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Well, after reading so many of you guys' logs over the past couple days I've been inspired to keep track of my own progress on Isotetrinoin. Hopefully someone will get some use out of this, and if not it will be interesting for me to look back on my own experience.

I'm currently 20 years old, attending college and living with my boyfriend. I've had moderate acne for 6 years. I've tried every OTC product imagineable, and just about every prescritption product as well - including several oral antibiotics, prescription topicals, and birth control pills. My family doctor was hesistant to prescribe Accutane to me because she did not believe in prescribing it to women (bah!) Now that I'm in my 3rd year of college I finally said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! and scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist in one of the upscale clinics downtown. They were so wonderful there, and their clinic was absolutely stunning (I felt like I was going to the spa!) After taking my bloodtest, two pregnancy tests, and wading knee deep through the pages and pages of legal documents (Ok ok, I GET IT, dont get pregnant... jesus) I was prescribed 20mg a day for the first month. 20mg/day seems a little low compared to what everyone else starts out on, but I am fairly petite (around 115 lbs) so I'm not terribly worried about it, and if it reduces my chances of getting a bad breakout then I'm happy!

I really want to be cleared up for Christmas (and all the photos and crap bleh) but that's probably not a reasonable timeframe. If anything, I want to be looking great for my 21st birthday (in march) and just put all of this acne crap behind me!

So today is day 2. Everything seems about normal. I have all the same blemishes as yesterday :doubt: . It's funny how getting on this stuff makes you totally hypersensitive about every little change in your skin or body (my knee kind of hurts... omg is it the accutane?? I think my lips feel dry... is it my imagination?? lol ) Although I am super pissed at the packaging, it literally takes me a full 5 minutes to dig one of those damn pills out, and all the pregnant women and deformed babies... :rolleyes:

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I am super pissed at the packaging, it literally takes me a full 5 minutes to dig one of those damn pills out, and all the pregnant women and deformed babies...

:lol2: Haha, i know exactly what you mean. I read an Accutane blog where the chick was talking about how all the illustrations showed that if she got pregnant her baby would be 'Balthazar the Conehead', so i get a little evil giggle every time i'm wrestling a pill out of the packaging.

I'm also on 20mg a day and am pretty surprised at how well i'm responding to it. They can always raise your dosage later if needed.

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u guys happen to know how much i would pay for accutane if i dont have insurance ?? im going broke after this treatment :( but well if acnes doesnt come back , then its worth it ...........

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varies per brand i think. Don't actually know the prices, sorry :( (my insurance covers all! :$)

To FROOT, good luck. My advice is not to look for improvements/effects everyday (though it's hard not to) cause you will only be worrying about how it's going and be looking at the worst spots :) just check it once every few weeks to see what's happening!

christmass may be doable if you're lucky. 2 months seems to be a point where lots of improvement is noticed, but many times it takes much longer or even shorter as well! :)

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u guys happen to know how much i would pay for accutane if i dont have insurance ?? im going broke after this treatment :( but well if acnes doesnt come back , then its worth it ...........

On my Walgreens sheet it says cost is $1,049 a month for my 60mg of Accutane (non-generic). I'm on a 5 month course, luckily with insurance I end up paying $35 a month of that.

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Thanks for the support guys ^___^

As for the cost, I'm not entirely sure since my insurance covers everything except $10 (for offbrand). I remember reading in someone else's log that it was pretty expensive, like $100-200 a month. I would suggest going with an offbrand though, there's no sense in paying 2x as much for a name.

Day 3: Nothing new really - if anything my face looks a little bit better. It's unrelated to the accutane I'm sure since my breakouts tend to come in cycles. Nice to start out on a good foot though.

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Ew, I think I'm getting the initial breakout (well, maybe...) Yesterday morning a few new pimples showed up, mostly in places that I don't usually break out (jawline & temples) and they've stayed about the same for the last 24 hours or so. They aren't terrible, nothing worse than a usual breakout or anything, but the fact they are in places I don't usually get them makes me suspicious. Also I've noticed that my blackheads seem more visible today, they don't really seem any worse, they just look like they are moving to the surface or something. I even noticed that a couple just came right out as I washed my face, so I guess it's a good thing even though they aren't very attractive.

So far I'm not too dry... I'm definately a little less oily than usual and my lips are a little on the chapped side, but if I didn't know that dryness was a side effect I probably wouldn't have even noticed the difference.

I'm a little nervous about taking my next liver enzyme test since I'm such a heavy drinker (hey I'm in college what do you expect?) I told my derm this when I went in for my first appointment, and she told me that drinking was fine and she never saw a dangerous change in liver enzyme due to moderate drinking, provided that they had normal liver enzymes before they started accutane. This was good news to me (hehe >:D) but it sounds like a lot of other people have been told the opposite... I guess I am on such a low dose though that it's probably not too bad. *shrug* I guess I'll just have to wait and see (livers are for chumps!)

