23 Year Old Female Cystic and Hormonal Acne Patient - Los Angeles, CA

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I'm making this profile to document my progress...

I'm making this profile to document my progress and to provide a realistic representation of the treatment itself with information about side effects and cost included. I've suffered with bad skin most of my life but it the last five years my acne has become cystic and I've watched my skin scar quite a bit. I'm ready for this to be over honestly, so with the help of my dermatologist I will hopefully be acne free in 20 weeks for the first time in my life. I'm taking 40mgs of amnesteem daily (generic for Absorbica). My insurance covers this generic but I pay out of pocket for the monthly labs and doctors visits.

4 days in and the medication is starting to work

I keep telling myself to think wet thoughts! I drink a gallon a day, body builder style and moistourize heavily at night. No dry lips yet from being vigilant about applying aquaphor and staying hydrated but my makeup is starting to look pretty FREAKY.

Things are flattening out

My face is red and tight all over which is to be expected. Not much of an initial breakout yet, just a lot of old cysts flattening out. Pimples seem to be spending less time taking up space on my face. It's bizarre to have things come up and disappear in under two days. I developed a spot of eczema on my neck but I got it under control quickly with emu oil! No other worrisome side effects to report , mostly annoying stuff like crusty looking make up. Seems like my pores are clearing out. Knock on wood***

Coming up on a month and the side effects have arrived.

Well I'm drier than I ever imagined I could be. My whole face is constantly shedding but it only really looks horrible with make up over it. I experienced what many people do in terms of an initial breakout where it looked like every pore I had filled with oil and turned into a black head. My pores were very noticeable and my skin looked lumpy. It's starting to subside while the two large cysts I got are drying up and flattening out. I didn't pop any but boy are they a flakey nightmare, it looks like I might as well have. I also developed little eczema spots on my neck and in between my breasts. Speaking of, both my partner and I noticed my breasts are larger. Noticeable enough for him to comment on which cemented my suspicions. I googled around but only found a little info on that. My stomach gets sensitive if I don't eat or if I eat spicy food so I'm going to touch on that with my doctor on my first month follow up this week.

Month two, eye bags and tummy questions

No worrisome side effects to report other than the onset of an upset stomach. Could be from not eating enough with my doses as my appetite has been down but I'm keeping a close eye on it either way. I seem to have developed serious under eye bags as a result of the drug and I am considering fillers after treatment. While this has been disappointing my dermatologist isn't sure if it is permanent. The sigh of relief I breathe every time I wash my face and run my hands over smooth skin is more important to me than eye bags so I'm continuing the course. Scarring is red and noticeable but I don't have a single active spot or an intial breakout (knock on wood)

Month 3

Still broke out this month in two cysts, one by my eye and one by my mouth. My skin texture is that of an orange peel which makes me sad because that's the very reason I chose accutane over ipl. My doctor told me IPL creates this texture but didn't tell me accutane would as well. Before I had scarring but not anything close to the texture I see now over my entire face including my forehead where I've never had acne. I'm hoping it's from dryness because in addition to under eye bags I'm now forming forehead wrinkles. My stomach has bothered me this month. I woke up not being able to breathe one night. I feel my hair thinning and I'm truly hoping this slows down or I may need to stop. I hope this progresses and fast because I'm starting to lose hope.

Ipledge mishap

Not much to report other than my pharmacy placing my prescription on hold over the holiday weekend and missing the I pledge window. Couldn't afford another out of pocket doctors visit so I didn't have accutane for 2 weeks. Closed comedones have began to build up again, I imagine from stopping the medication. No breakouts but I plan to continue my course when I see my doctor next week.

6 months post

Just wanted to finish this off by saying overall my skin is clear! I get a few clogged pore type pimples when I slip up and eat dairy or gluten but as long as I keep my diet in line and drink water my acne almost entirely gone. I'm not super happy with my scarring and my hair thinning which I believe is related to the severity of the medication. I'm happy to report no joint pain, gastrointestinal issues or serious hair loss but it's noticeably not as thick as it was before treatment. I'll keep an eye on it over the next few months and report back
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