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Scroll to the bottom to see my most recent post, this journal is really old

Background

I started taking accutane about a week and a half ago after years of dealing with acne. I've probobally tried just about every pill and cream available. A few months back I did the new blue light laser and levulan treatment that is supposed to have the same effect as accutane. When it made my acne worse I was very discouraged. After that I went and saw a new dermatoligist in Beverly Hills and he referred me to UCLA to get a prescription for accutane, since he was no longer prescribing it due to the new restrictions.

So, I'm a 20 year old female attending college in LA and i want my social life back! I hate going out to parties and hanging out with people because I am constantly preoccupied with what they are thinking about my skin. I spend most of my time in my apartment with my dog, which is kind of sad.

A big reason why I decided to post my experience with accutane is because I have bipolar II disorder as well as an anxiety/panic disorder. I think that it may be helpful for anyone suffering from the same or similar mood disorders to see how accutane may or may not effect this. My doctors were a bit hesitant to prescribe accutane because it does have a bad rap for causing depression and mood swings. In my oppionion my acne is a major part of why I get depressed. So far my only side effects are dry skin, sun sensitivity, and the initial breakout of whiteheads and some small cysts on my cheeks and forehead. I've been a little bit depressed, but that is most likely due to some personal stuff that has been going on.

Right now I'm washing with cetaphil cleanser and using neutrogena oil free moisturizer for combination skin (and lots of sunscreen). I LOVE la mer lip balm and highly recommend it! I've been using that with aquaphor over it, since petrolium keeps moisture in and lip balms like la mer replentish it.

Well I think that's it....It's still pretty early so we'll see how it goes.

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Shadowgirl, good luck! I'm in my fourth week right now, and I have a log going, too.

The dryness is definitely a change for me, and I'm not sure I like it better, since it can be so irritating. But we'll get through this. ~_^ Keep updating!

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Thanks Kara, I appreciate the support!

Day 13

So it has almost been two weeks since I started taking accutane (40 mg/day) and I'm still not exactly sure if I've experienced the "initial breakout." I've gotten a few new bumps and i've noticed whiteheads coming up, but nothing drastically different from how my skin normally is. Right now I have bumps on both cheeks and only a couple on my forehead, which is actually starting to look better. I tried icing my face last night and afterwards my pores seemed tighter and the bumps were smaller so I think I'm going to keep up with that.

I'm a little bit dissapointed because though the skin around my nose is a little bit dry, my face is still oily. When did most of you guys start noticing that your faces stopped getting shiny? Right now the side effects that I'm experiencing are chapped lips, dry eyes, and muscle soreness. I worked out like two days ago, I just ran for about 20 min. because I was feeling pretty tired, and my butt muscles are soooo sore I can barely walk. I've gotten sore from running before and I'm a little bit out of shape, but it's weird because it's only my butt muscles and the soreness hasn't gone away, can accutane cause this? Also, can anyone recommend some good eyedrops for dry eyes? I'm not sure what is good to use because i'm not a contact wearer and have never had to use eyedrops before.

I'm wondering if maybe my skin is still oily and hasn't showed much change because I'm not taking a high enough dosage? I'm taking 40 mg/day and I weigh 102...my doctor seemed to think that this was enough and that if we go up it would only be by a little bit. Does this sound right or has anyone experienced better results on a higher dose (in relation to body weight)?

Well, I need to get back to studying for a final that I have on Wednesday :-(...After that no more stress! Maybe that will help my skin start getting better.....

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Oh how I wish my skin would stop being oily! Since this morning I think that i am starting to get an initial breakout. I've gotten a couple of new whiteheads on my face, and one bump (i don't know if it's a cyst or one of the other type of zits, i get confused) but it's pretty small. My cheeks are really bothering me, the bumps don't seem to be going away :-(. I have acne on my back, mostly on my shoulders, and that is being persistent as well. I just keep reminding myself that eventually (hopefully this month) I'm going to turn a corner and my skin will actually start improving. Right now i'm trying to think of my skin as being in detox mode...I've never been very good at the glass half full thing...

My lips aren't as chapped but they're sort of tight and swollen. That's okay though, some people pay good money for swollen lips...hehe....

To make matters worse my stupid ex boyfriend who I am totally falling for again called and wants to hang out (after like a month of not calling). Last time we hung out it was really ackward because when we dated a couple of years back I had pretty decent skin, and in my oppinion looked a lot different. I've just gotten so self-concious that I know it makes me seem pathetic. I'm going to try to put off hanging out with him until late May/early June because I think that my skin will have had a good chance to start improving by then. I really want to go to the beach with him b/c I look cute in a bikini (at least I don't have to be self-concious about my body), but how gross is it to wear a bathingsuit with gross zits on your back? Very..... So for now I'm drinking lots of water, eating my veggies, watching home and garden network (my guilty pleasure, and hitting the gym (once I get less sore that is).