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Day 6: Face is still not looking so hot, the new pimples havent gone away yet (except for one on my temple which is starting to shrink), and the 2 on my jawline look and feel like crap. At least I havent gotten any new ones since these sprung up. I really hope this is my initial breakaout (although it seems a little early) I'll keep my fingers crossed. BAH I have to give a presentation on tuesday I hope things look better by then :wall:

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livers are for chumps!

:lol2:

'Balthazar the Conehead'

I love this log. Funny stuff! I wish I knew someone in person who was on this stuff. Oh the fun we'd have...

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Bah, face looks like uber crap this evening :cry::cry: . After I wash my face it's SO flaky, I feel like some sort of reptile, I'M MOLTING! I'm really glad my derm only put me on 20mg/day - at first I was worried that I wouldn't see results with such a low dose, but considering I'm already breaking out and shedding skin like some sort of leper after one week... I can't even imagine how it would be if I had started with like 80mg/day or something. Eeep.

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shedding skin like some sort of leper after one week

The flakiness is the worst! It makes my face look even worse after makeup. Ugh.

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Day 8: Things are looking much better today! Everything seems to have calmed down a bit. I still have a pustule on my chin (which is so gross, because I never get pustules, I blame accutane bahh) but it has flattened out and gotten smaller. Everything else left really bad red marks, which isn't so bad because I can usually cover them up with makeup (unlike pimples which just look terrible with makeup over them!) I did some serious exfoliating and moisturizing which seems to have taken care of the dryness and peeling. I still get little flakeys right after I wash my face, but one coat of moisturizer (dove vitamin therapy face lotion) keeps me good all day long.

I still have a few annoying mini whiteheads on my chin (I pick at those ones mwahahaha) but other than that the rest of my skin looks pretty good. As soon as my intial breakout clears up (which it seems to be doing) I think my skin is going to look better than ever!

Edited by frootsmoothie
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Day 10:

The one thing I really hate about Accutane is how self conscious it makes me. All I can think about is my skin, and if it's getting better or worse, and the more I think about my skin the more depressing it is. Always looking in the mirror, always looking at other people's skin, thinking about it every time my hands or lips feel dry. BAH! I know that I am on the road to improvement, but I wish I could feel good about myself now (instead of always saying "SOMEDAY I will have beautiful skin... someday") Bleh, I wish I could afford to get my hair done or something to make me feel better, that's what I get for taking the quarter off from work so I can focus on school :doubt:

Skin looks about the same today, the pus thing on my chin is still there but doesnt look too bad, just really flaky. In fact, all my new red spots got HUGE flaky skin patches around them, which I just scratched away but it was weird to be so flaky like that. I have a new pimple coming up on the side of my forehead (bah, forehead is the only place I dont get pimples ever) but it's not that big and it seems like the kind that will go away instead of lingering. I have a couple under the skin bumps on my cheek that are worrying me, I really hope they don't volcano into something bad :confused:

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My skin is SO dry this morning! I forgot to put lotion on last night before I went to bed, and when I woke up I felt like some sort of mummy with petrified leather skin :shock: . Everytime I scratch my face there's a little sprinkling of dead skin, oh how sexy! I'm really glad I dont have class on thursdays because there is no way I could put makeup over this and make it look normal (and I do NOT go out without makeup!) On the bright side, I'm pretty much oil free. The other night I fell asleep on the sofa without taking my makeup off, and when I woke up a couple hours later I expected to be a total oil slick (which I usually am if I go that long without washing my face) but I was still pretty dry - crazy. As much as I hate being so dry and flaky, it's definately less gross than being a grease factory.

I still have new pimples popping up :( but nothing much worse than before I started accutane, and none of the recent ones seem very deep or cystic so hopefully they will go away soon. I really hope that I get lucky and have a clear streak during Thanksgiving since I have to visit relatives and there will probably be pictures taken BLEH.

OMG MUMMY SKIN! I know how you feel, man.

