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Accutane!

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Arizona

My skin is still perfect! No spots since about midway through my accutane course. All of the side effects I had been experiencing have gone away. The one that was starting to scare me at the end of the course was the hair loss. The last two weeks that I was on accutane, I was shedding a lot more than usual, but it's back to normal now and my hair doesn't look as though it's thinned at all.

So glad I went on accutane. And like so many before me have said, my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. What a difference to wake up and not have to worry about how my skin looks. What a great thing to get to play with make up instead of using it just to do cover up spots. Love this product! So grateful I was able to go on it!

Arizona

Before & After Pictures

As promied!

Here is before. This was taken in the spring a few months before I went on Accutane. It was this breakout that finally pushed me to go to a dermatologist for the first time. Thank goodness I did!!

BEFORE

And after Accutane. No face makeup in this picture, just moisturizer and lip gloss!

AFTER

My skin is still a little on the red/irritated side but my derm has assured me that will continue to subside and my "full results" will be around June.

Obviously, I am so glad I went on Accutane.

Arizona

12 days Post Accutane

Things are getting better and better. I finished 12 days ago. My lips are MUCH less dry. I have gone back to using regular strength chapstick instead of Aquaphor. My skin and hair aren't super dry, but they haven't gone back to the way they were before Accutane either. My hair shedding (which I really only started to experience in the last two weeks of Accutane) is less and less everyday. I think by the end of the month, it will be back to normal. The joint aches I had expereinced on Accutane are pretty much gone now too. Everything seems to be getting back to normal.

As for my skin -- it's doing great! The redness and irritation I felt on Accutane is subsiding. I did get a spot on my forehead like two days after I stopped Accutane, and I was worried that it meant the medicine didn't work! But it went away a day or so later, no big deal. I am just washing with gentle soap and moisturizing. That's all the skin care I need at this point :rolleyes:.

I swear, I really will get before and after pictures on here soon!

Arizona

DONE!

Well, today is 20 weeks. I have pills left for 10 more days, but I think I am going to go ahead and stop because I have noticed that my hair is shedding more than usual, and I don't want to risk my hair thinning. If it weren't for that, I would go ahead and finish out the last 10 days, but since my skin has been problem free since before Thanksgiving, I feel safe stopping.

WOOOHOOOO!

Arizona

12 more days to go!

Sorry, I have been MIA the past couple of weeks. Honestly, my skin is not on my mind anymore, so I forget to post here. I have 12 days left on Accutane. Technically, this Tuesday is the 20 week mark, but because the medicine is given out in 30 day supply instead of 28 days, I have pills to take for an additional week or so.

I am really excited to be done. I am so happy with my results. I haven't had a breakout since just before Thanksgiving. My skin is so much smoother and even. I do have some reddening and irritation due to the medicine, but that will go away once I stop. I also have the dryness and joint aches that I've mentioned before, but nothing I can't handle.

So, all there's left to do is finish up the medicine and let my lips and skin get back to normal. I am relaly looking forward to not hacing to put Aquaphor on every two hours. That's going to be AWESOME. But I will miss my noice matte skin and not having to wash my hair often.

I will post my before and after pictures soon, so you can all "ooohhh" and "ahhhh" over my results :rolleyes: .

Arizona

Missed posting last week, oops. But I don't even know if anyone is reading this, but I still like recording my results week by week.

Now, I am already at week 16! I just got back from my derm appointment with my last prescription in hand :P. I will get this one filled, take the rest of the pills (which will really take me to 21 weeks) and that will be that. Two weeks after I take my last pill I have to get one more pregnancy test and then I will go back to my derm in February for a follow up.

My skin looks so great right now. I have not had any spots since just before Thanksgiving. And I'm starting to get a prettier all over tone to my face, and it's amazing how nice it is to wake up in the morning and NOT worry about my skin.

Love it...

I promise that once I get to week 20 I will post my picture from before and my picture from now. It's quite a nice transformation :P

Arizona

Week 14

More of the same, everything's going well. I did get three little spots this week, but they went away really quickly. I think they may have been brought on by stress getting ready for Thanksgiving.

My blood test results came back...and they were back to normal! Thank goodness! For anyone dealing with raised levels, try eating low carb for a couple of weeks. It made a big difference for me! So now I will be able to finish Accutane on schedule in January. I go back to the derm on Dec. 10 for my last medication prescribing visit :P. Very excited about that.

