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ZOSO84

Roaccutane 100Mg---Day 9...

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I'm a 30 year old guy who has struggled with moderate to severe acne since about the age of 13. Tried pretty much everything there is including 4 years on oxytetracycline which seemed to supress it but never really get rid of it. Anyway, I decided 4 years on antibiotics (however 'mild' they may be) was too much so I came off them and within weeks was knocked sideways by 2 horrendous attacks of impetigo on my face. The doctors said that there was no link between the 2 but I'm convinced that there is and I went straight back on the tetracycline, utterly terrified of another 'outbreak.'

In a way I had gotten so used to having 'bad' skin, obviously 'breakouts' can prove really unpleasant (I deal with people face-to-face ALL DAY at work, very keen on socialising and going to the gym) but in general I was pretty resigned to the fact that I would never have a 'clear' complexion. I don't smoke (although I used to), don't drink much at all, I eat well and although I'm a little overweight (weightlifter's diet) I consider myself a pretty healthy bloke. I find it very frustrating that people automatically assume there's a link between diet and bad skin---I know there's a lot of 'new age' stuff on the internet about lifestyle/diet and acne but my whole life my skin has been very oily and this predates any lifestyle choices (good or bad) I could have made along the way and I'm convinced this is the root of the problem. I know people that drink 4-5 nights a week, smoke like chimneys, eat rubbish, some of them do 'recreational' drugs, no exercise yet their complexions are perfect!

In the last year or so the acne on my face has gotten worse but I have also started to get deep, painful cystic acne on my upper back. A few months ago my girlfriend and I were out for a friend's birthday meal when I felt a tingling on the back on my neck and when we got home I looked in the mirror I noticed a small red spot forming there. By morning this had grown to about the size of a ping pong ball, it was incredibly painful, throbbing, no head on it and it took about 2 weeks to go away---I decided I'd had enough and practically begged my doctor to send me to a dermatologist.

Moving on to last week, after seeing the specialist and having some blood tests he put me on 100mg of Roaccutane a day which I have to take for 4 months and here I am:

DAY 9

--I can feel just how powerful this drug is---it's a strange feeling, but my face is red the whole time. I used to do a lot of fishing and the only feeling I can liken it to is when you've been out in the elements all day, almost like windburn.

--I've heard a lot about the 'Initial Outbreak' (and the derm warned me about it too) and hoped I'd be one of the lucky few who didn't get it...Unfortunately I've got it. Both sides of my nose are incredibly painful, red and sore with what seems to be coldsores and they will not go away. The last few days the skin has peeled off these but the battle underneath is still raging on.

--I have a patch about the size of a 50p coin under my lip on the left side of my face that is also like a huge coldsore that keeps drying out on the surface, but when the skin falls off it's 'weeping' underneath.

--I've never experienced dry lips like this before. Using Vaseline at every opportunity and also Blistex moisturiser on them at night which feels great but after a few hours in the office they are completely dried out again! Can't open my mouth too much too eat and sometimes even smiling hurts. Given the major outbreak I'm experiencing, this side effect bothers me the least but from what I've heard, it isn't going to get better any time soon...

--Skin all over my face, particularly my chin, either side of my nose is beginning to peel. Tried a moisturiser the other night but I think this was a big mistake and I'm pretty sure this has only aggravated the breakout.

--Feel like there are some huge, angry spots under the surface of my skin that are trying to literally break out and these are very painful.

--Went to the gym last night and although I felt incredibly self conscious I don't think all the sweating has done any harm. The dermatologist warned me that I may experience some muscle pain while on this but so far so good...

Overall I hoped against hope that this medication would just run silently in the background and work its magic but I know now that isn't going to be the case. I told everyone in my office today about it and (in a good way) no-one really batted an eyelid and this was a huge relief for me. In fact, one of my team said he could see an improvement already and although I can't see a difference (not a good one anyway) this helped a lot.

I've also bought a big wall planner and I'm crossing the days off and I think this will turn out to be very important for me---I'm nearly a 10th of the way through already! I know I'm in this for the long haul and keep telling myself that I must not give up and even though I'm essentially wishing my life away at the moment, it will be worth it in the end.

