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Christine19

20-yr-old female Claravis (Accutane) Journey

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Hello everyone!
Just began accutane today and decided to document my journey for myself but also for those who want to learn more about the drug. Here's my backstory if you are interested (or just skip to the next paragraph since its long haha):
I am a 20 year old female who has suffered from acne since around the age of 12. Like so many other people on this website, I have tried everything from prescription topical creams, antibiotics, masks, professional facials, diet changes, natural remedies, hormonal pills, and even some unusual methods like blue light therapy, the Clarisonic... And the list goes on and on... Over the years I have seen a handful of dermatologists but none seemed to want to take the next step towards prescribing me accutane. Up until about a year ago I was seeing the same dermatologist since I was a kid. He kept prescribing me different topical creams (epiduo, finacea, tretinoin, and benzaclin are a few that come to mind)  and antibiotics (like bactrim, minocycline and doxycycline). But nothing seemed to fully work. I eventually decided to switch dermatologists in the same office and found one that I really liked. Around January of last year she prescribed me birth control (a generic for Yaz) and this was the first time I felt like a dermatologist really cared about helping my situation rather than seeing it as trivial or cosmetic. I definitely saw improvements from using the birth control. To this day I do not get large painful zits on my jawline or chin nearly as often as I used to. But unfortunately even the birth control didn't seem to be enough to get rid of the acne and scarring entirely. Of course it didn't or I wouldn't be sitting here writing about my accutane journey haha Sooo a few months ago a new (BIG) dermatology group took over the small office and my dermatologist left without a trace :new_smiley_36:. Even the nice receptionists were gone so I could't ask anyone where she went. I tried googling her but couldn't find where she moved to. It was pretty devastating as she was pretty great. So I saw the new doctor that was now in the same office and he kinda blew off my problem as minor, gave me an antibiotic that actually ended up giving me awful chest pains and I saw no improvement in my skin. So that was it for that place after going there for 15 years! It took some researching but I finally found a new dermatoligist that I saw this past December. He saw me, looked through my medical history, asked me how long I had been suffering from acne, and when I told him around 8 years he immediately said okay its time to start looking into accutane. I was hesitant at first because I had heard about all the side effects, but after doing some research I was convinced that it was probably my only hope. Besides, it was actually the thing that cleared up my mom's cystic acne when she was my age (this was when the drug first came out in the 80s!). And so yeah, its genetic. Explains why its so damn persistent.

Since I go to college out of state (and I was home for winter break when I saw that dermatologist) I made another appointment with my school's dermatologist who solely prescribes accutane. When I saw my school's dermatologist a month ago she wanted me to start ASAP. I got blood work done immediately after I saw her and we set up my iPledge account. This past week I had my second pregnancy test done and I saw her a few days later to finish setting things up. After she  checked my blood work and saw that I had two negative pregnancy tests I was ready to get my prescription. I just had to do the iPledge survey before I could get it. Everything went pretty smoothly, which I'm glad about because I've heard so many horror stories about iPledge haha And I picked up my prescription today. She prescribed me with a pretty low dosage (20 mg, taken twice a day). It is also specifically called Claravis but is the same thing as accutane which includes the ingredient isotretinoin.

I promise to update this with pictures, any side effects I experience while on the drug and hopefully results! Best of luck to everyone else out there in this community! Hopefully we can all find something that will work for us, but until then its great to have a place like this for support! We can do it! :banana::banana:     

Edited by Christine19
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This is pretty difficult for me to do as I rarely ever leave my house without makeup, but here are some extremely unflattering photos of my skin now. I officially started accutane yesterday so if I start to see improvements I will update with new pictures. The first three pictures are in natural light and the fourth and fifth were taken in the bright lighting in my bathroom (and both were taken immediately after washing my face or taking a shower-- so they're pretty red). I wanted to show how different lighting can really change the way your skin looks (which makes you realize how untruthful those before and after pictures can be). The last two pictures really show the scarring, which is honestly what the majority of the redness is, but you can clearly still see some active pimples. I also only photographed my problem areas, which are mostly my cheeks and jawline, my forehead only has a few marks and the occasional zit. My back and chest have cleared up pretty nicely within the past year or so, just a few marks. Anyway hopefully I will start to see improvements and can upload some new pictures in the coming weeks!   

