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About this blog

my isotretinoin blog... let's see how this goes

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Major Update!

Wow so it's been a while... I'm going to do a major update (hence the title) starting right now!

So the last time I wrote, my skin was a lot better but my lips were horrible...inflamed, red, raw..hurt to eat, touch, I couldn't kiss.. even when the wind blew on them it was weird. I went to the derm and he said it was an allergic reaction... I stopped using what I was using on my lips and it still didn't really go away. I went again, desperate, before Christmas vacation and he said he's never seen a reaction like this to the medicine, but to stop it until it goes away completely, and then start again and see if it comes back.

So! I stopped the medication during all of Christmas break (about 2 weeks here in Spain) and yes, my lips got completely better!! And then I started up again around the 8th of January and my lips have been fine (just dry, like normal accutane effects) since.

Quick note + Flashback: When my lips first got little bubbles and blisters, I tried to think of what could be the cause. And my boyfriend said "well we drank that old orange juice that morning" and I thought... I don't think though. But I avoided orange juice anyway just incase. THEN during Christmas break, my lips were slowly but surely improving each day, and one morning we went to a café and I decided to have some orange juice, and the rest of the day my lips were so much worse. Uncomfortable, peeling, hurt to move them. SO.. this is my theory (which I haven't gone over with my derm yet because my next appt isn't for a couple weeks)..

--I think I had an allergic reaction to the orange juice. I don't know if it was the acidity or what.. but I think the fact that I was on accutane made the reaction a million times worse and because accutane weakens the immune system somewhat, the reaction wasn't healing well. I had stopped accutane for a little over a week when I drank the orange juice again, and my lips were bad all day but the next day they were much better again. I think because I had less of the medicine in my body.

Makes sense, right?

Anyway, my skin did not break out during the holidays even off Accutane. When I got back on again, it was fine as well, just a bit red and a little oily again. Now, it's totally fine. Still some hyperpigmentation but I haven't gotten a pimple since the first month I think.

The end. Update soon hopefully! Though I don't think much is changing so I may wait until my derm appt.

OH also... during holiday break, since I was off the medicine, I drank alcohol and ate quite bad for my cholesterol (my cholesterol had risen a lot between my 1st and 2nd derm appts). It was hard because I was meeting my bf's family for the first time so I felt it was a bit rude for me to say no to food and drink. Also, he's French and I was in France. And god knows how much wine they drink and how much cheesy, meaty, creamy foods they eat. I don't know if it was a bad idea since there was still accutane in my system obviously.. so it worries me a little.. but hopefully everything is okay in my body.



So... this is actually the end of week 7... I messed up last entry's title. ANYWAY... my skin is looking good (nothing rised) minus hyperpigmentation but these damn lips...

It's not just dryness. They're red and inflamed and suupper sensitive.. and lately, they've been starting to itch a little. I'm going to call/go in to the derm on Monday if they're still not better. When I saw him he had told me 7-10 days, maybe 2 weeks for them to heal. It's 2 weeks tomorrow and unless they miraculously get better tonight (that would be amazing)... it doesn't look like they're going to heal doing what I'm doing.

Christmas is coming up and I would reaallly like to be able to not worry like this about my lips. Dryness I can handle.. but this sensitivity and inflammation.. do other people get this? I feel like 30 mg/day is quite low to get cheilitis.. I should stop obsessing over them because I look in the mirror whenever I can and I'm sure the stress doesn't help.



30 Mg/day: Week 7

Hello all (or actually, hello myself because judging by the wealth of comments I'm the only one reading this hehe)..

So, last entry I complained about a lip issue that is, sadly, still affecting me. It has definitely improved a LOT but I showed no allergic reaction to vaseline and aquaphor (duh) so I have no idea what originally caused my lips to get tiny bubbles/blisters and swell and peel like that. They're still peeling. I'm using Fucibet cream but the derm told me to use it until today (Tuesday) then just continue with Vaseline. My lips were improving slowly but surely (the bubbles went away, they were just peeling and then, even though very sensitive, they peeled less) but this morning I woke up with them quite sensitive and with lots of dead skin. I still can't kiss the boyfriend which is a huge pain in the ass.

So, now, they are very sensitive still, splitting someone in the corners, and peeling still!! I'm really hoping this goes away before the holiday season... I need to eat and kiss and laugh and love freely..

