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clairesil

30 year old mom - finally on Accutane

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Hi all-

I'm new to this forum and new to Accutane (Amnesteem actually). I'm on day 3. No side effects yet, my eyes feel a little dry right now, but who's to say if it's from the meds or not. I'm on 60 mgs a day (20 in the morning and 40 at night).

I am 30 years old and have had acne since I was 10. It's funny, growing up I knew I had it but it never really bothered me all that much. I used all kinds of topical stuff, and my mom took me to the derm where I was prescribed Retin-A and pretty much everything else in their repertoire. I guess I just chalked it up to being a teenager, and a lot of my friends had bad skin too so I didn't feel all that out of place. Looking back at my pictures from middle school and high school though - yikes!! It was bad.

Towards 18, 19, 20 it got slightly better, but I always had it. I kept thinking, any day this will be my last breakout. After all, I'm not a teenager anymore. In my mid to late 20's I always had at least one "active" zit on my face. As soon as it would start to heal another one would pop up. They started concentrating on just my chin and jawline. I started going to an esthetician and got monthly facials with peels. They would really irritate my skin for about a week, then I had about 2 weeks of great, clear skin, and then the acne would just come right back.

I got pregnant with my daughter (now 15 months old) when I was 28. The first half of my pregnancy my skin was how it always was, if not a little worse. However for the last half of the pregnancy and the first 4 or so months after she was born, my skin was GREAT! I was so happy. I thought my body had finally just realized I was an adult now and the acne would go bye-bye forever. But no such luck. When it came back, it came back with a vengence. I mean really bad, the worst it's ever been. Big cysts, hude white heads, all over my face, but still mostly on my jawline, chin, and lower cheeks.

I went to the derm but they said they couldn't really do anything for me until I was done breast feeding. I was committed to nursing my daughter for at least a year and didn't think my vanity was a reason to rob her of this healthy start to life. I was also secretly hoping that when I was done nursing my hormones would even out and my skin would clear up.

I finally weaned my daughter at 14 months, went back on the pill (Ortho-TriCyclen, again hoping this would be the secret cure for my skin). After a month and a half, I bit the bullet and went to my derm and requested Accutane.

Just a side note, when I was calling a few derm offices to see the soonest appointment I could get, one receptionist asked me what the appointment was regarding. I said "acne", and she said, "Ok, do you need an after school appointment?" That was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life! Like I need any more reminders that acne is "supposed" to be a teenage disease. I feel like NO ONE else my age has skin as bad as mine (ok, I know some do, but no one I have ever met or come across in the grocery store or anything.)

After tons of testing, forms, and red tape (they make it easier for you to buy a gun than to get on this drug), here I am!

I'm so nervous, and kind of making myself feel all the side effects when they're not there ("Oh oh! I think I'm going blind!"). I've just read way too much of what can go wrong and am kind of making myself sick with it! But I'm so ready for clear skin. I think I was way too nice to my acne for too many years. I probably should have been on this as a teenager, my derm even recommended it, but after reading about the side effects I thought it wasn't worth it. Hopefully in about 5 months, I will have decided it's well worth it!

As a mom, I think of my daughter in everything I do. I've noticed that I shy away from cameras all the time. There's hardly any pictures of me and my daughter together. (If there are some, thank god for Photoshop!) When the video camera is turned on, I conveniently find away to be off camera, or at least make sure my back is to it. I want my daughter to think her mom's the prettiest lady in the world. I want to be a confident role model for her. So enough is enough!

I also want to have gone thru this Accutane experience so that in case my daughter has bad skin (which I hope against hope she doesn't, but everyone says it's genetic) I can tell her my experience with it and let her know if I think it's worth it or not.

I haven't noticed any difference in my skin yet. It actually feels pretty good just softness wise, because for the few days before I started the med I stopped using all my topical treatments and switched to Cetaphil cleanser and Dermalogica Active Moist moisturizer. I wanted to be nice and moisturized so the dryness won't take me by surprise. I used Cetaphil as a teenager and didn't really care for it because I felt like it didn't really get my skin clean, but I can see how it might be very soothing if my skin gets irritated/dry.