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Edited by Christine19
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Felt like I should update this!
So I've now been on accutane for a full week and have barely noticed I was even on it until today. Up until today I had not experienced any dry skin, but today my lips started to get very dry and started to peel. Although my skin doesn't feel dry, it has a rougher texture and is a little peely--not noticeable until I tried to put makeup on... I realize its definitely not going to be easy putting makeup on while on accutane. I'm having a pretty bad breakout this week (lots of whiteheads), but I'm not sure it's related to the accutane. Honestly could be due to lots of other reasons: it's that time of the month for me, I'm super stressed out about lots of different things, I've stop using my topical creams, clay mask, and acne face wash and switched to using only a gentle cleanser (Cetaphil). So it could be one of those things or all of those things that are making me breakout, or something completely different, it's impossible to truly know.

The only other thing I noticed that started today was that I have an excruciating headache. Is this common while on accutane? I am also on my period and I tend to get headaches while on it, but this one seems worse than usual. I don't know. Hard to say. It could also be that I'm dehydrated, I need to make sure to keep drinking water while on this stuff! 

Ok not much else to update, not much has changed but its only been a week so its not like I was expecting drastic changes haha
in case you're interested about what products I'm using for my skin, its just Cetaphil face wash and Cerave moisturizer. I will switch to the Cetaphil moisturizer when my skin gets more dry, it's thicker and makes your skin kinda greasy so I thought I'd wait to use it until my skin was super dry and I needed it. I'm also using vaseline or aquaphor for my lips. I'm using a cvs brand of aquaphor, which I don't think matters, same ingredients.

Anyway hope to update if anything changes soon!

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3 hours ago, Christine19 said:

Felt like I should update this!
So I've now been on accutane for a full week and have barely noticed I was even on it until today. Up until today I had not experienced any dry skin, but today my lips started to get very dry and started to peel. Although my skin doesn't feel dry, it has a rougher texture and is a little peely--not noticeable until I tried to put makeup on... I realize its definitely not going to be easy putting makeup on while on accutane. I'm having a pretty bad breakout this week (lots of whiteheads), but I'm not sure it's related to the accutane. Honestly could be due to lots of other reasons: it's that time of the month for me, I'm super stressed out about lots of different things, I've stop using my topical creams, clay mask, and acne face wash and switched to using only a gentle cleanser (Cetaphil). So it could be one of those things or all of those things that are making me breakout, or something completely different, it's impossible to truly know.

The only other thing I noticed that started today was that I have an excruciating headache. Is this common while on accutane? I am also on my period and I tend to get headaches while on it, but this one seems worse than usual. I don't know. Hard to say. It could also be that I'm dehydrated, I need to make sure to keep drinking water while on this stuff! 

Ok not much else to update, not much has changed but its only been a week so its not like I was expecting drastic changes haha
in case you're interested about what products I'm using for my skin, its just Cetaphil face wash and Cerave moisturizer. I will switch to the Cetaphil moisturizer when my skin gets more dry, it's thicker and makes your skin kinda greasy so I thought I'd wait to use it until my skin was super dry and I needed it. I'm also using vaseline or aquaphor for my lips. I'm using a cvs brand of aquaphor, which I don't think matters, same ingredients.

Anyway hope to update if anything changes soon!

If your headache feels much more painfull then ones you have had in the past, i'd suggest giving a call to your derm. One of the things my derm continued to tell me was if I felt headaches above and beyond what i've normally gotten its important to call her.

Never want to take a chance. Other then that good luck, with your tane cycle hope you get great results.
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15 hours ago, savo0057 said:
If your headache feels much more painfull then ones you have had in the past, i'd suggest giving a call to your derm. One of the things my derm continued to tell me was if I felt headaches above and beyond what i've normally gotten its important to call her.

