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anne2015

22/F First time on accutane for moderate persistant acne

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Hey there,

I'm on Day 9 of my accutane course (currently 30mg/day) and I thought I'd make a log to track my progress and side effects. I've had moderate acne for 8-10 years now, as I started getting acne in junior high school and I've never quite managed to get it under control (and definitely not for a lack of trying!). I've tried every acne treatment I could get my hands on, including topical clindamycin, epiduo, retin-a, birth control, and antibiotics, as well as every 3-step system and over the counter treatment available. I've tried so many different dietary restrictions that my current list of food I can eat is probably shorter than my list of foods I can't eat :( I don't eat dairy, eggs, or red meat, and the next food I am planning to cut out is peanuts. I've tried going gluten free and cutting out alcohol, but neither of those had any effects on my skin whatsoever. 
The only thing that seemed to help me was Yasmin birth control, but about a year ago it suddenly stopped working and my skin has been worse than it has ever been since then. I tried stopping for a few months, it seemed to get a little better but I had to go back on in order to get Accutane.

My acne is not as severe as it was about 4-6 months ago (when it was at its worst) but it is still very uncomfrtable as the acne I tend to get is not quite a cyst, but also does not ever come to a head. It is pretty much just big raised red bumps that are sometimes painful, but they seem to be more on the surface of my skin than a cyst would be. They do not pop and typically scab up before slowly going away. It is also common to get spots coming back in the same places as always, it will seem like the spot has healed but will swell up again. It's incredibly annoying and it makes me so self concious. I try not to let acne control my life but sometimes it's just so difficult to look in the mirror and feel happy with my appearance. It took a long time for me to finally decide to take accutane because the risks are pretty scary! I'm nervous and excited at the same time, hopefully the results are worth it!

Progress Update:
So far I haven't seen any changes in terms of acne or any other side effects for that matter. I'm a little surprised, as it seems like most people start feeling the dry lips within the first week! I have about 8-10 spots on my face right now, mostly on my left cheek but one on my forehead and two on my chin. I'm extremely pale and every zit whether I touch it or not leaves a red mark :( 

That's it for now I guess, I'll try to update once a week or at least whenever something major happens! 
 

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Hi Anne,

All of us suffering from PF/Acne tend to take the same steps with trying to clean up our diet and everything that comes with it. I also don't eat dairy, eggs and I've tried cutting out alcohol but it didn't help all that much. Personally speaking, I've always thought my diet and love for sweet foods was the cause of skin issues but every dermatologist assured me that diet has nothing to do with any of this. It's really hard to tell since every person is different but if you ask me, don't restrict yourself from enjoying food and drinks you absolutely love. You don't have to do it every day, but don't cut it out fully since it probably has nothing to do with skin issues.

Much like you, I'm also very pale and whenever a red bump appears, you can see it from across the room. I've been on three different antibiotics and lots of topicals (clindamycin, erthromycin, etc) and nothing worked hence the need for Accutane. The best advice I can offer is to stick with it. I'm on day 50 and I've experienced a lethal flareup on my arms just last week. I am hopeful that in 3 months this is all gone. The key here is to stick with it for couple of months. Apparently it works. We just have to be patient.

Good luck!

 

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Day 13 Progress Update:
i can't tell if I'm having an initial breakout or a reaction to a new product. I started using rose hip oil to help with the dryness and while overall my skin feels smoother and less inflamed, I've developed about 5 spots on my forehead. None of them are very big so I'm not stressing out too much over them, but I'm just not sure whether to continue using the rosehip oil or not! The rest of my face is looking a lot better. My right cheek has not had a single spot since I started, and my left cheek which had an awful breakout going on when I started is healing pretty quickly. It's strange how my forehead and chin are having the breakouts right now as normally I don't tend to get much acne there. All of the spots are the type you can pop, but I've been told not to touch any spots while on accutane because you're way more likely to scar. It's so annoying because I know if I popped them it would go away faster, but I'm not willing to risk the scarring! Hoping they go away quickly as I have an important event next week that I want to look nice for :) 

For side effects, I've definitely started noticing the dry lips and skin, but my scalp is still really oily. I've noticed a loss of appetite lately and general lethargy. Overall feeling good though, I was expecting worse to be honest! I have an appointment with my doctor this week and I was told I might be getting my dose increased, depending on how well this month has gone. Looking forward to seeing more results!

