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Taking Accutane as a 46 year old female

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LadyWhoWaits

So, it has been awhile since updating...happily, there just isn't anything to report! My skin is still clear, just a few occasional blackheads, not a pimple or whitehead since I don't know when. My knee joint pain seems to have totally resolved, which is a blessing. My skin still remains much more sensitive to picking, but that encourages me not to do it. I really do not know of any remaining side-effects.

I cannot tell you how great it is not to worry about my skin and getting pimples anymore. It is absolutely life-changing. When I think of all of the frustration and money I went through trying everything to treat my acne...it makes me sad to think of all of the time and effort wasted. I should have done this years ago!

My husband's skin is also clear and he is very pleased with the results of his Accutane usage.

We both are still very happy that we took Accutane and are so pleased to have clear skin!

LadyWhoWaits

So, it has been awhile since I posted. I came down with Mono and have been recovering. My face is still extremely clear. I get an occasional blackhead, but I can live with that. I still remain very happy that I went on this drug and my only regret is that I did not do it sooner. For those of you considering it, don't wait...just do it.

LadyWhoWaits

125 Days After Accutane

Hi there,

I actually had my first whitehead/pimple in months. It was on my nose and came up suddenly. I dispatched it and it quickly went away. Otherwise, things have been boring otherwise....clear, clear, clear. I am exfoliating more and using a clearing lotion to keep the blackheads at bay. Not a whole lot going. I am happy to say that.

LadyWhoWaits

Well, it is now approximately 113 days after finishing my course of Accutane.

I am still very clear with no pimples or cysts on my skin. I do continue to have a blackhead every now and then, but nothing that concerns me. My skin is not dry or oily...just normal. No lingering side effects at this point. My husband is also doing just great and is very pleased with the results of his taking Accutane.

I am exfoliating regularly and moisturize at night. I regularly go without makeup and I am not self-concious.

Keep up the good fight, stay strong and dedicated. It is worth it, no matter what!

LadyWhoWaits

Hello everyone. Here is my 3 months after Accutane update. My skin is still amazingly clear. I have had a few small blackheads, but no whiteheads, pimples or cysts. Many days I go without any makeup whatsoever. My skin is not dry or oily...it is just normal and very low maintenance. My hair is thick, full and shiny. Most of my joint pain has resolved. My body skin is normal. My eyes are not dry anymore. Was it a pain in the ass? Absolutely. Would I do it again? You know it.

My only regret, and it it a very big one, is that I did not take Accutane years ago. Knowing what I know now, I would have saved countless dollars spent on useless creams, time wasted on worrying over my skin, hours spent at the dermatologist's office, days pining for clear skin that always seemed to belong to someone else...the list could go on and on forever.

I am 47 years old. For those of you reading this blog who are much younger, I hope you will heed my advice and take Accutane and quit screwing around with stuff that does not work. You will be so thankful in the long run that you did. If you are dealing with a doctor who won't help you out, find a new one who will. Believe me, your life will change forever!

LadyWhoWaits

Sorry for the delay in updating....my mom has been in the hospital, in ICU, for almost a month. I have been preoccupied with caring for her and my Dad, so updating became a low priority.

So, my skin looks great. I have gotten a few blackheads, but I also think some of this is caused by my being off of my routine with caring for my Mom and trying to work and keep it all together. I haven't been exfoliating any, so I think this is to be expected. I will keep you posted as to whether or not this resolves, gets worse or stays the same.

My joint pain seems to be getting better. I am 47, and do have some knee problems, but overall am pretty healthy. I had pretty severe joint pain while on Accutane and this seems to be the last side effect to resolve for me.

Best to you all!

LadyWhoWaits

I am now a two full months off of Accutane! Woo hoo!

Life is good. My skin looks amazing and is so clear. No pimples, no whiteheads, no cysts. Ever.

While my skin is not dry, it is not oily either. It is just normal, happy skin that does not require a lot of maintenance. I do continue to wash with Cetaphil cleanser, occasionally use a gentle scrub for exfoliation and use a moisturizer at night. My hair is just fine as is my body skin. I am so glad!