Never want to take a chance. Other then that good luck, with your tane cycle hope you get great results.
Thanks for your advice, I will contact my derm if I start to get a headache again and if it feels exceptionally worse than normal. I have not gotten one since yesterday, but I will definitely keep an eye on it, thanks again!
17 hours ago, Diamond98 said:

Good luck with your journey! I'm almost on week 3, so not too far ahead of you! :new_smiley_0: Stay positive and hydrated!
 Thank you! Cool, I'll definitely check out your blog, hope you're starting to see some progress by week 3!

Edited by Christine19
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I know I updated yesterday, but today I REALLY started to notice the dryness of my lips. They started to peel like crazy. I work at a breakfast/brunch style restaurant and you can imagine how busy we are on Sundays haha And since I was on the register for most of the day and talking to a seemingly endless stream of customers I could feel my lips peeling as I was talking to them. And it's not like I could stop mid sentence to put on some aquaphor, I just had to power through it, customer after customer lol. not fun, as many of you can imagine. Whenever there was a break in the customer line I would run to the break room and put on chapstick! Just me ranting haha I'll probably update again in about a week, but if you have any questions for me or just want to leave a comment feel free!

Edited by Christine19
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So I've just finished week two of accutane and am definitely starting to notice the side effects. Since I started the drug, I have not stopped breaking out. Usually I have ups and downs where I'll have a few days of active pimples then it will settle down for a few days, but since I started accutane I have consistently been breaking out (nothing cystic just whiteheads and pimples that pop up everyday.) The breakouts have been concentrated mostly to the chin/jawline area. My back has also started to break out a bit, which it hasn't for a while. 

In addition, I've definitely started to dry out. I have been putting Aveeno body lotion with oatmeal all over my body every night before bed or else I will be very itchy the next day from dry skin. My eyes have also started to get dry, turn red and are sore so I have to put moisturizing eye drops in morning and night. My scalp is also incredibly itchy and I am getting some dandruff. Before starting accutane I was using shampoo to combat oil since my hair is so fine it gets greasy so easily, and I have yet to switch over to a new shampoo. If anyone has any suggestions for a good shampoo let me know! I just got some coconut oil that I plan on putting in my hair once a week to help with the dryness and itchy scalp. It's funny, even though my scalp is dry and itchy, my hair is still greasy by the end of the day, which is partly why I haven't stopped using the oil fighting shampoo. 

Lips and hands are dry but the aquaphor really helps. I found the aquaphor to be the best so far, even better than straight vaseline at helping with dry hands and lips. My face as a whole hasn't experienced the extreme dryness that the rest of my body has so far, surprisingly. I have actually been pretty oily. It is also pretty flushed.

As a whole I've just been pretty tired and run down. I've also been feeling kinda sad but I think its mostly because of the breakout I've been having. I just have to keep reminding myself its a process and that an initial breakout is very normal. I know I won't see much results until around a month in but its still frustrating when you keep breaking out when accutane is supposed to stop you from breaking out.  

Also, kind of a weird thing thats been happening-- the inside of my ears have been very itchy. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm guessing its dry skin, not sure though. If this has happened to anyone else and they have some suggestions to help with this any advice is greatly appreciated :)

So overall, not much has changed, will update again soon!

Edited by Christine19
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So here's some pictures of my skin now. Sorry the lighting isn't great. I was on my spring break when I uploaded the previous photos and I was at my parent's house, versus these were taken in the shitty lighting in the bathroom of my apartment haha. But I still think you can see the breakout I'm experiencing on my chin and jawline. 
Anyway, hopefully the next set of photos I upload will show some progress!

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Meant to update this weekly but it's been pretty hectic! But I like staying busy while on this medicine, keeps me distracted from worrying about my skin too much and before I know it I'll be done with accutane! I saw my dermatologist today (can't believe its already been 3 1/2 weeks!) and she was happy to see my progress and how well my body was taking to the medicine. She prescribed me my next months dosage of claravis, which she kept at 40 mg a day. Right now, since she could see my skin reacting to the medicine well, she decided to keep me on the same dosage, but she said she may up the ante next month. After my appt. I filled out the iPledge survey (got all those dumb questions correct-- so proud haha) and I'll be picking up my pills tomorrow.

