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Hello!

So I just hit day 11 and am in hibernation mode inside my apartment until this delightful initial breakout clears up. Seriously I've been in my apartment for the last 2 days and thought that keeping a log here would be a better way to track progress and stay sane over the next few months.

Some background: I am a 25 year old female with moderate, persistent acne on my face and back, and very oily, sensitive skin. I've had some form of acne since 8th grade. I've tried various antibiotics over the years, birth control, proactive, facials, benzoyl peroxide, differin, atralin, cutting out processed foods, dairy, etc. You name it, I've probably tried it. And that's why my derm and I ended up on the accutane train.

I started treatment on April 15th. I am on Absorbica at 30mg a day for the entire course (5 months), plus an antibiotic for the first month.

Here is a quick breakdown of the last 10 days:

Days 1-7

  • Breakouts are healing faster
  • Skin seems overall less oily
  • Stomach cramping about three hours after first few doses
  • Dry skin and flakiness on day 3-4
  • Much less oil by end of day (prior to Accutane I would use oil absorbing sheets but haven't needed them since a few days into treatment, note that I could also fill one of these sheets with oil 3 hours after washing my face)
  • Small whiteheads popping up on chin on days 6-7

Days 8-10

  • More whiteheads along chin and upper lip area, these are very small but there are A LOT of them, some of them just flake off, I did pop some of them, oops
  • No new cystic acne at the moment
  • Hair and scalp feel dry, itchy
  • Skin isn't as flakey

Day 11

  • Woke up with a nightmare of whiteheads all over chin, upper lip, cheeks, etc. This is by far the worst acne I've had in a long time, perhaps ever, so I'm hoping this is the beginning of the end for my initial breakout. Honestly, I'm just sitting here writing this because I don't even know how to deal with this chin/lip situation. It's crazy, some of the acne/whiteheads flake off but it all just seems really infected and gnarly looking. Hoping this doesn't last more than a few days!

PRODUCT UPDATE

Morning/night

  • DHC cleansing oil
  • Skincueticals Phloretin CF
  • Josie Maran Argan Oil
  • Skincueticals B5 gel
  • Origins Overnight Drink Up mask - I've been using this pretty often in a thin layer for day/night moisturizer
  • Embryolisse moisturizer
Hands/Body
  • La Roche Posay Cicaplast
  • The Super Salve Co - Beauty Enhancing Calendula Salve
  • Eucerin Body Lotion with SPF
  • Aveeno
Lips

  • Aquaphor and literally any other chapstick laying around
I'm also really into the Glossier line: masks, rosewater mist, tinted moisturizer. Working really well so far and I'm one month in.

post-465464-0-52520700-1429986284.png

Edited by av0cad0
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Helloooo! So good news, my initial breakout has pretty much subsided (lasted approximately 3 days, plus a healing day today). Man was that the weirdest skin-related experience. I woke up today (day 14 already omg) with a few really small whiteheads, and unfortunately a few deeper/cystic spots. They seem to be healing up and are super manageable compared to the last few days! My skin was really raw and flakey during the initial breakout, and I hadn't worn make up since Friday. But I just tested out a new BB cream a few hours ago and so far so good, super excited to get back into my normal routine :)

I bought Exfolikate from Sephora last week and have used it a few times. Super expense, but probably my favorite product in the bathroom right now. SO GOOD at smoothing out the skin and everything feels so much brighter and softer after I use it. Just gotta be extra gentle so you don't aggravate your sensitive accutane skin!

Does anyone else have this subconscious desire to scratch their face? It's like I expect that my chin is still a flakey mess but it's not. But it's kind of itchy. UGH ACNE PROBS

Side note: I'm a graphic designer, and have decided that in my free time I'm going to work on creating a mobile app for people going through the accutane process! The iPledge system SUCKS. So I want to create something where people can keep track of their progress (photos/notes), appointments, side effects, product recommendations... Etc... This will be completely on my own time and not related to iPledge in anyway, but if you're reading this and there is something you would want in an accutane app, I'm looking for suggestions!

Edited by av0cad0
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Day 20 update: my skin is never oily, and it's awesome! I was at a bar last night and it was such an incredible feeling to see my reflection in the bathroom mirror and have zero desire to use an oil absorbing wipe.