As far as my skin goes:

I had my period last week so I broke out somewhat during that, but not a lot. I haven't had many huge raised pimples but I still have hyperpigmentation/redness that makes my acne look worse than it is without makeup. But.. it's much better and my forehead's a little oily but the rest of my skin is not (except for around my lips where I slather on vaseline.. .sexy.. not)

Anyway hopefully this lip mess clears up because it's killin' me!!!! Esp because I don't know what caused it in the first place... how do I make sure it doesn't happen again?? I asked if it was a side effect of the accutane btu I'm on a pretty low dose and the derm said in 20 years of prescribing he hasn't seen a reactino like this to accutane so no, most likely not.


We'll see what happens.


Week 5...

Starting week 5... Oh man.

WELL.. good news: Those cheek pimples aren't pimples anymore, just red spots. Woohoo!

bad news: I have some sort of reaction on my lips to something and they are now inflamed and peeling and bubbly. That sounds disgusting.. but it is. I mean, it's not as extremely noticeable as I FEEL like it is (I think because the lips are so sensitive I feel like there are bumps and bubbles all over), but it is soooo uncomfortable. I thought for a bit it could be herpes and went to the derm today and he looked at it and immediately said it was an eczematous allergic reaction and asked me what I use on my lips. I use aquaphor and vaseline... which I've been using for months. But he gave me a prescription for pure vaseline and for fucibet cream and hopefully, ugh, HOPEFULLY this goes away quickly. I believe that he knows what he's talking about, but it's bizarre to think it's an allergic reaction. I'm not usually allergic to anything. But maybe this isotretinoin is just messing with me. I googled pictures of cheillitis and this seems like an extreme version of that, but it came literally in a day. Yesterday I noticed it and today it just got way worse. BUMMER!!!!

Any similar stories with awful lip experiences??? I'm going to go search some blogs for info/lifter-uppers...


1 Month..... Blah


Well it's been exactly one month since I started taking Isotretinoin... a little over 4 weeks. I was doing fine in the beginning breakout-wise but in the past few days... actually the past like 2 days, I've broken out in 3-4 pimples on my cheek. Quite the downer especially because, even though they're not cysts or anything, they're not small, and they get white and hard. So I just popped them and surely white stuff squirted out (ew) but I know I shouldn't pop them.. but I can't leave them all hard and white on my face!!! I just want them to go away. I think it's because I'm due to get my period in a few days... I aalllwaayys break out worse around my period. Which means my acne is probably hormonal, right? So, question:

Will accutane still work just as well on hormonal acne??

Also, is 30 mg a day really little? I have a doctor's appointment on Friday and I'm not sure if I should ask for at least 40 mg/day. I did the math for how much I'd be taking overall if I took 30 mg/day for 6 months, and it's less then what wikipedia says should be total course intake for highest efficacy. I know, wikipedia. But also someone on acne.org here posted the same sort of math trick. Idk!! What do you think, people?

Anyway, I'm clearly feeling a bit low on the face/acne scale.. I'm just waiting for them to go awayyyy and hoping when I remove these pieces of tissue paper the zits underneath are not gigantic and inflamed..


Week 3-Ish

So It's almost week 3. I'm just writing because I've noticed some changes.. like a break out on my cheek! It's not super bad. It just gets my mind spinning of how bad it could get. BUT I must choose not to freak out and to remain calm.

Everyday is different.. some days my lips are super dry, other days my chin or right next to my nose is flaky/peeling, other days after I wash my face before bed my face is super red. Welll... redder than I'm used to. Other days my eyes are dry. My skin is still pretty oily. But still, it's all been manageable (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be keeping with it). I'm just desperate for this time to go fast. Or at least for this beginning "purge" etc time to go fast. Hmph.

Anyway.. besides that all is fine.



Week 2


I'm a little late but whatevs. So, so far everything's been going fine. Like I mentioned before, my skin got really oily at first (or at least had an oily look) but was also flaky dry, which was annoying and made me self-conscious but I could handle it (I've had years of skin problems, come on). Now my skin is less oily appearing but still a bit dry, but which lotion day and night it's not bad at all. I barely have any pimples, though my hyperpigmentation is still there. I tried squeezing out blackheads last night and teeny tiny spots of blood were on my nose afterwards (gross, sorry) which I take to mean my skin is quite thin right now.

