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Another week on Accutane.

I've had a lot of dryness on my hands that doesn't seem to want to go away easy. I have a prescription cream from my dermatologist that I use at morning and night and when I remember, I moisturize with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.

I feel like my biggest problems right now are around my mouth. I've had a cold sore, some bumps and my lips are as dry as ever. However, the cold sore from two weeks ago is pretty much gone and I'm waiting for the bumps beside my mouth to go away.

I've been using Apple Cider Vinegar on my chest as much as I can remember to put it on before going to bed. I do think it does help fade the acne there, but I haven't been using it everyday, so the results probably aren't as dramatic as they should be.

My 4th month appointment is next week and holy crap - I can't believe I'm actually going into the 4th month! I think I've seen some progress on my back, but as a I post on here every week, it is very slow.

Here's this weeks pictures:




Week 12: Day 79

Ughhhh. Late again. I’ve been feeling very fatigued and between that, being busy and just having general craziness in life, this blog hasn’t been a huge priority.

The biggest grief I’ve had this week has been the stupid cold sore I got last week and tried vehemently to get it to go away. I put apple cider vinegar on it almost every hour, I’ve kept it moist with Aquaphor and Vaseline, I’ve put a liquid bandage on it, the list goes on… but I think it’s finally beginning to go away.

I think my face is really starting to look good. I haven’t had any big breakouts and things are beginning to smooth out I think. I wish I could say the same for the rest of me, though. While I had the apple cider vinegar out, I used some on my chest, and I actually think it has helped some. I put some around my shoulders, but haven’t seen much of a difference there yet.

It’s terrible having to wait this long for my back to clear up, but like I’ve said in previous posts, my dermatologist said that it would be the last thing to improve. I’m hoping that in two months it will get to where I want it to be.

Okay, that’s where I am with this week. Here are the pictures:




For anyone who might follow this blog, sorry that I’m a day late on this update. Life has been more than crazy lately. I’ve had a lot of stress in my family with my father who suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis and also, lately, a very good friend of mine was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia – Acute Monocytic Leukemia. It’s been very difficult and stressful, but these hard times will pass eventually, I am sure of it.

Update skin wise – my hands and around my elbows are just really dry. I’ve been using the prescription cream the dermatologist gave me combined with CeraVe moisturizing cream. I like the CeraVe a lot and would definitely recommend it. It’s light and makes my skin feel much more moisturized.

I haven’t had any crazy breakouts on my face this week, although I think the stress from the last week is starting to catch up with me now on my face. I also have a dumb cold sore now. I hate those. Progress on my back is just really slow, which frustrates me. But, my dermatologist told me that my back would be the last thing to improve.

Okay, here are this week’s pictures:



I’ve officially broken into month three!

I had my dermatologist appointment earlier this week and according to him, I am through the worst of my acne and from this point on, my skin should start to smooth out. The pictures really aren’t that great this week, but I think I am seeing some improvement on my face. I’ve have some breakouts on my chest, though. The improvement on my back is slow, but the dermatologist said that the back would be the last thing to improve.

We talked about crazy dryness and red bumps I had on my arms from two weeks ago and my dermatologist just said that they were a side effect from the medicine. Good to know it wasn’t an allergic reaction or anything that would make me have to stop taking Accutane. I’ve really felt fine while taking it (I’m on 60 mg a day) and I honestly feel like some people’s experiences are just extreme cases it that get exploited. However, I do agree that Accutane should be approached with caution and it is up to the patient to have that conversation with his/her doctor.

Okay, here are this week’s pictures:







Hello people out there!

Not really that much to update this week. I get my blood work done tomorrow morning and I am not looking forward to it, but hopefully it will go better this time than last month.

The eczema that I had about a week and a half ago is so much better now and the top of my arms feel like butter. Seriously.

