I'm a 42 year old mom who developed what I have...
I'm a 42 year old mom who developed what I have learned to be hormonal acne. I never had a problem with acne growing up. However, around age 35, I started getting acne. Once I figured out that it wasn't going away, I thought I must be allergic to something. I tried changing skin care products, make up, laundry detergent & eliminating various foods from my diet. All with no success in getting rid of the acne. I went to my dermatologist who prescribed oral antibiotics, Retin-A & topical antibiotics. All with no success. My face is very oily. The acne has been cystic, mostly around my chin and jaw line and has left some scars. I have red marks that don't go away where pimples have come and gone. I have had enough. I started researching Spironilactone and Accutane. After lots of reading, talking to my doctor and talking to several people who have used Accutane, I decided that Spironilactone might help but I would have to be on it for a long time and I would just be putting off the inevitable. I decided to go for the Accutane. I'm nervous because it's spring and the sun sensitivity can be severe but I want to get it over with. I'm also nervous about the dryness, moodiness and fatigue but hopefully it will be short lived and worth it. My first day was April Fools Day... :-)
Adult hormonal acne and melasma. Ugh!
Along with the hormonal acne came melasma. Good times...
Day 21 of Accutane
I have been on Accutane for 3 weeks now. I haven't experienced any of the negative side effects that I was anticipating. Physically, I feel the same. As expected, my lips are extremely dry but as long as I have lip balm of some sort at all times, dry lips are manageable. The area around my lips and chin are dry and chapped as well. I moisturize with Cetaphil and Jojoba oil. I haven't had any breakouts yet. I have a couple little white bumps on my chin but nothing cystic or red. I've been very careful not to rub, pick or squeeze anything on my face as I have heard that can make things worse. My face does appear a little flushed like I have been in the sun but it's not horrible. . I've been diligent about wearing sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 40 and some form of zinc oxide. So far, so good...
5 Weeks on Accutane
I have been on Accuatne for just over 5 weeks now. I still have very few side effects. Dry lips and skin as well as a little bit of dry scalp. My dermatologist is keeping me at 60mg per day because it seems to be working. I haven't had any new breakouts. Just gross stuff coming out of my pores on my nose and chin. It's a good sign the Accutane is working :-). I do think my joints are more achy than normal (knees, wrists & knuckles). It's not terrible but it is noticable. All this is worth it if it gets rid of the acne for good.
Almost 3 months on Accutane
23 Jun 2016
2 months post
It has been awhile since I have updated my progress while on Accutane. I have to say I am definitely pleased with Accutane thus far. I have very few side effects. My skin is dry but the flakiness has subsided. My hair is very dry as there is no oil production on my scalp either. I literally smear coconut oil all over my face and put some in my hair. Same with jojoba oil. It all just soaks in. I haven't had one pimple since I started taking Accutane. The skin on my neck and back is super soft. I do notice that I have joint pain. It's not terrible but enough to be annoying some days. My joints are also very stiff. Advil or Aleve takes care of it right away. My doctor says the pain and stiffness will go away not too long after stopping Accuatne. It has all been worth it so far :-).
Done with Accutane...Totally worth it!
13 Sep 2016
5 months post
I just completed a 5 month course of Accutane (60mg/day). I have to say, the few side effects I had were totally worth it. I literally have not had one pimple since starting Accutane. No initial breakout whatsoever. The dry lips started immediately and never stopped but as long as I carried chapstick or Aquafor, it was manageable and not that big of a problem. The 2 other side effects I had were sore joints and my hair being extremely dry and brittle. Around the end of month 2, my knee, ankle and elbow joints began to feel extremely stiff and sore in the morning and after remaining in one position for too long. I felt like I was at least twice my age getting out of bed in the morning or up off the floor. Most of the time, once I was up and moving, it went away. I did take ibuprofen in the morning sometimes but not very often. My doctor said the stiff joints would start feeling better a month or so after completing my course of Accutane. I figured that having sore joints for a few months was worth getting rid of the acne. Due to the lack of oil production on my face and scalp, my hair became extremely dry and brittle. I lighten my hair, so it's already a little damaged but it got way worse. My hair is also somewhat long. I can see breakage all throughout my hair, up to my scalp. I tried to wash my hair as little as possible, which for me is twice a week. I also used tons of conditioner and often put coconut oil and jojoba oil throughout my hair but it's still very dry. I am upping my conditioning and refraining from drying and straightening it. My hair will grow back healthy again, so it's worth it. For skin care, I used Cetaphil face wash and lotion as well as putting coconut oil and grape seed oil all over my face. It would just soak right in. It sounds crazy to put oil all over your face, but it works. My skin looked healthy and needed the hydration. I religiously put sunscreen on my face and neck every morning and throughout the day. I thought taking Accutane in the summer would be terrible but it was fine. It was actually better for my skin because it forced me to stay out of the sun. My course ended 5 days ago and my lips are still dry, joints still sore and no natural oil production yet which is all normal. I will update when I notice symptoms subside. I thought taking Accutane would be much worse. I have to say, it wasn't a big deal at all for me. I know others have had a very hard time with it so I feel very lucky. Hopefully, the acne is gone for good!
3 weeks after stopping Accutane
29 Sep 2016
5 months post
I have been done with Accutane for 3 weeks now. So far, so good. I no longer need to put Aquafor on my lips every 10 minutes, which is so nice. My face and scalp don't seem to be producing any oil yet. I definitely don't have any signs of pimples. So awesome! I still have very stiff joints which I only notice when staying in certain positions for long periods of time. Hopefully that will subside. I lighten my hair so it's already damaged. Without any natural oils from my scalp, my hair is so dry, brittle and broken off everywhere. My only regret is that I didn't use deep moisturizer more frequently and take better care of my hair. At least it grows back :-). Based on my experience with Accutane, I would say go for it.