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Day 14 Progress Update:
My skin looks awful today :( I keep getting big whiteheads all over my chin and forehead. They pop up so quickly! By the end of the day yesterday I had 4 new spots on my chin. I stopped using the rosehip oil so my skin is very dry today, still getting new spots though so maybe it really is just the initial breakout and not a reaction. Unfortunately I have too much to do in the next few days to be able to stay in so I get to go around to meetings looking disgusting :( makeup covers the redness but not the texture, and it just looks so noticeable. The spots on my forehead are so uncomfortable, it's actually giving me a headache and hurts when i make facial expressions! 
Im hoping and praying this goes away in the next week before my event :( 

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HI SummeLover,
Thanks, I've heard it's normal too and all I can do now is wait it out! Good luck on your course.

Day 15 Progress Update:
i used my rosehip oil again last night and my face is so much calmer and less inflamed now! Will definitely keep using it. I'd rather have smooth skin with blemishes than dry, flakey, textured skin. Just planning to keep moisturizer from now on and let the accutane take care of the spots.
the breakout on my forehead is healing, left some nasty red marks behind and is still a little scabby/textured but very much improved since even 2 days ago. A couple new spots popped up on my chin and one on my cheekbone but none of them are too severe.
speaking of popping, i messed up really bad last night :( I picked at a spot by my mouth that was really big and had a disgusting whitehead. A lot of pus came out of it and it popped really easily, but it turned bright red and scabbed up overnight. I learned my lesson not to pick :( I really hope it doesnt scar, but if it does I totally deserve it haha. From now on, I promise to never try to pop a zit again! I ordered some acne patches off of amazon to put on spots to prevent me from picking at whiteheads. I wouldn't even say I have a problem with picking, it's just the really big whiteheads get me every time.

Side effects are the same, just dry dry dry everything. I find my hands are extremely dry when I wake up in the morning and my lips peel constantly. Was able to wake up on time today but still feeling tired all the time. 

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Day 18 Progress Update:
my face just looks terible! It's like every single pore is clogged and bright red. I can't stand leaving the house and I want to have a couple days with no makeup to help my skin heal but I'm forced to go out for one reason or another every day :( makeup looks terrible, it emphasizes the texture but I could never go out with all of this redness. So I'm a little worried about my event in Sunday. If I look like this, I know I won't have any fun because I'm going to spend the whole day being extremely self conscious.

I developed a cyst :( Haven't had one in ages, now I have a massive one on my chin. It seemed like just a clogged pore at first, but now it has become a full blown cyst. It makes my entire chin look lopsided and disfigured. I don't even know what to do anymore, I just have to wait it out I guess and hope my face goes back to normal soon. Even pre-accutane skin would be preferable to the disaster that my skin is right now.

it's st. Patrick's day today, and I'm not going out with my friends like I normally would. I look disgusting and I can't drink anyway, so there's no point in going out. I've gone out a couple times since starting my course, and I've found that when everyone is drunk and you're sober, it's really not an enjoyable time. To be honest I probably will have a couple of drinks at my event on Sunday, I'd really like for that day to be slightly fun at least! 

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Day 23 Progress Update:
I hate to have such a depressing accutane log but my skin is getting consistently worse the longer I'm on this drug. I'm so embarrassed by my skin. I had a breakout of about 6-8 whiteheads on my chin and 4 more on my forehead which just started to clear up... while a new breakout of about 5 large spots started forming on my cheek. My entire face is covered in bright red marks that are getting more and more difficult to cover with makeup. My face used to be smooth with a few large spots and now it is covered in clogged pores and flaking dead skin. I hate leaving the house, I hate looking in the mirror, and I don't even like being around my roomates without makeup on. Not that makeup looks good on my face at all - it looks cakey and flakey no matter how much or little I apply, no matter how much or little products i apply underneath, and no matter what makeup I use. Unfortunately I've been so busy lately that I haven't gotten a chance to stay in and take care of my skin. I'm constantly running around doing errands, going to meetings, etc. and I'm supposed to go on a trip this weekend that I can't get out of.
I don't really know what to do right now. I guess just wait and see what happens. But judging by the way my skin is changing, I don't see this stopping any time soon. I thought the initial breakout would be clearing out the clogged pores and acne I already had underneath my skin... not causing entirely new and worse problems! I'm feeling really regretful of going on this drug...

