About this blog

Follow my Accutane (Epuris) journey from start to finish and get all the insight on what it is like!

I will be posting weekly updates with pictures to show my progress as well as talk about what current products I am using. My goal is to not only show people what it is like to be on Accutane, but also to be able to openly talk about a struggle that I have been dealing with for years. 

Entries in this blog

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Coming to an end... I can't believe I have been on this medication for around 7 MONTHS! I cant even describe how good it feels to say that I have not had a single breakout in a month and my skin is completely flat and smooth. Now I do have some post redness which my dermatologist says will fade within 3 months of coming off accutane. I do have very minimal atrophic scarring on my cheeks which I will be doing some sort of treatment but not for at least 6 months. I think it is time to give my skin a break and let it regenerate once I come off the medication! 

My Skin Routine... Nothing has changed from my skin routine and I still continue to use all the same products. I plan to stick with my regimen as I am very hesitant as to what I now put on my skin. I continue to drink around 10-12 cups of water a day which I highly recommend, makes a difference on your skin! 

This blog was created so I can now help people and answer any questions about the accutane experience and how it does take time!! My next post will not be for another 3 months of being off accutane. Look forward to the redness going down! Stay Tuned :) 

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Progress!!... I am so happy with how far I have come on Accutane. To what my skin was when I started to what it is now is unbelievable! I have not had any cystic acne for at least 2 months now and have only had 3 minor whiteheads within the last month. The dermatologist was amazed at how much progress I have made. He couldn't believe how much the redness had gone down considering I am still on accutane. I has confirmed that I have 1 MORE MONTH LEFT!!! 

New Makeup... UNBELIEVABLE! After a trip to Sephora on the hunt for a new foundation, I came across IT cosmetics which is a brand that is developed by plastic surgeons. They have a product called bye bye redness correcting cream which is something that can be put on before a foundation. It is like magic! It instantly reduces all the redness on my skin (this is not sponsored, this is my personal review)! I also purchased their CC Cream which is a light feeling, medium coverage and makes my skin glow! I am IN LOVE with these products and have truly made me feel confident in my skin without feeling like i'm wearing a full face of makeup. It is very natural looking!!!

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What my skin looks like wearing these products
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IT Cosmetics, developed with leading plastic surgeons, IT Cosmetics® creates clinically proven, innovative, problem-solving color cosmetics and skin care products that harness cutting-edge, Anti-Aging technologies and high performance, skin-loving ingredients to provide you with serious beauty solutions designed to give you the power to look and feel your most beautiful! IT’s truly your beauty, but better!

Skin with NO Makeup 
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Approaching Month 6

Approaching 6 months... I cannot believe that I have been on Accutane for almost 6 months. When I look back at my progress, I cannot believe the transformation it has done to my face. From having a bunch of painful cysts and many whiteheads to now having NO BREAKOUTS! If anything, I have 1 minimal whitehead that surfaces and extracts on its own/ very easily. 

September 13, 2017 TO December 1, 2017! 

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Still another 2 months... According to my dermatologist, he still wants to keep me on my accutane for another 2 months. However I believe when I go to see him this month, he will decrease it to 1 more month considering I am having minimal breakouts. 

Maintain Skin Regimen... I have continued the exact same skin regimen and have not changed any products. 

Post Hyperpigmentation & Minimal Scarring... I realize that now the acne is all gone, I am left with some post acne redness and minimal surface scarring in which my dermatologist said it can take some time to fade. He also mentioned that once I come off accutane, the redness should decrease a lot considering the medication can create redness. I plan to do some facials (haven't decided what yet) to help with the scarring, but won't be doing anything until being off accutane for at least 3 months. This is because my skin will need to revitalize and get used to being off the medication. I hope I don't relapse! 


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November 19 - Week 23

Update... I know I have missed a couple weeks, however I haven't had many changes in my skin. It is completely flat and I have only has 1 active pimple last week!!! I find that if I do break out, there are minimal whiteheads and normally occur on my chin. I have not broken out anywhere else!!! The redness continues to fade every day, but I know I will have some scarring to work with after being off Accutane. 

Dermatologist Update... After seeing the dermatologist last week, he was very impressed with my progress, however because I am still getting at least 1 pimple a week, he still wants to keep me on Accutane for another 2 months. 

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November 1 - Week 20

Sorry that I missed posting last week...

