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imeybu

35 Year Old First Time Accutane Journey (Absorica)

Greetings All,

I am a newbie here. Have been reading and lurking for quite some time now, and finally decided to join the community and share my journey.

A little bit about me. I am a soon-to-be 35 year old woman who up until the age of 28, has NEVER experienced acne a day in her life. (Yes, I sometimes refer to myself in the third person...lol) Any who, I begin experiencing moderate cystic acne about 7 years ago. I have tried EVERYTHING on earth to get rid of this horrible ugly disease including natural remedies, holistic remedies, planes, trains and automobiles you name it, I've tried it. I've went to several dermatologist who gave me all types of medications which never helped.

As of March 6th, I started my treatment for Accutane (Absorica). I am taking 80mg a day, (40mg in the morning and 40mg in the evening). I plan on documenting my progress weekly or as I see the need based on change or side affects.

Today marks day 6th of my treatment. So far, here's what I have noticed:

1. Dry lips - I feel like a darn crack head with the constant licking of the lips and trying to keep them moisturized. I apply aquaphor and blistex every 4-5 mins, no exaggeration.

2. This may sound weird, but I have had the vivid dreams since beginning this treatment. Nothing bad though, so not complaining there.

3. The inside of my nose is sooooooooo DRY and itchy and irritated. It's annoying! I must figure out what I can do to help that.

4. My face started to clear up some, but just this morning, I got quite a few white heads that just came straight on up and to the surface. I really want to pop them, but keep hearing about the scarring and ripping of the skin. A few popped on their own in the shower, so that was great.

5. Face has become flaky and dry, especially around my nose and cheeks. Oddly enough, my T-zone is still oily to me, so hoping that goes away soon.

6. Eyes were slightly irritated on day 3 and 4, cut has since went away,....for good I hope.

I have attached some pics (can't believe I am doing this) of where my face was a few weeks before I started and where it is today.

The first two pics are Pre-Accutane, the last one is day 5.

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Edited by imeybu

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Week 1, Day 7

So today is the end of week 1, day 7. So far, so good. Noticeable side-affects so far are:

Annoying dry lips - I must apply and reapply lip balm / ointment every few minutes or so

Both a dry & oily face- not sure if this is normal since I'm used to having super oily skin. Now, I have oily in some areas, and super dry in others

Dry mouth- I am drinking fluids left and right to keep my mouth from being so dry.

It honestly has seem that my face is improving actually. I was on some antibiotics before starting absorica, and it really gave me the worst IB I've ever had in my life. I am hoping that I get to skip the IB from absorica sine it happened a few weeks prior to starting. fingers crossed..

I have also noticed that I have a few new whiteheads and that my pores seem to be more visible than before. I also feel a big pimple coming on my jawline, I pray it stays it's little devilish self right there..lol

That's all for now, will try to post at the end of every week.

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Week 1, Day 7 update:

Ok, so I've come to the realization that I am in this journey alone. I joined this message board in attempts to connect with others who are also going through this journey, but that connection doesn't seem to be happening. HOW DISAPPOINTING!!! Anyway, for my own sake, I will continue to post as things happen.

So about 2 hours after my initial week 1, day 7 post, a HUGE pimple popped out of nowhere on in the middle of my forehead....can you say OUCH!!! This sucker really hurts and it's quite red and itchy too. :-( I spoke too soon! :-(

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Hey! I'm in the same boat as you. I started my Absorica journey on March 6th as well (60mg/day). I'm 27 and never had a problem with any type of acne up until last year and since then it has been non stop and nothing has helped.

Right now everything seems to be going OK, not a lot of side effects except for a few nose bleeds and dry lips. However I am experiencing a bit of an IB. I think I have the biggest pimple that I've ever had pop out on the side of my cheek a few days ago and it has been hanging out since. I hope it goes away ASAP but it looks like one of those that stays for weeks :( Also had one come out on my chin and that one hurts a lot. Aside for that I guess things aren't going too bad, I just hope I get this IB over with as soon as possible!! Oh I also forgot to mention that my face has been really itchy too, which is more of an annoyance than anything.

I'm glad I found someone who started the same day as me! Hopefully we start seeing some positive results soon! :)

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Hi SmileyJoy.....Great!!! I'm glad I now have someone else with the same start date too. I'm sorry about the nose bleeds. I have been reading about those, and so far, I haven't gotten one. I know on day 5, my nose was sooooo dry and irritable, that it felt like I may get one, but I didn't. I have also been putting a little aquaphor on the inside of my nose before I go to bed, and right after my shower, that seems to help.