Current conditions:

  • no cystic acne
  • still flakey on chin area and near hairline, but it's not too bad, skin sometimes feels tight
  • using a BB cream to cover non flakey areas, helps tone down the redness and old scars/pigmentation
  • hair stylist suggested to use a minty shampoo/conditioner to open up the hair follicle to let any oil out and to help with dandruff/itchiness
  • I usually wake up with a few small whiteheads but this morning I didn't have any new ones, just leftovers from my initial breakout that are healing up and red marks
  • tried aquaphor for the first time yesterday, officially my new favorite lip saviour

post-465464-0-65114800-1430710583.jpg

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Day 25 Update (technically Day 30 but I went out of town and missed days)

  • approved for a second month of 30mg a day / liver enzymes were slightly elevated soo no drinks for me
  • skin is more fragile than last week
  • not really flakey anymore, just dry overall
  • I have a few actives on my face right now (mostly the result of picking at blackheads, DON'T DO IT!)
  • no longer waking up with new breakouts

I highly suggest trying out Embryolisse (find it on Amazon). It's the first moisturizer I've tried that pretty much stopped my skin from flaking. It really melts into the skin and I no longer worry about flakes appearing on my chin mid-day. My tinted moisturizer or BB cream goes on really well on top of it too.

Honestly this whole no oil thing on my face and hair is amazing! Seriously it's like more interesting to me than having less acne. Like... My makeup looks the same at 8pm as it did at 8am. I'll perpetually be in awe of this for the rest of my treatment. Thank god for modern medicine.

Anyone know of a good hand cream?

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Just finished my first pack!

  • skin and lips are not too dry, no flaking
  • stopped picking at blackheads and no red splotches/scabs woohoo!
  • haven't any had new acne for about a week, but a new one came up on my chin a few hours ago. weird.
  • uhh I went running and played tennis recently and got winded. really quickly. probably sticking to yoga for the rest of treatment.
Overall my skin tone looks and feels much clearer and smoother than it did 30 days ago. Looking at the first set of photos compared to now is a little mind blowing. Just lots of hyper-pigmentation that is slowly starting to fade away.

post-465464-0-06074800-1432010858.png

post-465464-0-40712600-1432010859.png

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Hey there! Congratulations your skin improving a lot considering you've just finished your first month! I mean if it improved that much in 1 month, imagine how much more can it improve in 5 months!

I've just started my course, I'm on day 3 so I have quite a long course ahead. No changes or side effects yet, but I think it's too early. I don't have severe acne, it've always been mild-moderate, but very persistent. Right now I'm starting my 3rd month on Diane35 and i've already seen some improvement so I hope maybe just maybe I'll skip the ib.

My main concern is scaring. I have some depressed scaring, like pinhole scars (my skin is very prone to scaring) It's not very severe and you can only see them under certain lighting but I really wish they'd go away. Do you think accutane can improve the look of them or make them go away? I really hate them since I know that, hopefully, by the end of the course I will be acne free but not sure if scar free :(

Please keep me updated about how's going everything for you! I'm new here and I find its very nice having the possibility to talk to someone passing through the same experience as you and to people that can understand how frustrating and selfdestructing acne can be.

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Quick update (about 7 weeks into treatment):

  • overall tone of skin has improved, no serious breakouts, wishing my pores were smaller but whatever. genetics.
  • not super dry; using the Origins Drink Up mask as a daily moisturizer and have a Fresh Black Tea mask sample, so far so good
  • sometimes have dried blood in nose (gross)
  • still get winded pretty quickly if doing laborious physical activity, but maybe I'm just super out of shape lol
  • haven't broken out on my back in weeks and the scarring has faded significantly :)

Hey there! Congratulations your skin improving a lot considering you've just finished your first month! I mean if it improved that much in 1 month, imagine how much more can it improve in 5 months!

I've just started my course, I'm on day 3 so I have quite a long course ahead. No changes or side effects yet, but I think it's too early. I don't have severe acne, it've always been mild-moderate, but very persistent. Right now I'm starting my 3rd month on Diane35 and i've already seen some improvement so I hope maybe just maybe I'll skip the ib.

My main concern is scaring. I have some depressed scaring, like pinhole scars (my skin is very prone to scaring) It's not very severe and you can only see them under certain lighting but I really wish they'd go away. Do you think accutane can improve the look of them or make them go away? I really hate them since I know that, hopefully, by the end of the course I will be acne free but not sure if scar free :(

Please keep me updated about how's going everything for you! I'm new here and I find its very nice having the possibility to talk to someone passing through the same experience as you and to people that can understand how frustrating and selfdestructing acne can be.

hey -- accutane will definitely help with scarring, a lot of mine is already fading away. not sure about pinhole scarring though. you're basically shedding layers of skin really quickly while on accutane, so maybe it will help the texture even out! finger's crossed for you :)

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Quick update (about 7 weeks into treatment):

[*]overall tone of skin has improved, no serious breakouts, wishing my pores were smaller but whatever. genetics.