Before I continue.. I wanted to compare my worst photo to my best .. CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENCE! 

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Flat Skin... My skin continues to flatten with only a few breakouts! As my skin flattens, as my dermatologist said, I don't have some surface scarring that I will need to take care of. A lot of the redness that you see on my skin is hyper pigmentation which is something that I will need to treat after coming off accurate. 

Dry Ski... With the cold weather approaching, my skin is VERY dry and is peeling consistently especially on my chin. I continue to moisturize with the Cerave Lotion but it seems to just suck right into the dryness. I exfoliate lightly once a week to help get rid of the dry, flaky skin. 

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I was dumb... This past week, I have had a couple breakouts, 2 being on the upper part of my left cheek which I did extract seeing that the whitehead was at the surface. However, as you will see in the pictures, I have 2 circle marks on both sides of my lips... I had a large cyst growing on the left side of my lip and decided to pop it too early :(. On my right side, I felt a small under the skin bump and because I had an urge to pick, I decided to go at it even though there was nothing visible.... For anyone on accutane or going on , IT IS NOT EASY NOT TO PICK! I have come a long way to try and keep my hands off my face but sometimes you just can't help yourself. Although I beat myself up over it, I have had way worse so I just try to leave it alone and let it heal. 

Flat Skin... Red Marks... My skin still relatively flat however I still have a lot of the red marks and surface scarring. I am seeing my dermatologist today and will share is comments in regards to how he thinks i'm progressing and what next steps entails. 

DERMATOLOGIST UPDATE... After my visit with the dermatologist, he has informed me that he is happy with my progress and that I have reached the top of the mountain and now on the downward slope for my skin the recover. I have gotten past the initial breakout and purge so with my skin being flat, he hopes that my breakouts will stop completely. He did say that I have another 2-3 months of being on accutane but depending on how the next month goes, that may be reevaluated. 

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Minor Breakouts... This past week I have had only 2 breakout which were very minor in which I extracted them due to them being a surfaced white head. On my left cheek, I do feel a cyst growing under my skin however I am hoping that it will not surface. The cyst is growing right where I had my 3 headed cyst from about a month ago so I am guessing it is trying to come back. 

Flat, Smooth Skin... My skin still remains flat and smooth for the most part and if I wasn't looking in a mirror, I would think my skin is perfect. However, I still have a lot of hyperpigmentation that I will need to control once off accutane. 

Surface Scars... If I look at the mirror closely, I do see some surface scars (that is what my dermatologist called them). Basically they look like little pin holes but are not deep like ice pick scarring. I read that one of accutane's side effects is scarring however once off it, your skin should regenerate to help those scars fade. I will be looking at different scarring treatment once finished accutane to help with the minor scarring I have. 

Wearing Makeup... I still try to limit makeup as much as possible, but the last couple of weeks i've been wearing it quite a bit due to work. I still apply the smallest amount of foundation and it gives me the exact coverage I need and my skin looks flawless since there are no raised bumps! 

Product Update... I haven't blogged about the products I am currently using at the moment so here is a list of everything I am using. 
  • Facial Routine
    • Face Wash - CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar 
    • Toner - LUSH Tea Tree Water 
    • Moisturizer - CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
    • Tinted Sunscreen - Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Mineral Defence Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
  • Makeup
    • Foundation (Liquid) - Estee Lauder Double Wear & Lise Waiter Teint Lumber 
    • Foundation (Powder) - Sephora Collection Matte Perfection 
    • Bronzer - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer 
    • Highligher - Becca Shimmering Skin Pefector Pressed Highlighter 

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My apologies for not posting the last couple weeks, its been crazy busy with work and I haven't been able to sit down and write my blog post. 

Smooth & Flat... Over the past couple of weeks I have had maybe a couple pimples but other than that my skin is completely smooth and flat and FEELS AMAZING!

Taking Pictures... I find that whenever I take my blog post pictures, the redness looks more inflamed than it actually is. In person, the redness is definitely less visible. It must be the picture quality and because I am taking close up selfies. 

Redness & Hyperpigmentation... Although my skin is very flat, I do have the spots still left over which is hyperpigmentation and is something I will have to treat as well. When I wear makeup, it is completely covered and my skin looks flawless so yes it bothers me but it is something I know that can be treated once off accutane. I was also told that once off accurate the redness seems to go down as the medication leaves your system. 