At the moment I do not want to leave the house---got a few big social events coming up soon which I'm not looking forward to but I keep reminding myself that there are people out there who experience so much worse and live with these things every day. On the one hand I've been a bit humbled (not to mention quietly impressed) by how 'polite' people can be yet on the other hand I'm a bit disillusioned at how our society regards 'imperfection.' Nonetheless I truly believe I will come out of this a better person, inside and out.

Don't know how often I'll update this, but in the meantime if anyone has any stories they'd like to share or any tips on how to deal with this, they would be hugely appreciated...

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DAY 11

This has been the worst day by far for me. The painful, coldsore type things either side of my nose are a lot less painful and inflamed, as is the one below my mouth by the Accutane seems to be hitting these areas the hardest which makes sense I suppose. The dry skin I have around these areas is worse than I ever imagined it would be...It doesn't help that we had a fire alarm go off at work today which meant we all had to stand outside in the freezing cold for over an hour...

When we got back inside one of my colleagues helpfully pointed out that my face had gone bright red---my face was seriously on fire. Also, when I went to check in the mirror the dry skin on these problem areas was twice as bad as it had been before we went out in the elements. As much as I tried to remain positive, the rest of the day was pretty bleak from that point on.

Went to the gym tonight and after I washed with some Burts Bees exfoliating stuff which shifted some of the dry skin but I had to kind of scrape the rest off with a towel---yuk...I then applied cetaphil to the problem areas and am hoping against hope that it stops these patches drying out so bad overnight. Not sure if this is the best way of dealing with the dry skin but I guess I'll know in the morning if it is or isn't...

Also seem to have a huge cyst developing on the side of my nose, higher up on the bridge which feels so angry and painful and I really hope this subsides soon.

In retrospect I really wish I'd booked some time off from work to coincide with starting this stuff. My working day constitutes about 11 hours altogether and sitting in an office that either that the air con or the radiators on full blast really can't be assisting...Obviously I can't take 16 weeks off but I just feel a bit of time at home, learning the best way to deal with the side effects would have been useful. Might talk to my boss about it if this breakout/dryness doesn't settle down soon...

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100 mg a day! Holy crapola! This high of a dose will come will more severe side effects for sure - but at least it also comes with a pretty short course. I hope this is the answer for you!

Best of luck.

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Yeah it is a pretty high dose, expected to be on it for 4 months...Anyway, Day 14....A lot of the dry skin around my nose/mouth seems to have improved although I'm putting this down to a pretty constant use of Cetaphil-seriously, nothing else works and I would recommend anyone on Accutane to invest in the biggest tub they can find. Lips don't feel as bad either but have noticed a very itchy scalp, but I would take this over flaky dry skin on my face any day of the week. Also, got a strange, almost sweet smell in my nose, could be sinuses drying out but not too sure.

Overall, seems like the IB has retreated a bit, and if it stays like this I'll be so happy. Haven't noticed too much improvement in my complexion but I definitely know this stuff is doing its job. Felt so much more positive at work today than I did on Friday when the dry skin was so noticeable and obvious. Fingers crossed things keep improving. One of my big social events coming up has been 'cancelled' and ordinarily I'd be quite disappointed but it's come as a bit of a relief to be honest. Went out last night and drank sparkling water while everyone else was on beer and wine but wasn't too bothered at all---might become T-Total after this is over!

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DAY 15

Dry skin and dry lips, back with a vengeance...Seem to be alternating good and bad days at the moment...Didn't do anything different last night/this morning yet after only a few hours in the office, the flakiness was back. Seem to be developing some round little rashes on my hand and arms---anyone else had these?

This is such a bizarre medicine...

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DAY 17

Dry skin on my face seems to be behaving a bit better but my lips are probably the driest they've ever been today---big angry red 'line' under my bottom lip. Nothing, but nothing, seems to help and stop them from drying out.

Also, the rash on my hand seems to be developing into full blown eczema---every time I look there seems to be a few more red dots which I think will eventually cover my entire hand. Again, nothing seems to slow it down.