Sorry, this is going to be a short post, but I haven’t had any big side effects or breakouts this week. So let’s check out this week’s pictures:







The skin on my arms freaked out like crazy this past week. I started out getting these small, red bumps on my hands and then it eventually went up my arms. I assume it was eczema from the Accutane. I called my doctor’s office and they prescribed me a cream and recommended that I get CeraVe and use it on my on hands and arms. I think it has really helped. The skin is still dry, but it is not as red and bumpy as it was.

Other than that, lips are still dry as usual. I got a big cystic spot on my chin this week. I haven’t had one like that in a while. I feel like I still have a ways to go before I see some real progress with my skin and it is slightly disappointing, but I will definitely have this conversation at my next doctor appointment, which is in about a week and a half.

Okay, here are this week’s pictures:



I feel like my body has been through a lot lately! Not related to the Accutane, but I went hiking a couple of weeks ago and scraped my knees and ankles, I spent some time outside and ended up with a bad tick bite, got my eyebrows waxed and ended up with a burn that made my eye pretty swollen for about a day AND THEN I got a really bad rug burn on my knee last weekend. Okay, I should have known better than to get my eyebrows waxed while on Accutane, but I needed to get them done. My burn from that is almost gone. It was pretty painful for several days. The rug burn on my knee has felt so dry, and I bet it is from the Accutane. I've been trying to keep it moist with some triple antibiotic ointment. I'm hoping I can stay away from injuries from now on.

My lips, are of course, very dry. This morning I noticed my upper lip becoming dry as well. Usually it's my bottom lip that bothers me the most.

I had a big breakout on the left side of my face this week. I'm terrible about picking and it was a pretty bloody breakout. Sorry. That's pretty gross. I think I might slowly be making some progress on my back. But I honestly don't think I'll see anything dramatic there for another two months or so. I've had a couple new spots on my chest too. I keep holding out for these dramatic results from the Accutane, but it is taking some time.

Other stuff: I started running a couple of weeks ago and I'm honestly amazed at my progress there. I'm doing the Couch to 5K program and it is awesome. I think I'm on week 5 of that program and it has me running for 16 minutes now (spread out between walking of course) and that is HUGE for me. Since the beginning of April, I have logged about 25 miles and I am pretty thrilled with myself about that. It was such a struggle for me to just run the 1.5 minutes in the beginning and now I'm running 5 minutes at a time. That may not sound too impressive to you who don't know me, but I'm impressed with my results being a beginner runner.

Anyway, here are this week's pictures:



My lips are dry as ever and are definitely peeling. The left corner of my mouth is cracking and it doesn’t seem to matter how much Vaseline I put on it, it still cracks and bleeds.

Beyond the dry lips, I’ve had more dry skin, but nothing big or major other than that.

When I visited my dermatologist last week, he told me that my face would improve first before my back. It’s only been six weeks and I really haven’t seen a dramatic improvement just yet. I think that for most people, the turning point is when they get into their third month of their Accutane treatment. I’m just beginning month two, so hopefully these pictures will someday show some beautiful, clear skin. Sometimes it feels like it’s just never coming.

Here are this week’s pictures:


Ahh! Huge Rant!

This week has been so weird between all kinds of news and terrible things happening in the world and then having to deal with the annoying process of trying to get a new Accutane prescription.

I saw my dermatologist this week and thankfully all of my blood work was great and I was good to go to get another prescription. The first time I saw my dermatologist, though, he wanted me to get Absorica, which is a brand new version of isotretinoin. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to afford the medicine because it’s brand new and when I called my insurance to check on how much it would be, the person I talked to couldn’t even find it in the system. I told my doctor about this and they went ahead and wrote on my prescription sheet that I could have Amnesteem if I could not get Absorica. So, when we went to the pharmacy last month, they checked and told me that I was going to have to pay $100 for Absorica as opposed to the Amnesteem that was $5. With a price difference like that, we, of course, chose the Amnesteem. But when I got my medicine it wasn’t even that. They gave me Myorisan. When I told my doctor this on Thursday, he looked at me with a very puzzled look and told me he hadn’t even heard of that. And when I was explaining the cost difference, the nurse said they had coupons that made the Absorica only $10. I was incredibly excited to get that information from her. So, with that, we headed back to the pharmacy to get my $10 Absorica. The dermatologist explained to me that Absorica is much better because it absorbs (hence the name) much better than other isotretinoin pills.