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12 minutes ago, anne2015 said:
Day 23 Progress Update:
I hate to have such a depressing accutane log but my skin is getting consistently worse the longer I'm on this drug. I'm so embarrassed by my skin. I had a breakout of about 6-8 whiteheads...
I'm sorry to hear about the breakouts. My cousin experienced a horrible first month of breakouts, but after 6 months his skin was clearer than most and you would have never thought he had acne in the past. Stick with it and I'm sure you will clear up eventually! Remember, you are only 23 days into a 100+ day course, so your skin will have plenty of time for a quick turnaround! Stay positive and good luck!

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21 hours ago, Diamond98 said:

I'm sorry to hear about the breakouts. My cousin experienced a horrible first month of breakouts, but after 6 months his skin was clearer than most and you would have never thought he had acne in the past. Stick with it and I'm sure you will clear up eventually! Remember, you are only 23 days into a 100+ day course, so your skin will have plenty of time for a quick turnaround! Stay positive and good luck!

Thanks for the response! I'm hoping I clear up sometime in the next month. This first month has been very difficult.

Not a full progress update, but a weird side effect popped up today My chest is covered in tiny tiny bumps. It doesn't feel irritated or dry even, but just bumpy. I have no idea what it is, but I put some moisturizer on it and I'm hoping it goes away.

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Day 29 Progress Update:
My skin is still looking worse than ever, with new spots emerging each day. I can't even count the number of spots I have on my face anymore, probably about 10-12 on each cheek and 4-6 on my forehead, with one very large and painful cyst between my eyebrows. Getting extremely frustrated and depressed. I no longer leave the house unless absolutely necessary.

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30 minutes ago, anne2015 said:
Day 29 Progress Update:
My skin is still looking worse than ever, with new spots emerging each day. I can't even count the number of spots I have on my face anymore, probably about 10-12 on each cheek and 4-6 on my forehead, with one very large and painful cyst between my eyebrows. Getting extremely frustrated and depressed. I no longer leave the house unless absolutely necessary.

I'm in the same boat. Day 32 and skin is worse than ever. I'm starting to get cabin fever. Stay positive, i'm sure it will turn around for the both of us (not) soon enough. 

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22 hours ago, anne2015 said:
Day 29 Progress Update:
My skin is still looking worse than ever, with new spots emerging each day. I can't even count the number of spots I have on my face anymore, probably about 10-12 on each cheek and 4-6 on my forehead, with one very large and painful cyst between my eyebrows. Getting extremely frustrated and depressed. I no longer leave the house unless absolutely necessary.
I too am on day 29 and my skin looks worse than it ever has. If we stay strong and keep going I'm sure we will be clear in no time!

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Day 36 Progress Update:
Skin is still a disaster but I think it has improved slightly. I had a patch of eczema on my face flare up again, so I started using a zinc based soap and it seems to have brought down the inflammation a little bit. The cyst between my eyebrows is going away now, but it turned into a really disgusting scab first that just flaked off last night. Walking around with a giant scab on your face is not fun, and I could always see people's eyes getting drawn to it when I was talking to them. Otherwise, most of my spots are on my cheeks and jaw, with only a couple left on my forehead. And I've finally seen my first positive effect on accutane - the blackheads on my nose are gone. Minor, but it's the only good thing I've seen and I'm hoping this means I will finally start seeing some clearing sometime soon.

I think my body is starting to get used to this dosage, as I'm no longer feeling as dry anymore. The rough patch on my chest has almost completely gone away. I've noticed I'm getting a few small breakouts on my back, and body acne is never something I've had to deal with. Typically all of my problems are confined to my face. Otherwise my side effects haven't been very noticeable lately. 

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Day 38 Progress Update:
I thought maybe my skin was improving, but I woke up today to find an even worse breakout than before. I have multiple cysts on my cheeks and the texture has gone rough and bumpy. There's nowhere on my face that feels smooth. I don't want to be one of those people tht let acne control their life, but I haven't been able to stop crying today. I took this drug to improve my skin and it's only gotten worse and worse. The red marks and scarring mean if I do clear up, I have so many more problems left to deal with. I just want to look normal and be able to go out without makeup on a not feel like a monster. I want to go hiking, skimming, play sports, etc but I can't wear makeup to those thngs so I don't go. I don't let people see me without makeup anymore, and even when I wear makeup I still look disgusting so I've just stoppd leaving my room unless its completely necessary. I'm probably going to cancel a trip I'm supposed to go on in a couple weeks because we'll be doing a lot of hiking, and I just don't feel comfortable with that right now. Overall I'm feeling really low and depressed. I don't know what to do.