Not sure I can stand another 100 days of this :(

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DAY 17

Dry skin on my face seems to be behaving a bit better but my lips are probably the driest they've ever been today---big angry red 'line' under my bottom lip. Nothing, but nothing, seems to help and stop them from drying out.

Also, the rash on my hand seems to be developing into full blown eczema---every time I look there seems to be a few more red dots which I think will eventually cover my entire hand. Again, nothing seems to slow it down.

Not sure I can stand another 100 days of this

be strong man !! we are all in the same boat !

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^^^ Thanks for the positive words

I guess I should be positive that I haven't gotten the muscle pain and fatigue the dermatologist warned me about and it hasn't affected my workouts. Also the I.B seems to have cleared a bit but this stuff is so bizarre...keeps throwing curveballs :/

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^^^ Thanks for the positive words

I guess I should be positive that I haven't gotten the muscle pain and fatigue the dermatologist warned me about and it hasn't affected my workouts. Also the I.B seems to have cleared a bit but this stuff is so bizarre...keeps throwing curveballs :/

N

No prob man !. I've just started accutane 3 days ago,40 mg a day. i'm also scared as fuck,but i try to stay relaxed and to pay attention closely to my body. Rashes,dry face and dry lips are like the best side effects you can have ! lol,even more at a high dose like yours.

Try to keep your mind away of thinking " when i am going to get the joint pain " or stuff like that. because you will predispose yourself to worse side effects !

bests of luck,and i hope we both reach clear skin in a couple of months. stay positive

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That's what I keep telling myself mate, at the end of the day if these are the worst symptoms I get then I suppose I've got away pretty lightly considering some of the 'horror' stories that are out there. However, on a day to day basis it can get quite disheartening when you think you've turned a corner in terms of side effects, then catch a glimpse in the mirror and realise they've actually gotten worse.

Best of luck with your journey too---one thing I would definitely recommend is getting a huge wall planner and mark off each day---this works even better if you know your predicted 'end date' which I don't. In terms of motivation, this can be a pretty powerful thing. I can remember being on day 4 when the side effects were just kicking in and I felt knocked about by the meds starting to work and also felt so low and said to my girlfriend, ''I can't do this for 4 months''. Well I've just got Day 18 out the way so in a sense, time is going pretty quick. Also, get the biggest tub of cetaphil you can find, you will not regret it.

Major kudos to the people on here that are brave enough to share their stories and even more respect to those who can share photos of their journey.

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I personally try to avoid mirrors at all at this moment,at one point was because i do pick my acne a lot,but then i realized i was becoming more depressed and felt awful when looking at my self.

Support and positivism is highly needed trough the course. Today one college friend told me that i was better and i am just on my 4th day on accutane,this really pumped me up. It's really great that you have a girlfriend

Also any thing that happens while you are on accutane,you blame it on it lol. Today i felt my calf muscle a bit sore and i was totally worried about it...also felt some testicular tightness,like someone was squeezing my balls ( ) and started to google "testicular pain on accutane" "erectile dysfunction accutane",after two hours doing something else and not thinking about it,it was gone hahah.

About the cetaphil,i live in Argentina so it's not available here. Anyways i'm prepared like for a world war when the side effects kick in. I am already drinking lots of water and using chap sticks to prevent cracked lips when it happens. I am most worried from the hair loss and joints pain. I don't want to even think about it. I stylize my hair a lot and reading that some persons get their hair ruined forever,freaks me out like shit.

The huge wall planner idea is great,i may do it if i get one !. For now,i've got my mum counting my days LOL and telling me that nothing is going to happen to me :).

I will keep following your process !! acne sucks major ball sacks

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Haven't felt the peculiar 'tightness' you describe but there have been occasions when my libido has been, shall we say, down...However I'm not sure if this is actually medical or more emotional. These things can be incredibly hard to talk about but my gf is super understanding.

My dermatologist explained that hair loss on this drug is very rare and if it does happen, it nearly always grows back. If anything, he said it makes people hair so much less greasy, they are usually over the moon with the end result as it becomes more manageable...