I am liking where my skin is heading and can't wait to see the end result!

Arizona

13 Weeks

Now I know why so many people drop off of this site once they've been on accutane for awhile. Once you're skin starts clearing, you don't think about it anymore!!!

All is well. It's been 2 weeks since I've had any spots. Still have dryness, but that's my only physical symptom. I had another blood test yesterday so that my doctor could check my triglyceride levels to see if she wants to decrease my last month's dose or not. I should hear from her this week.

All is going so well. I am really happy with how my skin is looking :P.

Arizona

12 Weeks

For some reason, I have been waiting for the 12 week mark since I started Accutane. I have had it in my head that 12 weeks would be when my skin would be perfect. Well, it's not perfect, but it's well on it's way! I don't have any active spots right now! The tone of my skin is clearing my red marks are fading. WoooHoooo!

That's the good news. The bad news is that my cholesterol and triglycerides have gone up. My doctor is a little concerned. She is having me go for another blood test in two weeks to see where the levels are. If they are still high, my doctor wants to cut my dosage in half and instead of only having two more months on accutane, I will have four more months.

So I am DESPERATE to get my cholesterol and tryiglyceride levels down. Anyone have any advice on this? It's not the end of the world if I have to stretch it out an extra few months, but I am really really hoping I can stay at 80 mg. a day and be done in January.

That's my update! I am feeling really good about my skin right now, so I'll probably work on getting pictures up here soon :P.

Oh yeah, and the side effects I've been experiencing are the same as before: dry skin/lips, slight joint pain. Nothing terrible or unbearable.

Arizona

11 Weeks

Sorry, I totally missed posting an entry for week 10. My bad, but today marks week 11! Time flying. My skin is looking better and better. The overall tone is starting to improve. I don't know if I am just getting used to them or whether they are getting better, but my side effects are bugging me as much right now. I still have slight joint pain but taking Aleeve in the morning takes care of it. My dryness isn't horrible, and my lips don't seem as bad. Last week, I washed my hair Tuesday and didn't wash it again until Saturday! That was a long time for me! It still wasn't greasy looking but I couldn't stand to wait any longer to wash it.

One thing I have been really impressed about is that I haven't had any dry eye issues. I wear contacts and expected that I wouldn't be able to wear them while on Accutane, but no issues so far.

Really happy with how things are going right now. I only have one active spot right now on my face, and one on my shoulder. Really hoping that my skin is turning the corner and that it just continues to improve leaps and bounds!!

Arizona

9 Weeks!!

Knock on wood...

but my skin is so clear! This week my face has changed so much. It cleared up and even my red marks are largely gone. I do have some dry, flakey spots but other than that it looks good. So happy! I am hoping that it just continues to get better and better.

In other news, still have the dry lips, dry skin and hair, and I have noticed achey legs at the end of each day. My left knee hurts kind of bad actually, but alleve helps.

Not much else to report. Pretty pleased this week :) .

Arizona

Almost came to an end...

I took my prescription in to be filled on Wednesday evening and when I went back to pick it up I was upset to find out that my inew nsurance (took a new job at the end of September) denied it and it would cost $550 for one months supply!! I was horrified. So I called my doctor's office and they told me that they would contact the insurance company to see if they could convinve them to cover it. I wasn't very optimistic, but thankfully I got a call today that they succeeded! Since I had already started the course, they agreed to make an exception and cover it for the rest of the course. PHEW! That was a close one. I was really, really upset at the prospect of the past 8 weeks being for nothing. It made me realize how much I have invested in accutane already and how badly I want to finish my 20 weeks.

I just hope my hopes aren't too high for my final results. I think I am starting to see some improvement in my skin. I certainly have seen a drastic cut in oil and my blackheads are nearly all gone. Most of my pores appear smaller as well. My face doesn't have anything active on it at the moment, but I do have a spot of my back. Really looking forward to what the next few weeks bring since I've read through a lot of other people's blogs that around week 12 is when they really start seeing results.

Anyways, I am really greatful that my doctor was willing to take on my insurance company to see me through this course. I'm lucky!!

Arizona

8 Weeks

I just got back from my 8 week dermatologist appointment. Not too interesting. My doctor said that she could see a difference in my skin, that it looks a bit better. I feel like it might be slightly better than when I started, but not a significant difference. From what I've read on here, it seems like around month 3 many people notice their skin really starts clearing.