All in all I'm pretty happy with how my skin is taking to the medicine. I had been breaking out pretty bad for the first two and a half weeks or so, but by the middle of last week my breakouts started to settle down. And I swear my marks are lighter-- my dermatologist even noticed this! 

As for the dry skin... it can be annoying but the key is really to just try to stay on top of it. I moisturize every night, and put aquaphor on my hands and lips constantly. I think the most annoying thing is the dry lips. Particularly because they peel and it can feel pretty gross! Also putting coconut oil in my hair once a week really helps with the dry scalp! Also I must say I'm really enjoying not having such greasy hair all the time. Since I have such fine hair I would normally wash my hair every morning but now I wash every night and it lasts throughout the entire next day without getting greasy! I'm hoping to get the point where I can even shower every other day like I know other people on this website said they were able to do while on this medicine.

As for other side effects, I've experienced nothing serious: no feelings of depression (rather than feeling a little down during the IB), no muscle or body aches, I have not gotten a headache since the first week I was on it, no hair loss, and everything in my bloodwork came back healthy. The only thing my doctor noticed was that my triglycerides were a bit high, but she said we will keep a close eye on it.

All is going pretty well so far, will add pictures when I notice a recognizable difference :)  
  
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Tomorrow will officially be the end of my fifth week on accutane! It's flying by pretty fast so far. Everything is basically the same since my previous update. So no new side effects.

My skin is slowly improving I believe, but the changes are so small I don't think a photo would look much different from the last time I uploaded some photos (Just fewer active pimples). I must say I am still breaking out, but there are fewer, they are smaller and they heal much quicker. When I consider all the damage my skin has from almost a decade of having severe acne it looks pretty good-- my marks are fading, and I have minimal indented scarring.

Other than putting lotion on my lips, hands and body, my face isn't painfully dry. I'm guessing because it was so oily to begin with. It's also nice not having nearly as much oil on my face and hair all the time!

P.S. Wear sunscreen!! Today was the first warm beautiful day in a while so of course I spent some time outside. I did not realize it until I took a shower and my skin burned that a good portion of my back was bright red. I have fair skin but I've never burned that easily and that bad so quickly before so this medicine is definitely making my skin more sensitive to sun.

Goodluck to everyone else on this site!

Edited by Christine19
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Hey you're about a week ahead of me! I'm still breaking out too, it's all a part of the process. I'm counting down the days until I'm clear lol. Good luck hope it all goes well for you!

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On April 21, 2016 at 5:18 PM, Cpie95 said:

Hey you're about a week ahead of me! I'm still breaking out too, it's all a part of the process. I'm counting down the days until I'm clear lol. Good luck hope it all goes well for you!

Yeah breaking out is definitely normal on this drug, I guess it has to purge out all the toxins in your body first! Good luck to you too, hope you're  able to achieve clear skin!

So I've now been on accutane for a full 6 weeks! I decided to upload some pictures as I'm definitely starting to see some progress! My breakout from the past week or two has settled down so its easier to see the change. My face is obviously less red and my marks are noticeably lighter. Can't wait to keep seeing progress!

Side effect wise nothing has drastically changed. However, I have been getting some pretty bad back pains. Its usually at night when I'm laying in bed and when I wake up in the morning. I've heard body aches are a common symptom on this drug, and it doesn't bother me that much so I'm not too concerned. I can deal with a little back pain if it means I have clear skin in the next couple months!
 

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Slightly different (brighter) lighting:

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Showing this super unflattering angle of my face, sorry you have to look up my nose, because I picked at some rough skin on my nose and now I have a cut! Hopefully it won't scar, but kids don't pick at your skin like me haha

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Edited by Christine19
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Sorry I haven't updated this in a long time, I've been very busy! I promise to post some pictures of my progress in the next couple days!