I've heard lots said about back/joint pain but so far I've been fortunate in this regard and it hasn't affected my workout regime at all---like you said, sometimes we can 'think' ourselves into certain problems.

It's great when someone notices an improvement like your college buddy did and I think it's very important that those close to you know that you're on the stuff and what to expect. Someone at work pointed out how dry my lips were the other day and I said ''I've already explained to you the meds I'm on, and believe me, it bothers me more than it bothers you...'' He hasn't mentioned it again :)

Not sure if this translates to Argentinian, but keep your chin up bro---You're right, acne sucks, but don't give up, kick its ass.

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I remember i couldn't keep my "friend" up on my first times LOL !!. I was extremely anxious and worried about my performance,same exact thing happens with accutane. Erectile dysfunction / libido loss for me is 95% caused by mind,and accutane can mess big time with you mind,especially after reading the horrifying histories.

I was going to start working out at the same time i started the tane,but my derm told me not to. She didn't wanted to me to over stress my joints since i may be still growing (17 years old) and i don't do intense exercise since forever,and going super hard while on accutane may injure me easily or even permanent. Anyways i do walk almost every day so,i least i do some physical activities. You surely can workout because you were doing it before the accutane, (i suppose so) so your body is kinda adapted to weights and stuff and i don't think you are growing any more !! hahah

Thanks for the words,and i will stop annoying here and leaving your log alone

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Hey don't worry man, it's really great to be able to talk to other people who are on the same journey as me.

If I had to stop working out, I think i'd come off Accutane to be honest as it's such an important part of my life so I guess I'm lucky that I can still do it---I have backed off a bit on the intensity and have stopped the protein shakes and stuff as I want to give my liver the easiest ride possible...

Another thing I noticed is today I rehearsed with my band for the first time since going on this stuff and the calluses on my fingers kind of shredded off straight away when playing the guitar :/

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Day 22

Nothing really new to report, still discovering little patches of dry/eczema type skin up and down my arms but the stuff on my hand has nearly gone! I can only attribute this to liberal coatings of cetaphil--I'm sure it sounds like I work for them but seriously, this stuff is amazing!

Still getting unbelievably dry lips---made the mistake of eating something spicy today and almost immediately, the red, shiny 'clown ring' under my bottom lips flared up so badly. I know this is such a minor concern considering some people's reactions to Accutane but if ANYONE has any advice on how to deal with these dry lips it would be amazing.

So far, Vaseline doesn't seem to do anything---not the normal stuff, nor the Aloe Vera nor Cocoa Butter. Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Lip Therapy doesn't help at all either. Blistex Intensive Lip Moisturiser feels lovely but doesn't really affect the dryness. Burt's Bees chapsticks are OK but again, I think it's just that they feel nice.

Basically, throughout the day they go from bright red and sore looking to dry and sore looking, often with dry flaky skin all over the bottom lip---it looks awful, so prominent and makes me feel incredibly self conscious. I'm drinking plenty of water but really feel like I need to treat the shiny red patch under my bottom lip.

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dude,i am suffering the same thing,nothing seems to work. also here is getting colder so my lips are basically destroyed. They are not cracking or bleeding but they fell soooo uncomfortable. Today i used a washcloth with warm water to remove the dead skin,ugh. Then my lips were all raw and bright red. But they were not painful at all.

Now,im just applying nivea essential care chap stick with jojoba oil. I don't think is good enough,but at least it prevents my lips to crack or bleed.

Maybe this is the best that the lips can be during accutane ??. In my next appointment,i'm asking my derm for some prescription. I think she mentioned something about aquaphor and a corticosteroid cream for when your lips are really destroyed.

Edited by mahninja
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Well I've tracked down some Aquaphor but after nearly a week, it hasn't made a difference---Nothing I've tried has...It's bizarre, I smother them in stuff on the drive to work but roughly halfway through my shift they are bright red and burning hot, not to mention the huge shiny red ring underneath them. Today I went to the bathroom, checked my reflection and this whole area under my lips was covered in really fine, flaky skin, almost like a cobweb...The redness only shows this up more and I spent ages scrubbing this off and generally feeling mortified about how long had I been sat in the office, talking to people with that on show...