Mood: Hopeful, but a tiny bit frustrated...and surprisingly not very stressed dispite my art history final in 3 days.

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Day 15

Sooooo...Today is a much better day. I've been feeling kinda down because I think I was expecting this drastic change right away, but just seeing a little improvement is helping me to be more patient. My back has supprisingly started clearing up. I have some stubborn tiny bumps on my shoulders and three slightly inflamed white heads on my lower back. My right cheek only has a couple of healing bumps and my left cheek has a bunch of stubborn bumps and a whitehead that are starting to get smaller. My forehead is still oily (grr) and has three whiteheads, one of which is kinda swollen and hasn't really come out yet. Overall, it's looking better. I haven't worn makeup in forever because it just makes me feel worse, but when everything starts getting flatter and my skin stops being so oily, I think that I'll actually look halfway decent with some light foundation to cover up the red marks.

I don't have any new symptoms besides (do I even have to say it?) chapped lips.

Mood: Happy! My skin feels like it's getting better and I'm almost done studying for my final tomorrow and in like 27 hours I'll be on summer vacation! YAY!

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Best of luck to you , Im on accutane 40 mg as well. Started taking it on 05/04/2005. Just today started to notice that my skin is getting dry and also getting new pimples (around my cheeks and lips) Im 23, 108 lbs,5'7.

I know how u feel , but gotta stay optimistic , you'll get clear.

Keep posting!!

eusa_angel.gif

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Day 21

I haven't written in forever, but today is the last day of week three and I'm definitely starting to see a difference. I decided to wait a while to post again because if I posted too often it seemed like I was on a total roller coaster ride, since my skin changes literally day to day. My back and face have started to clear up a lot. There are still small bumps and red marks on my back/cheeks, but they have gotten a lot smaller. I still get a couple of new white heads popping up every day or two, but I've been leaving them alone and they're usually gone or significantly smaller by the end of the day. The change hasn't been drastic or sudden, but I can tell that my skin is starting to get better.

My skin has started to get noticably less oily and my scalp in particular has gotten really dry and flakey (yuck). Mood-wise it's sortof a double edged sword, because even though my skin is starting to get better, it still looks gross with the new white heads that pop up, so I don't really want to go out and do anything. When I just sit around the house all day I get bored and then depressed. I think that's the nature of acne though...

Mood: Not bad, not good....I'm trying to be patient

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Nearing The End of Week 4

Overall I'm feeling much better about my skin smile.gif ...

I still have new whiteheads popping up on a regular basis, but the acne that I started with is starting to realize that it's fighting a loosing battle and is slowly but surely getting better. Even though I'm still broken out, the skin underneath the bumps (which are small) looks really good. My back has cleared up a lot, the really persistent bumps on my shoulders are going away and the middle of my back is clear (except for a few new whiteheads that showed up yesterday, but they are already starting to go away).

It's weird, I really haven't experienced any major side effects. My face has finally stopped being oily (YAY!) and my scalp is super itchy, but I'm not having any joint/muscle pains or anything really serious. I went to Sephora with my sister the other day and got a dandruff arsenol so I'm set there.....Oh, my skin has gotten really sensitive. I have a little Chihuahua and she always scratches at my arm when she wants me to pet her and now I have a couple of raised red marks that make me look like I got in a fight with a bear or something. All of this I can deal with though.

I see my dermatologist on the 1st and since I'm not having any major side effects I hope that he'll increase my dose a little bit....I got my blood drawn last Tuesday and I've gotten totally pro! Usually I get so freaked out that I make the person taking my blood nervous and it isn't fun for either of us, but I actually took deep breaths and didn't scream or use any choice words...I felt so grown up biggrin.gif

Dnc, thanks for your comments! You said that you started accutane on May 4th (a couple of days after I did), how is it working for you? Well I hope!

Mood: I'm feeling great even though it's 3:30 in the morning...I have no idea why I'm still up, but I've been reorganizing my closet, which I guess is productive.... eusa_whistle.gif

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Mood:  I'm feeling great even though it's 3:30 in the morning...I have no idea why I'm still up, but I've been reorganizing my closet, which I guess is productive.... eusa_whistle.gif

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My moods have improved since I've been on this. I wonder why people say they get more depressed on Accutane. Do you think it's really the drug, or the fact that they don't feel it's working?

