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NicoleA91

23Yr/female, First Time User With Mild But Persistant Acne -- What Is This Accutane Doing To Me!?! [Loving The Progress Though]

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[side note- I'm new to this place so bear with me and forgive my mistakes, not even sure if I'm making a post properly hahaha..]

A little history about my experience with acne-

I'm 23 and never had issues with acne throughout middle or high school. I started getting my issues more in my 'young-adult' years, it went from mild acne to painful cystic acne. Compared to many others my acne is/was quite mild but I couldn't seem to be clear.. ever! So I've tried everything under the sun (just like everyone else here) Doxycycline, other versions of doxycycline, topical clindamycin, topical tretinoin, spironolactone, etc.

I finally made the decision to attempt Accutane since I was just plain old fed up. I started on Amnesteem (version of Accutane) 20mg once daily on about June 1st. I prepared way ahead of time because I read tons of horror stories about side effects on here and I was already addicted to lotion and chapstick (always had chapstick on me) so I assumed they would be an issue and I would need some different 'big guns'. So I spent lots and lots of money on lotions, several chapsticks, special moisturizing body washes, lip treatments, eye drops, vitamins, and I don't even know what else at this point. Well, after all that I thought "Oh, I can handle this.. I'm gonna be one of the lucky ones that doesn't get crazy side effects, I had no dry skin, no dry lips at all, not drinking water like a horse, very very mild initial breakout... HAH. The Accutane gods quickly shut that dream down on about day 12.. My lips were perfectly fine, not chapped or even dry at all, and all of a sudden I started getting clear blisters all over my lips [more on the 'meaty' parts of my lips, not the edges next to my skin], the blisters started looking like they had white underneath of them instead of clear and then started sloughing off in layers. My lips were SO SO SO swollen [Like Angelina Jolie lips- and I didn't even have to pay for it] red, painful... They were so covered in little blisters that when I rubbed my lips together it felt very bumped up. After trying Dr. Dan's and a stronger prescription hydrocortisone cream I finally caved and realized there wasn't some magical hump I was going to get over where it would just go away so I went to the derm. After walking into the room and saying "WOW, they are big.. looks painful" they prescribed Desonide ointment three times a day for 2 days and then 1-2 times daily as needed and told me to up my fluid intake.. Made me stop the Accutane for 3 days and start back up with only 20mg's on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. They cleared up in a few days and stayed mildly dry, and like raw skin that needed to build back up again.

When I went back for my month 2 script they said 20mg's a day for a week and then start on 30mg's daily. Welp, low and behold on day 11 or 12 same thing happened. I started getting very discouraged, and afraid they would make me stop it. It's been working so well already!! I stopped the meds for a day, applied the Desonide steroid ointment like 4 times a day with vaseline coated over it and drank a TON of water. It did the sloughing off in layers thing and was just like raw skin.. that I can deal with. I've been drinking like 55-90 ounces of water a day (which is huge because I used to consider it a good day if I'd drink one small glass a day), taking Ibuprofen for swelling, keeping something on my lips at all times, using the neosporin lip treatment, aquaphor, and one with shea butter in it.

Now it's like 5 days after that breakout and the blisters are starting again!! I don't know what to do! Has ANYONE experienced something like this, have any suggestions, other products I should try, etc?! I'm begging at this point. I'm not even 2 full months into my treatment and I'm on a CRAZY low dose and my body can't even handle that, how am I going to possibly survive this. I don't want to give up on the medication but I can't have these huge red, blistered lips. I look/feel like a monster.

Sorry this post was so long and if anyone has actually made it this far I applaud you!!!

Edited by NicoleA91
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I'm so sorry this has been bad for you. During my course my entire lower lip just peeled right off exactly once every day. But I didn't have the swelling you describe, and that must suck!

My only advice is that there is great research out there showing that a lower dose over a longer time works just as well as a higher dose, even as low as 10 mg daily. So, if you are already having great results and you don't mind being on it longer, if the lower dose (taking your 20 alternate days) eases your lip issue, then you shouldn't worry about doing it. You will still have great results.

I hope some others who have had greater lip issues have some better advice!

Best of luck!

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@kim28 -

Thank you for responding! I have been seeing a lot lately about low dose courses on here. But I'm still just so paranoid that it won't work as well.. I want to get the best results possible for my skin since I've put so much time and money (blood work isn't cheap!) Into this. I've been reading like every post available looking for people with similar lip issues but so far only finding dry chapped lips :(

Update:

I hate to say this with the possibility of jinxing myself but my skin is PERFECT this morning. Nothing on it except like three very small red marks from healing spots (that I probably picked :X) I know I'm gonna be kicking myself later for saying that but I couldn't help it, I'm so excited.

This is the one I need to REALLY knock on wood for... after blistering up more yesterday morning and thinking it was gonna go through the sloughing (such a gross word) process it actually didn't. By night time it was quite improved and this morning is really good. Still raw, sore, and a little swollen but that doesn't seem to heal... welp, off to work folks! [i'll be skipping the whole way there since I won't have to look like such a monster and feel ashamed/embarrassed about my lips]!

Edited by NicoleA91
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Well... more side effects lately. I am so utterly exhausted ALL the time and I swear I've gained weight since starting and I haven't really changed my eating. If anything I used to only drink juice and soda, I'd have maybe a half a bottle of water a day. Now it's the opposite, I drink a lot more water and then maybe a half a can or so of sodas some days.

Other than that I'm seeing great results. My lips haven't been too bad the past few days either. Someone actually pointed out how good my skin was looking too! Yay :)

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I can't believe how much of a Rollercoaster Accutane can be mentally and physically.