My lips are really dry, so my doctor also prescribed a steroid cream for them in addition to my monthly Accutane. She's keeping me at 80 mg. for the rest of the course. I have different insurance now, so my appointment was more expensive. I'm nervous to see how much the prescription will be. Just waiting for the doctor's office to confirm me in iPledge so I can log on and do my part and take in the prescription to be filled.

My side effects haven't really changed much. Dry lips are the most noticeable. I love the dry skin on my face and hair, but if I don't consistently moisturize my arms, hands, and legs they get dry and bumpy. I had a slight nose bleed the other day, but I don't feel like my nose is too dry. My blackheads seemed to purge over this past month, and now I only have a few left on my face. What else? I think I've been having some joint aches (not even bad enough for an advil) at the end of the day. No hair loss. No depression/mood swings. Honestly, the side effects haven't been anywhere near as bad as I was fearing.

I do wish my skin was clearer though. I can't help but feel like 8 weeks is a long time and my skin should be clear by now. But I'm going to do my best to stay patient and just stick with this. I know it will be worth it in the end.

Arizona

7 Weeks

It's now been 7 weeks, four at 40 mg. and three at 80 mgs. Last week was kind of rough, I had some pretty annoying breakouts. Thankfully they've cleared up now and actually my skin looked pretty good today. It's a little dry, but I don't have anything active right now. I'm hoping that the worst is behind me!

I have to get my blood work done on either Friday or Monday and I back to the derm for my two month appointment next Wednesday. My dosage will stay at 80 mgs. for the rest of the course, so it should be a quick and easy appointment.

I have been noticing some more side effects. I am on my feet a lot during the day at work and by the time I get off work my heels HURT. I actually end up limping! It's fine once I stay off my feel for awhile, but not a fun side effect. Also, I have a red, bumpy "rash" on my arms (I think it may be excema). I am really bad about putting lotion on morning and night, so I know that's part of the problem. Other than that, I still have the dry lips but Aquaphor keeps them comfortable. My hair doesn't get oily for days, and my face stays matte throughout the day. I like those side effects!!

That's it for now...

Arizona

6 Weeks

It doesn't seem possible that I've been on Accutane for 6 weeks already. It's going by so quickly.

Anyways, here's an update on things so far: My only symptoms are dryness and joint pain at the end of the day. The dry lips are seriously annoying. I am not looking forward to 14 more weeks of dealing with that, but hopefully they'll reach a plateau and I'll get used to them. As far as dryness, my skin on my face and body is dry but not uncomfortable. Lotion morning and night is all I need.

I am assuming the soreness I feel at the end of the day is joint pain. It's slightly worse than last week, but I also think that is because I have been running around a lot at work. It's a little painful to walk by the end of the day, but taking some advil gets rid of it. Again, this is more annoying than anything else.

My skin looks pretty much the same to me as when I started, not really worse or better. I am really hoping to see some major improvement soon. You'd think 6 weeks would be enough time to see some real results! Trying to be patient, but looking forward to the day when I wake up in the morning to 100% clear skin!!

Arizona

5 Weeks

I've reached the 5 week mark. I've been super busy the past month, so it's going by really quickly. I've been on 80 mg. for a week now, and I think I'm having a slight breakout. My skin looked great Sunday and Monday, but Tuesday and today there have been a few new spots. Thank goodness for makeup. I'm hoping this is the last of my breakouts. I haven't noticed my skin being super dry all over, but there are some "patches" of red scaly skin. Its kind of itchy and looks bad.

I'm still really pleased at the lack of side effects I'm experiencing. I have dry lips and some minor joint pain at the end of the day. Nothing that I can't handle, and nothing that's bad enough to interrupt my normal life.

So this course is going really well. I just want everything to keep going smoothly, and I am really hoping that my skin will be noticeably clearer by the end of the month.

I'll keep updating weekly. Until next week...

Arizona

Day 30 -- Freaking out...

Today is day 30. My skin looks okay right now. I have some red marks from last month's spots, but nothing that I can't cover with makeup. But today was my first day at the 80 mg. dose and I am a little worried that I am going to break out. I didn't really have an initial breakout in my first month, and I'm hoping that doesn't change now that I am at my full dose.