My husband is doing about the same as I am, which is great.

If you are considering Accutane or if you are considering quitting, do it and stick with it. It is so worth it.

LadyWhoWaits

Today, I went back and read all of my blog entries. It really was fun seeing how I felt all during the course of Accutane, and how things have changed since I have been off of it!

Btw, I realized that I never reported on my final blood work...one month after last dose...

Cholesterol 171

Triglycerides - 113!

It is amazing how one month off of Tane can impact your Triglycerides.

LadyWhoWaits

Sorry for the delay in posting, my mom is in the hospital and I have been with her.

My facial skin is still flawless. No pimples. Amazing! Still a few dry patches on my body, but those seem to be resolving. Do still have some joint pain, but I am beginning to think that is from my allergies to food, especially yeast. I am now on a yeast free diet, no sugar, no dairy, no fruit. I am starting week 3 and hope to see some improvement soon.

My husband's skin also is clear. We are both very pleased with Accutane's results. It seems to have worked for us both.

Best wishes to you all. Stay strong, don't give up and stay focused on the goal of clear skin. It is possible! :wacko::naughty:

LadyWhoWaits

Here is an update...

Everything is clear, no pimples and one or two tiny blackheads. Still some joint pain. Otherwise, all is fine. My hubby is doing great too!

Started using Neutrogena Face Scrub on a regular basis, with Cetaphil Cleanser and Neutrogena Moisturizer. I am carefully monitoring my skin for any sign of regression. I will keep you posted!

LadyWhoWaits

Hello everyone! I am on the end of a week of vacation and I am happy to report that my skin is still perfectly clear! No pimples, no blackheads, nothing but clear!

While on vacation (spent traveling around on our boat from place to place), I got plenty of sun, with no ill effects. I used sun screen and wore a hat lots of the time, but even when I did not, everything was fine and no burning. I had been afraid of hyper-sensitivity to the sun after taking Accutane, but neither my husband nor I are having any remaining issues.

I have begun very gently exfoliating every other day and I am using a mild acne lotion, along with my moisturizer. Do I need to do this? I don't know, but it makes me feel better. For some reason, I keep thinking that the acne will come back, at least some what. My dermatologist did not instruct me to use any products, but I am trying to make sure I stay clear. I will continue to update on my skin condition and what kind of products I am using.

Both my husband and I still have joint pain, mostly in the knees. We are hopeful it will go away soon.

Best wishes to you all who are on this journey. Stay strong and focused on your goal of clear skin...it will come and it is so worth it in the end.

LadyWhoWaits

Hi everyone!

Reporting in about life after Accutane...yes, there is normalcy again!

Everyday, I see my body returning to normal. I still have some joint pain, but it is less. I really don't Have other side effects remaining now.

My skin remains very clear. I have had a few tiny hard white balls of gunk come to the surface, but they do not form pimples or anything sore. They just come to the surface and come out. My skin continues to purge itself of all of the impurities accumulated over many years, which is great!

I went to the dentist today for the first time since going on Accutane. I was expecting bad things, based on my gums bleeding and my mouth being irritated while on Accutane. However, my dentist said things looked just fine.

I get my last required blood work done on Friday, so I will post my results as soon as I get them.

LadyWhoWaits

It is now 20 days after my last dose of Accutane and I continue to see improvements in my overall health and well-being. My side-effects continue to lessen and most have gone away entirely.

My skin remains clear and not oily at all. I am going to start using a gentle exfoliator scrub to keep my skin cells from building up again and clogging my pores.

My lips have returned to normal and that is so wonderful. That Chapping and peeling really was the worst side-effect for me.

My joint pain has lessened, FINALLY! I still have some knee pain and stiffness, but it definitely is decreasing.

My eyes seem to be pretty much back to normal, with only a little dryness.

My gums are not bleeding anymore when I brush or floss.

I am shedding a little bit of hair, but I tend to go through stages of hair growth and loss, so I don't know if that is an Accutane issue or not.

I just feel so much better...that general tiredness and blah feeling has gone...I have more energy and feel more like my old self. I really feel more like working out than I have in months.