I think I just wrote the longest post ever, but I guess I neeeded to get a lot off my chest! I will try to post regularly with how I'm feeling and how my skin is doing. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!

Thanks!

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As a mom, I think of my daughter in everything I do. I've noticed that I shy away from cameras all the time. There's hardly any pictures of me and my daughter together. (If there are some, thank god for Photoshop!) When the video camera is turned on, I conveniently find away to be off camera, or at least make sure my back is to it. I want my daughter to think her mom's the prettiest lady in the world. I want to be a confident role model for her. So enough is enough!

I think every child thinks that their mom is the prettiest woman in the world no matter what their moms may look like !!

And good luck on accutane !!

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I totally understand where you are coming from. I am 25 and starting getting acne at the age of 10 also...never even got to spend any of my teenage years with clear skin lol! My skin also got worse when I was pregnant with my son but unlike you...I didn't get a lucky break during the last few months of pregnancy. It was hell all the way through! I just started Accutane Jan. 1..I wanted to start the new year off right! Good luck to you and keep your head up...it will be a roller coaster for us but we will have clear skin in the end!! :D

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Best of luck to you. I am on day 30 now and I think I am about to turn a corner. It may be tough in the first month, but keep the faith! Only 5 months to the rest of your life :)

BettyCherry xxx

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Best of luck to you. I am on day 30 now and I think I am about to turn a corner. It may be tough in the first month, but keep the faith! Only 5 months to the rest of your life :)

BettyCherry xxx

Hi clairesil,

Just to make you feel a little younger, I'm a 47 year old man who is 2-1/2 weeks into the Accutane adventure. I've got an Accutane log posted if you want to read it. I understand how you feel when you think you're just TOO OLD for this!

In my first 2-1/2 weeks, my VERY oily skin has dried out (not horribly but nicely) so that I feel like a normal person again (in the past I felt like I had to wash my face half an hour after a thorough washing). I've also had a very significant initial breakout which seems to be subsiding. It started on day 2 and began to subside on day 14.

I just got back from the derm because I had a cyst injected (nasty one right on the front of my face). Hopefully it will fade in a few days instead of becoming a beacon on my face like they normally do.

I wish you well on your adventure! It helps to know that there are lots of others who are in the same boat!

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Hey girl, I am so with you. I am going to be 29 in a few weeks, I have 3 children and have had acne since i am 11 years old. It was once moderate/severe. I had every type in the book, and now its light/moderate acne. I went to a derm not to long ago and her attitude was "sure, you can go on accutane" but after thinking about it, i didnt want to because I dont even think my acne is severe enough now (i should have just taken it though). I wish I can get something for all these scars from all the past trauma.

My 10 year old is now starting to experience acne and I am freaking out because I will hate for him to go through the teasing that I went through from 6th grade on. People still make comments about my skin (and my 3 year old drew a picture of me with acne all over my face, so I know how you feel about wanting your baby to see the most beautiful mommy, not your acne).

Good luck and we are here for you!

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Hi everyone--

Thanks so much for all your responses! I feel like part of a big happy pimply family!

I'm on day 4 now and knock-on-wood am not feeling any side effects yet, just slightly dry eyes still, but nothing to write home about. My cheeks feel a little red and hot to the touch, but again no big deal.

I keep hearing everyone talk about the "initial breakout", but my derm said only about 20% of people get that, so I'm hoping I'll be one of the lucky 80%!

I'm so self conscious about my scarring, I would like to hear about any miracle products or procedures anyone has used to help with it. I'm very fair and have always had very scar-prone skin (I mean, I still have a scar on the back of my hand from falling off my bike when I was 8. It was just a scrape!). I'm a fan of Dermalogica products, and when I'm done with Accutane will starting using the Daily Microfoliant again and the Day Bright/Night Bright products. My derm said to avoid any kind of exfoliating or microdermabrasion for 6 months after stopping the med, but I read on another site a doctor recommended waiting 3 years! Once I'm finally pimple free, I know I'll still be so self conscious about the scarring that there's no way I'll go to the grocery store without makeup. I want to be scar-free too!