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Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!! (I just started two weeks ago, so thanks for the motivation!) :)

Any additional side effects?

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I said "whoa" out loud when i scrolled down to your recent pics... skin looks awesome. Have you been using anything to fade the red marks?

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On May 29, 2016 at 1:44 PM, Kay789 said:

Oh my god, your skin looks amazing!! (I just started two weeks ago, so thanks for the motivation!) :)

Any additional side effects?

On June 2, 2016 at 7:19 PM, Stephen23 said:

I said "whoa" out loud when i scrolled down to your recent pics... skin looks awesome. Have you been using anything to fade the red marks?


Hey guys so sorry I didn't respond sooner! 

Kay789:
Really no new side effects since my last update but my dermatologist kept me on the same dosage (40 mg a day)
Everyone is different however so it is hard to say what side effects you will experience, but regardless you will definitely experience dry skin (which I'm sure you can already attest to by week two)
As I wrote in my last post I experienced some back pain, however that side effect seemed to have subsided within the past couple weeks. My derm decided to not up my dosage because I told her about my back pain last month, and just to be safe she said to wait it out and see if it went away on its own. And sure enough it did! So she may up my dosage (when I see her next week) now that all the unusual side effects I had in the early stages have subsided-- especially because I'd like to be off the medicine by July! To be honest the side effects as a whole didn't really bother me, the most annoying thing is the dry lips, however my skin itself is not that dry surprisingly (I only use a Cerave moisturizer once in the morning only on my face and I'm fine all day). It's also a good thing, I think, to not take it during the winter since your skin is already naturally more dry then. So thats a good choice on both our parts! When I first started in March it was still pretty cold out so my entire body was just sooo much more dry and I had to apply lotion all over every single night or else I would be very itchy the next day! You may however be experiencing more side effects than I am because you are taking a higher dosage or maybe it has a stronger effect on your body for some reason. Best of luck to you, I hope you start seeing some results soon! But definitely be patient as most people don't start seeing them until at least month 2, so hang in there, you got this!!


Stephen23:
Surprisingly no!! I have kept it extremely simple.
I wash my face morning and night with gentle Cetaphil face wash and use Cerave moisturizer (you can find both at any drugstore and they are pretty cheap)!

And that's it!

I think that because accutane is a retinoid it turns over skin cells and thats what is helping fade the marks. I had talked to someone who had been on accutane and she said she used to exfoliate once a week to help prevent the excess skin from clogging her pores, but when I asked my derm about it, she said its best to be very gentle on your skin while on this stuff. And I'm glad I have been. I always found the rougher I am on my skin the redder it gets anyway, so my advice is to just let it be!     

P.S I repeat as I wrote in a previous post– wear sunscreen!!!!! You will thank me later haha Edited by Christine19
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Unrelated to Accutane, but thought I'd share this with you guys since I thought it was pretty cool and made me smile. I was reading an article Andy Warhol wrote, "On Beauty", where he wrote:

"When I did my self-portrait, I left all the pimples out because you always should. Pimples are a temporary condition and they don't have anything to do with what you really look like. Always omit the blemishes – they're not part of the good picture you want."

 So stay optimistic and not too focused on acne as it's temporary and doesn't define you! Any good person will see past it, and just see you for you! 

Also even Andy Warhol dealt with blemishes, and that sure as hell didn't hold him back, so next time you're feeling down about your skin just remind yourself Andy Warhol had acne and he's fucking awesome!  

 The art major in me just felt like I needed to share that ;P

Edited by Christine19
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Update:
I am now on day FOUR of my FOURTH MONTH on Accutane (Crazy I know, can't believe its going by this fast!), and I wanted to update how everything is going, including which side effects I'm currently experiencing and which side effects have subsided since my previous updates. I believe that because my body adjusted to the medicine a lot of the symptoms disappeared.