I was in the sun a lot this weekend, on the Boat and at the pool, and I did just fine with sunscreen and a hat.

My husband has been off of Accutane for about 12 days. He still has dry lips and joint pain, but is also seeing some reduction in his symptoms.

Good luck to everyone who continues to seek clear skin!

LadyWhoWaits

Hallelujah! My lips really are better. I really began to notice a change this past weekend...I really never thought I would feel normal lips again! No more chapping and not having to slather some type of goo on them every 10 minutes is such a wonderful thing.

My eyes have also become less dry. My gums seem not to be as sensitive. My hands do not get cut or nicked as easily and my skin is less dry. I am 13 days off of Accutane.

I still have fairly significant joint pain. Still have the sticky, clammy feeling skin.

I am feeling more like myself with every passing day...I know now that I felt pretty crappy while on Accutane, just in general. I did not feel well, but it was never anything major. I just felt somewhat run-down, tired, and edgy while on the medication. It is funny how you get used to feeling less than your normal self and how quickly that becomes your reality.

I will keep reporting on my experience of post-Accutane life. Stay tuned....

LadyWhoWaits

As promised, Here is my update on life after Accutane.

First of all, DO NOT think your side-effects will disappear overnight...most do not. My derm said that it takes 9 days for the drug to clear from your system...I still have significant side-effects 10 days out.

I still have very chapped lips, although I believe I am seeing a tiny glimpse of relief just today. Still have dry eyes and joint pain, patches of dry skin on my body, irritated gums, a few sores in my nose and sticky and clammy feeling skin. My triglycerides are elevated, but total cholesterol is fine.

I have seen my infected nails go away...hallelujah! That was a very painful side-effect. My constipation has totally cleared up.

My skin, however, remains perfectly clear with no pimples or blackheads. It is fantastic!

My husband just finished his course on Wednesday. His side-effects are still going strong. His skin is beautifully clear.

I will update again soon. I wish you all success on this journey!

LadyWhoWaits

I took my last dose of Accutane yesterday! I went to the dermatologist today and had blood work done. She said my skin looked amazing. I have not had a pimple in months! I will have to take one more blood test in about a month. Everything is in great shape so I do not have to come back for any follow ups.

For those of you just starting Accutane, I am going to recap all of the side-effects I had, some of which were unusual:

Chapped lips - the most constant and worrisome problem I had pretty much the entire time..my lips are still chapped. I will update on the status of my side-effects as the weeks go by.

Dry eyes - I have had problems in the past with dry eyes, so this was not really surprising. Not constant, but definitely troublesome.

Dry, peeling facial skin - again, not constant and worse during the first month or two of treatment, but later in the treatment, if you peeled some off, you had a red, raw spot.

Joint pain - fairly constant, not usually severe, although pretty bad once or twice after a lot of exertion. I still have joint pain and will report on it's resolution.

Paranychea - this is an infection of the side of the finger or toe nail. I am 47 years old and never had anything like this in my life UNTIL taking Accutane. I have had 4 infected nails. One was so bad, I had to take antibiotics AND get the finger lanced by a doctor so it could drain. Very weird, but a listed side effect of this drug.

Constipation - need I say more?

Dry patches of skin on body - small, come and go, type of very dry skin that goes away with cortisone cream

Clammy skin that sticks to itself - strange, but true. You can wash your hands and they still feel sticky and clammy and waxy.

Nose sores - worse in month 4. I never had nose bleeds, just sores.

Easily cut and fragile skin on hands - worse in later months of treatment.

Rashes on my wrists, forearms and elbows. Only rarely.

Bleeding gums while brushing. Only during the last month of treatment.

How did I respond and what products, supplements or lifestyle changes helped?

Cetaphil cleanser is the bomb. Aquaphor or Vaseline for the chapped lips, although at the later stages, they are so chapped that nothing heals them...you are just trying to make them bearable. Cortisone cream for rashes and dry skin patches. Really, no special makeup or other lotions were necessary.

I took lots of vitamins during my treatment. I also took fish oil, slo-niacin and red yeast rice tablets for my cholesterol, which actually got better during treatment.

