I've been counting down each day, which is making it feel so much longer. But yeah, little by little, I'll make it... hopefully. Dermatologist appointment is in two days, so I'm PRAYING that she bumps me up to 60 or 80 mg. I definitely need it.

Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but my face hasn't improved AT ALL since my last post. It still looks HORRIBLE. You would think there would be SOME sort of progress, but my acne is ridiculously stubborn. Whiteheads popping up everywhere, cysts ALL OVER my sideburns, cheeks, forehead, and neck (I never used to have acne on my neck). I would say the worst spots are my forehead, cheeks, and the area right under my cheeks. Basically my entire face, lol. And I can't even describe how red my face is all the time. Putting on lotion just makes it look super inflamed, but I HAVE to keep applying it like every hour or else my face gets really peel-y. The peeling actually might be the grossest part... Oh, and I don't think I could live without Aquaphor at this point. I forgot to bring it with me one day and my lips turned purplish black from the dried blood. Not to mention I have a serious picking problem. This is something I am trying really hard to work on. It's just so tempting when there's skin literally begging to get picked off! But I'm starting to see scars (underneath all of my acne) I think, and I know that it's only going to get worse if I keep perpetuating the cycle of peeling and bleeding. Yeah, I'm sorry to sound like I'm over-exaggerating, but I'm pretty sure my IB has triumphed all others... At this point, I honestly cannot imagine my acne getting better... It's so bad and I've gone so long without any progress that I feel like nothing can fix it... But it will work! I need to stay positive! Please, please, please be kind to me, Month 2!

I'm considering posting pictures just to prove how bad it is, but I'm still not sure... I have at least two pictures per week since I've started. Maybe I'll post some when my face starts to get better as like a comparison.

Edited by asleeper

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DAY 31

So after some ridiculous complications with the pharmacy and iPledge, I finally got my hands on Month 2 pills today. The entire situation was just so dumb. I can't wait until I'm done with pharmacies, long waits at the doctor's office, etc... The end truly does seem so far away.

Oh! The dermatology appointment! My doctor said my acne definitely got more cystic and inflamed since the last time she saw me. She recommended I take prednisone, but I told her I didn't want to... I'm not a fan of taking multiple medicines, and I can walk around fine without feeling too self-conscious. She also decided not to bump me up to 60 or 80 because of how bad my face got. I don't think I'll be increasing dosage for a while, which means I'm probably looking at 6-7 months on this stuff. Sigh. It'd be so nice to go home for winter break with a clear face!

It's weird, I feel so secure now knowing that I'm taking pills again, maybe because this means I'm actually making progress toward my cumulative dose. I haven't taken any pills in the last two days, so I hope that doesn't have any negative or backward effects. I am starting to break out again on my cheeks and forehead, which is a total letdown from the calmness I finally experienced on Day 30. Oh well, it's a roller coaster!!!

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Haha, it's been a while. Weird reading this again. I can't believe I'm already at Day 1 of Month 5! I definitely lost count of total days a long time ago. Well, I just came back from my dermatologist appointment and apparently this is my last month until I'm over the recommended cumulative dosage! One more month! Time really does fly... To anyone who is discouraged by his/her initial breakout, just keep your head held high and don't let it get you down! Seriously, don't even think about it. I guarantee you mine was worse (even my own PARENTS told me I looked like a monster), but I can barely remember those days anymore. Things just took a drastic turn for the better around the end of Month 2. Like what is peeling skin anyways? Whiteheads? What do those things feel like again? Promise to post pictures at the very end of my treatment! Stay strong and the worst will be over before you know it!

So right now, the only real side effects I'm feeling are dry lips and red skin. The redness is supposed to die down after I get off the meds, so I'm not too worried about that. Pretty happy I decided not to take the steroids because it honestly has not been that bad to deal with. The main thing I'm worried about right now is... stagnancy. Ever since the middle of Month 4, I have felt like my progress just came to a standstill. There are some hard "pimples" on my cheeks that just won't go away! These are things that never became whiteheads back in the day so I never popped them. But now they've become like hardened cysts! They don't hurt at all, but they just sit on my face and don't appear to be leaving anytime soon. Does anyone else have this problem? Will they go away? I feel like it's way too late into my treatment to still be dealing with this kind of stuff. The other day I read online that it's super important to take the pills WITH meals. Otherwise they don't absorb as well? Well, I definitely have been taking some pills a few hours after eating because I forget about it. I hope this isn't the reason I'm not seeing "perfect" results I think I'm supposed to be seeing.

But oh well. I remember during my IB, I told myself that I would be completely satisfied just if I had no actives on my face. So I guess I have no reason to complain. Can't wait to be done! Let's make this a good last month, Accutane!

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AND SO IT ENDS!!!

I just took my last pill. It has been a long (nearly) 7 months, but I'm finally done! My face isn't quite as clear as I hoped... but just looking at the pictures of where I was at before and during my IB... this is a miracle. I haven't had an active in months. Just need to wait for the scarring and redness to die down.

Best of luck everyone! Just be patient (especially those of you still in Months 1-3) and it'll be over before you know it!

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