Don't you just hate the new big zits that seem to be popping up out of nowhere?? ggeeeeesssshhh..lol I have one right smack in the middle of my forehead. That is NOT attractive for a 34 year old woman let me tell ya. lol

So cheers to us, Day 7th almost done! Keep me posted on your progress. :-)

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Hi imeybu!

I am also a 35 year old woman on Accutane! I am at day 117 or something crazy like that. I found the first couple months were pretty rough, but things got steadily better after that, and now I am clear. I still have some redness - it seems to fade more slowly while on Accutane, but I'm not ouchy and itchy anymore and it is super fabulous.

Just wanted to pop in and wish you well with your course.

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Thanks Kim28, at least I know there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Congrats on being clear at day 117...that's great!! I can only hope I have those type of results. :-)

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It doesn't look like you have bad PIH, like in these patients: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921758/figure/F2/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921758/figure/F4/ .

You should still wear sunscreen with SPF 30+ so you don't have to deal with sun damage and worsening PIH.

Good luck on your course! :)

Edited by Michelle Reece

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Hi SmileyJoy.....Great!!! I'm glad I now have someone else with the same start date too. I'm sorry about the nose bleeds. I have been reading about those, and so far, I haven't gotten one. I know on day 5, my nose was sooooo dry and irritable, that it felt like I may get one, but I didn't. I have also been putting a little aquaphor on the inside of my nose before I go to bed, and right after my shower, that seems to help.

Don't you just hate the new big zits that seem to be popping up out of nowhere?? ggeeeeesssshhh..lol I have one right smack in the middle of my forehead. That is NOT attractive for a 34 year old woman let me tell ya. lol

So cheers to us, Day 7th almost done! Keep me posted on your progress. )

Hi Imeybu! I've tried the aquaphor trick but its not working, I've been averaging at least 2 nose bleeds a day but I've always been prone to nose bleeds so I was expecting to get them once I started accutane. But OMG this pimple on my cheek is ridiculously huge right now..I can't even deal but I just hope it doesn't stay around too long...hopefully the one of your forehead is starting to heal! Unfortunately I'm definitely starting to experience the IB and I'm hoping I'm just getting it over at the beginning of my course. I hope everything is going well with you!!!

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Hey Smiley Joy,

Awwww doll, I'm so sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I just experienced my first nose bleed and my infamous aquaphor just ISN'T cutting it anymore. My skin seems to be dramatically improving, but is extremely sensitive, the inner corners of my nose seem to stay very red and irritated, almost like sunburn. It really hurts. I heard about a product called Bag Balm. I am going to pick some up and see how that works out. Nothing seems to keep my lips from being dry.

I will keep you posted on how that works out. Hang in there! This is JUST the beginning doll.

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Hey Imeybu! I'm not sure why I never saw your log before, since usually I check through the threads every few days. I've got no idea where I am in my journey, at this point, but I will say that it isn't going terribly badly. For me, the sensitive skin thing eased off after a while, and once you learn not to mess with your lips, the Aquaphor and lip balms last longer, too. It is hard not to, though, because once they get soft feeling, you want to press them together, or something. :)

I'm having second thoughts about all of this, myself, but I am going to talk to my Derm today, and try to get some help. She is VERY pro-accutane, so I am sure she will be doing her best to keep me on through the term. Good luck to you!

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Thanks for the encouragement Persnickity Chick! You hit the nail on the head when speaking about trying not to mess with your lips. That is my biggest struggle right now. I'm okay for about 1 minute after applying lip balm, but then I go right to pressing them and it's over after that.

I'd like to share my Weed 2, Day 11 update

Got my first nose bleed yesterday- nothing too major or bad, but quite annoying since it happened while I was in public- on an airplane to be exact

Body aches- ok, so not sure what is going on, but today I can hardly stand up straight or walk. Some of my joints are sore as if I did P90X for 3 hours of something. I can't 100% say that it is related to the absorica, but is sure is strange to say the least.

Certain areas on my face continue to be both dry and slightly oily, and the inner creases of my nose stay red, sore, and irritated. So far, I have not gotten the dry eyes anymore....thank the heavens.

Yup, that's it for now.

Persnickity Chick, stay with it. It will all be over before you know it!!!

