Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
CsaCsa

28 Black Female Accutane Log

Recommended Posts

I told my sister I would start a log here. I haven't read too many posts about black people's experience with this drug, mostly because blacks hardly suffer from acne, let alone severe or persistent acne. So I guess I'll be a guinea pig for someone out there.

Dosage: 20 mg/3 times a day.

Brand: Zenatane.

Weight: 138 lbs

Height: 5'2

Current state of skin: Dry, scars easily

Lesion Type: Hormonal acne on chin and lower cheeks (pics coming soon)

Background: I've suffered from acne since the age of 10. I've tried Clean and Clear, Clearasil, Neutrogena, the oxygen pads, Proactiv, benzoclin, clyndamicin, doxycycline, spironolactone, birth control pills, green tea, atralin, aczone, sulfacetamide, Dr. Thrower's, Black Opal, spearmint tea, Ambi, Panoxyl, burdock root, Retin-A-Micro, etc.

Wow! Listing all of that makes me wonder why I waited so long. Clearly I have exhausted all of my options. I figured since I am now insured, I will give this thing a try once and for all. Yesterday I swallowed my first dose. I'm not sure if I should be feeling side effects the first day, so I'll just update this log weekly. Let's all hope that clear skin will finally be in my future. And I'll post pictures of my skin later this week.

Edited by CsaCsa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going on my 6th day, and so far I have no complaints (which worries me). I really hope my body hasn't become resistant to all acne products. It has been almost 20 years since I've been suffering from this crap.

I can't really say if I have any side effects from the drug. I know I have become more familiar with the number 2 lately. The skin on my face seems more sensitive but not dry. For example, I used to use a washcloth to remove makeup residue from my face in addition to face wash. Now when I pass a washcloth over my face, it feels like I just wiped it with sandpaper.

So...I can't believe today I actually wondered if I was making the right choice to go on this drug. I finally took some pictures of my acne, and OMG, I absolutely am doing the right thing. If it doesn't work, oh well, at least I knew I tried. And by the way, I don't smoke. My lips are just dark on the pictures because they have always been dry and it's health and genetics...

post-154663-0-28112500-1418889717.jpgpost-154663-0-57191000-1418889733.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just completed a week's worth of this drug, and I still haven't experienced any major side effects. My skin is a bit more sensitive after I wash it. My lips are drier but that can also be attributed to the cold air and this lip gloss that dries my lips. I wonder if I am doing things that are counterproductive. Like I wear makeup daily. I refuse to show up in public without makeup. Then I don't take these pills with meals even though I should be. I just can't find the time to prepare meals, but I had better start.

Edited by CsaCsa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your skin looks similar to mine, I get the cystic nodes around my jawline and chin - mainly persistent and not severe. I'm on a far lower dosage than you though I'm only taking a 20mg dose a day for the first month maybe my derm will up my dosage after. I doubt you will see any side effects yet so don't be too worried other than sensitive skin which is what I'm experiencing, after a shave I notice that my skin feels like a baby's bottom.

Hope all goes well for you anyway, keep us updated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also a person of color...there's def a lot of us that suffer from acne so don't think you're alone! I definitely understand where you're coming from I def wouldn't be caught outside withot makeup or at least to places where I know people... if that makes sense. If I don't have makeup on I def have a hat or hoodie on and my hair hiding my face lol. Smh the stuff we go through. But good luck with this! We're on the road to recovery!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Accutane is breaking me out now which I'm not too worried about. I'm actually relieved because the lack of major side effects had me thinking the drug would not affect me at all. But during this second week, I've suffered these ugly inflammatory breakouts.

As you can tell, the breakouts centralize in between the eyebrows, along the nose, and the chin. I have 2 noninflammatory zits on my right cheek. I am happy this is the course of my breakouts because during the last few months, the trouble has centered around these areas. So I hope this is the purging phase. If so, have at it Accutane!

No major side effects still. I have been wearing my contacts with no problems. I have dreadlocks, and none of them have fallen out so far. Skin sensitivity and dryness are more apparent. Check out my crusty lips in the picture.

I am surprised at how well I am handling this. I guess after suffering from acne for so long, I just don't give a damn how ugly this drug makes me. Besides, these days, I am trying to focus more on my weight. In 5 months, I want to achieve clear skin and weight loss, but even if I achieve 1/2 I will be happy.



I also want to note that I have suffered from depression since childhood. So far, the drug has not exacerbated my mental condition. That is just an FYI for anyone who may be hesitant to try Isotretinoin if you have poor mental health. I will keep you updated on that aspect.

post-154663-0-96958200-1419664581.png

Edited by CsaCsa
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coming close to Week 3 by Jan 4.

