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    Old 09-05-2004, 10:20 AM   #1
    jodi924
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    Accutane users

    I just started accutane for my mild-moderate persistent adult acne. I'm a 24 female who just can't stand these breakouts anymore!! I've tried practically everything from antibiotics to topicals to spiro. I've hit the end of the road. Anyways..yesterday I took my first accutane pill. I will be taking 40 mg once a day. I can't begin to explain how much I FEAR the dreaded initial outbreak. I know that it varies from person to person..with some getting nothing and others a face full of cysts. My question for all of you experienced accutane users is...I have alot of little whitish colored bumps under my skin...especially on my lower cheeks. They really aren't too visible..but they can be seen when I stretch my skin. I can't feel them when I wash my face..but I still know they are there. Can I expect all of these tiny bumps (and there are alot) to surface over the next few weeks??? I'm so scared that I'm going to wake up one morning and have like 20 whiteheads. Right now my face is ok..I've got one cyst that is slowly going away..other than that I have a few small spots that are also healing.
    How can I get through this first month period dealing with whatever breakout comes my way...and also coping emotionally with all of the uncertainty and waiting? Any advice would be greatly appreciated : )
    Thanks.

     
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    Old 09-05-2004, 10:33 AM   #2
    helpwiththis
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    Re: Accutane users

    I got that also but they never evolved to pimples, what I did notice that helped over all is to not use any abrasive washes. Right now I am using Dove witch contains vitamins, and tea tree extract. On the front of the tube it says:

    Dove
    Creamy Foaming Cleanser

    ESSENTIAL
    NUTRIENTS

    vitamins
    green tea extract
    pure spring water

    It does a great job at cleansing and mosturize. I am a guy so don't use makeup. Forth month now and am doing much better. I got it from shoppers food, but I am sure that you could get it at any pharmacy or food store.

    It works really well, what I do is softly apply it with circular motions for like 10 seconds and leave it on for about 2 min.

    Good luck

     
    Old 09-05-2004, 11:16 AM   #3
    boardR2
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    Re: Accutane users

    Hey im day 12 of accutane. I have not noticed a breakout besides the usual breakouts i get. Im not worried about an initial breakout if you can even call it that. How can I blame one my my weekly breakouts on accutane when I got them with out it? I just figure cant be worse than some of the breakouts I got with out it. During April I broke out with 8 yes 8 giant cysts on my forehead. These headless demons were very painfull. I didn't goto school or work for a week. I just wanted to roll over and die. Right now I have maybe 5-6 cysts on my jawline. Thats where they seem to like to hang out.

     
    Old 09-05-2004, 02:59 PM   #4
    desertgirl
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    Re: Accutane users

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jodi924
    Can I expect all of these tiny bumps (and there are alot) to surface over the next few weeks??? I'm so scared that I'm going to wake up one morning and have like 20 whiteheads. Right now my face is ok..I've got one cyst that is slowly going away..other than that I have a few small spots that are also healing.
    How can I get through this first month period dealing with whatever breakout comes my way...and also coping emotionally with all of the uncertainty and waiting? Any advice would be greatly appreciated : )
    Thanks.
    Hey Jodi- I'm a 23 year old female and I can totally relate to the frustration of acne. Mine sounds sort of like yours is. I didn't have terrible skin, but just a few problem spots and a LOT of the whitish bumps under the skin. I've been on Accutane for just about 3 months and so far so good! The whitish bumps didn't turn into pimples for me, they just started coming out-it's hard to explain. My derm told me to wash with a mild antibacterial soap (I'm using Neutrogena Triple Clean) and use a washcloth to remove the dead skin and help things push themselves out. After I'd wash my face, I could literally see tiny holes where the bumps used to be, but they'd come out in the shower. The holes would close up nicely and there'd be no more spots.

    Don't worry about the initial breakout because worry will only give you those great stress zits along the jaw line. I didn't get an initial breakout and I think maybe it's cause I didn't use a very emolient cleanser like others use. Everyone seems to suggest cetaphil, but that just doesn't work for me at all. Anti-bacterial cleansers seem to work the best for me and kept pimples away during my first few months. Honestly, the worst things I've encountered are chapped lips (but some good chapstick and make it your new best friend!) and eczema on my arms. It's pretty bad but I lotion about nine times a day and it doesn't look so bad.