[*]not super dry; using the Origins Drink Up mask as a daily moisturizer and have a Fresh Black Tea mask sample, so far so good

[*]sometimes have dried blood in nose (gross)

[*]still get winded pretty quickly if doing laborious physical activity, but maybe I'm just super out of shape lol

[*]haven't broken out on my back in weeks and the scarring has faded significantly :)

hey -- accutane will definitely help with scarring, a lot of mine is already fading away. not sure about pinhole scarring though. you're basically shedding layers of skin really quickly while on accutane, so maybe it will help the texture even out! finger's crossed for you :)

I'm so happy to hear that. Congrats for your improvements, you're about to star the famous period where most of accutane users see most improvement: the 3rd month.

I am on day 14 and I'm still breaking out but not much, the pimples I have are very small and seem to go away quickly. Right now I have 4 actives in my face.

Hope everything continue improving for both of us :)

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Quick update, about to start my third month:

  • Basically stopped breaking out, occasionally find a blackhead or two on my cheeks
  • Not super dry, not oily
  • Leg muscles have been sore recently and it's not from exercise
  • Scars from pre-accutane and initial breakout are slowly fading away
  • My hair was pretty flakey the first 6 weeks but it finally mellowed out
I slept in my makeup last weekend and woke up with it looking exactly the same as the previous night. I even went to the grocery store with friends, made a quiche, and hung out for a few hours before washing my face. This would NEVER happen pre-accutane. My face would be a greaseball and I'd definitely have new whiteheads from makeup clogging my pores. Overall I'm very happy with my decision to go on accutane. I've never felt more confident in my life. But I've probably been drinking too much alcohol and I'm a little worried for long term side effects, so definitely going to cut down over the next few months.
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Really love looking back at my progress photos over the last few months, so much has changed! I'm in the midst of my third month, overall not much has changed since my last post. Mostly clear skin, not terribly dry, blood levels came back good. You can see dark spots in the photos, but it's just hyper-pigmentation and scarring. Slowly fading away...

post-465464-0-54734600-1435539832.jpg

post-465464-0-61393100-1435539833.jpg

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Hi -- here's my end of Month 3 update:

  • skin is acne free (feeling really lucky to have so much improvement so quickly)
  • scarring is still visible but I've noticed significant fading on my face and back
  • I'm not very dry on my face, but my lips are always chapped
  • overall the skin on my body is much more fragile and scrapes easily, also takes a long time to fully heal
  • I only wash my hair twice a week, mostly to get rid of flakiness from my scalp (it's not really dandruff... just dry in a few areas)

post-465464-0-66507900-1437605245.png

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Congrats! I'm currenty dealing with a similar breakout mostly around the lower half of my face. Considering taking another course of tane but worried as my skin is already dried and irritated.....grr. So happy that you're experiencing success!

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Hello!

So I just hit day 11 and am in hibernation mode inside my apartment until this delightful initial breakout clears up. Seriously I've been in my apartment for the last 2 days and thought that keeping a log here would be a better way to track progress and stay sane over the next few months.

Some background: I am a 25 year old female with moderate, persistent acne on my face and back, and very oily, sensitive skin. I've had some form of acne since 8th grade. I've tried various antibiotics over the years, birth control, proactive, facials, benzoyl peroxide, differin, atralin, cutting out processed foods, dairy, etc. You name it, I've probably tried it. And that's why my derm and I ended up on the accutane train.

I started treatment on April 15th. I am on Absorbica at 30mg a day for the entire course (5 months), plus an antibiotic for the first month.

Here is a quick breakdown of the last 10 days:

Days 1-7

  • Breakouts are healing faster
  • Skin seems overall less oily
  • Stomach cramping about three hours after first few doses
  • Dry skin and flakiness on day 3-4
  • Much less oil by end of day (prior to Accutane I would use oil absorbing sheets but haven't needed them since a few days into treatment, note that I could also fill one of these sheets with oil 3 hours after washing my face)
  • Small whiteheads popping up on chin on days 6-7
Days 8-10

  • More whiteheads along chin and upper lip area, these are very small but there are A LOT of them, some of them just flake off, I did pop some of them, oops
  • No new cystic acne at the moment
  • Hair and scalp feel dry, itchy
  • Skin isn't as flakey
Day 11

