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An Accutane Journey

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Day 26

It's been so long that I've seen my face like it is right now. I am happy and content and definitely thankful for Accutane.

I've had bad, bad, bad, horrible acne since I was in 6th grade. Seriously, I was one of the very few kids that were dotted with gross zits all over my face. My face was beyond oily. It was like I dipped my face in bacon grease everyday. I was too young to understand or even care about what it was. What do I care, I was the best in volleyball and tag at the time. I had As and Bs in class. I was friends with everyone. And I didn't have a clue about puberty.

But one day, one of the boys came up to me and asked me what are those things all over my forehead and asked me if they hurt, felt gross, or if they were cooties. I thought he brought up some pretty good questions since I never really bothered with my acne. I didn't even know what they were called back then.

I came home and asked my grandmother about the things on my forehead. She teased me and said it was cooties. I got upset, of course. It dawned on me that the prettiest girls in class don't have any bumps like I have on my face. I touched my forehead. It felt disgusting. It was oily and it wasn't smooth as I thought it was. The pimples were huge. It didn't take long for me to learn how to pop them. It hurt a lot. But I wanted them gone and it was kind of addicting in some way. They didn't go away. They did but they just kept on coming. Sometimes bigger and more menacing than the one I popped.

Middle school came and I got obsessed with what to do about it. I've tried everything. Topical ointments, everything my derm told me to do, antibiotics, acne facial wash, OTCs. Most of them didn't do jack. Some of them worked pretty well. But only for a short while. The huge pimples would come back after a few months of every treatment.

My derm said there is no cure for acne. Great. Well, now what. He says we only have treatments that prevent acne but there is no guarantee that it will be gone forever. It can go back anytime. Whatever. Give me your best shot, dammit! I didn't really say it that way but that's how I felt at the time. He told me all about Accutane; how it's the last resort and that it seems to be our only option left. I told him I'd try everything to get rid of the curse. I was desperate and a freshman in high school.

So the treatment began. Well, I guess I wasn't listening when he told me to use the moisturizer he gave me (I seriously didn't even know he gave me one) because my face flaked and it was too late when I started using the moisturizer. My eyes were yellow. I had frequent killer headaches, fatigue, muscle and joint pain among others but I didn't tell anyone because I wanted to finish my treatment and wanted to see what Accutane can do for me. Afterall, it's the last resort. If it doesn't work, then nothing works. Stupid, I know. Because I know now that as soon as my face dries up from Accutane, I should be using that moisturizer like it's nobody's business.

Well, my first treatment of Accutane went better than I expected. Soon, people forgot I was plagued by acne. People thought I had baby skin throughout my entire high school. I laugh and never tell them my secret. Yes, I'm evil.

Now, I'm 21 years old and earlier this year, my acne came back worse than ever. I have managed to keep my skin almost acne free with Proactiv, Retin A, and other things that eventually stopped working for me throughout the years. Finally, this year, everything have failed so I'm back to the last resort. And really, I would have stayed on Accutane if I had the choice but my derm insists on other kinds of treatment before resorting to Accutane.

Before starting Accutane, I've lost a lot of confidence. I locked myself in my room, avoiding friends, and not even bothering to pick up the phone. It was even harder when I had to go look for work. I feel like potential employers are only looking at my zits at the interviews. Every rejection letter I get, I feel like I'm closer and closer to hitting rock bottom. Depression set in. I lost a lot of weight. I felt like I have no where to go and nobody wants me. I thought, if only my face would clear up for a month maybe someone can look past my face and see what I can offer.

Of course, I was excited to start Accutane again. I remember the results the last time it brought me. We'll see. It's only day 26 and my skin is already cleared for the most part. The best thing about starting Accutane, I got my life and my confidence back already.


Day 24 and Day 25

- I can definitely tell that Accutane has made a huge improvement, specially when I compare pictures of Day 1 and of today. I love the fact that I am not oily anymore and that I haven't had a breakout for so long now.