If anyone has any help or advice in how to treat this it would be massively, massively appreciated...

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DAY 27

The eczema on my hands and arms is the worst it's ever been---hoping cetaphil can get this under control.

Had a really demoralising day with dry skin under my lips again on Friday---huge flakes this time. However, an insane exfoliation when I got home followed by a good covering of Neosporin seems to have really helped. The skin on this area is a faint pink, like a new layer, but I did a full shift in work today and I couldn't believe the area didn't dry out or crack. Bulk delivery of Neosporin on the way...

Also, the skin on my upper back is getting worse but the breakout there can be as intense as it wants to be as no-one can see it. Also, the skin on the back of my neck feels completely different---very dry and smooth and I love it.

Went to bed last night with an enormous spot developing on my shoulder (I mean golf ball sized)----woke up this morning and it's practically gone! This drug is soooo weird.

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Your side effects are so extreme because of the dose you are on. You could try getting a cream with cortisone in it from your derm, this helps some people with the lip rashes. The hand rash is common too.

If it becomes too much, you should consider lowering your dose - don't quit! You have lots of options!. There is a substantial difference in side effects with lowered doses, and no evidence that it decreases effectiveness.

You could also try reading the logs of other people who are on high daily doses. They likely have the same struggles as you and might have some good advice.

Best of luck.

:)

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Hey hang in there, I'm 25 and on my 3rd course of accutane and it sucks. This time around it's probably the worst, for me personally there is a point in the medication where it will do it's magic and hopefully won't break out anymore. This may vary for each individual but you have to be patient.

For lips try this stuff called C.O. Bigelow My Favorite Night Balm its blue and works well for the lips. I'm from Australia and get it sent from the US because it's that good. All the best man ive been through it twice before and hopefully one last time and it's done for me. I'm going back overseas for a couple months to Europe and am so shattered that I have to worry about taking care of my skin but that's the cards I have been dealt and always could be worse stay posetive!

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I have thought about reducing the dosage but I've done 30 days now so I guess I'll stick it out. Getting quite achy after the gym now but I've read that accutane can kind of dry out the joint lubrication and this makes sense I guess. Gonna start taking some cod liver oil to try and combat this. I genuinely don't think I'd get through this without aquaphor, cetaphil and neosporin. This combats dry lips, face/hands/arms and flaky skin around my mouth in that order and at the risk of tempting fate, if it stays this manageable, I think I'll stick the course out. I've got everything crossed that accutane doesn't throw me any more curveballs...

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DAY 43

Nothing really new to report at the moment----still getting the worst dry lips I've ever had in my life-the smallest thing 'sets them off' like a hot drink, toothpaste, spicy food etc. Sometimes they are so red and I've still got this ridiculous red line under my bottom lip. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that nothing will get rid of this.

Also, the facial redness is now constant and worse than ever. Again, I can't see this stopping any time soon. Just hope it goes away when I finish on this stuff.

Backed off the weights at the gym due to muscle aches taking longer to recover.

If I don't regularly cover my hands and arms in Cetaphil, the rash/eczema spreads like wildfire. Experiencing a particularly bad patch at the top of my shoulders at the moment.

In fact, I haven't seen any real improvements at all on Accutane.

Feeling rather low at the moment, if I'm honest. Still waiting to 'turn that corner...'

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Like the log....missed it when I was searching for other high dose users. Sounds like we are battling the same things. I can relate to the intense regimen of lotions\moisturizer which for me as a dood is tough to deal with at work.

Keep up the regimen and stay positive. Anybody can do anything for 4 months.

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Agh I know what you mean about the lips! It feels so wierd...like there is no skin there to protect them. Even the hot water in the shower feels awful. I find that when I wash my face I close them in so the water doesn't touch them. Can't wait to have normal lips again!

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I'll try to keep up with your log, I am looking to increase my dosage to 80-120mg in the weeks to come. If anything moral will help us persevere through what appears to me will be the hardest part of this journey.

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