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DAY 121

Hi guys, sorry for the delayed update. Life has been crazy busy recently!!

I've now completed four months on Roaccutane/Isotretinion and am now starting my fifth and last month. I had my latest appointment this Tuesday. I saw a different nurse from usual as my normal nurse was away and it was really difficult to get an appointment within the alloted time at all! The NHS is great, but it's under so much demand. Anyway, not having met me before this nurse couldn't really comment on whether my skin had improved or not, but could only go on what I told her - which is that I've still had a couple of spots which have taken a long time to go down. However, the left side of my face has been clear a good three weeks, and the right side has been clear for two weeks. I had one spot begin to appear on my chin, but then it changed its mind and disappeared within a day or two. The nurse said they like to see a complete clearing of the acne before they stop the medication, and will prolong the course if necessary. I'm continuing on 60mg a day for another month, which will take me over my target dose by a fair amount. Next time I'll try and ask for the exact amounts so I can feed this back to you all. After the next month I'll either be finished, or get another two weeks, depending on my skin.

In terms of side effects, nothing much has changed. I still get the occasional headache - but so does everyone, so it's not really abnormal. My scalp can still be itchy and sensitive at time, but the 'Eucerin DermoCapillaire Calming Urea Scalp Treatment' has kept this under control really well. Been going through a bottle a month. I've also been using a shampoo for sensitive scalps which I think has helped a bit. My eyes continue to be a bit dry, so eye drops are essential. My lips are fine, just carrying a lip balm around and applying a few times a day. Now that it's winter my skin is getting a little dryer, especially on the backs of my hands. My face however is really benefiting from all the moisturizer and apart from the scars the texture is actually really good. I've been using a serum - 'Vichy Aqualia Thermal Hydrating Face Serum' - for the last month. A little applied before my moisturiser really helps keep my skin hydrated and makes it look plumped, which  helps smooth out the appearance of my scars! It's often in some sort of offer at Boots so I will be getting more. Really recommend it!!

I will post some photos soon, but with it getting dark earlier in the day now it's difficult to get some in the same type of lighting as before. 

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END OF MONTH FOUR

I have no active breakouts at the moment. Not one. But I do have alot of redness left over from old spots and it's fading incredibly slowly. So my skin is a bit blotchy, but it looks better or worse depending on the light.

Month Five 1.JPGMonth Five 2.JPGMonth Five 3.JPG

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8 hours ago, sanjam95 said:

Your face looks amazing!!!!! :smileys_n_people_21:


Aww thanks! Well I wouldn't say amazing, but it looks a whole lot better than it did!! 

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I so agree!!! Massive improvement. You still have at least 4 weeks to go too and as you say maybe a few extra weeks to make sure your skin is clear. Brilliant!!! 

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DAY 125

Thanks everyone. Needed that encouragement. Saw a friend recently who I hadn't seen in a good three months and she also said how much my skin had improved. Most people don't tend to notice, or perhaps they're just too polite to comment? The red marks just don't want to fade though.

The improvements to my skin have come with another pesky side effect. Over the last two weeks I've been finding it uncomfortable when going to the toilet - you know what I mean. I talked to the nurse last week and she says it's actually a very common side effect - just part of the Roaccutane drying everything out (when I talked to my GP later they didn't think it had anything to do with Roaccutane, but they said that seeing as the nurse is part of a dedicated Roaccutane clinic that she's most likely right and would know more about it). She recommended vaseline to help moisturise that area. She also said that it's not the only area down below that the drug can dry out. Some women can experience vaginal dryness, which thank god hasn't been an issue for me yet! My digestion itself has been mostly normal, though perhaps a tad slower than usual. I'm just making sure I drink plenty of water and get lots of fibre in my diet. Don't forget exercise - helps everything down there move along. 