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12 hours ago, anne2015 said:
Day 38 Progress Update:
I thought maybe my skin was improving, but I woke up today to find an even worse breakout than before. I have multiple cysts on my cheeks and the texture has gone rough and bumpy. There's nowhere on my face that feels smooth. I don't want to be one of those people tht let acne control their life, but I haven't been able to stop crying today. I took this drug to improve my skin and it's only gotten worse and worse. The red marks and scarring mean if I do clear up, I have so many more problems left to deal with. I just want to look normal and be able to go out without makeup on a not feel like a monster. I want to go hiking, skimming, play sports, etc but I can't wear makeup to those thngs so I don't go. I don't let people see me without makeup anymore, and even when I wear makeup I still look disgusting so I've just stoppd leaving my room unless its completely necessary. I'm probably going to cancel a trip I'm supposed to go on in a couple weeks because we'll be doing a lot of hiking, and I just don't feel comfortable with that right now. Overall I'm feeling really low and depressed. I don't know what to do.
Sorry to hear that your skin is breaking out. I am on day 37 and my skin is breaking out too. We are on very similar schedules. Remember, this is a course usually consisting of 100+ days, and you are only on day 38. You have a ton of time to clear up! Now I can't tell you to do things to aren't comfortable with, but just try to have fun and enjoy your trips and before you know it you will be clearing up! 

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before1.jpeg.4843d17a548db95db81fc4b0f0d
1 Week Before Accutane^after1.jpeg.e0ed6178142158d13c818c94af75
^Today
before2.jpeg.38051653a900721e08918a375e8
Before^
after2.jpeg.068b168ab53a790395dd147f210e
Today^

When it it safe for me to say accutane is not working for me and to give up? My skin is getting worse by the day. You can see in these photos I posted that the red marks on my cheeks have multiplied since the start. I would post better photos but I don't want to be recognized.

I'm really worried about scarring now. I'm contemplating going off accutane and trying to reverse the damage I've caused, as well as preventing any new damage. Since I don't have much dryness, I'm thinking of booking some peels or medical facials ASAP to try to help with the red marks and scarring. And possibly going on an antibiotic or something to try to at least put my skin in a manageable state. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by anne2015
Removed identifying features in photos

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On 4/13/2016 at 11:00 PM, anne2015 said:

When it it safe for me to say accutane is not working for me and to give up?


Heyyy I hope you're still checking this/on Accutane. 

I'm not on it but I've been obsessively researching it. I've seen someone that started on a really high dose and it still took her 60 days to start seeing improvements; most people seem to take 90 days. In between, people were getting breakouts. Could you ask your derm  to give you antibiotics to maybe help with you breakouts until you start seeing improvements? Also, from what I've been reading, you have to wait a bit after stopping Accutane to get facial treatments..

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2.5 Month Progress Update:
So I've forgotten to keep updating this log but I am still on accutane.  I've been taking 60mg per day this month, and I switched my BC pill to Diane from Yasmin. I don't know which of the two made the difference, but my skin has cleared up a lot. I currently only have two spots on my face but both are pretty large and painful. Hoping they start to heal soon! I still have tons of hyperpigmentation, but I've still been going without makeup as much as possible lately. My skin texture is not very smooth because it's so dry but at least it's better than having giant bumps all over!

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On 5/14/2016 at 11:16 PM, anne2015 said:
2.5 Month Progress Update:
So I've forgotten to keep updating this log but I am still on accutane.  I've been taking 60mg per day this month, and I switched my BC pill to Diane from Yasmin. I don't know which of the two made the difference, but my skin has cleared up a lot. I currently only have two spots on my face but both are pretty large and painful. Hoping they start to heal soon! I still have tons of hyperpigmentation, but I've still been going without makeup as much as possible lately. My skin texture is not very smooth because it's so dry but at least it's better than having giant bumps all over!
Great to hear, hope those spots vanish soon! 

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