Skin is still looking pretty good, one tiny whitehead in the little dip between my nose and upper lip but I think it's from putting so much stuff all over my lips and kind of around them too. I think it clogged it up. Like 4 red marks, 3 on my forehead and one on my left cheek. The red marks aren't raised or anything but they have a different (rough?) texture than my skin and you can peel off the top layer like a scab. What peels off looks kind of like sun burnt skin that you peel off like tissuepaper-ish. Sorry if that's gross.

Now today's big problem... I've been diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety for many years now and have been on medication for years. I know Accutane can cause serious depression issues. I didn't realize what's going until today though. I've been miserable, mean, and short with everyone around me. Well today I had a full on mental break down where I had one of my 'why bother going through this monotonous same shit day after day just to have it all end some day' moments. I've calmed down a little since my melt down but now I'm concerned if that is going to get worse. Has anyone else had any depression issues while on Accutane?

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My mood and depression definitely intensified with accutane. My mistake was not letting my close friends and family know about it so they thought i was just a @itch. Unfortuneately those feelings did not dissipate until after treatment. I also find that my worsening acne on accutane added to my feelings of depression....catch 22

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Leelowe1- atleast I'm not the only one! My family and some of my friends know I'm on it but I don't think any of them know that it can worsen depression so I'm sure they haven't been thinking about it being the problem. Plus, they know I'm short and snappy lately, but they don't know that I'm having really 'down' moments that they honestly probably should know about.. :/

I've got to try to figure out a way to do something about this now that I've actually realized the connection.

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Nothing hugely new since last time.. still have a few red marks but other than that my skin is clear.

Btw, does anyone have suggestions for lightening or getting rid of these red marks or is that something that just has to happen on its own?

Lovely side effects of the day:

-lips, biggest problem as usual.. slathering on some lip balm with shea butter constantly with the occasional use of the steroid ointment and neosporin lip treatment

-very very tired but lots going on so who knows

-JUST started getting some dry skin around my nose but I think my constant use of tissues the other day led to it [i've been super fortunate with the dry skin aspect]

-hair: my hair is usually very oily have to shower every morning and then again at night if I plan on doing something late, but lately I could go 3 days and my hair would still look awesome, yay!

-depression, was mild today

Things to work on next week:

-DRINK MORE WATER!! I'm doing horrible with this lately

-be aware of my mood

-stop picking!

Goodnight my Accutane friends!

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Well, I had my 2 month appointment to pick up my prescription for my 3rd month. The doctor said she was impressed with my progress but that she didn't want to try and increase my dose this month since I was having trouble.. eusa_wall.gif After quite a bit of convincing and begging like a child asking for a candy bar at the grocery store she agreed to attempt 40mg/day this month. If I start having side effects I can go back and forth with 40mg one day and 20mg the next. Crossing my fingers that I can manage the side effects.

I was starting to get the whole dry hair and non-greasy skin, but not yet any issues with dry skin. However, the past few days my face has had a bit of a 'sheen' so I'm afraid it means my body is getting use to that dose or something. I was just starting to enjoy a life of not having to wash my hair twice a day!!!

With the increase she is also making me get bloodwork done after being on that dose for 2 weeks.. My cholesterol was high BEFORE I started Accutane (not by much but still..) and it increased slightly after my first month so I'm not sure if this will be a concern. Yes, 23 years old, and I have high cholesterol..

Also, I discovered today that I have PIH. I've been seeing those letters on other blogs but wasn't sure what it was. Does anyone have suggestions on what to do with the PIH?

I will try to take some pictures tomorrow when I'm not so scary looking and can actually use the good camera on my phone and not my webcam (not that the pictures I am about to post are glamorous either)...

These are pictures I took on like day 1 or 2..

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Edited by NicoleA91
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I'm gonna be starting my 40mg/day on Saturday!! yay :] The past few days I've been having some headaches but I know I'm not drinking enough so that is my own fault.. I took pictures today and I will post them probably tomorrow, I've got to head to bed because I've got to be up super early to take my state boards for my nursing license!! Fingers crossed.

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Took my first 40mg dose today! Not gonna lie, I'm nervous if I'm gonna end up reacting bad again with the side effects. These pictures are from a few days ago.

Btw, in case anyone is curious... i passed my nursing license exam!

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Guest GetMeTheResults

Congrats on your nursing exam and don't be nervous, all the side effects go away once you stop taking it.

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Congrats on your nursing exam and don't be nervous, all the side effects go away once you stop taking it.

Thanks!! And I know the side effects go away, it's just a matter of getting to the end to allow them to go away. :[ haha. Some of them are just so hard to deal with during the moment..

update: I think I've gotten spoiled for the last few weeks and not having any breakouts, sunday I got one small pustule on my forehead and then today I have another small one developing on my forehead. They are nothing horrendous and I know I should really consider myself lucky but it was kind of a bummer. Other than that not much else is new or exciting.

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Great results! And great job on passing the exam! Aren't you just a rockstar! lol

Thank you!! I'm very pleased except i broke out the last few days on my forehead. It wasn't horrible but i made it worse because i can't leave it alone!

Update: so forehead has a few pustules now but not horrible. And let me tell you... i feel like a freaking Coumadin patient! Haha. I'm a veterinary technician (a nurse in the animal world) and I get beat up, scratched, bruised, and bit on a daily basis at work. But I've noticed that the littlest things that normally wouldn't leave a mark are now leaving nice big cuts, etc. that take a while longer to heal. Oh well.

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