Here’s where my rant really starts – unfortunately, the pharmacy that my family uses doesn’t participate in the iPledge program and therefore, I cannot get my Accutane medicine from there. Last month, we went ahead and chose to go to the Walmart pharmacy to get the Accutane medicine. Last month they had to order my medicine and I couldn’t get it until the next day, and since they gave me Myorisan and my doctor doesn’t recognize that, I’m a little unsure that they actually did the right thing. But after my experience with them this week, I am SO done with them. I took my Absorica prescription to them and the lady at the window smiled and said it would just be 20 minutes to get my medicine. I was beyond thrilled. I was excited to get this medicine that’s supposed to even better than the pills I was on and just get started toward really clearing my skin.

My mom and I waited around for about 30 minutes and then they tell us that they don’t have the medicine, but that they can order it and call me the next day when it comes in. I was disappointed, but left with the reassurance that I’d get my medicine the next day.

The next day, I ended up calling the pharmacy around 2:30 and the girl who answered the phone told me that the Absorica wasn’t there and probably wouldn’t be there until Monday. I WAS SO MAD! I went off on her and was so angry between standing around wasting time in Walmart and then they tell me I can’t get this medicine until next week?! She asked me if I’d hold and she would check other pharmacies. So I did. I waited about 10 minutes and then the pharmacist started talking to me and trying to apologize and telling me about how regulated the medicine is and blah blah blah. Their pharmacy SUCKED for telling me I’d have the medicine the next day and just not delivering on their promises. After I hung up the phone, my mom called them back and told them we would be coming to get the prescription back and take it somewhere else.

They told me they had supposedly called these other pharmacies and that absolutely no one had Absorica on their shelves. We called Target and they told us they had 60 boxes of Absorica. So, we took the prescription out to Target and thank the Lord they delivered on their promise and I FINALLY got my Absorica and for the $10 price the dermatologist office helped me with.

So, now I am taking Absorica (the real stuff) and at 60 mgs a day, which would be double the dosage I had during my first month. Now I think I should really start seeing some results. I am so mad that I had to go through all this crap to get to this point, but I feel that I’m on the right track now and I will NEVER use the Walmart pharmacy again!


Week 5: Day 30

Okay, guys, here’s my week 5 update:

Symptoms – Just more dry lips. The corners of my lips have started to really dry out and that has been pretty annoying.

I have had a lot of lower back pain, but I’m not sure if that’s related to the Accutane or not. I go to my dermatologist tomorrow, so I’ll talk to him about that.

I cannot believe that I’ve already finished my first month! I got my second round of blood work done yesterday. My experience at the lab was fine for the most part except when the phlebotomist had to literally dig around in my arm with the needle to find the vein. Meh.

I have had a couple of break outs on my face, but I don’t see anything new on my back. I think my back is better from a month ago, but it still has a long ways to go. I’m hoping that my doctor will up my dosage tomorrow when I see him. I will keep you all posted, though!

Ok, check out this week’s progress:


Symptom update:

My lips are definitely dry, so I have to keep up on the Aquaphor so they don't get too chapped or feel completely awful. The corner of my mouth have started cracking and that has been annoying the last several days.

I don't know if it's related to the Accutane, but my lower back has been killing me for about a week and a half. It hasn't been so bad today, but a few days ago it was was definitely hurting.

I had to buy some different skincare products because the products I was using were making my skin sting so bad. I had been using the Neutrogena Pore Minimizing Toner and Simple Rich Moisturizer. I'd used the Neutrogena toner for about two or three weeks and it had been okay, but it just started to sting pretty bad and the Simple Skincare moisturizer just never agreed with my skin. I'm not sure why it felt so bad when their products are supposed to be "simple" and perfect for sensitive skin.