Just a few updated pics

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Imeybu, it looks like your acne is improving even though it's only been a short time; so keep persevering. You are not alone! I recently started Accutane as well, and it's nice to have someone like you and SmileyJoy who started around the same time. Thus far, the only side effects I've experienced are dryness (skin, lips, hair) and I'm more thirsty than usual. I'm using Cetaphil moisturizing cream for my skin and trying to drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. I've been using Acquaphor for my lips, but I've noticed my lips are still drying out. Perskinicity Chick, thanks for the tip on not rubbing your lips together. I'm guilty of doing that throughout the day; so I'm going to stop and see if that helps. I'm open to lip balm ideas; so let me know if you find one that works better.

Edited by yorkielove

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Howdy my loves!!

Week 3, Day 4

So far, things have been on a steady pace. I seem to be drying out all over my face. Some areas appear to be really dark, while other areas have a new refresh skin tone. The areas around my nose are completely raw and irritated ALLLL the time. I put ointment on it daily, but that burns like HELL. My lips continue to be pretty dry and irritated. I've stopped using Aquaphor because it just doesn't really work for me. Plus, I must learn to STOP rubbing my lips together like Perskincity Chick suggested (it's hard) lol.

The inside of my nose is super-dee-duper dry that it hurts. I use the rest of my aquaphor for the inside of my nose just to keep it from bleeding. My face is both smooth and rough, so I think I am going to find me a nice yet gentle exfoliate for my face. It feels like there is dead/old skin that really just wants to come off.

I swear it seems like I have been on this medicine for EVERRRRRRRRR!!! But, I will stick with it. I also must drink more water. Other than that, nothing major to report. I will post some pics of what my skin is looking like now. My cheeks still have slight breakout, and the pimple directly in the middle of my eyebrows is starting to dry up...it was super ugly a week ago.

These pics are sort of dark...bad lighting, but here's where I am currently. Oh, I am also having a hard time finding a really good moisturizer that will last all day? My face is drying out within a few hours of applying it. I am using Oil of Olay spf daily moisturizer. It feels great in the beginning, but seems to fade off after a few hours.

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Howdy my loves!!

Week 3, Day 4

So far, things have been on a steady pace. I seem to be drying out all over my face. Some areas appear to be really dark, while other areas have a new refresh skin tone. The areas around my nose are completely raw and irritated ALLLL the time. I put ointment on it daily, but that burns like HELL. My lips continue to be pretty dry and irritated. I've stopped using Aquaphor because it just doesn't really work for me. Plus, I must learn to STOP rubbing my lips together like Perskincity Chick suggested (it's hard) lol.

The inside of my nose is super-dee-duper dry that it hurts. I use the rest of my aquaphor for the inside of my nose just to keep it from bleeding. My face is both smooth and rough, so I think I am going to find me a nice yet gentle exfoliate for my face. It feels like there is dead/old skin that really just wants to come off.

I swear it seems like I have been on this medicine for EVERRRRRRRRR!!! But, I will stick with it. I also must drink more water. Other than that, nothing major to report. I will post some pics of what my skin is looking like now. My cheeks still have slight breakout, and the pimple directly in the middle of my eyebrows is starting to dry up...it was super ugly a week ago.

These pics are sort of dark...bad lighting, but here's where I am currently. Oh, I am also having a hard time finding a really good moisturizer that will last all day? My face is drying out within a few hours of applying it. I am using Oil of Olay spf daily moisturizer. It feels great in the beginning, but seems to fade off after a few hours.

So sorry you are dry--but WOW, your skin really looks great! It's poreless, seems to be shine free...amazing. This gives me hope! Still waiting until I can take my second pregnancy test so I can start...grrrrr...

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Hi Kim0728:

Yes, the dryness is making me look really crazy at times. I never even noticed that my pores aren't as noticeable as they used to be. I went from being super oily, to both oily and dry to now being completely dry day in and day out. I just haven't quite figured out a product to keep me moisturized all day.

Don't worry, your time is fast approaching. Those stupid monthly pregnancy test suck. I can't wait for you to get going.....

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Hey:

I came across your blog post on good as I did a search for Absorica, and wanted to share what works for me during treatment.

I'm 23 years old and on Accutane for the second time (two 5 month treatments). Today marked the 5th month of my second treatment. With a combined 9.5-10 months of being on this medication over a period of two treatments, I found that Burts Bees Lip Balm (Vitamin E & Peppermint) works best for dry lips. Now the trick to keeping moist lips while on treatment is to apply your lip balm to clean, moist lips. This may sound weird, but while in the shower after you wake up, allow the warm water to moisten your skin. After about 2-3 minutes, rub the dead skin off your lips until they feel smooth.

After your shower, apply your lip balm. Voila!

For dry skin, I find that Cerave is the best brand, although I apply only one application during the summer compared to the brutal winter.

Let me know if this works for you!

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