Water Intake... I was told when on accutane, It is important to drinks lots of water. Even before starting I commit to at least 8 cups a days but have actually increased it over the past couple of months to 10-13 cups a day. Definitely helps keep me hydrated and I think it helps with the smoothness of my face!

Washing Hair Once a Week... on a side note, accurate has done wonders for my hair!!... before starting, I had REALLY greasy hair and could only go (if I am lucky) 2 days before having to wash it again. With being on accutane, I only have to wash it once a week and it still looks perfect every day!

 

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Back from the Carribean… After spending 5 nights in the Caribbean and soaking face body/face in the salt water, I definitely think it made a difference. The first day I got there, I went ahead and popped that three headed cyst which was completely filled with infected puss. I immediately went in the salt water and kept my face half way under water to help with the healing process and it definitely did! I made sure to wear lots of sunscreen and a hat the entire time and for the most part, I did not gain any new pimples other than a couple on my back due to the overload of sunscreen clogging my pores.

Dermatologist Appointment… I had my dermatologist appoint this week and he is keeping me on 40mg because he said that it is not worth the side effects that comes with 60mg and believes that I will still make the same progress by staying on the 40mg. He also gave me another 10-day supply of Prednisone to help bring down the redness YAY! He also believes that this will be my month where things start to turn around! Fingers crossed!

Lighting… Lighting has a huge impact on how my face looks and when I take my weekly pictures, it looks redder and inflamed than it actually is. You will see that I attached 2 pictures of me in the Caribbean where I am only wearing a lightly tinted sunscreen and the redness is barely noticeable. In natural lighting, it does not look as red however in bathroom lighting it looks very red! However, my skin is really starting to flatten out and I only have a couple raised bumps. I will definitely have hyperpigmentation and some minimal scarring to deal with after Accutane but all treatable!  

Post cyst mark…  You can see in my picture on the ride side of my face a red/purple mark. This is from a cyst that popped a couple times and as a result left this behind. I asked the dermatologist about it and he said that the color will heal on its own it just may take some time but nothing to worry about. 

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Redness has returned… unfortunately the redness has returned significantly since I have been off the prednisone. I have also been breaking out and currently have about 8 active whiteheads and 2 cysts which are very inflamed and causing pressure every time I go to wash my face.

Caribbean Salt Water… I am heading to the Caribbean for the next 5 days so I have done everything in my power NOT TO PICK as I hope the salt water will dry out all the whiteheads and they will flake off. As for the cysts, I’m hoping to salt water brings them out naturally so they can drain. I will continue to wear my SPF 50 face sunscreen daily and reapply throughout the day as I do not want to get burned.

Today’s blood test… I have had my monthly blood test today and just waiting for the results. If everything looks okay, I believe the dermatologist may up my prescription next week when I see him. I will keep you posted! 

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Off prednisone… Last week, I noticed a lot of improvements however this week it is back to normal. I am very red and inflamed again and I am breaking out on my chin with huge whiteheads. I think this is because I have finished my 10 day supply of prednisone so my body is going through withdrawal. I wish I can stay on that pill throughout my entire course but the dermatologist said it is a medication I can only take for a short period of time due to its side effects and risks.

Deep Cyst on cheek… I have had this constant deep cyst on my right cheek for the past month and it has come to the surface at least 3 times now. This past week I was scratching my face only to scratch off the skin and the white head popped to the surface. I decided that I was going to take the risk and get it all out be pushing down on my skin rather than squeezing. I think I got most of the infection out but now (like always) I am left with the black/brown mark until it heals. I have been moisturizing like crazy to help with the healing process.

Week 12… 3 Months… Today marks the beginning of the third month on Accutane. I am still on 40mg a day but my dermatologist eventually wants to get me at 60mg a day. I am hoping that within this month I will see the most changes as people say this is the month you start to see progress. I am also going away next week to the Carribean so I will make sure to lather myself in sunscreen (especially my face). I am hoping the salt water will also help with the inflammation. Stay tuned! 

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Improvements... over this past week I have noticed the most improvement so far throughout this journey. Most of the bumps are starting to flatten accept for a couple of deep cysts that continue to boil below the surface of my skin. 

