My name is Charlie, I'm 28 years old...
My name is Charlie, I'm 28 years old and have been struggling with acne since I was 14.
At 18 I was put on the contraceptive pill which cleared up my skin beautifully, I was so over the moon, then around 11 months later I had a massive migraine and the doctor said I could no longer take that pill, I was devastated and within 3 months all my acne was back. Since then I feel like I have tried everything, I was on one antibiotic for over a year as well as a number of other antibiotic treatments, topical prescriptions, chemical peels and every new skin cream that came out, after a while I was over taking medication so I had a York test, I've tried elimination diets, gluten free diets, sugar free diets, I've seen a naturopath and tried natural remedies, etc. nothing but the contraception has worked.
I am a really health concious person, I eat a healthy diet, lots of water, don't drink alcohol, and exercise at least 3 times a week, I'm super super nervous to take accutane! The thought of putting something in my body that could damage it scares me, but I feel after 14 years of emotional upset, sore, throbbing skin, being so self concious and feeling like I don't even want to go out of the house some days..something's got to give? So tomorrow is the big day, my first pill of Accutane!
My doctor has prescribed me a low dose of 20mg per day for 16 weeks, I'm currently planning out a healthy meal plan to support my body through it and fingers crossed all will be well :) I'll keep you updated :)
One week in!
I've been taking Octane 20mg for one week now! My skin is breaking out and I have lots of little white heads appearing all over the place, about 3 days in I had a big lump appear right in the middle of my forehead.. Gorgeous lol!!
The only noticeable thing has been the itching! Pretty much straight away my skin felt a bit itchy but yesterday my scalp was soo itchy and it freaked me out a bit as I know that some people experience hair loss whilst taking Accutane. After having my little girl a few years ago I lost all the hair around the front of my head it was horrendous and it's taken me over 3 years to grow it back and get it long and strong again! I love my hair and would be devastated if anything happens to it so if anyone has any recommendations for looking after your hair while on Accutane and preventing hair loss i would love to hear?
I'm drinking a minimum of 3 litres of water per day and using blistex to moisturise my lips. So far not too much dryness :) I've added some pics ... One week down 15 more to go :)
2weeks... Feeling rubbish!
So I'm two weeks in and I think I have picked up a virus, that's what I've put it down to.. I have a sore throat and really tight chest and a cough too, I haven't seen anyone else mention these kind of things before but wondering if it could in any way be linked to the tablets?
My initial flare is really really bad too, I have cystic acne in places I've never had it in my life and am waking up every day with more and more acne, questioning if I'll actually have anywhere on my face without acne soon, didn't leave house last couple of days def the worst it's been in a long long time. Trying to keep positive I know I'm only two weeks in but hard when it's so much worse, don't know if my low dose could be linked to how bad this flare is or whether it's just me! Hoping for some improvement soon :)
Almost 4 weeks in! Side effects & progress
I'm coming up to 4 weeks on my tablet and I think I'm seeing some progress which is awesome and very exciting :) I don't want to get too ahead of myself as I know it is still early days and I still have acne but I'm soo over the moon that I don't have any large lumps or cystic acne at the moment! :) eek!
Lips..tiny bit dry if I don't use a lip balm but nothing major. My favourite lip balm is just an SPF 50+ Vitamin E one from Kmart. I tried Blistex and wasn't a fan but love this one! I only have to apply a couple times a day and lips are fine.
Eyes: Feel a little dry at times, mainly when watching TV or when I'm out in the wind but nothing too bothersome. I did get conjunctivitis about two weeks in which I have never had before!! So that was a shock but it cleared up in a day!
Throat: Still got a bit of a sore throat, could be from being unwell and may have nothing to do with accutane but is still there.
Scalp & Hair: Scalp isn't itchy anymore yey :) my hair is drier than it used to be which I actually don't mind too much as I only really have to wash it a couple times a week now. Still keeping fingers crossed for no hair loss but at moment I actually quite like how my hair looks everyday. I'm using a Biotin Shampoo and I do a coconut oil treatment that I just make at home once a week.
Skin: I got some dry skin on my hands and my chin where the majority of my cystic acne was, my chin actually peeled really badly. I put a photo on of how bad it gets, but I'd rather have that than the large lumps. I started using Aveeno moisturiser and that's cleared up the dry skin on my hand and is helping to stop my chin peeling. The rest of my face is fine and hasn't peeled.