Psychologically, I feel fine. Obviously I have good days and bad days but overall, I'm really happy I'm finally doing this. The only thing I wish I could change would be the drinking ban.. I don't know if ban is the right word. But before accutane I would have glasses of wine all the time with dinner (especially in Spain!!!) and there are sooo many awesome bars here.. but I want to be really careful. I really don't want this course to eff me up in any way long-term. The pharmacist here told me 1-2 drinks a weekend is fine, I just can't drink everyday. I've had 1 glass of wine since starting accutane, with a glass of water, so... yeah. Hopefully I'm being safe enough. In a week or 2 I'm getting bloodwork done again and then the 1st of december I go in for my 2nd appt. How time flies!

I'm not sure what else to talk about. My period finally ended, yayyy!!!

Take care everybody. Any questions/comments feel free to post


Week 1

So! I'm on a pretty low dose.. and sometimes I'm concerned because I think "will this be as effective???" but other times I'm grateful because the side effects of isotretinoin do freak me out.

Is anyone else on/has taken 30 mg/day? What was your experience like? How long were you on it for?

So far, in 1 week, I have some less zits, and the zits I get are small and go away quickly. I'm doing all I can not to pick. My skin is super oily, more oily than normal I think... but I was expecting things to get worse before they get better. I just hope I don't break out too terribly. The biggest pain about my oily skin is that it's also dry.. if that makes any sense. My skin will flake, peel, etc but appear super oily. Horrible combo! After 1 week on iso, my skin is starting to peel/flake, especially on my chin and nose. Hm.

Another thing that may be affecting my acne right now (and I apologize if males are reading this), is my period has been all out of wack lately. I had to take plan b about 3 weeks ago, and a few days later I got my period and started birth control (Yasminelle). My period lasted for about 2 1/2 weeks (awful...) and then lightened a LOT for like 1-2 days, and now is back again, though lighter. According to my birth control, I'm supposed to get my period tomorrow. But I've technically had it... so I don't know if I should wait til the end of this week to see if it goes away or go see someone now.

But anyway, that's my update for the first week. Let me know if you can relate/respond to anything I write, because all input is appreciated.




So I'm a 22 yr-old female and I'm on 30 mg/day of Isotretinoin (some brand called Mayesta I think), which I started about a week ago. This will be an experience 1. because it's isotretinoin... pretty intense! and 2. because I'm currently living in Madrid, Spain.

So ME: I've had acne/been self-conscious about the skin on my face for at least 5 years, maybe 7. There was a long period in high school where my skin cleared up beautifully with Duac (clindamycin+BP), but then in college it went through a whole new rollercoaster of bad, awful, okay, pretty good, okay, awful.. and my moods went with it. Tried a million things (erythromycin, going "all-natural", just BP, retin-a micro, minocyclin, BC-ortho tricyclen lo). The thing is, I can control it okay with just BP, but I still get at least a pimple a day with hyperpigmentation and oily skin that makes it look like my acne is so much worse. Also... I'm pretty sure it's a large part hormonal because it gets so much worse during my period, but just being my birth control didn't totally clear it either.

In sum... I'M TIRED OF IT! I'm tired of worrying, stressing, being self-conscious, feeling guilty about stressing so much, not wanting sleep overs because of it, not wanting to go out because of it, having it dictate where I stand and sit because of lighting (am I that crazy? uhh.. yeah). It's just a big huge pain in the ass. As you all must know.

My regimen: I'm in Spain teaching English for the year and the program comes with health insurance, and I get free visits to the derm, free blood tests, it seemed like a really opportunistic time to take accutane.. which I've been researching, etc for months. The derm put me on 30 mg/day (pretty low.. my acne is not severe. I don't get cysts, really. I have a lot of discoloration/hyper pigmentation, super oily skin, blackheads on my nose, and normal clusters of pimples that come and go on my cheeks and jaw and sometimes, though more rarely, on my forehead.


Wash with Acniben facewash (super gentle)

Olay face moisturizer, spf 15, sensitive skin

make up.... (i can't wait until I feel comfortable enough to not wear it...)

During the day... blot 5000 times with toilet paper..


Wash with Acniben facewash

Cerave night moisturizer

Vaseline on my lips and in my nose and under my eyes if I feel dry

Yup! Any questions and/or support and/or any sort of comment is wayy more than welcome. I've read a ton of blogs here and they're great. I'm going to write another entry now about my first week and concerns...