It wouldn't be a huge deal, except starting next week I have a new job. For the past year, I worked at home so I could easily hide out if I was having a bad skin day, but now I have to face people no matter what my skin looks like. I know there's nothing I can do about it if I do break out, but I'm worried about it just the same.

SIGH. Nothing to do but wait and see. 4 weeks down, 16 to go.

Arizona

Derm Appointment Today

Just got back from my derm appointment. My dose is being doubled, 80 mg. daily now. I have my prescription in hand, just waiting for the doctor's office to do their iPledge part so that I can do mine and take it in to the pharmacy.

The appointment was kind of pointless. She didn't look at my skin or ask me any questions other than a quick list of "Do you have..." fill in the blank side effect. I have 4 months to go as long as I tolerate the new dose well. If I don't, she'll lower the dose and extend the course.

Only piece of bad news is that my triglycerides were higher. Before Accutane, they were at 113 and now they are at 150 (up to 150 is in the normal range). Obviously, she doesn't want to see them go higher, so I am going to be more careful with what I eat and how much I exercise. I was really careful on exercise this first month cause I didn't want to take any changes with joint damage, but maybe I will step it up this month and see if we can get that number lower. I did eat McDonalds for dinner the night before my blood draw (was in a rush) so I'm wondering if that has anything to with the climb???? I'm going to be more careful this month and hope that next month the number has gone back down.

So last month was 40 mg. and from here on out I'll be at 80 mg. As long as all goes well, I have 16 more weeks of Accutane!!!!

Arizona

Day 28 - ONE MONTH DOWN!

Today I took my 28th pill. Which makes it 4 weeks since I started Accutane. Which pretty much means Month One is over. WOOOHOOOO!

So let's see, after one month of taking 40 mg. of Accutane everyday:

- My skin did not have a major breakout. I had my normal breakout, but I don't attribute it to Accutane at all.

- My lips are all dried out. I totally depend on Aquaphor. They are peeling and uncomfortable, and unfortunately have bled a couple of times. This is my most noticeable side effect.

- My skin and hair are no longer excessively oily. This has been a great side effect. No more shiny skin!!

I need to read through other people's logs so I can see whether my results so far are typical for one month in.

Over the past week, I think that my red marks may be more prominent. My skin looks more blotchy with uneven tone. Doesn't look any better than it did on Day 1 (maybe a little bit worse, but not necessarily break out wise) which is kind of frustrating to be honest. But I know that it just takes time to work. I'm hoping that the next weeks will be a turning point and I'll start to see the pretty skin that I've seen Accutane give so many other people.

Tomorrow afternoon is my appointment at the dermatologist. As long as my blood tests came back okay, I think she's going to bump up my dose. I'll let you know what happens at the appointment...

Arizona

Three weeks in - Day 22

Today is Day 22. Thank goodness for cell phone alarm reminders or I would not remember to take my pill everyday. This has been an okay week. It's typically my "worst skin week" of the month, and this month was no exception. I did get 4 blemishes, two on each cheek, this week but no worse than any other month. I think it was just my normal hormonal breakout and had nothing to do with Accutane.

It's been an uneventful week. I've started to get drier skin on my body now, and I can go two days without washing my hair now and it still doesn'l look greasy. Lips are still dry, but Aquaphor every now and again makes them feel normal. With make up, my skin doesn't look too bad.

I feel like my back is a little achey today. I noticed it a little last night, but blamed it on working out, but it's a little worse today. Like a dull muscle ache, or like I've crouched in the wrong position for too long. I'll keep an eye on it.

Also, I have a little spotty rash on my hands. I know it's from not moisturizing enough, so I need to do better about that. I scheduled my blood and pregnancy tests for Friday morning. Kind of anxious to see what my cholesterol and triglyceride levels will be. My next derm appointment is one week from today. I have a feeling she's going to up my dose (as long as my lab results are all good). I just hope that I still don't get an inital breakout, cause so far my skin hasn't broken out any worse than normal.

I don't know what I was expecting for my first month, but with only a week to go I don't think that I will be significantly clearer than I was when I started. Maybe by the end of October I will be. Still, I am pleasantly surprised by Accutane so far. I was so afraid to start, and the past three weeks haven't been bad at all. Of course, I know I am still in the beginning and two months from now I may be singing a different tune.