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Some people just don't really seem to notice other people's skin. Had the same situation today. A teacher said she hadn't noticed the acne and yet she said she had frequent excema flare ups, which in turn I can't say I have noticed! It's hard to believe when we all obsess about it so much!! Lol!!!
Yes, makes sense re everything drying out. It's a systemic medication so will affect lots of different organs and tissues.
Getting dry eyes too now ( quite late on really - month 5) so will try the masks and eye drops and eyelid wipes. Suffering significant fatigue too, though not sure if that is from roaccutane , but may be contributing I expect. Finding it hard to focus / concentrate at times , which may also be due to fatigue. Looking forward to the medication finishing , although the acne is still very much there ( though improved) on the back and although much improved, not all cleared up yet on the face. I expect will have to stay on for longer, but would rather that than increase risk of relapse post accutane.  Thanks for the useful info.  All the best. 

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Same symptoms as me it seems. I had a few dry days and thought oh no, but things have come more back to normal now, albeit a tad slower as you said,

Also same about the red marks. They definitely go though, because my initial breakout caused a bright red mark on my cheek near my nose and it's about gone now, plus red marks on my side neck have improved I think. But the recent forehead breakout means I have red marks there now.

Not everyone has noted my skin improvement either. I guess some people don't pay as much attention as we think. Having said that, the other week when I was feeling down, I had a complete stranger ask if I had had my skin lasered because it looked amazing compared to a few months ago when she saw me. I literally don't remember her before that. Made my day though!

Edited by dw75

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DAY 127

Thanks guys. Hang in there, we're on the home straight!!

Talking of which, do I just continue taking 60mg a day right up to the end and then stop, or do I gradually reduce the dosage (60mg a day/50mg/40mg/30mg/20mg/10mg)? Reducing the dosage gradually seems like the logical choice, giving the body more time to adjust and making it a less of a shock when you stop. What do you think?

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I suspect it makes no difference whatever you do by that stage. See what the derm advises. If you reduce it I suppose same cumulative dose but longer duration. I have read an article that suggests duration of treatment can be a factor in avoiding relapse ie longer duration even on lower doseage is more effective. Don't recall the name or where from. I have read that much about roaccutane over the past 12 months that it all merges into one in my mind!! Keep positive!!!

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DAY 142

I decided to gradually reduce the dosage. It makes sense and should make it easier for the body to transition. 

I've had a couple of spots in the last week. One quite big one right next to my earlobe, which is where I've always tended to get my hormonal acne, and then another tiny tiny one on my chin. But they've both cleared up nicely. I've also got a couple of those little skin coloured bumps that have developed. Maybe because I'm trying out a new moisturiser but it's difficult to tell. 

Now that winter's properly arrived the cold weather is really starting to dry out my skin! Even my scalp is feeling it! My day moisturisers aren't really cutting it, so any recommendations are welcome.

My appointment is next week - will update then.

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Jollyhohnson: What cumulative dose have you had? Went to dermatology nurse a couple of weeks ago ( been referred to nurse led clinic now) and she wanted to stop accutane at that point. There was still some bacne however so I asked if we could continue for another month. Worried about relapse. I argued ( in a polite way) that I was fearful of relapse and would prefer to go to 150 mg/ kg rather than 120 mg/ kg. She agreed, so finish now on 3rd January and will have had max dose for weight. Fingers crossed. Good luck for the derm appointment. Let us know how it goes. 

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DAY 156

Sorry for the delayed update. It's been a busy month! Had my latest appointment at the Roaccutane/Isotretinoin clinic last week. Since my last post I have had one small spot on my cheek, but it didn't get particularly big and cleared up on its own after a few of days. The nurse said that she usually likes to see her patients 100% clear before stopping the medication, but as it was only one tiny spot she was happy to take me off, especially because I've gone over my target dose. 
So my target dose was 6944. I have just under two weeks to go (I've been steadily reducing the amount, so I'm now on just 20mg a day). When I finish I will have taken 7700 as my cumulative dose. I weigh 62.5kg.
My side effects haven't been bad recently. Digestive system is completely normal. Eyes aren't a problem as long as I put eyedrops in two or three times a day. Facial flushing hasn't been too bad recently. I moisture top-to-toe after every shower and use special non-stripping shampoo. Still using my leave-in scalp treatment which is working fine. My scalp continues to be my main problem - it's so sensitive!! But I'm really enjoying being able to wear a wooly hat and not worry about getting forehead spots!! It's the little things.
My next appointment is in January, and I'm going to be discussing maintenance treatments with my nurse. I know I can't do anything for my scars until 6 months after finishing Roaccutane, but we're going to be talking about the options for treatments as she has some experience in this area too.

