My accutane diary
So I just started an accutane treatment and I wanted to post my experiences/results to this site. I am taking 60 mg (30 mg twice daily) of absorbica. I have what some consider to be mild acne, but it is very, very, very persistent. I have had persistent, large bumps develop between my eyebrows around a year and a half now and have had bumps develop on my chin within the past four months. The bumps between my eyebrows are leaving open pores.
So... for the first week, accutane really appeared to be working! The bumps appeared to be drying up and I was really excited. I did notice the dryness on my face start to kick in almost right away. Dry lips came around day 6, when I noticed the first crack in the side of my lip. In short, week 1 was nearly perfect.
As of right now I am about to finish week 2 and it has been reallyyy rough. Toward the beginning of my second week, I noticed I had blisters/lesions developing on my lips. I also noticed irritated skin (sort of looks like a rash) beginning to form around my mouth and lower cheeks, which are areas where I've never had a problem with acne before. Also, I have noticed that the bumps between my eyebrows and on my chin are getting worse. Every morning when I wake up now, I notice one of my bumps oozing with puss. =3 I guess starting around week 2 begins the "purge," which is when the medicine is getting all of the bacteria out of the skin. At this point my face definitely looks worse compared to when I started. I went to the dermatologist because I nearly had a breakdown concerning my lips. I was really worried. He wrote me a prescription and gave me a sample of hydrocortisone cream to apply to my lips and around the area with the irritated skin. This cream has helped tremendously with my lips! My lips are back to normal again, thank goodness, although I can still tell they are a bit dry. It's hard to tell if it's helped the irritated skin around my mouth very much. I'm going to monitor it closely for the next few days. Also, I'll add that my skin has sort of a slight wind-burnt look to it. I don't mind all that much though because I have really fair skin, so it gives me a little bit of color.
In terms of dry lips, I recommend using blistex and aquaphor. I really lather on the aquaphor before I go to bed and it really helps.
For a face moisturizer/cleanser, I love the brand CeraVe. It works really well for me. It's oil free, very mild, and good for sensitive skin. Lots of people using accutane use Cetaphil, however, which I hear works really well.
I'll post for week 3 next week! I'll try my best to answer any questions that you may have.
So I am almost finished with week 3 on accutane... and I have good news! My skin has looked better than it ever has in the past two years. I am extremely impressed with this product. All of the bumps between my eyebrows are gone. Almost all of the bumps of my chin are gone (a few are still underneath the surface). The areas between my eyebrows are still red and the pores are still open, but this is easily concealed with some foundation.
Foundation that I recommend: Chanel perfection (this is amazing stuff!). It is pricey but I think it's worth it. Oil-free as well.
I had my first nosebleed on day 20, and I almost never have nosebleeds. This is a pretty common side effect though so I'm not worried. Oh yes... I do continue to recommend the brand Cerave! I love the cleanser especially... it almost feels like lotion!
Even though I do have mild acne, I am amazed at how fast my face has cleared up. I think it is because I'm on a fairly high dose per day (60 mg per day).
So, if you are hesitant about going on accutane, do know that you will have an initial breakout. And mine was bad. My skin looked worse than before I started AND my lips had a terrible, terrible reaction. I almost came off of it because I thought I wouldn't be able to handle it. But I just waited it out and I am really happy that I did. Tune in for week 4 next week!
So here's an update on what's been happening with the accutane. Week 4 was sort of bad-ish. I feel like my good weeks and bad weeks keep alternating. Hopefully that stops soon. Anyways, the area between my eyebrows is staying clear, but my chin is continuing to break out. I guess this is supposed to happen though because I had a ton of under-the-skin whitehead-ish looking bumps before starting accutane. =/ I had a bump above my upper lip and one of each side of my nose also. =/ Those went away fairly quickly though, thank goodness.
In terms of other stuff, I have started to notice some lower back pain. It doesn't bother me that much, but it has been more apparent recently. This is normal though, I think, because joint pain is a common side effect. The red rash-ish spots on the side of my face are also just bits on eczema according to the dermatologist. He told me to just continue applying lots of moisturizer (I like the brand cerave). I didn't use hydrocortisone cream this time because it really should be used as a last-resort type thing. And the nosebleeds are getting better.
I went to my second dermatologist appointment today so I can get my second prescription filled, which means I'm officially starting the second month! I'm just going to keep on keepin on =)
Also, if anyone is worried about red spots/redness in the face in general, my dermatologist said that this will go away quite quickly after coming off accutane. The accutane stimulates blood flow in the face so this is typically why people's faces become more red.
I'll update later with week 5!