Well, that's it for my Week 3 update. Hope everyone else is doing well!!

Arizona

Two weeks down...

Today is the two week mark. I took my 15th pill today. Everything is still going really well. Here's a quick run down on the past week:

Day 8 - Skin looks good today. My husband actually tells me that he thinks he can see a bit of a difference in my skin today :naughty:

Day 9 - Small little bumps are starting to come up on my cheeks, forehead, and chin. Not blackheads. More like clogged pores. I'm just leaving them alone.

Day 10 - Skin starting to break out a little bit.

Day 11 - More breaking out - little blemishes mainly on my chin and forehead, which is interseting cause my cheeks are usually my trouble zone. Luckily, I can easily cover the probelms with makeup

Day 12 - Lips are killing me today. I can't get relief, no matter how many times I put chapstick/aquaphor on. It's really annoying. Skin looking better. Breakouts are flat, but still red.

Day 13 - Lips feel better, but still annoying. Going to try and drink more water.

Day 14 - Lips are feeling better. I've tried to stay better hydrated, and it's made a big difference.

Day 15 - The breakout from last week looks much, much better. Still have the clogged pores on my forehead, chin and cheeks. I'm not touching them, but I wonder if they will go away on their own or if they'll turn into blemishes. I hope not...that would suck. Lips are feeling almost back to normal today. I still have to apply Aquaphor, but at least they aren't feeling thick and annoying.

The other day, I was wondering why my lips were dry but my skin felt normal. But then I realized, my skin feels NORMAL as in it's not an oil slick any more!! So I guess it is drying out, but I have so much oil that it's not drying out to the point of being uncomfortable.

I got back to working out this past week, and I didn't notice any muscle soreness or anything like that. That was a huge relief.

I think that's all I've got...can't think of anything else to add. So I'll write more in a week, sooner if anything exciting happens.

Arizona

Day 7

Welp, 7 little pills have gone down the hatch. So far, I don't feel much! Here's the run down:

Day 1 - Took my pill and immediately ran to the mirror to see if I was cured...I wasn't. Oh well.

Days 2-3 - Slightly headache-y but I blame this on stress at work and getting ready for out of town visitors.

Days 4-5 - Hmmmm...are my lips starting to feel dry? Better grab the chapstick!

Days 6-7 - Yup, lips are drier. Not irritatingly so, but dry none the less. Face seems super oily too.

It's been a boring first week, but I am A-OK with that. I am going to work out today for the first time since starting Accutane. My derm wanted me to wait a week and see if I had any joint pain at all. If not, she said I could SLOWLY ease into working out, but she doesn't want me to over do it.

My face is pretty clear right now. Just red, oily and splotchy. But this is the clear part of the month for me anyways.

I'll update again in a week unless something exciting happens.

Arizona

Welcome to Accutane

Had my derm appointment today. I got to the appointment and the receptionist was around my age. She pulled my file and saw that I was there for Accutane and informed me that she just started Accutane on Monday! So she's going to schedule my appointments for the days she works so we can keep tabs on each other, haha.

The doc came in and said that my face looked really good! I explained that 1) this time around I was wearing make up and last time I wasn't, and 2) I am in the clearest part of the month for me, and that in another week or two it would be bad again. So we are moving forward with the Accutane plan!

She wrote my 'script, sent in the tane nurse for me to talk to (so nice!) and sent me on my way. I came home, filled out the iPLEDGE stuff (grateful that my derm.'s office updated it so quickly) and filled my prescription.

I am on the generic brand Claravis, 40 mg. once a day for the next month and then as long as the side effects aren't too terrible, she will up it to 80 mg. next month.

I will take my first pill tonight with dinner...I'm so excited/terrified/nervous/relieved/and all that jazz. I am debating putting "starting" pics up. We'll see. Wish me luck!

Arizona

Tomorrow's the big day!

Just got the appointment reminder call from my derm.'s office! I can't wait for tomorrow's appointment. I just want to get this started!

My dad is coming to visit on Saturday. I haven't seen him since Dec. 1st! I hope that the side effects of accutane don't hit me too hard this first week, as I really want to enjoy my time with my Dad since I obviously don't see him very often.

ONE MORE DAY! ONE MORE DAY! Please let me start on time and have a good derm who will enter me into the iPledge system quickly so that I can get this show on the road!!

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