Here's a list of the side effects that subsided as the months passed:
- I no longer get dry eyes, (only on occasion and I use moisturizing eye drops)
- My entire body no longer gets dry and itchy (my body has been somewhat itchy recently but thats because I got sun burnt and it started to peel, etc.... I need to be better about remembering to put on sunscreen-- very important  while on this stuff!) So I've been putting lotion on the areas that got burnt but no where else as no where else is dry and peeling.
- I no longer have a crazy dry, itchy scalp. That only lasted maybe the first month. I used coconut oil a few times in my hair and that helped. But the dryness seemed to disappear on its own and I no longer use coconut oil in my hair and I actually never even switched shampoos. Before I started Accutane I was using this awesome oil fighting shampoo from The Body Shop (It's called Rainforest Balance Shampoo for Oily Hair in case anyone is interested, After trying many other kinds of shampoo I found it to be the best for my oily hair!) And I actually have still been using it the whole time I've been on Accutane and it hasn't posed a problem for me rather than the first few weeks my scalp was a little dry. I must say that my hair is definitely less oily on Accutane as a whole and although I shower everyday still it's more because my hair gets flat or kinky, but not because of oil. Honestly I haven't had even remotely greasy hair since I've been on Accutane, it's great! And this is coming from a girl with SUPER fine hair.
- I no longer get headaches-- thats only happened the very first week and I think it was just because I was on my period.
-No more back aches!
- I mentioned a weird symptom early on-- itchy ears. Which only happened my second week which I think was from dry skin.
- I don't feel tired, run down or sad, I actually feel more energized and happy-- I think because for once in a very long time I'm actually seeing results and my skin is getting noticeably better!
- And lastly, other than the occasional zit, I'm no longer breaking out!


Current symptoms:
-Dry lips
-Face is still flushed (I am Irish with naturally fair skin so my face has always been a little pink, but I think the Accutane makes it a little more red.)
-Get sunburnt very easily
-Face is a little dry but nothing that CeraVe moisturizer can't fix!

That's honestly it!!

I'd also like to update that my derm upped my dosage to 50 mg a day when I saw her last week! So far there have been no drastic changes, however my lips are starting to peel again like they did when I started Accutane. So I have to be more diligent about putting on aquaphor more frequently.
I'd also say that my face is only the slightest bit drier and redder. It also has only been a few days that I've been taking the 50mg so I will update maybe in a week or so if there have been any drastic changes. I seem to remember my body didn't really start reacting to the 40 mg until about the second week.

I will update with pictures when my skin looks noticeably different from my previous photo update!


Best of luck to everyone on this site!! 

Edited by Christine19
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Sorry I haven't been better about updating this regularly! I actually finished my fourth month and am just starting week 2 of my fifth month. For month four my dermatologist upped my dosage 10 mg (from 40 mg a day to 50 mg). To be honest not much changed during month four. I still broke out, but much less and they were smaller like I said in my last update, and I didn't experience any new or unusual side effects since the last update either.
I had to see a different dermatologist last week because my usual one was on vacation, and the temporary one increased my dosage to 60 mg and said that this should be my last month. I'll have to make one more appt. with my original dermatologist and she can decide if I should continue or end my course after I finish month 5.

I must say I'm a bit bummed out since the last photo update. It's weird but I feel like the texture of my skin has worsened since my last photo update. I just washed my face and was looking at it in the mirror and then I logged onto this site and looked at my previous photo upload and I swear it looked better then (and that was the end of month three). This was before my dermatologists decided to increase my dosage and I was just taking 30 mg a day. I'm wondering if the higher dosage is causing this problem. I feel like my face appears redder, my marks are more prominent, the indented scars seem more prevalent, and my pores are massive. Maybe I'm just noticing these things more because my skin is no longer covered in acne, which could have distracted me from these other skin imperfections because it was much more prominent. I don't know, to be honest I'm pretty confused by this, I thought a higher dosage would improve my skin. But I also feel like I'm breaking out and my face just looks clogged and irritated. Is this common on a higher dosage? Will it eventually start improving again? I'm just concerned because I'm on my last month (or at least I hope I am), but I'm just not as clear as I think I'm supposed to be at this point. The dermatologist I saw last week asked me if I was still breaking out and when I told her yes, but they were less often and smaller, she seemed concerned and said that considering how far along I am I should not be breaking out anymore. She sorta blamed it on my other dermatologist for putting me on too low of a dosage and said she'll put me on 60 mg to make up for it. I actually didn't mind that my other dermatologist only had me on 40 mg to start, she was just very cautious and wanted to make sure my body reacted ok to the medicine before putting me on a high dosage. Also my skin was doing pretty well on 40 mg-- just saying. Haha. Glad I'll be going back to my original dermatologist next month. Just really hoping this month will be my last and I see a little more improvement because my 21st birthday is next month and I'd also really like to enjoy at least one month of my  summer (where I'm not constantly avoiding the sun because of how sensitive my skin is).