    Here's a list of things that I've found that work:
    1. Don't pick when you see things coming out. I picked at one tiny thing and made it a huge pimple that lasted for a week. Plus, my skin was getting dry so not only was there a big pimple, but ugly dry skin around it. Not pretty.
    2. Noxema Triple Clean. I use it twice a day. It really works.
    3. A wash cloth- I use it at night to make sure that I get all the grime and gunk out of my pores before bed.
    4. Dove Essential Nutrients Day Cream. The lotion version too thin. I use this in the morning before my makeup.
    5. Cover Girl CG Smoothers All Day Hydrating Makeup. It's inexpensive (I'm a poor college kid), gives good coverage, and my skin is too dry for any other kind of foundation. All the others I've tried have just accentuated whatever flakiness that I've had. This one really disguises the dry skin because it moisturizes.

    Lastly, just don't focus on the initial breakout or any of the negative. When I started, I was terrified of getting a really bad breakout, but I made myself realize that (hopefully) I would have clear skin in five months. Focus on the positive... it's corny, but it helps. Sorry this reply was so long. I just always read things about how bad Accutane's side effects can be, and I want to be more of a positive encouragement. It's not that bad. Don't worry. If you have any other questions, just ask.

     
    Old 09-05-2004, 11:47 PM   #5
    johnsmith007
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    Re: Accutane users

    I was on it twice, and actually the second time I was on it I had a worse initial breakout, but nothing too bad. The only thing I could say is that if you do get an initial breakout, just think of how much better its going to be in the months to come.

    Last edited by johnsmith007; 09-06-2004 at 08:52 PM.

     
    Old 09-06-2004, 10:17 AM   #6
    BostonGirl44
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    Re: Accutane users

    Hi Jodi,
    I just finished up my course of acctuane a week ago. Like you, I was put on 40mg (which stayed the same throughout the five months). I didn't experience an initial breakout at all. My skin got very oily, much more than usual, in the first month and blackheads and other impurities starting coming out. By the middle of the second month, my skin was dry and my pores were clean. My chin and the corners of my nose were mainly the areas that became dry and flaky. I ditched all cleansers and bought only cetaphil cleanser and cetaphil moisturizer. Anyway, my side effects were very minimal. Dry skin (kept hydrated by moisturizer and drinking lots of water), chapped lips (I kept lip balm everywhere....on my desk at work, in my car, next to my bed), and in the first couple of months, I'd have very dry nose (I used to just use a little bit of vasaline up there lol). Good luck!

     
    Old 09-06-2004, 05:55 PM   #7
    jodi924
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    Re: Accutane users

    Thanks so much for all of your advice. I guess what it comes down to is that I have zero control over how accutane is going to affect me. Stressing won't make anything better, rather alot worse. I just need to take it one day at a time and think positively. Hopefully it won't be too long before my skin is looking better and I have my confidence back. I need to keep telling myself all of these things.
    Today was day three. It's so encouraging to hear from people who did not have the initial breakout. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I"ll be one of those people too.
    For those of you who said you used a wash cloth...how did your skin do with that? Did you scrub extremely gently?
    How did you get the blackheads out? Anything I should be prepared for with that process...I'm sure my nose will have plenty to get rid of.
    When did you guys start seeing results? From the looks of it, alot of people seem to start about a month in.. That would make me SO happy! I keep thinking that hopefully by Thanksgiving I'll be doing good. Maybe even Halloween...fingers crossed...
    I'm all prepared with my cetaphil and mositurizer,aquaphor,chapstick, vitamin E, eye drops. I heard vitamin E helps with the drying of the skin. My derm told me to take 800IU's daily.
    Did any of you have trouble with contacts and the dryness? I'm hoping I'll be ok in that department too.
    It's so great to hear what other people are going through or already went through. I really appreciate everyone's help : )
    Take care,
    Jodi

     
    Old 09-06-2004, 09:32 PM   #8
    boardR2
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    Re: Accutane users

    Im on day 13 of accutane. 40 mg a day. I had a recent breakout while on accutane. Im not sure if I can blame it on an initial breakout or not. I breakout with or without meds. But anyways about 4-5 new cysts and maybe 12 larger pustules. My face is very painfull and gross looking right now im pretty sad. But I know accutane will be the answer I just need to stick with it. September 17th is my next derm appt. I can get those cysts cortisone injected there.