I also lost 20 pounds, due to eating much more healthfully.

No depression or anxiety. I do think that the side effects cause you to be irritable and are a pain in the butt. Kind of comparable to getting bitten by a mosquito every hour...it doesn't kill you or cause too much pain, but it isn't fun.

Would I do it again? Yes, at this point, with what I know. Hopefully, I will not develop some serious long-term complication from taking Tane. The clear skin is awesome. Not having to take antibiotics is fantastic. Not having pimples is absolutely wonderful. AND what this journey was all about in the end.

LadyWhoWaits

Wow! I find it hard to believe that I am almost at the end of this journey. It will seem very unreal to me when I no longer have peeling, chapped lips, dry eyes and joint pain. It has been difficult and annoying, but worth it.

Skin update - very clear facial skin. No pimples for months. A few tiny blackheads. Dry skin that is fragile.

Body skin - dry patches here and there. Was out on a boat on Sunday for a while and did not burn, so I was glad about that.

Weird side effect - I have had several hangnails that have gotten infected, which is extremely odd. They get sore and stay that way. I actually had to have one of my fingers lanced and drained because the infection would not heal. I have never had this happen and I am 47 years old. has anyone else had this type of problem?

My husband continues to have chapped lips and some joint pain. He will finish about a week behind me.

LadyWhoWaits

I am so excited that I am almost finished with Accutane! I cannot believe that soon I will be done! Yippee!

Skin update- perfectly clear skin. No pimples whatsoever. An occasional blackhead. Face looks great! My husband still has the one stubborn pimple on his cheek that he keeps raw by shaving over it, but otherwise, perfect skin.

Side effects- my husband and I worked in the yard on Saturday. We both are so sore that we can barely walk. Our joints are stiff and sore and the muscle pain has been intense. We both feel like we are ninety years old. It has been so bad that, for the first time while on this drug, I actually thought about stopping the treatment. It was a fleeting thought, but I did have it! I guess the joint pain has gotten so bad because we have so much of the drug in our system and it is catching up with us. Otherwise, besides the chapped lips and dry eyes, not much to report.

LadyWhoWaits

Hi!

My husband and I had a wonderful mini-vacation this past weekend. It was just what the doctor ordered! Out in the sun at a steeplechase, but I did not burn, thanks to SPF 55 sunscreen and a hat.

Only about 22 more days to go for me, about 30 for my husband. We continue to both have badly chapped lips. He developed a pretty severe rash again on his arms which looks terrible, but does not hurt or itch. My eyes continue to be dry, his are not. We both have joint pain and stiffness, although it has been manageable. We both have no problems with depression or anxiety. The side effects are really more of a nuisance for us, annoying, but not a game-changer.

I am so pleased that We have made it through this journey thus far. It has been worth it!

LadyWhoWaits

Hello everyone,

I went to the derm today for blood work review, check-up and final Rx.

Blood work - What in the world??? Total cholesterol - 170. Triglycerides - 161. These are the Lowest numbers in years. April was my birthday month and I definitely was not as careful with my diet. However confused I am, I am still delighted! :lol:

For those of you having problems with cholesterol, here is what I am taking:

3600 mgs. Of fish oil daily

375 mgs. Slo-niacin daily

2 Red Yeast Rice tablets

My dermatologist said my skin looks fantastic and that this will be my last month on Accutane! :wall:;)

Side effects report - Gross, chapped, peely lips. Dry eyes. Fragile skin. Some joint pain. No depression or anxiety. Just wanting this to be over.

My husband has very chapped lips too. Sadly, we don't kiss much any more! :think: We plan to take a long vacation when this is over...so we will just have to make up for lost time!

His other side-effects are some joint and back pain. He did have a lone pimple on his cheek last week, but it is gone.

For those of you just starting, hang in there. It is so worth it! For those of you nearing the end of your treatment, keep up the good fight! :D

LadyWhoWaits

Hello everyone,

Lips are still very chapped and some joint pain, but my facial skin is not dry, nor is my body skin. My eyes have not been nearly as dry. My face looks so clear...it is awesome. I haven't had a pimple in so long, it is hard to remember how it was. I do not know how I will do after I discontinue the Claravis, but I hope for good things and clear skin forever. :wall:

My hubby has extremely dry skin now and chapped lips. Minimal joint pain. Very clear skin.