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I met with my dermatologist a week ago (June 1st- the one month mark) and he increased my dose to 60 mg/day. Since then my cheeks have started to break out again and my forehead is still pretty broken out. My Mom is telling me that it looks better, but it's gotten worse. Not horribly so though, the skin underneath everything looks pretty good. My back is miraculously clear! My shoulders still have a couple of little bumps, but everything else is pretty much pigmentation. I'm very happy with the results and I'm hoping that since I'm not getting new breakouts on my back that the pigmentation will fade.

Up until the increase in dose I really hadn't experienced any bad side effects. I'm still doing fine, but my eyes have really been hurting. They feel sort of like they've been sunburned, but I wear my Chanel aviators everywhere and they're super big so I'm not sure that's the case. I've been using eye drops so hopefully they'll start feeling better. My forehead has gotten a bit oily again and my face really isn't dry at all, which is strange since I'm on a higher dose.

Yesterday I went in for a skincare consultation at a sort of spa, but different because it's associated with a dermatology office that I used to go to (I left because even though the guy was good he was always really late and it finally pissed me off so much that I stormed out and never went back). In short, they're really good there.

So now the products that I'm using are:

Effaclar purifying foaming gel cleanser

Mela-D skin lightening daily lotion

Toleriane Fluide Soothing protective non-oily emulsion (lotion for sensitive skin)

Facial Sheild SPF 20

La Mer eye balm

I asked about the skin lightening lotion because the pigmentation on my cheeks is driving me crazy. Technically i'm not supposed to use anything, but the estition that I talked with took accutane a while back and she used it and didn't have problems (she now has perfect skin). All of the products are by La Roche-Posay and are really high quality and they make my skin really soft and refined looking.

I also talked to her about suppliments, because I've heard of people taking vitamin E and such. She gave me a list of four things: a probiotic pill, wheatgrass pills, a DHA thing, and cod liver oil which is orange flavored but you have to swallow it (it doesn't come in pills) and it's totally gross. She told me to make sure that the ingredients didn't include iodine because that can make your skin break out. None of them listed iodine, but on the bottle it says not to take if you're allergic to iodine so i'm hoping that she knew what she was talking about and this isn't going to mess up my skin. I really need to make an appointment with a nutritionist because it is all very confusing. Has anyone heard of any of these suppliments before?

All in all I'm in a decent mood. I'm being lazy and bored, but better than stressed I guess...I need to get off my lazy butt and go running or something. I'm hoping that the 60 mg will start killing the remaining breakouts soon!

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I asked about the skin lightening lotion because the pigmentation on my cheeks is driving me crazy.  Technically i'm not supposed to use anything, but the estition that I talked with took accutane a while back and she used it and didn't have problems (she now has perfect skin).  All of the products are by La Roche-Posay and are really high quality and they make my skin really soft and refined looking. 

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I actually stopped using the skin lightening stuff a couple of days after I started because I was afraid that it would make my skin break out. At this point it would be hard to tell if my skin was still breaking out on it's own or if it was because of the lightener. I'm paranoid...I think that i'll start using it once my skin is actually clear, or at least mostly clear. All it did was make my skin a little bit pink, so I think it's probably okay to use while on accutane....

I was wondering about the sunless tanning too! I'm not going anywhere near the sun, but I want to be a little bit tan. Have you heard of mystic tanning? It's like a room that you go in and it sprays you with the tanning stuff...I did it back in high school and it looked really good, but i'm afraid to do anything that might make my skin break out right now. I'm not exactly sure how to find out if it's non-comedogenic. At any rate, let me know what your doctor says about the sunless tanning. Hope that everything is going well for you!

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Hey how are things going for you? I hope things started to get better. I just finished my first month on 40 mg and was upped to 60mg. My face is a mess. And I feel you on the ex boyfriend thing. My ex called me after 8 months and wants to see me. I haven't seen my ex in months and the last time he saw me I had perfect skin. Now im a mess and he would be shocked and disgusted if he saw me.

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Hey, I definitely didn't keep up with this log, but I just wanted to check back in now that I've been off of accutane for 6 months. It worked wonders for me, so all of you guys that are on it and experiencing the initial break outs, hang in there :). They say that accutane isn't a permanent cure for oily skin, but my skin went from being REALLY oily to staying normal and balanced, even though it's been 6 months. I really didn't have any major side effects other than severely chapped lips, so i guess i was pretty lucky. I just wanted to share my success and offer my support. If anyone has questions, I would be happy to do my best to answer them. Keep up the good work!

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I just wanted to share my success and offer my support. If anyone has questions, I would be happy to do my best to answer them. Keep up the good work!

hey shadowgirl,

I'm glad to hear that accutane did a great job for you..and that your skin is still clear ;)

Hope everthing will go on fine for you...thanks for your constitutive words. I guess I'll help lots of people to hang on...

All the Best!

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