Dry, flaky skin... with the increase in dose, my skin has become very flaky once again and my lips are cracking a lot. I continue to use the same lip product and moisturizer and limit makeup as much as possible to let my skin breath. 

Forehead breakout… Although I am not breaking out as badly on my forehead as before, I keep getting the occasional cyst that eventually turns into a whitehead needed to be extracted. 1 seems to pop up every week. Currently I have a deep cyst with two heads forming UGH! 

Decrease in redness... although I still have a long way to go, the redness is starting to become a light pink and not looking so inflamed as it was so I am happy about that! 

Scarring... I asked my dermatologist if he could tell is I was going to have any red scarring based on how he analyzed my skin. His answer was that the scar marks are pretty surfaced and should probably fade throughout the course. I had no deep scars that concerned him so that was good news!

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Cluster of Cysts… I continue to break out on my right cheek with a cluster of cheeks that are puss filled and painful to touch. HOWEVER, I am happy to say I have not picked them and hope to keep it that way.

Left Side Flattening… I have noticed that this week, my left cheek isn’t breaking out as much and it is beginning to flatten which is really nice to see!

Redness… I still have quite a bit of redness but definitely less than when I was in the first month of Accutane. Like my dermatologist said, the redness fades with time so patience is key!

Homemade Mask… I have read up on Accutane A LOT and everyone says to use as minimal products as possible and just let Accutane do its job. Therefore, I didn’t want to use any store-bought masks because of ingredients that would cause flare-ups or more breakouts. Therefore, after researching extensively, I have continued to use Aloe Vera (right from the plant) and Lemon (freshly squeezed). I mix these two ingredients together, put in the fridge and apply at night as a mask that I leave on overnight. I have noticed that it helps with redness and skin itchiness. It is very soothing and ALL NATURAL!

Follow Up Dermatologist Appointment… I had a follow up with the dermatologist and I have been increased from 20mg to 40mg. Seeing that the redness had gone since last time I saw him, he thought it was a good idea to increase me. HOWEVER, he did mention that I am going to have an initial flare up where everything is going to become very red and inflamed within the first two weeks of taking the new dose. Therefore, he prescribed be 50mg of Prednisone to be taken daily for the first 10 days to help counteract the redness. He said that with the increased dose, it should help get rid of all the cysts once it takes into effect.
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Looking forward to seeing what results now that my dose has doubled!

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Cysts, cysts, cysts… This past week, I developed a couple large cysts on the upper part of my cheeks that were very painful and inflamed. One of the cysts (right cheek) popped naturally on its own in the shower which cause a black hole filled with blood. It is currently healing and turned into a scab.

Tiny Whiteheads… I continue to develop tiny whiteheads along the side of my mouth and chin area. Before starting Accutane, I had a lot of under the skin whiteheads that were not noticeable at all. I assume these are now all coming to the surface to get pushed out. 

Skin Flattening out... I have noticed that my skin is much softer than before starting accutane and I have less bumps. Although I still have a lot of red marks, my skin isn't as sore. 

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Painful Face… My face has never been so painful and ITCHY! No matter what I use, I feel like something is crawling all over my face. Our course itching does not help the redness and can irritate my skin even further.

Picking update… I wish I could tell you that I completely stopped picking but unfortunately it is an ongoing thing. My thought process on picking is very simple. When I look in the mirror and I see a massive whitehead (and I’m talking one that is ready to be popped) I take my pin and the extractor and pop it, done. When it comes to cysts, I have had them where they THROB and ITCH and are just so painful that I can’t stand to leave it. Again, I use my needle and apply little pressure and normally they burst but leaves a huge red mark that I am stuck with until it heals.

Cluster Pimples… I find that I get a lot of pimples in one area in which they all form whiteheads around the same time. When extracted I’m always left with the damage of redness.

Forehead Update… I am still breaking out on my forehead but not as bad as last week. You can see from the pictures that it has started to clear.

New Moisturizer… I have switch to a new moisturizer after running out of my La Roche Pose one. I am now using Cerave Moisturizing Lotion and chose this product based on review from online. Since I just started, I can’t really provide my feedback, so stay tuned! 