Claire

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Just to make you feel a little younger, I'm a 47 year old man who is 2-1/2 weeks into the Accutane adventure. I've got an Accutane log posted if you want to read it. I understand how you feel when you think you're just TOO OLD for this!

I wish you well on your adventure! It helps to know that there are lots of others who are in the same boat!

my mum is 41 and has oily skin, she said everyone tells her she's jealous of her cause it'll stave off wrinkles lol, so look on the bright side [if tehre ever is one with acne...?]

i'm a fan of dermalogica too, i've posted topics about their products and about exfoliating but no one has replied...are we not supposed to use anything like the brighteners or the daily microfoliant? i'm not too sure what's restricted. are we not supposed to exfoliate at all, i'm really peely!

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I'm so freaked out about scarring I'm going to shy away from any kind of exfoliation for as long as I can! Probably the microfoliant is no big deal though.

Day 5. Last night I started noticing the first side effects, a little bit of dryness on my jawline and chin. I sort of had little circles of dryness around my pimples, like I'd put a really strong spot treatment on them or something. This morning noticed some dryness around my nose too, and all day my face felt dry and itchy. I wonder if the Dermalogica Active Moist will be enough, maybe I need something more hard core? Any suggestions? Moisturel?

I've also gotten a nice field of little red bumps and whiteheads on my forehead. I have several large whiteheads around my jawline too, but I can't say my skin looks any worse that it probably would if I weren't on Accutane, KWIM?

I'm not talking my multi vitamins (because of the vitamin A), as per my derm, but does anyone know if we should stay away from carrots and other high vitamin A foods too??

Claire

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Hey girl, I am so with you. I am going to be 29 in a few weeks, I have 3 children and have had acne since i am 11 years old. It was once moderate/severe. I had every type in the book, and now its light/moderate acne. I went to a derm not to long ago and her attitude was "sure, you can go on accutane" but after thinking about it, i didnt want to because I dont even think my acne is severe enough now (i should have just taken it though). I wish I can get something for all these scars from all the past trauma.

My 10 year old is now starting to experience acne and I am freaking out because I will hate for him to go through the teasing that I went through from 6th grade on. People still make comments about my skin (and my 3 year old drew a picture of me with acne all over my face, so I know how you feel about wanting your baby to see the most beautiful mommy, not your acne).

Good luck and we are here for you!

i know its not funny but i laughed when i read about your daughter drawing you with acne. my 3 year old daughter asked me why i have red spots on my face and the other mammys dont. i was heartbroken. but their honesty is so funny.

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Hey girl, I am so with you. I am going to be 29 in a few weeks, I have 3 children and have had acne since i am 11 years old. It was once moderate/severe. I had every type in the book, and now its light/moderate acne. I went to a derm not to long ago and her attitude was "sure, you can go on accutane" but after thinking about it, i didnt want to because I dont even think my acne is severe enough now (i should have just taken it though). I wish I can get something for all these scars from all the past trauma.

My 10 year old is now starting to experience acne and I am freaking out because I will hate for him to go through the teasing that I went through from 6th grade on. People still make comments about my skin (and my 3 year old drew a picture of me with acne all over my face, so I know how you feel about wanting your baby to see the most beautiful mommy, not your acne).

Good luck and we are here for you!

i know its not funny but i laughed when i read about your daughter drawing you with acne. my 3 year old daughter asked me why i have red spots on my face and the other mammys dont. i was heartbroken. but their honesty is so funny.

OMG, I was totally heartbroken when he did that, i wanted to crawl in a hole, but yes, it is funny!

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Just wanted to say good luck! I broke out my entire pregnancy unfortunetly, and like you, breastfed for about 15 months, then went on accutane. I'm on month 4 and its starting to look up!!

:)

Laurel

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Thanks Laurel!

Day 6. Dryness wise my skin feels a little better as I really lathered on the moisturizer last night and this morning. My lips are starting to feel it, but I've been diligent about the Aquaphor so maybe they won't get any worse than this?

My emotions were pretty rocky today however. I felt very wiped out, grouchy, and a little weepy. I hope this is just my stupid BCP which I plan on changing at the end of this cycle because it makes me super naseous.