IPB Image

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Heya,

omg i no EXACTLY what you mean, i am on day 16 and my skin is flake city!!! seriously you dont realise but you just pick absent mindedly and you end up with massive flakes of dead skin peeling of in your hands.... grooooossee erughhhh.. am not exacly loving the flakes atm.. and it definately doesnt agree mith my make up regieme.. am def same as you... i WILL NOT go outside unless i have full face of foundation etc etc on.. i no it sounds tarty, and believe you me i wish i didnt have to wear any!!, but i just feel so self conscious without it and thats not a good feeling..

anyways the flaky flaky dry dry dry skin you get at this kinda time on accutane just ruins your makeup, seriously its fine in morning, as i apply think layer of intense moisturiser, but come mid day and its started flakin and ive had a little pickin sesh, i go and look in the mirror and im like, what!!!!!!! my chin looks like a jigsaw of differnt colours, some areas still with makeup alongside patches witout alonside patches of my red marks showing through!!!!!! bahhhhh it gets on my t*Ts lol..

anyways just thought id post to let you know im right there wit you... hope things improve, good luck x

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Bleh I know what you mean about the makeup thing littleone. I hate having to wear makeup every day, but it just looks too awful not to. But then again it also looks awful when you put makeup over flaky skin and it looks all blotchy and terrible. Screwed either way I guess, lol. :wall:

Day 13, almost two weeks! I skipped class yesterday because my face looked so terrible and peely and broken out :X My skin makes me such a hermit. This morning I woke up and when I yawned, my lip split straight down the middle and started bleeding all over the place. I never get bleedy lips, its awful! now I have to apply chapstick like every 2 minutes so it doesnt start bleeding again. I got a bunch of new pimples yesterday, a cluster on each of my cheeks. It's like everything hiding underneath my skin has suddenly decided to sprout up :evil: I put 10% BP lotion on them before I went to bed and they seem to be doing better this morning - I can still feel the bumps but they have shrunken down so they're not very visible and havent turned into super red spots yet. The big annoying one on my forehead is almost gone, but its going to leave a big red mark - which sucks because my forehead is the only place on my face that is pimple/scar/mark free, sigh.

I'll try to sum up my last two weeks:

PROS:

Skin is no longer oily

CONS:

Face is molting

Lips are bleeding

More pimples

Wow that's not very encouraging is it? Sometimes I worry that someone is going to read my journal and just be totally terrified to go on accutane because of it, LOL. Truthfully though, none of the side effects are terrible, and the breakout (at least for me) isnt the end of the world either. It's worse than my skin is normally, yes, but not that much worse. I am still very glad I'm on this drug! I guess I really wasnt expecting the side effects to be so noticeable on my dose (only 20mg/day)

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u guys happen to know how much i would pay for accutane if i dont have insurance ?? im going broke after this treatment :( but well if acnes doesnt come back , then its worth it ...........

You can get the generic. My insurance won't cover it either. I have been paying $200 a month for 40mg - next month when it goes up to 60mg it is $400.

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Hey Hey... the make up is a bugger...!!!its just another thing to feel extremely self conscious about!! :mad: i have started looking at tinted moisturisers and have found a routine that kinda combats dryness.. just though id share it with ya

first was face with cetaphil..

then thick layer of eucerin andlet it sink in

then tined moisturiser, this is moisturising and generally evens out your skin tone (No. 7 i thnks the best)

THIN layer of revalon colourstay foundation, covers up acne (just on acne areas, chin and nose etc)

Extra concealer if you need (usually by now im justa bout covered lol)

then light dusting of translucent powder

i dont know if its where i am in the treatment, i.e. the dryness is just naturally subsiding, or its the new make up regieme.. but recently (last few days ) my skin has been looking much less dry, even normal? :D

so give it a go if you can.. i no its seems like you puttin a lot on your skin, but ive found i feel much better and the make up feels much lighter than just pilling on layers of foundation to cover up pimples, as i did before.. :naughty:

hope your ok anyways, im like a week ahead of you and my skin has cleared up alot.. although have lots of clusters of tiny under the skin bumps on my face in areas ive never had acne before, weird.. :doubt: and they dnt really show anysign of coming to head.. am worried they will just stay there for ever???

anyways the dryness will get better promise, good luck x

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Wow I havent posted in a while!

Today is the end of MONTH ONE! I can't believe It's been a month already. I was supposed to have an appointment with my derm this morning, but I had a total brainfart... I walked outside to hop in my car when I remembered that my boyfriend was borrowing it (his car is in the shop). Yeah I'm so SMRT! :doh: So I called my derm and told them my car wouldnt start (they have a very expensive missed appt fee so I tried to sound a little helpless :whistle: ) So I'm gonna reschedule for sometime this week, which means I might miss a couple pills but I dont think it's the end of the world.

My face has been a ROLLERCOASTER! It starts to look great for a couple days, then BAM I'll get 3 MONSTER zits... then a couple days later things look great, then BAM! Basically, my skin looks much better than it used to on "clearer" days, but looks worse than it used to on "bad" days. Right now my skin is doing pretty good, it has a lot of red spots from a bad breakout I had a couple days ago, but other than that it's pretty clear except for a few mini zits around my chin and a couple suspicious bumps on my cheeks (please dont turn into a pimple :pray: ) The one thing I noticed a huge improvement on is my nose, I used to have TERRIBLE blackheads that would never go away no matter how much I exfoliated or used those biore strip things... but now they are almost gone! Although its a small change, it makes me REALLY happy because I know that this stuff is starting to work!