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Forehead Breakout UGH… Most of my acne normally lies on my cheeks however Accutane has decided to bring out the tiny bumps on my forehead which are now large whiteheads/cysts!!! I seem to get them in a cluster and they had become so painful that I had to pin them and release the pressure, hence the redness in the picture. My treatment has been rubbing 100% Aloe Vera from the Aloe Vera plant onto my forehead which has definitely helps calm the bumps and redness. I’m hoping all will go away within the next week so I can go back to have a clear forehead!

Painful Cysts filled with blood… Over this past week I have experienced a couple cysts that have popped on their own and were completely filled with blood. So much blood that I was afraid it wasn’t going to stop. After applying pressure for several minutes, the bump had disappeared and what was left was a deep red hole in my cheek! At that moment, I knew it was probably going to scare considering how deep the hole was, however after a couple days it closed and now I am just left with a small red bump which should go away with time.

Tired, Tired, Tired… This past week I have been extremely tired to the point where I have needed to lie down because I was feeling off. Not sure if this is a side effect of the Accutane or if it’s my body telling me I need more rest (Even though I get more than enough sleep). Hmm?  

Decrease in Redness… Although it may not be noticeable in the pictures, I have noticed a decrease in redness on my cheeks. I am still breaking out, however the post acne redness has definitely become less inflamed which I am happy about!

Same Dosage… I am currently still on Epuris 20mg and do not see the dermatologist for another 2 weeks. Since the redness has gone down, I have a feeling he will be increasing my dose the next time I see him. 
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Active Pimples… I still continue to have a lot of active acne consisting of both painful cysts and whiteheads. Most of my cysts have the red pigmentation even without picking which is very annoying and tend to flare more when I wash my face, UGH!

Update of last week’s post… Last week was a very bad week for me that consisted of the worse picking ever. I am happy that the swelling has gone done as well as some of the redness which I thank to ice, salt water and aloe Vera plant. My lower back ache was a result of a new workout as I have not experienced it since.

Dry, Itchy, Burning Skin… I continue to have extremely dry skin in the areas where I have acne in which they become very itchy throughout the day. Anytime I apply makeup, face wash or moisturizer, there is a burning sensation which makes my skin very red. When I have to wear makeup, I have been using a powder which obviously doesn’t help the dryness, therefore I will be trying a liquid foundation to see if that helps with the dryness when I am out and about.

Change in Moisturizer… Currently I have been using the Avene Optimale Light Hydrating Cream as my moisturizer however I have found I am not a fan therefore I looked through my drawer and found another moisturizer that I have used in the past. The one I am now trying is La Roche Pose Hydraphase Intense Light and so far, I like the way it feels so much better. I have also been researching a LUSH moisturizer called Cosmetic Lad which I may pick up a sample to see how it is. I am a huge fan of LUSH products with the Tea Tree water being one of my favourites!

Ups & Downs… I have days where I feel like Accutane is not helping whatsoever and I start to lose hope. This normally occurs if I pick at my skin which I am trying my hardest not to. It is important to mention that when it comes to picking my skin, I am very careful and do not overdo it, which I used to do in the past before Accutane. However, I have days where I look in the mirror and I see some improvements and after reading peoples blogs and product reviews on a daily basis, I realize that I am not alone in this struggle and that I need to push through because the result should be worth it… I HOPE!

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Worst Picking Yet... I knew this day would finally come where I just couldn't stand the pain and bumps anymore :( ... Unfortunately, I have picked my entire face leaving it completed inflamed, blood spots and swollen. The only upside is that all the whiteheads are completed extracted so hoping the redness and blood spots will soon fade. These pictures is of my right side, which is way worse than my left side. Stay tuned on my progress as my face begins to heal all over again. 
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Lower Back Ache... I am unsure if my lower back ache is from working out with a new technique or from the Accutane but thought I would document it.

Sun exposure.... This past week, I have been in the Caribbean, however have been reapplying sunscreen to both my face and entire body to make sure I do not burn. Although the sunscreen and salt water burns my face, my hope is that the salt water will help take down the redness and swelling of the damage I have done. 

No No to makeup... Because my face is completely swollen and hurts to touch, I currently cannot apply any makeup to my face due to a burning sensation and bruise like feeling. The only thing I will continue to put on my face is my everyday face sunscreen.




 
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Forehead Cyst from last week… I am happy to say that my forehead cyst (see last post for pictures) has completely gone away with very minimal redness left behind. It is not noticeable at all and very happy about that!!