End of month five:

Only have one small spot on my left cheek near my nose. The rest is just red marks. Sorry the photos aren't the best quality - the lighting wasn't great. 

December 1.JPG

December 2.JPG

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Just under 2 weeks left? That's crazy. I remember seeing our logs back in July like it was just last week. Where'd the time go!

It's the little things like the wooly hat for sure. For me it's using earphones without having to worry about the wires causing breakouts/irritation when slightly touching my cheeks

Your skin looks SO much better. Congrats! Will you be posting after the course, for remission/relapse purposes?

Have a nice christmas and 2018 ^_^

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Fabulous! Amazing transformation Jolly. Please do keep posting if you get time. Interested to hear about maintenance treatments and how ur getting on generally.
Have a fab Xmas both (Jolly and DW75)
Only 11 days to go for my daughter!! Can't believe it either!! I will keep posting post accutane and will look out for yours if  you do. You have both been such a gr8 inspiration and support throughout and I will be eternally grateful. You both deserve the very best in life. God bless you both.

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DAY 164

Aw, thank you guys. I appreciate your support so much! Hope you both had a lovely Christmas.

Yes, I will try and come back regularly to let you all know how I'm doing in terms of maintenance and scar treatments. I'm taking my last 10mg tomorrow (165 days total on Accutane). Still no spots, although I'm expecting a couple of small ones next week as I normally do just before my period. Fingers crossed for 2018!

Edited by Jollyhohnson
Added Day

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13 days post-Roaccutane

Just a quick update. Got a really bad headache the second day after finishing Roaccutane - withdrawal symptom?  Nothing a simple dose of ibuprofen couldn't solve though. Side-effects remain largely the same, although my lips have been less dry recently, and my digestive system is back to its normal self. 

Still no spots.

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Good to hear from you Jolly!!  6 days post accutane too and think also suffering from some withdrawal symptoms. Some nausea, dizziness and body aches and felt giddy/ hallucinating almost for a few seconds last week. Eating for England! So hungry! Skin is looking good. Positive about the future tho. 

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Sister has woken up in night with all same symptoms. Thinking it must be some type of virus/ flu. Dad has had flu- Aussie flu he says,  for three weeks now. That would explain it! Hope u r well?

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46 Days Post-Accutane

Hello all. Sorry for my prolonged absence - life is rather busy! 

First of all, I'm still acne free! I've had a couple of very very tiny spots, one disappeared overnight while the other did become a whitehead but only lasted a couple of days. I do have a couple of tiny under-the-skin bumps that have been there for four months now. They're very hard to see and not really causing a problem. I want to give my skin a little more recovery time and then maybe I'll try some exfoliating cream.

My digestive system is completely back to its old self. I'm no longer getting prolonged headaches.  My lips are also back to normal, and are probably only a little dry due to the cold weather. My skin isn't really dry at all, but I'm keeping my face moisturised. My eyes can still get dry, so I'm still using my eyedrops twice a day. 

Now you all know my biggest side-effect was probably my scalp. The good news is that it's no longer itchy. The bad news is I've been having some hair loss issues. These started in the final couple of weeks when I was winding down my dosage, but ramped up a couple of weeks after I stopped taking the medication. I wasn't losing crazy amounts of hair, but probably three times my normal amount. This lasted about a month, but gradually I'm starting to lose less now, though still more than normal. I don't know if it's simply that the hair loss is stopping on its own, or if the new shampoo I'm using is helping. Hair loss normally starts three months or so after the "trigger" event, so it could be a delayed reaction to those higher doses of Accutane perhaps? To be honest, I have thick hair, and nobody has noticed. Even to me, my hair hasn't thinned dramatically - it's only just noticeable. 

At my last appointment at the end of January my nurse said that since I was experiencing some hair loss she'd keep me in the system and schedule another appointment. She didn't want to dismiss me as a patient until everything was 100% ok. So I have another appointment in March.

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Great to hear from you Jollyhohnson!!! Really wonderful news in so many ways!! Keep positive about the hair loss. Hopefully it will continue to lessen and as you say it's hardly noticeable. Let us know how you get on with the appointment in March and generally if you can. 

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