To everyone reading: when would you say your side effects peaked? Was it a week or month into it, or does everything continue to get worse the longer you're on it? Also, any thoughts on the high vitamin A foods?

Thanks!

Claire

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Day 9. My chin and nose are flake city, and I'm very red. My face feels hot, like I have a fever, and my complexion looks kind of lumpy to me. I guess that's just my skin being irritated and it will become a little smoother when I'm done with the drug. I noticed a couple of weird dry skin flakes on the bottoms of my fingers. But all in all I'm not too dry - I have been applying Aquaphor liberally to my lips since the first sign of dryness, trying to use a lot of hand moisturizer and wearing gloves when I do dishes.

My mood is still a little iffy, my anxiety is definitely on high alert, but I don't know if that's a real side effect of the drug, or just me being extra aware of my body and mental state since I'm on this drug. I think as I get more used to being on it, I'll chill out. I can't believe it's already day 9! I actually had to stop for a second and think about what day it was, it wasn't the first thing on my mind all day. In a week or so I bet I'll have to look at a calendar and count.

I keep likening this experience to being pregnant. When I first found out I was pregnant (it was a little unexpected, but welcomed by my husband and I), I freaked out quite a bit. Of course I read about and thought about every bad thing that could possibly happen, and thinking of being in this uncomfortable, high anxiety state for 9 months sounded like torture. I literally counted the days too. But the more time passed the more I got used to it, and 9 months flew by. The pregnancy wasn't nearly as bad as I was afraid it would be. I'm hoping these 5 months will prove to be a similarly easy experience that won't be nearly as bad as I'm afraid they will be!

Claire

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Day 13. The dryness is increasing, but still manageable. My dry eyes are killing me though! I need to get some drops. They make me feel tired when I'm not really.

I'm trying to find out when the side effects peak. Do they keep getting worse from here on out? Or if this is as worse as it gets I can definitely deal with this.

I'm still totally breaking out, but no cysts, just several huge whiteheads. They are so gross and so painful. They're the kind that just pop by themselves after I've (very gently) washed my face. How horrible is it to have the pain on your face wake you up in the middle of the night if your face touches the pillow in the wrong way? I'm so ready to be done with this!!! I can't wait.

My worse fear is that this won't work and I'll be stuck with this for the rest of my life, and I'll have wasted a lot of time and money. I've determined this is going to be a really expensive process. I think the office visits are about $50 each, the prescription is about $60 a month, and I just got a statement for the bloodwork (which I still need to have 3 more times) and it was $150!! Ridiculous. I'm sure the pee in a cup pregnancy tests will be stupidly expensive too.

I hope it's worth it!

Claire

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Seriously who cares if we breakout were gonna be clear!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait! I'm on the roller coaster with you!!! I seriously wanna go around and get with in 1 inch of someone and show them all my nastiness! haha...then do it in 6 months... (Hope I didn't jynx myself ahaha!)

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Day 22. The redness/dryness etc have really plateaued and I haven't noticed them getting any worse for the past couple of weeks, so hopefully this is as bad as it will get. It's pretty manageable! Still breaking out but it's not terrible. I had itchy scalp and some dandruff last week, but a couple days of Selsun Blue took care of that. My hair looks really dry and frizzy so I need to find a good shampoo to switch to. I think I still need to shampoo every day though.

Last week I got several new large whiteheads and I couldn't help wondering if they were due to using Cetaphil (which I still feel doesn't get me totally clean) or using lots of moisturizer.

I gotta say I'm loving the lower maintenance of my skin. I just wash and moisturize (and put on makeup of course), instead of the 20 step routine of washing, toning, topicals, spot treatments, masques, moisturizers, etc. Much easier!

I still feel like my anxiety level is a little raised, but that may or may not have anything to do with the Accutane, as I've always been an anxious person.

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i'm 30 and just started accutane myself. i'm on first week and started flaking a little. sucks that we have to go throuhg this as adults but hopefully after our course we will be cured or at least not be as bad as before.