My dermatologist follow up… So, it has been one month since I have started Accutane and today I met with my dermatologist to see what his thoughts were on how the Accutane was taking affect. He asked me if I have noticed flare up more than when I started the Accutane in which I told him yes. Therefore, he was very hesitant in increasing my dose because it could create more flare ups which has the potential to scar. So, he has kept me on the same 20mg dose until next time when he will do another assessment. I had many questions, see below the answered questions by my dermatologist:

  1.            Picking on Accutane… Obviously he said that picking is not a good option when on Accutane, however when there are whiteheads at the surface that are driving you NUTS, he says to use a needle to break the skin and let the pimple drain (which I have been doing). He also mentioned that I could spot treat with Tactuo Pump to increase the dryness in the area with hopes of it healing faster.

  2.            Pre-Workout on Accutane: Caffeine does not affect Accutane therefore I was told that pre-workout would be fine to take. He did mention to stay away from Whey Protein as it can cause acne because of the lactose.

  3.           Vitamins and/or supplements: I asked if I should be taking any and his response was no, it is not necessary.

  4.           Ice or Warm Compresses: When I have a large cyst, I obviously want to pop it however I asked what would be better to help it heal. The dermatologist said that icing will decrease the size of the bump while a warm compress will bring the cyst/whitehead to the surface. He recommended ice since you want to avoid popping as much as possible.

Painful Cysts…. I am experiencing large painful cysts that are very inflamed and irritated even though I try my hardest not to touch them! Some cysts have surfaced and dried out but there still remains a bump in its place.

Crusty Whiteheads… I continue to have A LOT of whiteheads come to the surface, especially around my jaw line and chin. As mentioned by the dermatologist, I take a needle and break the surface and apply MINIMAL pressure. If the whitehead comes out, perfect! If not, I leave it and put a spot treatment over it. I recommend doing this at night, because they will obviously become VERY inflamed even when touched the slightest.

Migraines Return… As mentioned in a previous post, I have switched to the Nuvaring. It has been three weeks therefore this is my week where I do not have it in. This last three weeks have been HORRIBLE! I have had occurring migraines that takes around 5 Advil to finally get rid of since I do not have any migraine medication anymore. I am hoping these will subside and it is just a short-term symptom but I will have to wait and see.

Tired all the time… I have realized within the past couple weeks that I have been very groggy and tired. Sometimes so bad that I can barely keep my eyes open at work. I drink one coffee in the morning and occasionally one in the afternoon, but I feel like it has no effect on me. I find myself dozing off earlier in the night because I am so tired and exhausted. I try to overcome this by going to the gym and pushing through it (I go to the gym around 3-4 times a week).

Occasional Anxiety… I have rarely experienced anxiety in my lifetime however, I have found that I definitely have increased anxiety since starting Accutane. It is nothing of concern, however I find that it can stem at any point in the day when my mind wonders to my skin and I start to only think about that. Deep breathing exercises have helped.

Change in face wash… As much as I liked the Oxy Emergency Acne Vanishing Facial Cleaner, it started to become too drying for my face. Therefore, I have switched to Cerave Hydrating Cleanser bar. I read many reviews and heard that the bar is better at taking off makeup. It lathers very well and has made my skin very smooth and less dry. I tend to stick with this from now on. 
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OH SH#$%T, I Picked… For a compulsive picker to say, “I will never pick/pop a pimple again” is probably lying. It takes a lot of time to break a habit especially when acne is painful and contains a lot of pressure that can be easily released with a squeeze. That being said, IT WAS THE WORST DECISION! Over the past week, I developed two cysts side by side on the right side of my forehead and the pressure was unbearable. I also had 2 cysts on my cheek that I have had for the past 2 weeks and they had finally surfaced. Knowing I shouldn’t, I still went ahead and popped the three. The ones on my cheeks have been healing fine, yes they are red, but the bumps are completely gone and there is no pressure which is nice. However, the one on my forehead has become infected and continues to puss. I have been putting nexcare patches on it to drain and will be applying polysporin to help shrink the infection and decrease redness. Stay tuned on my progress…
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Dry, Flaky Skin… Each day, my face, lips and body become drier and moisturizer has become my best friend! I have been swimming in my salt water pool which doesn’t help with dryness, however it makes my skin less red but brings all the whiteheads to the surface. I have learned my lesson and will try my best not to pop them! 