Acne is definitely worsening. It looks like I've been bitten by a mosquito a couple of times in my face. The pimples dry quickly, thankfully. But they are enough to where I backed out of a few social events. Still, I plan to stick this through for 5 months unless things become considerably worse. The acne is unsightly but by all means still bearable.

I'll post new pics in about 2 weeks, which would be like Jan 12.

I didn't note this in the original post, but I am not taking birth control with these pills. I'm not sexually active, and I wanted to see how the Zenatane would work alone. There was a time when I was simultaneously on four different acne medications, and I could not tell which one improved my acne. This way, I isolate the variables.

Side effects:

Yes Peeling/flaking in the chin and nose (no surprise there)

No Problems with vision or contacts

No Joint pain or trouble exercising

No Nosebleeds

No Dry scalp or hair

No Mental health problems

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30th day!!!

I have some pics from Week 3 and Week 4 posted at the end of this post. I think I can speak for all Accutane users when we say it is a relief to just get through that one month mark. Whew!

Week 3: The initial breakout from Week 2 moved into Week 3 with the right side of my face telling the left side of my face, "Anything you can do I can do better." When you look at the pictures I post my acne looks a lot worse than what it is mostly because dark-skinned individuals have to suffer from hyperpigmentation marks after a zit. So we are almost always left with ugly scarring. Moving on...

Side effects: Severe peeling and flaking. So dry....so very very dry. I swear one day I put shea butter, Cetaphil moisturizer, and coconut oil on my face, and the dryness was still out of this world. So this is what I changed with my routine:

(1) I switched from Cetaphil face wash to Cerave foaming wash and that helped tremendously.

(2) I only wash my face once a day now.

(3) I am very generous with the moisturizer. I really put a glob on my face.

(4) I don't use primer or powder makeup anymore. They only add to the dryness.

Thank goodness yesterday was the first day in a long time I didn't look like a ghoul.

Other side effects: Early period. Easy bruising. Thinning occurring in my dreadlocks (although not totally sure this is due to Accutane).

Week 4

Side effects were same. Doctor gave me a seven-day supply of Prednisone to help me through the initial breakout. To help my lips, I just use hydrocortisone cream and aquaphor. The nurse told me hydrocortisone can thin skin, but I don't care. I have pretty thick lips anyway, and if I have to endure slightly thinner lips to avoid that lip crusting then I will.

post-154663-0-47898200-1421005536.jpg

post-154663-0-66558600-1421005544.jpg

post-154663-0-55616800-1421005551.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also a woman of color. I have suffered with acne for as long as I can remember and I'm 33. I started my second course of treatment day. I'm hoping for the same results as my first treatment. My face was so clear, but the acne reared it's head back after 4 years of little to minimal acne. So my dermatologist told me she would prescribe me Accutane again since nothing has helped. It took an entire year before she decided to offer me this option. I hope my results are permanent after this second course of treatment. I just hate that I still have to deal with acne at my age.

I didn't have any negative side effects during my first course of treatment. I had extremely oily skin then and the treatment definitely reduced the amount of oil my face produced. So this time around I think I may get some of the dryness as a side effect.

Just wanted to let you know you are not alone as a woman of color suffering from persistent acne. Wishing you a successful course of treatment!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also a woman of color. I have suffered with acne for as long as I can remember and I'm 33. I started my second course of treatment day. I'm hoping for the same results as my first treatment. My face was so clear, but the acne reared it's head back after 4 years of little to minimal acne. So my dermatologist told me she would prescribe me Accutane again since nothing has helped. It took an entire year before she decided to offer me this option. I hope my results are permanent after this second course of treatment. I just hate that I still have to deal with acne at my age.

I didn't have any negative side effects during my first course of treatment. I had extremely oily skin then and the treatment definitely reduced the amount of oil my face produced. So this time around I think I may get some of the dryness as a side effect.

Just wanted to let you know you are not alone as a woman of color suffering from persistent acne. Wishing you a successful course of treatment!

Well that sucks. I too hope you canrid it out of your life this second time around. My skin was pretty normal to dry before starting treatment. The last time I had oily skin was in my early 20s. I think I am outside the norm by doing Accutane on somewhat dry skin. Update next post.

I have not updated this log in awhile because my anti-virus program always detects viruses on this site. I don't know what's up with that. But I started this log to give others an idea of this treatment on darker tones, and I guess I can risk a computer infection. Sigh.

Moving on.