     
    Old 09-07-2004, 06:38 AM   #9
    BostonGirl44
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    Re: Accutane users

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jodi924
    How did you get the blackheads out? Anything I should be prepared for with that process...I'm sure my nose will have plenty to get rid of.
    I used Queen Helene Mint Julep mask on the areas where the blackheads were coming out. It smoothed it out for a bit but the blackheads were constantly coming out due to the accutane working. Sometimes I'd just gently scrub my nose with a washcloth.

    Quote:
    When did you guys start seeing results? From the looks of it, alot of people seem to start about a month in.. That would make me SO happy! I keep thinking that hopefully by Thanksgiving I'll be doing good. Maybe even Halloween...fingers crossed...
    Within a month and a half I started seeing significant results. No breakouts, but my skin was unbelievably dry. I went through so much moisturizer. Another good thing to try is Vitamin E from Fruit of the Earth (I got it at Walmart). A little will do the trick to help fade away old or new red spots.


    Quote:
    Did any of you have trouble with contacts and the dryness? I'm hoping I'll be ok in that department too.
    I didn't have too many problems with contacts. I usually put my contacts in around 8am. On a normal workday, I'll usually take them out by 11pm. Not too much dryness. I just used Bausch & Lomb lubricating and rewetting solution. When I went out on the weekends, the contacts would get a little bit dryer than usual because I wasn't taking them out til 2 or 3 in the morning.

     
    Old 09-07-2004, 07:55 AM   #10
    troy_mcClure
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    Re: Accutane users

    Jodi,
    you're not meant to use vitamins while on accutane!

     
    Old 09-07-2004, 01:15 PM   #11
    jodi924
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    Re: Accutane users

    Troy,
    My derm told me to take 800IUs of vitamin E to help with dryness. He said he recommends this dosage to all of his patients on accutane. I'm not taking any other vitamins. I've actually heard of alot of other people also taking vitamin E while on accutane.

     
    Old 09-07-2004, 05:16 PM   #12
    jodi924
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    Re: Accutane users

    Bostongirl,
    thanks so much for all of your input. I feel like everyday I have more and more questions. I can't wait to start seeing results. I'm so anxious for it to start working...Hopefully time will fly...Did you find that your treatment went by quickly?
    A couple more questions for you....did you spot treat any breakouts you hard while on accutane?
    Back to those blackheads...how bad did they look as they were coming out...I'm worried.
    When you said you used the mint julep mask..is it possible to use it on your entire face still or is it too drying?
    Did you just wake up with dry skin one morning? I feel like I've been so oily lately..even before accutane. I almost feel like dry skin will be a treat.
    What kind of makeup did you find looks best?
    Thanks again : )

    Let's go RedSox! Are you a big fan living in Boston? My fiance is a huge fan. We are over in Connecticut.

     
    Old 09-08-2004, 08:45 AM   #13
    BostonGirl44
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    Re: Accutane users

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jodi924
    Bostongirl,
    thanks so much for all of your input. I feel like everyday I have more and more questions. I can't wait to start seeing results. I'm so anxious for it to start working...Hopefully time will fly...Did you find that your treatment went by quickly?
    A couple more questions for you....did you spot treat any breakouts you hard while on accutane?
    Back to those blackheads...how bad did they look as they were coming out...I'm worried.
    When you said you used the mint julep mask..is it possible to use it on your entire face still or is it too drying?
    Did you just wake up with dry skin one morning? I feel like I've been so oily lately..even before accutane. I almost feel like dry skin will be a treat.
    What kind of makeup did you find looks best?
    Thanks again : )