Same products, new spot treatment… All products continue to remain the same however I purchased a spot treatment to help calm stubborn pimples. Lush Grease Lightning ($14.95 CAD) is great to help reduce redness and dry out the pimple even more. Its core ingredients are tea tree oil, aloe and witch hazel, 3 ingredients that help target redness. It is an all-natural product that I find has helped with the healing process.


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The Itchiness continues… It has been 2 weeks now since I have started Accutane (Epuris 20mg). I am starting to notice my skin becoming more inflamed than what it was at the beginning of the treatment. The itchiness has also kicked in and although it is very tempting to itch my face, I try to avoid it because my skin is becoming more sensitive and scratching will only make it redder, not to mention it hurts!! 

The Dryness continues… Not only is my face itchy, but my whole body has become drier leading me to moisturize constantly to avoid dry, flakey skin. Currently I am using Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoaradient as my body lotion. My lips have also become significantly dry but I continue to use my La Roche Pose Lip Balm, this stuff is my savior!

The Whiteheads Arise… My under the skin pimples are starting to form large whiteheads with some even coming right to the surface and with no pressure at all, they burst… YUCK, I know. Now I know after reading several blogs, you are not supposed to pick on Accutane. This I understand since your skin starts to become thinner and more prone to scarring if tampered with. However, when large whiteheads are right at the surface, my thought process is to relieve the puss which I do but as gently as possible, with a lancet needle and no squeezing! So far, once this is done, I continue to wipe the area until stops pussing, put on a Nexcare patch (depending if it needs one) and within a day or two the redness is barely noticeable and the bump is gone. That being said, I DO NOT touch any acne under the skin! That is where you can run into trouble with scarring!!  

Products remain the same… All my products have remained the same since last week however I am looking into switching to a Cerave Facial Wash to replace the Oxy Facial wash I am currently using. Any feedback on the Cerave would be helpful! 

Limiting Makeup as much as possible… Before starting Accutane, I told myself that I want to limit makeup as much as possible just so I can let this treatment takeover and do its job. Of course, there are times where makeup needs to be worn however I only apply if completely necessary and remove it the moment I get home. I have realized that makeup actually inflames my skin even more so I prefer to not where it and just let my skin breath. Although it is hard to go out without any makeup, the end result better be worth it!

•    Foundation Powder: Sephora Collection Matte Perfection Powder ($25.00 CAD)

Drink lots of water!... Even before Accutane, I make sure to drink at least 8-10 cups of water a day. This has been an ongoing this that has now become part of my daily routine. 

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So, it has been 1 week since I started Epuris 20mg, taken once a day. It is always hard to tell if the medication has started to take effect or if my mental state     believes it has. Therefore, please take these changes lightly as Epuris states it can take up to 2 weeks to fully start taking affect.

Changes in my body:

·                    - Itchy Skin all over - It started with being itchy on my face but then also moved to my legs and scalp.
                      Dry/Peeling Lips
       Pimples coming to the surface causing large whiteheads
 


Change in contraception method… After discussing with my doctor different options for birth control, her best suggestion for the way my body is came down to Nuvaring. Therefore, I had my IUS removed and have started Nuvaring which has a lower dose of estrogen than the birth control pill I was on that caused my migraines. This is now going to be a trial and error process to see if the addition of estrogen into my body will bring back my migraines. Stay Tuned!
 

 
Products I am currently using:
  •        Facial Wash - Oxy Emergency Acne Vanishing Facial Cleaner (recommended by the dermatologist – may be drying while on Accutane)
  •        Toner – Lush Tea Tree Water
  •        Moisturizer – Avene Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream
  •        Lip Care – La Roche Possay Cicaplast Levres barrier repairing balm (THE BEST)!
  •        Sunscreen – Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPT 50+

 The Picking Urge… Currently, I am only washing my face once a day in the evening. In the morning, I simply wash my face with water and tone with the Tea Tree Water. Throughout the week, I developed 2 whiteheads on my chin and 4 large whiteheads on my right cheek. In regard to the whiteheads on my cheek, I waited for them to crust over and I scratched them off, leaving red marks that have been lightening up since. However, the whiteheads on my chin, I took a lancet needle and then put a nexcare acne absorbing patch to let it all drain out. For those of you who haven’t heard or tried this product, you need to!! They can be found at Shoppers Drug Mart for around $12.99CAD for 30 patches (small and large) For best results, I recommended to lightly tear the skin where the whitehead is with a lancet needle so the white starts to secrete. Wipe the area off and immediately put a patch on the area. DO NOT SQUEEZE. I normally do this routine at night and when I wake up in the morning, the puss has all come out on the patch and you can actually see the white. Remove the patch, wash your face and voila! These has definitely saved me on many occasions where I felt the urge to squeeze.
 

