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30 year old female with hormonal acne

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Today is my 28th day on Accutane (Claravis) at 20mg/day. I am thrilled. I'm not sure the photos show any real improvement, because the damage I did by popping and picking when my acne was bad will probably take a long time to recede. But my cheeks feel so much smoother, and when I get a pimple, it heals so much faster!

For the first 2.5 weeks, I didn't notice anything except for my skin actually seemed oilier than usual! I wondered if it was just because I started using gentle cleansers and heavy moisturizers right away, before any dryness had set in. Could have been, but recently I've read other people talking about a sort of "purge", so maybe that was what was going on? At any rate, right around the 2.5 week mark, I noticed a drastic change - I could go for 5-7 days between hair washings! I didn't have to blot my face throughout the day, and at the end of the day, my makeup was still there and I didn't look oily! In the mornings, my face is a great texture - no oil, not dry. The only negative side effect I've had has been dry lips and nostrils, but that has been very minor. I use the daily conditioning Blistex pot or just Vaseline, and I don't have flakes or cracks - I just know I need to apply it more often than I previously would have. Cetaphil moisturizer (regular for night time, SPF 50 for daytime) are so far more than adequate, as my skin is not overly dry - it's just right! My hair is not "dry" or damaged looking in any way, and my scalp is not flakey - it's just not oily! If this could continue, I'd be so happy!

But I know that's unlikely :s I have a dermatologist appointment tomorrow, and unless anything changes, I know his plan was to up my dosage to 40mg/day. I'm nervous. I don't want the red, flakey skin everyone talks about! sad.png On the other hand, if 20mgs is helping me so much, maybe 40 will be even better... Guess I'll find out soon enough! Thoughts, anyone? When did others start having negative side effects? I expected them right away, and have been pleasantly surprised they've held off this long! My nostrils have started feeling a bit dry lately, and when I blow my nose at night, there is a bit of blood in the mucous - but nothing I would classify as a nosebleed.

As for the pimples themselves, I have had a few come out, but no major breakout. I have noticed they perform differently now, though: I will get a reddish bump, but it doesn't really hurt, and doesn't seem to have a head...of course, I try to squeeze them, which irritates them and makes them a bit sore, but usually nothing happens, then the next day, I will be able to see that there is white in them, but not a whitehead...they will scab up a bit, and if I pick at the scab (yeah, I know, I know :s), it comes off and reveals a little pool of whitish liquidy goo. But once that's gone, by the next day it is dramatically improved! Just a little pink spot left! I feel as though the skin is renewing itself at a much faster rate than usual.

A very, very happy customer so far smile.png I would really love to hear from others about whether you've had a similar experience, and when/if you experienced the worst of your side effects - please comment! smile.png

Here are my updated photos. It looks way worse than I think it appears in real life - I think the flash brings it out, and of course, these photos are taken with no makeup, right after I've washed and moisturized. When I put makeup on, everything covers quite well, because the skin is smooth now smile.png You may notice some brown blotches - that is the "Mask of Pregnancy" (melasma) that I'll always be plagued with, which is exacerbated by the sun, too. sad.png



End Of Week 1

Today is day 8 for me, and I haven't noticed much. Some people made it seem like side effects would be immediate and severe, so I am relieved...but at the same time, I kind of wish I'd get some, so I would know it was working! After just 2-3 days, my mom commented that my skin looked better! But I think that's just because I've been moisturizing so well. Speaking of that, I might be overdoing it :s I was so afraid I'd just wake up one morning, totally red and flakey, that I started with the heavy moisturization in advance! I thought maybe I could ward it off? But far from being overly dry, I seem oilier than usual! Is this a real thing that happens initially? Or am I just not used to a heavier moisturizer? I've had to blot oil from my face and it messes up my makeup (the oil), and I've had to wash my hair more often than usual. I might be reading into things too much and it's really too early for the Accutane to be working, but I did notice my back kind of broke out in tiny red spot (pimples, but too minor to really call them that!)...and then they went away. My cheeks do seem smoother - again, maybe just due to moisturizing so well. My actual acne doesn't seem to have changed very much, though I do have a large blemish on my chin that was previously a little lump under the skin, doing nothing for months - is that the Accutane working? When should I really expect to see an initial breakout or the crazy dryness setting in? Does that not happen until further along, or maybe when my dosage is increased (I'm only on 20mg right now). Does the dryness strike all of a sudden, or do you see it coming? Any input would be much appreciated :)


Day 1

I never had a real problem with acne until I got pregnant. During my first pregnancy, I got lots of tiny bumps all over my face, that I of course attacked, making lots of redness - but those receded on their own after a few months, helped by Clindets pledgets. During my second pregnancy, I got some of the same, but not as bad as the first time, plus I knew to use Clindets from the start. I suffered from melasma with both pregnancies, too, but much worse the first time - likely because I didn't take precautions in the sun or know better.

The real problem started AFTER my second pregnancy, shortly after I stopped breastfeeding, which leads me to believe (confirmed by my dermatologist) it is hormonal acne. Since then, I have suffered from blemishes that feel like hard lumps, deep beneath the skin, and sometimes come to the surface (with lots of "assistance" from me) and become painful until popped. Sometimes they pop easily, releasing hard white/yellow somewhat teardrop-shaped balls of waxy substance. Other times, they last for days, and keep refilling with a more liquidy pus :S I've done quite a bit of damage to my skin from not leaving them alone - but I can't help it! That will be one of my biggest challenges while going through this Accutane course. The acne is primarily on my cheeks, coming down towards my chin. I get minor blemishes on my forehead and back, but not really any in my nasal area or centre of my chin.

I've tried various antibiotics, creams, etcetera before deciding to try Accutane - all somewhat effective, but never lasting. I'm nervous about the excessive dryness and redness I'm likely in for, but am hoping I'll fare better than a lot of the people I knew who used Accutane in highschool, being older, wiser, and more diligent about skin care and moisturizing wink.png

I am in my early 30s, am 5'7", and 145lbs (about 15lbs more than I'd like to be!). My dermatologist has me starting on 20mg a day (2 x 10mg pills, taken together, at dinnertime). The pharmacy gave me a generic version called Clarus. I took the first dose today, so this is officially Day 1. I want to note that I've had a bit of a cold the past few days, so have been taking cough syrup, which might be causing a bit of nasal and eye dryness - my eyes HAVE been bothering me already - didn't want to mistake that for an early symptom just yet! My skin is generally a bit oily in the T-zone, but normal everywhere else. I was using Proactiv Solution once a day (twice made me flakey), but have stopped as of today, and switched to Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer (regular one for nighttime, the one with SPF 50 for daytime), and I also got myself some Blistex - the kind in the pink pot.

Wish me luck! Here I go!

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