31 years, Accutane. Weekly updates.

Hello! My name is Jesika and I will begin Accutane...

Hello! My name is Jesika and I will begin Accutane next month (March 2016). I just started the protocol to prepare ( taking birth control pills). It's a ton of information to take in all at once thats for sure! That book they gave me to read is the real deal man. haha. I'm 31 and didn't have acne until I had my daughter 8 years ago. As fellow sufferers you know what I mean when I say " I tried EVERYTHING!!"- over the counter, prescription meds and even weird holistic treatments I found on the internet. Anyways, its has only gotten worse lately. Nothing seems to help so my Derm finally decided it was time. I'm nervous but excited. Looking forward to sharing this journey with people who understand what it's like and feel similarly. Would love any tips people have as far as favorite lip balms, face washes, moisturizers and etc for during the process.

Get my prescription today!

Ok so after what seems like FOREVER, I had my 2nd negative pregnancy test and blood tests last Thursday and will get my prescription this afternoon! Derm has started me out at 40mg/daily. After looking around online it looks like that is an average starting dosage. With my insurance ( BCBSTX) my script is only $10, Blood test was $50 and Derm appt was $40. So on average $100/month which lets be honest with all the crap I've tried over the years to rid myself of acne, that is nothing new expense-wise.

Ok so after doing exhaustive online research I have prepared by:
- stocking up on moisturizer ( starting with my go-to pre-Accutane fav Coconut Oil but also purchased on Cetaphil Moisturizing Creme since that seems to be everyones go to)

- Dr. Dan's Cortisone Lip Balm ( husband took Accutance back in the 90's and has had dry lips ever since. This is the only thing that has ever made a huge difference for him so i figured I'd just start there) as well as Aquaphor and vaseline.

- Drinking a ton of water. I already drink a lot of water, but I have been making sure that I am hitting at least 120 oz a day. Dehydration seems to be a really common theme in everyone's posts so I thought, it couldn't hurt right?

-Fish Oil. I have taken fish oil on and off for years but decided a month ago when I started my protocol that I would go ahead and get back on the wagon. I've heard it helps with joint pain and dryness associated with Accutane.

Can you tell I'm trying to cut off the extremeness of any bad side effects before they begin? Only time will tell if any of this will help.

Posting before pictures below. I will say a month and a week on birth control ( Ortho Tri-cyclen) has helped curve my hormonal monthly breakouts quite a bit. Still a ton of scarring and about 5 current zits ( this includes three cystic ones that are hiding slightly under the edge of my jaw line and hurt like crap!!)

P.S. Prescription was delivered while writing this. Excited/nervous and all the in-between emotions. Wish me luck!

I'll update next week.

Day 6

Ok so today is my 6th pill and so far, not a lot of side effects. From all the research it did seems like people either get symptoms right off the back or weeks later. First few days, my skin seemed to itch pretty badly at night to the point of me taking oatmeal baths and Benadryl. Luckily, I found a great face wash that soothed any itchiness on my face( Boots Simply Sensitive with Aloe- Target). No dry skin so far.. just the itch. Lips are starting to wrinkle and dry a bit but nothing bad yet.

I do seem to be getting a bit of a breakout on my jawline only one side of my face. Birth control had really been keeping the new pimples to a minimum but I suddenly have like 7 in one spot. I have kept using my Epiduo, lightly, at night after washing. So far no burning or anything. Plan to slowly phase it out as my skin dries out.

So far so good. *fingers crossed*

Day 13 update

So not much to add really. Lips have dried out a bit but nothing too bad. Starting to notice dry skin appearing around my nose and on my jaw line. I have also been really, really thirsty. Honestly I would say that is my biggest symptom. I am just constantly thirsty. Have been drinking about 120-130oz of water daily.

Morning routine:
- Wash with Fresh Soy cleanser
- Moisturize with Aveeno Daily Moisturizer w/ spf
Evening routine:
- remove makeup with micellar water or makeup eraser cloth ( doesn't seem to irritate my skin, even though I know that is probably coming)
- Wash with Fresh Soy Cleanser
- moisturize with Clinque Moisture Surge ( this stuff feels amazing on my skin)

I have to say, after years of using all kinds of acne creams and etc to keep breakouts at bay it is kinda crazy to have such a sparse routine and almost no new breakouts.

So far I haven't really noticed an IB ( initial breakout) but I know for some it came a few weeks in, so I am still holding my breath hoping to get to skip that portion.

I will say that I feel like the overall redness of my skin and previous scarring seems to be going down. Not sure if thats an Accutane result or a result of consuming so much water on a regular basis nowadays. Either way, I love it.

Question: Anyone have an suggestions for keeping short hair from going crazy when you sleep? I have noticed my hair seems less oily in the morning BUT I haven't managed to get away without washing it because my hair goes nuts while I sleep. Total "Flock of Seagulls" situation.

Day 24- See the Derm next Wednesday

So not much change. Skin is completely clear, no new breakouts. Love how smooth my skin feels!! Lips are not dry at all anymore unless I don't drink enough water ( 100-120oz daily). Overall skin isn't very dry. Interested to see what the Derm says, Have a feeling we are gonna be using my script since my body seems to be tolerating the 40 mg so well.

Switched to Simply Sensitive w. Aloe face wash by Boots ( found at Target). Inexpensive and seems to really keep any and all dryness at bay. Definitely worth checking out.

Post Month 1- Derm Appt

Ok so had my 1 month Derm appointment this afternoon. Everything is looking good so she decided to go ahead and up my dosage from 40 mg/daily to 80mg/daily. Not going to lie, I am terrified. haha. Hopefully I will keep seeing the awesome results I already have and keep those pesky side effects at bay as much as possible.

Still using the same products as mentioned earlier. I will say that my lips are not even a 1/5th as dry as most peoples seem to be. I attribute that to the constant water I am drinking and the Dr. Dan's Lip Balm. It contains cortisone so I only use it in the morning and at night. Maintain my lips during the day with my normal chapstick ( baby lips, peach) and have almost no dryness. If I skip my water by the end of the day my lips start drying out pretty bad. So lesson: never skip the water. haha

Month 2 almost done!

Figured I'd just start updating towards the end of the month.

Ok so this month my dosage was upped to 80mg/daily. I've definitely noticed some increased dryness especially inside my nose ( ugh!! Thank goodness for Aquaphor) and my lips. Lips are still not nearly as bad as people made them seem, not sure if thats attributed to the water or the types of lip treatments I'm using, but they are definitely drier than last month. As far as skin clarity goes, it is definitely working! I got about three small pimples right at the start of my period but other than that no active breakouts. The best thing is that since my skin isn't breaking out as much the scarring is actually able to start fading. Starting to feel a lot more confident overall about the appearance of my skin. I've started using a lot less foundation and haven't touched concealer in about a month which might seem minor but it makes me feel amazing. I always felt like I was hiding behind this mask that I didn't enjoy putting on and now I am starting to feel a little bit of freedom from it. I want to feel like I have the option to wear makeup, not that I have to fear not wearing it and this definitely feels like I'm starting towards that. Can't believe I still have 4 more months. Go back to the Derm next week, I'll update then.

Almost done with 4th month!!! ( OMMMGG)

Ok so I haven't kept up the way I originally expected to, as you can see. I am nearing the end of my 4th month. I've been on 80/mg since the 2nd month. No major changes as far as side effects... just dry, dry, dry and oh yeah... dry. Its basically just a really long winter.

Now to the good stuff!! I had ONE pimple in the last month and half. It was tiny and gone within two days. Considering I use to consider months when I had only 4 at a time a good thing, this is AMAZING. Scarring is starting to heal.

I had noticed around the 3 month mark that the pot marks and scars seemed worse than before I started. Talked to the Dr and she said that was really common since the skin is so dehydrated. She told me to expect to it get better as I get off the Tane. I've already noticed though that the marks seem less and less every week.
One side effect that isn't really bothering me but has popped up is redness. I've noticed in the morning my skin seems pretty flushed. I've never experienced issues with clinical redness prior, but as soon as I wash w/ water and put moisturizer on, it's gone. So nothing major.

Product wise: I highly suggest looking into Caudalie VinoSource ( pink bottle). Its a moisturizer that can be purchased on Amz or Sephora. It can be a bit more $$ but feels amazing on my skin. Light, soothing, and very smoothing on anything dry.

Two weeks away from the end of my Accutane journey!!

So its coming up pretty quickly and I'm really excited. I didn't have any just TERRIBLE side effects but I did in the last two months have some of the joint discomfort and incurable sleepiness that people talk about. So damn tired. haha. Skin has been almost completely clear since two months ago. Dr. did give me an antibiotic just to knock any extra bacteria that might be persisting. This is the first month that my period didn't bring up even ONE pimple so that was pretty exciting. I do definitely have some redness, dry skin, and some pot marks ( the worst.). Derm mentioned that since your skin is so dehydrated while on the 'tane the pot marks seem really bad but after I stop the meds they should get a lot better. If they are still an issue in a few months I will probably look into a SkynPen treatment. Pokes micro holes in your skin to allow the skin to rebuild itself and pump back up with collagen. Pictures are 1st thing in the morning and my face for whatever reason is ALWAYS the reddest in the morning before I do anything to it, so please forgive that. Overall, SUPER HAPPY with my results and looking forward to the day I'm no longer be on a first name basis with my local Quest Labs. haha.
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