Overall I'm pretty happy with how it's going so far. I'm drinking 3 litres of water per day so I think my water intake is good :) my blood work is due at the end of Spetember and I'm still on 20mg per day at the moment :)
8 week update
I have had a couple of new small spots appear today but nothing too major the majority of my skin is quite clear and still no cystic acne so I am over the moon about that! My little girl touched my face the other day and said mummy your skin isn't sore now! Bless her :)
I have a few red marks on my skin but the worst of that is on my chin where the majority of my acne was, my chin just seems to keep peeling in the same places and is really red and quite raw at times, I moisturise to try stop the peeling but if I use too much moisturiser I end up with little spots there. I'm not sure what to do to try and ease that so it can start healing properly. Maybe an antiseptic cream or something? Has anyone else experienced this?
I am really excited as I feel like once my chin heals I'll have an overall smooth complexion with just a few red marks here and there which is a million times better than it was
Doctors appointment next Friday so hopefully all good on the inside, eyes a bit dry at night, little bit tired then and again but working out everyday, early starts and late to bed so probably more that than anything :) all good otherwise!
9 weeks in!
10 Oct 2015
2 months post
So I just realised my last post says 8 weeks when it should have said 6! Must have hit the wrong button but hey ho, I'm now 9 weeks in!
I had my doctors appointment the other week and my liver function came back great so I was really happy with that. I have Gilbert's Syndrome, so normally with any liver function test my bilirubin is always high but it is actually within normal range now so I was pretty happy with that :) I have to go back at end of Oct for next set of bloods. The doctor was really happy with my skins progress and said that he feels my dosage is ok as it is clearly having an impact and he wants to keep side effects to a minimum. I am a little worried about coming off Accutane as although my skin is clearing my doctor reckons 2 more months and I will be done! I notice people on here seem to be on higher doses for longer time periods so I am a bit scared to only do 20mg for 4 months! The thought of my cystic acne returning is just awful!
Im really happy with my skin at the moment, it's just so nice to have no active acne and no cystic acne and most importantly no pain! Hard to believe just a few months ago I was sat crying with ice packs on my face trying to make my skin feel more comfortable and dreading looking in the mirror every morning, feeling that throbbing pain all over my face all day, everyday! The only thing that bugs me on my face is my chin but it seems so trivial compared to how it was before. I will be happy when it's all fully healed though, it's slow and steady with the chin!
Side effects I do have... Dry chapped lips, few patches of dry skin here and there, hair is quite dry I only need to wash it a couple times a week if that, I've noticed that I seem to have a lot more short/baby type hair around my temples which is where I lost my hair after my little girl was born. I won't lie it is scaring me a little bit as I'd be devastated if my hair fell out, it does feel a bit thinner to me aswell but I'm not actually noticing any great amount of hair fall so I don't know if it's my hairs usual cycle going into summer over here or if it is dry and breaking more easily or something but I'm keeping an eye on it.
On the subject of hair I have really fine blonde hairs, almost like fluff that have appeared all over my chin area too, they don't bother me as you can only see them when you look close but I def notice them, no one else seems to have noticed.
In terms of my mood I would describe it as being a bit flat, I am definatley lacking in motivation to do much really, my exercise has fizzled down to nothing from pretty much every day. It started because I had another cold ( which I still have nearly 3 weeks later, although finally getting better) so I didn't feel well enough to exercise properly and now I just lack motivation to get back into it, I also feel a bit self conscious despite my skin being better than ever, I'm pretty tired generally and I just feel a bit meh sometimes! I'm not upset or down or anything like that but I just have days where I feel a bit bland. I reckon the exercise was helping to combat that before so I'm hoping that now I'm feeling better and I can start back up that will help :)
Overall I'm so happy with the experience and I can't wait to see the final result, keeping my fingers crossed it's going to be a permanent solution :)
10 Oct 2015
2 months post
Ooo i also did my makeup for the first time the other day, i put it on at 9 in the morning and I topped up my lipstick at 6pm and went out in the evening and it didn't move! Didn't slide off my face like it used to, didn't have to dab it to get the oil off I was soo happy. I was a bit worried the makeup might clog my pores and give me spots the next day but so far so good :) ... very exciting :)
10 weeks and oh soo tired!