Dryness has gotten TONS better. It was terrible for about a week but then it stopped... I still get flakeys around my lips and eyebrows, but its not bad at all and applying makeup is fine. I've been exfoliating pretty frequently, which helps a lot with flakeys and makes my skin really smooth.

Other side effects havent been too bad. Lips are the most annoying part, they're always cracking and bleeding and I always lose my chapstick... I need to buy more backups lol. I had a bit of dandruff for a couple days (which was distressing because I've never had dandruff before and I didnt know what to do about it) but it went away pretty quickly. I had mild joint pain the first few weeks but it seems to have gone away completely too. One side effect that I'm actually HAPPY about is that my hair never gets greasy anymore! I used to get really greasy roots even by the end of the day, but not now!

I'm skipping class today because I left my makeup at my boyfriends family's house (we stayed with them over the weekend since we didnt get to see them over thanksgiving holiday). I'm so vain... seriously though I'm just too self conscious unless I have makeup on. I feel so bad for guys with acne, I would just die without makeup.

IN A NUTSHELL:

-Face is still breaking out, but on the good days I can see the light!

-Still wouldnt DARE leave the house without makeup. Red marks, scars, mini pimples, oh my!

-Blackheads on my nose are almost all gone. My pores look much smaller and less noticeable now.

-Chapped lips still suck.

-Nervous about my liver enzymes test because I'm practically an alcoholic.

-Improvement is slow going, but I'll be patient :D

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End of Month one:

Well I just go back from my dermatologist. She bumped me up to 40mg a day (up from 20mg) for the next month, and after that she plans to put me on 60mg/day for the rest of my treatment. I finally feel like I am seeing some improvement in my face, so I really hope upping the dose wont cause a big breakout again.

Also, despite my excessive college binge drinking all month, my lipid and liver enzyme tests were squeaky clean. LIVER OF STEEL!!! :dance:

The nurse gave me some Aquaphor, it's pretty nice - definately way better than plane jane chapstick. The only thing I dont like about it is that I have to apply it with my finger... I've never been a big fan of lip stuff that you stick your finger in, oh well, if it keeps my lips moist I'll be happy!

Well, hopefull I will continue to see improvement!!!

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Day 33

on 40 mg now

I think I'm having mild side effects to the upped dose. My knees are really sore after I sit in one place for a while, and I had a terrible headache yesterday... but it wasn't a normal headache it was kind of a tenseness behind my eyes, like it was caused from dryness or something. I had similar side effects the first week I was on 20mg, so I'm pretty sure these ones will go away in a week as well.

I havent gotten any cysts in almost an entire week, which is really good for me because I pretty much always have at least one somewhere. I have quite a few pimples on my chin, moreso than I ever did before accutane, but they aren't giant or cystic so I'm not too worried about them. Besides popping a small whitehead this morning (I know! bad! but it was so ripe!) the rest of my face has been pretty clear of new pimples. I have a few lingering ones on my left cheek... they're weird because they aren't really active, but they aren't just red spots either. They're just super annoying because they look much worse than they really are. Bah.

So overall, my skin still looks bad - pimples all over my chin, weird ghost pimples on my cheek, still lots of scarring and red marks and poor texture. However, I'm definately seeing a small improvement this week! My blackheads have almost completely dissapeared, and I'm getting fewer cysts.

Oh! also, Aquaphor is AWESOME! I wasn't really sure what all the hype was about but I understand now, lol. I'm an addict now.

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BAH! I spoke too soon. :(

The tolerable cluster of pimples on my chin turned into a GIANT ARMY of pimples, and TWO new cysts. :evil: The thing that is most bizzare is that this happened in a matter of hours! It was like I could literally watch them grow! I'm convinced it's because of my higher dose, since my face has never done anything like that before.

STUPID SKIN!

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Oh my god...

Ok so this morning I'm chasing my idiot dog around trying to catch her so I can put her in her kennel... when I smack my face directly into the corner of the wall. :wall: Now the wall is missing some paint, and my forehead is missing some skin. Not only am I covered in terrible looking pimples, but I have a GIANT PURPLE LUMP ON MY FOREHEAD to boot. I look live I've been run over by a car!!!

Too add insult to injury, I have to take an art history final in 2 hours. I look like the freaking elephant man...

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Hey just wanted to say I am really enjoying your log. It's really honest and informative. I started Tane yesterday and although I am nervous about what's ahead, it kind of helps to know about it first from someone else. Good luck with it all!

BettyCherry xxx

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