Does anyone else hate the packaging that our meds come in? With my fragile hand skin, I cut myself almost every time while getting the pills out of the damned package. I think there is a conspiracy to drive you bonkers while taking Tane...if the I-pledge system, constant blood draws, doctor visits and pharmacy screw-ups were not enough to drive you to drink, the idiocy of the meds' packaging is enough to send you over the edge! :think: My husband and I just shake our heads and wonder what government agency tool thought it was a great idea to use this to store and dispense medication.

LadyWhoWaits

It gets to the point where you just have to laugh... :(

My lips are so chapped that I am putting on Aquaphor, Chapstick or lipstick Constantly! My husband is doing so as well. I am serious...every 5-10 minutes. They are horribly flaky. I never know when a big chunk of skin will flake off in the middle of a business meeting...Now that is really attractive! :doubt:

The skin on my hands is also extremely fragile. I remember reading some of the blogs about the tiny cuts on the hands...that has now become my story. Band- aids are my friends!

Celebrated my 47th birthday this weekend...it was awesome. At dinner, I treated myself to several glasses of Molly Dooker's Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz...omg...what a delicious wine!

We are coming down the home stretch of our Claravis treatment. We are doing just fine and are so excited to have clear skin.

LadyWhoWaits

Hello everyone!

So, here I am now into the second week week of month 4. My face is clear, a few blackheads, but it really looks great overall. Side effects remain manageable...dry skin, dry eyes, joint pain. My husband has basically the same side effects but very clear skin. We are very excited about nearing the end of our journey with Claravis.

For those of you just starting your journey, hang in there! It really is worth it, even if it is hard and the side effects are a pain in the ass. The clear skin is the reward for your perseverance.

LadyWhoWaits

Day 101!

Skin update-

Don't know why, but I again have quite a few blackheads all over my face. I do not know if it is because I had to miss a few days of Accutane or not but they have definitely reappeared. I guess I just have more gunk that needs to come out!

Side effect alert- I have noticed that the palms of my hands always feel sticky and clammy. No matter if I have just washed them or dried them. They also have a shiny appearance. Just another kind of fun you can experience with this drug!

Got my prescription today. Hopefully, we won't have this kind of screw up next month...but then again, next month will be the last month!

Have a great weekend everyone! :(

LadyWhoWaits

:(

I went to visit my Dermatologist today, and despite exercising more, losing another 5 pounds, eating well and taking lots of fish oil, my triglycerides were back up to 215! How discouraging! My doc said not to worry, that this is very normal for a person on Accutane at the later stages of treatment. However, some good news, my HDL is 41, so that is a Ray of sunshine! :( As I am on the downhill side of treatment, she also asked me lots of questions about my mental state, joint pain and skin condition. She did not change my dosage.

As usual, screw-ups continue with the pharmacy and insurance. This month's problem- it hasn't been 30 days since they last filled my Rx, so I have to wait. :doubt: Remember, it was the pharmacy's screw up that caused me to be late last month. No problems with I-pledge, amazingly, except I got cut off while answering my questions and had to do them twice.

Skin condition - no pimples at all of any kind. A few blackheads come and go. My facial skin is very fragile...I had an itch on my face while walking on the treadmill and scratched it gently. When I got off the treadmill, I had a dime sized raw spot on my face where I had scratched! I also am very dry now...I must moisturize multiple times a day...usually applying moisturizer twice at one siting, because the first coat is absorbed so fast. Gums are more sensitive and bleed when I floss. Eyes are

very dry. Pretty severe joint pain of the knees. Horribly chapped lips and some more constipation, even though I have been pounding water, fruit and fiber. I guess the longer you are on the meds, the worse the side-effects.

My husband is okay, dry, chapped lips and joint pain. His physician miswrote his Rx the last time and gave him 30 pills fewer than he was supposed to have. Of course, he is not allowed to fix the problem, my husband has to go without his medication.

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