- My face is dry but nothing moisturizer can't fix.

- Eyes are a bit of a hassle. They get irritated easily by wind or when it's cold. I'm already more than halfway through my bottle of Visine Tears.

- I still have a bit of headache. I'm not sure if it's the Accutane or my teeth grinding at night.

- Wedding this weekend!!!!! Woo! :wub:


- My face is dry now. I have to use moisturizer on my entire face to keep it from drying up and flaking. It's amazing how I used to be sooooo oily and now I'm actually using a moisturizer! When I wash or put moisturizer on my face, I get so excited. It's been so long since I've touched my face and not feel disgusting. My face is so smooth and soft now. I love Accutane <3

- Lots of white heads on my nose but it's not a big deal.

- My forehead is clear of all acne. Woohoo! :dance:

- All the big ones on the side of my face have dried up and shrank in size. They're barely noticeable with makeup today.

- My scalp is itch free and dandruff free now!

- Headaches remind me to drink plenty of water. Alyssa is right. It goes away if you keep yourself hydrated.

- My lips are in great shape. Thanks to Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm. My bf started borrowing it from me.

- I ordered a sample kit from Everyday Minerals about a week ago and it came in the mail a few days later. I tried it this weekend. I know I said I won't use any more makeup but I couldn't help myself. I am soooo happy I tried it. The coverage is great, it's light, it didn't break me out (A+++ for that), and it's just the best makeup I've ever tried. I've never seen my face this radiant and flawless. Best makeup ever.

I wore it all day and it didn't melt off my face. It covered all my "problems" and it made it look like I had flawless skin. Except for the ones that were still big on the sides of my face but I was able to cover it by letting my hair down.

I am definitely a fan of Everyday Minerals. It changed my opinion about mineral makeup.

It's been a great weekend. I had fun and I hope I have more weekends like this.

- Thanks to everyone at acne.org. This place have helped me cope so well with my Accutane treatment. I wouldn't have known what to get or do for my lips, my eyes, my muscle pain, my headaches, my dry scalp, and so on and so on. :wub:

- I'm looking forward to everything Accutane brings me. Here's to smooth, soft, and clear skin!!!


Day 20

- I had a zit under my chin last night and.... I popped it. It was annoying me.

- My face is definitely dry now. It's not flaking yet. Everything is still manageable with Cetaphil moisturizer.

- Weather is awesome! It's cool and raining right now. I love it. It's perfect for hot chocolate and movies!

- Lips are dry but I haven't failed to put on my lip balm every chance I get.

- My hips hurt. Dunno why. But I called in sick today so it's no biggie.


Day 19

- The weather is very nice and cool. I love it! :wub:

- My day is going well so far. But then again, it's only 9 am right now. I really should stop jinxing myself. Most of the little pimples that resulted from the sweaty makeup last weekend have dried up and my forhead is almost clear again.

- The sides of my face which are the problem areas from day 1 are drying up. They're not flaring red as they usually are. But they hurt when I touch them or have a a strong impulse to pop them. I guess it's a good thing they hurt when touched because I definitely would have popped them.

- My chin and upper lip have cleared up of every scary looking zit. :dance: But it is getting a little dry around my lips. It's still manageable. And I don't mind if I flake like oatmeal as long as it gets done and over with as soon as possible.

- LOTS of whiteheads on my nose and around it. I tried to take them all out and I didn't have much trouble. My nose is dry and I couldn't clean the side of my nose because it hurts when I try. So there are little white dots just hanging around my nose it if you look really close. Gross, I know.

- My headaches still come every morning, right after I wake up. Alyssa's right. Water does help a lot. I forgot to mention that since week 1, I get thirsty a lot. Right now, I get so thirsty at night that I have to get up and drink water. My throat gets dry and it gets bothersome.

- Itchy scalp isn't too annoying anymore. I think it has to do with the nice, cool weather. When it's hot, that's when it's giving gigantor dandruffs that are so embarassing and it itches like I have lice. I hope it doesn't embarass me next week when I go get a haircut. I might also color my hair but I'm not sure if that's okay since my scalp is already very dry and my hair is thinning.