    Let's go RedSox! Are you a big fan living in Boston? My fiance is a huge fan. We are over in Connecticut.
    Hi Jodi,
    It feels like everyday something new happens with the accutane. Time actually went by pretty fast. I started on March 20 and I thought I'd never make it to September 1. I swear, before I knew it, I was taking my last pill. I did spot treat for the first month. I used erythromycin gel that my derm gave me. I think it's alcohol based so it was extremely drying. After the first month, I was clear. As for the blackheads, they looked white coming out. Not to make this sound too gross or anything, but it looked like light strands of hair (sorry, just thinking about it makes me sick haha). I'd constantly be sitting at my desk at work and rubbing my nose. I think our clients must've thought something was seriously wrong with me! Sometimes I'd have blackheads on my cheeks and chin so I'd use the mint julep mask all over my face, but only once a week. It did feel like one morning all the oil was gone and my face was dry. It felt like it happened overnight but obviously it was a gradual process. After an oily face for years it was nice not to feel like an oil slick in the middle of the day. I use only Physician's Formula press powder (and some days I skip it altogether). For random red marks, I use their concealer (looks like its in a lipstick tube). The vitamin E, which I dab on the red marks, fade them pretty fast. Another side effect that worked out well for me is that the accutane has also dried out my hair. I used to have to wash every morning otherwise it would get pretty nasty. Now I wash it at night and can go 2-3, sometimes even 4 days without washing.

    I am a HUGE Red Sox fan! I'm just psyched that they're starting to catch up to the evil empire after being 10.5 games behind! I'm even more of a Bruins fan though (the 44 in my name is for my favorite player). What part of Connecticut are you from? One of my friends is in Naugatuck but I haven't been to see her in a looooong time.

     
    Old 09-12-2004, 04:29 PM   #14
    jodi924
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    Re: Accutane users

    Hi BostonGirl,
    How's it going? I'm hanging in there. It's been eight days and counting on accutane. Towards the end of last week, I started not feeling well. I had an upset stomach and a low fever. This lasted for about two days. I don't know if it was accutane related or not. I spoke with my derm and he seemed to think it was probably a coincidence. He said I could either stop taking new pills and restart once I was feeling better or just continue taking them and monitor myself closely. Anyways..to make a long story short, I was a little nervous...I skipped one day of the pill...and then started up the next day. I'm feeling better..so hopefully it was just a little bug in my system. I did start a new job a few weeks ago. I'm a first grade teacher..so that could also explain where I could have possibly picked up some extra germs. So other than that, the treatment is going ok. My lips are slightly drier and that's it. My skin is actually looking pretty good (knock on wood). I"m still in fear of the initial breakout...but I'm trying not to think about it. I've got stuff going every weekend in September..so I'll be extremely upset if my face is a mess. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
    I couldn't believe your last message when you said you had a friend in Naugatuck. That's where I grew up!
    How is your face doing? You must be so happy to have this treatment behind you. How are you caring for your face post accutane?
    Well..I'm going to wash my face for the night and put on the mint julep mask. It always makes my skin feel better. I hope this week doesn't bring any accutane troubles...I'll keep you posted.
    Take care,
    Jodi

     
    Old 09-13-2004, 06:59 AM   #15
    BostonGirl44
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    Re: Accutane users

    Hey Jodi,
    I'm glad accutane is going well for you so far. I know what you mean about not feeling well and wondering if it's the accutane or just a coincidence. That happened to me in my 2nd and 3rd months of treatment but it turned out to be my bc. I stopped that and was fine ever since. I was just relieved it wasn't the accutane. I dreaded the initial breakout too. I was pretty much waiting for the day when I'd wake up and see that my face had exploded but that day never came. I hope you don't have to go through that either. I was lucky that my face just kept on improving throughout the whole process instead of getting worse before getting better.

    My face is doing great and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I had a slight breakout on my forehead (which was strange since I have never in my life broken out on my forehead). But I put a little bit of the mint julep on it and by the next day it was dried out and completely gone. As long as I don't have to deal with another cyst, I'm thrilled. I'm still keeping with a minimal regimen when it comes to washing my face. I don't want to use anything harsh, so as few things as possible, the better.

    I hope your treatment continues to go well for you! Keep me updated!

     
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