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I am looking forward to what week 2 will bring me… Stay Tuned! 

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I would like to start off by introducing myself and giving you a complete background about my struggles with my skin. So, let’s go all the way back to elementary school where zits were not a thing for me. I had clear, radiant skin and makeup was not part of my skincare routine. Seeing that I was a late bloomer, I didn’t start puberty until high school which is when the acne struggle became real. After a trip to the doctor, I was put on birth control for more reasons than one, however one being to help control acne. It took about 3 different kinds of birth control until I finally found one that worked for my body. I continued the birth control up until my third year of university and was still getting pimples here and there, but nothing that was uncontrollable. The issue with me is that I am a picker. Any pimple (ready to pick or not), I had to get it out which lead to significant redness and scabs as a result. You would think that I would learn but it was a temptation that I could not handle. After picking, I would instantly regret it but the next day, I would be in the mirror for 30 minutes at a time just analyzing my face, looking for the next zit to pop. There would be days where I completely destroyed my face and could not face going anywhere which brought on a lot of insecurity issues. However, I am thankful that through all the years of picking, I do not have any deep scarring, just an uneven complexion due to hyperpigmentation.

Fast forward to 2015, I decided that I needed a change in regards to the form of contraception. Although the pill was just managing my skin, it was discovered that it was causing my migraines due to the increase in estrogen therefore this was no longer an option for me. When I went to my doctor, she recommended me an Intrauterine System (IUS). I was prescribed Jaydess which is a form of progesterone only birth control that is inserted into the cervix and effective for up to 3 years. I was warned that there was a potential risk of acne however I chose my migraines as my number one priority and since insertion, I haven’t had a migraine since. So, one problem solved BUT let me say that Jaydess has left my skin the worst it’s ever been. In my fourth year of university (2017), I went on exchange to Europe where I continued to have an increase in acne, not only on my face (mostly on my cheeks) but shoulder, chest and back. It became so flared that I would do everything in my power not to expose my body. My skin continued to get worse and worse and no matter what I did, I developed new pimples every day. Now I know that picking pimples causes the bacteria to spread which lead to multiple in the same area, however the urge was too strong. My acne was considered cystic acne meaning that the “pit” never really came to the surface but I still managed to pop them with a lot of pressure. Cystic acne is under the skin and can cause a lot of pressure so not popping them was not an option for me. As a result, I was left with A LOT of hyperpigmentation and every time I touch my face, all I feel is painful bumps. Although you may not see the acne on the surface, it is deep below the surface of my skin causing a lot of inflammation, leaving me with a lot of redness and marks.

So, what have I tried to do in the interim?... Well, I first wanted to start by trying my best to STOP PICKING. I can’t say that I have, but I have gotten better in regards to making sure if I do pop, I use a lancet needle and an extractor and only pop when the white is at the surface. However, I am sure I am not the only one in saying that I go on a picking rampage some days… In regards to treatments, I have done 4 weeks of microdermabrasion with blue light treatment and 4 weeks of glycolic peels with hopeful results… NOT. These treatments didn’t make it better but it did put a dent in my wallet. The only benefit is that it made my skin texture smooth but the zits and hyperpigmentation still remained.

So where am I at now?... After a long-waited trip to the dermatologist, he examined my skin and told me I am a candidate for Accutane. At first, I was completely against it after reading the horror stories and watched people who went on it. However, after much research and talk with my dermatologist, it was suggested that it is my best option. That being said, it has been advised that I get my IUS removed and look at another form of birth control or get off it altogether.

So here we go… I am a 23-year-old female and here is my experience on Epuris (Accutane)… Positivity is key, this WILL be the solution! These photos have been taken after I just washed my face, toned and moisturized BEFORE starting accutane. Please note that the first two photos were taken towards the end of May, 2017 and the rest on June 14, 2017 after coming back from a vacation (hense the tanned skin). 
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