Side effects:

Dryness - Yes. The St. Anna winds are a killer. Dry patches on my arms and between my eyebrows. Lips suffered from cheilitis. My social life has suffered because of my dry, chapped, flaky skin. Makeup has been a huge challenge.

Nosebleeds - Yes (but this isn't something drastic. what happens is that I may blow my nose and there's a small blot of blood on the tissue. it's not a leaking faucet type of thing, which is what I imagined when I read of people getting nosebleeds).

Suicidal thoughts - No (I had these before treatment and cannot attribute my depressive symptoms to this drug)

Aches - A little in my foot but didn't feel this today

Fatigue - Yes, extremely

Menstrul irregularities - Not sure, I have a history of irregular menstrual cycles

Pics below: I might take pictures of the front of my face in the future. My cheeks have always been relatively clear. The drastic difference has been on my chin where I had cystic acne. Accutane straight dried that up. I do not get any acne in this area. So anyone thinking this drug does not dry up hormonal acne, I am telling you that it does!

Other acne is few and far between. Very small lesions. Clear up by next day. But now I suffer from moles. I hate genetics lol.

post-154663-0-54866500-1423983568.png

post-154663-0-01760200-1423983584.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello everyone. I just wanted to make an update. Sorry that it's  taken so long, but hopefully those who subscribed to my thread may still read this.

I am very happy with the results from Accutane. I can't believe what my skin looked like as I look at my older pictures. It has been a little over 9 months since I stopped taking Accutane (Zenatane). My overall side effects from the drug were extreme dryness, rare nosebleeds, extremely chappy lips, and at one point I went 3 months without a period. The side effects were just annoying but not unbearable. They were not anything I wouldn't mind suffering from again to get the results that I got. 

Now back in February I did have a breakout and it looked like I was going back to square one. But I went to the dermatologist a few weeks ago, and she gave me a prescription for tretinoin cream, and within a week I was back to my clear skin. I believe she said that after accutane your skin responds better to topicals. Anyways, I  don't mind showing a real pic of myself anymore. In the picture I posted, the only makeup I have on I believe is eye makeup and aquaphor on my lips.20150905_123607.thumb.jpg.038536ee59dcce

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congrats CsaCsa
you look great!
Thank you for the updates.
I just wanna ask you if your period came back to normal?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/5/2016 at 11:16 AM, Mish90 said:

Congrats CsaCsa
you look great!
Thank you for the updates.
I just wanna ask you if your period came back to normal?

Hello Mish90,

Sorry for the late response. I didn't seem to get any replies initially so I stepped away from the board for awhile. That 3 months was the longest I had gone without a period. I think my period came back when I stopped the medication. Now I get my period monthly. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am back, and my acne is worse than ever. I think sometimes people have a relapse, but you don't hear their story because they are maybe too proud to admit that this drug wasn't a cure.

In my case, I was diagnosed with infertility this year. I was initially diagnosed with PCOS, but additional tests discounted it. As I thought more and more about this, I thought I had a duty to warn others on this potential long term effect. Keep in mind I said potential, because like with all side effects it may not happen to you.

From an earlier post I stated my period had stopped for 3 months. My doctor at the time told me sometimes that could happen but they didn't know why. Well he wasn't bothered so I wasn't bothered.

Fast forward and 2 years later I developed menopausal type symptoms. No one was taking me seriously about my concern. I found out early menopause can occur due to genetics or chemotherapy. So I knew it wasn't genetics since my mom and grandma and great-grandmother were super fertile.

I knew, or rather thought, I never did chemo. Then I remembered that Accutane was mentioned as a chemo drug before, albeit weaker. After I did my course a study came out on its significant impact to ovarian reserve. Most recently the researchers tried to recant their results by saying AMH levels bounced back.

The reality is that the drug behaves like any chemo drug. For chemo patients, they experience irregular cycles and absence of periods during treatment. After treatment, many go into early menopause but some regain some of their ovarian function but have a shorter window for conception. It really depends on age and how fertile one is before treatment.

So my advice is to check your AMH pre-treatment. If it is less than 3 and you still want a family in the future, you may want to freeze your eggs. The women from the study had AMH over 4, so they were really fertile to begin with. In your mid-20s and after, AMH starts dropping significantly. Birth control may help since it suppresses ovulation, so shutting down your ovaries during treatment may preserve some fertility. I didn't take birth control pills during treatment.

Well even if my skin was still clear today, it is hardly worth it. I feel like an old lady. I am in my 30s dealing with stuff women go through in their 40s and 50s. I guess the acne I have now is menopausal acne. Thanks accutane...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×