  • Woke up with a nightmare of whiteheads all over chin, upper lip, cheeks, etc. This is by far the worst acne I've had in a long time, perhaps ever, so I'm hoping this is the beginning of the end for my initial breakout. Honestly, I'm just sitting here writing this because I don't even know how to deal with this chin/lip situation. It's crazy, some of the acne/whiteheads flake off but it all just seems really infected and gnarly looking. Hoping this doesn't last more than a few days!
PRODUCT UPDATE

Morning/night

  • DHC cleansing oil
  • Skincueticals Phloretin CF
  • Josie Maran Argan Oil
  • Skincueticals B5 gel
  • Origins Overnight Drink Up mask - I've been using this pretty often in a thin layer for day/night moisturizer
  • Embryolisse moisturizer
Hands/Body

  • La Roche Posay Cicaplast
  • The Super Salve Co - Beauty Enhancing Calendula Salve
  • Eucerin Body Lotion with SPF
  • Aveeno
Lips
  • Aquaphor and literally any other chapstick laying around
I'm also really into the Glossier line: masks, rosewater mist, tinted moisturizer. Working really well so far and I'm one month in.

attachicon.gifday004.png

l

Oh my! Your pictures look like my current acne - ugh. I'm glad you're clearing up

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your skin looks so beautiful. Do you think the embryollisse cream contributed to the radiance of those pictures?

Sorry to hear about your med troubles :( that sounds terrible. Hope you get all flawless again soon x

Hey! The embryolisse was something I used early on during treatment when I had really flakey skin. It was really the only moisturizer that combatted the dryness and made my skin feel soft at that time. Now I'm pretty religious about using the Glossier moisturizer in the morning (plus a sunscreen) and a thin layer of the Origins overnight mask at night. Although, I do think it is a combo between those lotions, the argan oil/skincueticals treatment, regular exfoliation, healthy eating, etc. that has generally improved skin texture/radiance. I'm also really into using a cleansing oil instead of a regular face wash to cleanse/remove makeup. You rub the oil on dry skin, and it melts the makeup/dirt off your skin and then you just rinse everything off. For me, it's felt much less drying and my skin feels soft afterwards, not tight.

The photo attached is from today. I'm just starting month 5... I had a lot of events the last two months where alcohol was involved, so I stopped taking the medication for a few days at a time and now I'm behind a few weeks. SIGHHH. Skin is still doing well, keeps getting better over time. Lips are still chapped, although since I haven't been super consistent lately, they haven't been as flakey. Only washing my hair twice a week. SO GREAT! Hope everyone is seeing improvements :)

post-465464-0-07500200-1440353447.jpg

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Awesome Log!

Im 25 male and have very similiar acne to what you started with and also ridiculously oily skin!

I actually cleared up for years but it came back with avengance in the last 3 months, the scarring type too!

I am on day 4 of 20mg a day and seem to be breaking out already, nice big neck cysts too :(  Have also noticed headaches after taking the dose, did you experience that?

Will be happy if my course goes half as well as yours haha!

Your skin is looking awesome btw!

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On 10/30/2015, 6:30:49, gms08 said:

Awesome Log!

Im 25 male and have very similiar acne to what you started with and also ridiculously oily skin!

I actually cleared up for years but it came back with avengance in the last 3 months, the scarring type too!

I am on day 4 of 20mg a day and seem to be breaking out already, nice big neck cysts too :(  Have also noticed headaches after taking the dose, did you experience that?

Will be happy if my course goes half as well as yours haha!

Your skin is looking awesome btw!

 

Hey, I was on antibiotics before treatment, and for the first month of treatment, so I hardly had any *new* cysts post-starting accutane treatment. I mostly had a CRAZY batch of whiteheads for a few days and it was downhill from there. Drink more water, that should help with the headaches. 

Hope you're clearing up!

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Hey internet – 

I've been off Absorbica for about two weeks, so wanted to give an update on how things have been going. I've said this before, but I pretty much stopped breaking out near the end of Month 3. I still have clear skin (although I do get the occasional *small* pimple, but it disappears before I can freak out about it). You can see in the photos that there are darker marks/pigmentation on my cheekbones, that is scarring from acne I had before starting treatment. As you can see, it's taking quite a long time to fade. I have not talked to my doctor about treatment options for this, but it's something I'm considering 6+ months from now. Lips are still chapped. Hair is not oily, it just looks flat after 36-48 hours. I think my nose bled maybe... 3 times over the course of treatment? I'd hardly call it a full-on nosebleed. 

Anyway, if you have questions, get at me, happy to answer. 

Next time I post pictures will be for a 3 months post-treatment update.

IMG_2016.JPG

IMG_2015.JPG

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