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heatherfeather315

Heather's Absorbica (Accutane) Journal

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So, I started Accutane (Absorbica, to be more specific) at the end of July, 2014.

I am 26 years old, 5'8",145 lbs, and have suffered from acne since 4th grade. This past winter and really, since 2012, I've had on and off absolutely horrible cystic acne on my face, back, chest, shoulders, etc. Basically anywhere you can get acne, I have it.

I wouldn't have sex with my shirt off, refused to go swimming, slept in my makeup because I refused to have anyone see me without it since even I didn't want to see myself without it. When I did, I sank into a deep depression that often resulted in self-pitying and despair for days.

I finally went to the dermatologist in June, determined to get on Accutane, after reading review after review of how it was the only drug that cured 90% of it's users acne, and the thought of not having to worry about the self-consciousness of, "Is my makeup wearing off?" "Did I get a new cyst since I last looked in the mirror?" "How disgusting do I look right now??" was too great a promise for me to care about the side effects. I was determined to be prescribed it if I had to beg and cry, which wouldn't have been a far cry from how I actually felt.

Luckily, my dermatologist took a once over and told me of a few options but ultimately said she wanted to prescribe Absorbica since the area affected (face, body, shoulders, back, chest) was too large for topical medications and because I'd been on damn near every acne prescription drug, over-the-counter drug, birth control, and tried every home remedy, including diets, all-natural ingredients, increased water consumption, vitamins, etc. and nothing had worked. Ever.

So I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory antibiotic for the month that i had to wait to be prescribed due to the pregnancy and liver tests, which did help calm down my skin, and then started Month 1 at 40 mgs, 1x a day.

The side effects were immediately prevalent as soon as the next day when I woke up to super dry lips that had managed to swell to one and half their normal size. Thus began my petroleum jelly/Aquaphor/chapstick/lip lube addiction.

I quickly became very thirsty, all of the time, and was drinking far more water than I was used to.

During that first month, I was terrified of the initial breakout. I seemed to stop breaking out except for one or two, here and there, and even then they weren't THAT bad of breakouts; just happened a bit in some really weird spots, such as inside of my ear, which is always really odd.

BUT, I never got the horrific outbreak. My skin did that initial 'push oil out of your face so it feels really weird and slick and gross' thing for the first couple of weeks, but started getting a lot better around week 4.

I went to a new dermatologist since my old one left the practice in the middle of my treatment (which was super stressful and inconvenient, but shit happens), and she told me she believed that I was past the initial breakout phase since that normally happens in the first month and that she was going to raise my dosage to 40 mgs, 2x a day for a total of 80 mgs a day. Also, she told me I'd be on it for about 5 months and that I was doing really well.

The second month was the month of redness (thus far). I was perma-sunburned no matter how much Baby Sunscreen I slathered on my skin and face, and when I took off my makeup (which was something I started doing around my boyfriend of a year and half for the first time in this month!) my skin looked good; it just looked like I had rosacea. So I'd put on tinted moisturizer or BB cream to go to sleep.

The first month at 80 mgs, and second month on Absorbica, I started really noticing the muscle pain. It was hard to workout at the rate I had been, and even things like stretching or cracking my back became difficult to do. My neck and shoulders were always tense and I often woke up with my lower back on fire. The water drinking became a requirement, and I quickly began chugging water upon waking up because I knew if I didn't, I'd feel awful. And I always, ALWAYS, had a water bottle with me, whether it be when getting groceries, laying down in bed, in my office at work... And I'm CONSTANTLY putting something on my lips. I'd begun referring to my line of lip products as 'lip lube.'

So now, I just started my third month, and second month at 80 mgs, and I'm ecstatic.

I took of makeup in front of another person last night for the first time.

I take off my makeup at night and will walk around my boyfriend's and mine's apartment WITH NO MAKEUP.

I pester my boyfriend with self-conscious questions about if I need to put on more makeup or if I look okay with just BB or CC cream on.

I will sleep topless, and walk around sleeveless shirts!

I've taken progress photos at the beginning of each month, and just put together a little collage, which is what spawned my desire to start this log.

My skin's getting so much better... My body acne is taking a little longer, but the progress is evident and my dermatologist assured me that it would clear up in the coming months; that body acne takes awhile longer and Absorbica tends to focus on one area at a time.

I'm so happy that area it's been focusing on is my face.

In my photo, the first two pictures are before starting Absorbica, but after taking the antibiotic for that month lapse between test results.

The second two photos are after a month on 40 mgs/day, before my first month at 80 mgs/day.

The third two photos are at the beginning of month 3, and at the beginning of my second month on 80 mgs/day.

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New Photos As Of November 30th, 2014

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The bottom two photos were taken today. :)

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Edited by heatherfeather315
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