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Okay I was just reading your journal and I feel like I wrote it myself! I feel like we must be seperated at birth or something....so weird. (I can totally relate to photoshop...love it!! haha) My journal is called

"It's MYYYYYY Turn"...check it out! You will see what I mean.

An answer to your question about the intial break-out. My Derm told me that it will usually be no more than 2 weeks...one month at the absolute most. She also said that if I was horribly broken out with painful cysts or "couldn't lay (my) head on (my)my pillow" (my Drs. words) that I should call her because she could give me something to ease it up some and make it more comfortable.

Hope that helps you!

I wish you the best! Keep in touch....

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Hey thanks! I will definitely check out your log. I love your screen name too. When I was in college I was in the supermarket and a little kid, maybe about 5, pointed to me and said to his mom, "chickenpox!". His mom had to go ahead and make a life lesson of it for her kid and say really loud, "no honey, that's not chickenpox, everyone has to go through that with their skin". Ugh.

I don't know if anyone has had the pleasure of dealing with the new "I Pledge" system yet but it's truly been a nightmare for me. I was almost not able to get my second month's prescription filled because my derm set me up the wrong way, and no one could get thru to I Pledge for help, but we finally realized if I just got one of the "old" prescriptions with the yellow sticker on it from my derm, then the pharmacy could go ahead and fill it, which they did. Everyone promises that the mess will be cleared up by next month when the new system is mandatory - we'll see!

Well it's day 31 for me. I'm still breaking out, but I believe the pimples are a little smaller and seem to dry up faster. And they're only on the left side of my face, my right side has been clear for several days now! Even when I wash my face I can feel 3 good bumps under the skin on my left side and none on my right. Go figure.

I feel like in general my skin looks better as I'm not oily anymore and therefore my forehead and nose look better because they're not so shiny. Both my dr and my pharmacist said I looked better! I know this may just be a lull in between major breakouts so I'm trying not to get too excited, but it's nice to have a small break.

I'm only washing my hair every 3 days now which is a huge bonus! It's always been oily by the end of the first day. You have no idea how much prep time this saves me, I love it.

Also the side effects are much better. My skin isn't nearly so dry or itchy. This concerns me a little as I've never read in anyone's logs that they're side effects got better. I hope I'm taking enough!

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Hi all-

It's been a while since I posted, I'm so lazy. I don't even know what "day" I'm on in my treatment anymore, but I'm close to the end of month 2 (my 2 month appt is next Wednesday).

I'm doing so much better! There was actually almost a week there where I didn't have any new pimples, but just today woke up with two new medium size ones. The sucky part is that my skin still doesn't look very good, as I have so many red marks and scars. I don't get that "oh, your skin's looking so good!" reaction I'm hoping for from people, but I know time will help heal them. And then when I'm all done with Accutane I am going to splurge on some awesome treatments to resurface me!

As far as side effects go, it's pretty much status quo. A little dry but nothing terrible. I'm getting over a cold and the inside of my nose is SO dry now, every time I blow my nose a little blood comes out, ick.

I have lost a couple of pounds since starting the drug, and I was a little underweight to begin with. I just visited family in California, and three of them said to me separately I looked very thin and they were concerned. So now I'm concerned too! I looked in the list of possible side effects and it lists weight loss as a possibility, so I'll keep my eye on it. I eat like a pig, and I don't want to look like one of the Olson twins or Nicole Ritchie or anything.

Lovely, instead of hearing "your skin looks great!" I hear "you're so skinny, are you ok?". Not the reaction I was looking for!

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It's being a mommy that helps make you skinny...even too skinny, I'll bet. I get that sometimes and I swear I eat like a hog. In fact I just ate 5 oreo (double stuf) Oreos. Oh yeah. Chasing after these munchkins can burn some serious calories.

Anyway, I know what you mean about not getting a huge reation. My red marks are all still there too. I think people are not nearly as aware of our faces as we think they are. I think they are just used to the way we look and don't think to register a change. I'll bet that's why you are not getting as much reaction. Some day soon you are gonna find that someone is gonna stop in mid sentence and say, HOLY CRAP...you look GREAT!!

Glad to see you doing so well...

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