Day 18

- The skin around the side of my lips are dry but it is manageable with just a little dab of moisturizer. Other than that, my skin still gets a bit oily. But the good news is, it's as oily as a normal girl's face should be. It's not embarassing anymore. What a relief!

- I woke up last night because my eyes were bothering me. It didn't hurt too much to open my eyes. I always put some Visine before going to sleep. And before I went back to bed, I used Visine again and had no trouble waking up this morning.

- My headache today is more than just a mild headache.

- The weather is very nice and cool. It says that it will be like this for the entire week! Woo!!! :lol:

- My skin is, again, clearing up. I'm hoping by next week it'll be a big difference so when I attend the wedding, I'll enjoy myself. :boogie:

- My back is a bit sore but I think it's from crouching and bending at work.

- I'm very confident that Accutane will once again make my face baby smooth, radiant, and clear. Except my scalp is really annoying me and some of my hair is falling out. The first time I was on Accutane, I didn't have this side effect. But I was only 15 at the time and was truly a grease monkey. Accutane didn't even badly flake my skin then. My skin dried and flaked out for about two weeks, my skin cleared up of all the acne by a month and a half, and while still on Accutane, I had clear, shiny, oily skin. And that's way better than being the shiny, pimply 21 year old I am now.

-- All I want is not to be a grease monkey. I want my confidence back. I don't want to have to use makeup just to go to the grocery store. I want to wear a backless dress. I want to be able to just enjoy myself and not worry about what people think about my horrid face. I want to be able to smile and know that they're not looking at a huge zit on my upper lip. I want to be just me and go out and enjoy life. :boogie:


Day 17

- The pimples that came up from that sweaty mineral makeup mix from last weekend are still on my face; shiny and annoying. I was doing so good. My forehead was completely clear. And now, there are a lot of little bumps again. :boogie: Also, my chin was as clear as it has ever been this year, but after that makeup disaster, I have two huge pimples on my chin and upper lip.

- I guess it helps a little to put Visine Tears before I go to sleep at night. It still burns a little when I wake up but atleast I don't have trouble opening my eyes. It used to hurt if I rub my eyes when I wake up (trying to open my eyes and hoping the burning would go away). I just figured putting Visine would be less painful. :lol:

- Mild headache this morning. Not a big issue. I'm used to it.

- Cloudy skies when I woke up. :boogie: I hope it goes on for the rest of the month. I really need to move somewhere with consistent weather all year round. I mean, I love San Diego, but I hate it's crazy weather of extreme hot and cold during spring time. It's driving my body insane. Well, during the summer, it's just extremely hot. Rarely would it ever have a cloud in the sky, even at night time. During the wee hours of the morning, there's a fog but it's gone by 6 am.

- My back is sore. I need a massage. If only my boyfriend is a caring m0fo. I'll appreciate it even if it's a 5 minute massage.

- Lips are dry but nothing my lip balm can't handle.

- My back is definitely clearing up. It'll be nice if I can wear a backless dress to the wedding. But I won't get my hopes up.

- Off to work, I'll add to this later!


Day 16

- I woke up today with difficulty. It kinda burns a little when I try to open my eyes. I had to wake up early to go to work. I'm guessing my eyes get really dry at night when I sleep. I don't know why else it would burn. My eyes also get irritated a little during the day unless I keep using Visine Tears every two hours or so.

- Lips are the same. They're a bit dry but it's not horrible at all.

- Slept all day today. The weather was unbearably hot. I woke up drenched in sweat and feeling like I just ran a marathon. I felt tired and thirsty.

- Still a bit moody. But feeling nicer and better after sleeping all day :boogie:

- I get a headache in the morning but it doesn't last too long.