Anyway, here are this week's pictures. I feel like my progress is pretty slow on this. Next Thursday is when I have my monthly checkup with my dermatologist and maybe I will get to increase the dosage. I'm doing 30 mgs right now.


Hey guys!

This is my week 3, day 16 update of my Accutane treatment. I don't have much else to say on side effects besides that I definitely feel the dry lips, but as long as I keep up on my Aquaphor, it really isn't bad.

I do have a few active places on my face right now, so hopefully those will be gone before too long. I am taking 30 mgs of Myorisan for right now and I hope that my dermatologist will increase that something else when I see him in a couple of weeks.

How are you guys doing?


It's Day 13!

Here are some side effects I've been experiencing lately:

I have noticed dryness in my throat and now in my eyes and nose and most definitely my lips. When I wake up in the morning, my lips are so noticeably dry. I've been using Aquaphor Healing Ointment for my dry lips and it is awesome. I had used Neoporin Lip Health (Daily Hydration Therapy) and it pales in comparison to the Aquaphor. If you are considering or already on Accutane, I highly recommend the Aquaphor Healing Ointment.

I have noticed some dry blood up in my nose, so it must be dying out pretty good there. I've never had a bloody nose in my life, but it looks like I might get my first one as a side effect from being on Accutane. Sometimes my nose feels sort of like it's burning near the top, but it's nothing painful or anything that really concerns me. My dermatologist told me I could put some triple antibiotic cream around my nose to keep it from being too dry.

I'm feeling some dryness in my eyes and the thing that concerns me here is I wear contacts. I'm hoping I can find a good moisturizer for my contacts so they don't feel so uncomfortable. I do pretty good with them most of the day, but I can see that I'm going to have to pay more attention to my eyes so they don't get too uncomfortably dry.

I've been using my PanOxyl 10 percent foaming body wash most days. I haven't noticed a considerable amount of dryness there, but it's going to be a long road to get my back and shoulders looking clear and pretty.

How are you guys doing? Anyone out there just starting Accutane? What products do you guys use/recommend?


Week 2: Day 9

I don’t think these pictures show much progress so far. I’m taking 30 mg a day of the Myorisan and I haven’t run into super dry lips yet. My throat has been dry, though. No problems with my nose or too much trouble with my eyes being dry. I've also started using PanOxyl 10 percent foaming benzoyl peroxide wash and hopefully this will help clear me up. But, as you can see, it looks like I’ve got a long way to go on this journey.


Week 1: Day 2

I have started taking a form of Accutane (isotretinoin), specifically Myorisan and want to document my progress on this medicine through this blog.

I have struggled and suffered (no exaggeration) with acne for almost 10 years. My back and shoulders have always been a nightmare. When it first started, I saw a PA at the dermatologist office in my hometown when I was in eighth grade and throughout high school, but the drugs she prescribed me never helped much. The first medicine I started was Minocycline and then followed that with Bactrim. When neither of those medicines worked, I simply gave up. I was starting college soon at that point and just put my skin problems aside for other things.

I have now left college and really want to tackle my acne-prone skin once and for all. A big factor for me in my problem with acne is genetics. When I saw my dermatologist for the first time last month, he told me that this would be a problem that wouldn’t simply go away on its own for me because of my genes. So, he agreed Accutane was a good way to go for me.

It is so hard to get started on Accutane because it is such a serious drug. Women who are able to get pregnant have to register with something called iPledge because Accutane is so powerful that it is very likely to cause birth defects, miscarriage or even death of the baby if she is expecting while using this medicine. I additionally had to do a round of blood work checking on my triglycerides and metabolic function stuff to make sure I’m okay to take this medicine. It really is serious stuff.

Here are some pictures for week 1 of my Accutane treatment: