My Accutane Story - Garland, TX

Today is my first day on Accutane and I thought I...

Today is my first day on Accutane and I thought I would share my journey since many of the stories I've read have helped me so much in making the decision to get on Accutane. I'm 31 years old and have struggled with acne my whole life, even before I reached puberty. I've always had sensitive skin. Once I got on birth control after my 1st child which was around 19 my acne calmed down. It was actually controllable with a few minor breakouts here and there but nothing that caused me major anxiety. After my 2nd child however, I was 30 and had such horrible skin during my pregnancy but I thought after breast feeding and getting back on birth control it will get better. I have had the worst breakout ever and unable to calm it. My dermatologist told me about Accutane and at that point I was desperate. I took the pregnancy test that was a requirement (my tubes are tied by the way) and the blood work. That entire month of waiting to get on Accutane I read so many reviews. Some were super scary and gave me anxiety while others were positive with great outcome. I am bracing myself for the dry skin, eyes, nose, and lips. I am also going to prepare myself for joint pain. My dermatologist advised if I work out a lot then the joint pain may occur more than usual. So those are side effects I'm ready for. The scary side effects that I have to call my dermatologist for is bloody stool, pounding migraines in the middle of the night, and sucidal thoughts. I'm just going to hope and pray I can avoid those. I've posted these horrible pics of what my current skin situation is looking like. I hope that in my updates to come it will look better.

Week 1 Update-Dosage, skin care, side effects

I'm on the 30mg dosage of Accutane so no crazy side effects so far. A little dryness of the skin and lips which kicked in around day 4 or 5 but nothing major. I've provided pics of me with makeup on and as you can see my pores or so congested and horrible. Seriously my skin has never been this bad. I actually feel like with makeup on, all the little bumps are super noticeable. Although my dermatologist advised me to discontinue using skin care products since it may dry me out even more but until Accutane actually starts working on me I'm continuing my skin care regimen to prevent any other major breakouts. Currently in the morning I use Cetaphil ant-bacterial moisturizing bar soap for dry skin, I use the CeraVe AM facial moisturizing Lotion with Ambi Fade Cream (I have enough blemishes to cover the faces of 10 people, it's really embarrassing). In the shower I used a product from Lush called Black Angel which is an all natural clay like product with activated charcoal. As a toner I use a Lush product called Tea Tree Water to make sure there is no dirt or makeup left over after I cleaned my skin. That's my skin care regimen for now and I'm very OCD about. I'm just really hoping that by month 2 i can begin to see changes for the better. I'm not expecting anything major to happen this first month due to the low dosage. I will update in month 2 unless something crazy happens before that time.

Last few days on 30mg Accutane

I'm happy to say I'm going to be graduating from the 30mg to the 60mg next week. Overall the 1st month was really just my body adjusting to it. Nothing major occurred except for dry skin, lips, and eyes. Nothing Vaseline, eye drops, and a good moisturizer couldn't take care of. My face doesn't really appear to look any better. The photos I've posted are from yesterday. I guess one of the positives are that the huge cystic acne is gone. It's just the little pimples left and clogged pores still. I believe the blemish is going to be the worst for me because I know the Accutane is not going to help with that. Clear skin to me is not only being free of acne but also not having any blemishes either. My optimism that the acne will stop is high but my expectation for 100% clear skin at the end of this journey is pretty low. I'm sure my dermatologist will have to prescribe me a cream to get rid of my blemishes post Accutane. I'll post another follow up a week after my Accutane dosage increases.

Week 1 of Month 2

I've taken the 60mg now for a week and honestly nothing much has changed in terms of the side effects. My face and lips are no more dryer than what it was last month on the 30mg. Now when I went to see my dermatologist to get the 60mg he thought that my lips wasn't dry enough and felt that I was not absorbing the medication and told me to take it with fatty foods. I was taking it on an empty stomach before I went to bed but this time I'm making sure I take it with a fatty meal. He also prescribed me Hydroquinone 6% for my blemishes. Oh boy do I see my blemishes getting lighter now. I'm very happy about that progress. I'm not breaking out as much as I used to do I guess the Accutane is doing what it's suppose to do. I posted pics below and although it still looks bad I can see that progress is being made.