- My back hurts a little. It shouldn't. I haven't done anything too strenuous during the weekend. But then again, the gruesome hot weather makes me feel like @#$ every year. I don't think it's anything new. It's just a bad timing that I started my Accutane treatment right when summer is right around the corner.

- I feel like a piggy after devouring a bag of Reese's pieces and 3 Musketeers (all by myself of course).

- I called in sick a lot and I know I'll regret it soon. I was hoping to buy a nice cocktail dress for a wedding I plan to attend on the 31st of this month. Ugh... There's got to be something I can do about this hot weather.

- I keep forgetting to buy a bottle of Vitamin E. And I still haven't bought anything to relieve my itchy scalp.


Day 14 and Day 15

Day 14

- Had to go out with friends all day out in the sun. I decided to cover up with L'Oreal mineral makeup that I just bought a day before. It's SPF 19 too, so I thought it was a good idea. Didn't really like the color by itself but it blends well with L'Oreal blendable makeup. I decided to use it by itself today hoping it will let my skin breathe since it's going to be on my face all day and night.

- Itchy scalp is still annoying me. :lol:

- Oiliness came back. I was drenched in sweat and oil mixed with makeup all day. Imagine how gross and disgusting I was feeling.

- Mild headache.

Day 15

- :boogie: LOTS of new pimples this morning. Popped a few. Really annoyed and disheartened. I wanna blame the mineral makeup for this.

- I bought a cowboy hat since I'm going to be out a lot this summer. I volunteer out in the sun and love going out with friends. Also, later this month, the bf and I are planning to go to Disneyland. I learned my lesson. Definitely NOT going to wear makeup no matter what. It's not worth the sweaty cake on my face and definitely not worth the horrid surprise the next morning.

- Mild headache. I don't even notice it anymore unless I'm looking for the side effects.

- My back is clearing up of acne. Woo!!!

- Itchy scalp still... Thinning hair :boogie:

- Just had a moment about half an hour ago. (Just added this at 3:30 pm today) I just snapped. Got really irritated and angry over something small. I want to blame the sweaty, sticky, and gross weather of Southern California. I hate sweating when I'm not trying to. I absolutely hate being lethargic during summer. And it's not even summer yet but it's been 100 degrees lately. Last night, it was 80 degrees at 10 pm.

- I've lost my appetite, which is somewhat of a good thing. I also want to blame the frikin hot weather on this. It's too hot to move and it's too hot to eat, unless there's lots of ice cream to fill up with all day.

- Today is just horrible. The weather is really killing me. I'm lethargic. I'm tired, sleepy, grumpy, annoyed, and pessimistic (if that's worth mentioning). But somehow I managed to get the energy to clean my room in the horrible hot weather.

- Lips and eyes are definitely dry.


Day 1 to Day 13

First Week:

- Definitely less oily. My face doesn't feel gross after an entire day at the office. Still a bit oily but manageable and not embarassing.

- Headaches, joint pain, and muscle pain. I read up about fish oil after three days and bought a bottle. It works wonders about the joint and muscle pain. I still have headaches up to this day so I carry a bottle of Ibuprofen with me.

- I bought Visine Tears and Burt's Honey Lip Balm even before I started so my lips are doing pretty good. Eyes aren't dry yet but I use Visine in the morning and in the middle of the day.

- Strange mood swings but I didn't think it was anything big. I just felt like a fussy 5 year old.

Second Week:

- My face is significantly less oily. It feels like I can go out the entire day and not feel like I have to wash my face every two hours. I feel more confident about myself :boogie:

- Headaches are persistent. But I'm getting used to it.

- Eyes and lips are definitely getting dry. I use Visine and lip balm whenever possible.

- Hormones are driving me insane. Well, emotionally.

- It's hard to stay focus on the job. Not sure if it's just the job or if it's Accutane. But I'd like to blame the job on this one.

- I'm sleepy during the day. If I sleep all day, I still can sleep well at night. I think it might be because the weather is all out of sorts lately.

-Really irritated, itchy scalp. I don't know what to do about it. It's very annoying.

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