17 Oct 2015
2 months post
Today marks 10 weeks on Accutane and I am literally exhausted! I didn't get loads of sleep last night probably about 5 and a half hours and I went for an hour run this morning... However my level of tired is just crazy! I feel like I could fall asleep stood up, hubby has actually taken little one out so I can just lie down for half an hour. I hate feeling so low energy.
My mood is still pretty flat too and I don't know if anyone else has experienced this but my sex drive is a bit on the low side too, mainly because I'm pretty tired all the time I think!
I get my self in a worry with the tiredness thinking that maybe there's something wrong as I never ever sleep through the day but I'm just going to put it down to late nights and maybe I over did the exercise today whilst being on this drug. Around 7 more weeks to go! Chin still looks awful I gotta leave it alone lol!
30 Oct 2015
2 months post
12 weeks in and it really has flown by!
Hair is quite dry and is breaking a bit more than normal! At the moment I'm not too worried but was still hoping it would stay strong.
Lips are dry and a little chapped but still using the same lip balm and it works a treat.
Some muscle aches, my back has been soo sore sometimes!
I had a day where my blood pressure dropped really low and I kept going dizzy and fainting, saw the doctor about it and he was pretty sure it came down to my water intake. I started on a solid 3 litres a day and it dropped a fair bit to between one and two! So just goes to show how important that is! I'm back up to 2-3 litres a day now.
My period was nearly 10 days late this month which was really strange for me as I'm normal like clockwork!
Chin is still peeling! Left it alone and it still gets sore and flakes! Ergh very annoying!
I actually only have 4 weeks left to go?! Crazy!
No active acne, skins clear even on my period :) happy days
14 Nov 2015
3 months post
Wow can't believe I am 14 weeks in already. It really has flown by! So my update this week.
My chin is still flaking and dry! I have used antibacterial cream, ointment, coconut oil,suda cream.. I'm just leaving it alone and hoping it will eventually go on its own... My nose started peeling the same the other day and I had a little sore area on there too :( I also went to the dentist and having my mouth open for a while caused the side of my mouth to split!! That was 2 weeks ago and hasn't healed yet!!
It's really starting to heat up in Australia now, it was 37 degrees yesterday and looks to be the same today, my eyes feel like they are burning when I go outside in the wind and my skin gets red and I get prickly heat really quickly! As much as I'm scared to come off accutane because I'm no where near the therapeutic dose I also don't fancy being on accutane through summer over here!!
My hair has taken a hammering and it is very very dry!
I've put on weight over the last few months but I don't really mind too much as I was quite slim and I like the curvey look :)
That's about it really I love how clear my skin is and just hoping it stays this way when I finish my course :)
4 months completed
So this is where I am supposed to finish my course of accutane. Overall my skin is a million times better than it was, I still have these peeling sore areas on my chin which seem to go through cycles of disappearing and coming back! Side effects wise they have pretty much all disappeared since stopping taking accutane other than my hair still being a little dry and my lips are still a little dry. I was considering doing another month of accutane as I am no where near the therapeutic dose that everyone talks about and I honestly think I'm probably going to break out again fairly quickly although only time will tell I guess.
Due to the weather being so ridiculously warm in Australia at the moment and the fact that's skin seems to burn in seconds while I'm on accutane I have decided to stop taking it for a month or two and get the hot summer out of the way and see how I'm going towards the end of feb. If it has returned my dr has said I can do another course so I will def keep you all posted. I'm hoping now I've stopped my chin might heal a bit aswell.
Hope your all doing well on your journeys xx
Side effects whilst coming off accutane??
This past week I have had really bad bloating nearly every day as well as a late and then overly long period! I'm a bit concerned about it. I put on a little bit of weight whilst on accutane and now I look pregnant most days after eating!! Just wondered if anyone else experienced anything like this?
Coming up to a month since finishing and acne coming back :(
27 Jan 2016
5 months post
I stopped taking accutane almost a month ago and already my skin is reverting to how it was previously. I have large lumps under the skin on my chin and am really concerned now that it's been for nothing. Going to see him on Friday to discuss. Tummy is awful still, back pain, bloating etc and doctor suspects I have IBS not something I have ever dealt with before. Feeling pretty gutted at the minute :(