    Okay I'm done complaining.... I will update with some photos within the next couple days so you guys can see what I'm talking about. 

Good thing is that no new unusual or problematic side effects have come up since my last update!    

Edited by Christine19
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So the lighting isn't great and the photos are blurry since they were taken on my phone so you can't really see the scarring. But what you can see is the redness. And the last two photos show my pores which are also kinda hard to see in the blurry photos. The redness is very clear in the second photo as you can compare the skin on my cheek to my shoulder and neck which are an entirely different color. Also the color of my skin closer to my ear is much less red and matches the color of my neck. I definitely have a naturally pink undertone but this is red. I took these pictures in the morning before I even washed my face. I will try to take some better pictures in the next day or so to give you guys a better idea of what my skin looks like at the moment. 

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Edited by Christine19
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Ok I decided to upload some pictures using my camera because I found my phone didn't do a very good job at showing the scarring. All of these pictures were taken at night. I'm hoping to take some in daylight with my camera to show you guys how it looks in natural light.  And they were taken after a shower so my face is a tad more flushed than normally (not very noticeably though). I actually found that the overall redness/flushed face I was complaining about in my last post seems to have settled down. As you can see in these photos my face is much less red and more of a normal skin tone. That may have also been because I took the last pictures with my iPhone– its weird I always find my phone camera can make my skin tone look redder than it is. Sorry these picture are so up close and personal, but I really wanted to do my best to show the scarring. 

Overall I must say I'm pretty happy with how my skin reacted to the accutane. I no longer get new pimples (or very infrequently) and they are small and easy to manage. If you look at my oldest pictures you can even see that not only have I since stopped breaking out, but the accutane actually helped with my red marks. It didn't however help with the indented scars, but it's not supposed to, so I wasn't expecting results in that aspect. I believe the accutane did exactly what I had hoped. I just hope these results last once I'm off. I really don't want to start breaking out again once I'm no longer taking it. That's my biggest concern. My skin is already quite damaged from almost a decade of dealing with pretty severe acne, I just don't think I could mentally handle it if I started to breakout that bad again after accutane. All I can do is hope for the best! :smileys_n_people_115:

I will be seeing my dermatologist next week and she will decide whether or not she wants me to stay on accutane for another month or not. Although my skin isn't perfect, I do not think another month of accutane would make much of a difference. I'm sort of at the point where I think it's finished doing what it's supposed to do (i.e. get rid of acne!). I'm hoping that after I'm off of accutane for at least a month I can do something about the scars. They're not terrible, and to be honest in a lot of lighting you can barely see them. But I find they always sneak up on me when I least expect it (like when I go to the bathroom in a restaurant that has poor lighting or a dressing room). They're just a constant reminder of what my skin used to be which often makes me upset. Having acne by no means has been an easy journey, and I don't expect that I will ever have "perfect" skin. And I'm OKAY with that. I may always have scarring and I'm predisposed to have acne (both my parents occasionally breakout to this day). I know I may never outgrow acne but I'm hoping that accutane will keep my skin manageable for years to come. 

If anyone has any suggestions to help with scarring, please let me know! It would be deeply appreciated. Best of luck to everyone on this site! I'll update after I see my dermatologist next week! 

Edited by Christine19
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