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Accutane Diaries - Month 1 - Crazy Lips!

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Hey all,

So I've been taking Roaccutane for a month now and thought I would keep a log of my progress. These forums have been so helpful to me in the past, especially when deciding to go on this medication!

The awful stories of accutane put me off taking the plunge for a year, but I finally went back to the derm at the end of October and got started. I was encouraged by some friends who used accutane and have unbelievable skin now - some have been clear of acne for 3 years, which is good news. My pal described herself as "bionic" when she came off the course last year, and hasn't had a single spot in 18 months.

I'm 26, female - allegedly hormone levels are ok but I'm a bit dubious about that....I'm thin (UK size 8/10) so the docs have never mentioned PCOS, however the persistent acne/hair situation gets out of control at times, so I'm trying to flag it up with the derm. I've heard you can have PCOS without the weight problems, it's just harder to diagnose. Anyway, I'm currently on 30mg of Tane a day.

So far my side effects have been minimal (let's hope it stays that way!), although I did have to get erythremicin for Impetigo on my chin :(

Week 1 - Previously had a few spots on my chin/cheeks. cheek spots cleared up within days - literally disappeared overnight - spots on chin turned cystic.

Week 2 - Chin spots morphed into a supernova, and about 10 days in they merged to form a supergroup. Had really bad swelling - went to doc - had turned into secondary infection of impetigo. You can't really mess with antibiotics on the Tane but you can take Erythremicin, and I used a topical cream called Bactroban which has been a Godsend!

Week 3 - Impetigo swelling has disappeared, although it's left a rather attractive(!) patch of red skin. My lips started to go insane and flake off, so I look a bit like Twoface from Batman. Skin around nose feels tender - inside of nose is dry but not unbearable. BUT! I'm starting to see massive improvements in my skin. It's a lot paler, had a tiny cluster of spots on my forehead which disappeared in a day, skin feels smooth and dry and blackheads are decreasing (not to sound too gross but it's almost as if blackheads are falling out when i wash my face). My pores look like they're getting smaller. My hair looks amazing for some reason!

Week 4 - only waiting for a handful of chin spots to clear up, but they're getting smaller by the hour! Skin feels smooth everywhere on face, even the areas where the spots had been. Have only had a small handful of cystic spots (which were my biggest problem), and they seem to be clearing up nicely. Bit disgruntled at my red, flaky chin but you have to grin and bear it.

Products I've used:

- Carmex (lips). After week one this was no use - made my lips really dry!

- Bactroban (prescribed/topical cream for infection) - works a treat on bad patches!

- Erythremicin (oral antibiotic) - Got it for impetigo, but the pharmacist said it's often prescribed to avoid the initial breakout.

- Simple face wash and face pads.

- Aqueaous cream (prescribed) - works wonders on lips temporarily but its effects are short lived. Good for dry skin elsewhere!

- Oilatum shampoo for hair.

- I've been eating loads of fresh fruit and veg which gives me a boost when i'm tired. I'm also taking Inositrol for my hair (to prevent potential thinning) - hopefully that'll keep the side effects at bay. Taking Agnes Castus to balance out hormone levels.

Biggest problem are my lips. They are almost completely crusted over and I'm going out of my mind - 'tis the season for mistletoe and Christmas parties! Could anyone recommend an intensive lip cream? Would like my lips back in working order before Christmas! Right now I feel like I'm a big scabby mess.

Tips on lips would be greatly appreciated! Ciao!

M x

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I've heard good things about "Aquaphor" for lip repair and drying.


Is it fine to be on an antibiotic while also on Accutane?

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Hey, thanks for the tips. Is Aquaphor available in the UK?

zhfac, I heard Erythremicin is ok while on the Tane....doc said so anyway. Apparently they use it to combat the initial breakout. I'm not on it now - skin has cleared up really well in the past 4 weeks! Very pleased.

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Hey myroaccutaneromance,

I noticed your blog while surfing through acne.org. I just started taking accutane three weeks ago and just started my fourth week. This is actually my second try at accutane. I was on it just under 2 years ago but my acne has come back with a vengeance :-( I always had a bit of pimples after accutane but it just went crazy in the past few months. I think the fact that I moved across the world has also been a factor in my sudden break out.

I thought I got my initial break out after 5 days of starting, but it seems i'm breaking out again :-(( Did you have an initial breakout? I woke up today with EIGHT new spots, so I'm having a horrible day today. Acne just sucks and I can't believe I'm battling it again.

Well, I'm just curious if things are going well with you.

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Are you from the uk? If so for lips best thing in my opinion is elizabeth arden 8 hour cream! It's been a god send for me. Totally works. Its quite pricey but I reckon one tube will last your whole accutane course. Its a bit of a multi-purpose cream but works wonders on dry lips. Not sure if you can get elizabeth arden in US?!

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