Near the end of 2 months

So I'm almost towards the end of my 2 months on Accutane. Here is what I noticed, my skin is incredibly smooth. im still breaking out here and there but it's nothing compared to the first month so it is slowing down. My skin would really look better if the blemishes were gone so you can really be able to see how good my pores look and the few hater bumps that are left. I know the blemishes make my face look worst than it really is but it is fading so I'm happy about that. So far the progress has been well progress, so I can't complain about that. Of course I wish the acne fairy would just come and make my face clear overnight but the patience gods overruled that. I will be off Accutane in October which I'll be turning 32 November 5th so if I can enter my 32's with a clear face I would be such a happy camper. The products I'm currently using on my face is Cetaphil moisturizer anti -bacterial soap, the CeraVe facial moisturizer lotion with SPF 30, and the Hydroquinone 6% for my dark spots. Oh and 100% Witch Hazel for when I wear makeup and want to make sure it's all off. Now since I'm still insecure about my face I do wear makeup even to the gym but it's very natural I promise. All I use as a daily makeup is Bareminerals Bareskin complete coverage concealer in Tan and a mineral face powder with Spf 16. With my blemishes so easily skin I can't have enough SPF so I make sure I'm not in the sun or I'm super protected. I posted pics of what my face looks like with the concealer on and without it. Safe to say I need this concealer so I don't scare kids when I'm out in public lol. (We got to laugh to keep from crying sometimes)

Month 2 over

I took my last pills today and see my dermatologist tomorrow to get my next prescription. Today is a little rough because I'm just not seeing the results I was hoping to see. I ended up getting a pretty big cystic pimple on my cheek and I'm just over it at this point. My nose have been extremely dry and I even developed dry patches on my arm. The corners of my mouth hates me and is cracking. I'm definitely feeling the side effects. Just wish I could see some results to keep me motivated to keep going. On top of all that I hate needles and my last blood work the lady must've stuck me wrong because it was painful when she was drawing my blood and now I have a bruise. I'm really dreading going back for another blood drawing. I'm trying to be patient. I have my ups and downs and today is a downer for me. I'll continue to provide updates. Keep me in your prayers.

3 month update

So this time around my livers were elevated so my dermatologist was not able to up my dosage from 60mg to 90mg. A little disappointing because now I feel like my body has gotten use to the 60mg. I really don't have dry lips or face anymore so I'm really hoping by month 4 my livers are all good and I can get the increase. So far I'm loving the results. My face is not 100% but what a difference 3 months makes. I'm really happy so far and can't wait to see more progress. My face is soooo soft and smooth. It usually only feels like this after a facial but to wake up feeling my face like this I'm happy. To anyone reading this and beginning their journey, I urge you to be patient and don't give up. Everything takes time and this is no exception. I'll be finishing up my 3 months in about 2 weeks and will be at the half way mark. Whoohoo!

4 Month Update

My dermatologist upped my dosage from 60mg to 80mg. No severe reaction or anything out of the usual than what I've experienced so far. I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel though. I have two more months on Accutane and it really looks promising. As you can see in the photos my blemishes are lighting up and I don't have any big bumps or anything like that. My skin is so smooth and soft though. Doesn't feel dry or scaly at all. I'm happy and will be updating again in my 5th month!

5th Month Update

I'm now just starting my 5th month. I'm still on 80mg a day. So far so good. Nothing out of the norm in terms of side effects. Skin is just dry and course lips and nose is too. Nothing that a good moisturizer and lip balm can't handle. In terms of results I think I would see better results if I was absorbing the medication. My dermatologist is still concerned I'm not absorbing the medication since my lips is not as dry as it should be. I thought I was taking it with my fattest meal but who knows. I'll try consume more fat I guess :/ pics are below. Progress is better than no progress so I'll take it. One more month to go Whoohoo!!

5th Month Update

I'm in the middle of my 5th month and just wanted to share photos of my progress so far. I think I'm going to actually go to the mall make up free. I feel good and this is the first time my skin has been clear like this in awhile. No longer will I be ashamed of my face!
Garland Dermatologic Surgeon

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